Hope & King Scotch Ale - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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Hope & King Scotch Ale
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BA SCORE
87
very good

74 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 74
Hads: 165
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 7
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 01-28-2003

Our interpretation of the classic ale that originated in Glasgow, Scotland. A full-body ale, rich in malt complexity. Brewed with both English and American barley and many, many specialty malts allowing hints of roasted chocolate, caramel and raisins with very little hop presence.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 74 | Hads: 165
Photo of grub
4.77/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

deep red, almost brown colour, with a very thin tan head.

aroma is caramel and malt, with no noticeable hop presence (as expected), and just a hint of smokeyness.

taste is excellent. malty, slightly roasty, with just a hint of smoke. i also catch just a slight dried fruit taste, like raisins. a bit of alcohol in the finish. as it warms i notice some bittersweet chocolate that was hidden when served. great balance between the malt and alcohol.

the mouthfeel is great. low carbonation feels just right for the style.

the drinkability is great too. not heavy or hoppy. i think i'd be in trouble if i had a keg of this on hand... (641 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear blood red appearance. Medium sized light brown head recedes to a thin coating in a few minutes. The lacing comes in sagging rings. The aroma's malty and got some peatiness to it as well. Yeasty and sweet as well. The taste of this beer's got some of that nice "Town Hall" yeastiness to it. It's meaty as well. And chalky and dry. Thickly malty and hints of smoke as well. Great taste. Body is full and mouthfeel is appropriately carbonated. Nice one. (456 characters)

Photo of mschofield
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is perfect for the style, a brilliantly clear reddish/caramel brown, topped with a creamy tan head, leaves sticky webs of lacing.

Aroma is bready, malty and raisiny.

Taste is similar, getting raisin like from Special B, possibly some Munich there is a melanoidiny bread crust taste over plenty of pale malt. No there isn't any smoke or peat, Scottish ales don't taste like smoke or peat. OK, I got a little smoke on my 3rd pint, that I drank while eating some buffalo chicken.

Nice break from the hoppier beers I tend to drink, not getting much of anything in the way of hops.

Medium bodied, creamy good drinker especially for 6% ABV (648 characters)

Photo of bditty187
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby in hue, brown influences as well. On cask there was also a slight haze to the beer, as desired. A foamy light beige head of over a finger in height graced with top of the liquid. The head retention was excellent as a half finger cap lasted the whole consumption. Sadly, there was hardly any subsequent lacing. Still this was a good-looking beer. The nose was not loud but the aromas I could detect were very malty, chocolate hints, some sweetness and some underlying astringency. I like the nose. Inviting. I couldn’t wait to take a drink. Why wait! The palate is great, the malty depth is wonderful, very ample yet subtle, hell, I’ll call it luscious. Deep chocolate flavors, there are some roast too but it is not stout/porter-like, there is slight astringency. The finish is very juicy from the big maltiness. The sweetness is moderate but it adds something pleasant and needed. No sign of the hops, I assume they managed to curb the sweetness but they don’t offer much in the way of flavor. Medium/medium-full in body, creamy mouthfeel, typical qualities of a cask ale. This is very drinkable. Lovely stuff, it was dynamite on cask. I didn’t try it on-tap but I can’t imagine it is better that this. I will cherish the fond memories of this Wee Heavy. I should have quaffed more of this when I was in town! (1,325 characters)

Photo of dogger6253
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out brown with hints of red. Little head and virtually no lacing.

The smell is pleasant, but not very impressive. The present aromas are sweet, brown sugar/molasses/caramel. I don't know how else to put it, but the scents seemed airy.

The taste makes up for the lack of smells however, not exactly what I'd expect from the scent. This beer gets most of its sweetness from malt, I didn't taste any sugar. I noticed no hops, but a very slight hint of alcohol toward the finish.

This is a smooth beer, very smooth, not in anyway difficult to sip or swallow. Delicious! (580 characters)

Photo of supercolter
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I truely enjoyed this brew.
This is the first of this style that I have rated so I don't know that it follows the elements, but I will assume so.
Appearance- above average, but nothing to brag about, dark purpleish brown small head,
Taste and smell are similar with a lot of malt, a hint of scotch and some smokiness.
Mouthfeel is decent, and drinkability is good as well. (376 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the brewery. Served into a pint glass.

