Tasting: December 14, 2013
Style: Ale (Wee Heavy)
Beer #: 506
Beer and whiskey are close relatives as the process of making both begins with the fermentation of sugars found in grains like barley. Both processes utilize yeast to turn the sugars to alcohol. Essentially, whiskey begins as “hop-less” beer with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of approximately 8%. It then goes on to a distilling process that separates the alcohol and water by evaporation. The resulting liquid is usually 40% to 60% ABV and the whiskey is aged in new and charred oak barrels.
Scotch is the term for Scottish Whiskey and I’m certain that the base beer used in the production of Scotch Whiskey is Scottish (or Scotch) ale. The ale is characteristically malt heavy and can have the flavor of the burnt peat used to malt (germinate) the barley. Scottish ale comes in varying strengths and wee heavy tops the charts with ABV in excess of 8%. Outta Kilter is made a few thousand miles away from Scotland – in Ohio and it checks in at an appropriate 8.2% ABV. Hoppin’ Frog Outta Kilter is further aged in whiskey barrels. The label lends some additional details like an International Bittering Units (IBU) of 28 (very low bitterness) and a high original gravity (OG) of 20.7 degrees plato (over 17 is considered dense). Both measurements are atypical for the style.
A heavy-ish beer like Outta Kilter would seem to fit the bill on an evening of being snow-bound. Pours a cloudy reddish brown. Very still. First couple of sips aren’t very impressive. Somewhat sweet of burnt caramel but it clashes with an off herbal flavor like clove from yeast. A tad boozy and I really can’t detect any whiskey barrel influence. Mouthfeel might be the best thing I can say for Outta Kilter but that’s sad. I’ll put this one at 78 points and I’ll look for something else. Disappointing.