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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

475 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 475
Reviews: 277
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 59
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)
View: Beers (52) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 475 | Reviews: 277 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pencible
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a clear, dark mahogany with tan head. It smelled like nutty malt and earthy caramel, with copper hops and a bit of roasted coffee, sour yeast, and alcohol. It tasted like earthy caramel and nutty malt and copper hops, with a bit of creamy yeast and grassy hops. It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste with alcohol warming. Overall this was a pretty tasty beer with a nice, clean malty character. It had good body and was fairly easy to drink, but the alcohol was a bit harsh. Maybe some aging could help mellow this out? It was still enjoyable fresh, although not terribly exciting.

Photo of blackie
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: into my piraat snifter, a pillowy khaki head is produced and a slow recession leaves a superbly retained cap atop the beer, which is itself a dark chestnut brown in color

s: dark toffee malts of a subdued sweetness with a pervasive current of delicate peat smoke, raisin, light toast, glimpses of chocolate or carob, earthy hop aroma, pleasant aroma of slightly above average complexity

m: delicate light-medium carbonation and a body that's extremely smooth, and full without being sticky or overbearing, nice

t: flavors of peat smoked malts on a body of dark toasted toffee, brief carob, earthy hop flavors, a roasted malt astringency precedes the finish, dries out quite well, hints of smoky roast and a mild bitterness linger long

d: a nice one to sip on a sub-32 degree night

bomber from whole foods, reston, va purchased a few months ago

Photo of Oxymoron
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whose idea was it to but a purple flower on the label? Pours a mostly cloudy soft mahogany brown color with a light red hue. Soft but rocky head with an off white hue. Great retention but limited lacing through the entire tasting.

The nose is mostly malty with some noticeable yeast notes. To start there is a good combo of sweet caramel and kettle caramel notes. Some light bready notes but mostly malty. There yeast comes out with some fruity and ester notes. Some light red wine and plums. Some yeasty notes and some minor fusel but mostly alcohol aromas.

The taste is very similar. The malt comes out more versus the nose but a little more muttled. Some malty notes with more of a combo of bready and caramel notes. The kettle/melanodian flavors really come out nicely. The yeast backs off a bit but still some alcohol notes. The fusel backs off versus the nose but some nice plum, raisins and vanilla notes. There is a light purple grape juice notes on the back end.

The body is closer to full than moderate. Easy drinkability but leaves some flavor into the finish. Overall very nice Wee Heavy. To be really picky, I would like more of a malt character and less on esters/alcohol but really a nice beer.

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.

Photo of macster
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber.

Pour shows a dark amber-brown, slightly hazy color. Creates a solid and thick 1" bone white head with excellent retention throughout the entire glass.

Nose reveals a pleasant array of aromas of peat smoke, burnt caramel, figs, raisins and toasted malts.

Mouthfeel was disappointingly a bit too thin and watery in the finish for such a big beer.

Flavor department shows a classic Wee Heavy Ale with an ample amount of peat smoked malts, caramels, toffee and dark fruits. Finish is bittersweet with a touch of spice hoppiness coming through to balance the sweetness. Not a top-shelf Scotch Ale but worth the try.

Photo of corey0212
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful deep ruby red color, big foamy tan head is very slow to fade, and leaves big sheets of lacing in the glass. Deep, rich malt aroma, almost a burnt caramel smell, some floral & citrus hops in the mix too. Smokey flavors, earthy, some big, yet somehow dark (?) citrus flavors. Pretty full-bodied, some lingering bitterness. This isn't blowing my mind, but certainly tasty and well worth a try.

Photo of srandycarter
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Murky brown nice head... leaves a ring and sticky lacing.

S - Nice deep malt smell.

T - UGH. I HATE PEAT. I have had SAs that have little or no peat and love them. This taste like a beer that got dumped in an ashtray. Obviously not my style, so scoring as style and not preference.

M - FIne.

D- See taste.

Photo of Proteus93
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I didn't dig into this one like I do with most... and, as such, I'm finding myself wanting to start the review kinda backwards.

D + M: I don't notice the big 8.2% here at all... it's INCREDIBLY easy to drink, and I almost find myself quaffing it, consequences be damned, swirling the body of it around in my mouth, and taking back the full flavour of the brew on the way down. Nice, mellow carbonation. Perhaps one of my very few 5-scores on drinkability.

A: Rusty and coppery. Slightly off-white cloud of head, nice and puffy, leaving thick patches of chunky lace behind

S: A big, sweet malty scent with some slightly doughy aromas in there. Some fruitiness and a light hint of caramel. Not too shabby, though a little uneventful

T: Flavour comes through more than the scent. Bready and rather spicy malts. Some nice hoppy notes that I just don't get out of the aroma. Quite nice and full... maybe not as complex as some, but very good still. It drinks well! Prost!

