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Heavy Horse Scotch Ale - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heavy Horse Scotch AleHeavy Horse Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

110 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 110
Hads: 247
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.57%
Wants: 3
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brownbeer on 03-31-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 110 | Hads: 247
Photo of mothman
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper bronze color. Tan head. Caramel and toffee malts. Light smokey and peat which is nice. Some fruity notes and molasses mixed in. Fairly easy to drink for a Scottish ale. (175 characters)

Photo of Tone
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, caramel malt, slight roasted malt, slight yeast, and slight alcohol. Fits the style of a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint slight alcohol, slight yeast, slight roasted malt, hint of tea, and caramel malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, great feel, and good blend. (476 characters)

Photo of thebigredone
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on nitro, which really fucked up my ability to taste this. Would likely have tasted better on regular draft. The above rating reflects the subpar nitro presentation. (176 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead in early April for $1.79. Best by 07/10/15.

Beer poured a ruby brown with a nice head on the initial pour.

Nose is bready with not much else going on.

Taste is bready, caramelized malts lend to a nice sweetness with ample hopping that prevents cloying.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a nice Scotch ale that sticks pretty well to the style. Give it a shot if you see it! (444 characters)

Photo of UrbanCaveman
3.19/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint at ~40 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a clear, if dark, garnet-ruby brown, where the shadows of one's fingers are visible with no blurring on the other side of the glass. Forms a rather short-lived finger of beige head, which dies to a ring swiftly.

Smell: Toffee-sprinkled dark bread, being eaten near a patch of damp clay that lends just a hint to the aroma. There are also faint suggestions of some old fig and black cherry.

Taste: The flavors open with a mixture of an ashy-clay bitterness, sweet toffee, and dark bread, with the ashes and clay forming a sort of bedrock which underlays the remainder of the palate. Notes of tanned leather and fig waft through the sweetness, along with some hints of old, soft, damp wood. The finish leaves a lingering aftertaste of bitter clay, sweet toffee, and aged black cherry.

Mouthfeel: Light and thin, this is a chuggable beer, not a sticky or creamy one.

Overall: I'm not displeased with having picked up a sixer of this beer, but I don't know that it's a repeater for me. Between the thin mouthfeel and the, to me, somewhat heavy-handed approach to the earthy hops, I've had much better scotch ales. (1,190 characters)

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another brew from the head of industrial electric from Nebraska---THANKS RANDY!

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a JAFB snifter. Pour a beautiful ruby red with touches of dark brown under a nice off white had of dissipating bubbles that settles down to a thick ring and fine thin layer of foam with nice lacing. Nose of toasted malts, light wood, mild dark berry notes, caramel, and fresh bread. Flavors are sweet up front with a light berry note, sweet caramel malts to the front and sides, and notes of oak and toffee on the back. Some light bittering from subdued hops as it warms, but still a good dose of sweet malts round it all together. Moderate carbonation and a lightly dry finish. VERY NICE.

Cheers (718 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz, best by date bottle stamped 071015
A - creamy beige head holds good retention atop a mahogany colored ale
S - malty nose - smells like a scotch ale with peat, earth, dark caramel, bread
T - very sweet with caramel, bread, brown sugar, peat, and earthy hops
M - medium body, smooth, and creamy; slightly peppery on the finish
O - this wasn't bad, but was cloyingly sweet at times. Pretty good representation of the style but I won't be buying it again. (457 characters)

Photo of Hoploaf
2.32/5  rDev -38%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I am a huge have of Scotch style ales, but unfortunately this one was a major dissapointment. No head to speak of, bubbles were stuck to side of glass. The mouthfeel was like weak coffee, and the taste was like weak coffee to boot. This is the kind of Scoth ale I would expect miller or Budweiser would make. The impression of using the cheapest of ingredients is overwhelmingly apparent. If I made this as my own home brew it would be considered a fail. (455 characters)

Photo of donnierickles
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had a single bottle of this left after a heavy night of drinking and found it almost a year later! Let me tell you, it was AMAZINGLY smooth after I unknowingly aged it. I will be buying this everytime i see it. I am a scotch ale fan and this is an excellent beer. (265 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours mahogany color with a one finger head of fizzy off-white foam. The head fades rather rapidly, leaving a decent sum of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is very sweet with a ton of caramel, toffee, and some butterscotch. These sweet aromas are complimented by some lighter dark fruit smells of a cherry and plum nature as well as some bready aromas that has a lighter level of a toast smell mixed within. Overall the aroma is quite sweet and very inviting.

