1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
85
very good

964 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 964
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Scotch Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 964 | Reviews: 609 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of slyke
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

slyke, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of neenerzig
4.33/5  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.

Eric

neenerzig, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

MrHurmateeowish, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of Vancer
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Vancer, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of SilentSabre
2.35/5  rDev -37.3%
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.

SilentSabre, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%
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.

jasonjlewis, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of Shovelbum
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Shovelbum, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of Bierguy5
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Bierguy5, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of mnj21655
4.08/5  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.

mnj21655, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

jcdiflorio, Oct 18, 2006
Photo of techdiver
3.13/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

techdiver, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of TheBierBand
4.2/5  rDev +12%
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...

TheBierBand, Oct 12, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.38/5  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.
Cheers!

Phatz, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of EPICAC
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

EPICAC, Oct 07, 2006
Photo of
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

, Oct 03, 2006
Photo of vtfan77
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First bottle out of a Sam Adam's mix pack:

A- Nice copper red with maybe an inch of off-white head. Head doesn't stick around long and leaves just a touch of lacing on the sides.

S- Chocolatey, toasty malts with a bit of smokiness.

T- Sweet maltiness all the way with hints of smoke and roasted malts. Fairly mild flavor, but nice and smooth. A touch of bitterness is detectable in the end, but there is no discernible hop flavor. Leaves a pleasant aftertaste.

M- Fairly thick and syrupy, quite nice.

D- Good drinkability, especially considering the abv is quite low for the style.

I don't have much experience with scotch ales, but I found this one to be very nice. Fairly mild in flavor but a good drinking beer. Recommended.

vtfan77, Sep 18, 2006
Photo of assmasterson
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a deep ruby color and clings to the side of the glass and won't let go. The only dissapointment was the head, which barely made it finger high and didn't stay around long.

S - A rich, deep smell of light sugars fills it's aroma with a slight touch of malt. A near perfect blend.

T - A fairly complex brew; starts out with a faint caramel taste that turns into a roasted nut flavor with a slightly bitter end. When the beer gets warmer, a stronger unsweetened chocolate flavor arrives - not exactly for the better. Little aftertaste when cold, big bitter aftertaste when warmer. Not bad when it's cold, but turns unpleasant afterwards.

M - Much denser than it feels. Slides down smoothly and lightly, but strangely, the denseness doesn't arrive until afterwards with the lingering aromas.

D - I really, really wanted to love this brew, but the aftertaste was just too strong. Otherwise, it has all of the other elements nailed.

EDIT: Apparently, my tastes have broadened since I reviewed this brew. Either that or I just didn't know what to expect with an ale. This one has a nice smoky flavor of burnt malts and unsweetened chocolate. The aftertaste is not nearly as strong as I remember.

I hereby raise the taste rating 1.5 points.

assmasterson, Sep 12, 2006
Photo of TechMyst
2.78/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355ml bottle. Not bad, Malty with a little bit of sweets...my tastes must not be able to detect the deepness BBC is trying to produce. I think they have decent other beers. Has a higher alcohol content than I would have imagined. I think they may be spreading themselves too thin with all these spceialty beers.

TechMyst, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of pmcadamis
4.93/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cool tartan "kilt" pattern bottle with our friend Sam Adams hoisting a pint. I can hear the bagpipes callin' me home.... I couldn't pass up a mixed 12 pack of Samuel's finest at the grocery store, and it (a "brewer's choice" mixer) contained two of these scotch ales.

Pours dark rootbeer brown (actually very deep purple when held to the light). Three finger thick creamy head that has about the thickest lacing I've ever seen stuck to the side of the pint glass. Although it shrinks considerably, the head stays around 1/2 finger for the duration...excellent.

The smell wafting off this one is AWESOME. Big powerful malty chocolate milk shake scent is making me hungry. Caramel and diacetyl hints. Maybe some dark plum notes somewhere in there too. Damn that smells GOOD!

Wow. Smokey charred malt hits the palate first. Then come chocolate, earthy flavors, and whiskey (peat?). Dark raisin, rum, caramel, and ripe plum flavors come forward before a tangy wash of bitter hops (along with a hint of alcohol) finish it off. There is a slightly meaty or salty roasted aftertaste that is an excellent contrast to the initial charred smoke and earth notes.

