Thursday, September 6, 2012

Robert the Bruce

Roibert a Briuis -- or, as we would call him, Robert the Bruce -- is an important figure in Scottish history. Although he pledged himself to the English monarch, King Edward I, Robert broke his pledge to align himself with those who fought for Scottish independence, including William Wallace.  After the English captured and killed Wallace, Robert the Bruce continued the fight.  He was crowned King Robert I in 1305, during the Scottish war for independence.  After a couple of early defeats, Robert the Bruce led the Scots to independence after the Battle of Bannockburn. 

Half a world away and several centuries later, in Munster, Indiana, the craft brewers at Three Floyds Brewing drew upon the inspiration of Robert the Bruce with their Scottish-style ale.  The brewers describe their beer as "[a] bold Scottish ale with a complex malty body derived from roasted and crystal malts balanced with just the right combination of hops," adding that it "pours a deep ruby color, has a sweet malty nose with layered caramel and roasted notes and a full body. Robust yet smooth, Robert The Bruce is a malt lover’s delight."

I have to say that, when I poured the beer, it was more of a lighter reddish-brown color than a deep ruby red.  The beer has a thin foam, which quickly recedes to the edges of the glass, leaving only wisps of bubbles on the surface.  The cirrus-like wisps seem to evoke some abstract image.  As I look down on the beer, the aromas of the roasted malts greet my nose. The roasted malts evoke some chocolate and coffee bean. 

As for the taste, the roasted malts foreshadow the flavors of this beer.  There is a roasted component to the beer, which provides a slight bitterness, but all of that is rounded or softened by the taste of the alcohol (the beer has an ABV of 7% and 30 IBUs) and the smooth body of the beer.  For me, the alcohol eventually became more prominent, somewhat eclipsing the roasted flavors, relegating them to the finish of the beer.  

When it comes to pairing a scotch ale like Robert the Bruce, the pairings tend to lean toward roasted and smoked meats.  Roasted pork dishes, as well as smoked salmon, are two suggestions. Smoked cheeses may also work well with this beer. 

My father gave me a bottle of the Robert the Bruce.  I have not seen it for sale anywhere near where I live . If you should see it, it is worth a try.  

 ENJOY!

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