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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
86
very good

223 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 223
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 223 | Reviews: 106
Reviews by jeffjeff1:
Photo of jeffjeff1
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up at the Fairfield Bevmo a while ago.

Appearance- brownish color, thick foamy head

Smell- malt, caramel, toffee

Taste- very similar to smell, malt, caramel, toffee

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- Overall I thought it was a pretty good scotch ale.

More User Reviews:
Photo of brownbeer
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a growler off of a keg thanks to the brewmaster. I think it's about 6.2%.

A nice reddish brown color with a thin, tan head that stays a fine layer on top of the beer.

The taste and aroma has a lot of bready malt and dried fruit characteristics with a slightly bitter finish. Simple, great, food beer. It has a medium body with soft carbonation.

Photo of Beaver13
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours a copper brown with a medium light tan head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is subdued - peaty caramel malts with a little fruit and perfume.

The flavor is sweet caramel/toffee malts and a touch of fruit with some smoky peat and a dry lightly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a solid Scotch ale - not my favorite style.

Photo of Mora2000
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to see a new Big Sky beer in Texas.

The beer pours a clear, deep red color with a tan head. A great looking beer. The aroma is very malty with a lot of toffee and caramel malt. I also get some dark fruit and a little bit of peet smoke. The flavor is also extremely malty. I get toffee, caramel, chocolate, dark fruit, cream, a little smoke and a little alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of chadjulius
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Darker, amber color...smell of barley, a little bitter smell, it just smells like a dark beer.

Its taste is...montana...after taste lingers for a while; a little bitter

Strong...like 6.7%

Its good, but i won't buy it again when I have other Big Sky options available

Photo of bsp77
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass. Best by date of June 22, 2011.

Appearance: Clear mahogany with an almost yellow head.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, and cherry are fairly strong. Some floral, spicy and metallic English hops. Smells more like a English Strong Ale than a Scotch Ale.

Taste: Fairly sweet with loads of caramel and dark fruits such as cherry, figs and raisins. Not as much hops as noted in the smell, just a light spicy and metallic finish. Straddles the line of cloying, but somehow the flavor profile works for me.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, odd finish. Since I did not knock the Taste score for almost being cloying, I while knock the Feel score for the residual sweetness.

Overall: Pretty good Scotch Ale. A little sweet and the finish and aroma is a little odd, but for some reason I simply like the taste. Isn't that good enough?

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a dimple mug)
A- This beer has a deep slightly dense glowing caramel brown body with a light tan head supported by a gentle carbonation.

S- The clean aroma has hints of soft brown malt but not much else.

T- The woody caramel flavor is dry that taste a bit oxidized and a water taste to follow. There is a brown malt note in the finish with a faint black roasted hint that lingers for a brief second.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle carbonation

O- The flavor is very soft and a bit thin with some stale characterizes. I didn’t taste any of the rich malt flavor or any pot caramel or any of the other wonderful characteristics of a scotch ale.

Photo of LXIXME
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an inch or so above the glass leaves a nice big light brown head that settles into a pretty decent lacing above a clear dark burnt reddish colored beer.

Butterscotch, and roasted caramelized malt aroma with a slight alcohol hint aroma is transfer to the taste just about the same, maybe a touch more alcohol in the taste.

The aftertaste of this medium bodied ale is a light dry with hints of alcohol, I was pretty pleased with this beer, you should check it out if given the opportunity.

Photo of CamuMahubah
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Light brown...

Smells Like a certain brown cylindrical chocolate candy with cream in the middle. You know the one everyone throws into little kids orange buckets when they scream, "Trick or Treat!"

Well yes they did give us something good to eat! This is a good tasting beer. A lil hot. A lil sweet but not as cloying as I was expecting. I was expecting smoky, but if it's here it's hidden by the sweet malt. It's not at all unlike eating a toffee bar albeit one that has had a coating of hop pieces.

This is silken chocolate rolls...

Goes down way to easy for the type and style. This one could get you into trouble. Easy does it. I had to kept reminding myself this beer is called "Heavy Horse" for a reason!

Photo of Brenden
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a deep ruby brown with a 2 finger head, decent retention, and the resulting lace is thin and semi-sticky.

Smell - Lots of sweet caramel and toffee on the nose, the kind usually reserved for English bitters.

Taste - Sweet and sugary esters take the form of sweet toffee with notes of caramel. Hops are near undetectable. Sip after sip, it's unbalanced richness tends to get too sweet to enjoy.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Carbonation is a bit on the low side.

Overall - Very rich. Anyone trying to session this might find themselves regretting their decision after the first beer or two. Consider this a one off dessert beer.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.99/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.42/5  rDev -10%
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.

Photo of russpowell
3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut/brown with a pinky of tan head. Bellow average head retention & lacing

S: Faint plummyness & some leafy hops, more fruittyness at the end...

T: Figs, slight cherry flavor & toffee up front, along with dryness & abit of brown sugar. Much sweet maltyness with caramel && figgy notes dominating as this warms, along a subtle smokeyness/peat/tanin flavor. Finishes sooo dry, figgy with slight peat notes

MF: Medium bodied, low carbonation, becomes chewier once warm

Pretty easy drinker, but there's just not enough here to get too excited about. I expected more from Big Sky

Photo of Glibber
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was drinking another beer and my wife was drinking this. I switched over on my second.

