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Pipers Scotch-Style Ale - Sprecher Brewing Company

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Pipers Scotch-Style Ale
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216 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 216
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: 216 | Reviews: 123 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of connecticutpoet
2.64/5  rDev -25%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

$5.99 for a cobalt blue, 1 liter swing-top bottle with graphics painted in gold on the glass. Picked up at Julio's in Westborough. While supplies last, they got a good deal.

Body was a nice clear reddish amber, with almost no head. What little there was disappeared, and there wasn't even a ring on the rim.

Aroma was quite nice. Sweet, estery brandy, earthy. honey, dark fruits, and a little bit musty. This was a malt bomb.

Taste - caramel malts, very sweet, a little bitter, hints of smokiness. Nowhere near as much as I have read about. It would have been welcome.

Mouthfeel - somewhat thin and flat. Not overly objectionable, but below average for the style.

Drinkability gets a hit. I am going to finish this bottle, I am not going to pour it down the drain, but I will have to down it in long swallows. Reminds me of Olde Burnside Father Christmas Highland Ale. Great bottle, and that suckered me in.

Maybe I should drink it through my nose? :-P

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 mwilbur
2.73/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 1 L bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a dark murky caramel brown. Very thin tan head.
S: Malt and smoke notes...hint of bitterness too which is a little off-putting.
T: Bitter caramel malt and strong smoke comes through after a few sips. Certainly not the best tasting scotch ale around.
M: Average. Light-medium body.
D: Honestly, a disappointment. I like Sprecher, but this one was a miss. Pissed at myself for buying the over-priced 1 L bottle.

Photo of NEhophead
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 liter cobalt blue, swing-top bottle; served in a tulip.

Thin oak in color with faint burgundy highlights. Creamy, carbonation-filled tan head that recedes rather quickly to a not quite intact, thin film. Attractive, pin-drop lacing, but not much strength.

Heavily sweetened caramel and toffe aromas; notes of additionally sweet nutmeg and brown sugar. Alcohol-soaked fig, date, and raisin flavors. Despite mingling nicely with the previously mentioned earthen-fruity esters, the alcohol character is cutting and gaseous.

Sweet caramel, toffee, and faint milk chocolate. The spices are dry and rich: nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon. The fruity esters are present, but not as intense as the aromas promise: fig and raisin with hints of nuttiness. Hints of peat-smoked malt at mid-sip admist a watery thin aspect which certainly hurts this Scotch Ale's sweet, rich flavors.

Full in body; slightly creamy, but mostly a dry texture throughout. Just sweet enough to prevent a filmy/chalky mouthfeel. The flavors suffer from a watery thinness at mid-sip.

A pretty good Scoth Ale. Nothing overpowering in terms of flavor, which is pretty unfortunate as the aroma shows much promise. A little thin and subdued, but not a bad stab at the style.

Photo of Buebie
1.72/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Poured from a 16oz bottle into a tulip. 2 finger fluffy white head. Redish brown in color that really glows when held to light.
Spiderweb like lace.

Aroma is quit the malt bomb. hints of rose pedals, honey and brown sugar, some oaky woody aroma. Overal light in aroma with just the faintest of these items listed.

Thin watery mouthfeel with some carbonation.
I never thought I'd say this, but this beer tastes funny.
Its like a weird misture of liquid smoke and flat rootbeer. Tastes like no other beer I've ever had and by no means is it good. Is there glue in this? I've never tasted sweaty balls, but this is what I'd imagine they taste like.

Yuck. Drainpour.

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 Birchgrove77
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from Woodmans Grocery (Algonquin)

Appearance: Dark brown color, with a very nice creamy off-white head.

Smell: Caramel and vanilla, with a slight bit of earthiness.

Taste: Dominant caramel maltiness. A slight hint of vanilla,nutmeg, and nougat. Was expecting more smokiness, even a bit of peatiness based on labeling.

Drinkability: Alcohol was well hidden and it would be easy to put away a couple of these. I think had the beer been a little less carbonated could have brought up a few of the more subtle notes. Not my favorite wee-heavy, but very drinkable.

Photo of beckje01
2.75/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From notes, aged 1yr.

Brownish color with big bubbly head. The nose is malty some tobacco smell in there as well. Good flavor very malty with a dry end. Ok slightly below average, there are a lot better scotch ales out there. Maybe this on is better fresh.

