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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 293 | Ratings: 551
Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This scotch ale pours a murky reddish brown with some noticeable sediment. The head is somewhat slight, foamy, and white. The smell is very malt heavy and somewhat sweet with notes of caramel, honey, dark bread, and a hint of alcohol. The smell is quite bold and pleasant. I don’t really get any smokiness from their Beachwood smoked malts though. The taste is not as sweet as the smell would have you believe with the caramel and honey taking a definitive backseat to big, heavy dark bread character. The hint of alcohol is still present and it is joined by a mild Beachwood smokiness, though this is fairly subtle, definitely not in rauschbier territory. The body is between medium and heavy, making it heavier than your average Scotch ale, though this category seems to be pretty diverse with regard to body in my experience. The finish is very slightly dry. This is certainly a bold, malt forward Scotch ale. I find myself liking the smell a little more than the flavor though. I wish that the sweet notes came forward a little more and that the dark bread notes weren’t quite so heavy handed. Overall I give it props though for being a somewhat interesting example of what is for me usually a fairly boring style.

 1,222 characters

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.

 545 characters

Photo of arizcards
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from Kings Convenience in early April for $5.99. Bottle Conditioned August 2015.

Beer poured reddish brown with a decent white head.

Nose is sweet caramelized malts.

Taste is caramelized malts and dark fruit. Hopping is sufficient to keep sweetness at bay.

Feel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a pretty nice representation of the Scotch Ale style.

 393 characters

Photo of mothmanscott
4.31/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

 583 characters

Photo of Buck89
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Dark copper, ruby color with a shy tan head. Aromas of plum, peaty malt and bread. A rush of bready malt on the first taste, followed by plum, cherry and smoky peaty malt with some oaky notes.. A lighter finish, more dry than sweet, with a gentle warming at the end. Thinner and not as hearty as I would expect, but a nice sipper.

 353 characters

Photo of BodiesLexus
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 bottle, refrigerated until now.
Looks beautiful, nice half-finger active head even after 2 years, color is a bit light, mostly deep garnet red.
Smell jumps out of the bottle, a noticeable alcohol together with sweet amber malts. Small bits of raisin, maybe an imagined blackberry in there. Wishing the nose were a bit darker or roastier, but this is pretty nice.
Taste is noticeable alcohol and sharp, grainy barley ... followed by an undertow of fruity raisins plus grape kool-aid ..... hints of figs and molasses as I wait awhile between slurps. More to the fruity side, and less to the sweet-burned-brown-sugar side.
Feel is slick and buoyant. Despite the smell and taste of alcohol, this has a light feel.
Overall, it's not pressing my buttons. It's interesting, puts together some good dark notes and a beautiful look, but fades away and disperses rather than gathering strength and focusing. Misses on the brown sugar maltiness by a lot. Maybe I shouldn't have waited 2 years, but still glad for the experience.

 1,032 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

That subtle smokiness I get on the nose really sets this apart from other Scotch ales (which only feature a wisp of smoke at best, usually). It's a fantastic compliment to the dark fruit esters and rich caramel malts typical of the style. It also brings nice touches of brown sugar and molasses - any beer that reminds me of Kansas City-style BBQ is going to make me stand up and take notice. The flavor profile follows up with a big initial hit of smoke, just like the nose indicated. As with many (good) smoky beers, continued drinking of this will unfurl its base beer more and more. While I'm disappointed in the lack of estery goodness, the malt backbone (which is the size of Mississippi) brings plenty of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses like it should. It feels fairly thick on the palate, yet it has enough of a 'bite' to go down easily. It's well carbonated in spite of the fullness, maybe that's it? Yet another solid Smuttynose beer; this was an easy bomber to kill for yours truly.

3.83/5: The smokier bend of this is so likable

 1,053 characters

Photo of richj1970
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bottle into snifter.

A: Dark brown with 1-2 finger light tan head that settles to a thin cap. Some lacing but not much.

S: Caramel and sweet malts mixed with some dark fruits and smokey peat.

T: Follows the nose. Lightly smokey peat and sweet caramel malts. Nicely balanced.

M: Medium to full body with average carbonation. Finish is slightly sweet.

O: Excellent wee heavy. A barrel aged version of this would be off the hook.

 459 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

 819 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

look: hazy amber with a modest tan head.
smell: Some dark fruit, brown ale type malt, and subtle smoke.
taste: wow, the flavors are the same as the nose but they pop and sizzle in the taste.

 190 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
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!

 193 characters

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.

 181 characters

Photo of KensWorld
4.61/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage bomber. Looks ok, smells great & tastes awesome. Nutty, tangy, malty, raisins, pumpkin, and lots of other flavors all come through. A truly outstanding well balanced Scotch Ale! 4.70

 195 characters

Photo of madelfonatree
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

 594 characters

Photo of scotorum
3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a Tree House stemmed tulip.

a; Clear dark ruby with a fionger thick offwhite head which receded quickly to thin surface foam and spotty lacing.

s; Caramel malt and dark ripe fruit.

t: Follows the nose nicely with noticeable hop bite balance. Sweet to dry finish with some lingering bitterness. Later the flavor notes tend to fade.

m: Light to medium, plenty of carbonation tingle.

o: A good but slightly lightweight Scotch ale.

