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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

607 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 607
Hads: 983
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 18.21%
Wants: 44
Gots: 33 | 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:
Beer added by: Todd on 05-19-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (120) | 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
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Reviews: 607 | Hads: 983
Photo of MetalBoozingBen
1.06/5  rDev -72%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

this beer is horrible,it tasted more like beer mixed with whiskey. ive tried more bitter ales like arogant bastard, but this beer was

just awful sam's best beer is the oktoberfest one.

i dont recomend this, im sure a scottish person would be insulted by this horrible brew.

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Photo of BeerManDan
1.63/5  rDev -57%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

When I first poured this ale, the color was a medium clear dark brown with a light tan foam. The smell of roasted malts was evident.

The taste on the other hand was terrible. One gulp and I spitted it out and dump the rest of the six pack down the drain. It tasted like, "liquid Vynal". The flavor was just like the way Vynal smells. Do they have Vynal tanks?

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Photo of TheDeuce
1.86/5  rDev -50.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Sam Adams Scotch Ale....from the Brewmaster's Variety Pack

Appearance-pours a dark brown, decent head and good clarity, looks appetizing.

Smell-smoky, with a linger of chocolate and coffee malt, hops seem rather supressed.

Taste-Ugh, it's that simple. Whose idea was it to mix smoky whisky flavor with chocolate?!! Awful, hard to choke down, and I considered dumping it but I did manage to finish it.

Mouthfeel-Again awful, you want to get it down as fast as possible, the smoky chocolate flavors are unbearable.

Drinkability-I couldn't drink this, but if you can go for it, not that alcoholic so I will give it a 2.

Overall-While I suppose I can respect the labor of love that went into this brew and that I am a defender of Boston Beer this is one of the most disappointing beers I've had. The mix of flavors isn't sucessful and don't go together at all, chunky mouthfeel as well. I'm not a fan.

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Photo of klewis
1.89/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a dark mahoghany color with a small bubbly head. Light lacing.

S: Malty smell with a stale, grainy aroma.

T: An acrid bitterness with a taste of soggy newspaper. No sweetness at all.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes quite dry.

D: WAY off for the style. This could pass as drinkible, but I think I'd rather dump it.

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Photo of Overlord
2.06/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a dark cola brown. Big bubbles. No real head ... just a sliver of bubbling.

Smells like acrid, chemical smoke mixed with a smidgen of booze and burnt ... chocolate? Malt? Caramel? Ugh.

Taste is pretty horrid. One of the worst of this style I can remember. The weird chemical burnt/smoke/charred caramel and chocolate is really offputting.

Thin. Bad.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.11/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Nov notched very faintly. Sampled from the brewers collection pack, thanks to Pegasus for the bottle
Aroma: Ick. DMS? Grainy, hints of peat and malt with a slight note of cinnamon
Appearance: Red amber glass with a white head that collapsed to a thin coat. Single lonely carbonation bubbles rarely raced to the top.
Flavor: Some sort of chemical spill? An artificial harshness that reminds me of stove cleaner. Every beer we tasted out of this sampler had the same kind of flaw, are you shipping your mistakes to Texas? Just bad, far too bitter with a medicinal taste.
Mouthfeel: Acidic pucker, tannins, harsh hop bite in the finish.
Overall Impression: Drain food. Didn’t enjoy this at all, and I like Scotch ales. I think Sam Adams is trying to be all things to all people, which is a bad road. I’m also thinking that somehow the case we got was abused, well, hoping really.

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Photo of AdamBear
2.21/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A-transparent dark amber with a thick light tan head. has a nice lacing that stays.

S-smells like another malty mess of a Sam Adams. All i'm picking up is a faint and salty caramel scent. This is a weak scent for any style.

T- comes in with an off taste of malted caramel...more malty than anything, its actually extremely disappointing and a bit gross. The after-taste is slightly pleasant with the caramels, but it does have a slight bitterness to it as well. I admit, even from Sam Adams, I expected a lot more from this one. I've had some good examples of this style, but this one is by far the worst yet.

M-has a pretty high carbonation with a finish that resembles carbonated water.

D-I had a difficult time getting through this one. The tastes really get to me. If I had any cookable food in my bachelor apartment, I wouldn't have finished this beer and would've kept it for marmalade. It came in the variety pack so I have one more left. I don't know what to do with it.

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Photo of becktone
2.32/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm beginging to notice a trend with Sam Adams brew. They all look great, but thats about it. Nice one finger creamy off-white head, great retention and lacing as well. Color is a deep copper, the color of cherry stained wood, red and ruby hues.

Aroma: Strong malt backbone, but lacks the sweet smell that's usually found in this style. Some diacetyl and a metallic tang. Not that impressed witht the aroma of this one. Some faint hop aromas-Noble?

