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Wet Willy Scotch Ale - New England Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Wet Willy Scotch AleWet Willy Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

281 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 281
Reviews: 153
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 50
Gots: 70 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 281 | Reviews: 153 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of radioscooter
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%

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.

radioscooter, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of Stigs
4/5  rDev +1.5%

oddly shaped 500ml bottle, split and served in Stone Levitation glasses

A - pours with a short-lived third inch of loose, bubbly light tan colored foam which settles to a ring within a few minutes. the beer is slightly cloudy, dark gold and amber in color.

S - heavily earthy, with scents of smoke and firewood alongside some vegetation and peat. bold, sweet caramel and alcohol round it out.

T - begins with some lightly fruity notes...grapes pears and apples before being cut into sharply by the earthy smoke. fair amount of alcohol, and tobacco (where are the firearms?) creep into the second half. all the while, sweet caramel and toffee provide the base.

M - medium bodied, very oily and pretty slick going down. moderate, tight and fizzy carbonation doesnt overpower at all. mouth is left slightly sticky from the sweetness, yet alcohol does a fairly good job cleaning it up.

D - solid all around. bold and flavorful, yet nothing really stands out. good representation of the style, if not a bit safe. oh well, its still quite good.

Stigs, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of NEhophead
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%

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.

NEhophead, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of rowingbrewer
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%

had been looking forward to trying this beer after I had ghandi bot.

This beer pours a hazy orangish brown color, with a small off white head. the beer has a very homebrew look to it. the smell is mediocre, there is not much going on there, a little yeast smell, some faint smokey smell is also present. The taste is awseome, would not expect this flavor from a beer with such a muted nose. definitely picking up the smoked malts, as well as the carmalized sugars from the brewing process. This beer is nice and sweet, but is balanced out by the smokiness from the malts. the mouthfeel is very full with decent carbonation, a very good example of the style, it is also very drinkable for the 10% abv.

definitely worth the 7-8 dollars.

rowingbrewer, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of Bendurgin
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%

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.

Bendurgin, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of kzoobrew
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Thanks to mob2332 for the bottle. Cheers.

Poured into snifter. The body is a caramel orange color capped by a one and a half finger white head. The head diminishes quickly leaving a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass. A health dose of lacing is left holding tightly to the glass.

Wow, the aroma is catching me off guard. Very strong smoke and woody scents absolutely ooze from the glass. These are very complimentary and appropriate for the style but I was certainly not expecting this. Rich caramel can be noticed behind though cannot compete with the upfront aromas.

The flavor is nearly as much a surprise as the smell as the nose did not lead the tongue in the right direction. The upfront smoke and oak which were prominent in the nose are now much more subdued. Heavy caramelized sugar greet the tongue. On the midpalate a bright dark fruit twang emerges.
The flavors finally merge into one cohesive flavor near the back of the palate. Pleasant oaky dryness sits on the back of the tongue.

Medium bodied wee heavy. The carbonation is one the lower side which is very appropriate. Very smooth texture on the tongue. The finish is moderate, honestly a bit more dry than what I would expect.

I really enjoy this beer. Each Scotch Ale I come across is a bit different but each is enjoyable. Wet Willy uses less roasted malt and more caramelized sugars compared to what I am use to. The flavor is a pleasant departure from my norm. Wet Willy managed to catch me off guard more than once, each time leaving me pleasantly surprised. I like this beer, I would advise checking it out.

kzoobrew, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of aepb1
3.9/5  rDev -1%

A- Amber clear body with a fluffy white head

S- Sweet malts up front, some more earthy malts are next

T- Caramel malts up front, moves into a body of earthy oak and finishes in a nice boozy scotch ale taste

M- Medium body, kind of thin for the style in my opinion

D- Very interesting and easy to drink scotch ale

aepb1, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of ppoitras
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%

500ml bottle purchased at WineNation, Millbury, MA. Maroon shrink-wrapped cap.

