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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

954 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 954
Reviews: 609
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 14.4%
Wants: 40
Gots: 17 | 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: 954 | Reviews: 609 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +9.3%

Appearance: Big ol' deep caramel amber hue with a nice light cream head forming two finger measurement leaves nice evenly dispersed lacing all around me pint. Aroma: Awesome caramel nutty edge with a great smokey peated malt influenced note, hops play in the background but the malts rule this brew. Taste: Relatively strong smoked malts tangle with a caramel toasted nut edge simply excellent Scotch ale mild but well balanced and tasty as all hell. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied textbook for the style slightly sticky with each sip but the carbonation very nice even and smooth. Drinkability: Easily one of the most quaffable Scotch style ales I have had to date and very well the best Boston Beer Co. brew widely distributed in the Brewmaster's Collection.

04-24-2004 04:48:53 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of tommy78

North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -5.3%

Part of the brewmaster's collection, I heard through a buddy of mine that the Scotch Ale would kick my butt as soon as I sip it. Man, was he right! For appearance, Scotch Ale pours out in a deep red colour, with little head. The bottle label uses a tartan design. I didn't smell much of an odor upon opening the bottle. After I poured it into a glass, I detected a smoky odor. The taste was really strong at first. It was very smoky, and I felt it immediately on my tongue. On the label, Jim Koch describes it as a "subtle smoky flavor." There was nothing subtle about it! After a few sips, I began to fully enjoy the drink. If you are not familiar with scotch ale, like myself, then enjoy one and see if you like it. I came around to enjoying this drink. Cheers.

04-21-2004 18:16:21 | More by tommy78
Photo of ColForbin

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +6.7%

Sam Adams Scotch Ale was the first micro I ever drank that was outside of the basic pale ale flavor profile. It was the beer that taught me that beers could taste "different." It pours a deep red/mahogany with a thick tan head that has some staying power. Aroma is one of malt, peat and even some iodine/medicinal notes like one would find in Scotch. Maybe a hint of hops as well. Taste is malty with some strong smokey peat notes with a nice dry finish with a decent amount of bitterness. The dry finish makes this beer very drinkable. As good as I remember; a pity that it is only available in mixed 12 packs currently.

04-13-2004 02:16:17 | More by ColForbin
Photo of BeerBuilder


4.03/5  rDev +7.5%

Pours to a brownish-red color, almost mahogany in color with a creamy tan head that leaves good lacing. The aroma is rich and sweet, malty with a smoky peat malt aroma. I also got hints of dark chocolate. The flavor is sweet, malty upfront, spicy, peppery and peaty through the finish. It is a full-bodied brew that finishes dry. A nice flavorful Sammy’s.

Sampled 1/15/04

04-09-2004 15:00:52 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of mschofield


4.03/5  rDev +7.5%

Pours a deep copper-red with a three finger small bubbled creamy tan head. The head never fully dissipates, remaining as a floating mushroom cap. Laces in rings. Highly carbonated.
Smoky, earthy aroma, full of roasted malt, caramel.
Sweet, smoky, very smoky taste. A note of peat or maybe I'm imagining things. Acrid reminiscent of rye with warming.
Medium feel, smooth, very lightly bitter.

03-23-2004 22:34:14 | More by mschofield
Photo of waughbrew


2.4/5  rDev -36%

Very red color with beige dense head, ok retention and lacing. Slightly peaty aroma, grape skin, diacetyl, earthy cheesy hops. Flavor has more spicy hop than I would like, but it still finishes sweet. A little twang in there makes it a bit interesting.

Disappointing, confused as to what they are thinking with this brew. Overhopped for sure, which basically ruins the beer.

03-23-2004 02:48:09 | More by waughbrew
Photo of Suds


4.15/5  rDev +10.7%

I loved this beer the last time I had it (several years ago). I hope it stays around for goof, even if it is part of a gift pack.
Pours a rich, deep russet color with a very sticky, creamy head. Aroma is full of roasted, smoky malt….peat, molasses, dark cherries, and a slightly winy character. The taste is wonderfully malty and sweet….caramel and nut flavors. It still had the full, rich flavor that I recall. Finish has a hop balance, but seems to tilt to the sweet side of things.
SA Scotch Ale is solidly drinkable and enjoyable. What a treat! A notch above most other BBC’s brews.

