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Pipers Scotch-Style Ale - Sprecher Brewing Company

Pipers Scotch-Style AlePipers Scotch-Style Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

195 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 118
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 18.47%

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:
Gold Medal Winner in the Strong Scotch Ale category at the 2004 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).

(Beer added by: battlekow on 08-14-2005)
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 118 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of yankeej13


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

Wanted to try something new and came across this so figured I would give it a shot.

A- A nice darkish red color, with little to no foam head which dissappears seconds after pour. little to no carbonation.

S- Has a nice malty smell with a tiny hint of sweetness.

T- It is actually pretty thin, has a nice malty taste, has a sweet finish as well.

M- Great drinkability, really smooth and has a great after taste.

Overall- Really good choice to try this and will def be looking forward to buying it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 00:20:04 | More by yankeej13
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Little over a finger’s worth of tan to camel hair colored foam, poor retention with it swiftly fizzing down to not even a full surface covering, in turn the lacing is close to nonexistent. Dark reddish copper color with more brown than orange, no filminess but slight translucency, a few random bubble beads to be seen. The nose has a very smoky nature with peat moss, tar, metallic earth and mineral water notes, behind this wall you get caramel, vanilla, banana and butterscotch, some apple and pear fruit, the rambunctiousness of the smoke keeps it in the forefront. Full-bodied, the carbonation is average and there’s not a strong sense of movement, however, it never feels really “heavy.” This may be attributed in part to that smokiness, has a sweeter complexion with honey, mesquite, caramel notes. The peat qualities more part of the whole here, not as acrid. Still has a metallic rust ring to it, enough so to challenge the banana, peach, apricot, fig fruit flavors. Smattering of mixed citrus zest. Mouth feel gets drier as it finishes. This is a very interesting beer with some unique qualities, would show best with a cigar or a hearty meal like beef brisket.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2011 00:05:26 | More by farrago
Photo of Dmorrison

New York

3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A unique taste. It starts off mild, but slowly a strong sourness, like sharp cheddar, and a dark sweetness hit the palate. I've never had a scotch ale that tasted anything like this.

The head and carbonation disappear rapidly though, and the flavor goes flat when the bubbles do.

8oz is probably the ideal serving size, so split the 16 oz bottle with an adventurous friend.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2011 00:30:34 | More by Dmorrison
Photo of dstc


3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, ruby brown color with a light tan head. Head falls to nil. Very thin lace.

Aroma is of malts with a smoked peat quality to it. Actually, smoke is what you smell the most.

Nice full malt taste with a pleasant sweetness to it. Flavor gives way to a noticeable smoke flavor. Caramel flavor in the finish.

Medium bodied in the mouth and rather biting.

Good stuff, I like it. Rarely do you find an American Scotch Ale with a smoked peat flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 15:51:54 | More by dstc
Photo of rhollman


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

Appearance - Dark reddish brown hue

Smell - Peat smoke and some sweet

Taste - Hash peat smoke with caramel and some sweet

Mouth Feel - Lingering sweetness and notes of smoke

Drinkability - I have fallen in love with this beer. The first time I tasted it, I felt that it was too harsh, too bracing, too much of a shock. But now - I love it! The harshness comes from the peat smoke, but that harshness is wonderfully balanced by the caramel malt and slight sweetness that makes you want the next sip. It's the hash/sweet that makes it - Extraordinary!

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2010 01:27:41 | More by rhollman
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

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

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

A: The beer is mostly clear with a very slight haze. the color is a burnt orange hue. The head is a half inch thick and leaves some fair lacing behind.

S: The beer smells of sweet malts, alcohol, peat, and smoke.

T: The taste is decent, with a bit more smoke than is usual. I have no complaints with this, as I prefer smokey Islay single malt scotches such as Ardbeg, Laphroaig, and Lagavulin.

M: The feel is OK, with a lingering sweetness and notes of smoke, along with an alcoholic finish.

D: A decent beer. I would drink it again, though I probably wouldn't purchase it.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2010 00:44:25 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Thorpe429


3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled shared by drabmuh. Thanks, Matt.

Pours a light caramel color with a single-finger of head. There are a few bits of spotty lacing here and there along with a pretty bubbly head. The nose is pretty light with a tad bit of chocolate and caramel. The taste is slightly cidery along with some caramel, peat, and toffee. The feel is quite thin and slightly astringent. This drinks well enough until the finish, which is quite off.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2010 20:36:08 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of drabmuh


3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured into a becher glass. Beer is caramel and mostly clear with a slight haze, and a tan head of medium and large bubbles, minimal lacing.

Beer has a smokey / peaty aroma, mildly sweet.

