Pipers Scotch-Style Ale | Sprecher Brewing Company

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Pipers Scotch-Style AlePipers Scotch-Style Ale
234 Ratings
Pipers Scotch-Style AlePipers Scotch-Style Ale

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.27%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Gold Medal Winner in the Strong Scotch Ale category at the 2004 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).

Added by battlekow on 08-14-2005

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 234 |  Reviews: 124
Photo of TimRasmussen
5/5  rDev +41.6%

Photo of imdabuzzard
4.79/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First scotch ale I ever had, made me a believer! Also the smokiest scotch I've ever had

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Photo of Dief88
4.75/5  rDev +34.6%

Photo of shurstrike
4.75/5  rDev +34.6%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.64/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher nonic.
8.3% ABV,

A - The lively off-white head plasters thick lacing on the pint before settling to a lumpy skim above the gorgeous, clear dark copper beer; Pipers looks so perfect and inviting!

S - Malty caramel sweetness wafts out with a nice bready aspect to it, closely followed by trails of peat smoke and hickory wood chips with suggestions of dark fruit, plums mostly, in the background.

T - Strong malty sweetness coats the tongue with caramel-drizzled wheat bread before being abruptly balanced out by hickory and peat smoked flavors that linger on the tongue like the prior evening's bonfire in your cloths (but without the hangover).

M - Pipers' rich maltiness lends the beer a hefty, full-bodied mouthfeel, which works perfectly with it's ludicrously absent alcohol perception and beautifully smokey, dry finish.

O - Not only is Pipers one of Sprecher's greatest beers, it's also one of the best Scotch-style beers made in the states. This complex, malty brew's peat smoked malts are most definitely noticeable and might surprise the uninitiated but certainly wont alarm those who expect what's coming; the waft of smokiness that caries through this beer is perfectly balanced.

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Photo of Greggy
4.64/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split 3 ways from the large liter swing top*

A- little to no lacing or head despite a vigorous pour into an impy pint glass. Very unimpressive in the head department. The color, however, a dark ruby, boosted it from a 1 to a 1.5.

S- Wow! Dark cherries, cherry bubble gum, scotch, dry dark baking chocolate, and vanilla.

T- Very VERY long finish of malt chocolate, cherries, and vanilla. Very smooth.

M- Low carbonation that makes me wish it had just a touch more to help build the body.

D- 8.27% scotch ale that I will look forward to on certain occasions in the future.

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Photo of granger10
4.62/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Semi hazy mohagany color. Large tan head. Maintains moderately. Not that much lacing. Very smoky, peaty aroma. Toasted earthy breadiness as well. Very inviting. Taste begins dominate in peat smoke. Malt is lighter but shows itself a bit. Goes from smokey to roasty malts to toasty hops then finishes with more peat. A bit of alcohol shows but not that much. A bit of dark fruit and nutty toffee flavors lie underneath. Very enjoyable. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.54/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Quick Take: Very malty with just the right amount of peat smoke flavor. Thanks to that, I can actually taste the beer itself! Other good scotch ales are the Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego and even the Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery.

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Photo of TheBishopco
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%

Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear scarlet red hue. Beautiful. Thin dusting of beige froth. Lace is adequate. The aroma is thick and meaty. Smokey phenols and sweet raisin and caramel. Flavor is smokey as well. Peat makes an impression. A big impression. Smokier than most Wee Heavies I've had. But there's also a juicy maltiness present. Pretty rich in flavor overall. A little toasted malt flavor mixes in with a light hop finish. This is reallyy good. Medium to medium-full in body and quite the flavorful, easy drinker for the style.

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Photo of rdtac
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%

Photo of Can_if_you_can
4.43/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a really great example of a scotch ale!! It has a sweet malty caramel smell, the flavors match the aromas, there is also a medium flavor of smokiness that really helps cut threw the carmelly malty sweetness, this one is definatly a contender against founders dirty bastard!

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Photo of rhollman
4.42/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Dark reddish brown hue

Smell - Peat smoke and some sweet

Taste - Hash peat smoke with caramel and some sweet

Mouth Feel - Lingering sweetness and notes of smoke

Drinkability - I have fallen in love with this beer. The first time I tasted it, I felt that it was too harsh, too bracing, too much of a shock. But now - I love it! The harshness comes from the peat smoke, but that harshness is wonderfully balanced by the caramel malt and slight sweetness that makes you want the next sip. It's the hash/sweet that makes it - Extraordinary!

