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

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series)

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473 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 473
Reviews: 277
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 57
Gots: 28 | FT: 2
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:
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 added by: Bierman9 on 12-26-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 473 | Reviews: 277 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chico1985
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Sierra Grille.

Pours into a Smuttynose tulip maroon and translucent. Big off-white head retains pretty well leaving some good lace as well.

A solid scent full of malt - toffee, toasty malts, dark fruit, light peat. Well-balanced.

Taste is solid as well, definitely malt city, but a good variety and balance. Toffee, butter and bread, caramel apple, dark fruit, sweet tea, toastiness, some brown sugar and light peat smoke. A good balance of smoky and sweet, wish it was a little more intense though, feels a bit tame.

Extremely smooth mouthfeel, velvety. Definitely one of the least harsh scotch ales I've had.

I wish the flavor was a bit stronger but I liked this alot. Great balance and pretty easy drinking, a bomber of this solo would be no problem which is rare for the style I'd say. Gotta hunt down a bottle or 2 of this.

Chico1985, Oct 11, 2012
Photo of SheepNutz
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a dark ruby red, almost black, with one finger of head. There is minimal lacing left on the glass. The smell is fairly malty and sweet, with aromas of caramel and toffee. Not too strong of a smell. The taste starts malty with more caramel, and a little cinnamon. A little bit of sweet fruit in the middle, cherries and raspberry. The finish is fairly hoppy. The mouthfeel is fairly strong, yet smooth on the tongue. The drinkability is really good for a brew that's nearly 8%. A delicious Scotch Ale!

SheepNutz, Feb 04, 2004
Photo of macster
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber.

Pour shows a dark amber-brown, slightly hazy color. Creates a solid and thick 1" bone white head with excellent retention throughout the entire glass.

Nose reveals a pleasant array of aromas of peat smoke, burnt caramel, figs, raisins and toasted malts.

Mouthfeel was disappointingly a bit too thin and watery in the finish for such a big beer.

Flavor department shows a classic Wee Heavy Ale with an ample amount of peat smoked malts, caramels, toffee and dark fruits. Finish is bittersweet with a touch of spice hoppiness coming through to balance the sweetness. Not a top-shelf Scotch Ale but worth the try.

macster, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of jwps214
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

jwps214, Oct 16, 2014
Photo of ark57
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great comforting beer. It is dark ruby brownn in color with a thin head. There is little to no hop character or bitterness in this bee, yet it seems to be well rounded. It is very malty with tastes of caramel and a slight smokiness. The smokiness is probably from the use of some peated malt. I could drink this one all night.

ark57, Feb 22, 2004
Photo of Truh
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Made the jaunt from Glasgow to Edinburgh with this one on 10/22/2004. 22-oz. bomber poured twice in a shaker glass.

Foamy, with some large bubbled frothiness and light lacing throughout. Deep ruby/light brown hue. Peaty, earthy malt and smoked flax crunch on nose. Controlled clambake roasted character on mouth to start with just a touch of spiciness comprised of black pepper, licorice, and liquid smoke. Svelte-bodied action that grows and grows on me, though not sure I’d have more than one.

Truh, Mar 05, 2005
Photo of jmalex
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big snowfall means big beers. I'm enjoying my day being snowed in by emptying out the fridge.

APPEARANCE: Pours into an English-style tulip a clear brown with crimson highlights. The head is tightly-bubbled and somewhat quickly goes from a finger's height down to an almost full cap.

SMELL: Bready, caramelly, and slightly smoky with a bit of a fruity ester profile. A bit of a lactic note has me worried, though I did find this bottle dusty on a shelf, so I won't hold this against it.

TASTE: No worries in the taste though. Bold yet restrained with flavors of caramel, raisin, fig, smoke, and fresh bread. These only intensify toward the finish, leaving me wishing for another sip.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied with a somewhat surprising dryness. The carbonation is slightly to the higher end of average but still okay.

DRINKABILITY: Quite nice. The bomber is working out excellent given the fact that I've already drank a good sized portion of this bottle. It's not quite giving me the warming element I'm looking for, but perhaps that will change as I progress further down the glass.

