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Wet Willy Scotch Ale - New England Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Wet Willy Scotch AleWet Willy Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

157 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 157
Hads: 304
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 51
Gots: 74 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
New England Brewing Co. visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2008

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 157 | Hads: 304
Photo of maximum12
2.18/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to biglobo8971 for the trade & almost simultaneously, to jmu500 for dropping this in as an extra. A sudden embarrasment of riches. I hope. We're about to find out. 500ML bottle, dated 2010.

Kudos to New England for the easy-remove foil thingee on the top; removed without issue or personal injury. Nice creepy guy in the artwork. Pour is paler than expected, like a faded Florida orange. Maybe it's just the typing, but there's an orange odor coming off the beer, too, along with earthiness. Not a lot going on.

Wet Willy gives off a first blush of being - thin. Not Heather Locklear thin, but Kate Moss thin (sorry, my frame of reference is showing, I'll pull that up). Watery. There's thin caramel, thin toffee...well, there's not much. Did I mention the mouthfeel is thin? That's really wrecking this one for me. If I could knock that score into negative territory, I would.

Really? This is the third disappointment of the night. Thin, dull, simple. I'd rather have a beer knock me for a loop in a daredevil attempt at somthing rather than this. Boring, I am sorry to report. (1,091 characters)

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
2.47/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Brown and hazy, not a lot of head or lacing.

Sweet, fruity, malty smelling, with a little toffee.

Taste is so-so. Very malty with some fruits and a tinge of alcohol. A bit of an unpleasant pungent, moldy cellar flavor is somewhat off-putting.

Feel is slick and thin, not what I was expecting for a scotch ale.

Not an especially good beer. They need to tweak this recipe some. (380 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours out a cloudy, downright murky brew, tannish-brown in color, and with no real head formation beyond a small smattering of suds. Not the most attractive-looking beer around, particularly for a scotch ale.

Smell: An immediate sniff of ethanol followed by an earthy, yeasty uncleanness, a drizzle of cane sugar syrup, and hint of green peppercorns. Somewhat troubling, really. We will probably never know just what mischief that Wet Willy was up to.

Taste: Willy jumps to a high level of sweetness and already the alcohol content is quite apparent, even hot. Flavor of simple syrup dumped on bread crumbs and crushed graham crackers. Curious taste of raw wood. Slight spicy phenolics underneath. Clotted yeast. Drying, alcohol heated finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation.

Overall: Yeesh. Just an odd, odd brew, though not ever in an enjoyable sense and certainly nothing I would ever identify as a scotch ale. (950 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
2.55/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to Draught2012 for providing this in one of our trades. Excellent trading partner.

Two fingers of off white head that begins to fade immediately. The beer is a touch lighter in color than I had imagined. Still it is a deep amber color with some orange tones.

Aroma is a mix of medicine, alcohol and something trying to be sweet. But it's not sweet. (in the aroma.. We'll come back to this)

Wow, much sweeter than the aroma indicates. Have to be honest, I do not really enjoy this flavor. Ultra sweet. Molasses maybe, honey, and some medicine flavor that matches the aroma. Some heat from the alcohol. Not HOT, but it's there. Finishes quickly.

Thick, syrup like body, very little carbonation.

Not too drinkable in my book. I am surprised by the high scores here to be honest. (787 characters)

Photo of jegross2
2.57/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewing the Wet Willy Scotch Ale from New England Brewing Company out of Massachusetts.
Score: 65

Fall 2011 vintage bottle with code "7283 B-22227" printed on the bottom of the bottle. Served in a Stella Artois chalice and enjoyed on 04/24/12.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish red color. Translucent. Thin layer of head at pour settles to a pencil thin bubbly ring around the glass. Lots of bubbles and a little sediment floating around. Minimal lacing, poor retention. 3/5

Smell: Brown sugar, bready malt, sweet caramel, and a little vanilla cream soda. Modest amount of fig too. Light boozy heat. 3.75/5

Taste: Lots of bready malt and malty caramel upfront. Lots of carbonation. Brown sugar too. Incredibly sweet, not very balanced in flavor. Has a super sweet vanilla creamy soda finish. Could not finish drinking the beer, it was so malty sweet. Alcohol well-hidden, however. 2/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, too much carbonation. Slick mouthfeel. Very sweet. 2.5/5

Overall: Overly malty sweet beer with too much carbonation. The alcohol is hidden well if you can stomach the maltiness. This is easily the least balanced scotch ale that I have had to date.

Recommendation: Skip this beer.

Pairings: Pistachio nuts.

