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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Scotch AleSamuel Adams Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

962 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 962
Reviews: 609
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 14.67%
Wants: 42
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 05-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 962 | Reviews: 609 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of berpwillie
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%

pours a brownish amber like color with a half inch of off white head followed by some good lacing and light carbonation.chocolate malty taste that was also a bit nutty, smell was the same. probably one of the better samuel adams beers i've had. would drink again but not go out of my way for.

berpwillie, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of BiereBlanche
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%

12 oz. bottle from the brewmaster's collection, poured into a working glass.

The ale is a clear, dark brown capped with a rocky, tan head that falls to a light covering and leaves heavy sheeting and semi-rings as it descends. The nose is nearly all sweet malts, some toffee and notes of banana esters. Not too heavy or dark in the nose. The taste is full of similar malty sweetness with lots of caramel, light toffee. The fruity notes are absent from the taste, and the smokiness comes through distinctly, but not unbalanced. Bitters are very low and more of a bite comes from medium levels of carbonation. Mid-high mouthfeel. Slightly sweet and smokey aftertaste with lingering roasted notes. Alcohol is noticeable in the mouth as light tingling on the tongue, but not in the nose. Quite smooth and drinkable.

BiereBlanche, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of paco1029384756
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a clear, dark mahogany color with a small off white head.

Scent of sweet malts, cinnamon, tobacco, and some more faint spices. Nicely balanced with a nice strength.

Taste of malts, butter, spices, tobacco, peat, and some caramel. Not bad, but falls slightly short of the scent.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth, but there is a bit too much carbonation.

paco1029384756, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of angelmonster
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a 2 finger tan head. Deep brown in color, clear with medium carbonation. Head retention and lacing are good

Smell is of roasted malt as well as some chocolate malt.

Taste is very big on malt, have seen the term malt bomb alot but never used it til now, not necessarily a bad thing. Smokiness is not as pronounced as i thought it would be. Not much in hop area either

Head is somewhat creamy, with a syrupy body that mixes nice. Generous amount of carbonation also present

Over all very tasty. Reminds me of a lighter, smokier doppelbock. Very drink able, solid beer from Sam adams

angelmonster, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of Chaz
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%

Served in a bulb. A medium pour produces a two-fingered tan head, which collapses into a rocky formation in a few minutes. Lacing is quite good, adhering very firmly to the surface of the glass in a lattice-like formation. Dark garnet in color, and brilliant to the eye. The nose is very compelling, with notes of peat-smoked malts dominating tangy dark malts and sweet, biscuity pale malts. Bright and lively on the first sip, with a pleasant roundness to the malt profile coming to the fore. Finish is actually compelling as well, beginning with lingering biscuit notes before giving way to a partway tangy, partway peaty finish. There's a nice touch of oily, viscousity here, too. Fruity and a bit boozy at one moment, yet hardly sweet; tangy, light, almost crisp. Notes of ripe dark fruits and berries, particularly those that balance sweet with tart (cranberry). A little bit buttery, with a bit more alcohol in the aromatics. Hop bitterness is very well defined, yet works in tandem with the carefully blended malt profile (besides, has anyone heard of a hoppy Scotch Ale?) This may be a bit lighter than I prefer for the style, but no doubt this was formulated with an appeal to the more casual drinker than Scotch loyalists. Either way, there's no missed-step in the execution of the style. Perhaps a bit too smokey for some, it works for me. A fine rendition overall.

Chaz, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of Shovelbum
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%

Pours a dense tan one finger head over a clear mahogany body. Great lace top to bottom. Mild Aromas of caramel and malt and a hint of peat. Flavor is dominated by malt complexity. The caramel and roasted barley characters are the most prominent with a subtle peat flavor in the background. Hop bitterness is mild throughout. Not overly sweet, and the body is fairly lean for the style. Finish is drying.

