Riley's Scotch Ale
Swans Brewpub / Buckerfield Brewery

Riley's Scotch AleRiley's Scotch Ale
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #116
Ranked #17,389
3.99 | pDev: 12.53%
Swans Brewpub / Buckerfield Brewery
British Columbia, Canada
Very Good
Riley's Scotch AleRiley's Scotch Ale
Notes: A full-bodied traditional “Scotch Ale” brewed in the “wee-heavy” style, this product is perfectly balanced between malt & hops & has a burnished copper colour.
Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 23 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Graham5161986:
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Graham5161986 from Canada

4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, but dark brown with a bubbly off-white head that reduces to a film and leaves some decent lacing on my glass.

S: A bit of tart fruit, caramel and a bit some nuttiness.

T: It has the sour-sweet tartness of a Flanders red and the round, coffee-nut flavours of an English nut brown. Very interesting and quite delicious.

M: Medium bodied and creamy with some acidity coming through on the finish that burns through the creaminess.

D: this is my first scotch ale and I must say that I enjoyed this beer very much. I would buy this beer again and I look forward to trying other versions of this style. Good stuff.

Oct 17, 2008
More User Reviews:
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canucklehead from Canada

4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the more full bodied BC beers this is a big malty boozy wee heavy that is almost viscous in body. The beer is opaque black with a very serious tan head. The nose is molasses and malt , malt ,malt. The beer is smooth to finish though you certainly get the feeling that this is no session pint. Great take on the style.

Apr 26, 2008
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ericj551 from Canada

4/5  rDev +0.3%

Feb 11, 2013
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chrisms86 from Washington

4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pitcher of this began my New Year's 2006 and I must say it was a great start. A nice dark color characteristic of this style with a thick head. The taste has a bitter bite to it and this brew smells just as good. I don't recommend drinking most of a pitcher to yourself and walking through Chinatown like I did, but if you're at Swan's try this one first.

Feb 08, 2006
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BDTyre from Canada

4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yes, this is a great Belhaven imitation. The colouring is quite pretty, a nice black ruby. The head is thick, dense and lingering.

The taste is malty, smoky with dried fruit and peat hints. Strong, fully bodied flavour, but as stephenlouis says, a bit more drinkable than Belhaven. A bit on the sweeter side. Next time I'm in Victoria, Swan's is definitely on the agenda. Another good one from Buckerfield's....

Mar 23, 2006
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mjbotsch from New York

4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 7/31/2009 at the brewpub in Victoria, from a flight of six. This was the winner--probably the finest scotch ale I've ever had. It has a beautiful dark complexion, not too much head. Earthy nose. Just a hint of sweetness (that's the scotch part) initially; otherwise tasted like a good brown ale. Substantial mouth--you can't really taste the high alcohol content. The finish is what sets this beer apart. I counted 6 full seconds before the aftertaste fully peaked--very sweet on the tongue.

This was well worth skipping high tea for.

Aug 04, 2009
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2beerdogs from California

3.75/5  rDev -6%

Jul 23, 2013
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FinnHawk from Canada

3/5  rDev -24.8%

Nov 04, 2013
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Derek from Canada

3.1/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I sampled this at the brewpub.

A: Redish-brown, not much head.

S: Fruity, sweet.

T: Sweet caramel, a little fruity, slightly cloying, with a little roasty and peaty aftertaste.

M: Moderate to full body is a little syrupy. Light to moderate carbonation.

D: Average.

Dec 24, 2005
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harpus from Alabama

3.75/5  rDev -6%

Oct 21, 2014
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EskimoDave from Canada

4/5  rDev +0.3%

Dec 01, 2011
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Howlader from Canada

3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jul 25, 2017
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harrymel from Washington

2.77/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Verbatim from notes 16JUL11

Caramel ale with brilliant clarity, no head, no lace. Nose has lots of tea smells and hints of malt and some floral tones. Tastes oxidized and bitter. the bitterness is more like and ESB than a scotch or wee heavy. Some floral characters from the hops. Thin body with moderate carb. Not very good.

Aug 04, 2011
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BashOnABike from Canada

4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Appears as a pretty normal Wee Heavy: thick, retaining, tan head, clean lines of lacing. Minimal head, since the bartenders fill it to the top (they don't know how to layer either!)

S - Like plum pudding. If you've just had a meal, it might almost be nauseous, making this a poor session drinker. Heavy, sweet, but minimal alcohol.

T - Much like the smell, a lot of plum, fig, somewhat sour while still very sugary.

M - Medium-heavy body, but very creamy, almost chewy. The alcohol definitely appears as a 10s aftertaste.

D - Not as good as the St Ambroise offering, but otherwise my favourite Wee Heavy. I love the heavy body, and this is typically my first pint at my weekly Swans trips. Also available at their adjacent liquor store, a good deal!

Nov 23, 2011
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LampertLand from Canada

3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Swan's 'Riley's Scotch Ale' @ 8.0% , recently tried again at 'The Island Beefest' on tap , this review from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $5

A-pour is a burnished copper with a small tan head which is quickly dissapating leaving no lace along the stein

S-nothing overpowering , hints of peat malts

T-clove bite , smooth on the swallow , wee heavy's taste better than this

MF-low carbonation , medium/full bodied , warming beer the ABV creeps up on you

Ov-I've had this beer before and I must say it taste better on tap than in bottle form ,
still an ok beer

sampled alongside 4 other BC Scotch Ale's & Orkney 'Skull Splitter'

prost LampertLand

Mar 24, 2013
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schopenhauerale from Arizona

3.75/5  rDev -6%

May 04, 2013
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KStark from Canada

4/5  rDev +0.3%

May 28, 2013
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CWVegas from Nevada

3.75/5  rDev -6%

Jul 31, 2013
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ZachT from Canada

4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aug 28, 2016
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Jotora from Canada

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 25, 2016
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HipCzech from Texas

4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: On tap at Swans Brewpub, served in a 16 oz nonic pint.

Appearance: Clear medium brown. No head or lacing with just a small fringe of tan bubbles.

Smell: Toasted malt, caramel sweetness and light smoke.

Taste: Peat smoked malt, burnt caramel, dark fruit (plums, figs) and molasses sweetness. Light earth and hop bitterness towards the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, getting sticky, with light to medium carbonation.

Overall: Good malty character accented by a nice level of peaty smoke.

Jan 28, 2015
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Shaunmac16 from Canada

4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Apr 17, 2016
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Jascha from Canada

4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark malts with a pronounced caramel flavour and good lacing. A solid brew!

Apr 07, 2018
Riley's Scotch Ale from Swans Brewpub / Buckerfield Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 23 ratings