Cost: $7.99 for a four pack (1,255 characters)

Photo of TotallyHosed
2.65/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks codysjb for the bottle.

The appearance was off-putting. This was poured into a wide mug and produced no head. Saw no carbonation around the glass. The color looked just like apple cider.

The smell was also uninviting. I just got some sour notes. Nothing else, probably due to the total lack of head.

The taste was all this brew had to offer. It was slightly hot, with some hints of caramel.

The feel was light to medium. No carbonation was felt.

I did not enjoy this beer. I think I'm being generous with a 3.0 overall rating, but at the same time I don't think it's bad. Should I ever see this on tap, I'll give it another try. (640 characters)

Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.73/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance -- Pours a hazy nectarine hue - rosy at the heart with orange and amber highlights. Slim sudsy white head, minor lacing. Beautiful.

Smell -- Grainy with toated malt and caramelized malt, macerated drupes, and earthy/leafy hops. Certainly malty, but more husky grain and fruity ester than caramel.

Taste -- Husky toasted grain, faint caramel, plums and peaches, and lots of earthy/leafy bitterness. Alcohol presence is quite apparent and slightly solvent-like. The more I drink this, the more it tastes like peach-infused vodka and flat tonic water.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full bodied, slick and chewy, with moderate carbonation. Not bad.

Drinkability -- This was a letdown. Very peculiar with the heavy fruit esters and leafy bitterness - again, my mind conjures up peach vodka and flat tonic water. If you gave me this beer and asked me to guess what it was, I certainly wouldn't have guessed Scotch Ale. Not enough of that classic caramelized malt character that typifies the style. Didn't hate it, but I don't see myself reaching for more. (1,056 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.95/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

'11 vintage, extra'ed to me in a trade recently.

Pours fairly still, with a little bit of fizz on top, and no lacing. Looks kind of watery.

Smells weirdly flat, some caramel, toffee, but also booze, and some mild oxidation.

The oxidation feel gets much stronger in the flavor. There's a bitter flat cardboard flavor, and astringent alcohol that gets stronger as it warms up further. Beyond those distracting opening flavors, I also get some caramel, toffee, and peaty smokiness. But those flavors are flat and don't feature strongly enough. It's way too sweet, cloying even, and just doesn't work. I'm sure fresh that this one is much nicer.

It's sweet and syrupy, mouthfeel-wise, with a medium body, but it's a little thin for a beer of it's style and ABV. There's barely any carbonation.

This one is just too old. It hasn't held up well. (844 characters)

Photo of sentomaster
3.02/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

No bottle date. 550 ml bottlePoured into a tulip.

Smell is rich sherry alcohol with a bit of vanilla and must.

Fusel alcohol dominates the palate. A bit of unripe tangerines and medicinal cherries. A leafy, earthy, oily, leathery bitterness rides along with the alcohol. Alcohol lingers with a bit of smoke and wood...

This was really disappointing after seeing what a high average this beer was getting. This really really fails as a scotch ale and is just ok as a...old ale maybe? It drinks more like an old ale with the musty, leathery, earthiness. None of the classic toasty, caramelized malt, which is quintessential scotch ale, is allowed to shine through at all- and what little fruitiness comes through is weak and unappealing.

Big letdown and I still can't seem to find an American brewery who can nail this style like the country of its origin... (861 characters)

Photo of RDHerm
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish amber with copper colored highlights. Has a thin white head that dissipates almost immediately, leaving a thin ring that holds throughout and displays excellent lacing.

A sweet aroma, but a bit on the weak side. Solid notes of dark fruits, roasted malts, and oak, with hints of caramel and yeast.

Taste is a lot stronger, and quite different, than what the smell indicates. Heavy flavors of scotch and malts predominate, with flavors of vanilla and fruit in the finish. There is a strong alcohol presence, but not so much that you would call it a bite.

Medium in body, light in carbonation. Initial feel is harsh, but it does finish smooth. Good carbonation level, and it lingers on the palate just long enough.

Reasonably tasty, but very strong both in flavor and in alcohol content. Not the best example of its style, but if there are no other Scotch Ales available, you won't be too disappointed. (924 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours medium reddish amber with touches white foam. All malt smell. Malt taste open, peaty with a lingering back hop. Whiskey backed taste. Smooth. Earthy. Flavorful. Modestly drinkable, alcohol wallop.

I liked it, but not nearly as much as the other reviewers. (307 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark copper/chestnut brown with deep golden orange/ruby hues when held to a light source and 1.5 finger frothy off-white head that slowly fades into a lasting cap which leaves sporadic splotches of lacing.

