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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.
BA SCORE
85
very good

973 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 973
Reviews: 609
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 14.4%
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)
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Ratings: 973 | Reviews: 609 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dudecandle
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass:

A: Pours a dark amber. Minimal head, small bit left throughout.

S: Buttery and smokey for the most part with a subtle spiciness. The smokiness grows and grows, overshadowing the rest as it warms up.

T: Malty, burnt, peaty, modestly bready, slightly fruity.

M: A little thin, but somehow chewy

D: The more I drink it, the more I enjoy it. This beer opens up really well. I'da wanted a bit more on the body, but the amalgam of flavors is riveting.

Photo of TommyW
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear brown body with an off-white head that leaves a nice lacing.

S- Sweet malts and a touch of hop aroma.

T- Malt flavors jump out up front. A please smokeyness comes in after with some notes of lemon rind near the finish.

M- Almost creamy. Coats the tongue a little bit. Fairly light carb overall.

D- Pretty pleasant beer that goes down nicely.

Photo of mjurney
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pour into a pint glass.

[Appearance]: Dark amber brown color with a light tan head. Nice lacing.
[Smell]: Very malty, caramel/toffee, hint of smoke.
[Taste]: Very rich maltiness (Caramel, buttery, smokey at the end) Nice mild bitterness.
[Mouthfeel]: Medium bodied. Nice carbonation.
[Drinkability]: Drinkability is good. I would drink this beer again.

Photo of JVEyck309
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint (Had to buy the SA vartiety 12 to get this one)

A - Clear brown with a slight red/orange tint when held to the light. Very thin head leaving minor lacing which sticks the whole way down.
S - Caramel notes with a vague smell of dark chocolate. Slightly burnt smell, roasted malts. Perhaps some vanilla too..
T - Burnt charcoal, caramel, and sweet malts at first then the dark chocolate plays around with a drying bitterness from the hops. Malts are more dominant but the aftertaste is that hop bitterness. Enjoyable complexity.
M - chewey, enjoyable, a bit much on the carbonation IMO, crisp.
D - I could see myself having a few of these without a problem .. but not all night. An enjoyable brew none the less

Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours a 2 finger light tan fluffy head. Leaves some thick lacing. Color is a deep amber bronze.

Aroma is malty. Carmel, honey, and coffee.

Taste is of leafy hops and robust malts. Honey and carmel as well. Leaves a smokey aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a little crisp, but very refreshing. Leaves a coffee aftertaste, but it still a little sticky.

Overall this is another staple from Sam Adams. Very easy drinking beer with a lot of flavor.

Photo of jnn4v
2.88/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark to medium brown color and thick texture. Looks about right for a Scotch / wee heavy.

S: Malts, some caramel, possibly a hint of vanilla, but also some things that confused me for a Scotch ale (ie. yeastyness, and maybe sour fruits?)

T: Not nearly as sweet as I would have expected or hoped for the genre. Slightly more hoppy than is usual, but not too much to be detrimental. Unfortunately, there was a significant breadiness and yeastiness combined with a moderate sourness start to finish that I found inappropriate for a Scotch Ale.

M: Good medium body. Moderate carbonation. Nothing out of the ordinary, which I suppose is good.

D: The pungent and almost sour tastes combined with breadiness and relatively low sweetness don't help here. It also tastes higher than its 5.4% alcohol.

Photo of mempath
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

no thistle glass here; instead, a brit pint glass.

pours a nice deep space cola-crimson...head hangs for a good while and the lacing is good but gets even lacier as time ticks. still, very nice patterns and seems to suggest only good things to come. this is ANOTHER old SA brew i haven't had in years...it used to be a favorite and was instrumental in getting me to consider beer snobbery (it took another decade+...).

ok, smells of toasty caramel, bread, yeasty sourness...not overpowering at all.

taste is not near as 'burnt' or peaty as i remember...which i 'loved' then, but like even better in that it's not so 'bold' as expected. seems more balanced. actually, sweeter than i remember, but again, love that it is a sweetness i don't mind. it is fairly counterbalanced by some other bite i can't place. neither thick nor watery, it's got a nice mouthfeel, a bit creamy, but that carbonation, again, provides a nice counterbalance. again, not my favorite style of beer at all. but it's quite good and very drinkable. not a session brew...i'd drink two of these alone or maybe three with a grinder or pizza or just about anything crunchy, salty, spicey. think i'll get out some of that cheddar/horseradish pub cheese tub out and dip pretzels. i think it will be a good blend with the Scotch Ale.

Photo of Dangerous
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smokey, peaty and malty. A thin, lightweight mouth feel.Not a Bellhaven, but decent.

I would write more about this brew but I think my two sentences sum things up. It is a decent brew that is a scotch ale. The problem is that it tastes like a watered down scotch ale. If you don't like bold brews, you'll probably love this version of scotch ale.