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

A- pours a nice deep brown with a decent foamy head.

S- Sweet, slightly smokey and a stiff scent of alcohol.

T- Starts smokey and slightly sweet. The sweetness intensifies and followes with a bite of alcohol on the tongue.

M- Not overly carbonated but has some zip on the tongue.

D- Not bad but one would probably be enough for me.

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

I am always happy to see another smuttnose brew on the shelves of the Charleston Beer Exchange. This was one of their first big beer series brews to enter SC. This scotch ale looks like a typical scotch ale. It is dark brown/copper with little to no head. It may have been too cold, in smutty's defense. It smells of caramel, biscuit malts, and light neutral hops. The taste is very light on bitterness. It has a nice bready and malty finish. Medium body allows for an easy consumption. The 22oz is not difficult to consume if you are drinking alone. Over all, this brew is decent. I didn't expect any extreme flavor or exotic spices, so this met my expectations.

Photo of akorsak
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bottle from State Line.

A: The scotch ale is a dark ruddy brown color, concentrated tea. Amaretto highlights at the bottom of the glass add a nice visual. A finger of creme-colored head laced in patches around the glass.

S: The aroma is rather pedestrian. I searched for a long time before anything popped up. What did emerge was malty with a floral, non-hopped element. I expected a little more oomph.

T: The taste is a significant improvement over the nose. Thick malts dominate, vegetal with a a concentrated, smoked element. Underneath the malts are flowers, sweet and juicy, that are not a result of hops. That;'s not to say that there aren't any hops though, they have a citrusy flavor and linger alongside the heather. A veritable meal in a glass.

M: The mouthfeel is lush. The thick malts, heather and touch of peat mix nicely.

D: Except for the underwhelming nose, this is a great wee heavy. The meatiness is filling with no sign of of the slightly high alcohol.

Photo of markskar
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Disclosure: Portsmouth, NH, Hometown Favorite. Some bias may apply, but the only reason I'm even writing this review is that the 2008 Vintage is a far superior brew to any Scotch Ale they've released within the past 2 years (that I can remember *ahem*). Smuttynose brewed a proper and wonderful Scotch Ale in 2008. Cheers!

That said, I have to mention that the biggest difference to me this year is the reduction in the "smoked" flavors. To me (IMHO--and I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every offering in the Big Beer Series), Smutty's Scotch Ale was netheir good for the style nor my palate for the past couple of years (2006 & 2007).

It was intense--and interesting--don't get me wrong. But it tasted like bacon. That's right, BACON. Too much of the smoked flavors. I used to call it the "Bacon Beer," and avoid it at all costs.

This year is a different animal altogether, and a champion in the making. The smoke is there, but it's just right. Mouthfeel is exactly what I seek--complexity that leave's something to remember. Smooth and rich with rich malts at first, but the abv% (Smutty's website says 8.2%, not 7.8% which BA has posted above) allows for a delayed crisp finish.

A: Dark Copper. Faint, dark haze, but crystal clear at the bottom of the glass. Excellent and seemingly proper clarity for a fresh Wee Heavy. Minimal head retention, moderate lacing.

S: Bit yeasty at this point--should change with longer conditioning. Beyond that, intensely malty and floral. Best part: No smoked ham!

The 2008 Smuttynose Scotch Ale is the reason I stay loyal to Smutty's Big Beer Series offerings.

T: Deliciously malty, with faint hints of smoke that doesn't overwhelm the malts.

M: Smoth at first, but finishes with a refreshing crispness.

D: Outstanding drinkability. Can't wait for tomorrow night!

Photo of MrMonkey
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark amber with bright red highlights and a thick and creamy two plus-finger tan head. A sticky sheet is left behind as it slowly recedes to a thick ring and floating cap.

Smell is somewhat restrained, but there's some smoked malt, a hint of caramel, molasses, cocoa powder, and some dried fruits like raisins or prunes.

Taste starts smokey and sweet, with caramel and molasses. Finishes with some prunes before a bit of alcohol warmth. I remember last year's version being much smokier with the peat smoked malt, and it was too much for me. The smoke is present, but it doesn't overpower the taste this year.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, with a slight tingle on the tongue.

Great drinkability, and another great Big Beer from Smuttynose! A wonderful early winter release that I look forward to enjoying all season long.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber from Hannaford. Pours a dark copper hazy body with a good inch of khaki colored head. Smells smoky/peaty with hints of chocolate. Chocolate, coffee, burnt malt, peat/smoke, caramel... Rich full body with just enough carbonation. A bit of a sipper, but one sip definitely invites another. I wish my review were more glowing, but this honestly is the best wee-heavy I've ever had, and another slam-dunk for Smuttynose!

