Copper John Scotch Ale | Madison River Brewing Company

BA SCORE
84
good
91 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Copper John Scotch AleCopper John Scotch Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Madison River Brewing Company
Montana, United States
madisonriverbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
91
Reviews:
32
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
12.16%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
10
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

i really dug this montana beauty, a rich silky feeling slightly smoky scotch ale, with just the right amount of sweetness in it. deep amber in color without much head, but all the beers at this pub were pouring a little flat, maybe an in house issue rather than a descriptor of this particular brew. the nose is musty and damp smelling, autumnal for sure, with a round molasses sweetness and a hint of campfire or charcoal grill smell to it too. the flavor is similar to the smell, with the almost maple sweetness running all the way through to a smoked finish. highly refined this one, and really smooth feeling. i like the well hidden abv and the drinkability overall. carbonation is a little light, and maybe the body is a touch thin for the style, but the flavor profile is excellent overall. these guys have some cool beers out there, this is one of their best.

 866 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
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...

 785 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chinchill
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
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 Tone
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
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 a77cj7
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of ShanePB
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

 1,136 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of flagmantho
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich, dark red-brown hue with a haze-free body and a light effervescence. Head is half a finger of creamy tan foam. Attractive, and quite appropriate for the style.

Smell: very rich caramel aroma with lots of sweetness and maltiness. There's more biscuity character than I care for, but it's largely quite good.

Taste: biscuity and bready right off the top, with a fair dose of caramel character as well. Bitterness is light with little to no hop flavor. Well-crafted and stylistically within bounds, but perhaps not my favorite.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a good level of carbonation. There's a velvety soft creaminess here which I love.

Overall: this beer is stylistically very good and definitely worth a try for enthusiasts. On the scale of wee heavy flavors, though, it edges more toward biscuity, which is not my personal favorite.

 903 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 1,213 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep brown colour, reddish highlights, small head of foam, not much lacing.

Big sweet and bready malts in the smell, a hint of fruit.

Bread and sweet malt dominate the taste, some toffee, kind of a citrusy taste when I swish the beer in my mouth. Or maybe it's my imagination.

Good mouthfeel. A hard style for me to give a thumbs up to and this brew keeps it that way. I won't get more.

 389 characters

Photo of wordemupg
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

355ml bottle poured into tulip 13/3/12

A hazy dark amber with a thumbs width of light tan head has decent retention and leaves a bunch of polka dot lacing

S fruity nut bar with some raisins and toffee, straight forward but quite nice

T mimics the smell with a little cola and some earthy woody tones, again I thought it was pretty good

M a little thin and flat but not too bad, just a little heat but its mild, this would be an area for improvement

O pretty solid stuff but not mind blowing, not the smokey beer I expected from reading the bottle

decent stuff with well concealed booze, I thought the feel was average but pretty solid in other areas

 658 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – As the name would suggest, the beer pours a deep copper-mahogany color with a billowy one finger head of off white foam. The head fades rather quickly leaving only a trace level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma of the brew is heaviest of a sweet caramel and molasses smells with other aromas of some darker fruits of cherry, plum, and raisin. Other aromas of a toasted bread and a little bit of brown sugar and oak are there as well mixing with a bit of a boozy smell to produce a rather nice warming aroma overall.

Taste – The taste starts with a toasted malt flavor along with some big flavors of brown sugar, and caramel as well as some darker fruit flavors of fig and plum. As the taste advances, more fruit flavors come at the expense of the sugary flavors, with cherry joining the fig and plum. A little bit of an oaky and woody flavor comes to the tongue more toward the end, and with the other flavors and a hint of boozy scotch alcohol joining the tongue, one is left with a somewhat drier then would have been expected, but still more sweet and malty scotch flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side in its thickness and chewiness with a carbonation level that is on the average to slightly higher side. A slightly thicker body and lower carbonation would have likely been a bit better overall for the brew, accentuating better the malt and scotch flavors of the brew slightly better.

Overall – A fairly decent scotch ale overall, but nothing too extra ordinary. A nice one to try and a rather decent winter style sipper.

 1,666 characters

Photo of ovaltine
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Sound_Explorer
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of dertyd
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of RochefortChris
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
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

 687 characters

Photo of cbcrunch
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of bcsbeer
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.59/5  rDev -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 NickMunford
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of DerwinWentworth
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't want to write a review.

31 characters

Photo of drbenderdo
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Copper John Scotch Ale from Madison River Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 91 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.