Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "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.

Samuel Adams Scotch Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Scotch AleSamuel Adams Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

617 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 617
Hads: 1,025
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 13.98%
Wants: 44
Gots: 53 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy | 5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 05-19-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (121) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Scotch Ale Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 617 | Hads: 1,025
Photo of puboflyons
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of June 2016. Sampled on January 24, 2016.

Honey-amber-red pour with a modest off-white head up top.

The aroma has a caramel malt sweetness and a good peat moss note.

The body is light to medium and I would have preferred a bit more depth to it.

Very sweet malt character in the taste with that back yard peat moss flavor. Little to no bitterness.

 404 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.19/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Samuel Adams Scotch Ale has a thin, bone-colored head, a clear copper appearance, and some lacing splotches left behind. The aroma is muted, but the drinker might pick up some sweet bread. Taste is of peat smoke, predominately, but sweet, brown bread crust and low-level, rounding bitterness is present. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Samuel Adams Scotch Ale finishes crisp and semi-dry.


 396 characters

Photo of thetushqueen
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours with a thick cream colored head over a transparent rich amber body, complimenting the overall smoothness of the beer that ends with just the right amount of bite. Not overly smokey, slight peat and malt finish. Overall a pretty mild and accessible beer, not my usual style but a great beer regardless.

 307 characters

Photo of Parmesan
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L: Dark ruby red color, with a small white head and little lacing.

A: Some earthy malts, smoked peat, slight burnt almost like an electrical fire burnt smell but at leas, some sweet malt.

T: Earthy malty taste, some sweet malt, slight smokiness, a slight hop bitterness at the end.

F: Medium body, medium carbonation

 319 characters

Photo of Zraly
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours reddish, light brown with a very light tan head. Light smoke note followed by fruit. Nice butterscotch and fruit flavors backed up with peat malt. Complex and slightly sweet. Medium-ish bodied.

Finish is fruity with a bit of smoke and is pretty smooth. My only complaint is the body could be just a notch fuller. This calls for grilled salmon. Very nice.

 362 characters

Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Reddish copper color, 1/2 inch off white head, decent lacing

S: Not much nose to speak of, maybe a bit of cherry or something in there

T: A slight smokey flavor, toasty malty sweetness, a little hop bitterness and that slight cherry flavor

M: Light to medium

O: Not as good as I expected. Not a bad beer, just not the measurables that I hoped for.

 360 characters

Photo of dditto2
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Wow this one caught me off guard. I had avoided Scotch ales because Scotch isn't one of my favorite liquors. This doesn't taste like scotch to me. Pours a pretty whisky like reddish amber color with a moderate white head.
Smells like toasty roasted malts with a bit of peat. Not a really strong aroma.
Then it gets real good with the taste. Very smokey peaty roasted malt. Alot of flavor here. Hardly any noticeable hops.
Mouth feel is pretty typical Sam Adams. Nothing really special.
Overall I'm really exited drinking this beer. It is very pleasant and goes good with the frigid weather we are having. Not sure I could drink a lot of these but goes great in the cabin pack and great beer to finish off the day with.

 721 characters

Photo of mothmanscott
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, pale-medium brown (mahogany like) producing 1.5 fingers of frothy, tan, shortlived, head that leaves sheet like webs of lace. Aroma is dark roast, toasted pumpernickel, smoked peat, cereal, butterscotch, molasses & a hint of figs. Taste is heavy roast, caramel/molasses, toasted dark bread, smoke, roasted nuts, fruity & earthy with a buttery, smokey & lightly bitter finish. Afrertaste is fruity, bitter-sweet roasted malts, nuts & molasses. Mouthfeel is medium bodied & moderate carbonation, silky but slightly oily with lively pepper prickle.

 561 characters

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

Now back as part of the 2016 spring variety 12 pack.

Dark copper in color with a thick white head. Sweet malt aroma with caramel and a bit of smoke. Very smooth with sweet, bready malt. Notes of caramel, toffee. Finishes with a nice amount of smoke. More of a rauchbier than a wee heavy but it's really tasty regardless of what you call it. Good stuff.

