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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)

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BA SCORE
89
very good

452 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 452
Reviews: 275
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 54
Gots: 23 | 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 (54) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 452 | Reviews: 275 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WanderingFool
WanderingFool

Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale pours a cloudy brownish red (oak perhaps?) color with a frothy light tan head on top. The foam dissolves quickly to a thick ring around the surface of the beer leaving a few traces of lace behind. An earthy aroma of roasted malt, nuts and raisins greets you before each sip.

This medium to full bodied beer is soft on the palate. The flavor is mainly roasted malt and brown sugar. A nice combination of nuts, raisins, apples and clove blend together to balance out the malt in each sip. It finishes with a mild bitterness and a hint of alcohol leaving behind a malty taste on the tongue.

Another tasty Big Beer Series by Smuttynose. The full body on this beer lets you savor every drop, however it also lowered my score on drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2005 23:28:59 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of BuckSpin
BuckSpin

Maine

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

Received a bomber of this as part of a trade with a fellow BA, and saved it until a quiet Friday evening with some jazz. Color actually changed on me - the initial pourings in the thistle glass were a stunning deep ruby bronze, clear, just a beauty. By bottle's end the sediment caught up and it was very murky, color of a mid-level rich caramel. Both were very epervescent with carbonation, and the 1/4" head of very active cream hued foam disappated very quickly with little to no lacing. Nose was strong with cherries, malts, some peat, alcohol, and light oak.

Its smooth, creamy on the tongue, with the malts taking a surprising backseat to the cherry fruit, essences of straw and peat, perhaps (oddly enough again) a wet stone that let one taste the Earth. The carbonation acts as a balance to the alcohol, which warms the pallete slightly before a very clean, crisp finish, slightly fruity and sweet.

This is a nice variation of a scotch ale, not as spectacular as some I have had, but I would certainly pick up another and encourage those scotch ale afficiandos reading this to at least try it.

Side note - me Scots-Irish blood loved da label - one of the nicest beer labels around.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2005 03:09:49 | More by BuckSpin
Photo of Gaisgeil
Gaisgeil

Michigan

3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An interesting take on the style... sort of a barleywine/scotch ale hybrid. A pretty hefty brew and good to say the least, but along style lines this one is a bit questionable. Pours a dark, dark amber in color with a foamy light tan head with a little bit of retention. Nose is quite odd, sort of grassy, reminds me of a lager oddly enough. Taste is quite nice, a little peaty, bits of caramel. More hoppy than is the norm and also a bit roasty, sort of odd.

A nice beer to try, but as a Scotch Ale nerd it really doesn't do it for me quite honestly.

Slàinte!

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2005 07:17:20 | More by Gaisgeil
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

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

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2005 02:39:51 | More by brentk56
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2005 19:41:54 | More by oberon
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

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

Very pretty. A nice opaque brick red in color. Just a bit of haze. Sticky head on top. The nose is malts, kick me in the nose malts. But they come across as bittersweet, not all sugars. Tha flavor is very complex in the malts, sweet followed by an "over" sweet that comes across as almost sour. Like sweet and sour. Also just a tad of some gummy candy--licorice? Mouthfeel is very full and cloying. It sticks around long after the swallow. Very drinkable--worked my way through my glass before I realized it.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2005 22:57:19 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of MrSeth
MrSeth

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an almost opaque brown with small red highlights and a frothy head. The nose is basically non-existent, but that isn't surprising for this style of ale. The taste however is really rich. Deep toasted malt that is slightly smokey but without any rough edges. It is not really hoppy or bitter, the malt is the center piece. The mouthfeel is smooth and refreshing. I'm a big fan of Belhaven, and this is a comparable offering at a very good price (around $5 a bomber).

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2005 22:16:36 | More by MrSeth
Photo of FirstMan
FirstMan

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber out of the bomber bottle leaving a nice full head that takes its time reducing into an uneven level on the top of the liquid. No lacing on the sides from the head reduction. Love the label with the big thistle on the front - actually I like the label on most of the Smuttynose big bottle series.

Color is fairly cloudy, which is fine for a scotch style, but there are little chunks of unfiltered yeast floating in there, which is always a downer for me. I've had enough run-ins with spoiled bottles to get a little scared by floaters.

That said... it smells great. Nice malty, peaty, rich aroma with just enough hop floral character to even it out.

The first thing I notice is the chewy mouthfeel and the quick tang of alcohol. That's quickly followed by a nice malt sweetness tempered by a dry hop note. Not overly sugary like some scotch ales and not too heavy on the esters like others. Well balanced. The finish is a little less than I'd like, but it leaves me feeling warm the way a good scotch ale should.

