Scotch Ale | Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC

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Scotch AleScotch Ale

Brewed by:
Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC
Minnesota, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by bucko on 03-14-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 80
Photo of MattyG85
3.77/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Dark and cloudy brownish orange with a small white head that fades into a patchy layer. Not much lacing.

Smell: Lots of malty sweetness with a nutty and smoked character. Caramel and toffee is mixed with hints of grassy hops.

Taste: Very malty and sweet up front from the caramel and toffee. Has a nutty and grassy taste throughout. Hints of earthy hops but the bitterness is very low.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Very crisp and smooth.

Overall: A solid version of a Scotch ale. Sweet but not overbearing.

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Photo of ccrida
3.65/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Schell's shaker pint, Brau Bros Scotch Ale is a dull burnt, ruddy gold with an off-white head leaving very light scattered lace. Paler then I expected.

Smell is a bit of over-ripe fruit, and smokey, peat.

Taste is good, a nice balance of sweet malt and smokey peat. Perhaps a bit of diacetyl.

Mouthfeel is light, a touch dry.

Drinkability is pretty good, this is a well executed peat ale, the sweetness of the pale malt provide great balance with the moderate smoke.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'd say this is a decent scotch ale. It's a dark copper color with foam that disappears in seconds, kinda weird. The aroma is some sweet malt with some nutmeg. The taste is a bit sweet with some caramel and cinnamon and nutmeg. It's smooth but seems a tad watered down and the aftertaste is just a smidge metallic. I'd say it's a decent version but there's several better examples out there.

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.47/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A cellar temperature bottle is poured into a pint glass. There isn't much of a hiss as the cap is popped, but a small amount of vapor begins to seep out of the bottle.

The beer is a slightly translucent liquid with a brownish/orange color. A very small head made up of small tan bubbles sits on top. The head quickly settles to a skim. Swirling the glass when it is this full doesn't bring the head back, but does leave an even film coating the walls of my pint. It also releases plenty of aromas.

Crystal sugars, alcohol and some sweet malts make up the strong aroma. Although there are a lot of sugary smells, it doesn't come across as a sweet beer. Instead, I expect it to be strong (and the 7.3 ABV proves me right).

The main flavor is of fermented plum. I am getting a lot of dark fruit and alcohol in each sip. Some sweetness up front, but more in the aftertaste. Low bitterness.

This is a full bodied beer with a lot of carbonation. I can feel the bubbles all over my mouth. The coat is fairly flavorful and not too sticky, especially considering the ABV.

This is an enjoyable Wee Heavy. It isn't going to get national attention, but it is an impressive local. I'd love for a nearby brew pub to make a beer like this.

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
4.05/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Hazy/cloudy deep amber-brown.

S: Earthy maltiness. Smoky caramel/toffee.

T: Very peaty and a good amount of smoke, too. Rich finish with only a slight bitter. Coffee flavors linger.

M: Thick, rich, full.

D: In the right circumstances I could see more than a few of these. Great example of a great style.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.33/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes, December 2010. Pours a nice medium amber with a bit of gold, a two-finger head that slowly gives way to decent lacing. Smell is somewhat malty, but the strongest odor is something I can't identify (maybe the peat-smoked malt?) - an odd earthy smell. Flavor also has that rich earthiness, pretty light on the malt and the hops, but with a lingering slight bitterness. Mouthfeel is okay, fairly light but substantial enough. Medium carbonation. A decent beer, but nothing special, and not as malty and flavorful as I'd like a scotch ale to be. I don't pick up the alcohol at all.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4.2/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Unibroue tulip. If I squint my eyes, it's a thistle.

A: Rich copper/amber color, creamy light tan 2 finger head, decent retention and nice lace. Carbonation is fairly active.

S: Roasted malts, yeast, faint hops and a whiff of smoke.

T: Really delivers here. Smoke and roasted notes linger nicely throughout. Some sweetness up front fades a bit more quickly in the finish, producing a nice change of character during each sip. Oh yeah, gimme more.

M: Pretty good here, medium body, smooth feel and finish.

D: Alcohol is well hidden, hitting all the right notes-- if I don't watch myself, I'll drink myself to sleep with this. Not that that would be all bad....

After reading other reviews, I had decided to pass this one over. However, there was a tasting tonight and I gave it a try. Fell in love at the tasting and brought home a six. This is my second Brau Brothers, and I'm pretty impressed. Will definitely buy again. Slainte!

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.71/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours a burnt copper color with a dirty white head, thinner and bubbly.

S-the nose has a light meaty note, hints of smoke, tin, burnt toffee and mild sweetness.

T-lots of smoked meat in the taste, burnt toffee, sweet caramel and light berry sweetness. hints of earthy hops very light in the back.

M-syrupy body with a thin finish and fair amount of carbonation.

D-more smokey than I was hoping for and for the style. messy malt flavors and a thin body make this below average.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Stub and Herbs.

A - In snifter, a clear, copper/burgundy color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It left some thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled grassy and earthy with some good maltiness.

T - Very malty and sweet upon first sip. There is a mossy/grassy presence like all scotch ales have.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale.

