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Bagpiper's Scotch Ale - Allentown Brew Works

Not Rated.
Bagpiper's Scotch AleBagpiper's Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

44 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 44
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 11.02%
Wants: 3
Gots: 3 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Allentown Brew Works visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 02-08-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jzeilinger:
Photo of jzeilinger
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep cherry mahogany color with a super thin caramel colored lacing ring. Very dark and very clear.

S - Toffee and roasted caramel with some smokiness. No hops, and all malts in the nose.

T - Mimics the nose with lightly roasted toffee and caramel even throughout the sip with a slight bit of smokiness. Slight pine bitterness in the finish. The flavor is lightly robust.

M - Thick medium body, sticky on the lips,

O - A solid Scotch ale with a few GABF medals to its credit. I was bummed out because I had this at the Bethlehem location and it was served from a bottle...WTF!!! No kegs?? Really???!!??

jzeilinger, Oct 13, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #42 (Jul 2010):

With a little fizzle from a big head, this Scotch Ale is nearly pitch black with an edge of garnet. A massive malt nose, sweetness and overtones of toasted bread meet a light, spicy note from the alcohol. The fullish slick body is smooth enough. The malt character peels back complex layers; toasted bread, treacle, dried grass and fresh bis- cuits. Light hopping is where it should be. This Scotch Ale packs an interesting alcohol warmth and vague spicing. The long malt finish is on the dry side with some of that spice as well. This brew is a real beaut and a great malt fix.

BeerAdvocate, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into thistle glass; deep hazy brown/red with a moderate fizzy tan head that fades slowly into a dense cap of foam that leaves slippery chunky lacing as it slides down.
Smell is sweet; toasted grain, caramel, some sweeter dark fruit (figs?), booziness comes with a scotch-like flair. Also a hint of sourness from some hidden earthy hops.
Taste is caramel malt, toasted dark bread, boozy dark fruit, some sweetness that is quickly attenuated by very lightly bitter earthy hops. Very malt-forward, delicious.
Mouthfeel is full-bodied, slick and wet, not cloying.
Overall, this is a great and drinkable scotch ale. I think I'd prefer it to be a little stronger, even at the cost of being a bit boozy; it seems appropriate for a "wee heavy." Still, this one's a great example of the style.

BurgeoningBrewhead, Sep 13, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Allentown BrewWorks and also brought home 750ml bottle.
Dark brown with little head and good carbonation. Malty caramel aroma. Not too hot, nice sweet malty flavor. Drinkable for 8.5% abv. An excellent Scotch Ale which has won some GABF awards. I don't usually find scotch ales to be so drinkable, however my drinking companion did not find it so.

acurtis, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Malt bomb Bomber from New Jersey. Initial smokey malty was nice aroma and tasty,a spot of peat, above average mouthfeel, caramel, brown colour and lots of lace. Some hop bitterness. However unbalanced sweet. So-so drinkability. Passable for the style, which I am just Ok on the style.

Sammy, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of fester71
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

fester71, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at recommended temp. of 50F.

A: A loud pop from the uncorking reassured of its carbonation factor. A foamy monster was born, sand colored, as the head dominated and occupied near full capacity of the glass upon first pour. The head slowly retreated, squatting on top of a toasted ruby-brown coloring. Carbonation was medium, barely visible, but showed glimpses of macro-bubbles that were well spaced and moderately paced. Some sloppy patchwork was left for a lacing.

S: Dry caramelized malts combine with notes of nutmeg sprinkled applesauce from the yeast. A medium strong delivery with a bit of nuttiness (almonds) is also detected with no signs thus far of the 8.5%abv.

T: A rich full maltiness lays heavily and is first detected on the tongue indicating a lower fermentation that gives this a residual laced body. Dry caramelized grains meets peat and a light offering of wet coffee grounds to deliver an earthy, and moist, as well malty experience. The alcohol offers some spicy tones as well of scotch soaked apples and cinnamon. The finish rounds out with dry scotch and caramelized grains along with coffee and a big residual silty lacing. Overall per style it definitely delivered malt wise, had a dry sweetness of grains and leaned towards the higher end of the spectrum alcohol wise.

