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Wet Willy Scotch Ale - New England Brewing Co.

Wet Willy Scotch AleWet Willy Scotch Ale

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

266 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 266
Reviews: 150
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.68%

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)
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Ratings: 266 | Reviews: 150 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of philbe311


4/5  rDev +1.5%
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...

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 02:04:35 | More by philbe311
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 12:25:37 | More by KTCamm
Photo of far333


3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2010 03:18:29 | More by far333
Photo of NEhophead


3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 01:33:14 | More by NEhophead
Photo of ColForbinBC

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 17:12:01 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


2.4/5  rDev -39.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 18:51:00 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of kbutler1


4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Pours an opaque rust colored red with a 1 finger head that quickly recedes to form a nice collar around the glass.

The first aroma I smell is booze followed by sweet malts and notes like caramel and butterscotch. I have to say once you get past the bourbon (?) notes it really is nice.

Now for the first taste...warm and creamy with a nice butterscotch taste. Not as alcohol harsh as I thought it might be. Pretty smooth tasting. Slight oak flavor. Medium mouthfeel.

Overall, I'd say this is a very tasty beer. A sipper for sure though!

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2010 00:37:34 | More by kbutler1
Photo of portia99


3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 23:46:32 | More by portia99
Photo of Gambrinus1184


4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a fluted pint glass at Delaney's Tap Room in New Haven, Conn.

A: Muddled, brownish amber color with a deep chilled haze and visible viscosity. A one-finger head of dense, creamy white foam formed and faded around mid-brew.

S: Nice tobacco and roasted malt aroma with whiffs of ethyl alcohol, toffee and hop resins.

T: Big, sticky sweet and powerful malt blend up front, almost like a liquor. Chewy, roasted barley, tobacco and smoked peat blend with a caramel, toffee-like sweetness followed by big doses of drying alcohol and fairly aggressive, bitter herbal hops. Finish is big, sticky sweet and a little boozy.

M: Full-bodied ale with a whole lot of alcohol heat and some very chewy, lush malts to sip on. Hearty and enjoyable.

D: A cold-weather sipper category Scotch ale for sure. The 10% ABV is big, bold and very noticeable. Has the warming sensation of a glass of scotch with the sweetness and bitter touch to endear. A good, high-ABV brew for the malthead looking to stave off the winter months a while longer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2010 04:38:41 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of number1bum


4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 02:49:20 | More by number1bum
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 500ml bottle into hf tulip. Not sure of the vintage.
Pours a copper haze almost ruby brown. Oily thick looking with thin thin head.
Lots of caramel and toffee aromas.
Taste is very sweet toffee and bitter slight hop flavor but the characteristic scotch flavors are present but not overwhelming. Nice brew...id love to age this for a while.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2012 03:19:12 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of sinstaineddemon


4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - dark amber.ruddy brown with very scant visible carbonation, plenty of suspended sediment, a thin white head that fizzes away quickly

S - super sweet, molasses, caramel, toffee, scotch/bourbon, vanilla, oakiness, red licorice, so many aromas, even some tea solids aroma, what a nose!

T - holy crap, its like im tasting the aroma, red licorice takes the lead, with some liquor flavors, the scotch and mainly the bourbon, vanilla, oak, woody resin, acetyl sweetness - toffee, caramel, and some darl fruits to round it out, raisins, dates, plums

M&D - on the thin side of medium bodied, layered and complex, smooth is an understatement, a well hid doubel digit ABV, NEBCO has a hit here!

my previous review was St. Arnold Divine Reserve #8, which i called "one of the better wee heavys i have experienced" if this wee heavy is #1, that one is #2 of those i have had.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 00:01:21 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle, dated 12/2012.

Appearance: Pours a dirty, light brown body, thick & lasting head that seamlessly melds with the sides of the glass.

Smell: Smoky, caramel, rich.

Taste: Full on malt, rich warming, peaty a bit, heavy on the caramel, very sweet as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Very low carbonation, silky feel, covers the mouth.

