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Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale - Bristol Brewing Company

Laughing Lab Scottish-Style AleLaughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

161 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 161
Reviews: 88
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 13.44%

Brewed by:
Bristol Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-04-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 161 | Reviews: 88 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BEERchitect


3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As a dog lover myself, I find great satisfaction seeing the panting Labadore on the label- always make these K-9 friends of ours appear to be laughing. Of course I give the beer all 5's, right?

Bright but dark in appearance, the conflicting descriptors seem an oxymoron at first. But dark garnet, ruby and mahogony in its saturated hues, the beer prevails in a brilliant depth of clarity- albeit slightly ominous. Medium-stern in its ivory-stained foam stance, the beer retains fairly well but it laces with blanketed quilted patterns in its wake.

Toffee and toast take hold in its sweet and malty scent. Backed by the dark fruit-fermented fruitiness of cherry and plumb- its complex nose does more that just imply simple syrups. Lightly charred bread, toasted peanuts and deep caramel give impressions of peanut brittle. Heavily caramelized sugars bleed into the alcohol scent to provide an overall roundness of fruitcake with spiced rum masculinities.

Malty-sweet and strong caramelization gives its taste a bread pudding flavor and feel. Sweet alcohol support is rummy, peppery and offers a dash of cinnamon. Light cola nuts, coffee grounds, and chocolate can be found underneath the caramel and bread taste.

Medium-full with hearty malt structure, its deeply embedded carbonation and starchy feel results in a firm creamy texture. The beer slowly proceeds toward a semi-dry finish with light spicy bite, rummy alcohol warmth, and mild grain-derived astringency.

Laughing Lab is a classic example of a Scottish-inspired, American-brewed crafted ale done well. But it needs more boldness in character, depth, and dryness to compete with the best that Scotland has to offer. But any fan of Porter or Brown Ales won't have any qualms about this beer in their glass.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 06:30:04 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of spoony


3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From a 355 ml bottle (bottled during the 4th week of December 2012) into a nonic.

A-This brew pours without any head. The beer is a nice color for the style; sort of a deep, rusty amber. It is clear with no visible carbonation.

S-The smells is mild, with dark toasted, lightly sweet malts being dominant. I detect a little bit of caramel and toffee, but unlike some Scottish Ales, there is not a ton of sweet, sugary flavors here.

T-This brew tastes much like it smells with lightly sweet malt flavors (toffee, caramel, nuttiness) being the most noticeable aspect. There is a slight hop twang that provides just a little metallic counterpoint to the maltiness. The finish is long and slightly bitter.

M-The feel is medium to lighter in body for the style with very little carbonation. Easy to drink.

O-This brew is a touch underwhelming. I prefer a bit more chutzpah in beers of this type, whether that means more spice, toffee/chocolate, or caramel...whatever. On the plus side, this beer does provide a nice, long finish, without cloying sweetness. In sum, this is a fair representation of a Scottish Ale that should appeal to those looking for something with a lighter, easy-to-drink flavor profile and feel.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 21:52:03 | More by spoony
Photo of riored4v


3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured in to a tulip. 1/2 finger, khaki colored head. Clear, ruby colored body.

Aroma was malty, a bit roasty, sweet and a hint of metallic. Some notes of dark fruit and a bit floral.

Taste had a good amount of malty sweetness, but still clean on the tongue. Maltyness upfront, with a chocolately, roasty flavor in the mix. Mild sweetness comes up before the hop flavor. A bit of dark fruit flavor, slightly bitter in the finish helps clean up the sweetness. Slightly floral.

Medium body, medium/high carb, crisp finish.

Nice Scottish Ale. Easy drinking. Sweet and malty, but finishes light enough to enjoy quite a few.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 00:45:12 | More by riored4v
Photo of DevilDogBeer


4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Laughing Lab Scoth Ale poured a nice deep amber color with a fan head. The head in the std pint was two fingers and kept a consistent one finger with nice lacing for the duration. The smell was malty with hints of caramel and mocha. The taste was true to style with a sweet malt front, and finishing with a toasted note and just enough hop for balance. The beer had nice body and finished clean. Overall this is a solid Scotch Ale and worth the effort to look for. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2012 04:35:29 | More by DevilDogBeer
Photo of kojevergas


2.65/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled April 2012. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Expectations are high on account of me friend Brendan's recommendation. Reviewed live.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 3.5 finger head of beige colour, nice cream, good thickness, and great retention. Colour is a clear textbook amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Yeast, heavy toasted malt, cream, and clean malts. Quite light amber hopping. A mild strength aroma.

