Lighthouse Depth Charge: I’ll admit, Lighthouse Brewing isn’t a brand I visit very often when buying local craft beer. It’s not that I don’t like their beer, in fact it tastes just fine, however I tend to stick to more seasonal releases and other local multi-packs when I go beverage shopping. Still, when they come out with a unique release like a Barrel Aged Scotch Ale, I am more than happy to give it a go and pick some up. Brewed to a strength of 9% abv and aged in Whiskey barrels for an undisclosed amount of time, after trying a few different local beers this week, Depth Charge was the clear choice for Local Beer of the Week. If you are looking for this one, I found mine in a local private liquor store and there are still some on the shelves today if you look hard enough.
Aroma and Appearance: It pours an opaque dark brown colour with no visible carbonation, a fine layer of foam and very little lacing in the glass. The aroma is full of vanilla, whiskey and oak with hints of brown sugar sweetness, maple syrup, classic fudge and chocolate malt balls.
Flavour: The beer is very sweet up front, showing off notes of molasses, milk chocolate and rich bonbons. As the beginning settles, in the medium-bodied middle you’ll notice vanilla whiskey, toffee and heavy blasts of chocolate fudge before it transforms into well ripened fruit with excerpts of raisins, hints of leather and a slightly boozy aftertaste.
Overall Impression: There are very few local Scotch Ales so I was thrilled to have another option and was quite pleased with how this one turned out. I think you could cellar it for a couple of years to turn down the heat on the finish and balance it out, however it drinks great fresh too. If I recall, this was in the $10-$12 range so from a price-to-flavour perspective it checks out fairly well too.
Rating: I gave it an excellent rating of 8/10, so I’d love to see more releases like this from them in the future!
Food Pairing: Vanilla ice cream, prosciutto or sharp aged cheddar.
On their Instagram Page you can sort of see the barrels they used, which appear to be from Washington state, but they don’t say how long they kept the beer in them.