Though I tend to be partial to the American Craft Beer scene today we have an ale from Meantime Brewing located in the land of Greenwich, England. Though I know very little about this company seeing the elegant bottle on the shelves of The Four Firkins was enough to convince me to sample their wares as I tend to be of the opinion that anything that is stocked there is most likely worth your time to enjoy. After reading some of the website it seems the folk at Meantime have no goal greater than to create quality artisan brews for people to enjoy and I have nothing but a tip of the hat to that and a greater desire to drink their brews. Scotch Ales always intrigue me, in fact I just picked up some more Scotty Karate on the way home, so it will be very nice to see an English and presumably more traditional approach to the style. My first pour easily produced a good four fingers of a nice light chocolate color head, with all but a few millimeters fading in a couple minutes leaving some lacing around the glass. Though it wasn’t a particularly heavy pour we will have to see what the next glass yields as large bottles can create some interesting pours if one is not careful. When I first popped the cork I got a whiff of what smelt like wine and was a bit surprised but upon smelling it in the glass you get all kinds of nice aromas of plum, grape and other dark fruits as well as some rich maltiness some of which are likely lightly roasted. The color is quite dark and opaque with some reds and browns coming through when brought to light. The flavor of this ale is very interesting, figs, raisins and other dark fruits are dominate flowing into a nice smooth malt flavor that is a bit sweet but compliments the other flavors very nicely. Interestingly enough the second pour produces almost as much head as the first, very nice. Though not surprising because of the noticeable carbonation in the mouthfeel as well as a bit of stickiness. The body is medium but this beer goes down quite easily and the 8% ABV of this beer though not completely hidden is very nicely disguised by this flavorful ale. If you are a fan of pitted fruit tasting Belgian Ales you will enjoy this beer as that is what it reminds me of most. Though not at all what I expected, a nice ale that only inspires me further to see what else Meantime has to offer. Particularly their IPA and their original offering, Union. Give it a shot and ride your bike.