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 SteveS1
3.21/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip pint from the bottle:

Look- Ruby red and clear, nice tan foamy head with small bubbles and a bit of retention

Smell- Sickeningly sweet, I could smell malts before approaching the glass, strong carmels

Taste- Immediately sweet on the tongue, then a warming earthiness fills the mouth. Finishes like syrup, but leaves a sweet aftertaste.

Feel- Heavy, thick, syrupy, call it what you want. I found it a bit overwhelming. Fair amount of carbonation.

Drinkability- It is tasty, so you could down it just fine. Better to stick with sipping considering the alcohol and overall richness.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Actually this bottle is one of the "Brewmasters Reserve" collection that I have had in my fridge for at least a year. I don't know why, but tonight seems like the night finally.

Appearance: After a rather aggressive pour, there is a quarter inch head of tan bubbles that is thick and creamy and looks like it is going to be there for a while. The beer itself is clear dark brown with red highlights. There don't appear to be many bubbles rising, but the head is still sticking around anyway. There is some pretty thick lacing left on the glass after drinking the beer, so it is a pretty well presented beer.

Aroma: My first impression was of dark caramelized malts as it should be. There is a tad of oxidation in this beer that is not a detractor, but gives it some more depth in the aroma. It has a really woody aromatic coming out as the foam settles and the malts are inter-playing to give it a dark cherry nose to it as well. Overall the aroma is quite nice for the style.

Taste: The flavor is much thinner than I suspected form the aroma, but it follows the aroma pretty closely anyway. The caramel malts are a huge part of the flavor profile and linger long into the finish. The alcohol is noticeable as a spicy component that is a pretty big player in the whole flavor profile and gives you some evident warming to linger long into the finish. For being such a high gravity beer, the overall mouthfeel is pretty thin. This makes it dangerously easy to drink for being such a "butt-whooper".

Opinion: This beer is pretty good, and one of the better ones I have had from this brewery. This example has some age on it which helps it overall as I imagine that a fresh example may be somewhat simple. Regardless, this is a pretty good beer and one that I wouldn't mind drinking again someday.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

16oz. bottle poured into a siedel. Bottled sometime in the Fall of 2009. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for the trade.

(A)- Pours a clear red amber color with brown highlights that produced a fluffy off-white head that dissipated quickly.

(S)- A rich yet light hickory smoke with some sweet yet toasted caramel malts.

(T)- A rich & sweet malted flavors of caramel & toffee with a spicy hickory smoke peat. Finishes slightly dry & lightly hoppy.

(M)- Good carbonation level and balance. Smoky, but not overly so. Rather sweet though.

(D)- A unique Scotch Ale with the inclusion of it being smoked. Generally, I am not a big fan of smoked beers, but this one is done right due to it being a balancing agent & adds to the complexity of the beer instead of being the main focal point of the beer. Solid stuff. Just a bit too sweet to have a few of.

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

Pour - Pipers pours a lot like unfiltered apple cider. The head is a big, off-white and composed of lots of little bubbles. Strings of tiny bubbles rush upwards through a rather murky looking beer.

Aroma - Very sweet. Brown sugar and caramel with some baked apples. There is a great smokiness to this as well, it reminds me of some of the peatier Scotch whiskeys I've had.

Taste - Like a smoked candied apple. Sweet and smokey, a very nice combo. Reminds me of an apple orchard with on a fall day with someone burning wood nearby. Toffee notes combine with the fruity esters to make for one full bodied and flavorful beer. The alcohol is definitely noticeable and provides some heat along with a somewhat dry finish.

Overall - Excellent smokey scotch ale. The combo of sweet and smokey is a great one. I am warm and happy.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a recent trip to NY.
Pours a clear reddish brown with a good sized bubbly beige head. Smells of smoke and bacon initially. Huge smoky aroma dominates my nostrils. Faint dark fruits and maybe some walnuts hide deep in the bowels of my glass. Taste is sweet with caramel, molasses, and tobacco flavors that are scissored by some smoke to finish with a lingering cured meat/alcohol finish. Definitely a sipper here. Carbonation is medium to high, a bit prickly on the tongue affecting the creaminess of the mouthfeel a little bit. Big body. This is a nice sipper. Its a bit more smokey than I normally like, but what the hell it's pretty good.

