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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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

Pours a beautiful dark red amber with a nice two-finger head. Smell is sweet and fruity malt. Tastes is sweet malt with a little smokiness- very interesting and good. There's a little bit of hops in the finish- but not much. Also leaves a slight smokey flavor in the mouth. This beer is medium-bodied and easy to drink.

Photo of abcsofbeer
4.19/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle with Feb 06 freshness date. This one comes out with a rosy brown color that is very clear and slightly carbonated. The head poured is only about half an inch even with a hearty pour. The head dissipates quickly leaving only spotty lace.

The aroma is mostly malt and toffee smells. The aroma is nice and distinguished in that it stands out after several sips. The taste is nicely malted with a caramel and toffee chewiness. There is also a nice balance of hoppiness in the aftertaste. This is one of the best I have tasted from Sam.

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red amber, semi-clear. An off-white two finger head holds a foamy cap to the end and produces some patchy lacing. Smell is faint burnt malt and sweet esters. A burnt malt flavor washes over the palate followed immediatly by an pungent bitterness. I'd guess the rich flavor is due to the "rare peat smoked malt used in scotch whiskies" and addional malts. Hop presence is low and incidental, just enough to dry aftertaste. Full bodied and strong, but finishes clean.

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

Pours a beautiful, clear ruby red with a slight brownish tint. A one finger tan colored head of tight foam forms on top. Head drops to islands and a ring, but lacing is observed all the way down. Boston Beer Co. beers all have this. It's amazing.

Really nice fruity caramel aroma, maybe a little chocolate, no real roasted barley smell coming through. Maybe a little smoke going on? Smells increase as this warms.

The smoky malt makes this a very interesting beer. A full, round, caramely sweetness is on top of that. Hop bitterness is there, trying to balance the malt sweetness, but in this style the malt always wins. I wouldn't mind a little more alcohol presence is this, but this is tasty. Kind of scrumptious. Aftertaste is smoky caramel. Damn nice! More alcohol!

Mouthfeel is really smooth and creamy, with soft carbonation across the tongue. Finish is slightly astringent from smoked malt, but pleasant.

As a Scotch Ale, this is real drinkable. Lower alcohol, a nice smoke presence, and caramel sweetness make this an interesting diversion for any day. Or all day, as the case may be! I would like to see more alcohol in this, but this is damn good.

Photo of cracgor
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark caramel color. Tan rocky head. Leaves lace. Good retention.

Smell: Sort of a grassy plastic nose. Notes of caramel and smoke as well.

Taste: A somewhat meaty quality...but not like rauchbier. Its got some saltiness. It does taste a little like scotch but much much more like beer with the non-peat moss smoked malts standing out.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied

Drinkabilit: it is a deep and complex beer I could definitely enjoy.

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the brewmasters mixed 12 pack: poured from the 12oz. brown bottle into a pint glass forming a healthy 2 finger beige head that sunk down to about a half-finger and stayed for the length of the sample. The beer itself is a ruby colored light brown. Some nice lacing down the sides of the glass during the sample.

Smell is a hoppy and nutty fresh scent to it. Perhaps some slight butter-scotch and a little pine tar as well.

Taste has a bit of a a bitter hop blast hit you right away upfront. This then yeilds to a malty and balanced aftertaste. A slight thick caramel and toffee-ish finish as well.

Moderate mouthfeel, gets a little heavy as the sample goes on. Slight carbonation, in check with the style.

Very enjoyable and very drinkable. I wish this was available in more than the mix pack.

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

poured from 12 oz. bottle from brewmaster's collection mix pack
deep ruby color with a creamy head that shrunk to a thin patch; nice lacing. smelled fruity and floral with a candy or soapy overtone. dry malty taste with a slight sweet finish and small bite. metallic and prune or liquorice qualities in the flavor as well. could only find the faintest smoke or peatiness which was disappointed. medium body with almost no apparent carbonation - very smooth. not bad, but not my thing i guess. as a scotch fan i was hoping for more smoked peat.