Slightly smokey caramel malt aroma with hints of hazelnut, honey, molasses, caramel candy, butterscotch, toffee and biscuit. Subtle ops also make an appearance but this smells just like a piece of caramel candy.

Medium bodied with a slight touch of smokiness as well as a strong spicy and hop forward flavor. Oily, buttery body with some caramel malt, caramel candy, butterscotch, toffee and butter. I guess this is what's called diacetyl. Very different but not my thing. (693 characters)

Photo of edmedina
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this bottle from a friend who lives up in the north east. I've been impressed with most of their beers I've had. In fact, I can't recall a beer I've had from them that I wouldn't have again. This one however just might be the first one.

This beer pours with a small head on the beer. It is about one finger's worth of head and quickly dissipates. The color is a light brown and really hazy. In fact you can see a lot of tannins in the beer. I am not sure what I am looking at but it's not something I mind at all.

The aroma is a sweet brown sugar smell. I get hints of fig and what I can only call a bready character. My first taste and I get the very sweet malty character present in the beer. Also present is a bread like character, almost like bread pudding. I can detect hints of a sweet apple taste but it's subtle. Notice, how I use sweet a lot? This is definitely a sweet beer. The after taste is dry with a hot alcohol character. It leaves me with an interesting after taste.

This isn't a bad beer at all. In fact I know a lot of people that would absolutely enjoy this beer. However, it is a young beer. It reminds me of a mild 120 min IPA. I did enjoy this beer but I am not sure I would drink it again unless it was aged a couple of years. (1,261 characters)

Photo of far333
3.36/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Caramel and ruby colored with a beige head that settles out quickly. Very low aroma of caramel and metallic note. Flavors of caramel and toffee, some vanilla, a bit woody, maltiness is offset with firm bitterness. Finishes with some grassy hop notes and mild phenols. Mouthfeel is a tad slick, but finishes tingly, slight warming of the cheeks. Tasty beer, but not too complex, was expecting more. (397 characters)

Photo of NEhophead
3.36/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ML brown bottle, wrapped in foil; served in an oversized wine glass.

Pours a murky, two-toned light copper in color beneath a porous, deliciately thin head. Thin, dimpled lacing grace the rim of the wine glass with good strength.

Mild caramel and toffee amidst a moderately strong, slightly sour alcohol nose; bourbon notes perhaps. Holiday spices: cinnamon, nutmeg; gingerbread with medicinal tones. Intriguing, but rather mild.

Musty-yeast filled bread-like maltiness. The malt character is much more bitter instead of rounded or sweet as expected. One-toned fig, raisin, and date flavors prior to some bland, alcohol heat. A bland flavored Scotch Ale.

Almost full bodied; primarily heavy as the bready flavors overtake the palate.

A pretty disappointing offering from New England. The secondary flavors (e.g., alcohol, dark fruit, malt sweetness, etc.) just never developed. Instead, what is left is a rather bland, one-note offering with some flavor flaws along the way. (984 characters)

Photo of hamilton23
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a nice caramel brown with a fair amount of beige head.

S: Peat, toffee, some roastiness and something just a bit funky, couldn't put my finger on it.

T: Slightly sweet, notes of caramel/toffee, smoked wood and vanilla cookies

M: Nicely carbonated, smooth finish

O: A nice beer, but not my favorite within my favorite style. (337 characters)

Photo of portia99
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. This has been sitting in my cellar for a few months - not sure why I haven't tried yet, but now is the time.

A - Pours a murky, muddy sorta neutral amber brown color with a short finger of off-white foam that dies fairly quickly and leaves behind some spotty and loose lacing on the glass.

S - Sugary sweet, roasted malts, a bit of alcohol, a hint of citrus. Overall, aromas are pretty low and don't give much of an impression. As it warms, more aromas develop...vanilla pops out a bit and I get more and more barrel impressions.

T - Sweet, a bit boozy. I'm not aware of this hitting a barrel, but has a bit of a bourbony aspect to it. Caramel malt, sweet, fairly bitter for the style with hints of citrus.

M - Medium bodied, but still seems a bit thin for the style. Carbonation is low, really with just a small hint of some life. A bit warm...I get a distinct tingle on the tongue especially after the swallow which seems more a product of alcohol than carbonation.

