We’ve reviewed one other Scotch Ale on DocHophead, Old Chub Nitro and the bourbon barrel variation of Old Chub. Both are excellent brews, but the latter is special release only and is not available on the shelves, only on tap. So when Doug, the beer-meister at Specs on Bryant Irving, suggested this brew it really caught my eye. Couple of things stood out. First off, its a Texas beer, brewed in Katy, just outside of Houston. I had heard of No Label Brewing Company before, but had never sampled their wares. Second, its a Scotch Ale. I like Scotch Ales and can’t say that I’ve had a bad one. Third, and this was the big selling point, its aged in bourbon barrels. Now, I’m not saying that barrel aging is the epitome of a beer. Many will argue the opposite. And I’ve had some barrel aged brews where the barrel aging detracted from rather than enhanced the beer. However, this was not the case with this beer. When I popped it open it was going to just be a casual beer with dinner. But after the first sip I broke out my camera and started snapping away, because this one was definitely something to post.
The beer is a beautiful semi opaque dark dark brown. When held up to the light there are reddish-brown hues. The carbonation is minimal and it has a fleeting light head with no lacing to speak of. The aroma is candied bourbon with malts underneath. I also detect notes of sweet molasses, raisins, chocolate liquor and dulce de leche. The taste was sweet, smooth and sugary with similar taste notes as in the nose. The texture also was smooth with little carbonation. It was reminiscent of an aged Trappist ale.
This beer is made for slow sipping. It is immensely enjoyable and it will be in the “regular lineup” in my cellar. But I’ll be stashing a few bottles as I’ll be very interested to see how well it ages.