Since my first review on here was my excellent experience with the Cambridge Brewing Co., I figured picking up a couple of the company’s bottled offerings would give me a chance to wax nostalgic about my experience there.
And while pouring a 22 ounce bottle into a glass at home lacks the atmosphere of CBC’s stellar brew pub, it certainly didn’t take away from the quality of the beers.
The brewery offers a handful of bottles for consumption away from its Kendall Square headquarters and I chose to snag its “Tripel Threat,” a Belgian tripel, and “Bannatyne’s Scotch Ale,” which is exactly what it sounds like, stylistically.
Neither left me disappointed.
The bottles were in the $6-$8 range, which is about par for the microbrewed, 22-ounce bottle course. And both were brews I’d actively pursue again.
First up was the Bannatyne’s Scotch Ale, which was enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong. It was far from bad. Rather, it just only slightly better than any of its style that I had tried before. I’ve only had about a half dozen scotch ales and have yet to find one that makes me say “That’s the best one I’ve ever had!” That said, Bannatyne’s may be just a notch above the other scotch ales I’ve consumed.
Poured from the bottle, the spiced and slightly smoked aroma smelled like the other beers of this variety I had tried. The amber-brown body of the beer held a fairly solid tan head.
The lightly carbonated medium body of the beer was delightful on the palate, with a strong taste of toasted malts and a slight toffee or caramel flavor. There’s a hint of what could be figs or raisins and a pleasantly lingering smokiness as an aftertaste and not the overwhelming alcohol taste that sometimes accompanies a 9.2% ABV beverage.
Bannatyne’s Scotch Ale is one I’d like to revisit again, as its above-average flavors and body have me intrigued and looking to try it again.
Having seen the slightly hazy, golden majesty that is the Tripel Threat poured at the CBC’s brew pub, I had a strong desire to see if the beer’s flavor held up to the image I had ingrained in my brain.
Weighing in at 10% ABV, I expected the Tripel Threat to boast an alcoholic punch. What I found, however, wasn’t anything near my expectations.
The beer had a sweet, citrusy aroma akin to oranges, while also yielding some grain notes. And the sweetness carried through to the taste, with the brew boasting a mix of banana, pear and citrus before fading into a slightly yeasty aftertaste.
On thing worth noting is that the flavors became a bit more pronounced and rich as the beer warmed. Still, at no point did it feel like a beer with a double digit ABV.