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Stone Thrower Scotch Ale - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Stone Thrower Scotch AleStone Thrower Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

97 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 75
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.83%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | 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:
20 IBU

Previously called "Heavy Horse Scotch Ale"

(Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 09-11-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 75 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woemad


2.2/5  rDev -41.2%

Pint consumed at Capone's in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Hadn't seen it before, so I decided to try it.

Poured a dark, reddish mahoigany color, with a thin, off-white head that left scattered spots on the sides of the glass.

Malty sweet in the nose. Vaguely caramel, with some extremely faint peaty notes. Fruity "off" notes as well that didn't seem to meld with anything.

Taste was very similar to the nose. Sweet flavor combined with an overbearing apple-ish fruit flavor that was all wrong for the style. Peaty flavor way, way, way in the background.

Ridiculously heavy-bodied, with a thick, cotton-mouth mouthfeel. Yuck.

Not even remotely impressed with this beer. Afterwards, when talking with the owner of Enoteca, I mentioned this beer and he told me he believed it was replacing either Powder Hound or Slow Elk. Now, I wasn't a huge fan of either of those beers, but I sure don't remember them being anywhere near this bad. Avoid.

11-13-2010 03:31:21 | More by woemad
Photo of ccrida


2.35/5  rDev -37.2%

On draught at The Viking in Spokane, served in a mug, Heavy Horse is dark chestnut with a small off-white head that leaves light, scattered lace.

Smell is pretty sweet, some pie spices as well as caramel. Bit buttery as well.

Taste is less sweet, but this is still all about the malt. The diacetyl is more pronounced, and not that good. There's also a booziness to it, it tastes *a lot* like a watered down bourbon and coke.

Mouthfeel is medium light, flacid.

Drinkability isn't too high, didn't like this beer, some off-flavors, leaving me not impressed.

11-12-2010 23:08:56 | More by ccrida
Photo of seeswo


2.65/5  rDev -29.1%

Pours a slightly see-through brown with a tannish head. The nose is light caramel and breadiness. None of the smokiness/particular roasted malt character I always hope for and sometimes fail to get off of a scotch ale. A little concerned already that this is going to be a Scottish Ale. Taste is pretty light - caramel malt and bready sweetness in a package with a thin flavor and a thin body. No depth in the flavor. Seems to be short of the style. Someone mentioned that it was more like a odd brown ale than a Scotch Ale, and I would say it represents something more like a Scottish Style Ale or a Brown Ale than a Scotch Ale. Overall, this is not nearly my favorite representation of the style.

05-16-2011 00:44:03 | More by seeswo
Photo of Fnord


2.88/5  rDev -23%

Appearance - Very dark red with a creamy off-white head.

Smell - Brown sugar, Karo syrup, alcohol, and a bit of maple.

Taste - Starts very sweet with the alcohol becoming very noticeable in the finish. Aftertaste is more syrupy alcohol taste. I'm surprised it tastes this alcoholic considering it's only 6.7%.

Mouthfeel - Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Notes - It can be difficult to make a beer that tastes strongly of both sweet and alcohol without reminding me of cough syrup. This one doesn't cut it, unfortunately. Though the maple and brown sugar help, I still can't recommend buying this beer. Better luck next time, Big Sky.

11-15-2010 00:42:25 | More by Fnord
Photo of Mitchster


2.88/5  rDev -23%

$1.80 for a single at Jacks. Brewed with pale, crystal chocolate, and "roast" malt per the website. Hopped with Hallertau Tradition and East Kent Goldings. 20 IBU, 6.7% ABV

Pours out to a sparkingly clear deep garnet brown, forming a tall whipped dark yellow head with excellent retention and superior sheets of sticky lacing. Mild to moderate carbonation. The aroma is of caramelized sugar, cola syrup, cherry, lightly soured milk, and hazelnuts. Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium dense body. Somewhat syrupy. The taste is a recap of the aroma...essentially an Imperial Brown if you want to think of it that way...nutty, lightly toasty, cola and carob. Overall, a little sweet. No smoke.

This is a decent beer, but nothing that gets me excited. It's run of the mill, and the cola cherry carob combination makes my stomach a little queezy.

03-24-2011 00:17:01 | More by Mitchster
Photo of StoutHunter


2.93/5  rDev -21.7%

I picked up a bottle of Big Sky's Heavy Horse Scotch Ale last month for $1.49 at The Lager Mill. I have been drinking a lot of Dirty Bastard's lately and I thought I would switch it up and try Big Sky's example of the style, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I know it's a spring 2012 release. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks good and it had a nice scene of a horse towing some lumber up a dirt road, I like it. It poured a darker brown color that took on a nice bright copper/ruby red color with three fingers worth of creamy light tan head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left some nice lacing. This is a good looking Scotch Ale, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with loads of malts that have a higher amount of medium sweetness and impart some some grainy, brown bread, medium roast, and a slightly smokey aroma. After that comes a good amount of sweet dark fruits with raisins and plums sticking out the most. Next comes some more grainy and bready aromas and a really slight alcohol aroma. This is a proper smelling Scotch Ale, it has all the aromas that I look for in the style.