Appearance: clear, dark brown in color, 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation

Smell: toasted malt, peat, and dark chocolate

Taste: toasted malt, caramel, peat, and dark chocolate

Mouthfeel: sweet, medium-heavy body, medium carbonation

Overall: A nice and chocolaty treat. I could have several pints of this. I actually think I like this more than Mama Masala although both are great in their styles. (455 characters)

Photo of gatornation
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had on tap at MTH... the appearance an almost clear(some haze) amber/copper color with a thin off-white head and minimal lacing the smell was malt and some chocolate some toffee and a peat smell..taste is the same its a malt driven ale that has some toffee and caramel and chocolate a little hop/spice to round this one out this is another well balanced brew from a great brewery again it is perfectly balanced nothing dominates in this wee heavy but it is super tasty.recommended for sure hey every brew at MTH is recommended.. a must stop if you live here or are going to visit minneapolis (591 characters)

Photo of spointon
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one at Town Hall on 5/11/2009 (all part of a great beer trip with BA roadhouse).

A= This ale poured a clear cola-amber-brown color with a 1/2" cream colored head. The head maintained quite a long time and left some wispy lace down my glass.

S= This is where this beer started to shine for me. The aroma was very rich and malty and earthy all in one. Scotland in liquid form.

T= Excellent malt complexity through and through, with caramel, toffee, treacle, earth, peat, and Scottish yeast all making an appearance. Beautiful.

MF= Full medium body with a creamy, slightly oily feel and a soft carbonation.

D= Wow I loved this ale a lot. It was sessionable, sweet, and complex all in one. I could drink this every day for a month and not get tired of it! (771 characters)

Photo of will4240
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the illustrious Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis...

An excellent session beer as it is both delicious and drinkable. As all the brews at the Town Hall, this brew is downright gorgeous. once it hits your lips you are in store for malt, malt, and malt. Like I said, a fantastic go-to beer at one of the nation's best brewpubs. Definitely a world class scotch ale. (377 characters)

Photo of edbeered
4.26/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a beautiful dark burgandy with a small whitish head and nice lacing on the glass. What smell there is features malt. Taste is subtle and sweetly malty with hints of cherry and plum. This is a nicely balanced beer and goes down smoothly. Very impressive. (264 characters)

Photo of Oxymoron
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Righting this based off notes when sampled over the summer. The color was a dark red when chestnut brown highlights. A little darker for a Scottish but well within style. The head has an off darker with a tan color and lasts throughout the tasting. Lacing was also very good.

The smell is not strong overall. It does have a limited malt aroma with a sort of peat or smoky smell to it. The taste is great. A strong peat characteristic mixes with a good malt base. At the end there is a significant smoke flavor as well. The hops are limited but work to enhance the smoke flavor. I know the yeast for Scottish ales can cause some smoke characteristics, but this might be slightly enhanced as well.

A good body and smooth characteristic really round out the beer. I was impressed with this beer and surprised not a higher rating among others. (841 characters)

Photo of lhaqq
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Served with a thin tan head and a dark copper body.
S: Strong smell of sweet malts and caramel. Some toffee mixed with chocolate also strong.
T: Big sweet malty flavor. Finishes with toffee: predominantly sweet but with a hint of the toffee bitterness.
M: Not too light or too heavy but leaning on the thick side for the style, which was enjoyable.
D: Always get this beer when I go to Town Hall. Definitely a great session beer. Probably my second favorite of the style, after Old Chubb. (491 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Hope & King Scothch ale was very good. One guest had at least six pints of this stuff. The appearance was a darker rich amber with thick white head that laced nicely. The smell was sweet with hints of earth and peat. The taste was exceptionally good for a scotch ale....the abv was not over-powering which really helped to bring out the sweet malt and earthy tones. Definite session beer for cooler nights....no shortage of this in Minnesota!!! Definitely worth a try. (472 characters)

Photo of CultureJamMN
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There is a lot going on here... almost too much for a neophyte like me to keep track of.

The color is dark but not quite black. I'm reluctant to call it purple... but almost. The head was thin, but retained beautifully, lacing was stringy, but consistant.

The smells here are malty but with a very real suggestion of bittersweet chocolate.

Initial taste of malt, but not overstated, hops seem hidden, and come on late, but not too strong. Very pleasant from sip to swallow.

Right in the middle in terms of mouthfeel, feels "just right".

All told, another excellent TH selection. Would make for an excellent March or April beer. (642 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Town Hall in August 2009.