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 WJVII
3.17/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a thin light brown color, but when held to the light the red amber color shines. There is a very thin white cap that just layer the brew and leaves a nice ring as the drink goes down. The smell is very smoky with hints of sweet caramel and nice malt. The taste mirrors the smell with strong smokiness and nice malt balance. I am not a fan of the scotch ales, but I got a "Beers of the British Ilse's" from Sprecher and this was one. For the style this is a good example, smooth, malty, and smoky. Solid beer, but not my type of session brew.

Photo of jwinship83
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- very dark red with almost no head. something might be wrong, the bottle claims a creamy head.

S- slightly medicinal with some peaty smoky malts in there. maybe a bit of fruit also.

T- toasty and peaty with little to no aftertaste. no sense of alcohol either.

M- on the thin side with nice carbonation.

D- not quite what i was expecting--a little underwhelming. the lack of alcohol taste makes this one very easy to drink, but overall this beer is very unimaginative. i doubt ill have this one again

Photo of mynie
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours very thick and dark red with only a nominal head. That's the wont for this style and it's not bad in the least.

Smells of very faint fruit nodes with just a wee little tiny hint of caramel. No yeast, no alcohol. Not complex or strong, not at all what I expect from such a strong beer in such a strong style. Still, there's nothing offputting.

Tastes firm and very peaty. Lots and lots of smokiness with a little bit of biscuit in there. Then a soapiness comes in and just about ruins everything. What the hell is that? Why does that keep popping up in these beers? Smoke lingers in the back.

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

16 oz. bottle poured into a Maudite tulip.

Shows a dark brown color with reddish-burgundy hues when held to the light. Produces a creamy but thin beige head with fairly decent retention throughout. No lacing observed.

Nose shows off a restrained but pleasant sweet and peat smoke malt profile along with notes of brown sugar, raisin, plum, roasted malts.

Palate was a bit on the thin side but smooth and subtly carbonated.

Taste was classic Scotch Ale with a good deal of peat smoked malt coming to the forefront immediately. Love the peat smoke flavor; very unique and earthy. Overall flavor is sweet, sugary and toasty with a bit of dark, dried fruit lurking in the background. Unfortunately the flavors are also quite restrained and the finish is quick. Absolutely no evidence of a 8.27% abv; very light and easy going down.

Not bad but not in the class of Old Chub or Skullspliter for instance.

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.17/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz bottle, served in a Duvel tulip. Poured copper/brown with a thin head. Rich malty aroma with fruit, caramel and some smoke. Full bodied with a smooth, rich mouthfeel. Sweet malt with toffee and more fruit. Good amount of peat smoke in finish. Tasty.

Photo of Chugmonkey
1.57/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

You better be a fan of Scotch ales and big brews to attempt this one. Super heavy mouthfeel, very sweet tasting. Heavy syrup feel, alcohol bite, just plain hard to swallow. Any good roasty maltiness is overpowered by the sweet taste and syrupy texture. I couldn't even choke down one bottle.

Photo of Drew966
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Piper's Scotch Style Ale pours a dark reddish brown with an off white head from a brown sixteen ounce bottle. The aroma is very malty with a hint of smoke and is quite good. The flavor isn't as intensely malty as I might like, don't get me wrong, it's still the most dominant flavor, but it just isn't enough. You can taste some smoke, hops are not really in the picture, nor should they be. Worth a try.

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sprecher Piper's Scotch Ale
16oz. brown bottle

A: snifter. nice, rich mahogany color. slight tan head with a nice retention rate. fair lacing.

S: some peat of the bat. solid roasted malt nose. some raisins and fall fruits with some solid spices. brown sugar.

T: nice smooth maltiness. solid peat flavors, and you can really taste the fire kilned difference. some hints of raisins and plums.

M: very smooth for 8%. nice carbonation level. medium bodied.

D: great representative of the style. solid flavors for a scotch ale, and I would put it up over a McEwan's anyday.