03-21-2004 19:46:50 | More by Suds
Photo of sponberg

New York

4.5/5  rDev +20%

Like the Clapton song goes, "Hello old friend, really good to see you once again..." Pours that beautiful russet/auburn color with a whitish head that lasts 'til the flavor is but a happy memory. Aroma is smoky, dark cherry maltiness with hints of toffee and nuts (Brazil nuts?).

Ahhh... that wonderful combination of malt and hints of smoke, all sorts of chewy dark flavors and a little apple flowing over the tongue, finishing slightly dry, smoky, chocolatey, and slightly bitter. This is such a drinkable Scotch Ale. The mouth just fills with flavors when this bad boy hits the tongue. Two to a twelve pack, but dammit they need to start this one back up in six packs. A fine beer, greatly missed. Welcome back.

Who says the Atkins diet sucks? I was able to pawn the SA Lights off on my buddy. Heh heh heh...

03-13-2004 06:40:13 | More by sponberg
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


4.28/5  rDev +14.1%

Pours a nice cherry-brown with a big light tan head. Lots of lace as it dissipates. Smells of nutty, caramel malt has an understated smokiness.

Rich malt flavors. Bitter smokiness and nutty flavors. Big malt and big flavor. Hints of caramel and bitter chocolate. Nice hoppy finish. Big beer flavor from a small ABV. Full bodied and just so tasty and chewy. Very well balanced, a symphony of flavors. Very smooth. This beer is worth the Sam Adams Lights I am now stuck with. Oh how I've missed this beer! Now if only the Honey Porter would return.

03-02-2004 20:03:59 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of SixpointJMH

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +16%

ah, the ever elusive sam scotch ale. i was able to grab the second to last brewmaster's pack at a local store solely for two bottles of this brew. it's been at least five years since my last sample and boy did i miss it. it pours a lovely amber/copper colour with a clear, crisp body. a slightly tan thick and foamy head hangs out for a good while. the smell is just great: mainly of malt with a little sweetness in the back (maybe berries of some kind) with some caramel and a touch of smoke. the flavour is full on (but niceley balanced) smokey malt with a dry, slightly chocolate finish. burnt toast and caramel are interlaced throughout. yum, yum, yum. this is an easy drinking brew that's just loaded with flavour. it's one of, if not the best of the bbc's beers.

03-01-2004 20:39:12 | More by SixpointJMH
Photo of Jacobob10

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +2.1%

Pours a beautiful brown color with tan head that holds up nicely throught the duration of the beer. I really love the appearance of this beer. Has a smoky scent to it with a hint of tobacco. Tastes a bit chocolatey, very malty, and goes down great. A drinkable beer with a great taste. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm about to have another right now.

03-01-2004 01:59:39 | More by Jacobob10
Photo of Bighuge


3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

Nice deep burgandy tone to this one. A decent sized creamy brown head sits on top. Retention is solid. Pretty good whiff of malt on the nose mixed with some smokey and chocolatey tones. The body of this one is a little light for the style. It checks in around medium at best. Could use a little less carb as well. Average mouthfeel. The taste is caramel, toffee, molasses, smoke, chocolate and raisin all mixed to varying degrees. Not bad. But not outstanding either. I chalk this one up as pretty good.

Now bring back the Honey Porter, dammit!!

02-25-2004 03:16:33 | More by Bighuge
Photo of taez555


4/5  rDev +6.7%

This beer poured a reddish/brown body with a finger sized pillowy white head.

The nose was a mix of dark malts, molasses, and a sweet dark brown sugar. I actually smelled a little touch of grass.

The beer was light to medium bodied. Very big, but even malt taste from start to finish. A smooth even bitterness that’s balanced perfectly in the mix. Light caramel touches, a hint of wood, dark malt, a few earthy notes.

Basically this is just superb scotch ale. A little on the light side, but that just makes it a spectacular session beer. A beer Sam Adams really needs to bring back into full rotation.

