Copper John Scotch Ale | Madison River Brewing Company

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Copper John Scotch AleCopper John Scotch Ale
Very Good
93 Ratings
Copper John Scotch AleCopper John Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Madison River Brewing Company
Montana, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is a Scottish ale like no other. The brewers use the finest smoked malt for flavor complexity and then combine it with roasted barley, and caramel malts for a rich distinctive and smoky flavor. These ingredients give it a deep, dark color with a smooth, rich finish that is surprisingly drinkable.

19 IBU

Added by Todd on 03-01-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 |  Reviews: 34
Reviews by bagpiper2005:
Photo of bagpiper2005
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour: Dark reddish-brown in color. One finger of off-white head that dissipated quickly an left no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Caramel and brown sugar dominate the aroma. Light hint of smoke as well.

Taste: This one is on the sweeter end of the spectrum of Scotch Ales. Flavor primarily consists of caramel, toffee, an a bit of burnt sugar. Touch of peaty smoke at the end. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin for the style. Average amount of carbonation. Smooth.

Drinkability/Overall: A simple Scotch Ale that's not just overbearing. Great session beer.

Final Notes: A good, inexpensive Scotch Ale. Not super impressive but a good beer nonetheless. Deliciously sweet and slightly smoky, I can see plopping some vanilla ice cream on top of it and making a float with it. Also a good introduction to the style.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of ChrisCage
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From Notes Jan '15.....

A- Pours a coppery brown with reddish hues and is yeast hazed. The head is off white with a most excellent of retentions.....a thick meringue like texture! The lacing is modest with small patches sticking to the side of the glass. Hard to tell how finely carbonated this one is.

S- Upfront there is plenty of sweet malts that are rich and deep. Other aromas are of caramel/molasses, yeasty biscuit, toffee a hint of milky chocolate and a tinge of booze pokes through. The finishing smells are of mild hop bitterness but it does linger in the air slightly.

T- This is surprisingly clean and refreshing! Citrus like tang balances the sweet malt richness....also detecting some piney and/or cedar bark like flavors. Overall the rich sweet flavors are balanced by some interesting tartness. I don't taste any bitterness on the finish and the general flavor does not linger on the palate either.

M/O- Nice fine carbonation allows the well balanced flavors to hit the palate, coat and then clean all at the same time. This medium bodied brew would be very nice on a hot day surprisingly and while it's good, it's not my favorite version of the style and is drinkable. I would probably buy this again when in Montana, as I think it has potential to go well with a spicier dish.

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Photo of Hugh37
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of chinchill
3.36/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle in Idaho.
Excellent appearance with a clear but very dark brown body and a large, durable tan head.
Somewhat unappealing, peaty aroma. Similar but better flavor. Good bitter-sweet balance.
Very good feel: near creamy smooth and full body.

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Photo of Oelschlager
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of BoozerBrad
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of nhirsch04
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, from a grocery in Helena a few months ago.

This beer pours a clear, dark red brick hue, with a single skinny finger of fizzy pale beige head, which disappears in an instant, leaving but a low ring of remnant 'lace' around the glass. It smells of caramel, toffee, singed brown sugar, and leafy, earthy hops. The taste is sweet caramelized malt, a bit of peat - more bog than smoke - and lightly bittering earthy hops. The carbonation is on the low side, the body a solid medium weight, and quite smooth. It finishes still pretty sweet, bread-like, but with a balancing effort put forth by the understated hops.

A decent enough scotch ale, the expected (and unspecified) upped ABV is nowhere to be found - I guess I'd have to have a few more of these to really find out...

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Photo of Merican_Ride
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Had to try a proper Montana-brewed beer while out here for a medical school rotation. I am glad I picked up this beer.

A: Dark copper like a proper Scotch ale. Mild lacing.
S: Burnt sugar, toasted malts, and plum seem to come through with smoky undertones.
T: Kind of average upfront. On the back, the true Scotch ale flavors shine through and follow the aroma with notes of smoky malt and caramel. A nice lingering smokiness as the beer follows through.
M: A little light. Was hoping for a little fuller-bodied beer but alas, it was not meant to be.
O: A good beer that I would recommend. Not necessarily the best embodiment of the style but nonetheless a good example.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours cola brown with a khaki half finger's worth of head. Sub-par retention, fizzing away to a near barren surface with a broken island of suds in the center.

Smell - Nice aroma, with caramel met by an undertone of smokiness. Faint cocoa.