 354 characters

Photo of laketang
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours clear amber, foamy tan head

biscuit , some smoke, a scent like cotton candy

big maltiness, caramel notes. coming close to cloying for me.

medium body, a bit chewy.

drinks sweet , cola-like.not my style.

 212 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big light tan head leaves a nice lacing above a clear deep amber colored beer.

Rich light caramelized grain malts aroma.

Rich caramelized grain malts taste.

Slightly bitter and dry aftertaste on this medium bodied beer that brings with it a bit of the caramel malt tastes.

A pretty darn good beer with some southwest style Mexican food.

 340 characters

Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4.68/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

We have a winner! Another great job by the craft brewing pioneers!

Very interesting beer compaired to the Samuel Adams line up! Comes at you strong and follows with a bold rich afterbite.

Roasted malt, whisky barreled, coffee peat, slight caramel red.

 253 characters

Photo of steve8robin
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Let's give this bad boy a go. 12oz bottle...

A: A nice deep perfectly clear ruby red with a small 1/2inch off white head that fades at a decent pace to a couple bubbles atop the brew. Good.

S: A get some sweet malt scents upfront followed by a slight nutty scent in the middle. Some more malt on the back. Decent.

T: The taste opens with an acidic carbonation quickly overcome by some nice easy drinking caramel malt flavors. A hint of rye in the middle, but very clean all of the way through. A mild nuttiness hides in the back. Good.

M: Medium body with a hard carbonation. A super clean finish.

O: All in all, this is a good beer. A nice clean easy drinker. This seems like it may be a good beer to convert BMC drinkers to craft.

 737 characters

Photo of rowew
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, best by date notched is this month.

Appearance: deep reddish brown with an off white head, good retention.

Smell: just a bit of roast, malt, and a slight smokey aroma.

Taste: medium bodied, tastes a bit like peat. Creamy mouthfeel, very drinkable.

Overall impression: nice offering, a good choice for the first snowfall of the season

 367 characters

Photo of brandoncox
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ruby brown pour.

Nutty and malty with notes of caramel, toffee, and a slight hint of booze. Smoked raisins are also hinted with a mellow milky kick.

Has a milk chocolate and toffee flavor with a touch of whiskey bitterness on the finish that lingers for a bit. I appreciate that they didn't go overboard with the nuttiness that I was expecting.

Silky smooth and soft feel on the palate. A long lasting creaminess lofts in the mouth throughout the entire session. Incredible mouthfeel. Not overly carbonated, just right. Thick and almost chewy.

Excellent Sam Adams brew here. Something I'd like to see around in the fall but I believe it is only available throughout the spring.

 685 characters

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

Samuel Adams Scotch Ale may be flat, but it's a fine looking beer all the same. Its blood red body is dark but shows brilliant ruby highlighting and pristine clarity; the beer's richness is apparent in its complexion which itself shows a great deal of depth.

The aroma is deeply malty, with far more smoky peat apparent than caramel. Already you start to notice a resemblance to whiskey - why do I get the feeling this peaty smell will stick to my clothes after? Of course, it has far more malt and far less alcohol than any blend or single malt, but it does share the smoky grain and even a touch of oak.

The one thing every Scotch Ale must have is rich malty and peaty flavour. This one has plenty of both of those features as well as a firm kettle caramelization, hints of smoky grain, black cherry-like fruitiness as well as some nutty character. Still, it's not terribly sweet. Notching so many different rungs obviously places this one high on the flavour ladder.

The beer drinks with much more weight and character than the reasonable 5.4% notching would lead you to assume. Although not even a shadow of alcohol can be noted, I would have guessed this closer to the 7% range simply for its depth and complexity. It has smoky notes, sweet and nutty notes, an earthy bitterness and a ton of peat flavour.

Samuel Adams doesn't just provide a superficial glimpse of the scotch ale style as many brewers do, they provide you with a bona fide example that is indistinguishable from the immemorial ales of Scotland. While it doesn't take the style to the same extremes as other American micros, I'd still consider this one of my favourite examples this side of the pond.

 1,679 characters

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

A: Dark amber, caramel color. Clear. Inch white head which lasts the hole time.

S: Slight smokiness, toasted malt, little peat

T: Toffee, peat, earthly

M: slight tickness

O: Very easy drinking, good Scotch Ale. Good flavors. Probably one of their better beers

Poured in snifter.

