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Bannatyne's Scotch Ale - Cambridge Brewing Company

Bannatyne's Scotch AleBannatyne's Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

92 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.4%


Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-24-1999)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 46 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

2.73/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

from day one of the CBC 20th anniversary party on may 8, 2009. served in small tulip or snifter (didn't include in my notes).

dark brown w amber/copper tint under the light. light tan head fades to singular wisp and ring. some thin, webby lace at first, but very little later on.

aroma: raisins and molasses, but very boozy. grassy hop and coffee note, but not enough to fight the booze.

taste: fruity cherries and caramel, with a peat smoke note to the roasted malt. lots of grassy, leafy hop with moderate bitterness. again however, this is very boozy. even as it warms, although some extra complexities emerge, they are never enough to fight the booziness.

medium body, but booze comes in again with a harsh, solvent astringency. mild to moderate carbonation doesn't help lift it away either.

my brother thought it was boozy too. what happened?

Serving type: cask

07-11-2009 10:58:34 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12/29/12 notes. Bottled shared by nmann08; thanks Nate. 22 oz. bottle, sticker says Batch 1.

a - Pours a dark, reddish brown color with one to two inches of off white head and low to moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, caramel malts, toffee, raisins, plums, toasted malts, sweet fruity malts, some sugar. Nice and sweet with a lot more fruit than I was expecting. I like it.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, toasted malts, bready malts, grains, dark fruits, sweet fruity malts, wheat, sugar. More caramel here than the nose; a slight step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Smooth and definitely doesn't feel like 9.2% ABV. Nice feel and no heat.

o - Overall a very nice scotch ale, and another nice beer from Cambridge. Lots of dark fruits in the nose and caramel in the taste, and easy to drink. Would definitely go for it again next time I go to the brewpub.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 16:33:00 | More by mdfb79
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark red/light brown. Can see some light through the edges. Small tan head fades almost immediately.

Brown sugar and molasses in the aroma with a bit of booze character balanced out by some earthy hops and roasted malts. Some dark fruits present as well.

Lots of molasses up front with an almost creamy texture. A good nutty character develops mid-palate to balance out some sweetness. Booze is subdued but warming at the end along with a light earthy hop character although still sticky and sweet.

Heavier bodied than most scotch ales, but the slight kick of booze is noticable and helps prevent the beer from getting too sweet.

Great representation of the styles. Many scotch ales fall into the "too sweet" category, but this one is well balanced with some booze and earthy hops balancing out the brown sugar. Still very thick and viscous, but not overly sweet. A nice winter treat.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 14:46:54 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of chugalug06
chugalug06

Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Nice soft, tan colored head. Lots of tightly packed foamy bubbles. The Ale is a very dark brown, even for a Scotch Ale... No lacing.

Peaty, strong, caramel-y, and smooth.

Very nice punch you get form this rather strong brew. The 9.2% is hidden well behind gooey, sticky, peaty flavors. Lots of caramel and candy sugars. Perfect carbonation, no bitterness, and wonderfully perfect sweetness. It's not overly sweet, but not missing anything either.

Highly recommend especially for being a hype free brew... Quite an easy drinker, perfect for a cool (er) fall day. Overall - 4.25

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2012 02:38:52 | More by chugalug06
Photo of brureview
brureview

Massachusetts

4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip. The date on the bottle was December 2011, batch 1. Even though I bought it recently, it may have aged on the store shelf. I refrigerated it for one hour- a good serving temp.

The beer poured a deep dark maple color. A very small head.

The smell was a wonderful plum- later as the beer warmed further, licorice added to the aroma.

The mouth feel was very smooth, as it should be for this style.

The finish was a plum liqueur- almost wine-like. Exceptionally smooth.

This is an excellent scotch ale- my newest favorite.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2012 01:34:00 | More by brureview
Photo of andrewinski1
andrewinski1

New Hampshire

3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bendurgin for sharing! Poured into a tulip. There is a nice fluffy light tan head atop a dark brown body.

The aroma is full of chocolate and malt sweetness. The more I smell, the more I get a lot of caramel as well.

The taste has nice caramel and toffee notes, with just a hint of plum-like fruitiness to round it out a bit.

This is nice and full bodied, with soft, subtle carbonation.