On a side note I had a chance to try this beer at the brewery about 2 years ago. They were playing around with the recipe a little and they had added a bit more smoked malt in that batch. It really added another depth to this wonderful beer. It’s really sort of a shame they didn’t push the envelope again with this mass release. Still, one of my all time favorite Sam Adams beers.

02-13-2004 08:07:03 | More by taez555
Photo of ZAP


4.38/5  rDev +16.8%

A tasty, malty, Scotch Ale....pours a deep reddish orange...noser is big on the peat...close to full-bodied..medium carbonation...a nice tasting beer....sweet and malty....hints of the peat and a spiciness on the finish....very tasty...seems to warm up the belly some which would contradict it's ABV rating some....

One ofthe better SA beers and an enjoyable drink...nowhere close to McEwens but that is a truly special beer...this is simply very good..

02-12-2004 05:54:29 | More by ZAP
Photo of counselor


4.1/5  rDev +9.3%

Gotta love the brewmasters collection. This beer pours a gleaming reddish with a middling head. Smells of peat, roased malts and smoke. Tastes of smoke, peat and a nice malt hop balnce. Finished dry with a nice citrus hop aftertaste that compliments the smoke scotch flavors of the beer. The mouthfeel is lighter than what I expected given the aromas, but was pleasing overall and made me wish there were more than two of these in the pack as I would have liked more.

02-03-2004 17:08:29 | More by counselor
Photo of JISurfer

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +15.5%

Call me Ishmael. This is one of my white whale beers. Well, I was not disappointed at all. It was a nice amber color with a tan head. The head was fairly thick and stood around for the whole drink. The smell was like most Scotch ales, but had a bit more body in the malt area. It says that whickey malt is used in it, and I can detect it in the smell. The taste had a small hint of whiskey malt to it, I thought, but had a creamy sweetness to it as well. The only thing that was a "let down" to the beer was that it wasn't really thick in the taste, like most are. Don't get me wrong though, it was still really friggin awesome. That aids the drinkability though, IMHO. It doesn't leave you all full and bloated, and leaves you refreshed. If you see this, buy it, or leave more for me!!!

02-03-2004 01:40:54 | More by JISurfer
Photo of ADR


3.83/5  rDev +2.1%

All I had are five year old notes on this beer, so its good to see it back in sampler packs...glowing brown amber appearance, clear. Small tea-like head of a yellowish hue. Laces in rings and latter, small dots. Good smell, caramel and Twix Bar chocolate mingling. Body is medium, slightly lighter than I remember it. The flavor is entirely pleasant, beginning with obvious malt tones. The balance is good for a beer, astringent hoppiness finishes the impression -- a little more like an ESB. As a Scotch Ale, could be a little thicker and emphasize the malt qualities hinted at in the aroma. Drinkable brew...

01-23-2004 17:09:03 | More by ADR
Photo of TastyTaste


4.53/5  rDev +20.8%

Also my main reason for buying the new sampler. Pours a very deep maroon color, with a tan head. Has a very different smell. Smells sweet, but robust, probably from the barrels that were used in the aging process. Has a nice roasted carmel taste that really shifts into a hops finish very smoothly. This is an extremely satisfying beer, that is worth buying the sampler to get. My only negative reaction to this beer was the label. Why can't Boston Beer have Sam in a kilt on the label? Is that too much to ask? OK, maybe it is.

01-23-2004 03:02:52 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of BeefyMee


3.93/5  rDev +4.8%

I recently picked up the Brewmaster's Collection mainly to try this beer. I was delighted to find a free bottle opener inside. Woo-hoo.

Appearance: Dark brownish-red with a brimming head that laced all the way down the glass.

Smell: The aroma is dominated by hops, which is surprising. It smells similar to a 60 Minute IPA.

Taste: The hoppiness dissipates in the in the immediate taste but comes through fully in the aftertaste. A roasted flavor that is almost a smokiness of the malt is present. I can taste trace amounts of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel compliments the beer well. It tingles on the tip of the tongue and seems to coat the rest of the mouth.

Drinkability: Very good, although I keep burping up hop leaves.

01-21-2004 23:06:58 | More by BeefyMee
Photo of bditty187


4.08/5  rDev +8.8%

Samuel Adams Scotch Ale, revived for the Brewmaster’s Collection, which I found in Sioux Falls, SD.