Pours a dark brown with some crimson hues and a light tan head. The smell involves plenty of caramel malt with hints of toffee and maybe a bit of chocolate. The taste is somewhat sweet and bready with a good dose of caramel. A little bit of alcohol going on. The mouthfeel is rather robust without being too heavy, making this a fairly easy to drink scotch ale, one that my wife could not get enough of. (440 characters)

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown with good head to start and no lacing. Aroma is sweet and malty, a bit faint but pleasant. Taste is delicious, a bit smoky and woody, a surprise, but a good malty beverage, a faint hop presence in the background, earthy, grainy a little, generally pretty smooth and slight carbonation. This beer is yummy. I convinced everyone else to drink it too:) (371 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown to violet in color, with a firm, creamy, lacey head. Aroma is fresh and fragrant with hints of cocoa, oats, lavender, and honey. Soft palate, great texture, generous and lingering finish. Hop presence is minimal, initially, hidden behind a buttress of malt, exuding a pleasant sweetness. Medium body. In the middle, some hops start to show and do a delicate dance upon the tastebuds, that carries through the finish. This fine Scotch ale is 3-tiered, I find: malt, hops, happiness. (492 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a murky brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes into decent lacing. The aroma is of toffee, caramel, and dark chocolate. The taste is of burnt malt, burnt dark chocolate, with caramel coming into play in the aftertaste. It is nice to see a Wee Heavy that is more than just caramel, and butter. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation, but it could be a little smoother. Overall, this is a nice brew. I've had it at the pub before, and will certainly have it again when the mood is right. (533 characters)

Photo of dfried
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer looks really good, deep brown and porter-ish in the center with deep maroon around the edges, think caramel colored head that didn't leave any lacing (I think due to the plastic 'outdoor' pint glass though). The smell is almost of liquor, like wine or whiskey barrell aged beers (but ofcourse it's not), plus a well toasted malt presence. The taste is not sugary, but a malty-sweetness, coffee, red, and caramel malts, with no indication of hops until the finish. The mouthfeel is about average for a good strong, deep beer, not too coarse, but not too smooth. This is such a drinkable beer its dangerous. The last note I put down about it was 'quite drinkable but drinker beware.' Its a strong beer that is easy to lose track of how many you have had. But its good, when not enjoying a seasonal at T-Hall, I either get this or Masala Mama IPA. (854 characters)

Photo of badbeer
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer had a nice mahogany color, and the lacing lasted throughout. The taste was of sweet maltiness, no hops were present. This was a very smooth beer and found myself wanting more. This could definately be a session beer, I could drink this all night. (256 characters)

Photo of CRJMellor
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep ruby red with a decent light tan head formed and leaves billows of lace on the glass.
Aroma of sweet malt, caramel, coffee and some minor earthy hop notes.
Flavors is sweet butterscotch upfront followed by a bitter coffee and hop note. Interesting turn on the style, somewhat of a porter profile.
Mouthfeel is smooth and easy.
Drinkability is very high, great twist on Scotch Ale style. (403 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a clear dark brown, some amber highlights with a small lacy head that looked a bit like whipped cream, just a bit thinner. Smell is a soft but very pleasing and inviting sweetish malt with a bit of slightly sugary bread-like oat and grain notes. Taste is nice, its clean and smooth with mostly faint malt at start and middle but fades nicely into a very tangy hop that reminded me of rubarb in the finish. The feel is full/medium bodied but is mostly held in the middle and end when the nice tart/tangy hop and sweet malt makes its sneaky presence. This is highly drinkable and I can only imagine what it must be like from the cask? Yikes and yum. (656 characters)

Photo of donnebaby
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, cherry-red brown hues to this Scotch Ale, with thin--but sticky--glaze covering up the glass. Nose was light breezymalts that grew in potency--to allay my disappointment I think. Taste was quite good--and far better then the other two wee heavy's I've reviewed (but still not the best that I've had..). Tastes are juicy in the mouth, and I thought of cherry cider. Lots of dry notes of nutty almond and cashew butter, cereals and toffee. But by the end of the day, I realized what this beer really tasted like: a butterfinger bar. Taste is dry, but flavourful (for the Brits). A clean finish, with not too much of an aftertaste. Most of the taste is enjoyed in the mouth. Medium creamy carbonation.

Bit low on the alcohol methinks for a wee heavy, but what the hell.
Not to be missed!

Had on-tap in Minneapolis, late August, 04 (841 characters)

Photo of argock
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from fresh growler purchased on site at the brewery into a clear glass mug. Consume by 6/27/11 on cap.

A: Soothing dark brown with magenta/ruby highlights. Ample 1/2-1 finger off-white head with a few spots of lace.

S: Malty dark fruit aromas of raising and prune with some grape and cherry notes.

T: Malt is king with Hope & King with some breadiness coupled with dark fruit flavors. Hops are minimal and slightly herbal.

M: Low carbonation and medium-to-full-bodied for an extremely silky smooth feel.

O: Solid and extraordinarily drinkable for a dark malty beer with a lot of residual fermentables. This is comfort beer. (637 characters)

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Hope & King Scotch Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.