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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

(view ratings)
Ratings: 974
Reviews: 609
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 14.44%
Wants: 43
Gots: 21 | 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 barrettds
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- dark amber brown. Probably should have had a more aggressive pour, as I babied this one and the collar is less than I expected. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

S- Sweet malt, no hops. I can detect a slight smokiness as well.

T- Nice effort here, but not as good as a the REAL scotch ales. Still, a worthy substitute if you're shopping at a non beer enlightened super market. Many different malts make for a somewhat complex character. The smokiness fits well.

M- Smooth all the way through, but has that macro scotch ale feel. A bit too carbonated for the style, I think.

D- You could throw a couple of these back easily. That being said, this disappoints, as it is supposed to be a scotch ale. 5.4% doesn't cut it.

All in all, it is a decent interpretation of a scotch ale. However, if you want something GREAT and are in the Western New York area, Rohrback makes an incredible scotch ale.

Photo of gmfessen
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a ruby brown color with a thin, creamy looking head. The smell is primarily of sweet malt, but the smokiness is also quite prevalent. The taste has a little bit of a roasted character to it, very smoky and sweet with amber/caramel malt, almost no hop character. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and chewey. This is a very drinkable beer, goes down easy, full of taste. This one is worth a try.

Photo of theformula
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Dark, ruby colored body. 1" or so head that retains decently. Lace sticks around pretty well.

S: Smokey malts, butter, caramel, some earthiness and just a subtle hops aroma.

M & T: Pretty much tastes like the aroma. The smoked flavor is prominant but this beer has a great balance from the crisp, light mouthfeel. Some caramel, diacetyl, coffee and burnt sugar. Where's the warming alcahol? That's typical of the style, but it's not here.

D: Like I mentioned, a great sessional Scotch Ale (if that's possible), but it's just not a genuine S.A. and doesn't have nearly the depth of most. It's the drinkability and the balance that's game here. So, it's a Sam Adams.

Photo of becktone
2.32/5  rDev -38%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm beginging to notice a trend with Sam Adams brew. They all look great, but thats about it. Nice one finger creamy off-white head, great retention and lacing as well. Color is a deep copper, the color of cherry stained wood, red and ruby hues.

Aroma: Strong malt backbone, but lacks the sweet smell that's usually found in this style. Some diacetyl and a metallic tang. Not that impressed witht the aroma of this one. Some faint hop aromas-Noble?

Before I even taste this brew I'm going to predict a metallic tang. Not only does the aroma hint at this but so do the previous Sam Adams brews I've reviewed. Not as much metallic tang as the others but there's a bit in there. This brew also has a smoky flavor, along with some graininess to it. Some dark grains and bitterness from roasted grains. In my opinion this brew is a very poor example of a Scotch Ale. Nothing like Traquir Jacobite, I mean it shouldn't be just like it but I wouldn't even classifiy it as being a Scotch ale. The ABV isn't even high enough to classify it as a Scotch Ale, Scottish yes, but not Scotch. The brw isn't sweet enough to be balanced out by a higher alcohol content-a very common characteristic of scotch ales. This brew is way off the mark.

Mouthfeel of this brew is pretty good. Creamy in the mouth with a medium-heavy body, and lower carbonation...well at least for Sam Adams. I would not buy this beer again. It is a complete let down. I was looking forward to a Scotch Ale, and well this shouldn't be classified as one. There are definitely better examples of the style out there if you're looking to try a scotch ale don't look here.

Photo of warmstorage
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle from a mixed-12 pack.

Pours a deep tan with a moderate beige head, leaves little lacing.

Nose is sweet and smoky, but muted, even as it warms.

Taste is sweet, tangy, and predominately peaty and smoky. It's hard for me to tell which it is, peat or smoke, though I lean a little more towards peat. Taste has a muted but present metallic hint, especially on the finish.

Mouth is slightly tingly and moderate to high carbonation, especially for the style.

All of the 3 scores are intended; this is a deeply average beer. Little is technically wrong with it, it's just not impressive or interesting.

