Scotch Style Ale Aged In Oak Bourbon Barrels
Sprecher Brewing Company

Scotch Style Ale Aged In  Oak Bourbon BarrelsScotch Style Ale Aged In  Oak Bourbon Barrels
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #217
Ranked #24,017
3.82 | pDev: 17.54%
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Very Good
Scotch Style Ale Aged In  Oak Bourbon BarrelsScotch Style Ale Aged In  Oak Bourbon Barrels
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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 70 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.66/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

2008 vintage.

Pours a murky orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, tofee, and funky aromas. Taste is much the same with funky toffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer that is possibly infected and not very drinkable.

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Photo of Vierenner
2.53/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I think this is also called "Commando" ... that's what I drank and there are some web references indicating they are the same.

Head only forms with an agressive pour and goes away quickly. I don't like when the head behaves like a cold diet cola.

Over the top sweet ... and I like sweet beer. I don't know what else to say other than disappointing.

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Photo of Mscarpen
3.34/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am a huge fan of the Sprecher bourbon barrel beers, but this one seems to have turned on me. It was only a year old and has been held in dark, temperature controlled conditions. Anyway, this one help up OK for m a flavor standpoint but seemed to sour on the nose.

Dark amber with two fingers of head and tons of lacing. Smell was sweet bourbon and sour, with the taste comprising of butterscotch, booze, sweet dark liquor and candy. Mouthfeel was thin and lightly carbonated.

Overall, not the beer I fell in love with years ago but fairly good.

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Photo of deathcharms
1.95/5  rDev -49%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Poured at a tasting for me last night. The bottle was about 3 years old.

Oh wow, this beer was a doozy. The smell at first whiff was that of a portapotty. Yuck. I then conceded that it smelled like mushrooms and dirt. For the record, I hate mushrooms. First sip could not taste the beer without getting the mushroom smell mixed in. Second sip I held my nose so that I taste it without the mushroom smell, and it was just very bland imo. And there was also no hint of any bourbon taste

I feel partially the reason that it was "skunked" or "mushroomed" was the flip top on it not being that secure of a top.

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Photo of rye726
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1 liter swing top bottle. Served at room temperature in a pint glass. Pours a hazy brown with a thin tan head. Nose has smokey malts, dried cherries, caramel and toffee. Decent malt profile. The barrel aging is really faint. Body is a bit thin, but a nice Scotch Ale.

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Photo of claspada
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aromas of sweet caramel malts and a strong but not overpowering woodiness. Some lighter toffee and herbal notes are also present. Sweetness is definitely the main aroma.

The taste is musty initially with some solid sweetness presenting itself off the bat. Some odd burnt sugar and sweet toffee still persist against my taste buds. An underlying smokiness which lingers and lingers and lingers not matter the temperature.

This beer is definitely not the most balanced offering I have had in the Scottish Wee Heavy group but it's not horrible. Also not the best offering I have had from this Brewery (the oak Aged Doppelbock was exponentially better) but this this still a dent beer. It may have taken 2 years of aging to get to this point but hey it's all I can judge on... As this warms all the alcohol bite actually drops out which is interesting. Still really really woody and if you don't like oak beers you should move on, but I appreciate and enjoy this beverage even though it took me 3 hours to finish the 750ml.

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Photo of dstc
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, very deep ruby brown color with a small, airy tan head. Head falls to a very small one with thin, full lace.

Nose is big on booze. Smokey oak and fruits backed by a sweet smell but mostly alcohol.

Nice sweet malt taste with deep dark dried fruit flavor. Plenty of oak with hints of vanilla and plenty of bourbon. Very warming.

Full bodied mouthfeel with a big alcohol bite.

Not bad. Little too much on the bourbon but interesting nonetheless. Nice buzz.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Gordon's Highland thistle goblet.

Finally, an excuse to use my thistle goblet! This guy pours a slightly dark garnet brown with only a bit of off-white foam on top. It's possible there's a haze, but it could just be the color. Quite a bit of bourbon and oak flow from the surface, overpowering all else. A tiny hint of spruce pricks through, but only here or there. The taste tells a slightly different tale: Though the oak and bourbon are still abundant, notes of dry raisins, warm figs, juniper, and sweet syrupy spruce tips have carved out their own collective enclave, Republika Srpska-style. It all comes together in a brewer's Dayton-esque federation, though the barrel-inspired group has a slightly disproportionate share in the government. Things are peaceful somehow. The mood is somewhat heavy (though I suppose "a wee-bit heavy" is more appropriate here), with a moderate amount of popular gaseous uprisings. Not all that strange, everything seems to have an oaky feel about it in the end. As pleasant as things may appear, visiting remains something of a risk, a luxury only to be enjoyed in moderation.