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Photo of fartingdog
4.42/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Under the cap it said 'mmm.. this is good'. Basically, that was my exact impression of this beer.

Poured a dark, rich mahogony color. Head recedes after a bit. First scent is of rich, sweet toffee and a hint of smoke. You can definitely tell that there is some peat-smoked barley in the flavor, but it is the perfect amount, just enough to give it an awesome flavor. Great body - full and rich. (Can I use rich again in this review?) A slight bit of alcohol warming follows. Damn this is nice - absolutely perfect for the damp, cool and dreary evening. A truly great beer from the old hometown.

A wonderful example of the style, and perhaps one of Sprecher's best offerings. Yum.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.35/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a big 16 oz bottle to a Stein. The liquid was dark as well as the small 1 finger tan head.

The smell saw interesting foretelling of a smoky malt to come. Also the aroma of alcohol was in the mix.

The taste really struck me. Lots of alcohol taste embedded in a very nice smoky malt flavor. The really hit the spot and I enjoyed it.

The mouthfeel was nice, lots of good body and ok carbonation.

The drinkability was good as well. I will look to get some more. Prosit

Thanks objectivemonkey for this very nice brew. MK

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Photo of wheatyweiss
4.34/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 ounce twist off bottle, "Premium Reserve" on the cap.

Appearance is copper in color, crystal clear with a small cap that settles immediately and has clinging bubbles climbing the glass.

Smell is caramel roasted malt with slight corny ester. Bright aroma, like wet copper, or a new penny.

Flavor is heavy caramel malts with a very small hop flavor. Tangy malts that give way to a biscuity flavor. Sourdough on the back, but more like sourdough hardtack instead of bread if that makes sense. Like a sourdough soda cracker. Finishes slightly dry with a little alcohol backing. Very slight flavor of a peaty scotch. Interestingly the smokiness is not apparent in this beer.

(edit) After quaffing this one a little deeper I get slight smokiness on the exhale. I honestly would not have gotten this had I not pulled harder from the glass.

Mouthfeel is bubbly and light bodied, a little lighter than some others in this style. The carbonation is lively, but the beer is a little watery overall. As the beer warms from about 54 degrees it gets thicker and chewier, which os normally just the opposite.

Drinkability is average to good, a good Scotch Ale.

(edit) after taking deeper sips of this one I'm noticing a lot of flavors and characteristics that I didn't get earlier in the glass. I am gonna change my opinion and say this is an awesome representation of a Wee Heavy. Do let this one warm to room temp before tasting, IMO it makes it that much better.

06/25/09 Edit:

I have had a good deal of Scotch Ales since this original review, and every one is rated to style. Let me say that for $6.74 a four pack of 16 ounce bottles, this is a huge bargain, not to mention true to style. I think as far as Scotch Ales go, this interperstation of the style is the best. Easy drinking and tasty as hell, I would pay WAY more for a four pack of these. This Scotch Ale is peaty, earthy and malty huge. The best thing is it is smokey, not fake smoke but, peaty smoke like a good scotch. I know smoke and this is not fake. It is huge and it appeals to me, so I move the marks up, because I love it.

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Photo of sarient
4.34/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The look of this beer is amazing! Great shade of red and when you smell it, it'll give you that little shake you feel from taking a shot. Smooth when drunken however, making it surprisingly fantastic. Aye Scotty boy!! 4.5./10

How many?: all night is your a scotsmen! Lol give it 2 to 5.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sprecher Piper's Scotch Ale
16oz. brown bottle

A: snifter. nice, rich mahogany color. slight tan head with a nice retention rate. fair lacing.

S: some peat of the bat. solid roasted malt nose. some raisins and fall fruits with some solid spices. brown sugar.

T: nice smooth maltiness. solid peat flavors, and you can really taste the fire kilned difference. some hints of raisins and plums.

M: very smooth for 8%. nice carbonation level. medium bodied.

