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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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204 Ratings

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Ratings: 204
Reviews: 90
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 10
Gots: 20 | 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: 204 | Reviews: 90 | Display Reviews Only:
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 JerzDevl2000
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another beer I picked up during the summer because I've never had it before and one of the workers at the store I was in recommended it. I'm not one to drink Scottish Ales that much, and this seemed to be pretty run-of-the-mill to me. Nothing great, nothing bad, but I'm glad I tried it regardless and it went down pretty easily!

No surprise - this had a dark pour to it. Good lacing, decent head, and a thin appearance. The taste was also thin, but had a strong peat taste to it with a hint of smokiness. I tend to prefer my Scotch Ales to have the mouthfeel and thickness of an actual Scotch but this came up just a wee bit short. It reminded me more of a Brown Ale in terms of it's consistency, but the taste and mouthfeel resemble more of the maltiness that would expect from a brew of this style.

Even though the alcohol content isn't that high, I wouldn't consider this to be a session beer. One for a sitting after dinner is good, just like I would have with a nice single malt Scotch and a snifter to bring the aroma out. There isn't as much of a "nose" on this beer, but it's still worth finding and enjoying before a night is called. I wouldn't mind having another one once the weather cools off a bit more!

Photo of geokills
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring a deep dark amber, vigorously for some head which soon dissipated to leave me with an unremarkable, albeit quite drinkable ale with hints of chocolate and coffee. Comfortable, refreshing, a light feeling for a darker ale. Not something that I would seek out specifically, though happy to drink it!

Photo of ArrogantB
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of Domingo
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes I think this beer gets overlooked because it's from Co. Springs rather than Denver or Ft. Collins.
Pours a chocolate brown color with amber highlights. Head's more than ample, especially with an aggressive pour.
Smells malty, with mild roasted flavors and just a hint of English hops.
Things start off sweet and molasses-based with that smoky flavor coming in the middle. Finish is really dry and there's a little essence of partially cured tobacco. Hops are really only there to keep the sweetness in check.
Texture varies between thick and thin. You'd think it's "just right" but not quite.
This is a pretty easy session choice that's wonderful no matter what season it is.
Every bit as good as 90 Shilling. Don't overlook this hidden gem. Luckily there's a lot of support for this beer in the Co. Springs area. It's a much better go-to beer than Fat Tire or Avalanche in my opinion.

Photo of hopdog
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
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

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

Copper in color with a slight beige head. Sweet and malty in smell. Slight fruity smell. Sweet in taste. I get notes of apple, oatmeal, and brown sugar. Kinda rich in taste also leaves a little on the tongue. A drinkable beer that is a mild Scotch Ale. I do like this beer, but mainly, because I like the style. Very sweet.

Photo of Beefeater57
2.9/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Wine red in color, with some dark orange edges. Decent head with okay retention.

S: Cherry and a little bit of an ashy smell.

T: I get sweetness from the malt up front, but it doesn't linger long. Hops are slightly noticeable in the back of the tongue, little grassy. Overall, it tastes a little bit like seltzer water, not getting much here.

M: Bubbly, like seltzer water or club soda.

D: Not much here at all, not as malty as I thought it might be. It comes off thin and carbonated and no particular flavor shines though. I hope I got a bad bottle. It isn't horrible, but not pounding back many of these.

Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce bottle.

Moderate pour into a 19-ounce goblet yields a tight light-tan head under a hazy mahogany body. Pretty beer.

Smell is light cocoa malt, hint of cracker and a bit of floral hops. Not a very robust smell, but nice.

Taste is surprisingly hoppy. Firm metallic-pine-bitter hopping dominates the taste. Where's the malt? How can they call this a Scottish Ale? Not at all what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is thin for a Scottish Ale, spot on for an English Brown.

Drinkability is fairly high, in view of the low ABV, but this beer seems not to style.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.89/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of Rayek
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly hazy chestnut brown with a minimalist tan head that doesn't leave much lace.

S: Not much of a nose up front, but what's there is fruity and buttery, with a bit of a burnt malt twang.

T: Very well balanced. Heavy on the butterscotch out of the gate. Bitterness follows and adds a nice fruity taste of tart apple and lemon. Finishes with a lingering maltiness.

M: Medium-light body feels a bit watery. Carbonation level is quite low.

D: I didn't like this much right out of the gate. But it grew on me the more I drank it. The low ABV and mild body make this a nice session beer.

Photo of Buebie
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtasy of russpowell.

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle with a 2nd week of October date, but no year.
Brown in color, with a red glow when held to light. 1 finger fluffy white head that fizzles down to some bubbly retention. Not much in the lace department.

Malty aroma, some coffee, toasted grains and burnt caramel. Just a smidge of cocoa.

Flavor is prodomintatly malt, toasted grains, a bit of coffee, somthing metalic, and lettuce like in flavor. Mild sweetness upfront, medium carbonation.
A touch of smoked oaky flavor. Finish is dry and simple with a smoke linger.

Quite the malty brew with a great malt backbone.
Love the lable and quirky name.

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 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 SkeeterHawk
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark slightly cloudy reddish brown color with a small 1/8" head of small off-white bubbles that faded really quickly to remain a lasting ring around the top of the beer sustained by some bubbles rising.

Aroma: I initially get only a sweet malty presence with some supporting dark caramel. There is some toasty British malt qualities deep in the background. Some hops are starting to come out more as it warms.

Taste: The beer is pretty dry and very well attenuated. The sweet malt is still the main factor in this beer. The caramel is very noticeable in the flavor as well as the aroma. There is some hops in here that is more noticeable as flavoring than from bittering. The beer is a little thin, so it is a good thing that there isn't a whole lot of hops. As the beer warms up, the flavoring hops are becoming more apparent.

Opinion: This is a decent beer. It is not flawed in any way, but it is just really mild on the palate. The flavors are in balance, but the overall presentation of the beer left me wanting for something. I personally just think that they are either just using the wrong yeast strain, or their mash temp is just too low. The beer has a good flavor, but it leaves me thinking that something is missing.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.58/5  rDev +22.5%
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.

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 alexgash
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
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!

Photo of rye726
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An amber color with a below average tan head. Nose has soem sweet candy, mild malts and dark fruits. The taste has a scotchy sweetness mixed in wit the fruits and candy. Well balanced by soem floral hops. A mediuym body and nice carbonation. A drinkable mild version of teh style.

Photo of Oxymoron
2.58/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

How do you know it's laughing? Pours a mahogany brown color with amber hues through out. Nice clarity. A little help in the pour left an frothy soft white head. Limited retention and lacing.

The nose is very limited. Very feint malty notes with some caramel and light peaty accents. Some off yeast notes and my wife picked out oxidation but I didn't.

The taste is more represented than the nose. A rather generic malt flavor mixed with a sweeter caramel and a hint of roasted malt in the back drop. Some hop flavors come out with a more herbal/earthy mix. Odd for style. Some off yeast characteristics as well. Metallic/blood like flavors and a more pronounced oxidation/cardboard flavor. Off.

The body is mid to light. There is a sweetness that leaves an under attenuated feel in there. For me could use more body, take the roast out completely and fix some of the flaws (not paws).

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.

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
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

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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.

Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale from Bristol Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.