The peat character is noticeable, but not overpowering, and gives this ale a distinctive taste even among ‘Scottish’ ales. It is not as smoky as I expected, just peaty. The emphasis is on malt complexity rather than sweetness, which is still fairly substantial. An intriguing Scottish ale.

Shovelbum, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of Ragingbull
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%

Dark amber/brown in color. Little to no head. No discernable nose. Clean attack and finish with a mild malt flavor. The mouthfeel of creaminess is tempered by a slight bite. This beer is pretty pedestrian for its type, but its a convenient way for folks to try the type since it comes in the sampler packs offered by Samuel Adams. There are better versions of the style and worse versions out there.

Ragingbull, May 29, 2009
Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%

12oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Looks like a brown ale. Deep copper. Off-white head that fades to nice lace and leaves rings. Kinda nitro-like, but the bubbles aren't quite that small.

S: Caramel, something vaguely herbal/floral, and smoke.

T/M: sweet up front, with some caramel. Bacon-like smokiness in the middle. Somewhat drying, slightly bitter finish -- maybe black tea? Moderately full body. The smoky flavor tends to dominate, but not in a bad way.

D: I generally like Scotch and Scotch ales, but I didn't find this one especially drinkable.

MurphyMacManus, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%

Pours a pretty solid looking, one finger creamy head that is sticking around pretty well and is giving good lacing. The body is dark dark red with a fair amount of brown in it, lots of carbonation, maybe too much, we will see. Overall this looks really good, the head is very impressive, if it weren't for the carbonation this would look perfect. It for sure smells like a scotch ale, deep malt smell with a molasses/maple syrup smell. It smells solid, doesn't smell like there is much wrong with it, does it smell amazing? No, but good. The flavor on this is a little disappointing, it's not a bad flavor or anything, just really boring. It's very smooth, and easy drinking, and even a little creamy, but it's just not that complex and it's lacking in flavor. You get that molasses/maple syrup taste and that deep malt taste, but the flavors are just dumbed down a bit all around. There isn't really anything wrong with it, no offensive flavors or anything, it's just boring, not complex and not enough flavor, it's that simple. The carbonation is better than I though it would be, not too much, and the body overall is pretty good for the style. The drinkability is decent, kinda a toss up between it not having enough good flavor, but at the same time being light because of that lack of flavor. Overall it's a good beer, just very average in the creativity category and flavor category.

MaltsOfGlory, May 11, 2011
Photo of currysage1
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%

A very aggressive pour lands a three finger head that slowly decreases, pure mahogany in color.

Smell is of raisin, slight booze, medium malt, slight hop astringency.

Taste is of dark malt, leading into a definate peated malt flavor, this sticks with me and in my nose. Hop bite is much nicer than in the nose.

Feel is silky with carbonation to match, easy to drink but only two at a time.

currysage1, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of tbern007
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%

Taken from the 12 bottle brewer's multipack. You get 2 in there.
Appearance is great: mohogany/ruby/brown like cherry wood, clear. Very little head but decent lacing.
S - pretty light and difficult to detect much besides some light malt, light smoke.
T - Like a light American red with some smoke. Malty, light chocolate. The smoke is not "fake" tasting, nor is it like an oak aged smokiness. More like mesquite smoke. Adds a nice touch. This beer would go well with pork, beef, smoked deli meats and cheese. Very light hops. Good blend and good balance.
M & D - pretty smooth. Good balance, good carbonation. Needs to go with certain foods and cannot have more than one or two at a time.

tbern007, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of birchstick
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%

A - nice hickory brown with a decent head
S - smells of sweet malts and a bit of candy
T - definitely one of the more interesting scotch ales I have tried. I had to double check that this wasn't a rauchbier. It tasted a lot like smoked meat. It was malty and had a smokiness that is typical of the style. However, the smokiness was kind of amped up, which isn't a bad thing, just wasn't expecting it.
M - thin and very carbonated
D - this beer is good and would go well with a cigar or some smoked meat. Like I said earlier, this is almost too smoky to be a scotch ale, but it is good nonetheless.

birchstick, Oct 09, 2008
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine March 2007

One of the more talked-about beers from Boston Beer Company--at least from the beer geek's point of view. BBC utilizes a bit of peat-smoked malt to add depth and give it a traditional flare. It can be an acquired taste as well.

