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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
86
very good

66 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 217
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.18%
Wants: 21
Gots: 44 | 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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 66 | Hads: 217
Photo of Libeertarian
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

At Haufbrau in Bozeman, Montana. Was with my dad. He said it hadn't changed much since the 80s, when he first visited.

On tap. Darker brown in color. Was dark in the bar so had a hard time making things out, but didn't appear to have much ruby to it. Almost no head present in pint glass from the way the barkeep poured it. Bread and caramel aromas, not much hops. Reminded me more of a robust, not too-hoppy amber than a scotch. About as malty sweet but not near as balanced as others of the style, due to relative lack of peat or smoke character. Also not as prickling as others. Decent amount of very sudsy carbonation, with lower end of medium body. Good beer overall. Great with a burger and fries. (704 characters)

Photo of Gumbo2go
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
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 sporklift87
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
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 Bunman3
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
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 mr-jj
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic from a 16 oz can.

Color is dark brown with a thin tan head that fades quickly. Minimal lacing. Smell is roasted caramel malt, toffee and some peat notes. Flavor is burnt coffee, some nuttiness, and some smoky peat notes. Finish is a bit bitter - like burnt coffee. Body is medium with moderate carbonation.

Overall, a good scotch ale with some of the peatiness I look for in this style. (414 characters)

Photo of mabermud
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: The off white head disappeared in under ten seconds. The body looks like a cola, and there is a lot going on with the fizz and all.
Smell: Very faint malt and caramel sweetness...my wife said it smells like a Coke...
Taste: Caramel, malts, faint roast, faint coffe, and faint cocoa.
Feel: Not bad. Thin. Needs substance.
Overall: I'm not too impressed. This tastes bland. Maybe I was given an old can. Hopefully I can revisit this beer in the future. (462 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
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 archyquaffer
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
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. (943 characters)

Photo of beergoot
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this at the Bacchus Pub in Bozeman, Montana...

The beer appeared a deep cola brown color with a thin, wispy head; decent rings of lacing after each sip. The smell exuded a malty caramel; hazelnuts. The flavor presented elements of caramel, brown sugar, and molasses. The body felt medium-heavy; smooth and glassy; oily.

A fine malt-forward beer loaded with light chocolate and caramel flavors. (399 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (1,052 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
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 beerdrifter
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
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 Murrhey
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- One-finger brownish head that evaporates pretty quickly. Brown body with low clarity. Fine looking beer. Maybe I waited too long on this.

S- Malty, roasty notes and well-balanced. Mild.

T- Sweet, roasty and malty. Not much to say about it. Surprisingly sweet.

M- Middling body. Fairly wet finish.

O- I wish I had reviewed it fresh. (430 characters)

Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
4.69/5  rDev +22.5%
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 scruffwhor
3.27/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tanks to da NJG aka "DBK" for hooking me up wit anoder MT brew!

Tarnished, garnet hue. Good, light beige head after the initial pour. A little ring o' foam forms around the endge of the beer after letting it sit for a couple minutes to warm up. I can see a few small bubbles rising to the top of this darker brew.

Malty sweet aroma of dark fruit and heavily toasted and mildly roasted malts. Dark plums and black cherries and dry, sweet pumpernickel bread crust.

The taste starts and moves to the middle with musty roasted barley flavors. The finish mellows with some warm plum, hint of coffee and roasted mlat. But that mustiness sticks around longer than desired.

Chalky palate, sweet overall, but that mustiness is a little off putting. Pretty good overall I'd say. (774 characters)

Photo of mwilbur
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
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! (660 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Canned on 18 Jan 2012, so a touch older than I'd like. Enjoyed 15 Jun 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a medium brownish amber, decently dark, and clear. Yellowish head, foaming up nicely, and leaving good lacing.

Smell is malty and slightly peaty, which I like. But it's rather light for a Scotch ale, with an unusual crispness. It's not deep, rather it's light and airy for the style.

Flavor is richer and slightly heavier, with that peaty character. Slightly smoky, but more like soil - moist, dark, and deep. Tastes very dark brown.

Mouthfeel is good - medium-bodied, medium-low carbonation. Finish is quick but watery.

