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Beer Reviews

Robert the Bruce Scottish Style Ale

Three Floyds Brewing Co.
Munster, IN

Style: Scottish Ale
ABV: 7.0%

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

As an Englishman, it’s difficult for Nigel to participate in anything remotely Scottish, even if it does involve drinking beer. I refuse to eat haggis, bagpipes annoy the shit out of me, I constantly complain when golfing a links-style course (boo giant sand traps), I change the channel every time Groundskeeper Willie is on screen during an episode of The Simpsons, I believe Sasquatch would destroy the Loch Ness Monster in a cage match, and I haven’t worn a kilt in days (ok, maybe hours). Hard to believe that I would indulge in a Scottish ale, particularly one named after Robert the Bruce, who spent the early part of the 14th century tormenting the mighty English. For those of you who are not historians like Nigel (as in, I have a degree in history, which is why I have so much time to write these painfully long reviews—I don’t have a real job), Robert the Bruce was the true leader of the Scots during the wars with the English in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, securing Scottish independence (briefly) by defeating the far superior English at Bannockburn in 1314, but only after he cheated. For those of you saying “what the hell … why isn’t it William Wallace Scottish Ale? He was Braveheart!”, please note that that was a movie, not a documentary, and a bad one at that, directed by Mel Gibson. Mel Gibson is a smooth segue back to the topic of beer since he apparently likes to drink, as do I, though I prefer to direct my drunken tirades at small, furry animals and dull pencils rather than an entire race of people. But I digress.

Not surprisingly, this is a high quality beer, something all of us Beer Dorks have come to expect from the fine folks at Three Floyds. The beer pours very flat—hardly any head during the pour and none while in the glass. The color is good for a Scottish—very, very dark. It has a strong aroma, though to me it was a bit chemically—it didn’t accurately portray the flavor of the beer. The flavor is very good. Strong, but not overpowering malt (sometimes a problem in Scottish ales), very sweet, with definite hints of chocolate and caramel. As you would expect, it’s very thick, but still quite drinkable. There is a strong aftertaste on the tongue due to the overall richness of the beer, so grab some breath mints to make sure you don’t smell like a dirty Scotsman all night. Blimey, I can’t believe I had such kind words for a Scottish-style beer. May God save the Queen, and don’t even get me started on the Irish.

[Editor's Note: Damn fog monkeys. —Eddie Glick]

Reviewed by Nigel Tanner on December 2, 2006.
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