Samuel Adams Scotch Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
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Ratings: 955 | Reviews: 609 | Display Reviews Only:
3.6/5 rDev -4%
Reviewed from notes.
Pours a very dark brown with a very thin tan head and no lacing. Nose brings through quite a few notes, with caramel, slightly-burnt toast, and a slight peaty character. Some light dark fruit characteristics and a bit of brown sugar. The taste is mostly caramel and some dark toast. Medium feel with good carbonation and a bit of booze. Drinkability is pretty good, and a pretty good, low alcohol example of the style.
10-16-2010 19:24:40 | More by Thorpe429
3.63/5 rDev -3.2%
Reddish bronze with orange and amber accents. The crystalline liquid is capped by three fingers of sandalwood colored foam that has plenty of character and plenty of stick-to-it-iveness, both in terms of persistence and lace deposition. On the money so far.
The aroma is modestly caramel-like and features the characteristic scent of Munich malt. The remainder of the grain bill consists of pale, chocolate and peat-smoked, but none of the three are especially prominent. A tendril or two of smoke begins to waft out of the glass as the beer warms. Bolder would have been better.
The same could be said for the flavor. Scotch Ale is too light and too tame to be a good wee heavy. Since Boston Beer's philosophy (for the most part) is to brew approachable, easy drinking beer, that isn't surprising. This is a good first step for those curious about the style, but they'll want to move on to something more substantial in fairly short order.
It's great that the brewers use peat-smoked malt and that it's easily appreciated on the taste buds. Too many Scotch ales don't taste smoky at all. Otherwise, SASA is earthy, fruity, toasted bready and caramel-like. Goldings and Fuggles provide slightly more bitterness than flavor, although a certain tea leafiness on the back end is nice.
The mouthfeel is smooth enough and is properly carbonated, but it's too light for the style. Given the ABV, it's probably appropriate, so it won't be punished too severely.
When it comes to Scotch Ale, it would have been great if Mr. Koch had gone the 'craft beer' route rather than the 'appeal to the widest range of beer drinkers' route. If this stuff was easier to find, I might be tempted to buy a sixer now and again. Just for a change of pace.
10-12-2008 12:12:54 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.5/5 rDev -6.7%
Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a rocky head that sticks well and webs lacing around the pint glass
Smell: Some good and bad points in the aroma; on the positive front, there is a peaty caramel element that is appropriate but on the negative side, there is a phenolic, medicinal smell that is a flaw
Taste: Opens with a smokey malt flavor that is surprisingly bitter up front; by mid-palate, the bitterness recedes and allows the smokey peat flavor to play its rightful role; after the swallow, the bitterness returns and the finish displays some of the medicinal phenols that crept into the aroma
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation
Drinkability: While there are some nice elements, there are just a few too many distractions and flaws to this as a top tier Scottish
03-15-2008 19:20:37 | More by brentk56
4.5/5 rDev +20%
A Poured a deep dark mahogany colored brown, nearly opaque if not for some light shining through on the bottom and sides of the glass. A very nice looking two inch or more tan head rose up from this and hung around for what seemed like a decent amount of time. Good side glass lace was apparent and stayed with it through out. Seemed nicely carbonated but you really could not tell. Very full overall look however and this really seemed quite nice.
S Aroma was very sweet, which to be honest surprised me a bit as I was not expecting it to be. Lots of caramel and sugar tones to it as well a good amount of roasted malts. A deep underlying earthy tone set the stage for everything on top, with a good amount of fresh cut grass like aroma which I could tell was some hops trying to break their way through. Really a full and very well balanced smell, this was much fuller then I really thought it would be and it actually surprised me a bit. Very nice overall and really a quality feel to it.
T Now where did this come from? I really did not expect this to be as strong feeling as this was. Huge taste profile left no doubt in your mind this that was something that was to be enjoyed. Lots of caramel, very full roasted malt flavors and a very nice palate pleasing blend of nut flavors and some hoppiness to round out the back. Really well done and to be honest my favorite thing I have had from Sam Adams to date. This was just so full flavored, to be honest I did not think they could put it together this well. Very sweet and at the same time had a very nice spiced backbone and hoppy like finish, I was very impressed.
M Very thick, almost like a porter from the start. This was definitely one of the fuller things I have tried from them and it really got the point across as to what was going to go on here. Nice carbonation stuck with it until the end, never letting it get flat or dull. Very rich and creamy, and left you feeling very full.
D Excellent. This was stuck in that world between being sessionable and being a sipper. There was not enough ABV and it was just light enough that I really would not consider it to be a sipper, but on the other hand this was not something you were going to have four or five of either. Went really well with a ham dinner and potatoes, seemed to really bring out the flavors on both very nicely.
Overall this was easily my favorite Sam Adams brew to date. It was the most full, and in my opinion the best crafted that I have seen. Very sweet for a scotch ale, but that was actually a plus here. Perfect one for dinner as it was just full enough that it accentuated flavors great. I really enjoyed this and will be on the lookout for more every time I see it. It just gave me a really good feeling to be trying this one. I highly recommend giving it a try if you can, you will definitely not regret it.
