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9% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Brown with a small head.
Aroma: Some caramel and bread notes.
Taste: Malty with dark fruit taste and some caramel.
Mouthfeel: Strong bodied.

Tri-City’s Wee Heavy Scotch Ale contains flavors you’d expect out of a scotch ale, yet they’re a bit sweeter than usual. This creates for a very drinkable beer, despite the strong body and 9% ABV. And having won Best Scotch Ale for the Midwest / Rocky Mountain REgion by the US Beer Tasting Competition in 2012, I can certainly see why this beer continues to thrive.

9.2% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Black with a very minimal head.
Aroma: A bit boozy with some dark fruit.
Taste: Dark chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruit and decent carbonation. A bit smoky with some tartness as well.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Kiss My Scottish Arse is what you’d expect from a scottish ale — deep flavors, with a bit of a funky twist. A smoke backend leads to some tart, surrounded by a chocolate, dark fruit and malt flavor profile.

8.5 ABV, Draft

Appearance: Dark amber, quickly disappearing head that leaves filmy white lining. Low carbonation.
Aroma: Butterscotch/scotch smell, fruity, sweet hints.
Taste: Comes in waves — scotch, sweet, then back to scotch with a fruity sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with low carbonation.

Not a hard-hitting scotch ale, but it still packs a punch. Lake Scotch has much of the traditional scotch ale flavors, but has a cleaner spin on it. It’s tasty with a balance of sweet and boozy — this brew is an easy drinking scotch ale that hides its ABV.

8.5 ABV, Draft
Appearance: Dark amber, quickly disappearing head that leaves filmy white lining. Low carbonation.
Aroma: Butterscotch/scotch smell, fruity, sweet hints.
Taste: Comes in waves — scotch, sweet, then back to scotch with a fruity sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with low carbonation.
Not a hard-hitting scotch ale, but it still packs a punch. Lake Scotch has much of the traditional scotch ale flavors, but has a cleaner spin on it. It’s tasty with a balance of sweet and boozy — this brew is an easy drinking scotch ale that hides its ABV.

7% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Dark brown with a surprising amount of sediment. Low white head.
Aroma: Oaky and malty, a bit boozy.
Taste: Roasted malts and oak, and even a bit of a berry taste to it. A bit smoky as well, but not overpowering.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, pretty smooth.

Michigan Beer Cellar’s Headknocker Scotch Ale can easily be confused with an aged fruit beer. With a taste full of berries and a bit of an oak and malt tone, the flavor is surprising for a scotch ale. The smooth brew is pretty drinkable, with only a slight smokiness at the backend.

9.75% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Cloudy dark brown. Minimal carbonation with virtually no head.
Aroma: Sweet, yeasty smell. The minimal hint of alcohol is deceiving.
Taste: Booze upfront. Sweet caramel-like finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy malty body. Smooth from start to finish.

This offering by Dark Horse Brewing Co. is named after a “local one man band who plays an amazing slurry of honky tonk influenced, punk country songs.” Packed with booze from front to back, the alcohol is overpowering at first but retreats into subtlety about half way through the pint once your tastebuds adjust. Waves of candied malts linger throughout this wee-heavy. The finish is sweet, strong and smooth. This ale from Marshall is a winner on all fronts.

9% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Caramel in color with a medium to high head that quickly dissipates.
Aroma: Surprisingly sour.
Taste: Caramel, nut and a bit of sour flavor. A bit of fruit as well.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a lot of carbonation.

Frog Island Moon Squaller is an impressive scotch ale. Full of flavor, this brew is almost closer to a sour than a scotch ale because of the carbonation (mixed with a little fruit) that it contains. The 9% ABV is very hidden, as the beer is very drinkable with just a hint of carbonated burn at the end of each sip. Very unique in its carbonation and sour-like qualities, Moon Squaller is definitely a brew I’d try again.