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Piper Down Scottish Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Piper Down Scottish Ale
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BA SCORE
83
good

82 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 82
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 11.78%


Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-15-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 82 | Reviews: 22 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Ozzylizard
Ozzylizard

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle at cellar temp into standard pint glass
Aroma of malt, perhaps a hint of peat
Head average (4 cm), rocky, light brown, rapidly diminishing
Few clots of lacing
Body red-copper, clear
Flavor begins and ends sweet with a distinct malt taste; no hops, no alcohol, perhaps a trace of diacetyl.
Palate medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation.

While this meets the criteria for a scotch ale, I’m not sure whether the slight diacetyl flavor and faint peaty are really there, or whether I’m just being hopeful. Unexceptional.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2014 11:39:18 | More by Ozzylizard
Photo of lsummers
lsummers

California

3.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep amber that's close to a dark cola color. Smells of some sweet tablet and some brown sugar syrup. Subtle dark fruits and a touch of some roasted caramel malts. Taste has tons of caramel sweetness, with notes close to that of some Scottish tablet. Very light on the tongue and leaves a bit of body behind. Carbonation is a little on the lower side. The smell definitely compliments the subtle roasted malts and dark fruits. Overall, I was really excited to try it and I'm glad I did! It's a solid, very drinkable Scottish style ale that won't leave you feeling overly imbibed or full. If I were in the mood for this style on a summer day, this one might be my first pick. Otherwise, it might not hold up to the body of others in it's style on those cold dark days.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 21:50:40 | More by lsummers
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.49/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich clear amber with a half finger light tan colored atop that settled into a frothy mass.Aromas are on the sweet side with alot of caramel and brown sugar,light toast lingers.Caramel and vanilla malty flavors dominate the flavor profile from beiginning to end with just a hint of toastiness.Not bad but one of the more one dimensional Scottish ales I have had in its sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 15:17:40 | More by oberon
Photo of robbyc1
robbyc1

Illinois

3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

The look is a clear, dark amber with an off-white head which leaves some fairly nice lacing.

The aroma is caramely, seems to be bit of sugar and fruit in there.

The taste is slightly sweet, the flavor is solid roasted malt with a deep molasses finish, lacking any smokiness for the style.

The body is still medium heavy, with not overly done carbonation.

Very drinkable beer, a solid starter beer for someone looking to try out Scottish ales.

Serving type: growler

05-02-2013 14:50:58 | More by robbyc1
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.54/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Served on-draught into a 4 oz taster at Ballast Point in San Diego. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a half finger beige floater. Body colour is a rich clear copper-amber/chestnut (for extra pretension). No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Caramel, vague hints of oak, and malt. A very restrained aroma.

T: Caramel, amber malts, a hint of oak, and malty sweetness. Simply built. Underwhelming. Lacks complexity and subtlety.

Mf: Smooth. Dry, especially on the finish. Poorly executed; it doesn't suit the flavour profile at all. Decent thickness. Overcarbonated.

Dr: Downable but pedestrian. I wouldn't have it again, but it's not awful for the style. I expect better from Ballast Point.

Low C-

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2013 21:24:43 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Murrhey
Murrhey

Montana

2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured on-tap in a taster at Ballast Point in San Diego, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Half a finger white head. Low retention. Some filmy white lacing. Bourbon brown color.

S- Caramel and sugar, malty. Subtle smell.

T- Sugary and malty, caramel and toffee. Not a lot going for it.

M- Smooth and crisp with a wet feel. Not great.

O- Mediocre beer. Unfortunate.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2012 00:15:38 | More by Murrhey
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Consumed June 19th, 2012 at Blue Palms.

Dark ruby color with caramel highlights. Nice ring of off-white foam that lasts all the way to the bottom of the glass, though not especially sticky.

Aroma is smoked peat, a melanoidin character and a touch of brown sugar.

Flavor is much like nose. Peaty, smoky, caramel, maybe rye as well? Melanoidiny. Unexpected citric zing in there, too.

Dry on the finish, medium bodied,

Not what I expected form a scotch ale, but not bad.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2012 22:03:38 | More by charlzm
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Haven Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a clear dark copper with a khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild bitterness that quickly fades after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good but straightforward and simple beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2012 01:39:38 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pleasant quaff of peat-scented amber ale. Tastes so much like some kind of malt liquor. Fruity taste of blackberries. Malty and just faintly sweet. Hops are subdued and leave only a bathtub ring of bitterness. More of a winey taste than beery.

