Pipers Scotch-Style Ale | Sprecher Brewing Company

124 Reviews

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

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Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 234
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle - $2.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a darkish amber-brown body with good clarity capped by a smallish, near white head.

Smell: Vibrant caramelized sugars, toast, roast and given a good dosing of fruity esters. All the while, there's pervasive, peat-driven smokiness.

Taste: Toasted, lightly roasted malts hit with a little sweet caramel. Poignant peat character throughout that, when it combines with the upfront sweetness, tastes like a sweet barbecue sauce. Sorta. Fruity esters of golden raisin and cherry. A little herbal hop character, a little bitterness, but it's not enough to keep it from finishing with a sweet, smoky peat flavor. Quite the malt-forward brew, here.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Very, very slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Overall: Sweet and smoky!

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.31/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: handsome russet. Clear. A wisp of an off white head.
Smell: smoked malt up front. Mostly dry but a bit of sweet, and malty. Interesting but to my nose the smoked malt has that band-aid thing I can't get past.
Taste: much like the nose. The smoked malt is most prominent.
Overall: this doesn't quite do it for me. Interesting use of smoked malt but it doesn't quite come together IMO.

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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 Infamous7100
3.24/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a great looking copper/caramel/burnt orange. Surprising, very little head and very little lacing. Nice color, but lacks the other aesthetics.
S: Extremely malty with some big time roasted notes. Simply stated, sweet and semi-smoky. Hints of caramel do lend some support to the smokiness, but malt wins the day here.
T: Whereas malt wins the day on the nose, in my opinion, the roasted and smoked flavors win on the tongue. Starts sweet, but towards the middle to back, the earthy/smoky flavors start to dominate. The domination continues through the finish and I am left dull sweetness and campfire like flavor. The 8% alcohol is hidden well by the semi-sweet smoke.
M: Medium to full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. I like the creaminess of the brew. Toward the back, there is a slight boozy burn that was somewhat of a surprise as the taste masked the booze well. Closes with a long lasting, smoky hang.
O: Being this is a scotch style ale, I think it fits the style well. The earthy, malty and smoky flavors associated with Scotch Ales and Wee Heavys' are ever-present, but perhaps a bit skewed too much in that direction. It could use a tad more balance of sweetness, perhaps some chocolate notes or dark fruit. Not bad, but not me. A lot of rauchbier characteristics.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

In a pint glass the beer was a dark amber color with a rather small tan head.

A sweet caramel aroma with a hint of smoke.

Taste followed aroma. Caramel with a hint of smoke.

The beer was more watery and unidimensional than I expected.

Not a scotch ale that I would want to drink a lot of.

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Photo of Lemke10
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This pours a semi-clear, medium brown color with only 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 some decent smoke flavor to it. The texture is thinner but it is balanced out by the rich flavor of the ingredients. Certainly very unique for a so-called Scotch Ale.

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Photo of RickS95
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

It's an attractive pour with its mahogany brown, caramel color. Fairly clear, but still relatively opaque. The head is two and a half fingers thick, foamy-looking and slightly off-white. Good retention with minimal lacing.

Smell was disappointing because there just wasn't anything. I practically put my nose in the foam and couldn't get anything. The only thing that ALMOST registered was caramel malt. Even with the beer warming a bit, there's nothing.

I don't care much for the style but the combination of malts and reasonably high ABV gave it a slight smoke taste that worked for me. There is a kind of spirity taste to it that also worked, even though I don't drink spirits. As it warms, a caramelly taste emerges.

It's a bit creamy at the start, with a little sweetness mixed in. Toward the back of the sip there's a nice mixture of savory hops and a bit of heat and smokey feel from the alcohol. The savory lasts well into the finish because there's only limited bitter.

Overall this was pretty good. It went down easy and has a nice kick of alcohol.

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Photo of philbe311
3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - An active swirling pour yields less than a finger's worth of fizzy off white colored head with limited retention which gives way to an uneven swirled lacing and thin collar.... The color is a dull caramel brown... There are a few stray streaks of rapid paced carbonation throughout...

S - The nose of fairly subdued and understated... Peat... Light smoke... Some dark fruit... A hint of brown sugar... Some off band-aid notes was well...

T - Peat... Brown sugar... Caramel... Some light woody notes... Hints of dark fruit... The finish is dominated be a fairly assertive smokey character... That off band-aid flavor is a major detriment to enjoying this one more...

M - Medium to full bodied... Moderate carbonation... A bit thick... Somewhat sleek...

D - I'm a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy devotee and this one misses the mark by a mile for me... Perhaps I got a bad bottle, but this one falls short in every category... There is are some slightly off band-aid qualities in terms of both aroma and flavor that are the primary culprits of my displeasure... Trying to keep those aside for a moment, this still an average at best representation of the style... Much of the richness and depth that I expect in the style are present, but blend together in such a way that sum of the part doesn't equal the whole... Unfortunately this is a beer that I won't recommend nor seek out, though I'd be willing to try again if I'm convinced that I had an off bottle...

