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Pipers Scotch-Style Ale - Sprecher Brewing Company

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Pipers Scotch-Style Ale
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BA SCORE
80
good

217 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 217
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 18.18%
Wants: 8
Gots: 7 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.27% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: battlekow on 08-14-2005

Gold Medal Winner in the Strong Scotch Ale category at the 2004 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 217 | Reviews: 123
Photo of imdabuzzard
4.79/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First scotch ale I ever had, made me a believer! Also the smokiest scotch I've ever had

Photo of Beerlover
4.43/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a really great example of a scotch ale!! It has a sweet malty caramel smell, the flavors match the aromas, there is also a medium flavor of smokiness that really helps cut threw the carmelly malty sweetness, this one is definatly a contender against founders dirty bastard!

Photo of PaulSlazinger
2.56/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Too smokey. Not in the same class as Dirty Bastard or Skull Splitter.

Photo of Beer_Thirty
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Pours dark brownish red. A smokey aroma with hints of caramel. Smokey taste with a bit of a hop to it

Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Pours medium brown with a thin head that becomes a wisp. A few spots of lacing stick.

The smell is of peat smoke, toasted toffee, caramel and booze.

The taste is of sweet caramel with burnt sugar and smokey peat. Booze shows in the finish.

It has adequate, fitting carbonation. Fairly smooth despite a sharp bite. A fuller malt body wouldn't hurt it, but it is fine as it is.

Smoky and rather boozy, it is a nice scotch ale to sip on.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.64/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher nonic.
8.3% ABV,

A - The lively off-white head plasters thick lacing on the pint before settling to a lumpy skim above the gorgeous, clear dark copper beer; Pipers looks so perfect and inviting!

S - Malty caramel sweetness wafts out with a nice bready aspect to it, closely followed by trails of peat smoke and hickory wood chips with suggestions of dark fruit, plums mostly, in the background.

T - Strong malty sweetness coats the tongue with caramel-drizzled wheat bread before being abruptly balanced out by hickory and peat smoked flavors that linger on the tongue like the prior evening's bonfire in your cloths (but without the hangover).

M - Pipers' rich maltiness lends the beer a hefty, full-bodied mouthfeel, which works perfectly with it's ludicrously absent alcohol perception and beautifully smokey, dry finish.

O - Not only is Pipers one of Sprecher's greatest beers, it's also one of the best Scotch-style beers made in the states. This complex, malty brew's peat smoked malts are most definitely noticeable and might surprise the uninitiated but certainly wont alarm those who expect what's coming; the waft of smokiness that caries through this beer is perfectly balanced.

Photo of Karl46
2.22/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a beautiful amber with a very nice head. let it breath for a minute and inhaled but couldn't get a scent from it. The taste was a very unpleasant surprise. Very smokey flavor, actually overwhelming. First impression was smoke and as strange as this may sound, pine tar. It has a taste reminiscent of what pine tar smells like. As I drank the beer I could discern the smell and it was identical to the flavor. This beer will not cross my lips in the future. I actually dumped the first bottle thinking it may have had something wrong with it. Next question, what do I do with the two remaining bottles from the 4 pack. Cheers! Now I will have a bottle of Ballast Point IPA.

Photo of BMMillsy
3.69/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Beer of the month club bottle. Pours dark ruby brown with a small brownish cream colored head. Good clarity. Strong scotch aroma with lots of toffee, caramel malt, biscut, and some dark fruits. Flavor has a strong smokey peat flavor up front, some sweetness in the middle, and then some dry peat flavor on the finish. This one is a bit different from others I have had. Very peaty and earthy. Medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation and relatively easy drinking. Good beer overall.

Photo of kojevergas
2.47/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with generic label art and branded twist-off pressure cap acquired as part of a 6 pack at me local cornerstore and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are low given the brewery. Reviewed as a Scotch ale because it clearly identifies as such. 8.3% ABV per the label.

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

It's clearly a twist-off cap, but I needed to use an opener. Either I have panzy grip strength or it was capped impractically tight (or both).

