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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

281 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 281
Hads: 502
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.02%
Wants: 64
Gots: 41 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
Reviews: 281 | Hads: 502
Photo of Lawl3ss
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage. Lightly chilled 22 oz. bomber into a stemless tulip.

Look- Pours a deep amber with a generous frothy beige head. Good retention, sparse lace.

Smell- Interesting. Sweet, light smokiness that comes off as more of a spicy accent than anything. Toasted caramel, apple, licorice, brown sugar, spice. Very nice.

Taste- Similar to the aroma, assertively malty, sweetness is there but inoffensive, works well with an interesting candied apple/heather/honey-doused biscuit/floral melange. Finishes with toasted crusty bread, light spice and a faint touch of booziness. There's a bit of a sharper edge and lingering flavor that makes me wonder if there's rye in there somewhere. Aftertaste is more toast and a light tealike bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Full, rich, creamy, smooth, light warming, hefty but not sluggish. Spot-on.

Overall- Smuttynose is always good, and this offering's no exception. Robust, well-rounded flavors without going overboard in any area. Exceptionally well constructed and executed, I would certainly pick it up again if I could. (1,059 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber courtesy of SmuttyJim, enjoyed at a recent bottle share at NEBCO. From notes.

A: Clear russet body under some fine tan froth. Ok retention, spotty lace. Not bad.

S: Sweet malt, some cotton candy, and lots of vinous dark fruits. Quite good.

T: Opens with figs and grapes, followed by toffee, vanilla, and some chocolate. Tasty.

M: Lively medium body. Nice.

O: Solid brew. The wine barrel notes add some welcome complexity.

Cheers! (442 characters)

Photo of Tone
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, hops, hint of spruce, all spice, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of smoke. Fits the style of a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hops, hint of smoke, hint of alcohol, all spice, and slight roasted malt. Overall, good aroma, feel, blend, body, and complexity. (460 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the big bottle, 2012 edition. Sampled on December 28, 2012.

It pours a nice looking amber brown with red hues and great clarity. The off-white head is small but it lasts.

The aroma is vibrant with sweet malts and red grapes, perhaps due to the wine-barrel aging. Scotch ales tend to be very malty and this one has this added dash of character.

The body is medium but doesn't hold its consistency too long. Still, it is not problematic.

The taste is a bit different from the aroma because while it brings out the sweet malty character and this wine-like thingy, it also evolves into a moderately bitter finish. Not your typical Scotch ale. (647 characters)

Photo of PicoPapa
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle with Bottle Conditioned 2012 notched on the label. Pours a semi translucent dark chestnutty brown with an inch of frothy brown head. Good amount of lacing. Aroma is malts and earth with floral hints. A bit bready and sweet. Boozey. The taste is malts and earth with some warming alcohol. Hints of smoke, cherries and flowers. This Scotch Ale has a bit more floralness and a bit less alcohol flavor than I'd like but it is still good. Slightly reminiscent of cough medicine. Creamy, heavy mouthfeel. Overall, its decent but is lacking a bit. (552 characters)

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

22oz poured into a chalice

Appearance - translucent copper color with khaki head

Smell - Cherry, cinnamon, spice from some toasted malts, caramel

taste - caramel, cherries, peat, cinnamon

mouthfeel - high carbonation, medium bodied, slightly sweet in the beginning, the finish is unrefined

Overall - This was a decent beer, but does not stand up as well against some of the other Scotch ales that I've had. This tastes closer to an imperial amber ale versus a scotch ale.

Price Point - $6.99/22oz bottle (510 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 rlee1390
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Brown in the glass, clear amber in the light, one finger tan head.

S-Lots of malt, roasted and caramel with a little smoke rounding out

T-Good balance, malty, peat, caramel and some chocolate, even some darker fruits.

M-Medium bodied, creamy with nice carbonation

O-A solid scotch ale, good all around with solid balance. (327 characters)

Photo of BrownAleMale
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass

Appearance- A mahogany color with 2 fingers of white head that dissipates to about a half finger and leaves a nice sticky lacing.

Smell- Getting lots of carmel with the smoked peat

Taste- Follows the nose pretty well. The carmel is up front with a bit of dark fruit and finished with a long smoke taste. My only problem with the flavor is that I would have liked a little more sweetness to balance the peat.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a decent amout of carbonation.

Overall- A rockin scotch ale. It misses a few beats to be a perfect scotch ale but definitly top 2 for the style. (636 characters)

Photo of 1Nrwyscotch
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle porued into a pint glass

A. A nice dark amber color with about two fingers of off white head which disappeared rather quickly. No lacing observed until after the beer warmed some.

