Beer Review 0292: Oskar Blues Old Chub Scotch Ale
Oskar Blues (Lyons, Colorado) was founded by Dale Katechis in 2002, and right from the start, they put all their beers in cans. Imperial Stout in a can? Yes — Oskar Blues has one, and it is one of the highest rated beers on this website — check their Ten Fidy Imperial Stout, coming in at 98 points. This stuff is like dark chocolate cookie batter in a can.
Oskar Blues’ first beer was Dale’s Pale Ale, named after Mr. Katechis. An extremely hoppy Pale Ale, New York Times named it the best in its style. Today, we’re looking at Old Chub from the ever-expanding brewery; Oskar Blues plans to open an east coast facility in Brevard, North Carolina, in just a few days.
Old Chub is a Scottish strong ale, coming in at 8% ABV (alcohol by volume). The brewery says it is the beer equivalent of a single malt scotch, or your favorite dark chocolate. And, as always, Oskar Blues stamps a special message on the bottom of each can. This time: “I LOVE SCOTCH!”
Unleashing this from the can gave a small head, soapy in texture and quickly disappearing. The color of the beer was dark amber, and it was opaque, but when held to the light, the edges highlighted to a nice red and orange. The body of the beer was clear, free of particles and sediment, although you couldn’t see through it when held in normal lighting. Lacing was poor, leaving behind only trace bits.
The aromatics were extremely nice and classic of the Scotch Ale style — plenty of caramel and toffee, with hints of chocolate and an undercurrent of cinnamon. Here’s the twist — I detected yam/pumpkin, although nothing of the sort is present here. Folks, this is what a good pumpkin beer ought to smell like; I was reminded very much of pumpkin pie. Inviting, and I found myself sniffing this nearly each time I took a sip.
The taste presents sweetness from the start; it’s not cloying but there is plenty of sweet caramel and some burnt orange. Middle of the mouth had a nice milk chocolate note, combined with a bready-like malt and some toffee. The finish comes on, complex as it was: caramel, cinnamon, some of that aforementioned pumpkin pie, and at the tail end, a touch of burnt toast. Old Chub is medium-bodied, with a medium, creamy mouthfeel.
I found this beer to be so fitting of the style and of the pumpkin beer style — holy question mark! Velvety smooth, sweet, and complex enough to challenge your palate, this is another winner from Oskar Blues — and it’s from a can.
I would love to put this beer in a blind pumpkin beer tasting and see what happened…
Oskar Blues Old Chub Scotch Ale, 92 points. Price: $1.99 US for one twelve ounce can.