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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 556 |  Reviews: 295
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

 488 characters

Photo of Vancer
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
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!

 355 characters

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.

 729 characters

Photo of yeroc40
2.56/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Ummm, why smoke at all in a scotch ale, much less this poorly balanced.

2007 vintage poured into pint glass.

Pours a beautiful dark caramel with low off-white head, that stays for the first 1/4 pint glass. Looks like what I'm anticipating

Smell is is the first clue something is off. Smells slightly burnt, beyond the smoke, there is a scorched aroma that is hiding the malt that comes in a distant third.

Taste is straight up not good. Their hint of peat smoked malt is slap you upside the head, you want bacon with that beer, overpowering. Now I like smoked beers, just not when I am expecting a big malty sweet scotch on a cold winter evening. Then the burnt harsh aftertaste that finishes too dry for the style. There is a slight alcoholic warming at the back of my throat as my tongue is trying to cope with the sharp finish.

Disappointing, is the best descriptor for this beer. I bought 2 bombers and will be cellaring the secondary for a good year to see if this improves.

 986 characters

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.

 983 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark mahogany tea color with a decent half finger of off white foam that sticks around as a ring for quite a while.

Aromas are caramel, toasted malt, and vanilla.

Taste is like the aroma but much, much more so. Caramels, toasted dark malt, vanilla, fruity hops barely coming through, tobacco, and a little smokiness.

The most amazing thing about this Scotch ale is how incredibly smooth and blended it is. Nothing is offensive...everything melds wonderfully and the mouthfeel is as smooth as cream.

Aftertaste of smokey malts...pleasant and letting you know that you are in the midst of enjoying a wonderful Scotch ale.

 632 characters

Photo of ericj551
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

 524 characters

Photo of RyanPB
3.79/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I'm on a Scotch Ale jag right now, and this was one of the better ones. Really fantastic smell; the scotch vibe hits hard. The appearance is average, but I don't know that I've had one that was really distinctive in this area. Might be too bubbly for a scotch ale, but very drinkable. The scotch taste does very well, the Ol' Red Wee Heavy form Erie is the closest I can think of.

 380 characters

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.

 313 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
2.53/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep reddish color-somewhat of a caramel bronze. Not much in th way of aroma-slightly malty and smoked. Malty enough flavor but an acrid, sharp smoke taste to it. Quite medicinal and solvent like. Ok body. Flavor is really a let down. A perfect example of a US brewery doing a scotch ale and doing it wrong. Smoke is way overdone. Takes away from any malt whatsoever. Cant see it.

 380 characters

Photo of HomeBrewJunkie
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear brown to amber. Decent off white head that leaves good lacing on the side of the glass.

Sweet toasted and caramel malt. Very slight smokiness that complements the malts very well. Yeasty fruitiness that I also find attractive. A bit of alcohol in the nose.

Great tasting Scotch Ale. The flavors are well balanced. A sweet caramel malts and again with the slight smokiness. Good balance of hops helps counter the sweetness.

Mouthfeel was not what I expected from the “big beer series”. Medium body, but it was very smooth. Overall the mouthfeel was very pleasant but just not as I expected.

I did enjoy this beer, and can see myself drinking it again. If I wasn’t so nice and shared this bottle, I easily could have consumed it in its entirety, and loved it. The only drawback was the mouthfeel, but the overall experience was enjoyed. Good example of a Scotch Ale.

 887 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Homebrewjunkie for sharing this. Poured cool into a snifter.
A - A mahogany golden brown w/ wispy light colored head

S - Peaty, creamy bready and slightly smokey w/ a nice alcoholic ester.

M - Creamy nuttiness fades into a dry smokey almost peppery smooth texture. There is a nice balance of yeast and malt in the texture.

T - A great blend of malt and dry scottish ale yeast as indicated in the aroma and mouthfeel. The roasted malts and smoke flavor of peat are noticeable, but not overpowering. Nice doughiness and spice w/ grainy flavor and the smooth yeast taste makes for a round and relaxed taste.

