Some things just get a whole lot better with age. Strong ales with lots of character and bold flavours are one of those things that get better with age. Especially when it’s aged in Tennesse whiskey barrels. So how about if you age a scotch ale in Tennesse whiskey barrels, then age it cabernet sauvignon wine barrels? It’ll probably taste quite complex right? It probably should, but it wasn’t the case at all with the Phillips Double Barrel Scotch Ale.
The Phillips Double Barrel Scotch Ale was a little disappointing last year, but this year’s is absolutely horrendous. It’s not the barrel-aging process that made this beer an epic failure, but the scotch ale itself. There was no richness from the malts or any sign of caramelization. It’s as if they barrel-aged carbonated water in whiskey and wine barrels.
The Phillips Double Barrel Scotch Ale has a slightly nutty and caramely smell with a tiny hint of whiskey. It tastes like watery vanilla and whiskey, with a tiny red wine-like aftertaste. It’s light-bodied with no presence of the scotch ale.
Overall the Double Barrel Scotch Ale was like drinking barrel aged carbonated water. It really makes you wonder how Phillips Brewing went from the best brewery in BC to this downward spiral. The answer is they got too big, they’ve taken on too many projects, and they release way too many new beers all the time. There’s no passion or any sort of TLC in their “seasonal releases” and it shows in the taste.
If you’re new to craft beer or just beginning to try out different styles of beer, go ahead and buy it. You’ll enjoy it.
If you’re a craft beer aficionado who has tried great commercial examples of scotch ales, scotch-style ales, or barrel aged beers, this beer is not worth your money.
The Phillips Double Barrel Scotch Ale is available at The Brewery Creek, Firefly, Viti, Legacy Liquor Store, Central City Liquor Store and more.
Post by Beer Geek Ben