1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Samuel Adams Scotch AleSamuel Adams Scotch Ale

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

929 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 929
Reviews: 609
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 14.36%

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)
View: Beers (119) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 929 | Reviews: 609 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS


3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a variety 12-pack (which by the way, is quite enjoyable!). A little dry on the tongue, most likely from the "triple malt". No don't get me worng, I love the malty aspect of beers, but this ends up being a little too much. Lots of smoke and bark root. I think what's missing is the heavy ABV that I accustomed too witht this style. Witht the low ABV, it ends up being quite drinkable. This is a beer you give to your cousin-in-law that doesn't drink craft beer regulary. Not a bad offering, certinaly won't be purchasing a 12-pack of it though/

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2007 00:59:49 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was able to sneak out of town with Alewife to enjoy a pint of this on tap at Redbones.... It's been years since I've had this....and never on tap, at that. Glad to see Sammy still cranks out the really desirable stuff now and then....

Color was dark brown, with attractive garnet hues peeking through. Our 'tender filled the pint right to the top, so any head that might have been there was long gone.

Nose displayed a good, partially-sweet, malt backbone, with some peaty notes also coming forth. Now that's what I'm talking 'bout....

Body was a pinch less than medium. Seemed to be a bit fuller than this when I had it in bottles a while back. Still traversed the tongue in a respectably smooth manner.

There was a decent amount of malt in the flavor, with peaty/smoky aspects shining through. Malty sweetness was less than in past versions. Hoppiness was more accentuated in this bier. As it warmed the malt started to become more pronounced, along with the accompanying sweetness. Much tastier near the finish of the pint.

It seemed like it tasted a whole lot better in years gone by, and maybe it has been tweaked some. But perhaps I thought it was tastier back then without the benefit of having learned to discern more flavor nuances. Whatever....it still is a nice bier, and one I wish were still produced regularly. Prosit!!

overall: 3.85
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4


Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2003 16:22:25 | More by Bierman9
Photo of LXIXME

New Mexico

3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 21:45:24 | More by LXIXME
Photo of FlatRabbitRed


4.69/5  rDev +24.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 19:55:08 | More by FlatRabbitRed
Photo of steve8robin


3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 03:12:09 | More by steve8robin
Photo of rowew


3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2011 04:50:23 | More by rowew
Photo of brandoncox


4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 02:44:44 | More by brandoncox
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 18:43:04 | More by biegaman
Photo of schildres


4/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 22:14:02 | More by schildres
Photo of Tschnab

New York

3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 02:59:19 | More by Tschnab
Photo of tigg924


3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2011 14:27:24 | More by tigg924
Photo of ruckus232


4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 21:33:13 | More by ruckus232
Photo of allforbetterbeer


3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 00:59:27 | More by allforbetterbeer
Photo of Bfarr


3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2011 01:55:28 | More by Bfarr
Photo of NickRivers


3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2011 06:45:59 | More by NickRivers
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

2.9/5  rDev -22.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2011 23:30:58 | More by PDXHops
Photo of Pencible


3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2011 14:43:11 | More by Pencible
Photo of Arithmeticus


3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in large glass stein.

A: dark, cola-colored body; thin head; not as much carb action as in other Sam Adams
S: malty, sweet, otherwise nondescript
T: slightly smoked, peaty scotch ale; the light ABV makes this very approachable ("wee heavy" is a wee too much to claim); very flavorful, with little variation from the front to the back; hops are downplayed in this version.

Overall, a good, solid rep of the scotch ale clan

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2011 04:41:39 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of gskitt

New York

4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish amber, thick head, lacing. Smells peaty, smokey, but clean. Taste has a smoky bite to it, balanced, a bit of a bitter finish on the end. Acidic quality to it works. Clean mouthful, but bitterness lingers. Overall? A very nice Wee Heavy from Sam Adams.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 22:28:43 | More by gskitt
Photo of bierschmecktgut


3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured deep caramel brown with off white head, plenty fluffy. Lacing is spotty but appreciable.

toasted malt/grains stand out over the hops. the lingering toastiness has a smoky aroma.

up front is slightly sweet but a bitterness jumps out quickly after and this bitterness reminds me of 80%+ dark chocolate.

higher end of a medium body, smooth throughout with good carbonation and no astringency at all. The finish was crisp with the given carbonation, very pleased.

Never would have thought to give this brew a try, but with the sam adams variety pack it's great not to have to spend $ on a full 6 pack of something that may be a bust. This brew is great, i could enjoy year round.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 18:00:31 | More by bierschmecktgut
Photo of MaltsOfGlory


3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 07:12:58 | More by MaltsOfGlory
Photo of JohnnyChicago


3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Pours a wood stain brown with an off-white head.

S: Smells of caramel, smoke and earthy hops.

T: Hops are absent from the taste. Smoked malt comes through, as well as caramel, but there is a bit of metallic twang as well.

D: Mouthfeel is far too thin for the style, but alcohol is hidden and it is easy-drinking enough.

Overall: A somewhat bland take on the scottish ale style. I would drink it if offered, but I won't be going out of my way to find this one again.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2011 17:06:28 | More by JohnnyChicago
Photo of bayougutter


3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured a dark copper, burgandy color with a nice creamy white head that left nice lacing. Smells of malt, smokey peat. Tasted of malt, then earthy hops with a hint of caramel. subtle nutty pecan. Carbinated a little too much for me but nothing too excessive. Overall a smooth offering from SA. Came in a sample 12 pack and worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 21:22:15 | More by bayougutter
Photo of cbutova


3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Crimson red with a creamy white head. Good retention and a nice web of lace from a nice ring.

S- A nice scotch peat smoked note over dark fruit and caramel malt. Somewhat fades with time.

T- A lighter overall Wee Heavy but this one brings a good balance of peat smoke, dark fruit and caramel malt. Nutty hints.

MF- Creamy light body that pretty much is synonymous with most Sam Adams brews. High carbonation level.

The smoky edge here is a nice flavor and kind of unexpected for me. Another solid offering from Sam Adams, the mixed packs are pretty much a must buy a few times a year.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 06:21:34 | More by cbutova
Photo of litheum94


3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Best before 10/10/11. Reviewed on 2/6/11.

Deep, ruddy brown, almost opaque body. Thin, light brown head that nearly disappears. Actually has nice lacing for such a minimal head.

Complex malt aromas. Smokey, peat moss and caramel. Some chocolate present. No hop profile.

Carmel sweetness at first, leads into a profoundly smokey and peaty flavor profile. Reminds me of an Islay scotch. There's a slight bitterness, more like chicory than hops. Tons of malts. Viscous mouthfeel.

This is way better than I expected. I was expecting a weak, overly sweet mess, but this was good. I love all the smoke in this beer; it gives it a real unique flavor.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2011 03:52:07 | More by litheum94
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 929 ratings.