It is never my intention to deliberately criticize beers and breweries without reason. I don't pretend to be a beer expert (there's a reason I named this blog "Pourly Reviewed"), but I call it as I see it. But I'm also not going to dismiss a beer or brewery out-of-hand after one bad beer--there are so many factors that are unintentional or out of a brewer's control that such quick judgment is unfair. Indeed, I've heard much more experienced beer drinkers/reviewers than I say they will give a beer 4 or 5 tries before rendering a truly final verdict on a beer.
All of this leads to Church Street Brewing Company's Tale of the Shony Scottish Ale, a beer I reviewed yesterday, only to be unfortunately plagued by a bad bottle. Out of respect to the brewery and what little audience I have, I felt it was important to retry this beer as quickly as possible to give it a fair shot a redemption--while I and others unfortunately do it, no brewery should be solely judged on one bottle of beer.
I'm starting to talk in circles, so let us revisit this Scottish Ale.
I am happy to say that today's bottle is FAR better than yesterday's, and I expect it is much more in line with Church Street's goal. The beer pours a nice, hazy brown color, and caramel dominates both the aroma and the initial flavors, along with a good bit of roasty malt. Further on, a good amount of sweetness of dark fruit and toffee and maybe a hint of cola, as well. The finish is quite dry, and leaves a little dark fruity aftertaste that dissipates quickly.
All in all, EVERY facet of this beer--aroma, beginning, middle, end of tasting, aftertaste--fared FAR BETTER with today's bottle than yesterday. I am glad to have a better representation of this Scottish Ale.