March 2 2010, 9:31 AM
Local breweries are not only turning out more seasonals---I'm noticing an increase in year-round beers, as well. And while this week’s pick, Claymore Scotch Ale, is a year-round beer, Great Divide Brewing has released it at the most appropriate time of year for its style. This dark, flavorful brew stands up perfectly to all the comfort food I’ve been eating out of our crockpot. It's also an interesting anomaly: Scotch ales are strong, and they tend to need a lot of sugar to yield a stronger brew. (The Claymore weighs in at 7.7 percent ABV.) That's why I expected a strong, malty beer with some sweetness on the tongue. Instead, I got a very clean-tasting beer with a smooth mouthfeel devoid of any stickiness. Even more interesting is the malt character. After such a clean start to the flavor, you’re left with a charcoal bitterness at the end of the drink. Overall, Great Divide's take on the Scotch ale will keep me buying more.