Piper Down
Ballast Point Brewing Company

Piper DownPiper Down
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Scottish Ale
Ranked #119
Ranked #40,607
3.65 | pDev: 9.59%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Piper DownPiper Down
Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 419 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of tone77
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of caramel malts, some nuts. Taste is the same as the aroma, a good bit of brown bread as well. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
2.84/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Unknown vintage; drank 1/5/15 @ the Yarchives.

Clear red/purple/brown hue.

Big khaki head; thick lace.

Sweet caramel & a hint of smoke in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Mild caramel flavor & little else...even the faint smoke promised in the nose is gone.

Drinkable but barely there.

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Photo of AverageJoeReviewers
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - Pours dark amber. One finger head. Leaves lacing on glass.
S - Caramel/Malt/ Coffee Ice cream.
T - Sweet Caramel notes followed by light malt/ weak coffee.
F - Very smooth. Easy to drink.
O - Nice after dinner beer. Average Joe Approved

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a mahogany color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin ring of lace around the glass

S: Lots of maltiness up front along with some caramel sweetness and some very light roasty notes.Some graininess in there as well

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with caramel and malt sweetness and some very light roast. Graininess come in shortly after the moderate sweetness fades. Finishes with lingering caramel and grain notes

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. On the more prickly side

O: A solid Scottish ale that is definitely on the malty side. Could be a little smoother in the MF, but still not a big deal. Worth a try

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.81/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Clear Hamilton shaker pint plastic glass
From: N/A; Found at in-laws
Price: N/A
Purchased: Nov. 23, 2016
Consumed: Nov. 23, 2016
Reviewed as: Scottish Ale
Misc.: No bottled on date

Couldn’t believe that I had never tried this, let along reviewed it. I like the style, but do not like that Ballast Point sold out like a bunch of chumps (I would have done the same thing for $1 billion. Will try to review fairly.

Poured a red-brown amber clear color with two fingers of khaki frothy head. Some bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Decent spotty lacing. Excellent retention. (Sight - 4.25)

Smelled toffee, roasted nuts, caramel, toasted oak, hints of ashtray, dark fruits and biter black coffee. (Smell - 3.75)

Rather let down on the taste initially. Toasted toffee, dirty oak, roastiness, caramel, dark fruits, brown bread, plum hints of char wood and grain. (Taste - 3.75)

Medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, roasty finish. (Feel - 4.00)

Not a bad beer, especially for the style. But still #CraftAdjace. (Overall - 3.75)

3.81 | 86 | B+

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Photo of CTHomer
3.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: crystal clear; mahogany in color; 1 finger light brown head that receded to a thick collar; little lacing;

S: caramel, chocolate, peat, earthy;

T: a combination of caramel and earthy from start to finish; mild bitterness at the end; very mellow flavors for a
Scottish ale;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation' lightly dry finish;

O: enjoyable, but not a great representation of the style;

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Photo of MFMB
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep Amber to brown. Smells of caramel malt and dates. Taste is of caramel, nuts, dates, prunes and toasted malt. Medium body with a slightly wet mouthfeel.

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Photo of crimsonfloyd
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Red-brown color with beige head. Smells of burnt caramel but the scent is fairly faint. Taste is of bourbon, caramel, and yeast. There's a very mild hint of berry. Feel is pretty smooth. In sum, a decent but not compelling beer.

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Photo of mjurney
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber-brown color. Medium carbonation. Small head.

Very mild aroma. Roasted, caramel, brown sugar, a little nutty.

Roasted malts, brown bread, caramel, a little brown sugar. Hop bitterness is low, leafy/earthy. Sweet finish. Light bodied, slight dryness, nice carbonation, easy drinking.

Not the best Scottish Ale, but it's pretty good.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Style is a fave and this does not disappoint. Pours dark mahogany with fast-disappeared head, leaving a ring. Aroma is sweet malty caramel and a touch of smoke. Flavor is malty too, maybe a little one-dimensional, but really tasty. Smooth and clean finish make this very enjoyable. Only complaints are this is a little on the light side and not as complex as some better style offerings.

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Photo of martinpfal
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A really good Scottish ale. Ba scored 82. I would bump it up another 9 points. Ballast point has yet to disappoint me. They clearly know how to brew good quality

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Photo of Impetuous
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Great head
Not as good looking as young pan grier
Red in colour not that great dark brown
Hops are more prevalent than expected for the style but it doesn't taste bad
Could use more malt

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Photo of Bulabeers
3.34/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

L: reddish brown colored beer with a finger and a half of off white head. some lacing as you drink
S: caramel
T: Sweet malts balanced by a slightly piney hop finish. decent balance here just nothing really jumping out
F: Lighter than I'd like
O: This is okay beer.

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Photo of Davidstan
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can't beleive the low reviews here on this ale. I like it a lot. Peppery up front with a crisp finish. This is probably the beer Killians Red always wanted to be. BP does well again.

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Photo of scootny
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A ruddy light brown brew. Deep rich malty sweet nose. Some caramel and light earthy hoppiness. Taste follows suit. Malty grains and caramel sweeteness. Tea leaf bitterness. Lighty tingling carbonation with a medium weight. Lighter and easy drinking. Good solid Scotch Ale.

