Oskar Blues “Old Chub” – Scotch/Wee Heavy Ale – 8.0% ABV – 25 – 30 IBU
I love Oskar Blues. Their beers kick ass, and they are canned, dispelling the myth that beer has to be contained in a pretty glass bottle in order for the flavor to go untainted. When I first tried Oskar Blues “Old Chub” the other day I was a bit ashamed because it was my first time drinking it. I’ve seen it in every liquor store and in grocery stores as well. The reviews I had read about it made me believe my life was devoid of meaning because I hadn’t tried it yet. I felt like one of those guys who hadn’t yet seen The Shawshank Redemption nor had anal sex. “WHAT? You haven’t yet tried having… OSKAR BLUES OLD CHUB?”
I kept meaning to do it (drink Old Chub, that is), and when I finally got around to it the other day at a pub I simply couldn’t figure out just what in the Sam Hill I had been missing all those years. I’m a huge fan of Scotch ales, Scottish ales (not to be confused with Scotch ales), old ales, and American strong ales, so I was shocked when this beer did virtually nothing for me. By the way, I have in fact seen The Shawshank Redemption. “But, Deltoid… what about anal?” LET’S DISCUSS BEER, SHALL WE?
Old Chub is dark, tree bark brown with a thin (but decent with the pour) caramel colored head that doesn’t last long enough. The aroma was malty and a bit sweet, but so faint I almost had to start inhaling it like it was a line of uncut blow at a Guns N’ Roses concert in order to detect it. The flavor was complex and contained a variety of goodies, but it was surprisingly weak. It contained a well-balanced offering of malt, cola, pecan, cocoa, black peppercorn, and a hint of booze. But a diversified portfolio doesn’t necessarily mean a profitable one. Also, an overwhelming flavor of metal kept getting in my path like a geeky step-brother at a dance club, cock-blocking my every attempt to rope in a sexy broad. And I wanted to punch him in his fucking FACE.
The texture was that of heavy carbonation and seltzer water, adding to the disappointing fact that it simply had that “lacking” flavor that always bothered me about Kool-Aid when I was a child. Lacing was strong, and decorated the glass evenly and nicely. The aftertaste contained malt, bitterness, smoky tobacco, and even a tad of sourness, as well as that unwelcome metallic flavor which damaged the aftertaste just as it did the flavor of the liquid.
The head was weak. The aroma was weak. The flavor was weak. The texture was weak. Oskar Blues let me down with this neutered Scotch ale, but I still recommend you try it. I seem to be far outside the norm in my evaluation of this brew. But the bar was set high considering how much I adore their G’Knight, Gubna (I think that beer is seriously underrated), Deviant Dale’s, Mama’s Little Yella Pils, and their Ten Fidy.
Although this is a good brew that I would certainly give another shot, for this Scotch style I recommend Founders “Dirty Bastard”, Moylan’s “Kilt Lifter” or Innis & Gunn “Rum Cask”. I even think Three Floyds “Robert the Bruce”, which is a lighter, Scottish style ale and not a Scotch ale, packs more cock and balls under its kilt than Old Chub.