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Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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very good
292 Reviews
Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series)

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Scotch Ale is a bold amber beer that balances smooth rich sweetness with a hint of peat smoked malt. The infusion of this subtle smokiness invites images of heather fields, platters of haggis, & the poetry of William McGonagall. Enjoy one with your mates!

2007 - 8.2%
2008 - 7.1%
2013 - 8.0%

Added by Bierman9 on 12-26-2001

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Reviews: 292 | Ratings: 548
Photo of Gavage
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear brown in color, sporting a thick 2 inch head that hangs around a while. The aroma was strong with malt, pine, and peat. Multiple flavor tones make up this beauty - thick malt, toffee, peat, toasted nuts, and raisins. Some earthiness, hearty bitterness, and alcohol warming round this out beautifully.

Medium / heavy body. Smooth and mildly crisp mouthfeel. The finish is long on the malt and peat. This is well worth seeking out, an extremely enjoyable and flavorful brew.

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Photo of ericj551
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2007 bottle: Smuttynose Scotch Ale pours a deep red brown with a beautiful off white head that sticks around. The aroma is earthy and slightly smokey with hints of the malt to follow. The flavor is malty but not too sweet, with hints of peast smoked malt. There is some fruitiness but not a lot, and the same with the hops, just enough bitterness to balance it out. The smokiness comes through a bit more in the finish, but still not over the top. The alcohol is well hidden, and the flavor is the only hint of the strength.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful deep mahogany with light tan top. Aroma of malty sugar with just a whiff of peat smokiness. Flavors of caramel candy and almost no alcohol. Very smooth finish. Just delicious!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours mildly fogy with a minimal dark crème head. Nose is nice. Noticeable malt presence with some almost burnt leaves there as well. Sweet tones lie in the back. Flavor is super peat! It’s just like peat all up in my mouth *makes motions with fingers in front of mouth*. In no way is it overdone. Full and consistent. Feel is full with carbonation and well bodied on the liquid. Nice to drink. A bit too much going on here to go far beyond large sips. But it’s still pretty darn good.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22-oz. bomber into a pint glass at ohoove's.

A: Poured a clean caramel amber color with a sticky head of ivory foam. Carbonation was adequate and it left soem nice lacing.

S: Smells sweet and malty, with a bit of boozy oak underneath. Slightly fruity smelling with a rich brown bread quality.

T: Taste is robust and pretty damn clean. A heavy hand of roasted caramel malt and buttery sweet biscuit flavor are combined with a low profile hoppiness that is accentuated with a light spiciness. I liked the actual boozy bourbon cask flavor that seems to come naturally with this brew.

M: Mouthfeel is full and a little sticky, but it's a satisfying feel and flavor.

D: A very sessionable Scoth Ale with a great malt profile to it. A little bit of that deep smokey and fruity sweetness beloved by Scoth drinkers finds it's home in Smuttynose.

This is a really nice wee heavy, and not to be confused with a Scottish Ale. A big brew with complex flavors, but so damn drinkable - be on alert for it's release dates.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clearish, medium brown body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, smokey malt aroma with dark fruits coated in caramel.

Taste: Sweet caramel, fruity flavor permeated by the just right smoked malt character. Faint hint of cocoa powder. Slight touch of spicy hops but no real bitterness. Smokey, sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: While some Scotch Ales inspire nothing but eye-rolling with every strained sip, this one's actually pretty tasty.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Once again, the power of beer karma smiles upon me. Enjoying a few pints with some friends and fellow BA altctrlsdelete at Capital Ale House last night, I noticed Matt had ordered this beer. Again, this was not listed on the tap list...it looked good....I ordered one. As the old knight guarding the Holy Grail (of the non-Monty Python variety) in Indians Jones and the Last Crusade would say: "You have chosen....wisely."

Served in the commerative CAH St. Patty's day glass, the scotch ale is deep brownish-caramel in color. Miniscule lace quickly died away (though my glass was filled to the brim) to just a fine layer at the edges. Aromas are an interesting mix of caramel malts and a chalky-smoky character. Flavor is full of malt. Great level of hoppy bitterness balances. Finishes with an ABV kick and a spicy, zesty aftertaste. Very drinkable with a medium-bodied smoothness.

