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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Scotch AleSamuel Adams Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

617 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 617
Hads: 1,024
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 18.21%
Wants: 44
Gots: 50 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

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.
View: Beers (121) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 617 | Hads: 1,024
Photo of Arithmeticus
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in large glass stein.

A: dark, cola-colored body; thin head; not as much carb action as in other Sam Adams
S: malty, sweet, otherwise nondescript
T: slightly smoked, peaty scotch ale; the light ABV makes this very approachable ("wee heavy" is a wee too much to claim); very flavorful, with little variation from the front to the back; hops are downplayed in this version.

Overall, a good, solid rep of the scotch ale clan

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Photo of gskitt
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish amber, thick head, lacing. Smells peaty, smokey, but clean. Taste has a smoky bite to it, balanced, a bit of a bitter finish on the end. Acidic quality to it works. Clean mouthful, but bitterness lingers. Overall? A very nice Wee Heavy from Sam Adams.

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Photo of bierschmecktgut
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured deep caramel brown with off white head, plenty fluffy. Lacing is spotty but appreciable.

toasted malt/grains stand out over the hops. the lingering toastiness has a smoky aroma.

up front is slightly sweet but a bitterness jumps out quickly after and this bitterness reminds me of 80%+ dark chocolate.

higher end of a medium body, smooth throughout with good carbonation and no astringency at all. The finish was crisp with the given carbonation, very pleased.

Never would have thought to give this brew a try, but with the sam adams variety pack it's great not to have to spend $ on a full 6 pack of something that may be a bust. This brew is great, i could enjoy year round.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty solid looking, one finger creamy head that is sticking around pretty well and is giving good lacing. The body is dark dark red with a fair amount of brown in it, lots of carbonation, maybe too much, we will see. Overall this looks really good, the head is very impressive, if it weren't for the carbonation this would look perfect. It for sure smells like a scotch ale, deep malt smell with a molasses/maple syrup smell. It smells solid, doesn't smell like there is much wrong with it, does it smell amazing? No, but good. The flavor on this is a little disappointing, it's not a bad flavor or anything, just really boring. It's very smooth, and easy drinking, and even a little creamy, but it's just not that complex and it's lacking in flavor. You get that molasses/maple syrup taste and that deep malt taste, but the flavors are just dumbed down a bit all around. There isn't really anything wrong with it, no offensive flavors or anything, it's just boring, not complex and not enough flavor, it's that simple. The carbonation is better than I though it would be, not too much, and the body overall is pretty good for the style. The drinkability is decent, kinda a toss up between it not having enough good flavor, but at the same time being light because of that lack of flavor. Overall it's a good beer, just very average in the creativity category and flavor category.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Pours a wood stain brown with an off-white head.

S: Smells of caramel, smoke and earthy hops.

T: Hops are absent from the taste. Smoked malt comes through, as well as caramel, but there is a bit of metallic twang as well.

D: Mouthfeel is far too thin for the style, but alcohol is hidden and it is easy-drinking enough.

Overall: A somewhat bland take on the scottish ale style. I would drink it if offered, but I won't be going out of my way to find this one again.

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Photo of bayougutter
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured a dark copper, burgandy color with a nice creamy white head that left nice lacing. Smells of malt, smokey peat. Tasted of malt, then earthy hops with a hint of caramel. subtle nutty pecan. Carbinated a little too much for me but nothing too excessive. Overall a smooth offering from SA. Came in a sample 12 pack and worth a try.

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Photo of cbutova
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Crimson red with a creamy white head. Good retention and a nice web of lace from a nice ring.

S- A nice scotch peat smoked note over dark fruit and caramel malt. Somewhat fades with time.

T- A lighter overall Wee Heavy but this one brings a good balance of peat smoke, dark fruit and caramel malt. Nutty hints.

MF- Creamy light body that pretty much is synonymous with most Sam Adams brews. High carbonation level.

The smoky edge here is a nice flavor and kind of unexpected for me. Another solid offering from Sam Adams, the mixed packs are pretty much a must buy a few times a year.

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Photo of litheum94
3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Best before 10/10/11. Reviewed on 2/6/11.

Deep, ruddy brown, almost opaque body. Thin, light brown head that nearly disappears. Actually has nice lacing for such a minimal head.

Complex malt aromas. Smokey, peat moss and caramel. Some chocolate present. No hop profile.

Carmel sweetness at first, leads into a profoundly smokey and peaty flavor profile. Reminds me of an Islay scotch. There's a slight bitterness, more like chicory than hops. Tons of malts. Viscous mouthfeel.

This is way better than I expected. I was expecting a weak, overly sweet mess, but this was good. I love all the smoke in this beer; it gives it a real unique flavor.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This scotch ale pours out as a reddish copper colored beer, with a decent tan head on it that settles by mid glass. The smell of this beer is a on the sweet side with some possible caramel malts there is a very light aroma of peat or some kind of earthy tone to it. The taste is decent, this beer is big on malts and doesn't have a whole lot of hops in it. It's mostly a slightly roasted sweet earthy brew. It's interesting. The mouthfeel is medium and pretty easy to put a few down.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle that came as part of the american originals mixed 12 pack. drank from a snifter.