The color was pleasing like a brown ale with a hint of amber when held to the light. The taste was complex with malts and subtle hops finishing with a little nutty flavor. We get plenty of Big Sky beers in the store here (5 flavors), but not the scotch ale- and I am going to have to find out where to get me some because it is easily my favorite to date.

Photo of morimech
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear crimson color with one finger of head that had decent retention before settling to a thin cap. Quite a bit of spotty lacing is left on the glass. Aroma of caramel with notes of peat with some grassy hops. Flavor is caramel with a hint of peat and smoke. Just a little grassy near the finish. Seems very dry for a Scotch Ale. Nothing terrible about the flavor but there is very little to make one excited. Body seems a little thin for the style as well but has nice carbonation. Easy drinking beer which is a little dangerous considering the ABV. Nothing really to savor to slow consumption. I expected something better from Big Sky.

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
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

Photo of jsh420
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

best by 01-05-11

pours bright dark ruby brown with a 2+ finger head that left spotted lacing

smells of dark fruit and sugary caramel malts

taste is like the nose - i dont pick up on any scotch flavors - i taste more burnt malts and some tang of some pale malts hidden away

mouthfeel has a medium body with plenty of carbonation that give it a crispand creamy feel with a great dry finish

drinkability - now i am not one for this style but this is a beer i would want the next time i grill up a fat ribeye

Photo of jacobseyb
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into the snifter a nice reddish brown with a tan head that crowned well after dissipating. Also left some good lacing. Smelled very much like a scotch ale should with good malts and a little of the peatiness expected. Taste was much the same with good maltiness and peaty taste. Feel is smooth and lightly carbonated. Overall a good scotch ale that i will pick up again.

Photo of SpecialK088
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this at the mud lounge on tap

A-good deep amber color. No real head or lacing to it but that's not a huge surprise.

S-not alot at all going on in the nose. Get some very feint dark fruit notes as well as some light malty ones

T-while a pretty complex beer in flavor I felt they kinda wiffed on the style. It was Slightly roasty when you very first take a drink then right after that I got a very small hint of the scotch ale and the middle and finish were more like an over hopped brown ale.

M-fairly thin bodied not quite watery but just above. Slightly oily feeling

Overall it was an alright beer. Had a very bitter hoppy finish for a scotch ale I think reviewing it style in mind was what brought my grade down had I not known this was a scotch ale I probably would not have been able to tell you it was.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher nonic. 6.7% ABV, 237102, 231210 printed on the bottle stacked on the neck.

A - Heavy Horse pours with a gorgeous bronzed ruby mahogany color with perfect clarity and is topped off by an incredible dense khaki head. Great retention despite no carbonation bubbles through the beer and thick, Swiss-cheese-like lace caked to the glass. Perfection is appearance.

S - Heavy Horse has a classic aroma of toasted malt with notes of caramel, toffee, and a pinch of nuttiness but is hindered by a dry, strong mineral finish.

T - Malt driven with very tasty toffee notes playing with gooey caramel and a dense breadiness. A lingering sweetness with underlying nuttiness is golden here. The mineral flavor barley comes through.

M - Medium-bodied and very smooth with a slick finish that's only held back by a seemingly absent, (in reality, it's just low) carbonation level.

D - A slow starting but powerful horse this beer is, Heavy Horse certainly pulls it's weight. Tasty and absolutely gorgeous, it's not a perfect brew, but it's a treat of a scotch ale nonetheless.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

rb

A new bottled offering from Big Sky... Cool. Picked up on the way home from work at Brewforia.

Poured into my Old Guardian goblet... 2 finger lite tan head... good retention and great lacing... the brew is a polished deeeep amber.

Nose shows good maltiness with pretty pronounced caramel... earthy... dark toast...

Flavor is more rich than I was expecting from Big Sky (I'm not a Big Sky hater, it's just the truth)... good expected elements... rich malts... caramel combines well with some minor and hard to identify fruity esters (I will guess plummy?)... a bit of "black tea like" tannins on the finish that meshes well with the residual maltiness.

Pretty standard body with a medium carbonation.

Good.... pretty good... I always have a hard time with Scottish style beers and feel like I undervalue them, but this is pretty good and a nice contemplative sipper if you take your time on the glass.

4/4/4/4/4

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 4/2011 notes. Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a dark red amber. Slight head, but some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt, caramel and slight dark fruit. Flavor starts as with sweet and caramel malt some dark fruit, somewhat nutty. Finish is a bit dry and sour with a little bit of hop kick. Initial flavors are nice, but the finish is not great. There are better Scotch ales out there

Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

caramel in color with a light tan head on top that reached a height of around an inch before fading and leaving the top of the glass mostly bare. Light lacing on the sides as well. Aroma was spectacular. Rich notes of caramel and toffee, oozing with butterscotch and sweet herbal notes. Light hint of a boozy alcohol touch to it at well, but it played out quite nicely. The first sip made me fall back in my chair. Simply brilliant. Rich butterscotch and toffee flavors roll across the tongue. Enormously sweet like a wonderful piece of hard candy, each sip seemed more compelling then the one before it. Sublime. Nice herbal hop notes playing it up quite well and the smooth, delicate caramel finish with a light touch of booziness is just what the doctor ordered

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Heavy Horse Scotch Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.