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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

962 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(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 Halcyondays
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from the mixed 12er,

A: Pours a clear brown with a medium 1-finger off white head, good retention, spotty dots of lacing on the glass.

S: Strong peaty whisky notes, smells a lot like a Laphroig 10 year with out all the ethanol, very pleasant.

T: Light toffee malt and cookies mixed with a pronounced whisky character. Much more upfront peat and smoke than something like Belhaven Wee Heavy, strong flavour though it can be too much at points, but overall quite enjoyable. Definitely the scotchiest of any beer I've had with the exception of Ola Dubh 30 Year.

M: Mild carbonation that kind of explodes in the mouth, quite light in comparison to the strength in the flavour. Dry, sea water and iodine finsh, with a considerable smoky aftertaste.

D: I liked this beer a lot, if you want a beer that tastes like whisky go for it, good for a couple of pints, but the character and strength of the flavour would make it difficult to session.

Halcyondays, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one of the first Scotch Ales I have ever tried so I wasn't sure what to expect. The smoky flavor was hard to get used to but it kinda grew on me and felt it added a good touch of flavor to the beer. Other than that it tasted a little bland but still very much drinkable. This led me to try many other scotch ales.

oriolesfan4, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev 0%

InspectorBob, May 22, 2013
Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a word - smoky. Not overpowering though. this beer appears a dark amber with a thin white head a nice, thin lacing. The aroma focuses on the smoke with a hit of toast and wood. The flavor however, expands with the malts and mild hops.This is wonderfully balanced beer. There's an element of the smoked peat that blends with dry cocoa and toffee malt flavors and a balancing slightly herbal bitterness.

This is a great scotch ale and worth trying if you're into the style.

tempest, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with less than a finger head that dissolves fairly fast. After a couple sips there is barely a translucent film across the top of the beer. Despite the lack of the head, it leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. Nose has a bit of malty sweetness, very pleasant. Also can smell hints of smoke and maybe something to the effect of Pete. Taking a sip you can taste a bit of smokiness as well and a slight bit of hop bitterness in the very crisp finish. Mouthfeel is a bit light and carbination is perfect. One delicious brew that is quite easy to drink.

stakem, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Georgiabeer, May 11, 2014
Photo of akorsak
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle from Phatz.

A: The ale is very dark, a deep cola-colored brown that does not allow any level of translucence (and therefore is opaque, thank you vocabulary!). The head was near 1.5 fingers and laces nicely in the glass.

S: The nose is very grainy with a strong bread-like quality and a great deal of caramel sweetness. There is a faint smoked aroma that adds a pleasant bite to the sweetness.

T: The flavor is very thick, full of caramel malts and darker roasted chocolate hints. The ale has a very subtle smoked body that nicely rounds out the caramel flavor, injecting a significant flavor into the mix. The combination of smoke and caramel takes the beer to another level.

M: Smoky caramel malts, this beer packs a nice punch using that formula. This is a solid drink.

D: Few things can top a nice wee heavy. This one has it all, a low abv, strong caramel (especially in the nose) and a great smoked caramel flavor. Very enjoyable.

akorsak, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the less common SA brews available without any special releases is the Scotch Ale. A brew for adventurous ale drinkers...that's me! On to the beer:

Poured hard into a pint glass, I get a thick rocky head on top of this dark amber colored beer. This beer has the aroma of smoked wood and peat...seems more rauchbier-like in smell.

Now we shall get into the meat and potatoes of the review...the taste. Who wants smoked beef jerky? Or perhaps a cigar? Those sound good with this beer, the smokey flavor is big. There's a subtle fruitness buried in the smoke. Nope, this is not what I was expecting...I was expecting a malt bomb. But it's all good.

DoubleJ, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of Zorro
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed through the miracle of BIF 43 NC Lotto and BA hoppedup and a little help from FedEx.

This beer pours a clear brown colored ale with a good tan colored head. Unfortunately the head doesn't stick around.

Smell is sweet and malty with a strong scent of vanilla. Faintly smoky this is more peat like in scent with its earthiness. Lots of sugar aroma here, mostly the scent of toffee candy.