Notes: I've never really gotten into Scotch ales, but this was a real eye-opening experience for me. I will definitely seek out some more of this style. Kudos to Matt for this one.

Edited 4/1/04: Apparently, this was a very rare and very special "oak-aged" version of the regular beer.

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Photo of scootny
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice light tan head with a bit of lace on a clear dark garnet
brew with just a touch of stuff suspended in it. Smell is full of caramel and malt. A nice fruitiness with a hint of alcoholic sweetness. This is so close to the next score up as the smell is complex, hearty and inviting.

Taste is very malty with caramel and thick slices of buttered dark bread. A delicious raisin tinged fruitiness, carob and light rum play along the malt and a mildly hopped finish bring a biscuit and graham delight to the mouth. The lingering bready/biscuit maltiness is to be savored. The alcohol is so well hidden. It just folds in around the sides of your tongue and melts into the hops. Feel is full and creamy with a silkiness that has me wanting to score it perfect but I will remain calm. it borders on Quad like velvetyness. The superlatives just don't do it justice. Definitely the best feeling Wee heavy I've had.

Which makes the drinkability superb. The abv is the only indication that this stuff is quite strong.

A great brew. I'll be getting much more of this one.

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Photo of bum732
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice frothy head, beautiful dark amber color. Smells like bready malt, hint of smoke, faint hops in the background. Taste has nice sweetness up front balanced by just the right amount of hops near the end. Finishes smooth and a tad dry.

Another great beer from Smutty, most scotch ales IMO are heavy and drinking more than one is difficult. Not in this case, very drinkable, nice balance and just a hint of smoke. Great beer!

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Photo of Immortale25
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Bottleneck says Bottle Conditioned Aug 2015.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a large center patch of sheer surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Toasty, somewhat sweet malt aroma with hints of vanilla and malted milk balls.

T- Very balanced between the sweetness and toasted character of the malts. Incredibly drinkable for the 7.7% ABV. Traces of black licorice and smoke.

M- Slightly creamy with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- One of the more outstanding wee heavies I've ever had. Has a more pronounced sweetness than others, which is probably why I like it, but it has all the qualities that one expects from the style.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Froathy, thick, oatmeal-cream colored head composed of small bubbles. Dark caramel colored beer. The aroma is of burnt malt and caramel. Great flavor, creamy malt flavor mixes well with a light hop bitterness. Smoothly bitter caramel aftertaste followed by a warm feeling in your stomach. The smooth mouthfeel borders on creamy. Yum, yum, yum, give me more!

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bomber
2006 Vintage
Enjoyed: 29 Jul 09

Still tasting very nicely.

Poured into a chalice a dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy tan head, some nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slightly spicy, slightly dark fruits (figs, raisins, prunes), and some caramel. The taste is malty, and some good tones of dark fruit and spice, and caramel. The taste is also slightly sweet, nice warming efffect going down. Medium body. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from Smuttynose, getting close to having quite a few offerings from them. Highly recommended.

Thanks goes out to brewandbbq for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
2005 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy tan head, some nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slightly spicy, slightly dark fruits (figs, raisins, prunes), and some caramel. The taste is malty, and some good tones of dark fruit and spice, and caramel. The taste is also slightly sweet, nice warming efffect going down. Medium body. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from Smuttynose, getting close to having quite a few offerings from them. Highly recommended.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper with a good sticky off-white head with retention. Smells kinda like a caramello - sweet chocolate notes with the caramel. Some beechwoody smooth smoke. Flavor is also candyish - sweet malt dominates, but the hops and subtle smoke are there to balance a bit. (Unfortunately) I cannot taste the alcohol much. In sweet styles I like there to be enough flavors present to prevent it from tasting like a candy. This almost gets to that point. Gorgeous mouthfeel is creamy with just the right level of carbonation and slickness. Not thick or slick enough for the style, but nice. Dangerously drinkable.
I really like this beer. I don't really mind the decision to buck style traits with the use of the smoother beechwood smoked malts as opposed to the peat smoked malt, but I think the sting of peat malt usually helps to balance the sweetness. Here it could benefit from a little more alcohol flavor to make up for that. This brew is most definitely a scottish ale, not a scotch ale. The taste and feel are of a session brew, the alcohol may be present, but it doesn't show it much. Great brew!

