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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

965 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 965
Reviews: 609
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 14.4%
Wants: 42
Gots: 20 | 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: 965 | Reviews: 609 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of jimj21
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought as part of the Brewmaster's twelve pack. Twelve ounce bottle labeled best by 09/09 poured into pint glass. Pours a reddish brown. Very clear. Topped by about a finger of off white head. Fades very quickly. Some lacing. Lots of bubbles rising in the glass.

Smells sweet and malty. Some floral and fruity aromas as well. Pretty reserved.

Tastes sweet, just like the smell. Caramel and roasted malt. Sweetness out does the roasted character. Some smokiness as well. Floral and tea like hop flavors on the finish and aftertaste.

Nice mouthfeel. Medium bodied. A little underwhelming. I would expect more from a wee heavy. This seems closer to a Scottish ale.

Easily drinkable. The malt flavors stand out in this one. Good balance. Another solid offering from Samuel Adams, but there are better Scotch Ales out there.

jimj21, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Been looking for this one for a while, glad I finally got my hands on one.

A: A deep crimson red color, almost like a flanders red, but with more brownish tints. Head is creamy, dense, and sizeable, but falls relatively quickly. Retention is about average, and LACING

S: Caramel, grainy/Munich malt aroma, maybe a hint of smokiness, maybe some faint cocoa aromas. Though the aroma isn't particularly strong or robust, it's really smooth and quite lovely.

T&M: Nice flavor--reprise of light caramel, smokiness, some chocolate, and the distinct Munich malt flavor. The Munich malt is a tad bit too plentiful for my liking, maybe they could skimp on that and make up for it with peat malt, enhancing the smokiness. Mouthfeel is lighter than your typical scotch ale, but BBC's going for a more drinkable version of the style.

D: Very drinkable version of a scotch ale. More flavor would help things along a bit, but it's still a decent brew. Definitely one of the better beers produced by BBC.

BamaBeerBuff, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of bum732
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crimson red, nice head leaving good lacing. Smells of bready malt, some molasses, some dark fruits, brown sugar, some cinnamon. Tastes sweet dark fruit malt followed by a bready backbone. Good bitterness near the end finishing moderately dry and a little roasty. Light carbonation overall, good carbonation for the style.

A very good session scotch ale. Good overall flavor with some American bitterness to boot. Not as full flavored as traditional scotch ales, but i could easily drink six of these in a session.

bum732, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of bort11
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Thin 1/4 inch khaki tan head, quick to recede though stops short of completely disappearing. Color is dark reddish caramel.

Carmel smell is a mild caramel with a slight hops bitterness. Taste is slightly smokey peat, with a sweeter caramel. finishes with a coffee bite.

Nice creamy texture. Smooth carbonation. Nice example.

bort11, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of AChamberlain
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring and oh oh, foaming over! Slurp up some frothy head, mmm smoky. Does this beer have smoked malt? I just read the neck label, it must be the special peat malt which was used. It is delicious. It certainly tastes like it, well the head anyway. Deep amber color with foamy, soft, offwhite head. Very nice. Smooth aroma, some sweetness, peatiness! Great flavor. Like I said smoky and peaty. Great malts. Smooth and luscious mouthfeel. This is one of my favorite Sam Adams. They seem to make, for me, flops or homeruns. This is a homerun.

AChamberlain, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of cottonkoozie
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - Dark reddish color. Decent lacing. Head is nice if your pour roughly, otherwise it is very small and disappears quickly. When poured rough though the head retention is good and gives a nice off white/brownish head.

S - Lots of roasted smells as well as a woody smell.

T - Similar to the smell. Roasted taste, but has a woody aftertaste. Not something i'm crazy over at all, but I'll give it a 3.5 due to the style.

M - Good and full

D - Not something I will reach for again, just the aftertaste of roasted wood turns me away from this and leaves it not very drinkable to me.

I guess this is representative of the style, but not something I like. Only other beer of this style I have tried was old chub, and only tried it once years ago, havn't been able to bring myself to try a whole one yet. Maybe this style is great to some people, but not to me. Could be an aqquired taste I guess. The woody aftertaste just turns me away.

cottonkoozie, Mar 10, 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 vtisme
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer from the brew masters collection pack. Poured out of the bottle into a mug
It pours a very pleasing dark ruby color with not much head but a lot of lacing for what little head there was.
Smells smokey and bitter. I can detect a slight sugar smell behind a good balance of malt smells. Smokey.
Tastes like it would go wonderfully with bbq ribs. It has that smokey flavor that is great but definitely not overwhelming. The finish presents the malt flavor more than before. Maybe let it sit in your mouth for a few seconds and you'll taste it.
Drink ability is great. It goes down smooth, is only slightly thick, and the alcohol isn't even noticeable. It was 35 degrees here when I had this but I will get it again as soon as it is warm out. Downside I'd that the inky way to get it is in samper pack

vtisme, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of PaleAlien2
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a rich ruby red, capped with a one-finger light brown head.

