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Piper Down Scottish Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Piper Down Scottish AlePiper Down Scottish Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

57 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 57
Hads: 256
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 9.34%
Wants: 14
Gots: 56 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-15-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 57 | Hads: 256
Photo of Nugganooch
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%

22oz bottle into a standard pint
Notes from 07/11/2014

A: Bright auburn body with a reddish-orange hue and minor hazed look. Thick topper of khaki suds that holds tightly compacted for over a few minutes. Nice trellis work of tracked lacing decorates the glass all the way down the drink.

S: Biscuit malt and toasted bread up front with a light buttery caramel presence. I get some modest raisin or dried fruit type esters there as well. Aromas are pretty straight forward and all about the malts here which is a nice change up for me.

T: Malty biscuit with toasted elements and some fig like fruit segue into a more than expected American type hoppiness. Gives a off a piney note along with some citrus peel and earthy minerals. While the hops may seem somewhat out of place here it works well and the bitterness is kept on the lower end. All in all some nice flavors here with good balance and drinkability as the alcohol is really well disguised.

M: There is a moderate heft of maltiness to the body and the feel is a bit watered down at times. Although a big drying effort towards the finish really saves the overall experience.

D: This is a really nice brew to pick up every now and then. Far from being my favorite amongst the style as it’s not incredibly complex nor does it give you much to think about. It is however well crafted and quite tasty. (1,385 characters)

Photo of Zach136
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear sweet tea body, solid lacing.

Aroma: light caramel and melanoidin.

Flavor: Medium intensity roast, caramel, meladnoidin. Lots of assorted earthiness in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

A fine exmaple of (236 characters)

Photo of samtrillo
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A slightly translucent purple amber with a cute thin off white head.

Caramel malt nose expected from a Scotch ale. Not too strong but pleasant.

Taste is similar. Lacking in complexity. A nice caramel malt with some bitterness in there.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light. Medium carbonation.

Overall it's a fine example of a Scottish style Ale but nothing I'm crazy about. I prefer Scotch Ales... (395 characters)

Photo of gatornation
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A-pours a clear amber color with an off white head a afresh collar
S-sweet malts and fruit
T-sweet on the front end with light floral hops very little malts
M-sweet and thin fruity with good carbonation
O- did not taste like a SA but more like a session red ale (262 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
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. (1,450 characters)

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

Ballast Point's Piper Down, Scottish Ale. 5.8% ABV

A: Just over a finger of head. Nice, clear red tone. Decent lacing.

S: Smells slightly soured. Not fruity sour, but milk gone bad/yogurt sour. Medium molasses. Very light char.

T/MF: Multigrain cereal, and light char. This much lighter than the other Scottish Ale I tried. Moderately crisp, too. Though it doesn't taste it, sharp tingle towards the tip of the tongue is telling me there's some acidity to this.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass. (522 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (451 characters)

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.01/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bomber with no best by date. Its fresh though...summer 2014

A - Ruby red, almost brown. Half a finger of head but no sticky lace

S - Not much aroma, some apple notes and lost of English malts

T - Surprisingly the taste is much better than the aroma.

M - Highly carbonated but medium bodied. Oily and slick. Pleasant aftertaste.

O - I am not a big Scottish Ale fan, but I dig this one. Probably the best Scottish Ale I have had, and I could probably survive being in a UK pub if this one was on draft all night! (521 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a clear, deep and beautiful ruby red with a finger's worth of khaki colored head. Good retention, leaving clumps of suds and across the surface and a nice ring around the edge. Lacing is spotty, with little stick.

Smell - Caramel hits first, followed by some earthy and slightly grassy hop bitterness.

Taste - Follows the nose. Caramel flavor off-set by some moderate hop notes that hit on earth, light tea leaf and slight grass bitterness. Finishes much the same it begins. Some vegetal notes come into play as the beer approaches room temp.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with soft carbonation and light creaminess. Goes down quite nicely, though thins in the finish and as it warms.

Overall - A decent, approachable Scottish, though the more I drank, and the warmer it got, the more downhill it went. Suggestion? Don't try to savor it! (857 characters)

Photo of mscudder
2.87/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a snifter.

A - Deep ruby hue with a fair head. Below average retention.

S - Light dark fruits, caramel malt and brown sugar.

T - A bland aggregation of amber malts, caramel, prune and light smoke flavor. Everything seems unpronounced.

M - Lively carbonation. Far too thin to support it all.

O - Some qualities of this beer show promise, but it just does not come together for me. Perhaps my least favorite BP brew I've picked up. (447 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (537 characters)

Photo of lsummers
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (775 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (387 characters)

Photo of robbyc1
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (446 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.55/5  rDev -29.9%
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- (719 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
3.02/5  rDev -17%
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. (366 characters)

Photo of charlzm
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
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. (472 characters)

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. (487 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
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. (520 characters)

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. (636 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (854 characters)

Photo of snpub540
3.52/5  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. (422 characters)

Photo of TheJollyHop
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (665 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.75/5  rDev +3%
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! (303 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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... (561 characters)

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Piper Down Scottish Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.