Good for a cold day on the moors, to be sure.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2005 22:30:59 | More by FirstMan
Photo of ybnorml
ybnorml

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clean dark copper beer. Has a creamy beige head. A whiff of alcohol then some hops and lastly amalty sweetness rounds out the aroma. The flavor starts out with malt sweetness and a hint of licorice and ends with a balance of hops and alcohol warmthin the finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2005 02:10:13 | More by ybnorml
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2005 22:21:52 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bomber a deep murky brown with hints of red and a nice creamy tan head on top. A sweet malty nose with a nice helping of peat tones as well as dark fruits. Earthy tones pop out....pretty nice and heavy on the malt with a hint of hoppiness.

First sip brings a big, sweet chewy maltiness upfront. There's a nice peaty, spicy, earthy flavor that blends in very nicely and is not overpowering at all. Some hints of raisins, dark fruits, maybe a drop of molasses. Just enough hop bitterness on the way down to wrap it all up nicely. A slight alcohol presence on the swallow...a nice Scotch ale overall.

Mouthfeel is full, creamy and chewy....goes down smooth and coats the palate nicely. An easily drinkable brew...but a bomber is enough for me. Scotch ale is not one of my favorite styles...however Smuttynose has done a nice job with this one. I look forward to more from the Big Beer series.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2005 02:54:36 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of JackStraw22
JackStraw22

Virginia

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

Appearance: Pours a dark amber with golden highlights. Good amount of tan head, nice retention.

Aroma: Lots of malt in this one. There's a yeasty smell that comes through, grassy, a lot like a belgian.

Taste: Oh the malty taste is nice in this. It's not overly sweet, though. There doesn't seem to be anything that's poking out tastewise, but whatever it is is blended beautifully.

Mouthfeel: A little bit chewy, really coats the mouth.

Drinkability: Good, not sure I could down another 22oz, but another glass, sure.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2005 00:35:58 | More by JackStraw22
Photo of goodbyeohio
goodbyeohio

Oregon

3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: rich brown color, pours nicely with light carbonation and a sturdy head

aroma: roasted malts and nuts. some chocolate and stout profile hidden in this beer. some detectable metallic notes in the odor as well. an odd mix, but not at all distracting.

tastes great! refreshing and drinkable for such a dark beer. very sweet and rich with the intense malt character. dark fruits and chocolate give it some individuality in the style. no bitterness is another surprise. would drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2005 20:32:55 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of Truh
Truh

New Hampshire

3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Made the jaunt from Glasgow to Edinburgh with this one on 10/22/2004. 22-oz. bomber poured twice in a shaker glass.

Foamy, with some large bubbled frothiness and light lacing throughout. Deep ruby/light brown hue. Peaty, earthy malt and smoked flax crunch on nose. Controlled clambake roasted character on mouth to start with just a touch of spiciness comprised of black pepper, licorice, and liquid smoke. Svelte-bodied action that grows and grows on me, though not sure I’d have more than one.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2005 22:05:43 | More by Truh
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

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!

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2005 00:10:59 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of mmmbeer
mmmbeer

Massachusetts

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

22 oz. with no bottled-on or freshness date and my first Scotch ale. Pours a deep amber/red with a 2-3 finger head that leaves some lacing and a thin layer of foam. Smell is malt (nuttiness, dark fruits as it warms), alcohol, and hops in the background. Very smooth in the mouth. Tastes malty (chocolate, nuts) with a warming alcohol kick, some hop bitterness, and a hint of whiskey. Has a slight Belgian taste and the malts make it almost chewy. The taste and aroma of alcohol lower the drinkability but despite this I finished the bomber fairly quickly. Would drink again but wouldn't go out of my way to find it.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2005 03:52:42 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

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

A favorite style of mine and this is a good one...pours a russett brown with little head...cola like in the glass but slightly lighter...nose includes some peat and a lot more HEAT!! You can smell the booze in this one. Sweet chewy malty flavor...not sticky sweet like a doppel...hints of vanilla bean...small peatiness on the taste...not very smoky though...body is medium to full...

Solid enjoyable Wee Heavy..

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2005 03:22:18 | More by ZAP
Photo of PatandDavid
PatandDavid

Massachusetts

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

Shared a bottle of this with David at Thanksgiving, and just found my review in my notebook. Cola colored when poured, white head was quick to arrive, and then died down as we drank this brew. I enjoyed the maltiness in the aroma. Tastewise, most of what I am experienced is rich malt, with some heat from the alcohol in the finish. I find the body medium +, with a tingly sensation that seems to come more from the hops than the carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2005 00:25:10 | More by PatandDavid
Photo of Dithyramb
Dithyramb

Maryland

3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented in the nice brown bomber with the flowery label. It pours translucent brown with amber hints and a thin off white head. There is very low to moderate carbonation.
Very nice smoky caramel aroma
Thick and sugary with a surprisingly hefty hop presence to balance. It was slightly creamy on the tongue with some caramels thrown in the mix. A slight peaty smokiness was mixed in that attempted to hide the alcohol esters, to no avail. Alcohol warmed and played with the back of the mouth while the hops started to bitter.