The second chapter in today's snow day beer odyssey did not disappoint. It's worth a try, particularly if you're a fan of the other big Smuttynose beers.

jmalex, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of loren01
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark mahogany/red. Fizzy white head that dissipates quickly. No lacing observed.
S: Sweet, malty, brown sugar also a slight hoppy scent.
T: Malty, caramel flavors with a nice hop bite at the end. You can also taste the alcohol at the end.
M: I thought it was a little bit fizzy and overcarbonated
D: Definatly a heavier, warmer beer. Very well balanced, would drink again for sure. However, I probably couldn't do more than one of these at a time. Thanks to dmeadows for the beer which I recieved via trade!!

loren01, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bomber a deep murky brown with hints of red and a nice creamy tan head on top. A sweet malty nose with a nice helping of peat tones as well as dark fruits. Earthy tones pop out....pretty nice and heavy on the malt with a hint of hoppiness.

First sip brings a big, sweet chewy maltiness upfront. There's a nice peaty, spicy, earthy flavor that blends in very nicely and is not overpowering at all. Some hints of raisins, dark fruits, maybe a drop of molasses. Just enough hop bitterness on the way down to wrap it all up nicely. A slight alcohol presence on the swallow...a nice Scotch ale overall.

Mouthfeel is full, creamy and chewy....goes down smooth and coats the palate nicely. An easily drinkable brew...but a bomber is enough for me. Scotch ale is not one of my favorite styles...however Smuttynose has done a nice job with this one. I look forward to more from the Big Beer series.

orbitalr0x, Mar 16, 2005
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured as part of a barrel tasting, this is from the 2007 vintage. Served in a tulip, the beer is a muddled reddish brown coloring with a yellow-beige head that is low profile and clingy. Slow bubbling of carbonation throughout. Aromas are blended well, with a fruit cocktail sweetness, earthy notes, and a strong, aged booze character. Flavors are robust and full, but only for an instant. Earthy malt forward, with currant and grape character abound, followed by an earthy, somewhat watery caramel apple flavor. The flavors are surprisingly mild and subtle from the aging process, and the barrel imparts only slight woody characteristics. The aftertaste is no different, with a light, effervescent caramel and roasty quality. The finish is slick and oily, leaving a slightly cloying linger on the palate. Strong and flavorful.

GarthDanielson, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of tut2528
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep amber borderline with a massive thick 2 fingers worth of cream colored head formation with awesome lacing. giving the brew a couple swirls quickly recreates about 1 fingers worth of head.

S: peat is definitely the main player here. i also pick up on fruity sweetness, an ever so slight molasses/caramel note, lemon citrus, spices, and a slight smokey malt.

T: caramel comes out here and its quite nice because I wasn't expecting it since the smell was more peat than anything. i also pick up on a various fruits, predominately berries, herbal spices, a just a slight touch of alcohol.

M: medium (slightly heavy) bodied, nice carbonation, leaves a nice caramel and herbal spice/peat note on the palate.

O: pretty solid offering by Smuttynose. i really enjoy the uniqueness of this brew as I feel that the herbal spices really allow for a nice balance with the sweetness of the caramel. glad to have tried it just wish there was a bit more sweetness to it.

tut2528, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a lightly hazy ruby/copper hybrid. Head is whispy. It never gathers itself and pops away. It keeps a thin posture, but it laces with a sense of purpose.

S-Sweetly herbal with light peaty notes. Lacks intensity. Floral, maybe even subtly medicinal. Of course, there is all the caramel and brown sugar you'd expect (without much strength). Very light smoke and soot.

T-Mossy and peaty. Modest intensity. Not sure of this batch's ABV, but the booze isn't shy here. Dried-out gingerbread cookies. Toffee and caramel hard candy. Herbal. Changes per sip. As my palate becomes accustomed to the flavor, I enjoy it more and more. Hard to describe.

M-Full bodied. Booze dries me out. A sipper. Sippy, sip, sip.

O/D-The smoked, peated and herby aspects of this beer set itself apart from many of the style. It was cool but like a few others from the Smuttynose Big Beer Series, I found this to be a bit too boozy.

VelvetExtract, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of Backer2004
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First selection I've tried from those at Smuttynose (what a great name). Thick frothy head, even as a taster. Quite malty indeed. Easier to drink than I first thought. Nice bit of lacing with slight carbonation in the glass. One of the better scotch style ales I've tried, but some I've tried before were stifled due to the less than 6% ABV cap in the past.

Backer2004, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Just finished two at the Taco Mac at Prado in Atlanta. I was stunned to see it on the menu. Couldn't wait to have my first gulp. Both pours lacked much head. They were a hazy-brown color, but still transparent. Did get some lacing.

Smelled malty with some dark fruit essence. Taste was on the earthy side. Smokey malts and some fruit with an alcohol presence. Not too sweet, the alcohol seemed to help.

