Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series)

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BA SCORE
89
very good

281 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 281
Hads: 497
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.02%
Wants: 63
Gots: 37 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 12-26-2001

Our Scotch Ale is a bold amber beer that balances smooth rich sweetness with a hint of peat smoked malt. The infusion of this subtle smokiness invites images of heather fields, platters of haggis, & the poetry of William McGonagall. Enjoy one with your mates!

2007 - 8.2%
2008 - 7.1%
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 281 | Hads: 497
Photo of dragonWhale
4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Praise be to the good Pat for sharing this delightful little monster. The 2007 bottle popped and served in the dying heat. Crimson is forever! A little oxidized, but absolutely an enhancing of the qualities of this beer, fully integrated. Caramel, fading smoke, a little dark fruit. The age on this beer has put it in such a beautiful place..my belly. This is one of the best beers I've tried in a while. The little bit of smoke just tied it all in. Reminded me a bit of Adam, but I've never had Adam with so much age on it.
Good work, Smutty.. (544 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown with amber hues and a nice light brown head, decent carbonation, and leaves good lace. Huge malty nose and flavor with a noticeable alcohol presence in both aroma and flavor. Big mouthfilling full bodied flavor but fullness is almost airy in filling the mouth (feels like it expands somewhat ... i know, strange).

Per label: "The Smuttynose Big Beer Series" & "6th Ed. in the Series"

Per Smuttynose website:
Malts: Pilsner Malt, 10L Munich, 35L Carastan, Chocolate Malt, Rauch Malt (1.5%)
SG 18°P
TG 3.6°P
Hops: Willamette - Bittering
IBU: 28
7% ABV

'03' emb on bottom
Tasted: 09/28/04

($3.59 / 22 oz.) (631 characters)

Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Classic brown with way too much head due to the temp and aggressive pour but after a bit it settled out nicely.

I don't think I've ever smelled anything but an under=ripe apple that smelled more like an under-ripe apple than this at first sniff. It's a great smell in nature but a little disturbing to have in a beer.

Taste belies the smell. This is a perfect brown ale with just the slightest hint of malt sweetness. I would have a hard time identifying this as a Scotch ale in a blind tasting. I would expect more malt sweetness and more boozy texture but I'd rater drink this tan that. Very well done.

Mouthfeel is good like beer. A little sharp with carbonation but medium to light bodied enough to be scanned and accepted as good and moved along. No complaints.

Drinkability is as good as it gets. I could drink this all day.

Score another for Smutty! (861 characters)

Photo of Murph
4.62/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, clear copper/light brown with a one finger tan head that slowly sinks down to a thin film. Huge caramel malty nose that is filled with all sorts of thick malty goodness. The subtle alcohol tingly and spicy aroma does its best to fight the malt but is beat down in the end. Wow, hugely smooth maltiness is there from beginning to end with strong caramel characteristics and slight buttery hints. The alcohol seems to have learned its lesson and accepted its minor role and is only present as a belly warmer. Silky smooth and nicely medium-heavy bodied, this brew is certainly a joy to drink and I would love to do so everyday. It is surprisingly not sticky and not cloying at all considering the big malty body of the brew. If I am truly lucky I may find it on draft someday, or even better, on cask.
A big thanks to michiganmiked for the sample. (861 characters)

Photo of KensWorld
4.61/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage bomber. Looks ok, smells great & tastes awesome. Nutty, tangy, malty, raisins, pumpkin, and lots of other flavors all come through. A truly outstanding well balanced Scotch Ale! 4.70 (195 characters)

Photo of rdilauro
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Have to admit, this was only my second tasting of a Scottish Ale. One of my customers told me that this is what a real Scottish ale is all about.

The pour was semi-dark with a small head. The aroma was there, seemed to be mostly malty.
Nothing really standing out.

The initial taste was smooth big and full! I enjoyed the fullness and it gave me kinda of a warmth that you get having a sip of a nice Port.

The finish was long and very pleasant. There was just a perfect aftertaste that made you feel very satisfied.

