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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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205 Ratings

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Ratings: 205
Reviews: 90
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 10
Gots: 21 | 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

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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 205 | Reviews: 90
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 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 Tolann
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours dark brown in color. The head is quickly gone and didn't leave a lace. Seems quite clear, not hazy

S - Lots of sweet caramel smell and maybe a hint of nuts and coffee. Its a really great smell and you don't need your head in the glass to find it. I'm betting this will get even better as the beer warms.

T - This has a light taste. There's some bitterness, and not a sweet as the smell. The taste is kind of dull and grassy/piny. Hardly seems like the same beer I'm smelling. It is getting better tho as it warms. Perhaps wait to serve this beer nearly room temperature. The warmth is bringing out more of the malt.

M - Much lighter in body than anticipated. This has a more lively feel due to carbonation in what looks like an otherwise flatter, smoother beer. Kind of a dry aftertaste.

D - I'm not terribly impressed, tho I recognize this beer has won several awards and medals. Maybe I would have had better luck if it had never been in the fridge.

Photo of woemad
2.55/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle brought back from Co Springs by a friend who used to live down the street from the brewpub. Freshness date indicates this was brewed the fourth week of last October. Having already consumed another beer from Bristol, it's becoming obvious that wherever she bought this from never get rid of bottles that don't sell, no matter how old they are.

This poured a dark mahogany color, with virtually no head, though there's a tiny bit of microscopically small spots of lace that are generated when the glass is tipped.

A faint, mild peaty scent can just be gleaned. While there is also a diacetyl scent, it's much more subdued than in the bottle of Mass Transit Ale I had to drainpour last night.

This is also more drinkable than the Mass Transit Ale. This is what is known as damning with faint praise. Diacetyl flavor is still present, but is fairly mild, along with a very mild peaty taste. There's no hoppiness to speak of.

A fresh example of this could easily be a decent session beer, but we're lightyears from freshness with this bottle. If I happen to find myself in Colorado Springs, I'll give it a try on-tap, otherwise I won't be needing to try this again.

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 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 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 Bobikel
3.26/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a deep reddish brown with a small head. Retention is excelent.

Smell - Malts and honey blend with a slight hop background.

Taste - Very malty with a slight sweetness throught the middle. Hops dry the palate nicely after swallowing.

Mouthfeel - Thick and creamy without being overly carbed.

Drinkability - Very easy drinker, great for sesions, or any other occasion.

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

Dark copper color with a little bit of off white head. No lacing to speak of. Smell is very malty, mostly chocolate and caramel. Also a little smokiness. Sweet malty flavor with some smoky peat mixed in. Just a enough hop bitterness to provide a little balance. Creamy mouthfeel, but not too heavy. All in all a pretty nice beer, this would be a great session beer.

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 MuddyFeet
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mentor for the bottle.

Pours a deep burnt red brown color. Filmish head that never went away. Nose is dark maltiness and bits of peat.

Very mellow beer. Makes me think more of a brown ale in flavor. Slightly burnt malts. Burnt biscuits. Bit of peat too. Molasses and brown sugar. Medium body. Seems to tingle on the palate--kind of odd. Slightly dry.

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Laughing Lab Scottish Ale pours out a dark brown color with a huge, off-white head. Sweet aroma with some fruit, but there is a definite cardboard aroma that isn't pleasant. The flavor is sweet, with the caramelized sugar flavor typical of the style. Just a bit fruity. Finishes with a cocoa flavor and a touch of hops. Good balance. This beer is almost very good. It has a nice flavor, but it doesn't taste as fresh as it should, and I don't think my bottle is particulary old. I would love to try a fresh bottle to see.

Photo of AlexJ
2.77/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium brown with some light red highlights, abundant carbonation sets off a nice, fluffy tan head that quickly falls to a very thin rind of large bubbles.

Aroma is sweet, buttery malts, maple syrup, dry grain, and a tough of something bitter.

Flavor is not very characteristic of this style, sweet, grainey malt, a bit of roast, metallic notes, and some peppery, earthy (dirty) hops in the finish. Leaves an empty feeling in your mouth.

Body is light, way too light, with big bubbles of carbonation that lend a very flat, watery mouthfeel and slick, wet texture. Another pass.

Photo of Mitchster
3.29/5  rDev -12%
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.

Photo of benito
2.48/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cola brown that reddens when held to the light, fairly transparent and well carbonated. A good head that dissipates quickly but ultimately leaves a nice ring and swirl of light froth around the top of the beerline. The smell is strict malts: sweet and subdued with a hint of rice or something else dry and grainy.

Overall the flavor underwhelmed me. The body is light with a nice dryness and almost peppery quality that emerges at back of the mouth and lingers well, but the initial flavor itself is a blank, the maltiness is almost non-existent and the only description that I can come up with is 'watery.'

This is easy to guzzle down (or slowly nip) but rather uninteresting. I was disappointed.

Photo of loren01
3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Bristol taproom during a summer vacation through Colorado. Poured a dark amber color with slight head that dissipated very quickly. Smell is somewhat lacking as I don't really smell much of anything, maybe a very slight sweetness. Taste is sweet at first with an earthy/mossy aftertaste. The smell of this beer becomes more apparent the more you drink of it for some reason. Still a sweet/malty smell. Mouthfeel is good although there is very little carbonation this beer goes down good. Overall not a bad scottish style but I've had tastier ones than this.

Photo of jokelahoma
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs, watching the Sky Sox on July 4th.

Beer pours a deep mahogany color, and crystal clear. Had a tight head that lasted a remarkably long time, and carried an extensive lace all the way to the end.

Aroma carries no hop nose that I can detect at all, which is just what you'd expect from a Scottish. The beer smells like it will be bitter, but most of that perception comes from the roasted grains. And grain is all you smell here. Just sweet malt.

The taste is very mild, and very subdued. There is a little roastiness to this, but not what you might expect from the nose. There's no mistaking this for a porter or a stout. It's somewhat caramelly, and certainly sweet enough to balance any roast grain-induced bitterness that may be present. No hop flavor to speak of. Just a slight level of bitterness that counters the malt sweetness to prevent it becoming cloying. Keeping in mind this is a Scottish ale, the balance here is quite good.

Mouthfeel is a high medium, bordering on plain old high. It isn't overwhelmingly thick or oily, but it certainly isn't watery either. Again, just about what you'd expect from a Scottish ale. Excellent.

Typically, I look for something in a beer that stands out as a remarkable feature, something that makes me want to try that beer again. This brew is an exception. The drinkability is enhanced by the fact that nothing really stands out. It's extremely well balanced, at least to my palate. I would definitely drink this one again.

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 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 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 SeanChouffe
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is 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 feloniousmonk
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of tavernjef
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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.

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Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale from Bristol Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 205 ratings.