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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

218 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 218
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 18.18%
Wants: 8
Gots: 8 | 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).
View: Beers (41) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 218 | Reviews: 123
Reviews by wiscokid920:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's been awhile since I had a Sprecher brew (back to my Michigan days) so when I saw a bunch available here in the B-lo area I grabbed some.This poured into a standard pint glass a deep mahogany brown with some amber hue a thinner but well retained white head atop.Deep caramel and brown sugar notes obviously malt tilted in its malty sweetness and cake-like dominance a bit of alcohol shows thru in the finish but doesnt distract from the flavors.A decent Scotch ale to be had.

Photo of blackearth
2.89/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Purchased from the Sprecher gift shop in Glendale, WI. Pours a very dark amber to brown body with a thick, rocky light tan head. Aromas of smoked malt and a bit of sweetness. Medium bodied with medium carbonation, this beer has an over-powering smoke malt flavor that lingers well into the finish clouds any hop bitterness. I find this beer to have too much smoke flavor going on. On the other hand, if that's your thing, you will love this beer.

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 rhoadsrage
3.36/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a warm amber body with a dense creamy head of tan foam that last and last. There is a sea of micro bubbles that glide up the side of the glass.

S- This beer has a nougat and slightly sweet malt syrup smell with a faint smoky note. There is a faint smell of caramel as the beer warms a bit.

T- This beer has a light toasted creamy malt flavor with a slight sweetness and a faint tart smoke note. There is a slight taste of band-aids and an alcohol bite in the finish as it warms. This beer has a very muttled flavor and it doesn't taste fresh even though the bottle was fresh. The finish smoke taste had a salty quality to it aswell.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a faint slippery texture to the finish.


D-

Photo of cokes
4.18/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gloomy chestnutted scarlet topped with rings of dirty vanilla.
The nose is wheeeew-boy sweet. With that typical Sprecher's candied fig, and molasses aroma, bolstered here with blackberry brandy (or maybe just grape and blackberry jellies, as there is not a definite alcohol fume), then finished with gobs of brown sugar.
It's not a displeasing odor, but it lacks some of the traits I want in a Scotchy, namely smoke.
Begins as the inhale promised; full of sweet things, and sweeter things, and sweetest things. Jellied berries, molasses, pureed dark fruits, toffeed apples, and just toffee, and just pressed apples, and sugared breads--like cinnamon rolls, sans the cinnamon but still gobbed with running, gooey, vanilla frosting.
This shit is sweet.
But....
The smoke peeks out eventually, timidly at first, then more confidently as time goes on. The formerly ham-fisted sweetness suddenly is a perfect counterpoint to the earthen, meaty smoke traits. Like a Hawaiian barbeque, with roasted pig flesh, and seared pineapples. Close it down with a waft of fragrant tobacco, and this becomes utopic.
No trace of the 8+% ABV is ever considered. And that is fucking scary.
Full bodied, but not thick, per say. The up-front sweetness lends a syrupy feel that dissolves as the beer changes. And given its particulars, with the sweetness, the forward meaty smoke, and its strength, it becomes far more drinkable than the sum of its parts.
Not a classic-styled Scotch Ale, but rather a stylized Scotch that is classic in itself.

Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Darkish brown with a moderate white head, that leaves some lacing. Nice smoke and tabacco odour. A tad weak mouthfeel, decent taste, malt and spicey sweet peat, and tabacco smoke taste. above average carbonation.
A decent scotch beer from this decent brewer.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Caramel, chocolate, raisins, figs, and a hint of roastiness appear in the nose of Sprecher's Pipers Scotch-Style Ale.

It's chestnut-brown in color with a short but creamy head of ivory that holds pretty well and leaves some minor lace about the glass.

The mouthfeel is smooth and just slightly dextrinous across the palate with a medium-full body and restrained, very-fine bubbled carbonation.