The second and third sips were even better. I really liked the overall round and full body this ale had. Not hoppy, not bitter, not too much of anything. Just a real good sipping beer (704 characters)

Photo of markskar
4.56/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Disclosure: Portsmouth, NH, Hometown Favorite. Some bias may apply, but the only reason I'm even writing this review is that the 2008 Vintage is a far superior brew to any Scotch Ale they've released within the past 2 years (that I can remember *ahem*). Smuttynose brewed a proper and wonderful Scotch Ale in 2008. Cheers!

That said, I have to mention that the biggest difference to me this year is the reduction in the "smoked" flavors. To me (IMHO--and I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every offering in the Big Beer Series), Smutty's Scotch Ale was netheir good for the style nor my palate for the past couple of years (2006 & 2007).

It was intense--and interesting--don't get me wrong. But it tasted like bacon. That's right, BACON. Too much of the smoked flavors. I used to call it the "Bacon Beer," and avoid it at all costs.

This year is a different animal altogether, and a champion in the making. The smoke is there, but it's just right. Mouthfeel is exactly what I seek--complexity that leave's something to remember. Smooth and rich with rich malts at first, but the abv% (Smutty's website says 8.2%, not 7.8% which BA has posted above) allows for a delayed crisp finish.

A: Dark Copper. Faint, dark haze, but crystal clear at the bottom of the glass. Excellent and seemingly proper clarity for a fresh Wee Heavy. Minimal head retention, moderate lacing.

S: Bit yeasty at this point--should change with longer conditioning. Beyond that, intensely malty and floral. Best part: No smoked ham!

The 2008 Smuttynose Scotch Ale is the reason I stay loyal to Smutty's Big Beer Series offerings.

T: Deliciously malty, with faint hints of smoke that doesn't overwhelm the malts.

M: Smoth at first, but finishes with a refreshing crispness.

D: Outstanding drinkability. Can't wait for tomorrow night! (1,812 characters)

Photo of Doomcifer
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear, deep amber, reddish/brown, with a magnificent light tan, creamy head. Great lacing left behind.

Smells of peat moss, maltiness, mild hop spiciness...

I taste more peat moss and that salty sea air, around the same flavor I get from, say, a Lagavulin but obviously not as distinct but very much there. Alcohol bite is present. Bitter hop finish.

Lightly Heavy bodied, decent carbonation..perfect for the style. Dry finish.

Taking down a bomber of this is easy business since it's so tasty and enjoyable. (521 characters)

Photo of orsulacp
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured deep dark amber (almost black) with a tan head that reduced quickly. The aroma is dominated by smoky peaty malts with a hint of vanilla and some alcohol, very reminiscent of Glenfiddich. More of the alcohol was released with a vigorous pour for the second glass. I love the full body of this beer, it goes down very smooth and it leaves a glycerin type film in the mouth. It left some legs on the glass like a big wine. The flavor is slightly bitter at first then the smoky peat takes over and I get a strong taste of a brandy chocolate covered cherry. I have to go find more of this beer, I think it is the best Scotch Ale I've had. (650 characters)

Photo of Franchise
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This offering from the Smuttynose Big Beer Series pours a thick tan head, with a clear rusty body. The aroma is smokey, sweet, tart, caramel, this is a sweet delicious smell.

The taste starts tart, smokey, with some caramel sweetness. A bit of tart fruit begins to be apparent, nuts, a vibrant carbonation with just enough hops to tell you their there but nothing dominant. The finish is again smokey sweet, with just a touch of bitterness in the back of the throat in the finish. (481 characters)

Photo of Gatch
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Bottle Conditioned in 2007"

A: Beautiful amber-brown in color with a fluffy off-white head that fades quickly and leaves no lace or retention. As expected, good legs on this brew.

S: Smoky, peaty, roasty malt. Booze. Butterscotch. Molasses.

T: I was nervous about this one. Although it was in good hands at Smuttynose until I purchased it in December of 2011, it wasn't in optimal conditions until now in June of 2012. But man, all the great flavors are there and they are huge. Huge complex malts, boozy deliciousness that complements the beer rather than diminish it, yeastiness, and some hops? Really?

M: As expected, incredibly smooth, flavorful, boozy, and little carbonation. Fun to drink. Easy to drink.