Poured into a Harpoon LE tulip, formed a 1/4" off-white head over the totally cloudy orangey amber brew. Head quickly recedes to the rim, with leggy slow-falling lace. Aroma is dominated by vanilla which plays with the booziness.

Taste starts sweet, a peek of tart fruitiness in the middle, citrus hops to a vanilla alcohol close. Aftertaste lingers of earthiness. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, maybe a bit lacking in carbonation, with reasonable drinkability as well. Could be a bit better for me, but still and enjoyable brew.

ppoitras, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of rudzud
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%

Glad I was able to find a bottle of this

A - Poured a coppery mahongany colour into a Duvel tulip with a nice light offwhite colour one finger head that slowly fades leaving nice side lacing. When held up to the light there is a slight amount of suspended particles.

S - Picking up some nice carmel malts and maybe some kinda of alcohol and bready notes. For a split second I pick up the faintest of bourbon notes. Must be my nose playing tricks...

T - Malts are the centerpiece here. Sweet carmel malts. Nice subtle flavours here with no distinguishable hop characteristics.

M - Low carbonation on this one with a nice creamy mouthfeel. Very smooth all the way down.

D - Highly drinkable thanks to the subtle flavors and smooth characteristics. Could never tell this was a 10% ABV brew. Cant wait to buy another bottle of this.

rudzud, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of TheTippler
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%

I was told by a distributor that only 50 cases of this is made. I am unaware of the validity of this. Cloudy and copper in color. Finger-sized head that dissipates somewhat quickly. I can't really smell much on it... maybe a bit of smoke? Remarkably smooth for a 10% scotch ale and dangerously drinkable. Caramel-toffee-boozy flavors.

TheTippler, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of SteveO1231
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%

2010 Release - Grabbed a 500ml bottle around the holidays. A murky plaid label with an illustration of Groundskeeper Willy in a slicker. Pours a perfect copper, slightly cloudy, large off white head dissipates quickly. Big malt aroma, caramel and tangerine, oak. Full-bodied, syrupy thick with a matching texture. Pretty sweet upfront with a smokiness. A bit astringent from the alcohol. A bit like airplane glue. Quite bitter as well, finishes with a citrusy/piny finish. The pete flavors really start to come out as this one warms. It's a sipper but may have consumed a bit too fast to truly appreciate it. Definitely a good winter warmer upper.


SteveO1231, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of andrewinski1
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%

Got this one from my brother for Christmas. Poured into a tulip. A very light tan solid head rests atop a perfectly caramel colored clear body.

The aroma is a nice bready toast aroma. The malt is really the star of the show here. There is a little bit of buttery aroma as well, but it took me a while to find it and could be perceived as a nice addition to the complexity; it is appropriate for the style.

The flavor is mildly sweet and very malty. Almost no hop presence is detected. Toffee and caramel are dominant flavors, and the beer only hints at a touch of burnt sugar. Very nice with the subtle flavors.

A nice smooth mouthfeel for the high ABV. This is very smooth and drinkable. Love it.

andrewinski1, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%

Pours a hazy orange to light brown in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, peat, caramel, and a small roast. In the taste, dry peat, dry caramel and a small sweet earthiness. A small bite, but mainly smooth and a light to medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry earth and almost sweet pear in the aftertaste. Nice small fruit and nice dry caramel and malt, quite nice.

OWSLEY069, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of robwestcott
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%

thanks to alpinebryant for this one.

poured cold from the bottle an opaque maple syrup rose hued brown to a dogfish head shaped pint glass with a nice long lasting foamy tan head with good lacing.

aroma of dark nuts, brown sugar and a bit of bourbon (?).

scotch whiskey forward, big bodied and full of heat, burnt brown sugars, dark fruits, caramel. super complex brew.

thick, smooth, creamy, sweet, medium carbonation, lots of heat.

drinkable - yep, wish I had 2.

to me thus seems a bigger bodied, more rounded backwoods bastard.

robwestcott, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of CliffBrake
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%

Medium to dark hazy amber color with modest head and good lacing.

