Here we are with another brew from our friends in Rochester – Neapolitan Scotch Ale by Rohrbach Brewing Company. I’m sure if you’ve ever had a beer from Rohrbach’s you have heard of their Scotch Ale, which happens to be one of my favorites, and now here we are with a nice twist on one of their flagship beers. The Neapolitan Scotch Ale resides in their Neoteric Series, which allows the brewers to be a bit more adventurous in their brewing and more experimental with their recipes. So far, all the beers I’ve had from this series have left me wanting more. I am sure after finishing this beer I will need to change my pants!
So what does Rohrbach’s have to say about their Neapolitan Scotch Ale? Coming straight from their website in the Neoteric Series section:
‘Brewed with lactose for a silky smooth body, then conditioned on vanilla, cocoa nibs, and strawberry puree, this Neapolitan variation keeps our classic Scotch Ale’s full body and sweet caramel flavor that we’ve all come to cherish. Expect an opaque milky ice cream-like profile when you crack open Neapolitan Scotch Ale.’
Hmm…seems like there is a lot packed into this beer, I can’t wait to crack one open!
The Beer: Neapolitan Scotch Ale by Rohrbach Brewing Company
ABV: 7% IBU: N/A
Other Ingredients: Conditioned on vanilla and cocoa nibs
1LB per gallon of strawberry puree
Rohrbach’s Neapolitan Scotch Ale is a very interesting pour. Typical one to two finger widths head, but a very atypical color for a beer – it is a lighter brown, because of the cocoa nibs used. Also, at the bottom of my glass is a nice collection of sediment which I’m guessing is a combination of the cocoa nibs, vanilla, and strawberry puree. I truly have never seen a beer like this in my life. Interesting and enticing!
The aromas are exactly what I expected, but not at all in a bad way. They all come together in a perfect combination of a creamy, malty caramel, and strawberry aroma. Though it is a perfect combination, the strength of each aroma is very different. Overall, I’m getting the creamy, lactose aroma the strongest with a malty caramel backbone. The strawberry aroma is difficult to describe, the only way I can is by labeling it as an “overcast.” But again, I must reiterate how amazing this aromatic combination is, enticing and delicious. Once you get a good sniff of this beer it will be difficult to put it down without taking a sip.
Taking a Scoop, I mean Sip
Wow, I am finding it a bit difficult to put the flavors of Neapolitan Scotch Ale to words. Each sip I’ve had so far has been as smooth as glass, or as Rohrbach puts it ‘silk smooth.’
The flavors have similar characteristics to the aromas in that they are layered but come together to form a perfect combination.
In the beginning of the sip, I am getting the strawberry flavor which is flawless because it doesn’t overpower the other flavors. Soon after the strawberry flavor comes the original Scotch Ale malty caramel flavor, which I love! After that, I’m getting a combination of the vanilla and lactose flavor. This is where the sweeter aspect of the beer comes in, but there is also a slight bite to it at the end. The aftertaste is a combination of the malty caramel and strawberry flavors. Altogether the Neapolitan Scotch Ale is brewed in an excellent way, especially with all the different ingredients used. The cocoa nibs do not jump out as much as I would’ve thought, which I feel is a good thing because they accent the beer perfectly. I’m not noticing them in the very beginning, but as I sit and enjoy each sip I’m noticing how they provide a subtle backbone for Neapolitan Scotch Ale.
Overall, I think the brewing of this beer is a work of pure genius.
Neapolitan Scotch Ale is a perfect addition to Rohrbach’s Neoteric Series, especially with the use of their original Scotch Ale. It sheds a light on how experimenting with beer and brewing can produce excellent results. Overall, the beer itself was not as sweet as some may think it would be. If anything, the sweetness of the beer is very transient and to me isn’t a main component of the beer’s overall flavor. The perfect combination of caramel, strawberry, and vanilla with the chocolate overcast provides amazing aromas and flavors. Though Rohrbach’s Scotch Ale will always be my favorite, the Neapolitan Scotch Ale is a great twist and I am blown away by it.
From what I’ve heard, this beer has already been moving fast, so if you’re interested be sure to pick some up. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed! Thanks for reading!
Thanks to Peter for keeping me in the loop and providing me with my first can. I picked up an additional four pack which will need replacing soon. This beer is super easy to drink!