Green Flash / Pizza Port / Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale | Stone Brewing

very good
328 Reviews
Green Flash / Pizza Port / Stone Highway 78 Scotch AleGreen Flash / Pizza Port / Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopHead84 on 02-07-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 328 | Ratings: 581
Photo of GarrettB
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

September 11th, 2013 - A beer of this calibre, and at this price ($17.99, California) is typically out of my range. But it's my birthday month, and a luxurious beer is better than a cake at my age. The Highway 78 Scotch Ale is a promising way to celebrate. The style is one of my favorite, and the bottle demonstrates all the pedigrees of an expensive collaboration. Once poured it looks a great deal like a pint of Coca-Cola. Large bubbles stick to the side of the glass, sitting just below the thinnest of mottled heads, and the body is that familiar semi-clear liquid that we've all seen splashed, swirled and slurped in a million Coke commercials. The aroma is dominated by hickory, hickory smoke, and wood, almost so as to snell like Virginian pipe tobacco. The hickory notes return on the tongue where they present as slightly sour. A mild to medium weight palate is closer to a flat carbonation than I would have expected, but the silence of the mouthfeel reveals other subtle flavors like juniper, blueberries, black pepper, and beef jerky. The traditional caramel sugars of the scotch ale don't appear here, nor does the whiskey burn of the barrel, but these are replaced with new and interesting flavors - a wonderful birthday gift.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle pouted into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Liquid pours light brown and amber with light red highlights. A little lighter when held up to the light. Pretty good clarity, some slight particles floating around. Off white/cream collared head, not much in the way of lacing and it doesn't stick around too long.

Smells really good. Lots of caramelized malts, a reasonable dose of vanilla, brown sugar/butter blend, followed by an appropriate amount of spicy hops.

Taste might be a touch better than the smell. Very well malted, but not in the slightest bit a sugar bomb. Plenty of caramelized roasted malts, a nice vanilla/brown sugar blend. There's also the slightest bit of an earthy smoke flavor. Mostly herbal hops with the slightest touch of over ripe, sweet tangerine citrus.

Mouthfeel is great. Full bodied and a good carbonation level. Slightly buttery with a nice dry, spicy finish. Really drinkable, goes pretty quick, especially for a scotch ale. Nice job boys, another awesome Stone Collab.

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Photo of Dope
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I don't see a date on this but it does list it as a 2011 collaboration.

A: Pours a dark brown with red highlights. Fluffy and airy tan head. Head fizzes out somewhat quickly. Decent retention and some wide swatches of lacing.

S: Mellow aroma, probably due to the age. Mild smoke and peat. Some malty sweetness, caramel I believe?

T: Sweeter than the aroma betrays. Caramel with hints of molasses. Decent peat up front. Not very smoky, just hints of it here and there. Plenty of peat, however.

M: Medium bodied, smooth and silky.

O: Age has apparently mellowed and smoothed this one out. Well-integrated flavors lend to a very drinkable scotch ale. Pretty simple in general and enjoyable.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in to snifter.

A - Poured medium brown, settled a murky dark brown with a thin layer of light brown head.

S - Smoke, peat, dark caramel, toffee, bread and a light molasses presence.

T - Bready sweetness up front with caramel, toffee and raisins that are well integrated with a peat/scotch presence and a light oakiness from the barrels. Some warming alcohol.

M - Medium body, almost full body at times. Very light carbonation.

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Photo of Samp01
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy brown amber with a small short lived beige head. Aroma and Taste of sweet dark caramel malt, raisins, a bit of dry dark fruit figs, plums with some yeast, brown sugar, mild bitterness and sweet alcohol esters. Palate is medium to full body, smooth and a sweet sticky mouth feel. Finishes with sweet caramel malt, raisins, dark fruit, plums, sweet sour flavor, yeast, ending is mildly bitter with a dry alcohol. Lingering notes of caramel and raisin sweetness. Overall I found this to be a very well made and tasty brew.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip. Acquired in a trade. 2011 vintage.

A- Pours a muddy brown, hazy body with a light mocha colored head that rises quickly and reduces at a medium rate. Leaves some uniform white lacing.

S- Milk chocolate, butterscotch, sweet toffee, molasses, vanilla, slight musty notes.

T- Starts off sweet with sugar cookie, molasses, vanilla, and bourbon notes. Finishes with a WONDERFUL freshly baked break notes. Aftertaste is roasty and almost charred, like overdone bread.

M- Medium-high carbonation, medium body.

I was highly impressed with this brew. It's super complex and flavorful, with a seriously impressive aftertaste that begs for another sip. Age definitely did this one well.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
2.33/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to barfdiggs for this one...

A: Pours a murky redish-brown with a thin layer of off-white foam across the top. The head settles into a small ring along the edges of the glass. There is no lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is peat, soy, gym socks, and slight sour cherries. I'm already not a fan.

