Bagpiper's Brew | Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works

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20 Ratings

Brewed by:
Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by AdamMY:
Photo of AdamMY
4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is a foggy dark brown, with a decent sized head.

The aroma is a bit like roasted coffee, but has a bit of the bitterness often found in hops. It actually has a slightly smoky smell to it but its quite faint.

The taste is amazing, hints of chocolate and coffee, and rather sweet and smoky. Its got a strong taste of roasted malt. And due to the highly carbonated nature of this beer, it blew the cork straight off the bottle even though I was very careful opening it, the flavors are amplified beyond anything I thought possible. I just realized the sweetness from this beer comes across in a rather caramel fashion.

The mouth feel is wonderfully smooth and creamy, and rather velvet like.

And this strictly due to the wondeful taste and mouthfeel is possibly the most drinkable beer I have had to date.

This beer packs all the punch and flavor from a stout but does not seem anywhere near as filling.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Goldorak
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A gift from Ericaweizen during her 2005 Mondial visit. Thanks!!

Appearance: Dark crimson, almost sanguine, with a slick ring of lacing.

Smell: Smoked with hickory chips and peaty, with a side of chocolate. Very nice.

Taste: Smooth carbonation, rich caramel malts and woodsy, smoldering spices gives this Beer great carnal character. It made me feel like painting my face blue, lift my kilt and moon some Englishmen!

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Photo of danoldlib
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this beer from Wegman's today, mainly because it's a local brewery and the name, for St. Patty's day. After an aggresive pour this beer had a nice copper head, however it didn't stay around too long. The color of the was a wonderful dark brown. The taste is a bit too sweet and malty for me, but it definitly fits with the scotch ale style. This beer was brewed in Allentown, and they have another location in Bethlehem. I enjoy most of their beers, this one would definitly be high on my list. Overall a solid beer!

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Photo of dvanhandel
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Jake_eff
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of claspada
2.22/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours a dark brown color, really brown. Tan head that dissipates quickly to a thin film lacing is adequate.

Aromas are mainly caramel malts with a hint of molasses maybe. No hop aromas are detectable.

Tastes are muddled and quite displeasing actually. At first the sweetness of the malt really stands out in the taste but as I drink more the bitterness starts to stand out but it is not hop bitterness; it is just odd. The bitterness becomes more and more dominant and starts to be a little harsh by the end of a glass. The beer begins to linger on your palate in an undesirable way.

Mouth feel is a non-factor because the taste isn't enjoyable for me. Normal carbonation level and extremely heavy mouthfeel.

Overall this is a miss in bottle form. I remember having it at the Bethlehem Brew Works and it was delicious but somehow it did not translate into the bottle. That was around 2 years ago so maybe the recipe changed as well, don't know for sure.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml cage-corked bottle:

Pours brown with ruby highlights and a frothy tan head. Vanishing lace sticks.

The smell is of plenty of peat/hickory, Scotch maltiness, chocolate/toffee and some dark fruit.

The taste is sweet - toffee with caramel and chocolate with some dark fruit (plum and fig). Peat and hickory roast balance the sweetness. Alcohol well-covered, though with some warmth. Sweet, but not cloying, in the finish. Pretty complex.

It has a creamy full body. Carbonation is slightly higher than expected but works well here.

Very smooth despite slight warmth and sweetness. There is plenty of roast and quite a bit "going on". An enjoyable sweet and roasty "sipper"!
(The label on mine says 8.5% abv)

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Photo of theozag
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very sweet, very malty dark ale. This goes down smooth and has almost no bite to its pallate at all. Unforunately, it comes with a 6.2% abv, so whether you feel it on your tongue or not, you'll soon feel it in your forehead. BSA is a medium-to-full-bodied ale with a very dark amber color. It is also the sweetest beer i've ever tasted, meaning you can put sugar on your tongue before trying this beer and you wouldn't know the difference. A thin, off-white head forms over the beer, and its aroma is more like sweetened tea than anything else. Finish is very clean, even, and enjoyable. Nonetheless, too sweet and malty for my taste... but not a bad beer by any stretch of the imagination.

- Backdated tasting: I first reviewed this beer on 20SEP03, this post is based on notes from that review. -

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Photo of hopdog
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Bethlehem Brew Works Brew Pub.