O: I'd love to try this fresh as a comparison to see how it has developed over nearly five years of aging. I'm generally not a big fan of this style but this is an incredible beer that has benefitted immensely from bottle conditioning for a long period of time. (978 characters)

Photo of ESkirv
4.49/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this on a whim at Payless LIquors in Fishers, IN while looking for 3 Floyd's brews a couple weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. I've known for awhile Smuttynose is considered a quality brewer but this is the first of their beers I've ever had. The aroma is quite pleasant (reminded me a little of Kahlua) and the appearance is nice; a creamy head with a dark auburn body. This is a very smooth scotch ale. There are strong chocolate, coffee and carmel notes the moment it hits the tongue, followed by a nice complex tangy finish. It seemed to get better the further into the bottle I got. Very impressed Smuttynose...scotch ales are not usually my favorite but this is one I'll definitely scoop up again the next time I see it. (738 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 release, poured from a 22oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is robust with caramelized malt, brown sugar, vanilla and some dark fruit.

T: The taste very well-balanced with flavors of brown sugar, caramel & vanilla. There are also background flavors of dark fruit, spice and smoke. The malt character is very hearty but not overly heavy and the hops presence is mild. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, nice representation of style, this is definitely one of the best that I’ve had in the style and I find myself saying that about most of the Smuttynose beers. If I’m in the mood for a Scotch Ale, this would be one of the first beers that I would look for. (970 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours mahogany/deep amber with a thin off-white head that stays around, leaving some trailing lace.

The smell is of dark malt and fruit, some wood, some toffee and peat smokiness. A touch of alcohol comes through as well.

The taste is of peat smokiness. A tofffeeish maltiness is balanced by some dark fruits. Malty with appropriately light hop presence, as per style. Sweet with a dry, warming finish.

Lower side of full-bodied, it is smooth despite the noticeable alcohol.

This is a nice one to sip. Complex maltiness with an intermingling peat smokiness makes this one a good example of the style. Well-done! (615 characters)

Photo of gpcollen1
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 07 variety....

This one pours a dark ruby brown into my Smutty Big Beer glass. Head holds up for a bit and then dies down to nothing but a ring around my beer. Aromas are mildy rich and malty with hints of peat and smoke - is it just me?

Taste follows the nose in a rich and mildly sweet brew with the smokey peat holding on. A bit of hops rides the smoke out and allows the sweet back in, drying out a bit but not as much as I'd like.

Very, very nice...I do not think the recipe has changed once again and that is a good thing... (537 characters)

Photo of Todd
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1pint 6 fluid oz brown bomber bottle.

Appearance: Pours a clear, bright mahogony / ruby red beer with a thin, retaining, creamy off-white head.

Smell: Extremely malt, fruity, estery, fresh, herbal with a nose full of caramel.

Taste: Ultra-smooth mouthfeel, creamy, juicy. Very malty, thick and rich with a solid full-body and slick feel. Malt sweetness is high and fruity with buttery caramel, toasted malts, light carob and biscuity malt finish. Hop bitterness is mild with a tea-like infusion of herbal and floral flavours, and a touch of spice that lingers off into an alcohol presence. Finish is slick with malty/bread notes.

Notes: Perhaps one of the best offerings from Smuttynose, IMO. Malty, but magically balanced and so damn drinkable. A spot on Scotch-style Ale too; malty, low hops, some caramel and hefty. (844 characters)

Photo of tastybeer
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looks deep brown with a hint of mahogany, and lets only a little light through. Creamy tan colored head. Smell is very dominant in buttery caramel chocolate with a dark fruity tartness. Full of roasty caramel malts. Taste is caramel malts, chocolate, butter and oil, followed by a fruitlike alcohol bite that warms nicely. I haven't had many wee heavies but I think I like them a lot as of now. This one is rather enjoyable. Mouthfeel is exceptionally nice. Smoothy sleek and then foamy and creamy with a swirl. Ultra drinakble as well. Goes down like butter, especially for a beer of 7.8%

I will be getting this all the time I think. I can see me drinking this all year long thanks to the ultra drinkability. (710 characters)

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Note to self: stay away. Why? It is just too good. I have already consumed many bottles. It's reddish-brown color is beautiful. It's malty taste is a good refresher about the greatness of a malty beer. The ABV sneaks up on you as you drink glass after glass, like fog from a snow bank.Has that slight scotch "twinge" of flavor as well as smoke. Mmmm. (350 characters)

