I was very impressed by the Houblon Chouffe earlier this year; a combination of an IPA and a Trippel so I was looking forward to another of their beers: Mc Chouffe, a Belgian interpretation of a Scotch Ale?
Scottish ales vary in strength from light via heavy and export to the strong Scotch Ales. During the production they are boiled longer to achieve a caramelisation of the wort and consequently a darker colour and richer, sweeter taste. Hop taste is low allowing the malt to predominate.
On the face of it, not so very different from the strong dark ale style in Belgium.
The beer poured well with a nice head; earthy aroma but not overpowering. The taste, dare I say it, for a beer that won a gold medal in Strasbourg in 1999, was less than I had imagined it would be and the body was a bit on the thin side.
Both malt and fruit were far too subdued; caramel and alcohol (8%alc.vol.) and a light bitterness came through at the end to rescue the experience. Not a bad beer but there are better Scotch Ales and strong dark Belgium ales around.