Scotch Ale | Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC

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 biegaman
3.14/5  rDev -5.4%
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!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.7/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of Gump
4.24/5  rDev +27.7%
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.

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Photo of Deuane
4.05/5  rDev +22%
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.

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Photo of spoots
4.25/5  rDev +28%
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!"

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Photo of Greggy
3.98/5  rDev +19.9%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.06/5  rDev -38%
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.

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Photo of mcallister
2.37/5  rDev -28.6%
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.

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Photo of budgood1
1.3/5  rDev -60.8%
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.

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Photo of happygnome
3.12/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: pours a golden maroon color with about an inch and a half of ivory head that doesnt dissapear too fast and leaves a good amount of lacing
s: sweet caramel malts really dominate the nose on this one kind of a smoky peat aroma as well
t: rich sweet caramel malts dominate the flavor, a lot of sweetness, i cant taste any hop notes or alcohol in the flavor
m: medium bodied beer with a decent amount of carbonation

oveall, this is a drinkable beer bu i dont think that i will buy another

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Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my glass, it looks pretty nice with a light head and lacing as I drink it down. The aroma is a wonderful peat-smoked smell with a little malt behind it. The smoke fades in the taste which is a balanced mix of caramel malts. My only complaint is that the flavor fades too quickly, leaving almost no aftertaste.

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Photo of alexgash
1.38/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Muddy, ruddy dark amber with a finger of gauzy, clingy, light beige head. Scorched caramel stands alone amid freshly-unwrapped bandaids and funky vegetables. Taste is all fusels and bandaids with skunky vegetables. Some malty sweetness around the edge shows what this beer was intended to be. This bottle is bad, and it's not from mishandling. Blech. I'll have to try this again some other time.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.97/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, pours an alarmingly light shade of amber caramel brown, a nice head that shrinks to a thin film, just bit of lacing here and there. The aroma is pretty solid, nice fruity hints of berries and cherries and fainter peaty earthiness, nicely malty, decent but fairly stock for the style.

The taste is a little better, but just not enough umph that it needs. As I first looked at it, looked like there wouldn't be enough malt, and I was right. The body is decent, a little over medium, nice carbonation, and there is a fair amount of peaty malty goodness, but I'm a bit underwhelmed. Its good, mind you, just want more. But could I drink a case of this in a sitting? You betcha!

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Pitmonkey for throwing this bottle in as an extra with our trade.

a - pours a deep golden color, fairly clear, one-finger ivory head with decent retention and lacing

s - nose dominated by sweet, caramelly malt, hints of peaty smokiness, not much alcohol

t - predominant flavor is rich, sweet caramel malt, the finish has more sweetness with the peat making an appearance, alcohol not detectable

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, sweet finish

d - pretty drinkable, alcohol is not very evident, fairly easy on the palate

Solid offering from Brau Brothers. This is not my favorite style, but I like that this beer wasn't cloyingly sweet as some Scotch Ales I've had have been. Worth a try.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: bottle from France 44 poured into a pint glass

A: dull copper color or brown, very hazy, with some bright copper around the edges when held to the light; barely off white head with tiny bubbles that fell very quickly.

S: slight toasted sweet mailt in nose, caramel light but present; no smoke but a hint of pint, earthiness; moderate hop spice or a pepperyness that seems off for the style; some fruity esters.

T: solid malty spine with a strong peat wallop and some smoke; sharp carbonic bite and more spice; very dry bitter finish with a metallic kick; flavor is strong and bitter as well.

M: watery mouthfeel for the style, but some body present.

D: ok, but harshenss lingers on middle and back of tongue, and lowers the enjoyment of the beer.

Overall: I'm surprised with this one. I thought I'd like it better based on a sample I had on site last year. At the time, I remembered it being one of the better beers I had that day, but I don't seem to like it out of the bottle compared to the draft sample. Maybe I just didn't have enough before or the bottling changed the taste a bit and highlighted some features I'm not crazy about. Still not bad, but I won't go too far out of my way for it, though I do want to do it on a full draft for comparison--good enough to give it that shot.

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Photo of daaru
1.68/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

this is a vile beer. it looks good enough, and has decent aroma but has terribly unbalanced flavour. too much malt sweetness. tastes somewhat like you're drinking carbonated molasses. as with all brau bros beers that i've tried there is no body to it whatsoever. drink it on a dare or buy it for someone you don't like.

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Photo of morimech
3.55/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours orangish/brown or mahogany as other reviewers described the color. A thin head forms and leaves quickly leaving just spotty lacing. Brau Bros. really need to improve in this department.

The smell is more subdued than what I would expect in this style. I get caramel, toffee, and roasted malt.

The flavor is of toasted malt, caramel, and smoke. Just a hint of chocolate on finish. Seems to be suitably carbonated, medium bodied, but leaves a bit of smokey aftertaste. I guess Scotch drinkers are accustomed to this. I would call this one BBB's best beer that I have sampled.

