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 Phatz
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks very much to weeare138 for graciously sharing this bottle with me at his home. review from notes taken 3 days ago.

Appearance: pours an amber brown color with plenty of red hue almost makes me think of dark chestnut that glimmers copper when back lit. The small tan head quickly fades to a ring.

Smell: suggestions of cherry, rich caramel malt, a touch of smokiness and brown sugar.

Taste: Rich caramel. Fruit. Toasted malt, a sweet brandy like cherry candy attribute hints to apples toffee and almost (very lightly that is) a splash of chocolate. The finish is dry leaving more of the smokiness on the aftertaste. The sweetness and the smoke are both present but nothing seems cloying. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, smooth and juicy slick.

Drinkability: I have a tendency to like the sweet Scotch Ale and I did enjoy this one very much. It is not I style, much less a beer I would session but one bottle drinks easily.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of weeare138
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears a hazy, copper toned amber with a small, light tan head that fades into a mild cap and collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, raisins, smoked meat, brown sugar, and roasted nuts.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with hints of a varietal of ripened fruit and a hint of beef jerkey and cocoa powder.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sugary, and slightly thin in the finish.

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Photo of emerge077
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A_ A brownish red-amber tone, with sudsy foam that dispersed quickly.

S_ Mild yeast esters, banana, mildly phenolic.

T_ Peat-smoked English malt, mild bitterness. Good level of complexity, not overwhelming.

M_ Medium-bodied, quaffable, good level of carbonation.

D_ Fairly average, didn't want another pint after the first, but it was easy to finish.

Label depicts a filtered view of the Tartan pattern of a Scottish kilt, beyond that, the hazy figure of a bagpipe player in the background. Almost what you'd expect to see if you were the drummer in the marching band who drank too much Scotch and ended up on the ground.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Caramel, chocolate, raisins, figs, and a hint of roastiness appear in the nose of Sprecher's Pipers Scotch-Style Ale.

It's chestnut-brown in color with a short but creamy head of ivory that holds pretty well and leaves some minor lace about the glass.

The mouthfeel is smooth and just slightly dextrinous across the palate with a medium-full body and restrained, very-fine bubbled carbonation.

A distinct note of chocolate appears upfront in the flavor. It's not particularly to style, but it's rich and welcoming... and it is, of course, only "Scotch-style". From there the maltiness diplays a good deal of caramel and more toasty malt across the middle. It's sweetish, but not overdone. Supple dark fruit appears, and some candyish notes come through along with a flicker of alcohol. The bitterness balances it nicely, maintaining a presence but staying low-key. It finishes dry despite the richness of the malt with some residual soft chocolate and caramel, and a light roastiness and subtle smokiness that don't really appear prior.

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Photo of joe1510
3.54/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16oz. Bottle
$7.49 4-Pack
Binny's Orland

Pipers Scoth ale pours garnet into my pint glass with a minimal head that drops to a ring around the glass in no time. Mahogany hues when held toward the light. The body looks good but the lack of head hurts appearence.

Smell comes across with toasted malts and a decent amount of smokiness. Maybe it's in my mind but I detect peat moss as well.Mild aromas of caramel and a hint of vanilla are in there too. Smells good.

Taste is much the same as the flavor. Toasted malts are the backbone of this beer. Theres a mildly sweet caramel malt present along with a slight metallic character. Some sweetened smoke comes along mid-palate and lingers throughout the finish. Good flavor.

The body of this beer is very thin. Too thin to make the flavors as enjoyable as they could be. There's a very small amount of creaminess in the finish but it's just not enough.

I could drink two of these in a sitting but that would be it. Just a little too bland to drink more.

I could see this being a good beer if the mouthfeel was tweaked around a little bit. Way too thin. Besides that it's a solid beer.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to murrayswine - poured from a 16oz. bottle into my pint glass. Appears a slightly hazy dark amber with a finger of off white head. Smells of smoked malt, sweet caramel and brown sugar. Tastes of smoked peat, and nutty sweet roasted malts. Medium to moderate in body. This is the first and hopefully not the last, scotch ale I've sampled with such a dominant level of smokiness. Very different, but nice nonetheless. Cheers.

