Pipers Scotch-Style Ale | Sprecher Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
82
good
124 Reviews
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
124
Ratings:
234
Avg:
3.61
pDev:
24.38%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
15
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 234
Photo of Chugmonkey
1.57/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

You better be a fan of Scotch ales and big brews to attempt this one. Super heavy mouthfeel, very sweet tasting. Heavy syrup feel, alcohol bite, just plain hard to swallow. Any good roasty maltiness is overpowered by the sweet taste and syrupy texture. I couldn't even choke down one bottle.

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Photo of Buebie
1.72/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Poured from a 16oz bottle into a tulip. 2 finger fluffy white head. Redish brown in color that really glows when held to light.
Spiderweb like lace.

Aroma is quit the malt bomb. hints of rose pedals, honey and brown sugar, some oaky woody aroma. Overal light in aroma with just the faintest of these items listed.

Thin watery mouthfeel with some carbonation.
I never thought I'd say this, but this beer tastes funny.
Its like a weird misture of liquid smoke and flat rootbeer. Tastes like no other beer I've ever had and by no means is it good. Is there glue in this? I've never tasted sweaty balls, but this is what I'd imagine they taste like.

Yuck. Drainpour.

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Photo of Karl46
2.22/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a beautiful amber with a very nice head. let it breath for a minute and inhaled but couldn't get a scent from it. The taste was a very unpleasant surprise. Very smokey flavor, actually overwhelming. First impression was smoke and as strange as this may sound, pine tar. It has a taste reminiscent of what pine tar smells like. As I drank the beer I could discern the smell and it was identical to the flavor. This beer will not cross my lips in the future. I actually dumped the first bottle thinking it may have had something wrong with it. Next question, what do I do with the two remaining bottles from the 4 pack. Cheers! Now I will have a bottle of Ballast Point IPA.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.47/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with generic label art and branded twist-off pressure cap acquired as part of a 6 pack at me local cornerstore and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are low given the brewery. Reviewed as a Scotch ale because it clearly identifies as such. 8.3% ABV per the label.

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

It's clearly a twist-off cap, but I needed to use an opener. Either I have panzy grip strength or it was capped impractically tight (or both).

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a four finger wide head of light khaki colour. Decent creaminess and thickness. Fluffy. Okay frothiness. Head retention is good - about 5-6 minutes. Not too shabby for an 8.3% beer. Inconsistent messy lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a clear translucent/transparent amber-copper of below average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

A bit light in colour for a wee heavy. It's not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Brown malts, biscuit malt, tobacco, molasses, toffee, amber malts, peat, smoked malt, caramel, Vienna malts, English malts, and a hint of taffy. Sticky. Plenty of residual sugars lend it an aromatic sweetness. Any hop presence is minimal and generic. I don't detect any yeast character or alcohol. The smokiness was unexpected. An inoffensive aroma of above average strength.

It's not particularly appealing for the style.

T: Nowhere near as complex or subtle as it needs to be to compete with the best beers in the style. I get a generally cohesive but certainly not gestalt build of biscuit malt, English malts, toffee, brown malts, caramel/caramalts, Vienna malt, chocolate malt, and smoked malt. Also some molasses and tobacco - neither of which is welcome here; those are tough notes to really pull off and they're not well incorporated here. Heavy sassafras. It's not so much imbalanced as it is loosely put together; it's not a carefully considered flavour profile by any means. The smoked malt comes off limp, making it feel like a cross between a mediocre wee heavy and a weak rauchbier. The peat surfaces mainly in the third act and isn't integrated well at all. A fairly messy brew across the board.

No yeast character, hop character, or alcohol comes through.

Very shallow depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some unnatural peat-derived coarseness and dryness in the third act. A bit too heavy on the palate for the lack of diversity/fullness of flavour. Thin and weak. Undercarbonated Lacks a good full body or assertive bold texture. Subpar presence on the palate; it's not approachable or pleasant. Sticky. Syrupy. Doesn't suit the style or the flavour profile well. Poor execution overall.