T: Amber hops and malts, some caramelization and toasted character, cream, and hints of light barley. Fairly balanced and built. Not horribly complex or subtle. I guess I like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Adequately carbonated. Fair thickness.

Dr: Drinkable but somewhat boring. I wouldn't have it again. A decent example of the style.


Serving type: bottle

06-11-2012 06:23:53 | More by kojevergas
Photo of LittleDon


3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy brown-red. Pours a decent enough head that quickly fades. Very little lace. It takes a bit of swirling to coax a malty aroma from this brew, where there appears to be a bit of caramel sweetness. Very dry compared to the majority of Scottish Ales I've had. Not much going on flavor wise, but this is possibly due to age (purchased 6 months ago, stored refrigerated). Mouthfeel is where this beer shines. Rich, soft, creamy, consistent flavor from start to finish. A mild hint of earthy bitterness at the end.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2012 20:14:37 | More by LittleDon
Photo of bilyboy65


4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is one of the first I had upon relocating to Colorado. I'm glad that it was a first because this was delicious.

Beautiful brown color that gets lighter around the edges. This includes a nice tan head. Plenty of bubbles from carbonation. The nose on the beer is just as nice. I smell some coffee with caramel and brown sugar. Nice grainy hops round off the smell. From there the taste is delectable. The coffee flavors stay away until the after taste, but before that seems to be a fruity flavor that isn't apparent in the scent.

This beer is crisp and light body beer. Goes down easy and with little stress to the system. Perfect for anytime of year, activity or food.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 18:10:51 | More by bilyboy65
Photo of agirlandherpen

South Carolina

3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I purchased this at a local beer/wine store in a mixed 12 pack. The label indicates it was bottled in late October (and it is now December 19th). It poured a dark brown, clear with very small head to it. Excellent carbonation with a nice mouthfeel to it. I find it on the thin side in taste, as I was hoping for a more robust beer. However, It definitely has roasty malt overtones. Its good if you just want to sit back and watch some TV, but I am not a huge fan.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 04:32:52 | More by agirlandherpen
Photo of Tone


3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, brown color. 1/5 inch head of a white color. Slight retention and poor lacing. Smells of caramel malt, slight earthy malt, hint of nut, slight chocolate, and a hint of grain. Fits the style of a Scottish Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of caramel malt, sweet malt, hint of earthy malt, hint of chocolate, and a hint of grain. Overall, poor appearance, but good aroma, body, and blend.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 13:57:39 | More by Tone
Photo of bmwats


3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured from a tap into a standard pint.

a: medium brown. 1 finger foamy white head. leaves a substantial beer ring as it settles. very strong lacing.

n: hops, baked bread, and a liitle oregano and basil.

t; slightly sweet (almost artificially so), peaty malt, and a bit of a bittersweet lemon rind.

m: light but full flavored. pungent throughout but a bit of a synthetic sweet twang kind of lingers.

d: easy drinking.

atmosphere is good. nice head and lacing. nose is sweet and grain components. flavor is grain and sweet but has a synthetic feel. overall this is a pretty decent quaff.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2011 04:17:30 | More by bmwats
Photo of MsRif


3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at their brewery. Poured a nice amber color with a very small head that receded quickly and left no lacing. Smelled of caramel, sweet malts and molasses. A little bit funky smelling. Tasted sweet...all sweet flavors that I got from the nose of the brew...still a little funky. I think maybe the funk flavor was from some earthy hops, though I'm not sure. Pretty malty, very sweet. A little above average...a good enough beer. Nothing too memorable.

Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Not nearly as boozy as I am used to for the style, but that's not really a bad thing as it does make it more drinkable. I wouldn't have more than one, but I can see the appeal of this one. Try it once and see what you think.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2011 17:10:37 | More by MsRif
Photo of bigaltemple


3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours cola-brown in color, with red hues at the edges when held to light. Two finger, soapy, tan head settles to a fingernail width cap leaving some spotty lacing.

