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: 241
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.57%
Wants: 3
Gots: 14 | 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
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Reviews: 110 | Hads: 241
Photo of zeff80
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
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. (452 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 jeffjeff1
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
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. (273 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
4/5  rDev +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. (536 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 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 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 Fnord
2.93/5  rDev -21.7%
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. (645 characters)

Photo of woemad
2.23/5  rDev -40.4%
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. (937 characters)

Photo of ccrida
2.4/5  rDev -35.8%
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. (563 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.03/5  rDev -19%
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. (405 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
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. (315 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (566 characters)

Photo of afinepilsner
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (465 characters)

Photo of Vdubb86
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

This beer pours a nice mahogany color with ruby twinges. The smell is of some drunken apples and a bit of earthy notes that come along with it. There is a good citrus note from the hops to mix in with the aroma, would have liked it to be more potent. The flavor is a nice mixture of ginger and molasses. Some cinnamon comes to play in the party and I think perhaps there is a bit of a chocolate note. It is a good quality flavor for a Scotch ale. The mouthfeel is nice sticky and malty with a twinge of bitterness that is paired well with the carbonation. This is a very good beer, one of the better examples of the style I've had from an American brewery. (680 characters)

Photo of morimech
3.33/5  rDev -11%
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. (638 characters)

Photo of LairdChisholm
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear chestnut brown copper color. There is a one finger, cream colored head that has decent retention. There is no lacing on this one. Carbonation bubbles slowly rise to the top.

S - Has a caramel malt smell mixed with biscuits and molasses. Pretty good.

T - Has some slightly burnt caramel malts. There is a slight biscuit and earthy taste too, maybe a hint of brown sugar. Good, but nothing special.

M - Good balance here. I always seem to want my Scotch Ales a little bit heavier than they are, but this is not bad. This has a slightly sticky finish.

D - This is pretty easy to drink, but it's nothing special. (630 characters)

Photo of jsh420
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

best by 01-05-11

pours bright dark ruby brown with a 2+ finger head that left spotted lacing

smells of dark fruit and sugary caramel malts

taste is like the nose - i dont pick up on any scotch flavors - i taste more burnt malts and some tang of some pale malts hidden away

mouthfeel has a medium body with plenty of carbonation that give it a crispand creamy feel with a great dry finish

drinkability - now i am not one for this style but this is a beer i would want the next time i grill up a fat ribeye (510 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 z3niMAGiNE
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fairly good beer.

Color is a translucent dark mahogany and pours with excellent head retention although not much lacing.

Odor is strong malts up front with a caramel character and maybe some prunes.

Taste is almost all malts with a little hop bitterness coming off at the end.

The beer coats my tongue with a sticky maltiness. I probably wouldn't drink more than a couple of these in a row. (396 characters)

Photo of Rmason104
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not very impressed with this one. I thought the smell and appearance were strong, very typical of the style.
The mouthfeel was too thin however, and I thought the taste was a little watery for what I expected.
Not a bad beer, but there are other better choices within this style. (280 characters)

Photo of BMoney575
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 10-16-10

Pours deep but clear red/brown color, with a wispy off white head and one thin ring of lacing.

Smell is sweet and fruity, very deep and complex. Aromas of dark fruit, peat, and caramel come through, balanced and not overly sweet. Promising.

Taste is all peat and caramel, but not as deep as the smell. The finish is clean and malty, with just a hint of hop bitterness. The aftertaste is surprisingly clean and nicely earthy.

Mouthfeel is slick with good carbonation, but just a little on the thin side.

Drinkability is very good, the sweet flavors remain balanced, and amazingly refreshing.

Overall, a great example of the style, and a very well made beer. Big malty flavors and still sessionable. (723 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
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... (512 characters)

Photo of jacobseyb
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into the snifter a nice reddish brown with a tan head that crowned well after dissipating. Also left some good lacing. Smelled very much like a scotch ale should with good malts and a little of the peatiness expected. Taste was much the same with good maltiness and peaty taste. Feel is smooth and lightly carbonated. Overall a good scotch ale that i will pick up again. (391 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)

Heavy Horse Scotch Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.