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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
86
very good

210 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 210
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 2
Gots: 4 | 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: JohnGalt1 on 09-11-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 210 | Reviews: 100 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Brenden
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I've got no complaints with this beer's look; it's a nice, thick ruddy brown, opaque except in the very bottom of my tulip, where a hint of carnelian or the like shines. The head is creamy and, while not huge, sizeable enough and quite dense.It leaves a ring right where it tops off and follows with webbing and patching.
Lots of dark fruits, somewhat sweet but more tangy, a bit of straight up dry wood, something powdery, a bit of nut (more almond than walnut), a very light touch of smoke, and a vague hint of leaf make up the aroma. It may be yeast that kicks in that dryness (like kindling or split dry oak), but it gets stronger as it goes. The aroma fades with time, too.
The taste brings out more molasses and brown sugar, though not exceedingly sweet by any means, with lots of earth and some dark grains. While nice, I'd actually prefer it a little sweeter. Some herb and leaf even it out, lingering into the finish, where a bit of a peat flavor meets the tongue. For the transition, it goes almost briny.
The feel is this beer's strong suit. it's not phenomenal, but it hits the balance in the strength of body, provides ample crispness and smoothness, and remains consistent to the end.

Photo of tavernjef
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Photo of KarlHungus
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of Whiskeydeez
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of cdwil
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Hellpop65
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of crobinso
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of morimech
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.39/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Photo of a77cj7
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Dope
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of harrymel
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of jzlyo
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of flexabull
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of Mitchster
2.89/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of jsh420
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
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

Photo of jheezee
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of StoutHunter
3/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured no head, only a couple small bubbles on the surface of an opaque dark brown colored body.
The aroma is nice. Like fresh baked whole wheat bread.
The taste is characteristically sweet with a touch of lemon bitterness.
The texture is thin with low carbonation.
Drinkable.

Photo of Pegasus
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep amber in color, with a robust tan head, thick, patchy lacing, and slight carbonation - which required a strong light to see.

Aroma: Rich aroma of sweet dark, caramel dominates, as well as a little smoke and earth. The caramel is dominant in the aroma.

Taste: Opens with dark caramel malt, sweet alcohol and a bit of wood that reminds me of French oak. Earth and a little smoke are present, but offer proper deference to the omnipresent dark caramel. Roasted nuts are also notable, and the hops offer a restrained herbal bite, but are just supporting players to the dark caramel malt. The finish is dominated by dark caramel, earth, and smoke.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, very full, with just a hint of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A graceful example, which exhibits all the glory of the style without seeming harsh or overbearing.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Photo of Beaver13
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
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.

Photo of seeswo
2.66/5  rDev -30.2%
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.

Photo of thinwhiteduke
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Heavy Horse Scotch Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 210 ratings.