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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)

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

461 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 461
Reviews: 277
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 54
Gots: 26 | 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: 461 | Reviews: 277 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clearish, medium brown body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, smokey malt aroma with dark fruits coated in caramel.

Taste: Sweet caramel, fruity flavor permeated by the just right smoked malt character. Faint hint of cocoa powder. Slight touch of spicy hops but no real bitterness. Smokey, sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: While some Scotch Ales inspire nothing but eye-rolling with every strained sip, this one's actually pretty tasty.

ChainGangGuy, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of onthefarside
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.

onthefarside, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of sethmeister
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber bottle with 2007 date pours clear mahogany brown w/ red highlights, frothy tan head, some lace.

Nose is malty sweet, toasty, lightly smoked.

Taste is first sweet, caramel, a hint of vanilla, and roasted malt then delicious dense warm peat smoke flavor takes over and loiters on the palate. Someone mentioned "smoked ham sandwich" -Ii'd add smoked ham and smoked gouda cheese sandwich to that.

This definitely seems bolder and tastier than prevous years!

Mouthfeel is smooth and slick with mild carbonation.

Drinkability is good.

Another good one from Smutty.

sethmeister, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of jlipski
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amazing how the taste of peat makes it taste like scotch..

Color:Red caramel, beautiful
Carbonation: Great
Head and its retention: Excellent and a brown tint
Is it clear or cloudy? Clear caramel red

Malts: Very sweet
Hops: medium, not overly bitter
Yeast: Scotch aromas over power yeast

Taste: Amazing taste with alot of complexity and roasted peat flaor
The beer is built excellent
There is no balance which seems on purpose for a seasonal scotch ale.
Dominant character is roated peat scotch

LMediumight, creamy smooth
Goodto below carbonation.

I would have another in a heartbeat

jlipski, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of bruachan
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

the head poured really sudsy at first, but it settled to a tight-looking coating. not thick, but tight. the color is a very dark amber

very caramel aroma, with a strong ESB-ish toasty character. a suggestion of smoke.

the flavor sports a woody, smoky element which manifests itself early—peated smoke, not the bamberg kind. it provides a bitter and harsh fnish, actually. before then, however, features some sweetness that sports a fair complexity

bruachan, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours mildly fogy with a minimal dark crème head. Nose is nice. Noticeable malt presence with some almost burnt leaves there as well. Sweet tones lie in the back. Flavor is super peat! It’s just like peat all up in my mouth *makes motions with fingers in front of mouth*. In no way is it overdone. Full and consistent. Feel is full with carbonation and well bodied on the liquid. Nice to drink. A bit too much going on here to go far beyond large sips. But it’s still pretty darn good.

RblWthACoz, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of Vancer
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This great beer was sent via trade with MuenchenerKindl = MUCHO GRACIAS!

Let me cut to the chase, the oaken pour with tan head, nor the malty aroma would lead me to expect the smoked ham sandwich that this beer provided. And I luv it! This is a big beer that drinks smooth and easy – but ya gotta like the smoke!

A great way to start my ol’ b-day off!

Vancer, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer has a dense but clear auburn-brown body with a light tan mousy head. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that keep the head going.

S- There is a soft smoky peat note that is pleasant when cold but turns pretty band-aidy when warm.

T- The soft caramel flavor fades into a big band-aid flavor with some softer light brown sugar notes and a light roasted malt note. There is a light peat tartness with a soft bitterness from hops at the finish. There is a slight sweetness that lingers after the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slippery texture and no alcohol heat at all.

D- This beer has some nice underlying flavors but the band-aid is pretty dominating.

rhoadsrage, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of yeroc40
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.

yeroc40, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of SixpointJMH
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish ruby colour wit ha good sized off-white head that hangs out for a while before dissolving into a thin lace. Residue on the glass is virtually non-existent here.

The aroma is malty with an earthy quality slightly overtaking a caramel and general fruit sweetness. There are also faint smokey aromas here and there as well.

The flavor takes the aroma and beefs it up nicely. Earthy flavours again lead over the sweetness, which is more so caramel than fruit here. There's also much more of a burnt or roasted flavour here along with a good bit of smokiness that cuts through each sip. Nicely done. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slight bit of slickness and chewiness to it.

This is a nice offering from the Smutty folks overall. It's beer years since my last sampling of this one and I don't remember it being this flavourful in the past and certainly don't recall the smoke flavours, which were a very nice touch. Well worth a bottle or two if you see it around.

SixpointJMH, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of IntriqKen
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark mahogany tea color with a decent half finger of off white foam that sticks around as a ring for quite a while.

Aromas are caramel, toasted malt, and vanilla.

Taste is like the aroma but much, much more so. Caramels, toasted dark malt, vanilla, fruity hops barely coming through, tobacco, and a little smokiness.

The most amazing thing about this Scotch ale is how incredibly smooth and blended it is. Nothing is offensive...everything melds wonderfully and the mouthfeel is as smooth as cream.

Aftertaste of smokey malts...pleasant and letting you know that you are in the midst of enjoying a wonderful Scotch ale.

IntriqKen, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of ericj551
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2007 bottle: Smuttynose Scotch Ale pours a deep red brown with a beautiful off white head that sticks around. The aroma is earthy and slightly smokey with hints of the malt to follow. The flavor is malty but not too sweet, with hints of peast smoked malt. There is some fruitiness but not a lot, and the same with the hops, just enough bitterness to balance it out. The smokiness comes through a bit more in the finish, but still not over the top. The alcohol is well hidden, and the flavor is the only hint of the strength.

ericj551, Dec 23, 2007
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 drpimento
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.

drpimento, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of lackenhauser
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.

lackenhauser, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of HomeBrewJunkie
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear brown to amber. Decent off white head that leaves good lacing on the side of the glass.

