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

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

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BA SCORE
89
very good

433 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 433
Reviews: 276
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.52%


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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 433 | Reviews: 276 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mrasskicktastic
mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

2.38/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - A very deep auburn with a quickly vanishing, one finger brown head. Lacing fails to cling as the ring falls back on to the surface.

S - Caramel malt, bourbon, moss and grass. It isn't the worst thing I've ever smelled, but I would have hoped for more.

T - Smokey caramel malt (yet it isn't very sweet), wild vegetation, like random grasses, roots and leaves (things I stupidly tried eating as a kid), maybe some of them are more tradition flavors (mustard greens and dandelion leaves), but all of this is faint compared to the smokey malt. The aftertaste is light hop bitterness with the lingering smokey caramel malt. It is a bit wierd and not exactly my thing.

M - Carbonation is way too high, thick and a bit drying.

D - Poor here. I can't envision drinking this again. I am not a fan of the scotch ales in general, but this one seemed a bit below the others I've had. It had less "odd qualities" but stuck with the tradition of being absurdly hard to drink. I passed the rest of this bomber off to a friend.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2006 00:59:19 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of jscondon
jscondon

Massachusetts

2.45/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

pours a deep red brown with a smaller head that is not consistently distributed across the surface, it is lovely to look at. the smell is very earthy which is good, but i think that it is too peaty and a little grassy. i really like scotch ales, and have been drinking many of them recently but i find this one to be sub-par. the front is very weak with little profile at all, the middle has a slight smokiness that transcends into a very nice caramel flavor for albeit to brief a time to go into an overwhelming smoked flavor. this powers until the end of the taste which has an undesirable flavor that i can't quite describe.

having lived in porstmouth for a time before smutty took over the old frank jones set up and their intial offerings i have a very special place for these guys, but this big beer series is a disappointment for me. it is too peaty/smokey and unbalanced in the end of the flavor profile. in my opinion this does not represent the scotch ale/wee heavy style at all, it is more of a scottish rauchbier. i would not recommend the smutty scotch ale as a good representation of this beer class, in my opinion they do a much better job with their other big beer series.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2008 00:54:45 | More by jscondon
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

2.48/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep reddish color-somewhat of a caramel bronze. Not much in th way of aroma-slightly malty and smoked. Malty enough flavor but an acrid, sharp smoke taste to it. Quite medicinal and solvent like. Ok body. Flavor is really a let down. A perfect example of a US brewery doing a scotch ale and doing it wrong. Smoke is way overdone. Takes away from any malt whatsoever. Cant see it.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2007 03:53:20 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of yeroc40
yeroc40

Wisconsin

2.5/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Ummm, why smoke at all in a scotch ale, much less this poorly balanced.

2007 vintage poured into pint glass.

Pours a beautiful dark caramel with low off-white head, that stays for the first 1/4 pint glass. Looks like what I'm anticipating

Smell is is the first clue something is off. Smells slightly burnt, beyond the smoke, there is a scorched aroma that is hiding the malt that comes in a distant third.

Taste is straight up not good. Their hint of peat smoked malt is slap you upside the head, you want bacon with that beer, overpowering. Now I like smoked beers, just not when I am expecting a big malty sweet scotch on a cold winter evening. Then the burnt harsh aftertaste that finishes too dry for the style. There is a slight alcoholic warming at the back of my throat as my tongue is trying to cope with the sharp finish.

Disappointing, is the best descriptor for this beer. I bought 2 bombers and will be cellaring the secondary for a good year to see if this improves.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 02:20:46 | More by yeroc40
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

2.7/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown-mahogany colored ale with a flimsy, wispy light tan head. Nose dominated by smoke & caramel tinged malts, with a touch of apple. Flavor lacks malt depth, has a poor, thin mouth feel. Only a light hint of smoke, with a touch of caramel. A major disappointment.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2009 05:33:19 | More by Crosling
Photo of changeup45
changeup45

Florida

2.8/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cloudy, foggy, dark brown color with little pieces floating and settling towards the bottom of the glass. It poured a thick head but halfway through there wasn't much left. Malty aroma, with a stronger malt, tangy flavor with some spices and brown sugar. Was a little harsh. Not terrible but I probably won't get it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 17:23:08 | More by changeup45
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.08/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark chestnut brown/mahogany color with dark golden amber edges when held to a light source and a very thin tan head that immediately fades leaving no lacing.

