Renaissance Stonecutter Scotch Ale
This beer was a little frivolity I brought back from GBBF last year. I did plan on bringing back more of Renaissance’s wares, but I went through a seriously Japanese phase that weekend, and ended up shunning New Zealand – which was a shame, as the likes of 8 Wired, Epic and Renaissance were on my hit list. It’s been patiently waiting to be blogged since then.
Anyway – Scotch Ale. A style that seems (to me, at least) the US have really taken under their wing, and this influence obviously filters through to other territories outside Europe. I picked this up because I wanted to try a Kiwi take on it, seeing as though English brewers seem to leave it alone.
Am I right in saying this? What do you think? Is it because styles like Best Bitter and Amber Ale (although I think that’s a US imported phrase) are close to Scotch Ale?
Stonecutter (7%) certainly looks the part in the glass; mahogany in hue, with a ever-so-slightly tan head hinting at the sweetness within. There’s red fruit in the sip, backed up with a decent amount of cakey, bready, toasted malt notes in the body with only the slightest whiff of smoke. It is undeniably sweet, rich and this inherent booziness becomes more apparent as you finish the beer. The hop profile provides enough bitterness towards the end of the sip to briefly save you from all that body, before disappearing again to leave long finish.
Part of me wants it finish a little fresher; but then I correct myself and note that Stonecutter is a showcase in malt, as all Scotch Ales should be.
I finished the beer alright; don’t get me wrong, it’s not hard to drink. But it is rich, sweet and, well, a little heavy. During a cold snap, it’ll certainly warm your cockles. Share this out and sort out a couple of Steaks (some Duck would be good, too) ; you’ll be patting your satiated stomach afterwards for sure. I’ll be trying more of Renaissance’s beers, for sure.