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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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very good

455 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 455
Reviews: 275
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 54
Gots: 24 | 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: 455 | Reviews: 275 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of assurbanipaul


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


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.


Serving type: bottle

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


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
Photo of Hibernator


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

I had this beer out of a 22 oz brown bomber bottle and served it in a tulip pint glass.Couldn't find a freshness date on the label. Part of the Smuttynose Big Beer Series. I paid $3.49 at a local Trader Joe's.

Pours an amber brown color with a large, fluffy head. Lacings are clinging to the glass.

Malty nose with a caramel sweetness.

Creamy mouthful with a major malt profile. Tastes blend fruit, cream, caramel and some chocolate. Slight alcohol warmth on the finish, but nothing too overpowering. Just a reminder that this beer rings in at 7.8 % ABV.

This is a very drinkable Scotch style ale. The malty and creamy profile makes this a beauty. Great interpretation of this style and one of the better Scotch Ales I've had yet.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2004 22:17:36 | More by Hibernator
Photo of WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a strong nut brown type scent to it. It is rich in pale, crystal, and victory malts. The taste is good. It has a rich roasted barley flavor to it along with crystal and pale malts. It is full of flavor and a bit warm on the finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good brew. It is not real thick, yet it has an elevated abv. and great flavor. This is a great drinker and another winner from Smuttynose.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2004 17:46:51 | More by WesWes
Photo of wailingwench

New Mexico

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

Eye Candy: Deep brown with garnett edges. Initial thin tan head that quickly vanished. Thin edges, no lacing in the center. Looks like Captain Morgans in a pint glass.

The Nose Knows: Cold: rich deep malts with a touch of cocoa and toffee. As it warmed, fruity alcohol esters emerged. Slight candied fruit, heavy on the plum/raisin. Finished with a light smoked maple.

Tongueland: Medium to thick m/f. Toffee and caramel initially, a touch of cocoa, finished with fruity alcohol esters. Amazingly complex and interesting cold to warm transition. Finishes light and dry on the tongue.

Bender Factor: This brew will seriously degrade your typing skills. The ABV is detectable, not astringent. Bombers are the real deal. I have had better Scottish Ales, maybe this one needs to age awhile to develop its character.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2004 07:14:40 | More by wailingwench
Photo of carln26


4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint mug, this beer was a deep mahogany color with a thin tam head, and a mild lace. The aroma is dominated by malt that gives the nose both a sweet and roasted/smoky character. The flavor has the smoky malt flavor in the front of the taste with more sweetness in the middle, and a mild hop finish. It has an appealing lightness to the mouth feel, and seems very drinkable. As with all of the Big Beer series, this one is a nice version worth a taste.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2004 23:36:02 | More by carln26
Photo of drjones633

New Hampshire

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

Poured brown/amber with a white head.
Very thick malty flavor with alcohol taste subduded by a slight sweetness/bitterness. The body and flavor reminded me of a Sam Adams-Double Bock alot. A fairly drinkable beer if you like this style of beer.(even though its not a true Scotch Ale.)

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2004 22:40:56 | More by drjones633
Photo of RBorsato


4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown with amber hues and a nice light brown head, decent carbonation, and leaves good lace. Huge malty nose and flavor with a noticeable alcohol presence in both aroma and flavor. Big mouthfilling full bodied flavor but fullness is almost airy in filling the mouth (feels like it expands somewhat ... i know, strange).

Per label: "The Smuttynose Big Beer Series" & "6th Ed. in the Series"

Per Smuttynose website:
Malts: Pilsner Malt, 10L Munich, 35L Carastan, Chocolate Malt, Rauch Malt (1.5%)
SG 18°P
TG 3.6°P
Hops: Willamette - Bittering
IBU: 28
7% ABV

'03' emb on bottom
Tasted: 09/28/04

($3.59 / 22 oz.)

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2004 17:28:22 | More by RBorsato
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

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

The beer poured clear brown/amber with an off-white head that rose slowly and fell slowly and laced the glass.

The aroma was malty with chocolate and caramel and a slight smoke.

The flavor was chocolate and malty caramel with a slight smokiness. There was also a hop bitterness and hop flavors that may be a bit overdone.

The finish was off dry with lingering caramel and chocolate into the aftertaste. The body was medium full.

22 ounce bottle. There is no real alcohol present in the aroma, flavor or finish, so at 8%, this one is a sleeper.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2004 00:37:13 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

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

Thanks to Venom for this beer.