Mouthfeel was good. A higher carbonation gave it a more refreshing effect than I expected from a Scotch ale.

Very drinkable. I wanted a third but I had to drive home.

A solid beer that I would order again. Alcohol was listed in the menu as over 8%. Not what I expected from a Scotch ale. Much lighter in body and color than others of the style I've tried. Let's face it, Smuttynose does not make a bad beer and I really enjoyed these.

airheadmtrcycle, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of Atlas1
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I love the Smuttynose big beer series, and haven't had a bad one yet. I also happen to like scotch style ales and wee heavies, so this beer just made sense. Cool label too.

Poured into a barrel pint glass, this one is a nice shade of deep copper, with reddish hues shining throughout. Big, slightly off-white head on top that lasts a while before dissipating down to a formidable tan film over the beer. Some lace. The nose is difficult for me to really distinguish. There is something in this beer that I have also smelled in the DFH ImmortAle (and a handful of others) that comes across to me as the scent of formadahyde. I know that others I've spoken to do not sense this same aroma, though, so I am in a limited group here. I rate that category a 3.5 because I know it's probably better than I can detect. The taste, however, I can bear with this beer. Some smokiness, definitely, and malty caramel. Mocha with cherries. Maybe some fig or date. Not bad. Mouthfeel tends to develop as the beer warms. Smooth and even slightly creamy.

Not a bad beer, this one. But not my favorite from Smuttynose. Probably because of that ingredient that skews my olfactory senses. Strange. Still, it's worth trying, as Smuttynose rarely do any bad beers.

Atlas1, Nov 06, 2007
Photo of WanderingFool
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale pours a cloudy brownish red (oak perhaps?) color with a frothy light tan head on top. The foam dissolves quickly to a thick ring around the surface of the beer leaving a few traces of lace behind. An earthy aroma of roasted malt, nuts and raisins greets you before each sip.

This medium to full bodied beer is soft on the palate. The flavor is mainly roasted malt and brown sugar. A nice combination of nuts, raisins, apples and clove blend together to balance out the malt in each sip. It finishes with a mild bitterness and a hint of alcohol leaving behind a malty taste on the tongue.

Another tasty Big Beer Series by Smuttynose. The full body on this beer lets you savor every drop, however it also lowered my score on drinkability.

WanderingFool, Jul 06, 2005
Photo of Slatetank
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Homebrewjunkie for sharing this. Poured cool into a snifter.
A - A mahogany golden brown w/ wispy light colored head

S - Peaty, creamy bready and slightly smokey w/ a nice alcoholic ester.

M - Creamy nuttiness fades into a dry smokey almost peppery smooth texture. There is a nice balance of yeast and malt in the texture.

T - A great blend of malt and dry scottish ale yeast as indicated in the aroma and mouthfeel. The roasted malts and smoke flavor of peat are noticeable, but not overpowering. Nice doughiness and spice w/ grainy flavor and the smooth yeast taste makes for a round and relaxed taste.

D - Very drinkable once it warms, another fine example of the quality brewing at Smuttynose. I enjoyed this as much as the other big beer series beers I have tasted. A nice Wee-heavy.

Slatetank, Nov 23, 2007
Photo of TK5150
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage.

A- Pours a murky, hazy amber with a small beige head. A nice amount of lacing is left on the glass.

S- The smell is light caramel/toffee/vanilla, a bit old and funky, with just a hint of smoke.

T- Crystal malt, vanilla, berries, herbs and spicy smoke. A hint of iced tea flavor as well which I always get with beers aged a bit too long. Not bad, actually.

M- For the most part, medium bodied. I drank this too cold at first, and it felt thin, but as I let it warm, the body grew into heavy medium bodied. Smooth, with just a bit of a kick at the finish.

O- Aged too long, but I still like it. I bet this would have been quite nice into MAYBE 2009 at the latest. Still an enjoyable beer for sure, but nearly 5 years of age is certainly too long. Smutty is bringing this beer back this year after a several year hiatus, and I would suggest drinking it fairly fresh for best enjoyment.

TK5150, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of BabaJohn
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks delicious, dark brown and with much sediment. A very nice, creamy, tan colored lasting head forms and a fairly strong, sweet aroma. Both smell and taste have a bit of molasses in ‘em. Bitterness fades as the beverage is consumed leaving a nice sticky sweetness. Mouth feel is quite nice as it is somewhat thick and buttery. I suppose I didn’t pour carefully enough as the sediment was a bit dangerous, but other than that I found this beer quite drinkable. Good for sipping and enjoying over some time.

