Fat Scotch Ale - Silver City Brewing Co.

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Fat Scotch AleFat Scotch Ale

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81 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 81
Hads: 176
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 18.52%
Wants: 45
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: RoyalT on 11-27-2003

Previously known as Fat Bastard AAle.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 81 | Hads: 176
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
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!

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Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany color with ruby highlights, a tan head that drops, eventually, to a ringlet though it leaves some splashy lacing behind

Smell: Rich burnt caramel and brown sugar tones waft upward along with a touch of butterscotch; if you sniff real hard, you can also pick up a little peat

Taste: Starts with a caramel flavor that builds with brown sugar and butterscotch, after the swallow; raisiny dark fruit tones in the finish

Mouthfeel: Just shy of full bodied with very modest carbonation

Drinkability: Lacks a little complexity (not much peat) but still a very nice example of the style

Thanks, waldowin, for the opportunity and kemoarps, for the chance to re-visit

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Photo of zeff80
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

A - Poured out an amber color with flecks of brown. A small, off-white head dissipated quickly but still left rigs of lce.

S - Smelled highly malty. Also, a good fruity nose: cherry and plum. There was a mossy/grassy aroma, too.

T - It tasted very malty with subtle hop flavors. Also, an oak-like flavor.

M - It was crisp and and very smooth with a warm alcohol presence. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good beer. Incredibly malty!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a small, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, malty aroma full of dark fruits, toasted caramel, peat, Grade-B maple syrup, and a non-full hint of chocolate.

Taste: Dark malts with a sweetness reminiscent of downing simple syrup, maple syrup, and caramel sauce. Rich, intense fruitiness with tastes of raisins and figs. Slight smokey scotch character. A drop of chocolate. Sweet, smokey finish with a touch of alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Decent enough, sure, but boy oh boy is it sweet.

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Photo of mactrail
3.22/5  rDev -20.5%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from waldowin, so a big "thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades very quickly and doesn’t leave very much lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is sweet and contains banana, vanilla, caramel and butterscotch.

T: Malty and sweet flavors of banana, dark fruit, butterscotch & vanilla hits you right away. There's a little bit of smokiness in there. After-taste is quite sweet.

M: Extremely smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light carbonation, clean finish without a lot of stickiness especially given the style.

D: An excellent beer, very tasty, easy-to-drink, not as filling as most beers in the style. This is definitely a sipper though.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Bottleworks April 2007, Sampled November 2007
Pours with a frothy, fairly large bubbled, initially two-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head that sits atop a deep, amber / plum colored beer that shows a brilliantly clear, concentrated cranberry color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite sweet with notes of concentrated fruit, brandy, caramelized raisins, a touch of plums, and even a touch of cherry. Other malt notes also abound; hints of roast character (which get wrapped up in the caramelized aromatics), nutty malt notes, toffee, toasted bread crust, a touch of salty malt character and a touch of smokiness; this really has a nice satisfyingly rich malt character to it.

Definitely sweet tasting, which certainly accentuates a certain fruitiness. Fruit flavors of raisins, hints of cherries, a touch of prunes and in combination with some alcohol, flavors of brandy. This has a fullness to it that allows the beer to cling to the palate, leaving a deeply caramelized malt sugar layer as well as a nice toasty malt character lingering on in the mouth after the beer has passed down my throat. A touch of salt, a hint of smokiness and just a wisp of a roasted grain note are found in the finish. As the beer warms a bit the salty, smoky note becomes a bit more pronounced (enough so that I actually think they used some peat smoked malt in this brew), but I definitely like how subtle it is. It helps to pick up the malt complexity of this brew.

Somehow the beer is a little too sweet, not by much, but enough that I think the sweetness is a bit too noticeable. This really accentuates a deep fruitiness to this brew though. I would prefer that the malt sweetness here was a bit more complex and caramelized. The aroma definitely strikes a nice balance between malt driven fruit notes as well as the drier, more complex malt components. Somehow this does not quite transport to the flavor though and this beer is just not quite complex enough in the flavor department. Still for all my complaints it is really quite tasty and certainly enjoyable.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this as a very nice extra in a trade with travisd13. Thanks! Pours a very dark ruby with very little head. What there is fades aaway completely. Very nice aromas of dark caramel, spice, raisins, and a touch of heat from the alcohol. Rich and smooth. Unbelievably smooth in the mouth and taste. The heat disappears and some chocolate and even more caramel is added to the profile. Very mellow up front with some developing spice toward the end. Beautifully smooth and easy to drink, this a soft, delicious version of a Wee Heavy with a satisfying spicy, caramel richness on the end.