I could easily see this turning to cardboard with age. Oxidation would ruin this.

Dr: Tough to down given its low quality. I'm not sure what Sprecher was going for with this one, but in spite of the inclusion of elements that sound good on paper (peat, tobacco, toffee, smoked malt) it falls flat. I'd caution friends against buying this one. Poor show from Sprecher. This is the worst wee heavy I've had in recent memory. I definitely wouldn't buy it again, and finishing the 6 pack might prove a chore.

If you're looking for true style paragons, go for Oskar Blues' Old Chub or Founders' Backwoods Bastard.

D+

Not recommended for aging.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.61/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Fat brown bottle. Poured into a tulip it is an average pour and easily managed. Khaki head sits atop a light brown body. Looks sturdy. Sticky ring lace.

Caramel to the hilt. If you don't like caramel I'd avoid this brew as its kinda sticky and sweet with a built in candied presence. Liquify a caramel nugget and add some carbonation and you have this beer with some dark fruits around the edges.

Notes: Not my cup of tea....litteraly. Its like a sweet tea with a thick body. It seems like its brewed very well and achieved their goal as its not astringent or off but its one of those "not for me" beers although I have liked brews from this style.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
2.64/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

$5.99 for a cobalt blue, 1 liter swing-top bottle with graphics painted in gold on the glass. Picked up at Julio's in Westborough. While supplies last, they got a good deal.

Body was a nice clear reddish amber, with almost no head. What little there was disappeared, and there wasn't even a ring on the rim.

Aroma was quite nice. Sweet, estery brandy, earthy. honey, dark fruits, and a little bit musty. This was a malt bomb.

Taste - caramel malts, very sweet, a little bitter, hints of smokiness. Nowhere near as much as I have read about. It would have been welcome.

Mouthfeel - somewhat thin and flat. Not overly objectionable, but below average for the style.

Drinkability gets a hit. I am going to finish this bottle, I am not going to pour it down the drain, but I will have to down it in long swallows. Reminds me of Olde Burnside Father Christmas Highland Ale. Great bottle, and that suckered me in.

Maybe I should drink it through my nose? :-P

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Photo of mwilbur
2.73/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 1 L bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a dark murky caramel brown. Very thin tan head.
S: Malt and smoke notes...hint of bitterness too which is a little off-putting.
T: Bitter caramel malt and strong smoke comes through after a few sips. Certainly not the best tasting scotch ale around.
M: Average. Light-medium body.
D: Honestly, a disappointment. I like Sprecher, but this one was a miss. Pissed at myself for buying the over-priced 1 L bottle.

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Photo of beckje01
2.75/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From notes, aged 1yr.

Brownish color with big bubbly head. The nose is malty some tobacco smell in there as well. Good flavor very malty with a dry end. Ok slightly below average, there are a lot better scotch ales out there. Maybe this on is better fresh.

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Photo of BaronVonBeauregard
2.79/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This pours a medium brown color with a slight head. The scent is sweet and I’m also picking up hints of smokiness as well. The taste is sweet, malty, and also has a strong smoke flavor to it. The texture is thin, but it is balanced. I'm just not a big fan of the smokiness. I hated shiner smokehouse. I don't hate this but it will not be in my glass ever again.

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Photo of Rennpferd
2.87/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 16oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

It poured a hazy copper browned color with a slightly tan 1 inch head that retreated after a few moments into a slight head with no lacing to the sides of the glass. Very little carbination and activity could be detected after the pour.

It smells of sweet malt and a touch of caramel.

A strong taste of roasted malt punches the taste buds and goes down smooth and light. A slight bitter aftertaste can be detected once a moment passes.

Overall it is a flavorfull beer but not quite what I like. I personally do not find it very drinkable.