Photo of Rhf9120
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage

This beer pours a copper color with a two finger off white head. The aroma is of caramel, malts , hints of peat smoke and toffee. The taste is very similar to the aroma with only hints of the peat smoked malts which gives way for the nutty and sweet flavors to shine. The beer finishes with only a slight bitterness and the carbonation is very slight so the beer and a nice dry and crisp mouth feel overall. I really enjoyed this Scotch Ale and it is definitely the best one that I have had so far. (513 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber body with a decent head and lacing

Smell: Strong notes of caramel malt and a touch of peat; almost smells like a barleywine

Taste: Lots of chewy caramel flavor; the subtle smoky peat flavor also peaks through along with a chocolate malt flavor as well; a nice mild bitterness presents itself on the finish

Mouthfeel: Big mouthfeel with relatively low carbonation

Drinkability: An excellent sipping beer; sweet but subtle and never cloying (487 characters)

Photo of ElGallo
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I live in Smutty's backyard, so this beer is readily available around the NH seacoast when its spot in the Big Beer rotation comes around, but so few locals realize how good this beer is.

This beer just seems perfectly balanced and tastes so damn good. I've had far too many standard scotch ales (not wee heavies, mind you) where the malty sweetness overpowers everything else, and the whole drinking experience is a letdown. Such is not the case with this beer. I wish it were available a little bit longer each year, but I also enjoy looking forward to the next release.

I like most - but not all - of Smuttynose's offerings, but the Scotch Style Ale is my favorite. (670 characters)

Photo of HomeBrewJunkie
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear brown to amber. Decent off white head that leaves good lacing on the side of the glass.

Sweet toasted and caramel malt. Very slight smokiness that complements the malts very well. Yeasty fruitiness that I also find attractive. A bit of alcohol in the nose.

Great tasting Scotch Ale. The flavors are well balanced. A sweet caramel malts and again with the slight smokiness. Good balance of hops helps counter the sweetness.

Mouthfeel was not what I expected from the “big beer series”. Medium body, but it was very smooth. Overall the mouthfeel was very pleasant but just not as I expected.

I did enjoy this beer, and can see myself drinking it again. If I wasn’t so nice and shared this bottle, I easily could have consumed it in its entirety, and loved it. The only drawback was the mouthfeel, but the overall experience was enjoyed. Good example of a Scotch Ale. (887 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a reddish-tinted dark amber beer with a dense packed head of foam, about 3/4ths of an inch in this pint glass. The aroma is big, malty, and complex, with caramel notes, some light roast, and a delicious smokey underlay. Flavor is top notch as well: rich caramel (slightly toffee) taste, just a touch of nuttiness. The smokiness isn't as apparent as in the nose but it lurks underneath. Bitterness is low, but this isn't an overly sweet scotch--a little roast malt perhaps, and perhaps also some kettle caramelization are present. The yeast is strongly fruity as well--reminiscent of some Belgian yeasts.

One of the great beers. I've had it on occasion, and was surprised I'd never reviewed it before. (710 characters)

Photo of delta490
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- a deep clear mahogany with about one finger of khaki head. Moderate retention leaves some nice lacing

S-Rich and nutty with some toffee sweetness and a hint of smoke

T- The taste is right in line with the aroma. And it's more delicious than the already great aroma would indicate

M- light on the palate but with a nice fullness as well as a slight crisp bite on the finish

O- a delicious, malt-forward scotch ale (419 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark mahogany tea color with a decent half finger of off white foam that sticks around as a ring for quite a while.

Aromas are caramel, toasted malt, and vanilla.

Taste is like the aroma but much, much more so. Caramels, toasted dark malt, vanilla, fruity hops barely coming through, tobacco, and a little smokiness.

The most amazing thing about this Scotch ale is how incredibly smooth and blended it is. Nothing is offensive...everything melds wonderfully and the mouthfeel is as smooth as cream.

Aftertaste of smokey malts...pleasant and letting you know that you are in the midst of enjoying a wonderful Scotch ale. (632 characters)

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Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 281 ratings.