Poured a reddish brown with a nice white head. The nose was fairly hoppy rather than malty. This beer is not a true Scottish ale in that the hops really make the finish bitter. Lots of malty goodness but a lack of sweetness that I come to expect from this style. I liked this beer as a variation of this style.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2004 17:36:53 | More by canucklehead
Photo of taez555


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

This beer poured an off white head with a ruby/brown body.

The nose was a rich mix of malt, soft fruit, caramel and soft touches of alcohol.

The taste was a bit different. A medium carbonation but with a large bubbled, almost chunky type of carbonation. It starts with a big metallic bitterness. Lots of roasted barley malt, burnt espresso beans, caramel and other malt flavors. There’s a very present earthy/flowery hop flavor as well as a firm bitterness. It ends with a strong roasted barley bitterness.

It’s a nice attempt at a scotch ale, but the bitter roasted malts really overpowered any sort of smooth classic scotch ale characteristics. Sort of more like a porter mixed with a scotch ale. Decent beer, but I’ll pass next time.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2004 07:38:03 | More by taez555
Photo of Boto


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

22oz bottle: I was suprised that it came out of the bottle a dark amber hue: I was expecting more of a brown color. A bit of an off-white head that died down rather quickly. The aroma has hints of roastiness, peat, maybe some hops down in there. The taste hits you with a balanced mix of chocolate, coffee, roastiness. Very malty. There is some smokiness and some fruits hidden in there as well. This gets better with each sip.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2004 21:21:56 | More by Boto
Photo of CRJMellor


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

Pours a thick, caramel red and brown with no discernible head. Lots of tiny bubbles denoting solid effervescence.
Aroma of caramel and toffee with floral hops and a biscuit malt profile. Some powerful hops on the backnote, minor peat notes as
Flavor of caramel dominates with a nuttiness and a bready biscuit hit. Lots of oily and resiny hop notes as well.
Mouthfeel is smooth and sweet with an interesting and very detectable spicy yeast and subtle hop bitterness on the finish.
Drinkability is very high. This is a classic example of style IMHO. Loads of malt cut with appropriate bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2004 02:42:29 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of mschofield


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours mahogany topped with a two finger tan head, well carbonated, the head disappeared quickly and no lacing was left.
Very malty nose, like fresh baked dark bread. Roasty and toasted bread, caramel, very sweet, chocolate, some herbal and floral hop notes.
Similar in taste, with the addition of dark fruit cherry/plum and some smoke.
Medium-full body, it's good but the sweetness would get cloying to me so I wouldn't drink a lot of it.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2004 18:07:26 | More by mschofield
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2004 20:48:34 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of marburg


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

All malt, all the time.

Aroma is heavily dominated by an estery, caramel-ish maltiness. While hoppy beers can certainly be rich, this is decadent in the way only a big malt beer can be. A beer equivalent of "death by chocolate" -- death by woody, wet, potent, malty, caramel goodness. Hints of tea leaves and wet grass round out this very heavy nose.

Thick and somewhat oily. Smacks of malt sweetness with a thick, caramel presence, of course. Surprisingly easy to drink considering its substantial body. Reminds me, just a bit, of the light, creamy, almost buttermilk smoothness of Arcadia Scotch Ale. It certainly has a light, nicely subdued hop presence that lends a little leafy bitterness to the end. But this is just an awesome brew for malt lovers and Scotch Ale fans.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2004 01:02:28 | More by marburg
Photo of far333


4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tea-colored with orange highlights where the light gets through. Has a quickly receding foamy light brown head. Aroma is sweet malt with some hop smells getting through, and some hints of brown sugar. Mouthfeel is very smooth, envelopes the mouth. Flavor is sweet malt, with some molasses, and a bit of raisin. Not sweet like some scotch ales, and very even. The ABV hides beneath the flavor, and does not overpower the tongue.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2004 23:02:15 | More by far333
Photo of Hobbz

Rhode Island

4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A superb, "home-grown" Scotch ale.

Very ruby-red, dark-hued beer, faint foam lacing. Pretty nondescript aroma.

Taste was a big wow! Enjoyable flavors. Specialty-malts with hop bite with esters aglow (possibly also a hint of caramelization, kettle-induced?). A myriad of flavors combining so well that each taste, once over, cried for more.

