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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

76 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 76
Hads: 169
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: 76 | Hads: 169
Photo of RedDiamond
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hope and King is outwardly brown with ruby highlights and no real head to speak of. The taste is much like a strong porter with a potent abundance of smoky chocolate malt. In contrast, the aroma is faint and gives no hint of the abundant flavor. Instead, the nose is sweeter and maltier without the smoke or chocolate of the palate.

I didn’t care for the finish of this beer which grows too thin too quickly and combines with a chalky mouthfeel to end on an unflattering note. That’s a shame, because this ale initially presents with a wealth of flavor which, if sustained or gracefully diminished, would make it a first rate beer. But the finish is cloying, almost metallic, and the mouthfeel is unpleasant and thin. The draught was laceless, a factor I can deal with. But the mouthfeel and the finish are in need of serious revision. (842 characters)

Photo of fisherman34
3.17/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lots of malty and sweet aroma from this dark red ale. Lots of body with just a touch of bitterness. Mainly a malt flavor vehicle, with little hop presence to speak of. I’m pretty sure I could taste some chocolate malts in there too. I doubt that I could drink more than a pint of this at a sitting. (299 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

5.8% ABV according to the menu as of November 2012. Served on-draught into a stem-goblet at the brewery in Minneapolis. Reviewed from notes taken around Thanksgiving.

A: Pours a one finger head of mocha colour, smooth cream, nice thickness, and average retention. Body colour is a solid nontransparent opaque mahogany-black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Toffee, caramel, chocolate, toasted malt, and dark malts. An average strength aroma.

T: Toffee, caramel, dark malts for the foundation, cream, and lingering chocolate/chocolate malts. Well balanced albeit simple for the style. Backwoods Bastard or Old Chub this is not. Nicely layered. Has enough depth and body to keep it interesting - a trait I've found many of this brewery's beers lack.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with good body. Slightly creamy, which complements the style nicely. Good thickness and carbonation. The texture complements the taste well.

Dr: One of the better beers I've had from this brewery so far, but that isn't saying much. I like it, but it's far from exceptional for the style. I'd have it again, but it's not special or unique. Hides its ABV well.

C+ (1,160 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a nice beer, but I wasn't impressed with my pint. The cask character of oxygenation was too strong and there wasn't enough beer. There was a very smooth and fairly sweet caramel malt flavor and aroma, but that was about it. The beer was pretty drinkable and easy to put down, but the flavor complexity is lacking. I don't know, I've liked this better on CO2 tap before, maybe the cask is just old. I'll be sure to try it again and re-review. (450 characters)

Photo of Penguin3200
3.23/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had today on tap at town hall. Pours dark amber and brown with a one finger head. Lacing was minimal and legs receded quick.

Smell was malty and caramelly with a hint of scotch Malts but no deep earthy boozy notes.

Taste mimicked the aroma and was okay, but not the punch that some scotch ales bring to the table. Enjoyable.

Very drinkable with the toned down style and enjoyable this afternoon.

Liked it for a change of pace but will be sticking to masala most often at the Town Hall. (491 characters)

Photo of younger35
3.26/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well after stuffing myself with 3 Hour Tour it's time for something different. Drank from a generic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a dark reddish amber brown with a huge creamy off white head with some serious staying power. About a one finger cap and collar and a fair amount of sticky lacing remains the entire beer.
Smell- Lightly malty and honestly fairly tame. A touch of roasted grain and a slight bit of a malty sweetness. Not the most brash smelling brew that's for sure.
Taste- Starts lightly sweet with medium malty punch. Not really roasted or toasted as it's sorta just a blah kind of flavor. Not even really sure how to describe it. Maybe a touch of citrus in the finish but all in all...
Mouthfeel- Thick and rich with a super velvety and creamy feel. Obviously almost no carbonation to speak of.
Drinkability- Well... Honestly not the greatest Scotch Ale I've sampled. Its semi bland but the cask really helps. Basically anything on cask is awesome so I guess I shouldn't bitch. Just needs kicked up a notch. (1,023 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.32/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

( Served in an American pint glass)

A- Deep mahogany red with a thin white soapy head.

S- This beer has notes of sweet caramel malt and some faint smoky notes.

T- This beer has a big toasted maltyness with some caramel and honey notes also. A slight roasted malt background with a slight tangy finish, although the finish was pretty dry.

M- Medium mouthfeel although a bit watery with some slight fizz at the finish. No alcohol warmth or heat.

D-This beer had a big malt taste but not much depth and no dark fruit qualities. Without the backbone of some alcohol warmth to balance the malt it really was missing something as a Wee Heavy. (655 characters)

Photo of battlekow
3.41/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm reviewing this from notes I took on 8/18 on a visit to the brewpub.

