Highland Ambush Scotch Ale - BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

Not Rated.
Highland Ambush Scotch AleHighland Ambush Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

87 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 14.53%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 12-11-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Notes from Bridgeport:

BU's: 40
ABV: 6.8%
Color: Reddish-Brown
Ingredients: Pale and Carmel Malts. UK Golding Hops.
Description: This beer will have a rich malt taste complementing vanilla flavors from the American oak barrels along with a bitterness attributed to the UK Golding hops
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 61
Reviews by Phelps:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Sudsy start, decent lacing with a slightly hazed rusty brown color. Hint of wood, vanilla, faint roasted grain, toasted biscuits and a vague herbal note from the hops in the nose. Pretty smooth but really creamy. Toasted malt flavor wraps around the mild oaky character. Hint of char from the roasted grain. Hops are there for balance. Suggestions of currants and vanilla with a small breath of alcohol. Finishes malty with a drying oaky overlay.

Nice twist on the style, not massive like many of the American versions but probably more complex than most as the oak adds a whole lot of depth. Thumbs up!

Photo of ElGordo
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a reddish copper color topped by a small, creamy, off-white head. A very sweet malt character holds notes of brown sugar, grapes, and something akin to cherry cola.
Palate is dark, sweet malt, with notes of cherry cola and a hint of oak and a very slight roasted character. A touch of fruity hops adds a little bit of balance, but the malt is in charge of the show here. Finish is fairly clean, with a nice, mellow sweetness.
Body is full and a bit effervescent for a wee heavy, but without the traditional stickiness. This is not to say that it's unpleasant, just a bit out of character. Overall, this is a tasty, easy-drinkng ale that may not be true to style, but is still quite enjoyable.

Photo of g00dness
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-opaque amethyst color with a small but resilient head. Aroma was weak caramel malt and anise. Taste was really nice scotch ale, with a bit of complexity from the aging, but not "too dense". Major flavors were malt, vanilla, leather and a spicy hop finish. Mouthfeel was great with smooth carbonation and maltiness rounded out by spicy hops. Drinkability was good since it is so smooth and balanced, although the carbonation came out a bit too much in my stomach. :(

Photo of Clamwacker
4.07/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my first experiments with Scotch ale, but being a huge fan of Scotch whisky I thought I'd grab it and give it a try.

It pours a deep reddish amber with a creamy white head that, at least for me, stuck around for the whole glass, leaving a great lace pattern all the way down.

The smell is probably my favorite part, it has lots of malt, caramel and a spicy oak note to it, which lingers through to the aftertaste.

It has a fairly mild flavor considering the smell, with a relatively malty character punctuated by the caramel and oak, although my nose detects more oak than my tongue. I didn't taste a lot of alcohol like some others did, it's very well masked. I also didn't detect a whole lot of hop bittering, the malt balances it quite nicely.

The mouthfeel is a bit underwhelming, I expected a bit more lively carbonation given the long lasting head, but it does lend a creamy character to the brew.

Overall I would get this again, but I'm not quite sure it's worth the $6 for the 22 oz bottle I paid for it. Maybe $4 or $5. It's a nice break from the super hoppy pales that everybody is going crazy on right now.

Photo of russpowell
2.86/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up in Wichita last week & see that is now in Oklahoma..

Pours auburn with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Pears & figs, apricots as well, faint smokiness, boozeyness as well

T: Slight caramel notes, apple peels, a whisper of smoke, some vanilla & woody hops up front. Oakyness & a slight booze sting as this warms, s bit of coarse smokeyness as well. finishes with slight oakyness, some figs & raisins, plus a tinge of persimmons

MF: Light bodied, over carbonated by a mile , warming

I like some of this breweries products, but this one seems like a hackneyed/rushed approach to offering a barrel aged product. This did get better as it got closer to room temp, but not enough to save it. i might pick up a bottle or 2 if see it on sale latter, this might shape up after some 6-10 months, maybe...