The lacing is absolutely amazing, leaving rings down the glass after each sip; the deep but clear mahogany color glows in the light. Malty, sweet aroma lends a kiss of smoke and an even-more faint, herbal hoppiness. Moderate carbonation leaves an unbelievable smoothness that rides the medium body. Semi-thick caramel maltiness has a quick rush of smoke, chocolate and toasted grain. Very quiet fruitiness does not stake much ground. A small bite of spicy bitterness from the hops, with a mild, lingering flavor. Finishes sweet with a dim- ming, chocolate/smoke mix.

We've always been fond of this brew, even though it doesn't hold its own against many of the other American-brewed Scotch Ales that are double its size. That said, it's without a doubt one of the most drinkable Scotch Ales. Combine it with some herb-crusted, grilled pork chops and broiled, stuffed apples.

BeerAdvocate, Apr 07, 2010
Photo of yankeeheel
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours a very clear reddish amber with a handsome beige head. Lots of lacing. Smells mildly nutty and sugary. Strong dark caramel malt profile with a bit of tart sweetness. Scant chestnut and ginger blurbs in there too. Finishes slightly dry and astringent. Easy on the tounge, easy going down. Another nice Sam specialty brew.

yankeeheel, Jan 06, 2005
Photo of niknar
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours out a deep crimson with a smallish, but nice, almond colored head. Head dissipates fairly quickly, but leaves a nice lacing. Aroma is of strong malts (caramel?) and a notable nutty scent. Tastes of big malts and a nice strong hop balance. Finishes slightly dry, but not overwhelmingly so. Mouthfeel is slightly thin, but not a distraction in any way. Very drinkable, but not something to make a long session with. Recommended for people who are not a fan of the style.

niknar, Oct 21, 2005
Photo of nimrod979
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

Bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear but deep red/amber hue with a decent little off white head.

Aroma is mostly caramel malt, witha hint of smokiness from the peat-smoked malt. But overall it doesn't have the strongest aroma.

Almost surprisingly where this beer lacks in aroma it more than makes up for in flavor. This beer comes in with a medium to full bodied but big smoky flavor. Caramel malts and even some light earthy hops show through for excellent balance in the extensive smoky finish. Soft and somewhat creamy mouthfeel make it an easy drink. I enjoyed it but I don't know if I would necessarily consider this my style.

nimrod979, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of huxcrunner
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

Redish brown in color with two fingers of off white head ok retention and good lacing

Smell is of carmel malts very good overall aromas

The tatse of these beer is well balance itt is smooth and has a good balance between bitter and sweet

This beer has good body and is very enjoyable to drink it is very smooth and drinkable

Overall this is a very good full ritch flavor beer would highy recommend

huxcrunner, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of Mauerhan
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

pours a deep amber with a two inch frothy white head. i can smell the sweetness of the beer. you catch a bit of the malts on the nose as well. slight watery lacing. lacing and head fade quickly.

at first taste i am hit by a wave of sweetness, smooth flavor, heavy on the malts, slight bitter kick on the end that doesn't seem to match up with the rest of the beer. flavor improved as beer reached room temp.

mouthfeel is great on this. very smooth. and easy drink. a nice beer all round. well played sam.

Mauerhan, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of drperm
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

This is definitely a "sometimes love, sometimes hate" kind of beer. When in the right mood, it would hit the spot, whilst at other times it would be tough to even finish the pint. I call this "campfire beer" -- smoky and peaty in both taste and finish. It's a brilliant dark red color and exhibits a bready, soy-like nose. But that complex smoky/peatiness is what really defines this one. One of the better Sam's, but make sure you work yourself up for the commitment.

drperm, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of bort11
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Thin 1/4 inch khaki tan head, quick to recede though stops short of completely disappearing. Color is dark reddish caramel.

