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Beer #47 – February 16, 2010: Old Chub

February 16, 2010

Beer: Old Chub

Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery, Lyons, Colorado

Style: Scottish Ale

Serving Type: 12 oz can

Price: $9.99 / 6-pack

Availability: Year-round

Glassware: Glass Mug

Strength: 8.0% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Big and malty, very tasty, but one can will weigh you down a little.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pours a clear but deep mahogany hue with a thin off-white head.  Serious lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Malty, with a hint of smoke and fruit.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thick and syrupy with moderate tiny bubbles of carbonation.

Taste: Malty beers are often sweet, sometimes overly sweet, without a prominent bitter hop presence to balance out the sweetness.  However, this beer is much more earthy than sweet.  Sure, there’s an initial bootstrap molasses sweetness, but woody and peaty flavors come forward, with suggestions of earthy mushrooms and a touch of soil (literally “earthy”).  And even though this beer is big and a little thick, the flavor and carbonation in the finish have a tangy, slightly astringent, drying effect.

Pairing: Bangers and mash!

Trivia: Oskar Blues took a risk, and it paid off.  Craft beer in a can?  Canned beer has typically been associate with cheap, watery, metallic tasting swill, almost always a light or adjunct lager.  But in 2002, Oskar Blues put a pale ale in a can, Dale’s Pale Ale, and began to add other styles (Scottish Ale, Double IPA, and Imperial Stout) to the canned line-up.  Cans today are lined with a coating, so there is no chance of that metallic taste.  Cans are impervious to light and air, keeping the beer fresher than in a bottle.  Cans can go places bottles can’t: parks, beaches, campgrounds and ballparks.  And cans are a novelty in the world of craft beer, making people say “Huh? WOW!”  Today, cans are still a minority in the craft beer world, but the trend is growing, and that’s great for beer!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. fluffywanderings permalink
    February 17, 2010 1:27 am

    Maui Brewing Company puts their beer in cans. They went with cans because they could obtain them locally, whereas glass bottles are only available outside Hawaii. If you ever get the chance try their Coconut Porter.

    • February 21, 2010 10:58 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion. Sounds delicious! I’ll certainly be seeking out this one.

  2. Ripped Van Drinkale permalink
    February 19, 2010 11:30 am

    Oskar Blues makes some truly epic beers and I absolutely love that they put everything in cans. Sure, the first time I grabbed one of their beers (The Dale’s Pale Ale) it was for the novelty factor of the can, but after that I wanted to try everything they had due the quality that was inside. Like you said, the fact that they’re impervious to light is a huge plus for some lighter styles. Take their Yella Pils for example, a very light style that’s particularly susceptible to skunking. It’s refreshing to know that the beer will never be tainted by light and it tastes “Fresh” every time. Of course, you can look at their Ten FIDY and I don’t think light could get through that thing if it was sitting next to the surface of the sun. Nonetheless, the can just works there for every other reason you mentioned.

    Great site by the way! I’ll be stopping by every day from here on out. Good luck with the journey.

    • February 21, 2010 11:05 pm

      I certainly agree with your thoughts on both Oskar Blues and the benefits of canned beer. And yes, Ten FIDY is amazingly thick, and poured from a can appears almost like motor oil (and I’m sure, thus, the name of the beer). I’m sure I’ll be reviewing it later this year.

      Thanks for kudos and for checking out the site!

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