Cherry-red amber color in the pint glass. Not a lot of foam. Decently carbonated in the mouth. Fairly light bodied in a more quaffable style of Scottish Ale. Not an outstanding example of the category, but a different sort of smokey amber.

On tap at the Pearl in Point Loma.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2012 20:59:33 | More by mactrail
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

3/2/2012

On tap at Home Brew Mart.

A: Transparent reddish brown with a finger of light brown foam.

S: Lots of caramelization. Toasted biscuit accompanies bready malt and a firm earth presence. Lightly nutty with some dark fruit.

T: Lower moderate sweetness with a low earthy bitterness and a suggestion of citrus. Caramel is pronounced and there's a dash of toffee. Baked bread blends with biscuit and a restrained brown sugar note. I get a little raisin and plum.

M: Upper medium in body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky and viscous.

Overall: An enjoyable, fundamentally sound example of the style. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2012 17:04:16 | More by HopHead84
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a draft of this brew in a pint glass at the brewery.

The beer pours a clear rich mahogany color with a thin edge layer of head at best.

Aroma is mild but toffee, some brown sugar and a bit of grainy malt come through on the nose. I dont get any booze here and maybe just a hint of earthy hops in the background.

First sip reveals an average body and minimal carbonation. Texture is smooth and the beer is really easy to drink. Some stickiness on my lips after each sip.

Flavor is all malt with caramel and grain, with just a bit of brown sugar mixed in, maybe a little roasted malt showing up? No realy hop hits and the booze is well covered.

The beer goes down very easy and proves to be a tasty, albeit one dimensional brew. I enjoy it and think it could be sessionable if the ABV were about 1.5% lower.
check it out if you like malty brews.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2012 18:21:51 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of snpub540
snpub540

California

3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Haven.

Pours a clear brown hue with some amber highlights at the bottom and edges. Not a lot of carbonation or a lot of head. No lacing.

Aroma is bready and sweet with a small amount of toast in there too.

Taste is caramel sweet upfront with bready and yeasty notes turning up as well. A little smoke and bitterness are in play towards the finish as well.

Smooth, nice body on this one. Easily drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2011 19:35:34 | More by snpub540
Photo of TheJollyHop
TheJollyHop

California

3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away

Clear dark mahogany brown body with a finger of fast fading tan head.

Aroma is almost no where to be smelled. Barely anything noticeable other than some faint toasted nuts.

Sweet malty body full of milk chocolate, caramel, and some almond buttered bread. Sweet and slick finish with some early arriving bitterness that doesn't overtake the substantial malt character, but keeps the beer from becoming uncomfortably sweet. There is also some light coffee and tobacco flavor as well.

Medium carbonated and and light bodied, while being slightly creamy. Highly drinkable Scottish ale with an expressive malt body but lacking in aroma.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2010 01:50:05 | More by TheJollyHop
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pretty dark amber with off while head that leaves immediately.

S - Smoky, somewhat reminds me of peat. Spices and fat malt.

T - Taste matches smell though little thinner and more watery than I would have thought.

M - Creamy, but light and not lingering. Not much coating.

D - Very easy to drink!

Serving type: growler

04-22-2010 00:56:19 | More by srandycarter
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse. Served in a wide mouth tulip.

Dark, though not opaque burgandy body with a tiny but persistent off-white head.

Aromas of peat, caramel, slightly toasted malt, and light esters.

Peat, malt, caramel, and a faint grassiness suggesting noble hops on the palate. Lacks a little depth, but the flavor profile is still quite good.

Smooth and medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

This sort of rides the line between a Scottish Export 80/- and a true Wee Heavy - though I think it is really a weaker rendition of the latter...

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2010 20:31:23 | More by augustgarage
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Ballast Point (Old Grove) this past weekend.

A: The pour is a clear, dark amber color with a bit of an off-white head which leaves some fairly nice lacing.

S: The aroma is quite pleasant. Notes of molasses, toffee, smoke, and lightly roasted malt fill the nose. There might be a bit of sugar and fruit in there somewhere.

