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Fat Scotch Ale - Silver City Brewing Co.

Fat Scotch AleFat Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

126 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 126
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 13.05%

Brewed by:
Silver City Brewing Co. visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Previously known as Fat Bastard AAle.

(Beer added by: RoyalT on 11-27-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 79 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RedSunRising

British Columbia (Canada)

4.66/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This. Beer. Is. Amazing.

Poured from a 22oz bomber I snagged from Trader Joes in Bellingham into a Innis & Gunn thistle, it is a beautiful deep red/brown with a small off-white head. Looks similar to a cola or root beer.

Aroma is full of malt sweetness, with toffee, caramel and brown sugar notes. A hint of smoke and slight spice and booziness, as well as sasparilla (maybe?)

Taste follows the nose wonderfully with big, sweet malts dominating the palate. Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar coming on all at once. The smokiness that appeared shy-ly on the nose is much more evident here, playing nice with smooth fruity characteristics of raisins and prunes. A slight bitterness is also present, and no hop flavor is detectable. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden, if I had to guess from a blind tasting I would put it around 6% but it is a whopping 9.2%. As it warms the raisin, prune and alcohol become a bit more prominent, as well as another flavor that is hard to discern. (Almost a sort of nuttiness)

The mouth-feel is smooth and slightly sticky with medium-low carbonation that compliments the flavor profile nicely.

Overall, probably the best scotch ale I've ever had the pleasure of consuming. (And I’ve tried very many) It remains complex and flavorful in a style of beer where it is all too easy to become one dimensional. Definitely one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2014 21:21:34 | More by RedSunRising
Photo of hreb


3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle of Silver City's Fat Scotch Ale. Beer pours dark cola brown, clearly a little syrupy in texture. Aroma is slightly phenol and chemical, I think. Flavor is dominant, malty, with molasses and spice. Also dark fruit: raisins, prunes. Could have been a barley wine in a parallel universe, I guess. Just enough bitterness to round it out. Aftertaste is neither cloying nor hop burn -- but it's not subtle, either. There's just a lot of flavor here. Unfortunately I'm not loving it.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2013 03:31:17 | More by hreb
Photo of mactrail


3.2/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Clear reddish, coppery amber color with plenty of head. Quite carbonated in the mouth, and maybe a little more than it needs to be. I usually don't complain about that, but it's quite prickly with a soda water sensation.

Sweet and smokey. Bubble gum and kelp. Big malt gets down and rolls in it. A bitter burn for the finish. Sharp and alcoholic, veering toward the acidic. After a few sips this is not very pleasing, but it's powerful. Dark burnt malt and overly bitter. From the 22 oz bottle purchased from The Market at Anacortes.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2013 06:58:57 | More by mactrail
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and slight smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and toffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 01:30:20 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of DenverLogan


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bottled ordered through Letspour...into Corsendonk chalice.
Pours a root beer brown with amber head.
Aroma of Dr Pepper soda, sarsaparilla (root beer), malt sweetness.
Moderate carbonation and strong mouthfeel.
Flavors of a funky soda, alcohol, brown malts, burnt malts, peat, sarsaparilla, a touch of chalk, oak, pepper, field greens. Overall bold and full bodied, quite a bit of a soda flavor but also strong or burnt malts, sweet malts and some astringency. Letting the beer sit for 20 or so minutes removes much of the bitterness and burnt notes.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2013 04:18:35 | More by DenverLogan
Photo of deedric


3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of Paul Stutzman...

Pours a beautiful, dark brown with ruby highlights. Creamy tan head - a slightly aggressive pour yielded a thick head that bubbled like a pancake batter, then fell quickly. Relatively little in the way of lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, perhaps a little maple syrup with a slight hint of vanilla.

Tate's as it smells - malty followed by a hint of booze - as one would expect from a 9.2% Scotch Ale. Taste follows through all across the tounge with Hints of hops on the back end of the swallow.

Mouthfeel is good, perhaps thinner than I expected, but rather nice.

I enjoyed this Scotch Ale, not what I expected, but the surprise was not unpleasant.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2012 00:47:37 | More by deedric
Photo of flagmantho


4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich amber hue which allows bright red highlights when held up to the light. Body seems free of haze. A somewhat vigorous pour resulted in 3 fingers of creamy tan foam. Quite nice.