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 5/30/2011. Pours lightly hazy dark red amber color with a nice 1 finger fairly dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big caramel, raisin, toast, molasses, toffee, dark bread, peat, wood, light smoke, light chocolate, scotch, floral, and earthy spiciness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance. Taste of caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, raisin, peat, wood, bread, light smoke, floral, scotch, and earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, molasses, bread, peat, floral, scotch, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of flavors with some great complexity; with zero cloying sweetness present on the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent scotch ale! Nice balance and great flavor complexity; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one, very well done.

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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 Pegasus
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear reddish-amber with a large white head, which soon collapses to a thin layer of foam on the surface, with a thick scattering of lace that resembles an ancient bas-relief in miniature. The carbonation is fairly robust and slow-rising.

Aroma: Abundant peat vies with caramel and cocoa, and a generous note of smoke, as well as sweet alcohol.

Taste: Opens with robust notes of peat, which soon turn smoky. As the taste progresses, the smoke intensifies. Its not to quite the level of a rauch bier, or Liquid Smoke (tm), but its not subtle at all. There is sweet alcohol as well, and dark caramel and bitter cocoa, but they are mere accomplices to the smoky peat. Finishes with a lingering smoky, earthy note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, very pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Very well-done, very close to being an over-the-top example of a Wee Heavy.

Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of maximum12
3.91/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First, let me say that the food at the Sprecher Restaurant & Brewpub in Wisconsin Dells absolutely kicks ass. The beer? Lessee. Six-ounce sampler of this brew to start out with.

Arrives with little fanfare, mild brown hooking up with mild red, low carbonation. Nose is also mild, bits of caramel, sweetness.

Pipers Scotch Ale was probably not the right beer to start out with. The caramel is rich & vibrant, & there's a gorgeous scotch-like quality to the beer, even though it's clearly not barrel-aged. Nice sweet kick in the middle, Finish is all that peaty scotch again. Lush & lovely. Six ounces? Bring the keg over, kid, just set it next to the silver Christmas tree.

A bit surprised to see the lowish score on this one, perhaps it's simply a beer one needs to have on tap. A hard-hitting linebacker of a scotch ale that sets a high marker for others: excellent.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Dark Brown with a very strong haze. Head pours around 3 fingers and has good retention. For some odd reason, it looks very thick or dense.

Smell - Butterscotch, Floral Hops, Rum, Caramel, Scotch and Malts. The sweetness can best be described as a Lighter Sweetness; lighter as in more sugary than say malty.

Taste - Scotch, Caramel, Butterrum, Oak, and Barley. Very robust and malty flavor; I was taken completely by surprise as to how flavorful this was going to be. Slight booziness to the flavor, but I'll let it slide. With that said, this is more of a sipper than anything else.

Mouthfeel - My earlier suspicions that this had a thicker body are proven to be true. Carbonation is mild so the body has a nice creamy feel to it.

Overall - The flavor is excellent and the creamy feel of it makes it a pleasure to drink. I've always had Sprecher's Craft Sodas before and am a regular buyer of Puma Kola (Best Soda Ever!), so it's awesome to see their beers are shaping up to be as good as their sodas.

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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 1Nrwyscotch
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- medium to dark brown with a fingers width head which stays for a little while.

Smell-earthy and smoky with some alcohol present

Taste-Smoky and not very sweet with less alcohol present in the taste. enjoyable

Mouthfeel- seems rather light for this style of beer.

Overall- A decent Scotch Ale but does not stand out and lacks the depth of other Scotch Ales I have tried.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from session notes.

A. Clear mahogany-tinted amber with a fizzy single finger of sand colored head that stays for about a minute and a half, no lacing left behind.

S,T. Tobacco smoke and milk chocolate over a mildly roasted malt aroma in the nose, medium-light peat smoke and caramel nougat with a dash of milk chocolate in the front of the sip that partially bitters up with a light ash astringency towards the end of the sip.

M. Medium body and low carbonation levels. Could stand a boost in heft to support the flavor profile.

This scotch ale focuses a bit too much on the smokiness aspect of scotch ales to the detriment of the malt sweetness aspects.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, pours a rusty brown with red hues when held to the light. Bubbly off-white head holds some retention and eventually fades to a thin layer of foam atop the ale. Not much for lacing on the glass. Aromas are earthy peat, faint roasted malt, with a musty yeast presence - kind of odd. Tastes are more interesting and actually quite complex - peat, mossy, earthy, smoky, and musty with vanilla and white pepper on the finish. This beer reminds me of something that would have come from my grandfather's basement - I remember it being dark and dank, but he did have a kick-ass bar/homebrew set-up down there! Anyway, back to the ale - mouth-feel is thin-to-medium bodied, with low carbonation. It's a bit boozy, but not overly. Overall, this is different than most Scotch Ales I've had, and I do like it. When I first smelled it, I wasn't expecting much but it is quite good actually.

