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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Scotch AleSamuel Adams Scotch Ale

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974 Ratings

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Ratings: 974
Reviews: 609
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 14.44%
Wants: 43
Gots: 23 | 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:
Beer added by: Todd on 05-19-2001

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 974 | Reviews: 609 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheMadJack
4.68/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz. Bottle into Pint Glass

Beer is a warm, coppery brown. Lumpy, persistently foamy beige head that sticks a bit to the glass, but doesn't really lace, per se. Still, I wish it were as easy to get my shaving soap to lather up like this.

Smells of peaty smoke, oak barrels, caramel, bit of spiciness, almost like nutmeg.

The flavor is similar to the smell: good amount of peat smoke, oak, butter, and a caramelly sweetness. Nice tannin bitterness.

Mouthfeel has nice body, creamy and full.

I'm going to say right here that this is one of my favorite Sam Adams brews. One of their more challenging offerings and it reminds me of an Islay Scotch ...but not so much that I'd rather just have the scotch. I could drink these all day, and I'm still waiting for the brewer to produce a twelve pack of these exclusively.

Photo of berley31
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with an average-sized, white frothy head that diminished to 1/2 finger. Body is a really nice, dark ruby/copper color, and very clear.

S: Malty and a bit smoky, but not quite as noticeable as I'd like.

T: The flavor, however, is definitely more noticeable. Some smokiness is present in the taste, along with some sweetness, and it finishes quite dry overall. In fact, there's something in the finish that I can only describe as 'peaty', like Scottish whiskey (whisky?).

M: Medium-bodied, slightly creamy, with average carbonation.

D: A solid Scotch Ale, which doesn't surprise me at all... SA usually does such a good job of representing a style.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

Clear red/amber color with a beige head that left a lot of lacing.
Earthy malt smell with a touch of smokiness.
Malty flavor upfront with a smoked middle and smokey dry finish.
Medium bodied with a smooth and mellow feel.
It was very easy for me to drink the 2 bottles I got in the mix pack.

Photo of adam42381
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber/caramel color with a one finger white head. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Caramel malt scent. Very sweet yet not overpowering at all.

Taste: Smoky caramel with a hint of sweetness. Faint taste of scotch whisky which comes from the peat-smoking. Finishes with a nice, light hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied beer which goes down smooth. Fairly high carbonation.

Drinkability: Medium drinkability. I could have two or three of these without hesitation but would not want more than that in one sitting as it is fairly filling.

Overall: Try it. It's different, but I really enjoyed it.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass (of course). This beer is copper in color with excellent clarity. The beer produces a mega foamy head with generous amounts of lacing to it. The nose is good, extremely malty and sweet smelling. Smells of caramel with after-notes of toffee and a hint of smokeyness. The taste is good. A very malty brew, you can really taste the caramel and chocolate malts as well as malted barley. Slight smokeyness again (from what I gather is the Peat Malts) in the flavor followed only by a slight taste of the hops, but not very strong, hopes are more noticeable in the mouthfeel than the taste. The back of the bottle sums it up the best in two words "Sweet & Smokey." The mouthfeel is truely exceptional. For a beer with so many different malts, it has a well balanced smooth and creamy feel with just enough of a bitter finish. Not too heavy, not too light truly remarkable. Along with everything mentioned this beer has excellent drinkablility.

Photo of KingEdward
2.71/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I poured this beer from a bottle into a pint glass. This beer is amber colored with a one finger tan head that was gone quickly. This beer has minimal lacing. This beer barely had a smell but their was a hint of smokey malt. This beer has a light smokey malt and hop taste. The mouthful is crisp and carbonated. This is not a beer i would have again. I saw it had some good reviews but i don't understand. This beer did not have much flavor in my opinion. I wish I had something more to say about it but?

Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Brooklyn tulip. This is a style I am not too familiar with, so I'll do my best to rate to the description of the style.

Appearance: A crystal-clear dark copper/ruby color. Tons of off-white head that lingers for awhile and leaves lots of lacing. Very nice looking beer.

