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Scotch Ale | Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC

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Scotch AleScotch Ale
80 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 |  Reviews: 71
Photo of Misfit138
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
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 -19.3%
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 -18.1%
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 +20.5%
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 +13%
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 +16.9%
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 -16.3%
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 -8.1%
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 -26.5%
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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Photo of bigreduw64
2.29/5  rDev -31%
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.

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Photo of mwagner1018
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of BigBossMan
2.6/5  rDev -21.7%
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.

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Photo of mothman
2.88/5  rDev -13.3%
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...

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.67/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of Durge
3.37/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

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Photo of Tone
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of philbe311
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
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...

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Photo of climax
3.92/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

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Photo of Ragingbull
2.82/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

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Photo of jera1350
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of captenaj
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of slyke
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of Fatduck
2.24/5  rDev -32.5%
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.

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Scotch Ale from Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC
Beer rating: 3.32 out of 5 with 80 ratings
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