A distinct note of chocolate appears upfront in the flavor. It's not particularly to style, but it's rich and welcoming... and it is, of course, only "Scotch-style". From there the maltiness diplays a good deal of caramel and more toasty malt across the middle. It's sweetish, but not overdone. Supple dark fruit appears, and some candyish notes come through along with a flicker of alcohol. The bitterness balances it nicely, maintaining a presence but staying low-key. It finishes dry despite the richness of the malt with some residual soft chocolate and caramel, and a light roastiness and subtle smokiness that don't really appear prior.

Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz stub bottle, i believe obtained at Steve's

appearance: pours into an imperial pint glass and fits nicely, mahogany-garnet body with a light tan froth head and minimal lace

smell: earthy and smoky, caramel malts, not an overpowering nose but nice

taste: smooth and creamy caramel, hints of smoke and wood, big time earthy flavors, big malts...a nice smooth scotch ale from sprecher. try it alongside the bourbon aged version

mouthfeel: great - super creamy and smooth

drinkability: good

Photo of rmolledo
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Nice dark Red/Brown with a nice retentive head.

S: Peaty, Malty, Roasted Malts, Caramel Notes. No Hop Aroma

T: On the more smokey side of the style. Nice Kettle Caramelization but perhaps a little too sweet for my tastes. Low to Moderate flavor Hops.

MF: Moderately Carbonated. Slight Alcohol burn.

D: Not a bad scottish ale. A little on the smokey side but that adds character and identity to this beer. I would only drink just one of these in a night so my drinkability rating isn't that hight. I wouldn't be opposed to having this again in the future.

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 tempest
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Princeton Liquors in Maple Grove. Poured a red-brown with a short head. The flavor, straight out of my fridge is a rubbery smoked malt, but it smooths out as the beer warms up. The flavor has a slightly meaty roasted caramel taste to it, with a bit of candy sugar sweetness. The aroma also has a bit of apple to it, and the body is reasonably drinkable. This is a nice beer, though, worth a try if you like smoked beers.

Photo of russpowell
2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I think I got this from czoch75, cheers Clint!

Pours a murky chestnut with a sliver of tan head. So-so lacing & average head retention

S: Caramel, brown sugar & apricots, fades as it warms

T: Toffee, dryness & a touch of band aids??? up front. Smokeyness comes through as this warms, plus dryness plus some peach & apricot, & a touch of burnt caramel. Finishes slightly fruitty & smokey with more annoying dryness; on the verge of cloying

MF: Kind of thin for the style, prickly carbonation

Drinks okay, I expected a helluva lot more from Sprecher. This is just just so-so for a style I truly love

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 beveritt
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 16 oz brown bottle into a Shaker ping glass. Label is different than the one currently on BA. It displays a picture of a piper with a close up of a tartan. Name of the beer is below in a distinctly medieval style font. Description say "This hearty red-brown ale has a slight, smokey aroma complexed with caramel and lightly toasted malt." No clear freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with 3/4 finger of light tan head. This settles quickly to an incomplete coating of foam. The beer itself is a perfectly clear deep mahogany.

Smell: Sharp, coppery aromas of caramel malt.

Taste: Unbelievably rich flavor of caramel; extremely candy-like. Smokey bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: Sprecher makes it to my area, but not a lot of variety. Glad I was able to try this one. A little too smoky for my tastes.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.35/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a big 16 oz bottle to a Stein. The liquid was dark as well as the small 1 finger tan head.

The smell saw interesting foretelling of a smoky malt to come. Also the aroma of alcohol was in the mix.

The taste really struck me. Lots of alcohol taste embedded in a very nice smoky malt flavor. The really hit the spot and I enjoyed it.

The mouthfeel was nice, lots of good body and ok carbonation.

The drinkability was good as well. I will look to get some more. Prosit

Thanks objectivemonkey for this very nice brew. MK

Photo of rebel1771
4.27/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark amber color with very little head. Caught in the right light it kind of looks like cider.

