Bagpiper's Scottish Ale | Pennichuck Brewing Company, Inc.

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Bagpiper's Scottish AleBagpiper's Scottish Ale
Very Good
28 Ratings
Bagpiper's Scottish AleBagpiper's Scottish Ale

Brewed by:
Pennichuck Brewing Company, Inc.
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by kevd193213:
Photo of kevd193213
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle. Dark amber, cloudy pour that has a medium, frothy light tan head. Aroma of smoked malt, toffee, peat and some faint unidentifiable barnyard scents. Medium to thick body with nice mouthfeel. Taste of malt and smoke with a slightly bitter finish. Great bargain beer if you are looking for a domestic scotch ale in the US

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A one liter swing top poured into a snifter. Very pretty beer: dark brown with red highlights. Moderate tan head, and just a little bit of lacing. Nice roasted malt aroma, a little bit of smokiness, a bit of spice. Good malt presence in the taste, cinnamon and clove, even a little pepper. Full-bodied and very enjoyable.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1 liter bottle w/ swingtop and blue '2008' foil around the top.

This one is a rich, deep amber color with bright red hues in the middle. Looks like a barleywine in color and also deliver's a lively, but thick, milkshake-like head, slow retention, very sticky lacing. Carboantion is obvious and adequate.

The aroma is very nice, Toffee and butterscotch malt sweetness right off, maybe too much. Metallic-roastie herbs over sweet bread. Soft, sweet bread, cedar wood and musty summer wheat. Big, dark fruit aroma's pop out later on.

The sweet, butterscotch soaked bread also dominates the flavor, then comes a grain-alcohol and whiskey effect, not hot, very mellow and does not deliver a warming effect, only the flavor. This is not hefty or full feeling, it's actually kinda thin bodied. The thick, tan coored head does add a nice smooth finish. subtle smokey malt and a handful of mixed nuts is a nice touch, I guess that comes from the smoking over local Applewood; and it makes it just that much more complex. I have had much more complex Wee Heavies though...Smuttynose's big beer version pops into mind. The feel could be fuller and more hefty for this style, the malt is a bit thin in the middle, but still very clean.

As my Fiance' put it: "Makes me wanna play the Bagpipe's!"

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottled. Big raisin aroma, of something stored for a long while. Opaque very dark brown, with a small white head, and followup lace. Diacetyl. A minimum of smoke, that builds as we work through the litre. Licorice dominates before, smoke and peat later.

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Photo of Franchise
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering from Pennichuck pours a dark ruby brown leaving a thick tan head that stays with this brew. The aroma is clean, toffee, caramel, fruit, earthy spices, smoke, dried fruit.

The taste starts dry on the palate. Crisp, smokey caramel, fruit, soft carbonation that finishes tart in the back of the throat. This is a smooth quality scottish ale. A bit watery in the body but a nice spicy hop bite rounds this beer out.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another goodie I decided to crack open for TDay with the family, I swear I really brought some heavy hitters with me this time! Served cold and poured into a couple of pint glasses, this one was consumed on 11/26/2009,

The pour was fantastic/ Deep dark brown in color with a towering head of tan that went right up the sides of the glass, thoroughly coating everything around it in a deep and thick layer of sudsy foam. Settling down with a nice bit of lacing it left behind, I went in to get a whiff. Earthy with loads of peat like notes, hints of caramel and a very nice touch of rich, grassy hops. Warming brought out a nice touch of almost butterscotch like tones as well. One of the fullest scotch ales I have had, really just a wonderful feel on this one, rich and very even carbonation gave way to a smooth, and creamy feel that was simply divine. Rich notes of caramel, grassy hops and a light touch of booze capped it off nicely leaving a long and smooth finish that had a light taste of vanilla to it.

Overall I thought this was very well done. Easily one of my favorite styles and this was done beyond right. I would have no issue at all with calling this one a staple.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 Liter bottle, with a nice swingtop. Pours a chestnut color. White fluffy head disappears fairly quickly, leaving no lace.

A bit of toffee, caramel and smoke in the nose. Nothing else, and faint at that.

Some caramel and toffee up front. A decent amount of sweetness. Nothin much in the middle, then fades into an odd earthy finish. Not muc hop presence.

