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Copper John Scotch Ale | Madison River Brewing Company

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Copper John Scotch AleCopper John Scotch Ale
Very Good
91 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: 91 |  Reviews: 32
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 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.

 255 characters

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

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.

 671 characters

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 NickMunford
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of MattinIdaho
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of zeff80
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NickSMpls
3.64/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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 81tillinfinity
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color of black coffee with faint wafts of roasted malts and candy sweetness. Taste grows on you. A little sweet toffee a bit of smoke but not over whelming. A bit of bitterness here which would set it apart from other scotch ales which tend to be rich and sweet. Pretty good beer glad I was able to try it.

 306 characters

Photo of bigleague
3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sporklift87
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of bcsbeer
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Tone
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy, dark copper color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight alcohol, slight caramel malt, slight sugar, slight yeast, and a hint of roasted malt. Fits the style of a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of strong sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, slight caramel malt, hint of alcohol, and slight yeast. Overall, good body, aroma, and feel, but cloying as well.

 495 characters

Photo of Kevin67
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 elektronen
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of archyquaffer
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A moderate pour from a longneck into a short tasting glass yields about a half inch of off-white head that leaves sticky rings as the glass is emptied. The beer is a rich, medium dark copper-brown with low carbonation.

The aroma is very subtle, but is malt forward and suggestive of the dark sugar and fruit flavors within. This really is a lovely malt bomb, with suggestions of caramel, plums, dark cherries, nuts…maybe a touch of honey in there somewhere. The mouth feel is creamy and makes you almost want to chew it but the body really isn’t heavy at all. Despite the perceived sweetness, the finish is crisp and bitter enough from the earthy hop notes that repeated sips are encouraged.

This was a pleasant surprise. It appeals to my sweet tooth yet is light bodied and crisp enough to make it a reasonable session beer. It reminds me of certain brown ales that are becoming harder to find on store shelves.

On a whim I added about 7 ounces of this beer to some chili I was making. Right away, it left a highly detectable malt quality and helped to bring out the sweetness in the tomatoes, etc- so much so that I immediately added some more chili powder and cayenne. The chili ended up good and spicy but with an underlying sweetness from the malt, tomatoes, etc.

 1,285 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Seems opaque and almost black at first, but a deep and dark but clear mahogany red in the light, afloat with a tannish, delicate head of moderate retention. A boquet of caramel and toasted malt. Taste is much more complex. Smoke "bitterness" is intense but pleasant, well balanced with malt sweetness. These evenly increase and then fade as it lingers and finishes. Woody or earthy throughout. Very warming and smooth. A thickish brew with carbonated prickling that accentuates rather than simply masks the flavors. This is the kind of beer that someone who swears by Guinness could easily pick as a new favorite.

 613 characters

Photo of DerwinWentworth
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't want to write a review.

31 characters

Photo of ovaltine
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

 1,308 characters

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

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Copper John Scotch Ale from Madison River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 91 ratings
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