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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 328 | Ratings: 580
Photo of quirkzoo
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich mahogany (lighter than I was expecting) with minimal head which recedes to a ring around the glass quickly. The smell is pure barley. It has the rich, hot grapenut aroma that you get when you brew beer followed by some nice sweet caramel tones. Just a touch of alcohol on the nose. The taste really opens up. In addition to the obvious barley taste it adds complexity with a bit of woodsiness and some warming alcohol that manages to stay extremely smooth and not at all harsh. The mouthfeel is just right, not too carbonated but also not as flat as a barleywine. Overall this is a really nice scotch ale and not exactly what I would expect from such hop forward breweries. Definitely worth trying out if you get a chance.

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Rudy dark amber color. Off white head. Retention and lacing are minimal.

Smell is a little weak. Really estery and oaky.

Taste follows smell. Oaky, vanilla, smoky, super estery, bourbon soaked plumbs/raisins.

Mouthfeel is dry, and well carbonated.

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Photo of horshack7
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It pours a very dark brown almost black with an inch worth of head.

Aroma: Huge amounts of malty sweetness in the front that has dark fruit notes, molasses, black licorice, cocao and brown sugar way in the back.

Taste: Molasses, dark ripe fruits, bready maltiness that has slight sticky mouthfeel. Black licorice, touches of cocao and caramelized sugar. In the end there are notes of vanilla and scotch.

Notes: Well this is near being a meal in a bottle nice and hearty and very drinkable. Cheers.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a coppery brown color, with a thin off-white head, that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, vanilla, brown sugar, some fruit and a touch of hops, but there’s a note of metallicness that throws things off somewhat.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty malt character followed by sweet flavors of caramel, vanilla, brown sugar and fruit, with a touch of smokiness in the background. There’s a decent hops presence for the style that brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it’s a decent beer but there are several others in the style that I would drink before this one.

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Photo of stewart124
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burgundy in color with just a wisp of head.

Grape characters and caramel malts in the nose.

The taste bodes a generous amount of malts but that is to be expected. Lots of darker bready characters along with just a touch of pale chocolate. Some darker candied fruits like raisins come through. Very little hops to mention.

This full-bodied Scotch Ale adds alcohol complexity without being harsh. As this warms more bread characters abound and the alcohol become noticeable.

A nice joint effort from the Cal. brewers and like the bottle says it is nice to see a west coast brew without all the hops.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a thistle glass.

Pours a deep brilliant ruby, with a ½ finger of smooth light mocha colored head. This retains with some fairly gentle looking foamy ringing around the sides of the glass that leaves back a very smallish smattering of lace. Eventually this pretty much goes dead about half way through the glass. The aroma smells of dark cherries, toffee, and some lighter chocolate notes. Any roasted aspects seem fairly subdued here in the nose, while the alcohol adds a touch of warm spiciness to this.

The taste has a lot of dark fruit going on with it, which is set against notes of sweet caramel and maybe be a touch of light cocoa. Things get a bit more dark and roasty feeling along the back, while like the nose, the ABV is extra some extra sweetness and spice to this. The finish is dry and slightly toasted feeling. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a smooth creaminess that then encapsulates more of a firm prickly feel on the tongue. The beefy alcohol presence here does start to wear on the palate after a while.

I didn’t care for this Stone collaboration a whole lot. This just had a bunch of sweetness and moderate roasted character to it, without any of the gentle smokiness that I would normally look for in the style. I was expecting a bit more complexity and an overall more inspired effort that what I found here. Especially from the breweries involved.

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Photo of shangwang
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been aging this one for several months and decided that today was as good a day as any to crack it open. Poured into my Chimay goblet.

Poured a brownish-red with very little head, and what little there was disappeared quickly. There wasn't much clarity to this beer- it was fairly murky. Smelled sweet with hints of vanilla, spice and fruit, much like a barleywine. Very boozy character. Tasted malty and slightly sweet. There were notes of toffee and vanilla, and surprisingly almost no traces of fruit. At the end I really got a lot of cereal malty taste. Fairly light mouthfeel with a little bit of natural carbonation but not a whole lot of zip.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. I'm not huge into this style, but I figured with the reputations of the collaborating breweries it would be solid and that proved to be true. With this being a one-off I'm guessing I won't have many other opportunities to drink this, and I'm ok with that, but I'm glad I got to try it and I would recommend giving it a shot.

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

Pours a clear, ruby red with a bubbly yellowish cream head. Head dissipates quickly.

Aroma is sweet molasses, dark fruits, brown sugar, malty, kind of bourbon and vanilla-ish.

Taste upfront is caramel, toffee, brown sugar, some bready malts. Bready malt middle. Flavor switches up at the finish--vanilla, sweet dark, dried fruits, molasses.

