By Iron Chef Leftovers
It is a gutsy move in the Northwest to put out a beer style that you don’t normally see and it is even gutsier to put that style out in a cask, but that is exactly what the guys from Reuben’s did with their Auld Heritage Ale. Auld or Old ale is defined as follows (from Wikipedia):
Old ale is a term commonly applied to dark, malty beers in England, generally above 5% abv, also to dark ales of any strength in Australia. Sometimes associated with stock ale or, archaically, keeping ale, in which the beer is held at the brewery.
Reuben’s version clocked in at 8.7% alcohol and 58 IBU; not exactly a small beer.
Auld Heritage is mahogany brown in color. There is lots of malt and caramel on the nose with hints of toffee. The beer builds slowly as you drink it, starting off with little fanfare before showing lots of toffee then transitioning into burnt sugar and caramel before finishing off with a slightly alcoholic and sweet with notes of toffee, caramel and dried fruit. The finish is long – several minutes after taking a sip, you still get light notes of toffee, caramel and dried fruit, and it is not a bad thing. The beer is like enjoying a nice toffee or hard candy and the caramel notes made me thing of eating a confection and wanted a sprinkle of sea salt (salted caramel is one of my favorite flavor). For a moderately IBU beer, any of the hop character is lots in the deep flavors, but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing.
If you are an advanced drinker or just someone who wants to try a new style of beer, you should head down to Reuben’s to have an Auld Heritage when it is on their tap list, and doubly so if they have it on cask. Because of its alcohol and deep flavors, it is a heavy beer and not one that everyone is going to enjoy, but it is different than most Northwest beers and you should at least give it a taste.
Reuben’s Brews Auld Heritage crosses the pond and collects 4 family heirlooms out of 5.