Tin Whistle brews up a winner

Penticton brewery wins B.C. Beer Award in the UK Ales category for their Tin Whistle Stag Apple Scotch Ale.

Penticton brewery Tin Whistle won in the UK Ales category of the B.C. Beer Awards for their Stag Apple Scotch Ale.

Penticton brewery Tin Whistle won in the UK Ales category of the B.C. Beer Awards for their Stag Apple Scotch Ale.

Though it hasn’t been all in this order, Tin Whistle’s Stag Apple Scotch Ale has now claimed awards at the local, provincial and national levels.

The latest award came last month with a first place for the dark beer at the B.C. Beer Awards in the UK Ales category.

Lorraine Nagy, owner of the Tin Whistle Brewing Company, said their scotch ale was best in show at Okanagan Fest-of-Ale last year as well as winning a bronze at the Canadian Beer Awards.

Brewmaster Jeff Todd describes the Stag Apple Scotch Ale as very dark, almost a ruby colour. The taste is malty, with overtones of caramel and toffee.

That malty taste, he said, is one of the things that set a Scotch ale apart.

“Scots tend to dislike things that are English,” Todd explained.

So when hops, which are hard to grow in Scotland anyway, became more popular in English brewing, they turned to a different taste profile.

“Their beers evolved to be much maltier as opposed to hops-focused and, in particular, Scotch ales have a much higher alcohol content,” said Todd. Adding the farm fresh apple juice, however, was his own inspiration.

“The way I wanted to introduce the apple and use it is almost a caramel apple pairing,” said Todd, adding that the apple doesn’t overwhelm the taste. “It’s still a Scotch ale very much and the apple doesn’t really feature, it just takes the flavour profile to another level.

“You would know there is something different about it, but it is so subtle and complex that you may not know exactly what it is that is making it different.”

Tin Whistle is a small micro brewery located in Penticton producing five beers year round and an additional one or two that are seasonal. They are making a collaborale with Bad Tattoo Brewing, Cannery Brewing and Firehall Brewery for a special cask event at the Kettle Valley Station Pub on Nov. 20. The specialty beer will be based on a stout with bourbon-soaked Okanagan plums, vanilla beans and oak chips.