Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale - Bristol Brewing Company

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Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale
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210 Ratings

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Ratings: 210
Reviews: 93
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 12
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bristol Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-04-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 210 | Reviews: 93
Reviews by Norsebrew:
Photo of Norsebrew
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer in bottles and on tap at the brewery and around town many times. This is the flagship beer of Bristol, and it is available at many establishments in the area.

A - Pours dark brown in color. The head is 1 finger and quickly disappears. clear.

S - burnt caramel smell and a hint of nuts and coffee.

T - Refreshing and crisp. There's some bitterness and mostly malty.

M- dry aftertaste and moderately carbonated.

D - Extremely drinkable and goes with pretty much any meal (even breakfast sometimes). A great representation of a Scottish ale.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Bottle date on the side. Ahh ... look at the happy dog on the label.

Appearance: Hazy amber/brown in colour with a thin white cream lace.

Smell: Quite the malty aroma with caramel being the dominant, followed by fruity esters and hints of roasted, wood and sherri in the nose. Very aromatic and wonderful.

Taste: Malt flavours aren't too sweet, body is light to medium and the mouthfeel is smooth. Nutty, caramel, thin roasted twang, light chocolate with more fruity esters run the palate. A light buttery diacetly smoothes in, way back on the palate. No real hop bitterness, but there's a hop flavour reminiscent of a herbal/flower tea-like concoction, with an earthy "green" grass-like bite on the palate. Finishes real dry, near grain dry.

Notes: A fantastic Scottish-style Ale, in my opinion. Balanced all the way with loads of malt tease, without bogging you down in sweetness. Incredibly enjoyable to drink. Thumbs up to Bristol.

Thanks to Arctic Liquors for the sample.

Photo of Beaver13
2.42/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours a reddish copper with a smallish big bubbled head that quickly goes to a wispy layer disappeared completely.

The aroma is sweet toffee and caramel malts - slightly smokey with a little roasted chocolate and some sweet sugariness.

The flavor is sweet malts and roasted toffee with some acidic bitterness at the finish. There are some off flavors as well - a little sour and acidic and some diacetyl. It is light to medium bodied and a little watery with some harsh carbonation.

Overall, I didn't care for it much. A little too sweet and the off flavors and mouthfeel turned me off.

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bman1113vr for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a murky orangish-brown color with a white head. The aroma is very malt with bready and toffee notes, but I really expected some sort of peat smoke aroma. The flavor is peat smoke as well as toffee and caramel malts. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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

Pours a dark reddish amber, small head disappeared fairly quickly but leaves nice ring of lacing. Smells of vanilla and molasses. Flavor is of toffee and toasted malt, the hop profile seems slighty more pronounced than the imports I've had. Mouthfeel and drinkability are very nice.

This maybe the only American Scottish Ale I've had, can't recall another. I love the style, this one did not dissapoint. Very nice....cheers!

Photo of ggaughan
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked a bottle of this up while traveling in the Denver area for the GABF in late 2006. The beer poured a clear amber color with a slight tan head that lingered a bit but gave way to a slight ring on the end of the glass. The aroma was of sweet malt and a touch of creaminess. The taste was mainly malty, creamy and sweet but with a touch of hop bitterness to round things out and make for a solid and easy drinking ale.

Photo of cokes
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obscured, murk-filled amber with nary a head to be found, save for a pattern of swirly lace on the surface.
Nose is buttered toffee, candied raisin, and peat.
Taste begins with a well-measured roastiness. Herbal too, but earlier and not from hops as is typically customary. Earthy hues segue into caramel and butterscotch. Bits of oxidation and diacetyl are more nuances than flaws (though they do provide clues to the age of this bottles...since it was left unmarked). Ends with a powdery cocoa bitterness, a decrease in heft, an earthy continuation, and general hop-related dryness, if not an outright hop-derived flavor signature.
Begins northward of medium bodied, but thins as it progresses...though never to the point where it becomes an issue.
This is quite drinkable and generally amiable. A fresh sample might even be killer.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My buddy Matt from work gave me one of these out of a six pack his parents brought him from the brewery. What a nice guy.

