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After a long day on deadline, my mind was thinking of getting home to a can of Lord Lyon, a Scotch ale from Good City Brewing Co. of Milwaukee.
I love me a good Scotch ale – also known as a “wee heavy” – because it’s all about the sweet, malty goodness. I couldn’t wait to dive in deep.
But, man, this one isn’t doing it for me.
I expect a Scotch ale to be thick and on the sweet side from plenty of caramelly malt, but this one has an added ingredient that gives it a sharp taste. They’ve used something that makes the taste too intense for what I know as a Scotch ale, which annoys the hell out of me when I had it on my brain all day.
The website and can label just tell us this: “Lord Lyon bestows honor as the Scottish authority who officially grants coats of arms. Similalry [sic], this Scotch Ale seeks to honor your palate with a sweet malt body, earthy hops, and slight smokiness. Live well. Seek the Good.”
I can’t quite identify what is wrong with it. A surfeit of hops? Too much dark malt?
When I drink a Scotch ale, I expect the sweet caramel, toffee notes to dominate, not the bitter-smoke thing that rules the Lord Lyon’s flavor profile. Peat smoke flavors are for Scotch whiskys from the island of Islay, not true Scotch ales. That, I believe, is an American craft brewer invention.
It’s a sticky 8.5 percent beer that I wish I could love, but, no, sorry Lord Lyon, you have missed the mark for me.