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Piper Down Scottish Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Piper Down Scottish AlePiper Down Scottish Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

178 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 178
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 11.26%
Wants: 7
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  5.80% 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: 178 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of womencantsail
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of oberon
3.49/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of beernads
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of mactrail
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of kojevergas
2.54/5  rDev -30.2%
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-

Photo of wrightst
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 12/24/2013. Pours fairly crystal clear reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, molasses, toast, brown bread, light roast, raisin, plum, apple, herbal, and toast/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, yeast ester, and light hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light roast, raisin, plum, apple, herbal, and toast/yeast earthiness. Slight earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light roast, raisin, plum, apple, herbal, and toast/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance, complexity, and robustness of dark/bready malt, yeast ester, and light hop flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and fairly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good Scottish ale style. Good balance and robustness of dark/bready malt, yeast ester, and light hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle served in a wine glass.

Pours with a very durable tan head that leaves some sticky lacing. The body is dark red-brown and clear but almost opaque.

Aroma: very pleasing malt forward with a touch of smoke.

Flavor: Very good flavor if a bit low in intensity. Low in smokiness for style. strength nutty flavor with dark grains and a impression of dark bread. Good, lingering malty aftertaste.

O: a bit tame for style but very enjoyable.

Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of HopHead84
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of sendbeer
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of beertunes
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of glid02
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of maximum12
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%

Bought for a long-simmering dislike of the asswipe bagpiper who woke us up every Sunday for years at the MN Renaissance Festival at 7:00 AM with his caterwauling. I’ve despised bagpipes ever since, & would have loved to see that “Piper Down”. 22 oz. bomber split with my wife.

Glad I got that off my chest. The pour is a palette of dark orange/light red, kinda purty, plenty of carbonation. The beer fairly reeks of caramel, with a back-up of light brown sugar. Not a bad start.

Piper Down grows on me slower than a black morel. There’s a strong brushstroke of caramel & the aforementioned brown suggah, but underneath that are subtle shadings. Roast, molasses, mild layering of bitterness, rounding it out with more light sweetness. Certainly easy to drink, if I were a Scottish bagpiper, I might never be sober. Assuming, of course, I hadn’t driven screwdrivers into my eardrums already.

Not the awesome-fest I’ve come to expect from Ballast Point, but a good, solid brew.

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Piper Down Scottish Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.