Maple Scotch-Style Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Maple Scotch-Style AleMaple Scotch-Style Ale
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Average: 3.82 | pDev: 7.33%

Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 259

Ranked #226 Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy and #21,405 overall.

ABV: 7.30% | Availability: Winter

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierranevada.com

Notes:
BA SCORE
86
Very Good
Maple Scotch-Style AleMaple Scotch-Style Ale
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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 259
Photo of RyanK252
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip glass

A: Pours ruby reddish brown with a frothy khaki head that settles to a light layer and leaves a little thin lacing.

S: Big toffee and brown sugar sweetness, slightly toasty bready malt, a little dark fruit, a hint of maple and vanilla, and faint earthy and spicy notes.

T: Rich and malty, bready, lightly toasty, rich toffee and brown sugar sweetness, vanilla, hints of maple, a little dark fruit, fig and raisin, and slight earthy and spicy notes.

M: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation.

O: Pulling this 2016 bottle out of the cellar and it has fared pretty well. Good on a cool fall night, but I wouldn't mind it being a little stronger for a winter's eve.

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Photo of BenHoppy
4.64/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it fresh and had it aged 14 months. Fresh I couldn't taste the maple just scotch, vanilla, and oak with a sour dry finish. Aged 14 months the maple is like a melted maple candy. It's sweet with still a sour dry finish but also carries some strong vanilla flavor as well as butterscotch. I'd say 14 months is probably the sweet spot for this beer. A beautiful scotch ale with maple forward deliciousness.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am finishing up a short brewery horizontal of Sierra Nevada bottles, courtesy of my local, in-person trader, tone77. His drop-offs are legendary & I am always excited to set something up.

From the bottle: "Purest Ingredients [-] Finest Quality"; "Deep malt flavors get a boost of sweet complexity from the addition of pure maple for a rich, silky, massively malty cold weather beer."; "Scotch ales are wintertime staples, known for their rich, malty flavors. This robust beer combines that traditional sweet malt flavor with a hint of maple for an added layer of depth, making this intense beer the perfect thing for sipping near a winter hearth."; "We brew in Chico, CA and Mills River, NC, to bring you the finest quality beer."

I Pop!ped the cap & began a slow, gentle pour since this bottle obviously had a little age on it. Once sufficiently decanted, I conducted a vigorous in-glass swirl to raise two fingers of foamy, fizzy, light-tan head with moderate retention. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity & deep amber highlights. Nose definitely smelled of maple syrup, but there was also a bready nuttiness in there, which was fine by me. I can do without a full-on onslaught of syrupy sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was more subdued that the label had led me to expect. Perhaps it was the age (less than a year), but the sweetness had learned how to play nicely with the yeast, allowing a breadiness to come forward. It was kind of like waffles (NOT pancakes) with syrup. I was really happy with this and as the summer temperatures are beginning to moderate, this was not out of place on this relatively cool evening. In fact, I would probably like this more in the late-Fall than in the dead of Winter. Finish was semi-sweet, but perhaps not as sweet as it had been initially. YMMV.

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Photo of lwillitz
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12-oz bottle into snifter

A - half a finger light khaki foam over a body of ruby mahogany

S - maple, caramel sweetness, toasted malts

T - caramel sweetness, maple, vanilla, grassy hops

M - smooooth medium body, medium carbonation

O - a pleasant scotch ale

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.34/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What did this one show up in, the winter '16 variety pack? Either way, pours a middle of the road brown color, lighter tan 3/4" head on the top, good retention. Aroma hits the maple notes more than it does the earthy peat malt notes.

Taste, fairly straight forward, somewhat strong ale-esque body, slight bitterness, slight sweetness. Maple and brown malt in the mouth feel. Could be smoother, I dunno if its the hops or a slight alcohol heat that is giving it the little bitter twang. Usual caramel malt in the mouth feel.

Its a decent beer, couldn't see wanting to drink more than 12 oz of it in any one day though.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

8oz glass at Beer Revolution YEG Oliver Square - pretty pricey for this typically affordable import brewer. At any rate, nice to see more Sierra Nevada stuff arriving around here!

This beer appears a clear, dark bronzed amber colour, with one finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly tan head, which leaves some streaky coral reef lace around the glass as it rather slowly recedes.

It smells of semi-sweet caramel malt, very subtle maple sap, some muddled dark orchard fruitiness, a wisp of damp smoke, and some tame leafy, earthy, and gently perfumed floral green hop bitters. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, still rather understated maple syrup, some bruised apple and pear fruitiness, a hint of peaty smoke, and more weak earthy, leafy, and floral verdant hoppiness - the elevated alcohol braying at the castle gates.

The carbonation is pretty laid-back in its plain-Jane frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and mostly smooth, with a wee airy creaminess evolving as things warm up a tad. It finishes well off-dry, the caramel malt and fast-fading maple holding court.

Overall, this is a pleasant enough Scotch ale, even if the maple flavouring is way too timid, and I'm not just bitching about that because I'm Canadian. Also, as mentioned, this is a bit dear to consider putting back multiple rounds, not to mention the wowee sauce factor that always seems just on the precipice. Glad I got to try it the once, though.