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Photo of edbeered
3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap(at the Minnesota State Fair in a clear plastic cup), this pours a hazy mahogany hue, with a small white head that rapidly dissipates, leaving no head or lacing. The smell is fruity. The taste is rich in caramel malt as well as a sweet plum fruitiness. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing. This is a tasty treat and a pleasure to find at the great Minnesota get-together. I'll be back for more.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Burnt orange with a sunset red blush. The entire 12 oz. bottle slid into the glass on the first pour (thanks to very little head generation). The end result is a fat one finger of ecru foam that doesn't have much character and doesn't leave much lace. It hangs around for a spell, so I guess that's something.

While the nose is an acceptable take on the style, I wish it was more aromatic. It smells like the beer will be toasted caramel malty, fruity and moderately sweet. Unfortunately, try as I might, I can't appreciate the 'hint of peat-smoked malt' that is claimed on the silk-screened bottle. Perhaps it'll make an appearance on the palate.

I have certain expectations for Scotch ales. Brau Scotch Ale doesn't hit all of its marks with authority, but it hits enough of them to be considered above average. Since this is my third beer from these guys and the only one to be better than average, that's nothing to sneeze at.

It's arguable whether there's enough malt for Scotch ale/wee heavy status to be granted. Since it's close, I'll let it go. Flavors include well-toasted brown bread, steely caramel, mild cocoa notes and a certain dark fruitiness. Like all BBB beer, sourness is an integral part of the flavor profile. In this case, we can chalk it up to the peat-smoked malt and consider it a positive rather than a negative.

The mouthful is nowhere near 'wee heavy heaven', but it ain't half bad. Warming smooths things out (even more than they already were) and adds a bit of chewiness on the finish. This attribute is the highlight and easily deserves the score granted.

I don't know which one of their offerings the Brau Brothers consider to be their flagship beer. Keeping in mind that I haven't had them all... I nominate Scotch Ale, if for no other reason than it's the only one that I'd consider buying a second time.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Burnt umber color with some haze to it. Head started out strong but fell to a thin sheet of sandy colored bubbles fairly quick.

S: Loads of caramel, smoke, rubber, peanuts and red fruit.

T: Tastes a lot like it smells. Begins with minor caramel flavor which is quickly inhibited by a dry, smoky flavor. Little bit of hop character on the tip of the tongue balanced by mineralistic aspects across the sides and back. Some simple red fruit finishes out the process with the smoke lingering long after the swallow.

M: Medium body with a soft water mouthfeel.

D: Nothing special here. Not a standout but not bad either.

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Photo of afinepilsner
3.97/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle

Brau Brothers Scotch Ale was orange-brown in color and a little hazy. It had an off-white head with decent retention with a little lacing. The aroma was malty with some dried fruit. The taste was a little sweet upfront, malty, and fruity with a semi-sweet, malty finish. It was medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. It was a good scotch ale and worth a try.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.42/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a vibrant mahogany color. The head is one inch in height, thick, and creamy. Lacing is decent, and lasts until the beer is gone. The aroma is of caramel, peat, and toffee. The taste is of caramel, toffee, nuts, peat, maple syrup, and smoke. The mouthfeel is full bodied with nice carbonation and a somewhat silky texture. Overall, this is one of the better scotch ales I have had. Of all the Brau Brothers beers I have found the scotch ale to be the most consistant in terms of quality and carbonation levels.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma notes a nice malt character with a bit of smoky quality. Bottles vary, as I've noted as least one had a strong (and annoying) vegetal scent. Otherwise little hops and nice.
Attractive mostly clear orange/brown amber. Minimal head that leaves quickly.
Tasty malty flavors that are initially strong, but taper towards end of drink. Nice sweetness up front and a bit of peat (smoke) in the middle, then to a pleasing malty dryness in a medium length finish. Minimal bitterness, but also not overly sweet.
A real slick feel with a lower carbonation holding some bite and sharpness. Moderate overall feel. In time this takes on a nice creaminess that leads to a satisfying quality.
Nice overall drink. Some inconsistency between bottles, but the best ones are tasty and enjoyable.

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Photo of Viggo
3.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to JeffKrenner for sending this my way for BC2!

Pours a very clear orange/copper, thick half inch head forms, off white, quickly settles to a thin ring, some lace spots. Smell insane malty, butterscotch, alcohol, smokey undertone, very rich, dates, hint of vanilla, more toffee, nice. Taste is super malty as well, very rich caramel, light smoke, vanilla, citrus, kind of a sourness in the finish, very smooth. Mouthfeel is full bodied, low carbonation, very silky smooth, nice touch of smoke. I enjoyed this! Thanks Jeff.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brau Brothers Scotch Ale pours a finger of tight foam
over a cloudy amber brew. Carbonation is steady, and
the nose is malt and something fruity- pear juice maybe?
The flavor is malt, of course, but with hints of smoke as
well, with an herbal hop finish. The mouthfeel is crisp,
dry, and refreshing. Really tasty, well worth a try.

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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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