Smell: big malty aroma has some spicy and yeasty characteristics to go along with it. Appealing and quite stylistically appropriate.

Taste: smoky and fruity. I would not be surprised if this brew used some smoked malt in its preparation. The yeast character adds a fruitiness to the malt; bitterness is present but not at all in the forefront; hop flavor is nonexistent. I think the use of smoked malt is probably not historically accurate, but it sure is tasty. Good stuff!

Mouthfeel: big body with a good level of carbonation. There is a good creaminess and a big silky feel to this brew. Very near perfect.

Overall: this is a very good and highly drinkable Scotch ale. Aside from the smokiness, which appears forced and out of style, this is a nearly perfect wee heavy. Of course, the smokiness still adds something in its own right. Yum!

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 01:09:30 | More by flagmantho
Photo of daveytheformer


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a light khaki head that immediately recedes to some spotting.

Smells boozy and sweet. Prunish aroma meets grape juice.

Tastes like candy with a big raisin like quality. Light caramel and cake all meet in the end for a nice syrupy sweet get together.

Mouthfeel is sticky and medium with light carbonation that suits this very well.

Overall I really enjoyed this a lot. Glad I picked this one up. I'll certainly be trying this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 18:50:34 | More by daveytheformer
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark dark copper color (basically brown if not held up to the light) with dark ruby highlights, a small light khaki head that drops quite rapidly leaving some splashy lacing behind.

Aromas begin very sweet and malty. I get lots of maple syrup, dark caramelized sugars, brown sugar and toffee. As it warms i get some of the earthiness (presumably from the hops) and some light but pleasant amount of peat.

The tastes begin with just waves of malt. Initially I get sweet toffee, dark caramelized malts and the peat. As it warms I can appreciate more of the base, bready/biscuity malt flavors. As I continue to sample I get a nice amount of dark fruits (raisins and prunes mainly). It becomes a bit too sweet and one-dimensional towards the bottom of the bomber.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Finish is full bodied and slightly toward the sweeter end, but far from cloying in any sense.

Overall this is a nice example of a Scotch Ale in my opinion. Carbonation is a little low for my liking which makes this borderline too sweet but the earthy and peat flavors help to balance out those detractors. Overall this was enjoyable, bit I do not need to revisit anytime soon. Worth a go because of the reasonable price and if it is readily available to you but no need to seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2011 23:16:22 | More by claspada
Photo of woosterbill


3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into z Duvel tulip; thanks to vonschplieffen for sharing this one.

A: Opaque, dark reddish-boron body with a finger of frothy tan foam. Not bad, but pretty standard for the style.

S: Caramel + toffee start things off, with peat smoke swelling on the back end. A touch metallic. Ok.

T: Follows the nose extremely closely, but without the metal (thankfully): sweet caramel up front, with peat providing good balance. Rich, sweet, and enjoyable.

M: Medium body - a bit thin for what this beer is going for, I think; nice light carbonation. Decent.

O: Good, not great. I won't be seeking it out.


Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 02:47:41 | More by woosterbill
Photo of lwillitz


3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the "six shooter sampler" at Silver City Restaurant and Brewery. This was one of the six. For whatever reason (small servings, straight glasses, environment, etc.) detecting the smells of these beers was difficult. Also, the heads had receded by the time the waitress brought the glasses to the table, decreasing my enjoyment of the appearance. With all of this in mind . . .

A - clear dark red body

S - clean malty smell; weak smell

T - rich caramel malt flavor; faint touches of peat and smoke; smooth!

M - medium-full body; medium carbonation

O – typical Scotch ale

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2011 04:35:35 | More by lwillitz
Photo of ckeegan04


4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with hints of rusty red around the edges. Head is only about one finger and retention is decent Spotty foaming left on the glass.

S - Deep nuttiness and a bit of bready sweetness. A faint peaty aroma comes through as the beer warms. Dark malts are certainly the star of the show here.

T - A decent amount of sweet bread in the taste initially with a fair amount of burnt sugar as well. A light nuttiness carries though as well.

