1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Iron Thistle - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Iron ThistleIron Thistle

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

220 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 220
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 13.18%
Wants: 14
Gots: 32 | 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:
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!


Dark Brown


2 Row, Vienna, Crystal, Chocolate, Carafa Special II
Deeply Malty, Caramel, Light Hops
Brie, Aged Gouda
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 220 | Reviews: 64 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BroGL
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

BroGL, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of hAle2theWort
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

hAle2theWort, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of leffeblind
4/5  rDev +3.4%

leffeblind, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev +3.4%

TX-Badger, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of archero
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

archero, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of BryantForestry
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

BryantForestry, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +3.4%

wrightst, May 22, 2014
Photo of Atlas1
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have this on tap right now in my kegerator. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it's exceeded expectation.

Pours a nice, very dark brown color with a full bodied head. Really nice lace. Lots of mahogany when held up to the light. A really pretty beer. The nose is strong and malty sweet. Lots of dark fruit, with some apple and pear as well. Herbal, but not overly so. The taste is also strong with malty sweetness. Heavy on the fruit and herb side. Not much hoppiness to speak of, which is fine, considering the style. Still, it's not as dense as I'd expected, but it is strong and sweet. It grows on you over time. Mouthfeel is firm.

In my humble opinion, this is not the best example of a Scottish style ale. That said, it's a fine beer. It really does grow on you over time. The sweetness of the beer, which seemed over-powering at first, begins to subside and mellow out after a few sips and/or pints. It's not for everyone, of course, but it's not a bad beer. If you want a better (albeit stronger) example of the style, try Old Chub. But if you want a nice, easy-sipping Scottish style beer and you don't mind some sweetness, give this a go. Cheers.

Atlas1, May 19, 2014
Photo of uturn
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

uturn, May 16, 2014
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +3.4%

metter98, May 15, 2014
Photo of JakeSmith
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

JakeSmith, May 09, 2014
Photo of Kmlund
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Kmlund, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of Domvan
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Domvan, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of mjurney
4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown color with some ruby red highlight. I could see some bubble rising up from the side of the glass. Small spongy head.

Very rich, malty, deep caramel, roasted malts, brown sugar, dark fruit.

Rich and malty, brown sugar, deep caramel, roasted malts, dark chocolate. Mild hop bitterness towards the end, mainly earthy-leafy. Finish is dry, a little smoky. Body is full, smooth, dry, easy drinking.

It's an excellent Scotch Ale.

mjurney, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of Davepoolesque
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Davepoolesque, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of Paladin05
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Paladin05, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of facundoCNB
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A deep brownish red .. Looks black under low light. Finger of head which dissipated immediately. Smells of malt, copper/oxidation.. Slight toasted grains/chocolate notes.
The taste is much better.. Charred bitter flavor up front, heavy dark malts/roasted grains,
Medium in body, medium carbonation.
This beer's alright. It was a throw in, so I can't complain bit it doesn't make sense how this has a higher rating than banhof's Berliner weisse per say. I know it's different styles, but for a wee heavy this is pretty damn bland.. And that other beer is sour and salty as shit and has a lower rating.. Mind control.. Think of just this beer on its own. Still, a meh example on the style.

facundoCNB, Apr 15, 2014
Photo of ParlayHard8
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

ParlayHard8, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of Lowell_g
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Lowell_g, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of kennymule
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours as dark as night and the head quickly dissipates, however a gentle swirl of the glass brings the head back to life due to the abundant carbonation.

S: I pick up some licorice, raisin, caramel notes.

T: Nice burst of malt, matches the nose for sure, followed by good bit of hops and dry burnt cocoa finish.

M: Great mouth feel, not heavy at all. Nice carbonation to balance the sweetness and accentuate the hops.

O: A really nice beer and at 8.5% abv it's easy to drink, so be warned, this is not a session beer. Good job guys, even if you are from Dallas. Go Rockets.
Serving type: bottle

kennymule, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of JDCannon
3.25/5  rDev -16%

JDCannon, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of Thanx4AllDaFish
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Thanx4AllDaFish, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of decoy727272
4.99/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours with a very dark brown color, almost black. It has a little clarity, but hardly noticeable unless you hold it up to a light. It smells malty and chocolatey, but is light to the nose. I enjoyed the lightness to this beer. It has aromas of a stout, but is a smooth more drinkable beer. I enjoyed this beer a lot, I can't wait for their next seasonal.

decoy727272, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of jxb345
3/5  rDev -22.5%

jxb345, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of Fakexican
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Fakexican, Mar 22, 2014
Iron Thistle from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.