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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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 974 | Reviews: 609
Photo of vtfan77
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of assmasterson
4/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of TechMyst
2.8/5  rDev -25.1%
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.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.92/5  rDev +31.6%
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).

Photo of tastybeer
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of kbnooshay
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of wedge
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
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...

Photo of bodybyadam
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
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,

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
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

Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium purplish brown color with a thick, off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: Vanilla malty aroma and a little bit of smokiness in the background.

T: The smokiness is much stronger in the taste, which overall is malty but bitter, with flavors of vanilla & caramel.

M: Very smooth, with a medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, dry finish and leaves some stickiness behind.

D: Tasty and goes down easy, although it’s just a little bit filling, it’s a beer I could stay with for a while.

I haven’t had any other beers of this style, but I certainly wasn’t expecting the smoky flavor. However, the more I drink it, the better it enhances the overall drinking experience. I suppose if I smoked, this would be really good beer to have with a cigar.

Photo of GDMFSOB
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For year's this has been my favorite Sam Adams offering. While it still is, I would say it only is because Sam's quality has declined across the board. I bought the twelve pack that it comes in a couple of months ago for the sole purpose of getting two scotch ales. They were not anything like the ales I fell in love with years ago. Thinking I might have got a bad batch I've bought two more of these very mediocre twelve packs within the past two weeks. I don't think I've just bought three bad batches. This beer lacks the zing it once had. The qualities that I once admired, the delicate balance of smoke and malty sweetness, have either been carelessly overdone or removed from the formula. In there place is an unimpressive tanginess and a confused jumble of flavors. Obviously Sam Adams is going for quantity over quality. I just wish they'd give this new ale a new name because it is not the Sam Adams Scotch Ale that I had grown so fond of. An average offering at best, which is sad because it is just about the best ale that Sam Adams is offering these days.

Photo of Zorro
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed through the miracle of BIF 43 NC Lotto and BA hoppedup and a little help from FedEx.

This beer pours a clear brown colored ale with a good tan colored head. Unfortunately the head doesn't stick around.

Smell is sweet and malty with a strong scent of vanilla. Faintly smoky this is more peat like in scent with its earthiness. Lots of sugar aroma here, mostly the scent of toffee candy.

Taste is fairly sweet and very malty in the first taste. Quite a lot of bitterness here for the style really more of a level that you would expect in an Altbier which this tastes much like. Smoke flavor confines itself to the taste of a peat fire, earthly and ever so slightly muddy and with a faint taste of tar. Toffee and vanilla show up in the flavor and pretty much define the flavor of the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good and creamy.

How shall I assign drinkability to this? The bitterness is too much for the style. As a different very malty beer style this is a truly exceptional Altbier that is among the best. As just beer, this is a good one with an assertive bitter snap. I will just say that this is a good beer.

Photo of palffyfan
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Dark brown, forms little head but appears to have a good deal of carbonation, looks gorgeous (I would give it a 5 if it formed a better head).

Smell - Some burnt notes with a hint of sweetness. Slightly weak for my nose.

Taste - Below average bitterness, maltiness, which is the predominant taste. Bitter aftertaste hurts the grade slightly, but a very solid brew.

Drinkability - Good in small quantities. I would get tired of this beer because of its bitterness, but it has a very solid taste and considering the price, I don't think anyone would regret getting this brew.

Photo of rtratzlaff
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: White head the disspates quickly above a hazy copper body.

S: Not a whole lot in the nose. Slight smokiness makes its way to the nose along with roasted malt

T: caramel malt with some smokiness to it

M: decent moutfeel I believe a bit lighter than most scottish ales

D: For a scottish ale a decent drinkability

This is probably the my least favorite scottish ale I've tried, but still enjoyable.

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

Pours burgandy with generous carbonation and a thick creamy head that leaves a nice sheet of lacing as it dissipates.

Smell is toasted malt and a nice smokey quality. Hints of chocolate.

Taste is earthy chocolate malt, a little sweet and strong chrred smokey notes. Interesting nutty and herbal spice flavors. Surprisingly complex.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

This is a surprisingly good Scotch Ale. Flavors are balanced and complex. I didn't expect anything like this from Sam Adams.

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

The beer was served into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer has a deep almost scarlet red coloration. The head was two fingers high with major retention. Thick lacing creeped down my glass.

Smell: The beer has a caramel almost butterscotch smell with a brief pine cone explosion.

Taste: The beer has a nice caramel maltyness. The beer has a pleasant smokyness combining with a bit of piney hops.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is just shy of medium bodied. The carbonation helps bring the taste forth. The beer has a nice smoky balance of sweet and bitter. This is a pretty good beer drink. Overall I wouldnt hesitate to have this one again.