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Photo of weeare138
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for supplying both this and the Fat Woody for a side by side tasting...
Appears a semi-transparent, dark amber with a smal, off-white head that slowly fades out.
Smell is of vanilla, caramel, toffee, raisins, and smoked peat.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with an herbal hop flavor peaking it's head out in the midst of the caramel.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly thin, with sweetness and citrusy bitterness clinging to the finish.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a trade with pranaferox. Consumed on 11/22/2009 and poured into a snifter. The beer has a one finger off white head creamy with good retention. The liquid is opaque dark brown.

The nose is rich sweet malt with a touch of peat and smoke. A dash of brown sugar is apparent, and I detect a touch of oxidation. Rich toffee accompanies layered caramel. A little booze is evident but it's well hidden for 9%.

The flavor is moderately sweet with rich malt and a little peat character. Toffee and a dash or caramel. Lush malt hides the booze well. Sweet smoke toffee finish with lingering brown sugar.

Medium bodied with a sticky and slightly thin mouthfeel. The carbonation is low. An enjoyable scotch ale that I'm glad I got to try.

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Photo of John_M
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another left over Silver City beer from a Silver City dinner/tasting at Collin's Pub in April 2007. I paired this side by side with the Fat Woody (thanks to a very generous trade/donation by Knuckles), and while the latter was fabulous, I preferred the Fat Bastard.

The beer pours a brilliant cherry orange color with with very good foam retention and lacing. On the nose one picks up a lot of sweet malt, with aromas of cherry, rootbeer and vanilla. This beer smells absolutely delicious. On the palate this beer is remarkably drinkable for its abv., with more cherry, vanilla, orange and grapefruit flavor. The beer does not taste the least bit heavy and has a very soft, light plush mouthfeel. As others have noted, this beer only improves over time in the glass, and is at its best not served too cold.

This beer is so easy to drink that, with it's abv., it probably should be illegal. An excellent beer from Silver City.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" tan head over the clear burgundy brew. Head fades slowly, with lots of sticky lacing. Aroma is sweet malts, with some peat, and light alcohol tints. Taste is very tight, with the noise's peaty malt dominant, and a lightly alcoholic close, which lingers warmly. Everything melds nicely together. Mouthfeel is tremendously smooth, and drinkability is excellent as well. Wouldn't mind having this regularly in the fridge.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.05/5  rDev 0%
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!

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Photo of beertunes
3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a gorgeous ruby/brown color with over an inch of tan head that dissipated quickly leaving just a trace of lacing.

A yummy sweet aroma greets the nose. This beer delivers a rich malty flavor with a slight hint of fruit (cherry, plum) underneath. No strong hop presence.

The body is average for the style, perhaps even slightly thin. Drinkability is very good but hampered by the fact that this beer will knock you on your ass, so you probably won't have more than one at a time.

A good example of the style, worth trying.

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Photo of claspada
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of ccrida
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into my Samuel Smith imperial pint, Fat Bastard (just fat now) is a very dark amber with a small, creamy, off-white head that doesn't leave any lace.

Smell is very sweet and fruity caramel, sugary, light peat and phenols.

Taste is also really sweet, chocolaty fruit, caramel and brown sugar, and a pretty stiff peatiness on the finish. Lacking nuance, it seems exaggerated, although I generally like the directions of smoke and sweet dark malts. Still, the high rating is inappropriate, and I even have a local bias...a good concept but not to well executed, it seems a little amateurish.

Mouthfeel is on the thicker, sugary side, with limpid carbonation that accentuates the attenuation that seems low, even for the style.

