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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

295 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 295
Reviews: 156
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 50
Gots: 70 | FT: 3
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 295 | Reviews: 156 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%

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

500ml bottle freshly picked up at the brewery care of Dan. The new bottle format includes a maroon shrink wrap collar/sleeve around the cap that matches the label. Poured into a snifter wet willy appears a hazed copper color. 2 fingers worth of creamy yellowish stained head appear and retain fairly well. A webbing of lace clings to the glass.

The aroma of this brew includes hop character that is both fruity and citrus-like reminiscent of orange rind. There is a little bit of smoked malt character hidden beneath the hoppiness. In the back of the aroma is a scent of vanilla that blends with the hops to create a very smooth sweet smelling scent that is very enjoyable but quite unlike the standard scotch ale nose. As it warms, the fusel character to the alcohol becomes more apparent with a slight sting to the nose.

The taste of this brew has a bold presence of fusel alcohol and a bold bitterness from herbal hops upfront that lasts long into the aftertaste. Midway through the taste there is a vanilla smoothness along with caramel malt sweetness and some fruity suggestions. The smoked aspect of the malt is faint in the background.

This is a full bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It feels viscous and almost gluey in the mouth reminiscent of the feel of a roggenbier that has a huge portion of rye in the grain bill. I don't know what it is about this brew...I like it but it is outside the box. Right now it is safe to say that it is a bit hot and could use some time to mellow out and blend the flavors. Once the boldness of the hops and alcohol chill out there could be a spectacular scotch ale hiding within.

Photo of corby112
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of mothman
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened it up and smelt it and it seems to be -bal aged. I was unaware of this, so I am very excited right now.

Poured into Bells snifter.

Pours 1/2 finger of beige head that fades to a thin layer. Very light lace. Color is a dark maroon hued murky brown. Active carbonation in the glass.

Aroma: Smell is of wood, vanilla, whiskey, caramel, toffee, and lots of malts. A very nice smelling scotch ale. All the flavors blend together well.

Taste: This beer packs a decent whiskey punch to it, but it benefits the style well. A big punch of vanilla and wood flavors. Toffee and caramel flavored malts. This beer is very malty and has some sweet notes. It seems to have some dark fruits, maybe dried cherries.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. No heat showing which is really nice for how high the abv is. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry, big malt flavor with some vanilla.

Overall, this was a solid scotch. I enjoyed what the barrels did to this style. The abv didn't show at all, making this dangerous. I highly recommend this one. Great for the style plus drinkable = a winner.

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.

Photo of akorsak
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wet Willy Scotch Ale
New England Brewing Co.

Thanks to monsterzero for this 500 mL bottle. Who is that sly figure on the bottle?

A: The Scotch ale is a robust looker, filling my glass with dark malt-tinged ale and a prodigious head. Plenty of off-white lace is left behind. The ale, for its darker hue, remains translucent.

S: The nose is malty thick, so thick and sweet that I had to double check that this isn't barrel aged. Sweet syrupy undertones drive a peat-smoked aroma, very filling. Excessive malts are well-concentrated.

T: Very interesting. Dark fruits, cherries, and vanilla pop out, definitely not what I was expecting (and something appropriately barrel-driven). Darker Belgian flavors, raisins as well as the cherries, attempt to mask the alcohol. They fail in that regard. The booziness is a trademark of the ale, lifting it. The ale seems to have a surprising amount of hops, a nice bite that gets through the intense malts. Very warming and sweet, the finish brings more fruits and wood to the table. An interesting take that veers off the path (in a good way).

M: The mouthfeel is big and malty. The Belgian flavors are a nice twist, detracting from the strength as they add to it. The wall of oaken flavor is worth trying again (even if no oak was harmed in the making...).

O: Not quite to the style but damned complex nonetheless. Ach, you'll love it, you cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

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

Pours a three finger white head fades slowly leaving some lace. Slightly hazy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is complex maybe sherry and flavor is sweetish sherry. Different scotch ale expecting more dark fruit. High ABV is hidden. Not cheap - $7.99 for a 500ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

Purple Foil/Capped

Pours a nice cloudy amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some bourbon notes, slight spicy. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, very good bourbon notes, with some slight spicy. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a potent little sucker, lol Thanks Wayne.

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.

Photo of Kelp
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

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

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.

Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +1.8%

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.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz provided by Buckeyeboy... Thanks Jeremy for this new to me brew.

Pours fairly clear dark brown... nice highlites but no real head or lacing..

Nose is pretty traditional Wee Heavy.. very malty with some dark fruits....

Malty without verging on cloying... some caramel malts play well... dark toast.. figgy.... background peat smoke adds a layer of complexity that I don't really jive with but appreciate nonetheless... barrel essence too that seems too much and sorta distracts from the base beer.

I had a hard time with this one.... Lately I've not been in to Wee Heavies.. and even more not into barrel aged versions... this is pretty good but needs more nuance to make it into my big league.


Thanks again Jeremy.... I wish I could appreciate this one more.

Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Bitterbill
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of Duff27
4/5  rDev +1.8%

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.

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

Pours a dark brown mahogany color with a bit of an off white head that dissipates almost immediately leaving some spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with caramel maltiness mixed with equal amounts of butterscotch, dark fruits, toasted bread and a hint of booze.

The taste follows the nose and brings out toffee, dark fruit and spice notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. After the toffee opening, the earthy and peaty flavors move in, balanced by a bit of drying alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is actually rather crisp, sharp and dry compared to many sweeter ales in this category.

Overall this was a good scotch ale but not anything amazing or worthy of seeking out if you can get something similar easier. Alesmith and Traquir still make the best examples of the style (one domestic, one imported) but I see no reason to seek this Wet Willy out over any of them which I can locate much easier.

Photo of Gobzilla
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of bsuedekum
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of cjgator3
4.74/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

A- Purple foil and capped. Pours a dark brown color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is simply fantastic! It is very malty with a ton of Bourbon, vanilla and wood. I like a lot!

T- The taste like the aroma is a lot of sweet malt, bourbon and peat. It is sweet, but not too sweet. The alcohol is defintiely there, but this beer could not be any smoother. Wow, fantastic stuff!

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- 10% ABV? Are you kidding me? This beer goes down dangerously smooth. Overall, Wet Willy is a fantastic brew that is a must try! Highly Recommended!

Photo of Durge
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy medium copper color with modest a white head and average lace. It has a strong herbal, almost minty, peppery aroma. The flavor is similar to the aroma, mild herbal with a background of honey and sweet wheat, a hint of scotch without a heavy alcohol dominance. This is incredibly smooth and more drinkable than most wee heavies. New England has a very different and highly enjoyable brew here. Can't wait to have another!

Wet Willy Scotch Ale from New England Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 295 ratings.