This beer was born out of a “Hopped Challenge” sponsored by Cobra Brewing in Lewisville, Texas. We were handed a brown sack full of honey malt, about a pound and a half, along with a jar of dark malt extract and told that we had to use the ingredients somewhere in our brewing process. Most of the competitors opted to use the malt extract for their yeast starter and use very little of the honey malt.
Silvia embraced the ingredients in the spirit of Chopped or Iron Chef. She went looking for recipes that used significant amounts of honey malt and settled on an 80 Shilling Scottish Ale. Once we settled on a Scottish ale, Silvia did some more research for a name. After learning that the national flower of Scotland is a thistle we knew that we must work that into the beer name and Thistle Dew was tagged.
Since we were not interested in continuing to use dark liquid malt extract going forward, I reworked the recipe for a 5.5-gallon batch replace the extract with the constituent malts and settled on this all grain recipe.