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Photo of rebel1771
4.27/5  rDev +18.3%
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 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 Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Darkish brown with a moderate white head, that leaves some lacing. Nice smoke and tabacco odour. A tad weak mouthfeel, decent taste, malt and spicey sweet peat, and tabacco smoke taste. above average carbonation.
A decent scotch beer from this decent brewer.

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

1 liter cobalt blue, swing-top bottle; served in a tulip.

Thin oak in color with faint burgundy highlights. Creamy, carbonation-filled tan head that recedes rather quickly to a not quite intact, thin film. Attractive, pin-drop lacing, but not much strength.

Heavily sweetened caramel and toffe aromas; notes of additionally sweet nutmeg and brown sugar. Alcohol-soaked fig, date, and raisin flavors. Despite mingling nicely with the previously mentioned earthen-fruity esters, the alcohol character is cutting and gaseous.

Sweet caramel, toffee, and faint milk chocolate. The spices are dry and rich: nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon. The fruity esters are present, but not as intense as the aromas promise: fig and raisin with hints of nuttiness. Hints of peat-smoked malt at mid-sip admist a watery thin aspect which certainly hurts this Scotch Ale's sweet, rich flavors.

Full in body; slightly creamy, but mostly a dry texture throughout. Just sweet enough to prevent a filmy/chalky mouthfeel. The flavors suffer from a watery thinness at mid-sip.

A pretty good Scoth Ale. Nothing overpowering in terms of flavor, which is pretty unfortunate as the aroma shows much promise. A little thin and subdued, but not a bad stab at the style.

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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 tempest
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Princeton Liquors in Maple Grove. Poured a red-brown with a short head. The flavor, straight out of my fridge is a rubbery smoked malt, but it smooths out as the beer warms up. The flavor has a slightly meaty roasted caramel taste to it, with a bit of candy sugar sweetness. The aroma also has a bit of apple to it, and the body is reasonably drinkable. This is a nice beer, though, worth a try if you like smoked beers.

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Photo of Birchgrove77
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from Woodmans Grocery (Algonquin)

Appearance: Dark brown color, with a very nice creamy off-white head.

Smell: Caramel and vanilla, with a slight bit of earthiness.

Taste: Dominant caramel maltiness. A slight hint of vanilla,nutmeg, and nougat. Was expecting more smokiness, even a bit of peatiness based on labeling.

Drinkability: Alcohol was well hidden and it would be easy to put away a couple of these. I think had the beer been a little less carbonated could have brought up a few of the more subtle notes. Not my favorite wee-heavy, but very drinkable.

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

16 oz. bottle poured into a Maudite tulip.

Shows a dark brown color with reddish-burgundy hues when held to the light. Produces a creamy but thin beige head with fairly decent retention throughout. No lacing observed.

Nose shows off a restrained but pleasant sweet and peat smoke malt profile along with notes of brown sugar, raisin, plum, roasted malts.

Palate was a bit on the thin side but smooth and subtly carbonated.

Taste was classic Scotch Ale with a good deal of peat smoked malt coming to the forefront immediately. Love the peat smoke flavor; very unique and earthy. Overall flavor is sweet, sugary and toasty with a bit of dark, dried fruit lurking in the background. Unfortunately the flavors are also quite restrained and the finish is quick. Absolutely no evidence of a 8.27% abv; very light and easy going down.

Not bad but not in the class of Old Chub or Skullspliter for instance.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.17/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz bottle, served in a Duvel tulip. Poured copper/brown with a thin head. Rich malty aroma with fruit, caramel and some smoke. Full bodied with a smooth, rich mouthfeel. Sweet malt with toffee and more fruit. Good amount of peat smoke in finish. Tasty.

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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 Drew966
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Piper's Scotch Style Ale pours a dark reddish brown with an off white head from a brown sixteen ounce bottle. The aroma is very malty with a hint of smoke and is quite good. The flavor isn't as intensely malty as I might like, don't get me wrong, it's still the most dominant flavor, but it just isn't enough. You can taste some smoke, hops are not really in the picture, nor should they be. Worth a try.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
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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Pipers Scotch-Style Ale from Sprecher Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 234 ratings.
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