D - This was a nice scotch ale.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.23/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a Russian River tulip. Beer is brown with a slight haze and medium head of small bubbles. Carbonation low and lacing is low. Head doesn't stick around long.

Aroma is a little peaty and smoky. Mild malt, smells OK.

Smoke. This is the dominant flavor here, it is very rauch-y. A little hard to drink. I think I've figured out finally what I like about smoke beers when I have them, if they don't finish dry they are good, if they finish dry it is just too much for my palate. This was OK but too dry for my tastes.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Today's beer menu consists of a 12 ounce bottle of Scotch Ale form Brau Brothers. The bottle is labeled with a purple and white check pattern, an attractive design.

The beer, more importantly, pours a dark amber color with just a wisp of foam--a typical Scottish ale. The nose exudes aromas of sweet malt, caramel and the like, with a hint of alcohol. The beer slides along the palate a little easier than expected. Sweet malt, earthy figs and a dash of peaty smoke conspire to create the flavor profile. The beer finishes with a hint of bitterness and a little warmth. This is a solid brew by the southwestern MN Brau Bros. I enjoyed it all night while sitting by the glowing fireplace--both kept the chill of the late autumn MN air out.

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Photo of EwaldEichstaett
2.7/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Cloudy brown color with no head or lacing. The smell is not very strong either. Some malt, perhaps a little scotchish.... The taste has a strong scotch flavour and really nothing else. (without the flavour the beer would have completely missed the mark)

The beer is flat and has a medium body. It is not really hard to get down, but the carbonation aspect is a huge blow. Drinkability is pretty shitty.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark bronze orange. Small foamy, lightly creamy, soapy white head. Average retention with just a thin layer of lace.

S - A little faint. Has a peaty and tangy aroma with the toasted malt. Hints of slightly tart fruit aroma (cherry especially but some apple and gold fruit). Not particularly what I expect from a Scotch Ale.

T - Like the nose, it definitely has Scotch Ale flavors, but it just seems a little faint and lacking in some areas. That tart cherry and apple along with the slightly toasted malt provide most of the flavor. Only a touch of peaty flavor. A touch on the sweet side with hints of spice.

M - Lighter body with average carbonation. A little too light and watery.

D - Goes down easy, but it doesn't really inspire me to drink more. A little too faint and light, and lacking too much in regards to a Scotch Ale.

Notes: Meh. This is an average beer at best. Nothing really wrong, just a little faint and is missing out on a lot of Scotch Ale flavor. A little sweet and slightly tart. Only hints of peat. worth trying, possibly if the price is right, but not really worth seeking.

 1,106 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.58/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What did they smoke the malt with? Wood from a well-used doghouse? The nose is powerful and conjures up a riot of aromas, most of which make me think of the old cellar or laying down in the pine needles to smell the mushrooms. Still there is a fruity taste like cherries, but underlain with something like spoiled persimmons.

Body is fairly light but with a stickiness. Plenty of malt. Hops seem to keep in the background.

I have to call this truly wierd, and that's a good thing. Definitely a sipping ale, and make it a small chalice, Quark, I've got to keep my lobes about me.

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Photo of herman77
3.55/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber/burnt orange. Small off white head with good retention. Pretty transparent. No lacing.

S: Toasted carmel. Dates, jam.

T: Very malty. Sweet carmel malt, with just a hint of hops to keep it from being overly sweet and malty. Just barely picking up the peat-smoked malt flavor. More of an earthy taste to it then peat smoke. It is more prominent in the finish though.

M: Medium body, light to moderate carbonation that is very soft. Makes it feel pretty slick over the palate.

D: Decent drinkability, nothing too special though.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.88/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7-28-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - 1 finger of foam, good layer of froth after the foam dissipated, cloudy tan copper color but can see that there is carbonation bubbles present

S - Sweet roasted malts, some hops, slight caramel notes but lots of orange peel and apricot

T/M - Medium bodied, smooth taste to this brew

D - Pretty drinkable brew. Not one of my favorite styles but this brew helped turn my head. I would for sure have this brew again and I recommend it!

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Photo of Misfit138
3.33/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A- Nice dark orange in color with a tan head that left lacing

S- Caramel malts, bread yeast and a sweet almost banana scent

T- Initially sweet caramel, followed by a kick of smokiness that mostly takes over and mild bitterness

M- Medium bodied, moderate carbonation

D- I didn't really care for this ale, but I think it would be perfect with some bbq. I don't really want to be to harsh on this because I think it has potential in the right situation with food, but otherwise I won't be drinking it.

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Photo of steve8robin
2.68/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Got this brew on a trip to IA. Let's give it a go. 12oz bottle...

A: Pours like a light iced tea. More brown with orange highlights. Tiny off white head that quickly fades to a lace atop the brew. Decent.

S: hmm, hard to get some good scents. What I do get is kind of a metallic apple cider blended with some cinnamon. Ok.

T: Oh no, too weird of a blend of flavors for this style. Kind of tastes like a super roasty porter. Starts out with a strange ashtray-like flavors quickly followed by heavy watery roastiness. Faint hints of some citrus. Upfront is very burnt coffee beans. Eh.