Smokey, roasted malt aroma with hints of licorice and chocolate along with some earthy and floral hop notes.

Smooth, creamy medium body with lots of roasted chocolate maltiness, dark fruit(especially dark cherry), licorice and surprisingly, earthy and floral hops. Nice balance of malty sweetness/roastiness and bitter earthy hops. This beer is pretty complex but unfortunately it just doesn't taste that good to me.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2010 04:33:26 | More by corby112
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the Smuttynose brewery. Bottled 2007.

Muddy copper color with a thin, beige head. Thin skim of retention hangs around until mid glass. No lace.

After four years of aging there's still some hearty peat kickin' around the nose. Scotch and caramel with some fruity highlights.

Unfortunately the flavor didn't hold up as well as the aroma. Tastes like caramel apple, dark brown sugar and a hint of smoke. The flavors blend well together but lack punch.

I'd like to try a fresher bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 17:27:11 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.28/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Dublin O'Neil's in Champaign, IL

A: Pours a clear amber/orange color. A one finger white head forms and recedes after a minute. Light lace is left.
S: Pale malts in the nose. Crystal, light caramel, and a big cereal grainy aroma. The malts are there, but kind of the opposite of what I want my Wee Heavy's to be.
T: Again, crystal and pale malts. Caramel sweetness and big cereal/grain flavors. Warming alcohol is noticeable. I wish there was something else besides some sweetness and pale malts.
M/D: A medium body and ultra fine carbonation. Velvety soft. There is some noticeable warming alcohol present. Though not huge. Still not something I am really enjoying.

I completely get that not all "Scottish Ales" are the same. This just lacks character to me, and with a Wee Heavy specifically I want some deep toasted malts, chocolate, and smoke. This is a malty, slightly sweet pale strong amber ale. For me, not what I am looking for in the style.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2012 19:33:13 | More by champ103
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to ppotrias for this one!

Pours an effervescent caramel with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Slight smokeyness & even slighter caramel

T: Smokeyness & a hint of caramel up front. Sweet malt & some peat, plus dryness as this warms. Finishes with some boozeyness, a bit of toffee & smokeyness that reminds me of liquid smoke

MF: Slick, a bit chewy, low carbonation. This one seems to thin out as it warms

Drinks good for the abv, but the smokeyness seems a bit artificial to me & more malt backbone is needed. I'm somewhat suprised this one didn't measure up to other offerings from this brewery

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2008 03:58:01 | More by russpowell
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour a dark amber-brown, slightly hazy color. Creates a solid/thick/white head with excellent retention throughout the entire glass.

Nose reveals a pleasant array of aromas of peat smoke, burnt caramel, dried fruit and some toasted malts.

Mouthfeel was disappointingly a bit too thin and watery in the finish for such a big beer. I prefer a thicker mouthfeel for my Scottish styles.

Flavor is like your typical Wee Heavy Ale with an ample amount of biscuit, caramels, toffee, dark fruits and peat smoked malts. Finish is bittersweet with a touch of spice hoppiness coming through to balance the sweetness. Not the best example of a Scotch Ale by any means, but worth the try for the value.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2010 15:39:14 | More by claspada
Photo of BWH3
BWH3

Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A lovely rich copper with slight haze (a slight flaw). A coif of light tan foam tops the ale. Overall still. The head clings to the sides nicely and has excellent legs for style. The aroma is primarily smoky peat and earthy minerals. The hops are robust for the Scotch ales almost too its detriment. The caramel malts are also absent. Tastes of roast malt and smoky flavor. The mineral flavor as well as a dry assertive tannins dominate the finish. Smooth with an alcoholic warmth. Too thin for style. Interesting and fairly complex. I enjoyed the beer but it really strays from the style too often and in the wrong directions. I feel the hops presentation is more in line with a Scotch Export.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2009 02:14:10 | More by BWH3
Photo of UncleFrank
UncleFrank