T- The flavor seems to be bland and muted compared to the aroma. It starts out with a pretty large amount of malts that seem to dominate the flavor of this beer, they have much lighter amount of sweetness then the aroma led me to believe, and it imparted some grainy, brown and white bread, along with a light toasted flavor. Wheres the dark fruits that I got in the aroma. I found the taste to be unimpressive, I wish it was much more like the aroma, it was pretty one note and bland.

M- Smooth, slightly creamy, on the light side of being medium bodied, and it had a nice amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either, it needed to be thicker.

Overall I wasn't impressed with this beer and I though that it was a little below average for the style. The look and the aroma were going in the right direction but when it got to the taste it really fizzled out and left me wanting much more. This beer had OK drinkability, it went down smooth, but the flavor was pretty bland and it couldn't hold my attention, one is enough for me and I'm ready to move onto something with more flavor. What I liked most about this beer was the appearance and the aroma, they were both were they should be for the style. What I liked least about this beer was the flavor, it seems like all the nice things I picked up in the aroma never made it's way to the taste and that really hurt this beer. This beer was priced well but the lackluster taste really holds this beer back and I would much rather have a Dirty Bastard, I can't say that I would recommend this beer. I find Big Sky to be a pretty solid brewery, but I was a little let down with beer as it really didn't deliver when it came to the flavor, you guys make some good and solid beers, it's too bad this is not one of them, better luck next time, looks like I'm back to the Dirty Bastard's.

05-10-2012 03:41:54 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of FanofHefe


2.95/5  rDev -21.1%

Served on- tap in a pint glass. Deep brown color, just a touch of red hue. Creamy, tan head with good retention and good lacing along the glass.

A little weak in the aroma department. Some light caramel malt and a hint of bready yeast.

A little better in the flavors, but odd for the style. Again, strong on the caramel malt, but with a more roasted flavor in the taste. Some wood flavor, almost as if it had been in a barrel. Finally, some tea-like flavors.

Overall, it seems more like a woody brown ale than a scotch ale, so I marked it down there a bit.

04-26-2011 00:19:04 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of Beaver13


3.03/5  rDev -19%

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.

11-12-2010 00:05:14 | More by Beaver13
Photo of SpecialK088


3.05/5  rDev -18.4%

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.

04-18-2011 13:25:02 | More by SpecialK088
Photo of Bitterbill


3.06/5  rDev -18.2%

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.

09-07-2013 17:57:24 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of jsprain1


3.15/5  rDev -15.8%

A- Red-garnet, very clear with a very light brown head that is one and a half fingers and lays firm at a slick. Minimal lacing.
S- The smell is very mild with a very slightly peaty malt with some light coffee and medium caramel.
T- The taste is pleasing at first but very mild. Caramel and just a bit of coffee. A touch off woody flavors.
M- Medium body, maybe a touch lighter than medium. Body is fairly dry for as malt forward as this is.
O- It's ok but on the spectrum of scotch ales, there are many that are above this.

03-31-2012 00:16:27 | More by jsprain1
Photo of phishsihq


3.18/5  rDev -15%

Heavy Horse Scotch Ale pours a clear chestnut brown color, and is capped with a thin tan head that leaves only a minimal amount of lace. Sweet and toasty malt aromas dominate the nose, with some spices and fig/plum hints hidden in there. Rich, malty flavors including caramel, toast, and toffee while slight underlying wisps of smokiness, peat, and fig tease the pallet. Lower in carbonation, Heavy Horse is medium in body and a solid release from the folks at Big Sky Brewing Company.


05-15-2012 01:50:09 | More by phishsihq
Photo of tourdot


3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

04-29-2012 20:39:16 | More by tourdot
Photo of Schwarz31


3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

A good dark copper color. Light uniform carbonation. Nice solid head with long legs. At first sniff, there are light biscuity notes, a second sniff brings more of the same. Flavor is a robust malt, with a prominent alcoholic aftertaste. Mouth feel is nice and creamy with a light pleasant tingle of carbonation. Overall, not bad, but not remarkable.

03-27-2011 20:52:08 | More by Schwarz31
Photo of morimech


3.3/5  rDev -11.8%

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.

11-06-2010 18:34:56 | More by morimech
Photo of TheWahrMachine

3.32/5  rDev -11.2%

08-15-2014 17:17:43 | More by TheWahrMachine
Photo of dwilson01


3.35/5  rDev -10.4%

poured from a bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass, a huge tan colored head tops the brew of a deep red caramel colored body.

The nose is very malty, maple, toffee, and brown sugar are the heavy hitters. I don't get any hop aroma to speak of.

The first thing I thought when I tasted it is that it seems like a suped up brown ale had sex with an amber ale and this is their kid. It's pretty interesting, a lot of malt flavors like the maple and brown sugar come through but there is an underlying layer to this brew made of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. I get an ever so faint dark fruit/raisin flavor also which is interesting.

The mouthfeel is solid, sits pretty heavy because it's not carbed at all but still goes down pretty smooth.