T: This beer starts out sweet, with some caramel notes, some seaweed, and old muddled fruit.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's hot and sour, sweet and salty, and it finishes weird.

O: No thanks. I'm just not into this one. I'm not a huge fan of scotch ales to begin with, but this one verges on bad.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.39/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours a cloudy, muddled brown with a finger of cream colored head. Lacing is very good, producing a thick sheen on the glass. Retention is lacking, as the head quickly falls to a quarter finger.

S. Interesting. Loads of ripe dates, cherries, and fig. Good dose of raisin and brown sugar as well. All of this against a very malty, pie crust-like backbone. Has a very quadrupel type aroma. Some lightly toasted caramel and vanilla come out as this warms up. Surprisingly awesome.

T. Brown sugar, toasted malt, traces of chocolate, some molasses, pumpernickel bread crust, mild dark fruit. A little bit of oxidation is starting to show, though at present it is inoffensive. The finish is all roasted malt and a little bit of drying alcohol. Really good.

M. Full-bodied and moderately carbed. Pretty creamy feel.

O. This has held up surprisingly well. I don't recall how this drank fresh, but it is drinking really nicely right now. An excellent scotch ale with a hyper complex nose and a nice rounded flavor profile. Color me impressed.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Victory tulip

A- pours a dark shade of brown with a paper thin tan head that fades quickly. Well....that's disappointing

S- getting a lot of sweetness coming through...brown sugar? Very malty aroma as well

T- there's a little bit of sweetness, and a lot of maltiness. No hops to speak of, as I'd expect. Slight hints of booze. Slight char taste as well. Not what I expected...but very enjoyable!

M- the body is very thin...not bad

O- this was a huge surprise to me. I'm not much of a scotch ale/wee heavy type of guy (waaay too malty and usually boozy for my tastes), but this is fantastic

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz my brother picked up in CA last summer... I know that the Boise crew has had this on a couple times, but I wanted tonight to scale down the cellar and get a new review in... Thanks, Steven.

Poured into my slim tulip... Good tannish head... nice lacing ... the brew is clear deeep amber.... pretty.

The nose is better than I remember... deep and slightly caramel maltiness... toasty bread and some burnt sugars... some light plum fruitiness seems on par.

Flavor is leaning toward the caramel malt.. burnt sugar and dark toast.. fruity notes show mid palate and are carried by the maltiness... I am glad that there is no "smoked malt"... that would be a disaster in a pretty good brew.

Body seems about right for the style... I dig the big maltiness and think that the low carbonation makes things nice...

I think I only have one bottle left... And I am looking forward to this one in about 6 months.... Seems to be peaking now.


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Photo of stickynotes
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Found this dusty bottle in a bin.

Poured into tulip. Deep and clear auburn with a robust light tan head, good lacing. Nose is caramel and sweet malt, some booze. Taste is smooth, caramel and sweetness, a boozey presence but blended in well. Mouthfeel is flat, nothing special. Overall this is a nice beer, it is bold with strong caramel all around and well balanced.

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Photo of Offa
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep red-brown, small pale tan head steadily shrinks to ring and then nothing except a very thin ring.

Aroma is rich, camelised toasted dark bread, dark raisins, hint of fig and earthy wood.

Taste is nice, whiskyish raisin, toasted sweet brown bread, dark raisiny spicy sweetness. It is not super complex, but has a good, well-rounded depth of character. It has a lively and light feel but with a hint of oiliness so it’s not thin.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.58/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Very little head pours... Very flat in appearance. Heavy oxidation, I've keep it at 65 degree in a dark box... Never had a problem before.

Very mossy and peat-y on the nose. Slight soggy cardboard and alcohol scent.

Very mossy, high heat and FLAT!!! Lots of metalic flavors. Nothing stands out about this brew, perhaps it was better fresh???

Not recommended.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours brown with a reddish tinge to it with a small off white head which quickly fades to a small collar around the glass
S: smells heavily malty with notes of caramel and toffee dominating with a hint of smokiness
T: huge sweet malt profile dominates with some caramel sweetness and a bit of sweet milk chocolate, slightly smokiness as well with a bit of spice and a tinge of english hop bitterness. Finish is bittersweet with more caramel malt and a bit of hop bitterness. fruity alcohol comes in a bit on the swallow.
M: prickly carbonation and full in the mouth, carbonation subsides and the mouthfeel switches to be a bit more slick and silky
O: pretty tasty. I'm not the biggest fan of scotch ales but this one isn't too shabby.

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Photo of rudzud
3.02/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle of this roughly over a year ago at Julio's. Poured into Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a crystal clear mahogany pour with a very thin offwhite head that fades quickly to leave a thin halo and light wisps.

