1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

434 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 434
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)
View: Beers (51) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 434 | Reviews: 276 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at 38 Degrees in Alhambra. On to the beer:

The color is caramel brown and is topped with a thin head which gives off some sticky lacing around the goblet. Pleasant aroma, consisting mostly of molasses and kilned smoke. That takes us to the taste, which is very surprising. It could have been the cold night, but this is a tasty Scotch ale. Kilned malts, raisins, hidden alcohol, a woodsy accent to the malt. Very pleasant indeed. The body is medium-full, really smooth, and a great "appetizer" at the time.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2013 23:23:07 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of thedoubler55
thedoubler55

New Jersey

3.66/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A light amber in color with a slight redness to it, a nice white head at the top that left a little bit of lacing around the glass as you drank it.

S: Caramel and biscuits up front, very present, a slight hint of floral aroma as well, not to much booze present on the nose.

T: The caramel is right on the tongue at first sip with hints of smokeyness, slight hints of floral and sweetness as well not to much alcohol on taste.

M: Medium bodied and a good amount of carbonation, crispy and slick.

O: Not a bad beer, very subtle and well balanced and refreshing.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2013 17:23:19 | More by thedoubler55
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 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 metter98
metter98

New York

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Pony Bar Upper East Side, New York, NY

A: The beer is hazy amber in color and has some brownish hues. It poured with a half finger high light beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of caramel malts and peat smoke in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but the flavors are a little stronger and notes of peat smoke linger through the finish.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I enjoyed the smoky nature of this beer because it helped to cut through the strong sweetness and syrupy nature that is usually associated with beers of this style, making it rather drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2012 19:49:47 | More by metter98
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-11-2012 18:17:32 | More by Chico1985
Photo of KarlosT
KarlosT

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in a tulip glass at the RiRa pub in Portsmouth (waiting in line for Kate the Great).

Given the dates on the other reviews, worried that I am evaluating a different brew. The menu simply mention it was part of the Big Beer Series, and had to rely on the waitress who called it a scotch ale.

None the less, it was quite good. Very sweet, malty flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2012 16:08:51 | More by KarlosT
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Porter in Atlanta. 2009 vintage.

Pours a hazy golden-honey color with a half-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with moderate amounts of light toffee and small amounts of vanilla. Also present are syrupy medium fruit aromas that intensify as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sticky caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of smooth toffee. Midway through the sip hints of light toasted malts and vanilla make an appearance. Near the end of the sip hints of syrupy pears and ripe green apple flavors come into play, fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with decent carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this was a solid beer for the style but it's nothing something over which I'd clamor to have again. Worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2011 14:13:54 | More by glid02
Photo of airheadmtrcycle
airheadmtrcycle

Georgia

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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2010 01:02:46 | More by airheadmtrcycle
Photo of soccerman7
soccerman7

Vermont

3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Holy Smoke

Appearance - Really nice deep brown with a minimal head.
Nose - nice malt and toastiness. can pick up the sweetness and smoke faintly.
Taste - Great malt and and warmth from the alcohol. The smokiness is there and flavors linger.
Mouth - Tasted fairly smooth but had a slight sharpness on the end (possibly from the alcohol or maybe an older keg?) still very good.
Drinkability - Very good. Definitely a Fall brew to brush the chill off.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2008 15:28:40 | More by soccerman7
Photo of onthefarside
onthefarside

New York

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had this at Mahars in Albany NY the other night, when I tried to order someting originally, the bartender who is always a hoot, mentioned they only had a small keg of this and better go for it. So it took little convincing since I'm a fan of smuttynose. So i then sat down with friends who had ordered the same, and dug in.

there was little head left on the beer but enough to leave a respectable lacing, a nice copper colour, like a darker scotch, it looked like it wanted me to drink it.

the smell was what first surpised me, I wasn't expecting the really awesome smokey peaty flavour, which is the best part of this beer. Many sweet malts, and not too much in the way of hops hits the nose.

The taste was nothing too in your face and extreme, a very nice malt at first leading to what i think are some easy going english hops. The smokey flavour really comes through again as well.

