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

very good
581 Ratings
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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Ratings: 581 |  Reviews: 328
Photo of monkeylovebeer
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Named after the highway that starts in Oceanside and runs east across the state, this beer is like a one-off album from a San Diego super group. All three of these breweries are well known for producing well-designed and perfectly executed beers--often hop-driven monsters that demolish rules and taste buds with equal impunity.

While many super group projects suffer from the "too many cooks" syndrome, this one, as they say, is a different kettle of ... well, beer--a collaboration that, in their own words, lacks "bells, whistles, crazy ingredients, or strange techniques," just three master brewers working a style that doesn't get a whole lot of play in Southern California. [A brief caveat: San Diego-based AleSmith makes a Wee Heavy that I would love to pair with this to do a horizontal tasting if I could find it up here in the soggy north.]

This Scotch Ale pours toffee brown, producing a small, tight head that dissipates pretty quickly. That's the first clue that this is not going to be yet another hop bomb. Upon first sip, luxuriant strains of butterscotch caramel, toffee, and blackstrap molasses seem layered one atop the other leading toward a mellow alcohol finish, surprising for a brew that's almost 9%. In fact, it is the smoothness of this Scottie that really stands out.

Spicy hops and licorice lingers on the tongue until it's time for another pull. Like any strong ale, this one's a sipper, but given how smooth this one is, you have to be careful or it's gonna get on top of you. YOU KNOW WHAT YPOUR PROBLMEMMM iS?!?

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Photo of cbutova
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes taken over the weekend.

A- Dark red brown with a small white head. Not much retention and lace seems tough to come by. A decent cloud and ring.

S- Very faint Brown/Scotch ale feel. I could hardly pick up anything in the aroma here. Caramel and nutty malt.

T- A pretty nice overall flavor consisting of nutty malt which is somewhat toasty/roasted. Also contains notes of molasses, brown sugar, dark fruit and a hint of butter.

MF- High tonic-like carbonation stings the palate. Overall a moderately thick body with a slight bitterness at the end. Some warmth from the alcohol.

O- Not much going in this beer. I usually expect this style to be a rich malty beer. Somewhat like a Brown/Scotch ale hybrid that doesn't bring a lot to the table.

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Photo of benclimbs
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours dark and nice with a small head and a bit of lacing up the glass

smell is all caramel malts with some bready character with a little mineral notes

taste is nice for a scotch ale - I'm not usually into the style though - sweet up front, brown sugar and molasses and finishes with a nice bitter, coffee subtlety

feel is decent

pretty drinkable as well

This is a nice, but not great beer from three amazing breweries - pretty disappointing.

This is a B beer, but probably a B+ for the style, dont like scotch ales that much though.

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Photo of dubinsky
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a Crate and Barrel snifter

A - Pours a dark brownish red color. Minimal 1/2 finger off white head forms but quickly disappears. As the head recedes, it doesn't leave behind any hints that it was there. Virtually no head retention or lacing.

S - This is mostly giving me dark stone fruits, prunes, figs and raisins. The malts are dominating here, and virtually no hop presence. The smell is fairly sweet.

T - Like the smell, i'm mostly getting dark stone fruits with a heavy malt backbone. Virtually ZERO hop presence. Some light chocolate and vanilla notes.

M - This is rather thick and creamy and smooth with medium light carbonation.

O - This was a nice beer and the first that i have ever tried in this style. Its personally not my thing, but i think its a rather tasty beer.T

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

I love two of these three breweries. The Pizza Port Carlsbad is one I've never had a beer from.

Appearance is a lovely, dark amber.

Smell is alright. I smell bits of alcohol and sweet malts.

Taste is quite nice. Deep caramel, malty and slight smokey notes with a small amount of carbonation. All around this is a full bodied brew with a slightly dry finish.

This is one I definitely like. I'll have to go back and buy another seeing as it's a single batch beer!


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Photo of mikesgroove
2.81/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

alright so its upstairs at barleys and i decided to go check it out. split the pint with calton and glad i did as this was simply not good.

the pour had me fooled as the deep and dark brown looked very nice to me, with its light and compact head, but looks can be decieving as was the case here. aroma was all over. some off dark fruits that were misplaced as were some caramel malts that were no where near strong enough. flavor was wrong, with plums dominating a wet hay and mud like flavor that i just simply coul not take. had a touch of tartness to it in the finish with a healthy dose of grass and a dry finish.

overall i am not sure what was supposed to happen here but it did not work. i would not be going back for this in anyway.