D: great representative of the style. solid flavors for a scotch ale, and I would put it up over a McEwan's anyday.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear brown-amber body topped by two fingers of off-white head but, as is fairly typical for Sprecher, the foam fades quickly. Modest lacing. Lush aroma, full of roasted malt, caramel, decent citrus hops--nice. The taste is excellent. The roasted malt is front and center, with caramel most prominent. But citrus malt and berry also emerge. Very delicious. I've said it before and I'll certainly say it again here--Sprecher does not get its due for making very good beer. Pipers is very good beer. Creamy and smooth if a tad thin, the mouthfeel could use more hops. Highly drinkable, this is one of the best offerings from Sprecher, which makes many good ones. Pipers impresses me, solidifying my having been won over to good Scotch Ale. Best of all with this, the high ABV (8.27%) is barely noticeable. Very well done, certainly recommended. Sprecher continues to impress.

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Photo of rebel1771
4.27/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark amber color with very little head. Caught in the right light it kind of looks like cider.

S: Candied apricot smell right up front with notes of caramel and hints of vanilla.

T: Creamy mouthfeel, candied fruit flavor at first with caramel and earthy undertones coming in the end.

D: This is one easy drinking brew, very smooth. I could easily down more than one of these.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: A brilliant chestnut pour kicks up a 2” tan tinted cream colored foam collar that leaves whore stocking lace while slowly receding to a thick film. S: rich malt, kettle sugars, faint initial sulfur. T: Rich malt seasoned with traces of plum and raisin, faint roast and a trace of roast barley tartness on the finish. F: Very smooth, creamy, medium low carbonation, medium full to full body O: A very well done easy to drink Wee Heavy.

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Photo of eliz108
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%

Photo of michaelsmith11
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Autumn leaves russet topped with three fingers of golden caramel colored foam. The head is so tight-bubbled that it deflates exceedingly slowly, leaving a thin layer of hole-filled lace in its wake. This is definitely a quality beer based on looks alone.

I'm thrilled that Sprecher used smoked malt (at least it smells like it), an added touch that too few American craft brewers include in their Scotch ales. The beer smells at least as sour as it does sweet, with caramel and hints of cocoa assuming center stage alongside the smoke. More power and more depth would have easily earned the nose the next highest score.

Pipers Scotch-Style Ale is a more than solid wee heavy that might be the smokiest that I've ever had. In fact, it tastes like a cross between a Scotch ale and a rauchbier. As a lover of both those styles, I couldn't be happier. Although I expected a bigger beer, there's no denying the (increasing) complexity and deliciousness of this one.

The malt bill includes pale, aromatic, caramel, Vienna and roasted. My uneducated guess is that the brewers concentrated on the mid-range malts since dark caramel is the dominant flavor. As in the nose, chocolate and coffee notes from the roasted barley play a major role as well. A significant amount of hop bitterness and hop flavor (for the style) keeps Pipers from being overly sweet and one-dimensional.

Fine print along the bottom of the label reads 'with hints of peat smoked English malt'. I'm not sure what the brewers were smoking (other than the malt) when they wrote that, but 'hints' is laughable. This is a beautifully smoke-saturated beer that is much more smoky than many so-called smoked beers. Why do I suddenly have a craving for ribs, baked beans and potato salad?

I like my wee heavies to be... well... heavy in the mouth. Maybe not quite heavy, but at least somewhat viscous and chewy. Given the flavor (that I want to linger as long as possible) and the ABV, the mouthfeel is too light. It's improving as the beer warms, but I'm still not impressed.

Pipers Scotch-Style Ale is yet another wonderful beer from Sprecher. One simple change (adding more malt) would turn this already excellent offering into something that I would consider world-class. I'm all over this one the next time I'm in Madison.

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Photo of shadow1961
4.22/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sprecher Pipers Scotch Ale pours a finger of head over a very cloudy
deep amber brew. Carbonation is steady and the nose is your typical
English fruitiness- this one is particularly juicy-seeming. The flavor is
deep and malty, with smoky, earthy, peaty notes and a tiny bit of herbal
hop in the finish barely tickling the throat. Mouthfeel is round, pleasant,
and full bodied. Very nice, and as always, what with those pint four packs
Sprecher sells, a good value too.

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Pipers Scotch-Style Ale from Sprecher Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 234 ratings
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