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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.
very good

963 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 963
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 963 | Reviews: 609 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of henrysunset
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany beer, clear of sediment with tall head of consistent fine tan bubbles.

Smell is sweet and malty, a bit citrusy and tart.

flavor is quite light for the dark appearance, extremely clean flavor is balanced. biscuit and earth flavors. Toast is pronounced but not overabundant.

Very smooth and easy to drink. Enjoyable and drinkability is high for the style.

It is a mild take on the style, but a good one.

henrysunset, May 14, 2009
Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Rich molasses color on the pour with no real
head to speak of and scant lacing.

S: The aroma is distinctly sweet and malty.

T: The alcohol is definately present as is a
unpleasantly bitter after taste. After
checking the date I assume that the after
taste is purposeful. This starts nicely and
ends poorly.

M: A bit watery and seemingly under carbonated

D: Drinkability is average at best maybe better
with a meal, I'll have to try that next time.

I don't have an incredible wealth of knowledge involving scotch ales so I hesitate to be too harsh. I'll try a few more and perhaps reevaluate.

ArrogantDeadGuy, May 14, 2009
Photo of earthboundagain
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Presentation : 12oz brown bottle with date clearly marked. I love the kilt pattern label.

Appearance: A dark ruby color with a super sticky creamy off-white head sticks around.

Smell: Ok this one is hard to describe because it is so unique. Hints a caramel and butter, and smoke. Also a sticky sweetness almost like cooking molasses.

Taste and Mouth Feel: Body is super rich and chewy but is still smooth and well-rounded. Sweet caramel, faint burnt sugars, light chocolate and toasted malt flavors. The peat smokiness really adds to this beer and brings it a very unique taste. You can taste some hops but they are not overpowering. Some earthy and herbal tones help to bring in some balance.

Notes: I had to buy a whole pack to get just two of these but it was worth it. This is one of Sam Adams best brews. We should all email them to see if we can get this to come back fulltime.

earthboundagain, May 10, 2009
Photo of moosiz
3.15/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this from the bottle into a pint glass.
there was little to no head retention whatsoever with light carbonation.

Smells of sweet caramel and roasted malt.

crisp semi-sweet malty character with a bit of a "strange" aftertaste, almost sour.

nice light interpretation of this style. not sticky or overdone.

very drinkable if you like this sort of beer.

moosiz, May 07, 2009
Photo of CityBoy1986
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle. The freshness date is October 2009.

The pour is a dark copper with two fingers' head. Retention and lacing are decent.

The nose is subtle but full of dark fruits and earthy tones. The taste is more of the same, with some toffee throughout. It begins sweetly and progresses to bitter by the end, with a dry finish.

The mouthfeel is medium-to-heavy with a certain amount of stickiness and a lot of carbonation. Drinkability is okay, but I am not too sad that there are only two bottles in the pack.

It's a decent beer, but it's not something I would go out of my way to find. If offerred one, I certainly wouldn't refuse.

CityBoy1986, May 06, 2009
Photo of jadpsu
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish brown with a decent off white head along with decent brussels lacing. Head only has slightly better than average retention.
Smell is sweet with some caramel,coffee, along with some fruity esters that are way back there.
Taste: full body with toasty malts and some caramel. Hops show up to provid some balance to the more pronounced malts, I seem to even get the flavor of sherry in there.
Smooth and, drinkable with a pronounced dry finish.

jadpsu, May 06, 2009
Photo of Riccymon
3.2/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a dark reddish-brown with a fast-fading finger of brown head. Both smell and taste contain a lightly spicy malt flavor and a little caramel sweetness, with the taste having a stronger, lasting spice. The taste reminded me a bit of SA's Holiday Porter. Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side for me, and leaves the mouth a little sticky. All around, a very average but drinkable scotch ale that I enjoyed, but won't necessarily seek out in the future.

Riccymon, May 06, 2009
Photo of ThePeskyDingo
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a 1 finger light tan head that dissipated rather quickly. Good retention. Dark brown amber color, hard to see through. A wall of lacing is left behind.

Smells like dark fruits, malt, and hints of hops.

Tastes of roasted malts, hops, well balanced.

Mouthfeel is smooth and dry. Starts bitter and ends with the malts.

Drinks alright. Could probably only have a couple in a night.

ThePeskyDingo, May 02, 2009
Photo of Duhast500
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a dark amber/red with two finger's of foamy off-white head and some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a bit roasty malt aroma. Some nice toasted bread with a bit of smoky aroma as well.