This has alot of characteristics in common with big ass porters and stouts, but is somehow more drinkable, maybe due to the lighter body and slightly less powerful flavors. I've got so say that this is one of my favorite beers so far. Deep, robust, complex, well balanced....what's not to like? I can wait to drink the other one! (this wonderful brew alone makes buying the whole mixed 12-er worth every penny).

pmcadamis, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of tastybeer
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany with a yummy tan head. Smells frothy. Full of creamy malts, carmel, toffee, a little roasty and toasty with maybe a touch of diacetyl, some peat moss, and some smokey chocolate. Quite a nice aroma if I do say so myself. Taste has a lot of the above with a nice bittering in the finish. Malty, smokey, with chocolate, mildly toasted, very slightly burnt, balanced by herbal and floral hops. Dryness from the middle to the end with woody peat and a soft sweetness. Some secret dark fruits peak through the malt on occasion. Medium body could use a little more punch. Mouth is smooth and dry, perhaps a little chalky. Carbonation is good. Very drinkable as a weee heavy.

A good one from SA and I'd like to be able to get this in a six...not just the mix pack.

tastybeer, Aug 05, 2006
Photo of kbnooshay
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This review is from notes(at our 3rd of july celebration at the lake).

a-This poured a nice dark ruby color with brown highlights. The foamy head was off-white and quite uneven. Awesome lacing.

s-The smell was very malty that consisted of caramel more than anything. Scotch was lightly detectable.

t-This was hoppier than I expected(or wanted). It had a dirty taste, and I would have at least expected a higher abv to justify the taste. The caramel and light scotch flavor was not bad though.

mf/d-The mouthfeel wasn't bad but it was incredibly drying on the tounge and also slightly watery. This wasn't the most drinkable brew either. I would only have 1 or 2. Not the tastiest scotch ale I have had but I guess it doesn't matter since you only get 2 in their newest samplr pack. A decent scotch ale.

kbnooshay, Jul 09, 2006
Photo of wedge
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An awesome rocky head of foam sits atop a beautiful burgandy color...patches of lacing are immediately present. Smells rich and malty; sweet, almost buttery caramel and smokey peat. Malt dominates the flavor, as it should, more toasted than the aroma, smoky, nutty, briefly sweet, and a faint dry earthy hoppiness follows adding a low bitterness. Shadowy plum and cherry esters add some depth to the flavor. Mouthfeel is smooth and well-rounded.

Not as strong as most scotch ales but man, there's some tasty maltiness going on here. I really like the peaty overtones too. Why can't we get this in 6-packs? Its a damn shame...

wedge, Jul 04, 2006
Photo of bodybyadam
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I always enjoy the Sam Adams bottles for their ever popular "Patriot" in his own variation to the scheme of the beer.

A: This pours into my goblet a dark red-brownish color with little to no head.

S: The nose of a mild to moderate smoked malt aroma.

T: A wonderful roasted hop and smoky flavor that would go great with a BBQ or Salmon dish, enjoy the malt character.

M: Smooth

D: Very Drinkable, another terrific creation.

Elbows Up,
Adam

bodybyadam, Jul 02, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - this wee heavy a dark mahogany color, and wells up a half finger of beige head, very light carbonation

S - a dark molasses sweet aroma emanates from this beer, very inviting, kind of mixed with a vanilla hint

T - a nice balanced flavor, sweet molasses/caramel quality mixed with bitter hoppiness, with a great roasted malt finish, very good, one of the best Sam Adams offerings I've ever had

M - balanced and well bodied, very impressive

D - high, very nice, a great beer, easy to throw back in quantities

sinstaineddemon, Jun 27, 2006
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep rich amber with pretty weel sustained off white head leaving seperate sheets of lace behind as it it eally never sttled completely.Big malt driven aromas brown sugar and dried fruit aromas dominate dried cherries really show thru along with the before mentioned brown sugar.Alot like the aromas the flavors start out with a big brown sugar character melding into a pruney,raisin flavor finish somewhat dry but not earthy just an ubrupt finish to the sweetness.I think a very well made Scottish style ale deeply malty and packed with flavor,give Boston Beer company credit for this one there are many out there that dont come close to this one.

oberon, Jun 26, 2006
Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 964 ratings.