M: A bubbly feel with some creaminess, but overall much lighter then expected with a dry caramelized grain and scotchy warmth. An appreciable sility coating ensures on the swallow.

D: While the alcohol was tame on the nose it did figure quite prominently in the flavor. A robust malting, moderatly high abv will limit this as a session, but think with its malty content and abv you probably wont be venturing much more beyond the typical bomber serving. Moderate drinkability but no less found this enjoyable due to its full maltiness and warmth and alcohol tones.

beerthulhu, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of philbe311
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Not much fanfare for this 2009 GABF silver medalist, but I'm excited to try none the less...

A - Three fingers worth of fluffy yet chunky light tan / khaki head with a even, but slanted top... Very modest retention gives way to a slightly fizzy unbalanced lacing... Rich warm dark brown color... Some light leaks into the glass around the edges and produces some ruby highlights... Mostly still, but some minor carbonation can be created by slightly rocking the glass back and forth...

S - Rich and Buttery... Toffee... Dark fruits... Figs... Raisins... A slight medicinal presence... A touch of dark chocolate... Pleasant and fairly complex, just a bit too subdued...

T - Not nearly the malt bomb that I was expecting... Light roasted malts... Lots of dark bread tones... Perhaps just a touch of raisin sweetness... Subtle amounts of peat and smoke... Surprised to find loads of black licorice on the finish...

M - Bristling with prickly carbonation that sits on the tongue... Medium bodied... Heavy... Dense... Slightly sticky... A little bit of a burnt or charred feel...

D - Respectable and drinkable, but an average at best Scotch Ale... Really falls short in terms of mouthfeel... I'm not qualified beer judge, but the silver medal at the GABF surprises me in this case... While there is nothing wrong with this offering, there are many many better offerings out there...

philbe311, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of dvanhandel
4/5  rDev +7.5%

dvanhandel, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

DrBier, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of crowsnest
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

crowsnest, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of DrDemento456
4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Got a bomber of this for $6.40 from the house of 1,000 beers. Into a pint glass
A - Quite an explosion of carbonation a very bubbly full inch of opaque colored head atop of a very dark mahogany brown. Great lacing.
S - Loaded with molasses, chocolate malts, mild peat, some piney hops, and Toast bread. I am even picking up some caramel sweet action from the malts.
T - Wow I never had such a pronounced yet balanced earthy hop profile. It lifts the flavors of brown sugar malts, a touch of peat, some molasses, bread pudding, and a touch of toasted bread to a tasty nirvana.
M - Quite possibly the smoothest scotch ale I had in a while, even though while bubbly it greatly masks the ABV which is pretty big,

Overall a treat at around 6 bucks tax included. I believe I liked this better than their stout.

DrDemento456, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of k_art18
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

k_art18, Jun 03, 2014
Photo of nofalltoofar
4.93/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Belgian Ale Strainer

A: Beautiful rich mahogany. Wonderful barely-transparent color.

A: great pour, wonderful head that dissipates in a few moments.

S: Delicious. You can pick out the strong caramel notes and sweetness from the Scotch

M: Thick but not too thick. Not oily or excessively carbonated

This is a fantastic beer. It's both delicious and drinkable (although be careful because these hit like William Wallace's claymore). It's everything I love about good scotch and great beer. You can taste the sweet caramel taste of the scotch along with the subtle bite of the hops creating a smooth, sweet, but subtle beer that surprises you with another undertone with every sip.

nofalltoofar, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of BricksandPorter
2.98/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22 oz. Bomber cold into a Tulip.

Pour - Hazy amber with hues of purple, green and dark chestnut brown. Light, bone colored head that sits for a second and is gone. Dont blink or youll completely miss the head on this - typical of american style Scotch Ales.

Nose - dark chocolate undertones combine with a fruity, deep candy sweetness. Organic but industrial with a strong, pungent character - actually quite nice for the Scotch Ales I've been trying lately. At the end of the day, it was probably the best part of this beer.

