So much beer, so little time. I know, I lead a rough life.  Living in Portland and writing about beer is a sweet gig--as long as you don't enjoy being paid for it.  But for each snide comment and bit of sarcasm that comes out of my mouth, everywhere I turn, there's beer, beer, beer: new releases, more events, budding breweries, more bloggers, and new friends in beer.   From startup breweries to those entering an era where they—god forbid—make a nice profit, the Portland beer scene in 2010 is not a stagnant business.  While we still reign as Alpha Kings, a new breed is pushing back the pendulum to get yet another trick out of this ten trick pony (I think we're on trick five at last count).  Established breweries are still blending and aging (and finally getting some well-deserved notoriety), while others push towards new Northwest open fermentation styles, perhaps a gluten-free lifestyle, or simply a neighborhood respite.

"But why all of this philosophical waxing, isn't this just a post about some BridgePort beer?" you ask.  Okay, I've wandered a bit from the point.  The truth of the matter is that in trying to stay on top of the latest news here in PDX, some things can fall through the cracks.  Like BridgePort's Highland Ambush Scotch Ale.  Released on December 17th, this beer sat in my fridge and eventually wound up in the back as newer beers came in.  I finally stumbled across it last night and cracked it open.  Immediately, I realized that this was a double edged sword.  On one hand, this is a damn good beer.  On the other hand, the bottles have had a lot of time to disappear off of the shelves--will I still be able to get a few more?

This beer has the low hop, high sweetness of traditional Scotch Ales with the addition of oak bourbon barrel aging.  33% of this batch was aged in barrels and then blended back with the non-barreled lot, giving it a light oak and bourbon flavor which compliments this beer nicely.  This beer is a great addition to BridgePort's Big Brews Series, which styles are widely varied from Barleywines to Belgian Style fruit-infused beers.

"First brewed in the 1980s as a special beer for the BrewPub at BridgePort, Highland Ambush is making its triumphant return more than 20 years later. Stuart MacLean Ramsay, then pub manager, conceptualized the brew to pay homage to his Scottish heritage. This year’s Highland Ambush takes inspiration from the original ale using NW pale ale malt along with a Scottish crystal and roast malt.  The hopping rate of Highland Ambush has been toned down to help highlight the complementing vanilla from the American oak bourbon barrels and caramel-toffee malt nuances. Reddish-Brown in color, Highland Ambush will warm the coldest of toes and noses this holiday season." BridgePort’s Highland Ambush Scotch Ale Stats: IBU’s:  40      ABV:    6.8%    Color:  Reddish-Brown Ingredients:    Pale and Carmel Malts.  UK Golding Hops. Description:    This beer will have a rich malt taste complementing vanilla flavors from the American oak barrels along with a bitterness attributed to the UK Golding hops.

BridgePort's Highland Ambush Scotch Ale