Heavy Horse Scotch Ale - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heavy Horse Scotch AleHeavy Horse Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

236 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 236
Reviews: 109
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 3
Gots: 12 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 236 | Reviews: 109
Photo of Scotchboy
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of Lemke10
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Photo of BMoney575
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of jimmah120
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no date, into tulip style glass

look is a dark ruby color, small ring of off-white lace. smell is roasted malts, alcohol, rye, chocolate. taste is malt heavy, with a slight english hop presence. finishes chalky and chocolatey, not a hint of the ~7%.

too drinkable. *mmmmhhhhugggghhn*

Photo of Murrhey
2.92/5  rDev -23%
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.

Photo of BeerWithMike
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sampled back on 10/6/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a brandy snifter glass.

Pours a very dark brown than has a small tan head that leaves good lacing when sipped. Good carbonation. The aroma of caramel is right up front around with some dark fruit like plum or berries. Very nice. the taste is also very pleasant with hints of caramel, butterscotch, toffee and malts. Great balance of flavors. Not a summer brew as this is a little on the heavy side. Great brew for cooler months for sure.

Photo of FanofHefe
2.96/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on- tap in a pint glass. Deep brown color, just a touch of red hue. Creamy, tan head with good retention and good lacing along the glass.

A little weak in the aroma department. Some light caramel malt and a hint of bready yeast.

A little better in the flavors, but odd for the style. Again, strong on the caramel malt, but with a more roasted flavor in the taste. Some wood flavor, almost as if it had been in a barrel. Finally, some tea-like flavors.

Overall, it seems more like a woody brown ale than a scotch ale, so I marked it down there a bit.

Photo of Nerudamann
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass.

Look - a deep red color, only when held up to the light. About a finger or two of yellowish/white foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - more malty smelling than hoppy smelling. Also a bit of a hint of grapes or grape juice, or fruitiness in general. It has an odd "aged" quality to it, like it was aged in wooden casks.

Taste and Mouthfeel - there's a sweetness at the very beginning, in the middle it's crisp and a little bitter, but the bitterness leaves in the finish. It feels like it wants to go to a dryness in the end, but doesn't. Carmel quality there somewhere too. Texture is well balance, but a little more toward the creamier side. ABV is noticeable, but not overtly so.

Overall - a good brew, with very good and noticeable stages in the tasting.

Photo of Vdubb86
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.6/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of brownbeer
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a growler off of a keg thanks to the brewmaster. I think it's about 6.2%.

A nice reddish brown color with a thin, tan head that stays a fine layer on top of the beer.

The taste and aroma has a lot of bready malt and dried fruit characteristics with a slightly bitter finish. Simple, great, food beer. It has a medium body with soft carbonation.

Photo of GregSVT
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a deep ruby brown with a nice off-white head that fades to a ring nad leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of sweet malt, dark cherries, and and deep molasses. Very rich smelling...can't wait to take a sip.

T: Taste starts off pretty smokey and malty with a sweet cherry/fruit finish. One of the more smokey Scotch Ale's I've had and pretty tasty.

M: The feel is creamy and medium bodied.

D: This is pretty drinkable despite the smokey quality and I wouldn't hesitate to drink more.

Photo of zhanson88
3.41/5  rDev -10%
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.

Photo of BierJager89
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque mahogany with a thin mocha head.

S: Raspberry, some citrus hop character, a touch of sweet, caramelized malt in the nose. Very pleasant.

T: Raspberry comes out immediately, with some bitter orange that turns sweet toward the finish, where the sweet malty backbone arises, but only briefly, before smoothing out and blending with all the other flavors in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: A very well balanced, surprisingly fruity scotch ale. Definitely recommended. This is a great brewery and a very good beer.

Photo of EricCioe
3.45/5  rDev -9%
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.

Photo of Lawl3ss
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another brew from the head of industrial electric from Nebraska---THANKS RANDY!

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a JAFB snifter. Pour a beautiful ruby red with touches of dark brown under a nice off white had of dissipating bubbles that settles down to a thick ring and fine thin layer of foam with nice lacing. Nose of toasted malts, light wood, mild dark berry notes, caramel, and fresh bread. Flavors are sweet up front with a light berry note, sweet caramel malts to the front and sides, and notes of oak and toffee on the back. Some light bittering from subdued hops as it warms, but still a good dose of sweet malts round it all together. Moderate carbonation and a lightly dry finish. VERY NICE.


Photo of climax
4.44/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

Photo of obrike
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of philbertk
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Sky Brewing Company--Missoulia, MT--Heavy Horse Scotch Ale. 6.20% ABV. 20 IBU's. Thin head. Rich clear bright amber red color. Mild roasted pine heather Scottish front. Roasted malty toffee caramel rich Scottish body. Mild sweetness. Mild hop lingering fruit malt hint clean end. Smooth, Well Made & Tasty. (4.0 / 5.0) 5 oz. Taster @ Fremont Oktoberfest on 9/24/2010.

Big Sky Brewing Company--Heavy Horse Scotch Ale--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 6.70% ABV. 20 IBU's. (3.75 / 5.0) Thin mild lace light tan head. Thick no sediment pour. Clear dark red bronze color. Malty mild peat roasted fruit toffee malt front. Roasted mellow sweet malty rich toasted toffee smoked hint smooth creamy body. Malty clean mild hop nourishing satisfying end. Sampled 1/10/2011. 6-Pack purchased for $8.59 at Fred Meyer--Ballard, Seattle on 9/10/2010.

Photo of afinepilsner
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of chumba526
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a light brownish red color with an ample amount of light brown foam.

It smells of milk chocolate, caramel and slightly fruity.

It tastes as the smell quite chocolate like. There is smooth sweetness to the beer. There is a slight citrus flavor as well. The sweetness of the beer is not too overwhelming unlike many other Scottish ales.

The carbonation is around medium. The beer feels slightly creamy.

The drinkability is quite good I had a few of these a couple of nights ago. It is easy to drink yet it has complex flavors.

Overall very good Scottish ale. This would be a good Scottish ale for someone to try that is not a fan of a lot of Scottish ales.

Photo of Huffaroma
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had mostly good experiences with Big Sky so very willing to try their newest brew.

The foam stopped exactly at the top of my perfect pour glass, nice trick. It's a pretty ruby red color with moderate carbonation. The aroma is somewhat malty. The taste is nicely malted with some spices like cinnamon mixed in. The body is just very slightly under the mid point and it is rather smooth. This definitely a repeat buy.

Heavy Horse Scotch Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 236 ratings.