This is pretty good. It starts to seem like it's just liquid Whoppers (the candy) towards the end of a full glass, but it's still tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2012 03:46:21 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of Bendurgin
Bendurgin

Maine

3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. This one pours a muddy dark brown with a small cap of beige head. Gobs of lace.

Nice aroma with hints of cocoa and a bit of wood. A little boozey in the background. Berries and dark fruit come to mind on the pallet with hints of bitter cocoa lingering in the background.

The body is medium with a bit much on the carbonation. Overall pretty enjoyable here. I'd have this again.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2012 03:45:56 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had my eye on this one for a little while, finally picked up a bomber to split. Batch 1/Dec. 2011.

Poured to a tulip a slightly hazy maroon with a beige head of a couple fingers. Pretty good retention and decent lace.

Scent is earthy, sweet, malty, getting dark fruits and molasses. Good.

Taste delivers sweet malts, caramel, dark fruits, molasses that meld well with some earthy peat. Decent light fruit/herbal hop fix. Solid, good balance.

A little high on the carbonation for the style, but overall decent slick smoothness. Some booze heat comes with warmth.

Pretty solid all around, would like to try it again/buy a bottle to age.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 18:17:23 | More by Chico1985
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

A - Pours a crystal clear copper with a thin white cloud that left minimal lacing/halo.

S - Malts, sweet. Plain and simple. ABV is noticeable.

T - Same as the nose. its rather sweet, plus, the alcohol is definitely noticeable. Caramel malts.

M - Sweet, lower carbonation. ABV is FAR too noticeable.

O - Overall this was relatively forgettable from CBC. Theres so many better scotch ales out there.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2012 01:35:28 | More by rudzud
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to cbanker for sharing this one at NoSignsOfPain's birthday bottleshare hosted by mrbubbler.

Batch 1. Bottled in 12/2011.

Pours a slightly murky brown with a foamy orange-brown head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and toffee aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that seems pretty simple but it tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 06:09:49 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BostonHops
BostonHops

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.
batch No. 1 / bottled Dec 2011

pours a mahogany tone with ruby highlights, yields a a 3/4 - 1" beige head that lapses relatively quickly into a collar around the glass. nose is rich and malty. relatively complex with a lot of brown sugar and caramel / toffee. i also get some vanilla and molasses and even a touch of dark fruits.

taste follows the aroma perfectly. more of that heavy brown sugar / caramel / toffee character with secondary notes of vanilla, molasses, and a touch of fruit. there's also a distinct peaty / smokiness to it. on the heavier side of medium-bodied with average carbonation.

overall a pleasant surprise. which is saying something as i expected to like it. cbc just continues to crank 'em out of the park... running out of superlatives for those guys. very nice beer.

(originally reviewed: 01-24-2012)

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 03:44:15 | More by BostonHops
Photo of deltatauhobbit
deltatauhobbit

Maine

4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 01
Bottled December 2011

Pours a dark muddy brown color, not much of a head, small bits of tan bubbles around the edges, no lacing, looks still like even though there is carbonation.

Smell has a huge aroma of caramel malt and dark fruit, I'm kind of picking up a raisin-y aroma, slight hint of alcohol but it's pretty much covered up by the rich malt aroma.

Taste does have a bit of a kick but I think its calmed down over the past 6-7 months, quite smooth and malty, caramel, toffee and dark fruit dominate, somewhat sticky and sweet but easily avoids cloying, soft but active carbonation lends a good body.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2012 00:23:24 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber courtesy of gsisk pours a clear, dark crimson color with a bubbly tan head. Spotty lacing and nice collar.

Nose is sweet smoke and burnt caramel. Peat is evident...interesting smelling beer.

Nice balance of sweet malt and roasty smokiness. ABV is very well hidden, extrememly drinkable. The malts are very complex, going from toffee to burnt caramel with a deft touch of smoke throughout. Good beer, a nice surprise that is my first CBC beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 01:11:35 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Batch 1, Bottled December 2011 (can't ask for clearer freshness info than this; big patch at the top of the label).

Appearance: Free pour yields a half inch, fizzy offwhite head that dissipates quickly. Pours a hazy dark maroon. No lacing to speak of.

Smell: Sweet dark malts. Quickly deepens, with various fruit (cherry, grape), some anise, and a hot booziness that actually punches up the rest of the aromas and makes them more enticing. Great bread and cake aromas. Smells like the big malt bomb it should be.

