Cold Smoke Scotch Ale - Kettle House Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Cold Smoke Scotch AleCold Smoke Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

208 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 208
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 12.03%
Wants: 21
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kettle House Brewing Co. visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beernut7 on 08-20-2002

Formulated with Montana grown 2-row barley, northwest Goldings hops, and lotsa love, this hearty ale drinks very smooth. Not bitter at all and not too sweet either. Novice beer drinkers have been known to take a taste and then say, “WOW! That’s not what I expected… that’s GOOD!” A hint of roasted barley lends a slight coffee-like smoky finish. With a 6.5% abv, this beer is perfect after a day of rippin’ lines on area or your favorite back country getaway.

11 IBU
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Ratings: 208 | Reviews: 68
Reviews by zhanson88:
Photo of zhanson88
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours dark brown, when held up to light there is a lighter nut brown color around the edges. A couple fingers of light tan head that reduces into a small amount of lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts with slight mocha and caramel in there as well. A bit hard to pick out but it's all there.

Taste: Roasted malts are very up front and prevalent, balanced by sweet caramel, a bit of vanilla, and a touch of bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very smooth overall. Carbonation is almost below notice, which leads to a slightly syrupy feel.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Not overly heavy or high on ABV. This is the first Wee Heavy I've tried but it sets a pretty decent standard.

More User Reviews:
Photo of archyquaffer
3.69/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a pint can into a shaker glass. A fairly aggressive pour produces a one inch head, frothy, with a pale brown color. The beer is a moderately dark, reddish, yellowish-brown with moderate carbonation.

Malty on the nose, with definite notes of dark fruit and molasses. The flavor is smooth and understated, with notes of molasses, dark fruit, cocoa, boozy spice, and a touch of very mild peaty smokiness. A very mild hop bitterness adds some nuttiness. The mouthfeel is fairly creamy, leading to a semi-sweet finish.

This is a very drinkable Scotch ale that I've imbibed numerous times watching football on a chill autumn weekend at one of the local establishments. My only knock is that it's a little bland and could use some complexity. Maybe ramping up the smokiness just a smidge (not too much!), and a wee bit more bittering hops. In my area this beer sells for about $8.50 for a 4-pack of pint cans, which is very reasonable.

Photo of rwinzing
2.91/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Doing some drinking of extra's I have gotten in trades. Not sure where this one came from but thnx anyway! Poured into my DFH signature glass.

Very dark amber color almost brown. Nice lacing and had a very small head that is off white in color

Smell - not much of any aroma a little sweet but not much there

taste - sweet and nice. Newer style to me light not overwhelming

mouthfeel - thin

Overall - would drink again but wouldn't seek out.

Photo of MontanaBeers
4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I may a bit biased in this review of the Kettlehouse's Cold Smoke. I mean it was one of the first beers I consumed legally in a brewery. For a few years not a day went by in which I didn't stop by the K-hole to get my hands on one of the many delicious beers they have to offer. But enough about the brewery.

Cold Smoke hold a place in my heart as one of the best beers to have graced my tastebuds. Like the name, a pint dripping with sweat and crisp white head, leaves me dreaming of the a days turns in the seemingly never ending cold smoke of a fresh powder day-- and its August.

Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can shared by jophish17 - thanks!

Pours a clear chestnut brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of smooth caramel malts with a hint of toastiness and milder hints of toffee.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The malt flavors are a bit more complex as now hints of milk chocolate and lightly roasted malts back up the robust caramel malt flavors. Midway through the sip the flavors sweeten and hints of toffee make their way out, carrying through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this was a nicely done scotch ale - very smooth and generous with different varities of malt flavors. Well worth a shot.

Photo of dc55110
3.39/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My brother who goes to school in Missoula recently brought this back for me.

Pours an nice dark mahogany, with a nice single finger of head that sticks around for a while, leaving a small amount of lacing.

Smell is of roasted & sweet malts. Nothing jumping out.

Taste is very similar to the nose, sweet roasted malts. Hints of roasted coffee beans, toffee...

Rather thin on the tongue, finishes clean with little residual taste in the mouth. Pleasant but nothing remarkable or noteworthy for that matter.

I guess I prefer, especially for this category, for the flavors to be a little more bold. Not a bad beer by any stretch of the imagination, just nothing that would make me go out of my way to get it again.

Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Canned on June 3, 2010. Good to know.

