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
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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 Bitterbill
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
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! (756 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
4.74/5  rDev +20.3%
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! (621 characters)

Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (922 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (833 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (905 characters)

Photo of Durge
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
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! (436 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (1,192 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in my Duvel tulip. Poured a murky plum color with a quarter inch bubbly, off-white head that quickly dissipated into a frothy band and a slick of foam; zero lacing on this one. Nose reveals dark fruit, caramel (kind of reminds me of an old ale) some bourbon and perhaps a malted peat quality. Incredible taste and complexity - not really what I would consider a scotch ale though (maybe an American Strong). Caramel, booze, vanilla and bourbon. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and lightly carbonated that slightly coats the tongue. This is one tasty brew; however, the $9.39 price tag is tough - an incredible sipper nonetheless. (644 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
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. (718 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 OWSLEY069
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (375 characters)

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 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 gford217
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle shared by a generous soul at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy caramel orange with a short-lived tan head that leaves almost no lacing.

Whoa, I could smell the booze from a couple feet away. Outside of that, there are plenty of sweet smells that dominate, including caramel malts and vanilla. And the smoked peat aromas are certainly more than just subtle.

The taste brings the whiskey back in a big way, with a big kick up front and a lasting burn through the finish. In between, again, lots of sweetness balanced by the smoky character of the peat as well. The barrel presence is very evident.

The mouthfeel is very slick with minimal carbonation and almost feels like an old ale on the palate. Very smooth.

Needless to say, this is a sipper - a big ole boozy beer that doesn't mess around. It's about the wood and booze with the sweetness trying its best to balance things out. I haven't decided if it succeeded or not... (937 characters)

Photo of mltobin
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle, poured into basic wine glass.
Appearance is a dark copper with a thin head. Its` smell hits w/ liquor right away, scotch of course. There is also sweetness from brown sugar, vanilla. Upon taking a sip, the taste has caramel, nuts, wood, more scotch. MF is med-heavy. A good scotch ale, although not one of my favorites from NEBCO. (345 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (646 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (790 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.48/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Growler of the 2010 vintage into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a hazy reddish-brown body topped by a perfect inch of creamy, sticky, dense tan head. Great retention and lacing by any standard - unbelievable for an 11%+ beer (which is where this year's version wound up; last time was the 10% listed on BA). Wow.

S: Whoa, this beer is an entirely different animal fresh compared to the aged bottles I've had from the last vintage. Yeah, there's the toffee/caramel/toasty/smoky malt, as well as the rich vanilla oakiness, but there's also a huge herbal hop presence. Some alcohol is noticeable, but it's by no means the booze bomb that a beer so big and so fresh might be expected to be. Excellent.

T: Opens with oak, then moves into a richly sweet malt body, and finishes with some bitterness and booziness. Big, bold, balanced, and delicious.

M: Full-bodied and rich with smooth, mouth-filling carbonation. The effervescence does a great job combating the stickiness. Perfect.

D: It's definitely on the big, boozy side of the style, but the bitterness and carbonation make this totally, seriously dangerous. Good thing I had help with the growler, or I would have been walking home from my friends' place.

Notes: What can I say? This is a crazy, unique, and delicious brew. One malt plus one hop plus a ridiculous amount of oak chips make for a stunning experience. I'll be buying as many bottles as I can find and aging them for years to come.

Cheers! (1,453 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

454th review on BA
bottle to snifter
500 ML

App- A nice mix of orange, red and yellow. A matched 1 1/2 finger head. No real lacing on this one.

Smell- Huge citrus which was suprising and a little caramel with a barleywine esque note to it.

Taste- Very sweet for the style. Very tasty though. A bit light and a little unbalanced. A not of booze is there with a bit of creaminess.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbed. I don't know why its a bit spicy on the finish with some malty, sweetness and a residual creaminess.

Drink- Still a very tasty brew and a welcome extra. Nice sweet turn on the style to make it NEBCO unique. Would like to have again. (656 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (858 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 alexgash
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle.

Slightly hazy ruby orange-red. Finger of dense, creamy, dirty beige head. Very nice lacing and retention. Very malty sweet nose. Candied fruits, rich caramel, peat malt, whiskey, and some rum.

Scorched caramel up front. Becomes fruitier and sweet and caramelier Slight woody, tannic bitterness around the edges. Whiskeyish, peaty notes near the finish. Woody bitterness in the finish with lots of lingering caramel and fruit. Medium-full body, with a softly carbonated feel. Delicious and quite drinkable. (524 characters)

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a semi-translucent copper with deeper red hues. There is about one full finger of off-white head that settles in a decent amount of time. Seriously great lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is caramel, peat, and what I swear is barrel aging. I know this hasn't seen a barrel treatment, but there is some mellow boozy heat in there.

T: Starts out nice and sweet, big caramel notes. Those mix well with some spice and booze heat. The bottle I'm drinking is over a year old, and it's better than I remember fresh.

M: Medium bodied beer. Sweet and cloying to start, smooths out in the middle, and finishes with a boozy and spicy kick.

O: Really solid beer. I'm usually not a big fan of Scotch Ales, but this is nice. I'd drink this again no problem. (755 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle poured into an unlabeled snifter 5/30/2014.

A- Dark brown amber body. Clear. One finger white head with short retention time. Not much lacing.

S- Tons of toffee, glazed caramel, brown sugar. Sweet but a beautiful smelling nose with a nice complexity.

F- Lot of toffee and molasses. A component reminds me of tapioca, like what is used in bubble tea. A hint of holiday spices. Even a bit of glazed donut frosting. Very sweet and one of the first scotch ales that I've found to be more than just a simple toffee bomb.

M- Medium bodied, even slightly syrupy, low in carbonation but about par for the style. Sweet, sweet finish that is unfortunately taken down quite a bit by a strong, boozy fusel flavour that leaves a hot finish as it goes down. I'm just not a fan of that type of booziness. Certainly a sipper.

O- Very interesting and quite sweet scotch ale that I actually find myself enjoying despite its heavy fusel character. (946 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a large beer mug.

L - murky rust color with a thin beige head that just went away in a few minutes.

S - sweet toffee and burnt brown sugar.

T - sweetness upfront with the alcohol making itself known finishing with some light bitterness.

F - medium bodied, mild carbonation with some alcohol warming.

O - good example of the style. (358 characters)

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