Photo of Glibber
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured rusty abmer color with a healthy creme colored head that hung around for about 5 minutes then left a small cloud cover across the beers surface. Not much lacing of the glass. Not a big smell, but some hints of yeast and light alcohol. Good carbination and a nice mouthfeel. I havn't had many scotch ales lately, some nut flavors along with malt, not much sweetness, and on the backend a nice warming of the stomach with a lingering malty alcohol taste. I don't really drink scotch, but it is not overpowering and kinda nice. A nice beer.

Photo of Streetcar
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L: Cloudy, cherry wood red. A dirty tan, tight foam head. Wonderful lacing as it's consumed.

S: Malt, bready and light oaky smoke.

T: The smoky malts you would expect in a Scotch ale. The taste takes a slow journey to the back of the tongue. The oak flavor becomes slightly more pronounced if you are looking for it, but if "Oak Bourbon Barrels" weren't listed on the label, I might not have picked it up in the taste. Slight hops to ease the heaviness of the malt.

M: Not as chewy as I expected for a Scottish ale, but still plenty of body. The carbonation provides a nice effervescence.

D: Quite smooth, and not as filling as I expected. It wouldn't be hard to have more than one.

Comments: I wouldn't hold it up as a classic example of the style, but it would serve well as a way to introduce someone to scotch ales. I would certainly buy one or two if I found them on tap.

Photo of mykie73
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a unique beer.

L) beautiful mahogany in color with a very attractive 1/2 marshmellow head. transparent for style so i'll give it a little knock for that.

S) sweet malt, pecans, fruit, vanilla, some roast....

T) rye bread, tapioca, red apples, with a cola finish. I would love to see more bourbon and more roast in taste

F) The feel of this beer is where it shines. Quite full bodied and quite smooth and creamy. Coasts the mouth great... missing the stickiness of a wee heavy however though...if this was another style (strong ale) it would get a 5.

D) thought this beer would be too sweet for after first sip but it grew on me as it warned. great beer. worth trying.

I enjoyed this beer more than it's score shows.

Photo of emerge077
3.41/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish copper, so saturated it's almost ruby. Three fingers of light tan foam that sticks to the glass, leaving concentric rings of delicate lacing. Okay retention, a healthy skim across the top remains the whole time.

Aroma is muted, as it warms some malt complexity surfaces. Gingersnap cookies. Light banana esters, earthy and funky scotch ale yeast. Slightly vegetal, something ill defined but a little off putting.

Flavor reflects the oak aging a bit more, slightly sweet oak, vanilla traces, multigrain bread. Slight astringency, most likely from the oak. Bready malt aftertaste, some dryness. Light bodied, somewhat creamy feel. Definitely not sweet. Overall not all that interesting, stays true to style, but ultimately it doesn't really hold interest. Thanks to Sebastian for this one...

Photo of Docer
4.27/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to drinking this bomber...

- A rather light and clear brown.. bit of red... like a dark iced tea. Quick fizzling head down to a bit of a small ring and some floating continents.

- Nice rich roasted malt complexity... wonderfully balanced and roasted malt... reminds me of a nice Full Sail Lager... and a nice pine and grassy bittering hop presence for sure. Little caramel, alcohol... and oakey vanilla.

- What a perfectly blended ale... roasted malts... fired oak, light vanilla in the aftertaste.... and a bitter hop that is delicious. Talk about balance here... this is a very well made brew and for me certainly stands ahead of the pack in Scottish/Wee Heavies. Smooth sailing, and not a touch of alcohol to burn.

- Medium bodied, and a bit chewy roasty... but the hopping provides just enough to water the palate for another chug.

- Overall I am impressed with this brew, and it caught me off guard.... I wasn't expecting this delicious of a brew. I would however like a bit more of the barrel mix in this.. or none at all. A split between this, and another barrel aged series of about 60% would be killer.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer" ... I don't care for the song, but this bottle is the Title line. Scotch Ale aged partially in Bourbon barrels.... Poured into my Delirium goblet.

