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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.
very good

157 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 157
Hads: 305
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 50
Gots: 73 | 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.
View: Beers (55) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 157 | Hads: 305
Photo of angrybabboon
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review adapted from notes taken 6/15/12

Appearance: Burnt orange/copper, with some light brown - small, creamy off-white head that fades quickly, leaves some spotty lacing - hazy

Smell: Heavy malts, cooked and grainy - a sweetness that can only be described as dark and grainy - some booze - somewhat whiskey-like, almost smells barrel aged (even though it isn't) - some dark fruit - rich bread crust and overcooked biscuits

Taste: Bread crust and some warming booze - heavier than I anticipated - cooked, caramelized malts, caramel malts, with some dry alcohol - slightly bitter, with a grainy sweetness - dark fruits, and some smoked malt

Mouthfeel: Heavy and full, borderline syrupy, adequate carbonation, nice carbonation, a sipper for sure

Overall: A decent sipper for Scotchtoberfest

This is not a fantastic Scotch Ale, but I certainly wouldn't mind having it again. It really needs to be consumed slowly. Apparently it is 10% ABV, but I wouldn't have been shocked learn it was 15%. Seriously. It's boozy, but in a pleasant way.

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Photo of BostonHops
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a snifter.

pours a dull copper shade yielding maybe a 3/4" off-white head. so-so retention as it recedes pretty quickly into a thin cap, collar around the glass. (not unsurprising given the style and strength); decent lacing evident. nose is decidedly on the muted side; definitely lacking that boldness i was looking for. what is there is a bit sweet - as in fruity, maybe citrus, with some caramel malt in the background.

subtle nose belies the flavor, which does pack a bold punch. there's that fruit presence - citrus, maybe dark fruit, with caramel malt and secondary notes of vanilla and oak... good degree of complexity. is this barrel aged? has that feel but i was under the impression it wasn't. one of the more unique beers i've had lately. nice, medium-full mouthfeel with slightly below average carbonation.

overall this may not be one of the best scotch ales out there but it is very solid. worth a try.

(originally reviewed: 05-17-2011)

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Photo of jegross2
2.57/5  rDev -34.6%
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

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Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mnbearsfan for this one!

A: Pours a hazy burgundy color with a small off-white head with little retention, a ring of lace forms. Thin, but sticky lacing forms on the side.

S: Some bready/biscuity malt, vanilla, caramelized sugar, and a little bit of dark fruit.

T: Some sweet, dark fruits come out right away, with more bready malt to back it up. There is some vanilla, brown sugar, and caramel.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Rather smooth with a slightly dry finish. Abv hidden very well.

O: A nice scotch ale, very tasty and surprisingly easy drinking for 10%. Would certainly drink this one again.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of billab914
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500l bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured a murky, orange/brown color with a thin, bubbly, white head barely covering the top of the beer. Nice lacing as I drank it as well.

The aroma shows a sweeter, malty profile to it with some caramel and toffee leading the way. The taste also showcases the malty, caramel flavors pretty nicely as well. I get a little vanilla to it in the finish along with some balancing bitterness.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being below average. Overall it was a pretty solid beer of the style. It showed some very good malty, caramel flavors to it but didn't become overly sweet. Very flavorful and tasty beer overall.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to philbe311 for acquiring this one.

Pours a murky coppery amber with lots of sediment, moderate cap off off-white head, minimal retention. Scent is a fantastic blend of buttery toffee, brown sugar, sweet caramel, glazed roasted nuts, kiss of smoke and earth, lightly juicy and resinous hops. Taste follows suit with a wonderfully blended and complex flavor profile that evokes just about every positive quality consumed in the style. Toffee, caramel, roasted nuts, vanilla, pineapple, char, earth, wood, lightly herbal, alcohol. Fuller side of medium bodied, smooth with some heft as it goes down, light bite at end of sip. Overall, a true winner in and out of the style and one I'd have over and over again.

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Photo of TotallyHosed
2.65/5  rDev -32.6%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a thistle. I can't remember who sent this to me, but it was one of my first trades, so this bottle is well over a year old.

Appearance - Pours a murky, sedimenty, chunky, fairly gross looking dark amber. No head. Huge chunks of sediment pour long before the bottom of the bottle. Looks icky.

Smell - Wow, it's quite a turn around. This isn't listed as oaked or barreled, but it sure tastes like it. Oak and bourbon come through a ton. Sweet caramel malts and some buttery aromas as well.

Taste - Buttery, as a scotch ale should be, but it's got a nice complement of oak and bourbon flavors. It's really interesting and more complex than I was expecting. It's a bit on the sweet side and finishes with a slick butterscotch flavor reminiscent of more traditional wee heavies.

Mouthfeel - I must confess to not liking the feel of scotch ales. The oak treatment (that I may or may not be imagining) masks it a bit, but it's still there. Buttery and slick. Not a lot of carbonation and it's pretty boozy too.

Overall - I am pleasantly surprised. This is not a beer I expected to enjoy this much.

