Plaid Bastard | Grand Lake Brewing Company

very good
36 Reviews
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Plaid BastardPlaid Bastard

Brewed by:
Grand Lake Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 02-16-2004

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Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 61
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Industrial strength iced tea brown with scarlet and gold accents. In spite of an elevated pour, barely one finger of sandstone colored foam has appeared atop the beer. A weak burst of CO2 on crown cracking is further evidence that carbonation may be seriously lacking. Minimal lace appears in the end.

The nose is more roasted malty (dark chocolate and coffee) than most wee heavies. Since the beer is less than aromatic, I'm having trouble appreciating the gen-u-ine Scottish peat-smoked malt. Maybe it will be more evident on the taste buds.

Plaid Bastard tastes more aggressive than it smells. As suspected, it's impressively dark malty. With more total malt, it would be a killer-diller of a Scotch ale. As is, it's pretty delicious, especially if you're a fan of boldness. In my opinion, any beer that uses the word 'bastard' had better be bold.

The flavor profile consists of dark butterscotch, bittersweet chocolate, whiskey-soaked raisins and a surprising amount of smokiness. Now that the beer has warmed a little, the nose is beginning to give off a tendril or two of smoke. More malt would have resulted in more complexity and a much better mouthfeel.

I have no way of knowing, but this bomber may be on the aged side. The body seems to have broken down a bit and is thinner than an 8.0% ale ought to be. Given that, too few bubbles works out better than too many bubbles would have.

With some bulking up (or a fresh bottle if age is the culprit), Grand Lake Plaid Bastard could be an excellent Scotch ale. Since flavor is king, I like this one more than the final score will reflect.

Note: according to raised numbers along the bottom edge, the bottle was manufactured in '08. Therefore, the thin mouthfeel and the lack of carbonation isn't due to age, but to either poor craftsmanship or a lack of quality control.

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Photo of joepais
3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to goryshkewych for this one
Bottle poured into a sniffer produced a finger worth of tan head that goes to a light ring of lace. On top of a rich dark black body

Aromas on this is great smoked peat and roasted malts

Taste is much like the nose dominated by the roasted malts and smoked peat. A nice sweetness on this brew, the alcohol in not noticeable at all. Medium mouthfeel next to no carbonation in the brew

Drinkability is good on this brew but the bomber was quite enough for a sitting. I had it with some Brisket that was left over from purplehops (thanks Stan) gathering and I must say it was a great meal

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Why does it have to be a bastard? Pours a dark brown color that is boarderline black. Darker red hues throughout and on the edge of the glass. A bit cloudy but not bad. A soft tanish to white head that faded quickly and no really lacing to speak of.

The nose is interesting. A very noticeable peaty aroma with a slight sour-dough bready quality. Gives it a smoky aroma to it. Some other minor caramel notes that are muttled in the background. This along with some yeast notes of mostly figs and raisins. Some minor yeast notes too with a light cherry and a slight solvent note.

The taste is very similar. Super peaty flavor that really comes out more than anything else. I learned that the brewers actually smoke the malt but not sure with what though. There is a smokiness that comes out stronger than the nose indicates. There is a light astringent note that reminds me of Carafa as well. The yeasty notes come out more as well with strong fig notes. Raisins and a slight vanilla cherry flavor as well. Hops come out in the finish mostly with a light earthy and hints of off citrus flavors as well. Some minor alcohol notes but pretty subtle considering ABV and style.

The body is moderate and actually pretty easy to drink considering style. Although some in our party were not fans, I thought it was pretty good and I'm not a smoke/peat fan.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.49/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber purchased at Liquor Max in Loveland upon the recommendation of the beer manager, crosling.

Moderate pour at 50 degrees F. yields a tan one-finger head over an almost-opaque darkest-mahogany body with garnet touches around the edge. Head fades quickly to a thin cap.

Smell is marvelous dark fruit over malty raisin-bread dough. Lots of yeasty-breadiness. Chocolate-chip cookies. French-roast coffee with lots of cream and sugar. Butter-pecan ice cream. Vanilla beans. Shortbread. Malted milk balls. Cocoa. Cola nuts. This beer smells absolutely fabulous! Barely a hint of floral hops.
A real plus is the smokiness - not strong or up front, but subtle and intriguing.

Taste follows the aroma almost precisely to a "T," except that the roasted malts are a little bitter, and there is a bit more hops flavor, notably on the metallic end of things. Quite complex. Finish is peppery, spicey, with enough of the smokey undertones and some hop bitterness to keep the overt malty sweetness from being cloying or sticky.

Nice persistent carbonation spreads the full flavors all around. Not quite as rich and round-mouth-full as I expected, but soft and wide enough to be quite pleasing.

Very drinkable -- perhaps the slightly thinner-than-expected mouthfeel is actually a plus at this point, as it renders this beer practically sessionable in terms of its feel, although its ABV puts it distinctly out of that range. Still, over a couple of hours, it would be quite pleasant to have two or three pints of this.

