Scotch Ale | Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC

71 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 80
Photo of bigreduw64
2.29/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The third and last Brau Brothers beer that I brought home. The first two were disappointments, but this is one of their beers that I have heard positive things about, so I am looking forward to this.

With a hard pour into my pilsner glass it builds about 1/2 a finger of head that quickly disappears. The beer is orangeish amber hue with slight cloudiness to the beer. A little lighter in color than I would expect.

The smell is of caramel and malt, great sign for a scotch ale. I don't get any hops on the nose. I can tell this will be sweet.

The taste confirms the nose. It has a candyish sweetness to it. Caramel, toffee and sugar. Not a lot of depth to this beer, it is rather thin, but that makes it a easier to drink. I think with the sweetness present in this beer that if it was thicker it may render it undrinkable.

Rather weak for a scotch ale. Thin and too sweet for my tastebuds. Sadly this is another disappointment for me from Brau Brothers. Three strikes and you're out. I am going to have to hear of some recipe changes before I try them again.

 1,064 characters

Photo of mwagner1018
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've heard good things about this beer...

A- Light copper, golden caramel color, large carbonation bubbles rising, small light camel colored cap on top. A bit lighter in color than I was expecting for a Wee Heavy.

S- Very little nose on this one, some sweet malt, a slight banana ester.

T- Caramel, honey, some slight smokey malt, slightly light body with some off flavor, a mild acidic taste, mild roasted malt backbone, not as well at the front as I would prefer for the style. Not really unique or interesting, fits the very basics of the style.

M- Rich and pretty well balanced, very carbonated, mild, buttery.

D- I could have a few of these, they are drinkable...nice residual malt in the body, masked pretty well, doesn't show through, but delivers a nice punch.

 773 characters

Photo of BigBossMan
2.6/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was not impressed with this beer. Even after hearing good things about it, I have to admit the first whiff had the smell of sour meat. Then the flavor was overwhelmingly smoky - and I am a fan of rachbiers - but this tasted almost as if they simply added liquid smoke to beer. All in all, however, it almost worked - not near as bad as my smoke/sour meat analysis might initially sound. I was able to finish it, but it's probably not anything I'd buy again.

 459 characters

Photo of mothman
2.88/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Color is a dark caramel brown. Pours 1 finger of slight tan head. Fades to a thin layer quickly. No lace left on the glass.

Aroma: an intertesting take on a scotch ale. Aroma seems to be kind of smokey with a caramel malt backbone. It kind of has a sour hint to it as well.

Taste: Big malt profile. Some are roasted and taste smokey. Caramel notes as well. There seems to be some kind of fruit in there. Maybe some apples that are rotten. Something isn't right with this scotch ale.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and a little crisp from the high amount of carbonation. Medium bodied. Ends with the sour rotten apple aftertaste, fairly clean though.

Overall, not my favorite scotch ale or beer from brau brothers for that matter. I won;t be buying this one again and I will be lucky if I can even finish this one.

I am trying to pair this beer with something and peanut butter toast seems to work...

 928 characters

Photo of mdwalsh
3.67/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: It's a little light for a scotch ale, more a copper color, but a nice two finger just off white head and there is ton's of active carbonation going on. It's pretty clean, not much haze at all. Unfortunately, that head isn't sticking around very long at all. Ok looking, but not great.

S: Gingery from afar. Ginger and fresh cut lawn. A deeper inspection brings out the malt that I want. Biscuity, but also sweet and rich. Some caramel/toffee going on in there as well.

T: Not as malty as I want, I guess I'm too used to Dirty Bastard. But sill, a decent malt. I surprised that they got it up over 7abv. The ginger/lawn smell is in the taste as well, and it's nice. The more I let it sit on my tongue, the more I get a candi sweetness. Even some more fruit, though that could be almost esthery. Overall, not bad, just not very scotchish.

M: There is something here I don't like too much. I can't put my finger on it though. It's not over carbed or flat, not too thick or too thin.

D: I could do more, not sure that I want to, I'd say this would be a great beer to get on sale to fill in a night.

