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

161 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 161
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 9.23%
Wants: 7
Gots: 10 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 161 | Reviews: 74
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very drinkable scotch, chocolate and caramel, atad on sweet side. Medium yellow with a minimum head and white lace so surprises in taste.Above average mouthfeel, satisfying. Above average for style. I was noticing the alcohol a bit, as if it was 8-9%.

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.

Photo of zeff80
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a somewhat cloudy, burgundy hue with a small, thin, off-white head. It left some thin trails of lace.

S - It smelled very grassy, mossy and earthy. It had a malty nose, too.

T - It tasted very sweet and malty. A nice subtle earthy quality and some spiciness.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good scotch ale. I was expecting more sharp "scotch ale" flavors but it still tasted quite good and was pretty easy-drinking.

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+

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of Viggo
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a clear dark reddish copper, thin off white head forms, slowly drops to a thin ring, some lace spots stick to the glass. Smell is nice, very malty, caramelized, toast, dark fruit, raisin, brown sugar, definite malt bomb. Taste is similar, sweet up front, lots of brown sugar and caramel, oats and toast, quite fruity, nice balance, very drinkable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, quite nice. Like most of their regular, nothing crazy but just really well made, balanced, and drinkable.

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.

Photo of ccrida
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at the brewery, Hope and King is garnet with a small, light tan skim leaving no lace.

Smell is a bit of caramel and light, plasticy phenols.

Taste is on the sweeter side, kind of bread pudding, but not cloying. Strait forward and not overly complex, but tasty.

Mouthfeel is smooth, light bodied, perhaps a touch sticky.

Drinkability is pretty good, a decent scotch, but I'm not sure I'm tasting the goodness of golden promise malt that I love so much in this style.

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.

Photo of jbaker67
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark clear brown with amber edges and dissipating head and nice lacing. Smell at first is of delicate grassy field, light toffee a caramel malt. Taste immediately sweet, then fruity esters, and then a dry malt and familiar scotch ale something, the mouthfeel is really full, creamy and gentle carbonation. It ends with a little butterscotch then a bitterness that appears out of no where but calms down to a satisfying and complex linger.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Photo of morimech
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cask serving provides a nice cascading head that unfortunately is short lived and leaves little lacing.

Smells of caramel malt with a bit of smokey peat.

The flavor is mostly of smokey caramel malt. A hint of alcohol is detected.

The texture is not as chewy as I would hope in a casked beer. Just feels unimpressive with a very low carbonation.

Has a good flavor but I was expecting more. Rather moderate ABV levels for a Wee Heavy.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. Poured into a standard shaker pint glass.

Appearance: A dark brownish ruby red with a moderate amount of bubbles. Decent two fingers of off white head with good retention and lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A sweet and very bready aroma of malts. Lots of caramel and toffee. Big presence of dark raisins. Also some peat and hints of nuts and chocolate. Hops are very faint. Big on bready malts and fairly sweet.

Taste: A big mix of sweet and bready malts. A good taste of caramel, toffee, and raisins with a hint of prune. Hints of peat, chocolate, and nuts also linger. Light taste of earthy hops towards the finish. On the sweeter side but not overdone. Tastes good.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Light but somewhat chewy and very smooth.

Overall: A solid Scotch ale that makes a good option when seeking something lighter. Very nice use of malts.

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...

Photo of ADR
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub, I've seen this for years but haven't tried it...

Heavy semi-opaque umber color, nice rising head with some glistening speckles. Laces in long strands. Aroma is full but not strident, subdued malt with some spicy fig elements that might betray background hops. Verges on full-bodied with lots of cakey, yeasty, starchy qualities and malts that range into maple sugar. While hops aren't assertive, the beer composes to a paprika-like dryness near the finish, while keeping the good mouthfeel -- a little different for a Scotch Ale. Nice beer, lots of thinks to keep track of.

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Hope & King Scotch Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.