A- this one pours out a very dark copper colored body with a half finger of khaki colored head on top. the head lasts for a minute before falling, and leaves behind nice rings of lacing.

S- the first thing i detect in the nose are caramel malts and some smoky peat. toffee-like malts are picked up also. not much else going on in here.

T- the taste starts out with some toffee and caramel malts which add some sweetness. there is a definite smokiness from the peat which plays nicely in here. earthy hops come in softly at the end.

M- the body is on the bigger side of medium, the alcohol is well hidden or lacking considering the style. the carbonation is a nice and low level.

D- easy to finish. lots of flavor packed into the almost session strength beer. i wish they sold this in six packs, id be all over it.

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Photo of darkbeerlover89
2.43/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Deep red, brandywine color. Poured into a glass that had a head but left very quickly.

S- Picked up some liquorish, hardly a sweet smell.

T- I dont know what to say about this one. I was expecting alot more from what my buddies were telling me but I got nothing. It tasted flat to me.

MF- Flat

Overall- I was very exicted to try this beer when I picked up the sampler pack but was kinda let down. I was kinda let down and I love Sam Adams.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear copper with a light head of foam.

S - Mostly a light caramel nose, with a hint of apple and maltiness.

T - Very light whiskey-like undertone and light caramel. Straightforward bitterness seems to lack some nuance.

M - Fairly light body with a hard carbonation.

D - Not really a fan of this one. Not sure if it's the style or interpretation.

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Photo of nimrod979
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear but deep red/amber hue with a decent little off white head.

Aroma is mostly caramel malt, witha hint of smokiness from the peat-smoked malt. But overall it doesn't have the strongest aroma.

Almost surprisingly where this beer lacks in aroma it more than makes up for in flavor. This beer comes in with a medium to full bodied but big smoky flavor. Caramel malts and even some light earthy hops show through for excellent balance in the extensive smoky finish. Soft and somewhat creamy mouthfeel make it an easy drink. I enjoyed it but I don't know if I would necessarily consider this my style.

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Photo of Chaney
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Ruby red, translucent to the 20th power, and the 1-2 finger, off-red(?) head was a sight to behold and the staying power was fantastic.

S: Small puff of sweetbread. Malty, but not too sugary. Nice fresh filtered-water undertow.

T: Malty, without a grain of hoppiness. Reminded me very much of a carbonated Kool-Aid, with a bit of a deep smokey flavor.

M: Moderate carbonation, substantial lacing, and the malt-sugar relationship was spot on.

O: I've always loved this one and look forward to getting to it whenever I go through a SA variety pack....

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Photo of CHickman
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy reddish copper in color with a foamy 2 finger off white head that had lots of bubbles in it and faded slowly, leaving very good foamy lacing; another good looking Sam Adams beer.

Smells of sweet malt, roasted grains, caramel, wheat, herbs, peat moss or charcoal; a nice roasted aroma that is malty overall.

Tastes of malt, roasted grains, caramel, wheat, charcoal, oaky notes, red wine, dark fruit, light citrus hops, lemon zest, cinnamon and some light pepper; a sharp roasted malty flavor that was mild and tasty considering the malts seemed smoked and almost burnt.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a metallic twang, a light body and mellow carbonation. A decent beer that's tastes alright, but just is a little off base for my palate preference. OK beer that I enjoyed, but not something I'd drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of Overlord
2.06/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a dark cola brown. Big bubbles. No real head ... just a sliver of bubbling.

Smells like acrid, chemical smoke mixed with a smidgen of booze and burnt ... chocolate? Malt? Caramel? Ugh.

Taste is pretty horrid. One of the worst of this style I can remember. The weird chemical burnt/smoke/charred caramel and chocolate is really offputting.

Thin. Bad.

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Photo of OhYesILoveBeer
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Scotch, 12oz's into HopNog pint. Pours a beutiful ruby shade with a light tan 1/4" head that drops quickly. Smells great, loads of the usual Crystal malt, pinch of chocolate malt, slight hint of Smoked malt, and a very soft touch of Hallertau's. Taste is earthy, sweet, and smokey. A very enjoyable Wee that stands out in its own class. Do yourself a favor and pair this brew with a few strips of bacon, uncured ham, chops, ect. Anything that can match its subtle smoke will prove itself to be a great reward! Cheers!

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Photo of Chico1985
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finishing up the Sam Adams spring variety pack.

Pours translucent amber, creamy off-white head retains as a finger leaving some lacing, good-looking.

Big earthy, peat-smoke scents in the nose. Has good strength but not the most pleasant or complex of odors. More sweetness and light fruit notes come out as it warms.

A nice variety of malty flavors. Buttery, toasty, caramel, peat-smoke and a touch of chocolate as well. Herbal and grassy hops are faint but just enough to balance things a little.

