Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Calavera's Smoky Scottish Ale 80

Cerveceria Calavera is another stand out micro brewery in Mexico. From the many beers I've tasted down here, there are only a handful of breweries that rise to the top of my list in regards to a consistently good selection of styles.

Calavera ranks in my top three, following closely behind my favorite, La Chingoneria who produce my all time best "Armargator". Calavera comes in next with their take on a Belgian Tripel and then Tijuana Brewing with their 'Guera'.  However, I have to say that I take exception with Tijuana Brewing because of their proximity to San Diego and the obvious influence of the So. California beer scene.

Calavera Smoky Scottish Ale

Today, I revisiting Calavera by trying out a glass of the Smoky Scottish Ale 80/- down at Cafe Mesa Grande. I've never been a big fan of the Scottish style as it tends to be too sweet and cloying for my tastes but if the Mexican brewers are trying to make it, I want to sample their take on the style.

In this case, it's a beer I'm enjoying and maybe that's because it doesn't live up to the classic commercial examples. This beer is much dryer than I expected with very mild (almost non-existent) smoke flavor that hides behind a mild layer of raisin and caramel malt and some phenol spice. With a fluffy, light tan head that drops quickly, the beer is dark amber with a much thinner mouthfeel than the classic Scottish ale. This is a bottle conditioned beer and has some yeast flavors along with a little stale metallic quality. Overall, the detractors are a minor component as I find the beer pleasing and easy to drink but again, (like their example of a Belgian Dubbel) it doesn't measure up to the classic styles I'm use to drinking in the States.

Just as a side note: I'll be using this blog as a way of posting updates to my attempts at starting a brewing school in Mexico. Keep your fingers crossed and feel free to give opinions as I progress. Cheers!


Restaurante Erlum said...

Hey beer diary!
First of all, thanks for the great blog. I have just moved to Querétaro with my wife to open a restaurant and am looking for ingredients to keep brewing. I had been brewing for years in New York and am itching to get back to business. If you have any recomendations for me, I would really appreciate it. Thanks again! Cheers!

Brendan Clancy

Beer Diary... said...

Hi Brendan,
I'm glad you're enjoying the blog. The only recommendation I would have is getting to be friends with the brewers at Toro so that you can possibly order ingredients through them when they order. I don't know them well enough to make assumptions, just saying that is what I would do. Otherwise, having a local p.o.box that makes trips to the Texas border is a good way to get inexpensive ingredients from the state. The costs at the homebrew stores here are very high. See the sidebar of the blog for links to resources in Mx. Good luck with the restaurant and keep on brewin'. Cheers!

Unknown said...

Hey Buddy,

I am keeping my finger's crossed. One of my co-workers informed me she goes to San Miguel for a month each year and she loves good beer-am sending her links to your blogs. Also, my next IPA will an attempt at yours and you have inspired me to try a Jamaica Wheat.


Beer Diary... said...

Thanks Brady,
We'll be returning to Santa Cruz at the end of the month and look forward to seeing you and trying some of your beers. I'm looking forward to catching up with you. Cheers!

Best selection of Trappist Ale in Edmonton said...

This beer definitely gets better with age, but is drinkable right away! It's a very easy beer to brew; one of my first all grains and I've brewed it a couple times since. A nice fall and winter beer

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