A Wee Bit of class from Williams Brothers and Brooklyn Brewery

I think the thing I like most about Brooklyn Brewery is the balance their beers always display. Even in their hoppiest Pale Ales or richest Imperial Stouts there is always an effort to make a quality, balanced, complete beer.

There is always lots going on in Brooklyn beers, but they have a poise and completeness that makes the beers drinkable, no-matter the strength.

But this beer, A Wee Bit, isn't the work of Brooklyn alone, it's a collaboration between Brooklyn Brewery and Williams Brothers Brew Co in Scotland – and it’s an absolute masterclass in drinkability.

Trust me, it takes a very steady hand to create a gluggable Scotch Ale brewed with peated malt, treacle and honey. It’s a beer that could so easily have ended up a sticky, overly sweet mess, or even worse something which has far too much peat and medicinal character – evoking thoughts of childhood scraped knees and the painful sting of TCP that followed.

But in the hands of the Williams Bros, with a little help from those magicians at Brooklyn, it has turned out as one of the most surprisingly drinkable beers I’ve enjoyed in quite some time. Like a sort of Scottish Schlenkerla Marzen, albeit not as powerfully smoked.

The initial aroma is that of BIG smokey-sweet frankfurter and woodsmoke with just a little touch of honey dipped pine needle.

The flavour is smooth and flavoursome with a nice smoked marzen like quality and only a touch of sweetness. There’s a lovely underlying roasted malt bitterness that combines well with a clear but restrained peated malt earthiness.

The peat is quite subtle but it's certainly there, something which Scotch whiskey drinkers will no-doubt be able to pinpoint much easier.

The honey and treacle don't really come through, but for me that’s not really a negative.

I was surprised how much I liked this beer. Which, as you may have guessed, was a lot.

 

 

p.s. I was supposed to be reviewing this beer as part of a live tweet-along the brewery held last week, but as usual I was disorganised and unavailable. So my review of this and two other new beers will be coming in three separate parts.

 

7 comments:

  1. i ordered this from alesela, bottle in garage for the weekend. unfortunately my paradigm shift got killed by heavy handed delivery chaps. looking forward to it though!

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  2. It really is an absolute cracker of a beer. I'd seriously consider adding it to the regular line-up if I were Williams Bros.

    Would love to try this on cask too.

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