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Photo of stckhndlr
4.46/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark amber color but not a lot of head. Head actually appears when you swirl it. But once you do it has some nice lacing. But if you don't swirl it then there is not much happening.

S- Hops and caramel with a hint of sweet vanilla.

T- Light hops but strong on the caramel. Chocolate notes, Sweet with a little bitter on the end.

M- Thin and smooth with almost not carbonation feel. Kind of has the texture of a flat soda.

O- Personally I think this was a great beer. Disappeared really quick. Wish I had another one.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Pete for sharing this bottle. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a crimson-copper color with good spotty lacing. The nose has some slight caramel and toffee along with a bit of dark fruit. The flavor has some brown sugar and molasses along with a moderate dose of caramel. The flavor is just okay, and the feel doesn't help--it's way too thin-bodied and a bit too dry. The body is really, really lacking. Disappointing. Some booze in there as well. Not near the level I would expect from the breweries involved.

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Photo of claspada
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aromas of moderate caramel sweetness from the malts and an underlying peat smell, like many good Scotches. There is some burnt brown sugar present here as well as some dark fruit.
The taste follows the nose for the most part. It begins like a strong brown ale with sweet breadiness and a very subtle caramel taste. The finish is all scotch ale however, with dark fruits/figs and the a-typical peat smoke malt. The beer is almost overwhelmingly malty and the burnt brown sugar taste is almost over the top and makes this borderline cloyingly sweet.
The mouthfeel is really full with a strong body, carbonation is quite low, which is good for the style, but this malt bomb could use a little more to help the balance.
Overall a decent example of a scotch ale but over-hyped and over-rated because of the breweries who collaborated on this. A hefty price tag as well makes this a one and done for me.

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Photo of FickleBeast
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark reddish brown color with a half finger of foam that fizzles away quickly. No real lacing. Aroma is sweet, dark malts, raisin, plum.

First sip is... whoa malty! These brewers assault you with malt the way you would expect them to with hops. This feels even maltier than Old Chub - there is a ton of residual sweetness left in this beer. For a Scotch Ale, this is exactly what I'm looking for. I taste tons of crystal malt that disguises the alcohol very well. I can't believe this beer is pushing 9%. It is also nice that it is sold in a 12oz bottle... not sure I'd want a whole bomber of this in one sitting.

Overall, excellent Scotch Ale.

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Photo of jongullotti
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle purchased on 3/18/2011. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Relatively hard pour reveals a head which disappears quickly leaving practically nothing. Barely carbonated.

Tastes of light brown sugar and dark fruits. Malty and a bit boozy. Faint hop and smoke in the finish. Much more malt than hop. Sweet.

Heavy smooth mouthfeel with no carbonation. Lingering sweet coating stayed in my mouth for a while.

Overall I think it is too sugary to the point of being one-dimensional. Unbalanced and uneventful. I felt like I had just taken a spoonful of molasses when I was done. Heavy and hard to swallow. Not the best representation of the Scotch Ale style, but maybe they weren't going for that. At any rate, not my favorite scotch ale.

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Photo of dmbsteve
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours with 1/2 finger head that dissipates quickly to almost nothing. Very little lacing. Dark caramel color with a touch of amber. Highly carbonated.

S - Aroma is sweet, peppery, and figgy

T - Malt is dominant. Quite a bit of sweetness, which then turns into a bitterness which I at first perceived was from the hops but perhaps more from alcohol. Sort of a mix between the two. Quite tasty IMO.

M - Medium to heavy bodied. Dry finish.

O - For me a very drinkable beer even at 8.8%. Very little alcohol in the nose or the palate for that ABV. I tend to enjoy malty beers such as this style, so I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of Naugros
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A collaboration involving Stone and Green Flash!? I'm in! No disrespect to Pizza Port. I'm from the East Coast and have not had the pleasure of visiting San Diego so I am unfamiliar with your establishment.

Ruddy brown that you'd be able to see through if it weren't this dark. A thin head that quickly disappears leaving behind not much of anything. No lacing.