As with most Sam Adams beer, solid mouthfeel. Nice balance and medium carbonation with not much to complain about.

I've never had a scotch ale below 7%, this does it well. The super buttery/toasty feel makes it feel a little typical-Sam Adams for me but this is a nice beer.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A mainly clear dark copper colored brew, small tan head. Slight chill haze. Scent is mainly caramel malts, just a bit of hops. Pretty malty taste, some bittering elements, some candy sugar notes. Pretty full bodied with a soft feel. Its a pretty good beer, but i dont know, something is holding it back a bit.

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Photo of mattcrill
2.68/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Mild dark bread malty character. Light caramel notes. Low fruity esters.

Appearance: Clear brick red pour with an off-white head.

Flavor: Phenolic, artificial smoky character. Why does everyone think that all Scottish Ales have to be over-smoked? Some mild caramel-like character but that is under-stated.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation.

Overall impression: Big miss. Too much artificial smoke character and not enough true Scottish Ale character.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams signature glass. Why not a pint? Well, because I had the Sam Adams glass and figured why not. Is this really a wee heavy? I thought wee heavy had a bit more alcohol than 5.4%... I'll rate this against lighter Scotch ales that I've had, since judging this as a wee heavy doesn't do it justice.

Look: clear, reddish copper color with a sand colored, two finger head that is leaving clear layers of lacing behind as I drink. There's decent retention and after a few minutes of sitting, it ends up as a thin layer of foam on top of the beer that persists until the glass is gone. Pretty nice looking Scotch ale.

Smell: a fairly powerful smelling beer, especially considering that most of Sam Adams' beers leave me wanting more in the nose. Caramelized maltiness with some peat smoke character.

Taste: caramel sweetness, a little bit of peat smoke, and a little bit of woodiness and some spiciness, which maybe is coming from the hops. The finish is dry, almost like sipping on a Scotch. Surprisingly, quite flavorful. Well, at least for a Scotch ale... not so much for a wee heavy.

Feel: medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and sweet up front with a bit of a dry finish. I could see this being a decently sessionable brew.

Overall: not the biggest Sam Adams fan, but I will give credit where credit is due. This is a fairly solid Scotch ale. The maltiness works well and this is a good example of the style. I would give this beer a try if you have whatever sample pack this came from. Cheers!

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Photo of therica
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In comparison to the correctness of its category, it has most of the traits but it isn't anywhere in the "wee heavy" category. It impresses me that it is a more "fast production" in comparison to a true quality Scotch Ale.

A= basically copper-amber, some decent head when first poured, lots of rimming and lacing.

S= caramel and nice robust malts, slight cherry notes. The decent scent seems to disappear and then to re-appear with more complexity a few minutes after it's been settling.

T= nice caramelized malts, a touch of cherry, modest carbonation, slightly sweet and syrupy. Hints of tea-bitterness which is typical of its category but the quality falls short thereof.

M= burnt cherry, slight sweet syrup on the tongue, noticeable hops florals and bitters.

O= possible session if on-tap somewhere.

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Photo of MadCat
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Reddish brown, very clear, minimal whitish head, decent lacing

Smell: Smokey and peaty, some earth, dirt, and hay in there.

Taste: Smokey and peaty, earthy, little bit of barnyard, with some caramely malts in the background. Some hop spice too.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body, semi crisp carbonation, very good

Overall: The most sessionable Scotch ale I've had so far. Very good, but not quite as complex as others I've had. This is also the only one with a distinct peat flavor, so thats good if that is what you like.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Scotch Ale pours an attractive deep ruby color and is completely clear. The head is tightly packed and slightly frothy, leaving pretty nice lace on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is rich and malty with some notes of toffee and plenty of caramel. There is a bit of tea like hop aroma as well as the slightest touch of peat smoked malt that only becomes apparent as I reach the very end of the glass.

The flavor is similar to the aroma with a rich toffee sweetness and plenty of caramelized notes.It also has a slightly grainy character to it that adds quite a bit of dimension. This grainy aspect seems to bring out the earthy tea like hops, but I almost wish that this beer let the malt carry more of the flavor.

The mouthfeel is quite enjoyable with a medium body and a nice amount of carbonation. It is slightly smooth but lively with a finish that is surprisingly dry.

The mouthfeel and finish make this pretty drinkable, but I was a bit disappointed. I like my scotch ales to be a bit more malty. Still, this is a good quality beer and one that fits well in Sam's seasonal mix.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with a label notched November.

Sam Adams Scotch Ale poured a dark amber color with a 1 ½ finger tan head that hung around a while. Hit and miss lacing was left clinging to the sides of my glass. The nose was dominated by sweet malt, caramel-like, peaty and smoky. The taste matched the nose however, for a Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy it was too light for the category. The mouth feel is to the smoother side but light for the style.

I like Sam Adams Scotch Ale as a Scottish Ale with the likes of Robert the Bruce. I do not feel it quite fits in the same category as a Founders Dirty Bastard or Dark Horse Scotty Karate.

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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 617 ratings.