Parallel 49 Brewing Company, a relatively new craft brewery in East Vancouver hit the shelves in Alberta a few months ago. Starting in 2008 when 3 craft beer enthusiasts quit their jobs and opened St. Augustines; now a landmark pub in the Vancouver craft beer scene. After several successful years their dream of opening a brewery came to fruition and their product has been well received as new twists on classic styles. Salty Scot is their first “Big bottle” seasonal and is a Scottish Wee Heavy style ale with sea salt and caramel added; a truly quirky idea. Similarily, Parallel 49 has recently created a India Pale Lager, a Watermelon Wit and a Pumpkin Marzen. According to the owners, the brewery’s goal is to create sessionable beers with unique flavours.
Salty Scot is a Wee Heavy or Scottish Ale by style which are generally dark, rich, heavily malted and higher alcohol ales. The term “Wee Heavy” is a colloquial term referring to the dark and strong nature of the beer. But now, let us get to the beer.
Salty Scot pours out a dark, murky and near-fully opaque brown with a thin finger of quickly dying head. A few splotches of beige lacing form on the glass with no apparent carbonation in the body. Giving the nose a deep sniff I detect a light peaty smoked malt note, light caramel and toffee malt sweetness with gorgeous earthen aromas throughout. Overall Salty Scot has a rather sweet and rich scotch accented aroma, but I didn’t get any sea salt notes. But then again, what exactly is the smell of salt?
After taking the first sip I am overcome with a fantastic heart warming fireside-sipping aura. The malts are rich and well roasted with an extravagant toffee and caramel malt sweetness. Beautiful woody and earthy malt with just a pinch of peaty intensity fill the middle of the palate. On the finish a light hop with a tepid astringent bitterness. The palate has a medium body and slightly syrupy texture with no carbonation and a mild astringent finish and aftertaste. Salty Scot is perhaps not the most elegant of beers, but its flavour profile is rather unique and presents a sweet, malt forward and lightly hopped beer that is easy to drink. But I still don’t taste sea salt…
Grade: 85/100 Price: $5.50