Nice 1" off white head.. good lacing and only a descent cap atop a hazed amber brew.

Definitely not a Wee Heavy in my mind.. Export maybe.. Malty aromas are surprisingly lite.. lite woody elements combine with some vanilla.. seems pretty flimsy.

Flavor isn't as malty as I was expecting.. a bit of lite plummy esters move in early in the palate.. vanilla and a bit of tannic woodiness with very lite cherry flavors... ehhh... Where is the Scotch Ale? Body is lite/medium and waaaay too light for the advertised style.. carbonation is to high too..

Nice "wood aged" beer, but pretty much misses on all other advertised elements.

Overall, this is an okay brew.... it shows great bones, but it seems like the brewers dumbed it down for the masses. I would LOVE to see what Bridgeport can do when they throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.

I will be buying a few of these... It will be nice to see what they do with some real time on them.. but fresh.. this is not doing it for me.

Ehhh... 4/3.5/3.5/3/3.5

Photo of echoes
3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a glass.

A: Pours brownish-red in color. Head is off-white, very bubbly and takes a long time to dissipate. Leaves a lot of lacing. Some carbonation is visible in the beer from time-to-time as well.

Smell and Taste: Very complex smell is the reason I rated the smell good. Very complex taste as well. Can definitely make out all of the following: roasted malts, hops, caramel, yeast, wood/oak/earthy, fruit/floral. The "alcohol" smell is somewhat present.

M: Medium-bodied. Carbonation definitely felt.

O: A very interesting and complex beer! My first Scotch Ale and it's pretty good. The flavors seem to blend but not all of them together. Some are apparent at different times than others, if that makes sense. It's kind of hard to describe unless you're actually drinking it.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from 1/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark red amber, two finger light tan head and lacing, good retention. Aroma of caramel malt and wood. A nice medium bodied, creamy scotch ale. Oak elements are noticeable, with a caramel sweetness. Seems a bit tame; misses being an excellent beer by not being assertive enough. Still really liked this one.

Photo of twiggamortis420
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber pours a dirty brown color with a thin tan foam. Not much lacing.

Nose is like caramel apples with a bit of wood and some candy-sweet malts. Meh...not a very good smelling Scotch Ale.

Disappointingly thin. Caramel seems strained and pulled a bit, like taffy. A little too sweet, without any of the smoky, peaty malts that are such a delicious part of Scotch Ales and also help balance the sweet malts. Needs more body, some chewiness even. Oak does nothing for this snoozer. Not that bad tasting of a beer, but such a boring experience this one was.

Photo of RedBrewer83
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aggressive pour into tulip...

A: Dark amber body with a creamy two finger head. Falls slowly leaving excellent creamy lacing on the sides.

S: Typical scottish malt profile, lots of fruit, faint cherry, a little wood. Not overly complex, but solid.

T: Falls short of what is expected from a scotch ale, not as big of a malt flavor profile. Drinks more like a scottish ale, lighter body and has a lot of reminiscent qualities of ebenezer...can really tell it is 50% of the beer. Super faint bourbon, if it wasn't on the bottle I probably couldn't pick it up.

M: Too light to be a scotch ale, again drinks more like a scottish ale. Light medium body, very aggressive carbonation...a little too harsh, gets in the way of the flavor.

D: Pretty drinkable, carbonation detracts somewhat, but light body and lower abv helps this go down pretty easily. Overall a good beer but not great...needs more backbone.

Photo of Kromes
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy dark amber color with a thin line of bubbles on top.

S: Sweet malt aroma with a touch of earthy hop.

T: A nice toasted malt flavor with some peat moss, oak and earthy hop. A touch of bitterness to balance out the sweetness.

M: Lower carbonation and a smooth feel to it.

O: Not a bad Scotch ale. Tasty and smooth.

