My first sip of the eagerly anticipated Wee Heavy Scotch-Style Ale from Alesmith was a disappointment, not on their part, but on my own.

I bought the bomber bottle and stuck it in the refrigerator. That’s fine for storage, but you don’t want this style of beer that cold when you drink it because the cold masks many of the important flavors this beer offers.

With my first sip I realized it was too cold, and because of that I was being denied some of the fine character of what I knew was going to be a world-class beer.

Idiot, I thought to myself with multiple exclamation points after the word. I was preoccupied with something when I pulled the bottle out of the fridge, and didn’t even think about the beer temperature until I took that first sip.

Everyone knows that Scotch ales are full of nuances that are lost when the beer is served too cold. What a maroon!

Realizing my faux pas, I covered the top of the glass that I had already poured and put the cap back on the rest of the bomber bottle, then mixed a gin and tonic and went into the kitchen to make a batch of guacamole. By the time the guac was made (my guacamole is more than smashed avocados, which are divine in their own right), the Scotch ale had gotten closer to room temperature, which is where it reveals its full character.
Oh, yeah, that’s the ticket! This beer needed to warm up. Now each sip is a roller coaster of rich, dark flavors – chocolate, coffee, dark berries and cherries, the dark – just short of burnt – end of caramel. With each sip, my mind goes completely blank for a moment as it dives into a Mariana Trench of dark flavors.

With one of those sips, lines from Freedy Johnston’s magnificent 1992 release Can You Fly float through the darkness like an answer from a Magic 8-Ball:

“You came down, down, down, down on a midnight storm
You came down, down, down, down on a midnight flash
We’ve all been looking at you
I must know, is it true?
Can you fly?”

When a beer brings back a song like that, well, maybe you had to be there to understand the power of the song. Believe me, I was there – this was a very powerful song. Still, I must know, is it true? Can you fly?

After this bomber of Wee Heavy, I think I can honestly answer in the affirmative.