Arcadia Brewing Loch Down

September 12 2011 - 12:19 PM

Michigan's roster of craft brewers is deeper than any other midwestern state right now.  Hailing from Battle Creek, Michigan, Arcadia Ales sets themselves apart from their Michigan co-horts by focusing on British Isles-style beers – creamier stouts and IPA's, Scottish style beers, and the like.  The Map Room usually has Arcadia's Starboard Stout on a handle, which is a creamy, mellow departure from many of the hopped up efforts on draft there.  

The folks at Arcadia were kind enough to send me some samples of some of their offerings and I could think of no better place to start than the Loch Down Ale, a Scottish style beer not dissimilar from Founders Dirty Bastard, a beer often found on Chicago area taps. 

Like many Scottish ales, the Loch Down has a cola-like appearance and mouthfeel to it.  It's a very dark brown, almost black, and offers a sturdy head in the glass.  There is strong carbonation fueled by tiny bubbles. A variety of flavors permeate the palate, including a hint of molasses, bitter chocolate, gum, licorice, and a hint of rasin.  The finish is long and strong with minimal lacing on the glass.

If you are not familiar with Scottish Ales, this is a good introduction to the style.  Loch Down drinks pretty easily and avoids some of the more aggressive flavors of some of the whiskey barreled Scottish ale stylings.  Yet I am curious regarding whether Arcadia plans any barrel aging with this particular beer, since its base flavors provide a unique canvas for further infusion of oak and liquor flavors. 

Like most Arcadia beers, this particular offering can be found at craft beer friendly liquor stores as well as Binny's. 

–Mark Sheppard