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!