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Photo of browner
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich mahogany color and a small white topper. If the likes of a smoky earthy islay is to your linking you will like the aroma of the Scotish Ale. Caramel, and a brown sugar overtone but difinitely a peattish theme. A bit thin in depth and bigger on the carbonation which subsides in a few minutes.

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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 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 scherbs
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep amber--almost a caramel color--with a very slight head. A glass of this brew gives off a very pleasant smokey aroma of roasted malt. Perhaps it is just me, but I can even detect a bit of peat in the taste and smell of this beer--just like a fine scotch. This brew drinks remarkably easy and rewards with an excellent combination of smokey flavors. Definitely to be recommended--although in moderation, as this beer can have the tendency to hit fairly hard!

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

Scores remain the same but a big load of smoky peatiness is on the nose and taste...first thing I noticed...sticky but medium bodied not full bodied..

A-Bourgandy colored....light head...

S-Has a bit of the Sprecher aroma (Hard to classify but a dark sweet fruitish aroma..thinking black cherries right now)...some peat smokiness on top of that..

T-Feels a little light for the style...tasty none-the-less....a good hit of peat...some black cherries and figs...

M-Clean tasting...leans sweet but not overdone...medium bodied.

D-A nice drinker...Being picky I would say it's a little on the light side for a wee heavy....still a tasty brew I would buy again.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.36/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a warm amber body with a dense creamy head of tan foam that last and last. There is a sea of micro bubbles that glide up the side of the glass.

S- This beer has a nougat and slightly sweet malt syrup smell with a faint smoky note. There is a faint smell of caramel as the beer warms a bit.

T- This beer has a light toasted creamy malt flavor with a slight sweetness and a faint tart smoke note. There is a slight taste of band-aids and an alcohol bite in the finish as it warms. This beer has a very muttled flavor and it doesn't taste fresh even though the bottle was fresh. The finish smoke taste had a salty quality to it aswell.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a faint slippery texture to the finish.


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Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%
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 fartingdog
4.42/5  rDev +22.4%
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 granger10
4.62/5  rDev +28%
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 bubrewer
3.69/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I opened this expecting that Wisconsin "twang" that I seem to find in most beers from there, and several others from Sprecher. This time, however, things are a little different.

The initial aroma is a little fruity, sort of English. Heartily mixed in is musty smoke, but not the bacony hickory aroma present in some smoked beers. As it warms the alcohol becomes more apparent, but not for the first several minutes in the glass.

Flavor is sort of carmelly raisins, and nice clean smoke. Just musty enough to be pleasant and nothing tarry or salty.

Overall this is a little dryer and thinner than I expect from a Scottish ale, but a very nice beer with a well done smoke character. I'll certainly grab another should the opportunity present itself.

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Photo of indy169
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

New Sprecher offerings are a hit or miss affair. Their recent Generation Porter was a full-on disappointment. So i was a bit leery with this scotch ale concept. I bought two anyway.
The beer pours deep and rich. Smell is strong but not offensive and the taste follows that and then some. The taste is full-bodied and slightly smoky and more than I expected. My hat is off to Sprecher on this one. Finally a unique offering. The hops are subdued and well balanced, the smoky essence is noticable but a little light. They could have pushed this a little more fore my taste, but for those not familiar with smoked beers, this is a fine place to start.
The high alcohol rating is the only thing keeping its drinkability numbers lower.
Groundskeeper Willie would drink this on special occasion, but I think he's more of a Red White & Blue session guy.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.56/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The good old smoked scottish ale. This one is definately one to try even if it isn't your favorite style. The pour is deep burnt red with an awesome, very clear, ruby body that holds a mocha head that gives a a great overall appearance. The aroma is heavy with malt and toffee. No hop presence is noted yet which is great for a true wee heavy. Although nice smelling, there was room for so much more malt punch. The peat didn't come through in the nose yet for me....then there is the taste. The smokey, earthy, bacon-like malt definately shows up for the party. The crude, raw punch of true peat smoked malt is an acquired taste. For me, being vegetarian, it doesn't hit home and make me want some ribs, but I can appreciate the uniqueness of it. The malt seems a bit overshadowed by the smokiness. I would have loved it to be the other way around. A thick, sweet body is enjoyable to drink, but 16oz is enough for one sitting. Very unique mix on a great style that should be experimented by more breweries.

