Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Cold Smoke Scotch Ale - Kettle House Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Cold Smoke Scotch AleCold Smoke Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

66 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 221
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 23.96%
Wants: 21
Gots: 46 | 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
View: Beers (16) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 66 | Hads: 221
Photo of MontanaBeers
4.8/5  rDev +25%
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.

 583 characters

Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
4.69/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

appearance: dark with an amber hue

smell: hints of cocoa and toffee

taste: nice notes of smoked malts, cocoa, and light notes of toffee

mouthfeel: creamy then airy then crisp carbonation.

overall this is an amazing beer and i recommend it to anyone. kettle house is one of my favorite breweries in the missoula area

 320 characters

Photo of ArtD
4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - off white head, love the ruby brown color
Smell - inviting - sweet honey, malt, and a slight herbal-smoky aroma, hints of baked bread and heather
Taste - what a scottish ale should taste like, clean and malty, not too "hot", just touch of smoke at the end, perfect imperceptible hop bitterness
Mouthfeel - medium to full body, not too thick
Drinkability - I want to buy a plane ticket to Missoula so I can access this beer continually. I fear it'll be far too long until this rare treasure passes my lips again.

 524 characters

Photo of Kindsdaddy
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
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!

 356 characters

Photo of Gumbo2go
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
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!

 368 characters

Photo of chugalug06
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Very nice head, rather aggressive. Head is nice off-white mildly foamy... Brew is nice dark purple with lots of black and and mild browns. Nice lacing too.

S - Yum. Nice. Lots of smokey goodness... Not a huge smoke fan, but this one is done right! Lots of small fruits... Grape, apple, banana, orange....

T - Very subtle smoke flavor, nothing intense. One of the best scotch ales I've had in some time. Mild malt with gentile hop.

M - Perfect carbonation and zero bitterness. Light body with awesome distribution.

O - This brew reminds me of being in Glacier National Park.... Awesome! Can't wait to go back and enjoy more of this fine brew. Definitely worth a try. I wouldn't hunt, but definitely seek. Great job Kettlehouse!

 734 characters

Photo of Khazadum
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

 1,115 characters

Photo of sporklift87
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One finger tan leather head fades relatively quickly leaving little lacing. Dark mahogany, not cloudy. Roasted malty aromas with not much complexity. Has an almost peaty flavor pleasant some cocoa aftertaste. Highly carbonated and chewy. First sip seemed to fill mouth quickly. Feeling acidity linger on tip of tongue. Moderately syrupy. Seems to attack fast and linger mildly. A good beer with a medium body, and a good buy, once in a while.

 442 characters

Photo of Deuane
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Clear deep copper with lighter highlights. A medium thin tan head redeuces to a thin ring leaving spotty lace..

S-Sweet caramel, malt and a nice wafting of peat smoked malt. This isn't a rauchbier but much more subtle, giving you just a suggestion of single malt scotch.

T-A swirling combination of sweet caramel, light roast and peated malt. The smokiness is present and prevalent but not overwhelming. This is a smoked beer for the masses....in a good way!

M-The only fault with this brew....and not a huge knock but just enough to warrant a less than good score. Medium-light body with a sharp feel from the carbonation. I would like a bit more body and smoother feel.

D-Tasty stuff, this alone could let me down multiples! I like the smoked elements plus the sweetness is not overwhelming....a fault I see in many scotch ales. This is a well crafted and tasty brew, from a can no less! Give it just a bit more body and round out the smoothness and this could become a world beater!

 992 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

loved cold smoke! this was a very generous gift from a man who frankly was far too busy with his wedding to remember this beer for me, but he did, a testament to his awesomeness and thoughtfulness, and it certainly did not disappoint. my first beer from these guys has me keen for more. a deep maple amber colored brew, not real heady, but some bubbles and a thin tan film are visible. radiant glow to it, real low, wintery looking, sturdy, and emitting amazing and enticing aromatics of birch syrup, soft smoke, oak, chocolate and specialty red malts, and just a hint of molasses sweetness. it tastes as good as it smells, maybe better, a very long flavor trip. it starts hearty and malty, but not sweet or as heavy as many. its also quite subtle with the smoke, very northern, alaskan or maine or something, rustic and woodsy, hair on the chesty stuff here, but the smoke is only one component of many. beautiful body, smooth and rich, but again only just sweet enough. ale yeast but with some lager properties, suggesting cold and slow fermentation and a patience for the process. truly one of the better and more sessionable american scotch ales I've encountered, and i am extremely thankful to the groom for remembering to share this with me on his big day. memorable.

 1,273 characters

Photo of Risser09
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can shared at the homebrew club into a small American Pint - 2008 - Fridge Temp

Appearance: Pours a transparent brown color with orange highlights. A tan head rises about 1" and shows good retention with good lacing that coats the glass.

Smell: Caramel, malt, a tiny bit of smoke and PEAT! Not awfully apparent, but there is some peat aroma that reminds me of a single malt.

Taste: A number of malt flavors includes caramel, toast, fig, and peat. Peat is the most endearing quality of this beer. It makes it feel like what a scotch ale should be, a chaser to your dram. It only makes sense to make one taste similar to the other. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and slick at first, but there is a drying effect in the finish. Perhaps it is more of a sharpness. Alcohol is evident, but not cloying.

Drinkability: Great. I have found a new favorite Scotch ale, one that should be the keystone to which the style is interpreted. Peaty, malty, and creamy, not to mention that it comes in a can. Very nice.

 1,009 characters

Photo of PEBKAC
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
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. :)

 2,132 characters

Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

 832 characters

Photo of GeezLynn
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

 696 characters

Photo of capra12
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed solo, served out of a bowling pin bottom shaped glass from the I love the Variety BIF

Appaearance: Pours a deep and dark mohagundy with 2 1/2 fingers of frothy head.