Smells delicious: like malt and roasted nuts.

Lot of malt flavor with caramel notes. Has a fairly strong roasted flavor and an almost wine-like warming at the end. Light dose of hops. Finishes very dry.

PaleAlien2, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of TylerAddisonJ13
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Medium red-brown with a slightly off-white 2 1/2 finger head that diminished quicker than I would have liked. Good lacing. Overall, beautiful.

S - Malts. Not picking up on the smoked malt character yet. Smell not very strong. But very pleasing.

T - Bursting with flavor. Big and malty. The light smokiness lingers on the palate. Brilliant. Refreshing, sweet, and bold.

M - Light and crisp, but smooth and almost creamy.

D - Very drinkable, but not sacrificing any character. Light carbonation.

Overall, one of my all time favorite beers. I'll recommend it to anyone. I wish I could get this stuff by the case :/

TylerAddisonJ13, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of steelerguy
3.2/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Deep mahogany color with a nice head that faded quickly to just a slight covering. Very clear although dark.

S - Nice malty smell that smells like cheese to me at the end. I don't like to smell cheese in my beer.

T - Beer hits you with a malt hammer, which is not a bad thing, but then I have that stinky cheese flavor. The smokey peat which is the distinctive character of this beer is what I don't like.

M - Very good mouthfeel, could see when I was pouring it that it was going to have some body and it sure does. Very nice, unfortunately this was it's best aspect to me.

D - When you don't really find a beer that good, it just loses some drinkability.

It is not a bad beer, and I will drink one more bottle (since it was in the 12 pack), but won't seek it out again.

steelerguy, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of HalfFull
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass. Perhaps not quite appropriate but a Rebel I am!

Pours a clear copper amber in color with a half inch of head. Head settles to a film in short order but yields some spotty lacing throughout.

Smell is rich with smoky, peaty malts and reminds me of a bock beer in a sense, given the sweet nose. Hoppy sweet when agitated. Like many Sam beers, I don't pick up any hops until mid glass when I can give it a good spin, and even then the hop profile is inconsistant. Taste follows with a simple sweetness and a moderate carbonation level. Light in flavor, light in ABV yet a bit too syrupy. Does offer a bit more smoke on the finish which supports the feel a bit, but limits the drink. A decent offering from Sam but nothing special.

HalfFull, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of paco1029384756
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark mahogany color with a small off white head.

Scent of sweet malts, cinnamon, tobacco, and some more faint spices. Nicely balanced with a nice strength.

Taste of malts, butter, spices, tobacco, peat, and some caramel. Not bad, but falls slightly short of the scent.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth, but there is a bit too much carbonation.

paco1029384756, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of JayNH
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep clear copper with a decent foamy head.

S- Sweet, plenty of butterscotch in the nose. A mildly smokey malt. A touch of alcohol is also noticeable.

T- Sweet but not heavy. A slightly smokey and buttery caramel that finishes with a pleasant mild grassy hop note.

M- Smooth and creamy, medium bodied, carbonation level is perfect.

D- Excellent! My personal favorite SA offering, it should be a crime that they don't offer this in 6/12 packs. Plenty of flavor but not overwhelming like some other Scotch ales I've had.

JayNH, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Poured a rich, dark mahogany color with ruby highlights and a two-finger head of creamy tan foam. Carbonation is lazy and lacing is pretty nice.

S: Smells quite malty and sweet, like a sugary, frosting laced roll. Some earthy and herbal hop notes come through as well, like soil, grass and peat moss.

T: This scotch ale packs a big malty profile. The flavor is smooth and buttery, with toffee and caramel malts coming through full force. There's a bit of smoky wood flavoring added to the earthen peat and light cocoa notes.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, smooth and satisfying.

D: For the ABV, this was a big flavorful ale with lots of interesting combos and rich ingredients. Very steady and enjoyable scotch ale.

A bit smoother and flavorful than some of my other favored scotch ales. Perhaps not as drinkable as Olde Burnside Ten Penny and not as authentic as Belhaven, but very tasty and a brew Sam Adams would be wise to brew for 6 and 12-packs.

Gambrinus1184, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of Procrastinator
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle is part of the Brewmaster's Collection 12-pack sampler. I've had this beer several times over the years and this is my first review of it. Sep 2009 is notched on the bottle label. Poured into tulip pint glass.