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Photo of Winter
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown in color with a light tan head. Malty aroma with hints of caramel. Full-bodied and smooth mouthfeel. Flavor's heavy on the sweet malt. Fruity ale taste to back it up. Hints of brown sugar buried deep. Despite all it's claims of smokiness, it comes across rather sparingly in the taste. Overall, a nice offering, albeit slightly off-style.

Tried paring this with a mild cigar on a cool damp autumn night. The cigar totally overpowered this Scotch-style ale. Nonetheless, it was still an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of lampkins
3.37/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Was really looking forward to this beer as Sprecher does not release new beers regularly. Beer poured a coppery red with no head to speak of. Smelled like damp card board. Tasted like an english brown ale, and nothing special to write about that would lead one to think it is a scottish ale.

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Photo of cokes
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gloomy chestnutted scarlet topped with rings of dirty vanilla.
The nose is wheeeew-boy sweet. With that typical Sprecher's candied fig, and molasses aroma, bolstered here with blackberry brandy (or maybe just grape and blackberry jellies, as there is not a definite alcohol fume), then finished with gobs of brown sugar.
It's not a displeasing odor, but it lacks some of the traits I want in a Scotchy, namely smoke.
Begins as the inhale promised; full of sweet things, and sweeter things, and sweetest things. Jellied berries, molasses, pureed dark fruits, toffeed apples, and just toffee, and just pressed apples, and sugared breads--like cinnamon rolls, sans the cinnamon but still gobbed with running, gooey, vanilla frosting.
This shit is sweet.
The smoke peeks out eventually, timidly at first, then more confidently as time goes on. The formerly ham-fisted sweetness suddenly is a perfect counterpoint to the earthen, meaty smoke traits. Like a Hawaiian barbeque, with roasted pig flesh, and seared pineapples. Close it down with a waft of fragrant tobacco, and this becomes utopic.
No trace of the 8+% ABV is ever considered. And that is fucking scary.
Full bodied, but not thick, per say. The up-front sweetness lends a syrupy feel that dissolves as the beer changes. And given its particulars, with the sweetness, the forward meaty smoke, and its strength, it becomes far more drinkable than the sum of its parts.
Not a classic-styled Scotch Ale, but rather a stylized Scotch that is classic in itself.

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

This is my first experience with this style of ale.

While I was picking up some other beer I saw this one. The label wasn't bland like the usual Sprecher brands. This one has pictures of Scottish bagpipers on it and a lot of color which caught my eye.

Appearance -- Nice light brown color. This one almost pours like a soda; there's a lot of carbonation at first. Nice head but it didn't last long. Head was very carbonated with larger bubbles; didn't appear like a very creamy head.

Smell -- Sweet, malty, with smokey tones. Pleasant.

Taste -- Almost like it smells. Sweet with hints of smoke that are more apparent at the back of the mouth. Great ale for a brisk fall or winter night.

Mouthfeel -- Light with quite a bit of carbonation.

Drinkability -- It's a very drinkable ale although I'd probably have to limit it to one or two: it tastes sweeter than I am used to (I'm more of a fan of IPAs). I would definitely recommend it as well as make another purchase.

Served in an imperial pint glass.

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Photo of murrayswine
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm giving a shot to the local boy, Randy Sprecher.

This thing pours a strange swirl of tar black and deep brow thats slightly translucent. I was a little let down by the head, a mere 1/4 inch base that lasted all of about 10 seconds.

The smell delivered as advertised, heavy on the smoke, with a dark espresso tone.

The was new for me, typically a scots ale has a smooth balance, not here at all. This beer is all balls no shaft. Total smoke domination that, though is is cumbersome, actually finishes decent. It's like a 20 year old Laphroag Scotch in beer format.
If you are loyal to the Sprecher name, then pick it up. It is available on a very limited basis, (two cases per liquor store, period!)

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Photo of battlekow
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a red-tinted, slightly cloudy dark brown. Really nice, creamy white head that sticks around the edges forever and gives Pipers great lacing. Smell is kinda faint, but it's smoky and has cherries/anise, chocolate and maltiness. Tastes tartly sweet, again like cherries and anise, with a really nice toasted malt finish. Mouthfeel is medium. Pretty solid new beer from Sprecher; the toasted malt flavor is the highlight here.

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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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