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a four finger wide head of light khaki colour. Decent creaminess and thickness. Fluffy. Okay frothiness. Head retention is good - about 5-6 minutes. Not too shabby for an 8.3% beer. Inconsistent messy lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a clear translucent/transparent amber-copper of below average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

A bit light in colour for a wee heavy. It's not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Brown malts, biscuit malt, tobacco, molasses, toffee, amber malts, peat, smoked malt, caramel, Vienna malts, English malts, and a hint of taffy. Sticky. Plenty of residual sugars lend it an aromatic sweetness. Any hop presence is minimal and generic. I don't detect any yeast character or alcohol. The smokiness was unexpected. An inoffensive aroma of above average strength.

It's not particularly appealing for the style.

T: Nowhere near as complex or subtle as it needs to be to compete with the best beers in the style. I get a generally cohesive but certainly not gestalt build of biscuit malt, English malts, toffee, brown malts, caramel/caramalts, Vienna malt, chocolate malt, and smoked malt. Also some molasses and tobacco - neither of which is welcome here; those are tough notes to really pull off and they're not well incorporated here. Heavy sassafras. It's not so much imbalanced as it is loosely put together; it's not a carefully considered flavour profile by any means. The smoked malt comes off limp, making it feel like a cross between a mediocre wee heavy and a weak rauchbier. The peat surfaces mainly in the third act and isn't integrated well at all. A fairly messy brew across the board.

No yeast character, hop character, or alcohol comes through.

Very shallow depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some unnatural peat-derived coarseness and dryness in the third act. A bit too heavy on the palate for the lack of diversity/fullness of flavour. Thin and weak. Undercarbonated Lacks a good full body or assertive bold texture. Subpar presence on the palate; it's not approachable or pleasant. Sticky. Syrupy. Doesn't suit the style or the flavour profile well. Poor execution overall.

I could easily see this turning to cardboard with age. Oxidation would ruin this.

Dr: Tough to down given its low quality. I'm not sure what Sprecher was going for with this one, but in spite of the inclusion of elements that sound good on paper (peat, tobacco, toffee, smoked malt) it falls flat. I'd caution friends against buying this one. Poor show from Sprecher. This is the worst wee heavy I've had in recent memory. I definitely wouldn't buy it again, and finishing the 6 pack might prove a chore.

If you're looking for true style paragons, go for Oskar Blues' Old Chub or Founders' Backwoods Bastard.

D+

Not recommended for aging.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle - $2.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a darkish amber-brown body with good clarity capped by a smallish, near white head.

Smell: Vibrant caramelized sugars, toast, roast and given a good dosing of fruity esters. All the while, there's pervasive, peat-driven smokiness.

Taste: Toasted, lightly roasted malts hit with a little sweet caramel. Poignant peat character throughout that, when it combines with the upfront sweetness, tastes like a sweet barbecue sauce. Sorta. Fruity esters of golden raisin and cherry. A little herbal hop character, a little bitterness, but it's not enough to keep it from finishing with a sweet, smoky peat flavor. Quite the malt-forward brew, here.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Very, very slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Overall: Sweet and smoky!

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.31/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: handsome russet. Clear. A wisp of an off white head.
Smell: smoked malt up front. Mostly dry but a bit of sweet, and malty. Interesting but to my nose the smoked malt has that band-aid thing I can't get past.
Taste: much like the nose. The smoked malt is most prominent.
Overall: this doesn't quite do it for me. Interesting use of smoked malt but it doesn't quite come together IMO.

Photo of BaronVonBeauregard
2.79/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This pours a medium brown color with a slight head. The scent is sweet and I’m also picking up hints of smokiness as well. The taste is sweet, malty, and also has a strong smoke flavor to it. The texture is thin, but it is balanced. I'm just not a big fan of the smokiness. I hated shiner smokehouse. I don't hate this but it will not be in my glass ever again.

Photo of Infamous7100
3.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a great looking copper/caramel/burnt orange. Surprising, very little head and very little lacing. Nice color, but lacks the other aesthetics.
S: Extremely malty with some big time roasted notes. Simply stated, sweet and semi-smoky. Hints of caramel do lend some support to the smokiness, but malt wins the day here.
T: Whereas malt wins the day on the nose, in my opinion, the roasted and smoked flavors win on the tongue. Starts sweet, but towards the middle to back, the earthy/smoky flavors start to dominate. The domination continues through the finish and I am left dull sweetness and campfire like flavor. The 8% alcohol is hidden well by the semi-sweet smoke.
M: Medium to full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. I like the creaminess of the brew. Toward the back, there is a slight boozy burn that was somewhat of a surprise as the taste masked the booze well. Closes with a long lasting, smoky hang.
O: Being this is a scotch style ale, I think it fits the style well. The earthy, malty and smoky flavors associated with Scotch Ales and Wee Heavys' are ever-present, but perhaps a bit skewed too much in that direction. It could use a tad more balance of sweetness, perhaps some chocolate notes or dark fruit. Not bad, but not me. A lot of rauchbier characteristics.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

In a pint glass the beer was a dark amber color with a rather small tan head.

