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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.
very good

484 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 484
Reviews: 278
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 61
Gots: 29 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 484 | Reviews: 278 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sacfly
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, brilliant dark ruby red. Big tan bubbles in a modest head. Lots of sweetness with a hint of orange in the aroma.

Mouth feel is great in this one. Light syrupy sweetness. Clean malt balanced by a hint of bitterness. The bitterness starts to step to the forefront in the aftertaste, but the sweetness is still present. Light coffee and chocolate notes as it warms.

Awesome from start to finish. For the next bottle I need to get some dark chocolate. I’ll bet that would be a perfect desert.

Photo of Terp96
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I think it is unanimous that this one is a definite malt bomb.

I poured this bomber into my dimpled 22 oz mug. Deep red, brownish color with very little head retention. I even made sure it was an even pour into the middle of the glass and I managed to get the whole thing in the mug at once. Small amount of sediment was left in the bottle.

Smells of malt and not much else. No hop aroma but a tad bit of smokiness.

Tastes pretty good and what I expected for a wee heavy. Malt up front and malt in the back. There is a definite caramel sweetness that takes over about mid way through disguising any alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel is a little strange. I expected this beer to be smoother but it was too prickly up front. The finish is not as long as I would like.

Drinkability is okay. It tastes good enough to leave you wanting more and it makes a good beer to relax with by the fire on a cold night. I will pick this up occasionally but it will not be one of my go-to's.

Photo of UnionMade
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky mahogany brown. Full, thick ivory head, lacing all the way down, keeping strong all the way through. Leaves a dollop of head at the bottom of the glass. Malty, malty. malty aroma. Did i say malty? Quite caramelly and fruity, with a hint of peat smoke and roasted barley. Packed with flavor, this beer just gushes caramel. Very fruity, right up front, fresh plum and pear, melting into sugary sweetness. Very mildy hopped finish, nore peaty, tangy and roasty, some charred malt quality, still sweetly laden with caramel. Vague smokiness. Quite light. Very sweet, but not nearly cloying. Alcohol becomes more and more apparent as it warms. Medium to full bodied. Milder carbonation, with a silky mouthfeel. This one's a deliciously sweet, full-on caramel malt bomb.

Photo of EPseja
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Been holding on to this one for about 6 months. Now its time to put it through its paces.

Served at just below cellar temperature in a pint glass.

A - Pours from the bottle with a deep chestnut color, complete with a nice, thick head that dissapates to a thin mat after about a minute or so. Lacing is very spotty and inconsistent.

S - Slightly metallic toasted malts and a vinous tinge. Some hints of dark fruit and light hops along with interesting faint organic notes.

T - The first taste in the mouth is the bright, sweet, dark malt along with some faint earthy notes that I can't put my finger on. These are soon after replaced by a winelike character that sticks it out through the finish where the dry, lightly hopped notes come into play along with the alcohol. A noticeable warming occurs after each swallow, reminding you that this is indeed a big beer.

M - Slowly grows to a nice rolling froth in the mouth, but subsides enough to make the swallow clean and easy. Very nice.

D - This beer is pretty easy to drink, although I find that the winelike characteristics pull it a bit out of style for my tastes. I would even venture to say that this beer teeters on the brink of being a Porter or a Winter Warmer.

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

Hazy burgundy color with a small ivory head. Chocolately, malty aroma - almost porter-like. Roasted malt grains, slight fruits, caramel, slight alcohol presence. Flavor is very malty - chocolate, again a burnt porter-like taste, bitter but very low on hop flavor. Smooth, robust mouthfeel, with moderate carbonation, slightly dry.

My tongue says "porter" for some reason. More robust than expected. Full bodied and pretty easy to put down. A solid offering from the Big Beer Series.

Photo of tastybeer
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looks deep brown with a hint of mahogany, and lets only a little light through. Creamy tan colored head. Smell is very dominant in buttery caramel chocolate with a dark fruity tartness. Full of roasty caramel malts. Taste is caramel malts, chocolate, butter and oil, followed by a fruitlike alcohol bite that warms nicely. I haven't had many wee heavies but I think I like them a lot as of now. This one is rather enjoyable. Mouthfeel is exceptionally nice. Smoothy sleek and then foamy and creamy with a swirl. Ultra drinakble as well. Goes down like butter, especially for a beer of 7.8%

I will be getting this all the time I think. I can see me drinking this all year long thanks to the ultra drinkability.

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

Clear brown in color, sporting a thick 2 inch head that hangs around a while. The aroma was strong with malt, pine, and peat. Multiple flavor tones make up this beauty - thick malt, toffee, peat, toasted nuts, and raisins. Some earthiness, hearty bitterness, and alcohol warming round this out beautifully.

Medium / heavy body. Smooth and mildly crisp mouthfeel. The finish is long on the malt and peat. This is well worth seeking out, an extremely enjoyable and flavorful brew.

Photo of WanderingFool
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.

Photo of BuckSpin
3.91/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of Gaisgeil
3.61/5  rDev -9.5%
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.


Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
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

Photo of oberon
4.07/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of MuddyFeet
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of MrSeth
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
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).

Photo of FirstMan
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of ybnorml
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.

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.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.83/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of JackStraw22
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Photo of Truh
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.

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!

Photo of mmmbeer
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.

Photo of ZAP
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..

Photo of PatandDavid
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.

Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 484 ratings.