Continuing my I.P.Hiatus in these reviews, I’m going to feature another beer that stresses malt over hops. As a disclaimer, it’s no secret that my love of the OB runs deep, so I might be a bit biased. But I’ll also admit I wasn’t too excited about this one as I am not a fan of “sweet” beers. That said, I was very much surprised with Old Chub Scotch Ale from Oskar Blues after not having one for quite some time.
I had this beer out on a gravel ride just after completing a hard interval so I can’t tell you how it pours or comment on its head retention. I can say that it was shaken not stirred during the ride, so there was a bit of tan head exodus when I popped the can. The aromas were also a bit difficult to distinguish from the can, but malt sweetness with a hint of dark roast was there.
The beer has a perfect medium body. Not too thick that you have to chew it, but not so weak as to not coat the tongue. The beer has a three-phase taste array in the mouth with burn, sweet, burn.
The initial burn is from the carbonation. This is followed quickly by the introduction and presentation of the sweetness. The sweet flavors feature notes of caramel, slight spiciness, and biscuits covered in molasses. The sweetness fades but remains subtle as the roasted malt bitterness takes center stage. The roasted malt bitterness is complimented by a nice hopping which tastes heavier than the claimed 20 IBUs would have you believe. The roasted malt bitterness lingers the longest in the aftertaste.
This beer is not polarizing and should appeal to a wide range of palates. Those that like sweet beers will be satisfied by the malt profile while those that like their beers more bitter will find enough to be happy about as well.
This beer pairs well with a roast, steak, sausage or a hearty stew. For after dinner, it would be great with some rum raisin cake. It also goes great with fall gravel rides and full moons.
At 8% this beer is no slouch, but it still drinks quite easy. The cans also make it highly portable and great for outdoor enjoyment.
Grab a sixer for you next adventure, and head out. You won’t be disappointed. No matter if your taste buds prefer sweet or bitter.
Bikepacker Friendliness (the originators of craft in a can): 9/10
Aroma (not rated)
Flavor (nice balance of sweet and bitter): 8/10
Style Appropriateness (a wee heavy as I wish they all were): 9/10