Big and black, with a small head. Smells slightly sour, and tastes kinda bland, slightly like eggnog, actually. Nondescript, but with a good toasted malt finish. Mouthfeel seems overcarbonated. Dirty Bastard and Robert the Bruce are better, and you don't have to drive to the Twin Cities and put up with shitty service to get them. (406 characters)

Photo of Ragingbull
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany in color with almost no head. Some malt in the nose and perhaps a hint of coffee. The flavor is strongly malty and finishes pretty clean. There are some hints of nut in the flavor. I prefer the Heather that Town Hall will brew up on occasion, but I am guessing that this sells better or it wouldn't be the regular "scottish" type of beer on the menu. There is something about the aftertaste that makes me think of the basement of the Town Hall in my hometown of Worthington, Massachusetts. I am betting that not too many folks have made that connection on this beer. (575 characters)

Photo of Skidz
3.52/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jeffboo for the hookup, yet again.

Pours out deep amber brown and sits crimson-tinted brown with a smallish light tan head. Fades to a glassy surface with a ring of foam, hardly any lacings to speak of.

Smells evenly roasted with a soft, nutty presence. Hints of figs, raisins and maplewood throughout. Slighted tinge of leafiness beneath.

Tastes mildly sweet up front, roasted malts dominating the floor. Caramel and faint toffee follow behind and lead into a light, peppery spiciness. Some fruitiness appears with apples, pears and golden raisins coming through. Finish holds medium bitterness with a grassy spiciness paired with the slightest tinge of alcohol.

Creamy in the core, stacked with ultra-fine and piercing carbonation. Medium-full in body, quite elegant.

Overall, it's not all that impressive. There's something in the roasted portion that doesn't agree with me, it just tastes...off. However, as a whole, it's not entirely bad. Nice to try. (981 characters)

Photo of lurpy1
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint purchased at the THB on a beautiful Saturday night.

Pours a very appealing burnt toffee color,somewhat silty, minimal head.

The smell as with most Scotches is malt, caramel, toffee, booze. A little muted though, as are the flavors. Tastes good but I've had more assertive Scotches.

Overall, quite a good drink. But THB has some beers, Masala Mama for one, that really help set the standard for the style. This one isn't quite there. (442 characters)

Photo of Holland
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: appears a translucent brown with a slight red color. Good head and retention, and looks sticky.

S: coffee, roasted malts, and malt sweetness with a hint of peat.

T: ahh, here is the peat, but barely. It's not dominant, which is nice.

M: medium body, carbonation is medium to light, and it's smooth.

O: nice beer, but expected more bite to it. Not much peat, not much carbonation, and it's more like a brown ale. Didn't have the complexity that I expect. (464 characters)

Photo of jera1350
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby hued brown color with a tan creamy cap of foam that generates some acceptable lacing.

Very malty smelling. Caramel, toffee, lightly roasted malt and caramelized sugar.

Big malt heavy taste with lots of caramel and toffee. Some burnt sugars and a bit of an earthy taste. No presence of peat or smoked malt which I really like in this style. Mainly a sweet and malty taste.

Medium bodied, lightly chewy and very smooth.

Overall, this is a nice beer, but I find it hard to put it in the scotch ale category without any peat presence. It does appeal to a wider audience the way it is and is a tasty brew however. (622 characters)

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on December 2, 2005. On tap at the brewpub. Deep ruddy brown clean pour, with a thin off-white head. Sweet plum and candy cane aroma. Wow. Rich, smoky, deep oaky flavor, with a quaint grain and earthiness. Deep, coarse malt and a brown sugar and cake frosting flavor. Finish is a bit sugary, but also dry. No alcohol noted. (343 characters)

Photo of brdc
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a growler on my way to a friend's house, opened the same night.
Poured into a tulip, it shows a dark brown color, average sized light tan head, average retention and lacing.
Nice but subtle aroma, malty and sweetish, clean and simple. Notes of chocolate and dark fruits can be discerned, but not very prominent.
Thinner than expected, it is pleasant on the palate, highly drinkable, with no obvious hops; sweetish and malty, but never too sweet. Cocoa and dark fruits.
Good, but nothing really worth repeating. (521 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the brewpub.

A: Clear copper body topped by a solid 3/4" head of super-creamy tan foam. Great retention, lots of lace. Beautiful cask pour.

S: Strong, slightly husky maltiness: toffee, toast, and some dark fruit. Earthy hops in the background. Ok, not great.

T: Butterscotch (definitely some diacetyl, but it works for the style), toffee, orange marmalade, and earthy bitterness. Pretty good, but forgettable.