Before I even taste this brew I'm going to predict a metallic tang. Not only does the aroma hint at this but so do the previous Sam Adams brews I've reviewed. Not as much metallic tang as the others but there's a bit in there. This brew also has a smoky flavor, along with some graininess to it. Some dark grains and bitterness from roasted grains. In my opinion this brew is a very poor example of a Scotch Ale. Nothing like Traquir Jacobite, I mean it shouldn't be just like it but I wouldn't even classifiy it as being a Scotch ale. The ABV isn't even high enough to classify it as a Scotch Ale, Scottish yes, but not Scotch. The brw isn't sweet enough to be balanced out by a higher alcohol content-a very common characteristic of scotch ales. This brew is way off the mark.

Mouthfeel of this brew is pretty good. Creamy in the mouth with a medium-heavy body, and lower carbonation...well at least for Sam Adams. I would not buy this beer again. It is a complete let down. I was looking forward to a Scotch Ale, and well this shouldn't be classified as one. There are definitely better examples of the style out there if you're looking to try a scotch ale don't look here.

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Photo of SilentSabre
2.36/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a decent ale, but a poor representation of the style, I felt. Colour was a brick red colour with a thin, khaki coloured head. Loads of CO2 and fair head retention. Average at best. Smell was a bit weak. "Malt" is about all I get from this. Taste, too, leaves alot to be desired. There is a grain / malt presence, and a touch of bitterness, but as far as any really noticeable flavour profiles, they simply aren't there. Not impressed. Mouthfeel is fair and the overall drinkability or "functionality" of this ale is decent. It is not a bad beer. In fact, I would likely drink this again. Especially with food. I simply think this is a very poor attempt at brewing a Wee Heavy.

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Photo of darkbeerlover89
2.43/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Deep red, brandywine color. Poured into a glass that had a head but left very quickly.

S- Picked up some liquorish, hardly a sweet smell.

T- I dont know what to say about this one. I was expecting alot more from what my buddies were telling me but I got nothing. It tasted flat to me.

MF- Flat

Overall- I was very exicted to try this beer when I picked up the sampler pack but was kinda let down. I was kinda let down and I love Sam Adams.

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Photo of waughbrew
2.46/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Very red color with beige dense head, ok retention and lacing. Slightly peaty aroma, grape skin, diacetyl, earthy cheesy hops. Flavor has more spicy hop than I would like, but it still finishes sweet. A little twang in there makes it a bit interesting.

Disappointing, confused as to what they are thinking with this brew. Overhopped for sure, which basically ruins the beer.

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Photo of Pegasus
2.49/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Ruby red in color with a large and persistent off-white head, scattered patchy lacing with little carbonation. Quite attractive in all.

Aroma: Slight burnt caramel, cooked vegetables, and grainy characteristics.

Taste: Harsh bitter, burnt taste at the opening, medicinal in character, and lingering throughout the taste. Finishes dry with tannin notes and a follow through with medicinal characteristics.

Mouth feel: Thin overall, with a harsh and biting soda-like carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Far off of style for a Scotch Ale, a type which I happen to like very well. Disappointing that such a beer comes from Sam Adams, whom I associate with competent, if not inspired, craft brewing.

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Photo of KTCamm
2.5/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Maybe I'm just not a scotch ale person, but I didn't like this beer. Color started off nice, reddish brown pour. Smoky, peat moss kind of smell. The barrel aging taste that comes through with the malt was largely unsatisfying - like someone had spilled some bourbon in my beer. For me, the drinkability wasn't there - I can see sampling this one in a 2 oz. taster to appreciate the style, but not more than that.

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Photo of kkipple
2.53/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Got this in one of the Brewmaster's packs, this is a 2005 bottle.

Pours a dark amber into my pint; with a bubbly head that settles quickly.

Smell is of unidentified malts and yeast, along with an odd sweetness that reminds me of corn syrup.

Taste is mostly a blend of malts, rather slick and with a slight bitterness that hits the sides of my tongue. Very few hops evident. It's got a sweetness to it with a decidedly corny aftertaste. There's a mild smokiness and yeast in there too. Can't taste any peat flavor. Odd... it reminds me of the finish left by Sam Adams Hefe, which I really don't enjoy. It also makes my breath smell like corn. Blech.

Mouthfeel is fizzy and slightly dry. Again there's that odd grain / corn flavor that shines through.

This is a very different brew, and I didn't much care for it. The combination of malts tasted off to me, and the sweet corn flavor was a big turn off. Just not my style, I suppose.

Edit: In reading over other reviews of this beer it seems that either the consistency varies greatly or people are tasting something very different... I may revisit this one in the future and see if it's any better than what I've had this time.

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Photo of hardy008
2.53/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - dark bark brown with ruby highlights, off white foamy head which leaves a decent lace behind.

Smell - Some sweet malt and bitter hops.

