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

very good
293 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 293 | Ratings: 551
Photo of keithmurray
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz poured into a chalice

Appearance - translucent copper color with khaki head

Smell - Cherry, cinnamon, spice from some toasted malts, caramel

taste - caramel, cherries, peat, cinnamon

mouthfeel - high carbonation, medium bodied, slightly sweet in the beginning, the finish is unrefined

Overall - This was a decent beer, but does not stand up as well against some of the other Scotch ales that I've had. This tastes closer to an imperial amber ale versus a scotch ale.

Price Point - $6.99/22oz bottle

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to damienblack for sending this as an extra in a recent trade!

A- Body is a dark brown hue. Pours with a small 1/2-1 finger creamy dark tan head that eventually subsides to a thin collar. Some traces of lacing are left behind in the glass.

S- Nose is subtle and offers a balance of caramel and chocolate with a hint of roasted malt.

T- Flavor is much like the smell-only more pronounced. A big chocolate flavor is upfront with hints of caramel and toffee. The finish has a hint of roasted malt.

M- Carbonation is high and somewhat prickly and mouthfeel is medium weight; but much thinner than I like in this style.

D- A decent Scotch Ale overall, and one I wouldn't mind giving another shot. Definitely worth a try-but doesn't have a lot of pizazz and comes across as a text book example of the style-but nothing more to me.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2008 - 7.1 %

Pour - decent looking dark amber color with a nice looking off-white head. Everything seems to look as it should.

Aroma - slight cherry tartness and some caramel and brown sugar smells as well some some biscuity aromas. Not much else to report here.

Taste - malty and very toasty with a rather thin mouthfeel. The smokiness that may once have been there is now gone. This is more like a straightforward amber ale without much else going on except a bit of oxidization. Bummer. I should have drank this a year ago.

Overall - not the candidate for cellaring that one might think. Maybe of the ABV had been a little higher like in years past. This one lost depth and complexity and mellowed out a little too much.

Would I buy more of it? - this is one I really wish I could get more of it fresh so I could see what it was like right off the bottling line.

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Photo of maximum12
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Smuttynose for shipping this to Wisconsin where us poor Minnesotans can at least travel a short ways to sample your brews. Send more! It is good to see these seasonals starting to show up on a more regular basis.

Pours a deep, dark red, vaguely bloodish, pretty close to opaque. Smell is good but not terribly forward, sweet malts dominate.

This is a Scotch ale that's good but not great. Sweet malts are hogging the limelight here, with subdued notes of scotchicity & caramel loitering about. A fairly heavy brew.

Smuttynose's good game led me to hope for something more. This is a straightforward interpretation, good, but without any of the singular character I've come to expect from Smuttynose.

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Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Deep brown, caramel, looks delicious, copper hue in the light
Caramel and toffee. Strong, thick malt presence
Caramel and toffee and heavy with malt. Alcohol presence makes itself known throughout the drink, almost a peat smokiness
There’s a lot of flavor and a good alcohol kick in this beer. It packs a big punch in the taste but comes up a little lacking in the nose besides the basic scotch ale characteristics. Drinkable for a big beer., relatively well balanced.

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Photo of RiekerStarBrew
3.57/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was served this beer from the bottle into my sniffer glass. The aroma was a sweet, toasted malt. There was a hint of apples and alcohol. I really enjoyed the flavor of this beer. The smoke grain characteristic was pronounced which is a flavor I find desirable. The hop presence lended the beer a dry perception while the alcohol gave it balance. The mouthfeel was grainy. I am not sure this is a beer I would drink a full pint of, but with such an intriguing flavor, it really was enjoyable to sip.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer has a dense but clear auburn-brown body with a light tan mousy head. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that keep the head going.

S- There is a soft smoky peat note that is pleasant when cold but turns pretty band-aidy when warm.

T- The soft caramel flavor fades into a big band-aid flavor with some softer light brown sugar notes and a light roasted malt note. There is a light peat tartness with a soft bitterness from hops at the finish. There is a slight sweetness that lingers after the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slippery texture and no alcohol heat at all.

D- This beer has some nice underlying flavors but the band-aid is pretty dominating.

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3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A super creamy two finger tall bready tan head has beautiful resilience as it sits a top a deep mahogany stained brown body. Nose is very sweet and welcoming with tones of toffee malts and dark over ripe fruits. Rich and roasty but not smokey maltiness comes through quickly with first sip. A little woodsy on the back side with some mineral based flat spice tones that lay a dry mouthfeel. there is a hint of chocolate graham cracker feel on the backside as well. This would go well with pumpkin pie. Thick and cloying in the mouth. Only drawback to this brew is overall drinkability.

