Scotland in My Backyard
A Review of McGritty’s Scotch Ale by Aviator Brewing Co.
Posted on 3/23/2012 by Chops
Few things are more satisfying to better beer drinkers than finding a quality local offering of an internationally scrutinized style. Because let's be honest, excluding the big beer companies, most breweries can make a decent lager. Most breweries can make a decent pilsner. Hell, most breweries can make a palatable amber or wheat. But I'm here to tell you; very few breweries can make a good Scotch Ale, let alone a great one. So imagine my surprise in finding the McGritty's Scotch Ale, a fantastic brew from the Aviator Brewing Co. based in the tiny NC town of Fuquay Varina. It only takes one beer to garner attention, and Aviator has done just that with McGritty's.

In the glass, this beer has a deep ruby red coloration, much like an Imperial Red or a strong Irish Red. It comes with a creamy tan head that dissipates at a normal pace. The aroma consists of a sweet roasted malt that rests on top of a strong woody base. Complementing the mix are whiffs of caramel and various dark fruits. The aroma isn't terribly complex, but has a pungency that properly prepares you for a really big flavor punch.

As nicely foreshadowed, the first sip was heavy on the sweet malt. Luckily the mouthfeel is very smooth with minimal grittiness, allowing for an immediate study of subsequent flavors. The woody notes take on a charred smoky flavor that closely resembles a quality Rauchbier. There are plenty of other rich dark flavors swirling around like caramel and figs. For such a strong flavor profile, this beer is surprisingly easy to drink. I could happily plow through pint after pint and never grow tired of the bold and savory flavors.

As an inconsequential side note, I would have enjoyed a decent hop profile to balance out some of the malty sweetness, but many Scotch Ales are known to be malt-forward with no hop presence. This brew is completely within bounds, just more of a note on personal preference.

Overall, the McGritty's Scotch Ale from Aviator is a delightful brew with a bold flavor punch. It makes me very happy to find such a tasty version on the local scene. I will definitely be enjoying many more of these beauties in the future. Consequently, I can happily recommend this brew to any level of beer fan. It's mild enough for novices to indulge in as well as meaty enough to satisfy fans of Scotch Wee-Heavies. My minimal experience with Aviator up to this point has left me impressed and curious. At this point, you can consider me a fan. I tip my drinking hat to these talented brewers for a fine creation. Cheers fellas!

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McGritty’s Scotch Ale by Aviator Brewing Co.
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