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

The color of this Scotch ale is a deep, brownish copper with a thin but full near oatmeal colored head and modest lacing follows. The nose picks up thick caramel and alcohol vanilla, with the emphasis on booze (considerably more than I expected for 8.27% ABV). Fairly intense and not a lot more complex than I've described. The flavor jumps out with tart roasted malt and a scotch whiskey theme. The booziness remains pretty clear but maybe a little less dominant than the aroma brought. It's medium bodied but the feel is a bit on the thin side with pretty tingly carbonation throughout. It's very warming when it reaches its destination yet drinkability is fair. There's a subtle grassy edge in there with a little of the peat base that others have described, but the sweetness stays with the caramel ideas. Though this is not the most inviting Scotch ale I've had, it isn't too bad. I tend to think of this style as being at its best with a somewhat thicker body and feel and more malt dominated than this one offers. Still, worth a try though I would not revisit right away.

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Photo of Merkur
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a nice, dark red color with a bit of white foamy head.

Beer smells very caramelly and roasty.

Beer has a nice malty taste. Also, has a very strong, smoky taste almost like a smoked beer. Very tasty.

Beer is a bit on the thin side, but very drinkable.

Very good scotch ale.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this in a shaker pint.

Appearance- The head is a small, beige affair. It actually has decent retention and is just barely maintaining full coverage of the cap.

The body is a very dark auburn that looks very hazy through the glass. There are just a few small slivers of copper highlights shining.

Smell- This is big on the malty smells. I get a little bit of milk chocolate, some brandy character, and toffee malt. There is a little bit of smoke too. Man it smells good.

Taste- There is a lot more of the smokiness on the palate than what was in the nose. It is prevalent all the way through to the finish.

The fruity brandy flavor is really present mid-drink and is a nice touch in this beer. I was expecting much more toffee and heavy malt, but these are really the main two flavors.

I suppose I detect some slightly bitter hop flavor in the finish, but not much. A good drink all around.

Mouth feel- This is probably the weakest part of the beer: a little watery and slightly over carbonated. This needs to be much bigger and creamier.

Overall- I really enjoy the flavors of this beer. A little more sweet and heavy malt could have carried this a long way. A bigger, creamier mouth feel would have certainly been welcome as well. I would gladly drink this one again.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Transparent reddish brown body with a pale tan head that fades rather quickly from a quarter inch to leave a nice wispy finish at the surface that receives a consistent sustaining from below.

S - Roasty and thick caramelized malts.

T - Caramel malts with a noticeable alcohol presence.

M - Medium bodied beer with a mild carbonation feel and a smooth finish with a slight stickiness in the end. It could be a bit heavier.

~ This is certainly a drinkable beer. One I would recommend to a friend and I will enjoy the rest of this 4 pack of 16 ouncers.

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Photo of yankeej13
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wanted to try something new and came across this so figured I would give it a shot.

A- A nice darkish red color, with little to no foam head which dissappears seconds after pour. little to no carbonation.

S- Has a nice malty smell with a tiny hint of sweetness.

T- It is actually pretty thin, has a nice malty taste, has a sweet finish as well.

M- Great drinkability, really smooth and has a great after taste.

Overall- Really good choice to try this and will def be looking forward to buying it again.

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Photo of farrago
4.01/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Little over a finger’s worth of tan to camel hair colored foam, poor retention with it swiftly fizzing down to not even a full surface covering, in turn the lacing is close to nonexistent. Dark reddish copper color with more brown than orange, no filminess but slight translucency, a few random bubble beads to be seen. The nose has a very smoky nature with peat moss, tar, metallic earth and mineral water notes, behind this wall you get caramel, vanilla, banana and butterscotch, some apple and pear fruit, the rambunctiousness of the smoke keeps it in the forefront. Full-bodied, the carbonation is average and there’s not a strong sense of movement, however, it never feels really “heavy.” This may be attributed in part to that smokiness, has a sweeter complexion with honey, mesquite, caramel notes. The peat qualities more part of the whole here, not as acrid. Still has a metallic rust ring to it, enough so to challenge the banana, peach, apricot, fig fruit flavors. Smattering of mixed citrus zest. Mouth feel gets drier as it finishes. This is a very interesting beer with some unique qualities, would show best with a cigar or a hearty meal like beef brisket.

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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 dstc
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, ruby brown color with a light tan head. Head falls to nil. Very thin lace.

Aroma is of malts with a smoked peat quality to it. Actually, smoke is what you smell the most.

Nice full malt taste with a pleasant sweetness to it. Flavor gives way to a noticeable smoke flavor. Caramel flavor in the finish.

Medium bodied in the mouth and rather biting.

Good stuff, I like it. Rarely do you find an American Scotch Ale with a smoked peat flavor.

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Pipers Scotch-Style Ale from Sprecher Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 234 ratings.
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