This beer pours a clear, very dark mahogany hue, with a multitude of foamy, rocky light beige head, which renders some thin layers of lace around the glass upon its retreat. It smells of roasted bready caramel malt, a bit of peat, and some citrusy alcohol. The taste is lightly toasted caramel malt, a soft chocolaty nuttiness, a little bit of vanilla bean, and an echo of smoke. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body medium weight, appealingly smooth and practically seductive. It finishes clean, and off-dry, a mildly smoky nuttiness presiding.

One easy-drinking scotch ale, no heat from the fortifying booze at all, which means that the name is at least half-right, the titular smoke being pretty ethereal.

Photo of dirtylou
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can, singles available throughout Montana...enjoyed by the fire in yellowstone

appearance: cool cans with outdoorsy narratives about the brew - cola-mahogany body, tan lace

smell: dry roasted malt, sweet dark fruits, toffee, peat, brown sugar

taste: quite enjoyed this scotch which i often saved for the nightcap when the evening chill set in...well balanced - sweet caramel and toffee, dried dark fruit, lightly roasted malts, touch of chocolate

mouthfeel: smooth and a little sweet

overall: nice - enjoyed this canned beer quite a bit

Photo of RenzoD
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Superb.One of the best Scotch-ales I have had.

Photo of tone77
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is rather mild, some malts present. Taste is good, lots of malts, some sweetness, hints of coffee, just a touch of hops. Feels full bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can from the cellar purchased by my fiancee's parents at the Bozeman Community Food Coop .... Don't exactly remember the price but I thing around $4/can ... expensive but really a nice value and a chance to help keep canning alive while promoting a great Montana brewery.

I shared this brew with a coworker .. my half from my small weizen glass. Very nice beige head that left rings of lacing for the entire glass.. brew is brown... dark brown.. nice ruby highlites..

Biscuit malts and dark caramel... bready notes in the nose.. some expected esters that are not overplayed.. no hops, although I may be missing them..

Flavor is spot-on. malty and toffee... some very lite raisin... brown malts lingering ... good mix of yeasty fruitiness.. great body and carbonation.. blindfolded, I never would have guessed this was a canned brew.. I can never detect "peat smoke" in Scotch ales, and I won't try in this one.. but I swear there is a slight "Scotch" finish at the end of the palate.... smoooothh. creamy. very nice.

I have 1 more in the cellar.. I will probably keep it for a rainy day.. but you never know.. Cold Smoke is one of those beers that I really like to share with friends.

Photo of PEBKAC
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A treat from the Midwest brought to you by JohnGalt1.

All 16oz pour out & nestle right underneath the lip of my Unibroue tulip. It's about as dark as brown can be without stepping on black's toes. A sixth of an inch of head rests at the top. Deathly afraid of what lies over the edge. The air is thin up their it seems.

My scotch ale resume is still somewhat limited, but my initial whiff sets this beer on the lighter side of smoked. A little muted coffee, a little ash, nougat, a little newspaper. Some alcohol seeps through.

Being naturally hungry & looking for a pairing, I remember that I had just brought back a wedge of smoked Gouda for the fridge. Isn't it fate that I wait until now to crack this beer open or what? When was this trade, two months ago? :P

I hold off nibbling in the cheese until I take my first couple of sips(re: glugs). ... Incredibly mild is what first comes to mind. The nougat from before displays most prominently, with the ash being replaced with a more creamy lactose taste. Just the initial splash of coffee without the bittering edge, which is amazing. Nothing charred or over-roasted at all. Still a little newspaper in there, but when you lick your fingers enough to turn the page, you start to appreciate the finer qualities of soy. :P Is Cold Smoke a place in Montana?... because there isn't much actual smoke flavor unless you count the Daily News you burnt lighting up your chimney starter. I do like the overall mixture of dark ingredients without the extra malt & sugar I find excessive in scotch ales. Mild & delicious.

Mouthfeel is quite thin. I could even call it watery. Carbonation is on the low side. Alcohol is MIA. I know I sometimes say the alcohol is undetectable, but if this "beer" was ousted & placed on the supermarket shelves next to the root beer, I wouldn't be surprised. I do feel a little numb on an empty stomach(all 180lbs of me), so there has to be something in there.

The pint went down easier then most anything I've ever drank. I've had glasses of warm milk at bedtime give me a rougher time. Too bad I only had one can. Time to hit the trading forums. :)

Photo of josiahschlender
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My brother brought over a couple cans when visiting from Montana. Props to Kettlehouse putting their beer in cans. They explain that it's more environmentally friendly, especially for the many people that enjoy their beer while enjoying the river. Glass sinks and can break. I'd take this floating any day over something in a glass bottle.

I like the dark, red-orange color when poured in my pint glass. To me it looks like the tint of a brown ale, but upon looking at it more closely, it just looks deep dark red, not having much brown in it. The off-white head is substantial when poured from the can, and lasts pretty long.