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Photo of DaggerEyes
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber brown in color with a tan/white head full or tiny beads of carbonation, after that dissolves a soapy layer of lace is left behind, small single beads of carbonation continually rise to the surface.

Sweet on the nose with a bit of a bite. Carmelesque with very subtle hints of coffee. Also brown sugary scent present on the nose and some doughy cake like scents.

Very sweet and active on the tip of the tounge almost like a brown sugar coated pound cake with pineapples. then it finishes with a bit more of a hoppy bit, which insures that this is not too sweet. Also some nutty flavors and the very very faint smokey or coffee flavor.

I appreaciated this beer more tonight than I ever had. A super solid Scotch style ale

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Photo of marburg
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All malt, all the time.

Aroma is heavily dominated by an estery, caramel-ish maltiness. While hoppy beers can certainly be rich, this is decadent in the way only a big malt beer can be. A beer equivalent of "death by chocolate" -- death by woody, wet, potent, malty, caramel goodness. Hints of tea leaves and wet grass round out this very heavy nose.

Thick and somewhat oily. Smacks of malt sweetness with a thick, caramel presence, of course. Surprisingly easy to drink considering its substantial body. Reminds me, just a bit, of the light, creamy, almost buttermilk smoothness of Arcadia Scotch Ale. It certainly has a light, nicely subdued hop presence that lends a little leafy bitterness to the end. But this is just an awesome brew for malt lovers and Scotch Ale fans.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ever wonder why this is called Scotch "Style" Ale? Because our "friends" in Washington think we're too dumb to differentiate between this and some distilled beverage from Scotland. Thanks a lot!
Well, this years (2002) version has a dark, mahogany-chestnut hue, with a little ruby, too. Head, I'm afraid, was just a miniscule little layer. Nose presented itself well, with malty sweetness co-mingling with a nice smokiness. They are using some German rauch malt this year as opposed to peat smoked malt (read the Brewers comments at www.smuttynose.com). Body was medium-plus, and the brew slid easily and smoothly over the tongue. Quite an enjoyable mix of flavors...great maltiness partnered with a fair dose of sweetness (without being cloying). Smokiness lingers throughout, and the finish is a bit dry, like a good rauchbier, with an ever-so-subtle hint of hop fruitiness. This years version ( at 7%, btw) seems to be head and shoulders above past-years offerings. Zum Wohl!

overall: 4.3
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5


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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this at an epic tasting hosted by EinWeizenbitte. Thanks a ton Todd!

Served in a little sampling glass. Two sampling glasses as a matter of fact (somebody else didn't want theirs).

Appearance: Clear auburn body shows fairly active carbonation within. Not a whole lot of head in this small serving, but what exists is small, white, and probably foamy. Head hangs around in the form of a thin halo.

Smell: Smokey, woody, meaty, floral, and syrupy. Lots of malt in this one. Pleasant.

Taste: Smoke, sweet malts, wood, and molasses. Finishes with some grassy hops. Mild Scotch accents throughout. Well balanced and delicious.

Mouthfeel: Sugary, malty, kinda sticky, and kinda warm. My notes say, "Oily feel w/ good carbonation. Maybe not oily." Hopefully you can do a better job of decoding that than I can.

Drinkability: A very mellow Scotch ale, but also one that's brilliantly balanced and delicious. This was probably the consensus favorite from Todd's tasting.

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Photo of ColForbin
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Scotch Ale comes in a 22oz bomber with a nice big thistle on the label. Pours a slighly hazy red-brown color with a thick tan head. Aroma is roasty and malty with a hint of peat, with maybe a slight touch of spicy hops. Taste is dominated by caramel and roasted flavors, with some chocolate as well, but a nice dry finish to balance out the sweetness of the malt. Mouthfeel is full without being slick, due to an ample amount of carbonation. No sense that this beer is 7.8% - extremely drinkable. Excellent brew. Can't wait for next in the series.

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Photo of Ego
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

brown to deep red, little to no head, clean and consistent looking

malt with a sweet chocolate tinge, doesnt seem to be hiding much, very straight forward

taste etc...
medium body at first merging into a creamier sensation with prickles of carbonation dancing about, very smooth, this one follows the blueprint of the nose, sweet malty madness with the slight chocolate flavor, nice warming effect from the ABV

great session beer, I could drink this all night sans the ABV. this one is almost chewable but yet isnt that heavy... damn tasty.

