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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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

474 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 474
Reviews: 277
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 57
Gots: 28 | 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
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Ratings: 474 | Reviews: 277 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A scotch ale I really liked. Great malt and candi with a fruity mdi sip makes this very drinkable and popular, carrying the peat moss smoke, which is controlled and you can smell it. Above average hoppiness and rich brown chcolately colour. Above average carbonation.

Sammy, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +0.3%

t0rin0, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle I brought to share at the DTLA bottle share held at Beer Belly in Los Angeles, CA.

2013 vintage.

Pours a hazy copper with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, toffee, fruit, and nutty aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and nutty flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors for the style.

UCLABrewN84, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -6%

djrn2, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

zestar, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

acurtis, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of nmann08
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

nmann08, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Texasfan549, Feb 06, 2013
Photo of metter98
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.

metter98, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +0.3%

kjkinsey, Feb 05, 2013
Photo of brentk56
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber body with a decent head and lacing

Smell: Strong notes of caramel malt and a touch of peat; almost smells like a barleywine

Taste: Lots of chewy caramel flavor; the subtle smoky peat flavor also peaks through along with a chocolate malt flavor as well; a nice mild bitterness presents itself on the finish

Mouthfeel: Big mouthfeel with relatively low carbonation

Drinkability: An excellent sipping beer; sweet but subtle and never cloying

brentk56, Jun 20, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark caramel with a copious infusion of reddish orange and an exploding orange sunburst visible through the bottom edge of the glass. A heavy suspension of fine particulates makes it look a shade or two darker than it really is. The large, overflowing (I was too slow yet again) head of creamy foam is too soft to leave more than a short collar of lace that tags along as the beer falls with drinking.

The nose is a Scotch ale bull's eye. All style elements are present, some better represented than others. I smell well-toasted caramel malt, dark butterscotch, dark brown sugar, light chocolate and a wee puff of smoke. The aroma may not be potent enough or deep enough to be a true whiz-banger, but it's quite good all the same.

The flavor is along the same lines as the appearance and the nose in terms of quality; very good, but not great. The description for the nose still applies so I won't repeat myself. Words that occur to me as I drink include well-integrated, harmonious and balanced. If I can be picky though, some member of the flavor profile needs to stand up and be counted. Something needs to slap my taste buds around a bit and give them something to get really excited about.

Don't get me wrong, this effort easily surpasses the lion's share of Scotch ales out there, but I've come to expect more from Smuttynose. Perhaps what's keeping this one from being considered exceptional is the body. It's solidly medium and more than adequate, but a more full, luxurious mouthfeel would improve things mightily.

The long finish is bittersweet, toffee-like and lightly smoky. For the life of me though, I can't appreciate the fact that the brewers aged a portion of each batch in Jack Daniels barrels. The char and ash that distinguish that particular whiskey (it's *not* bourbon, but is Tennessee whiskey) thanks to charcoal filtering, is nowhere to be found.

I feel that I've been too hard on Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale, but only because I wanted to love it. I don't, but I do like it a whole hell of a lot. It's a much better than average version and is a beer that I'm enjoying immensely, despite my bitchin' and moanin'. Recommended.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 22, 2005
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one has been sitting in the fridge for months, I have to admit, and there for probably should
have been drank earlier as it was a 2007 vintage, but it has been refrigerated so lets see how it
holds up. The 22oz bottle was poured into a Pint glass and served at a nice chilled temperature.

Appearance - The look was very nice, with a rich, brown, caramel colored liquid being presented in
front of me. Very nice clarity here as the light was really shining through and looking very nice. A
decent two inch head of white foam rose up from the bottom and proceeded to settle down rather nicely,
leaving behind a nice coating on the glass and about a half inch of pillow like foam on the top.

Smell - The aroma was an interesting mix of malts. I was picking up some nice bready tones in here
almost immediately. Hints of some flowery like aromas coming through now as well. Slightly bitter
aroma, astringent almost from something, but cannot place what it is. Hints of clove, and heather, and
a touch of lavender come through as well. Very nicely done.