Carmel smell is a mild caramel with a slight hops bitterness. Taste is slightly smokey peat, with a sweeter caramel. finishes with a coffee bite.

Nice creamy texture. Smooth carbonation. Nice example.

bort11, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of PintOHops
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

Glass - Pint

A - Amber/ruby red color with a 2-3 finger head, retention seems to be good. There's some visible Co2, moderate I'd say. It left some very nice lacing as well.

S - Dominantly malty, cocoa, caramel, there's a bit a chocolate covered raisin thing going on. There's some soft smoke in there as well, about it, mild hop.

T - Caramel & toffee unfold into a pretty rich smoky flavor. I get a bit of plum & raisin that follow, it finishes with nutty & toffee flavors, as well as some soft citrus hop flavors and mild bitterness.

M - Smooth & creamy, soft Co2 bite and medium bodied.

D - I really enjoyed this one, pretty richly flavored to me, I see myself having a few on a mild to cool evening. I would definitely buy this one again, one of the better ones I've had from Sam Adams. Cheers!

PintOHops, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of Chico1985
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

Finishing up the Sam Adams spring variety pack.

Pours translucent amber, creamy off-white head retains as a finger leaving some lacing, good-looking.

Big earthy, peat-smoke scents in the nose. Has good strength but not the most pleasant or complex of odors. More sweetness and light fruit notes come out as it warms.

A nice variety of malty flavors. Buttery, toasty, caramel, peat-smoke and a touch of chocolate as well. Herbal and grassy hops are faint but just enough to balance things a little.

As with most Sam Adams beer, solid mouthfeel. Nice balance and medium carbonation with not much to complain about.

I've never had a scotch ale below 7%, this does it well. The super buttery/toasty feel makes it feel a little typical-Sam Adams for me but this is a nice beer.

Chico1985, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of tomthumbsblues
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

A thin tannish foamy head over a dark nutty brown clear beer. Smoky roasted malt aroma with hint of nuttiness lurking in the background. Tasted nutty, slightly bitter, and smoky. A burnt aftertaste and a hint of residual sweetness. This beer is smooth on the tongue. This Scotch Ale is weighty in my opinion, so I don't think I'd drink one after another after another. I think this is more of a session beer.

tomthumbsblues, Oct 25, 2005
Photo of BDIMike
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours a clear copper/amber color. There is a medium sized white head that dissipates fairly quickly.
Nice smell coming off this beer. Very nutty malt smell. There is also hints of scotch in the smell as well.
There are a lot of tastes in this beer. I am mainly tasting a strong scotch taste that comes through in the malts. I can definitely taste the rare and very smokey peat malt that is advertised on the bottle.
Very good mouthfeel on this scotch porter. The scotch taste usually has a bite to it, but this is smooth all the way. Very good thickness and smooth going down.
Good scotch taste on this beer, without it being overly harsh or overdone. I am not a big fan of the style, but I think it's a solid example for what a scotch ale should taste like.

BDIMike, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of illidurit
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

12 oz bottle poured into a mug. Crystal clear maroon color with a centimeter of tan head. Average retention and lacing.

Smokey peaty malt and a dash of toffee sweetness characterize the aroma.

Flavor has a caramel/toffee base with a nice big smokiness that runs throughout the palate. The finish is brown malts and bread crust with some lingering smoked meats.

Mouthfeel is smooth but a little watery for the style. Robust flavors like smoke need a burly body to match, and this beer doesn't have it. Definitely more wee than heavy. Other than that, this beer is tasty, and clearly one of Sam Adams' best.

illidurit, Oct 13, 2008
Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 962 ratings.