Moderate sweetness in the nose from the malts and a smoky peat smell, like many good Scotches. Alcohol is present here as well as caramel and dark fruit.

The taste is very similar to the smell with more caramel and dark fruits (prunes) and a finish that dries out before leaving entirely. The malts certainly dominate and I originally mistook the alcohol bite for a touch of hop bitterness. Now that I've nailed it down it is quite noticeable.

This has got a nice mouthfeel...medium, bordering on full. The alcohol warmth is welcome and compliments the maltiness nicely.

A multi-dimensional beer that would definitely put off many who are not used to the style. If all you drink are lagers, stouts or IPAs, this one will throw you. Barleywine drinkers will appreciate it though.

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Photo of argock
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.49.

A: Very dark brown with initial 1-finger of light beige head which fades quickly and leaves a few light lace formations.

S: Very light malt and lactose aromas with some brown sugar and caramel and light herbal hopping.

T: Extremely sweet with a lot of sugary unfermentables. Maltiness is mostly brown sugar with some earthy hoppiness, more than in the nose. The peppery alcohol does help to draw out and enhance the maltiness, but it doesn't really add to the complexity much for me.

M: The unfermentables are very laborious on the palate and give this brew an over heavy feel.

O: Not a great Scotch Ale -- no smoke and too brown sugary -- and a let-down overall for this collaboration. It seems hastily conceived.

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

A: About two shades darker than amber, but with the same hue. The one finger, reddish-brown head dissipated instantaneously.

S: Very candy-like, with lots of toasted caramel brown sugar.

T: VERY sweet with a sugar content that was through the roof! Very malty with a very stale caramel quality in general.

M: This was probably the most sugary brew I've ever tasted! The booze and sugar were just too much for me due to the fact there was no hoppiness (still appropriate for this style) to balance that out.

O: This was painstakingly sweet, but it got better once I warmed up to it. Admittedly though, Scotch Ales aren't really my thing

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Photo of BarrelO
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Reddish-brown body. Not much of a head or lacing.

S: Fruity, smoky, and alcoholic.

T: Malty with dark fruits and toffee. Some peaty and roasted notes. A bit of herbal hops and alcohol burn. They're all pretty muted, though, and they all come together in kind of a bland muddle.

M: Medium-bodied, somewhat chewy.

D: I never imagined Stone could make such a bland beer. Then again, I haven't really been in love with any of the Scotch ales I've had. Maybe this just isn't the style for me.

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Photo of jsanford
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Stone IRS tulip.

A - Pours a dark mahogany with slight reddish highlights and a thick head of bone-colored foam that eventually dissipates to a slight haze and ring.
S - Caramel malt, toffee, dried figs, a little bit of chocolate and tobacco. Very minimally hopped, surprising given the pedigree of the brewers involved.
T - Pretty close to the nose, I'm getting more caramel, fig, chocolate and just a hint of the tobacco. Tasty, but seems like a pretty typical Scotch Ale to me.
M - Smooth and slightly sticky, with a medium-full mouthfeel and moderate carbonation.
O - Not bad, and glad I tried it, but with the $5 I spent on a single bottle I woulda been halfway to a sixer of Founder's Dirty Bastard. Sorry, Stone.

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Photo of sirdillon
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Beautiful red/brown color, off white/tan tightly packed head quickly recedes to leave a small film on top.


Smell- Wildflower honey, Dark fruit, and a somewhat sweet spicy fruitcake belgian smell, like something found in a quadruple. Smells interesting, but not getting any of the smoke I was hoping for.


Taste- Very similar to the smell, but nothing really stands out here. There's some sweetness and honey flavors, followed by some hop bitterness to balance it. It's actually not overly sweet and cloying, but also doesn't seem to have anything special to offer.


Mouthfeel- Very very smooth, minimal carbonation, medium to thick body that definitely coats the mouth. Slightly astringent finish.


Overall- Not the best example of a scotch ale, but call it a winter warmer and sell it for two bucks a bottle, and I'd be on board for sure. This was actually pretty good, I say grab it if you're in the mood for something smooth with nothing really extreme or off-putting.


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Photo of sholland119
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Teresa's Next Door, 3/16/11.