Taste – The taste begins as the nose would have let on, with a good sum of a rather caramel and toffee sweetness. Some lighter dark fruit flavors of raisin are there as well, mixing with the slightly bready flavors of the brew nicely. As the taste advances the fruit fades a bit all while with the caramel taking on some more buttery tastes leaving the sweet to take a slightly more butterscotch flavor overall. All the while however, more roast comes to the tongue, which along with it, brings some molasses. A hint of an earthy hop hits the tongue at the very end, mixing with the slightly more roasted and sweet flavors of the brew nicely and leaving one with a quite pleasant flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner side for the 6.7 % abv. scotch ale with it containing a carbonation level that is rather average to a little bit higher. For the style I would have likes a slightly thicker body and bit of a lower carbonation to allow for a more sticky feel for the more sugary and slightly roasted flavors of the brew, but even with that said the feel was pretty good overall and it did make for a rather easy drinking style.

Overall – A quite tasty scotch ale that isn’t too overwhelming. The flavors and smell are fantastic but a little thicker of a body may have slightly more fitting. Overall though it was a rather good drinker. (1,970 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Prying off the cap releases spicy British malt aromas with a touch of roast.
It pours deep bright mahogany under a 2" rocky tan head that slowly collapses to 1/2" and leaves thick lines of lace on the glass marking each drink.
With the first sip dark sugars, dark caramel to toffee, some dark malts, a little roast, and a light nuttiness seasoned with British malt spices and light grain roll over the tongue to finish with a medium firm hop accent.
The body is medium to a little above and the carbonation is a hair below medium. (530 characters)

Photo of HuskerTornado
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into tulip glass. Pours a dark brown with ruby undertones with a tall off-white head that settles into a good quarter inch or so with plenty of lacing.

Smell is of sweet, dark roasted malts, some dark fruits and some smokiness.

Taste is of dark caramel malt up front complimented by dark fruits, with woody, smoky flavors coming through as well, finish is a nice balance of the sweet and the dry.. Mouthfeel is pretty thick, soft and creamy.

Overall, a very good, well balanced scotch ale. (514 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I've got no complaints with this beer's look; it's a nice, thick ruddy brown, opaque except in the very bottom of my tulip, where a hint of carnelian or the like shines. The head is creamy and, while not huge, sizeable enough and quite dense.It leaves a ring right where it tops off and follows with webbing and patching.
Lots of dark fruits, somewhat sweet but more tangy, a bit of straight up dry wood, something powdery, a bit of nut (more almond than walnut), a very light touch of smoke, and a vague hint of leaf make up the aroma. It may be yeast that kicks in that dryness (like kindling or split dry oak), but it gets stronger as it goes. The aroma fades with time, too.
The taste brings out more molasses and brown sugar, though not exceedingly sweet by any means, with lots of earth and some dark grains. While nice, I'd actually prefer it a little sweeter. Some herb and leaf even it out, lingering into the finish, where a bit of a peat flavor meets the tongue. For the transition, it goes almost briny.
The feel is this beer's strong suit. it's not phenomenal, but it hits the balance in the strength of body, provides ample crispness and smoothness, and remains consistent to the end. (1,198 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep amber in color, with a robust tan head, thick, patchy lacing, and slight carbonation - which required a strong light to see.

Aroma: Rich aroma of sweet dark, caramel dominates, as well as a little smoke and earth. The caramel is dominant in the aroma.

Taste: Opens with dark caramel malt, sweet alcohol and a bit of wood that reminds me of French oak. Earth and a little smoke are present, but offer proper deference to the omnipresent dark caramel. Roasted nuts are also notable, and the hops offer a restrained herbal bite, but are just supporting players to the dark caramel malt. The finish is dominated by dark caramel, earth, and smoke.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, very full, with just a hint of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A graceful example, which exhibits all the glory of the style without seeming harsh or overbearing.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice. (978 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque mahogany with a thin mocha head.

S: Raspberry, some citrus hop character, a touch of sweet, caramelized malt in the nose. Very pleasant.

T: Raspberry comes out immediately, with some bitter orange that turns sweet toward the finish, where the sweet malty backbone arises, but only briefly, before smoothing out and blending with all the other flavors in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: A very well balanced, surprisingly fruity scotch ale. Definitely recommended. This is a great brewery and a very good beer. (549 characters)

Photo of Mavigo
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip.