04-09-2011 03:20:05 | More by dwilson01
Photo of JohnnyHopps


3.43/5  rDev -8.3%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at a restaurant, the ale produced a slight head. As scotch ales go, this one appeared a dark reddish brown with a certain degree of cloudines. The aroma was not incredibly potent, but did produce a mild wheat flavor. One may have to really search for an aroma here. The initial taste was a moderate level of scotch sweetness with a wheat backbone. This flowed into the aftertaste which was mildly warming and yet somewhat sour. Overall, this is a mild scotch ale. It would not stand-out in crowd of elite scotches, but it is an easy drinker.

02-17-2012 23:39:31 | More by JohnnyHopps
Photo of zhanson88


3.43/5  rDev -8.3%

Appearance: Heavy Horse Scotch Ale pours out a clear, deep ruby color with lighter mahogany highlights. About a finger of beige head forms, which has nice retention and lacing. Pretty solid looking brew.

Smell: Some light biscuity malts can be smelled right up front. Digging a bit deeper reveals some definite caramel notes, as well as some overripe banana scents and some floral and herbal hops. I pick all of this up, but it does take some digging. Not very apparent off the get-go.

Taste: A lot of biscuity malts up front as well as caramel. Overripe banana fruitiness comes out next, and that is followed by mostly herbal hops and lesser floral. Pretty nice tasting beer, really. Nothing real flashy, but solid.

Mouthfeel/Overall: I wish this beer had a bit more body to it. Pretty light bodied, but not overcarbonated which helps out a bit. Overall, a decent Wee Heavy. At first I thought it was a regular Scottish Ale and was borderline wowed, but when I saw that it was in the Wee Heavy class changed my assessment to solid and still above average, but unspectacular.

03-31-2011 04:48:26 | More by zhanson88
Photo of Kiwano

New York

3.43/5  rDev -8.3%

A - Reddish brown with almost no head - thin layer that dissipates

S - OK some fruit

T - Slightly sweet - malt comes through with some stone fruits ? and bready

M - Could be a bit more carbonated but fine

O - A decent beer- would be nice if a layer of flavor cut through some of the sweetness after the initial taste

06-12-2011 03:27:54 | More by Kiwano
Photo of HaysAmerica


3.43/5  rDev -8.3%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle w/ faint markings of 070611 on the side into a small snifter. Can only assume this would be the best by date as I am reviewing this in April '11. Clear, dark ruby red color w/ a off white head that quickly fades. Lacing is decent.

Nose is malty sweet w/ some caramelized sugars. Almost a slight milk chocolate powder smell comes out. No hop presence in the smell of this beer. Taste is quite malty & sweet to match the nose. A slight hop presence/bitterness on the back of the palate which lingers for several seconds. Malt is what keeps coming to mind as I think about this one. Perhaps some chocolate malt. Appears to be a well balanced beer from the taste of it. Given this style of course. Very minimal hop presence as this one goes down. That is, until this one warms up to 60F & then hops come out a lot more. I like my beers luke cool & this new smell throws me for a bit of a loop.

Mouthfeel is medium. This one is appropriately mouth coating. As the beer warms up a little more, the lingering hop on the back end becomes a little more pronounced. Has a little bit of a warming effect, not sure if the alcohol has much to do w/ that or if it's really just all the various malts that went in to making this one.

Overall, a decent rendition of this style. Would have it again but wouldn't really go out of my way to find it. At 6.7% ABV, it's not quite a session beer. I might buy some if I find it when the temps go up & BBQ parties come around.

04-24-2011 20:53:23 | More by HaysAmerica
Photo of EricCioe


3.45/5  rDev -7.8%

Part of a scotch ale blind tasting with Adam H and RWNewhouse.

This pours deep, clear red, with a tight offwhite head. On the nose there is a big dose of biscuit, much more so than the other beers here, with not much else going on. In the mouth there are fruity esters riding on top of the biscuit with some smoke in there too, but parts of it were hinting towards astringent. The finish is short with a medium body.

Overall, this was the middle of the pack for all three of us. I was happy to try this blind first before I sit down with a bottle.

02-20-2012 02:10:58 | More by EricCioe
Photo of scruffwhor


3.45/5  rDev -7.8%

The color is a tawny caramel with some very thin and sparse latte foam. One column of tiny bubbles rising to the top.

Sweet, super toasted malt and a lot of dark fruits like plums, raisins, black cherries, prunes, and others I can't name make up the nose. Plus a little heat from the abv.

The sip has a juicey palate that moves to something more syrupy in the middle. The taste starts with carbonated toasted bread crust. The middle is just an explosion of caramelized fruit. The finish adds some alcoholic heat that gives this beer a sort of liquer like finish.

11-08-2010 00:56:05 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.48/5  rDev -7%

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

03-22-2012 03:31:21 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of zeff80


3.48/5  rDev -7%

Tap at The Bridge in St. Louis.

A - Poured a burgundy color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It had good retention and left sheets of lace on the glass.

S - Not a lot going on here. A little malt. Some earthy notes. All very mild.

T - It was a little nutty with some good caramel maltiness. Nice earthy/grassy hops.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale.

D - This is a nice wee heavy. I've had better, but it was worth a try.

02-07-2011 00:54:21 | More by zeff80
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Stone Thrower Scotch Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.