 1,101 characters

Photo of Durge
3.37/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A perfectly clear copper color with a decent off-white head that settles but holds the full surface stubbornly. Lacing is modeat but noted in a random web throughout. The aroma is a smooth grainy molasses and some coffee bean and toasted grass. The flavor brings more hints of molasses quickly kicked aside by burnt coffee and considerable ashtray afterwash. It's interesting but hard to say it's very good. Odd. As you work through it the cigarette affect wears down a little and you can enjoy a bit of orange caramel and clover hop bitterness. It does grow on me but still falls a well short. It is somewhat dry, good middle ground mouthfeel with a decidedly dry finish that stays with you like the way spinach affects your teeth. Sometimes the ashtray becomes a more palatable smoke but it's just difficult to get yourself around this one. I sense a little alcohol warmth perhaps. With the odd taste I can't call this highly drinkable, but if your a curious scotch ale fan, I would have to advise you to give it a try, with a warning that it's no obvious winner.

 1,065 characters

Photo of Tballz420
3.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown bodied brew, cream colored head leaves just a bit of lace. Nose is mainly dark malt, bits of chocolate. Lots of chocolate malt rounding out the taste, a little bitter hop but not much. Just a slight hint of alcohol, but the high volume is blended well. Pretty light mouth, fairly wet. Not a bad beer at all.

 318 characters

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

Pours a cloudy, copper/orange color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of strong grain, slight roasted malt, and slight hop. Fits the style of a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. There is also a strong dryness associated with this brew. Tastes of grain, slight alcohol, some plum, tea like flavor, hint of smoke, and grass in the finish. Overall, the grass and tea flavor is a little off-putting, but it is still easy drinking.

 527 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown color, dark at the top with plenty of reddish highlighting. Foam does not jump out of the bottle, but there's about a half inch of white head. Strange retention and lacing patterns.

Sour aroma dominates, although it's mostly weak toasted malt. Sweetness hangs around. The flavor is malty, but not overwhelmingly. A little bit of caramel, some metallic notes, more sourness, and some dark fruit.

Not too chunky in the mouth, but enough body to meet style guidelines. Nothing to write home about here.

 509 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A welcome extra via trade from Buebie...

A - Three fingers worth of effervescent light tan head... Respectable retention gives way to a rich lacing... Minimal stickiness on the sides of the glass... Lots of carbonation bubbles clinging to the side of the glass... Orange rust color with a faint red hue... Slightly murky...

S - Lots of ripe fruit... Fig... Sweet apple... Pear... Mango... Grape Juice... Caramel... Toffee... Some grains...

T - Similar to the nose, there is a very heavy fruit presence... Apple... Grape... Peach... Mango... Slightly medicinal... Smokey finish and after taste... Very good taste, but there seems to be a severe lack of the malt that I typically expect from a Scotch Ale...

M - Medium bodied... Rich... Creamy... Slightly burnt chalky texture...

D - A pleasant surpise in the realm of Scotch Ales... Not a text book example of the style and not head of the class, but a very interesting brew none the less... A very pleasant surprise, especially given my low expectations based on other reviews... I would gladly try again and recommend any Scotch Ale fans to give it a try...

 1,117 characters

Photo of climax
3.92/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one poured a murky copper/orange with a good head that stuck pretty well.

The caramel malts were at the forefront in the nose. Sweet and sour fruit notes: citrus hops and well ripened fruit. More toasted bready malts and substantial smokyness followed.

Taste was very earthy. Smoky throughout, sweet and sour maltiness and a definite fruit presence. Well-masked alcohol and a bready finish.

Body was pretty light and a bit but not overly watery. Nice bite and a slight dry finish.

Pretty easy to drink for a scotch, maybe not completely typical to the style but that doesn't bother me.I think it is the best of the Brau Bros that I have tried.

 652 characters

Photo of Ragingbull
2.82/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Orange to gold in color. Fruity and fresh nose that is pleasant. Light foam head after being poured into a pint glass. Sweet and malty attack. The maltiness carries through the flavor but the finish is somewhat odd. The aftertaste lingers in the mouth a long while and isnt' really all that enjoyable for me. It seems to come on a bit too strong at the finish and ruined what would otherwise have been a good beer.

 414 characters

Photo of jera1350
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Interesting and unique beer.