Mouthfeel was average, nothing too heavy or thin, good amount of carbonation that was small.

Drinkability...oy i must be the worst person in the world at telling the abvs of beers because i thought this was around a 5 or less, but i came here to find almost 8! I drank a 20oz of this very easily and i would definately pick it up again if i saw it.

thanks again to mahars for another great brew on the tap.

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2008 03:08:09 | More by onthefarside
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pretty damned good beer! pours with a nice frothy textured head. dark mahagoney reddish brown. really good traditional smokey peaty malty flavor. bit thin in body, but not bad. drinkable, maybe a session beer. Decent finish. The alcohol is definitely present in a boozey, warming sensation. Good cool weather ale.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2007 02:30:46 | More by drpimento
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Max's the other day.

The beer pours an amber orange color, with a soft, creamy looking head and very good lacing. The beer smells pretty malty, though I get a whiff of some underlying butterscotch and spice as well. The beer has some pleasant flavors of sweet malt and butterscotch on the palate, but I was hoping for a bit more peatiness/smokiness. Can't speak for others, but I just wasn't picking up all that much flavor complexity, though the flavors were pleasant enough. The beer has a medium bodied mouthfeel and has a fairly light, sweetish finish. Abv. is pretty well disguised, but for all that, I had no interest in drinking more then one of these.

Nice beer. It didn't blow my socks off, and I'm not sure I'd order it again, but still a solid effort from Smuttynose.

Edit from 10/6/12. Well, Max's had the wine barrel aged version of this beer on tap, so mea culpa, I ordered it again after. Frankly, I don't get a whole lot of wine barrel aroma or flavor (there's some, but's pretty subtle), so I can see no reason to enter this as a separate entry.
The beer menu at Max's lists this as a 7.8% abv. beer, but otherwise, it's pretty much the same as sampled previously.l

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2007 14:43:35 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of UnionMade
UnionMade

Colorado

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky mahogany brown. Full, thick ivory head, lacing all the way down, keeping strong all the way through. Leaves a dollop of head at the bottom of the glass. Malty, malty. malty aroma. Did i say malty? Quite caramelly and fruity, with a hint of peat smoke and roasted barley. Packed with flavor, this beer just gushes caramel. Very fruity, right up front, fresh plum and pear, melting into sugary sweetness. Very mildy hopped finish, nore peaty, tangy and roasty, some charred malt quality, still sweetly laden with caramel. Vague smokiness. Quite light. Very sweet, but not nearly cloying. Alcohol becomes more and more apparent as it warms. Medium to full bodied. Milder carbonation, with a silky mouthfeel. This one's a deliciously sweet, full-on caramel malt bomb.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2005 05:41:15 | More by UnionMade
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
OldFrothingSlosh

Pennsylvania

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

Once again, the power of beer karma smiles upon me. Enjoying a few pints with some friends and fellow BA altctrlsdelete at Capital Ale House last night, I noticed Matt had ordered this beer. Again, this was not listed on the tap list...it looked good....I ordered one. As the old knight guarding the Holy Grail (of the non-Monty Python variety) in Indians Jones and the Last Crusade would say: "You have chosen....wisely."

Served in the commerative CAH St. Patty's day glass, the scotch ale is deep brownish-caramel in color. Miniscule lace quickly died away (though my glass was filled to the brim) to just a fine layer at the edges. Aromas are an interesting mix of caramel malts and a chalky-smoky character. Flavor is full of malt. Great level of hoppy bitterness balances. Finishes with an ABV kick and a spicy, zesty aftertaste. Very drinkable with a medium-bodied smoothness.

Notes: I've never really gotten into Scotch ales, but this was a real eye-opening experience for me. I will definitely seek out some more of this style. Kudos to Matt for this one.

Edited 4/1/04: Apparently, this was a very rare and very special "oak-aged" version of the regular beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2004 02:47:37 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of ADR
ADR

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oak-aged, on tap, Extreme Beer Fest 2004...