Beer is medium bodied, not carbonated in the mouth, its smoky in the late palate and mildly sweet up front. I was expecting less smoke and more caramel, I got the opposite. It is OK, but I probably wouldn't have it again.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 04:55:15 | More by drabmuh
Photo of keithmurray

New York

3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance - murky copper color with serious beige head from an aggressive pour

smell - cherries, bourbon,

taste - molasses, peat, malt, bourbon

mouthfeel - medium bodied beverage, ample carbonation, chalky in mouthfeel, unrefined when put up next to other representations of the style

drinkability - not as enjoyable as other scotch ales/wee heavys that I've sampled, was nice to try it out, but I won't be seeking it out again. Tough to get past that chalky mouthfeel that I've described

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 23:51:15 | More by keithmurray
Photo of mariposafan


3.08/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark red/brown with claret highlights. One finger head with decent retention, though it does fade to lacing.

The smell is sweet - toffee or caramel - with some smokiness.

The taste is a little strange for me. There's the sweet maltiness that I expect with some balancing bitterness - maybe a tad too much, but not bad. Then there's a smokiness that comes forward and obliterates the other flavors. It's not bad, but it's overwhelming. Some alcohol noticeable as well, which almost seems to enhance the smokiness.

The mouthfeel isn't bad either, but a little more viscosity would have helped the drink feel richer. Fine carbonation.

Drinkability suffers due to the excess smoke character and too thin mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 20:11:50 | More by mariposafan
Photo of MNJR


3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours the color of iced tea, with a full, tan head that leaves thick, foamy lacing, but the head disappears quickly. Smells of slight plum, apricot -- sweetness is apparent in the nose. Overall smell is clean. Flavors of raisin bread and toffee with smokiness. The mouthfeel lowers the score, because it is a bit thick, flat and grainy on the tongue. The carbonation is there, but it gets lost in the thickness. Drinkability is not high since it has such a high ABV and I'm not enjoying the flattish rinse down my gullet. I've had many Scotch ales, and I'd say this is average for the style. It lacks the syrupy quality of some, which for me is a plus. The alcohol is well hidden. The flavor is strong and well put together, but it lacks spark and well defined character. If it were on special for $4 a pint at a Wisconsin bar, I'd buy it and enjoy it... but I'd hesitate to shell out $6 a pint for this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2010 00:10:49 | More by MNJR
Photo of LairdChisholm


4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A dark brown color with a ruby tint. A small tan head fizzes out after a short while leaving a ring around the edge of the glass. Some but not a lot of lacing here.

S - Not as pungent as other Scotch Ales that I've had. Very faint malts with some spices that I can't identify.

T - A really complex, great taste. Up front it's the sweet malts that one would expect then subtly drifts to notes of nutmeg, chocolate and caramel with maybe a hint of cinnamon. After taste consists of a wonderful smokey finish with a slightly bitter after taste. Wow.

M - Nice and thick. Perfect amount of carbonation.

D - I've had better but I had worse. Even though the taste is incredibly good, it's incredibly complex that makes one of these beers probably enough.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 00:20:06 | More by LairdChisholm
Photo of kiddynamite920


3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark red and brown with a tan colored head.

S: Deep caramel malts and some dark fruits, nothing out of the ordinary here. Some plum and raisin, some caramel and burnt sugar/molasses.

T: Tastes exactly like the nose. Malts are very forward here with not enough bitterness to counter. Lacked the spice most scotch ales tend to have. Needed more bite.

M: Big and thick on the palate, creamy head was a plus here.

D: A relatively easy drinking scotch ale, especially for the abv being so high. Found my way through a glass of this in no time. Didn't leave any lasting impressions though.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 19:58:01 | More by kiddynamite920
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2010 21:52:00 | More by beveritt
Photo of revolution


4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - reddish brown ale with small off-white head
S - malty, slightly smoky aroma with caramel notes
T - sweet, malty, caramel apple, hint of smoke/peat, slight alchol
M - medium-full body, mild-moderate carbonation, late alcohol warmth, smooth, slightly dry finish
D - a solid, malty sweet, enjoyable ale with great flavors.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2010 11:19:54 | More by revolution
Photo of Tone


3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, ruddy copper color. 1/5 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, alcohol, slight dark citrus (raisin), and slight pale malt. Fits the style of a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight smoke, dark citrus, and a hint of a floral aroma. Overall, a good aroma, body, and blend.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 23:39:19 | More by Tone
Photo of rmolledo


3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 01:19:14 | More by rmolledo
Photo of ibbjamin


3.1/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Paid $1.79 for a 16oz bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. Poured into a large snifter to review.

Half inch light tan, tightly knit head after a standard pour. Head dissipates leaving only a ring of retention on the edge of the glass. Color is dark brown with reddish hues in light.

Rather sweet and medicinal aroma of sugary caramel, candied fruits, smoke, butterscotch and figs. Hints of rummy alcohol.