Overall, this is a really fine beer from Grand Lake. With the exception of mouthfeel, this is just as good as Old Chub -- indeed, it smells better and tastes as good! Thanks to crosling for the recommendation. I'll be looking for this in six-packs!

EDIT, Autumn 2008. Found in six-packs. A twelve-ounce bottle is just the right size for this fine beer!

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.29/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours from 22oz bottle a dark brown with some reddish highlights and a very small head of foam that disappears almost immediately. Almost no lacing.

The smell has notes of dark fruit, roasted and caramel malt, and a touch of smoke.

The taste is very malty! Lots of caramel up front with good roasted malt notes and a goodly amount of smoke that works very well with the malt. Second sip in and the dark fruit comes more to the forefront with notes of raisin and prune and to a lesser degree, some black cherry and a wee bit more smoke. I'm certainly liking the flavours here and the abv doesn't come into play at all which kicks up the drinkability factor big time.

The body has a medium mouthfeel to it except right at the finish where it thins out a bit but that's not much to really complain about. This is a very tasty example of the style and my hat's off to the brewers.

Bottom line: This is a very tasty Scotch Ale that should please a lot of the fans of the style. I'll buy it again!

Cost: US$4.13

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I took a trip up to Evergeen to buy some vintage beers and found this. I'd read previous reviews and $10.49 a sixer didn't seem too bad for a strong scotch ale. I have also been trying to taste more examples of this style since I really like Old Chub and Alesmith Wee Heavy. This beer has an instant malty, subtle smoke smell that is nice. The color is super-black with an off-white ring of bubbles running around the circumference of the glass. Whoah, the taste starts out as smoky malts and turns into band-aids and then meat. That may sound bad but if you like smoky, peaty beers this is definitely one of them and it gets better as it warms. This is a good beer to split into two snifters to increase drinkability, 12oz is too much.

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Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours maroon/chestnut with 1 finger of tan head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Fruity, dates

T: Fruitty, with a hint of chocolate & toasty grains up front. Slight smokiness & a little caramel as this warms. Finishes dry, with booze warmth & caramel, slight peatyness plus some baker's chocolate

MF: Chewy, medium bodied with low carbonation

Drinks pretty easy for the abv, a decent Wee heavy.

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Photo of Dansting
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured a dark purplish-brown color with a medium light-brown head. Good lacing. Aroma of roasted malt, brown sugar, and toffee. Smooth mouthfeel. Flavor is complex, with a nice blend of brown sugar, malt, and wood. Very nice Scottish ale, along the lines of Old Chub. Thanks to Caddylac for this bottle.

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Photo of mentor
4.72/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Should be malty sweet...I'm in the mood for it. Pours a one finger light brown head that hangs quite a while. Dark brown liquid with a reddish tinge and some tiny particulates suspended. Smells chocolate and toffee during the pour. To the nose it's creamy chocolate, toffee, a hint of roast, woody and grassy hops. Tastes rich caramel followed by a delightful chocolate covered toffee, bording on coffee. Wet malty sweet totally dominates and has a creamy mouthfeel that adds to the sweet delight. Butterscotch ties in to the chocolate, in a later taste. Yeah, this is a butterfinger and a heath candy bar rolled into one. Dark fruits, too...prune, raisin, tamarind. Alcohol? Bottle says 8%, but it's hard to find. A hint of smoke, as I near the bottom of the glass. Caught a whiff as I was tipping to take a sip and found smoke in the flavor, too. Wow, a multitude to flavors abound to make a complex experience. Best of all, the flavors mix together and compliment each other. Yeah, this is a fine fine beer. Thick mouthfeel and modestly carbonated. The smoke begins to take charge at I near the bottom of the glass. Also, I enjoy a sweet experience, but don't bury me in it. This beer is remaining sweet sweet sweet and I've had enough. But, when all is said and done, cheers to Grand Lake Brewing, I'll be seeking out their other offerings.

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Photo of gbontrag
4.36/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour vigorously for a substantial, albeit large bubbled froth. This is a clear brown brew with red washed over it.
Smells of dark rummed raisins both soaking, and burnt.
There's a quick black pepper bite, then slight peat smoke followed by burnt toast. The rummed raisins come back just like they smelled, and layered with toasted pecans. Elderberries peek from under oatcakes. Thick and chewy with earthy flavors. Peat gets stronger and stronger. I love this. It's oily, and a little thinner then I wish, but so drinkable. This beer will make you strong.

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Photo of mschofield
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark garnet/ruby, topped with a two finger tan head, leaves webs of lacing.
Rich fruity and malty aroma, sweet, toasted malt note.
Nice and malty taste, very robust, sweet and fruity, slightly bitter cherry note, dark fruit under the maltiness.
Medium-full bodied.

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Plaid Bastard from Grand Lake Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 61 ratings.
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