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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 waughbrew
2.46/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

Photo of Suds
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of sponberg
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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...

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

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.

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Jacobob10
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Bighuge
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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!!

Photo of taez555
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of ZAP
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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..

Photo of counselor
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of JISurfer
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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!!!

Photo of ADR
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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...

Photo of TastyTaste
4.54/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of BeefyMee
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of bditty187
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of scottum
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

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

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!


Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Bierman9
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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


Photo of RBorsato
4.97/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark amber color (Bronze-ish) with a low brown head and light bits of lace. Strong malt aroma and light smoky aroma. Big carmelized malt flavor with a nice smoky aspect. Full bodied , rich and creamy ! Ages very well ! This bottle was over 3 years old !

Probabaly the best Sam Adams beer made - shame it is essentially gone...

Label States: "Triple Malt" & "Brewed with Peat Smoked Malt"

Purchase Before: June '00
Tasted: 04/08/03

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber/copper with reddish tints; and a nice creamy head that dissipates quickly leaving only a thin collar of foam. Minimal, and 'slightly touched-by-roast' malt aroma, as expected for style. Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Smooth, malty flavor showing an edge of peat smokiness and a touch of English hop bitterness. Well balanced. Finishes with a malty sweetness and light bitterness. Very smooth and drinkable. An excellent example of a full Scottish ale! Scotch ale as beer afficianados see it? Hmmm? However, nicely done.

Photo of John
4.9/5  rDev +31%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of the best scotch ales ever. Sorely missed.

Photo of Todd
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Old style, more reserve Sam Adams on the label. Label states a Triple Malt brew, brewed with peat smoked malts. This particular bottle is from early 2000 with a best before of May 2000.

Appearance: Rich looking ruby/dark amber colour with a rocky, creamy off-white head that has very nice staying power and stickiness.

Smell: Caramel, butter (diacetyl), esters, cardboard (oxidation), smoke and an overall syrup sweetness.

Taste: Wow! This beer has really held up nicely for its age. Body is full, rich and chewy with a smooth and well-rounded mouthfeel that is slicked with sweet caramel, some diacetyl, faint burnt sugars, light chocolate and toasted malt flavours. A distinct layer of smoke permeates the palate and raises the beer's overall complexity -- gotta love that unique peat flavour. Hops come into play, but are delicate with herbal and earth flavours that give the malt dominance just enough balance. Slight sherry flavours also pull-thru, a result of oxidation. Finishes sweet, slightly dry and the smokiness lingers for a bit.

Notes: A moment of silence please ...

Sadly this beer is no longer part of the Samuel Adams line-up of beers, which is a damn shame as this was one of their best brews and Scotch Ales are hard to come by these days. One of my all-time favourite beers. I had to review it, or it would spoil otherwise and I'd go to hell. I go cry now. Update: you can still get it at select establishments in the Boston area, but only on tap from the JP/Boston brewery.

[ Edit: now available in the Sam Adams Brewmaster's Collection 12-pack ... but you only get 2 of them. )

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