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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.
very good

65 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 65
Hads: 228
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 24.22%
Wants: 22
Gots: 47 | 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
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Reviews: 65 | Hads: 228
Photo of Klym
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stone nonic. Big thanks to my family for getting this one to me!

This is a pretty strongly average scotch ale with some slightly above average features. The mouthfeel is certainly the weakspot on this one, thin and a tad flat with no appealing carbonation. There's a bizarre over-sweetness in the aftertaste on this and the heat comes through a little thick in the beginning. Balance is a big issue in this beer but overall it comes through with a sweet alcohol that is reminiscent of a classic scotch ale. Not bad to drink but also not that easy to give a flattering tick.

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Photo of arizcards
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a four-pak at Wolds Valley Market in Seeley Lake, MT on Tuesday this week. Canned on 8/26/11.

Brew poured brown with a nice bubbly tan head that lingered.

Nose was malty, hint of smoke perhaps.

Taste was sweet malts finishing with a dry hop. Aftertaste is almost wine like but not cloying. Hint of coffee present.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, some carbonation.

Overall a smackable beer, not to sweet but brewed to the style. I would think most beer drinkers would enjoy a cold one of these!

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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.

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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.

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Photo of rwinzing
2.91/5  rDev -24.2%
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.

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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!

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Photo of dirtylou
3.88/5  rDev +1%
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

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Photo of dc55110
3.39/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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Photo of Schmittymack
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 16 oz can a darker brown color with a tan head that stayed around a bit. Not exactly sure what the nose picked up but the taste was sweet malt, a touch of caramel, and an ever so slight bit of hop bitterness/bite at the end. Decent brew but I definitely prefer the Eddy Out over this one.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another one shared by schmittymack on Saturday evening; This one poured from the tall boy can a nice reddish brown color with a small lingering tan head. Aromas of toffee, dark fruit and a hint of smoke. On the palate this one was medium bodied, with flavors of caramel, toffee, sweet malt and a little smoke.

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Photo of tone77
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of popery
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Scotch Ale has a great look. It's a deep rich brown liquid with a creamy ecru head. The aroma is sweet with caramel and brown sugar. There's a touch of peat in there along with some dark fruits. The taste is a touch sweeter than I'd prefer, but it's still quite good. A little more smokiness would do wonders for this beer. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. It's a pleasant, enjoyable beer and I could imagine having it in regular rotation, especially for fans of the style. Good stuff.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tallboy can into a Duvel tulip. Canned on Jan 6, 2011.

Cold Smoke shows a deep magenta color as it's poured, and fills the tulip with a mahogany core. Up top, the creamy head is fueled well by the carbonation trails below; the consistency is reminiscent of Guinness. Aroma presents muted notes of milk chocolate and caramel with a hint of peat-like pungency. The hops are floral and fragrant, and the highlight of the nose.

Nice flavor profile: somewhat mild, but clean and without any off-flavors. The dark malts suggest baker's chocolate, coffee, and a toasted nuttiness, and are well-balanced by an earthy, herbal hop presence. Mouthfeel is crisp and silky at the same time. The small bubbles of carbonation pepper the front & sides of the tongue, while still allowing the beer to finish with a velvety gulp. Quite a well-crafted Scotch Ale, this. Not the most flavorful or eye-opening of the bunch, but it drinks incredibly well for the style.

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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.

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Photo of smm
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pops brought a can back from the west when he passed through Missoula.

SA Perfect Pint

A- Dark reddish mahogany color. 3/4 Inch or so of a white/tan head which dissipates quickly after taking a sip.

S- Slightly sweet, not getting a whole lot off the nose. Kind of corny.

T- Sweet and malty, semi-chocolaty, slight bitter finish with a twinge of coffee. Nothing really jumps out.

M- Very very smooth, moderate carbonation.

D- Quite drinkable, the smoothness is very enjoyable.

With the right price point I could see knocking back a few of these during a winter evening. Hopefully one day I'll end up in Montana to go skiing and make it happen.

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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.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to toastermm for this one. big fan of the wee heavies.

poured carefully from the can to a sun king shaped pint glass a super dark chocolate brown with nice red highlights when held to the light with a full finger short lasting toffee colored head.

somewhat subdued aroma of dark fruits and dark sugars.

big malt forward tastes of dark fruits forward with mildly sweet coffee after

super thick, smooth and sweet. medium to highly carbonation. no bitter to be found.

drinkable - oh yeah. very.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of beertunes
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass. Poured a translucent deep reddish brown with just trace of off white head that had no retention and left no lacing.

A slight peat aroma is the first feature to reach the nose, followed a nice malt base. The flavors are subdued version the expected tastes.

The body was typical and drinkability was slightly above average. Overall, a decent example, worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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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!

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep, dark amber color with a one+ finger off-white head. Excellent retention and lacing.

S - A little weak, but very deep and rich malty aroma. A little on the sweet side and lots of caramel and some burnt sugar in the aroma.

T - A very sweet caramel taste up front. A little sugary sweetness to it as well. A light earthy hoppiness comes through mid drink before fading to a very malty finish.

M/D - Medium to full bodied and very creamy. A little light on the carbonation but still very easy drinking.

A strong offering from the folks up in Montana. Not as good as Old Chub, but still very tasty. Love seeing craft beer in cans.

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Cold Smoke Scotch Ale from Kettle House Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.