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Piper Down Scottish Ale (Bourbon Barrel Aged) - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Piper Down Scottish Ale (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
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BA SCORE
85
very good

45 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 14.44%
Wants: 4
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Floydster on 10-29-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mroberts1204:
Photo of mroberts1204
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark amber in color. Served in a pint glass with a 1/2 inch head that subsided to a beige ring of foam around the glass.
Smell: Subdued. Light notes of caramel, toffee, bread, toasted coconut. More mellow than expected.
Taste: Smooth caramel and toffee flavors dominate this beer. A little bread and maybe a hint of smoke in the background.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation may be a bit too high but this beer has enough body to compensate.
Drinkability: Well I could probably drink a growler of this to myself before I passed out. Amazingly drinkable.

This is good stuff but last years batch was better. The barrel is present but not enough for my taste.

mroberts1204, Jun 25, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happy to get to enjoy a few pints of this one at the Lazy Boy in White Plains, NY.

Pours typical Scottish Ale, medium amber, lither tan head, moderate in size, tiny bubble, then leaves a thin wisp or two of fine lacing.

Malted up nose, with some maple, vanilla and light smoke

Tasty Scotty, smooth malts, , mellow caramel/maple, vanilla again, and mild dark toast/roast.

Well done malty brew, by folks know for the otherside of the malty/hoppy spectrum

Serving type: on-tap

Billolick, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of Ralphs66
4/5  rDev +5%

Ralphs66, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft @ Ballast Point Linda Vista on 11/9/09 during their "Beer Meets Wood" event. Part of San Diego Beer Week.

Pours a deep, clear amber, with a modest covering of lightish foamy off-white head. Stays frothy around the edges, leaving some nice moderate looking lace behind. The aroma smells completely of butterscotch. I'm assuming that this is from a combo of the bourbon, wood, and the sweet malts of the Piper Down, but I'm utterly shocked at how much this came out smelling like it. Toffee, vanilla, touch of barrel, and the lightest floral feel. Very, very, nice.

The butterscotch character carries over into the taste, being sweet and malty, with a smack of vanilla on the tongue. It's really tough to tell at times where beer & barrel seperate but I'm definitely picking up some green notes and barrel character in the finish, where the bourbon flavor really comes out the most. Only a moderate amount of dryness to the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with more of a bubbly and creamy feel to the carbonation. I'm not getting a whole lot of warmth here, which really lets that all of that sweetness shine.

Pretty outrageous stuff here, that completely blew away my expectations of what a barrel-aged Scotch Ale could be. The rich butterscotch flavor in the aroma and taste were almost decadent. Sign me up for more of this anytime!

Kegatron, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of ohiobeer29
3/5  rDev -21.3%

ohiobeer29, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of thagr81us
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured a deep red-orange with a one finger off-white that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, wood, and peat. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, wood, peat, and dark chocolate. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The flavors on this one were very muted and not very robust, but the flavors that were present were very well balanced and enjoyable. This made this one very smooth and easy drinking. Good brew for the style, but could have been better had the flavors been a little more robust. Definitely glad I got to try this one!

thagr81us, May 18, 2011
Photo of Gmann
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear brown/dark amber color with a small yet tight egg-shell colored head that settles into a light ring.

The aroma is of bourbon and vanilla as well as some oak. The barrel aroma is strong enough to cover up any other notes from the beer.

The taste is sweet from the bourbon flavor. The bourbon hits first, not boozy but flavorful. There seems to be some cola notes with hints of brown sugar and a toasted malt. Some caramel sweetness as well. The malt doesn't really come through but I'm not certain that a Scottish ale would be able to overcome the flavor from bourbon aging. Perhaps a Scotch ale would have been a better choice to bourbon age. Tastes like a watered down bourbon and coke.

The feel is light with fizzy carbonation. The beer sits sweet on the palate but it is no where near sticky or syrupy.

Drinks very easy. I don't know the ABV but it is nowhere to be found. Pretty much a bourbon spritzer, wish it would have a more malty presence.