The taste is bit on roasted malts that has a smoked flavor as well. There is a slight butterscotch flavor that leads into a more smoky favor with a touch of tobacco.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied and smooth but does have an extra amount of carbonation. Is really easy going down and is one of the better beers brewed by Samuel Adams and is quite tasty.

Duhast500, May 01, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in a Duvel Tulip (closest to a Thistle I've got). Best by Nov 09 notched.

A - Dark mahogany ruby color topped by a small and weak head with little retention. Needs agitation before smelling.

S - Strong sweet malty caramel smell with some yeast and bread hints. Also, smoke is in this beer slightly. A little spice too.

T - Dry and malty, not as sweet as the smell. Slightly hopped with a bitter finish and a smokey flavor. Yeasty flavor is evident too.

M - Dry and crisp with a nice bite to it while still being fairly smooth on the way down.

D - Good interpretation of the scotch style that is quite drinkable for its flavor. I enjoy this beer.

BeerFMAndy, May 01, 2009
Photo of wnh
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a mostly opaque reddish-brown, but a brilliant bright orange-tinted garnet when held up to the light. Slightly murky. One finger of light cream head, slightly creamy. Lots of bubbles rising to the surface. Good lacing that sticks quite thickly to the edge of the glass.

Nose is sweet and malty, with smoky undertones. Overall first impression reminds me of whiskey. There are some earthy notes in the background, though I can't nail down exactly what; my assumption is peat, since peat-smoked malt is one of the ingredients here.

Very malty flavor, though not discernibly sweet. Earthy hop flavor balances the malt, with an accompanying bitterness to round things out. A slight caramel sweetness lies underneath it all, primarily detected during inhalations. Lingering finish that starts sweet before turning pleasantly bitter. Leaves me wanting--though not particularly craving--another sip.

Chewy mouthfeel, almost as though part of the malt was pureed and mixed with the wort. Slightly sticky, with a hint of oiliness. Mouth-coating to the extent that the flavors stick around with obnoxiously making their presence known.

My first Scotch style ale, and it's got me intrigued. I'd probably never want to drink six of these even in the time period of a few months, but the two that came in the mixed 12 pack are more than manageable.

wnh, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice autumn brown color and a small tan head that clings nicely to the glass as it falls. Pretty.

I get some deep caramel maltiness with a slight peat smoked edge to it in the aroma. The taste is really heavy on the peat malt, with some nice sweet caramel flavor trying to get through as well. It does go a bit bitter in the end, with the peat smoke flavor fading slowly along side.

A nice medium bodied sipper here. It's not going to kick your ass of course but I would probably not hit two of these in a row just because the flavor is a bit intense. I'm not saying it's bad in any way. Just...bold!

Glad to finally try this beer.

ZimZamZoom, Apr 26, 2009
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
Photo of NatetheGreat
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent brew. Beautiful deep ruby/brown with good tan head.

Aroma is sweet but also pungent hops that add a very earthy smell (typical from SA IMO). Some whiskey/smoky character also in the nose. Taste is very close to aroma. Thick malty flavors with some fruitiness and surprisingly balanced earthy and bittering hops, but still allowing the malt complexity and the smoky-bourbon/whiskey character to be center stage. Excellent. The smokiness unwraps even more as the brew warms, reminiscent of smoked cheddar or gouda and some meatiness - sounds weird but tastes great. I had it with beef stew and it worked very well.

Feel is velvety smooth and carbonation is adequate. Very drinkable and just a really great beer.

NatetheGreat, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of PatronWizard
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewmaster's 12 Pack kicks ass! You can even split one with a buddy and have a six pack of different styles all to yourself. Anyway...

Pours a really nice shade of dark fiery copper. Half fingered head.

Big malty whiff. Maybe even a touch of bourbon in the nose, or wishful thinking, but inviting to say the least.

Nice taste. Big medium bodied malt lick. I want to slug it. Ever so slight smoky taste. Actually a really good brew. I'm diggin' it. Traces of some elusive fruit that I can't quite interpret. Faint...pear?

Overall: a perfect drinker right here.

PatronWizard, Apr 24, 2009
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.

dudecandle, Apr 23, 2009
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.

TommyW, Apr 23, 2009
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.

mjurney, Apr 20, 2009
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

JVEyck309, Apr 13, 2009
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 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.

jnn4v, Apr 05, 2009
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.

mempath, Mar 30, 2009
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.

Dangerous, Mar 26, 2009
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

drxandy, Mar 26, 2009
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.

mattster, Mar 25, 2009
Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 963 ratings.