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

Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series)
556 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 556 |  Reviews: 295
Photo of UnionMade
4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky mahogany brown. Full, thick ivory head, lacing all the way down, keeping strong all the way through. Leaves a dollop of head at the bottom of the glass. Malty, malty. malty aroma. Did i say malty? Quite caramelly and fruity, with a hint of peat smoke and roasted barley. Packed with flavor, this beer just gushes caramel. Very fruity, right up front, fresh plum and pear, melting into sugary sweetness. Very mildy hopped finish, nore peaty, tangy and roasty, some charred malt quality, still sweetly laden with caramel. Vague smokiness. Quite light. Very sweet, but not nearly cloying. Alcohol becomes more and more apparent as it warms. Medium to full bodied. Milder carbonation, with a silky mouthfeel. This one's a deliciously sweet, full-on caramel malt bomb.

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Photo of oberon
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown with some deep orange tint with a thin head,awesome malty aromas big and fruity with some caramel and brown suger in there as well the aroma alone warms ya up a bit.The body seems just a tad thin but not to watery by any means,a malt bomb here caramel and brown suger are the base of the flavors with some alcohol dipped fruit in there as well.This will keep the dampness of the day from getting to me,very solid Scottish ale a style I really enjoy I would drink this again anytime.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the big bottle, 2012 edition. Sampled on December 28, 2012.

It pours a nice looking amber brown with red hues and great clarity. The off-white head is small but it lasts.

The aroma is vibrant with sweet malts and red grapes, perhaps due to the wine-barrel aging. Scotch ales tend to be very malty and this one has this added dash of character.

The body is medium but doesn't hold its consistency too long. Still, it is not problematic.

The taste is a bit different from the aroma because while it brings out the sweet malty character and this wine-like thingy, it also evolves into a moderately bitter finish. Not your typical Scotch ale.

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Photo of Jimlikesbeer
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Very good Scottish Ale. Hint of sweetness. Caramel notes. Faint taste of barrel aging. Has that triple/quadruple taste I really like. No real alcohol taste, but you know it's there.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Smuttynose Scotch Ale... best label I've seen in a long time. 22oz into pint glass.

A- A rich, penny copper ale, with a slightly off-white, foamy, thick, and long-lasting head. Three fingers at least. Not going anywhere anytime soon.

S- Scotch... who would have thought? Caramel-esque... single malt comes through in spades. Mild vanilla, maple syrup, and banana. Yes, I know it makes no sense. But that's what I'm getting. Really, the scotch comes through strong and fairly complex. One of the more interesting bouquets I've encountered in a while.

T- Caramel, single malt.. perhaps the smokiness that is usually associated with bourbon. Very nice. As observed in the nose, the mild vanilla notes come through in the finish. A very tasty scotch ale... oodles of flavor. Fairly hopped, too, which is an interesting turn. The bitterness of the hops does a lot to counteract the sweetness/richness of the malt/scotch flavors.

M- Thick... slow-moving, deliberate, and very nice. The brewer was going for a specific mouthfeel... 'thick but not too thick'... and they hit it right ont he mark. Heck yes.

D- Moderate.. but very nice. I enjoyed this bomber. One is enough... but I'll be buying more. Thank you (again), Smuttynose!

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish ruby colour wit ha good sized off-white head that hangs out for a while before dissolving into a thin lace. Residue on the glass is virtually non-existent here.

The aroma is malty with an earthy quality slightly overtaking a caramel and general fruit sweetness. There are also faint smokey aromas here and there as well.

The flavor takes the aroma and beefs it up nicely. Earthy flavours again lead over the sweetness, which is more so caramel than fruit here. There's also much more of a burnt or roasted flavour here along with a good bit of smokiness that cuts through each sip. Nicely done. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slight bit of slickness and chewiness to it.

This is a nice offering from the Smutty folks overall. It's beer years since my last sampling of this one and I don't remember it being this flavourful in the past and certainly don't recall the smoke flavours, which were a very nice touch. Well worth a bottle or two if you see it around.

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Photo of blackie
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: into my piraat snifter, a pillowy khaki head is produced and a slow recession leaves a superbly retained cap atop the beer, which is itself a dark chestnut brown in color

s: dark toffee malts of a subdued sweetness with a pervasive current of delicate peat smoke, raisin, light toast, glimpses of chocolate or carob, earthy hop aroma, pleasant aroma of slightly above average complexity

m: delicate light-medium carbonation and a body that's extremely smooth, and full without being sticky or overbearing, nice

t: flavors of peat smoked malts on a body of dark toasted toffee, brief carob, earthy hop flavors, a roasted malt astringency precedes the finish, dries out quite well, hints of smoky roast and a mild bitterness linger long

d: a nice one to sip on a sub-32 degree night

bomber from whole foods, reston, va purchased a few months ago

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Photo of bort11
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks to johnnnniee. Included as part of Black Booty 09.