Beautiful red hue when held to the light, otherwise there is lovely brown influence as well. Clear. The head is foamy and light beige in color, about a half finger in height. It fades to big soapy bubbles; there was some spotty lacing as the beer was quaffed. The nose had a modest aroma, strength-wise, the bouquet expressed hints of chocolate malts that are lightly toasted with a whisper of smoky-caramel at the end. There is something mysterious about the aroma, the invitation is frank, and I gladly took a sip. The mystery is solved, the palate is well developed with chocolate malts upfront, slightly dry, a note of earthy, herbal, spicy hops are found in the middle plus a vague smooch of sweetness and the finish is smoky, dry, chalky, with a hint of toasted malts, wood, and peat. This is far drier than I expected and the maltiness is not as big or as sweet then I’d prefer. But the subtle complexity of this Scotch Ale cannot be ignored. Medium in body, a bit less bulk than there “should” be, low carbonation; the mouthfeel is slick and thinned by a lack of malt. This aspect of the beer is ordinary at best. This is a plenty tasty beer, I’d recommend you find this dandy, pop the cap, pour, enjoy.

01-19-2004 22:20:04 | More by bditty187
Photo of scottum


3.98/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours a deep red amber with a big off-white lacey head. Roasty sweet malt flavors are in front with an almost smokey thing going on too. Spices and hops add solid balance to the brew. Smooth, but a tad thin in feel. Certainly a fine beer which am glad to see again.

01-16-2004 02:44:35 | More by scottum
Photo of avylover


3.85/5  rDev +2.7%

Pours a deep clear mahogony with a nice hefty off white head. Good strong malty aroma, mostly of caramel. The taste really shines here. Some dark fruity flavors that give way to a sweet malt with a slightly meaty character, a bit like Bovril. Some hops round thing out in the finish, balancing this out slightly. The mouthfeel is fairly thick with with a syrupy aftertaste, but as far as scotch ales go, this is quite drinkable. An overall good mild scotch ale. If you enjoy this, try a heartier scotch ale like McEwan's.

01-06-2004 23:55:02 | More by avylover
Photo of BierManVA


4.08/5  rDev +8.8%

Very dark amber body with a beautiful tan thick head. Heavy earthy tones here as advertised. Quite pleasing.

Mouthfeel is spectacular with smoothness and control. The flavors mix well.

This is my first tasting for this style and I think I will have to investigate it a little more as I could really enjoy these!


12-30-2003 21:47:23 | More by BierManVA
Photo of Gusler


3.93/5  rDev +4.8%

Reviewed 08/14/02
The beer on the pour appears deep dark amber with a modest light tan head, frothy and the lace a fine sheet. Nose is heavy, strong malts and hops a beer that fights back, start is sweet, malt laden and the top middling in feel. Finish is spiteful in its acidity, hops personable in their spiciness, very dry and a good drinking beer all around.

11-09-2003 00:58:32 | More by Gusler
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

3.93/5  rDev +4.8%

I was able to sneak out of town with Alewife to enjoy a pint of this on tap at Redbones.... It's been years since I've had this....and never on tap, at that. Glad to see Sammy still cranks out the really desirable stuff now and then....

Color was dark brown, with attractive garnet hues peeking through. Our 'tender filled the pint right to the top, so any head that might have been there was long gone.

Nose displayed a good, partially-sweet, malt backbone, with some peaty notes also coming forth. Now that's what I'm talking 'bout....

Body was a pinch less than medium. Seemed to be a bit fuller than this when I had it in bottles a while back. Still traversed the tongue in a respectably smooth manner.

There was a decent amount of malt in the flavor, with peaty/smoky aspects shining through. Malty sweetness was less than in past versions. Hoppiness was more accentuated in this bier. As it warmed the malt started to become more pronounced, along with the accompanying sweetness. Much tastier near the finish of the pint.

It seemed like it tasted a whole lot better in years gone by, and maybe it has been tweaked some. But perhaps I thought it was tastier back then without the benefit of having learned to discern more flavor nuances. Whatever....it still is a nice bier, and one I wish were still produced regularly. Prosit!!

overall: 3.85
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4


06-01-2003 16:22:25 | More by Bierman9
Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 954 ratings.