S. I smell some earthy tones, some sweet malt and some smoke.

T. The taste is kinda muted and reminds me more of an Irish Red rather than a Scotch Ale. It does finish with some bitterness and is enjoyable, just not what I was expecting in a Scotch ale which ussually showcase some booziness where the alcohol is hidden here.

M. It has a medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture.

O. I enjoyed the beer but it was not quite what I was expecting, I would get it again though. (662 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 DrDemento456
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Snagged a bottle for about 6 bucks at Giant Eagle. Always enjoy these Smuttynose big beers!

A - I really love the overall appearance. A well over 1/2 inch of sticky opaque colored head that clings to all sides of my glass and never really subsides. Tiny bubbles still floating to the top and just underneath is a clear deep chestnut brown colored goodness.

S - Mild but good. Smoked peat, touch of charcoal roast, and mostly caramel like malts make for a great beer. Also getting some hops so this might be better than expected.

T - Nothing mind blowing and thankfully the smoked peat flavor is minimal because I kind of hate excessive peat flavors (I am looking at you New Holland Chinook Rye!) Mild acidic hops, sweet balanced caramel malts, and mild Rauchbier goodness highlight.

M - Hides the ABV well and seems oily with a slick creamy body.

Overall it doesn't beat their imperial stout or even the Baltic porter but I really enjoyed this offering. Not my favorite style so I shall no revisit. (1,004 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a wellington beer glass.

Appearance: Brownish amber, bubbles little heavy on the body when placed to the light. Head is slightly off-white rising to about 1/3".

Smell: Malty but light. I like the smell but this isn't the scent that is going to wow you.

Taste: There is nothing I can complain about, slight coffee a bitterness that is unique but still seen in other scotch ales but still makes this brew prime.

Mouth: Easy to drink and smooth. it isn't overwhelmingly sticking but just enough to to satisfy the palates.

Overall: This is a very good beer. I have a slight preference to another scotch ale which I like to keep steady in my fridge. This beer is good but not on the level on which I was expecting but overall above satisfying. Salud! (765 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, 2012 vintage. Served in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass, the beer pours a mostly clear dark reddish/amber color with a half inch light tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice and malty, it smells like caramel malt, peat/smoke, dark fruit, toffee, and a bit of tea. Taste is mostly like the aroma, but there's also some bitter herbs and some wood noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and coating with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew. Definitely worth a try at just $5.99 a bomber. (583 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into my Devil's Backbone glass. It poured a deep mahogany color with a thin tan head barely covering the top of the beer. Very nice looking color to it.

The aroma has a strong presence of both caramel malts and bready grains. It's get some crisp fruit notes to it as well that seem to keep it pretty balanced for the style. Pretty nice aroma for the style overall.

The taste shows a little more of the rich, caramel malts along with a touch of chocolate. The finish again shows some crisp fruits that help give it some balance. It' got a long dry finish to it as well.

The mouthfeel is leaning towards the heavier side of the style with carbonation being a little below average. Overall, it was a very solid beer of the style. They managed to show off the maltiness but also keep it pretty well balanced. Very enjoyable version of the style overall. (874 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Bomber bottle chilled and poured into a Cigar City tulip glass. 2012 vintage clocks in at 8.2% ABV. Apparently this vintage was partially aged in red wine barrels according to Smuttynose.

Appearance: Cloudy medium to dark brown in color. Some orange/ruby highlights throughout. Pours a creamy light beige colored head. About one finger in height that recedes into a very thin lacing.

Aroma: Some light smoke and peat notes upfront. Lots of dark fruit notes with some grape and red wine notes that are a bit stronger than I expected. A touch of alcohol but it is well hidden for the most part.

Taste: The peat and smoke notes really stand out. The peat is really nicely done and the smoke is not overwhelming at all. A light sweetness of caramel, dark fruits and a touch of the wine barrels under the initial smoke and peat. The balance of those are really nicely done.

Mouthfeel: Really nice full and creamy mouthfeel. Really nice sharp carbonation.

Overall, a really nicely done scotch ale that does a great job of balancing the peat, smoke and underlying sweetness of the malt. The wine barrel notes are not overdone at all, but definitely show a bit in the aroma and taste. Considering the complexity of this beer and the price, this is definitely a good deal. (1,285 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 Kinsman
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I vaguely remember having a scotch ale from the last release in 2008 but it's nice to try the updated 2012 version.

