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

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BA SCORE
89
very good
291 Reviews
Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
291
Ratings:
545
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
13.03%
 
 
Wants:
69
Gots:
59
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 291 | Ratings: 545
Photo of dragonWhale
4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Praise be to the good Pat for sharing this delightful little monster. The 2007 bottle popped and served in the dying heat. Crimson is forever! A little oxidized, but absolutely an enhancing of the qualities of this beer, fully integrated. Caramel, fading smoke, a little dark fruit. The age on this beer has put it in such a beautiful place..my belly. This is one of the best beers I've tried in a while. The little bit of smoke just tied it all in. Reminded me a bit of Adam, but I've never had Adam with so much age on it.
Good work, Smutty..

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Photo of justintcoons
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Aged 2 years; vintage 2008

A: Pours a hazy dark brown with a reddish tint. Two fingers of foamy head that dissipate slowly. Very nice lacing with hardly any carbonation.

N: Sweet caramel, booze, watermelon, vanilla and flowers.

T: Blast of rich caramel, smoke, some earth and wood notes and ends with hints of vanilla, floral hops and maybe even some cabbage.

M: Medium bodied and very balanced.

D: Very good drinkability.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Porter in Atlanta. 2009 vintage.

Pours a hazy golden-honey color with a half-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with moderate amounts of light toffee and small amounts of vanilla. Also present are syrupy medium fruit aromas that intensify as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sticky caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of smooth toffee. Midway through the sip hints of light toasted malts and vanilla make an appearance. Near the end of the sip hints of syrupy pears and ripe green apple flavors come into play, fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with decent carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this was a solid beer for the style but it's nothing something over which I'd clamor to have again. Worth a shot.

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Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Just finished two at the Taco Mac at Prado in Atlanta. I was stunned to see it on the menu. Couldn't wait to have my first gulp. Both pours lacked much head. They were a hazy-brown color, but still transparent. Did get some lacing.

Smelled malty with some dark fruit essence. Taste was on the earthy side. Smokey malts and some fruit with an alcohol presence. Not too sweet, the alcohol seemed to help.

Mouthfeel was good. A higher carbonation gave it a more refreshing effect than I expected from a Scotch ale.

Very drinkable. I wanted a third but I had to drive home.

A solid beer that I would order again. Alcohol was listed in the menu as over 8%. Not what I expected from a Scotch ale. Much lighter in body and color than others of the style I've tried. Let's face it, Smuttynose does not make a bad beer and I really enjoyed these.

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Photo of claspada
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour a dark amber-brown, slightly hazy color. Creates a solid/thick/white head with excellent retention throughout the entire glass.

Nose reveals a pleasant array of aromas of peat smoke, burnt caramel, dried fruit and some toasted malts.

Mouthfeel was disappointingly a bit too thin and watery in the finish for such a big beer. I prefer a thicker mouthfeel for my Scottish styles.

Flavor is like your typical Wee Heavy Ale with an ample amount of biscuit, caramels, toffee, dark fruits and peat smoked malts. Finish is bittersweet with a touch of spice hoppiness coming through to balance the sweetness. Not the best example of a Scotch Ale by any means, but worth the try for the value.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rediscovered 22 oz. bottle, cellared in a dark, cool closet for over two years ~ Bottle Conditioned 2007. Opened recently and poured to a short goblet.

A: Deep and warming garnet/chestnut color, plenty of wriggling carbonation. Head is a short-lived 1/4" of dusty tan cream, fair lace in sliding sheets. For a beer aged almost three years, the complexion is mostly clear, a cloud of fine dust and a few flakes - nothing too detrimental.

S: All malty sweetness: sticky toffee pudding, raisins, molasses and cocoa. A little ash/wood and dark fruit.

T: Wow, remarkably peaty upfront - a husky smoke, woodsy barrel. Earthy, rich with berries and red apple skin. Velvety semi-sweet chocolate and an apt but abrupt bittering (slight char) in the finish. Hints at tartness, citric tang. Wonderful complexity.

M: Smooth feel with a pinpoint prickle and a gently prodding alcohol warming. Coating medium body, trace graininess in the finish.

