Lavender Ale

Lavender Ale, Motorworks Brewing
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
78
Aroma:
19 / 24
Flavor:
33 / 40
Appearance:
5 / 6
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
13 / 20
Description 

Old-world inspired, we brew this Scottish Ale with Golden Promise Malt grown in Scotland & French Lavender. With an herbaceous bouquet, this botanical brew's fruity, floral flavors are balanced by its biscuity malt backbone & hints of caramel.

Profile

ABV: 
6.0%
Malts: 
Scottish Golden Promise Malt
Judges Review 
Jessica Sullivan's picture
Judges Rating:
78
Aroma:
19 / 24
Appearance:
5 / 6
Flavor:
33 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
13 / 20

Lavender Ale by Motorworks Brewing is being judged as a Spice, Herb, or Vegetable beer (BJCP cat 30A), with a base style of Scottish Ale (BJCP Cat 14).

When I tasted this beer, I did so completely blind to both style and addition, and then re-tasted with information about style and additions. 

The aroma initially conjured the holidays -- cinnamon, gingerbread, caramel, and a butterscotch-y sweetness struck me initially. Minimal, indistinct hop aroma was overwhelmed by the malty richness and holiday spices. Low, indistinct, fruity esters. Upon learning that lavender was in this beer, I could detect it, although in this brew the lavender character appears as a warming spice, and not at all floral. I still couldn't shake the perception that ginger, clove, and cinnamon were in this beer. 

This beer poured amber, was quite clear, and had a low, off-white head with moderate retention.

The flavor was similar in many ways to the aroma, although I also perceived chocolate and bread slices. The balance was certainly towards the sweet, and this beer could have benefited from stronger hopping or from fermenting out some of the additional sugars in order to dry it out a bit. There were no obvious fermentation characteristics, and no off-flavors. In the flavor, I perceived the lavender much more clearly, with a distinct and intense floral component.

The mouthfeel was pleasant, with a moderate body, no creaminess, and no astringency. Still, there was something somewhat drying (on the tongue, not in the flavor) about the beer (I initially thought this might have come from winter spices, but now believe it more likely came from the lavender) that gave me pause before taking another drink.

Overall, this is a really interesting beer! The idea of combining lavender with a malty beer like a Scotch Ale is a good one, and this beer gets a lot right -- the malt dominance is appropriate for the style, and while the 2015 BJCP guide might be a bit more skeptical about the butterscotch character, I enjoyed it, and lots of people expect it in a Scotch Ale. If there truly were no other other spice additions in this beer, then the lavender clearly did some very interesting things to this beer. However, the uneven presentation of the lavender, and the balance between sweetness and spice, left something to be desired.

 

Brewery Introduction

Bradenton’s first craft brewery, was co-founded by Frank and Denise Tschida. As soon as they laid their eyes on the Bradenton property, they knew they had found something special. Built in 1923 as an automobile dealership – complete with a concrete ramp that was used to move cars from the ground... Read More

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