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.
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.
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.