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Photo of henskejk
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into tulip glass. Reviewed from notes

A - Dark orange, slightly red in color, good amount of lacing on glass

S - not as strong a smell as I would have liked, but it is mostly sweet/,alty smelling with a little bit of oak

T - nice sweetness mixed with oaky flavor and a little bit of booziness on the back

M - medium body, medium carbonation, smooth

O - enjoyable, but wish it had a stronger aroma

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle that has been aged for a little over a year, poured into a shaped pint glass.

Pours a very cloudy dark amber color with a small head that fades. Was this always under-carbonated? Not sure. Some lacing spots.

Very sweet aroma, fruit forward, some brandy, musty wood, slight caramel, candy, honey, etc.

Pretty slick feel. Syrupy sweet but then it gets kicked out by a slight alcohol burn. Touch of wood in the back combined with a dry afterfeel. Notes of caramel, honey, brandy. Really tastes what I imagined a Scotch Ale to be.

Neutral mouthfeel, bordering dry. Full body.

The sweet caramel and honey notes really gives this beer a Scottish feel to it. Alcohol, wood, and some fruit just add to the complexity. Way to go NEBCo!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep coppery brown color, with a thin off-white head, that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, vanilla, caramelized malts, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out and remains very sweet with flavors of caramel, vanilla, brown sugar and a little bit of fruit. Then a very hearty malt character comes in along with a mild hops presence that creates a good balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong and well-disguised kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a completely opaque hazel color. Very slim head. More of an uneven ring around the inner rim of the glass. Leaves squiggly lace snakes.

S-Sweet rich caramel along with a strange dried dog kibble scent. I have heard people say that some Wee Heavies have a dog food smell; I now understand the comparison. A light, lingering fruitiness deep in the center of the aroma can be detected. Booze doesn't seem to be much of an issue here.

T-Initial taste reminds me of a Caramel Apple for some reason. Loads of caramel. Alcohol becomes more evident on the palate. It actually attacks the tongue immediately. A good dose of assorted dried fruits (figs, raisins). Toffee and vanilla are present as well. A bit of hop bitterness in the finish.

M-Quite full in the body. Creamy as they come. The body is very evident when it is sloshed around my mouth with my tongue. Carbonation is not intense but it is plentiful. Tons of tiny bubbles with no real punch to them. Alcohol dries out my mouth.

O/D-Very happy to try it. I love NEBCO, perhaps my favorite New England Brewery. This is by no means in the same tier as Gandhi-Bot or Imperial Stout Trooper, but I did enjoy it. Lots going on here.

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Photo of beer4colin
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


That's Brigadoon:
It tells the story of a mysterious Scottish village that appears for only one day every hundred years, though to the villagers, the passing of each century seems no longer than one night. The enchantment is viewed by them as a blessing rather than a curse, for it saved the village from destruction. According to their covenant with God, no one from Brigadoon may ever leave, or the enchantment will be broken and the site and all its inhabitants will disappear into the mist forever. Two American tourists, lost in the Scottish Highlands, stumble upon the village just as a wedding is about to be celebrated, and their arrival has serious implications for the village's inhabitants.

And that says it all, except for the wedding part....

Scotch Ale is my favorite style and this beer rocks!! But, it is only here, like Brigadoon, for an instant. Love this beer....

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: My pour is a light hazy hazelnut bronze color with a rocky off-white head. Not much retention or lace.

Smell: The aroma is full of toffee, bready malt, peat, earthy spices, and some booze.

Taste: The flavor has a sharpness up front, with the malt having a toffee bite. More mellow roasted malt, earthy spices, and a bit of peat lead into a lightly boozy finish.

Mouthfeel: This has a full, sweet body. The sticky sweetness softens as the sip progresses, but it is sweet through. The carbonation is on the light side. A fair amount of sweetness residue stays on the tongue after each sip.

Overall: Obviously higher on the ABV than the average Scotch Ale, this is full, boozy, and enjoyable. Not one of the styles I really get into, but I enjoyed my glass.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head that goes quickly, high carbonation, yellowish-brown in color, cloudy

Smell: earth, vanilla cake, toasted malt—not very ipa like but very pleasant

Taste: pine and earth at the start followed by big time oak and some tobacco—light caramel and big alcohol round out the end

Mouthfeel: bitter start that gradually gets sweeter with noticeable alcohol burn at the end, moderate carbonation, heavy bodied and thick

Overall: This is a sipper and is a lot more oaky than I could ever have imagined. A solid sipper that is different from other Scotch Ales that I have tried. One per sitting but I would revisit this one.

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Photo of Cheesemoose
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served slowly into a 6oz snifter.

A nice red/yellow/orange collage, almost a bright amber in tone. Head, we don't need no stinking head. Lacing is moderate.

Mmm...sweet malty luscious beer. Warm alcohol blends with a soft malt base, providing some fine fruit notes. Rum raisins, molasses and vanilla.