Taste - Some sweet malt and bitter hops. Not sweet enough for this type of beer.

Mouthfeel - Too light for this type of beer.

drinkability - Average. An ok beer, nothing more.

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Photo of chicagoabbot
2.63/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz into a snifter...let me preface this by saying I am in fact a big fan of the style...not this beer...I'll try to be constructive, but this one is fairly bad...this style is supposed to have a lot of malt depth, but it's pretty much all in one layer to my taste buds and has a slightly unpleasant astringency. This was purchased out of a sample pack and I'd never buy this on it's own, especially not now. It has some characteristics of scotch ales, but is not as impressive as the standard bearers of the style. I'm not sure what it is about Sam Adams, they seem to get their lagers and pilseners done with flying colors, quite good brews, but I've never to this day had a top quality ale from them.

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Photo of mattcrill
2.68/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Mild dark bread malty character. Light caramel notes. Low fruity esters.

Appearance: Clear brick red pour with an off-white head.

Flavor: Phenolic, artificial smoky character. Why does everyone think that all Scottish Ales have to be over-smoked? Some mild caramel-like character but that is under-stated.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation.

Overall impression: Big miss. Too much artificial smoke character and not enough true Scottish Ale character.

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Photo of KingEdward
2.71/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I poured this beer from a bottle into a pint glass. This beer is amber colored with a one finger tan head that was gone quickly. This beer has minimal lacing. This beer barely had a smell but their was a hint of smokey malt. This beer has a light smokey malt and hop taste. The mouthful is crisp and carbonated. This is not a beer i would have again. I saw it had some good reviews but i don't understand. This beer did not have much flavor in my opinion. I wish I had something more to say about it but?

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Photo of happygnome
2.76/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: pours a nice amber red color with about a half inch of head that dissapears fast leaving no lacing except a narrow ring around the edge of the glass
s: sweet caramel, toffee butter scotch, an overwhelming sweet nose
t: sweet butterscotch, toffee caramel
m: medium bodied beer

overall, this is good but i dont see myself buying it again

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Photo of TechMyst
2.8/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355ml bottle. Not bad, Malty with a little bit of sweets...my tastes must not be able to detect the deepness BBC is trying to produce. I think they have decent other beers. Has a higher alcohol content than I would have imagined. I think they may be spreading themselves too thin with all these spceialty beers.

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Photo of sarahspat
2.86/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark rusty brown, but clear. The head is a shade darker than eggshell; thick and frothy.

Smells very musty and mossy. Some caramel.

Tastes smokey, like a fire roasted pizza. Also more moss and earthy qualities. Small amount of caramel in the background. Also, a hint of sweet chocolate. Overall, it's decent, but I do detect some artificial-tasting notes, which bring it down.

It's alright, but really doesn't come close to some other Scotch Ales I've had.

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2.86/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours an apparent mahogany color. Reveals itself to be a deep, dark orange when held up to light. Sparse yellowish head leaving equally sparse lacing. Very nice clarity on this one. Little evident carbonation. It smells lightly of sweet caramel, smoke, and roastiness. Overall the smell comes across as mildly sweet & earthy. It hits the tongue first with strong caramel & grain. Very sweet before becoming nearly overwhelmingly smoky. There's a very strong peat smoked character that crosses the line from mild smokiness into a kind of foul seawater iodine taste. Finishes salty, woody, and somewhat metallic. Moderate carbonation; smooth in the mouth with a pretty good body.

I seem to remember last year's version being better than this. After skimming a few of the most recent reviews, the peated malt seems to have come off a lot more strongly to my palate than to most others who tasted it. Maybe my palate is just more sensitive to it, but it seems to me that the beer would be much improved by dialing down the peated malt just slightly.

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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.

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Photo of AltBock
2.91/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle in the brewmaster's variety pack.
Appearance: It pours a wonderful dark amber with an inch of foam that left some lacing in the glass.
Smell: The only thing I could smell was a strong roasted malt smell. At times it smelled like vegetables.
Taste: A strong smoky, bitter, dry roasted malt flavor.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and carbonated. The bitter aftertaste was a bit too much for me.
Drinkability: I couldn't see drinking more than one of these in a sitting. It was nice to see that Sam Adams brewed something that was different from other breweries. Nice to try, but not my favorite.

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Photo of elgiacomo
2.92/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, best by Sep 2010. Pours a brown/copper/red with a two finger fizzy and foamy off-white head that leaves big clumpy rings of lacing but doesn't retain much head.

Aroma is pretty quiet, a bit of caramel malt, a little earthy hops, and a hint of smokiness.

Flavor is better, smoked malts up front, some caramel, toffee, finishes with some hop bitterness. A fair amount, in fact.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, thin to medium body, a little sticky.

OK Scotch Ale, but Dirty Bastard has me absolutely spoiled.

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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 607 ratings.