Pours a really nice dark mahogany color with a beautiful dense ivory colored head on top. I don't always pay close attention to retention but I'm quite impressed with this one. The top of my beer looks more like a foamy latte right now and its not going anywhere. Beautiful pour!

Greets you with a nice caramel malty sweetness that you'd expect from a scotch ale. A bit fruity as well before a peaty finish. The peat is hard to detect at first but anyone familiar with peated scotch should be able to pick it up.

Biscuity malt flavors along side a nice toffee and raisin sweetness. Slightly smokey but rather subdued in the grand scheme of things. Wonderfully creamy mouthfeel that makes it quite an enjoyable after-dinner drink. (849 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  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. (748 characters)

Photo of rdilauro
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Have to admit, this was only my second tasting of a Scottish Ale. One of my customers told me that this is what a real Scottish ale is all about.

The pour was semi-dark with a small head. The aroma was there, seemed to be mostly malty.
Nothing really standing out.

The initial taste was smooth big and full! I enjoyed the fullness and it gave me kinda of a warmth that you get having a sip of a nice Port.

The finish was long and very pleasant. There was just a perfect aftertaste that made you feel very satisfied.

The second and third sips were even better. I really liked the overall round and full body this ale had. Not hoppy, not bitter, not too much of anything. Just a real good sipping beer (704 characters)

Photo of BostonHops
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a deep mahogany tone while yielding a foamy 1" or so of a tan head; average retention and lacing. alluring nose offers nice notes of caramel, brown sugar, some peat and a hint of some dark fruit elements.

taste follows and even exceeds the aroma. caramel, brown sugar, peat/scotch character, along with secondary notes of dark fruit and molasses. as for mouthfeel, on the fuller side of medium bodied with average carbonation.

overall simply a very enjoyable scotch ale. well worth a try. (530 characters)

Photo of Beejay
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice medium amber, with red tones when held to the light. Light tan colored head on top, thick and rich.

S: Nice caramel aroma, biscuity and floury. Smells like freshly baked honey wheat bread. Not much as far as the peat malt coming through the nose.

T: Rich caramel, and some of the smokiness comes out. The bread aromas certainly come through, but there is a bit of a bite to it that I didn't expect. Malty, with just a touch of of smoke makes for a nice hearty wood fired bread taste. Very good.

M: Medium to thick bodied. Nice creaminess to it, and carbonation is dead on. Enough carbonation so it isn't syrupy, but not so much that is lightens the body. Very nice.

O: Overall very enjoyable. Subtle balance of flavors, although I do wish there was a touch more peat to it. Very nice. (800 characters)

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish amber with ruby highlights. It has a full frothy tan head that hangs around and clings to the glass.

A fairly clean nose with some faint yeast and bread notes.

It hits up front with tingle of tasty yeast - almost like a Belgian (not in flavor, but in feel). Fresh baked bread, faint caramel, and some rich roasted malt are all there in a harmony of flavor. This is very tasty and almost too drinkable, with subtle complexity. A very smooth creamy mouth feel. (483 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a lightly hazy ruby/copper hybrid. Head is whispy. It never gathers itself and pops away. It keeps a thin posture, but it laces with a sense of purpose.

S-Sweetly herbal with light peaty notes. Lacks intensity. Floral, maybe even subtly medicinal. Of course, there is all the caramel and brown sugar you'd expect (without much strength). Very light smoke and soot.

T-Mossy and peaty. Modest intensity. Not sure of this batch's ABV, but the booze isn't shy here. Dried-out gingerbread cookies. Toffee and caramel hard candy. Herbal. Changes per sip. As my palate becomes accustomed to the flavor, I enjoy it more and more. Hard to describe.

M-Full bodied. Booze dries me out. A sipper. Sippy, sip, sip.

O/D-The smoked, peated and herby aspects of this beer set itself apart from many of the style. It was cool but like a few others from the Smuttynose Big Beer Series, I found this to be a bit too boozy. (915 characters)

Photo of Gushue3
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

'12 bomber poured into Portsmouth snifter

A 1 plus finger finger head thats slightly brown/red and turns foamy. Body is a clear chestnut with a very slight haze. The head stays for a little while and leaves some lace as it goes down, leaving a thick wad of foam above the body. Body is pretty lively.

S Sweet darker malts with some leather, raisins and maybe some caramel malt.

T Follows the nose pretty close, sweet dark malts and fruit. Some roast, leather and a bit of smoke round out the flavor profile. Finish is sweet malts and a trace of alcohol.

M Medium feel with the bigger side of medium carbonation. Finish is a tiny bit sticky.

O Tasty beer that is pretty nice all around. (693 characters)

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