Summit’s Unchained Series: Scottish Style Ale

Sarah McGee / Heavy Table
Sarah McGee / Heavy Table

For his turn at the helm of Summit Brewing Company’s Unchained Series, brewer Eric Blomquist has created the 90/- Scottish Style Ale.  (The “/-” stands for shilling, a currency denomination that was used in the United Kingdom. As beers were assessed a tax based on their strength, the number of shillings that a brew was taxed came to identify that style of ale.)   The 90/- follows the critical and commerical success of the Kölsch, the first in Summit Brewing’s six-part Unchained Series.

Sarah McGee / Heavy Table
Sarah McGee / Heavy Table

Blomquist – a thirteen year veteran of Summit – says his source of inspiration for the 90/- was a beer tour of Scotland several years ago with his wife. The 90/- Scottish Ale is a traditional Wee Heavy style (7% ABV), with rich mahogany color and caramel notes, fitting for this holiday season. Thousands of years ago, prior to the use of hops, breweries in Scotland incorporated herbs such as yarrow, heather, and bog myrtle in their brewing process.  The 90/- Scottish Ale harkens back to those times by incorporating wild Scottish heather – a low-growing flowering evergreen shrub – into the brew, adding subtle herbal and floral attributes to the final product.

As with the Kölsch, great attention to detail went into selecting ingredients true to those found in Scottish Ales.  The 90/- uses 100 percent malted Golden Promise, a barley variety grown in Scotland, as its base malt. Also in the mix are roasted barley, crystal and brown malts imported from the UK along with locally produced wheat malt to add further depth, complexity, and richness. In order to complement the malt, a combination of Target and Willamette hops (decendents from UK varietals) were used along with the addition of the wild Scottish heather.  The 90/- uses the same sleek & simple hand-stamped packaging of the Unchained Series’ first edition and the labels are printed with brewer Blomquist’s signature.

Sarah McGee / Heavy Table
Sarah McGee / Heavy Table

Already available for a “sneak-peek” at metro-area Pizza Luces, the second of the Unchained Series is officially released on Monday, Nov. 16, at The Four Firkins.  Brewer Blomquist will be on hand from 6-8 p.m. for in-store sampling.

The third release in the Unchained Series remains a mystery, but look for another seasonally-appropriate beer to arrive next spring.

Sarah McGee / Heavy Table
Sarah McGee / Heavy Table


  1. Erik Hare

    This is a beer that simply had to be made. It is absolutely incredible, and anyone who enjoys a serious beer has to try it. I recommend treating it like a meal by itself because that’s what it is – food for the soul.

  2. Geoff

    I’ve had trouble getting past the phlegm-inducing syrupy mouthfeel of Scottish Ales in the past, but I’ll give it a try because I’m a sucker for local limited edition products.

    What seems weird to me about this write-up, however, is that there’s no first-hand opinions of the beer. Based on the pictures it was opened and poured…did the writer even try it?

  3. Ian Davis

    I’m inline with Geoff, I haven’t had the best experiences with Scottish Ales. This is a beer style I would love to love but just can’t. I’m excited to try this because Summit has done a great job in converting me, case and point, the last Unleashed, Kölsch.

  4. David

    As I am just finishing my first glass now, I felt compelled to share that this is one fine beer. I was suprised at the hint of bitterness that Blomquist was able to introduce to set this apart from other Scottish ales. I’d like to say this takes me back to the days when I attended school in Scotland. However, this beer is much more to my liking.

  5. Nicholas

    I Love it! just tryed it for the first time with friends and we all agree it is a wonderfullbodied drink with a wonderfull rich after taste. Except for the price being a father of 4 I would switch to this 90/- as my drink of choice! Thank you ERIC!

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