BabaJohn, Jul 09, 2006
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a wellington beer glass.

Appearance: Brownish amber, bubbles little heavy on the body when placed to the light. Head is slightly off-white rising to about 1/3".

Smell: Malty but light. I like the smell but this isn't the scent that is going to wow you.

Taste: There is nothing I can complain about, slight coffee a bitterness that is unique but still seen in other scotch ales but still makes this brew prime.

Mouth: Easy to drink and smooth. it isn't overwhelmingly sticking but just enough to to satisfy the palates.

Overall: This is a very good beer. I have a slight preference to another scotch ale which I like to keep steady in my fridge. This beer is good but not on the level on which I was expecting but overall above satisfying. Salud!

BlurryVisi0n, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of RyanPB
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I'm on a Scotch Ale jag right now, and this was one of the better ones. Really fantastic smell; the scotch vibe hits hard. The appearance is average, but I don't know that I've had one that was really distinctive in this area. Might be too bubbly for a scotch ale, but very drinkable. The scotch taste does very well, the Ol' Red Wee Heavy form Erie is the closest I can think of.

RyanPB, Dec 21, 2007
Photo of ryan1788a5
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter. 2012 bottling, so this is probably about a year old.

A: Deep red-brown color with a mild haze. Head formation and retention are rather poor. Lacing is minimal.

S: Big caramel sweetness. Bready. Fruit cake and candied fruits. Subtle wafts of smoke come out to bring some balance.

T: Huge wave of caramel and bread pudding. Brown bread. Brown sugar, brown molasses. Very sweet. Hints of candied fruits and red berries. Unless I'm mistaken, I'm finding a very subtle pull of wood as well. A touch of cocoa and delicate, drying smoke on the finish.

M: Moderately thick. Slightly chewy. Creamy malt texture. Somewhat aggressive carbonation.

O: Not as big and beefy as many Scotch ales you'll find on the market today, but it's still a satisfying malty treat. There's some nice complexity and nuance. A more subtle approach to the style for sure.

ryan1788a5, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of Dithyramb
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented in the nice brown bomber with the flowery label. It pours translucent brown with amber hints and a thin off white head. There is very low to moderate carbonation.
Very nice smoky caramel aroma
Thick and sugary with a surprisingly hefty hop presence to balance. It was slightly creamy on the tongue with some caramels thrown in the mix. A slight peaty smokiness was mixed in that attempted to hide the alcohol esters, to no avail. Alcohol warmed and played with the back of the mouth while the hops started to bitter.

Easy drinking medium bodied brew. Finished dry, but smoky. I took off points of the taste due to the hop presence not being traditional for the wee heavy style. Not sure whether a wee heavy needs to be any bigger than they already are. Hops detracted from the strong malt base—Interesting and drinkable nonetheless.

Dithyramb, Jan 12, 2005
Photo of EPseja
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Been holding on to this one for about 6 months. Now its time to put it through its paces.

Served at just below cellar temperature in a pint glass.

A - Pours from the bottle with a deep chestnut color, complete with a nice, thick head that dissapates to a thin mat after about a minute or so. Lacing is very spotty and inconsistent.

S - Slightly metallic toasted malts and a vinous tinge. Some hints of dark fruit and light hops along with interesting faint organic notes.

T - The first taste in the mouth is the bright, sweet, dark malt along with some faint earthy notes that I can't put my finger on. These are soon after replaced by a winelike character that sticks it out through the finish where the dry, lightly hopped notes come into play along with the alcohol. A noticeable warming occurs after each swallow, reminding you that this is indeed a big beer.

M - Slowly grows to a nice rolling froth in the mouth, but subsides enough to make the swallow clean and easy. Very nice.

D - This beer is pretty easy to drink, although I find that the winelike characteristics pull it a bit out of style for my tastes. I would even venture to say that this beer teeters on the brink of being a Porter or a Winter Warmer.

EPseja, Nov 03, 2005
Photo of Naes
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one is very dark brown in color with a tan head that leaves good lacing.
The aroma is a good blend of malt and hops.
The flavor is also a good blend, as there is a bit of chocolate malt, hops and a bit of an alcohol warming as well.
Mouth feel is medium in body with good carbonation.

Another good brew from Smuttynose.

Naes, Dec 04, 2005
Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 473 ratings.