Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop 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

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 65 | Hads: 228
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.

 489 characters

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.

 1,482 characters

Photo of mr-jj
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
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 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.

 507 characters

Photo of Bockrules
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
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

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!

 514 characters

Photo of mwilbur
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
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 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

 546 characters

Photo of Lakes
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cold Smoke Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

This is a dark foreboding beast with a tan lingering head. 4

Nose is rich and toasty.

Taste is toasty, rich and layered. Well balanced with good carbonation.

Mouth fell is medium to full with a clean finish.

Overall its a good beer.

 271 characters

Photo of peck95
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a good beer with no detractions.
pours nice dark amber color with a good sized head but little lacing
smell is sweet with a little bit of alcohol in the nose
the taste is nice a good nutty flavor with a good smoked choc. malt taste but no alcohol taste
the drinkability and mouthfeel are both good the ale is really smooth and a little thick

 350 characters

Photo of Boto
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Big Sky: This one pours a ruby tinged brown color. It has a fairly decent frothy off white head on it, but it doesn’t last too long. A bit of a roasted, sweet malt to the nose, as well as some smokiness. I didn’t really get any peat out of it, as I might expect in a scotch ale. A good medium body and flavor. Mainly the sweet roasted malts that were in the aroma, as well as some of the smokiness. Some lurking hops for balance, but fairly hidden. Decent!

 468 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

 1,195 characters

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.

 753 characters

Photo of loren01
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a mahogany color, good sized head, slight lacing
S: Smell is sweet and malty, not much hoppiness at all, just lots of malt
T: Good grain/maltiness, nice sweet beer
M: Moderate to heavy bodied
D: Very flavorfull, would have tasted better on a nice cold winter day. Very good beer nonetheless.

 306 characters

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.

 701 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
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 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

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 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 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 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

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Cold Smoke Scotch Ale from Kettle House Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.