 285 characters

Photo of Tschnab
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a dark red with a great head, two fingers, peral-white, sticks around the whole time.

S- some smokiness, a little sweet, toasted malts.

T- smoked peat, toffee, toasted grain, sweet maltiness, a little hoppiness. Well balanced.

O- Probably the most easy-drinking, sessionable version of a Scotch Ale I've had. Not the best one, but a really solid rendition.

 368 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: one inch head, clear, caramel in color, high carbonation

Smell: peat and toasted malt

Taste: toffee, caramel malt, earth, and chocolate

Mouthfeel: light body for the style, sweet start with a semi-bitter end, high carbonation

Overall: This is a good Scotch Ale that is nice for all the floavor you get from a lower abv version of the style. I tend to like this style and there are others out there that I would choose over this. That said, it is probably one of the first ones I will claim out of the Sam Adams variety packs.

 585 characters

Photo of ruckus232
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 Ounce brown bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Darker amber color with a fingers worth of off-white head.

Smell: Slightly roasted malt smell with a tiny bit of an alcohol scent.

Taste: Slight malty sweetness at the beginning fading into a toasted flavor and finishes with a nice balance of the flavors.

Note: I thought the taste was really good especially since I wasn't impressed with the smell.

 413 characters

Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. "Best Before" date clearly notched on label.

Pours a with a crystal clear smoked ruby colored body under a finger of smooth looking off-white head.

Smells of lightly toasted malts, crystal and caramel malt, dark toast and some mellow balancing hops.

This is a malt forward taste experience (as it should be). The malts cover a wide range, from lighter crystal flavors of dried hay and light toast to the darker-roast malt flavors of heavy multi-grain bread, burnt sugar, and a touch of chocolate and smoke. There are just hints of hops in the flavor, but their bitterness is present and keeps the beer in balance.

The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium with a typical level of carbonation, which I find over the top but most Americans would say it spot on.

Conclusion: This, like almost everything brewed by the Boston Beer Co. is a well crafted, moderately complex tasty beer. I think it holds true to the original style and tastes quite good.

 980 characters

Photo of Bfarr
3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear red amber, thin tan head, and great retention and lacing. Malty tea aroma. Strong smoky and peat upfront that tailors to a rather tacky, lightly hopped linger. Okay biting and smooth but a little sticky.

Good flavor especially warm. Feel is too easy for a scotch ale. It finishes cleanly and unfortunately the flavor backs away and disappears too quickly. An easily accessible scotch ale

 394 characters

Photo of NickRivers
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A&S - Pours a nice ruby red with about two fingers worth of off white head, smells of bready alcohol, fruit and spices, and some earthy hops.

T&M - Lots of bold alcohol and plum, somewhat sticky and bitter yet very carbonated and lighter body, nice use of hops, very well balanced.

O - A fantastic beer.

Love the use of fruit and the way the alcohol compliments it like that of wine. Nice brew for the sampler packs, like its counterpart the Irish Red its a well Sam Adams view on the style. I would love to see this distributed more, its very easy and pleasant to drink. Stay thirsty my friends!

 599 characters

Photo of PDXHops
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a La Chouffe tulip. See-thru reddish copper with a lazy finger or so of off-white head that soon becomes a skim. A little lacing.

Not as much caramel aroma as I expected. A little chocolate, a little roast, a very small hint of smoke. The flavors are slightly more bold. In particular, the smoke is stronger, lending a touch of meatiness. Overall, though, it's lacking in both sweetness and robustness. Fairly thick, but not exactly coating. A tasty enough beer, but somewhat frustrating in its tameness.

 533 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a clear dark copper with moderate light tan head.
S: It smelled like banana nut bread and copper hops, with some roasted barley.
T: It tasted like caramel and banana nut bread and copper hops, with some roasted barley. It had a fairly dry metallic and bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick and viscous with a little carbonation. Pretty good body.
D: This wasn't bad, but not terribly impressive. Below average scent, and not very clean or delicious taste. Not difficult to drink, but not overly enjoyable either. There are lots of better scotch ales out there.

 586 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 617 ratings.