Photo of drxandy
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to flare pint, got a brewmaster's 12pack since i haven't had this since last year and had never had the chance to try the boston ale, pours a copper reddish shade, off white head fades to lacing

smells of smoked and caramel malt, slight cocoa-y smoothness, sweet floral

taste is of hop bitterness followed by a nice smooth malt blending, sweet and roasty, earthy peat smokiness, floral aroma hops, creamy body, dark fruits (mostly fig), molasses. BBC's take is what i would imagine to be a little hoppier than most scotch ales but is nice and flavorful

mouthfeel is of a good medium body contributing to a nice weight, good amount of carbonation, slightly creamy malt, residual lingering hoppy bitterness in the finish

overall drinkability is good and sessionable.. one of my favorites of the sam adams line, sad that it's only seasonal, but hey

Photo of mattster
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opened 12 fluid ounce bottle, poured into Nonic glass.

Pours a nice frothy tan head that holds at ½". Brew is a clear cola/tea brown brew with good bubble action.

Smell is of malts and slightly smoky notes. Taste follows through. Not overwhelmingly forward, but rather a pleasant subtlety that would lend this heavier brew great to a hearty meal. Bubbles are balanced and play with the bear and not against the palate forming a nice smooth finish with minimal aftertaste.

Photo of jimj21
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought as part of the Brewmaster's twelve pack. Twelve ounce bottle labeled best by 09/09 poured into pint glass. Pours a reddish brown. Very clear. Topped by about a finger of off white head. Fades very quickly. Some lacing. Lots of bubbles rising in the glass.

Smells sweet and malty. Some floral and fruity aromas as well. Pretty reserved.

Tastes sweet, just like the smell. Caramel and roasted malt. Sweetness out does the roasted character. Some smokiness as well. Floral and tea like hop flavors on the finish and aftertaste.

Nice mouthfeel. Medium bodied. A little underwhelming. I would expect more from a wee heavy. This seems closer to a Scottish ale.

Easily drinkable. The malt flavors stand out in this one. Good balance. Another solid offering from Samuel Adams, but there are better Scotch Ales out there.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Been looking for this one for a while, glad I finally got my hands on one.

A: A deep crimson red color, almost like a flanders red, but with more brownish tints. Head is creamy, dense, and sizeable, but falls relatively quickly. Retention is about average, and LACING

S: Caramel, grainy/Munich malt aroma, maybe a hint of smokiness, maybe some faint cocoa aromas. Though the aroma isn't particularly strong or robust, it's really smooth and quite lovely.

T&M: Nice flavor--reprise of light caramel, smokiness, some chocolate, and the distinct Munich malt flavor. The Munich malt is a tad bit too plentiful for my liking, maybe they could skimp on that and make up for it with peat malt, enhancing the smokiness. Mouthfeel is lighter than your typical scotch ale, but BBC's going for a more drinkable version of the style.

D: Very drinkable version of a scotch ale. More flavor would help things along a bit, but it's still a decent brew. Definitely one of the better beers produced by BBC.

Photo of bum732
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crimson red, nice head leaving good lacing. Smells of bready malt, some molasses, some dark fruits, brown sugar, some cinnamon. Tastes sweet dark fruit malt followed by a bready backbone. Good bitterness near the end finishing moderately dry and a little roasty. Light carbonation overall, good carbonation for the style.

A very good session scotch ale. Good overall flavor with some American bitterness to boot. Not as full flavored as traditional scotch ales, but i could easily drink six of these in a session.

Photo of bort11
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of AChamberlain
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring and oh oh, foaming over! Slurp up some frothy head, mmm smoky. Does this beer have smoked malt? I just read the neck label, it must be the special peat malt which was used. It is delicious. It certainly tastes like it, well the head anyway. Deep amber color with foamy, soft, offwhite head. Very nice. Smooth aroma, some sweetness, peatiness! Great flavor. Like I said smoky and peaty. Great malts. Smooth and luscious mouthfeel. This is one of my favorite Sam Adams. They seem to make, for me, flops or homeruns. This is a homerun.

Photo of cottonkoozie
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - Dark reddish color. Decent lacing. Head is nice if your pour roughly, otherwise it is very small and disappears quickly. When poured rough though the head retention is good and gives a nice off white/brownish head.

S - Lots of roasted smells as well as a woody smell.

T - Similar to the smell. Roasted taste, but has a woody aftertaste. Not something i'm crazy over at all, but I'll give it a 3.5 due to the style.

M - Good and full

D - Not something I will reach for again, just the aftertaste of roasted wood turns me away from this and leaves it not very drinkable to me.

I guess this is representative of the style, but not something I like. Only other beer of this style I have tried was old chub, and only tried it once years ago, havn't been able to bring myself to try a whole one yet. Maybe this style is great to some people, but not to me. Could be an aqquired taste I guess. The woody aftertaste just turns me away.

