Breakfast Beer Tasting: Old Worthy Scottish Pale Ale
Something a little bit different today. A Scottish Pale Ale brewed by Old Worthy on the Isle of Skye. The twist here is that it’s made with peated malt barley from Ardmore Distillery. Interesting, eh? It’s a clever alternative to going down the Innis & Gunn route.
It’s a 330ml bottle and is 5%. It poured clear amber with good carbonation and a soft white head. It says it’s brewed with aromatic hops, but I didn’t get that. The aroma was subdued: a little bread dough and a little bit of pepper, but nothing else.
Luckily the beer itself had much more flavour than the aroma would lead you to believe. Light bodied with prickly carbonation, it was well balanced and avoided the usual pitfalls of sweet-especially Scottish-stronger beers. It certainly didn’t seem like 5%; which is always a plus point in my book.
Flavour wise, you’ve got some good crisp, lager-esque, malt tones in the background and pepper hops upfront. The peat is very cleverly used. It could so easily have become overpowering, but is very, very mild here. It just seems to sit in the background and helps deliver a dry aftertaste that is very pleasant.
The bottle claims that this is a crisp and refreshing Scottish Pale Ale. And on the evidence of this sample, I have to agree. It’s not the hop-infused American Pale Ales that are the norm these days, but a worthy (geddit?) reimagining of a traditional Scottish style. You could easily substitute this for a Budvar or something of that ilk and happily sink a few.