A Pint of Ninety-bob Please

One of the advantages of the beer expansion in the United States is you have plenty of brewers willing to try all kinds of experimental recipes, with no regard for tradition, and often, any kind of historical perspective. This of course lead to extreme beers, bourbon barrel age stouts, and sometimes beers that are brewed with nearly everything, including the proverbial kitchen sink. Unfortunately, there is also a down side to this because a drinker unfamiliar with what makes beer a beloved beverage for thousands of years may never know the advancements in culinary civilization that made truly great beer possible.
So it was with great pleasure to discover Newcastle (owned by Heineken) release their collaboration edition Scotch Ale, brewed by the Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Scotland has a 5000 year history of brewing, going back to the Picts and beyond. But what Caledonian Brewery represents is the last of the 40 breweries that operated in the 19th century, when Edinburgh was one of the brewing capitols of the world. This was due to the local hard water, rich in minerals and as famous as the brewing water in Burton-on-Trent, England. Happily, unlike Bass, Caledonian Brewery still makes their ales using fire brewed open copper kettles. This historical tradition helps to explain the extraordinary taste of this ale. A wee heavy, or to put it in the shilling vernacular of those times, a 90/-, which refers to the amount of taxes.
What a delicious brew this is! Exquisitely balanced. It would be easy to go on about the rich malty toffee notes etc., but why bother? It is best to discover this on your own. Newcastle-Caledonian-Scotch-Ale

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