The aroma that drifts off the top of Piper Down is a very sweet, caramel maltiness, with a subtle earthy undertone to it. It is somehow slightly reminiscent of Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter, minus the vanilla — I think it’s the sweet, prune scent that does that for me.
The caramel sweetness dominates the flavor of this beer. It’s perhaps more carbonated and drier tasting than you’d expect out of such a sweet beer, but overall, molasses, caramel, and prunes is what I taste. If I really focus, I can pick up on some sort of smokiness or earthiness as well.
I really enjoy this Scottish Ale. It has a nice body to it, and is easy drinking, smooth, and not too sweet. It would probably be best enjoyed in late summer or early fall. It’s lighter body might make it a little light tasting for late fall or winter enjoyment, but otherwise, it would fit in well with Oktoberfests and winter warmers.