Taste is fairly sweet and very malty in the first taste. Quite a lot of bitterness here for the style really more of a level that you would expect in an Altbier which this tastes much like. Smoke flavor confines itself to the taste of a peat fire, earthly and ever so slightly muddy and with a faint taste of tar. Toffee and vanilla show up in the flavor and pretty much define the flavor of the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good and creamy.

How shall I assign drinkability to this? The bitterness is too much for the style. As a different very malty beer style this is a truly exceptional Altbier that is among the best. As just beer, this is a good one with an assertive bitter snap. I will just say that this is a good beer.

Zorro, Jun 18, 2006
Photo of jdhilt
2.93/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger light tan head that fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Nice clear amber color. Medium carbonation and light bodied. Malty nose. Flavor is malty with some hop bite, medicinal, watery finish. Disappointing example of a scotch ale. $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

jdhilt, Mar 11, 2007
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.

mothman, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -20%

ejimhof, Oct 04, 2013
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A stoway found deep in the fridge from another time...

Pours an amber brown with a solid foam head. Good lacing forming rings to remind of sips gone by.

Aroma of bready malts. Seriously bready, like fresh baked bread.

Flavors of scottish style malt. Characteristic of whisky malt, peat and caramel. Slight roasted edge. Hops have died down to an earthy bitterness. Toffee and caramel prevelent. Hints of cocoa. A well rounded brew all in all.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with a malty finish.

A solid ale with a good amount of character. Not overly strong and a nice session beer.

Stinkypuss, Nov 30, 2009
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.

ppoitras, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev 0%

BillRoth, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Mebuzzard, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

biegaman, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of John_M
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slatetank had aged this for some years (think he said this was from 2001), which IMHO probably improved it a bit.

The beer pours a brownish amber color with OK head retention and lacing. Nose is odd, with a lot of sweet malt, but with butterscotch, smoke and sweet fruit. Flavors replicate the nose on this moderately sweet beer, but with some noticeable soy sauce and apple juice. The beer is fairly peaty and sweet, and there's something of a couph medicine flavor to this beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and drinkability is OK.

An interesting beer. I think it's starting to fade, but time has done some interesting things to the nose and flavor profile.

John_M, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of LXIXME
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

LXIXME, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -20%

rab53, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium amber hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a moderately sweet malt with a peaty smokiness.

The taste consisted of a smooth smoky sweetness and a light grassy hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style.

Overall a very tasty malt driven ale.

plaid75, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Kelp, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of Bighuge
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice deep burgandy tone to this one. A decent sized creamy brown head sits on top. Retention is solid. Pretty good whiff of malt on the nose mixed with some smokey and chocolatey tones. The body of this one is a little light for the style. It checks in around medium at best. Could use a little less carb as well. Average mouthfeel. The taste is caramel, toffee, molasses, smoke, chocolate and raisin all mixed to varying degrees. Not bad. But not outstanding either. I chalk this one up as pretty good.

Now bring back the Honey Porter, dammit!!

Bighuge, Feb 25, 2004
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown red to amber appearance, aroma of alcohol, not excited going into this.

Taste, not quite as good as McEwans, but reminiscient and durable. Not we're exceeding expectations. Peat and smoke are detectable but far from overwhelming. Not your standard SA beer, nicely unique, smoke, sweet and peat, not too many like that. Lots to think about and find throughout this beer. Not necessariy the easiest or cheapest beer to drink.

Beerandraiderfan, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of DrJay
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear coppery dark amber with a fluffy eggshell cap of foam. Lots of lacing, mostly chunky-style, with good head retention. Malty aroma, notes of caramel and sugary sweetness, plus the added bonus of well-balanced peat and smoke character. I certainly didn't expect that! Low bitterness with caramel and malt sweetness that didn't end up cloying. Peat was more subdued in the flavour, but made its presence known in the finish. Medium bodied with decent texture, average carbonation. Easy drinking for a beer with some peat character. A pleasant surprise, but seems more of a scottish than scotch ale to me.

DrJay, Apr 25, 2009
Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 962 ratings.