Connecticut

3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bright clear copper color with thin white head. Residue linguires as I drink.
The nose is very malty with some flowery notes.
Smooth taste, medium body with a taste of tootsie rolls but lighter. A touch of sour bread on the sides of my mouth as it fades to alcohol. Not overpowering at all, but its there. No hop tastes but it has to be there as the beer is not cloying. Slick finish. This is a very nice beer and Im wondering how the other bottles will keep stored in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2004 03:16:11 | More by UncleFrank
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark, hazy Brazilian cherry with a foamy, sticky, khaki colored head that was well lasting. A nice splotchy lacing coats the glass on the way down. A moderatly strong carbonation makes its way to the surface beneath the dark, hazy color.

S: The aroma was light overall, with maltiness and some alcohol notes being the most dominant. A fresh wildflower hopping adds subtle highlights while an advertised soft smoked peat moss rounds things out. Overall the aroma was quite soft and wished to have experienced more of it.

T: The flavor opens up with some scotch and water upon first impressions. Some dry whiskey booziness with a thin scorched worty hints were also detected. Overall I think the flavor lacked the depth and body typically per style. The flavor seemed a tad thin at times with an overly aggressive carbonation that distracted. A nice smoked peat moss was perhaps its finest quality and strongest point here.

M: fizzy and left a dry boozy alcohol lacing on the tongue. The body was medium with a light creminess though I think still lacked depth and fullness per style.

D: only slightly above average at best. It takes awhile to warm up to this beer, thankfully it's a 22oz. Bomber. Think it falls short in comparison to others top in class (Founders' Dirty bastard) and was only moderatly good in overall enjoyability.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2008 13:43:16 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012, pours a deep copper with a tall, foamy, beige head that holds good retention and leaves some lacing on the glass. Aromas are malty, caramel, toffee,raisin, grain, metallic, earthy, woodsy, leather. Tastes are sweet and earthy, with peat, grain, toffee, raisin, brown sugar, leathery, tobacco leaf, alcohol is overbearing at times, finishes dry and a little sourish. Mouth-feel is a little on the thin side, ample carbonation. Overall, this was pretty good. It's obvious that the brewing process was done properly for the style with some partial fermentation tastes rendered.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2012 13:11:36 | More by barnzy78
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Quality in Champaign. Served in a shaker pint.

A: Pours a dark ruby color with a thin tan head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin film and leaves splotches of lace.

S: Nice peaty smoke with a touch of roasted malts. Nice sweetness as well with just a touch of hops.

T: Nice peat flavors with a little smokey malt. Some roasted malt notes with a little backend sweetness. Minimal hop flavors in the background as well.

M: Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and a medium carbonation level.

O: This was a pretty straightforward scotch ale. Nice peat and smoke with a sweet malt profile.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2012 14:09:19 | More by Treebs
Photo of SawDog505
SawDog505

New Hampshire

3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass, 2012. Pours a reddish brown, with a half inch of off white head, leaves very little lace. Smell is peat, brown sugar, biscuit, smoke, and a hint of cinnamon spice. Taste is mainly sweet, with some smoke in the finish. Body is medium, a little more carbonation, a little dry as expected, and easy drinking. This is a nice Scotch Al, but earth shattering no.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2012 02:50:29 | More by SawDog505
Photo of gueuzeonhigh
gueuzeonhigh

Maine

3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I may be warped by what I expect out of a scotch ale-- probably from quaffing too many McEwans Scotch Ales.

This is a hearty beer.
It fell somewhat flat in my glass-- I had wished for a more vibrant presentation-- but it lay silent and non-descript in the confines of my glass..

Nose too was rather plain.

The flavor was the great redeemer-- a strong bold flavor stance. Notes of peat, malt supported on a foundation of hops bitterness. Malt created a balance of the hops-- I'd declare I tasted caramel and other things not really related to the ingredients-- clover maybe?

