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Cottonwood Scottish Style Ale - Carolina Beer Company

Not Rated.
Cottonwood Scottish Style AleCottonwood Scottish Style Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

28 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 28
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 7.51%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carolina Beer Company visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: oberon on 03-13-2003)
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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by homersimpson:
Photo of homersimpson

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Version 2004
The brew changes slightly every year.
Pours out a slightly brownish red with a respectable, if quickly gone head.
Nose is malty and sweet.
Body is "soft" and medium in density.
Big malt up front, with no hop whatsoever. Just a nice, semisweet malt with a vague hint of peat. Long lingering malt finish.
Easily the best brew this brewery makes every year. They need to make more quality brews like this.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2004 22:25:17 | More by homersimpson
More User Reviews:
Photo of TheKingofWichita

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown color with a thick white head and tons of lacing. Smells of malts and nice vanilla, and some booze. Tastes of a lot of malts and plenty of toasted barley, maybe some vanilla. Mouthfeel is pretty nice and drinkability is high. Overall a pretty good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2010 23:48:03 | More by TheKingofWichita
Photo of ClockworkOrange


3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured form a 12 ounce bottle into my nonic Imperial pint glass. The ale appears a clear deep amber color with about two fingers of dense light rust colored head. Nose and flavor are of mildly smokey, sweet malt, caramel, earthy, bitter hops. Alcohol is well hidden here, making for a nice, nearly full bodied, and rather drinkable ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2009 04:23:48 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of beermanbrian


3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really nice amber red color but a rather anemic head. Smell is all sweet candy sugars. Just a faint floral hops smell but this beer is really all about the malt. Taste is caramel maltyness with a finish that is slightly smokey. Mouthfeel is syrpy thick. The high ABV starts to show with some warming in the throat. An OK attempt at this style but nothing to make it stand out. This is really a very one dimensional brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2007 01:22:13 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of rodrot

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Lowes in Banner Elk, NC for 6.99 a sixer on 3/2/07. Label on the bottle states that the bottling date is printed on the neck. Damned if I could find it after looking for 10 minutes. The beer pours a nice dark reddish-amber color with a substantial 1 inch head that subsides only slightly after a few minutes. Smell is malty and roasty with some nutty and smoky aromas mixed in. Taste is equally impressive. Toasty, malty, and nutty with just a faint hop profile in the flavor. Mouthfeel was medium in the palate. Drinkability was good. I'm an addicted hophead, but sometimes it's nice to take a break from hops and enjoy a rich, malty ale such as this.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2007 19:44:41 | More by rodrot
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this beer at The Good Beer Store in Chapel Hill. I have to figure its almost a year old as it is a spring seasonal and Frostbite is regularly available everywhere else. Poured a deep amber almost brown with a moderate head that was somewhat slow to diminish. Aroma was very much on the malty side with somewhat of a whiskey characteristic to it. Taste was very strong of a high lovibond caramel malt with strong candy-like sweetness. Any hops stay well subdued in the background. Mouthfeel is very tolerable for a beer of this strength. Much more so than I remember Duck Rabbit's Scottish seasonal being. A Spring release, this beer has held up nicely and is a good warmer for a cold winter night.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2007 02:51:52 | More by atsprings
Photo of Havinapretzel


3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A hard pour into a tulip brought about nearly zero head. Caramel-colored with a sweet malt-and-caramel smell. My expectations for this beer were kind of low since I only paid $1.25 for it and it had been in my fridge for a while but I quite enjoyed it; sweet enough to taste like candy until the finish, which is when the alcohol comes out - and even then I was surprised to learn this is 8.5%. This is a little to sweet to be one of my session beers but I enjoyed it nevertheless, and would buy it again even if it wasn't so cheap.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2006 02:55:39 | More by Havinapretzel
Photo of SaCkErZ9


4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a post pop the cap review so the alcohol has been increased, therefore a new review is due.

Pours a hazy iced tea color with a small head that leaves no lacing and turns into a pleasant film on top of the beer.

Caramel malts, whiskey, and some oak characteristics. Not a whole lot in the aromas.

Flavor is wonderful. It seems the major flavors were whiskey and apples and fresh grapes (I know those are completely out of style) and of course, caramel malts. Some peat tastes as well; similar to a smokey Isly scotch I had yesterday. Very enjoyable, on both counts. Some lingering sweetness as well.

At just over 8%, alcohol is supremely subdued. Very enjoyable. I cant recollect the exact flavors of the pre pop the cap version but this one is definitely enjoyable. Not really to style but enjoyable nevertheless.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2006 20:33:55 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of assurbanipaul


3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear garnet color with a tall head. Aroma is malty with mild pumpkin-ale spiciness.

Taste is sweet, nutty crystal malt. Has a bit of an O-fest spicy tang to it, missing the clean caramel sweetness of Scottish ales. A little off-center for the style.