Taste - The flavor was spot on to the aroma. A rich bready, malt came through almost immediately, but
as you let it warm, swish it around, and really let the flavors start to come though it got a good
deal more complex. Rich floral tastes coming through, like a nice meadow. Lots of clove coming through
on this, and an almost chewy like grass flavor. Nice hints of caramel to sweeten it up, but it really
had a chewy earthy like flavor overall. The taste had a quick cut off, not really lingering long at
all before cutting off and leaving the taste of caramel in its wake.

Mouthfeel - Nice and light bodied, only fault would have to be that it was a touch under carbonated,
but that's ok. Decent coating feeling and a nice smooth flavor made up for it and gave it a decent
rank overall.

Drinkability - Not bad at all given the Abv, as none was able to be detected. It really did come off
quite nice and overall I could have easily let myself have another.

I really thought this was well done. A more then decent Scotch ale, and a little on the interesting
side. Big fan of Smuttynose and this only improves my opinion of them. Definitely a must try if you
can find them.

mikesgroove, May 11, 2008
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 oberon
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown with some deep orange tint with a thin head,awesome malty aromas big and fruity with some caramel and brown suger in there as well the aroma alone warms ya up a bit.The body seems just a tad thin but not to watery by any means,a malt bomb here caramel and brown suger are the base of the flavors with some alcohol dipped fruit in there as well.This will keep the dampness of the day from getting to me,very solid Scottish ale a style I really enjoy I would drink this again anytime.

oberon, Jun 02, 2005
Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -24.8%

JAHMUR, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As you pour it, it's not hard to coax a head on this rich but still drinkable beauty from Smuttynose. It's hazy, cherry-stained mahogany body appears almost black as it sits upon the bar; and reveals beautiful, gleaming ruby accents when held to the light. The creamy ivory-colored cap upon its head holds quite well before it drops slowly to a wide collar and lacy surface covering; and it leaves some minor lacing about the glass as well. Dry, caramelish malt with the suggestion of chocolate; a hint of yeasty fruitiness; and a subtle waft of roastiness greets you in the nose. It's smooth and creamy across the palate with a gentle caress of bubbles that awaken the tastebuds, and a full body that smooths them out. As is appropriate for the style, the flavor is malty and rich but reigned in by a sublime touch of roastiness; a concisely handled, firm bitterness; a sprinkling of subdued, mildly floral and grassy hop flavors; and a soft caress of alcohol. Well done!

NeroFiddled, Feb 01, 2005
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruddy burgundy creamy off white head leaves specks of lacing, not bad. Aroma: Reserved smokiness rich fruit and kiss of alcohol blends beautifully. A deep bready character weighs in with the rich malts very nice Scotch ale, definitely classifies as a Big Beer. Taste: Chocolate tones peated malts nice blend no heavy fruit undertones a bit reserved in some ways but tasty altogether capped with a touch of hops. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied ale with a smooth carbonation hard to believe how easy it was to polish off one with a friend. Drinkability: Could a drink a couple, of course. However save these for special occasions and share with friends they will enjoy imbibing on this bad boy.

WVbeergeek, Apr 28, 2004
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 release, poured from a 22oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is robust with caramelized malt, brown sugar, vanilla and some dark fruit.

T: The taste very well-balanced with flavors of brown sugar, caramel & vanilla. There are also background flavors of dark fruit, spice and smoke. The malt character is very hearty but not overly heavy and the hops presence is mild. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, nice representation of style, this is definitely one of the best that I’ve had in the style and I find myself saying that about most of the Smuttynose beers. If I’m in the mood for a Scotch Ale, this would be one of the first beers that I would look for.

TheManiacalOne, Aug 12, 2007
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 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 russpowell
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

russpowell, May 06, 2008
Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -6%

mendvicdog, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of mactrail
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very attractive brownish red color in the chalice, with a thin foam. Plenty of carbonation in the mouth.

Smooth and mellow with a tangy aftertaste. Plenty of malt, but darkly roasted and touched with hops. Some smoke with the distinctive peaty sweetness. There is a drying sensation, like this was brewed with a Belgian yeast.

Quite drinkable and makes an excellent strong nitecap. One of the better Scotch ales I've had. It strikes a nice balance between the sweet malt, the smoky flavor, and the dark bitterish finish. From the 22 oz bottle purchased from Bine & Vine in San Diego.

mactrail, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev +0.3%

DrunkinYogi, Mar 10, 2013
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Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.