Peticolas’ Royal Scandal Is The King of Local Beers.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this new, recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on, and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we take a look at Peticolas Brewing Company‘s Royal Scandal.

Fast Facts on Peticolas’ Royal Scandal.
Style: English Pale Ale.
ABV: 6.5 percent.
IBUs: 36.
Color: Medium Amber.
Hops: Cascade, Columbus.
Malts: Rahr 2 Row, Light Crystal Malts.
Availability: Year-round.

Background.
The Royal Scandal needs no additional fanfare. As the Gold medal-winner in the 2012 Great American Beer Festival for the English Pale Ale category, it’s received plenty already. But I’ll gladly add to this beer’s long list of accolades: Royal Scandal by Peticolas Brewing Company is my favorite beer in Dallas. Period. Sure, Community Beer Company’s Mosaic IPA is delicious and Lakewood Brewing Company’s Temptress warms my heart, but none of them match up to the bastion of everyday versatility and drinkability that is the Scandal.

A Primer on English Pale Ales.
English Pale Ale. Seems pretty straightforward, no? Actually, it’s harder to pull off correctly than you’d think. An English Pale Ale requires touch and balance. It can’t be too hoppy like its American Pale Ale cousins, or too malty like an English Brown. It can’t have too much alcohol, and, above all else, it must be an easy drinker. To do all these things right, the brewer must have restraint, control and a keen sense of balance. An English Pale Ale should be somewhere in the range of 30-60 on the International Bittering Units scale, and have an alcohol by volume of 4.6 to 6.2 percent.

Appearance.
Served on draft, this Scandal pours a very clear medium dark amber with an initial two-finger, creamy, off-white head. The head loses about half its size within a few minutes.

Aroma.
You will very clearly notice a slight hop presence on the nose, followed by just a hint of grain. It’s a very recognizable scent for those familiar with the Pale Ale family. No off-flavors to be detected here.

Flavor.
This is where the Royal Scandal will always win. You’ll notice a desirable, clean hop flavor throughout, with just the right amount of bitterness. I was initially surprised when getting the stats on this beer, though, as it tastes and feels like it would rate higher than the 36 IBUs quoted by the brewer. You can tell it’s a Pale Ale, but it won’t take the enamel off your teeth like many other brews in this category. True to style, there is some lingering malt sweetness that you’ll notice just on the back of your tongue as you sip and swallow the beer. Then, as you get further down the pint and the beverage warms up a few degrees, you’ll start to notice more of the malt flavor come through. It’s wonderfully balanced.

Mouthfeel.
This beer is crisp with a medium mouthfeel. It’s certainly not a light lager, but it doesn’t get into the territory of a double IPA either, which can sometimes feel thick and syrupy. It’s just a pleasure to consume.

Overall Impression.
Need I really say any more? If you haven’t gotten the point by now, allow me to reiterate: Peticolas’ Royal Scandal is a great beer. It’s one of the rare brews that can find a common ground and satisfy both the hop head and maltster alike.

Score.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give the Peticolas Royal Scandal a full 10.

What’s happening in the area beer scene this week? (Powered by Dallas Brew Scene.)
903 Brewers Tour. Runs Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m, costs $10, and includes a glass and two brews.
Martin House Brewing Company Tour. Starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, costs $10, and includes a glass and three brews.
Deep Ellum Brewing Co. Tour. Runs Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., costs $10, and includes a glass and beer.
Lakewood Brewing Company Tour. Runs Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., costs $10, and includes glass and four brews.
Community Beer Company Tour. Runs Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m., cost $8s when purchased in advance online here, and includes free glass and samples.

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