22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Light cream colored head that stands a full two fingers, though recedes to a foamy cap. Not a lot of stickage, but does stand on the surface nicely. Color is a murky caramel brown.

Smell is a musty, slightly caramel and chocolate. Not very powerful in the smell. Taste is more pronounced. It's nutty, sweet with a caramel/chocolate mix. A lot like a Tootsie Roll. Fruity plum character is in the background.

Mouthfeel is slick and a little creamy. Slightest hint of alcohol just adds to the experience.

Smuttynose Big Beer Series has never disappoints me. Always quality

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Photo of Baldrich27
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jmamay22
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I typically enjoy Smuttynose and their Big Beer Series. I'm hoping for more of the same with their Scotch Ale.

This ale pours a cola colored brown with a creamy tan head that retains well holding its half inch height. Smells of sweet molasses and smokey malt. The beer is certainly malt centered and to style with a subtle herbal undercurrent.

Well this is quite delicious! Initially sweet with a brown sugar and maple flavor. Finishes semi dry with some smokiness peaking through as well as a warming presence of alcohol to round out the beer nicely. Smooth and soft mouthfeel with just the right touch of carbonation. Highly drinkable even at this elevated alcohol content. I will be picking up more if I can still find it on the shelf. Should be sublime with roasted game birds, lamb, and beef.

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Photo of evanackerman
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Beer pours a beautiful deep amber into a tulip glass, substantial tan head.

aroma is peat, malt, alcohol

taste is nice smoky malt with a touch of dried prunes a slight bitter finish and alcohol is present as warmth in the throat more than in flavor.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with mild carbonation.

overall, a thoroughly enjoyable take on the style, another winner from Smuttynose. worth a try.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rustic looking auburn tone. A bit hazed. The cigarette stained light brown head leaves adequate lacing. Aroma is heavy in its maltiness, yet quite clean. A little peat like smokiness is picked up as well. Overall, the taste is pleasing, but very mellow. A little black cherry in the flavor and some wood tones....cedar-like. Soft maltiness and subdued flavor profile overall. The mouthfeel is very agreeable. Smooth, velvety and creamy. This makes for a nice easy drinking Scotch ale, but it won't wow the hell out of you.

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Photo of snowmageddon
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mschofield
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours mahogany topped with a two finger tan head, well carbonated, the head disappeared quickly and no lacing was left.
Very malty nose, like fresh baked dark bread. Roasty and toasted bread, caramel, very sweet, chocolate, some herbal and floral hop notes.
Similar in taste, with the addition of dark fruit cherry/plum and some smoke.
Medium-full body, it's good but the sweetness would get cloying to me so I wouldn't drink a lot of it.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As you pour it, it's not hard to coax a head on this rich but still drinkable beauty from Smuttynose. It's hazy, cherry-stained mahogany body appears almost black as it sits upon the bar; and reveals beautiful, gleaming ruby accents when held to the light. The creamy ivory-colored cap upon its head holds quite well before it drops slowly to a wide collar and lacy surface covering; and it leaves some minor lacing about the glass as well. Dry, caramelish malt with the suggestion of chocolate; a hint of yeasty fruitiness; and a subtle waft of roastiness greets you in the nose. It's smooth and creamy across the palate with a gentle caress of bubbles that awaken the tastebuds, and a full body that smooths them out. As is appropriate for the style, the flavor is malty and rich but reigned in by a sublime touch of roastiness; a concisely handled, firm bitterness; a sprinkling of subdued, mildly floral and grassy hop flavors; and a soft caress of alcohol. Well done!

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Photo of Lupe
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear bright mahogany-ruby red. Start off with a fluffy & creamy off-white head, it quickly drops to a ring atop the beer.

Very malty aroma with caramel, fruit, slightly buttery, and some herbal notes.

Lots of malt sweetness with fruit, buttery caramel, and toasted malts. Hop bitterness is mild, adding tea-like herbal and floral flavors, and a touch of spice that lingers. Smoked peat finishes things off - it is present but not overwhelming - and dries up the tongue.

Full-bodied - smooth, creamy, and juicy. Very malty, thick and rich, but well balanced and very drinkable.

This beer gets better as it warms - I wasn't thrilled at first, but then it started to grow on me. Not my favorite Scotch Ale, but pretty good nonetheless.

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Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a strong nut brown type scent to it. It is rich in pale, crystal, and victory malts. The taste is good. It has a rich roasted barley flavor to it along with crystal and pale malts. It is full of flavor and a bit warm on the finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good brew. It is not real thick, yet it has an elevated abv. and great flavor. This is a great drinker and another winner from Smuttynose.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured clear brown/amber with an off-white head that rose slowly and fell slowly and laced the glass.

The aroma was malty with chocolate and caramel and a slight smoke.

The flavor was chocolate and malty caramel with a slight smokiness. There was also a hop bitterness and hop flavors that may be a bit overdone.

