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Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale - Bristol Brewing Company

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Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale
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92 Reviews

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Reviews: 92
Hads: 215
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 20.38%
Wants: 13
Gots: 31 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 92 | Hads: 215
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
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

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a pillowy head that persists fairly well and leaves a few shards of lace to boot

Smell: A nutty caramel aroma with a touch of wood

Taste: Opens with a caramel flavor that adds a toasted malt element by mid-palate; after the swallow, it becomes a bit grainy but the caramel flavors persist

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Easy to drink and a nice representation of the style, although I am not crazy about the grainy element

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.68/5  rDev -27.2%
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.


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Photo of Rifugium
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
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

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown with a thin crème head. Nose is leafy with a fruit tone. Flavor brings a hearty fruit tone. Seems slight apples. Smooth. More sweet than earthy. Feel is low on carbonation and liquid is fairly smooth. Easy to drink. Medium level of complexity. Pretty nice.

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Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber in color; thin head throughout the tasting; good lace. Very mild aromas, nearly no hop smells, the rest was a sweet malt nose.

There is a touch of hop balance, but the beer stays true to its style. Delicious crystal and chocolate malts come through. The aftertaste is pleasant malt, but it isn't sweet (Yes!). The beer features a medium to full body and has a relatively high carbonation for the style.

This is a very nice scottish ale although I sense it teeters close to the Brown Ale style. Still, I would recommend it.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber color, a rustic crimson, really, with a nice, but thin, topping of creamy foam above.
Aroma, crisp, dry, yet fruity, the bright, sweet kind.
Decent tasting, too, nice and ripe, replete with dark fruits and caramel maltiness, rich and redolent of the slicker, sweeter things in life, pretty candyish. Not as vigorous in the mouthfeel or the body as I'd like, but, again, decent. Finish is sweet and tasty, and lasts just long enough. Actually, it just got a touch too cloying right at the end.
Nice beer, actually, I think the operative word was "decent"...ayup.
Thanks to tavernjef for sharing this after bringing it back from the SouthWest.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a mahogany/red color low co2 and a very low off-white head. Lacing is sticky. Aroma is of malt, molasses, caramel, and lightly earthy. Caramel flavor with malt and a very light hop finish. Palate is light bodied and effervescent with a hoppy finish. IMHO: a fair representation of the style, but fairly one-dimensional.

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Photo of Tone
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Lightly cluded chestnut color. Poured a 1 finger biege head that dissipated. Broken, clingy lacing.

S: Very earthy grain smell. Foiundation of butter and toasted malt.

T: Butterscotch and toasted malt up front. Some fruits and citrus (lemon peeo). Nice big bitter finish to balance with lingering malts.

M: Ligh side of medium body. Low carbonation.

D: Very flavorful and not too filling. Definitely a beer that grew on me. ABV and body will bring me back to this one.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.58/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This comes out of the tap a rich mahogany brown with a fine-bubbled head. Aroma is strong, spicy, malty, with a hint of hops. Flavor is rich and smooth, with hints of hops, caramel, smoke and cloves; the sweet nicely balances the hop bitterness. It goes down lively and sassy.

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Photo of champ103
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark ruby red color. A one finger tan head forms, but recedes to a ring that sticks throughout. Light lace is left behind.
S: At first diacetyl hits the nose right up front. Though that fades to a substantial caramel sweetness. Light toasted malt and chocolate as well.
T: Follows the nose. Diacetyl almost takes over completely at first. Though much more subtle flavors come out as this warms. Sweet caramel, toasted malt, and a very light chocolate.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Though just a bit on the watery side. Easy to drink. I could put a few away pretty easy.

Pretty good. There is plenty of diacteyl here. Scottish Ales often have diacetyl, but there are usually other characteristics that help balance that. This is not over done, but a little more than I would like. Still, a beer that I enjoyed. Worth a try.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice chestnut brown color with a head that disappeared very quickly. It has a malty smell that seems pretty nondescript. The flavor seems right in line for the style but subtle. Malty, a little bit of smokiness but not overpowering like some Scottish ales I've had. Very easy to drink and I could probably have had more than one of these in a session.

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

Chocolate amber color with a low light brown head. Light malty aroma with a malty flavor. Tastes kind of chocolately but thinking that is due to age. Medium bodied and smooth.

Bottled: Week 3 April '99 ('99 embossed on bottom of bottle)
Tasted: 04/06/03

(old) - need to taste a fresh version again but I remember this being quite a good brew when fresh.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark rust, somewhat clouded, barely a head appeared but what did, stayed on top awhile, very minimal spotty lace. Aroma is faint of burntish toffee, a bit buttery with some slight earthyness of peat moss or wet wood. Taste is bit bland with some slight roasty factions in the start which linger throughout. Some slight hops of herbalness and pale leafyness makes its way towards the finish. Feel is a bit empty in the middle, start is mildly roasted and ends a bit dry and buttery with slight nut shades. Overall feel in body is thin, but some of the flavors keep it going somewhat to make it worth drinking, but its pretty average for a Scottish Ale.

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Photo of cokes
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of alexgash
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, bottled on third week of March.

Dark burnt sienna body; clear. Small, wispy, light khaki head doesn't last too long. Scorched caramel and brown sugar on the nose. Notes of licorice, toasted marshmallows, milk chocolate, and figs as well.

Toasted grains and mild herbal bitterness/astringency up front. Nutty, caramelly, doughy malts come forward. Slightly soapy quality. Sweetish fruits and a little brown sugar mid-palate. Hint of anise and leather. Light herbal bitterness in the otherwise malty finish. Moderate body, with a pretty creamy feel. Not bad!

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Photo of hopdog
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle labeled bottled in Jul.

Poured a darker amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of peat, bread, light smoke and light caramel. Tastes of caramel, nuts, lightly roasted malts, and had a lighter earthiness to it. Tastes on the weaker side compared to the aromas (somewhat of a let down). Lacing left on the glass.

Notes from: 12/31/05

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Photo of Mitchster
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewed with 2-row, Chocolate, Crystal and Carapils malts. Hopped with Chinook and Willamette.

4.2% ABV (per the website), 19 IBU's.

Pours to a clear deep ruby red/dark amber, barely forming a small soapy head which quickly recedes to a quick scum of bubbles with no lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is mostly of brown sugar, vanilla and caramel. The mouthfeel is slick and slightly cloying with a medium body. The taste is much better than the aroma...it begins with a punch of herbal flavor hops that aren't apparent in the aroma and is quickly followed by a sugary malt body. It's not too sweet however, as the finish is offset by leafy, green hops and a mild/moderate herbaceous bitterness. Offputtingly soapy in the finish as well.

This is quite par for the course of a microbrew Scotch Ale. Really quite average and it reminds me of the stock attempt at a Scotch Ale of any McBrewpub.

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Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale from Bristol Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.