If you could capture the experience of walking through the woods on a fall afternoon just as the leaves are starting to change color and put it in a bottle (or can), this scotch ale is what it would taste like. It's one that will warm you to your toes and make you actually look forward to shorter days.
Beer Details: Full Boar Scotch Ale from Devil's Canyon Brewing Company, San Carlos, CA (Scotch Ale, 7.4% ABV, 12 IBU)
Appearance: Dark mahogany with a glossy head of mocha-colored foam
Aroma: Fresh-baked brownies, maple candy, coca-cola
Taste: I'm serious with this whole "walk in the woods" metaphor! Take a second and just imagine it: the chill in the air, the coziness of your winter coat, the dry and nutty aroma of fallen leaves, golden sunlight warming the tree trunks, wood smoke in the air. I swear, that is exactly what this beer tastes like.
It's malty and smooth with a lazy heaviness in the mouth. A touch of peaty woodsmoke rounds out the flavors of brown sugar and toasted nuts. It's not quite as sweet as the aroma would lead you to believe — it's more on the "wheat bread" end of the baked goods spectrum and it picks up more mellow coffee and dark chocolate flavors as it warms. The beer is actually fairly dry for all its malty flavors with a pleasant warming alcohol quality in the throat.
This is one of my top picks this fall and winter for everything from coming in from a day outdoors to the holiday table. It hits that craft beer sweet spot that guarantees it will please both beer geeks and occasional beer drinkers at a party. This scotch ale also drinks well on its own but would go fantastically with just about any casserole or roast you put on the table.
→ Pair This Beer With: Pumpkin Chili
(Image credits: Emma Christensen)