Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 110 | Hads: 247
Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
4.74/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

smell: notes of berries and cocoa.

appearance: deep and dark with a bit of a ruby red hue

mouthfeel: refreshing and clean with an airy end

taste: hints of berries and citrus right after an initial, but short, toffee flavor. ends with hints of banana and cocoa. super refreshing

overall as normal big sky has created another great beer. its not super big but its def a great session ale thats a bit on the heavy side. (420 characters)

Photo of TheSarge
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass, and this produces a finger thick light tan head, and has a clear ruby red colored body.

Has a hearty aroma of sweet bready malts, dark fig and raison, and a little hint of peat.

Raison is upfront in the taste, along with cherry, and maybe some overripe orange.

Feels full in body, though a little lower in ABV than most wee heavies. Makes this beer a little more enjoyable. Very complex for the weaker ABV. Daddy like. (456 characters)

Photo of climax
4.44/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Being from the Upper Midwest and naturally a fan of Big Sky, I was pleased to find this one, eliminating one more Big Sky brew that has been eluding me.

Into a snifter, it pours a walnut brown with bright ruby highlights. The head was forced out and the retention was minimal. The last remaining clumps of bubbles faded slowly as the beer became a memory.

The nose was wonderful, blending strength and complexity. The up-front flavor seemed to change every time I took a whiff. Among the heavy-hitters are: cocoa, roasted dark chocolate, red wine, toffee, and slight alcohol and astringency. Awesome.

The taste continues to impress. It wasn't as bold as the nose, but it was surprisingly very refreshing and (dare I say) almost chuggable for the style. Hoppy fruity esters brighten things up after the gun, while roasted flavors of cocoa, toast, smoke, and sweet toffee keep the scales even.

The body was by no means heavy or thick, however it never approached the line of being boring. The nice chalky feel and crisp carbonation kept this beer proudly trotting along. The finish was dry, and the mouth waters for more.

As aforementioned, this one is a delight to drink, and is going down far too quickly. I wish I had more. (1,234 characters)

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer is a gorgeous deep ruby/mahogany. A dark cream colored head recedes to a layer of bubbles with massive sheets of lacing.

The aroma is sweet and malty, with a woody, buttery note. Lots of caramel too.

The taste starts off sweet and warm, with tons of roasted malts coming to the front. Loads of warm melted caramel are all over this brew. A spicy, buttery oak body carries on with some spicy notes in the finish.

The mouthfeel is pretty heavy, toasty, and warm.

Overall, just another delicious brew from Big Sky. At 6.7% ABV, this is actually a pretty nice brew for a late September afternoon. Makes for a great Autumn beer. (672 characters)

Photo of awmiller
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another entry into the AW BHoF! Big Sky nailed it with this brew; simply nailed it! It pours up a deep mahogany body with a nice 1-finger head that hangs around for quite a while. Scents of rich malts and dark fruits like cherries and plums precede the flavors of sweet malts, caramel and dark fruits. Put the sense of smell and taste into overdrive by breathing in through your nose just as you are drinking some of this fine brew!! Oh yeah! There’s just enough hit of hops to make this one amazingly fine brew! This is a easy brew to drink so keep track of how many you enjoy! (580 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.39/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a perfect pint. Somehow this only have 3 other reviews despite my purchasing it a couple months ago.

3.5 A: Clear medium amber color. One and a half fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is about average and a short ring of lacing is left.

4.5 D: Deep caramel and toffee. Huge toastiness that is just such a pleasure to take in. It's pretty simple, but it sure as hell is potent and it smells wonderful.

4.5 T: Taste is much like the nose. Big caramel and a huge toastiness. Toffee underneath. Flavors slap your palate silly. Big nuttiness. Such perfect harmony among the flavors and a potency to keep you loving it.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light creaminess. Good here.

4.5 D: Damn good beer. Big, bold flavors that you can't help but love. (780 characters)

Photo of ElCommodoro
4.36/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally! A delicious Scotch Ale that I can enjoy for a more reasonable price because it's brewed right here in the USA. No importation costs. That means I can get it fresher too! The worst part, though, is that it says it's a limited release. I hope they change their minds and decide to release it again sometime because they did a bully job of making a memorable Scotch ale. Lots of rich malty flavours packed into this brew. It's a wonderful translucent red colour with a head that leaves nice off-white lacing. It smells musty and even a bit smoked. That smoky flavour is in the taste too. Mixes right in with the mustiness. One thing about the taste that may offend some is that it is powerfully sweet. There's some bitterness in there to balance it out, but not much. The sweetness is overpowering. It doesn't bother me because I like that kind of thing. I think this beer is near perfect. But it can be cloying if you drink it too fast. This a beer you can savor for a while. A leisurely beer.
I should stock up on this stuff before it goes away. This is how I think beer should taste. Yuuummmy. (1,103 characters)

Photo of Mgm54
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Style - poured into standard pint glass

A - Nice deep amber color, what I would expect for a beer like this

S - Very malty, with a hint of booze. What a scotch ale should smell like. Also has a hint of citrus to it

T - Big malt up front, with a bit of booze, but not as much as others I have tried for the style, but does finish a decent taste of booze and molasses. A bit of molasses sweetness up front as well. Great malty taste, a proper example of the style, if not a "wee" bit less "heavy" than most.

M - big, thick, and malty, as a scotch ale should be.

O - if you haven't liked scotch ales before because of the booze, try this one, it is much more subtle on the booze. Great beer. (701 characters)

Photo of Glibber
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
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. (446 characters)

Photo of Lawl3ss
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled longneck into an Imperial pint.

Look- Clear ruby brown with two fingers of frothy off-white head that sticks to the glass. Decent amount of splotchy lace.

