Beer 16: Wee Heavy Scotch Ale and Spigot Issues

Also called a Scotch Ale, or Strong Scotch Ale, this is one of my favorite styles (alongside IPA and Belgian Tripel). That’s interesting. My three favorite styles all take one ingredient to the extreme: IPA with hops; Belgian Tripel with yeast; and Wee Heavy with barley. If you’ve tried Dirty Bastard (Founders), Lock Down (Arcadia) or Scottie Karate (Dark Horse), you know what I’m talking about. Light brown to reddish brown in color, they are very tasty and very unique: malty (i.e. barley flavored), intense, high in alcohol. Sometimes they taste a little smokey or ‘peat’ flavored. They are not bitter or hoppy, and the yeast plays no big role.  It’s all about the barley with this one.

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Wee Heavy
25 lb. Maris Otter
8 oz. Roasted Barley (UK)
~5 oz. Peated Malt
~5 oz. single malt Scotch Whiskey (dumped in at bottling)
2 oz East Kent Goldings FW (30 m. boil)
1 oz East Kent Goldings FO (while chilling in a snow bank)
Edinburgh Scottish Ale yeast

This one lives up to the expectations: very malty, rich, a ton of ‘mouthfeel’, caramel, toffee, and a little smokey peat flavor. You can taste some residual sweetness, probably due to high mash temps (soaking the barley at a higher temperature than I should have). Maybe the sweetness will fade in a week or two, it still has some carbonating left. I would lower the mash temp to 150 (as I planned on) for the next batch. I also don’t like the peated malt; I think it gets in the way (the original recipe didn’t have it, I should’ve listened). I like Dirty Bastard better, but I do like this beer.

update: I do not like this beer, still. Age didn’t help. Too sweet. Stop reading. Continue reading