Smell: Well, malt. Some bready and honey notes, and I think there are some roasted malts in there as well. Maybe a little bit of chocolate.

Taste: Sweet and malty, backed by a hint of chocolate and roasted malts. The finish is smooth and bready. No real hop presence to speak of, except for a slight bitterness in the aftertaste. A slight alcohol presence, but it's barely noticeable. It's a very balanced sweetness that never becomes cloying. Very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, but very high carbonation.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this. The sweetness is balanced nicely, and it doesn't become cloying like some malt-heavy beers. I enjoyed this. It's not my favorite style of beer, but I wouldn't mind experimenting more with the style.

Photo of GilGarp
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle purchased as part of a Brewmaster's 12 pack.

Served cold into a chalice, it has a dark redish-brown color with very good clarity. The head is small and short-lived. There is some lacing but otherwise not a great looker.

Aroma is sweet and malty with a bit of subtle smoke. Some caramel and toffee with earthy undertones.

Flavor is rich in malts and thus pretty sweet but the peat and smoke is more the defining character of the beer. Caramel, toast, and toffee also add to the flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation which fits the beer perfectly.

Overall I'm really impressed with this beer. It's much more adventurous and bold than I expected from Samuel Adams. Don't get me wrong, they make great beer, but I really like what they've done with this one.

Photo of droomyster
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful clear brown with lots of carbonation action and a nice white head that laces the glass. Aromas are very malty, almost roasty like a much darker beer. Taste is malt-forward and layered with a strong woodiness and toffee flavors. This beer is crammed with taste. I'm a big fan.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Clear dark amber with copper notes, billowy bone white head that slowly recedes leaving a good foam covering on surface after about 5 minutes and medium to heavy lacing. Lacing gets much less as the beer is drunk with medium to light lacing left by the end.

S & T = Smells of butterscotch, light hints of peat smoke, caramel candy, and maple fudge. Smokey tastes almost like the taste in my mouth from smelling half burned oak logs left in a fireplace after the fire has gone out. Mostly a malt experience in taste, but not as sweet as I thought it might be from the smells. The butterscotch is almost totally absent form the taste, there is a fair bit of caramel, whole wheat bread dough, but also a slight thinness right after mid palate and an almost plasitc taste to accompany it. This beer seems to be struggling with what it wants to be, a big forceful Scotch Ale or a lighter bodied 60 or 70 shilling Scottish Ale.

M = Medium body, decent mouthcoating, frothy smooth feel.

D = This is a nice drinking beer that goes down smoothly and could easily be followed by a second bottle. I also would be happy to drink it again, but am not sure I would go to lengths to find it. I hadn't had in several years and I do like it better than I remember, but there are a lot of other beers in the same category that I would place before this one.

Photo of homebrew311
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours deep reddish brown, nice 2 finger head that sticks around for a while

S:sweet caramel malts, toffee, aroma is very subdued

T: a little bolder than the nose suggests, sweet malts up front, smokey finish with notes of toast, toffee and caramel

MF:medium body, medium carbonation

D: this beer tastes good but is is kind of lacking in flavor and character

Photo of advill88
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish amber with a creamy white head.

Smell is of predominantly of caramel malt, with an ever so slight hint of smokiness.

Taste has the same caramel maltiness up front, with a slightly stronger smokiness than in the nose, with a touch of hops to balance. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied, with moderate carbonation and a slight creaminess.

Drinkability is quite good for the style. This is a very good scotch ale, and an excellent beer in the Sam Adams lineup. For some reason it reminds me ever so slightly of Old Fezziwig, but better.

Photo of brownbeer
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish in color with a fluffy, tan head.

The aroma is earthy, with wood smoke and caramel.

The flavor is of slighty caramel balanced by a hint of smoke.

Pretty good beer. It's clean, malty, and smooth but fails to really distinguish itself as a scotch ale, aside from the slight smokiness. Unique but not great.