Mouthfeel is medium, clear, sharp. Good, but would be better marketed as an O-fest.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2006 03:08:31 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of silver0rlead

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rather dull amber with a thin beige head that doesnt retain at all. The aroma is a bit better, with a big caramel character, as well as some candied apples, slight bit of smoked peat, ethanol, some light floral hops and some earthiness. The flavor is also big on caramel sweetness, with some smoked peat, candied apples, floral and earthy hops and some big dark fruits (cherries, figs, plums and raisins). The mouthfeel is medium, with light carbonation...but drinkability is great and the alcohol is barely noticeable. A very drinkable, if slightly boring scottish ale, but enjoyable none the less.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2006 05:17:36 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear amber borwn with a tan and small bubbled head which rose well, but fell very quickly and lapped at the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a bit of caramel and just a hint of vegetal nature that just might have been a smidge of smoke.

The flavor was caramel with a bit of toffee, but predominately caramel was in charge. The beer contained an almost candylike flavor and some dark fruits, but not quite raisins, a bit lighter in flavor like a dried cherry.

The finish was nicely malty with that perception lasting into the aftertaste. The body was medium full and nicely done. With a kick in the pants for aroma, this deceptively smooth drinking beer could be a contender.

12 ounce bottle. This is the High Gravity 8.5% ABV version.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2006 23:33:41 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I first had this beer back in October at the Brewgrass Festival.
This beer has a thin head. It is a deep reddish brown color. It is cloudy in appearance. The smell is a sweet, sugary smell. The taste is where this one gets you. It has the taste of hard liqour. It is unmistakeable. It has a burn to it. Not as smooth as I remember from Brewgrass. I liked this beer much more before I tried it again. The mouthfeel sets you back somewhat because of the potent punch. Not a beer I would try often, because I am not much on this style. If you like harder drinks, this would probably be up your alley. I may try it again, but not on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 18:13:54 | More by Enola
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark, brownish, burgandy color with orange hues at the bottom of the glass. Thin fizzy head that is gone in seconds. The smell is of dark fruits. Plums, grapes, raisins, and cherries. The taste is very sweet. I wonder what the abv is, because I can taste the alcohol. Feels crisp but a little thin and watery in the mouth. This could be a session beer. I tried a "Lift Your Kilt Scottish Ale" from Cottonwood at the Brewgrass Festival and was wondering if this is the same thing.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2005 12:52:06 | More by wcudwight
Photo of blitheringidiot


3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Label is a chess piece like cartoon king. "Production date printed on neck" and no date on the neck.

Dark clear amber bown topped with a khaki thin settled head cap.

Aroma is a dark deep smoked peat malt with a metallic twinge.

First swigs: A clean scottish ale with sharp smoked peat smoked malt. Some caramel notes. A lingering aftertaste of cola and vegetal notes.

Medium body with soft carbonation. A slick buttery body.

Last swigs: Soft peat smoke ale. Spot on interpretation of the style.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2005 05:31:05 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This particular bottle is a bit more than a year old, but still doing well I'm told.The color is deep, brick-red garnetand topped by a dense, 2 finger oatmeal-colored head that retains nicely and leaves clumpy lace everywhere.

The aroma screams of malty sweetness, leather, faint peaty smoke, and caramel. There is no discernable hop character in here at all.

The flavor is extravagantly dominated by malt flavors of dark caramel, brown sugar, cocoa, and raisins. The smoke flavor from the smoked peat malt is way too faint, but adds a nice touch. As others have reviewed, there is little, if any hop character in here. I feel it should have at least a hint of hops, but there are none.

For all the malt in here, the body is on the lighter side of medium. Mouthfeel is slick and coating nontheless, with a creamy and chewy stickiness to it.

edit: the revamped, high-gravity of this beer is similar, but somewhat thinner mouthfeel and quite a bit of alcoholic heat, I bet after a few months to cool down, it will be quite tastey.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2005 14:59:25 | More by AlexJ
Photo of IceAce


3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Greeted by a fragrant nose dominated by malty goodness and a chocolate background, this mahogony brew is topped with a finger of dense tan foam following a conservative pour into a beer-clean stemmed-pilsner glass. Clarity is superb while lacing is virtually nil.

True to style, this brew is malty sweet through the midtaste. As it warms, the beer softens to a point where the chocolate and smoked malt begin to work in concert with a very Euro feel (Doh!) to it. Warmer = Smoother in this case, with the end result being a maltlovers paradise toward the end.

Mouthfeel runs a tad thin considering the grain bil...but a nice sipper by the fire on a cool spring evening.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2005 06:49:34 | More by IceAce
Photo of Backer2004

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first scotch style ale is quite impressive. Very deep brown with moderate lacing and carbonation, appears almost as a porter would. One of the most malty ales I've tried with abit of a dry finish. Hints of caramel and chocolate. As hevay as a stout and just as difficult to consume more than one. Purchased this at the Carolina Beer & Beverage brewery for $1 per bottle. They told me it wa sproduces back in March but with pasteurization, they promised it would not be skunked.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2004 03:16:50 | More by Backer2004
Photo of RoyalT


3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one poured a light orangish-brown in color and was crystal clear. The head was tanned and fluffy.

Smell – The gooey malts and refined sugars had a hint of peat. Well, it smells like a Scottish Ale.