Sweet toasted and caramel malt. Very slight smokiness that complements the malts very well. Yeasty fruitiness that I also find attractive. A bit of alcohol in the nose.

Great tasting Scotch Ale. The flavors are well balanced. A sweet caramel malts and again with the slight smokiness. Good balance of hops helps counter the sweetness.

Mouthfeel was not what I expected from the “big beer series”. Medium body, but it was very smooth. Overall the mouthfeel was very pleasant but just not as I expected.

I did enjoy this beer, and can see myself drinking it again. If I wasn’t so nice and shared this bottle, I easily could have consumed it in its entirety, and loved it. The only drawback was the mouthfeel, but the overall experience was enjoyed. Good example of a Scotch Ale.

HomeBrewJunkie, Dec 03, 2007
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 RiekerStarBrew
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was served this beer from the bottle into my sniffer glass. The aroma was a sweet, toasted malt. There was a hint of apples and alcohol. I really enjoyed the flavor of this beer. The smoke grain characteristic was pronounced which is a flavor I find desirable. The hop presence lended the beer a dry perception while the alcohol gave it balance. The mouthfeel was grainy. I am not sure this is a beer I would drink a full pint of, but with such an intriguing flavor, it really was enjoyable to sip.

RiekerStarBrew, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of Doomcifer
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear, deep amber, reddish/brown, with a magnificent light tan, creamy head. Great lacing left behind.

Smells of peat moss, maltiness, mild hop spiciness...

I taste more peat moss and that salty sea air, around the same flavor I get from, say, a Lagavulin but obviously not as distinct but very much there. Alcohol bite is present. Bitter hop finish.

Lightly Heavy bodied, decent carbonation..perfect for the style. Dry finish.

Taking down a bomber of this is easy business since it's so tasty and enjoyable.

Doomcifer, Nov 18, 2007
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 Foxman
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a very clear brownish amber. A thick finger of tight beige head settles to thin surface froth. Paisley lacing paints a mod fresco on the inside of the glass.

The aroma is redolent with light-roast caramel malt, edgy with baked biscuit and a mild peppery hop note. Earthy berry and raisin fruit sweetness airs steadily alongside a smooth caress of distant smoke and equally ethereal alcohol.

Upon tasting, the moderately sweet fruitiness of roasted malt boasts dark berry and a touch of dried fruit. It dries slightly a caramel, crusty bread, and a smokey, nutty nudge join a muted hop spiciness. Residual grain presents a homey duo of rounded sweetness and a feathery char bitterness that dries and lingers with a green apple crispness. It just seems to ooze earthy goodness.

Medium bodied, the malt renders a happily sticky flow to a jaunty march of elements.

Every time I have a good Scotch ale I think, boy, it's been too long. This one makes me feel like a bit of a fool for waiting as long as I did. It's so wonderfully basic and comfortably yummy that it's almost like a chicken soup of beers. Whatever the ABV is, it hides especially well, and drinks just as well for it. It's not going to be too long this time before I enjoy my next good Scotch ale- I have two more bottles of this waiting for me.

Foxman, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bomber
2006 Vintage
Enjoyed: 29 Jul 09

Still tasting very nicely.

Poured into a chalice a dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy tan head, some nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slightly spicy, slightly dark fruits (figs, raisins, prunes), and some caramel. The taste is malty, and some good tones of dark fruit and spice, and caramel. The taste is also slightly sweet, nice warming efffect going down. Medium body. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from Smuttynose, getting close to having quite a few offerings from them. Highly recommended.

Thanks goes out to brewandbbq for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
2005 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy tan head, some nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slightly spicy, slightly dark fruits (figs, raisins, prunes), and some caramel. The taste is malty, and some good tones of dark fruit and spice, and caramel. The taste is also slightly sweet, nice warming efffect going down. Medium body. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from Smuttynose, getting close to having quite a few offerings from them. Highly recommended.

Wasatch, Oct 30, 2007
Photo of John_M
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

John_M, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of jwc215
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours mahogany/deep amber with a thin off-white head that stays around, leaving some trailing lace.

The smell is of dark malt and fruit, some wood, some toffee and peat smokiness. A touch of alcohol comes through as well.

The taste is of peat smokiness. A tofffeeish maltiness is balanced by some dark fruits. Malty with appropriately light hop presence, as per style. Sweet with a dry, warming finish.

Lower side of full-bodied, it is smooth despite the noticeable alcohol.

This is a nice one to sip. Complex maltiness with an intermingling peat smokiness makes this one a good example of the style. Well-done!

jwc215, Oct 27, 2007
Photo of Lupe
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear bright mahogany-ruby red. Start off with a fluffy & creamy off-white head, it quickly drops to a ring atop the beer.

Very malty aroma with caramel, fruit, slightly buttery, and some herbal notes.

Lots of malt sweetness with fruit, buttery caramel, and toasted malts. Hop bitterness is mild, adding tea-like herbal and floral flavors, and a touch of spice that lingers. Smoked peat finishes things off - it is present but not overwhelming - and dries up the tongue.

Full-bodied - smooth, creamy, and juicy. Very malty, thick and rich, but well balanced and very drinkable.

This beer gets better as it warms - I wasn't thrilled at first, but then it started to grow on me. Not my favorite Scotch Ale, but pretty good nonetheless.

Lupe, Oct 26, 2007
Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 461 ratings.