EDIT: I revisited this stuff on 8/31/2014. Thorough oxidation now, making what was once a solid beer into a mess of sad bourbon, wet wood, and muddled malts. I'm leaving the above review, untouched score included, but I felt this update was appropriate.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap over the weekend. Served in my pint glass the beer is a crismon rust color with slightly darker edges. The light tan head rests about two fingers high and looks rather creamy and inviting.

The arom is a mix of sweet dark fruit like plums and rasins. Along with caramel and a heavy bourbon oak barrel presence. It smells like a winner.

The flavor is very balanced. A nice sweetness comes on at first but is mellowed out by malt and bourbon. It has that nice buttery carmel tone that seems to define the style. None of the flavors seem to over power eachother. They meld together rather nicely. The little lady even commented on how smooth it was. She's not a huge fan of bourbon so that's a huge compliment.

Medium to full body with very light carbonation.

Overall a real nice beer and an easy sipper. We both managed to gulp our pints down in no time at all.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Liter bottle split and poured into a Sprecher snifter. 10.2% ABV, 10018 (Julian date: Jan. 18th, 2010).

A - A little bit of yeast sediment made it into my glass, otherwise it's a clear ruby amber. A dense cream head popped up right away and sank slow leaving little lace.

S - Strong oak bourbon barrel nose. Not overpowering but bold among the other aspects. Toasted, smokey malts behind with a really toffee and caramel sweetness. Rich and almost stout-like, it has a lot of bold scents going on here.

T - Lots of toasted caramel malts. Very caramelized with vanilla flavor. Tons of oaky bourbon barrel and minimal hop flavor to the finish. A fair level of smoke is noticeable too.

M - Really smooth and rich with a medium body and slightly warm finish that lingers nicely.

D - I'm not 100% that I could do the whole bottle myself but I'm also not sure it would be impossible. A good sipper but I'd leave it there. Better on tap too.

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Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a share of large bottle from Abe's Cold Beer. While it's hard to screw up a scotch ale aged in bourbon barrels, I thought the diacetyl was a bit heavy for the style (should be low to none, per BJCP). Otherwise it had smooth vanilla bourbon character with big caramel candy and toffee flavors. For the money, I'd buy something else, but it's not bad.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9135 written on the back of the 1L swingtop bottle sealed with wax

Pours a dark slightly hazy brown with a white head. Smell of bourbon, oak , caramel and smoke.

Taste: Yep, its a wee heavy - except bumped up a few notches with some bourbon barrel aging which really takes over the flavors as bourbon tends to do. Rich caremelized sugars provide the base for this one, oak barrel really is the king of this beer though. A good wee heavy aged in bourbon barrels - I would be interested to see what their standard non bourbon barrel wee heavy tastes like to get more of the yeasts pronounced flavors. Strong carbonation and a wee heavy scotch ale medium feel body.

Drinkable for a 1L of 9.5 bourbon barrel wee heavy as I enjoy a good bourbon - some may take offense to it depending on your like of whiskey / bourbon. If you take this one out of your fridge definitely give it some time to warm up to get the full flavors of the ale.

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Photo of cudmud
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Deep brown color with a thin tan head that quickly dissipated. This brew has little to no lacing.

Smell: Plenty of malty smells and a hint of bourbon and oak.

Taste: Very malty with a hint of vanilla and earthy flavors.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy

Drinkability: I loved it as first, but grew tired of the sugary flavor. I'm glad I gave this on a try, but I don't think I'll try a second one.

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 1 finger head. The beer is a caramel brown and a little cloudy.

S: Fresh caramel, as in cooking caramel at home on the stove. That is exactly what this smells like. Amazing.

T: It's a little grainy, but still very caramelly.

M: Dryish, but nicely light, which I didn't expect from this beer.

D: Very drinkable, but not what I would call sessionable

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Photo of Boto
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 liter swing-top bottle: This one pours a dark coppery color. There was a small tan head onit that didn't hang around too long. The aroma had a bit of bourbon to it, as well as some caramel malts. Maybe some smokiness to it also. The taste has notes of the bourbon, a rich malt taste, smokiness, maybe a tinge of vanilla. Somewhat slick and silky mouthfeel. Nice!

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Photo of juik99
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a snifter. Limited amount of head, one finger and remains a shallow film that leaves a descent lace around the glass.

Smells of bourbon then malts, a little caramel, some smokiness. I like the combination.

Hits you upfront with bourbon, like hops with your first IPA, almost offensive. The bourbon gradually blends with the smokey malt flavor. I really enjoy the combination. Love or hate this beer.

Mouthfeel is "wee heavy" as expected, low carbonation.

At 10+% sip it all night with a late fall or winter fire-pit out back. You wont regret it.

