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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 Cyberkedi


4.63/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2008 02:46:24 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of YippiesRhinos


3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2008 15:03:25 | More by YippiesRhinos
Photo of alexgash


3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2008 23:18:18 | More by alexgash
Photo of rye726


3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2008 06:24:09 | More by rye726
Photo of Oxymoron


2.55/5  rDev -31.5%
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).

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2008 21:57:55 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of Norsebrew


3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2008 21:05:10 | More by Norsebrew
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.68/5  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

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2008 05:19:12 | More by brentk56
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2008 04:16:44 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of biking4beer


3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 19:14:57 | More by biking4beer
Photo of scottblaze


4/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2007 23:00:17 | More by scottblaze
Photo of Tolann


3.2/5  rDev -14%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2007 04:25:13 | More by Tolann
Photo of woemad


2.55/5  rDev -31.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2007 20:55:59 | More by woemad
Photo of SaltyLime


3.75/5  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

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2007 20:08:13 | More by SaltyLime
Photo of beveritt


3.2/5  rDev -14%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2007 00:31:25 | More by beveritt
Photo of ggaughan


3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2007 03:45:21 | More by ggaughan
Photo of Bobikel


3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2007 20:46:41 | More by Bobikel
Photo of nvsblman


3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2006 02:22:38 | More by nvsblman
Photo of ppoitras


3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2006 21:13:00 | More by ppoitras
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2006 00:59:09 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2006 04:19:52 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

2.75/5  rDev -26.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2006 15:11:18 | More by AlexJ
Photo of Mitchster


3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2005 02:34:32 | More by Mitchster
Photo of benito


2.4/5  rDev -35.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 18:54:46 | More by benito
Photo of loren01


3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2005 17:13:53 | More by loren01
Photo of jokelahoma


4.1/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2005 18:30:51 | More by jokelahoma
Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale from Bristol Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.