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Photo of Vancer
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This great beer was sent via trade with MuenchenerKindl = MUCHO GRACIAS!

Let me cut to the chase, the oaken pour with tan head, nor the malty aroma would lead me to expect the smoked ham sandwich that this beer provided. And I luv it! This is a big beer that drinks smooth and easy – but ya gotta like the smoke!

A great way to start my ol’ b-day off!

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Photo of BrownAleMale
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass

Appearance- A mahogany color with 2 fingers of white head that dissipates to about a half finger and leaves a nice sticky lacing.

Smell- Getting lots of carmel with the smoked peat

Taste- Follows the nose pretty well. The carmel is up front with a bit of dark fruit and finished with a long smoke taste. My only problem with the flavor is that I would have liked a little more sweetness to balance the peat.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a decent amout of carbonation.

Overall- A rockin scotch ale. It misses a few beats to be a perfect scotch ale but definitly top 2 for the style.

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Photo of madelfonatree
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle drank July 2015

Look - Dark brown with red and yellow tint. Medium head with aggressive pour. Light tan head with very light lacing.

Smell - Malt. Caramel. Fruit. Sweet.

Taste - Malt. Caramel. Very sweet finish. Earth. Alcohol.

Feel - Smooth with a little carbonation bomb. Dries up on the tongue.

Overall - I bought this beer on sale for $2. Good. Surprising how similar it was to a wheat dunkel beer I like. It is not skunked which I was slightly worried about. I have no idea where my bottle shop found the dusty, moldy cases and cases of these 2013 big beer series beers.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Bomber bottle chilled and poured into a Cigar City tulip glass. 2012 vintage clocks in at 8.2% ABV. Apparently this vintage was partially aged in red wine barrels according to Smuttynose.

Appearance: Cloudy medium to dark brown in color. Some orange/ruby highlights throughout. Pours a creamy light beige colored head. About one finger in height that recedes into a very thin lacing.

Aroma: Some light smoke and peat notes upfront. Lots of dark fruit notes with some grape and red wine notes that are a bit stronger than I expected. A touch of alcohol but it is well hidden for the most part.

Taste: The peat and smoke notes really stand out. The peat is really nicely done and the smoke is not overwhelming at all. A light sweetness of caramel, dark fruits and a touch of the wine barrels under the initial smoke and peat. The balance of those are really nicely done.

Mouthfeel: Really nice full and creamy mouthfeel. Really nice sharp carbonation.

Overall, a really nicely done scotch ale that does a great job of balancing the peat, smoke and underlying sweetness of the malt. The wine barrel notes are not overdone at all, but definitely show a bit in the aroma and taste. Considering the complexity of this beer and the price, this is definitely a good deal.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage. Lightly chilled 22 oz. bomber into a stemless tulip.

Look- Pours a deep amber with a generous frothy beige head. Good retention, sparse lace.

Smell- Interesting. Sweet, light smokiness that comes off as more of a spicy accent than anything. Toasted caramel, apple, licorice, brown sugar, spice. Very nice.

Taste- Similar to the aroma, assertively malty, sweetness is there but inoffensive, works well with an interesting candied apple/heather/honey-doused biscuit/floral melange. Finishes with toasted crusty bread, light spice and a faint touch of booziness. There's a bit of a sharper edge and lingering flavor that makes me wonder if there's rye in there somewhere. Aftertaste is more toast and a light tealike bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Full, rich, creamy, smooth, light warming, hefty but not sluggish. Spot-on.

Overall- Smuttynose is always good, and this offering's no exception. Robust, well-rounded flavors without going overboard in any area. Exceptionally well constructed and executed, I would certainly pick it up again if I could.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours medium brown, producing 2 fingers of somewhat lasting, frothy, light tan head that leaves moderate swirls & patches of thin lace. Aroma is deeply roasted malt, caramel, woody smoke, butter with a hint of chocolate in an ale yeast background. Taste is big roasted malt, toffee, raisin, butterscotch & hearty peat/wood smoke, alcohol & pepper spice. Finish is lively pepper that becomes a lightly bitter, malty, smoky, spice in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little slick & slightly oily, lively with carbonation & pepper. A robust version of the style. Very nice.

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Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 548 ratings.
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