Highland Ambush Scotch Ale - BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

Not Rated.
Highland Ambush Scotch AleHighland Ambush Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

87 Ratings
THE BROS
86
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
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 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 zeff80
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a hazy, burgundy color with almost no head. It didn't leave any lacing, either.

S - It smelled malty and grassy with some subtle oak notes.

T - The flavor surprised me because appearance an aroma lowered my expectations. It had a rich, biscuity malt backbone with some grassy hops. The oak and vanilla flavors are mild but increase as it warms.

M - It was crisp, sharp and fairly smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - At $2.99 a bomber this is certainly worth a try. I was a little skeptical of an oak aged Scottish Ale, but it was quite good.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.96/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

16 ounce bottle - $4.75 at Taco Mac in Woodstock, Georgia.

Appearance: Served up by bartender JoJo (seriously) a clear, darkened garnet-hued body with a half-inch head of faintly beige-colored froth.

Smell: Sweet-scented, fruity, and alcohol-laced aroma with notes of booze dunked toast, fruit-flavored gum, and haphazardly strew sugars.

Taste: Sugary sweet upfront, with tastes of lightly toasted bread and an impression of some crystal-type malts. Some scotch ales have a tasty, sweet kettle caramelization thing going on, but this one just has a banal simple syrup sugariness. Small dash of chocolate powder. Splash of plum juice. Lightly spicy earthiness, marginal bitterness. Faint, faint basic woodiness and some peppery alcohol tones. Drying on the vaguely spicy finish with a bit of dry toasty malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-light carbonation. Slight smoothness, slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Overall: My initial impression was: it's strong and it's sweet. Then, I come here and see 6.8%. Whaaaa? And here I was ready to quote that Christopher Lambert flick from the 80's. "You can drink only one." Post Highland Ambush, I had a pint of Highland Brewing's Tasgall Ale. The difference is completely night and day.

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 mactrail
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rather woody is the first impression. Puts the teeth slightly on edge like pear peelings. More barrel than oaky vanilla, but a different taste. Aroma is really nice with the touch of oak and roasted malt.

Very nice carbonation and lacing along the snifter. Quite pleasant in the mouth and rather prickly. Very drinkable with its modest sweetness. More on the watery side than the typical sticky Scotch Ale. Lots of malt with a nice balance of fruity acidiity and just a whiff of hops. Aftertaste is woody fruit, a hint of burnt raisins. Another intriguing and slightly offbeat brew from BridgePort.

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 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 Mebuzzard
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

To me, Bridgeport makes good beer for cheaper prices than most other breweries. This one is no different. Not a great beer, but it is good.

Dark amber, chestnut pour with a large head: off-white with some stickiness. Lacing is good.

Weak aroma of cherry wood, caramel and some ethanol.

Somewhat nutty flavor. The wood combines with the caramel, I"m guessing, to give that cherry-wood aroma some tasting power. Slight smoke and sweetness. Light bodied. Could use more umph, but otherwise would go well with some smoked pork sammich

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 barleywinefiend
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark reddish brown with good carbonation and a beige head. Nose is caramel, light oak no bourbon and a tab bit toffee. No peat here. Taste is dominant caramel with toffee and light oak notes, very little bourbon. Mouthfeel is thin, thinner than I would expect, sweet, light booze and guess what...more caramel. Ok but not one I would go back too.

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 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 beertunes
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a nice medium brown with less than an inch of light tan head that dissipated quickly and left minimal lacing.

A very nice peaty aroma was amplified by the whisky scent to this brew. The flavor was smoother than usual for the style and the whiskey and wood flavors were dominant.

The body was good, full and well rounded without being heavy or filling. Drinkabilty was very good, especially for what is not one of my favorite styles.

Overall, I thought this was a very interesting beer, it's worth your time.

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 scruffwhor
3.54/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pretty good bubbling inside this dark amber, ruby hued brew. Two fingers of tan head slowly recede leaving a little lacing as I sip away. The foam maintains throughout all 22 ozs.

Faint aromas of vanilla and oak over a caramel malt backbone. The aromas are there, but a little hard to discern.

Caramel and oak hit the tastebuds first. The middle has a vanilla, soft bourbon booze heat to it. The finish is malty, sweet, dry, and a little bitter.