Seems a bit thin. Easy to drink, but really lacks depth. To me, a scottish or wee heavy should have a really strong malt backbone, but this one lacks that.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - dark brown, almost mahogany in color, nice medium dark brown head. I don't usually comment on lace but this had a lot of lace as well as granular resdiue on the side of the glass.
S - roasted caramel grains, hints of smokey malts.
T - roasted caramel, smokey grains, sweet malts.
M - medium bodied, smooth carbonation, almost a grainy effect in the liquid.
D - it grew on me but it was a bit smokey and grainy in the body for a scotch ale.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 release poured from a 1-Liter swing-top bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, lightly roasted malts, dark fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is very sweet with flavors of caramel, vanilla, brown sugar and dark fruit. There's a little bit of smokiness in the background as well. The malt character is hearty but not as heavy as you would expect for a beer this sweet. The hops presence is very mild. The after-taste is likewise quite sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, light carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, slightly filling, good kick, decent representation of style, it's a decent beer and is probably better fresh. There are several others in the style that I'd pick first.

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Photo of jwc215
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing this one back for me from New Hampshire:

1-liter swing-top bottle:

Pours mahogany with rubyish highlights. A tan head becomes a large patch, leaving some trailing lace on the glass.

The smell is of toffee with earthy notes - subtle peat smokiness, apple, and woody notes.

The taste - the maltiness is thinner than expected from the nose (though it was in not exactly assertive there). I wanted to say I picked up on green apple, but it is more like red apple. Odd, that. Since the hop presence is left appropriately low, it is left to the malts to do there magic, but they seem to struggle to keep up with the task. There is a toffee flavor, but a bit thin. Apple skins come through too much, especially at first. Smokiness was mild at first, but the peat smokiness grows as it progresses, esp. after the first pour becomes the second, etc. However, it becomes more like a Rauch-like smokiness. Something on the short side of a finish.

It's a bit thin, but I have to say it has a certain creaminess despite that. Nice carbonation level, to boot, to make this very smooth.

Well, it's an attempt at the style, and hits some of the main points, but in a rather odd, almost clumsy, way. Oh well - it's a different interpretation of the style. Surprisingly, it was very drinkable, despite the (well-hidden) high abv. Unusual that I found a drink that I wasn't so impressed with the flavor of to be so drinkable, but it does have a smooth, easy quality to it. An unusual brew.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1L swing-top bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the slightly cloudy burgundy brew. Head fades slowly, with sticky lasting lace. Aroma is light on maltiness, more heavy on alcohol. Taste is malty upfront, goes nicely smoky in the middle, with alcohol in the aftertaste, and in the stickiness on my lips. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, and drinkability is very good. A nice brew, although maybe a bit on the pricey side. But reading the label, I see they are giving a small amount per bottle to a charity, so that's always good.

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Photo of sethmeister
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 liter swingtop with blue "2008" shrinkwrap around the top.

Pours a dark oaky brown which is clear red when held to the light. Voluminous cakelike tan head holds great staying power and leaves a beit of lace as it slowly slides down the wall of my pint glass.

Scent is fresh bread, apples and woodsmoke along with a nice rich whisky note.

Flavor is soft and smooth. Apples and applewood smoke. Roaring fireplaces in late fall. Toasted grains. Molasses on sweet warm fresh bread and a touch of good scotch whisky. Toffee. A hint of hop bitterness peeks out at the end. Something about this beer absolutely makes me think of sitting in front of a woodstove on a late New England Fall afternoon.

Mouth is soft and voluptuous. Feels thicker than it really is.

Good god this is disturbingly easy to imbibe. Is it really 9% ABV? The alcohol heat is undetectible.

As with all Pennichuck products this seems to be right up my alley. Delicious beer, guys.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger cream head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Deep mahogany color. Medium-strong carbonation and medium bodied. Malty, smoky nose. Flavor is sweet, some caramel and clean smoke finish. Different for a Scottish ale. Pricey - $11.99 for a 1L bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 1 liter swing top bottle.

Pours a dark amber with an off white head that laces the edge of the glass. Smell is of raisins, peat, smoke, and am I picking up rye? Taste is smokey malty with a bit of alcohol. Mouthfeel is a little thinner that I would have expected for a scottish ale. Carbonation seems on the low side. Not a bad brew, but could be a bit more malty and a little sweeter.