A: Pours a ruby amber color with a short tan head that dissipates fast leaving a small remnant tan ring around the edges of the glass, minimal lacing

S: Slight bitter/sour aroma, tangy, wheat, brown sugars, raspberries, orange peels, caramel, toffee, all around sweetness with hints of some bitterness.

T: Quite sweet, wheat, cooked brown sugars, vanilla, malts, barley, hints of fruit, oranges

M: Medium bodied with medium amounts of carbonation, good balance

O: This was good overall, I normally never get the chance to have a scotch ale and I bought this on a whim and was glad I did so. Recommended. (629 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 11/21/2013. Pours crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, raisin, fig, apple, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light chocolate, light roast, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, raisin, fig, apple, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, chocolate, light roast, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, dark fruit, toast, toffee, chocolate, brown bread, brown sugar, light roast, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and yeast ester flavors; with great robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, moderately slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent scotch ale. All around great balance and complexity of malt and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering. (1,284 characters)

Photo of BeerWithMike
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sampled back on 10/6/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a brandy snifter glass.

Pours a very dark brown than has a small tan head that leaves good lacing when sipped. Good carbonation. The aroma of caramel is right up front around with some dark fruit like plum or berries. Very nice. the taste is also very pleasant with hints of caramel, butterscotch, toffee and malts. Great balance of flavors. Not a summer brew as this is a little on the heavy side. Great brew for cooler months for sure. (526 characters)

Photo of Steamer
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I like the dark look of this beer; when held to the light, ruby hues can be seen. Hops stand out in the smell, not too much different than an amber ale but a little sweeter. The taste is very smooth, the malt comes through with a slight caramel flavor; pleasant after taste, a well blended ale. Mouth feel - medium body and carbonation. Overall: An excellent take on the style. I'll have to try more of Big Sky's offerings, they have yet to disappoint. (452 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Heavy Horse is a good Scotch Ale....not to heavy and not to sweet. The beer pours a clear brownish amber with thin off-white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent has sweet malt and touches of peat and scotch. The taste is a nice even beer with heavy malt backbone with a touch of honey sweetiness. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall the beer is good...and definitely sessionable. (420 characters)

Photo of jimmah120
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no date, into tulip style glass

look is a dark ruby color, small ring of off-white lace. smell is roasted malts, alcohol, rye, chocolate. taste is malt heavy, with a slight english hop presence. finishes chalky and chocolatey, not a hint of the ~7%.

too drinkable. *mmmmhhhhugggghhn* (302 characters)

Photo of archyquaffer
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown bottle into a sampling glass. A moderate pour produces about 3/4 inch of tan head. The beer is a deep but not dark reddish brown with very active carbonation, and is quite appealing to look at.

Plenty of caramel on the nose, with hints of plum or berry. The taste is also quite sweet, with flavors of caramel, butterscotch, cola, port, and maybe a hint of tobacco. Just a touch of lingering bitterness on the tongue, with a bit of tang. Fairly creamy mouthfeel.

Overall, a beer that's worth a try. It's maybe just a bit too sweet for my taste, with quite a kick at nearly 7 percent ABV, but a pretty good sipping beer. (640 characters)

Photo of Sark
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Red brown with finger of super-smooth light beige head

Smell- definite notes of caramel and a light oak, hops add a light bittering on the end

Taste- up front are the brighter aspects of the malt and aged flavors which mingle with the sweeter malt character mid-tongue, on the finish is a robust toasted bitterness that fades semi-quickly

Mouthfeel- medium/full bodied with a smooth, yet not milky, texture

Overall- The aromatics are this brew's strong points, the taste could have been given a bit more bold characteristics but was still plenty flavorful. Kettlehouse's Coldsmoke still holds the title for me in this category. (643 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured no head, only a couple small bubbles on the surface of an opaque dark brown colored body.
The aroma is nice. Like fresh baked whole wheat bread.
The taste is characteristically sweet with a touch of lemon bitterness.
The texture is thin with low carbonation.
Drinkable. (276 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- this pours a deep copper-red with a 2 finger head of foam. It looks gorgeous.

S- lots of malt in the smell...caramel, some toffee, a bit of a nutty aroma.

T- heavy on the toffee, lots of sweetness, huge grain note, light nuttiness. That grain and sweet malt is a bit overpowering.

M- I'd call it full bodied with the right level of carbonation.

O- aptly named brew...Heavy. Too heavy on most counts and not something I'd buy/drink again. (444 characters)

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Heavy Horse Scotch Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.