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Photo of mandoskippy
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got to share one of these out the bottle with friend. (Thanks B!) Overall I was impressed with the beer. It was my first Scotch Ale

A: Rich caramel color with hint of red. Nice one inch head that stuck around.

S: Pleasant strong aroma. The smell really prefaced the taste very well.

T: Wonderfly complex. I really enjoyed this beer. We drank it with pizza (trying the beer first) and after eating some pizza, I noticed some nice smoky notes in this beer.

M: Sharp as many bourbon barrels can be... a bit of harshness up front, but not nearly as much as I would have expected with a 10% ish beer.

D: This is a sippin beer not a session beer :)

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Photo of botham
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at the Sugar Maple in Milwaukee on July 17, 2009 poured into a snifter. pours a chestnut brown with minimal head and a soapy rim that leaves light lacings. drab in the glass.

aroma is rich and malty with earthy undertones and a very bready base. almost barleywine-esque in character. very sweet and malty, with notes of the bourbon aging in the background.

taste follows the nose with a carmelized sweetness that lingers after the fact. very rich and mildly woody on the back end.

mouthfeel is full bodied with a sticky malted texture on the palate. again, barleywine-esque in texture and mouthfeel.

drinkability is good. very rich and malty with a great woody quality. whatever booze is in the brew is completely covered, which really enhances the drinkability. still, drinkability is only decent due to the richness of the profile. cheers!

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Photo of Suthrncomfrt1884
2.56/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I was not impressed with this beer compared to other bourbon aged beers I've had. I don't think Scotch Ales can quite stand up to the bourbon flavor put off from used barrels.

Bourbon was about all I smelled and tasted from the second I popped the cap off. Will not try this again. I was only able to finish about 1/3 of the bottle.

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Photo of cpmau11
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crimson in color and suddle in taste. Poured into a Chimay glass, there was very little to no head. You can taste the bourbon thats its aged in, although its not an overwhelming character. Compared to other scotch ales this one is good. This beer is surprisingly clear for a scotch ale as well.

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Photo of mwilbur
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 1 L bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a fairly opaque reddish brown with 1/4 inch bubbly light tan head.
S: Strong bourbon and caramel malt notes. Hint of sugar sweetness too. Nice. Can smell this one a few feet away.
T: Unfortunately not as good as the aroma. Fairly weak and almost watered down caramel malt and sugar. Very faint bourbon taste.
M: Smooth, but bland.
D: The more I have of this beer, the less I want it. Started out promising, but took a nose-dive. I've had some very drinkable scotch ales and some very drinkable bourbon barrel aged brews...this is not one of them. Sprecher is a good brewery, just not a fan of this brew.

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Photo of beckje01
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes, aged 1yr.

Same brownish color as the normal scotch ale. Has a light head of brown foam. Malty nose with some alcohol not really bourbon nose as you would expect. Good flavor nice boozy flavor with the malt does very well for the style. Much more enjoyable then the standard.

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Photo of paytoplay
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1L bottle. And as the bottle size and wieght to the extreme so was this brew. Alc is relatively low 9.5%, but the burbon barrel aging really kicks up the boozyness. Sweet malts and funk on the nose. Ver intense. Sweet melting banana, vanilla burbon with a sweet finish. I've heard some of these can be not so good because of the closure. Don't think this was a bad bottle as it has slight carbination. Very interesting to try, I have the other 1L Sprechers so should have a better grip of their style after working thru the 2 or 3 more I have. Interesting brew but I could see many being off put by the weirdness.

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Photo of zeff80
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a copper/rust color with basically no head at all. Very little carbonation.

S - It smelled of malt, caramel, vanilla and a little toffee. Also, a spicy aroma.

T - Vanilla, caramel, molassess, bourbon with a peppery spice kick. Nice balance but leaning toward the malty side.

M - It was very soft and somewhat smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a good scotch ale. The bourbon aging is a very nice touch and mellows it.

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Photo of charlzm
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opened and shared at Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA on 08/27/08. I picked up the bottle at Beverage Warehouse in January 2008 and have had it aging for 7 months at between 40 and 50 degrees fahrenheit.

Clear dark brown pour with deep garnet highlights. No carbonation at all. Nil. Zip. Zilch.

Aroma is sweet and malty with vanilla and something else... oh, yeah, BOURBON. Lots and lots of sweet, delicious bourbon. This is one of the best-smelling beers I've ever inhaled.

Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side. And did I mention there's no carbonation whatsoever?

Flavor has the expected bourbon and wood components due to the barrel aging, but they are not overbearing at all. Vanilla also present, along with sweet caramel malts and an apricot note. Bitter at the end, but only a little. Seems due more to the wood cask than any hops.

Godo for sharing, but the lack of carbonation sort of kills some of the fun of drinking this.

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Scotch Style Ale Aged In Oak Bourbon Barrels from Sprecher Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 70 ratings