Photo of bashiba
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark shade of clear amber with a thick creamy head which had great lacing.

Smell is full of toasted bread and malt odor.

Taste has a strong bready maltyness with a very robust smoky and peaty flavor. The beer finishes with a nice bit of earthy hops rounding out this beer very well.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full with a very dry finish.

A great beer from the Boston Beer Company, its to bad it can't be purchased on its own anymore.

Photo of DogFood11
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured aggressively it forms a nice off white head that leaves sporadic lacing. Even body, copper, medium carbonation.

Rather large malt profile in the nose, this translates to the taste. This is a nice offering, lots of back and forth play with the flavors and mouthfeel. Some toasted bread is in the background throughout, but its the play between the spiciness in the hops, welded together with a deep molasses taste and mouthfeel. Carbonation is plenty sharp and this beer needed it. The cleanser at the end is not there at all, lingering malts w/ a touch of bakers chocolate stick around for a while.

Notes: This would be #2 on my list of sam adams regular type offerings. Solid and although it won't be a regular in my stable of brews at home, if I see it out and about I'll partake for sure. Nice.

Photo of RedChrome
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The pour offered a very nicely colored dark copper color with a nice red tone. Very little white head that vanished quickly. Plenty of tiny carbonation bubble, which were hidden by the deep color of this beer.

A very nice aroma of malt that was ruined at the edges by a hint of too much alcohol. A small bite of toffee on the edges of the nose, but not enough to overpower the alcohol.

First taste provided a flavor of almost complete malt. The notes of tofe from aroma were there but were too weak against the other flavors. The alcohol noted on smell also mad an apperance in the taste and was slightly too strong for a balance with the rest of the flavors.

Had a very nice feel that was quite solid in the mouth. The carbonation was very nice. There wasn't the slight alcohol burn I expected from a beer with as much alcohol in the taste.

If you are looking for a stronger beer with a nice feel, this is a winner. Not an everyday brew, but for a scotch ale, a decent offering.

Photo of jhammerly
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very dark amber, almost brown, body with a thick frothy head.Head retains itself for a lengthy amount of time. A sweet, smoky aroma. Malty sweetness mixed with a slight smokiness in the taste as well. Medium-bodied and pretty easy to drink. Not my style, but all right every now and again.

Photo of MistaC
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich, deep amber appearance. Thick, smooth head.

Smoky, roasted malt texture, but not so much as to acquire a burnt flavor.

Strong, bold taste of hops.

Smooth feel for an ale with a medium body.

Quite drinkable; it is a strong beer, but not overly strong, with a very palatably smooth draft.

Photo of lpayette
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- A clear, yet dark cherry wood color with a big frothy head. As far as Scotch Ales go, this is tops for me in appearance.

Smells- scottish whiskey, peat/earthy tones, medium darkness malts, and potent alcohol.

Taste and Mouthfeel- See smells above, then add delicious and apple. This is so smooth on the palate and easy to drink. Finishes with a bit of a malty alcohol taste.

Closing Notes- This is a fine example of what Sam Adams does best - they make very drinkable and approachable beers in a particular category. This is one of their best.

Photo of nicksta
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The appearance is red/brown solid with a big fluffy head. The slow head retention is nice and slow. Plenty of time to enjoy the picture. If you drink it down a little you can see the mass amounts of lace on your glass.

S: It is very big and malty. With some adjunct sweetness and alcohol highlights.

T: It is very malty and hoppy with many other things going on. At the first taste I can taste some burnt sugar and caramel. The malts are also very roasted. While this is all going on there is a very bitter hoppy background complimenting the malts. This is very complex and good.

M: The mouthfeel is thick, almost syrupy and it leaves nothing on the tounge.

D: The taste is very complex and does have quite a bite, but it still makes for a good session beer.

This is just an all around great (session) beer.

Photo of doppelmeup
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bottle into a tulip glass to accompany some leftover grilled lamb.

About a half-inch head that disspated fairly quickly, but did leave some residual lacing throughout the glass. Dark brown-amber color, allowing just some minor light to shine through.

Slightly peaty, malty aromas. My sense of smell is slightly subdued by pollen this time of year, so I didn't smell any strong aromas.

Fairly mellow taste. Some mild smokiness, but not overpowering like a Dry Stout might be. Malty, slightly sweet. Not much of a hop presence. Reminded me of a little brother to an Orkney Skullsplitter. Similar flavors, but just not as strong.

Low carbonation, not too syrupy.

Overall an easy to drink Scotch Ale. Probably a good introduction to the style for someone whose never had one before.

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