Overall, a decent beer, and certainly one of SA's better beers (though not better than Triple Bock, Double Bock, or any of the super specialty offerings like Millennium or Utopias.) It definitely beats the hell out of standard Sam offerings like Boston Lager; however, it's far from overwhelming. Like I said: average.

Photo of themilkman01
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Disclaimer: this review is by a beer-newbie, for beer-newbies. Being as such, this review may not appeal to those beer veterans.)

Sam Adams Scotch Ale is a beer that attempts to be a blend between beer and Scotch, and while I'm not sure if it's that attempt is very successful; but it does create a different, however very good beer.

The appearance of this beer was good ... it poured out and had about a 1.5 to 2 inch head ... with a deep amber color.

The smell of this beer was good ... it didn't have an overwhelming beer smell, however when you did smell it, there were some beer smells, plus the roast smell too. Hard to explain, but very pleasant.

The taste of this beer was very average; the roasty taste doesn't appeal to me, but there are other flavors to experience, too. Unfortunately, the roast flavor overpowers the other flavors in the aftertaste, so while you are drinking this beer it may taste good, but you will have a roasty flavor in the aftertaste. Fortunately, it's not a strong aftertaste ....

The mouthfeel was good, but there is a slight heavy carbonation feeling to this beer, which I do not like. On the other side, this is a very smooth beer that you can really drink on, it won't hurt your mouth with carbonation, but it won't feel flat, either.

I gave this beer a pretty high drinkability because of the smoothness of the beer. This is definately not my fav beer thus far, but it is, by far, the smoothest beer I've drank to date. Disregarding the taste and just drinking this beer down was definately the way to drink it in my opinion.

This is a beer that I will drink again, and may order it. Definately on of my favs ... even with the roasty taste.

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

Sampled from a variety 12-pack (which by the way, is quite enjoyable!). A little dry on the tongue, most likely from the "triple malt". No don't get me worng, I love the malty aspect of beers, but this ends up being a little too much. Lots of smoke and bark root. I think what's missing is the heavy ABV that I accustomed too witht this style. Witht the low ABV, it ends up being quite drinkable. This is a beer you give to your cousin-in-law that doesn't drink craft beer regulary. Not a bad offering, certinaly won't be purchasing a 12-pack of it though/

Photo of kkosmoski
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Longneck into a standard pint. Produced a 1/2 inch light tan head and was deep red in color. Took a while for the head to fade, and it did leave some lacing. Aroma was dominated by malt with some caramel sweetness and a scotch or whisky-like smell. Taste was very malty and caramelly-sweet up front with some light roast. This was balanced by a nice, earthy hop presence, and finished peaty with a whisky feel. A medium-bodied brew with moderate carbonation and a slight alcohol warming. This malt-bolstered brew is heavy and complex, and it is probably better in smaller amounts or as the end of a session. One is enough for me.

Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 ounce bottle from the brewmaster's 12 pack. Freshness date says the beer is fresh until the end of July 2007.

A: A very nice dark brown color w/a good amount of head. Good amount of lacing on the glass as the beer was being consumed.

S: Nose is mostly choclate and smokey malts.

T: Starts off w/a medium sweet taste and then fades to a choclate/smoke flavor. The smoke flavor is present throughout the middle of the sip until the end a leaves a nice aftertaste. As w/most of the BBC's beers, the balance is almost dead on.

M: While this is the first of the style I have tried, this one is not watery nor is it too heavy. Seems to accompany the style well.

D: This is not a brew to sit down and drink several at a time, as there are several malt flavors to analyze. Because of the variety of malt flavors present, this is probably one of the best brews to analyze, as its complexity is awesome. It might be argued there are too many malt flavors going around, but when this beer is served at the right temperature, they taste damn good.

Photo of beeragent
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, with a freshness date of Sept. 2007. Poured into a pint glass. the beer poured a deep amber, forming a 1/2 inch fluffy head, leaving thick lacing on the glass. The aroma is very weak, being mostly of the malts. The taste is of malt, with a little caramel sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium. An interesting brew from Sam Adams. Not something that I could drink several of in one sitting, but definitely one worth experiencing.

