Scottish Very Light
Style: Scottish Light Ale
Grain: Golden Promise, Crystal, Pale Chocolate, Special B
Fermented with English yeast
Tasting notes: caramel, toffee, dark toast, plum
Pair with: The Gift of Bacon, Roasted Cobb Salad, BBBLT
The most hyped and talked about beers are always the ones that push at the extremes - brewers make the hoppiest, or the highest-ABV, or the most sour beers because that's what people talk about. But sit down with those same brewers for a beer sometime and they don't reach for those. They will likely go for the low-ABV beers. It's in part due to the fact that you can have more of them and still be functional, and in part because those small beers show the real mettle of a brewery. Down there, there's nothing to hide behind. Every flaw is amplified. And less ABV means less malt, less body, less flavor. So yeah, a small beer with a lot of flavor is a bit of a flex.
So I wanted to see how low ABV I could go without sacrificing flavor. And you can't get much lower than a style born in the Highlands. The "Light" in Scottish Light has nothing to do with the color, but rather it's ABV -- the next step up, Scottish Heavy, tops out at a wee 3.9%. Keep going and you'll hit 10% with their "Wee Heavy" beers. The Scots are known for rich malty brews that use just enough hops to preserve the beer. Beers that would feel, well, cozy as you're sitting in a stone walled pub listening to the wind blow outside. So there are a lot of grains in here that call on that malty richness, as sort of a comfort food. And at only 2.3%, you can get very comfortable with this brew.