Tuesday, December 28, 2010

St. George Brewing Co. Winter Scotch Ale - 85 Shilling Beer

I have sampled and enjoyed a few other brews from St. George in the past, and being based out of Hampton, Virginia certainly helps when I am shopping for beer. But what really caught my eye with this brew was part of its name - 85 Shilling beer. This was the first I had ever heard of an ale being described this way so I just had to pick it up.

I did some research and I will spare you on most of the details (if you are really that interested check out this link), but the basis of this rating system is a set of old Scottish export accounting rules used in the late 1800's. Light beers were lower on the Shilling scale - usually in the 42-48 range, Mild or Pale ales were from 54-60, strong ales would be somewhere between 70-90. This Shilling system was used until World War II but started to phase out after that...The terms were slowly replaced with "light", "wee heavy" (due to 6 oz. bottle sizes), and "export" (IPA's).

St. George Brewing Co, Winter Scotch Ale - 85 Shilling Beer is a 6% ABV brew that has a burnt amber color with a one-finger head of off-white small bubbles. The beer smells of sweet malt and pecans, and at first sip is very heavy of smoked peat and roasted nuts. The finish is sweeter with notes of caramel and toffee. This would make a really great session beer for me during this time of year!

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