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Photo of boatshoes
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split a bomber with a friend during dinner yesterday. Not gonna lie, picked it up because I like the style and I liked the label...

Appearance-Pours a handsome deep shade of dark brown that still lets in a little bit of light. Not too aggressive pour yields two fingers of nice tan head that quickly fades down to just a ring around the edges. Carbonation appears fairly minimal, and a decent amount of stick lacing left down the side of the glass as I drink.

Smell-A nice whiff gave me a good dose of booziness and malt with this one. Very sweet smelling with a lot of malt and a lot of caramel toffee. I had a hard time getting past the sweetness of the smell to some of the more complex nuances, but they did seem to be there...perhaps a bit of peat in the background on the second and third whiff.

Taste-Lots of caramel and sweet malt. I enjoyed the flavor on this one. The caramel sweetness covered up the booziness just enought to my liking in a scotch ale, with just the right amount of warming alcohol coming through in the aftertaste. Again, a little surprised because I thought the flavor profile was going to be a little more complex than I was able to detect, but I certainly liked what I did pick up on and found it to be very representative for the style.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability-Mouthfeel was nice and sticky as complementary per the sweetness. Carbonation level was nice, present but not too overwhelming. The only area where the mouthfeel suffered for me was that I found it to be a little bit on the thin side compared to other scotch ales that I've had before. Regardless, it felt nice in the mouth and nice going down. Sweetness however did kill the drinkability of this one for me a bit, though certainly average for the style

Overall, very solid scotch ale. Not my favorite that I've encountered and could have been a little thicker for my liking, but I'd have it again.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Murky brown nice head... leaves a ring and sticky lacing.

S - Nice deep malt smell.

T - UGH. I HATE PEAT. I have had SAs that have little or no peat and love them. This taste like a beer that got dumped in an ashtray. Obviously not my style, so scoring as style and not preference.

M - FIne.

D- See taste.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An interesting take on the style... sort of a barleywine/scotch ale hybrid. A pretty hefty brew and good to say the least, but along style lines this one is a bit questionable. Pours a dark, dark amber in color with a foamy light tan head with a little bit of retention. Nose is quite odd, sort of grassy, reminds me of a lager oddly enough. Taste is quite nice, a little peaty, bits of caramel. More hoppy than is the norm and also a bit roasty, sort of odd.

A nice beer to try, but as a Scotch Ale nerd it really doesn't do it for me quite honestly.


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Photo of tpd975
3.62/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice shade of brown with a small fizzy head. Looks pretty still in the glass, no real retention or lace.

S: Aroms of sweet malt, brown sugar, and toffee. Subtle hint of smoked malt as well.

T: Malty sweetness mostly. Brown sugar and toffee up front. Like smoke, booze with some dark fruit. Sort of mild for the style to be honest.

M: Medium in body, still carbonation.

D: Not bad wish the beer was a bit more bold in flavor though. Being on the milder side it is drinkable though.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. label is notched as "bottle conditioned in: 2008"

poured into tulip. tasted in late march/early april 2009

dark ruby brown. no sediment on first pours. mod, light tan head recedes to wispy thin layer. a few thin rings of lace.

aroma: fruity plum, dark caramel, though somewhat light. moderate earthy hop note with hint of pine resins. whiff of alcohol

taste: caramel maltiness, with plum and apple fruit hints again. earthy, hay-like hop is just a tad more than i'd like, with moderate bitterness. touch of acidity. all a bit watered down however. mild note of alcohol and booziness.

light to medium body, slightly more watery than expected, with acidic touch into the finish. moderate carbonation.

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Photo of corey0212
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful deep ruby red color, big foamy tan head is very slow to fade, and leaves big sheets of lacing in the glass. Deep, rich malt aroma, almost a burnt caramel smell, some floral & citrus hops in the mix too. Smokey flavors, earthy, some big, yet somehow dark (?) citrus flavors. Pretty full-bodied, some lingering bitterness. This isn't blowing my mind, but certainly tasty and well worth a try.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle with Bottle Conditioned 2012 notched on the label. Pours a semi translucent dark chestnutty brown with an inch of frothy brown head. Good amount of lacing. Aroma is malts and earth with floral hints. A bit bready and sweet. Boozey. The taste is malts and earth with some warming alcohol. Hints of smoke, cherries and flowers. This Scotch Ale has a bit more floralness and a bit less alcohol flavor than I'd like but it is still good. Slightly reminiscent of cough medicine. Creamy, heavy mouthfeel. Overall, its decent but is lacking a bit.