Taste: Up front it's a mix of mildly cola-like flavors, faint molasses, and pronounced bready maltiness, with a burst of interesting malt flavors through the finish--fruity and tangy. Reminds me of a more flavorful Dirty Bastard.

Deeper in the glass some really interesting dark fruit flavors come out; prune, cherry, fig. Ever so slightly leathery and anise-like, but predominantly heavy and sweet bready malt with dark fruit undertones.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. High side of moderate carbonation. Well-attenuated; semi-dry finish and lack of any sticky or sugary feel really enhances the bold, malty flavors.

Overall: Very solid scotch ale. Would have been great for a cold Winter's night, but it works in this inexplicably hot New England Winter just about as well. Smooth, drinkable beer with lots of well developed malt flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2012 04:14:48 | More by Pahn
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a three finger khaki head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Opaque mahogany color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Caramel nose, flavor is caramel and dark fruit with hints of the higher ABV. Batch #1, bottled Dec 2011, $6.99 for a 22oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2012 23:19:00 | More by jdhilt
Photo of axeman9182
axeman9182

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from batch one (bottled December 2011). The beer was allowed to warm a little before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

Bannatyne's Scotch Ale pours a deep chestnut, with just over two fingers of khaki colored foam. Head retention is solid, but there's very little lacing left behind. The nose, while definitely heavy on caramel and burnt sugar, also has a certain fig and plum bubblegum aroma to it. The flavor allows for more of the same Sweet sugary caramel notes are definitely the basis of the beer's flavor profile, but the slightly dark fruity esters add a nice bit of a counterpoint to everything. The body is nice and full, though not as rich/creamy as it could be. There's a noticeable, but pleasant alcohol warmth, and the carbonation is nicely dialed back. Bannatyne's Scotch Ale is a nicely brewed version of the style, with no major flaws to speak of. A very solid beer from Cambridge Brewing Company.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2012 10:07:26 | More by axeman9182
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/4" tan head over the clear reddish brown brew. Head falls rather promptly, with good legs and lasting lace. Aroma is sweet caramel, leathery tannins, and a bit of alcohol.

Taste pretty much follows the nose, with sweet malts to start, tannin character in the middle, and moderate warming at the close. Mouthfeel is nicely smooth, and drinkability is very easy. Nice rep for the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2012 02:53:01 | More by ppoitras
Photo of sentomaster
sentomaster

Connecticut

3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Burnt copper with a small off white head which recedes fairly quick.

S- This smells like an authentic scotch ale. Light bready and even a small fruity, yeast like aromas. Herbal tea and a bit of grassy, earthiness.

T/M- Initially, there's a good bready note with a touch of toasted nuttiness. Lots of herbal tea, earthiness and a good amount of butterscotch to counter with a touch of toffee. A very nice smoky element comes and quickly goes. Slight taste of light fruitiness as well.

O- This beer is very true to the style, which is very exciting. Unlike other American scotch ales that are missing alot of the nuances of style, this one really nails it. Unfortunately, it hits all the notes but doesn't hit them out of the park. I would've liked a bit more of the light fruit over the butterscotch and an introduction of some floral notes. All in all a very nice representation.

Hopefully they can tweak this a little bit and really make this premiere.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 16:43:05 | More by sentomaster
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 1, December 2011 bottling.

Pours a deep dark amber/brown with a small off-white head. Very murky when held up to the light.

Aromas begin with a light toasted bready maltiness with a lot of caramel, toffee and very ripe apples. as it warms I get some dark raisiny fruitiness.

The tastes begin very fruity with more toasted bready malt, hints of caramel and dark caramelized sugar. Sweetness is balanced with a lingering bitterness, nothing too invasive but enough to balance things out a bit. Quite figgy and raisiny.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. I would prefer a littlle more to balance the heft of the sweet maltiness. Becomes a bit cloying in the finish.