Photo of slyke
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Scotch Ale pours dark red-brown with a nice, rocky slightly off-white head. The aroma is a bit smoky with malt sweetness and a little alcohol. Taste is dominated by the maltiness. The smoke is still there. Mouthfeel is good, somewhat full, some creaminess. Drinkability is good as well. This beer is a treat after a long, cold day. I could easily polish off the two that were part of the Samuel Adams mixed 12 pack, but I don't think I will. I'll try another and save the other Scotch Ale for another time. I will seek this beer out again. Recommended.

Photo of neenerzig
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler pint glass. I picked up a Sam Adams mix 12 pack, which I believe this beer is exclusive to. It pours s a clear, medium amber brown color with deep red highlights. The head was about 1/3 of an inch thick upon pouring and settled do a decent film layer about 5 minutes after being poured. Left some pretty good lacing as well. Aromas of strongly roasted malt, brown sugar, maple syrup, etc. were all present. It has a sweet taste of roasted malt with nice hints of caramel, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Mouthfeel is of a good, medium body that is also crisp and creamy with low to moderate carbonation. very drinkable. A very good beer. One of the best from Sam Adams that I have ever had.


Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from the new SA Brewmaster's 12-pack. Dark brown body with ruby red-highlights and about a half an inch of light tan head. Smells malty, smokey and peaty. Tastes sweet and roasty, malty, rich, with hints of peatyness and butter, as well as a few other things I can't quite put my finger on. Surprisingly complex for a Scotch ale. Does not clobber you with malty sweetness and peatyness like many Scotch Ales do. It's fairly well-balanced and rich. Creamy mouthfeel which is enhanced by the carbonation in this beer. A really well-crafted beer. I'm impressed.

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

Wow, another solid Sammy! *except for that lousy lager*. This would be a nice brew to get a hold of – but I guess it’s just part of the winter 12 pack.

Amber oak pour, sheet laces dripping down off the tan head. I’m taken back by the subtle pops of smoke in the aroma and taste – I luv smoke but it’s a different taste for most folk. Medium bodied, sharp and lingering malt finish. Only kicker – on the wimpy side with only a 5ish alcohol backbone.

For me, superb scotch ale. Just luv it, would luv this in a sixer, but que sera, sera.

Photo of SilentSabre
2.36/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a decent ale, but a poor representation of the style, I felt. Colour was a brick red colour with a thin, khaki coloured head. Loads of CO2 and fair head retention. Average at best. Smell was a bit weak. "Malt" is about all I get from this. Taste, too, leaves alot to be desired. There is a grain / malt presence, and a touch of bitterness, but as far as any really noticeable flavour profiles, they simply aren't there. Not impressed. Mouthfeel is fair and the overall drinkability or "functionality" of this ale is decent. It is not a bad beer. In fact, I would likely drink this again. Especially with food. I simply think this is a very poor attempt at brewing a Wee Heavy.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.77/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy shit. The best SA brewmaster's beer I've ever had. I am sad I have to buy a whole mix pack just to get two of them. But oh well. This beer has a great head an retention. The smell leaped up to me as I poured. The taste is a balance of caramel and chocolate malts, sort of a licoriciness. It clings incredibly well and was the easiest to drink scotch ale I've had to date. The best SA beer that I've ever had.

Photo of Shovelbum
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dense tan one finger head over a clear mahogany body. Great lace top to bottom. Mild Aromas of caramel and malt and a hint of peat. Flavor is dominated by malt complexity. The caramel and roasted barley characters are the most prominent with a subtle peat flavor in the background. Hop bitterness is mild throughout. Not overly sweet, and the body is fairly lean for the style. Finish is drying.

The peat character is noticeable, but not overpowering, and gives this ale a distinctive taste even among ‘Scottish’ ales. It is not as smoky as I expected, just peaty. The emphasis is on malt complexity rather than sweetness, which is still fairly substantial. An intriguing Scottish ale.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the sampler pack. Pours a light mahogany color, with a thick off white creamy head. Very good head retention and lace. Nice malty, robust and slightly smoky aroma. Caramel flavors combine with a hint of nuttiness. Not as robust as I would have liked. Medium body, with slightly lower carbonation. Pretty good.