A - This one is dark caramelized sugar brown with a purplish-red cast when held to the light. The head is a slowly building dense finger of khaki cream, and lots of gooey lace is left around the glass. Good lookin' stuff!

S - Deep musty earth tones mix with a distant hint of toffee. This has that wet compost heap, mushroomy, forest floor aroma that I love! I really like the rustic nature of this nose.

T - Starts funky and earthy before a nice sweet toffee and caramel note gradually builds in the mid-palate. The sweetness fades to a easy and simple toast and butter flavor.

M - Very lightly carbonated and relatively thin for the style. This is easy going and neutral, but it lacks interest.

D - Not bad. Looks and smells great, and the flavor is average. The mouthfeel is a bit anemic IMHO, and this doesn't really stand out in the crowd.

Photo of ElGordo
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice-looking deep reddish brown with a small, creamy head. Very nice aroma of roasted malt, toffee, oak, and a light whiff of smoke. Slightly sweet and sticky up front, with notes of toffee and treacle, balanced by a robust malt profile. Finishes with a sweet, oaky flavor that lingers in the back of the mouth. A little sweeter than I tend to prefer in a scottish ale, without the hops. Nevertheless, a decent offering.

Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of russpowell
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a sixer, might as well review

Pours copper/brown with a finger of sand colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Toasty malt in abundance, a bit of toffee

T: Slight smokiness, toasty malt, slight leafy hoppy presence & brown sugar. Dryness, more toasted malt, toffee & a hint of sulphur as this warms. Finishes with some singed caramel, more toffee & more dryness

MF: Medium bodied, low carbonation, not quite as beefy as it is on draft

Easy drinking, much better on draft, but a nice session beer in the bottle

Photo of beveritt
3.24/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Label depicts a yellow lab, tongue hanging out, and describes the beer as malty, smooth, and lucscious. Tabbed label indicates in was bottled in late March. I like the brewery already for adding a freshenss date.

Appearance: Pours with 1/2 inch of light tan foamy head. This falls to a thin layer. The beer itself is a brown tinged copper color and perfectly clear.

Smell: Very sweet malts with lots of caramelization.

Taste: Very smooth caramel malt with some nuttiness. Light bitternessin the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average to lower than average carbonation level. Body is a little thin.

Drinkability: Good flavor, but a little watery. I expect more bold, rich flavors from a Scottish ale. Overall, not bad, but not great.

Photo of YippiesRhinos
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My mother discovered this brew on a recent trip to Colorado Springs and had to buy it for me since she had never heard of it. I had never had a Scottish Ale before and was pleasantly surprised to see the dark color. Nothing stood out from the smell. I found this brew to beer a little harsh to drink, but was very good, having been my first voyage into the Scottish Ale style.

Photo of SickGnar
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Tawny mahogany with a garnet hue and bright crimson highlights. Quite clear despite dark color. It has a good sized light tan head that sticks around a bit and leaves nice lacing.

S: Smells like a nice lower gravity Scottish ale. Steely clean malts, some caramel (but not too sweet), nutty, softly roasty. Some light fruity esters. No hops. A tad stronger would be okay, but it is very good.

T: Like the nose, but more - all the way around. Caramel fades back a bit and toasty, nutty, and roasty come out a bit more along with some present but reserved, mostly estery, dark fruits. Sweetness is a bit candy-like, but reserved and with a slight toffee character from some faint diacetyl. Some bready, not quite biscuity, grainyness works its way in too. Hint of a faint smokey note that might be from yeast or all in my head. Faint powdered cocoa is softly layered way back in finish. Not much of any hops found. Might show as a slight earthy/grassy flavor note, and could be helping contribute to dryness, but not giving any real bitterness. This is really nice and easy drinking. Dead on for style.

M: Just medium body with a medium-low carbonation. Right on for style and works well with the flavors. Softly chewy and trending toward dryness.

D: Very nicely done. Super drinkable. Flavorful and sessionable. It is nice to see a flagship brew in this style (especially at this gravity level/strength). Some how in this style, like too many others, competition takes a hold. People expect Ur /- beers Jeez people - there is a range to the style. I have, um, found some of those... ahem, unclean bastards to be right nice - but not every Scottish beer needs to make kilts fall off.

