1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Highland Ambush Scotch Ale - BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

Not Rated.
Highland Ambush Scotch AleHighland Ambush Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

88 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 88
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 14.48%
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:
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 added by: msubulldog25 on 12-11-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Highland Ambush Scotch Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 88 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mhaugo
3/5  rDev -16.4%

mhaugo, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of jaidenjb
5/5  rDev +39.3%

jaidenjb, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of twelveinches
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

twelveinches, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of barnzy78
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

barnzy78, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of tapman
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber @ $4.99

Rich, creamy, though small and thin, tan head on top of a very brown body. A little red, but mostly brown. Lacing is minimal. Lots of caramel malty goodness in the nose, along with a little vanilla and oak, though I get some bourbon even though it never indicates that the oak used for flavoring was bourbon infused. Tastes like it smells, though with a nice, very mild bitterness from the U.K. Golding hops. Brew feels smooth and full in the mouth, though a very one dimensional brew; all you get is the oak with some malt sweetness. However, what you do get is very well balanced.

tapman, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of Offa
3.95/5  rDev +10%
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.

Offa, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of shanblur
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

shanblur, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of Kromes
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Kromes, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.23/5  rDev -10%
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.

womencantsail, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of loren01
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a reddish brown color, not very much head or lacing
S: Smell is sweet and malty mostly, hint of vanilla
T: Here i taste the oak/vanilla flavors. Lots of caramelly sweetness
M: Lighter bodied than most scotch ales ive had but goes down very well
O: This is a pretty good beer....that could describe most beers ive ever had from Bridgeport...good to very good, not anything world class but definately better than average.

loren01, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
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

Mebuzzard, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of Bfarr
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear red amber with big tan foamy head with good retention poor lacing. Lager and light peat and smoke. Peat and light oak with a light sweet tea and nice balance. Clean finish aside from a slight dryness. Smooth and silky feel.

Very subtle flavors that do not benefit a big scotch ale. Easy drinking beer but considering it is partially barrel aged I expected a little more. There is definitely not enough here for a “big brew” designation. Again, there is nice subtlety and I applaud the blend of barrel aging to keep the price down but I think I might be more interested in a “cask strength” version. I do also remember enjoying this more last year though I don’t know if the beer changed or my tastes did.

Bfarr, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of scruffwhor
3.55/5  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.

scruffwhor, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of elginirishpunk
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very deep abmer red color. Hop and carmel initial aroma and an oaky sweetness similar to BBQ. Very light in the mouth for a scotch ale. Initial bitterness but discipates quickly. The flavor lingures on the back of the tounge. Extremely drinkable, and don't realize it is 7%. Good Scotch beer.

elginirishpunk, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of codsmith
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: pours a dark dirty looking red with a nice 2 fingers of off-white foam that settles down nicely to a thin layer, it also laces the glass nicely

S: smells a little like red wine, oak and just a tiny amount of vanilla. It has a slight bitterness as well

T: It looks good and smells good, but the taste is way bland and off putting. Has a malty taste at first, but quickly changes over to a very flat and bitter taste

M: Sits very heavy in the mouth, medium-to-full body and chewy

O: I wish it tastes like it looks and smells. Very disappointed in this one.

codsmith, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of Bookseeb
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a dark orange amber with a fair head that dissipates slowly having spotty lace. Smell of a little oak aging with light malt and hops. Taste has an oak barrel maltiness, lightly roasted bitter end thats a little thinned compared to other scotch ales. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Not bad, had better, worth a try.

Bookseeb, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of mactrail
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

mactrail, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of Tone
3.35/5  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.

Tone, May 28, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.93/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

ChainGangGuy, May 05, 2011
Photo of echoes
3.88/5  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.

echoes, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

Cyberkedi, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

zeff80, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I saw this beer at the downtown Spec's a week or so ago, so I picked one up. Let's give it a try:

Appearance: I obviously poured this beer faster than I should have. It has over 2" of tan foam fizzing all over the place on top of the beer, and there are sheets of bubbles rising within the beer to keep the head huge. The beer itself is a very clear nut-brown color. There is some very nice lacing left on the glass after drinking. This is a very nice looking beer.

Aroma: I initially got lots of malt and a phenolic that I guess is from the wood aging. There is an unusual fruitiness to this beer that seems to me to indicate higher fermentation temp, like in homebrew. I do get some caramel and toasty malt notes and the hops are now coming out clearly adding some grass and a bit of "cattyness" to the beer as if these are older cultivations of hops....more classic styles of hops. There are some Red apple skins starting to come out as the beer sits some and the head starts to fade a bit.

Taste: The beer is more malty than hoppy in the flavor, but the wood aging is coming out clearly adding dry earthy notes and some subtle vanilla. The body is medium with high carbonation, so the beer scoots across the palate with haste. The finish is fizzy and carbonated with the malt being the major player and the mixed woody notes mingling in there. The hops are very reserved in the finish as they should be. The mouthfeel is a bit thin for what I would like for the style, but the carbonation is adding to that impression.

Opinion: This is a pretty decent beer overall. Some of the things about it are a bit out of balance, so it doesn't really go down that easily. The high carbonation saves this beer from being harsh, I'm sure. The woody notes aren't really complimenting this beer like I'd hoped that they would. They are instead adding more presence where it isn't needed, instead of complimenting. I am not really sure how this beer will age even, so it is probably at its prime (or close to it) right now. If you absolutely LOVE wood aged beers, give this one a shot, but otherwise it is in my "OK" category.

SkeeterHawk, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of champ103
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

champ103, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of stephens101
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Burgundy pour with a densely packed and resilient tan head. Good lacing all around after settling.

Caramel malts, light fruits, a little fresh cut grass and bubblegum candy to the nose. Tastes of grain and earthy hops up front with light and sour fruits at the end. Oak aged? Where? When? How?

A little thin with the grainy edge taking away from any smoothness that might be present. The sweet gum and candy notes mimic the characteristics of a Scotch Ale, but the other notes resemble a Red (with the palpable bitterness) and possibly even a borderline Imperial Red, as some alcohol heat and extra bitterness works in noticeably after a while.

This beer is like Ariel Pink opening for Slayer at a mosque in Nebraska that was speciously advertised as an old fashioned tent revival. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it could be fun watching a load of folks getting ambushed in the mosh pit if you didn't have to pay for admission.

stephens101, Apr 19, 2011
Highland Ambush Scotch Ale from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
82 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.