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Hope & King Scotch Ale - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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Hope & King Scotch Ale
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very good

76 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 76
Hads: 173
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 13.85%
Wants: 7
Gots: 12 | 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: 173
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.

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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.

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Photo of hardy008
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mahogany color with little to no head and very little lace. Has a nice malty aroma and flavor. Smells of toffee and caramel. Likewise for the taste. A nice sweet flavor. The carbonation on this beer was higher than I expected, but did not make the beer less enjoyable. Overall a good Scotch Ale, but I would have liked it better if it were a little stronger and sweeter like SkullSplitter.

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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.

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Town Hall.

Pours a light amber color with ruby highlights when held into the light. The head is tan and creamy.

The smell is very light, and not much is detectable. Malty, slightly roasted and toffee.

Toffe and malt dominate the taste. For being a lighter tasting beer, this is pretty damn good. Sweeter than other scotch ales I've had, but thats fine it works in this brew.

Medium body with a light carbonation. Very high drinkability. Almost too easy to drink. This is some good stuff, and possibly a gateway beer for non-craft beer drinkers.

Another solid offering from Town Hall. I can see why this is a popular beer and one of the beers they always have on tap. I will definitely have this again, but with so many choices, maybe not with great consistency.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Cask pour into Pint Glass.

Appearance: Dark reddish-brown, dark ruby when held up to light. Thin head.

Smell: Smoky, caramel malts, light hops.

Taste: Malty, sweet, but not quite as sweet as expected. Smoke and biscuit flavors. I never know what to expect from Scotch Ales, as some seem to actually be Export Scottish Ales (80), while others are very sweet and are definitely Wee Heavys. This tastes in between; maybe this is what would be deemed a 90 shilling.

Feel: Low carbonation, relatively dry despite semi-sweet taste.

Drinkability: Easy to drink. Overall nice flavor, so could definitely have another.

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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.

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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.

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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%.

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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.

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Photo of KeefD
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my first ever "cask" beer, and I had it today Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis. Awesome cascading effect that settled into a nice thick head which left generous lacing. Smell was sweet and malty. Taste of sweet malts, burnt caramel, and brown sugar. very sweet with little hop bitterness in the background. Body was very thick and creamy. I don't know if this standard to cask brews, but I was missing the carbonation which would have sent this one into another level. An overall good brew however, and I enjoyed it immensely.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A – This was a clear beer that was brownish/copper in color.

S – The aroma was caramel and malt with a slight hint of smoke.

T – Malty and somewhat smoky.

M – Full and somewhat creamy.

D – This is a nice beer that goes down smooth and easy. Wish I had time to enjoy another!

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Photo of
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Town Hall

Crystal clear, mahogany/copper color. Small, light tan head. No lacing, minimal legs.

Very mild aroma. Malty & sweet - caramel. Some earthiness and maybe peat.

Taste is smoky. More bitter than aroma would suggest. Grassy & herbal. Sweet is like tea with sugar. Touch of fruits.

Medium in body. Low carbonation. Not too dry.

Very nice, and seems quite true to style.

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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.

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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!

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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:)

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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.

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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.

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