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Photo of MinerBob
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pretty tea amber color. Nice beer smell with a strong molasses but no maple from what I could tell. It's a different flavor but good. A smooth beer worth trying.

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Photo of arizcards
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up at the Happy Valley BevMo as part of the fall pack ($15.99) on 11-11-16. Packaged on 9-23-16 and stored in beer fridge since purchase.

Beer poured brown with a very nice off white head.

Nose is toasted malts with a hint of maple.

Taste is very well balanced with the toasted caramel malts, a touch of maple, and the perfect hop addition to balance this out nicely. You would not know you are sipping on a 7.3 % abv brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth.

Overall this is a nice recipe and a good beer if you are looking for an alternative to your usual rotation of brews.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown in color and the body is filled with moderately sized sediment. There's a dense three quarter inch brown head on top. I'm smelling caramel with an undercurrent of sweet maple. The taste is caramelized sweet malt with just a trace of grassy hops at the back of the palate to even things out. The mouth is lightly chewy, dry, and slightly warming to the throat. I'm shocked that the alcohol content is as high as it is. It is well hidden.

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Photo of Benjolovesbeer
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-analysis after aged 7 months:

Taste is heavier toward maple and sourness has vanished, tastes like maple candy with a smooth oak, scotch vanilla flavor with hints of tobacco now shining on the back end. It's now more like I expected so tastes better with 7 months, also poured into a small goblet that works like a snifter when needed...don't drink this in a pint glass and don't drink in a tulip if you want maple taste to shine....looking forward to winter as this may taste even better with year to 18 months of age.

Below is original rating of 3.48 when it was fresher @ about 3 months, 4-5 months from bottling:

L: looks like brown stout, maple caramel body, creamy bubbly head
A: subtle scotch and oak
F: medium and fast dissolving flavor
T: scotch, oak, vanilla, malt, mildly boozy, sweet and rough taste at same time, sour dry finish
O: no maple flavor, taste sweetness but can't pick out the maple. Slightly disappointed but will age a couple as it has the taste that hints toward aging.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a deep brown/amber, with an average head of off-white, almost tan lace.

Aroma: Caramel malts, only a touch of maple up front.

Taste: Sweet at initial taste, with a hint of maple that is subtle, and a bitter finish. This Scotch ale stays true to style, with the added maple not cloyingly sweet or over-the-top. Solid brew that uses the maple syrup artfully. Well-done.

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Photo of chinchill
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Downtown Drafts in Gainesville, GA.
Clear dark brown body with a rather weak head, copper highlights, and excellent clarity.
Sweet aroma with hints of toffee and maple. Toffee and subtle maple in the bitter-sweet taste, with toffee, brown bread and a hint of maple in the aftertaste.
Smooth body. Medium-light carbonation.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bought this as part of the "snow pack"
this one is pretty good I will start at 5's across the board, and work down from there!!!
BTW - full disclosure, I started this review with a full short of crown Royal maple (so Im buzzed)
a AWESOME show on the pour. at least 4 fingers from a very gentle pour. deep honey hue, think slightly blonder than maple syrup.

ssweet maple to the nose.

t really a bit more bitter than expected. not a hoppy bitter - i really cant name it.

m thick but not as thick as expected.

d this one is a true guzzler. cheers!

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a custom shaped glass: color is dark amber, head is light tan with fine bubbles; head presents at least 1 inch deep and linger very well.

Smell is light malt, toast, hint of toffee, not any maple.

Taste is pleasant, simple: in short a slightly thinned scotch ale, with the maple providing compensation of lost malt depth. Malt is more pronounced than aroma with a light toffee and toastiness; maple presence comes through at the end, very subtle but noticeable by the fenugreek like flavor.

Mouthfeel is crisp, moderately carbonated, maybe a touch thin for a scottish style at this strength.

Overall another fairly clean but good tasting ale from sierra nevada - I like the maple addition, but feel it could use more maltiness.

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Photo of teromous
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From the back label: "PKGD 11/10/16 0830"

Appearance: The body is a dark brown with brilliant clarity even through the darkness of the beer. The head is this large billowy off-white cloud with great retention and lacing. It looks amazing in the glass.

Aroma: There is a light sweet malt aroma and just a touch of alcohol. It picks up a light bit of a nutty scent every now and then.

Taste: There is a nice nutty flavor to the beer with a mildly sweet and a bit earthy malt flavor that has just a touch of burnt flavor and just a touch of moss. That nutty flavor carries through the finish of the beer. It does say "maple scotch" and on the back it says "a hint of maple" but really I don't get any maple at all. The maple doesn't even show when drinking the beer on the warm side. Other than the lack of maple flavor the beer is outstanding.


Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is fantastic. It is thick and smooth with a great velvety presence on the palate.

Overall: It is an outstanding beer that I would recommend and I would drink it again. I do wish that it tasted like maple but the beer doesn't suffer from a lack of flavor to begin with so at least the beer itself still tastes amazing.