Overall: Only saw now, a few days after i tasted it, that the ABV is 10%. In no way is that apparent. Great pick.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 20:43:04 | More by papat444
Photo of erosier


4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

L: Pours a nice amber-red color with red hues and a nice off white colored head that laces the glass bit on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, caramel aromas, a hint of smokiness and oak aromas, and a hint of toffee as well.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted malts, nice caramel and toffee flavors round out the sweetness of this beer. Nice smoky wood flavors are mixed in with the rest of the flavors and a faint vanilla flavor at the end rounds it out pretty well.
M: Very smooth, rich, warming, medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Extremely drinkable, didn't even realize this was so high in abv, felt and tasted like it was about half of that. Great flavors mix for a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 14:05:21 | More by erosier
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 01:29:42 | More by bonkers
Photo of younger35


3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just received this brew from the ever generous naproxen. Scotch ales can be hit or miss but a good one is, well, good. Lovely packaging as well. Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a murky dark orange with a decent enough off-white head that sits about a half finger tall. A thin cap and collar remains but unfortunately not any lacing.
Smell- Has a sort of rich sweet smell that is hella malty and somewhere between burnt sugars and butterscotch. A touch of smoke along with some dark fruits consisting of dates and/or raisins. A touch of bourbon oak and a deep woody aspect. Some vanilla creeps in as well but all in all, nice nose.
Taste- Starts with a touch of caramel but the beer isn't sweet at all. A bit of earthy peated malt and rich doughy malt make up a majority of the beer. Light oak that is very lightly woody as well, lending a bit of vanilla and bourbon. The finish is smooth and lightly toasted.
Mouthfeel- Smooth and creamy with not a lot of carbonation. Almost has a cask like feel to it.
Drinkability- Not bad, not bad at all. It's definitely a bit more complex than most Scotch Ales and the oak is a welcome addition. I think I'd really like to try more from New England Brewing but just haven't had the opportunity. Thanks much Aliza!

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2010 19:34:29 | More by younger35
Photo of KickInTheChalice


3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 08:20:44 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of jmarsh123


4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to fortsambo for the extra.

Pours hazy dark gold/orange. Almost looks like a wheatwine. Small off-white head with decent lacing.

Smells very caramelly with some peat and grain.

Very smooth sweet flavors. Again heavy on the caramel and toffee. I know it's not, but it does almost taste like it's got some barrel notes to it. Thankfully the peat is fairly subdued in the flavor. Still a bit sweet.

Thick mouthfeel although gets a little towards syrupy especially at it warms.

Pretty solid beer although not without flaws. I see there's a bourbon aged version of this, which would be awesome because this beer seems like a great candidate for barrel aging.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2012 23:08:19 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 13:03:19 | More by n2185
Photo of craytonic

District of Columbia

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 03:30:45 | More by craytonic
Photo of angrybabboon

Rhode Island

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2012 02:45:54 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of PicoPapa


3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle. Pours a murky as hell light brown. Medium sized head. Lots of lacing. Interesting aromas of booze and caramel apple. Taste is only slightly boozey. Caramel and malt flavors. Nice warming alcohol taste. Almost has a barleywine characteristic to it but maybe I'm crazy. This beer does a nice job of balancing the 10% Abv but not being abusively boozey. Worth picking up.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 05:09:12 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of Chico1985


4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to cbutova for sharing this 2010 vintage..err..bottle.

Pours a super-hazy red/brown, small off-white head. Retains well as mostly a cap leaving some lacing.

Smell is a little hard to describe, reminds me of something I can't pinpoint. Pure wood/oak, buttery sweet malts, freshly cut grass. Strange but very intriguing.

Caramel/butter/toffee malty madness. Aftertaste is, flat out, buttery biscuits on a Thanksgiving table. Buttery popcorn. It does fade some letting more flavors shine...big grassy notes along with some light and dark fruits. Mouthfeel feels a tiny bit thin for 10% but I won't knock it since it uses a single malt. Booze is there but mostly only in a warming way.

This was a strange and interesting take on a Scotch ale. Butter taste will probably be over the top for some but I enjoyed it for the most part.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2010 18:54:51 | More by Chico1985
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 01:03:11 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of mikereaser


3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wet Willy Scotch Ale
New England Brewing Co.
A - Pours a muddy dark brownish red with a nice layer of soapy bubbles
S - Big malts up front, heavy syrupy sweet aroma, it just smells like a thick malty beer
T - Dark fruits, rich malts, a bit of a robitussin cherry flavor, belgian candi flavor with raisins and cherries becoming more prominant. There is a slight amount of alcohol feel to it along with some wood notes.
M - thicker cough syrup like feel to it, slight carbonation, its medium bodied but thick at the same time
D - unique flavor and very enjoyalbe. Maybe not an every day beer, but worth having again.


Serving type: bottle

06-23-2011 04:30:57 | More by mikereaser
Wet Willy Scotch Ale from New England Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 266 ratings.