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A series of ridiculous things unraveled on a recent Friday, keeping me hopping until I’d had enough and headed for home and a tall cold one waiting for me in the magic fridge.A pal who returned from a recent trip to Chicago brought me a couple cans of Polish beer, and I was looking forward to tucking into one. I just reached in and grabbed the first one, O.K. Beer from the Okocim Brewery, in a pint can that says I am about to drink a “full pale beer” and below that, “Piwo Jasne Pelne.”
Hey, it’s an OK malty lager. Poles make good beer, not just lager, but I recall a Baltic-style porter from Poland that I used to get at the Polish liquor store in Menasha, Wis., when I was fortunate to live in the city earlier in this century.
But I need something else on this goofy day. Should I just grab the other Polish lager, which I can see as soon as I open the door of the magic fridge. Nah, I’ll save that for another time.
I reach deep into the magic fridge and pull out something quite different from the OK lager – it’s a bottle of 3 Floyds Aggromaster – a delicious Scottish-style ale paired with roasted coffee. But because it’s fridge-cold, I decide to make myself a cocktail and take the Aggromaster to work with me tomorrow. I stick it in my backpack so I don’t forget it and to ensure it’s is at room temperature when I drink it tomorrow. Drink a rich beer like this too cold and you miss the flavor nuances the brewers have worked so hard to achieve.
That is especially true with malty Scotch ales, which might be my favorite style of dark beer. Whenever I go to a brewery that has a Scottish-style ale, that’s where I start.Oh, and to go off on a favorite tangent, please do not serve me a Scotch ale in the ugly, ubiquitous cocktail shaker that Americans call a pint. They are an abomination. I once tracked down the story of the ugly pint glass and found the man who started it all – https://doorcountypulse.com/the-ubiquitous-pint-glass.
Before it became the main beer delivery system in America, every bar in America had just one – Libbey and other glass makers sold them as cocktail shakers.I dislike drinking out of them, but especially when you want to savor the aroma and richness of a beer. Give me a tulip glass or brandy snifter for Scotch ales and others deserving of your full attention.
Like barleywine, Scotch ale has a taste profile all its own, dominated by sweet caramel maltiness.That’s certainly on display with Aggromaster, but the coffee has almost equal footing, and the two distinct flavors play very well.I tried to learn more about the sort of coffee used – light roast, dark? But all I could find is the same repeated phrase on multiple web sites – uses hand-selected roasted coffee. Thanks. That tells me nothing.
But the beer tells me, “Let it go. Enjoy.” OK!