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Photo of bruachan
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

the head poured really sudsy at first, but it settled to a tight-looking coating. not thick, but tight. the color is a very dark amber

very caramel aroma, with a strong ESB-ish toasty character. a suggestion of smoke.

the flavor sports a woody, smoky element which manifests itself early—peated smoke, not the bamberg kind. it provides a bitter and harsh fnish, actually. before then, however, features some sweetness that sports a fair complexity

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a dark leathery brown with a solid beige head and a fair amount of lacing. The aroma is largely of smoky malt, with some molasses and a bit of hops in the background. The malt is thick, lightly smoky and sweet, and a little too chalky for my liking. The hops are sort of lost within malt body. A mild tea-like bitterness fails to make a note worthy impact. This brew lacks a peaty and Scotch-like quality normally associated with the style. The presence of alcohol is barely noticeable, though the results of a pint are undeniable.

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Photo of JayNH
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a nice deep brown with a decent foamy head.

S- Sweet, slightly smokey and a stiff scent of alcohol.

T- Starts smokey and slightly sweet. The sweetness intensifies and followes with a bite of alcohol on the tongue.

M- Not overly carbonated but has some zip on the tongue.

D- Not bad but one would probably be enough for me.

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.66/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A light amber in color with a slight redness to it, a nice white head at the top that left a little bit of lacing around the glass as you drank it.

S: Caramel and biscuits up front, very present, a slight hint of floral aroma as well, not to much booze present on the nose.

T: The caramel is right on the tongue at first sip with hints of smokeyness, slight hints of floral and sweetness as well not to much alcohol on taste.

M: Medium bodied and a good amount of carbonation, crispy and slick.

O: Not a bad beer, very subtle and well balanced and refreshing.

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Photo of drpimento
3.66/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pretty damned good beer! pours with a nice frothy textured head. dark mahagoney reddish brown. really good traditional smokey peaty malty flavor. bit thin in body, but not bad. drinkable, maybe a session beer. Decent finish. The alcohol is definitely present in a boozey, warming sensation. Good cool weather ale.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.67/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This review was from a 22oz bottle. This poured out a caramel color with a slight off white head. There was not much in the way of head retention or lace here just a light scattering of bubbles shortly after this was poured. Aroma was malty sweet and quite fruity. There was a touch of caramel in the mix as well. Taste starts off fruity sweet with hints of caramel. There was not much else I could get from the taste it was fairly simple and mild for the style. The flavor ended with a mild lingering sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium and creamy. Drinkability is pretty good also. While this wouldn’t be my first choice for Scotch Ale its definitely not a bad one. I will definitely be revisiting this one in the future.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- pours bright copper in color with a small creamy light-tan head that reduces to a small sayer skimming the top, leaving no lace

S- sweet and malty, as expected. Some fruity estery notes come through with herbal notes. Sweet caramel rounds it out

T- malty sweetness up front gives way to highlights of fruity estery flavors, caramel and a lightly toasted malt with just a bit or tartness in the finish

M- medium body with medium-high carbonation leads to a supr foamy mouthfeel and finish, ABV is hidden brilliantly

O- lots of fruity I notes not typically experienced in a scotch ale, which works nicely with the caramel malty sweetness.

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Photo of BirdFlu
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark shade compared to other scotch ales, whereas they are usually very cola-like this is more like root beer... Smell is a bit malty but not too noticeable unless you really focus on it, when drank in a more social setting it can go completely unnoticeable.. Taste is a bit similar, its got a roasy malt character, but its not as assertive as you find in say skullsplitter or such.. a bit of dark fruit is in there, as well as an earthy, wood-like flavor.. Mouth is fairly light with good carbonation. Its easy to drink down the whole bomber, though not one of the best scotch's..

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark muddy brown, tea like, with amber highlights and a 2 finger tan head.

S - Very subtle aroma that you need to search for. Slightly smokey, caramel and bready malts.

T - Sweet with hints of smoke. Caramel and sweet malts, chocolate and a bit nutty.

M - Light side of medium, creamy with mild carbonation.

D - Very drinkable but not as complex as others in the style.

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Photo of 1Nrwyscotch
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle porued into a pint glass

A. A nice dark amber color with about two fingers of off white head which disappeared rather quickly. No lacing observed until after the beer warmed some.

S. I smell some earthy tones, some sweet malt and some smoke.

T. The taste is kinda muted and reminds me more of an Irish Red rather than a Scotch Ale. It does finish with some bitterness and is enjoyable, just not what I was expecting in a Scotch ale which ussually showcase some booziness where the alcohol is hidden here.

M. It has a medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture.

O. I enjoyed the beer but it was not quite what I was expecting, I would get it again though.

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Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 551 ratings.
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