10-12-2007 00:26:46 | More by mikesgroove
3.6/5 rDev -4%
Today was spent putting the pieces back together from the previous evening, during which I dedicated myself to polishing off the entire keg of 1995 J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale at the Brick Store Pub. So, what better way to calm down and gear up for the upcoming work week than to spend the evening pounding more beers?
Samuel Adams Scotch Ale - "This is a brew for adventurous beer drinkers." Well, then let us go on a Beer Adventure! That's just right up my alley.
Appearance: Pours out a reddish-brown body with a somewhat creamy, off-white head.
Smell: A sweetish aroma of caramel and toasted nuts infused with a smokey peat scent (and that metallic note that always seems to crop up in these BBC beers).
Taste: Starts off with a toasty caramel sweetness that shifts towards a slightly spicy hop bitterness. The flavors are rounded out by a delicate smokiness that continues to develop, and even take on a more wooden aspect as it warms. The sweet malt, the hops, and the smoke all combine for a gentle finish that ends dry, and somewhat ashy.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderately carbonated. Actually, its a bit too carbonated for me. There, I said it.
Drinkability: I dare say that this reminds me of their Brown Ale, but with the peatiness. There, I said it.
Now, then, time to take some Tylenol PM, and drift off to sleep.
03-26-2007 05:21:30 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.48/5 rDev -7.2%
This scotch ale pours out as a reddish copper colored beer, with a decent tan head on it that settles by mid glass. The smell of this beer is a on the sweet side with some possible caramel malts there is a very light aroma of peat or some kind of earthy tone to it. The taste is decent, this beer is big on malts and doesn't have a whole lot of hops in it. It's mostly a slightly roasted sweet earthy brew. It's interesting. The mouthfeel is medium and pretty easy to put a few down.
04-21-2011 23:57:37 | More by Knapp85
4.03/5 rDev +7.5%
Poured a deep rich amber with pretty weel sustained off white head leaving seperate sheets of lace behind as it it eally never sttled completely.Big malt driven aromas brown sugar and dried fruit aromas dominate dried cherries really show thru along with the before mentioned brown sugar.Alot like the aromas the flavors start out with a big brown sugar character melding into a pruney,raisin flavor finish somewhat dry but not earthy just an ubrupt finish to the sweetness.I think a very well made Scottish style ale deeply malty and packed with flavor,give Boston Beer company credit for this one there are many out there that dont come close to this one.
06-26-2006 03:08:19 | More by oberon
3.58/5 rDev -4.5%
Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.
Another blizzard, another variety pack. This participant pours a clear sunrise garnet topped by a nice finger of cream/ecru froth. The smell is kind of a letdown, as there ain't much happenin' here, despite the glass's best efforts. Some faint caramel does manage to come through, but that's about it. The taste does better, bringing in some toffee, some minor pine, some mild coffee, a tinge of dark chocolate, and an allusion to light orange peel. A light haze of peat smoke hovers over the proceedings. The body is a hefty-feeling medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a lightly chewy feel. Overall, a pretty nice Scotch ale, not the best I've tried but a highly drinkable one regardless.
02-02-2011 23:24:22 | More by TMoney2591
3.98/5 rDev +6.1%
A - Poured out a ruby color with hints of brown. It had a small, foamy, tan head that left minimal traces of lace.
S - It smelled malty and earthy. A slight smokey and mossy aroma.
T - It tasted smokey and of roasted malt. A smooth earthy/mossy quality, too.
M - It was crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.
D - This is a pretty good scotch ale. The flavor really improved as it warmed.
10-11-2008 12:06:40 | More by zeff80
3.13/5 rDev -16.5%
Dark reddish-brown with excellent clarity. An inch tall head tops the body, and settles to a thin cap in minutes.
Really not much aroma on these Sam Adams beers... Peat, smoke, toasted malt. Pretty bland.
Very smoky on the tongue. Toasted and roasted malts, peat, earth. A rather dry beer, with the smoke only enhancing that perception. Medium-full body, pretty viscous for a sub-6% alcohol brew. Virtually no hop flavor or bitterness, the finish is more malty with a sticky peat smoke flavor.
An alright scotch ale on the whole, though it's a bit heavy handed with the peat smoked malt, making for a somewhat one-dimensional beer.
03-21-2011 07:43:44 | More by largadeer
3.6/5 rDev -4%
Deep amber/copper with reddish tints; and a nice creamy head that dissipates quickly leaving only a thin collar of foam. Minimal, and 'slightly touched-by-roast' malt aroma, as expected for style. Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Smooth, malty flavor showing an edge of peat smokiness and a touch of English hop bitterness. Well balanced. Finishes with a malty sweetness and light bitterness. Very smooth and drinkable. An excellent example of a full Scottish ale! Scotch ale as beer afficianados see it? Hmmm? However, nicely done.