Mouthfeel is quite cordial- nice balance of flavor, carbonization and finish.

I think that the SmuttyNose "Big Beer Series" have been eminently enjoyable.. So far they have all been satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 02:34:38 | More by gueuzeonhigh
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This ale poured a very cloudy brown with light foam. The aroma was modest with some citrus and fruity smells. The taste was sweet and malty. The mouthfeel was OK: smooth, moderate carbonation, but a bit thin bodied. The drinkability was OK. I guess I expected a little more body and "oomph" for this Scotch style ale in the "big beer series".

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2003 10:47:14 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of ElGuapo
ElGuapo

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very dark brown pour topped in a thin quick-dying tannish head. The aroma is extremely malty and sweet. There are touches of hops to add some spice to it.

A huge sweet blast of malts starts you out. Some delicate hop flavors come in a bit later, but there really is not a whole lot of complexity. There are some roasty notes, but not a lot of smoky flavor like I enjoy in my scotch ales. It would give this one a little more character. If you are looking for a bold rich-bodied malty scotch ale, then this is your beer. It was very smooth and very drinkable, but it was just a bit dull for me to really love it.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2004 21:46:20 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of ybnorml
ybnorml

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clean dark copper beer. Has a creamy beige head. A whiff of alcohol then some hops and lastly amalty sweetness rounds out the aroma. The flavor starts out with malt sweetness and a hint of licorice and ends with a balance of hops and alcohol warmthin the finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2005 02:10:13 | More by ybnorml
Photo of Higravity
Higravity

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A red-brown body crowned with a white head that sinks back fast and rings the glass giving some lace. Mostly smells of sweet malt, but some smokey hints and a herbal note or two. A tasty number with a little smokeyness reminicent of Belhaven and a good malt flavor but the hops or herbs give a little off-flavor. Good body and this is a pretty drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2006 13:34:04 | More by Higravity
Photo of SteveO1231
SteveO1231

Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. brown bomber, bottled in 2006. Pours a dark cloudy brown with some copper highlights. Thick off-white head retains very well. Light to medium bodied. Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, burnt caramel, and a hint of smoke. Big malt flavor, roasted malts are backed up by chocolate and caramel. Light hop bitterness in the finish with a whiskey/oak aftertaste. Pretty easy drinking for the style. It went well with some chocolates.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2006 17:17:48 | More by SteveO1231
Photo of taez555
taez555

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured an off white head with a ruby/brown body.

The nose was a rich mix of malt, soft fruit, caramel and soft touches of alcohol.

The taste was a bit different. A medium carbonation but with a large bubbled, almost chunky type of carbonation. It starts with a big metallic bitterness. Lots of roasted barley malt, burnt espresso beans, caramel and other malt flavors. There’s a very present earthy/flowery hop flavor as well as a firm bitterness. It ends with a strong roasted barley bitterness.

It’s a nice attempt at a scotch ale, but the bitter roasted malts really overpowered any sort of smooth classic scotch ale characteristics. Sort of more like a porter mixed with a scotch ale. Decent beer, but I’ll pass next time.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2004 07:38:03 | More by taez555
Photo of PittBeerGirl
PittBeerGirl

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to damienblack for sending this as an extra in a recent trade!

A- Body is a dark brown hue. Pours with a small 1/2-1 finger creamy dark tan head that eventually subsides to a thin collar. Some traces of lacing are left behind in the glass.

S- Nose is subtle and offers a balance of caramel and chocolate with a hint of roasted malt.

T- Flavor is much like the smell-only more pronounced. A big chocolate flavor is upfront with hints of caramel and toffee. The finish has a hint of roasted malt.

M- Carbonation is high and somewhat prickly and mouthfeel is medium weight; but much thinner than I like in this style.

D- A decent Scotch Ale overall, and one I wouldn't mind giving another shot. Definitely worth a try-but doesn't have a lot of pizazz and comes across as a text book example of the style-but nothing more to me.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2009 01:13:36 | More by PittBeerGirl
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Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 433 ratings.