Photo of morebeergood
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Dark auburn red color. Very large white head. Good looking beer so far. Smelled a lot like peat smoke. First sip was mostly foam, and you can almost taste that scotch whisky flavor. The next sip more liquid, and the flavor was a bit more subdued. But that heavy smoky flavor was there throughout. My only wish was that this beer had a bit more body to it. That would make this brew fantastic. Very drinkable with a low abv and intense flavors. One of the more underrated and unknown SA beers on the market.

Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This wee heavy is a wee impressive.

My perfect pour glass was filled with is brew the color of very dark copper topped with a finger of foamy white head but had little carbonation. The aroma was malty with a touch of cinnamon. The taste of malt and caramel was a nice blend, with a spicy touch to it. It was rather smooth and finished with much enjoyment.

Photo of Evocatus
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It has a dark red-amber color with a beige head that dies to a collar relatively fast. Aroma is a combination of tea and bread/malts. Taste is similar to semi-sweet tea. There is some caramel in there, some smokeyness, malts, and hoppy finish. Decent thickness, not too much carbonation. I would definitely buy a pack of this alone.

Photo of Rayek
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep reddish copper color with good clarity. Cream colored head is frothy and has above average retention. Leaves a fair amount of lace.

S: A bittersweet toffee smell is balanced with aromas of black tea and dry earth.

T: Bittersweet overall. Malt has a taste of sugars that have been heavily caramelized. Bitterness does a good job of providing balance. It brings a good Earl Grey tea flavor to the mix. Finishes with a lingering bittersweet toffee flavor.

M: Medium light body is dry and has the right level of carbonation.

D: A good Scottish Ale is one of my favorite styles. SA Scotch Ale is a nice take on one.

Photo of John_M
3.82/5  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.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +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.

Photo of chetripley
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been happy with Sam Adams offerings, some more than others, but I am most pleased with the ales they brew, especially this one. It was the second Scotch Ale I have had in as many days and my appraisal was the same.

The color is a dark amber, and appetizing in its fullness. I think SAs are all born under the lager birthright, so I never expect much of a head and more fluid characteristics with a good amount of carbonation. This is the same.

Good strong smell that elicits the malts that I am expecting soon.

Malty and strong flavor, a slight sweetness, followed by slightly dry then smooth aftertaste. Usually don't find a smooth aftertaste in such a malty offering.

Usual SA higher carbonation that contradicts the heavy malt and scotch characteristics, and which are not altogether too bad.

I can drink again and again. Doesn't weigh me down.

Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of MisterClean
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Taken from a competition.

A - Pours a fairly clear dark amber with 2 fingers of off-white head. Dissipates slow and leaves beautiful lacing.

S - Caramel, cinnamon, clove, and pear esters.

T - Caramel, cinnamon, clove and bittering hops.

M - Full bodied, malt dominance, and a sweet cloying.

D - Really good beer. SA makes some great looking beers that taste great too.

Photo of SykDoc
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a nice ruby red and a 1/2 inch light tan head forms leaving a thick and full coverage lacing. Moderate carbonation visible and no sediment.

The aroma was a bit weak to me. It includes notes of banana and a yeasty bread with a mild caramel sweetness. A smokey/roasted component is also present, but again mild.

The taste was a bit metallic to me. A is a nice level of caramel sweetness and bread again with an earthy component but the metallic part seemed a bit too much for the other flavors.

The mouthfeel demonstrates a medium bodied beer with good carbonation for the taste and would have been even better without metallic. It goes down fairly lightly, not leaving much feeling, but a little dryness.

Overall, I was a bit put off the the taste. I think this beer has the potential for being very good if the metal component weren't so overwhelming. I will try this again another year and see if this reduces.

Photo of goblue3509
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very light brown color with an one and a half finger off white head to it. There is decent lacing left behind. The smell is of caramel malt and smokey earthy malts at the back end. The taste is of smokey malt, with caramel and chocolate notes being faint to round out the flavor. The mouthfeel is slightly thick and moderately carbonated. Overall the drinkablity is good, the ABV is average so it doesn't detract from the drinkability.

Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 974 ratings.