S - Smell is of sticky sweet carmel malts and dark fruits. Almost like a eisbock or something

T - Taste is...hrm. Not diggin this really. More carmel malts and sticky sweet dark "old world" type fruits. Not really figs..dates maybe? Molasses, cola syrup, almost like a kvass, just not as bad.

M - Mouthfeel isnt that bad. Not too thin, light carbonation. ABV isnt that noticeable. Best quality of the beer.

O - Overall this beer was slightly best. Very disappointed in this one. Really didnt care for this.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.54/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 2/2011 notes. Poured into a MacAndrew's thistle glass. Pours a ruby orange amber. Thin head and some lacing. Caramel malt and light fruit aroma, nice. Flavor is sweet caramel malt, bready malts, some dark and light fruit, a hint of chocolate. This tastes as if it has already aged for a year or two, very mellow and well integrated. Medium bodied, almost creamy. A very nice, mellow scotch ale.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.3/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at Hollingshead's Deli in Orange, California and served into a Disney Scotch Ale thistle glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Cost was $3.19 plus tax.

Stone Collaborations 2011 series, brewed with Pizza Port (Carlsbad) and Green Flash. Brew date is December 17th, 2010 according to the label.

Expectations are average; I like Port brewing and Stone (though I'm always wary of their arrogant douchey gimmicks), but Green Flash isn't particularly special.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Bottle recommends a cellar aging temperature of 55 F/13 C or below.

A: Pours a half finger head, quite thin, without much cream at all, and of bad (~12 second) retention. Colour is a nontransparent dark caramel-amber. It an't much to look at, but it's beer. Nothing unique or special. No floating yeast particles. Mundane compared to other beers in the style.

Sm: Malts - some caramelized, some darker, some lighter, a little biscuity. Grain. Indistinct caramel-esque notes. That's about it. A simple, weak, unappealing, mild strength aroma.

T: Caramelized malts are dominant. Hints of tea. Some brighter malts. Overwhelming sugars (some brown, others questionable) in the third act. No cream, yeast, or alcohol comes through. Simply, blandly built. Badly balanced. Dull and boring. There's little to say about it. Not at all complex or subtle. Meh.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Undercarbonated. The thickness is off, but not too far in either extreme. Doesn't complements the flavours really at all. Poorly executed.

Dr: A boring bland Scotch Ale if I ever had one. Though it hides its ABV well, it's simply low quality. The label mentions something about "Why would these three breweries known for their hoppy beers brew a Scotch Ale?" Great question. Another bad collaboration beer wherein Stone is involved.


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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a dark, vibrant, ruby-copper coloring with a thin, foamy, yellowish head that quickly dissipates into a ring of film. Aromas are mild, but there is definitely some roasted qualities to the caramel and scotch aromas. Woody highlights, as well. Flavors are rich and super malty. Officially a malt bomb on my hands here. Roasty, there are nutty and caramel sweet flavors blended throughout, with a rich and slightly boozey undertone that keeps the palate clean and light. Amazingly, this beer avoids cloying throughout the experience. The aftertaste is light, which is impressive, leaving only a slight nutty and earthy blending on the tongue. Smooth, slick finish. This beer is very well put together and ridiculously easy to drink. Well done for a trio of hopcentric breweries.

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Photo of macktbone
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stored in my cellar for a few months and enjoyed on a cool Feb California eve in NorCal.

A-Deep, Dark solid amber that looks like some Jurassic creature should be isolated in it. Small bubbles that continue to flow from the bottom of the glass. No lacing throughout the drink.

S- Lots of dark fruits,a little spice and a touch of sour funk.

T- Nice edge of wood and butter that blend with the spice and nuts.

M- Very smooth on both the palate and the tounge. Carbonation appearance is very different than the experienced smoothness.

D- If not for being a limited colaboration it would be a great winter warmer / heavy to enjoy annually. Great for the season and a deffinate plus from HWY 78.

Thanks Greg, Thomme, and Green Flash.

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Photo of Durge
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep root beer / copper color with a fair off-white head that breaks down to a stubborn ring after a few minutes. Lacing is pretty much absent. The aroma is quite impressive and makes its presence known from a foot or two away after the pour into a sturdy pint glass at room temperature. Lots of deep caramel and woodsy malt here along with a fair whiskey hint. Sweet vanilla coconut works it's way out with a little peaty brown bread. Very earthy and quite likeable. The flavor jumps out with very sweet vanilla caramel and suggestions of root beer / cream soda. There's still a bit of whiskey present but it gives way to the sweetness which really dominates here. There is some warming on the way down. Dr. Pepper and herbal qualities emerge, but a near cloying sweetness dominates, almost like a dessert beer. I like it in terms of the flavors, if your in a sweet tooth mood, but it might be a little too candy-like for some. Horehound comes to mind. This is medium -plus bodied, approaching full, with a pretty slick feel and minimal carbonation. There are some pineapple fruit ideas in here too. Overall, pretty interesting, fairly complex I think, not a session brew, but very decent stuff if you can handle the sugar high.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

