Scotch Style Ale Aged In Oak Bourbon Barrels | Sprecher Brewing Company

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Scotch Style Ale Aged In  Oak Bourbon BarrelsScotch Style Ale Aged In  Oak Bourbon Barrels
70 Ratings
Scotch Style Ale Aged In  Oak Bourbon BarrelsScotch Style Ale Aged In  Oak Bourbon Barrels

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-31-2006

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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 52
Reviews by LittleBreeze:
Photo of LittleBreeze
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasting 3/29/08

I was looking forward to trying this one and I was not disappointed. It is a slow night sipper. Lots of malt, caramel and vanilla on the nose and taste. This beer is rather rich and bold with a bit of smoke.

Good beer experience. DMeadows, thanks for sharing this one.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of IntriqKen
2.86/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a typical amber in the glass with a smallish white head that melts to light foam on top with a ring of white bubbles.

Aroma is slightly smokey but very, very subdued. A little oak comes forth as it warms.

Taste was smokey with a hint of oak and some dark burnt brown sugar but everything blends together so much that individual favors seem lost and the tastes normally present that would identify a Scotch Ale are completely gone for me.

Mouthfeel is adequate...aftertaste is clean, but overall a disappointment to me because of how homogenized the flavors and aromas become. I thing the brewers idea and intent was good, but it doesn't work for a Scotch Ale. More is lost than is gained, IMHO.

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Photo of beerbrains
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of dirtylou
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml swingtop bottle, Woodman's West, split with blackie

appearance: poured into a snifter, murky muddy amber-mahogany, creamy tan head with decent lacing

smell: big sweet malty nose, oak quite noticeable, light sourness noted, thick caramel, booze noted, raisin, plum...a definite departure from the style but very interesting

taste: this is a nice scotch ale...nice caramel nature, brown sugar, strong booze presence but not offensive, vanilla, oak provides an interesting twist leaving a woody sour nature, bourbon makes a brief appearance on the tongue in the aftertaste...very complex beer that i very much enjoy, and definitely outside the box for sprecher

mouthfeel: pretty smooth, active on the tongue, decent booze bite

drinkability: fairly good

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Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
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 deathcharms
1.95/5  rDev -47.9%
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 GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jdkitchi
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Franchise
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This offering pours a cloudy brown tan leaving a thin lace that leaves this beer quickly. The aroma is boozey, caramel, sweet bourbon, vanilla, earthy, wow what a crazy nose fantastic.

The taste starts syrupy sweet, caramel, wow a nice toasty bourbon aspect, citrus, piney hops that taste phenomenal this is a great bourbon scotch ale. The mouthfeel is syrupy, toasted malt, toffee, hoppy earthy bitterness that is balanced with a nice bourbon essence great beer.

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Photo of emerge077
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Shared this one, so maybe a 16 oz. sample...
Pours an opaque mahoghany brown, some thin swirling of carbonation on the surface. Looks robust, which it later delivers in it's taste.

Sweet malty caramel aroma, not really smoky or peaty like i'd hope for a Scotch Ale to smell like.

Taste is malty sweet and fruity at first, tapering into a long, dry oak finish. Smoke is very subdued, bourbon appears halfway through, but is paired with the caramelly sweetness and dry tart quality of the oak in the forefront. Some vanilla results, but the sum of the parts leaves something to be desired. A touch too sweet, but not cloying. The woody oak element is satifying.

Mouthfeel is thin and somewhat tart, a little too light to match the intended boldness of the flavor. I'm glad the bottle was shared, I wouldn't have drank it otherwise.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
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 Bierguy5
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

9.5 % ABV, cool large swing top bottle. Clear, ruby/brown color. Very thin white head disappears quickly. Aroma is very woodsy, full of vanilla and oak. Sweet and toasty, with a bourbon edge. Warming from the alcohol. I pick up a bit of smoke. Malt character seems to have lost out to the barrel. Thin, and a bit watery. Lower carbonation, which seems appropriate. This seems overdone, as there is not much character left of the original beer. Disappointing. Thanks to mcallister for sharing.

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Photo of blackie
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour fills the upper reaches of my snifter with a fluffy looking, dark khaki colored head that recedes partially, leaving a ring and a layer continuously fed by a stream of bubbles from the bottom. The beer is a very hazy rich brown color.

smell: Big oak notes are immediately noticeable, and almost overwhelm the other aromas. Along for the ride are malty toffee and toasty notes, with a very subtle chocolate hint. I find heavy notes of dried fig, and some subtle date sugariness. There's even a slight hint of spicy root. The hops are subtle, and just the right amount of bourbon booziness is evident.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is somewhat high, but very smooth...and the body a full medium.

taste: At first sip I find notes of lightly smoky malts, dark sugars, and a distinct molasses flavor. Flavors of peat and soggy hardwood compliment the modetate sweetness well. Though I get plenty of the barrel, I get only a hint of the bourbon. Some fruity notes of date and dried fig are found. This is an interesting take on the style and is quite flavorful, but there is something slightly off to my tastebuds that I cannot quite describe...I think the woodiness may be a little overdone. I have been struggling between a 4.0 and a 4.5 for the flavor, so I am going to give it the benefit of the doubt since I'm really enjoying it.

drinkability: The alcohol is very well hidden, and what does come through is more desirable than not. As a beer, this is an interesting and enjoyable, but overall decent, wee heavy.

Large swingtop bottle split with dirtylou during my Madison visit

Bottle picked up in Madison Jan '07, consumed Jan '08:

Much clearer than my last sample, mahogany brown in color. Almost zero head, but it's not dead as there is a low carbonation to the medium-full body. Some malt complexity has been lost, but it's still good...oxidation is obvious. Still peaty and a little smoky, still tastes and smells good. There's still a nice, large oak presence. Smells of old booze-logged oak and a range of sugary oxidized malts. Love the old, rustic woody oxidized quality of the aroma. Reminds me of an old river cabin for whatever reason...maybe I detect a hint of murky, ferric river water. Hops negligible, as is the ethanol presence. The smell carries its age better than the aroma, as the flavor has turned a touch watery, especially in the finish. I shouldn't say it has gone downhill, it's just different. Not changing any scores, but if I did they would be slightly lower. Not sure if I should blame the rubber-gasketed swing top or not, but it could certainly be the culprit.

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Photo of Big_Dave
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Fusebuddy
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of mwilbur
3.37/5  rDev -9.9%
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 dstc
4/5  rDev +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 claspada
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
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 mdwalsh
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
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 ppoitras
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1L swing-top brown bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA. Hangtag further IDs it as the "Brewmaster Limited Release".

Poured into a large chalice, formed a 1/4" tan head over the clear burgundy brown brew. Head heads nicely, with slow-to-fade lacing. Aroma is sweet hearty grains, but booze and oak notes quickly dominate. Taste is again upfront the sweet maltiness you expect, with a twinge of peat, but gives way to a dark fruitiness, and then the bourbon and oaky vanilla notes take over. Swallow finds warmth abounding. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is high for such a high abv brew. The interesting variety of flavors keeps me wanting more.

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Photo of cudmud
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
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 Lukas
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of atone315
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Suthrncomfrt1884
2.56/5  rDev -31.6%
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 charlzm
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
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: 3.74 out of 5 with 70 ratings