D - Very drinkable once it warms, another fine example of the quality brewing at Smuttynose. I enjoyed this as much as the other big beer series beers I have tasted. A nice Wee-heavy.

 802 characters

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.

 500 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear, deep amber, reddish/brown, with a magnificent light tan, creamy head. Great lacing left behind.

Smells of peat moss, maltiness, mild hop spiciness...

I taste more peat moss and that salty sea air, around the same flavor I get from, say, a Lagavulin but obviously not as distinct but very much there. Alcohol bite is present. Bitter hop finish.

Lightly Heavy bodied, decent carbonation..perfect for the style. Dry finish.

Taking down a bomber of this is easy business since it's so tasty and enjoyable.

 521 characters

Photo of Atlas1
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I love the Smuttynose big beer series, and haven't had a bad one yet. I also happen to like scotch style ales and wee heavies, so this beer just made sense. Cool label too.

Poured into a barrel pint glass, this one is a nice shade of deep copper, with reddish hues shining throughout. Big, slightly off-white head on top that lasts a while before dissipating down to a formidable tan film over the beer. Some lace. The nose is difficult for me to really distinguish. There is something in this beer that I have also smelled in the DFH ImmortAle (and a handful of others) that comes across to me as the scent of formadahyde. I know that others I've spoken to do not sense this same aroma, though, so I am in a limited group here. I rate that category a 3.5 because I know it's probably better than I can detect. The taste, however, I can bear with this beer. Some smokiness, definitely, and malty caramel. Mocha with cherries. Maybe some fig or date. Not bad. Mouthfeel tends to develop as the beer warms. Smooth and even slightly creamy.

Not a bad beer, this one. But not my favorite from Smuttynose. Probably because of that ingredient that skews my olfactory senses. Strange. Still, it's worth trying, as Smuttynose rarely do any bad beers.

 1,244 characters

Photo of Foxman
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a very clear brownish amber. A thick finger of tight beige head settles to thin surface froth. Paisley lacing paints a mod fresco on the inside of the glass.

The aroma is redolent with light-roast caramel malt, edgy with baked biscuit and a mild peppery hop note. Earthy berry and raisin fruit sweetness airs steadily alongside a smooth caress of distant smoke and equally ethereal alcohol.

Upon tasting, the moderately sweet fruitiness of roasted malt boasts dark berry and a touch of dried fruit. It dries slightly a caramel, crusty bread, and a smokey, nutty nudge join a muted hop spiciness. Residual grain presents a homey duo of rounded sweetness and a feathery char bitterness that dries and lingers with a green apple crispness. It just seems to ooze earthy goodness.

Medium bodied, the malt renders a happily sticky flow to a jaunty march of elements.

Every time I have a good Scotch ale I think, boy, it's been too long. This one makes me feel like a bit of a fool for waiting as long as I did. It's so wonderfully basic and comfortably yummy that it's almost like a chicken soup of beers. Whatever the ABV is, it hides especially well, and drinks just as well for it. It's not going to be too long this time before I enjoy my next good Scotch ale- I have two more bottles of this waiting for me.

 1,323 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

 1,165 characters

Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Max's the other day.

The beer pours an amber orange color, with a soft, creamy looking head and very good lacing. The beer smells pretty malty, though I get a whiff of some underlying butterscotch and spice as well. The beer has some pleasant flavors of sweet malt and butterscotch on the palate, but I was hoping for a bit more peatiness/smokiness. Can't speak for others, but I just wasn't picking up all that much flavor complexity, though the flavors were pleasant enough. The beer has a medium bodied mouthfeel and has a fairly light, sweetish finish. Abv. is pretty well disguised, but for all that, I had no interest in drinking more then one of these.

Nice beer. It didn't blow my socks off, and I'm not sure I'd order it again, but still a solid effort from Smuttynose.

