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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

483 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 483
Reviews: 278
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 61
Gots: 28 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 483 | Reviews: 278 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kmpitz2
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber. This one pours a deep amber color with a finger of tightly packed lightly tan head over top. There is a very steady stream of carbonation stirring in the brew. Clarity on this one is very good. Taking in the aroma I find a strong peated and lightly phenolic smokeyness over top a caramel malt base. I think I am getting some buttery diacetyl in there, but this may be a interplay between other aromas from the brew. The flavor is more robust than the aroma. I get a very nice bready character that mingles with peated smokeyness and light caramel. It just feels deep and dark, not it a roasted sense, but in a smoky sense. Mouthfeel is moderate with a very weak carbonation. It works very well with the flavors. This is a very nice brew. The smokeyness and peatyness blend with the mild sweet caramel malt. I would like to see a little more carbonation in it, but it still is nice as it stands. I would have this one again for sure.

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a very solid scotch ale. Not my favorite by any means, but it still drinks nicely. Smooth. Not as caramel-flavored as I'd like. But still an easy drinker with nothing off-putting or severely lacking. Very easy to drink, even in the big bottle format. Well done.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice creamy head like you would expect from an oatmeal stout, except this is a scotch ale. Very dark, also like a stout.

Smell is kind of a turnoff. The alcohol is very present, and the rest of the scent makes me think of soap.

The taste is excellent, though. Very smokey, rich, roasty, toasted, oakey. Deep, with a good amount of complexity. A very filling beer that I can see pairing up with a meal perfectly. The mouthfeel is full and well developed. Tons of personality!

I dont think you could have too much of this in one sitting (as it is so filling), but it sure does go down easily! Smuttynose scotch style ale is one I would definitely like to come back to.

Photo of BuckSpin
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received a bomber of this as part of a trade with a fellow BA, and saved it until a quiet Friday evening with some jazz. Color actually changed on me - the initial pourings in the thistle glass were a stunning deep ruby bronze, clear, just a beauty. By bottle's end the sediment caught up and it was very murky, color of a mid-level rich caramel. Both were very epervescent with carbonation, and the 1/4" head of very active cream hued foam disappated very quickly with little to no lacing. Nose was strong with cherries, malts, some peat, alcohol, and light oak.

Its smooth, creamy on the tongue, with the malts taking a surprising backseat to the cherry fruit, essences of straw and peat, perhaps (oddly enough again) a wet stone that let one taste the Earth. The carbonation acts as a balance to the alcohol, which warms the pallete slightly before a very clean, crisp finish, slightly fruity and sweet.

This is a nice variation of a scotch ale, not as spectacular as some I have had, but I would certainly pick up another and encourage those scotch ale afficiandos reading this to at least try it.

Side note - me Scots-Irish blood loved da label - one of the nicest beer labels around.

Photo of Durge
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the first Warwick Drinking Society's Beer Tasting Session of the year at Ohoove's last night, this donation from Ben the Pull Up King, pours a murky grey-tan color with a full and lasting light oatmeal colored head and similar lacing. The aroma is not nearly so meaty as the appearance but hints weakly at malty smoke, but it's hard to pick up the subtleties here. The flavor comes charging back with a bready/earthy malt blended into a smooth, somewhat resinous brew that goes down quite nicely. I like how this captures that "Scotch" quality, a touch of burnt peat and alcohol while holding the neutralizing sweetness in grainy overtones to make for a drinkable pint, or two, or three. This is the side of Scotch Ales that I like, although perhaps it is not everyone's definition of the style. Put this one on your shopping list.

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.

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.

Photo of jwps214
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Vonerichs
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown with a reddish tint on the edges.

Smells slightly smokey, damp leaves, and a little caramel.

The peat really pops and there's a real nice smokey aspect. Light sweetness and some herbal notes.

Mouthfeel is creamy with moderate carbonation. It has a pretty heavy body.

This is a real nice scotch all that accents the smoky peat.

Photo of SheepNutz
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
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!

Photo of ark57
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of loren01
3.87/5  rDev -3%
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!!

Photo of jmalex
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of akorsak
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bottle from State Line.

A: The scotch ale is a dark ruddy brown color, concentrated tea. Amaretto highlights at the bottom of the glass add a nice visual. A finger of creme-colored head laced in patches around the glass.

S: The aroma is rather pedestrian. I searched for a long time before anything popped up. What did emerge was malty with a floral, non-hopped element. I expected a little more oomph.

T: The taste is a significant improvement over the nose. Thick malts dominate, vegetal with a a concentrated, smoked element. Underneath the malts are flowers, sweet and juicy, that are not a result of hops. That;'s not to say that there aren't any hops though, they have a citrusy flavor and linger alongside the heather. A veritable meal in a glass.

M: The mouthfeel is lush. The thick malts, heather and touch of peat mix nicely.

D: Except for the underwhelming nose, this is a great wee heavy. The meatiness is filling with no sign of of the slightly high alcohol.

Photo of Burt
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.83/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of tut2528
3.83/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of Slatetank
3.83/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.83/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of Backer2004
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of TK5150
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of braican
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Dithyramb
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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.

Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 483 ratings.