Dark chestnut appearance, clear. Good 1/2 inch head with dripping lace. Aroma is subdued but lingering, some distant smokiness. Heavy mouthfeel, cinnamon tones and prickly hop up front and early. Some carob and vanilla sweetened cream inthe mid mouth impression. Finishes with a distinct bite for a Scotch Ale. While equally alcoholic as more traditional "heavies", this one has more of a hoppy bite to it than many.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2004 18:30:20 | More by ADR
Photo of BeerResearcher
BeerResearcher

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a dark leathery brown with a solid beige head and a fair amount of lacing. The aroma is largely of smoky malt, with some molasses and a bit of hops in the background. The malt is thick, lightly smoky and sweet, and a little too chalky for my liking. The hops are sort of lost within malt body. A mild tea-like bitterness fails to make a note worthy impact. This brew lacks a peaty and Scotch-like quality normally associated with the style. The presence of alcohol is barely noticeable, though the results of a pint are undeniable.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2003 17:00:33 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
BeerandWhiskeyHQ

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance:
Deep brown, caramel, looks delicious, copper hue in the light
Nose:
Caramel and toffee. Strong, thick malt presence
Palate:
Caramel and toffee and heavy with malt. Alcohol presence makes itself known throughout the drink, almost a peat smokiness
Overall:
There’s a lot of flavor and a good alcohol kick in this beer. It packs a big punch in the taste but comes up a little lacking in the nose besides the basic scotch ale characteristics. Drinkable for a big beer., relatively well balanced.

-BeerandWhiskeyHQ.com

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 14:05:15 | More by BeerandWhiskeyHQ
Photo of ESkirv
ESkirv

Indiana

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 02:46:52 | More by ESkirv
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
BurgeoningBrewhead

Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into fluted snifter; deep ruby, clear, with a fluffy cream-colored head. Fades after a bit leaving chunky lacing.
Smells of sweet malt, caramel, crisp bitterness, hint of smoke.
Taste follows nose; sweet malt, doppelbock-like, crisp bitterness with a bit of smoke in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is slick but hefty in body.
Overall, this is the biggest scotch ale I've tried. Very big flavor and mouthfeel, definitely a sipper. It went great with my family's "pretend we're irish" meal of corned beef and cabbage.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 01:22:20 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a thistle. Bottle notch in 2013. Thanx Lordoftheweins!

A: dark copper/amber colored body with a one finger white foamy head that dies within about twenty seconds and leaving some nice spider web lacing that slides practically immediately right on into the body

S: a large amount of caramel and toffee invades my nose through a nice array of smoky yet somewhat roasty amount of sweet peatiness

T: sweet and smoky that gets slightly roasty in the flavoring; sweet peaty aftertaste that leads into a dry finish

M: she sits about a medium on the body and gives off a sticky sort of sweet feel in the carbonation as that shows that its good for the style and for me (quite smooth for the most part); for the most part, this one comes across more of a sipper though the alcohol seems to be well hidden (or at least to me)

O: this is a pretty nice Scotch ale by Smuttynose that I would have again

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 23:22:38 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of CloudStrife
CloudStrife

New York

4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle conditioned in 2013.

A: Pours a very deep copper amber with a slightly yellowed head on top. Pretty dark but when held up to the light it is clear with a few bubbles of carbonation. Leaves some spots of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: One sniff of this beer will help anyone understand why this style of beer is named after scotch. Carmel and toffee notes blend with a mild sweetness and a complimenting peat smoke aroma.

T: Very well balanced scotch ale here. All the flavors work together nicely to add something to the mix instead of overpowering others. The roasted malts give a base sweetness that is built on with a mild rauch like smokiness. A dose of alcohol brings up the back-end reminding you this is one of the big beer series.

M: This beer has a medium body with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. Moderate to low carbonation. Alcohol isnt too hot considering how it comes across in the flavor.

Overall this is certainly a solid beer at a great bomber price point. Comes off malt forward and has great appeal to scotch lovers. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 02:26:08 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of Rhf9120
Rhf9120

Rhode Island

4.43/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 13:27:27 | More by Rhf9120
Photo of delta490
delta490

Virginia

4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 00:22:28 | More by delta490
Photo of Beer-A-Lot
Beer-A-Lot

Virginia

3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 18:56:25 | More by Beer-A-Lot
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 434 ratings.