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Photo of blackearth
2.89/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Purchased from the Sprecher gift shop in Glendale, WI. Pours a very dark amber to brown body with a thick, rocky light tan head. Aromas of smoked malt and a bit of sweetness. Medium bodied with medium carbonation, this beer has an over-powering smoke malt flavor that lingers well into the finish clouds any hop bitterness. I find this beer to have too much smoke flavor going on. On the other hand, if that's your thing, you will love this beer.

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Photo of russpowell
2.9/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I think I got this from czoch75, cheers Clint!

Pours a murky chestnut with a sliver of tan head. So-so lacing & average head retention

S: Caramel, brown sugar & apricots, fades as it warms

T: Toffee, dryness & a touch of band aids??? up front. Smokeyness comes through as this warms, plus dryness plus some peach & apricot, & a touch of burnt caramel. Finishes slightly fruitty & smokey with more annoying dryness; on the verge of cloying

MF: Kind of thin for the style, prickly carbonation

Drinks okay, I expected a helluva lot more from Sprecher. This is just just so-so for a style I truly love

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Photo of BrownAleMale
2.95/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap 12oz poured into a Sprecher nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Mahogany with amber hues and basically zero head that leaves no lacing. Not very impressed so far.

Smell- Very feint carmel with some peaty smokiness.

Taste- Lots of peat and an abrupt bitter finish. I have come to expect a lot more complexity in my scotch ales.

Mouthfeel- Very very watery. I am saddened with Sprechers attempt here.

Overall- A very run of the mill Scotch Ale. The smells and flavors are very feint and the beer is watery like a macro.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a cloudy brown color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes slowly into a thin cap of foam. The aroma is of caramel with a lot of butterscotch. I like a little diacetyl in a Scotch ale, but this is way too much. It isn't an unpleasant, but it certainly covers up other nuances. The taste is like the aroma. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a Scotch ale that I would rather not drink again.

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Photo of jwinship83
2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- very dark red with almost no head. something might be wrong, the bottle claims a creamy head.

S- slightly medicinal with some peaty smoky malts in there. maybe a bit of fruit also.

T- toasty and peaty with little to no aftertaste. no sense of alcohol either.

M- on the thin side with nice carbonation.

D- not quite what i was expecting--a little underwhelming. the lack of alcohol taste makes this one very easy to drink, but overall this beer is very unimaginative. i doubt ill have this one again

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Beer looks like a mixture of rootbeer and watermelon juice, cloudy and active. Head is small and weak with an off white rim around the glass.

S: Peat, sweet malts, red fruits, peanuts and leather.

T: Strong liquid smoke flavor is the first and most dominant flavor. Syrupy red fruits lurk under the surface and attempt to mingle with the smoke but get dominated. Maple, nuts and vulcanized rubber at a bit more dimension. Finishes medicinal and not very attractive.

M: Medium body, thin yet sort of syrupy.

D: First and foremost, the smoke flavor in this beer tastes fake. With that said, this beer could propably use some age to allow the flavors to meld a bit because right now they are much too stark.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of a sampler flight of 5-ouncers at Sprecher's in Wisconsin Dells. Coppery colored liquid with a thin head that didn't leave any lacing. Nose was faint, roasted malt and slight toffee elements so far as I could discern. Taste similarly was fairly lacking across the board. Malt elements were roasty, caramel, toffee, slightly sweet. Not much else, and the mouthfeel was too thin for the style. No complexity. I found this wee heavy to be totally average, fairly bland, in most in every way.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.11/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Paid $1.79 for a 16oz bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. Poured into a large snifter to review.

Half inch light tan, tightly knit head after a standard pour. Head dissipates leaving only a ring of retention on the edge of the glass. Color is dark brown with reddish hues in light.

Rather sweet and medicinal aroma of sugary caramel, candied fruits, smoke, butterscotch and figs. Hints of rummy alcohol.

Taste is really sweet with butterscotch, smoke and caramel dominating. Rather one dimensional.

