Plaid Bastard, Grand Lake Brewing Co., Grand Lake

Style: Scotch Ale

ABV: 8 percent

Serving Type: 12-ounce bottle

Malty? Hoppy? Malty. Period.

Reviewed: November 2013

At 8,369 feet, Grand Lake Brewing might just top out as the world’s highest packaging brewery, which somehow gives their beer a quintessential Colorado feel. One of our favorite Grand Lake offerings happens to be their Scotch ale, Plaid Bastard. Aside from being well-named (we dig a beer name with some attitude), this brew delivers on the Scoth ale tradition of malt-forward beers. In fact, Plaid Bastard is a malt-lovers dream: peat-smoked malt from Scotland gives this brew a subtle smokiness, which blends nicely with the alcohol warmth owed to the Bastard’s 8 percent ABV. The brewery suggests the Bastard is also hiding some black cherry and raisin flavors, which we found to be pleasantly subtle. Bottom line: If you stock your fridge with malty beers to get you through winter, make room for this one.

Would we buy it again? Yes. There aren’t nearly as many Scocth ales kicking around as, say, IPAs. This is one of the good ones.