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a red amber with a slight bubbly head.

Great aroma of sweet malt, some dried stone fruit.

Wonderful flavors with this one. Sweet caramel maltiness, some herbal/leafy notes, a little hop bite, and some sweet brown bread elements.

Full bodied and mouth coating, a terrific beer for the cool weather. Great before, with, or after the big holiday meal. And at 7.8%, not the overkill on the booze, taste or effect. It was great to share one of these before Thanksgiving dinner.

Photo of bum732
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice frothy head, beautiful dark amber color. Smells like bready malt, hint of smoke, faint hops in the background. Taste has nice sweetness up front balanced by just the right amount of hops near the end. Finishes smooth and a tad dry.

Another great beer from Smutty, most scotch ales IMO are heavy and drinking more than one is difficult. Not in this case, very drinkable, nice balance and just a hint of smoke. Great beer!

Photo of evanackerman
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Beer pours a beautiful deep amber into a tulip glass, substantial tan head.

aroma is peat, malt, alcohol

taste is nice smoky malt with a touch of dried prunes a slight bitter finish and alcohol is present as warmth in the throat more than in flavor.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with mild carbonation.

overall, a thoroughly enjoyable take on the style, another winner from Smuttynose. worth a try.

Photo of Brad007
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red color with a one-finger head into my pint glass.

Aroma is sweet with peat smoked malt peeking through. Warm and inviting.

Taste is sweet at first with the peat smoked malt showing through in the middle, giving way to a bit of alcohol heat in the middle. Smooth. Warming. Just the right balance of malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel is compromised of the remnants of the peat smoked malt and alcohol heat. Throat is coated with warmth.

A rich and warm brew that works well on a cold day such as this one (gotta be at least 25-30 degrees out now). It's not the most complex at first but with some aging, this beer surely can only get better with time.

Photo of erosier
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: Pours an amber-brown color with a medium sized and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet and roasty malts with a hint of sweet scotchy flavors.
T: Very sweet malts up front followed by a sweet scotchy flavor, then some more roasty malts to finish it up.
M: Very fresh, a bit burnt feeling, the right amount of carbonation. Maybe could have been a bit sweeter.
D: Very drinkable beer.

Photo of roscoehnj
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the 2007 bottling. I had this last year (or very early this year - I forget) and the aging has served it well. Big blast of smoke and peat in the nose. Sweet caramel and raiseny tastes offset by smokiness. Very nice. Hides the alcohol well but is still a sipper. The sweetness prevents this from being a session beer in my book. I'll definitely buy a few of these every year.

Photo of mnj21655
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber bottle conditioned in 2008

Pours a dark brown color with ruby hints at the edges and a bit over a finger of rocky light khaki head that is relatively persistent and leaves some great lacing. Nice deep malty aroma with lots of caramel and some nice earthy and smoky undertones. Taste is very complex. Lots of malty goodness here with strong doses of caramel, a sturdy but not overwhelming smokiness, a nutty character, and some more subtle esters (raisins/plums). Fairly sweet but finishes a bit dry. Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation and a generally thick mouthfeel. Drinkability on this beer is very high. This is simply exceptional. Great complexity in terms of flavors and easy to drink. Highly recommended.

Photo of smcolw
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Foamy, rocky off-beige head that leaves clumpy pieces of lace. Dark amber/light brown color.

Malty aromas of cocoa and crystal malt--slightly sweet and a touch of warming alcohol.

This is a well-hopped Scotch ale. That's not to say this is a hoppy beer; dark malt is the predominant flavor here--nutty and off handedly bitter as if there is black patent. I do not detect any smokiness as noted on the bottle. Rich body with an above average carbonation.

All in all, a very nice scotch ale.

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

2008 bottling
Pours a crystal clear brownish red with a fluffy off white head that sticks around for a bit and laces the sides on the way out. Smells malty. Lots of smoke and dark fruit in there with the smoke being the dominant aroma. Tastes of smokey malt, toffee, sweet malty goodness. A little roast and some alcohol peak their heads up in the middle, but the smoke takes over for the finish. Syrupy mouthfeel, medium to thick in the body, medium carbonation. Great smokey scotch ale, I'm going to have to try one from last year and compare.

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

Pours a deep mahogany, caramel like color with a thick & bubbly tan colored head.

Smells of smoky, peaty, campfire, some sweetness. But the smoke is quite strong.

Smoky malt, sweet caramel malt, some subtle chocolate tones, toffee, mild bitterness, somewhat boozy.

Smooth, creamy, warming, mild carboantion, medium bodied.

22 0z was a bit much for me. Would personally prefer a 12oz servingt size.

Not my favorite style, but a pleasant experience.

Photo of changeup45
2.8/5  rDev -29.8%
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.

Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 475 ratings.