T: The flavors are a bit bland and watery, but still decent enough. Molasses, roasted malt, and a bit of peat are the primary flavors, but again, not all that intense.

M: Despite the disappointing flavors, the body is still fairly nice (though a bit thin) and the carbonation is low to moderate.

D: This was a fairly decent beer and would be a good starter beer for someone looking to try out Scottish ales. I say that because the flavors of these types of beers can be a bit overwhelming, so the tame flavors would be a good segue.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2010 17:15:39 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Ballast Point Old Grove on 11/11/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a deep, clear amber, with a thin frothy covering of off-white foam. This stays rich around the edges, with some wisps in the center, leaving back some robust lacing. The aroma smells of toasted malts, a hint of smoke, spice, fruity esters, and some sweeter caramel notes, which are taking on more of a butterscotch tone as this warms. Not a whole lot of force here to the nose but seems to fall in line with ABV, which was listed as 5.6% on the board.

The taste is a little roastier up front, that then gets sweeter in the middle, with sugary toffee and fruit. Finishes spicy on the lips, with a lingering gentle smokiness. Not much hops, with any bitterness mostly coming from the malt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a softer feeling carbonation up front, which then gets a little sharper towards the back of the swallow. Much like the aroma, this isn't super deep by any stretch, but seems to fall right in with the ABV.

Well done take on the style here by Ballast Point, with just the right amount of balance between the malt, spice, and smoke. Remaining on the lower side of the ABV style spectrum kept this nicely drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2009 13:24:17 | More by Kegatron
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA.

Pours a brownish-red color with a one-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of lightly toasted caramel malts with a bit of smokiness and medium fruit aromas. As the beer warms the fruit aromas become stronger.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The first half of the sip is nice as it consists of the caramel malt and light smokiness, however midway through the sip the fruit flavors join in and disrupts what was a good thing.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's a bit on the thin side with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass however I'm not too sure about another.

Overall this has the potential to be a good beer, however as it stands now I'm not quite sold.

Serving type: on-tap

07-30-2009 21:55:26 | More by glid02
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drawn from the cask into a pint glass, this beer measures a hefty 9.1% ABV this year. Pours a burnt orangey-chestnut in color with a full inch of dense off white head and lots of action, thus yielding a yeasty opaqueness to the beer. A nice looking pour though a bit un-beerlike in color, if that makes sense. Offers strong retention and lacing.

Nose is up front with caramel malt and butterscotch flavors. It gives a sense of an upcoming sweetness that never materializes. A bit of alcohol can be found on the nose as well as the tongue. Taste is similar to the nose and offers a very long finish on the malt. Flavors of butterscotch segue to a somewhat spicy finish, with a hint of pepper, cinnamon and brown sugar. Offers a very nice feel, partly I would assume from the style, and partly from the beer engine. Drink is good and would be higher if not for the ABV.

Serving type: cask

11-27-2008 19:52:37 | More by HalfFull
Photo of Westsidethreat
Westsidethreat

California

3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Thin looking rootbeer colored brew. Head is thin, color of moth balls.

S: Red berries, caramel with a hint of peat.

T: Starts bland with hints of minerals. Really basic chocolate flavors move in leaning towards the powdered cocoa side. Next comes some boring dark berries. Finishes bland and somewhat boring.

M: Thin and Fizzy.

D: A simple and straight forward scotch ale.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2007 04:15:02 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of BrewBakerE
BrewBakerE

California

3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Beachwood BBQ.

Pours dark brown with a quickly dissipating tan head. Carbonation level may be low for some, but just fine for my personal taste. Very slight notes of carmel on the nose, but not much aroma. Seems to open up a bit, as it warms. Overall a good scotch ale that I will drink again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-30-2007 20:37:30 | More by BrewBakerE
Photo of tonistruth
tonistruth

Nevada

4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap @ San Diego Brewing Company

A- chill hazed garnet, 1/2" off white head with a thin film of clinging lace, decent retent

S- caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toasted malts

T- burnt brown sugar, toffee, caramelized malts, roasted caramel aftertaste, molasses, tasty, nice burnt & sweet balance

M- medium bodied, a bit rough, pleasantly lingers though

D- tasty, very tasty, Scottish, don't miss this one

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2007 02:56:50 | More by tonistruth
Piper Down Scottish Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.