Hazy reddish brown color. Almost looks like a diluted cherry juice. Minimal head that is quickly gone. No visible lacing.

Very sweet smelling. Like an over ripe cherry. Also some smoke and a little bourbon smell.

Sweet and smoky. Tastes a little like peat. This is unique. It's like fruit juice with smoke in it. Not bad. Some malt present. Small bit of hops to finish.

Pretty light to medium bodied. Very little carbonation.

Drinkability is about average. The flavor of this beer isn't one most people could handle all night.

Decent beer. Unlike anything I've had before.

 608 characters

Photo of captenaj
3.15/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was very excited to try this one out, maybe it just didn't live up to my expectations. The color was a little on the pale side of amber and I was immediately hit by a smell of alcohol. Upon tasting, the first thing I noticed was alcohol. After that, spices and very little hops (which, to me, is a good thing). The alcohol flavor was overpowering and detracted from the brew. The mouthfeel was too thin. Drinkability was on the low side of average due to the alcohol overpowering all else.

 491 characters

Photo of slyke
3.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brau Brothers Scotch Ale pours a hazy copper-brown color with an inch of white head which falls to a 1/8 inch cap with some lacing.

The nose is dominated by sweet malt with a note of smokiness.

The taste is sweet, but with a roasted character and a hint of smoke.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied coating the tongue and sides of my mouth as I savor it.

Perhaps a bit sweet for my liking, this beer is complex and flavorful. One to savor. I think a sharp cheese would pair well.

 474 characters

Photo of Fatduck
2.24/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - Very nice, pours a smoldering amber color with a healthy two finger head, that wont go away entirely.

S - Pretty mild, with a sort of musty/moldy smell, not that appealing.

T - Tastes pretty good, nice smokiness and lots of malt flavor, low hop bitterness.

M - Full bodied and smooth, feels good all the way down.

D - Its a fine beer, but there isn't a lot going on here. I could drink more of them, but I don't really want to.

Like all the other Brau Brothers beers I have had this one has some flavors that seem to me like they are undesirable, and it makes me wonder if they were going for this flavor profile or if that's just kinda how it turned out. I will keep looking for Brau beer, because its important to support local breweries and I want them to be good soooo bad.

 787 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.14/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A hard pour produces an utterly flat surface. Signs of life are hardly noticeable - tiny bubbles exist only for the time of the swirl and the outer trim is negligible. The colour is an odd one for a scotch ale - a hazy copper with flashy yellow highlighting. Does not look anything the part.

The smell is very sweet. The malts give out a small dose of toffee with hints of peat, smoke, and oak - now this is more to character! Oddly, however, it also seems to be ramped with notes of field berries - blackberries, blueberries, strawberry, etc. While I do very much like it, I wonder where it's coming from and have to note the overwhelming artificial character it carries with it.

The carbonation is rather high which does nothing to compliment the (modestly hidden) 7.3% The aftertaste is weak but senses stale like wet cardboard.

The flavours, too, seem very artificial. The malt profile really isn't as bold as it should be. I certainly do taste hints of peet, smoke, and oak that combine to make for a taste I'd imagine one might otherwise receive from licking an ashtray. It is, quite frankly, assaulting.

Very little about this seemed to indicate 'scotch ale'. The colour was off, the malt was absent, the body was more artificial than it was hefty. I'm seeing this more as a half decent malt liquor and accordingly, of course I need to thank Viggo for the bottle!

 1,378 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.7/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of Oakbluff: Poured a medium copper color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma is slightly sour which may indicate a small infection with some notes of caramel malt. Taste is dominated by lightly sweet caramel malt with no other discernable characteristics. Body is somewhat thin with a weird oily texture and no hint of peat malt. Overall, I thought this was quite bland.

 423 characters

Photo of Gump
4.24/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My co-worker brought this to me, he was so impressed with it.
I agree with him. It's a terrific scotch ale. Something I havent experienced in quite awhile.

An incredible earthy, woodsy pine aroma brings me into the glass. Candy like or cake batter. I haven't smelled a beer this good in a long time.
With flavors to match the aroma, with scotch, carmel flavors as well.

Mild, dry peppery aftertaste.

