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 mrasskicktastic
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. (1,027 characters)

Photo of jscondon
2.51/5  rDev -37.1%
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. (1,189 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
2.53/5  rDev -36.6%
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. (380 characters)

Photo of yeroc40
2.56/5  rDev -35.8%
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. (986 characters)

Photo of Crosling
2.72/5  rDev -31.8%
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. (270 characters)

Photo of changeup45
2.79/5  rDev -30.1%
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. (331 characters)

Photo of corby112
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. (591 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.3/5  rDev -17.3%
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. (963 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.31/5  rDev -17%
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. (501 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
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 (646 characters)

Photo of claspada
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. (694 characters)

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.45/5  rDev -13.5%
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. (774 characters)

Photo of BWH3
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
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. (694 characters)

Photo of Treebs
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
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. (612 characters)

Photo of UncleFrank
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. (482 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
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. (1,351 characters)

Photo of SawDog505
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. (389 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
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. (580 characters)

Photo of SteveO1231
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! (446 characters)

Photo of ybnorml
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. (264 characters)

Photo of UncleJimbo
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". (342 characters)

Photo of Higravity
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. (359 characters)

Photo of ElGuapo
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. (618 characters)

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

Pours dark brown with 1-2 fingers head that eventually dissipates. Good carbonation, a little bit of lacing, but really just leaves a thing ring of foam around the edge of the beer. Slightly smoky and malty nose with a powerful following of malts, alcohols, and toasted malts in the taste. Mouthfeel is good considering the ABV, but as it sits the alcohols start to come out in force. Not a summer beer, but good for cold days. (427 characters)

Photo of taez555
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. (748 characters)

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