Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Full Boar

Full Boar is a Scotch Ale by the Devil's Canyon Brewing Company of Belmont, CA.

Scottish ales derive their name because it is thought that the style is unique to Scotland. However, most Scottish ales follow the same recipes and styles that are found through the United Kingdom.

The main distinction people make with Scotch Ales is the use of peet smoked barley that imparts a whiskey flavor. However, Scottish brewers do not generally use peet-smoked barley in all their beers, unless making this specific style, which they tend to call Whiskey Ale.

Historically, Scottish ales were darker and maltier with little hops. The colder temperatures in Scotland allowed for the use of less hops, which beyond flavor are also a preservative. Hops were also expensive to import, hops are not grown in Scotland.

There are four different types of Scottish ales, 60/-, 70/-, 80/-, 90/-. "/-" Means shilling, so the the numbers correspond to the old price of the ale. Also, the more expensive the higher the ABV. 90/- or "Strong Scotch Ale" or "Wee Heavy" perfectly describes Full Boar. The definition comments that: "Fermented at cooler temperatures than most ales, and with lower hopping rates, resulting in clean, intense malt flavors."

I bought this at Taylor's Market in Sacramento for $4.99 for a 220z. It has an ABV of 7.4%.

The beer pours a dark, opaque brown with a slight, off-white head that leaves no lacings. The aroma has a mix of chocolate malts with whiffs of smoke and toffee/caramel malts. The taste has the sweet chocolate and caramel malts upfront smoothly followed by a light roasted/smokiness.

Lots of roasted and dark malt flavor. The peet moss flavor is very subtle. The mouthfeel is medium to thick bodied, with a creamy texture through out that coats the inside of your mouth. The carbonation is light.

Overall, I like this beer. My main comment is that if I didn't know the name, I would probably call this a porter just by the taste and the body. The peet flavor is really subtle and almost undetectable. I tend to stay away from Scotch Ales, as they tend to be light in body and heavy on the peet moss. But between Full Boar and Belhaven, I am enjoying them. Also both Full Boar and Belhaven are Wee Heavy beers, which have less of a peet flavor. I suggest you Try It.

I also noticed on Beer Advocate that the quality varies widely. Some reviews suggest spoiled bottles. I had this on tap and in the bottle and the quality of both was good.


  1. This is good beer. I think it actually takes like a blend of a scotch ale with a belgian ale and a porter. It has lovely spicey floral notes with an underlying coffee tone with that distinct scotch ale flavor. A definite must try.

  2. I wonder if the bottling has a consistency problem. I read about the flavor profileyou described in other reviews. I didn't get any floral or belgian. I did enjoy it. I need to taste some other wee heavys and compare.

  3. I guess we'll just have to go buy a couple 22s then... darn. ;-)