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Photo of DarkSideOfTheMoon
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of the lightest scottish ales I've ever had. That's a good thing for me because I'm not generally a fan of scottish ales. Poured a deep crimson red. Hardly carbonated..almost flat..which led to a very very thin layer of foam. Smell and taste are malty caramels with a touch of hoppiness. Mouthfeel is light but wide-bodied. Overall not a bad beer but not the best from BP.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep mahogany brown color with a one finger head of tan colored foam. The head fades rather fast leaving a good deal of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma of the brew is strong of a roasted malt and molasses smell. Along with these aromas comes some other smells of caramel and darker fruits with just a hint on a floral hop note.

Taste – The taste begins much drier then I would have anticipated from the nose, starting with just a hint of caramel sweetness mixed with a rather stronger roasted bready taste. As the taste advances the caramel upfront fades away with a light dark fruity flavor taking its place. At the same time some hop flavors of a grassy and floral hop taste mixed with a little bit of graininess come to the tongue and with a light earthy hop coming at the very end, one is left with a rather dry and roasty taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the brew is on the thinner side with a carbonation level that is rather low. The low carbonation is nice for the style, but a thicker body would have accentuated the roasty flavors slightly better. Overall, it was an OK feel.

Overall – I have to say I am a bit disappointed with this Ballast Point brew. They normally do most all styles nice, but this was way too dry and flavorless for a Scottish ale in my opinion. Certainly not their best…

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Photo of Texter
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Surprisingly low in alcohol for a Scottish Ale, not bad but there are much better examples of the style elsewhere, which is probably why this is in a sampler pack at my local store. There is always one beer in the sampler that makes you kind of regret getting the pack to begin with.

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Photo of WoodButcher
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color was the best part of this beer. Poured a deep amber caramel color with a thin head that dissipated quickly with little lacing. Nose was sweet malt and little more. Likewise the taste was mostly malty with a bit of caramel, minimal nuttiness and a late bitter finish. Overall this was an underwhelming brew. Just nothing remarkable. Very one dimensional and not a great example of a scotch ale. If anything it was more like a typical amber ale, but even that would have been an unimpressive example. For the i prices you pay here on the east coast for Ballast Point I'd expect something special. This could be a Saranac or other non-craft brew. BP better step it up with more than fancy IPAs if they expect me to buy their beer.

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Photo of drtth
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a reddish brown color with a 1/2" light than head that soon recedes to a thin layer of foam with a ring around the glass and a small, more dense, island of foam in the middle. Sipping creates several small patches and a few legs of lacing. Even before the beer is half finished most of the surface foam has disappeared, the ring is very tiny, and the bits of foam left by sipping mostly soon slide down to the liquid.

The aromas include some caramel, what seems to be a hint of smoke, and some lightly roasted malt.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with that caramel, roasted malt, and a light touch of smokiness. In addition the sweetness seems to contain light molasses as well as the caramel. There's also some very faint bitterness.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied and lightly prickly with the light but persistent carbonation. The finish starts about a third of the way in as the caramel and molasses sweetness begin to fade allowing the lightly roasted malt some time on center stage before it fades away into the persistent light bitterness that hangs around to the end when there is also a touch of dryness.

This seems a well enough made beer and I'm enjoying having this one. But that said I probably won't be having this one again as there are other Scottish Ales that I enjoy more that are more readily available.

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Photo of zeff80
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, tan head of foam. It smelled of peat, smoke and roasted caramel malt. Earthy and smoky flavor with a nice roasted malt backbone.

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Photo of T100Mark
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A 22 ounce bomber poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - A nice rusty copper color. A little hazy. A dense tan head that sticks around for a bit. A fair amount of stickage.

Smell - Sweet. Tart.

Taste - Sweet malt flavor. Tart/tangy. Minimal hops (almost non-existent).

Mouth - Tangy. A bit fizzy.

Overall - A San Diego beer that's not loaded with hops? I've read that the Scots don't use hops because they don't have any (they are too far north). This is too bad as a few more hops would have been a nice addition here. It is what it is.

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy brown color with a medium-sized head.

Smells of biscuits, brown sugar, and candy.

While I was not entirely sold on the smell, this taste really good.The malts are definitely present, but it's complemented by a delightful chocolate taste, and some juicy milkiness as well. Mouthfeel is light, while the body is surprisingly full.

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Photo of Harrison8
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a rich deep plum color, which almost looks black in low-light situations. The head is medium-thin and foamy, with a mild amount of lacing. Roasted malts and caramel notes in the aroma. Smooth malt biscuits open up the flavor palette, which also includes a hint of toffee and caramel. Mouth feel is so-so. Not as full bodied as I'd hope for, but still pleasant. A bit on the watery side. Overall, this is a pleasant beer. Not the greatest renditions of scottish ales, but certainly not something to turn your nose up at.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of Beejay
3.06/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A ruby brown color with a large tan head.

S: Roasted grain, caramel and brown sugar.

T: There is a certain sweetness to this, and very subdued. Fairly light roasted malt, with notes of caramel and cream.

M: Medium light in body, with moderate carbonation, there is a little cling in the finish, but not nearly as rich or thick as what a standard Scottish would be. There is definitely a very English flavor to this, but almost too mild for the style. Almost like a more robust brown.

O: Overall it is tasty, but not necessarily what I think of when I think Scottish Ale. There is almost a softness to it, that I think is in opposition to what this beer should be.

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Piper Down from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 419 ratings