Left Coast’s McGarvey’s Scottish Ale, because I’m watching Braveheart…

I love Scottish Ales/Red Ales/whatever else you want to refer to this style as.  I do.  I love the really good ones, and I can usually even appreciate the mediocre ones.  It takes a lot to make a bad one.  Left Coast did a good job with their production of the McGarvey’r Scottish Ale.  It is a decent beer that I thoroughly enjoyed drinking in mass quantities, like I had just successfully crawled through the Mojave and was dying of thirst.

Left Coast Brewing is out of San Clemente, CA, and they produce a bevy of different styles of beer, many of which I will also discuss in the future.  I wanted to do the Scottish Ale first because I did like it.  I guess that’s selfish of me, but that’s why it’s my name on the blog, right?  I mean, it’s “BeerByGarth,” not “BeerforthePeople” or anything like that, although that is kind of catchy…well, I digress.  Most of the company information, including contact, beer list, tours, and any other info you might want, can be found at the website right here (http://www.leftcoastbrewing.com/home.htm) for those of you who want to do further investigation.  There’s bagpipes on the bottle for crying out loud, how much searching and snooping do you really need to do??

I picked up a 22oz bomber from the precarious beer store I mentioned in an earlier post…I am soooooooo looking forward to moving from this desert hell hole.  I drank from a pint glass, and the beer pours with a decent amount of head (approx 1.5″) and a slightly sweet, malty smell.  It is a somewhat opaque reddish-brown coloring with a few bubbles of carbonation, but it pours with a thicker, slick look to it.  Pretty standard so far, and my mouth is watering a bit.  The beer has a bittersweet initial taste, followed by a sour, malty aftertaste.  The flavor of scotch is thrown in there (“So it’s not just a clever name”-Wayne Campbell), and the bitterness helps to balance with the sweet overtone of the other flavor characteristics.  The beer is nondescript in your mouth in terms of body, and the flavors are not overbearing or lingering, which makes it very easy to drink, which in some cases is very important.  The body wasn’t heavy one way or the other…it wasn’t overly dry, and it wasn’t creamy; not bold and not light…it was a tough one to pinpoint, but what I can say is that it went down ridiculously easy.  I was ready to grab a broadsword and charge some English after a while!

There are things missing that make a “really good” Scottish Ale…smokey, barrel type flavors; boozy characteristics (in the flavor, not in the Scot)…and that is what is keeping this from being a “great” Scottish.  Otherwise, if you are rummaging around whatever joint you buy beer and you happen upon this, I can guarantee you, you could do much worse.  Because if you don’t buy this beer, and instead go with some piss, aye, you will have your thirst quenched…for at least a while, but lying in your bed, many years from now…oh jesus, you just watched the clip, I’m not going to paraphrase the whole damn thing.  Bottom line…decent beer!!  Now, for making it all the way to the end of this dialogue, here’s a little Scottish rap for you:


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