Sprecher Brewing Company - Scotch Ale
- ABV: 8.0%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 21
- Serving Temperature: 48-55° F
- Suggested Glassware: Snifter or Tulip
- Malts: Pale, Caramel, Aromatic, Vienna, Peated, Roasted Barley
- Hops: Mt. Hood
Pouring a hazy, deep amber-red color capped by a head of light tan foam, Sprecher's Scotch Ale looks good while presenting an inviting set of aromatics. It's also taken home several medals from various competitions, including Gold at the 2012 and 2014 Los Angeles International Beer Competition and Gold at the 2014 US Open Beer Championship. Look for aromas of caramel, dried fruit, and light touches of smoke from the peated malt, which is a characteristic of many Scotch ales as it is for many Scotch whiskies. On the palate, we found this brew rich and quite full-bodied, with big caramelized notes and the aforementioned dried fruit character appearing as a round and delicious undercurrent. The peaty and roasty malt notes add an extra dimension which reminds us of Islay Scotch without overpowering the beer. A lightly spicy hop bitterness and a hint of alcohol which emerges with warmth provide nice counterpoints to the sweeter malt tones. For food pairing options, our favorites are charcuterie with various British pub cheeses, smoked Gouda, or, as Sprecher recommends, smoked baby Swiss. Additionally, feel free to lay a couple bottles down for a nap in a cool, dark, and dry place. At 8% ABV, this ale should be able to handle extended aging; we'd expect perceived bitterness to subside somewhat while a bit of sherry-like oxidation may set in. Cheers!
Randal (Randy) Sprecher, a former Pabst Brewing Company brewing supervisor, founded Sprecher Brewing Company in Milwaukee, WI in 1985 with an emphasis on German-style beers – an emphasis which continues to this day with beer styles such as Maibock, Oktoberfest (Märzen), Hefeweiss, Schwarzbier, and more. After about a decade, the company had grown to the point where they needed a larger facility, and in 1994 the brewery was moved to its current location a few miles to the north in Glendale, WI. The new, bigger brewery offered the company the room to keep growing, and they have established themselves as significant contributors to the city of Milwaukee’s impressive brewing tradition, which reaches far beyond the presence of the current mega-brewery that’s based in the city. In the late 19th century, Milwaukee boasted over 80 breweries until Prohibition led to the demise of most of them in 1919. Nevertheless, the city can be spoken of historically as a craft brewing haven, and the success of the Sprecher beers there in recent years shows that the enthusiasm for great beer is still alive and well.
If you’re ever in the Milwaukee area, check out the Sprecher brewery and buy as many brews as you can bring home with you. You might need an extra suitcase, though, because in addition to their multitude of excellent German-style brews they also make a number of excellent ales such as Irish-style Stout, English-style Brown Ale, and more – including this month's featured Scotch Ale and Imperial Stout. For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, visit their website at www.sprecherbrewery.com or call them at 414-964-2739.
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