Appearance: deep auburn colored body with hues of brown and red. The 1/2" head,beige and small-bubbled, slowly breaks down and leaves a layer of suds and sticky lacing. Few streams of carbonation rise in this really clean looking brew.

Smell: sweet and smoky malts. The sweet scents are a mix of hard toffee candy and bourbon. Hops are barely present.

Taste: the smoky and sweet malts show themselves better in their flavors. Smoky peat and sweet caramel malts are equalled by a bitter hop presence right at the swallow. All three components are rather equal, none are overpowering.
Alcohol can be detected at the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Carbonation is beneficial in bringing out the flavors to their full potential. The hops add a drying aspect.

Drinkability: I really enjoy this beer. Flavors are clean and nothing is overpowering. A good beer to introduce drinkers to the component of smoke in beer.

Procrastinator, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of angelmonster
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a 2 finger tan head. Deep brown in color, clear with medium carbonation. Head retention and lacing are good

Smell is of roasted malt as well as some chocolate malt.

Taste is very big on malt, have seen the term malt bomb alot but never used it til now, not necessarily a bad thing. Smokiness is not as pronounced as i thought it would be. Not much in hop area either

Head is somewhat creamy, with a syrupy body that mixes nice. Generous amount of carbonation also present

Over all very tasty. Reminds me of a lighter, smokier doppelbock. Very drink able, solid beer from Sam adams

angelmonster, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 2/25/2007 (12oz bottle BB Sep07):

Pours a clear brown color, off-white head, big bubbles, good lacing, somewhat lasting. Very malty aroma, some sweet, light fruit like green grapes, and some dark fruit like plums. Malty sweet taste, sweet nutty aftertaste, somewhat bitter. Interesting, and good flavor. Somewhat smokey flavor. Surprisingly good. Nice session beer.

jujubeast6000, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of nasty15108
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Poured a deep ruby copper color with a thick head of creamy tan foam. The head subsided into a bubbly film and left lots of spotty lacing throughout. Near perfection in this pour.

S - Malty with some vanilla, butterscotch and smoke. Earthy, but with a slight sweetness.

T - Malty with a slight honey/caramel sweetness. Finishes off smokey and dry with a good amount bitterness.

MF&D - Medium mouthfeel and good drinkability. Once again Sam Adams has produced a nice brew and decided to only include it in sampler packs.

nasty15108, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of jjanega08
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= pours a dark brown color with a whole inch of head and some bubbles rising to the top of the head that's about an inch high.
S= a little smokiness is there for sure and a lotta sweet malty smell.
T= whew. lotta malt with some smoky flavor but it's not too overpowering. very nice with the smoke in this beer. I'm usually not a fan of smoked beer but this one is ok
M= coating and smooth. Nicely done
D= pretty good. I will get tired of the smoke eventually but for now it's great. It reminds me of a good BBQ. Great beer.

jjanega08, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of KTCamm
2.42/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Maybe I'm just not a scotch ale person, but I didn't like this beer. Color started off nice, reddish brown pour. Smoky, peat moss kind of smell. The barrel aging taste that comes through with the malt was largely unsatisfying - like someone had spilled some bourbon in my beer. For me, the drinkability wasn't there - I can see sampling this one in a 2 oz. taster to appreciate the style, but not more than that.

KTCamm, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of reallyhoppie
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. It's a dard red copper color witha light tan, 1/2" head.

Smells of malt, malt, and more malt.

The taste is almost entirely malt sweetness with a small amount of alcohol showing through and almost no hops. I did not enjoy the finish, it was faintly metallic.

Moderate body, quite quaffable.

Not a bad beer, just not a very good one either. I hope Sam Adams keeps this one going though, because I do have a craving for one every once in awhile.

reallyhoppie, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of Clockwork420
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to glass.

A - Dark red. Ruddish brown. Pretty one finger head that stayed around a bit. Nice looking.

S - Smells like a good bread. Nice sweet. Notes of fuity things.

T - Mmm. Nice. Does have an alcohol tinge to it. Its twangy, defitily like the smell. Notes of sweet bready bits and medium feel. No heavy carbonation here. Almost smokey kinda of. I got that more and more I drank. The warmer it got the notes pop out.

M - Medium feel. Lighter carbonation. Slippy and warming. Alcohol taste slightly more than wanted.

D - I would say fairly high. Im not even done with my first one yet.

Final verdict is as follows. This beer gets every bit of points it deserves. This one in particuar got better as it got slightly warmer. I think that if you were to drink this one, to wait a bit and let it warm up in your hand. Of course thats not for everyone. But it seems to work better for me.

I would definitly drink this again if available.

Kudos Samuel Adams. You did it again.

Clockwork420, Jan 22, 2009
Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 965 ratings.