The Lecky Scottish Ale was released on Friday, February 12th at Tin Whiskers and good times were had by all. With temperatures nearing zero degrees, there aren’t many things to warm one’s soul quite like a malty, well-executed craft beer. Luckily, Tin Whiskers was able to sate my thirst for something of that ilk with their Lecky Scottish Ale Release Party. The event was complete with live music courtesy of the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band, Potter’s Pasties, Taproom Highland Games, and the Lecky Scottish Ale Release!
Let’s start with the beer. The Lecky Scottish Ale, which debuted at the Winter Beer Dabbler, is now available at the taproom on draft and on liquor store shelves in 22 oz. bombers. At Tin Whiskers the beer is served on both CO2 and Cask(check for availability), each offering a different drinking experience. Lecky is a Scottish Ale and is a malt-forward beer that is 5.5% ABV. Lecky has a unique blend of 6 different malt varieties along with East Kent Goldings and Nugget hops. In keeping with the Tin Whiskers way of naming their beers after things that have to do with electrical engineering, Lecky is no exception. The word Lecky is Scottish slang the word electricity. “Careful, Angus, you don’t want to get a shock from the lecky in that outlet!” Whether you are into malty beers or fancy yourself more of a Scotch drinker, this beer is definitely going to scratch you right where you itch. It offers a richness of flavor with hints of smoke, caramel, and caramelized brown sugar. The smoke rounds out the sip by drying out the sweet malt of the beginning of the taste. The CO2 version of the Lecky has a nice mouthfeel to it because the effervescence and slight dryness of the smoke really liven up the sweetness from the malt. In the cask version, you have a much smoother feel and because the smoke is so subtle, it allows flavors of vanilla and marshmallow to shine from the malty sweetness. All the while, the roasted malt remains the backdrop of balance and depth in the beer.
On Friday, the craft beer drinking experience was epically enhanced by the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band, who started playing at 6 and again about an hour later. You probably know them from the St. Paddy’s Day parade. They also lead mobs of craft beer revelers through the gates at all of the MN Craft Brewer’s Guild festivals. I chatted with one of the pipers who told me that the bagpipe is a celebratory instrument and goes perfect with an event like this. One of their members is actually a brewer over at Able Seedhouse in Northeast. So, there are strong ties between the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band and the craft beer community.
Listening to great music and doing 16 ounce curls of malty goodness can work up a man’s appetite. Luckily for me, Potter’s Pasties was there to keep everyone fed and happy. They had Scotch Eggs specially for the event, but like Bobby Fisher wetting himself during a chess match, I had waited too long; they had run out. When the sobs subsided, I decided on the traditional pasty and that was more than ok. Such a delicious compliment for the beers I was sipping. The pasties from Potter’s are heavenly. Perfectly seasoned beef, potatoes, carrots, and gravy all encased in an immaculate pastry crust that would cause Julia Child to do a double take.
I wasn’t the only one having a good time at this event; the place was packed. As I was taking notes on the beer and snapping pictures, I noticed a couple seated to my left who had settled down for the long haul. They started with two taster flights to try each beer that was on tap. After that, they each ordered a pint of what they liked from those. I asked them if it was their first time in the taproom and they said it was. They were impressed with the beer. We got to chatting and it turns out that they live within walking distance of Urban Growler and are starting to become huge craft beer fans. In the tone of a puppy that was admonished for jumping on a house guest, the gentleman said that he usually drinks Coors Light. I told him that I was not going to judge his beer tastes. I told him that Tin Whiskers has something for everyone. He did say that he enjoyed several of the beers, but that being from Minot, ND, he did not get a ton of exposure to craft beer until he moved to the Twin Cities. The chat continued and I thought to myself that it speaks to the approachability of the Tin Whiskers portfolio of beers that a couple came in to do taster flights, and left with a growler. The couple reminded me of those interview scenes from When Harry Met Sally, although much younger, these two were finishing each other’s sentences and it was blatantly obvious that they were so perfect for each other.
By the time it was time to leave, people were playing the Taproom Highland games and having a blast. The staff was busy pouring proper pints of everything on their board. I even saw some craft beer drinkers festooned in kilts. It truly was a celebratory evening at Tin Whiskers. If you haven’t been down yet to try the Lecky Scottish Ale, you need to do so. It is a wonderfully malty beer as Old Man Winter gives us his last flurry of cold. Also, keep your eyes open in your local bottle shops because it is available in 22 ounce bombers for the first time this year. The beer will be available for a while, but don’t wait too long. Remember how emotionally crushed I was when they ran out of Scotch Eggs? Yeah, don’t be that person. Prost!