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Beer Review
By Swank

Maclay Brewery
Baby it's Cold outside!

The fine cold weather has returned again. The snow is getting deep. It is now time to think of fireplaces, warm blankets, and fine Ale. All the readers should now be aware of my weakness for a fine ale and I have stumbled upon another one at my local supply store. It is called Maclay Eighty Shilling Export Ale brewed in Scotland by Maclay and Co. LTD imported by All Saints Brands INC., Minneapolis, MN.

80 Shilling pours cloudy with a good head. The color is brown - almost exactly like the color of apple cider. It may be the same color as apple cider but definitely has a different taste then any apple product. The first few drinks of the beer taste bitter with a nutty flavor. Unlike some of the ales that I have drank 80 is not thick nor does it have any sweet flavor. In fact, if I drank tea (and I don't) I would say that this Ale has some of the bitterness that you find in unsweetened tea. This bitterness diminishes as the Ale is continued to be drunk and if it is drunk fast enough the flavor all but disappears. This may be more of a variable of the endurance of the taste buds then any characteristic of 80 Shilling As the Ale sits it begins to clear but never becomes crystal clear.

According to the bottle this Ale is brewed in a 'traditional, direct fired coppers and classic open topped fermenters then matured in 100 year old cellars'. This is in the same style that Maclay has been doing it since 1830. They should probably keep it up. The Ale come in a pint bottle (always a plus) and only cost me $2.99 a bottle. According to the web site it is 4.0% alcohol by volume.

It has been awhile since I did any sort of rating so I may be a little rusty. I give this Ale 3 BB & B's - based on overall quality and price. I would have rated it higher except some of the sweeter and thicker ales I have reviewed have all around better flavor.

Ranking out of 5 BB&B's.



Only available November through February!!!






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While you're here, read about some of our favorite (and not so favorite) Christmas brews:
Abita Christmas Ale

Anchor Holiday Ale

Crooked River Yuletide Ale

Goose Island Christmas Ale

Great Lakes Christmas Ale