By Iron Chef Leftovers
Next up in the Stone Collaboration series is the Highway 78 Scotch Ale brewed in conjunction with Green Flash and Pizza Port – making this one an all-California affair. This one came in a 12 oz. bottle for $4.99. I couldn’t find the product page on the Stone website, but I did find their press release, so here is what they say:
Green Flash/Pizza Port Carlsbad/Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale (named after the 18 mile stretch of asphalt that unites us) is an atypical creation for all three breweries. It’s a very malty (read: NOT HOPPY) style of beer that we formulated with three different crystal malts, chocolate malt, and English pale malt to provide a rich, bready body. East Kent Goldings and Target hops provide a very modest backbone of peppery hops, but the flavor is unequivocally malt-driven. Scotch Ale yeast and a touch of raw sugar called sucanat add a distinctive complexity to this hefty 8.8% abv beer.
I should make the disclaimer now that I am really not a big fan of the Scotch Ale style of beer – I tend to find them heavy and syrupy and not really all that enjoyable. That being said, I really did review this beer with an open mind.
The beer pours ruby in color, lighter than I was expecting from a Scotch Ale. Lots of malt and slight notes of peat and smoke show on the nose – this beer is definitely not going to be confused with any other style. The beer is very malt forward, as you would expect, with a slight sweetness and a long finish with notes of smoked malt and grain. Not as overpowering as many Scotch ales and lighter on the malt than I was expecting, I just wish that there was more hop character present than I got – the hops were barely noticeable. There was balance though and the beer did not drink like the 8.8% ABV that it is. Overall, this beer was pretty darn tasty, especially for the style.
Stone Collaboration Highway 78 Scotch Ale drives down the road to the pizza shop and flashes us with a solid 3 kilts out of 5.