Medium body, syrupy with a dry finish.

Kind of different for a Scotch Ale, but good. Definitely has a "big beer" taste. Flavor and aroma are almost like a portion of the beer was barrel-aged, but could just be the alcohol coming through.


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Photo of rmcnealy
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served chilled in a traditional pint glass.

I tried one a week ago and it poured amazing, looked brilliant. Tried one tonight, jamming some Beatles, and it turned out differently. Poured a murky dull non-transparent reddish tea brown that produced no head and left a barely visibly ring around the glass. (the last I tried produced an amazing soft pastel yellow lacey head like I've never seen before) The smells are not very robust with large aromas of malt, roast and caramel. The tastes reflect the appearence wtih subtlties of dark tastes of malt and coffee. Poured somewhat syrupy but isn't overly boozy. May have had a bad bottle as I saw this beers potential. Didn't record at the time.

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Photo of Schmittymack
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into the trusty shaker glass a nice brown color with no head to speak of. Sweet malt, caramel, and a bit of toffee on the nose. Taste was pretty nice: sweeter malt, caramel, a touch of toffee, and no bitterness to finish. Alcohol was pretty well hidden in my opinion. A nice brew; wish I had one or two more bottles.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep hazy amber color ale with a medium size off-white foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of caramelized sugar with some toffee notes. Taste is quite sweet with lots of caramelized sugar and light toffee notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation and some apparent alcohol. Not bad but a tad too sweet for my taste with some alcohol noticeable and lacking the peat notes that I usually associate with the style.

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Photo of Phelps
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint at Tops.

Muddy mahogany. Almost completely opaque, though some grain-field yellow highlights peek through at the edges. The head is khaki in color, fizzy and very short lived, crackling away to nothingness after a few seconds.

Toffee explosion! I get a ton of the sweet stuff in the nose. Caramel, honey-like oxidation, toast, a touch of milk chocolate and earthy hops.

Very sweet flavor. Buttery toffee leads the way, with a matching whiskey-like booze character. Bitter cocoa nibs seem to be another major contributor. Heavy caramel sweetness lingers into the finish, tempered just a bit by earthy hops. Balanced toward the sweet side, but I don't mind that at all in my scotch ales. Like boozy bread pudding.

Moderate massaging carbonation causes the silky medium body to fizz up just a bit too much. A touch of alcohol comes through the nose, but it's very well hidden.

Good stuff. Highway 78 is bit one-dimensional, but it’s a solid scotch ale. A good, sweet diversion from the hoppy stuff.

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

Bottle from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA

A - Poured a dark brown color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is a mix of smokey malt with a good bit of sweeter malt

T - Like the nose nice and smokey upfront then the sweetness comes through

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

O - Most Scotch Ales don't do much for me so I generally stay away from them but being a Stone fan boy I had to pick this up to give it a try and I can say that I'm glad I did this is a good tasting beer thats nice after a long day of work worth picking up if you see it around

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a chestnut color some ruby high lights and is quite nearly opaque. A dencent foamy cap with good rentention. Aromas are pretty standard some roasted malts sweet toffee and a light scent of butter or diacetyl. Tastes good with toffee malts in the lead. Some hints of roasted malts and maybe a suggestion of smokiness. The end finishes with a molasses taste and warming alcohol. A medium bodied ale that has a smooth and soft feel. A good beer made nicely to style.

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3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle to snifter. $5.00 for the single. Sampled on 4/6/11.

A: Small 1 finger head in a wide bodied snifter. Light brown in color. Foamy, fizzy, and quick to recede. The body is a drak chestnut brown. When backlit, ruby highlights appear and the body becomes hazy. Spare lacing.

S & T: Resiny with a light earthy yeast. Additional flavors and aromas of toffee, leafy tobacco, rendered brown sugar, cola, light wood with vanilla. Surprisingly light alcohol.

M: Thick and semi syrupy with just enough carbonation to scrub the tongue. Fine, small bottles of fizzy carbonation. Bottle conditioned.

O: While a good beer, Highway 78 is a very safe and middle-of-the-road example of a scotch ale. Honestly, I expected a little better from Stone, Green Flash & Pizza Port.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a DFH snifter because I can't find my Stone glass, or am too lazy to look.

Beer is brown and hazy with a thin off white / tan head of small bubbles, low carbonation, some lacing, looks fine.

Aroma is really sweet, way way way sweet. Like sugar water with caramel.

Beer is medium in body, there is a hint of peat in there but mostly caramel and sweetness. Finish is nice but overall just an OK example. I love Stone but I won't be having this one again.

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: rich brown color, pours 1 finger of white head that quickly fades. No lacing.

Smell: malty, toffee, bourbon, turbinado sugar, sweet, red fruit, plum, raisins.

