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Iron Thistle - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Iron ThistleIron Thistle

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

227 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 227
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 14
Gots: 34 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
SCOTTISH STYLE ALE
Available : February Release
Break out the bagpipes with your lederhosen! We’re proud to present our Iron Thistle Scotch Ale – Rahr’s first National Grand Champion winner. This dark, Scottish ale has a bold taste dominated by a smooth, sweet maltiness balanced with a low, hoppy bitterness. So don your kilts and enjoy. Here’s to your health – Slàinte! Prosit!
ABV
8.5%

IBUS
35

COLOR/SRM
Dark Brown

HOP VARIETIES
Warrior

MALTS
2 Row, Vienna, Crystal, Chocolate, Carafa Special II
TASTING NOTES
Deeply Malty, Caramel, Light Hops
PREFERRED GLASS
Pint
PREFERRED SERVING TEMPERATURE
52°
CHEESE PAIRINGS
Brie, Aged Gouda
FOOD PAIRINGS
According to a well-respected expert, Iron Thistle pairs really well with grilled or steamed vegetables because “they won’t have to scream to be heard.” Since we find screaming vegetables unappetizing, we think this is a perfect pairing.

(Beer added by: roblowther on 05-30-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 227 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by roblowther:
Photo of roblowther
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fresh off winning the 15th Annual US Beer Tasting Championships National Grand Champion award, sampled at The Flying Saucer in FW from its victory lap brewing. It is very dark brown, with a thin white creamy head. The smell is coffee, caramel, and a hint of lemon. The taste is strong malt, slight roasted bitterness, lemons, carob, and a smoky finish. It is mellower than many scotch ales. The mouthfeel is silky, wth nice carbonation. Drinkability is good, but the finish is a bit too smoky to settle into an afternoon of them. All in all, one of the best scotch ales I've had, maybe the best.

roblowther, May 30, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

SmellsofMahagony, May 15, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the brewery during July 2009. Pours a darker brown with a creamy head. Smells of malt with a little smoke. Taste is sweet malt with some peat and smoke. This is not a very heavy beer and is very drinkable for a scotch ale. This is the only time I ever saw this beer, but I would drink it again if it became a seasonal or year-round offering.

Mora2000, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of Meyers1023
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Meyers1023, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of awalsh
4/5  rDev +3.6%

awalsh, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of whoneeds8
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass black with what seemed to be very little carbonation, creating nearly no head what so ever. I've poured three of these with the same results. The scent is rather strong for a Rahr, which is strong of sweet malts. The flavor is much the same, a sweet front that mellows out to a bitter hop taste. The aftertaste isn't bad, but it isn't good either. The mouthfeel is rather thin, which is par for Rahr. Overall, this is a very good beer for Rahr, but that doesn't make it a very good beer.

whoneeds8, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of valkyre65
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

valkyre65, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of johndonor3
5/5  rDev +29.5%

johndonor3, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of Djenx
2.25/5  rDev -41.7%

Djenx, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of InfernoBoss
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

InfernoBoss, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of BeardedRiker
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You know, when I first started drinking Rahr beers, I wasn't too impressed, but over the last year or so I've come to appreciating much more. It probably started when I first tried their Winter Warmer. I thought it was delicious. Then I drank their BBWW and was extremely impressed. It's one of those beers you can't get enough of. Now I've had their Iron Thistle and I'm convinced any of their beers that use roasted and/or chocolate malts then I'll like the beer. The Iron Thistle is no exception. Also, I don't think I've had a Scotch Ale that I've disliked.

Iron Thistle pours out clear and the darkest of brown, but a brown-ruby color when held up to the light. The head is light brown while being about a finger and a half high. It fizzes itself out fairly quickly. No lacing. With the name Iron Thistle, it's not a tantalizing name as far as the beer goes, but this does look good.

Mmm...I like the smell. As expected, it's malty as hell. Dark roasted malts bring out nuttiniess, coffee, and a brown sugar sweetness. Chocolate malt is present too. There's a bit of anise or liquorice. I do get some hops that warm the nose with spice.

The taste is where this beer shines. Coffee and chocolate malts are strong with a brown sugar sweetness that's underneath. It has a nice nuttiness throughout, as well as a slight hint of booze. This sort of reminds me of the BBWW but the flavors are not as strong. You know, at the end I get a sort of tobacco-ish essence with it. I've decided while I'm a hop head, I also love beers that use the roasted, dark malts.

This has a medium-low carbonation that makes it very smooth with its medium body. Iron Thistle is oh so drinkable.

Another Rahr beer that's damn good and another Scotch Ale that I really like. Rahr is now one of my favorite Texas breweries.

BeardedRiker, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of StewartWatson
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

StewartWatson, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of jheezee
4/5  rDev +3.6%

jheezee, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Dwtucker90
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

Dwtucker90, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of Saxboy10
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%

Saxboy10, Oct 01, 2014
Photo of Acoke
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Acoke, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of imasloth
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark red, almost purple with a creamy off-white head that starts big and sticks around.

S- Sweet black malty scent, with a hint of anise (a substance that I'm not very keen on, thus the score).

T- Light bitterness upfront, followed by rich malt. Very straight forward but also very delicious.

M- Medium-bodied, but very smooth for such a high alcohol content. No bitter feeling in mouth, but a light coating of sweet malt.

O- It's good, not great- like a lot of Rahr beers. I'd certainly drink it again and even buy a six pack, but it won't overwhelm you.

imasloth, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of Kmlund
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Kmlund, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of DennisBryant
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

DennisBryant, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of bmurray10
4/5  rDev +3.6%

bmurray10, Apr 22, 2013
Photo of JDCannon
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

JDCannon, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of n2185
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

n2185, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of johnnyb4
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

johnnyb4, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of Sazz9
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Sazz9, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of Thanx4AllDaFish
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Thanx4AllDaFish, Apr 02, 2014
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Iron Thistle from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 227 ratings.