Iron Thistle | Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Iron ThistleIron Thistle
Liked This Beer
3.87 w/ 297 ratings
Iron ThistleIron Thistle

Brewed by:
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

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!



2 Row, Vienna, Crystal, Chocolate, Carafa Special II

Added by roblowther on 05-30-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 297 |  Reviews: 80
Photo of johndonor3
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of chrismo
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of 33kdub
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of nizzle8287
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured at about 45F into a pint glass. Nice 3 finger head; dark brown body, but when held up to the light, it's clearly filtered and it shines a brilliant crimson color which enlightens me. Caramel on the nose, coffee, cocoa, almost sweet but not quite, a trace of a ripe dark fruit dimension to it... blackberries maybe? Wow. This is so deliciously smooth. Caramel right away with coffee following. I'm trying not to drink it all before it warms up and I'm failing miserably. Luckily I set out the last bottle I had when I opened this one. I wait a few minutes then pour it up, at about 52F now. Bigger frothier head than before, and it sticks around a good while. Some lacing, but not a lot. Nose is the same. Noticeably bigger mouth feel, though, with moderate carbonation, and it's slick and silky feeling that goes down smooth... Tasting notes are caramel, molasses, a hint of coffee, a bit of toast, considerable Warrior hop bitterness, and just a nice bittersweet moment for a while after that. Overall I love this very well crafted beer and it's highly under rated.

UPDATE: Iron Thistle now in cans; still EXCELLENT, still 5 stars, but this year it's only 7%. The taste is far better than OB's Old Chub or Founder's Dirty Bastard.

 1,242 characters

Photo of frankkiejo
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of OCdrummer7271
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of MaddDogg84
5/5  rDev +29.2%

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.

 354 characters

Photo of army01
4.88/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A review of the 2010 offering, opened in January of 2011.

A: Deep brown in color with trace red highlights. A small, light tan/off white head that is quickly reduced to light lacing.

S: Sweet malty smell with hints of chocolate

T: Sweet....Malts. Malts. Chocolate. Malts. No bitterness whatsoever.

M: A sweet flavor, that I believe grows sweeter with time.

O: I love this beer. The "Wee Heavy" is a favorite style of mine, and Rahr's Iron Thistle might be my favorite offering of all, that I think has grown better with age.

Serving type: bottle

 551 characters

Photo of Teenieyogini76
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Excellent, straightforward, nice sweetness. Very well made beer

63 characters

Photo of Dwtucker90
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of cam12
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of BroGL
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am far from a connoisseur, but I have tried perhaps 3 dozen different craft beers. This one remains my favorite. It taste great, it looks great, it feels great, and it smells great. It has a kick, but the alcohol is nicely masked. It's dark, sweet, and smooth. I keep thinking I will find a beer I like better, but it eludes me. The only reason I am not giving it a perfect score is that I'm sure there is a better beer out there that is better suited to its style. When I find it, it will get the 5. Until then, this is my personal favorite. It may not be for everyone, but it hits me perfectly.

 599 characters

Photo of canders0927
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of Scepter
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of MentalZombie
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of FJBrewster
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a Shiner on-tap and the bartender asked if I'd ever tried Rahr. I said no and he let me sample several. My favorite was Iron Thistle. Went to the brewery in Fort Worth yesterday for their Saturday tasting and confirmed that it's my favorite. In act, they didn't put it out until 30 minutes before closing because that's what everyone wants and they run out.

 389 characters

Photo of JustinPStewart
4.58/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of johnnyb4
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of dccrocker9697
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of BryantForestry
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of bigwillystyle
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of ParlayHard8
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of kew
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of prairiedog_pub
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Iron Thistle from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
Beer rating: 69.7% out of 100 with 297 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.