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Photo of BeerBobber
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a nice ruby color with dark copper hues. Has a 1/2 finger of tan head that left nice lacing down the glass. Lots of visible carbonation.

Smells like toasted and sweet malts with some chocolate in the background. I also picked up some stone fruits like figs or dates on the nose.

The taste was similar to the nose with nicely roasted malts and some of those stone fruits. What was added into the flavor was a nice splash of maple. Not quite as sweet as maple syrup this was a nice addition to the flavor.

The mouth feel was medium with a fairly dry finish.

This was a very tasty Scotch ale with a touch of maple. I liked the touch of maple in this one as I felt it fit in nicely with the style. There also was just a touch of alcohol warming in here as well. Makes for a nice winter beer.

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Photo of zeff80
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Poured out a clear, dark brown color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled mossy and earthy with some bready malts present, too. Good caramel and chocolate maltiness with an earthy, grassy hop presence.

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Photo of LeRose
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly reddish brown, quite clear. Short beige head, but hung for a good while, nice cling.

Aroma...not getting much. Sweet in a malty way, toffee, caramel, I am not getting any maple, a slight whiff of alcohol, that is maybe a little surprising in a 7% beer.

The taste delivers on the malt sweetness, caramel and toffee notes, but I do not get any maple nor do I find much particularly reminiscent of a Wee Heavy. Sweet, sort of nondescript beer. It doesn't have the roasted/toasty flavors I'd think of with a Wee Heavy, so lacking a bit in overall character.

Carbonation level is nice, and the feel is to the heavy side of medium. A bit drying and a brief bitter "smack" that I am finding out of place and not enjoyable. Certainly not a tea-like bitterness, more like a brief spike in the flavor profile.

I expected maple to be more of a player here, so that is a let down. The remainder of the beer is OK, close to a Wee Heavy but maybe a little off the center of the target. It is a drinkable, and enjoyable, but unremarkable beer that I feel falls short of delivering on its promise.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Packaged on 10/31/16
A red toned amber, good carbonation, decent off-white foam cap rises quick and dissipates quickly.

A sour bready malt aroma, boozy, very subtle maple for the nose.

A very heady, boozy- malt dominated taste. Light maple edge and a sour but sweet flavor overall. A very subtle herbal earthy tone from the minimal hop balance. The malt is very interesting with the maple addition, but it's pretty subtle. Medium complexity. Doesn't really deliver the classic smokey, peat malt flavor of more traditional Wee Heavy's, but the maple gives it a unique and different direction.

The feel is very heavy, crisp bite and very smooth finish. Not as malty-slick as some but pretty smooth.

As the liquid warms, a woody-maple taste pops out more. A bit more depth as it approaches room temp. So go ahead and sip it.

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Photo of Profundobaso
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L - A deep amber color. Thin head
S - Smell is underwhelming. Detect hints of caramel and alcohol but not much more besides that.
T - Very dry. Caramel, vanilla, and a very small hint of maple.
F - Medium body. Not as much flavor as the description suggests, but a smooth beer at 7.3%
O - Was expecting a little more complexity from reading the bottle so I was a little underwhelmed, but not a bad beer by any means. A easy sipper for the cold winter nights.

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Photo of LifesAnesthesia
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - amber with a very nice clarity with a light tan head - just a little of the head sticks around
S - Sweet malt, maple, caramel
T - The taste follows the nose with sweet, rich malt, caramel, toffee, and maple flavor throughout however the maple is light
F - Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation - smooth and silky
O - A very solid scotch ale - nice sweet, rich malt flavor with a nice addition of maple flavor - however I wish the maple was more present

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Photo of russpowell
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent caramel with 2 fingers of tan head. Sheets of lacing & good head retention

S: Brown bread & maple syrup

T: Brown bread, leafy hops, & dryness with just a hint of maple & booze warmth up front. Brown bread, leafy hops, dryness & maple as this warms. Finishes a little sweet, dry & with a kiss of booze & leafy hops

MF: Medium, slightly over carbonated, smooths out a little as it warms

Very solid, great drinkakability, was hoping for a little better, but well worth a go

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.27/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer pours a clear mud brown with an off white head. The aroma features peat, wood chips, pine, woodsy hops, toffee, and butterscotch. The flavor starts soft with mild toffee, warm pine, and woodsy hops, leading to a semi-sweet maple flavor. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Overall this feel like neither one thing nor the other. The flavor are rather muted, and never seem to come together harmoniously.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought a mixed winter pack from cosco. This beer poured a clear amber with thin white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent is faint sweet malt. The taste is nicely balanced and easy to drink. There was some sweet malt presence. The Mouthfeel is lighter in body with smooth carbonation. Overall it's ok was expecting better.

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Photo of 57md
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brownish copper with just under a finger of head. The nose has a sweet note but it is not particularly reminiscent of maple. The flavor profile is malty and sweet but, again, no discernable maple notes.

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Maple Scotch-Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 259 ratings