Taste - Sour cherries overwhelmingly dominate the front end. Lots of fruity acids line the palate and overwhelm any sense of balance. No hops, astringent malts and no attempt whatsoever at hiding or even disguising the alcohol. This is the second beer Ive had from ABW and its the second time I find myself wondering just what the hell they are doing down there. The finish is a calm sweetness once you get to the end and are acclimated to taste of raw ethanol on your tongue.

Mouthfeel - I'm not a huge fan of virtually flat dark ales, despite my Scottish heritage, and this one follows suit. Carb is weak, body is medium to full with a complete lack of balance or consideration for a proper presentation. Character would be nice but the alcohol kind of ruins it - cant believe I just said that.

Drinkability - Not a session beer, but definitely one to at least try.

BricksandPorter, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of 57md
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer came with very little head that dissipated quickly. Color was brown with a slight orange hue. The nose was definitely malty with some caramel notes. Very full-bodied malt flavor that lacks the cidery alcohol burn of many beers of this style (that's a plus from my perspective). I could drink too many of these considering the ABV.

57md, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Michael for sending me this one as an extra.

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a thin off-white head.

S: A nice sweet nose with plenty of caramel and toffee notes. A light spice note as well as some dark fruit such as raisins, figs, and plums.

T: The sweetness follows through to the flavor. Great caramel, brown sugar, and toffee on the malty/sugar side of things. Some light citrus notes, a touch of peat, and minimal spice notes.

M: The body is medium with a lively but moderate carbonation.

D: Pretty nice beer from a brewery I never would have ever heard of otherwise. I'm not always the hugest Scotch Ale guy, but this was enjoyable.

womencantsail, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of Sachsenfreude
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance; very dark brown, yet clear. Light tan head, good retention but little lacing.

smell; upfront molasses malt but soon turns to a roasted barley scent. Smells a lot like hard pretzels, very grainy, with grassy aromas. Maybe some cedar smoke but I need to drink more to say that for sure.

taste; bitter with a molasses taste but not really sweet. High quality licorice comes to mind. Bitter hops in the finish that are slightly sweetened by a pleasant warm alcohol.

mouthfeel; heavy body but not chewy, so on the lighter end of it. Slick to swallow, leaving a sticky mouthfeel. The slightest bit of warm alcohol burn is present.

drinkability; most important it taste good and goes down smooth. The aftertaste and mouthfeel is a little annoying but does not ruin the beer by any means. The alcohol is somewhat well hidden but one bomber is enough for a single sitting.

Sachsenfreude, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of DaveHack
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

DaveHack, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of Kamahl75
2.85/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Very typical scotch ale color, brown/ruby red. Decent carbonation but head disappears quickly.

S- Caramel sweetness to the smell but a slight off-note of harshness. A little green maybe.

T- Caramel and vanilla but a harshness. Strong flavor to start but an aftertaste that isn't great.

M- Coats the mouth with the strong malt flavor but leaves a little alcohol and bitter feel.

I would maybe try this beer again in a month or two. I feel maybe this will clear some green beer feel. Overall an average to sub-par scotch but might improve.

Goblet
4/25/10

Kamahl75, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An orangey-red brown color in the snifter. Oddest aroma of leather and horse blankets. Rich, creamy mouthfeel. A fair amount of sweetness that seems to grow with each sip. Not sticky, but quite malty. Balanced with a tart, almost sour flavor. Seems to have a good dose of smoke with a fair charry hint. Some dry fruitiness, figs perhaps.

Quite drinkable. A bolder style of Scotch Ale but not weighed down with sweetness.

mactrail, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of micromaniac129
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fast fading foamy head atop a deep brown almost black colored beer. Very well carbonated.
Aromas of malts, slighty roasted I think, with sutle hints of spice.
Very malty and rich. Maybe some hints of spice, but more like candied malt. Some earthiness.
Thin mouthfeel with a spritz or dry tart finish.
An okay beer, but really not that good. i thought I was drinking a dubbel.

micromaniac129, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of twenty5
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

twenty5, May 10, 2013
Photo of malfunxion
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

malfunxion, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of crag
4/5  rDev +7.5%

crag, Oct 17, 2012
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Bagpiper's Scotch Ale from Allentown Brew Works
84 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.