Cobra’s Hopped Challenge (Thistle Dew) Update

Most of the challenge competitors merely gave a “wink” 😉 to the supplied ingredients, using them for yeast starters, and showed up with all manner of IPAs and other pale beers. I felt that we did a great job embracing the ingredients in the spirit of Chopped or Iron Chef and delivered a highly flavorful, quaffable scottish ale. The bad news is that we weren’t able to garner so much as an honorable mention at the Cobra Hopped Challenge with our Scottish Export.

Naming this beer was as much a challenge as formulating a recipe. Once we settled on a scottish ale, Silvia did some research for the name. After learning that a thistle is the national flower we knew that we must work that into the beer name.

We did take to the Cap & Hare Masterbrewer  for May. We entered it as a 14C – Scottish Export. The judges commented favorably about the caramel aroma, flavors, and the overall smoothness of the beer. Lack of carbonation (and head) was the only detraction. For stylistic accuracy it was a “classic example” and got a tick mark in the “wonderful” box! We ended up with 41 of 50 points on the score sheet and a second place ribbon for our efforts.

Now a recipe derived from a whimsical contest which we thought was a throwaway, one-off brew has become our highest scoring beer. I am curious how this beer will stack up head to head against other scottish exports so there is a strong chance that this beer will appear at a few of the upcoming Lone Star Circuit homebrew contests.

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