S - Rich, dark caramel malt backbone. Some hints of baking bread. Mild hops underneath.

T/M - Sticks close to the nose. Roasted breadiness with caramel/toffee notes. Finishes with a nice hop bitterness, leaving a mild aftertaste. Smooth, medium body with light carbonation.

O - Consistently good local brew. Always a pleasant treat, as I tend to pass it up because it is always around.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2011 13:13:57 | More by bigaltemple
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

not a scotch ale as i am used to having them, but distinct in its own way. pours a lighter shade of brown, with a fair head. nose is sweet roasted malts, and a hit of smoke? burnt sugars in the taste, this is a very very sweet beer. doesnt quite stack up to the best scotch ales ive enjoyed, but a decent brew nonetheless. has a nice warming effect and goes will with just about anything in the fridge. above average

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 04:58:25 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of blakelive784


3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass:

A - Pours a non-transparent, dark amber/brown color. Head is off white, 1 finger, and fades fast.

S - Toasty malt, a hint of smokiness, and some tart fruit all present and in balance on the nose. Quite nice.

T - Strong malty caramel tones balanced by light, fruity hops. Quite sweet, with a nice smoky bite.

M - Smooth and wet. Medium bodied.

D - A very fine example of the style. Nice, malty and simple, this one I'd have again.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2011 01:44:42 | More by blakelive784
Photo of KickInTheChalice


3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Laughing Lab pours a full amber brown color, mostly transparent except for the darkest parts of the glass, with a small off-white white cap.

Smell: Caramel malt, some bruised red apple and orchard fruit, toasted grains, a bit of woodiness.

Taste: Caramel sweetness sits on top of toasted grains. Muted orchard fruits precede a soft wood flavor and a lightly citric finish.

Mouthfeel: There is a soft creamy feel stemming from a fairly light carbonation. Medium bodied.

Overall: I thought this was a decent beer, but so far nothing in this style has truly inspired me.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2011 05:46:27 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of tempest


3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Springs Orleans in Colorado Springs. Ah, a nice Scottish ale. It's a little peaty and a touch smoky, with a clean caramel and toast malt character. It's simple and tasty. I like it. The body is lighter and balanced. As in, it's easy to drink. I'll have another.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2011 00:52:13 | More by tempest
Photo of Rifugium


3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at their brewpub / tasting room

Poured a clear reddish-brown, not too dark, with little to no head to be spoken of. Aroma was of sweet malts, caramel apples, and other light fruits. Taste of caramel malts, Mary Janes, and some indistinct fruit. Not bad, but a little weak overall, in flavor, body, and in alcohol. A 5.3%ABV is quite low for a Scottish ale, though I suppose that adds to its drinkability, yet I really didn't have a desire to have any more after one session.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2011 11:16:47 | More by Rifugium
Photo of DelMontiac


4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 20oz weizen glass at Cheddars, 11136 Rampart HIlls View, Colorado Springs, CO.

Yes, for starters, it was served in the wrong glass, but I didn't care. Note that on the ticket, they called it Laughing Lab Pilsner. Ha! Oh well, that's another review.

Classic bronze/brown color with ruby highlights and a very nice 2-3 finger bulging tan head that produced a grand lace on the tall glass. May not have been in the appropriate glass, but it still looked nice.

Aromas were of sweet malts and dark fruit. Slight sweet pipe tobacco as well.

Flavor was more of the same. Sweeter than what I imagined. Bready, dark fruit (plum, raison), slightly buttery, faint chocolate hint, a bit muted in the hops department, but still very good. Like it a lot.

Okay mouthfeel. Slightly prickly carbonation. A good dinner brew.

The abv felt higher that what's listed here, but then I'm not used to the elevation either, if it matters much. I was very impressed with this beer. Why in the hell didn't I buy some to bring back home with me?!

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2011 05:54:11 | More by DelMontiac
Photo of DesMoinesMike


3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer that this brewpub is known for. It's a pretty deep red that's clear with little foam. The aroma is thin with a hint of malt and grain. The taste was good, nice malts with caramel and pine. It's fairly smooth but the body seems a bit light for a scotish.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2011 18:58:14 | More by DesMoinesMike
Photo of cbonham


5/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm with the others here. I've purchased this beer several times (most recent purchase was just on Sunday night), and cannot get enough of it. The color is a darkish amber, and you can definitely smell the malts in the beer. It goes down very smoothly as well.