The nose is deceiving. On the palate, there is a sharp start, a caramel/toffee/sweet fruit mid body and then a slow finish. It lacks the intensity that the nose provided.

Sticky mouthfeel. Coats the mouth and refuses to let go. The ABV is present, though adds more than hinders.

Well done, though a bit thin taste wise. Non abrasive and a good sipper. Dangerous as the abv is well masked.

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Photo of Krakistophales
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours grapefruit, rust colored with no head at all.

S: Lots of caramel, sweet malts, brown sugar, candied dark fruit like figs, plum, and dates, and a rum raisin type smell.

T: At first, a big hint of caramel and brown sugar, with the middle transitioning into dark fruity, bready, creamy sweetness, and the end having a nice hop bite and a butterscotch smooth finish. Excellent.

O: This is quite amazing. Probably the best scotch ale I've ever had, tastes more like a barleywine actually. Will definitely buy again.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 09/23/11 notes. Poured from a 500ml bottle into a snifter. Big thanks to Knifestyles for sending this as an extra; always like trying new NEBCO beers.

a - Pours a murky reddish orange brown color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, alcohol, bready malts, sweet sugar and fruit, and toffee. Really nice, but some alcohol is definitely there.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, sweet brown sugar, sweet fruit, and bready malts. Not as much alcohol as the nose and a step up.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth.

o - Overall a really good scotch ale with lots of caramel malts and toffee. I would have liked a little less alcohol in the nose, and might consider aging one if I got more. Would like to have again.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Bottle received as an extra some time ago.

A: Pours a hazy dark pumpkin color with a finger of off-white head that took a long time to fade into a thick collar that left a great network of soapy lacing down the glass.
S: I get dominant notes of butterscotch and toffee with a little bit of bread and light fruits.
T: Thankfully not as much butterscotch or toffee as the nose. I get notes of caramel, bread crust, spices, and roasted malt. This beer was sweet, but not as sweet as I was expecting. The aftertaste has a touch of tobacco in it. No booziness.
M: Thickish body with a slick mouthfeel and low carbonation. Alcohol is hidden very well.
O: A solid scotch ale. Not sure if the age mellowed it or what but I didn’t think it was overly sweet and definitely not overly boozy at all. I would drink this again.

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Photo of philbe311
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A slightly cascading pour yields two fingers worth of rich creamy khaki colored head... Solid retention gives way to a full rich creamy lacing... The color is a light-to-medium brown caramel... There is an ever so slight haziness... Mostly still though some small bubbled carbonation can be created at the top of the glass by gently rocking it back and forth... A bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Mostly sweet gooey caramel to start... Some brown sugars... A slight peat component... A very subtle whiff of boozienss...

T - Caramel... Brown sugar... Perhaps some raisins... Lots of bready malts... A hint of peat... A subtle nuttiness...

M - On the fuller side of medium bodied... Perhaps a bit thin... Sleek... Smooth... Sophisticated... Regal... Very light carbonation... A touch of chalkiness... Quite enjoyable...

D - Oh this is good... A bit of a booze bomb that is a definite sipper... The typical Wee Heavy goodness is dialed back a notch while the booze is dialed up... Still very rewarding... I'm quite glad that I opted to pick up a 2nd bottle...

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Photo of bonkers
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a bomber into 2 snifters, light amber pour, big white head. The aroma was caramel, alcohol, sweet caramel. The flavor was sweet, alcohol notes, caramel malts. The finish lingered, The beer was medium to full bodied, good carbonation. A solid beer, but not best in class.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.5/5  rDev -36.4%
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.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle poured into dfh signature glass

Pours a auburn burnt orange color with a slight haze. Thinner white head slowly dissolves into bubbly retention with some spotty lacing left behind.

Nice roasted malt tones in the nose with peat, and booze. Caramel and bready tones mix in with some candied dark fruit. Burnt sugar with figs and cherries - plenty of fruit character in the nose.

Full flavored from the get-go with dark fruit and a spike of scotch-like booze. Candi sugar mixed with fruit tones driven by fig and cherry. The malts are burly and forward, with plenty of thick bready notes and drizzled syrupy caramel. Hints of peat and smoke towards the finish with a heavy blast of booze and heat.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, sticky and chewy on the tongue, lingering finish. This is definitely a little on the hot side, but delivers a nice offering of flavors to go with the alcohol.

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Photo of Homebrew35
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost no head, after a good rousing some pops up but hardly any remains. White bubbles remain with big alcohol legs cling to the glass. Body is deep amber, not what i was expecting when compared to others in this category.

Smells like a big malty beer. Carmel, some toffee, quite a bit of alcohol, grainy malts.

Tastes very malty as well go figure. Carmel and toffee, huge sugary malty sweetness. Alcohol comes through but for 10% that's ok by me.

Mouth-feel is medium/full bodied. Low carbonation. Coating sweet syrupy, oily finish.

Overall this is a big, malty sweet, sipping beer. I needed to split this with more than 2 people. This coming year I'll buy a few to lay down to mellow it out. $8 500ml bottle, its a fair price.

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