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Heavy Horse - Big Sky Brewing Company

Heavy HorseHeavy Horse

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

105 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.92%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ElCommodoro on 05-22-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 25 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Pegasus
Pegasus

Texas

4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 23:46:47 | More by Pegasus
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.14/5  rDev +7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 01:23:53 | More by BierJager89
Photo of Mavigo
Mavigo

Michigan

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip.

A: Pours a ruby amber color with a short tan head that dissipates fast leaving a small remnant tan ring around the edges of the glass, minimal lacing

S: Slight bitter/sour aroma, tangy, wheat, brown sugars, raspberries, orange peels, caramel, toffee, all around sweetness with hints of some bitterness.

T: Quite sweet, wheat, cooked brown sugars, vanilla, malts, barley, hints of fruit, oranges

M: Medium bodied with medium amounts of carbonation, good balance

O: This was good overall, I normally never get the chance to have a scotch ale and I bought this on a whim and was glad I did so. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2013 15:34:00 | More by Mavigo
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 11/21/2013. Pours crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, raisin, fig, apple, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light chocolate, light roast, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, raisin, fig, apple, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, chocolate, light roast, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, dark fruit, toast, toffee, chocolate, brown bread, brown sugar, light roast, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and yeast ester flavors; with great robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, moderately slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent scotch ale. All around great balance and complexity of malt and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 03:51:36 | More by superspak
Photo of BeerWithMike
BeerWithMike

Nebraska

3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 01:28:32 | More by BeerWithMike
Photo of Steamer
Steamer

Missouri

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I like the dark look of this beer; when held to the light, ruby hues can be seen. Hops stand out in the smell, not too much different than an amber ale but a little sweeter. The taste is very smooth, the malt comes through with a slight caramel flavor; pleasant after taste, a well blended ale. Mouth feel - medium body and carbonation. Overall: An excellent take on the style. I'll have to try more of Big Sky's offerings, they have yet to disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2013 00:53:41 | More by Steamer
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Heavy Horse is a good Scotch Ale....not to heavy and not to sweet. The beer pours a clear brownish amber with thin off-white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent has sweet malt and touches of peat and scotch. The taste is a nice even beer with heavy malt backbone with a touch of honey sweetiness. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall the beer is good...and definitely sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 22:20:26 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of jimmah120
jimmah120

Minnesota

3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
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*

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 04:34:04 | More by jimmah120
Photo of archyquaffer
archyquaffer

Montana

3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown bottle into a sampling glass. A moderate pour produces about 3/4 inch of tan head. The beer is a deep but not dark reddish brown with very active carbonation, and is quite appealing to look at.

Plenty of caramel on the nose, with hints of plum or berry. The taste is also quite sweet, with flavors of caramel, butterscotch, cola, port, and maybe a hint of tobacco. Just a touch of lingering bitterness on the tongue, with a bit of tang. Fairly creamy mouthfeel.

Overall, a beer that's worth a try. It's maybe just a bit too sweet for my taste, with quite a kick at nearly 7 percent ABV, but a pretty good sipping beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2013 23:40:16 | More by archyquaffer
Photo of Sark
Sark

Montana

3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Red brown with finger of super-smooth light beige head

Smell- definite notes of caramel and a light oak, hops add a light bittering on the end

Taste- up front are the brighter aspects of the malt and aged flavors which mingle with the sweeter malt character mid-tongue, on the finish is a robust toasted bitterness that fades semi-quickly

Mouthfeel- medium/full bodied with a smooth, yet not milky, texture

Overall- The aromatics are this brew's strong points, the taste could have been given a bit more bold characteristics but was still plenty flavorful. Kettlehouse's Coldsmoke still holds the title for me in this category.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 03:29:21 | More by Sark
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter

Oregon

3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2013 01:42:37 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of Murrhey
Murrhey

Montana

2.91/5  rDev -24.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 02:30:29 | More by Murrhey
Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
MikeMilanoDesign

California

4.74/5  rDev +22.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2013 04:21:20 | More by MikeMilanoDesign
Photo of Huffaroma
Huffaroma

Montana

4.83/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance, a nice dark brown color with 1/2"-3/4" fluffy head.

Smell, great upfront notes of caramel, malt, and a hint of hops

Taste, a very well balanced Scotch style ale, good depth within. It didn't start with a good flavor and drop, but continued on with a well balance of sweet malt with a hint of hops in the background and a little oakyness within. Finishes quite smooth and presents an almost chocolaty flavor.

Overall and very good scotch style I highly recommend it and will continue to buy this.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2013 18:12:17 | More by Huffaroma
Photo of bmwats
bmwats

Louisiana

3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2013 05:58:57 | More by bmwats
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 19:46:51 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2013 04:38:40 | More by Dope
Photo of StaveHooks
StaveHooks

Oklahoma

4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 04:37:57 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of Mgm54
Mgm54

New York

4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2012 02:53:20 | More by Mgm54
Photo of JuicesFlowing
JuicesFlowing

Kansas

4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2012 15:41:54 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2012 02:01:32 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear brown colored ale with a small tan colored head. red highlights when held up to the light.

Smell is malty with a slight smoke aroma but it is really more malty. Little bit of nut, caramel and candy in the aroma.

Starts out malty and a little smoky the is a nice pecan nut flavor here. Not very sweet for the style. Additional flavors of coconut and banana. One of the milder flavored beers of the type.

Mouthfeel is average.

Overall this is average for the beer style.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2012 01:12:28 | More by Zorro
Photo of Lawl3ss
Lawl3ss

Texas

4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2012 03:05:48 | More by Lawl3ss
Photo of ElCommodoro
ElCommodoro

Texas

4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2012 06:05:43 | More by ElCommodoro
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It pours a clear copper with 1 finger head of foam with some good lacing.

I'm getting somewhat of a hoppy aroma followed some fruity sweetness. Some caramel adds some sweet but I'm kind of surprised that hoppy is the first thing I noticed.

Caramel and brown sugar is the main flavours I get from the first few sips. Some kind of berry taste there that doesn't add much...maybe a slight tartness. It finishes on the lightly bitter side.

This is almost full bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall, I'm liking this Scotch Ale more than I like most; it is a tough style for me to get in to.

Cheers, Big Sky!

Serving type: growler

01-20-2014 22:54:54 | More by Bitterbill
Heavy Horse from Big Sky Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.