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

Attractive reddish-brown with a medium height creamy head.
The caramel , malty nose sits well with me.

You get quality malt here, with woody notes in the back. Apparently some of the interest is peat smoked malts- very nice.

A light hope finsih rounds it out.
This is a pleasant session beer or night cap.

Got this from their 12pk Collection- seems to be a good marketing device for them.Certainly gets you to ttry the full line.

Photo of Fish113d
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pouring into an English Ale glass at about 50 degrees (F), it pours a chestnut color with hints of strong red/ruby tints throughout more than just brown coloring. It leaves a dignified, creamy, tannish-colored head that clings pretty "tough" to the glass; actually it apprears a little milky and smooth. Decent looking brew!

Aroma is of caramel malts with a bit of plums and hops that burst through my sinuses. Nothing really exciting, but pleasant to the nose. Maybe even a little rasberry comes through on the nose.

Taking a sip, it reveals a rather sweet caramel maltiness, accompanied by a big bite of floral hops that helps to balance out the sweetness. A bit of coffee or cocoa is also found on my palete. A bitter hops finish helps round this one off a bit. Nicely done really.

A good amount of carbonation stings my tongue, while the body of the beer is on the lighter side, but ends up being a bit creamy and smooth underneath the carbonation. Alcohol is nil on the tongue. The carbonation "kills" this brew a little IMO.

Overall, a nice scotch ale, while being mass-produced. I'd recommend this to anyone who wanted to be able to drink a nice Scotch Ale by the sixer.

Photo of clemtig76
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle notched best by October 2005. When I heard Sam Adams was bringing this beer back, I was overjoyed. I fondly remembered the complex, smokey flavor of the old brew. Finally found some in a brewaster 12 pack at Green's in Columbia, SC. Alas, I was a little disapointed. Poured a deep rich ruby red with an off white head. Smell of dark chocolate and caramel malts with just a hint of the peat smoked malt that I remember. Maybe my taste buds have matured or they have changed the recipe, but I did not sense as much of the peat smoked malt as before. A very satifying brew, just not as good as I remember.

Photo of packetknife
2.98/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A remarkably average scotch ale for what I was expecting. The pour was a bit darker than I've had in other scotch ales and the head but a bit denser but that's about it. Light malty and 'dry' smell. Perhaps unbleached paper. Not really malty or sweet, not enough lowland scotch sensation either. Not bad but nothing remarkable about the taste. Perhaps a bit undercarbonated, readily drinkable.

Photo of budgood1
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours out a clear, deep ruby colour, with an off white head that sticks slightly as lace. sweet malty and slightly smoky aroma. lots of peat smoked malt in the flavour; quite tasty. a bit of alcohol spice adds a touch of character. the overall profile is sweet and malty but a dryness in the finish balances this brew out. the body comes off as lacking, mainly because i prefer a big body with a flavourful brew. the mouthfeel is a bit prickly. ends with some warmth and satisfaction. i'm sure i'd like this more in december rather than early june. i would buy this if offered in six packs and available in the fall and winter. a nice ale.

Photo of AltBock
2.91/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle in the brewmaster's variety pack.
Appearance: It pours a wonderful dark amber with an inch of foam that left some lacing in the glass.
Smell: The only thing I could smell was a strong roasted malt smell. At times it smelled like vegetables.
Taste: A strong smoky, bitter, dry roasted malt flavor.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and carbonated. The bitter aftertaste was a bit too much for me.
Drinkability: I couldn't see drinking more than one of these in a sitting. It was nice to see that Sam Adams brewed something that was different from other breweries. Nice to try, but not my favorite.

Photo of TheDeuce
1.86/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Sam Adams Scotch Ale....from the Brewmaster's Variety Pack

Appearance-pours a dark brown, decent head and good clarity, looks appetizing.

Smell-smoky, with a linger of chocolate and coffee malt, hops seem rather supressed.

Taste-Ugh, it's that simple. Whose idea was it to mix smoky whisky flavor with chocolate?!! Awful, hard to choke down, and I considered dumping it but I did manage to finish it.