A sweet caramel aroma with a hint of smoke.

Taste followed aroma. Caramel with a hint of smoke.

The beer was more watery and unidimensional than I expected.

Not a scotch ale that I would want to drink a lot of.

Photo of Lemke10
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This pours a semi-clear, medium brown color with only a slight head. The scent is sweet and I’m also picking up hints of smokiness as well. The taste is sweet, malty, and also has some decent smoke flavor to it. The texture is thinner but it is balanced out by the rich flavor of the ingredients. Certainly very unique for a so-called Scotch Ale.

Photo of RickS95
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

It's an attractive pour with its mahogany brown, caramel color. Fairly clear, but still relatively opaque. The head is two and a half fingers thick, foamy-looking and slightly off-white. Good retention with minimal lacing.

Smell was disappointing because there just wasn't anything. I practically put my nose in the foam and couldn't get anything. The only thing that ALMOST registered was caramel malt. Even with the beer warming a bit, there's nothing.

I don't care much for the style but the combination of malts and reasonably high ABV gave it a slight smoke taste that worked for me. There is a kind of spirity taste to it that also worked, even though I don't drink spirits. As it warms, a caramelly taste emerges.

It's a bit creamy at the start, with a little sweetness mixed in. Toward the back of the sip there's a nice mixture of savory hops and a bit of heat and smokey feel from the alcohol. The savory lasts well into the finish because there's only limited bitter.

Overall this was pretty good. It went down easy and has a nice kick of alcohol.

Photo of philbe311
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - An active swirling pour yields less than a finger's worth of fizzy off white colored head with limited retention which gives way to an uneven swirled lacing and thin collar.... The color is a dull caramel brown... There are a few stray streaks of rapid paced carbonation throughout...

S - The nose of fairly subdued and understated... Peat... Light smoke... Some dark fruit... A hint of brown sugar... Some off band-aid notes was well...

T - Peat... Brown sugar... Caramel... Some light woody notes... Hints of dark fruit... The finish is dominated be a fairly assertive smokey character... That off band-aid flavor is a major detriment to enjoying this one more...

M - Medium to full bodied... Moderate carbonation... A bit thick... Somewhat sleek...

D - I'm a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy devotee and this one misses the mark by a mile for me... Perhaps I got a bad bottle, but this one falls short in every category... There is are some slightly off band-aid qualities in terms of both aroma and flavor that are the primary culprits of my displeasure... Trying to keep those aside for a moment, this still an average at best representation of the style... Much of the richness and depth that I expect in the style are present, but blend together in such a way that sum of the part doesn't equal the whole... Unfortunately this is a beer that I won't recommend nor seek out, though I'd be willing to try again if I'm convinced that I had an off bottle...

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 5/30/2011. Pours lightly hazy dark red amber color with a nice 1 finger fairly dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big caramel, raisin, toast, molasses, toffee, dark bread, peat, wood, light smoke, light chocolate, scotch, floral, and earthy spiciness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance. Taste of caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, raisin, peat, wood, bread, light smoke, floral, scotch, and earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, molasses, bread, peat, floral, scotch, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of flavors with some great complexity; with zero cloying sweetness present on the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent scotch ale! Nice balance and great flavor complexity; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one, very well done.

Photo of BrownAleMale
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap 12oz poured into a Sprecher nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Mahogany with amber hues and basically zero head that leaves no lacing. Not very impressed so far.

Smell- Very feint carmel with some peaty smokiness.

Taste- Lots of peat and an abrupt bitter finish. I have come to expect a lot more complexity in my scotch ales.

Mouthfeel- Very very watery. I am saddened with Sprechers attempt here.