D: As this is the first time I've tried this Scotch Ale, I can't make a comparison between aged and new. Though fresh beer is usually the most desirable, this 'vintage' sipper was still wonderful. Thank you, kind and distant trader for sending...I would definitely look for this again.

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Photo of corby112
3.08/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark chestnut brown/mahogany color with dark golden amber edges when held to a light source and a very thin tan head that immediately fades leaving no lacing.

Smokey, roasted malt aroma with hints of licorice and chocolate along with some earthy and floral hop notes.

Smooth, creamy medium body with lots of roasted chocolate maltiness, dark fruit(especially dark cherry), licorice and surprisingly, earthy and floral hops. Nice balance of malty sweetness/roastiness and bitter earthy hops. This beer is pretty complex but unfortunately it just doesn't taste that good to me.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
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 jmalex
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big snowfall means big beers. I'm enjoying my day being snowed in by emptying out the fridge.

APPEARANCE: Pours into an English-style tulip a clear brown with crimson highlights. The head is tightly-bubbled and somewhat quickly goes from a finger's height down to an almost full cap.

SMELL: Bready, caramelly, and slightly smoky with a bit of a fruity ester profile. A bit of a lactic note has me worried, though I did find this bottle dusty on a shelf, so I won't hold this against it.

TASTE: No worries in the taste though. Bold yet restrained with flavors of caramel, raisin, fig, smoke, and fresh bread. These only intensify toward the finish, leaving me wishing for another sip.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied with a somewhat surprising dryness. The carbonation is slightly to the higher end of average but still okay.

DRINKABILITY: Quite nice. The bomber is working out excellent given the fact that I've already drank a good sized portion of this bottle. It's not quite giving me the warming element I'm looking for, but perhaps that will change as I progress further down the glass.

The second chapter in today's snow day beer odyssey did not disappoint. It's worth a try, particularly if you're a fan of the other big Smuttynose beers.

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Photo of ElGallo
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I live in Smutty's backyard, so this beer is readily available around the NH seacoast when its spot in the Big Beer rotation comes around, but so few locals realize how good this beer is.

This beer just seems perfectly balanced and tastes so damn good. I've had far too many standard scotch ales (not wee heavies, mind you) where the malty sweetness overpowers everything else, and the whole drinking experience is a letdown. Such is not the case with this beer. I wish it were available a little bit longer each year, but I also enjoy looking forward to the next release.

I like most - but not all - of Smuttynose's offerings, but the Scotch Style Ale is my favorite.

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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 sprucetip
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Pours brown, but orange/amber when backlit. Clear, 1 finger tan head with good retention and some patches of lacing.

SMELL Caramel malty, earthy, and some lightly fruity boozy esters. Richer and more complex as it warms and breathes, and with a good swirl.

TASTE Maple like malty sweetness, lightly roasty, almost smoky peaty flavors all balanced well by backing hops. Earthy and grainy layers add complexity. Very smooth, and balanced.

FEEL Moderate fiz leads into med/full bodied pleasant texture. Some alc warming and drying in the finish.

OVERALL Very rich and tasty. Fairly complex, and goes down pretty easily. Grateful for the opportunity to try it, and recommend trying it if you can.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Obtained in trade from ShogoKawada (thanks!). Bottled in 2008. Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Gordon's thistle glass. The thistle illustration is beautiful - so much so that I was distracted from the beauty of the beer itself for a moment.

Bole and copper body with faint ruby highlights - however, when held to the light, the glass glows a stunning alizarin crimson. Excellent clarity. Two fingers of foam reduce to a dense stack of steamed-milk. Wonderful retention. Heavy legs and thick uniform lacing slather the sides of the glass.

Rich caramel malt aromatics with a very faint undercurrent of iodine and peat (though you wouldn't mistake this for a Laphroaig). Light alcohol notes present with just a touch of spice and fleeting oxidation. Aged for another couple years, I wouldn't be surprised to find more pronounced sherry notes...

Strong malt on first sip, which expands into a mildly-astringent roasted nut flavor mid-palate, adding on a bit of earthy smoke (peat I presume), stale soda bread, figs, and rooibos tea into the finish. Hops provide suitable balance but also make the flavor profile slightly less coherent or traditional. Dry, almost oaky aftertaste. Subtle, rustic, and complex - a nice mix.