Compared to all of the other local brewing companies, such as Trinity and Phantom Canyon, I think this scottish ale really stands out. The head, once the beer is poured, is manageable. I'll definitely continue to drink this in the future.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 18:33:58 | More by cbonham
Photo of rawfish


3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a slightly haze but a nice deep amber with auburn highlights when held up to the light. Capped with a thin off white half inch head which doesn't retain very well and trails of spotty lacing on the glass.

Initial aroma is full of raw and toasted grain and chewing tobacco and as the beer warms a bit of sweetness mixed with cocoa powder comes out. Hop profile sits in the back, rather grassy. Nice mix so far not overly sweet.

Sweetness is very muted for the style though not a bad thing malt profile is bready with a light syrup coating, lots of toasted grains, somewhat gritty. Hops are layered back grassy and herbal not very bittering but adding to the raw grainy taste of this brew. Slightly acidic on the finish.

A little below average on the body and a high biting carbonation, which doesn't seem necessary since the beer isn't overly sweet. Aftertaste is a bit acidic but well drying and no stickyness.

Props to Bristol's on this brew, there's nothing intense about it but it's well made and constructed with a good knowledge of the style. A bit less carbonation or increased sweetness could've done this some good, appreciable grain and malt feel.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 21:26:44 | More by rawfish
Photo of KJay1408


4.65/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm really pumped to be reviewing this brew, I tried it on tap at the Bristol Brewing Co in Colorado Springs CO. and had to get some more before I traveled back to Nebraska.

A: Poured into a glass. Pours a beautiful deep copper/red, slightly cloudy, with about one finger worth of head, which quickly dissipates to a bit of white lace. 4/5

S: Some hops, blended with a good dose of malt aroma, slightly bready. A great smell for a Scottish style ale, but could use just a hair more hops. 4/5

T: Excellent, starts out slightly sweet and malty with hints of biscuit flavor and hops. Soon it transitions to a beautiful light to mild hop bitterness balanced by a lingering malty sweet/biscuit taste. 7/5

M: Very good, a nice substance feel that isn't thick like a milk/cream stout, nor is it watery like mega brewery "Beer". It is a nice balanced feel that seem appropriate for the brew

O: Easily one of the best beers I've had, and the best Scottish ale I've gotten to try. It is a very balanced brew that leans toward the malty side of things, but doesn't go overboard. The hops are minimal but detectable, which is appropriate for the style. If you're a fan of Scottish Ales this one is more than worth a try, and if you're not a fan of Scottish ales this one might change your mind. An awesome brew. 4.9/5

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 23:14:52 | More by KJay1408
Photo of JayS2629


3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nicely balanced copper/brown beer with a medium white head, nice retention, and ok lace. The smell is of sweet malts, toasted grains, caramels, toffee, and earthy, grassy elements. Nutty flavors with a hint of roasted qualities. Nice toasted malts, caramels and sweet toffee with some earthy, grassy hops balanced in well. A nicely balanced, medium bodied, very drinkable beer. Very well done.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2011 06:00:20 | More by JayS2629
Photo of emmasdad


3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap yesterday at the Bristol Brewing Company in Colorado Springs. A favorite of both my wife and her friend yesterday, I found it to be not so bad myself. Poured a reddish brown color, with an ecru head on top. Aromas of bread dough, sweet malt and earthy hops. On the palate sweet malt, caramel and a very slight smokiness.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2011 00:16:40 | More by emmasdad
Photo of ScorpyX


4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful, cloudy dark amber brown with a small off0white head which quickly dissipates.

S: Love the malt smell. It has a sweetness to it to be sure. Caramel and sugar are the accompaniment. Doesn't engulf the sense, but it's there.

T: Pretty malty and a toasted quality leads the way. Not too complex, but it works. It has the usual sweetness, but it doesn't dominate.

M: Medium-bodied and smooth. It might be the drink's strongest quality.

D: Nothing about it really blows me away, but the decent taste and good moderate body make it quite drinkable. This is definitely a beer I can return to.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 11:16:28 | More by ScorpyX
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Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale from Bristol Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.