I have to say I definitely enjoyed Portland Brewing’s fall seasonal, Noble Scot, of which they sent me two bottles a few weeks ago. With the weather cooling off it’s been a good beer to enjoy and will be sticking around for another month.
Noble Scot is a Scottish-style ale, 6.5% abv, with the brewery’s description stating, “Noble Scot is a complex and full-bodied Scottish Ale with notes of toast and caramel and a sweet, subtle smokiness for the bonnie days of fall.” It has a more complex grain bill than some of the Portland Brewing lineup: 2-Row Pale, Smoked, Carapils, Roasted Barley, and Melanoidin.
Appearance: Classic brown color, with auburn highlights that looks lovely when held up to the light. Light tan head.
Smell: Rich and nutty with a roasty, warming, almost spicy aroma that’s a little bit chocolate, a little bit biscuit, and steely. Hints of smoke are present, though not predominant for me.
Taste: Malty with a layers of flavor revealing a deft hand with the grain bill—a solid pale malt base with a depth of graininess that makes me think crystal malts, roasted grains, a touch of (pale) chocolate, something like Vienna or Munich and more. [Speculation before I looked] It doesn’t get cloying, it’s got a balanced, dry presence that has the hint of tang (the roasted and chocolate notes I think, along with the smoked malt) but it’s not thin either. Earthy bitterness but it’s definitely malt-forward and hearty.
Mouthfeel: Shy of medium-bodied, but it has a rich and broth-like feel with a drier finish.
Overall: I quite like it. It’s got a well-balanced “fall” feel to it in the maltiness and it hits the spot.
Look for it in both 22-ounce and 12-ounce bottles. According to the website, it will be available through October 15.