Photo of ppoitras
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased as part of the Brewmaster's Variety Collection 12-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear brownish copper brew. Head recedes at fast clip, with average lacing. Aroma is malty, slightly smoky. Taste follows along, but I find myself wanting to use "slightly" over and over. Slightly sweet to start, slightly smoky, slightly hoppy at the close. Wish it wouldn't be so nondescript. Mouthfeel and drinkability continue the trend of being pretty good. This is not something that I'd buy the 12-pack for, but it holds its own.

Photo of vtisme
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer from the brew masters collection pack. Poured out of the bottle into a mug
It pours a very pleasing dark ruby color with not much head but a lot of lacing for what little head there was.
Smells smokey and bitter. I can detect a slight sugar smell behind a good balance of malt smells. Smokey.
Tastes like it would go wonderfully with bbq ribs. It has that smokey flavor that is great but definitely not overwhelming. The finish presents the malt flavor more than before. Maybe let it sit in your mouth for a few seconds and you'll taste it.
Drink ability is great. It goes down smooth, is only slightly thick, and the alcohol isn't even noticeable. It was 35 degrees here when I had this but I will get it again as soon as it is warm out. Downside I'd that the inky way to get it is in samper pack

Photo of PaleAlien2
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a rich ruby red, capped with a one-finger light brown head.

Smells delicious: like malt and roasted nuts.

Lot of malt flavor with caramel notes. Has a fairly strong roasted flavor and an almost wine-like warming at the end. Light dose of hops. Finishes very dry.

Photo of TylerAddisonJ13
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Medium red-brown with a slightly off-white 2 1/2 finger head that diminished quicker than I would have liked. Good lacing. Overall, beautiful.

S - Malts. Not picking up on the smoked malt character yet. Smell not very strong. But very pleasing.

T - Bursting with flavor. Big and malty. The light smokiness lingers on the palate. Brilliant. Refreshing, sweet, and bold.

M - Light and crisp, but smooth and almost creamy.

D - Very drinkable, but not sacrificing any character. Light carbonation.

Overall, one of my all time favorite beers. I'll recommend it to anyone. I wish I could get this stuff by the case :/

Photo of steelerguy
3.2/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Deep mahogany color with a nice head that faded quickly to just a slight covering. Very clear although dark.

S - Nice malty smell that smells like cheese to me at the end. I don't like to smell cheese in my beer.

T - Beer hits you with a malt hammer, which is not a bad thing, but then I have that stinky cheese flavor. The smokey peat which is the distinctive character of this beer is what I don't like.

M - Very good mouthfeel, could see when I was pouring it that it was going to have some body and it sure does. Very nice, unfortunately this was it's best aspect to me.

D - When you don't really find a beer that good, it just loses some drinkability.

It is not a bad beer, and I will drink one more bottle (since it was in the 12 pack), but won't seek it out again.

Photo of HalfFull
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass. Perhaps not quite appropriate but a Rebel I am!

Pours a clear copper amber in color with a half inch of head. Head settles to a film in short order but yields some spotty lacing throughout.

Smell is rich with smoky, peaty malts and reminds me of a bock beer in a sense, given the sweet nose. Hoppy sweet when agitated. Like many Sam beers, I don't pick up any hops until mid glass when I can give it a good spin, and even then the hop profile is inconsistant. Taste follows with a simple sweetness and a moderate carbonation level. Light in flavor, light in ABV yet a bit too syrupy. Does offer a bit more smoke on the finish which supports the feel a bit, but limits the drink. A decent offering from Sam but nothing special.

Photo of paco1029384756
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of JayNH
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep clear copper with a decent foamy head.

S- Sweet, plenty of butterscotch in the nose. A mildly smokey malt. A touch of alcohol is also noticeable.

T- Sweet but not heavy. A slightly smokey and buttery caramel that finishes with a pleasant mild grassy hop note.

M- Smooth and creamy, medium bodied, carbonation level is perfect.

D- Excellent! My personal favorite SA offering, it should be a crime that they don't offer this in 6/12 packs. Plenty of flavor but not overwhelming like some other Scotch ales I've had.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Poured a rich, dark mahogany color with ruby highlights and a two-finger head of creamy tan foam. Carbonation is lazy and lacing is pretty nice.

S: Smells quite malty and sweet, like a sugary, frosting laced roll. Some earthy and herbal hop notes come through as well, like soil, grass and peat moss.

T: This scotch ale packs a big malty profile. The flavor is smooth and buttery, with toffee and caramel malts coming through full force. There's a bit of smoky wood flavoring added to the earthen peat and light cocoa notes.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, smooth and satisfying.

D: For the ABV, this was a big flavorful ale with lots of interesting combos and rich ingredients. Very steady and enjoyable scotch ale.

A bit smoother and flavorful than some of my other favored scotch ales. Perhaps not as drinkable as Olde Burnside Ten Penny and not as authentic as Belhaven, but very tasty and a brew Sam Adams would be wise to brew for 6 and 12-packs.

Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 973 ratings.