To Michigan now, and a beer with which I’ve only recently become acquainted, Loch Down Scotch Ale from Arcadia Ales of Battle Creek.
Now, I’ve no idea if Battle Creek is a hotbed of Scottish culture – I’ve never been – but if you told me it was I’d likely believe you. Because this beer is just so damn Scottish in almost every facet of its being that it’s hard to believe there’s not a Scot involved in some way with its creation.
Deep burgundy-brown of hue, Loch Down has an aroma that goes long and deep, with fruity-toffee maltiness holding notes of roasted plums steeped in brandy and molasses. The body is likewise rich and luxuriant, a hint of chocolate on the front end leading to a raisiny, rich, boozy, warming middle, still with some roastiness, almost a smokiness, in fact, and accents of blackstrap molasses notes. The finish is a admittedly bit harsh at first, with some sharp roast and hop clashing against the more unctuous character of the ale, but it soon settles into a warming and lengthy conclusion.
It’s blowing snow outside my office window right now, and looks somewhere between daunting and miserable. Which I figure is just about the right kind of weather for this 8% alcohol beauty, if only I still had more.