Medium-heavy body with a slowly building warmth accentuated by mild astringency and smoke on the gums. Very well done.

A sipper, as it should be - but more due to the potency of flavor than any sort of assault from alcohol.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.07/5  rDev +2%
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 maximum12
3.55/5  rDev -11%
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 ClockworkOrange
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 22 ounce bomber bottle picked up at Jessup Beverage over a year ago. Bottle conditioned in 2007 printed on the lower right corner of the label. Uncapped and poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. The ale appears a hazed copper color with crimson hues and a two finger thick, tan head. Nose and flavors consist of smokey peat malt, brown sugar, unripe bananas, toffee, more caramelized malt, scotch whiskey notes, drinks as though it's higher than 8.2%. Higher than average carbonation levels with a medium body and a dry bitter finish. Leaves the tongue a bit numb and tingling after every sip. Glad I tried it. Check it out if you are a fan of the style.

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Photo of tpd975
3.62/5  rDev -9.3%
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 washburnkid
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jdmek9 for this one.

A: small beige head retains as a ring. Brew is dark brown.
S: sweet roasted malts...lots of them! Dark fruit esters are sweet on the nose; very malt heavy here.
T/M: slightly smoked sweet malts are reminiscent of a smoked porter. Nice, thick mouthfeel with some alcohol settling on the palate. Sips end in a slight, almost unnoticeable tang.
D: this is a great brew to sip after dinner.

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Photo of boatshoes
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
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 philbe311
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark rich mahogany color... Tan batter-like head rises to two fingers worth and quickly fizzes away to one fingers worth where it displays some moderate retention before ultimately giving way to a thin veil of splotchy lacing... Some light carbonation is noticeable at the top of the glass clinging to the sides of the glass...

S - Sweet malts... Caramel... Brown sugar... Some dark fruits... Hints of vanilla... A subtle smokiness... A slight booziness... More than textbook for the style, this is superior...

T - The terrific appearance and aroma my have provided lofty expectations for the taste which proved to be an slight let down... All elements from the aroma are present as expected, but they tend to get lost in one another and are far from distinctive... The vanilla and smokiness tend to dominate, especially as part of the aftertaste... Still solid and very respectable...

M - Medium to full bottled... A surprising amount of fizzy carbonation... Good balance beginning to end... Coats mouth fully and evenly...

D - A solid and interesting Scotch Ale... The appearance and aroma are top notch, while the taste and mouthfeel are slightly above average... This is my first experience with the Smuttynose Big Beer Series and it has peeked my curiosity to try some more...

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Photo of treyrab
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up about 6 months ago and just cracked with jac5084 into two glasses...

A: Pours a very dark mahogany with some clear crimson and red hues. Pretty darned clear with a nice eggshell white head.

S: Some nice caramel and peaty malts. A tad sweet with a bit of scotch and bourbony characteristsics.

T: A tad light but very nice and flavorful with a bourbony/scotch with some sweet caramel, smoke and woody flavors.

Overall, a very well done beer. Nice and flavorful but drinkable as well.

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Photo of grayburn
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great offering from smuttynose. The beer pours a dark reddish brown with an oddly light colored head, a couple fingers tall and composed of small bubbles. Lacing on the glass is moderately heavy.

The smell is all malt, sweet big thick chewy malt. The taste goes down the same road, thick chewy sweetness. Warming on chilly evening. The mouthfeel and drinkability of this beer are the strongpoints. The thick viscous mouth is complimented by just enough carbonation to keep things from being cloying. I could sip on this all night.

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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 tai4ji2x
3.63/5  rDev -9%
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 pinotboy007
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Root beer like appearance with a decent, dense cap that slowly settled to a chunky ring; modest lacing coats the glass. I can see bits of yeast.

S - Malt, peat, chocolate and some mild floral hops.

T/M - Delicious. Tastes like it smells. Reminds me a bit of Tootsie Roll but without the sweetness. It has a nice smoky flavor going on, too that leads to a touch of sourness on the finish that's quite nice. Nice creaminess which leads me to believe this would also be good as dessert, assuming you allow it to warm up a bit.

D - Strong stuff. Not sure on its food friendliness but otherwise this is a damn fine brew.

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Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 291 ratings.
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