Mouthfeel-Again awful, you want to get it down as fast as possible, the smoky chocolate flavors are unbearable.

Drinkability-I couldn't drink this, but if you can go for it, not that alcoholic so I will give it a 2.

Overall-While I suppose I can respect the labor of love that went into this brew and that I am a defender of Boston Beer this is one of the most disappointing beers I've had. The mix of flavors isn't sucessful and don't go together at all, chunky mouthfeel as well. I'm not a fan.

Photo of necoadam
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a light brick ruby color with a nice 1/2 inch head. Smell was all malts for the most part. Some caramel makes an appearence with some smoky peat lingering in the background. I would of liked to see some more smokiness, but this will do. Taste was decent. Sweetened malts start out and gives away to a caramel, smoky peat flavor. Some hpos do show up, but just add to the variety of flavors that are already in here. Mouthfeel was a little weak I thought. It was medium but finished a tad watery with no big aftertaste. Overall it was a good, tasty brew.

Photo of RealityDeviant
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle from the Kroger’s near VCU. It was obtained from a Samuel Adams Brewmaster’s Collection twelve pack.

Appearance: The coloration of this beer is a medium to dark amber. It has an off-white head that lasts for a brief period after the initial pour. Afterwards, it retains a noticeable ring and a slight head.

Smell: The smell is somewhat subdued, with buttery, smoky, and syrupy notes being dominant. It seems that the smell is one of the least noteworthy features of this brew, however, as it does not particularly stand out.

Taste: Upon first sip, an overpowering smoky and malty flavor assaults my taste buds. I can detect notes of sugary sweetness along with burnt caramel and chocolate. The hoppy flavor of this beer is minimal, offering a little bit of balance to what is primarily malty. As is characteristic of many scotch ales, the smoky flavor contributes to the overall complexity of the beer.

Mouthfeel: The smokiness and slightly dry nature of this brew in addition the medium carbonation and body definitely make this more of a sipping beer. Of course, it does go down smoothly in spite of the fact that it should be consumed slowly.

Drinkability: This is an intriguing offering from the Boston Beer Company that is fortunately featured in their Brewmaster’s Collection packs. While I find the smokiness a bit too overwhelming to enjoy this regularly (if I could, that is), this is nonetheless a beer worth tasting.

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

A very smooth pour; a nice deep red brown color, lots of clarity, little head. Smells strongly of butterscotch, sweet maltyness, toffee, and that classic Scotch Ale smokiness is just perfect. Wow, the smokiness is much more pronounced than I thought it might be. That hits you up front, and then fades to the sweeter candy butterscotch tones hinted at in the smell. Nice toffee malts. I'm sure there are hops in this beer, but beyond a slighty bitter bite in the finish, I can barely notice them. Nice slick full mouthfeel. A nice end of the evening beer.

Photo of jimdkc
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Obtained in Sam Adams latest brewer's collection pack. Pours a reddish amber with a rocky off-white head. Nice retention and lacing. Malty/carmel nose. Nice mixture of sweetness and bitter in the taste. The neck band mentioned the presence of peat-smoked malt... and I was looking forward to it, but I'm not really sensing much smokiness. Interesting complexity to the taste. Clean finish and a medium body. Good drinkability. Went nicely with a grilled sirloin for dinner!

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

Well, out of all the sampler pack (SA MIXED pack) I must say i am most impressed with this brew. smooth, refreshing, and a nice shot at the style.

Smells are slightly burnt, but both matly and yeast-like. Nice Bne colored head that laces completely.

Tastes deep, rich, and smooth. The burnt/roasted malt taste is prevelant, mixed with a definate roasted carmel undertones and just hoppy-enough finish.

Pleseant brew, nice taste, and good enough to be made for a 6ers. nice show all around

Photo of Pegasus
2.49/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Ruby red in color with a large and persistent off-white head, scattered patchy lacing with little carbonation. Quite attractive in all.

Aroma: Slight burnt caramel, cooked vegetables, and grainy characteristics.