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

Right off the bat, the laughing lab on the label makes you feel good.

Appearance - clear honey with about a one finger tan head

Smell - malty and nutty, earthy grains, nice aroma

Taste - tasty malts, hops well subdued creamy and sweet

Mouthfeel - smooth, light to medium bodied

Drinkability - very good to drink

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with freshness notches of Dec 2009. Pours a pretty clear, light red color with a swiss-cheese bubbled tan foam. Fades quick and no lace.

Smells like earthy, buttery popcorn and caramel sweet malts. Light on the smoke and almost no peat. Not unpleasant, but not exactly a great representation of the style, more like an amber ale really.

Has a bit of a buttery diacetyl flavor emboldening the sweet caramel and slight peat flavors. Pseudo-scottish/amber ale? Hints of sour malt and thin for the style. Flagship brew, hmmm...there are a few other Bristol brews I like better. It is a fairly pleasant, easy drinker, but falls short as a Scottish style ale. Drinkable? Yes. Introductory? Maybe. Certainly is better on tap as a local option.

Photo of biking4beer
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled notched for being bottled the 3rd week in November. Tasted on December 20th.

Deep crimson to brown in color with bubbly tan head and nice lacing.

Smells roasty with some caramel and chocolate. Grassy hop aroma.

Grainy flavors on the tongue with a good level of hop bitterness. Perhaps a touch too much because it overwhelms the sweetness that I've enjoyed in this beer before. Slight caramel again.

Moderate carbonation and medium bodied. Very nice and appropriate for the style.

I like this beer. I may be taking the cute Lab for a walk more and more often. Give it a shot.

Photo of infinitebruner
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

January 17, 2015

Draft, taster

A – Light brown with high clarity. Off-white to very light khaki foam.

S – Light chocolate and caramel, toffee. Fruity esters of apples and raisins. Slightly nutty.

T – Very rich chocolate with caramel, almost like a Caramello bar in liquid form, without all the cheap sugar. Slightly nutty here, with some light fruity esters.

M – Moderate carbonation with a very moderate sweetness level.

O – A fantastic blend of chocolate malt and nutty flavors. Excellent Scottish ale.

Photo of blakelive784
3.89/5  rDev +4%
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.

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

Clear chestnut with a smallish froth that goes bye-bye quickly, then spends the rest of the session orbiting the glass. Smells like old honey whole wheat bread crumbs.
Tastes of baking powder bisuits with a dash of cocoa, and a smack on the tongue with a cedar plank. I'm thinking of the last sensation of a salmon filet when it's stuffed into a smokehouse, right before it's smoked beyond recovery. This would be good by the pitcher with smoked salmon, dill mayo, pickled things and rye bread and lightly sweetened whole wheat crackers. It's got a nutty aftertaste.

Photo of JayS2629
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of sweethome
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber/red. A wisp of a head. Tiny bubbles ceate a wave appearance on the top. Sweet candy nose. Medium mouthfeel. Some bready malts, but very limited compexity. Just a hint of alcohol. I'm a bit disappointed in the lack of flavor develpment. No apparent flaws, just fails to develop well. Markedly sweet finish is to style.

Photo of ppoitras
3.44/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from Mentor as part of BIF 33/The Race - Team Spring. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a creamy 3/4" light tan head above the clear coppery brown brew. Head fades slowly, popped bubble by popped bubble, with lots of sticky lacing. Aroma is minimal, little to anything good or bad here. Taste is lightly peaty malts with a light hoppy close that lingers. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both likable. Not a bad brew here.

Photo of jacobdunne
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very delicious! Will buy again!

Photo of jmbranum
4.62/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasting one of a few bottles I brought back from Colorado Springs. Saw this beer all over town while I was there btw. It was quite yummy on tap but am reviewing the bottle right now.

A superb Scottish ale with excellent balance.

Aroma is very good. Very malty with caramel and roasted notes.

Flavor is extremely balanced. Lots of malt but not cloying. Fairly dry at first with a sweetish finish. Nutty with some slight herbal notes. Slight caramel in the background.

Smooth medium mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable. Very much recommend this beer.

(I should have brought back more than a six pack.)

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Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale from Bristol Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 210 ratings.