Nose is of roasty malts and caramel. The taste is very reminiscent of scotch whiskey - caramelized malts lead the way, backed by fruity flavors - banana and apple, and a capping hop bitterness. Vanilla and a round, creamy mouth feel are probably contributed by oak chips used in fermentation. Well constructed.

A fascinating beer - well balanced but quite bold and unique. It tastes like a bit like a brown or strong ale aged in whiskey barrels. Well worth seeking out. I am glad I have another bottle to check out after some cellar time.

CliffBrake, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Poured from a 500ml bottle into two pint glasses. Thanks to HollyAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for this from our latest trade.

2010 Vintage

A: Pours a hazy, bright amber color with a bubbly, off-white head. Retention is ok with nice lace left behind. Carbonation is quite lazy.

S: Smells of caramel malt, apples, mild citrus, and alcohol.

T: Just as above with an emphasis on the alcohol flavor. A touch of white grape in the finish?

M: Sweet and slick with a quickly creeping solvent alcohol quality that tickles the nose and tingles on the tongue.

D: I didn't realise this was packing 10% until I took my first sip and made the realization that this beer is strong, and they made no effort to hide that fact. Good show!

GbVDave, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of ms11781
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%

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.

ms11781, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of ThreeDimesDown
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%

Cellared for about a month on a recommendation from a guy who was present during bottling.

Poured a clear burnt Sienna color with an eggshell white head. The one finger thick head dissipated to a skin that stuck around for the duration.

Notes of caramel, vanilla, oak and a hint of spice (cinnamon). Very subdued nose.

Taste is bigger, with some nice complexities. Caramel and toffy malts with a bready malt backbone. Black cherries, brown sugar sweetness, and nuttiness. The only presence of hops detected was in the slightly bitter finish. Alcohol warmth is well balanced especially for the %.

Mouthfeel is medium and smooth, almost creamy.

Overall a very nice brew, lots going on but balanced out well.

ThreeDimesDown, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of tchaos
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%

Poured from a bottle into a snifter at Mellow Mushroom in Brandon. New England Brewing does not have a huge presence in FL; therefore, this beer was new to me.

A - Pours a hazy, deep copper with a one-finger off-white head that diminishes into fair lacing. Moderate carbonation can be seen. Expected this to be clearer for the style.

S - Very faint hops; predominantly deep, earthy malts, with a bit of sweetness and alcohol also present. Aroma develops exceptionally well as it warms.

T: Rich, nutty malts and dried fruit pervade. Less alcohol comes across than the 10.0% ABV would suggest. Some hop bitterness in the middle, before a touch of sweetness that gives way to a lightly dry finish. The hops were a pleasant surprise, as was the restrained sweetness (vs. for example, Old Chub -- http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/2681/14712)

M: Smooth and full, with moderate carbonation. A bit of warmth on the finish from the alcohol.

D: This is a very inviting scotch ale, from a drinkability perspective. The slight bitterness from the hops help balance the sweetness from the malt, which results in a clean finish. Each sip encourages another.

tchaos, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of flexabull
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%

Bottle courtesy of gn0sis, thanks again!

Pours a deep amber/brown color with a good white head.

Aromas are nice. Sweet caramel, oak, and coconuts.

Taste is malty sweet, but not overly so. It's about right for the style. Nice coconut notes, light oak, and boozy sweet. Finish has hints of earthy hops, and a nice alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is ok, but it seems a little thin, I'd like beers of this style to be thicker.

Drinkability is good. Very solid example of the style, with more body this would be really good.

flexabull, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of Bitterbill
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%

Purchased from Grand Vin, 500ml bottle.

A nice deep red colour, I get close to a 2 finger head of foam with some good lacing.

I'm trying to pull out the aromas but it's kind of tough. Very mild nose of some fruity and malty sweetness. A really light nose for a big brew.