Smell- Brown sugar stands out, sweet but not overly so. Hints of vanilla and banana, swirling brings out a sharper earthy aroma and alcohol. As it warms, it takes on a distinctly toffeelike aroma.

Taste- Starts with a dark resiny bitterness, almost tobacco-like. Middle is nutty with hints of various fruits, and cola. Finishes with a dark earthy flavor and roasted/burnt grains.
Aftertaste is of rolled oats and dry pine needles. The more I sip the more complex it seems. Very nice.

Mouthfeel- Light-to-medium body, light carbonation. A bit sticky, medium dry finish. Very, very drinkable. Not as substantial as I normally like, but it's extremely well suited to the flavor profile.

Overall- Another great beer from Big Sky. Hits all the right notes for the style and leaves me wanting another. The only thing I can see wrong with it is that it's a limited release. (1,042 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 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 mariposafan
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Crystal clear dark amber body. Just a little creamy head, even from a fairly stiff pour, and it dies far too quickly.

The aroma is sweet - caramel and toffee with just a slight herbal note. Very nice, I only wish it had been a little more pronounced.

The flavor follows the aroma almost perfectly. A little grassy bitterness but mostly caramel/toffee maltiness. As with the aroma it just lacks a little oomph of being incredible, but it's still very, very good.

A little thin but the carbonation is very pleasant.

Overall, I'd happily buy this again and again. With a little more richness it would be in my top-tier as the flavors and aroma that are there are top notch. (721 characters)

Photo of CamuMahubah
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
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! (715 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
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. (501 characters)

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must preface this review with the fact that I can't pour this beer into a glass where I am right now, so my appearance and some aroma notes will be a bit perceptive.

Appearance: The beer is pretty clear with a small head of mixed sized bubbles that faded mostly back into the beer within about 45 seconds or so. There are a few bubbles rising, but they don't do much to maintain the head.

Aroma: There is a good bit of toasty malts in here that remind me of British malts with some caramel and very reserved hops. I really don't pick up the sometimes overdone peaty presence. There is a nice dark caramel presence that is becoming much more noticeable as the beer sits a bit. There is a mild spicy note also coming out as the beer warms that is quite pleasant.

Taste: Pretty much the flavor coincides with the aroma. The caramel is a bit bigger player in the finish than I anticipated from the aroma. It leaves a bit of a slick impression on the back of the palate, but this isn't like Diacetyl or anything. The overall body is medium with ample carbonation so that the beer seems a bit lighter than it is.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer. I wouldn't say that it classifies as a strong scotch or anything, but it comes across as more like a 80 schilling or something with mild Peat. Regardless, this is a nice beer and I am glad that I tried it...and would drink it again as it has a well-blended balance. (1,415 characters)

Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had mostly good experiences with Big Sky so very willing to try their newest brew.

The foam stopped exactly at the top of my perfect pour glass, nice trick. It's a pretty ruby red color with moderate carbonation. The aroma is somewhat malty. The taste is nicely malted with some spices like cinnamon mixed in. The body is just very slightly under the mid point and it is rather smooth. This definitely a repeat buy. (423 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Watching the Bears rock the Panthers (so far) and listening to the only song that's appropriate (that's right, kiddies, it's Jethro Tull's "Heavy Horses"!). The beer pours a clear ruby brown topped by a finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises caramel, figs, rye bread, wheat, raisins, and red grapes. The taste is very similar, with a hint of buttered biscuits and light flowers thrown into the mix. The body is a nice medium, with a sharp light moderate carbonation and a lightly chewy feel. Overall, a very nice scotch ale, a tasty treat from this Montana brewery. (609 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a single bottle of this from Woodman's in Menomonee Falls, WI for about $1.50 in fall 2010.

This Scotch Ale pours a dark brown with a had that last for a fair while as a good scent of malts tickles your nose. It has a bold flavor that is not too strong but also not too weak either. Has a slight nutty taste that finishes rather nicely with little after taste. A very nice find. (388 characters)

Photo of StaveHooks
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a Southern Tier tulip

A - Clear dark chestnut with a yellow tinted head.

S - Dripping with caramel and toffee malts, dried figs, raisins, bruised peaches, toast with jam.

T - Sweet caramel and toffee malts, raisins, dried dates, brown sugar, some nutty earthiness in the background, pecan shells come to mind. Has a woody alcahol flavor towards the end. Finishes toasty with a touch of hops.

M - Medium body with good creamy carbonation.

This was better than expected. Not extremely complex but super tasty. It's like a comfort beer, lots of flavor packed into this 6.7%ABV. This will be great to have handy this winter. (648 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 GregSVT
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a deep ruby brown with a nice off-white head that fades to a ring nad leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of sweet malt, dark cherries, and and deep molasses. Very rich smelling...can't wait to take a sip.

T: Taste starts off pretty smokey and malty with a sweet cherry/fruit finish. One of the more smokey Scotch Ale's I've had and pretty tasty.

M: The feel is creamy and medium bodied.

D: This is pretty drinkable despite the smokey quality and I wouldn't hesitate to drink more. (547 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 nrmiller
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a snifter, a deep red/brown color, with a thick cream colored head.

S: Smell is fantastic on this one, i love swirling it in my glass. Smells strongly of sweet dark fruits and complex malts.

T: Starts off with sweet malts, then going into some fruit flavors and caramel followed by a slight hop finish that makes more of a "crisp" flavor than bitter.

M: I thought this would be a little heavier, but still not bad. Medium to heavy mouth feel. Goes down easy.

D: Very good drinkability, especially since it isn't really heavy. I really like this style of beer and this offering too, luckily it is available to me. Will seek this out time after time, YUM. (674 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
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 (764 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Heavy Horse Scotch Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.