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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
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Reviews: 76
Hads: 172
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 13.85%
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: 172
Photo of mwagner1018
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A very good American micro-brew take on the scotch ale. Reminded me of the tradition of the scotch ale with a smooth, yet smokey, charred caramel flavoring. Great taste with a bit of low deep bitterness and roasted malty undertones. The light charring of the dark malts carried very well to my sense of smell. This beer had a good mild feel in the mouth, although I would have liked to see a bit more of a heavy/strong feeling to it.

Overall a very good option for a cold November evening.

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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.

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Photo of beckje01
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pint at the bar right infront of the hand pull.

A- a dark color very still as expected from a cask beer with a half inch of head.

S- rich malty aromas

T- mild yet complex malt at times water taste comes through a bit but has a slight hop end to it

M- smooth with very little carbination

D- Easy to drink a really just a good beer, I would love to have a few and a big dinner.

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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.

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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...

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

Appearance: Dark brown with a red hue. A creamy tan head rests on top. The head is so creamy it nearly forms a skin on top. Very nice lacing anda lively head revived with some swirling.

Smell: Sweet maltiness with dates, raisins, brown sugar, and grape molasses. Rich with dry fruit scents and crisp sugars.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Sweet and malty to open with lots of dry fruit flavors to match the nose. Raisins and molasses build a full body with great sweetness. The beer also has great toasted malt flavors that blend well with the sweetness. Some floral hop flavors round out the ending flavors.

Drinkability: This is a very well done Scotch ale. I like the toastiness balancing with the thick, dry fruit flavors.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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

Another good offering from TH. Translucent maroon colored, with a whitish head. Smells malt and roasted, with a little hint of alcohol. A nice thick beer, with a strong flavor. Was pretty close to a stout, only with more of a bite. I definitely will be getting this again.

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

I sampled this one many times on visits to Town Hall, but I am finally getting around to reviewing it thanks to my cuz stubob who picked up a growler for us to sample.

It pours to a ruby-brown color with a thick tan head. The aroma is a bit smoky, and malty, with a bit of roastiness. The flavor is smoky, malty and toasty. It has a pleasant hop bitterness throughout. It is a smooth, medium-full bodied brew. Another tasty brew from Town Hall.

Sampled 10/18/03

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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.

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