08-12-2002 13:57:25 | More by NeroFiddled
4/5 rDev +6.7%
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.
A: The beer is a medium purplish brown color with a thick, off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: Vanilla malty aroma and a little bit of smokiness in the background.
T: The smokiness is much stronger in the taste, which overall is malty but bitter, with flavors of vanilla & caramel.
M: Very smooth, with a medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, dry finish and leaves some stickiness behind.
D: Tasty and goes down easy, although its just a little bit filling, its a beer I could stay with for a while.
I havent had any other beers of this style, but I certainly wasnt expecting the smoky flavor. However, the more I drink it, the better it enhances the overall drinking experience. I suppose if I smoked, this would be really good beer to have with a cigar.
06-25-2006 05:10:57 | More by TheManiacalOne
3.5/5 rDev -6.7%
A - One and a half fingers of light tan head tops a clear, dark ruby body. Retention is decent and the head leaves behind a thick layer of lace as it settles.
S - Sweet, malty aroma with just a hint of roast.
T - Mild maltiness followed by strong, but round roasted flavor. Finishes with a long, drawn out coffee flavor, malt bitterness, and a good bit of smoke.
M - Moderate to high carbonation with medium body and a bit of astringency in the finish.
D - In my opinion, this beer emphasizes roast character a little too much for a scotch ale, but otherwise it is a reasonable interpretation of the style. The only issue that interferes with its drinkability is a strange, soapy note that fades in and out of the finish.
01-18-2008 02:22:16 | More by nickfl
4.1/5 rDev +9.3%
Appearance: Big ol' deep caramel amber hue with a nice light cream head forming two finger measurement leaves nice evenly dispersed lacing all around me pint. Aroma: Awesome caramel nutty edge with a great smokey peated malt influenced note, hops play in the background but the malts rule this brew. Taste: Relatively strong smoked malts tangle with a caramel toasted nut edge simply excellent Scotch ale mild but well balanced and tasty as all hell. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied textbook for the style slightly sticky with each sip but the carbonation very nice even and smooth. Drinkability: Easily one of the most quaffable Scotch style ales I have had to date and very well the best Boston Beer Co. brew widely distributed in the Brewmaster's Collection.
04-24-2004 04:48:53 | More by WVbeergeek
4.05/5 rDev +8%
Not as good as I remebered it, but its been at least a year
( thinking more like 4-5 yrs ago).
Pours russet red with a light tan fluffy head. Head settles at about 1/4" with a somewhat active head. Lacing is average
Smell: Malt, the peat-like smokiness wafts in
Taste: Fullmalty taste, chased away by restrained subtle smokiness with layers of fruitiness, slight nutiness & alcohol. Nice smokiness, sweetness/fruitiness& alcohol warming in the finish
MF: Full and chewy, a little more malt wouldn't hurt. Carbonation is spot on.
A nice fireside sipper, could be that I've had few other smoked beers since then so I'm skewed as far as my memory goes. This is in the upper tier of Sammy's bootled efforts widely available to us poor masses outside of the North East
01-13-2006 04:29:52 | More by russpowell
3.85/5 rDev +2.7%
A- Ruddy deep copper with golden bronze higlights. A even beige flower like head topography that expands as it reaches the edges of the glass and smooths out slowly
S - A medium strong peaty whiff and mellow malty sidenote as gentle dry smoky aromas emanate with subtlety
M - Thin with an effect of density, depth is an element that is promoted byt the malt character.
T -An interesting dry character is contained within the sweet and salty bitterness. Nutty and smoky flavors hang in the retreating sweet miasma.
D - Mouthfeel is pleasant. I found myself enjoying almost as much as the gentle hop spice nuance complimenting the malt backing. A larger gulp increases enjoyment of the experience w/ this ales salty caramel sweet balance.
04-09-2007 14:30:25 | More by Slatetank
4/5 rDev +6.7%
The beer pours a dark ruby color with a thick frothy off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that is very pleasant. It has a caramel malt aroma that is sweet and creamy. The taste is good. It has a smooth, malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes creamy. It has a dry yeast finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine Scotch ale. It has real malty complexity and a creamy finish; a good drinker.
06-10-2004 00:01:03 | More by WesWes
4.3/5 rDev +14.7%
Best before April 2008:
Pours slightly hazed dark amber/mahogany with a tan head that slowly descends to a patch.
The smell is of caramel/toffee with roasted malt and peat smoke.
The taste is of roasted grain, caramel/toffee and a touch of peat smoke. Scotch-whisky-like, it has a supporting/balancing earthy/woody characteristic in the back and a roasted, malty finish.
It is just about full-bodied without being syrupy or too thick. Pretty smooth it is.
This Scotch ale has a nice malt complexity with a subtle smokiness. It's a shame that it is only available in the variety pack, as I would have enjoyed having more than two of them in my fridge.
12-08-2007 00:48:06 | More by jwc215
Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 955 ratings.