The taste is much bigger. Sweet malt that has a light dark fruitiness to it, vanilla, an unusual liquor kind of flavour that strikes me like scotch, and a decided bitter feel close to and in the finish where I get a lot of warming. Hmm...I don't I've evr had one of this style that tastes like it. 2nd pour and the beer turns a bit hazy.

There's plenty of body here with lightish carbonation. A good feel and good drinkability once I got used to the taste. I've decided, me likes!

Bitterbill, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of robhunta
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%

A - lighter amber brown than expected, but still looks nice, clear, good head, dissipates and leaves bigger bubbles around the glass

S - First scent I noticed was actually scotch, which is good, has a sweet malty aroma, then when the beer first hits my mouth I reallyt smell the alcohol/scotch flavor

T - delicious sweet scotch flavor, good malt flavors

M - I bit sticky, but thats expected for this malty brew, nice smooth mouthfeel, some warm alcohol feel too

D - Great dessert beer

robhunta, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of silentjay
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%

pours lighter than expected and murky brown with a spotty off-white head that laces okay.

aroma of caramel, vanilla, nougat, butterscotch (i guess this is aged in barrels? doesn't say so on the bottle after some research i find its aged with oak chips.) and plenty of booze. they definitely went for a Scotch character with this scotch ale. not bad.

kinda odd flavor. comes on a bit strong, then fades to almost nothing until it comes back for a warming boozy aftertaste. has some hints at wonderful flavors but goes watery in the middle and has little flavor overall. bit of a let-down from the aroma.

again, a bit watery with very little carbonation. some nice booze heat hits at the end and lingers softly.

drinkability is good. alcohol is not harsh (just pleasantly warming) and flavors definitely aren't detrimental. bad part is that the flavors are kind of weak. not what I was expecting. not worth the premium price tag for me.

silentjay, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of number1bum
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%

Pours a light brown, copperish sort of color with one finger of light beige head. Keeps a thin, bubbly lace with minimal stick.

Smell is rather delicate for a beer of this strength, but quite nice. Soft caramel with a modest sweetness to it, and a nice buttery, almost toffee-like aroma as well. Subtle earthiness as well. Very nice.

Taste is also more restrained than I might have guessed when I read the 10%. It has a nice caramel flavor but it's not overly sweet at all. Has a lightly toasty, bready quality to it, and a buttery flavor as well. Not quite like a butterscotch flavor because it's not that sweet. Subtle bitterness in the finish with an earthy flavor as well. This is incredibly smooth and there is not even a hint of alcohol detectable.

Mouthfeel is a very smooth medium-full body, quite clean in the finish. A bit lighter than I would have guessed given the ABV, and smoother as well with no alcohol burn or bite.

This is a definite success by New England, taking a style that I don't typically care for that much and making it a delightful sipper. I say sipper because I know the ABV, but if it wasn't on the label I would never guess it the way it drinks. That's a testament to how smooth and balanced it is. A really nice beer to sit back and savor on a cool evening.

number1bum, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of cbutova
3.98/5  rDev +1%

2010 "vintage".

A- Murky red-brown with a very small head that leavs a creamy ring and some spotty lace.

S- Very buttery with dark fruit and caramel as primary aromas. Some bread notes in the background.

T- Starts out with a good amount of dark fruit and caramel and upon swallowing turns into a piece of toast slathered in butter. I remember burping and it tasted like morning toast afterward. A malt bomb. Some oak and vanilla type notes going on.

MF- Moderate body with a fairly oily feel rather than creamy. Carbonation fairly high and some warmth from the alcohol.

DB- A malty butter bomb, quite unique and filled with diacetyl. I really don't mind it but I could see some people ripping this apart. Very impressed by the fact that it is single malt, must have a beast of a yeast.

cbutova, Nov 23, 2010
Wet Willy Scotch Ale from New England Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 281 ratings.