I came across something unexpected recently—a Scottish Ale that I actually liked. MacHayden’s Wee Heavy is part of the slightly experimental Progeny Series from Blue Mountain Brewery, in Afton, Virginia. It’s a Wee Heavy, or more broadly categorized as a Scottish ale, which are known for their high alcohol content and sharp bite.
MacHayden’s has a respectable alcohol by volume (8 percent), but thankfully, it’s missing that Scottish bite. The beer is malty upfront, but not annoyingly sweet. There’s no hoppy bitterness to balance the beer. Instead, the brew is balanced by the heavy carbonation and peated malts—that distinctively Scottish ingredient that provides just a touch of tingling heat on the back end of each sip. The tingling almost numbs the tongue in an incredibly pleasant way.
Ultimately, MacHayden’s is a thick, caramel malty bit of goodness. If that’s not reason enough to give it a try, how about this—the beer is named after brewers Mandi and Taylor Smack’s son. How sweet is that?