1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 75 | Display Reviews Only:
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 dwilson01
dwilson01

California

3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 03:20:05 | More by dwilson01
Photo of bsp77
bsp77

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev 0%
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?

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2011 20:01:56 | More by bsp77
Photo of BilbosNuts
BilbosNuts

California

3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark brown color with a deep reddish hue when put up to light. It has a medium to large head with good retention.

S: Some spices including some pepper notes were detected in the smell. The alcohol is also significantly noticeable.

T: The taste is mostly of roasted malts. It tastes kind of bready and toasty as well. There are also some hints of chocolate and coffee.

M: It has a medium body that drinks smoothly. It has a chewiness to it and is not very carbonated.

D: It is a very drinkable beer. I haven't tried many scotch ales, but this seems like a good example of the style and was very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 02:47:53 | More by BilbosNuts
Photo of zhanson88
zhanson88

California

3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A: Deep mahogany brown. 1 finger, tan, bready head.

S: Not getting a lot of aroma. Slight malt, ripe fruit, alcohol.

T: Overripe banana sits underneath a deep malt. Alcohol carries dark fruit, syrup, candy, and a light peatiness.

M: Thick, rich attenuation. Small carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Good all around.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2011 16:29:53 | More by ForWhatAlesYou
Photo of Schwarz31
Schwarz31

Oregon

3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 20:52:08 | More by Schwarz31
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 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 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 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 climax
climax

Missouri

4.45/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 02:51:12 | More by climax
Photo of jeffjeff1
jeffjeff1

California

3.6/5  rDev -4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 00:30:11 | More by jeffjeff1
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 Lemke10
Lemke10

Wisconsin

4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2010 05:18:48 | More by Lemke10
Photo of SkeeterHawk
SkeeterHawk

Texas

4.2/5  rDev +12%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 08:08:07 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of nrmiller
nrmiller

Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 04:36:55 | More by nrmiller
Photo of Fnord
Fnord

Texas

2.88/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Washington

2.2/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2010 03:31:21 | More by woemad
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 Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Arizona

4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a chestnut brown, perhaps rich/dark shade of amber in there. Light tan head. Nose has dark fruits and caramel candy. Similar results on the palate with caramel, dark fruits, and an almost cough-syrup candy like component. Finishes sweet with cough syrup aftertaste. Easy drinking and light for a Scottish Ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 02:42:48 | More by yemenmocha
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 afinepilsner
afinepilsner

Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle

Heavy Horse Scotch Ale was a dark red-brown color with good clarity. It had a tan head with decent retention and a little spotty lace lest behind. The smell was sweet and fruity malt. The taste was lightly sweet upfront with dark malt and fruit flavors. It finished dry with a touch of bitterness and throat warming alcohol. It was medium bodied with medium carbonation. Drinkability was good. Heavy Horse was a decent Scotch ale and worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 00:06:55 | More by afinepilsner
Stone Thrower Scotch Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.