O - Overall, not bad - but I wouldn't say this really stands out as a must have again. It is pretty well balanced with the malt just winning out in the battle against the hops. A bit of a different impression of the style. I could have this again without a problem, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it. (1,318 characters)

Photo of bonbini26
3.52/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap @ the ginger man 02-07-09

Pours an amber, carbon-less color. the aroma is very boozy. the taste is also very strong in the scotch department. At 1st the beer is almost overwelming but after a few sips it mellows out a little bit. Still very strong for a scotch ale. (273 characters)

Photo of craytonic
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

consumed a couple days ago, from notes

Pour is a cloudy ruby-amber. Sticky-sweet bourbon nose, the taste is similar with butterscotch candy, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee and caramel. Body is a little sticky as well. They didn't do too much to cover up the alcohol, as it is certainly present and noticeable. (308 characters)

Photo of n2185
3.54/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky brown with a finger of beige head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Loads of caramel malts with notes of vanilla, sweet breads, and graham crackers. Slight alcohol aroma as well.

T: Sticky caramel malts dominate with vanilla and hints of toffee. Sweet bready flavors are also present with a moderate alcohol presence.

M: Medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer avoids being too sticky sweet.

O: A pretty decent Scotch ale overall. Not terribly complex and a bit boozy, but still enjoyable. (536 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.57/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle; 2010 vintage

Pours a reddish/brown with some mild bubbles forming. It appears sitting on this a year has hindered the carbonation. The aroma is of toffee, sugary fruits, bready malt, herbs, and some ethanol. The flavor profile follows the nose. Caramel and toffee with toasted multigrain bread and sweet sugary fruit. The booze in this guy is not bashful, but never overpowering. Given that this is a year old, the carbonation has faded, making the feel a little thin. Overall, this has some nice qualities but I will need to try this fresh to review this adequately. Consider this a rough draft. (611 characters)

Photo of ms11781
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 vintage. 500ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark orange/amber color. A creamy off white head that sticks around for a bit before dying down to a thin white cap that hangs on until the end.

A malty sweetness followed by smoky notes dominate the nose here. Some alcohol is present as well. Maybe some dark fruit, but I'm not sure as it didn't seem to show up each time.

Almost immediately alcohol consumes the palate then malty and smoky flavors take over. Caramel, oak and now I finally understand exactly what people mean when they get a smoked peat flavor. Another boozy kick finishes out each sip.

Mouthfeel leaned towards the fuller ends of of things and was a bit oily for me. Definitely some heat as well.

This is a one and done for me. 10%ABV seems low on this one. Not entirely tough to drink but definitely a sipper that won't leave you wanting more - in one sitting anyway. (901 characters)

Photo of radioscooter
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade and was eager to try it as part of my ongoing WH/SA journey.

Appearance is underwhelming. Almost no head, quickly dissipating bubbles. Cloudy caramel color.

Aroma is earthy, musty, mossy, and heady.

First taste throws me off. Wow. A Scotch Ale that actually tastes a bit like Scotch... Okay, that's a new one. Of course it's possible. It's all about the malt after all. But usually we don't get this much woodiness and Glen-roaming -in-the-gloaming in ale form.

Sadly, the ridiculously inane name of this beer paired with the stupid label art did not set me up for the seriousness of the brew. This beer deserves a label with a crest on it and a name like "The Highlander" or "Glen Woodbridge" or something that makes you anticipate their effort. As opposed to yet another overly goofy, fraternity-aimed gigglefest.

The alcohol level is immediately up front. Not annoyingly so, but prominent.
I think mine is much too cold so I'm going to back off for a little while.

20 minutes later...

As it oxidizes a bit more of the phenols come out and the spice levels reveal themselves in the flavor. Lots of sweet butter, toffee, and butterscotch syrup. It's like an alcoholic Werther's.

Too boozy for all night. And not dark or heavy enough to treat like a true sipper. But definitely something to visit. (1,325 characters)

Photo of Bendurgin
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours kind of murky dark amber with a thing layer of white foam that vanishes almost right away. Toasty malt aroma with slight caramel sweetness and a slightly fruity aroma. The flavor is really malty with a kind of sweet slightly fruity flavor and a caramel finish. The feel is good, with a nice medium body and soft carbonation. Overall a good beer, it's kind of boozy with a warm finish. (390 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Thanks to woosterbill for this--it's been too long, CL needs another release soon!

Pours a dark brown mahogany color with a bit of an off white head. The nose brings forward some pretty nice aromas of caramel, butterscotch, dark fruits, sweet bread, and a bit of booze. The taste brings out similar characteristics, but everything is a tad bit harsh and slightly taken over by alcohol. Good body with decent carbonation, though still a bit hot. I'm anxious to see what some age does to this. (513 characters)

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Wet Willy Scotch Ale from New England Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.