The finish was off dry with lingering caramel and chocolate into the aftertaste. The body was medium full.

22 ounce bottle. There is no real alcohol present in the aroma, flavor or finish, so at 8%, this one is a sleeper.

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Photo of SABERG
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dbl_delta
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours a cloudy brownish-amber witha thin, off-white head. Initial impression is a muted combination of smoky sweetness, roasted malt, caramel, maybe a little chocolate, maybe a little molasses, some hints of dark fruit, and a slight spiciness on the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium; carbonation is light. Finish is more of the same, with a lingering spiciness and smokiness that invites another sip. Alcohol is well hidden.
This is a very complex Scotch Ale - very nice representation of the style.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich, amber brown color with noticable brick-red highlights. It pours silently, unleashing 1.5 fingers of dense, off-white head that stays for a few minutes, gradually settling to a lasting collar.

Aroma is semisweet caramel and bready malts, a distinct peat smoke note, dried fruit, and floral hops.

Flavor has plenty of chewy, complex malt notes of crusty bread, cooked barley, maple syrup, and light caramel. There's an almost salty, peat note reminesscent of a Lowland Scotch. There are soft hints of fruit and a floral hop finish that provided plenty of balance for all the malty goodness. I prefer a Scotch ale like this, with a good dose of hops in the finish.

Body hovers between medium and large with moderate carbonation and a chewy, dextrous mouthfeel and smooth texture.

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Photo of jtfest
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As far as the appearance, think Pepsi. Not, darken it a shade or two and you know what this brew looks like. The aroma is pleasant, but very subtle. A bit of malt, some floral hints -- and just a tinge of alcohol. The mouthfeel is full and smooth -- this is a brew that feels good. The taste, however, is what makes this brew remarkable. It is extremely complex, and I found myself experiencing different beers with every sip -- sometimes even during the same draw. There were woody flavors, spices like clove and cinnamon, and a world of other tastes. Every time I tried to "capture" the flavor to describe it, it would morph into something else. This is a chameleon-like brew that just keep surprising me. Very drinkable and highly recommended.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark caramel with a copious infusion of reddish orange and an exploding orange sunburst visible through the bottom edge of the glass. A heavy suspension of fine particulates makes it look a shade or two darker than it really is. The large, overflowing (I was too slow yet again) head of creamy foam is too soft to leave more than a short collar of lace that tags along as the beer falls with drinking.

The nose is a Scotch ale bull's eye. All style elements are present, some better represented than others. I smell well-toasted caramel malt, dark butterscotch, dark brown sugar, light chocolate and a wee puff of smoke. The aroma may not be potent enough or deep enough to be a true whiz-banger, but it's quite good all the same.

The flavor is along the same lines as the appearance and the nose in terms of quality; very good, but not great. The description for the nose still applies so I won't repeat myself. Words that occur to me as I drink include well-integrated, harmonious and balanced. If I can be picky though, some member of the flavor profile needs to stand up and be counted. Something needs to slap my taste buds around a bit and give them something to get really excited about.

Don't get me wrong, this effort easily surpasses the lion's share of Scotch ales out there, but I've come to expect more from Smuttynose. Perhaps what's keeping this one from being considered exceptional is the body. It's solidly medium and more than adequate, but a more full, luxurious mouthfeel would improve things mightily.

The long finish is bittersweet, toffee-like and lightly smoky. For the life of me though, I can't appreciate the fact that the brewers aged a portion of each batch in Jack Daniels barrels. The char and ash that distinguish that particular whiskey (it's *not* bourbon, but is Tennessee whiskey) thanks to charcoal filtering, is nowhere to be found.

I feel that I've been too hard on Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale, but only because I wanted to love it. I don't, but I do like it a whole hell of a lot. It's a much better than average version and is a beer that I'm enjoying immensely, despite my bitchin' and moanin'. Recommended.

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Photo of Hobbz
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A superb, "home-grown" Scotch ale.

Very ruby-red, dark-hued beer, faint foam lacing. Pretty nondescript aroma.

Taste was a big wow! Enjoyable flavors. Specialty-malts with hop bite with esters aglow (possibly also a hint of caramelization, kettle-induced?). A myriad of flavors combining so well that each taste, once over, cried for more.

It was a bit hard during this session for me to crack its complex of flavors (any hint of smoked peat?), so I just continued to enjoy its taste, mouthfeel and drinkability. Bravo.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish amber with ruby highlights. It has a full frothy tan head that hangs around and clings to the glass.

A fairly clean nose with some faint yeast and bread notes.

It hits up front with tingle of tasty yeast - almost like a Belgian (not in flavor, but in feel). Fresh baked bread, faint caramel, and some rich roasted malt are all there in a harmony of flavor. This is very tasty and almost too drinkable, with subtle complexity. A very smooth creamy mouth feel.

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Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 556 ratings
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