Taste: malty, turbinado sugar, toffee, sweet, plum,crystal malt, caramel malt.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, light carbonation, smooth.

Overall: A decent scotch ale. A bit too roasty for my preference.

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Photo of jvillefan
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The 12 oz bottle was purchased from the Stone Brewing Co. brewery.

There was virtually no head. The color was a dark amber color and the aroma of the beer was disappointing compared to other stone beers but good relative to most beers.

The taste of the beer is very sweet and has a strong caramel flavor. The high alcohol is not readily detectable (9%). The lack of the hoppy flavor I am assuming comes from the other breweries that helped to craft this beer (green flash and pizza port carlsbad). This beer is a good beer but it defiantly has the potential to be better.

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Photo of nickfromsacto
3.02/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acquired this bottle directly from Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido.
There was a free tour and a tasting of four of their year round beers. Awesome!!!

The head was very disappointing. The beer looks filtered like most of Stone's beers. It is a dark amber color. It doesn't have a very distinct or strong smell, except for maybe caramel and oak. The taste is sweet (almost soda like). The malt tastes caramel-y, which suites its style. The hop character is almost undetectable (unusual for Stone). Although it is almost 9% ABV, the Highway 78 is very drinkable.

Overall, a drinkable but not particularly impressive beer. Mitch should stick to brewing alone.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Dark brown with reddish tint. 1 finger light tan head with very little lacing.

S- Some faint smoke and cherries

T- Sweet candi sugar, cherries, toasted malts, and some smoke.

M- Medium body, light to medium carbonation. Nice smooth finish.

O- Rather enjoyed this beer with no expectations going into it. Like the cherry and light smoke mix of flavors.

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Photo of Murrhey
4.52/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finger width head that lingered with a lovely mahogany color and a delightful buttery aroma.
The smell is very strong but not at all unpleasant.
The taste does have some of the same butter twinge as I picked up in the smell, with a slight burnt flavor at the end.

The mouthfeel, as a personal preference of mine is perfect. Not too watery but with a real fluidity to it that can be lost in darker Ales.

Enjoyed this beer greatly.

(also, this is my first review for the site, so I hope I'm doing this right.)

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

Pours dark amber with light tan head that doesn't last long. Nose is full of caramel with some smoke, but nonetheless seemed tame for the style. Big roasty smokey flavors on the palate, hop zing, and tasty toffee. Good body. Finishes long and sweet.

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Photo of BeerOnTheWall
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Tulip.

Pours dark copper color with a slight burgundy tint when held up to the light. Slight off white head that dissipated quickly leaving behind little lacing.

Aromas of sweet caramel, vanilla, and subtle dried cherry. Faint smokiness shows itself as it warms up. No hops coming through. Smells basic, but good.

Taste is more rich than the nose. Caramelized sugar and dried figs come through right away with a little bit of spice, some alcohol (not overpowering...but present). A bit of bitter astringency on the finish.

Moderate to low carbonation has this felling syrupy and a little dull. It's not bad, but feels lacking. I would like to have it with the same medium-full body with some more co2 to make it feel a little more lively.

Overall I did enjoy this beer. It was easy to drink and had enough depth to make it interesting. There seem to some components that didn't completely hit the mark for me; but I do have another bottle that I will give some more time to age and will look forward to cracking this open again in the future.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark egglpant tinted brown color. Tan head leaves no lace nor retention. Boo.

Malted milk balls, toffee and dark fruity twang. Some faint tropical fruit in there as well?

Flavor continues the candy theme with malted milk balls and black jelly beans. Kinda vacant. Body isn't akin to a beer of 8.8%. Made me think of an Old Chub that had been cellared for too long.

Bottle proclaims "no bells and whistles" and it's right but it also doesn't have much of a body to hang those bells and whistles on. Hows that for a continuation of metaphor?

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

A cellar temperature bottle is split between two mini pint glasses. The beer is a very dark copper color—nearly ruby. Lots of carbonation is visible within. The head is modest, egg shell colored and foamy. It settled to a skim somewhat quickly.

Very good Scotch ale aroma. Lots of earthy peat moss, toffee, and alcohol. Not much in the way of hops or bitterness in the nose, but since this is a malt forward style, I don't mind.

This beer tastes like a dark, boozy candy. It's rich, slightly sweet, and strong. I taste caramel, toffee, dark chocolate, grape and woodsy alcohol reminiscent of Scotch.

This is a thicker, heavier beer, with plenty of carbonation. The high number of bubbles do not create much of a sensation the way other highly carbonated beers do. A thick, flavorful coat is left behind.

This is an enjoyable Scotch ale. It's too bad it is available in such limited quantities; I'd drink it regularly if I could.

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Green Flash / Pizza Port / Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale from Stone Brewing
3.8 out of 5 based on 580 ratings.
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