Aromas are the weak point. Some sweet toasted malts. Maybe a little honey. Not very roasty smelling for as dark as it looks.

The taste is also deceptively sweet and smooth for a beer that looks this dark. Knowing that it's a scotch ale, I wasn't expecting a porter flavor, but it still caught me off guard. Flavors are subtle and pleasing. I wish I had more knowledge of this style of beer to compare it to.

This beer goes down smooth and easy. Despite having a nice head, carbonation is minimal. It's almost a bit too thin, but it isn't obvious.

This is a really approachable, broad pleasing kind of beer. I think it would be tasty with lots of different kinds of foods. If you can find it, give it a try.

Photo of Gumbo2go
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Cold Smoke, another great Montana brew. The dark coloring and full flavor is a treat. Not one of those odd tasting microbrews where the brewer tried too hard to design a unique beer. This one stands on its own as a very drinkable scotch ale. A real treat with a light smoky finish. Is rated as 6.5% abv so buyer beware. Can sneak up on you if you're not carefull!

Photo of mwilbur
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from can into shaker pint glass. Canned 8/7/12.
A: Pours a clear, but quite dark mahogany with thin light tan head that quickly recedes.
S: Nice fresh light caramel malt, sweet coffee notes, and lighted toasted grains.
T: More heft here than in the aroma which is good to see. Solid and sweet dark caramel malt, sweet lightly roasted coffee, hints of wood and smoke.
M: Extremely soft and smooth...like drinking cashmere...weird, but it's the first thing that came to mind. Light body. Lingers nicely on the palate.
D: Easily drinkable, quite refreshing, and more on the sweet side for style. A solid offering. Thanks to Brad for bringing this one back!

Photo of beerdrifter
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany pour with a quickly fading one finger beige head with minimal lacing. Really nice sweet, malty nose with hints of caramel, brown sugar, dark fruits, brown bread, molasses, and just a touch of cocoa. The taste follows suit with sweet roasty caramel malt up front along with hints of tobacco, brown bread, figs, subtle peaty smoke, toffee, vanilla, and cocoa. The mouthfeel is smooth and slightly thick with perfect carbonation and great balance. Overall, one of the better interpretations of a Scotch Ale I've had. Very drinkable and flavorful.

Photo of TheBishop
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a can in Missoula, believe that is the only way you can get it. Heard alot about it, so thought I would give it a whirl.

Appearance is rather ordinary, nothing to make you go wow, but a typical looking scotch ale. This beer however delivers in superior taste and drinkability. At 6.5 abv this drinks like a 4.5. A great Scotch Ale, and very good entry beer for those wanting to sample different styles without taking a big risk.

Photo of GeezLynn
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can poured into a tulip.

A: Very dark brown with a decent white head.

S: Sweet caramel and dark roasted malt with a flicker of hops. Also a buttery aroma.

T: Plenty of malt, although a little less caramel than the smell would suggest, leaning more heavily on the roasted malt and smoky flavors. Finish is medium length and a slightly dry.

M: Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

Long time since I've had the pleasure of a Cold Smoke. Compared with a few other top-grade examples within the style, it could have a little more bulk. Nevertheless, a very nice, easy-drinking Scotch ale that is worth a trip to the Kettlehouse taproom if you are lucky enough to find yourself in Missoula.

Photo of cbutova
3.57/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from full notes on phone when out of service/Wifi during the last week in WY/UT. Reviewed at the Rustic Inn in Jackson, WY.

A- Tallboy poured to a short hotel glass to get the review done. Dark brown bodied with a light tan cap that rises to one finger. The foamy head has decent retention and a thick ring deposits webs of lace.

S- The aroma consists mostly of malts but the yeast strain seems English and is substantial here. Toasted brown grains, cereal with brown sugar, dark dry fruits and bready hints.

T- Yeast opens up with spicy phenols and a strong raisin dried dark fruit contingent. Fairly heavy malts form the bulk of the brew with toasted nutty, brown sugar, cereal grain and just a bit of smoke comes out here on the back end.

MF- The body overall has a medium thickness with a comforting creaminess and foamy texture. Carbonation at a moderate level.

Smoke seems to come out with time but I would say it is balanced nicely by toasted malts and fairly strong yeast fruit notes. Drinks like a slightly smoked English Brown.

Photo of Kindsdaddy
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spent a week in Missoula last September. Stopped in to the Kettlehouse Brewery and Tried this beer after being disappointed in their Bongwater porter (the name fits). I was very pleasantly surprised by this beer. Found this beer on tap most everywhere we ate on tap. The only other Wee Heavy I'd had was an Import from Scotland. This beer comes damn close!