We pour a brew of dark caramel. The color has golden notes, but it borders on a deep medium brown. There is a brief half finger tall head that recedes quickly into a crown of tannish bubbles around the edges, and a whispy film about the top. There is little lacing, but spots appear as we sip. There is a serious haze, but no outright sediment. Carbonation appears moderate. The nose is sweet, malty, phenolic, fruity, and boozy. Individual notes of caramels and deeper malts form the base, along with a stark magic marker phenol. The malts remain more bready than sweet, unlike many more traditional representations of the style. The latter mixes with a deep funk of aromatic yeast that seems related to Brett. There is a candy apple sweetness and a grassy hop on the far back. Finally, there is a spiciness of black pepper and bitter powdered mustard. As we sip, a mild beer presents. The first notes are of souring grain that is both wheaty, and roasty, much like the malt bill of a coffee porter. There is further biting from phenols, but a sweetness of caramel malts and sugars wash this initial flash of darkness away. The middle peaks with a balance between sweet, but serious, malts and unforgivingly bitter phenols. Brown sugar sweetness sits high on the palate, along with a hollow grassy bitterness. The finish is with a warm citric fruitiness, much like a cider. Mixing through the final drops are a bitter yeast, more faint hops, fresh red apples, and an oddly unannounced smoke and char of malts. The aftertaste breathes with significant boozy character, airs of coffee malts, black pepper, more phenolic bite, and general bitterness. The body is medium, and the carbonation is medium. There is a thick astringency throughout the mouth, with an oily slickness left streaked across the hard palate. There is nice sip and froth. Warming is significant throughout, even in the nose. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks somewhere in the middle.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the complexity of the aroma. Off the bat it doesn’t smell like any other typical Scotch Ales, but rather a more serious, almost funky ale. If this were called a Belgian beer, I wouldn’t have argued. If this were called a Wild Ale, I probably wouldn’t have argued. The nose seemed to blur some lines with a deep funk, huge breadiness, and unique and fruity sweetness. The taste seemed vastly different than what the nose prepared us for. While it remained within the style throughout the flavoring, it got very bitter at times, which cut the natural sweetness of the style. This is a completely interesting take, and a pleasant beer to drink.

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Photo of Blueribbon666
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes.
Pours a dark amber, almost plum like into dimpled mug with zero head retention.
Smells of malt, hops, sweet bread and alcohol. Good mouthfeel, full bodied, nice mix of sweet breads and dark fruits with the malt, alcohol and a bit of hops.
Mouthfeel is warm and velvety on the palette yet drinkable even at 8.8% abv which is evident enough to make this a sipper with a warming after taste but not overwhelming. Solid collaboration.

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Photo of Heavenisbeer
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a swampy plum-hued dark amber, with a two-finger cream head, sinking to one, and smooth buttery moderate lacing.

S: Dark smoky roasted malts mix with light floral hops and some glimpses of toffee, vanilla, biscuit notes, and darker fruits.

T: Malts lead the way. Unfermented sugars enhance the flavors here, with banana and apricot splashes, mild spiciness, a touch of smoke, a sweet bready center, and fresh cut grass. The sugars are a little cloying. Finish is slightly dry, hoppy, warm, and buttery.

M: Oily and warm, with medium carbonation.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a clear, dark copper color. Not much head, pretty bubbly and small at this point. Had it fresh and remember the pour being much livelier.

Nose still has a decent amount of smoke, dark fruits seem to have come out more and the peat and rich caramel are still there.

Much smoother and integrated now, which actually might not be a good thing in this case? I think I liked the big, rough smoky malt aspect. This seems pretty mellow in comparison, more fruity for sure. Smoke has died off considerably. The mouthfeel has improved though, it is very smooth and and perfectly carbonated. It is still a damn tasty beer, but I think it has lost its edge, which for me made the beer an A/A+ beer when fresh. The changes in this beer over only 6 months or so are astounding.

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no freshness dating. Pours a mostly hazy brown/maroon colored body with a less than one finger tan head. The head dissipates quickly leaving no real lacing.

The aroma is a combination of caramel malt, vanilla, and oak. Not much else gets through.

The flavor is more complex than the aroma with a solid offering of the malt and vanilla. Other flavors include dark fruit, candy sugar, toffee, molasses, and cocoa.

Medium mouthfeel that is readily drinkable with no too much alcohol in the mix. Although a little on the odd side for a scotch ale, I can see this is the closest style to classify this brew in. I think this would probably age well. Well worth a try.

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Green Flash / Pizza Port / Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale from Stone Brewing
3.8 out of 5 based on 581 ratings.
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