Drinkability is ok, I like the creative direction, but it doesn't really come togethef as smoothly as the better examples of this style. Still, even though it's not to complex or subtle, it's inoffensive and generally tasty. But for the high ranking, I was disappointed.

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Photo of champ103
4.56/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Very dark brown with just the slightest hint of red. The head was monstrous even though I controlled it at the pour.

Smell – This smells like scotch; nothing more, nothing less. The faint peat aroma, sweet malt, and alcohol scream scotch all the way.

Taste – The sugars take over at the tongue (and go well with my hot dog). The malt deepens as well, making this quite the sweet, malty offering.

Mouthfeel – This one is “wee heavy” for sure. It gives the mouth the same feeling you’d get at the finish of a nice, long drink of scotch.

Drinkability – This went down way too easy for a 9.0 ABV ale. I’ll have to call it a night on account of the fact that this came in a .26 gallon bottle.

Comments – This offering from Silver City won the Gold Medal for the top Scotch Style Ale at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival. If there ever was a scotch session ale, this is it.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.87/5  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.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
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.


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Photo of blackie
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour creates a good looking .5" khaki head that steadily retreats back into the liquid, save for a slight layer on top and a ring around the glass. The beer is an awesome reddish chestnut brown in color. A little more lacing and head retention is all I could ask for.

smell: Plenty of malt on the nose gives dark fruity aromas of candied cherry, plum, peach, and other fruits. There is also a considerable peat presence. Hints of milk chocolate, toffee, and butterscotch are present...and maybe even a slight nuance of smoke that reminds me of alderwood. The aroma is pretty complex, while keeping with the scotch ale trait of being subtle, though there could be a little more depth to the malt character. There's a low, English type hop aroma. The ethanol is very well hidden, though it does prick the back of the nose a bit.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is right on the border between the upper reaches of the low range and the low side of the medium range. The body is medium, and slightly slick.

taste: Ahhh, maltiness. The flavor is pretty much completely malt...there is only a hint of hop flavor, and the light bitterness that cleans up the finish. All this malt brings with it delicious flavors of dried, dark tree fruit, caramelized sugars, and toffee. There are also some hints of flavorful hardwood smoke and peat. Alcohol unnoticeable on the tongue.

drinkability: An easy drinking scotch ale. Limited somewhat by the ABV, as I am feeling it after consuming about 2/5 of the bottle.

One of two .26 gallon swingtops I acquired in an awesome trade with waldowin. This has been cellared since early January, and I'll probably keep the other until fall.

12-12-06: The ethanol has practically disappeared from the nose. Seems to be pretty similar to my last bottle, though the malt may have opened up, and a little more smoke revealed due to the reduced sweetness. Big notes of dried, sugary fruits and a light bourbon note. One of the better aging experiences I've had. Kicking the aroma up to a 4.5.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fat Bastard holds the distinction of winning two consecutive GABF gold medals in the Scotch-style ale category. Sure, the GABF gives out medals like airline peanuts. But two golds in a row is pretty impressive, and clearly, Fat Bastard is deserving of high praise.

FB is clear ruby-merlot with sluggish CO2 and a complex smell reminiscent of rum-raisin and port wine. The rich, malty flavor is elegant and receives no intrusion from the 9.2% alcohol. Similarly, though peat malts define the finish quite nicely, they are not overstated and know when to back down.

This beer sits soundly in the winner’s category and makes a great finish to a long, celebratious evening. For best results, allow Fat Bastard to warm ‘till nearly at room temperature.

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Photo of hopdog
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottles acquired in trade with Larry Pitonka. Tasted side by side with the Barrel Aged version so notes will reflect the side by side tasting.

Both versions poured a medium mahogany with a small sized off white head. The BA version was cloudy with the regular version being clear. They both had an earthy, peaty and caramel aroma (stronger in the BA) with the BA also possesing the expected aromas of vanilla, wood, and also a smokiness. The overall aromas of the regular were on the softer and subtle side. They both shared tastes of nuts, caramel, and earthiness. The BA also had wood, vanilla, smoke, and citrus. Overall the BA was more complex and enjoyable.

Notes from 9/7/07

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Fat Scotch Ale from Silver City Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.