Gmann, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of dvmin98
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

dvmin98, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of skunk242
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

skunk242, Jul 16, 2012
Photo of scottoale
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just tapped at O'Brien's Pub tonight, Tom handed out some samples. Nice copper brown with a 1/4" off-white head.

Smell is definitely boozy with bourbon, oak, vanilla and a smooth butterscotch coming through strong. It smells quite a bit stronger than your average Scottish Ale.

The taste is much the same, with the butterscotch standing out and the booziness coming through in the finish. Not too sweet for this style and a complementary earthiness from the oak that really brings balance to this brew.

Not as heavy as your standard Scottish Wee Heavy, but lighter due to the bourbon barrel ageing characteristics and what tastes like a significantly higher ABV than 6%.

Medium body that drinks like a champ...I haven't tried the non-barrel aged version of this brew and don't see the need to, it's not going to top this. Good on ya Ballast Point!

scottoale, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of largadeer
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Homebrew Mart.

Bright amber in the glass with a slight haze to it, a small white head crowns the body. It smells strongly of butterscotch, moreso than any other beer I've tried, and it's rather glorious. Bourbon is noticeable with some digging, along with an apricot-like fruitiness. I could accuse this of being somewhat one-dimensional, but it really does smell awesome. The taste is less sweet than the nose led me to believe. Butterscotch is still there, along with toffee, vanilla and bourbon. There's a bit of oak in there, but it has a subdued presence. Medium-bodied, this dries up a touch toward the finish, and despite the massive butterscotch aroma, there's very little diacetyl or slickness. This is surely one of the better Scottish ales I've tried.

largadeer, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of MrHirschybar
4/5  rDev +5%

MrHirschybar, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of Kaiser81
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My 100th beer review! - Gold Medal Winner!
Don't ask how I got a growler...I just enjoyed the beer. Poured into a snifter brewery glass.

A - Murky tannish brown with a reddish hue on the edges. About a finger width of head on a 5-6 oz pour, which dies fairly quickly. It leaves decent lacing on the glass.

S - Touch of bourbon mixed with scotch style smells...toffee, lots of caramel, and malty/bready goodness. It's very sweet.

T - Bourbon up front with caramel notes and a touch of something I can't put my finger on. There is slight oakiness on the aftertaste. Very good.

M - Light mouthfeel, maybe up to medium. There is amble carbonation. Nice for a -bal aged beer, but I would like just a bit more body in a scotch style ale...especially -bal aged.

D - Yeah, I can drink a lot of this all day. It would work on a cool day, a warm day. Doesn't matter.

Kaiser81, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of ShanePB
4/5  rDev +5%

ShanePB, Aug 30, 2013
Photo of ChrisPro
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Devil's Den.

A - translucent copper with the thinnest of heads and little to no lacing.

S - rich molasses, coconut, vanilla and caramel. This is straight bourbon in the nose and I love it.

T - nice vanilla and caramel sweetness, with a slightly balanced roasted bitter finish. Not sure how they did this, but it was great. Literally tastes like a watered down bourbon, but it just works so well.

M - a bit thin, but not inappropriate for the style. Carb was subtle, but again, appropriate

D - Amazingly drinkable. I love bourbon, and it takes a while to drink a small pour. This beer solves that problem as it goes down incredibly easily.

ChrisPro, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of Lantern
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Lantern, May 02, 2012
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a draft beer poured into a mug by bartender at the oasis brew-pub in rockford.

Appearance: light brown bodied beer that has a reddish hue to it when held up to light. The bodied has a nice clarity to it, but it contradictory. You can see though the beer, but its also slightly murky. Interesting. Thin white head that disapates rather quickly to almost nothing. lacing is noted and is moderate at best.

Smell: You really get the barrels out of the nose. Tons of vanilla and some oak with a little bit of bourbon too. It also smells slightly smokey and fruity as a scottish ale should.