Medium carbonation, finish and body.

Sprecher's Black Bavarian is pretty good, but this one as with all others I've tried are below average.

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Photo of RyanPB
3.11/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasty little number. Pours amber, small head. Not much of a scent , which disappoints considering the taste. Very good flavor: smoky, but not overpowering (it would make an excellent transition for someone who likes a smoked porter to try this style). Mouthfeel is pleasant, and the 8.3% ABV makes it a nice chest-warmer on a chilly Spring night in Buffalo.

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Photo of mariposafan
3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark red/brown with claret highlights. One finger head with decent retention, though it does fade to lacing.

The smell is sweet - toffee or caramel - with some smokiness.

The taste is a little strange for me. There's the sweet maltiness that I expect with some balancing bitterness - maybe a tad too much, but not bad. Then there's a smokiness that comes forward and obliterates the other flavors. It's not bad, but it's overwhelming. Some alcohol noticeable as well, which almost seems to enhance the smokiness.

The mouthfeel isn't bad either, but a little more viscosity would have helped the drink feel richer. Fine carbonation.

Drinkability suffers due to the excess smoke character and too thin mouthfeel.

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Photo of WJVII
3.17/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a thin light brown color, but when held to the light the red amber color shines. There is a very thin white cap that just layer the brew and leaves a nice ring as the drink goes down. The smell is very smoky with hints of sweet caramel and nice malt. The taste mirrors the smell with strong smokiness and nice malt balance. I am not a fan of the scotch ales, but I got a "Beers of the British Ilse's" from Sprecher and this was one. For the style this is a good example, smooth, malty, and smoky. Solid beer, but not my type of session brew.

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Photo of nickfl
3.17/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Hazy brown body with red highlights, topped by a small head os off-white foam. The head settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Strong peated malt aroma with toffee and dark caramel. Some honey and red apple as well.

T - Toasty brown malt and earthy smoked malt followed by caramel and light coffee flavors. Finishes with some grassy pine hop flavor and light bitterness, leaving lots of smoke and toasted malt on the palate.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - The peat is dominant and excessive. The aroma had some promise, and I wanted to like it, but the flavor is muddy, syrupy, and unfortunately band-aid like. This could be good if they toned the smoke down a bit and did something to liven up the malt, but as it stands, it is almost a drain pour. The fact that this apparently won a GABF medal just goes to show how hit and miss the judging at those events can be.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance - murky copper color with serious beige head from an aggressive pour

smell - cherries, bourbon,

taste - molasses, peat, malt, bourbon

mouthfeel - medium bodied beverage, ample carbonation, chalky in mouthfeel, unrefined when put up next to other representations of the style

drinkability - not as enjoyable as other scotch ales/wee heavys that I've sampled, was nice to try it out, but I won't be seeking it out again. Tough to get past that chalky mouthfeel that I've described

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Photo of Dmorrison
3.2/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A unique taste. It starts off mild, but slowly a strong sourness, like sharp cheddar, and a dark sweetness hit the palate. I've never had a scotch ale that tasted anything like this.

The head and carbonation disappear rapidly though, and the flavor goes flat when the bubbles do.

8oz is probably the ideal serving size, so split the 16 oz bottle with an adventurous friend.

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Photo of mynie
3.2/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours very thick and dark red with only a nominal head. That's the wont for this style and it's not bad in the least.

Smells of very faint fruit nodes with just a wee little tiny hint of caramel. No yeast, no alcohol. Not complex or strong, not at all what I expect from such a strong beer in such a strong style. Still, there's nothing offputting.

Tastes firm and very peaty. Lots and lots of smokiness with a little bit of biscuit in there. Then a soapiness comes in and just about ruins everything. What the hell is that? Why does that keep popping up in these beers? Smoke lingers in the back.

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Pipers Scotch-Style Ale from Sprecher Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.
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