Easy drinking medium bodied brew. Finished dry, but smoky. I took off points of the taste due to the hop presence not being traditional for the wee heavy style. Not sure whether a wee heavy needs to be any bigger than they already are. Hops detracted from the strong malt base—Interesting and drinkable nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2005 21:39:48 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

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

Rustic looking auburn tone. A bit hazed. The cigarette stained light brown head leaves adequate lacing. Aroma is heavy in its maltiness, yet quite clean. A little peat like smokiness is picked up as well. Overall, the taste is pleasing, but very mellow. A little black cherry in the flavor and some wood tones....cedar-like. Soft maltiness and subdued flavor profile overall. The mouthfeel is very agreeable. Smooth, velvety and creamy. This makes for a nice easy drinking Scotch ale, but it won't wow the hell out of you.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2005 03:07:52 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Ego
Ego

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

appearance...
brown to deep red, little to no head, clean and consistent looking

nose...
malt with a sweet chocolate tinge, doesnt seem to be hiding much, very straight forward

taste etc...
medium body at first merging into a creamier sensation with prickles of carbonation dancing about, very smooth, this one follows the blueprint of the nose, sweet malty madness with the slight chocolate flavor, nice warming effect from the ABV

verdict:
great session beer, I could drink this all night sans the ABV. this one is almost chewable but yet isnt that heavy... damn tasty.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2005 03:21:47 | More by Ego
Photo of kmo1030
kmo1030

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark rich bown colored with a little bit of a tan head. it's seems to be a little hard to coax a decent amount of head out of this. i'm not getting much out this as far as smell is concerned. definietely getting malts, toffee mostly. a light, dark fruitiness too (the comma is important there).
rich malty taste. a big dose of toasty caramel and toffee up front, fading into notes of candied fruits, biscuit, plum. a real distinct earthy hop flavor in there too, but these flavors may be separate unto themselves, perhaps i'm tasting a peat flavor. there is something like a smokiness, but not quite. maybe woody. also a little buttery, but only faintly. after readin a couple of other reviews i notice a sweet tobacco flavor in the mix as well. nice smooth full body. overall i have to say, it's a pretty damn good wee heavy, maybe there was something wrong with my nose today; i'll pick up another soon to make sure. more than worth atleast a try for any fan of scotch ales.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2004 21:32:26 | More by kmo1030
Photo of assurbanipaul
assurbanipaul

Texas

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

Pours a rich chestnut brown with a moderate head that settles to a ring of foam after a few minutes. Nose is malt, grain, cocoa and sweet syrup with an element of distilled, aged alcohol.

Taste is rich, sweet malt. Lots of wood, charcoal and chocolate malts with just a touch of bitterness. Flavors come through of earthy peat, smoke and old seasoned casks of bourbon. Maybe even a cigar or two of tobacco or tea leaves hidden somewhere in it.

Mouthfeel is medium, sweet without cloying. Very complex, smooth and creamy, more alcohol in the aroma than comes through in the taste. Heavier on the brown ale flavors than traditional scottish ale but enjoyable nonetheless. Many thanks to malto for convincing his company to send him to Dallas on business as a ruse for transporting beer. Sheer genius.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2004 07:12:22 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of Fish113d
Fish113d

Pennsylvania

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

Pours a brownish/almost lavendar color w/ about 1/2" of head, that disippates to a nice white surface layer on top. It also has some nice cascading.

Smelling it, chocolate malts and plums or raisins jump out with some earthy hops showing off the overall aroma of this scotch ale.

Taste is smooth and malty; almost like a porter. Wow, the chocolate malts give way to a more bitter almond maltness that totally takes over. The hops is almost insignificant in this beer from what I can tell. The sweet plums also shines through a bit in flovor. However, the almond flavor really takes over. It reminds me of driving past the Reese's plant in Hershey, PA (always a favorite aroma!). The taste kind of matches the aroma of Reese's...interesting.

Mouthfeel, is medium to full bodied, with a nice mild carbonation and a burn from the alcohol that takes over during the swallow to tingle the tongue a bit.

I was pleasantly suprised by this beer. I don't drink many Scotch Ales, and this definitely took me by suprise. Another example of Smuttynose at it's best.

Taste:

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2004 03:36:00 | More by Fish113d
Photo of meathookjones
meathookjones

Virginia

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

This review was from a 22oz bottle. This poured out a caramel color with a slight off white head. There was not much in the way of head retention or lace here just a light scattering of bubbles shortly after this was poured. Aroma was malty sweet and quite fruity. There was a touch of caramel in the mix as well. Taste starts off fruity sweet with hints of caramel. There was not much else I could get from the taste it was fairly simple and mild for the style. The flavor ended with a mild lingering sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium and creamy. Drinkability is pretty good also. While this wouldn’t be my first choice for Scotch Ale its definitely not a bad one. I will definitely be revisiting this one in the future.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2004 13:21:54 | More by meathookjones
Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 452 ratings.