Re-review 2008-05-11:
No pine aroma, more like wet wood. On this date, the beer is much more thick and wet than last. I suppose it hasn't fermented as dry as it should have. Dead flat.

Undercarbonated, very malt forward, very sweet and thick, smokey.
The grade and rating shown is for the first tasting.

 707 characters

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

A-Deep copper with a thin white ring, no lace.

S-Sweet malt with hints of smoke. All of this is subdude.

T-Nice sweet caramel malt with stealthy hints of smoke. This one builds as your imbibe.

M-Medium body and very smooth. Culminates with a nice dry finish.

D-Nice stuff. I like the addition of the smokey peated malt. My first Brau Bros brew...a nice one that will have me look for more of their stuff.

 408 characters

Photo of spoots
4.25/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I like this beer! I'm generally not a scotch ale fan. Most examples I've tried are cloying and about as subtle as a dentist's drill. But there's something about the Brau Bros. effort that really seems to me to capture the essence of this style.

A=Thick, rich looking. Plenty of thick head and lacing. Very impressive looking beer.
S=Nice, but a little odd. This is one of those beers that actually tastes better than it smells. (Like a good cheese, I suppose.)
T=Super! Wave after wave of good, dense scotch-y, ale-y flavor. I bet this one would improve with a little age.
M=Sexy. Dense. Velvety. I really love the feel of this beer going down.
D=It's a good beer, but I don't think I'd enjoy more than one or two at a time. (That's not a criticism, since I can only drink one HopSlam, but I love the heck out of that one serving!)

This beer makes me think the Brau Bros. have a good future ahead of them. I hope to sample this one on tap sometime soon. Cask aged, perhaps? As my brother-in-law might say, "Woo-hoo!"

 1,018 characters

Photo of Greggy
3.98/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Into a tulip, it pours a nice 2 finger head that recedes quickly. Not much for lacing.

Smell: Grains and scotch come through here the most for me. Also a bit of dark chocolate on the nose.

Taste: Light bit of dark chocolate, light scotch, light caramel. Light in all tastes, but somehow, very smooth and tasty.

Mouthfeel: Silky Smooth with some light carbonation.

Drinkability: This reminds me of a lighter version of SkullSplitter scotch ale. That isn't a bad thing, however, as the drinkability is great.

 523 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.06/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a clearish, copper-orange body with a large, fizzy white head.

Smell: Spoiled fruit juice with a hint of peat -- all very un-scotch ale-ish.

Taste: Light caramel maltiness. Off-putting lactic tart character and a taste of rotted fruits. Hint of smokey peat.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin, lifeless body.

Drinkability: I stuck by this beer all the way to the very last drop. I dunno why I had to do that, but I did. It never improved and remains a rather poor scotch ale.

 485 characters

Photo of mcallister
2.37/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Very light caramel colored for a wee heavy. Clean clear look. Pours with a minute white head that fades quickly into oblivion.

Not an abundance of happenings in the nose. A caramel backbone with with candied apple and pear, and slight hopping aromas and peat.

Much more peaty in the mouth. An almost sour apple flavor and maybe some diacetyl dominate the palate. Finish is smokey peat. Not sure what is going on with this beer. Very odd. Thin all the way through but thickens on the finish. Don't think I'd drink more than half of one.

 537 characters

Photo of budgood1
1.3/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

well this one couldn't wait to get out of the bottle! as soon as i cracked it open, it gushed quite unexpectedly all over the place.

after getting the contents under contol, it poured out a dark and murky brilliant amber colour, with a huge meringue-like head that shows no sign of receding. chunky lace adorns the glass. aroma of caramel tinged maltiness with a hint of peat smoke. well, upon tasting, i now know now why the gushing...the first sip brings on a sour apple taste. infected bottle! horrible tasting. another bottle the same thing. went to the sink, cracked open the entire six pack, every one gushed and they all were horribly tainted. drain poured the entire sixer.

ugh. bad beer. feel bad giving a bad review. three of four beers i've tried from brau brothers have been disappointments, but this one was due to infection. i'll be contacting the brau brothers about this one.

 893 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Scotch Ale from Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC
3.28 out of 5 based on 80 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.