The palate dry, somewhat chalky, but sessionable in my book. Not bad.

Photo of ccrida
4.38/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my Samuel Smith imperial pint, Highland Ambush is a ruddy mahogheny with a tight sand colored head with very long last, leaving nice, sticky, foamy lace.

Smell is caramel malt, herbal hops and bourbon (the flavor, without the alcohol vapors you sometimes get in wetter barrel beers).

Taste is big blast of barrel character, in a very pleasing way to me. Not overly strong but noticeable bourbon, more so vanilla and coconut notes, which provide very nice depth to the sweetish caramel malty backbone. Really more bittersweet though that's to the hops, especially after having the Pelican wee-heavy this weekend. Nice bourbon aftertaste without being boozy, overall very nice.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, with a lighter body and soft finish.

Drinkability is high, I'm really enjoying this scotch ale. Nice complexity, satisfying but smooth, and a nice ABV that warms without bruising. Add the nice price and this is yet another winner from the Bridgeport Big Brews series. I'lll have to buy a few more before they're gone.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Scotch ale comes out of the tap a nearly opaque chocolaty brown with a minimal light tan head. Malty, woody aroma has a hint of caramel. Rich, malty flavor has woody, yeasty and caramel tones as well as a hint of horehound. Texture is fizzy, edgy and tingly.

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 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 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 msubulldog25
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found a pint of this on tap at Jake's Famous Crawfish (a downtown Portland institution) during Happy Hour. Tried it once before on tap ~ it's good to try again.

A: Ruddy mahogany, a hazy and unfiltered siren of Scottish/Wee Heavy goodness. If there is rising carbonation, it's tough to find amidst the murkiness. Short cap of vanilla-yellow cream, dropping to thin cover; speckles of lace.

S: Nutty and malty roast, might as well be chestnuts -kinda buttery and alluring. 'Wintery' with a healthy dose of spice, a nutmeg or cinnamon dash.

T: Nuts, caramel/toffee and plenty of malt/roast. It's toasted legumes, toffee, and raisin - a sweet and malty blend that epitomizes the style. Some barrel-aged woodiness creeps in at the finish.Vanilla, too - I like the results.

M: Mild carbonation, a fine creaminess. Medium body and building roasted bitterness.

D: Certainly drinkable - on the 'lighter' side of the style, though 6.8% is nothing to be scoffed at. No glaring weaknesses - a nice beer that's worth a try if it's handy.

Photo of emmasdad
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this one on the shelf at Argonaut last night, and though Ive been mostly less than impressed with BridgePort in the past, I decided to grab a bomber. Sadly, this hasn't changed my opinion of them much. Pours a nice reddish-brown color with a big finger and a half of khaki foam. Aromas of dark fruits (plums, prunes, dates) and caramel, but sadly none of the promised oak. Medium bodied and easily drinkable, with more dark fruit, sweet malt and just a hint of wood (maybe?)

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

Deep red, medium tan head steadily shrinks to thin foamy top, then to foamy ring and wisps.

Aroma is nice winey fruit, toasty bread, grapes, bread crust, hint if earth.

Taste is metal and wine, fruit, alcoholic element, bitter wet wood. It finishes with a woody toastiness and bitterness plus a winey fruitiness. It is very good, but a bit thin and the character elements fairly light, without a richness or strong integration.

Photo of Rayek
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a thistle glass. This is beer 1,001 and one of my favorite styles. Time to start a new millennium of reviews by changing my style up.

This beer pours a deep cherry wood with a slight haze and minimal carbonation. Although the generous head doesn't stick long, it does leave lots of lace. It's a generally above average look.

Moving on, the aromas and flavors at work meld nicely. The oak aging is quite obvious in the nose. It brings a pronounced woodsy aroma that carries a touch of vanilla. Stepping back, toffee and a hint of chocolate come through. Bitterness is mild and earthy, with lemon and black tea qualities. The oak lingers through the finish. The disappointment here is that the flavor thins out late. This might be the result of a rather light body for the style. It carries a light carbonation that could stand an extra kick.

In the end, I liked this beer, but didn't love it. It's a nice Scotch Ale, but not a great one.

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