A-Dark brown, opaque, with a foamy off white head and good stickiness.

S-Leathery with tobacco, smoky with a nice underlying sweetness.

T-Much sweeter than the nose, and not as complex either. Sweet in the front, a little smoke in the back.

M-Medium bodied but a bit thin and somewhat undercarbonated.

D-Nice enough, not particularly memorable.


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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oh, bloody hell, this new freaking crap-ass profile sucks!! Now just hitting "enter" posts your quote...crap...Pours a nice ruby red. Short head, not much carbonation. No real lacing. Pours kinda syrupy...My guess is it's real malty...Basics: $2.69/12oz. bottle and 8.8% ABV...Nice on both counts. Aromas are weird. I get a dirty sock thing in there. Nice caramel malt character to it, though. I don't like the dirty socks, however. Maybe some fig in the back...Whoa, the flavor is downright yummy right upfront. A nice sweetness balanced well by some yeast bitterness. A little flash of effervescence from the light carbonation leads you into the middle, which carries that fig component well, all the way through the finish. Lightly hopped, which is a change for us Left Coasters...Pretty decent beer, and not too harsh on the pocketbook...

What I like Most: The downright yummy parts of the flavor profile.

What I like least: Other than the new profile, the off aromas...

Verdict: Good, not great, and nice value. Worth trying if you see it...

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Photo of juhl31
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

-very dark brown with a reddish hue to it through the light. caramel/tan colored head on top that looks nice during pour and recedes to the outer circle

-brown smelling, like a dark bread. malty, but without a big scotchy smell. a bit roasty as well

-again, like a strong brown to start with...sweet bread notes with a very subtle caramel taste. the scotch taste comes in near the end and lingers a bit

-i am digging the mouthfeel. strong body, with a very silky feel to it. almost buttery feel. a bit of carb in there, but not overpowering. there's definitely some heat left in the chewing cage

-this is a solid beer and nice collaboration. almost leaning towards an imperial brown for me, but i enjoy drinking it

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

Chestnut-colored with a lace of brown bubbles. Aroma of caramel malts and alcoholic phenols. Very, very smooth with a characteristic Scotch Ale flavor: toffee, a touch of earthiness, and an alcoholic twinge. Straightforward, but fairly delicious -- and packs a punch.

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

From tap to 4oz snifter at ChuchKey on 3/14/11
*From notes

A: Rich, chocolatey brown velvet in color. Nice 1.5 finger head with dissipating lacing.

S: Sugar plums, candied figs and quite a heavy dose of malt.

T: Somewhat smokey up front, followed by a heaping amount of rock candy and alcohol on the back. Really quite a pleasant brew.

M: Smoother then I'd expect for a brand spankin' new Scotch Ale. The carbonation is a bit prickly, but it's not overly offensive.

O: I can't wait to see what happens to this one with a little bit of time in the cellar. There's a lot of potential here, though it's certainly drinking well now.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Because this involves Stone, Green Flash, and Port Brewing, we all know this is going to be about the hops, those green little flowe...what's that? You mean it's only lightly hopped? Well then, I shall re-adjust my expectations. From a 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

A hard pour into a small chalice creates a color that is caramel brown and pale orange hues. The head, which is short to begin with, fades to a thin lace on top. The smell has a little bit of smoke, peat smoke, tobacco, unsweetened chocolate, no hops. Aromas could be a little more intense.

No trouble in the taste department. The alcohol, labled to be at 8.8% ABV, takes a back seat. Tobacco leads the charge early with a pleasant sweet/smokey combo. There's a vague peppery element that spices the picture, one I can't put a figner on. Overall flavor gets two thumbs up, up and one down. It seems a little light for its size, but on the other hand, so is the traditional Scotch Ale.

No gimmicks or exotic ingredients for this scotch ale. This is full of flavor, easy to sit back and sip (or in my case, drink), and one I imagine would make a great cigar beer.

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Photo of Fikash
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Impressions: The taste and scent of scotch is very prevalent in this brew. It's tasty, but it's not a beer you could down several of in one sitting. The scotch essence makes the considerable alcohol content felt.

It's an interesting collaboration, and it makes me happy to see Stone and Green Flash, two of my favorite breweries, working together.

Overall, I'd say this beer is a great success for its style.

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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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