Taste: A Vanilla bomb! Love it! Great barrel notes almost immediately show up to the party with guns blazing! You can taste the barrel notes of vanilla, oak, and mild bourbon notes, but nothing is harsh! Midpalate the beer shifts into "scottish ale mode" and the light smoke and fruitiness are showcased. The beer finished with the fruitiness compounding itself and becoming more flavorful. Nice!

Mouthfeel: almost a medium bodied beer, but not quite. moderate carbonation that is seltzer like; fizzy and slightly dry. This beer is very sessionable! Not a trace of booze burn here in this beer. Super smooth and mellow.

Overall: A sessionable scottish ale that was seperately barrel aged in two different barrels (Heaven Hills barels for 5 months and Old Fitzgeralds barrels for 5 months); then blended and to finish it off its cold aged for 6 additional months after blending!

This is tastes as awesome as it sounds. I was all over this beer and it was a really cool beer to try! If you ever see it on draft drink it!!!! I love everything about it lots of flavor and its still sessionable. Bravo!

4DAloveofSTOUT, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
2.9/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Oakquinox

A: The pour is a dark amber color with about a finger of off-white/tan head.

S: A nice bourbon and vanilla aroma with a fair amount of oak. There is definitely some booziness and as it warms up, there is an increasingly noticeable acetone smell. Blah.

T: Strangely fruity, and a bit overcarbonated. Vanilla, oak, and a touch of bourbon. The same harshness and paint thinner thing is going on here.

M: Medium in body with a rather high level of carbonation.

O: I haven't had very good luck with Ballast Point's barrel aged beers. Add this one to that list.

womencantsail, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

SocalKicks, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of djaeon
3/5  rDev -21.3%

djaeon, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of Zbeetleman
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Zbeetleman, May 15, 2013
Photo of brez8791
3/5  rDev -21.3%

brez8791, Aug 08, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap today at the Old Grove location. I don't know that previous renditions of Bourbon Barrel Piper Down have been the same.

Description: A Scottish Ale aged for 5 months in two separate bourbon barrels of Heaven Hill and Old Fitzgerald. Blended and cold aged for an additional 6 months.

I drank this nearly alone in the tasting room. It was given to me in a pint glass, appearing a nebulous dark reddish brown with an orange tint. You know exactly what I mean. The one finger head is beige and the retention is good.

The aroma is of rich caramel malt. Some toffee is evident, as well as a low level of diacetyl. There's some earthiness to the hops. Some dark fruits are present, perhaps some plum. The malt is sweet and rich, with some noticeable alcohol. To be frank, the bourbon is fantastic. It is outstanding in the aroma and adds so much to this beer. I love it. The combination of the rich malty scotch ale and the bourbon is worthy of praise.

The flavor is also outstanding. The rich caramel/toffee malt has a low level of butterscotch. Some plum is noticeable. The beer is sugary and rich. The bourbon is at a nice medium level and it's rad. That's right, rad. It complements the beer splendidly. The finish is rich and malty, with some caramel. The alcohol has a warming effect.

The beer is medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky, and somewhere between sweet and dry.

Drinking this alone in the tasting room, I felt as though I were getting away with murder. With each sip, I glanced from side to side, expecting the proper authorities to barge in and arrest me for "excessive enjoyment of a malt beverage." I know, I know...hilarious. But, if that were a crime, I'd be guilty of it.

HopHead84, May 02, 2009
Photo of Moose90
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

10oz pour on-tap

A – Very dark ruby-red in the glass. Head is thin and disappears quickly. Almost stout looking.

S – Strong notes here, molasses, dark brown sugar, raisin, plum, light oak and licorice notes. Complex.

T – Wow sweetness here, and bitterness. Raisin notes abound, caramel and dark brown sugar notes come through too. Bourbon notes are rather subdued.

M – Thick, very rich beer, the 10oz was almost more than enough of a pour.

O – Quite the brew for sure, I am not a fan of this style, but this one had a tremendous depth of complexities, very nice.

Moose90, May 18, 2014
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Piper Down Scottish Ale (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.