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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.
BA SCORE
84
good

96 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 96
Reviews: 75
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.07%
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: 96 | Reviews: 75 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"The stable wears out a horse more than the road."

--French proverb

Brick red with glittering topaz highlights and an attractive slice of buttered wheat toast colored foam. The head develops a moonscape surface as it melts, while a high collar of lace is the only glass decoration so far. A single shredded sheet sticks... eventually.

The nose is somewhat underpowered and lacks an olfactory hook. It's brown-caramel malty and earthy, with just enough boldness and definition with warming to earn the above score. There's work to be done on the palate.

Heavy Horse Scotch Ale favors the light end of the style spectrum in terms of both malt content and ABV. It's also darker than most wee heavies (which tend to showcase mid-range malts like caramel), thanks to the use of chocolate and roasted malt. Let's call it two parts light Scotch ale to one part Scottish stout.

All things considered, BSBC HHSA is pretty good beer, but I'm not sure it deserves the solidly good taste score. As in the nose, time and warming are helping to turn up the intensity knob a bit. Flavors include caramel, cocoa, baked nuts and bitter tea leaves. This must be a fairly fresh bottle since there were only 20 IBUs to start.

The mouthfeel is easily big enough for the ABV and has the well-calibrated carbonation that is a hallmark of this brewery. No complaints here.

Big Sky deserves more love than they typically get. Their IPA is still one of my favorites, and they knock a few other offerings out of the park as well. Heavy Horse Scotch Ale, despite not being the bee's knees, is still good beer that is enjoyable to drink. Nothing else really matters in the end.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 12:23:42 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +8%
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

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 04:43:47 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2010 18:02:19 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2011 00:54:21 | More by zeff80
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.6/5  rDev -4%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2010 22:50:41 | More by russpowell
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2010 01:49:18 | More by Mora2000
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a decent scotch ale. smells and tastes very very malty, with very little of the earthy depth many of these style beers showcase. palate is a little on the sweet side, with a touch of the alcohol coming through. almost tastes and feels like a barleywine in that respect, very grainy, in a good way. mouthfeel is good, i like the fuller body on this one, and the fairly heavy carbonation i think serves it quite well. this isnt my favorite scotch ale, or even my favorite big sky beer, but its sessionable for a its style and its one that works with all kinds of food, so i will probably grab this one again if i see it.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2012 23:09:41 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of MarkyMOD
MarkyMOD

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev 0%

07-13-2012 01:15:23 | More by MarkyMOD
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Clear brown colored beer with a small light brown colored head.

Smell is sweet and malty with a moderate amount of smoke. Smells of scorched grain and burnt sugar. That is about all for the smell.

Starts out sweet and smoky with a fair taste of burnt sugar. Smoke gets stronger as you drink this. Stout bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is quite thick, think Oatmeal Stout type thick.

Drinkability is fairly good. This covers all the things you expect in a Wee Heavy. Only problem is it isn't outstanding. This is an excellent gateway beer or example of the style without being extreme in anyway. I probably will purchase this again.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2011 01:50:36 | More by Zorro
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a shiny but deep hazelnut color. Looks rich, head is fluffy and off-tan. Lacing could use more stick.

Malty aroma, but a bit light for the style. I would say more estery than earthy. Some slightly smoked caramel.

Yeah, this is a "fruity" earthy beer. Hard to explain. The malt is slighly smoked and sweet, with prune or plum backings. Raisin is too sweet for description. Good flavors, just a bit off for style, imho.

This makes the Feel a bit light, too. Otherwise it's darn good. Glad I have 5 more...

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2010 22:39:56 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME

New Mexico

4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2011 00:02:53 | More by LXIXME
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 07:01:18 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Oregon

2.35/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

Wisconsin

3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2011 00:41:21 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

3.06/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Washington

3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

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

Minnesota

3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep crimson brown with a smearish body of clearness. Small, dense, compacted, dark beige foam sits briefly before fading to an always present thick ring and moderate lacing in small waves of sheeting.

Soft, faint aroma of barely there raisin, purple grape, and roasted grains.

Taste is a simple quick tone of malt sweetness. Short toned maple and raisin switch with some brief caramel and toasted doughy breadyness. Finish has a bit of the Scotch ale tint to it with a slight cloying malt stick and warming toasted malt.

Body is just about medium to light medium with a smooth clean profile to the palate. Malts mostly prevail, but comes up a bit short for a being a solid Scotch ale. The body and drinkability are probably the best aspect of the entire experience of this Heavy Horse other then its solid appearance. About what you'd expect form Big Sky if its not their bigger beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2011 21:23:22 | More by tavernjef
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into a firm cap of lacing. The aroma is of caramel, toffee, nuts, cream, and hints of vanilla. The taste is similar to the aroma. What I think really makes this beer wonderful is that no one aspect of the flavor or aroma dominates. Instead everything seems to work well together in perfect balance. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a good Scotch Ale that I will certainly drink again.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 22:12:47 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

3.3/5  rDev -12%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Texas

4/5  rDev +6.7%

04-20-2012 13:38:48 | More by cdwil
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

3.75/5  rDev 0%

04-05-2013 04:12:16 | More by harrymel
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark garnet color with a very nice tan head. Looks good.

Aromas are oaky, malty, nutty, and with some dark ripe fruits.

Taste is pretty subtle for a scotch ale. Slightly sweet malts, brewed tea, faint fruit flavors, and some nuttiness, and maybe some crisp apple... but I'm not finding a lot of big flavors here. Finish is crisp, with a mineral like hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, smooth, with crisp carbonation, wish it had a little more body though.

All in all, a pretty good take on the style. Not a big powerhouse of flavors like others in the style. But this is nicely balanced, and tasty enough to be well worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2011 22:53:22 | More by flexabull
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

2.88/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

$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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Ohio

2.65/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2011 00:44:03 | More by seeswo
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Stone Thrower Scotch Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.