Overall this is a good example of the style. One of the better ones I have had but not up to the top notch examples like Traquir or AleSmith. Worth a go for fans of the style but don't break your back to find it.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 23:02:39 | More by claspada
Photo of perrymarcus
perrymarcus

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.
batch No. 1 / bottled Dec 2011

pours a mahogany tone with ruby highlights, yields a a 3/4 - 1" beige head that lapses relatively quickly into a collar around the glass.

nose is rich and malty. relatively complex with a lot of brown sugar and caramel / toffee. i also get some vanilla and molasses and even a touch of dark fruits.

taste follows the aroma perfectly. more of that heavy brown sugar / caramel / toffee character with secondary notes of vanilla, molasses, and a touch of fruit. there's also a distinct peaty / smokiness to it. on the heavier side of medium-bodied with average carbonation.

overall a pleasant surprise. which is saying something as i expected to like it. cbc just continues to crank 'em out of the park. very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 02:32:28 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 01 december, 2011

Light fizzy head fades almost instantly, semi clear but dark copper burnt sienna color.

Nose is fairly complex, brown malts, brown sugar, molasses, bit of booze with subsequent phenols, bit of earthy and herbal like hops, grassy, rich toasty reddish and brown malts, and slight fruity aroma.

Taste starts rich and malty, creamy almost lactose or flaked oats style, and a little syrupy, with some light semi sweet chocolate and oatmeal. Then sweet malts, juicy, light toasty brown malts, caramel and toffee, as well as molasses and brown sugar. Its also fairly nutty, and almost toasty. The booze kicks in, warming with a hint of tingly, and light boozy phenols. Hops are present but not much, mostly earthy with a hint of herbal grassy hops, and a lighter bitterness. Finish is smooth but sticky, syrupy but dry, tons more brown sugar and toffee taste lingering, with hint of booze, caramel, molasses, brown malts, and slight earthy hops.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, smooth and creamy, decent carb for the style, some warming tingly booze.

Overall pretty good for a scotch ale, and a great representation of the style. Nice malts, sweeteners, toffee, light hops, typical booze, nice caramel and toffee, complex but smooth and creamy. very well done, as almost all CBC beers I've had before.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 03:57:46 | More by jlindros
Photo of MoreThanWine
MoreThanWine

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a wimpy 1/8" beige head which vanished quickly. The body is a dark burnt umber brown, almost like coffee, and the flatness contributes to this not looking like much of a beer.

Smell and taste, however, more than make up for it. There's very nice malt, some bready yeast, hints of cola, and a nice touch of sweetness. Aftertaste was actually a little minty.

Looked only wee, but the taste brought out the heavy guns (yeah, I know that's not what wee heavy means).

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 09:33:17 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A very dark brown with just a bit of red highlights. Medium sized tan head that fades away quickly. Not much lacing.

S: Heavy caramel malt and some nice brown sugar. Pretty subtle and simple.

T: Whoa, a pleasant surprise after the so-so nose. Very heavy on the caramel malt up front. Tons of molasses midway along with some cherries, figs and raisins. This continues through the finish with some earthiness. Little touch of brown sugar is present throughout. Little to no alcohol presence.

M: Fairly heavy, unbelievably smooth and creamy. Little to no bitterness.

O: Great malty beer for sure. Nice dark fruit that you don't find in many scotch ales. Lacks a lot of peat and smoke that you might normally find in a scotch all - I appreciate this as I am not a fan of this characteristic. Might be the best of the style that I've had.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 04:32:42 | More by Dope
Photo of ksimons
ksimons

New York

4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights and a fingers worth of light tan head that sticks around

S-there is a lot of malt in this one! Dark cherries and caramel makes for a really nice smell.

T-A combination of rich malts, coffee, dark fruits, and a creamy caramel make this one tasty drink. Alcohol is present but not overly so.

M-medium to full body, spicy carbonation, pretty smooth

Overall I really like this one, nice big malt flavors and a smooth body make this a big beer that can be enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 22:47:36 | More by ksimons
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark red and only slightly translucent with ruby highlights. A lasting, short cap of light brown bubbles coated the top of the beer and clung to the sides of the glass. Nice aroma, a marriage of caramel/toffee with dried fruits. Notes of alcohol and grain, toasted bread and raisins. Faint smokiness and butterscotch. Low bitterness with a nice balance of malt sweetness and dried fruit character. Slight banana, alcohol soaked raisins, caramel and brown sugar, mild grain quality. The finish was lingering fruit with faint floral character. Smooth and warming mouthfeel, full bodied with low carbonation. Quite good.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 21:51:55 | More by DrJay
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Bannatyne's Scotch Ale from Cambridge Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.