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Heavy Horse Scotch Ale | Big Sky Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
85
very good
111 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
111
Ratings:
252
Avg:
3.76
pDev:
19.15%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
20
For Trade:
0
Heavy Horse Scotch AleHeavy Horse Scotch Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States | website

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brownbeer on 03-31-2010

User Reviews
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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 252
Photo of Bitterbill
3.1/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

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Photo of Murrhey
2.92/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a standard pressure-cap 12oz bottle into a pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Two-finger creamy white head. Thick and succulent head. Melts down into a manageable floater. Marshmallowy. Walnut-colored body with medium carbonation. Head's nice, body is mediocre.

S- Scotch, roasted malts, marshmallow. Roasty and nice aroma.

T- Roasty and a smidgen of alcohol. Mallow-y again, roast malts.

M- Slightly creamy with a medium-bodied feel.

O- Mediocre, but not bad.

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Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
4.74/5  rDev +26.1%
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.

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Photo of bmwats
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a handglass.

A: Medium brown and ruby. Pours a 2 finger, frothy, white head. Settles slowly. Thick beer ring lacing.

S: Buttery malt syrup, caramel, plum, raisin, and sweet tea.

T: Roasted malt, plum, licorice, and a little maple syrup.

M: Full and hearty, but not thick and syrupy as the nose gives off. Something of a shallow feel ultimately.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is excellent. Great head, and some thick lacing. Nose is complex combination of malt, fruit, and tea. Candied malt flavor accentuated with plum, some light bitter licorice and some sweet maple syrup. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.05/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

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Photo of Dope
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours dark brown with a huge fizzy light brown head. Small streaks of lacing left behind after it fades away. Decent retention.

S: Sweet with lots of caramel and raisin. A little bit of brown sugar and toffee.

T: Again, sweet. Quite malty with a good amount of raisin. It's mainly caramel here up front with some cocoa and earthiness. Sweetness fades into the middle, leaving more of a dried fruit and toffee flavor.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: Not a bad scotch ale. It's on the sweet side which I tend to prefer. Relatively simple but tasty and goes down easy.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of Mgm54
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.42/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.39/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

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Photo of ElCommodoro
4.36/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of phishsihq
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Cheers!

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Photo of StoutHunter
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of bump8628
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany, an inch of loose tan head manages to hang on for the entire pint. Obvious caramel, toffee, and fruitcake with a fairly balanced, dry finish. Mild bitterness and hopping. Clean and drinkable. This one lacks the really full malt depth to be great, but the flavors and balance make it worth going back for another bottle or two.

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Photo of obrike
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a single at HEB in Round Rock for about 1.69.

Liked the look on this one...a beautiful deep copper with shades of red and brown. Medium size head that doesn't stick around, but leaves traces of lacing throughout the drink.

Certainly malt forward on the scent...rich complex peaty malt, maybe a bit of cinammon, some indisinct dark fruits. and a slight sting of alcohol.

Very smooth beer, but the flavors didn't pop like I had hoped. Sweet bread, caramel, but not the peaty goodness i was hoping for. Tastes almost like a Wee Heavy "light". Not that it's a bad thing, just did not blow my socks off.

Certainly a drinkable beer that I could recommend to friends looking for an easy drinking malt forward brew, but not one of the top Scotch Ales for sure.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heavy Horse poured into a Widmer pint glass.

A: Dark but clear amber with an ample light tan head and good lacing.

S: Malt, oak, grain, toffee, caramel spice...prototypical Scotch.

T: Malt forward, very bready, very lightly hopped...toffee and creamy oak dominate, toasted grains, caramel, toasted bread, earthy notes...clean finish.

MF: Lighter medium mouthfeel, decent carbonation.

O: I like Scotch Ale's and this one was pretty good. Recommended.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of gustogasmic
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From tasting notes, about a month ago-- my bottle said Heavy Horse!

A- Very dark brown, caramely. Reveals itself to be translucent and red when held up to the light. A 1" yellowy-tan head sticks and is gone after 3 sips. Lots of quick-moving bubbles in a small column up the center. Very sticky, slow-dripping lacing, yellowy like the head.

S- Roasty malts with raisin notes and pancakes. Smells robust.

T- More of the same, with a nice light sweetness in the backdrop with a subtly bitter but very clean leave. Little aftertaste or lingering stickiness.

M- Very clean and even a bit dry. I look for a thicker, more malted mouthfeel from this style, or just to work with these bready flavors in any kind of beer.

O- Tasty and refreshing Scotch ale, But there's a few I can think of that I'll go to before this one. Worth trying either way.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
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

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Photo of EricCioe
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.42/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of Huffaroma
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The ABV is when I tried it was 6.5%. It was my first time visiting Big Sky and what a visit.

It poured a beautiful rich thick brown body, the head that appeared on it was roughly 3/8 inch thick.

The aroma was a pleasant sweet caramel tone it really brought out a sweeter flavor.

Taste, it was so smooth and such a rich beer that it was truly a Scottish style ale. The sweet malt flavor wasn't overpowering though as I have had in the past, it was a balanced flavor within the beer.

Overall I would absolutely go back for seconds, thirds, and fourths for this ale.

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Heavy Horse Scotch Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.