Taste: Harsh bitter, burnt taste at the opening, medicinal in character, and lingering throughout the taste. Finishes dry with tannin notes and a follow through with medicinal characteristics.

Mouth feel: Thin overall, with a harsh and biting soda-like carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Far off of style for a Scotch Ale, a type which I happen to like very well. Disappointing that such a beer comes from Sam Adams, whom I associate with competent, if not inspired, craft brewing.

Photo of HardTarget
2.11/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Nov notched very faintly. Sampled from the brewers collection pack, thanks to Pegasus for the bottle
Aroma: Ick. DMS? Grainy, hints of peat and malt with a slight note of cinnamon
Appearance: Red amber glass with a white head that collapsed to a thin coat. Single lonely carbonation bubbles rarely raced to the top.
Flavor: Some sort of chemical spill? An artificial harshness that reminds me of stove cleaner. Every beer we tasted out of this sampler had the same kind of flaw, are you shipping your mistakes to Texas? Just bad, far too bitter with a medicinal taste.
Mouthfeel: Acidic pucker, tannins, harsh hop bite in the finish.
Overall Impression: Drain food. Didn’t enjoy this at all, and I like Scotch ales. I think Sam Adams is trying to be all things to all people, which is a bad road. I’m also thinking that somehow the case we got was abused, well, hoping really.

Photo of Citadel82
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought the Sam Adams sampler because I was dying to try this one, along with the Black Lager. It is a superb beer. Balanced, yet distinctly malty enough to really satisify my preference for maltier beers. Poured a dark Copper withg a rocky, thick, creamy tan head that left lots of lace as it receded to form a ringlet of foam on the inside of the thistle-shaped glass. The aroma is distinctly malty with a hint of peat and a faint whiff of hops. Tastes of caramel and smoky peat -sweet and smoky with a lengthy dry finish that fades to bitter hops and primes the palate for another sip. This is a fine brew and embodies all the traits that I was looking for in the Scotch Ale style. Of course I am not staggering down the streets of London with a Brit Artilleyman looking for a Bloody Great Bowl of Beef Bougenone(sp) ... but that is another story.

Have another laddie? Aye.

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

Fairly dense, dark cream colored head leaves some nice. Aroma is nice and malty; kind of biscuity/doughy with a bit of caramel. Transparent, deep mahogany colored beer with a ruby hue. Body isn't too thick, but the mouthfeel is still soft and chewy. Flavor is just sweet enough. Tastes like a bit of caramel and some toasted bready goodness. The finish is slightly bitter and just a tad tangy. A good scotch ale that would probably go over well with a wide variety of beer drinkers.

Photo of beergeek279
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The color is a dark amber with a very nice thick foamy head with a good bit of lacing. The smell is a nice slightly peaty, slightly caramel maltiness. The taste is dominated by the peaty smokiness, with just a bit of the caramel Munich-ish malt and a bit of hops in the flavor as well, with a peaty, slightly bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average. Drinkability-wise, a nice one to have a few of, but maybe a bit too much to have too much of.

Well, honestly I bought a 12-pack of the Brewmasters Collection for the Black Lager, but this was the real gem in the package. I know that Sam Adams presents a fine target for the beer geeks of the world, but I hope I've always given them a fair shake, and this is my reward for doing so. A very nice Wee Heavy with a nice mix of the caramel and smoked malts along with an uncharacteristic hop touch that melds nicely into the beer. In general, I can see why people begged Boston Beer to bring this one back, and I hope that this will be a regular offering for them.

Photo of froggyfrog
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this ale in a glass mug poured from the bottle.

Good-sized frothy head like thick dishsoap bubbles. Moderate to high carbonation. Reddish amber hue. Smells like a mild whiskey. The strongest character of this beer's taste is definitely the smoke flavor imparted to the beer from the peat-smoked malts used in its brewing.

This beer has a fairly long finish with more of the smoke flavor and a definite alcohol taste.

In my opinion not the best example of the scotch ale style, but still enjoyable. If you enjoy good scotch, then you should love this beer.

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