Photo of mnj21655
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep garnet color with a nice frothy tan head that disappears alomst completely after a minute or so. Smells of of peat smoked malts with woody scents mixed in. Tastes great. Peat smoked malts dominate here but some dark fruit flavors are also present here. Good mouthfeel, maybe a bit thin in terms of body but has the right amount of carbonation to make for a creamy and delicious brew. Great drinkability, at only 5.4% abv and with the somewhat lighter body this is a good brew that I’d call sessionable.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large tulip glass.A deep amber color almost chestnut,a bit cloudy could barely see light through it.
The head was very thick and creamy with very tiny bubbles stringing to the top, the foam was clumping and clinging to the sides of the glass.
The aroma was smokey,woody, sweet,caramelly,piney,chocolaty.There was also the smell of the smoked peat malts as mentioned on the top of the label.
The taste was sweet, malty,caramelly,piney, woody,smokey,chocolatly,a nice complex taste,with the malt tastes blending together very nice.
The mouthfeel was thick,a bit chewey,with a semi-sweet,sharp,dry and clean finish.
A very tastey beer, makes the mouth water,could drink this untill I could drink no more.Very enjoyable.

Photo of techdiver
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear deep amber with a modest head that dissipates quickly. Caramel malty aroma that is pleasant to the nose. Smooth initial taste leads to a somewhat astringent finish. My first Scotch Ale and to me, not one of the better Samuel Adams offerings, to my taste.

Photo of TheBierBand
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yeah!... now this is what I'm talking about!.... A nice malty Scotch ale!

Poured 12oz bottle into a 16 oz pint glass.

The thick robust head lasted for a long time.... until I drank it! And, as I did, it left a nice pronounced lacing to the bottom of the glass.

The color was a nice amber (on the darker side) with some reddish overtones.

The first sniff told me I was in for a treat... strong malty scent with come woody smells mixed in for good measure.

And the taste.... well, let me tell you the hoppiness is perfect for this robust beer. Not overpowering at all. The Creamy malt flavor is what dominates.

This one has a good aftertaste that will remind you of what you're drinking.... stand up, open yer mouth and enjoy this fine brew from one of our founding fathers...

Photo of Phatz
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite styles and one of my favorite offering from BBC.

Appearance: Served a deep red amber color, with a froth tan cap. no head left when I received my glass.

Smell: mmm! Sweet caramel syrup, big malty aromas, hint of chocolate and smokiness and maybe some wood; it is all I love about the style. Terrific.

Taste: Lots of brown sugar and caramel and malts and raisins, dark fruits and sticky sweet flavors and wood, and peat. A bit of yeast and a hint of alcohol show through the body. Nice!

Mouthfeel: A bit thin for a Wee Heavy but still creamy and acceptable in general.

Drinkabilty: It is all the flavors I love in a Scotch Ale in a lighter body that makes it even more drinkable. I must say, Well done BBC!

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of EPICAC
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I fished this out of the cooler at Friday Beer Hour at work and took it home. I served this at around 45º F in one of my Duvel Tulip glasses.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish-brown with a fluffy, beige head that thins to a persistent film leaving heavy lace on the glass.

Smell: Caramel malts, dark fruit and a nice smoky aroma.

Taste: Sweet caramel malts, tart fruitiness and a subdued smokiness, with low hop bitterness. The smoke does a nice job of providing an interesting balance to the malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with subdued carbonation.

Drinkability: Tasty and very drinkable. It doesn't hurt that the beer is only 5.4% abv.

Overall: A very tasty Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy. I really liked the smokiness.

Photo of
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle. My first scotch ale.

Clear mahogany/copper color. Medium light tan head, which faded fast.

Aroma is primarily malt. Vinous, caramel/toffee, and raisins. Slightly earthy (peat?). No hops present.

First impression of flavor is sweet, again caramel and fruits. Fades into the hops which balance nicely and are most noticeable in finish. Earthiness and maybe a little smoke also present in finish.

Body is medium, with light to medium carbonation. Slightly drying.

Overall, quite good and very drinkable. Looking forward to the other varieties I have in the "on deck" circle.

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