Photo of weeare138
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears a semi-transparent, dark amber with a small beige head that quickly fades into a small cap and collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of sweet caramel, toffee, mild traces of cardboard, and floral notes.
Taste is of the aromas with an overkill of sugary sweetness that is a bit too much to deal with. I can't say that I get any of the bourbon in the flavor.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sticky, sugary, and hot.

Photo of Reidrover
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber from Fred Meyer. Chesnut brown,slightly hazy ale,smokey looking,even! Light brown loose ,large bubbled head. Strong Oaky,smoky aromas,little vanilla bean too. Good strong semi-bitter malt driven beer, the oak and vanilla take the background until the end, when a nice after taste is left. Not much notice of hops ( good for style)..little smke even in the after glow. Very nice palate on this one..they got it just right for style. Overall a beer i really enjoyed and will buy more before this bottling s over.

Photo of csiewert
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a hazy dark amber color with a finger of white foamy head that retains well and leaves some decent lacing on the way down. The aroma is unique, with hints of oak and vanilla that when combined creates an interesting banana bread type aroma. The taste is very disappointing. It reminds me of a malty pale ale rather than a scotch ale. It is lacking in roasted malt characteristic and is fairly empty. The mouthfeel is also a little empty and doesn't have much of a feel to it. Overall I would say give it a try because it has a lot of potential and could be very very good if worked on.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

I figured, since we've got too many cases of this stuff at work, I might as well bring one home and give it a shot. It's only fair. It pours a clear dark sunset amber topped by a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises buttery toffee, rich caramel, a hint of oak (possibly psychosomatic), and a touch of dark greens. The taste brings in more of the same, with the greens coming through a bit more powerfully, though they still play a decided second fiddle to the malty overlord. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice enough malt bomb, nothing earth-shattering, but a pleasant little drink.

Photo of womencantsail
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The beer pours a hazed amber color with a frothy, khaki colored head.

S: Sweet and malty with tons of banana (which is a bit odd for a Scotch ale). Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar make up most of the aroma with a light bread note. The banana character is almost like the Runts candies.

T: Sort of a bland flavor. Lots of old/stale bread notes with some more of the banana candy. A mild oak and vanilla note with some hints of caramel and brown sugar.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation.

O: Nothing like a Scotch ale and just not very good, flavorwise, at least.

Photo of Tone
3.34/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/5 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of strong sweet malt, slight citrus hops, hint of alcohol, and slight pale malt. Fits the style of a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, slight yeast, and slight hop. Overall, lacking in appearance and complexity, but decent blend and body.

Photo of champ103
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark ruby/brown color. A two finger beige head forms with good retention. Sticky spiderweb looking lace is left behind.
S: Earth yeast aromas up front. Toasted malts, grain, and some light wood. Even some smoke and fairly sweet as well.
T: Up front is sweet malt and raisins. Some earthy yeast and dry wood. Mostly just sweetness.
M/D: A medium body that is creamy and smooth. Not hard to drink, but nothing all that engaging.

Another American made Scotch Ale that I was looking forward to trying, and another one that misses the mark. Lots of sweetness, and just a bit of wood from the barrel. Overall not bad, but not what I am looking for in the style.

Photo of shanblur
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber into a snifter. No freshness date.

A - Dark amber color with a moderate off white head which leaves moderate lacing.

S - Caramel and toffee aromas and a faint smell of alcohol.

T - Sweetness up front from the malts. Not much hops detected. Definite oakiness.

M - Medium bodied with generous carbonation.

A nice beer. I liked the flavor that the oak aging added.

Photo of froghop
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark copper with a tint of red, a small beige head, and some lacing.

smell is of malt, caramel, and butterscotch.

taste is of butterscotch, toffee, malt, earth, and hops in the back, end is a little dry.

overall a little over bearing on the buttery taste.

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Highland Ambush Scotch Ale from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
81 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.