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

very good
635 Reviews
For Trade:
Samuel Adams Scotch AleSamuel Adams Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 05-19-2001

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Reviews: 635 | Ratings: 1,089
Photo of mothmanscott
4.16/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, pale-medium brown (mahogany like) producing 1.5 fingers of frothy, tan, shortlived, head that leaves sheet like webs of lace. Aroma is dark roast, toasted pumpernickel, smoked peat, cereal, butterscotch, molasses & a hint of figs. Taste is heavy roast, caramel/molasses, toasted dark bread, smoke, roasted nuts, fruity & earthy with a buttery, smokey & lightly bitter finish. Afrertaste is fruity, bitter-sweet roasted malts, nuts & molasses. Mouthfeel is medium bodied & moderate carbonation, silky but slightly oily with lively pepper prickle.

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Photo of tzieser
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now back as part of the 2016 spring variety 12 pack.

Dark copper in color with a thick white head. Sweet malt aroma with caramel and a bit of smoke. Very smooth with sweet, bready malt. Notes of caramel, toffee. Finishes with a nice amount of smoke. More of a rauchbier than a wee heavy but it's really tasty regardless of what you call it. Good stuff.

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Photo of laketang
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours clear amber, foamy tan head

biscuit , some smoke, a scent like cotton candy

big maltiness, caramel notes. coming close to cloying for me.

medium body, a bit chewy.

drinks sweet , cola-like.not my style.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.78/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4.68/5  rDev +23.8%
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.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of rowew
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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

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Photo of brandoncox
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of schildres
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of Tschnab
3.79/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of tigg924
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of ruckus232
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of Bfarr
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
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

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Photo of NickRivers
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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!

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Photo of PDXHops
2.88/5  rDev -23.8%
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 Pencible
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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

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Photo of gskitt
4.07/5  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.

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Photo of bierschmecktgut
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of bayougutter
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of cbutova
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 635 ratings.