 469 characters

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.

 592 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Strong, malty aroma has notes of cloves, cinnamon, wood and caramel. Pours a clear sepia with a fluffy and thick, if not too persistent, dark buff head. Flavor - hoo ha, now this is good! Malty, woody, earthy, with hints of cloves and hops, subtle bitter and sweet notes. Smooth texture has average body and fizz, but leaves a nice woody, malty and slightly hoppy texture. This is no wee beer, laddies and lassies!

 414 characters

Photo of allengarvin
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a reddish-tinted dark amber beer with a dense packed head of foam, about 3/4ths of an inch in this pint glass. The aroma is big, malty, and complex, with caramel notes, some light roast, and a delicious smokey underlay. Flavor is top notch as well: rich caramel (slightly toffee) taste, just a touch of nuttiness. The smokiness isn't as apparent as in the nose but it lurks underneath. Bitterness is low, but this isn't an overly sweet scotch--a little roast malt perhaps, and perhaps also some kettle caramelization are present. The yeast is strongly fruity as well--reminiscent of some Belgian yeasts.

One of the great beers. I've had it on occasion, and was surprised I'd never reviewed it before.

 710 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I always have and will always love this offering from Smuttynose Brewing. Beer pours a lightly syrupy reddish amber with a thick tannish head that dies down to a nice constant layer of tan pooling foam with light lacing. Absolutely beautiful in a glass. Nose is of caramel, minimal herbal hops, and even more caramel malt. Taste is up front brilliant, slick and creamy caramel malt up front and on the back. Light herbal tinged aftertaste, light sweet bread like aftertaste, and even more caramel malt. A serious scotch ale drinkers brew. Always welcome....and at 5 dollars a growler at Jungle Jim's, and 5.99 a bottle average, THIS is a beer that will change many peoples minds on what a good beer IS and SHOULD be. A heart felt CHEERS!

 737 characters

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.

 529 characters

Photo of ESkirv
4.49/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this on a whim at Payless LIquors in Fishers, IN while looking for 3 Floyd's brews a couple weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. I've known for awhile Smuttynose is considered a quality brewer but this is the first of their beers I've ever had. The aroma is quite pleasant (reminded me a little of Kahlua) and the appearance is nice; a creamy head with a dark auburn body. This is a very smooth scotch ale. There are strong chocolate, coffee and carmel notes the moment it hits the tongue, followed by a nice complex tangy finish. It seemed to get better the further into the bottle I got. Very impressed Smuttynose...scotch ales are not usually my favorite but this is one I'll definitely scoop up again the next time I see it.

 738 characters

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into fluted snifter; deep ruby, clear, with a fluffy cream-colored head. Fades after a bit leaving chunky lacing.
Smells of sweet malt, caramel, crisp bitterness, hint of smoke.
Taste follows nose; sweet malt, doppelbock-like, crisp bitterness with a bit of smoke in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is slick but hefty in body.
Overall, this is the biggest scotch ale I've tried. Very big flavor and mouthfeel, definitely a sipper. It went great with my family's "pretend we're irish" meal of corned beef and cabbage.

 521 characters

Photo of CloudStrife
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle conditioned in 2013.

A: Pours a very deep copper amber with a slightly yellowed head on top. Pretty dark but when held up to the light it is clear with a few bubbles of carbonation. Leaves some spots of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: One sniff of this beer will help anyone understand why this style of beer is named after scotch. Carmel and toffee notes blend with a mild sweetness and a complimenting peat smoke aroma.

T: Very well balanced scotch ale here. All the flavors work together nicely to add something to the mix instead of overpowering others. The roasted malts give a base sweetness that is built on with a mild rauch like smokiness. A dose of alcohol brings up the back-end reminding you this is one of the big beer series.

M: This beer has a medium body with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. Moderate to low carbonation. Alcohol isnt too hot considering how it comes across in the flavor.

Overall this is certainly a solid beer at a great bomber price point. Comes off malt forward and has great appeal to scotch lovers. Worth a try.

 1,102 characters

Photo of Rhf9120
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage

This beer pours a copper color with a two finger off white head. The aroma is of caramel, malts , hints of peat smoke and toffee. The taste is very similar to the aroma with only hints of the peat smoked malts which gives way for the nutty and sweet flavors to shine. The beer finishes with only a slight bitterness and the carbonation is very slight so the beer and a nice dry and crisp mouth feel overall. I really enjoyed this Scotch Ale and it is definitely the best one that I have had so far.

 513 characters

Photo of delta490
4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- a deep clear mahogany with about one finger of khaki head. Moderate retention leaves some nice lacing

S-Rich and nutty with some toffee sweetness and a hint of smoke

T- The taste is right in line with the aroma. And it's more delicious than the already great aroma would indicate

M- light on the palate but with a nice fullness as well as a slight crisp bite on the finish

O- a delicious, malt-forward scotch ale

 419 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 551 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.