S: Candied apricot smell right up front with notes of caramel and hints of vanilla.

T: Creamy mouthfeel, candied fruit flavor at first with caramel and earthy undertones coming in the end.

D: This is one easy drinking brew, very smooth. I could easily down more than one of these.

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

Pours a ruby brown with yeast floating throughout. The head is thick and strong. The aroma is smokey, sweet, caramel, toffee, some coffee, spicy sweet herbs and just a touch of alcohol. The taste mirrors the nose sweet and smokey upfront with a syrupy mouthfeel, finishing with a light boozey heat. Phenominal balance and flavor what a great scotch ale.

Photo of emerge077
3.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A_ A brownish red-amber tone, with sudsy foam that dispersed quickly.

S_ Mild yeast esters, banana, mildly phenolic.

T_ Peat-smoked English malt, mild bitterness. Good level of complexity, not overwhelming.

M_ Medium-bodied, quaffable, good level of carbonation.

D_ Fairly average, didn't want another pint after the first, but it was easy to finish.

Label depicts a filtered view of the Tartan pattern of a Scottish kilt, beyond that, the hazy figure of a bagpipe player in the background. Almost what you'd expect to see if you were the drummer in the marching band who drank too much Scotch and ended up on the ground.

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

This is my first experience with this style of ale.

While I was picking up some other beer I saw this one. The label wasn't bland like the usual Sprecher brands. This one has pictures of Scottish bagpipers on it and a lot of color which caught my eye.

Appearance -- Nice light brown color. This one almost pours like a soda; there's a lot of carbonation at first. Nice head but it didn't last long. Head was very carbonated with larger bubbles; didn't appear like a very creamy head.

Smell -- Sweet, malty, with smokey tones. Pleasant.

Taste -- Almost like it smells. Sweet with hints of smoke that are more apparent at the back of the mouth. Great ale for a brisk fall or winter night.

Mouthfeel -- Light with quite a bit of carbonation.

Drinkability -- It's a very drinkable ale although I'd probably have to limit it to one or two: it tastes sweeter than I am used to (I'm more of a fan of IPAs). I would definitely recommend it as well as make another purchase.

Served in an imperial pint glass.

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 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 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 rallison
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice dark caramel color with an annoyingly fizzy head. Smell brought things back up though, with a nice touch of caramel and toffee, with an interesting smokiness.

Taste is also of good caramel and toffee - with an emphasis on the toffee - followed by a nice, woody smokiness. Nice blending of the flavors, and nothing comes across as too sweet.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are both well done.

Overall, recommended. Sprecher is quite hit or miss, but this one is solid.

Photo of bubrewer
3.69/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I opened this expecting that Wisconsin "twang" that I seem to find in most beers from there, and several others from Sprecher. This time, however, things are a little different.

The initial aroma is a little fruity, sort of English. Heartily mixed in is musty smoke, but not the bacony hickory aroma present in some smoked beers. As it warms the alcohol becomes more apparent, but not for the first several minutes in the glass.

Flavor is sort of carmelly raisins, and nice clean smoke. Just musty enough to be pleasant and nothing tarry or salty.

Overall this is a little dryer and thinner than I expect from a Scottish ale, but a very nice beer with a well done smoke character. I'll certainly grab another should the opportunity present itself.

Photo of SteveS1
3.21/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip pint from the bottle:

Look- Ruby red and clear, nice tan foamy head with small bubbles and a bit of retention

Smell- Sickeningly sweet, I could smell malts before approaching the glass, strong carmels

Taste- Immediately sweet on the tongue, then a warming earthiness fills the mouth. Finishes like syrup, but leaves a sweet aftertaste.

Feel- Heavy, thick, syrupy, call it what you want. I found it a bit overwhelming. Fair amount of carbonation.

Drinkability- It is tasty, so you could down it just fine. Better to stick with sipping considering the alcohol and overall richness.

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Pipers Scotch-Style Ale from Sprecher Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 218 ratings.