It was a bit hard during this session for me to crack its complex of flavors (any hint of smoked peat?), so I just continued to enjoy its taste, mouthfeel and drinkability. Bravo.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2004 06:44:28 | More by Hobbz
Photo of jtfest


4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As far as the appearance, think Pepsi. Not, darken it a shade or two and you know what this brew looks like. The aroma is pleasant, but very subtle. A bit of malt, some floral hints -- and just a tinge of alcohol. The mouthfeel is full and smooth -- this is a brew that feels good. The taste, however, is what makes this brew remarkable. It is extremely complex, and I found myself experiencing different beers with every sip -- sometimes even during the same draw. There were woody flavors, spices like clove and cinnamon, and a world of other tastes. Every time I tried to "capture" the flavor to describe it, it would morph into something else. This is a chameleon-like brew that just keep surprising me. Very drinkable and highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2004 05:11:46 | More by jtfest
Photo of proc


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

A very complex beer. Pours out to a brown color in the glass with a generous, light brown head. There is alot of carbonation present. The smell is of malted milk balls (really) and hay...yes, hay, but I mean it in a good way. The taste is bizarre...there is a the malt heaviness of a brown ale, coupled with the fruit/raisin/plum/fig thing of a barleywine, a funky spicy finish from who knows where, and a nice, light hop presence of an English Mild, which, all in all, makes for a fine, drinkable beer. Thanks to my man, beerboy21 for sending this my way.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2004 03:11:04 | More by proc
Photo of merlin48


3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This "Biggun" poured a clear, dark, mahogany, with a small, tan head that quickly drops into patchy and collar lace. Aroma is very malty, as expected, with notes of toffee, molasses, and caramel. A faint whiff of floral hops is also apparent. Mouthfeel has a moderate hops bite and plenty of carbonation.
Tatse is very malty to start, with toffee and caramel sweetness. There is a nice funky, hops bitterness to keep things in check. Some vinous notes emerge midway through, and the taste develops a number of complexities. A fig/date fruitiness gives way to more dark fruits as the alcohol content becomes noticeable. Vinous notes try to reassert, but get knocked back by the bitter, floral hops and heavyduty malt character. I don't pick up any peat or smoke flavors here, but it's still a very tasty Scottish style ale. With some smokiness, this would earn some superlative scores from this reviewer.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2004 02:33:35 | More by merlin48
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh


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

Once again, the power of beer karma smiles upon me. Enjoying a few pints with some friends and fellow BA altctrlsdelete at Capital Ale House last night, I noticed Matt had ordered this beer. Again, this was not listed on the tap list...it looked good....I ordered one. As the old knight guarding the Holy Grail (of the non-Monty Python variety) in Indians Jones and the Last Crusade would say: "You have chosen....wisely."

Served in the commerative CAH St. Patty's day glass, the scotch ale is deep brownish-caramel in color. Miniscule lace quickly died away (though my glass was filled to the brim) to just a fine layer at the edges. Aromas are an interesting mix of caramel malts and a chalky-smoky character. Flavor is full of malt. Great level of hoppy bitterness balances. Finishes with an ABV kick and a spicy, zesty aftertaste. Very drinkable with a medium-bodied smoothness.

Notes: I've never really gotten into Scotch ales, but this was a real eye-opening experience for me. I will definitely seek out some more of this style. Kudos to Matt for this one.

Edited 4/1/04: Apparently, this was a very rare and very special "oak-aged" version of the regular beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2004 02:47:37 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of charlesw

New York

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My new favorite house beer - but then, it is winter! Very nice. Let's see... It's good and dark - deep copper/brown. Very light head that fades very quickly.

Interesting aroma of ... um ... it smells like a REALLY bitter beer tastes. That's kind of odd given that it's not a really bitter beer...

Taste and mouthfeel are pretty darned good - I get a nice, smooth, full-bodied mouth here. It's all about black licorice and caramel with an interesting hit in the back of the mouth at the end. Yeah, that's got to be hop bitterness - but only right as you swallow. And it's that taste that leads into the aftertaste...

The aftertaste leaves me a little wanting - wanting more of the stronger, more even flavors of when it's in my mouth. That would be why it didn't score higher, for me, in the taste.

Still, this is considerably better than some other local scotch ales. Dang! There's no need to do side-by-side comparisons when you can taste straight off the full body and flavor in this one! Woo hoo!

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2004 21:39:30 | More by charlesw
Photo of ark57


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

A great comforting beer. It is dark ruby brownn in color with a thin head. There is little to no hop character or bitterness in this bee, yet it seems to be well rounded. It is very malty with tastes of caramel and a slight smokiness. The smokiness is probably from the use of some peated malt. I could drink this one all night.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2004 19:50:15 | More by ark57
Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 455 ratings.