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Pictavia – A Scotch Ale Aged in Scotch Barrels

a scotch ale bottle and chalice allagash brewing company

Aromas of sweet honey and caramel, a malt-forward body and hints of oak.

Pictavia is the former name of Scotland, back when the Scots were called Picts. It’s also a scotch ale aged in scotch barrels that’s packed with aromas of sweet honey and caramel, a malt-forward body and hints of oak. The barrels this beer ages in actually held port before they held scotch, which adds another little layer to the beer. The beer ages in barrels for around two months, just enough to pull flavor from the barrel and add some depth and beautiful vanilla notes to the beer.

The origin of this beer goes back to before Allagash even existed. In 1994, about a year before the official opening of Allagash, our founder, Rob Tod, brewed twelve pilot batches of beer. Eight of those batches were a Belgian-style wheat beer. One was a German-style wheat beer. The remainder were Scotch ales, one of Rob’s favorite styles.

brewer fills barrels with beer at Allagash Brewing Company

Filling scotch barrels (that once also held port wine) with some tasty scotch ale.

For the next twenty-three years, we only brewed one of those original beers at Allagash, the Belgian-style wheat beer we now know as Allagash White. One year ago, we broke back out that scotch ale recipe. We had recently come into the possession of a few barrels that had held scotch and before that port wine. We thought that the perfect beer to age in them would be that original scotch ale recipe. We called it Pictavia. Fans loved that first brewery-only batch so much that we scaled it up, and bottles of Pictavia are currently shipping out to our entire distribution footprint.

But you’re a Belgian-style brewery, you say. Why are you brewing a Scotch ale? Well, thanks to beers like Scotch de Silly, and Brasserie d’Achouffe McChouffe, there’s actually a fair connection between Scotch ales and Belgium.

We hope you can join us in enjoying Pictavia, a beer that combines Allagash history with our barrel-aging present.

If you’re in our distribution footprint, you can find Pictavia with the help of our beer locator:

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