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Beer Reviews

Warped Speed

Lake Louie Brewing
Arena, WI

Style: Scottish Ale

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

If Lake Louie Brewing has a “flagship” brew, I’d guess it’d be Warped Speed, the beer that started the still-tiny brewery out of Arena, Wisconsin on it’s unlikely rise to becoming one of the state’s most popular craft brew producers. The story goes that when founder Tom Porter converted his award-winning home brewed Scottish style ale to commercial batch sizes, the beer’s gravity got an unexpected boost, leading the rough-and-tumble patrons at the local biker bar where it was served to dub it “Liquid Reefer.”

So I’d guess you’d call this one a “wee heavy.” It definitely ain’t light. Nae.

It pours an almost-black, save for some hints of translucence around the outer curves of the glass. The light tan head is a little less than medium, ushering out aromatic, roasted malt. At first the body can’t quite decide if it’s going to go full-bore or not—it seems a bit on the light side, with a touch of tinniness up front. This is followed by plenty of malty goodness, both the sweet and roasty kind, with a nib of chocolate at the very end of the swallow. All this with a cleanliness of mouth feel that is a little unusual for your typical Scottish persuasion of beer.

But, like a lot of Lake Louie’s brews, this one starts out pretty unassuming and gets better the deeper you delve into the glass. The body builds as the beer warms, and the toasted and chocolate notes stand out more and more. What starts off as a perfectly normal Scottish ale grows into a meaty, warming gem of a beer—that without a doubt packs a bit of an alcoholic punch—that is as hard to find as it is good. So if you happen across a six pack, snap it up while you can. You never know when you’ll come across any “Liquid Reefer” again.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on December 12, 2007.
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