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Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet, burnt toffee and roasted malt scent along with a slight peated aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a rich, burnt toffee flavor that goes down silky smooth and finishes warm with some smokey notes. It does have a bit of charred flavor. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. It's full flavored, balanced and easy drinking even at 9%.

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Photo of mcallister
2.49/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Classic appearance from a wee heavy. Deep chesnut reddish in appearance. Minute off white head leaving a rain laden sidewalk.

Boring aromas. Tea, hints of peat malt and odd off herbacious aromas.

Peat, hints of smoke, a bit of meat, caramel, with a very offsetting wet cardboard herbacious flavor on the finish. Odd indeed.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

Poured into a tulip a nice amber/dark brown color, some carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, not much sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, dark cherries, with some caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, nice touch of smokiness, and caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, thanks Wayne.

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Photo of Brad007
4.83/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a thin one-finger head into my glass.

Aroma is full of dark fruit, alcohol and strong peat in the nose.

Taste is chewy and full of smoky peat and caramel flavors upfront. Peat stands out the most.

Mouthfeel is full of smoky peat and it's quite chewy. Alcohol is well-hidden and you can't really tell that it's in the actual beer.

Smooth and drinkable, this scotch ale is a delight to partake in. It's regional, well-done and a lot fresher than some scotch ales that I've had. Pennichuck knows how to flavorful beers and this is no exception.

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Photo of GJ40
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A deep brown ale with a reddish tinge that allows some light to pass through. Seems clear but too dark to tell. A small beige head.

S - Sweet molasses.

T - A nice, sweet malty flavor with peat and an earthy, biscuity quality. Good but not as sharp or complex as it should be. The 9% alcohol is very well hidden.

M - Thick but not chewy. Nice low carbonation.

D - A very nice beer. Smooth and strong but easy to drink.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presented from the tap in a 16oz mug the beer was a medium brown color with a 1/2 finger of head. Little lacing throughout the sample.

The nose reveals some sweetness, malt, hints of raisins and peat.

The taste is initially sweet but this quickly fades to a smokey character. A tad thin and the smokiness is a bit more than I expected. Maltiness does not last as long as I'd hope and the sweet rummy-rainsiny flavor yields to the smokiness rather quickly.

Medium body, perhaps on the thin side for the style. Not quite the big chewy mouthfeel you get with some beers of the same style.

Overall the smokiness was a bit more than I would have liked from the style. So much so that it became a rauch-scotch ale of sorts. Certainly not bad, but I would have preferred a bigger chewier malty palate throughout.

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Photo of Vancer
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gotta have a big beer for a big football day, here we go:

Deep mahogany brown with a fine tan head for such a high gravity brew.

Tons of sweet and spicy caramel malts in the aroma. Quaff has a burnt toast and peat notes, hints of dark chocolate, molasses and cherry. Whata load of tastes, this is one fine scotch ale.

Drinks like a dream, no way this is 9 degrees of alcohol heaven. This liter bomber is gonna be a great day.

I marked "Yonder" on the bottle, but can't figure out who sent it. Sorry, but many thanks!!!

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Photo of RobertColianni
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of kirok1999
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I liked this better than mcallister who provided the bottle.
Poured a dark brown with an off white head and wispy lacing.
Smelled very mild, sweet and malty with just a hint of hops.
Dark and mildly sweet. Somewhat of a weird, dry herbal finish. Some crisp wood and slightly oxidized taste.
Smooth and creamy with very low carbonation but the somewhat bland nature makes it not so drinkable.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One litre swing-top bottle obtained at the Liquor Shop in Tyngsborro, Mass. Pours a translucent dark brown body with ruby-red highlights and a thin film of light tan head. Caramel, toffee make up the aroma with hints of peat and smoke. Rich caramel, toffee, dark chocolate, coffee with hints of peat and smoke compose the flavor. Dates and nuts also make very subtle appearances. Rich full body with ample carbonation. A sweet pleasant combination of flavors and very drinkable for the complexity and full-bodiedness. Another sweet treat from what's fast becoming one of my favorite somewhat local breweries. Another slam-dunk from Pennechuck - well worth the cost!

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Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

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Bagpiper's Scottish Ale from Pennichuck Brewing Company, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 28 ratings