Beer of the Week: Oskar Blues' Old Chub Nitro
This week's beer of the week is Old Chub Nitro Scotch Ale from Oskar Blues Brewery, based in Denver. The beer is a malty Scotch ale that recently made its way to the Minnesota market. It's a classic dark beer with a light body that is deceptively heavy in appearance but has an easy drinkability while packing a very robust flavor led by cocoa and malt.
The focus this week is on the nitro pour which, as Oskar Blues's Jeremy Rudolf says, "allows you to experience further depth and a complimentary mouth-feel for the flavors of the Scotch ale." The pour is smooth and creamy, giving a cloudy complexion shortly after pouring, before it settles into a deep and calming brown that matches the complementary chocolate characteristics in the beer. The nitro gives a heavier, thicker mouthfeel than a regular keg or can, but more chilled and carbonated than cask beer.
The head is soft and light with a roasted bouquet, while the first impression from the beer brings in a roasted, smoky grain that finishes with a touch of sweetness. As the pint goes down, the bitterness in the beer becomes a bit more pronounced but, overall, it's a mild and milky Scotch ale.
The nitro version will soon be in can form, which the brewery is marketing as the first American-made nitro can craft beer. It will be in four-packs with a nitrogen-filled widget sometime in May. Come that time, you can use this handy tool to find which stores carry it.
Old Chub Nitro is available now on draft in the Twin Cities at Stub & Herb's.