M - Medium bodied but a bit on the light side, especially for a big scotch ale. Carbonation is low to moderate; about what I would want in a beer of this style.

O - Certainly a good American example of a scotch ale. Rather easy drinking with well melded tastes.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2011 18:44:09 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of BeerAdvocate


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

A crackling in the head leads to a thin ring of lace. Burgundy on brown. Stodgy malt nose with a hint of alcohol and a faint twang of smoke. Slick and mildly crisp, semi-syrupy full body. The maltiness reaches high--sweet but not cloying. Kiss of caramel, brown bread, fresh-cut grass and a ghost-like smoke. Light on the hops but this is par for the style; quick stroke of bitterness and a leafy flavor within. Alcohol is slow to warm, with a faint raisin tone. Sweet ending to a pleasant malt story.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 14:30:19 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of snaotheus


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a large goblet

Pours basically opaque dark brown, small pale head with lots of fine but slow continuing carbonation. Smell is very sweet and oaky/smokey, maybe some cherry or sherry.

Taste is chocolatey and smokey, sweet but not too sweet. Lots of oakiness.

Mouthfeel is thin with a hint of syrupiness. Sweet, like you expect from a Scotch Ale. It's pretty tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 02:59:09 | More by snaotheus
Photo of soze47


2.93/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this at Red Bones at the NW Fest on 11/09/10

Appearance: Very clear body with a deep red color. Almost has a grape/cherry kool aid color to it. Odd looking

Aroma: Not too much on the nose except some spicy sweetness. Generic malty breadiness and hot booze. Not too pleasant.

Taste: Hot and sweet, but it does mellow out as herbal spiciness and dark fruits come out a bit. A cinnamon and all spice flavor develops. After it warms in the glass, all the flavors create an overwhelming butterscotch flavor.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Hot and viscous in the mouth. This is not an easy drinker and should only be enjoyed as an after dinner drink.

Overall: While I know Scotch Ales are not my favorite, even this one is too much. Too sweet, too hot, too much of almost everything.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2010 02:23:18 | More by soze47
Photo of champ103


4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Dajtai007 for the trade.

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black color. At first a two finger beige head forms that quickly fades to a ring. Light lace is left behind.
S: An awesome aroma of toasted malt, chocolate, light coffee, and some toffee sweetness. More than that, huge peat, wood, and some smoke as well. Everything I love in my favorite style.
T: The nose is huge, and the flavor does not disappoint. Toasted malt up front with lots of chocolate and sweet toffee. Big peat and smoke that many American versions skimp on. Excellent.
M/D: A big full body that is low on the carbonation. Incredibly smooth, creamy, and decadent. Such an easy beer to sip on. A great night cap.

This is really exceptional. Maybe the best American version of a Wee Heavy I have come across (Founders Backwards Bastard is the only other that comes to mind). My favorite style, and Silver City has done it right. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2010 03:08:56 | More by champ103
Photo of CascadeConan


3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brownish-red with an off white head.

Very sweet nose with hefty oak and scotch aromas and little to no hop character present.

At 9% the mouth feel of this beer is not as full as you would imagine but with sweet toffee flavor and notes of cherry and peat you may ignore the lack of body. Finishes with the smoothness of sour mash.

If I had to find a few things wrong with this beer I would note that it has an off flavor in the finish almost like the linger you receive from gorgonzola, I don't claim to be an expert but that's what literally minutes of deduction concluded.

The other down side, and it may not be a down side at all, is it's suicidally easy to drink. If you're going to have more than one of these throw your keys as far away from yourself as possible and soberly find them with a metal detector the following afternoon.

Not my favorite scotch but decent.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2010 23:47:40 | More by CascadeConan
Photo of Bfarr


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep clear brown with a bit o' red with a foamy brown head with no retention or lacing. Slightly smoky and peaty with a hint of chocolate. Taste is the same but much more bold and a little more chocolate than the nose. Alcohol warming and finish with a hint of hops. Beefy mouthfeel that's lightly syrupy and fuzzy.

A good scotch ale, I definitely prefer this one over many so called scotch ales. Great balance, this is exceedingly easy to drink which is especially surprising in light of the ABV.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2010 01:30:21 | More by Bfarr
Photo of grittybrews


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a molasses brown into a Duvel tulip with minimal head.

