Iron Thistle | Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
297 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Iron ThistleIron Thistle
BEER INFO

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

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

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.

Added by roblowther on 05-30-2009

BEER STATS
Ratings:
297
Reviews:
80
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
80
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 297 |  Reviews: 80
Photo of JakeSmith
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of PfBeerMan
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very nice smooth Scottish ale with a smooth finish.

51 characters

Photo of Danielbt
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of bleedsblu
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of a0lbudman
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Dark color with a reddish tint with a tan head that fade fast
S-Roast Aurora and a sweet malt smell and SME hops present
T- malt sweetness with a hop bitterness in the aftertaste that is supported by a good roastes malt flavor
M- medium body with medium carbonation
O-Great beer I see why it won a medal at the GABF

 317 characters

Photo of NewGeneric
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Exiled for the great brews.
Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep, murky reddish-brown with tan head that fades quickly leaving bits of sticky lacing on the sides. A nice, thin layer of foam resides on top.

S: Smells of coffee, roasted barley, hints of dark chocolate.

T: Beautfiul medley of roasted barley, coffee, chocolate, dark fruits. A tad sweet, but otherwise, outstanding.

M: Wonderful. Smooth through and through. Just about perfect.

D: Not usually a fan of the style, but if this was available here, I'd get more of it.

 548 characters

Photo of MyakkaRiver
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of ChisholmWest
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Really nice head lasting about 4 or 5 minutes. Left a good amount of lacing all the way to the end. Beautiful color that resembles mahogany.
Smell: wonderful aromas of smoke, nuts, chocolate, and malt
Taste: Strong malt with nice flavors of chocolate, molasses and coffee, with a hint of smoke (why not its a Scotch ale)
Feel: Definitely a higher point beer, not overly boozy but still you can taste the alcohol. A little more hops than I like but not bad.
Overall: An excellent beer, one that I would recommend with out reservation to some one that likes heavier more full bodied brew. Not a beer for someone that lives in the macro lager world. Best serving temp is 52 degrees.

 696 characters

Photo of Anaxagoris
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%

Awesome scotch ale. Pours a very deep amber with little to no head and very little lacing as you drink it. The aroma is that of sarsparilla or a root beer smell, followed by an definite caramel aroma and just a hint of vanilla. The taste is very similar to the aroma, it starts off like a childhood memory, a simple glass of root beer on a summer night. Then it quickly transitions into a caramel creaminess again with the hint of vanilla. The mouthfeel, although a seemingly medium bodied beer, is quite full. With the powerful bubbles lingering on the tongue for quite awhile. This is a great example of scotch ale. Many thanks to @kjkinsey

 642 characters

Photo of Sharbhund
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DocJitsu
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear dark amber color with a 1/2 inch taupe colored head. Nice aroma of milk chocolate liqueur. The moutfheel is not adequate for the style. Not watery, but not all the way creamy either. The flavors are nice. A lot of chocolate and some Christmas pull candy. I really enjoy this beer. Not true to style, but good nonetheless.

 335 characters

Photo of fjordhook
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 mjurney
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

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

Taste/Finish/Body:
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.

Overall:
It's an excellent Scotch Ale.

 484 characters

Photo of msromberg
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Diego's, Westlake. Very nice Scottish ale. I generally find Rahr products to have more bitter hop flavor than I like. The hops in this one are very nicely balanced by the heavy malt flavors.

 203 characters

Photo of atomicbeer
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 Oz draft at Chili's in DFW airport. Beautiful looking on arrival, full brown mahogany with a yummy looking foamy one inch tan cap. First sip very nice: good roasty malt hit, some grassy hop, red fruit, and sherry notes. Mouth is silky smooth. This one slips down easily and hides it's 8.5 ABV, although there is a definite alcohol presence. Usually I'm not a fan of scotch ales due to phenolic taste but this one is excellent!

 429 characters

Photo of JMad
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a 12 oz bottle into my pint glass...

The beer was an oily, dark brown, there was a very thin off white head.

It smells of dark fruit, fig, and toasted caramel malt.

I could taste raisins with a slight herbal hop bitterness, a bit of alcohol and a buttered toast aftertaste.

This one has a thick full body, it warms you up and has low carbonation.

I thought this was an excellent winter beer, don't think I could drink very many though.

 449 characters

Photo of msanborn
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of natelocc787
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark for a Wee heavy, great appearance. Don't pour this with a vicious head it will detract from the feel. Alcohol is there but well hidden, black, brown and crimson squibble to determine the color of the body and the nose is made of sweet plum, peach caramel and toasted malt. Very sweet caramel and butterscotch in the taste along with sweet, dark malt and caramelized brown sugar. I enjoyed it.

Had this again a month later, enjoyed it very much, not the most complex example but great mouthfeel, extremely tasty and really Rahrs best offering so far. Very worthy.

Had it again 1 week later, surprisingly more of a coffee stout flavor. I continue to be surprised by this beer. Smell category bumped a score higher.

 719 characters

Photo of Crauejed
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Lagerquestrian
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Realbeerguy
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Decent beer

11 characters

Photo of omnigrits
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Red's Porch.

A. It's always difficult pinning down the colour of a beer in a dark bar. This one came to the table looking dark brown, but holding it up to let some light pass through reveals a deep ruby red. The head is off-white and vanishes pretty quickly.

S. Almost non-existent. I often find this with bar-poured beers over beer from a bottle at home so I add a half point for it. What's there is simply sweet, nothing much else.

T. The taste has much more going on. Plenty of brown sugar flavours, a little toffee, rich malts, and some hops in the background. I'm tempted to say that the flavour is greater than the sum of its parts, which means, to me at least, a very well made and put-together beer. It's almost like an old fashioned cough drop of the sort you used to buy from a jar by the quarter pound from little corner shops in Lancashire.

M. Medium bodied and nicely under-carbonated.

O. As long as you're not adhering strictly to the style guidelines, this is a very drinkable beer. Some writers have put paid to the idea that Scottish beers are sweeter and less hopped than English beers, and this is one that helps to crush that myth. The sweetness is nicely held in check and there's a pleasant bitterness in the finish.

 1,253 characters

Photo of Labeorphile
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Nice dark color with small streams of bubbles. Minimal head, even with a strong pour, that quickly disappears.

Wonderful nose with strong malts, and punches of caramel with noble hops in the background. Improves as it warms.

Flavor matches the nose. Malty front fades to caramel on the back with a good transition. Flavor quickly disappears from the palate, but good while it lasts.

Mouth feel is low carbonation, which is consistent with style.

Overall, an award winning beer from Rahr.

 531 characters

Photo of Domvan
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of logan_0842
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%

Iron Thistle from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 297 ratings.
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