Poured a dark reddish brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of roasted malts, light toffee, and light peat lurking in there as well. Tastes of roastiness, caramel, and the same light peat.

Notes from 5/15/05

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Photo of Gavage
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a hazy brown color with a short 1/2" tan colored head. No lacing develops.

Smell: very little aroma despite some caramel tones.

Taste: caramel, some mild fruit sweetness, moderate bitterness, and a bit of earthiness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smoother towards the finish.

Drinkability: this scottish ale is a bit mellow overall. Easy to consume, but the two pints of this were more than enough in a session.

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Photo of BanditoJunkie
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on draft at Fegley's Bethlehem last night...I really like Scotch ale and this one does not disappoint. Very enjoyable, smooth and the taste was outstanding,,,Went back today and filled up a growler to bring home..

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Photo of stirgy
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark and deep amber color and had a perfect clarity to it. The average size head on this beer was sand colored and creamy. Subtle malt and some smoky or burnt aroma. This Scotch seems very light in body and taste for this style. No overwhelming malt or candy sweetness. That seems to be a high point for this one since it makes it very drinkable. Actually some similar characteristics to their ESB! This could be called a Scotch light beer. Not bad.

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Photo of pburland23
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a caged and corked 25.4 ounce bottle into my Great Divide Brussels glass.

Pours a deep, dark ruby red with a thick couple of fingers of light khaki head. Beer smells malty and sweet. The taste is also quite sweet and fruity. I get caramel, raisins, and some smokiness. It's a touch too sweet for my taste and perhaps a little sweeter than your average Scottish Ale.

The mouthfeel is pretty run-of-the-mill. It's medium bodied and adequately carbonated. As for drinkability, the 8.5% is hidden quite well, but overall, Bagpiper's Brew is a touch too sweet for me to want to drink repeatedly.

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Photo of CraftBeerGuild
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured out as a nice looking brownish red color with a creamy off white head on top. The smell of the beer gives of a nice earthy sweetness to it. The taste of the beer is sweet too and doesn't have much in way of hops at all. The mouthfeel of this beer is medium to heavy bodied and is creamy feeling. Overall I think it's a pretty good Scotch ale and I would enjoy this one again in the future.

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Photo of beermanbrian
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber/black color. Tan head that dissipates quickly to a thin film (note the one i had at the bar on tap seemed to hold it's head longer). Malty caramel smell dominates with a slight hint of licorice. At first the sweetness of the malt really stands out in the taste but as I drink more the bitterness starts to stand out. The bitterness becomes more and more dominant and starts to be a little harsh by the end of a glass. Normal carbonation level and very heavy mouthfeel. I would certainly try this one again, maybe with some age on this beer it would be more balanced and not as harsh. It was tapped 2 days before my purchase.

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Photo of LoveStout
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of hozersr
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of erica
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A co-worker gave me money to go get a growler at BBW on the way to go to his house to help with painting. I could pick out anything that I wanted, that I thought he would like (he's a devout Labatt drinker but experiments from time to time), so I decided on the Bagpiper's Brew, which was tapped just that day (May 12). He wasn't too impressed- no matter, more for me!

The beer poured a dark brown with a tan frothy head that reminded me of the foam that would linger on a fancy coffee drink, not very high, but thick, dense I guess would describe it better. It was nice. It smells decent, a bit on the sweet side, with roasty caramel or butterscotch aromas. Taste is very good, with lots of leafy hops in the very foreground, followed by roasty flavours and sweet, candy caramel coffee-ish (or maybe toffee-ish) tastes swimming over my tongue. Although it's only a bit more than 6% abv, you can taste the alcohol in there as well, but it blends quite nicely. Mouthfeel is a bit on the thick side, but very smooth, not too much carbonation. Maybe a bit more carbonation would make it not feel so thick actually. Drinkability is very good, as I had a growler minus about a half pint to myself, and if I weren't driving home eventually, I would've finished it that night. The alcohol sweetness is balanced with a good hop flavour so nothing stands out too much. A well-blended beer which I will definitely drink again, as long as this batch lasts, and in the future as well. Good one Lewis!

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Bagpiper's Brew from Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 20 ratings