Edit from 10/6/12. Well, Max's had the wine barrel aged version of this beer on tap, so mea culpa, I ordered it again after. Frankly, I don't get a whole lot of wine barrel aroma or flavor (there's some, but's pretty subtle), so I can see no reason to enter this as a separate entry.
The beer menu at Max's lists this as a 7.8% abv. beer, but otherwise, it's pretty much the same as sampled previously.l

 1,205 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours mahogany/deep amber with a thin off-white head that stays around, leaving some trailing lace.

The smell is of dark malt and fruit, some wood, some toffee and peat smokiness. A touch of alcohol comes through as well.

The taste is of peat smokiness. A tofffeeish maltiness is balanced by some dark fruits. Malty with appropriately light hop presence, as per style. Sweet with a dry, warming finish.

Lower side of full-bodied, it is smooth despite the noticeable alcohol.

This is a nice one to sip. Complex maltiness with an intermingling peat smokiness makes this one a good example of the style. Well-done!

 615 characters

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.

 746 characters

Photo of Minkybut
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this big beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was caramel colored brew with a fat fat creamy head. The head actually decayed rather fast. The smell was of caramel and malt that smelled like it had been around a campfire with a hint of smoke. The taste was kinda strong (big) robust malty smoky hit that stunned you for a monment. Did not really like the first few hits but then it started gerowing on me. I ended up listing it as a buy again. It is an interesting beer, try it for yourself.

 507 characters

Photo of gpcollen1
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 07 variety....

This one pours a dark ruby brown into my Smutty Big Beer glass. Head holds up for a bit and then dies down to nothing but a ring around my beer. Aromas are mildy rich and malty with hints of peat and smoke - is it just me?

Taste follows the nose in a rich and mildly sweet brew with the smokey peat holding on. A bit of hops rides the smoke out and allows the sweet back in, drying out a bit but not as much as I'd like.

Very, very nice...I do not think the recipe has changed once again and that is a good thing...

 537 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10/9/07 22 oz bomber>giant mug.

This deep amber-brown brew has lively carbonation that creates a bubbly, two-finger deep tan colored head which eventually dissipates to clumpy, scattered covering.
The aroma is very nice, with semi-sweet buttery scented malt and scotch whiskey smokey effect. There is also ellements of herbal, spicey and mossy graininess. As time goes by, fruity scents start to pop out with a very nice blackberry jam type thing on the nose.
This is a very smoooth and full bodied Scotch ale, the malt complex is very good,semi-sweet, soft and buttery. The other side of the flavor and feel is an herbal, smoked graininess that ends with a good clean bite. The balance of subtle fruitiness later on and the up-front but not overdone malt is pretty right on.
This beer pairs well with a good 'ol fashioned pepperoni, green peppers and onions pizza which really brings out the smokey, earthy qualities. The herbs in the pizza really makes the malt pop.
This is a wonderful version of the style with a bolder than average flavor profile and a wonderful feel.

 1,082 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 release, poured from a 22oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is robust with caramelized malt, brown sugar, vanilla and some dark fruit.

T: The taste very well-balanced with flavors of brown sugar, caramel & vanilla. There are also background flavors of dark fruit, spice and smoke. The malt character is very hearty but not overly heavy and the hops presence is mild. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, nice representation of style, this is definitely one of the best that I’ve had in the style and I find myself saying that about most of the Smuttynose beers. If I’m in the mood for a Scotch Ale, this would be one of the first beers that I would look for.

 970 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber. This one pours a deep amber color with a finger of tightly packed lightly tan head over top. There is a very steady stream of carbonation stirring in the brew. Clarity on this one is very good. Taking in the aroma I find a strong peated and lightly phenolic smokeyness over top a caramel malt base. I think I am getting some buttery diacetyl in there, but this may be a interplay between other aromas from the brew. The flavor is more robust than the aroma. I get a very nice bready character that mingles with peated smokeyness and light caramel. It just feels deep and dark, not it a roasted sense, but in a smoky sense. Mouthfeel is moderate with a very weak carbonation. It works very well with the flavors. This is a very nice brew. The smokeyness and peatyness blend with the mild sweet caramel malt. I would like to see a little more carbonation in it, but it still is nice as it stands. I would have this one again for sure.

 946 characters

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

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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