Appearance: Very nice pour. Clear and deep ruby color. Strong, sustained light brown head.
Aroma: Nicely balanced aroma with fruitiness slightly dominant over the malt. A hint of fruity esters and noticeable alcohol. Not as complex as I’d expect from a Scotch ale. I don’t pick up any peat, smokiness, although caramel is present.
Mouthfeel: Very nice! Full, rounded, not bitter or astringent.
Taste: Generally well balanced with malt dominant. A slight roasted caramel feel but relatively subdued for this style. Definite hints of fruitiness from the hops but as with the aroma, not powerful. The alcohol is noticeable, as I’d expect with an 8.5% ABV beer, but not at all dominant. Very subtle in fact. My wife likes it and she rarely likes higher alcohol beers. Nice finish, a nice viscosity.
Drinkability: I’d rate the drinkability higher than the overall score. “Why?,” you ask. Because the score reflects the fact that this is not a particularly well executed Scotch ale. It is, however, a well executed beer in general. Perhaps it just needs a slightly different label!