Taste – The gooey molasses and malts are indeed complimented with a bit of smoky peat flavors. I can even pick up a bit of whiskey.

Mouthfeel – This one was light to medium-bodied and very sticky in the mouth. It lacked a good, solid structure but otherwise felt good in between the cheeks.

Drinkability – This was a nice, easy drinker if a bit light in the a**.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2004 16:41:17 | More by RoyalT
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - bronze, with a decent head that lasts a few minutes and leaves a bit of lacing down the side of the glass

Smell - malty nose that is very distinct

Taste - the maltiness I was expecting from the nose quickly fades and is overtaken by a bitter/sour/metallic taste that was surprising; others have commented on the lack of hops in this brew so I'm not sure where that's coming from if it isn't from the hops; anyway, I was expecting a much more malty flavor through and through

Mouthfeel - a bit thin for a beer of this type

Drinkability - a bit of a disappointment really after the promise of the look and smell; I'll have to try this another time as some of things I'm seeing and tasting are different from the comments of others

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2004 22:06:05 | More by brentk56
Photo of JISurfer

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Dude, I could drink this alll night long, a probably would, except I only got a sixer of it. I was really suprised by this one. I was expecting something ho-hum, dull, and one dimensional, but this far exceeded what I was thinking of. The brew I got had many smells and tastes going on. Not much on the hoppiness, but that's fine with me, it's a Scottish Ale, not an IPA. I could definately smell the chocolate malts used in this one. On the tour they said that they used it in there, and now I don't doubt it.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2003 02:44:28 | More by JISurfer
Photo of bditty187


3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Murky, reddish-brown, a few bubbles constructed the head, quick to fade, no lace. Light nose, mainly malty with a hint of chocolate. Very pleasant palate, malty, slight sweet, hints of alcohol, chocolate, raisin… very enjoyable! A crisp bitterness becomes more apparent (it is still exceedingly quiet) as it warms, could be the hops… maybe. Thin mouthfeel, especially for the style, very meager carbonation, smooth & easy to drink. Pleasant. Seems more like an Irish Red. Session brew material… very drinkable. Try one if you’re a fan of malty beers.

Thanks Loki.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2003 19:18:56 | More by bditty187
Photo of ZAP


3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Well this is no McEwens but I'm not sure if it's designed to be...a tasty beer none the less that slides down very easily....pours a cherrywood color with virtually no head...nose is malty with some peat undertones...body feels thin and uncarbonated which makes for a real easy drinking tasty beer ( I do have to knock some points for the thinness though).....taste is all malt...if there are hops in here I'd like to hire a detective to find them...that's cool with me as I love malty beers....peat is a secondary characteristic and it never becomes smokey like some Scottish Ales I've had...I don't care for a real smokey taste so this is good for me....to be honest, minus the peat taste this tastes a lot like a really good red ale to me...an enjoyable beer that I could hammer down about 12 in 3 hours if I felt like it I'm sure.....Like I said..very tasty and easy driking...

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2003 21:44:44 | More by ZAP
Photo of tavernjef


4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Unique dark brownish-red amber color, that of cherrywood or mahgoney or even the color of the bottle it came in, and glows bright orangy highlights up to the light. Received a thin tight off-white head that faded in seconds flat. Has some spotty lace. Sweet tangy aroma of caramel and toffee, somewhat fruity, faint banana note noticed deep in the back on bigger wiffs. Taste is sooo smoooth, and lightly tangy with a slight sweet toffeeish covering through to the middle of mostly malts then thins out to nothing. Feel is medium-full bodied and slightly creamy-buttery smooth and some super light drying at the finish. This scotch ale is one super easy drinker, would make for a good session beer.
Overall, it needs a bit more of a boost in flavor/taste and feel, its a little to light in both, but still good. Thanks Loki.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2003 19:57:51 | More by tavernjef
Photo of PhantomVodoo


3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany in color with a tan head.
Roasted malt aroma with a hint of nut and smokiness. Underneath is an unpleasant sourness.

Very smooth caramel malt flavor. Hops are there to balance, but this one is about the malt. Unfortunately there is a sourness underneath that really detracted from this beer's good aspects. Bottled 2/18/03, so shouldn't be bad unless it saw some hot NC sun in transit.

Nice creamy mouthfeel.
Good drinkability minus what I'm perceiving as a sourness.

Overall a good beer, but I'd like to try this one again fresh to see if the same sour notes are present.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2003 20:47:36 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of Loki

North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Oh how times have changed. What was once a good beer is now just decent. This was much better when Cottonwood was Cottonwood and even earlier Tumbleweed back in Boone, NC. A few years ago they were bought by Carolina Blonde company and their beers IMO have never been the same.

Pours a dark, caramel brown with a thin head that fades quickly. The nose is malt, malt, and more malt. The taste is, surprise, malt with hints of roasted nuts and butter. This is a decent all malt Scottish Ale.
But it used to be much better. Ahh..longing for the days of yore when we would skip classes at Appalachian, go to the brew pub and drink great beers all night. But all good things must come to an end.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2003 14:48:46 | More by Loki
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Cottonwood Scottish Style Ale from Carolina Beer Company
84 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.