Taste is really sweet with butterscotch, smoke and caramel dominating. Rather one dimensional.

Medium carbonation, finish and body.

Sprecher's Black Bavarian is pretty good, but this one as with all others I've tried are below average.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2010 05:11:50 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of josefnewsong

New York

3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - ruby red with lacey head
S - caramelized malts, hints of alcohol and smoke
T - super-sweet caramel malts with a hickory smoke bite and a tiny bit of alcohol warmth in the sticky finish
M - medium bodied
D - fairly drinkable because of the lighter body but gets a little too sweet after a while

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 21:53:26 | More by josefnewsong
Photo of SteveS1

New York

3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 22:45:46 | More by SteveS1
Photo of SkeeterHawk


3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Actually this bottle is one of the "Brewmasters Reserve" collection that I have had in my fridge for at least a year. I don't know why, but tonight seems like the night finally.

Appearance: After a rather aggressive pour, there is a quarter inch head of tan bubbles that is thick and creamy and looks like it is going to be there for a while. The beer itself is clear dark brown with red highlights. There don't appear to be many bubbles rising, but the head is still sticking around anyway. There is some pretty thick lacing left on the glass after drinking the beer, so it is a pretty well presented beer.

Aroma: My first impression was of dark caramelized malts as it should be. There is a tad of oxidation in this beer that is not a detractor, but gives it some more depth in the aroma. It has a really woody aromatic coming out as the foam settles and the malts are inter-playing to give it a dark cherry nose to it as well. Overall the aroma is quite nice for the style.

Taste: The flavor is much thinner than I suspected form the aroma, but it follows the aroma pretty closely anyway. The caramel malts are a huge part of the flavor profile and linger long into the finish. The alcohol is noticeable as a spicy component that is a pretty big player in the whole flavor profile and gives you some evident warming to linger long into the finish. For being such a high gravity beer, the overall mouthfeel is pretty thin. This makes it dangerously easy to drink for being such a "butt-whooper".

Opinion: This beer is pretty good, and one of the better ones I have had from this brewery. This example has some age on it which helps it overall as I imagine that a fresh example may be somewhat simple. Regardless, this is a pretty good beer and one that I wouldn't mind drinking again someday.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2009 03:29:58 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of sweemzander


3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

16oz. bottle poured into a siedel. Bottled sometime in the Fall of 2009. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for the trade.

(A)- Pours a clear red amber color with brown highlights that produced a fluffy off-white head that dissipated quickly.

(S)- A rich yet light hickory smoke with some sweet yet toasted caramel malts.

(T)- A rich & sweet malted flavors of caramel & toffee with a spicy hickory smoke peat. Finishes slightly dry & lightly hoppy.

(M)- Good carbonation level and balance. Smoky, but not overly so. Rather sweet though.

(D)- A unique Scotch Ale with the inclusion of it being smoked. Generally, I am not a big fan of smoked beers, but this one is done right due to it being a balancing agent & adds to the complexity of the beer instead of being the main focal point of the beer. Solid stuff. Just a bit too sweet to have a few of.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 00:41:09 | More by sweemzander
Photo of blackearth


2.83/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2009 19:32:08 | More by blackearth
Photo of nickfl


3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Hazy brown body with red highlights, topped by a small head os off-white foam. The head settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Strong peated malt aroma with toffee and dark caramel. Some honey and red apple as well.

T - Toasty brown malt and earthy smoked malt followed by caramel and light coffee flavors. Finishes with some grassy pine hop flavor and light bitterness, leaving lots of smoke and toasted malt on the palate.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - The peat is dominant and excessive. The aroma had some promise, and I wanted to like it, but the flavor is muddy, syrupy, and unfortunately band-aid like. This could be good if they toned the smoke down a bit and did something to liven up the malt, but as it stands, it is almost a drain pour. The fact that this apparently won a GABF medal just goes to show how hit and miss the judging at those events can be.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2009 04:51:36 | More by nickfl
Photo of indiapaleale


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

Pour - Pipers pours a lot like unfiltered apple cider. The head is a big, off-white and composed of lots of little bubbles. Strings of tiny bubbles rush upwards through a rather murky looking beer.

Aroma - Very sweet. Brown sugar and caramel with some baked apples. There is a great smokiness to this as well, it reminds me of some of the peatier Scotch whiskeys I've had.

Taste - Like a smoked candied apple. Sweet and smokey, a very nice combo. Reminds me of an apple orchard with on a fall day with someone burning wood nearby. Toffee notes combine with the fruity esters to make for one full bodied and flavorful beer. The alcohol is definitely noticeable and provides some heat along with a somewhat dry finish.

Overall - Excellent smokey scotch ale. The combo of sweet and smokey is a great one. I am warm and happy.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2009 03:41:27 | More by indiapaleale
Pipers Scotch-Style Ale from Sprecher Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.