Holy Smoke Scotch Ale

So I had a chance to try this brew on tap at West 50, one of 50 beers on tap.  Most of the beers are blah, but they do have Koningshoven Quad.  Go there to check that beer out at least.  They only serve in in half pints though, go figure.

This Holy Smoke Scotch Ale is heavily front loaded with roasted malts to give it a very robust and, well, smokey aroma and flavour.  Its black as midnight, probably because there is black patent malt in there, which mostly is used to give a very dark complexion.  So it drinks well, lots of nice rusty and dark and burnt flavours, but it does have a certain wateriness to it.  Something that keeps bugging me is this wateriness.  Its 5%, but perhaps the yeast used is too neutral.  I feel like its almost lager-like in its finish.  Its definitely worth a try for this Porter type Ale, but don’t make a mission out of it.

Though I do like that the Church-Key Brewing company is “Founded in 2000, Church-Key Brewing is located in an 1878 Methodist Church on the outskirts of the town of Campbellford, Ontario.”  Any Brewery operating out of a Church gets a thumbs up from me.

Since our rating scheme rates amazing beers similar to the so-so beers, I’ll put this one at 3 heads.


6 Responses

  1. Perhaps it’s time to revamp the rating scale? Or at least start quartering heads instead of halving them like the other Nag.

    Half pints of 5% beer? Don’t they usually only do that if a beer is like 7% or more?

  2. Opps, I meant half pints of the Quad. Which makes sense really. It would be crazy to give someone a pint of that stuff.

    Yeah I dunno, I was going to go with 2 heads for this beer, but 2 out of 5 seems like its a terrible beer. Maybe we need a legend for the heads, as in 1 head = poor, 2 heads = fair, 3 heads = average, 4 heads = great, 5 heads = trappist excellence. Something like that? The other Nag going to quarters is hilarious. Did he actually cut that picture of Paul in 3/4’s? Hahaha..

  3. I most certainly did cut that picture into quarters! 5 designations is pretty difficult sometimes, because there is a very fine line between average and great. Or, maybe I am just taking this too seriously.

    I have never heard of this beer but it does seem really tasty. A porter with a watery finish? That would bother me a lot too. Where is this West 50 establishment located?

  4. Its true Tom, we are starting to get more picky here. Expanding the rating system would mean that we have to redo the ratings for the previous posts?

    I was recommended to try this beer by someone that said it “changed their life”. Clearly that person is crazy. Its worth a try though. Yes, slightly watery, try it and you’ll see what I mean. Perhaps I’m being too picky again, I did just have a St Peters Winterale so it kind of set the bar. Has that one been rated yet? Someone should get on that beer.

  5. Yeah, I totally read that wrong. Half pints of the Quad is quite reasonable. If some unseasoned beer drinker was to order a full pint of that holiness, they’d probably end up in a coma.

    Quartering heads is fine with me. That would give us… 20 different rating possibilities. I think that should be sufficient. Also, I don’t think we need to go back and change all the other ratings. I (or anyone) can update the “About” section indicating that we changed the rating scale (slightly) in mid-November 2011, so as not to discredit any of our previous ratings.

  6. Sounds pretty tasty, I like smoky. Hopefully Lava comes back to these parts real soon.

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