Strong, sweet aroma of bourbon, fig, and raisin. Low carbonation and a slightly flat mouthfeel that borders on syrupy. Very sweet initial flavors of bourbon, brown sugar, and dark fruit. Just a hint of peaty smoke on the finish.

I really enjoy bourbon flavors in beer, but this one bordered on too sweet (although I appreciated the noticeable alcohol warmth). I would have enjoyed more smokey scotch character for a better overall balance. Still, a very nice offering from Silver City.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2010 05:36:35 | More by grittybrews
Photo of woemad


4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big-ass bomber purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle for $6.79 (I think). My first beer from Silver City.

Poured a dark, cola-like color with a half-inch of bubbly beige foam. Spotty lace on the sides of my St. Bernardus goblet.

Very fruity in the nose. Big, banana scent up front, with a fig-like dark fruit smell more in the background, along with caramel and brown sugar notes. There's also a peaty scent, to be expected in a Scotch ale, but not nearly as prominent as I expected. As it is, it's way, way in the background. Once this warmed up some, there was a lot more balance, with the banana notes receeding to let other scents stand out more.

Very malty and fruity in the taste. As it warms, the banana notes dial down a little, but are still strong. Sweet toffee flavors duel with dark fruit. Smoky peat notes provide a kind of gift-wrapped effect. As time goes on, the booziness of this beer becomes more obvious. Hops are conspicuous by their absence.

Fairly thick bodied, with a sticky, coating mouthfeel.

A pretty good beer after a meal or for a nightcap, but I doubt I'd want more the one in a sittng. This reminded me more of a quad than Scotch ales I have know. Yummy stuff.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2010 01:28:56 | More by woemad
Photo of ChrisPro


3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle poured on 3/3/10.

Pours a dark ruby with tan frothy head. Beautiful lacing. Aroma of peat, pine and treacle. Great rich brown sugar sweetness, then a dry earthy finish. A bit boozy even after 6+ months, but still an incredible scotch ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 06:16:17 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of barleywinefiend


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep burgundy color with good carbonation and a small dirty white head. Nose is sweet with peat and caramel. Taste is peat, fruits, caramel, smoke and big malts n booze Mouthfeel is sticky, coating with hints of smoked meat and peat. Very good brew.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2010 03:52:55 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of jdense


3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle from By the Bottle, Vancouver, WA, poured into thistle glass 4.17.10.

1/2 finger light tan head, very quick dissipation with minimal lacing. Dark brown body with reddish highlights, not visible carbonation. The nose is a big banana hit, very surprising, a bit fo bready malt, with some floral hops hidden in the back. Taste is banana, a wee bit of peat but not smoky, the banana overpowered any other nuances in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel was full with medium effervescence. Drinkability is quite good, ABV well hidden, but the overpowering banana flavor made it difficult for me to finish my glass. I am willing to try this again to determine if this was a bad bottle, but to be honest, I wasn't very impressed.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2010 14:17:50 | More by jdense
Photo of zdk9


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark copper. Not much head or lacing.

S- My first impressions are dark sugar- brown sugar, molasses, raisins. As it warms up there's more bright fruit- cherries or blackberries without any sour notes.

T- Delicious. Sweet caramel coating some nice warm fruits. Plum, ripe peach.

M- Really appropriate. A little syrupy but not overly so, and doesn't linger too long. And it's surprising this is 9%, very well hidden alcohol

D- I quite enjoy this beer. I'm not usually a fan of the caramel sweet beers but this one warms up into somthing more complex and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2009 04:20:59 | More by zdk9
Photo of GRG1313


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ruby red with an orange/tan head.

Sweet coffee with carmel and sweet whiskey/Bourbon nose.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy texture and incredibly balanced with elegance and lots of character.

Flavors are of cooked peaches, figs, prunes and plums with a sweet whiskey flavor; complex and layered.

Medium Scotch coffee'd fruit finish.

This is a nice drink, although there is a bit of a "Dr. Pepper" or sweet carmel "Coca Cola" flavor that underlies the flavor profile. Still, very nice!

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2009 02:06:47 | More by GRG1313
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Fat Scotch Ale from Silver City Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.