M: Smooth, moderately carbonated cask feel. Solid.

O: I misread the menu when I ordered this: where it said "Cask: Scotch IPA", I thought it meant that they had some kind of weird hoppy scotch ale/IPA hybrid, and I was confused as heck by why my beer was so sweet and malty. Once it was brought to my attention that there were in fact two casks going, one pouring the Scotch ale and the other Masala Mama, it made a lot more sense. I kind of wish I'd tried a blend, though, as I'm sure that would have been more interesting than the Scotch Ale alone...

Cheers! (987 characters)

Photo of schoolcb
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber. This time the beer had a thick frothy and creamy tan head that lasted fairly long. Aroma is a light malty-caramely sweetness. Favor is also malty, but not too sweet with hints of caramel and a complex prune-like fruitiness. There was no hop flavor at all. The flavor of this cask ale as compared to their on-tap version of this beer is a little less flavorful. Overall a nice beer, but if you want something cask aged, go with the IPA. (456 characters)

Photo of aaronh
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep walnut colored body topped by an ecru head. Aroma was decently malty, just a touch of earthiness. Flavor was a solid amount of sweet malt supported by earthy hops. Maybe Fuggle - not sure. The hops balanced out the sweetness very well. Mouthfeel was solid- not overly thick. Drinkability was also pretty good. Another nice offering that offsets the traditional American styles. (382 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at town hall. The color is an amber, slightly ruby, and the head is light in body and tan.

I couldn't pick up much in the smell. I was expecting a heavy malt, perhaps smokey presence, but only got a little bit of toffee.

Same for the taste... there wasn't much showing up other than the toffee malt. There was a strange touch of red grapes and cola. It was very sweet for a scotch ale.

Medium bodied with mild carbonation. The carbonation cut the sweetness very well.

This was easy to drink but was almost too easy for a scotch ale. I like mine to have a little bit of a smokey-peat touch with an alcohol bite and this had neither.

Overall, a good beer but just not full-flavored enough to do it for me. (720 characters)

Photo of mdwalsh
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler of this on our tour de beer de twin cities last weekend. Few days past the drink by date on the top but still looking good.

A: Pored a one finger head of just off white that disipated quickly. The beer is quite dark, brownish red almost black with a little haze to it.

S: Sweet and malty, that's mainly what I get. No hops whatsoever, unless this slightly herbal scent is hops, but it could just as easily be something like heather. Either way, it's a bit weak.

T: Very much like the nose, but this time I get a bit more hoppyness. Just a bit, in the end of it. Not very smokey or anything, which I was hoping for, and while it's malt tilted, it's not malt forward.

M: Light-ish, but smooth and yet crisp. Very aimable considering the time in growler.

D: Very, and I think it would be better a few days fresher. I will have to retrieve more soon and re-review. (885 characters)

Photo of ccs
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a good example of a scotch ale. Very smooth, not overly hoppy, beautiful amber color, thin head, and very drinkable. I liked it quite a bit. It looked and tasted just like I would expect of a scotch ale. It had a great mouthfeel, and wonderful aroma. I would definitely get a pint of this if I stopped in at Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery. It meets the description of a scotch ale perfectly. (399 characters)

Photo of lupercmda
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at brewery. Deep reddish hue with minimal carbonation. Taste is unbalanced with hops predominating the taste. Not what I expect in a scotch ale. Expect much more maltiness with this style. (195 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

GABF blue ribbon winner.

Dark shadowy mahogany clear topped with a settled khaki wafer thin head cap. (possibly high ABV equates the thin head)

Toostie Roll and smoked peat moss Scottish scents.

First swigs: Rude bold unbridled tootsie-roll and cocoa. Toasted malt & syrupy. Smokey peat with a hint of cherry. Lingering candi sugar toffee and even a yogurt like finish.

Last swigs: Makes me wonder if the house yeast here is a Scottish Ale yeast? Cocoa and peat. (474 characters)

Photo of MrBluto
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the brewery. It's a nice Scotch ale, but on the light side in terms of flavor and nose. The head was small and dissipated quickly. Decent mouthfeel with light carbonation. Toffee and caramel flavors. Reasonably balanced with a moderate bitter finish. (262 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a tap into a pint at Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis, Minn. Color was malty and dark looking. About ¾-inch of head.

Smells included amber, malts, caramel and bitterness.

Tasted immediately like caramel or toffee. Malts came in there, too. Smooth taste.

Nice mouthfeel. Very low carbonation and a smooth finish.

So glad I picked this beer after being a bit disappointed with the West Bank Pub Ale. Check it out if you are in the Twin Cities area. (477 characters)

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Hope & King Scotch Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.