Overall- A very run of the mill Scotch Ale. The smells and flavors are very feint and the beer is watery like a macro.

Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear reddish-amber with a large white head, which soon collapses to a thin layer of foam on the surface, with a thick scattering of lace that resembles an ancient bas-relief in miniature. The carbonation is fairly robust and slow-rising.

Aroma: Abundant peat vies with caramel and cocoa, and a generous note of smoke, as well as sweet alcohol.

Taste: Opens with robust notes of peat, which soon turn smoky. As the taste progresses, the smoke intensifies. Its not to quite the level of a rauch bier, or Liquid Smoke (tm), but its not subtle at all. There is sweet alcohol as well, and dark caramel and bitter cocoa, but they are mere accomplices to the smoky peat. Finishes with a lingering smoky, earthy note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, very pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Very well-done, very close to being an over-the-top example of a Wee Heavy.

Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Photo of maximum12
3.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First, let me say that the food at the Sprecher Restaurant & Brewpub in Wisconsin Dells absolutely kicks ass. The beer? Lessee. Six-ounce sampler of this brew to start out with.

Arrives with little fanfare, mild brown hooking up with mild red, low carbonation. Nose is also mild, bits of caramel, sweetness.

Pipers Scotch Ale was probably not the right beer to start out with. The caramel is rich & vibrant, & there's a gorgeous scotch-like quality to the beer, even though it's clearly not barrel-aged. Nice sweet kick in the middle, Finish is all that peaty scotch again. Lush & lovely. Six ounces? Bring the keg over, kid, just set it next to the silver Christmas tree.

A bit surprised to see the lowish score on this one, perhaps it's simply a beer one needs to have on tap. A hard-hitting linebacker of a scotch ale that sets a high marker for others: excellent.

Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Dark Brown with a very strong haze. Head pours around 3 fingers and has good retention. For some odd reason, it looks very thick or dense.

Smell - Butterscotch, Floral Hops, Rum, Caramel, Scotch and Malts. The sweetness can best be described as a Lighter Sweetness; lighter as in more sugary than say malty.

Taste - Scotch, Caramel, Butterrum, Oak, and Barley. Very robust and malty flavor; I was taken completely by surprise as to how flavorful this was going to be. Slight booziness to the flavor, but I'll let it slide. With that said, this is more of a sipper than anything else.

Mouthfeel - My earlier suspicions that this had a thicker body are proven to be true. Carbonation is mild so the body has a nice creamy feel to it.

Overall - The flavor is excellent and the creamy feel of it makes it a pleasure to drink. I've always had Sprecher's Craft Sodas before and am a regular buyer of Puma Kola (Best Soda Ever!), so it's awesome to see their beers are shaping up to be as good as their sodas.

Photo of JackieTH
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of a sampler flight of 5-ouncers at Sprecher's in Wisconsin Dells. Coppery colored liquid with a thin head that didn't leave any lacing. Nose was faint, roasted malt and slight toffee elements so far as I could discern. Taste similarly was fairly lacking across the board. Malt elements were roasty, caramel, toffee, slightly sweet. Not much else, and the mouthfeel was too thin for the style. No complexity. I found this wee heavy to be totally average, fairly bland, in most in every way.

Photo of 1Nrwyscotch
3.46/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- medium to dark brown with a fingers width head which stays for a little while.

Smell-earthy and smoky with some alcohol present

Taste-Smoky and not very sweet with less alcohol present in the taste. enjoyable

Mouthfeel- seems rather light for this style of beer.

Overall- A decent Scotch Ale but does not stand out and lacks the depth of other Scotch Ales I have tried.

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from session notes.

A. Clear mahogany-tinted amber with a fizzy single finger of sand colored head that stays for about a minute and a half, no lacing left behind.

S,T. Tobacco smoke and milk chocolate over a mildly roasted malt aroma in the nose, medium-light peat smoke and caramel nougat with a dash of milk chocolate in the front of the sip that partially bitters up with a light ash astringency towards the end of the sip.

M. Medium body and low carbonation levels. Could stand a boost in heft to support the flavor profile.

This scotch ale focuses a bit too much on the smokiness aspect of scotch ales to the detriment of the malt sweetness aspects.

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Pipers Scotch-Style Ale from Sprecher Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 217 ratings.