Smell: I get a ton of dark candied malts with a hint of wood.

Taste: Opens with a dark malt profile. I'm greeted by a roasted malt and coffee towards the middle as dark candied malts finishes this brew, leaving my palate thirsty for the next sip. Malty and candied aftertaste almost reminds me of a cross between a bock and BSDA.

Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied with little carbonation, this reminds me of a doppelbock with a solid roast malt profile.

Drinkability: I would have this again and recommend this to those seeking a solid scotch ale with a strong malt backbone with lingering coffee and roast malt profiles.

 801 characters

Photo of TheBishop
4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

 442 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a moderate brown color with a little bit of a ruby highlight and a one finger head of just off white foam. The head fades relatively quickly leaving a decent level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest of a roasted malt smell with some bit of a more grainy aroma mixed within. Along with these smells are some aromas of coffee and a decent showing of molasses and brown sugar. Some sweeter dark fruit aromas are there as well giving a bit more sweetness to the aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a rather big and sweet malty taste with a good showing of caramel, brown sugar and toffee as well as lot of bready flavors. A light showing of a dark fruit flavor of cherry and plum are upfront as well with these flavors seeming to gain intensity as the taste advances to the end all while the caramel and toffee lose a bit of intensity. A bit of a graininess and some light smoke flavors come to the tongue at the middle and toward the end. With a little bit of coffee and cocoa showing up at the end as well, one is left with a sweet and smooth scotch ale flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the rather thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. For the roasted, sweet, and light smoke flavors of the brew the feel is fantastic making for a great slow sipper all while nicely highlighting all the nice flavors.

Overall – A very delicious scotch ale that has a more moderate abv. (at least for a scotch) but yet tons of great flavor. A very nice on to try if you get the chance.

 1,691 characters

Photo of josiahschlender
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

 1,338 characters

Photo of ChimRichels
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

 1,054 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass, perfect pour with a nice amount of light tan head that went straight to the brim of the glass. beer color is more like a porter - deep amber/brown. smells of vanilla, oak, slight hint of fruit (overtone of grapes). tastes very smokey, malty, sweet chocolate, slight bitterness from hops (very faint but in the aftertaste). real smooth on the palate, a little creamy on the roof of the mouth.. goes down like a nice stout. this is very well balanced beer.. never thought i liked scotch ales until i had this (and the three floyds one). very nice.

 571 characters

Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - the can very clearly reads "Canned on Sept 3 10". Love that! I wish more canning breweries made it that easy to see when they filled their cans. Anyways, this one pours a very, very dark amber with a inch of thick, yellowish-white head on top. This looks great, I am ready to dive in.

Aroma - brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, caramel, honey...all the sweet things in life basically. Rich and malty smelling as a good Scotch Ale should be.

Taste - smooth on the lips and tongue with a good bit of malty sweetness clearing the palate...for more malty sweetness. Like most other Scotch Ales the malt is the dominant flavor. Plenty of that biscuity flavor associated with malty brews as well as caramel and honey. As it warms I get some fruity apple cider-y flavors as well. Very tasty stuff.

Overall - sweet but not cloying. Actually, this is more of a juicy, malty brew if that makes any sense. Its refreshing like a lighter brew might be. Sort of hard to explain. Its easy to see why this is their flagship brew, its easy to drink and even easier to enjoy. If you like Amber Ales, ESBs or Brown Ales (or other Scotch Ales obviously) you'll certainly enjoy this beer.

Would I buy more of it? - hells yes. Great stuff in a great, big, awesome-looking can. Loads of malty goodness and just about perfect on a cold night in front of the fireplace.

 1,361 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark garnet-hued body wtih a small, bubbly, whiteish head.

Smell: Peaty, malty aroma of caramel candy, toasted nuts, and even some chocolate.

Taste: Toasty, nutty malts with a mild sweetness. Light peat character. Sprinkle of cocoa powder. Mildly earthy bitterness. Slight taste of pitted fruits. Mildly sweet, relatively clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not a bad lil' scotch ale, though I could stand and would appreciate a ramped up peaty smokiness.

 524 characters

Photo of Bunman3
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a tame Scotch Ale, in a very nice way. I've sampled it on tap and in cans - both are pleasant experiences. The smell is malted toffee, the taste includes a bit of coffee and the faintest peat sensations. The heavy alcohol content is completely masked in the desirable combination of flavours. This is a fantastic ski beer!

 330 characters

Photo of beerdrifter
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

 557 characters

Photo of younger35
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was one of the two Kettle House brews that I received in a trade from JohnGalt1. O yeah, he gave me an ABYSS too! Drank and reviewed in-between games of Halo 3 (I’m a dork…). Drank from my family guy glass (ha!)

Appearance- Pours a dark brown with a bit of a amber/yellow tint with a nice one finger creamy head. Leaves a nice cap and collar with fairly decent lacing.
Smell- Lot’s of malt in this big fella. Lightly sweet with soft fresh bread tones. A bit of caramel goodness mixed in with very little, if any, hop kick.
Taste- Slightly sweet with a smooth honey like start. Nice bit of a roasted malt to go along with the sweetness and very slight smokiness. The smokiness is a bit different than what I expected. Could have used maybe a touch more “peatyness”. Finishes with a bit of a fruity bitterness with just a touch of alcohol. Overall pretty tasty stuff.
Mouthfeel- Nice and velvety smooth with very little carbonation.
Drinkability- This is a very easy drinking, pretty tasty brew. I’d drink this regularly if it was available to me. It sort of reminds me of Surly’s Bender without all the big flavor. Like it’s little brother. Thanks again to JohnGalt1!

 1,181 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Cold Smoke Scotch Ale from Kettle House Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.