Photo of Gehrig
4.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear brown-amber body topped by two fingers of off-white head but, as is fairly typical for Sprecher, the foam fades quickly. Modest lacing. Lush aroma, full of roasted malt, caramel, decent citrus hops--nice. The taste is excellent. The roasted malt is front and center, with caramel most prominent. But citrus malt and berry also emerge. Very delicious. I've said it before and I'll certainly say it again here--Sprecher does not get its due for making very good beer. Pipers is very good beer. Creamy and smooth if a tad thin, the mouthfeel could use more hops. Highly drinkable, this is one of the best offerings from Sprecher, which makes many good ones. Pipers impresses me, solidifying my having been won over to good Scotch Ale. Best of all with this, the high ABV (8.27%) is barely noticeable. Very well done, certainly recommended. Sprecher continues to impress.

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 WesWes
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, roasted malt scent with a nice smokey/peated malt aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth roasted and crystal malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry with a mild smokiness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an all around good beer. It has excellent aroma as well as malt character and drinkability; Recommended.

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

pint bottle poured into a snifter. pours a deep garnet color, almost black, with a single finger of light tan head after a hard pour. light lacings.

aroma is earthy, with notes of smoke, lightly roasted malt, and caramel malt. an underlying bready character rounds out the profile.

taste is smoked, with notes of roasted malt and caramel, with the same earthy base. nice concentration, with a solid profile. the smoke works well, but is a bit strong after a few sips.

mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a smooth mouthfeel and a mellow finish of residual smoke and malt.

drinkability is good. this is a solid scotch ale, with just enough smoke to sustain the character and richness of the brew. nicely crafted by Sprecher. cheers!

Photo of RyanPB
3.11/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasty little number. Pours amber, small head. Not much of a scent , which disappoints considering the taste. Very good flavor: smoky, but not overpowering (it would make an excellent transition for someone who likes a smoked porter to try this style). Mouthfeel is pleasant, and the 8.3% ABV makes it a nice chest-warmer on a chilly Spring night in Buffalo.

Photo of Pauly2X
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Ruby amber beneath a half finger head.

S- Very subtle, clean and malty sweet.

T- Tastes like what you'd expect a scotsmans beer to taste like. This beer plays host to a pleathora of malts sweet, toasted, and smoked. They all mingle very well and just barely allow for a little hop presence in the finish.

M- Rich and hearty, slightly high carbonation.

D- I just might have to get more, and look for it on tap.

I honestly can't compare it to other examples of the style. This has however opened my eyes to what would of otherwise been an overlooked style. I'll be looking for more Scotch Ales.

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.34/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 ounce twist off bottle, "Premium Reserve" on the cap.

Appearance is copper in color, crystal clear with a small cap that settles immediately and has clinging bubbles climbing the glass.

Smell is caramel roasted malt with slight corny ester. Bright aroma, like wet copper, or a new penny.

Flavor is heavy caramel malts with a very small hop flavor. Tangy malts that give way to a biscuity flavor. Sourdough on the back, but more like sourdough hardtack instead of bread if that makes sense. Like a sourdough soda cracker. Finishes slightly dry with a little alcohol backing. Very slight flavor of a peaty scotch. Interestingly the smokiness is not apparent in this beer.

(edit) After quaffing this one a little deeper I get slight smokiness on the exhale. I honestly would not have gotten this had I not pulled harder from the glass.

Mouthfeel is bubbly and light bodied, a little lighter than some others in this style. The carbonation is lively, but the beer is a little watery overall. As the beer warms from about 54 degrees it gets thicker and chewier, which os normally just the opposite.

Drinkability is average to good, a good Scotch Ale.

(edit) after taking deeper sips of this one I'm noticing a lot of flavors and characteristics that I didn't get earlier in the glass. I am gonna change my opinion and say this is an awesome representation of a Wee Heavy. Do let this one warm to room temp before tasting, IMO it makes it that much better.

06/25/09 Edit:

I have had a good deal of Scotch Ales since this original review, and every one is rated to style. Let me say that for $6.74 a four pack of 16 ounce bottles, this is a huge bargain, not to mention true to style. I think as far as Scotch Ales go, this interperstation of the style is the best. Easy drinking and tasty as hell, I would pay WAY more for a four pack of these. This Scotch Ale is peaty, earthy and malty huge. The best thing is it is smokey, not fake smoke but, peaty smoke like a good scotch. I know smoke and this is not fake. It is huge and it appeals to me, so I move the marks up, because I love it.

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.

Pipers Scotch-Style Ale from Sprecher Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 216 ratings.