Photo of woodychandler
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I CAN hardly wait to open this beer! It came to me in a trade and I spent part of the afternoon drinking CANned Belhaven to warm up for this review.

From the CAN: "You hold in your hands the award-winning Cold Smoke Scotch Ale. Brewed with Montana grown and malted barley, hops from the Yakima Valley and pure water from Missoula's aquifer - it is a dark, smooth ale with a slightly sweet coffee finish.

Named after the light, bottomless powder that falls in Montana, Cold Smoke is the transcendent powder experience craved by skiers and boarders. What you hear on Cold Smoke days: 'Face shots!', 'Snorkels!', 'No friends on powder day!' If you have ridden Cold Smoke, you know what I mean.

Kettlehouse Brewing Company, LLC operates two breweries within a long fly cast of the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana. Our beer mission is to match our beers to the quality of the Montana experience.

...

Slainte, Tim O'Leary"

My pour created two fingers' worth of bubbly, thick, light-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep cola-brown with NE-quality clarity and ruby highlights. Nose was sweet, milk chocolaty, cocoa and coffee. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a more muted sweetness on the tongue than the nose had led me to expect. Finish had a coffee/cocoa flavor that lingered. This was nowhere near as sweet as I had girded myself to expect. I really enjoyed it, but its absence of noticeable hops made it less compelling than many American-IPAs would be for me.

Photo of ChimRichels
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a snifter, a deep deep copper lets no light through. The longer I look at it, the more it looks to be straight up black. The soft white head offers quite the contrast to the dark, mysterious body. Imagine a porter with a white head. The head sticks around for a surprisingly long time.

S - Smells of sweet caramelized sugar, toasted bread and some dark fruits. Hop presence is not noticeable. Aroma is overall fairly quiet.

T - Where to begin... Lots of caramelization going on lending to some rich flavors of burned sugar and molasses with a definite bitterness akin to that of coffee/ toasted bread. Again, hops are not detectable, not that I was expecting them to be. Sweetness is right about where it should be, not cloying in any regard.

M - Outstanding. As soon as it hit my mouth I was blown away by the body on this beer. Exceptionally smooth. I don't know if I've ever had a beer that has a mouthfeel that stands out so much.

O - A really good malt-forward beer that I would love to drink again the next time I'm in Montana.

Photo of EricCioe
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had at a scotch ale blind tasting with Adam H and RWNewhouse.

This pours deep brown, darkest beer of the day, with a nice espresso crema head. On the nose there is a big dose of caramel, with fruity esters and toffee making up the backdrop. In the mouth the caramel and toffee don't leave much room for anything else, and that's not necessarily a bad thing in this style. The finish is long and fuzzy, different from the other beers, with a medium body.

Overall, we were surprised that this one finished one or two for all of us. We've all had it a million times and we couldn't pick this one out of the two we thought it might be. This is a decent example of the style, worth drinking for sure.

Photo of Khazadum
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big puffy head developed, creamy, delightful, perfect retention, toasted bread coloration and sticky. It is a relatively murky body but you can still see the tons and tons of carbonation cascading upwards. Murky like... muddied water that you kicked up pushing your canoe into the lake.

Very malty. Biscuity, sweet caramels, murky brown sugar. Muddied sweetness but not confused. Sweet and no oxidized malt characteristics to complain of. Simple aroma, but delightful.

This flavor is unreal. Very well done. Opens up a blast of caramel sweetness, apples, and grains... like grapenuts and bread crusts without all the texture. Just an all around good drinking beer. Enough sweetness to balance out the carb savor characters. Finish of appreciable cellulose, not oxidized malt style.

The epitome of creamy. Like milkshakes and pudding all at once. Velvety smooth. Sticky flavor linger here and there but the finish isn't long lasting enough to really be a full level stickiness. Its a here...a....there...not everywhere. Really really like this beer. It makes me want to get more of their stuff. No jokes on that.

Photo of mnstorm99
3.28/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Can thanks to smellysell.
Beatiful looking beer with a nice dark opaque amber color and an off white head with some nice lacing.
Aroma is sweet and smokey, just as I expected with a crapload of malts to give it a decent balance from the smoke.
Taste is less smokey and much more malty. a little too much going on there for me to really pick it out.
Nice smooth creamy texture, coats nicely going down.
I could drink one or two of these, but I need my hops and this is a good one to have between a couple of hoppy beers to cleanse the palate as you will.

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Cold Smoke Scotch Ale from Kettle House Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.