M: Medium body that leaves a very roasty scent on your palate. Decent.

D: Drinks a lot harder because of the strange blend. Nope.

All in all, no way. I will not buy this brew again. It does not seem like it should fall into the scotch ale category. More like a poor porter. Don't try, don't hunt, don't worry about this one.

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Photo of bsp77
2.72/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Hazy reddish-orange with minimal head and a mostly dead look.

Smell: Sweet caramel and peat malts. Maybe a touch of floral hops.

Taste: Extremely strange combination of sweet caramel, medicinal cherry and unusually sharp and smoky peat. It is not a good carbonation.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, strange finish which I can't describe.

Drinkability: This is my third Brau Brothers beer. The other two (Sheephead, Ring Neck) were fantastic. This is just poorly made.

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Photo of jt31914
4/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle

A: Brown caramel color with about an finger of head. Very malty look.

S: Smoky with some hops, not a lot of scotch but still pleasant.

T: This was difficult to review; I really enjoy the taste, but there is next to no scotch flavor to this beer. It's a great smoky flavor with lots of malt, and thus would have been really high if not categorized as a scotch ale.

M/D: Super smooth and drinkable, I could throw this back all day.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.75/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear dark rust color with a slim quick bone white foam plopping to the surface. A thin collar stays the course and it scraps only a few blobs of lace on the glass to show that it is a mostly malt and low carbonated brew.

Soft decadent aroma of caramel that sweet and bready with just a slight scent to burntish/toasted crispy grainyness and a tint to some white grape juice.

Taste is a little on the quite side but good with a tender sweet maltyness that slips some solid caramel in with a pinch of toastyness. But overall stays rounded, creamy, and slippery with a caramel bready sweetness. A smidgeon of vanilla and cinnamon add a touch to the finish as it laps up a continued soft silken creamyness.

Body is also shy of being built up and beefy with a bolder centeredness and lasting impression. But, again, its good enough to get itself a fairly standard silky creamy sweetness. Semi crisp, clean, smooth, soft, and simply creamy. Some more cloying stick, beefier malt body and length and this would make for a much more solid Scotch.

Drinkable, yes indeed. It has a very clean, smooth, and creamy disposition that does allow for some solid imbibing. Just falls short as being something top notch yet it's better then average.

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Photo of katan
3.88/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a deep dark brown color - dark enough to almost appear opaque. However, I see no hazing - clear texture. Head formation is light, 1mm of light sandy head.

S - A light amount of peat malts, other sugar sweet caramel and toffee are present as well.

T - Starts off with a light combination of scottish malts, peat, 2 row, some caramel and chocolate. Sweet dominates. Mid-stream gets more dry, some roasted flavors, still very malty. Finishes with a phenolic bite combined with more of those super smoked scotch malts.

M - Thick, creamy, clinging, cloying, like molasses. Carbonation is not very noticeable on the tongue. Finishes with a sugarly sweet film.

D - Moderate drinkability. Flavors are very smooth, well integrated, not overwhelming. ABV could sneak up on you - very well hidden. Not filling.

This beer moves to the top of my Brau Brothers list.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.78/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of BigDank in a fairly recent trade. Opened and shared on 2/3/10.

A: The pour is a clear, light golden color with a thin layer of off-white foam which quickly dissipates.

S: The nose is almost non-existent. Light malt sweetness with perhaps a touch of fruit (banana, perhaps).

T: The flavor is a slight improvement offering up some detectable flavors. The beer is fairly sweet and malty with a light touch of fruits and a mild peat character.

M: The body was a bit thin and light for a Wee Heavy, but not necessarily watery. The carbonation is moderate.

D: Overall, a pretty "meh" beer. While Wee Heavies are not a style I necessarily seek out, I enjoy a good one, and this doesn't fit that description.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.05/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours light brown-copper. Very tea like in appearance. Head is initially slight, and quickly disappears completely with almost no carbonation - adding to the tea impression.

Aroma is minerally caramel malt. Light fruit, and a touch of peat.

Taste is more pronounced than the mild nose led me to expect. Toffee, caramel, and brown sugar sweetness up front. Smokey peat with a pleasant woody, nutty quality. Finishes with a minerally character, dark fruit and a bit of earthy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied. Could use a little more viscosity.

Overall a very mild version of a scotch ale. Needs a thicker feel and bolder flavor. Malt is far too subdued, and the nose left me searching. Still, nothing terrible here, just very mild.

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Photo of hodgsongreg
2.44/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a bottle into a tall pilsner glass.

Pours a little lighter than the bottle which carried it. Head lasts for a little over a minute. Smells as it tastes, smokey and sweet, almost like barbecue sauce with some chipotle spice. Lingering flavor. Mouthfeel is thicker and oilier than I thought it would be from the pour. Lightly carbonated.

This one is hard to finish. Maybe it's the style, maybe it's the brewer. It's heavy and not very tasty. From what I've heard and read about this brewer, I shouldn't give up on them completely because a month from now, I could buy the same thing and absolutely love it. Maybe that's some of this brewer's charm. At any rate, I wish them all the best.

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Scotch Ale from Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC
3.28 out of 5 based on 80 ratings.
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