Taste - Follows the nose. Moderate caramel and just a touch of chocolate met by a fair smokiness that comes in near the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with a lively amount of carbonation. Smooth, slick delivery with a wet finish.

Overall - Decent scotch ale. Nothing off-putting, but doesn't quite have the depth in flavor that the better examples of the style show. That said, it's damn easy to drink, so I'll have no problem killing the sixer, even if it's a no thinker drinker.

 742 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of dertyd
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Brandt
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer pours a nice clean caramel brown color with a small amount of white head

the smell here is all of malts and give hints of caramel, as well as some more toasty german tasting malts. well balanced between toasty and sweet.

the flavors in this beer are of toasted malts and a touch of a nearly smoke like character as well as some caramely sweetness that follows a minimal bitterness down the hatch

this one finishes great, a realy drinkable beer that leaves a nice bit of sweetness on the tongue and leaves you wanting another sip.

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Photo of poisoneddwarf
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

2009 backlog. 12 oz bottle. Aroma of caramel, sweet malt, cinnamon. Pours a deep red ruby brown with a thin head with okay lacing. Tastes better than most Scotch ales. Almost like a porter or deep brown ale maltiness to it. Nutty. Not bad.

 239 characters

Photo of MTScotchAleLover
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of ShwarzAl3r
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of Cujo65
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of DAllspaw
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from bottle while in MT on vacation. This review is a week old so details limited.

A very solid Scotch ale in every respect, good caramel taste with a hint of coffee. Not quite on par with Robert the Bruce or Founders Dirty Bastard but is definitely worth buying if in Montana.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up at the Albertsons in Lewistown MT.. had a bunch of these with Brenda's brother.. Brad never drinks anything but macros.. but I think I got him thinking on this trip... he's actively seeking out Pig's Ass Porter and Sierra Nevada Stout.. This one last bottle is poured into a glass that sorta resembles a pint glass at Brenda's parents' house.

2" lite tan head.. The brew is a dark chestnut color.. perfectly clear with great lacing and a good cap.

Aroma is a deep maltiness with a touch of kettle caramel .. the peat malt is muted by the malts... some complexity is lacking.

The peat is alot more prevalent in the flavor.. caramel malts and fleeting notes of toffee.. a little nutty in the middle.. but I'm honestly searching on this one.. it seems a little flimsy.. the "peat smoke" seems about right, but I don't think there are enough proper Wee Heavy flavors there to make this one something I would probably buy again sometime soon... sorta like a beginners Scotch ale.

Despite my above negatives.. this is a pretty descent brew.. just don't go looking for the knockout.. I am drinking this one very fresh.. and would recommend it for sure.. just not to any of my beer geek buddies.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of MTfish
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the name might be misleading - seems to fall more within the scottish ale style

a: deep amber in color, light layer of carbonation

s: husky toffee grain, peaty but with no smoke, dark bread crust, nutty, well rounded all around but the malt stands out, balanced with a mild hop side, earthy

m: carbonation on the light side, medium body

t: a mostly malty flavor, but not thick or heavy, toasty grains with some sweet toffee sugars, a touch peaty and nutty, dark breads, little hop flavor and a mild-moderate bitterness

d: sessionable...a simple, well crafted scottish - not bad for a shot-in-the-dark purchase

picked up a 6 on special at the Albertson's Liquor Store in Jackson, WY

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Photo of elkinbrown
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of 5EKF
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ShanePB
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from a gifted "beer of the month" club, poured into a tulip glass. Only my second Madison River Brewing Company beer.

A: Medium to dark copper body with some reddish hues in the light. Thick, bubbly off-white head with big bubbles sticking around the edges and along the surface. Minor sticky lacing around the glass. Not bad at all.

S: Light smokey notes, cured honey roasted meats, toasted caramel and dark malts. Touches of sweetness and just a hint of bitterness show up towards the end of the nose. It has a very 'meaty' aroma overall.

T: Smoke is up front again with a sweetness to it. Again, it tastes like a honey smoked pork flavor but it works really well. A nice variety of malts are showcased on the back end, sweet and dry in nature. Toasted barley and nuts in the finish.

M: Thin and somewhat watery, unfortunately. Fairly bubbly albeit somewhat creamy.

I like how another reviewer put it; this is a beginner Scotch Ale. There's nothing offensive or aggressive about this beer. It has the smokiness, maltiness and flavors of a basic Scotch Ale without being overdone. A nice introduction to the style.

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Copper John Scotch Ale from Madison River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 93 ratings