A decently tasty scotch ale, kind of on the easy-drinking side of the style spectrum. I can see why this is a popular beer in its area, but I think a lot of what makes it more palatable makes it less exciting to me. (844 characters)

Photo of RodneyFarva
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16oz can poured into a glass

a: pours a deep brown with some ruby undertones. 1 finger of tan head, slowly dissipates.

s: malts, toffee, caramel, dark chocolate

t: mostly malts and a good amount of dark chocolate, some toffee and caramel still. very smooth, has a nice oiliness and chewiness to it that adds some depth. the drawback for me is that the carbonation is too high, which makes the mouthfeel off. the whole taste brings a very nice smoothness that the high carbonation puts off by bringing in a bitterness.

o: a very nice scotch ale, nice complexity with the different aromas and flavors. the carbonation is too damn high! (637 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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 EricCioe
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
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. (697 characters)

Photo of Agold
3.08/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Got this beer from a friend who went to Montana. Pours with a nice white head that leaves nice bit of lacing. Not much retention. Aroma a bit of nice caramel and mild toffee. Flavor is mild. Does not have much of the caramel or toffee that is in the aroma. Very mild caramel and a bit of maybe roast? There is also a bit of herbal hops. Theres really not much going on. Mouthfeel is too light for the style and carbonation is too high. Overall this beer is nice, but definitely not a great scotch ale. I think another point or two of ABV and maybe a bit more body would have been helpful. (588 characters)

Photo of Duff27
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Canned on 11/3/2011

A- Half-inch light tan head on a dark ruby red beer. Above average head retention...drink by drink step lacing on one side of the pint glass, splotchy lacing on the side that's being drank from.

S- Whiffs of cola and slight peat/smoke.

T- Big time sweet maltiness, caramel. Cola-esque aftertaste. Low to no hop presence, per style guidelines.

M- Full creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is there, well integrated and isn't biting. Feels nice.

D/O- Very impressed with my first Kettlehouse offering. May not in the top tier scotch ale conversation but very solid nonetheless. Thanks fdkayti! (609 characters)

Photo of Khazadum
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
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 radioscooter
2.43/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Got in a BIF. One of a very few potential saving graces of a wildly disappointing haul.

Poured into a Thistleglass. Nice 2 finger head with no lacing but many little bubbles left behind.

Aroma is too many Hops for a Scotch Ale. No matter how you describe or interpret it. Plus that "US beer phenolic ugg. Sigh. Ah well. Down we go.

Ah. Too bad. Utter crap.

Basically a food colored PBR. Well, not unexpected. Crazy high carbonation, as if we're 15 again and squirreling away Mickey's Big Mouth.

Let me describe this to you: 1. Grab some cheap, BMC beer (any) Decant it into a 16 oz. can. Add some dark brown food coloring. Put a "Scotch Ale" label on it and hope that some of the trailer folks want to spread their wings a little but really still want to drink to get drunk.

Time waster. Drain + pour. Not remotely a Scotch Ale. I cannot believe the other reviewers were drinking the same product as I. (914 characters)

Photo of Bockrules
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from the pint sized can into a tulip glass (the closest thing I have the suggested thistle glass)

A - Pours a very dark brown (nearly as dark as a stout) with a two-finger, rocky, tan head. Head is intact for most of the beer, and never really completely falls apart. Leaves behind a few splotches of lacing on the top of the glass and a wall of lacing at the very bottom.

S - Fair amount of caramel malt with hints of coffee and brown sugar.

T - Caramel malt upfront. The body is on the malty side of things, with caramel and brown sugar flavors, while the earthy hops linger in the background to balance things out. Flourish of brown sugar and earthy hops as the beer passes over the back of the tongue leads a lingering, slightly bitter-sweet coffee finish.

M - A little the weaker side of medium bodied with ample carbonation to give it a some a little bit of a creamy feel. I would like to see it even thicker and creamier.

Cold smoke is a damn good beer and an excellent example of a somewhat rare brew. In fact, I hadn't even heard of a Scotch ale (only Scottish Ales) until I did field work out in Yellowstone this summer (and brought this back). To me, this seems to be more balanced than the majority of brown ales (more hops), while still retaining an alluring sweetness. A better beer than Double Haul, and worth the $2.50 I paid for it within the park. I wonder what it can be had for on tap or at a more reasonable venue? (1,449 characters)

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Cold Smoke Scotch Ale from Kettle House Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.