Piper Down - Bourbon Barrel-Aged | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Very Good
74 Ratings

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Floydster on 10-29-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by The_Jerk:
Photo of The_Jerk
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of t2grogan
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tvenne
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happy to get to enjoy a few pints of this one at the Lazy Boy in White Plains, NY.

Pours typical Scottish Ale, medium amber, lither tan head, moderate in size, tiny bubble, then leaves a thin wisp or two of fine lacing.

Malted up nose, with some maple, vanilla and light smoke

Tasty Scotty, smooth malts, , mellow caramel/maple, vanilla again, and mild dark toast/roast.

Well done malty brew, by folks know for the otherside of the malty/hoppy spectrum

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of chossboss
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of pumptrick
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Ralphs66
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Kegatron
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft @ Ballast Point Linda Vista on 11/9/09 during their "Beer Meets Wood" event. Part of San Diego Beer Week.

Pours a deep, clear amber, with a modest covering of lightish foamy off-white head. Stays frothy around the edges, leaving some nice moderate looking lace behind. The aroma smells completely of butterscotch. I'm assuming that this is from a combo of the bourbon, wood, and the sweet malts of the Piper Down, but I'm utterly shocked at how much this came out smelling like it. Toffee, vanilla, touch of barrel, and the lightest floral feel. Very, very, nice.

The butterscotch character carries over into the taste, being sweet and malty, with a smack of vanilla on the tongue. It's really tough to tell at times where beer & barrel seperate but I'm definitely picking up some green notes and barrel character in the finish, where the bourbon flavor really comes out the most. Only a moderate amount of dryness to the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with more of a bubbly and creamy feel to the carbonation. I'm not getting a whole lot of warmth here, which really lets that all of that sweetness shine.

Pretty outrageous stuff here, that completely blew away my expectations of what a barrel-aged Scotch Ale could be. The rich butterscotch flavor in the aroma and taste were almost decadent. Sign me up for more of this anytime!

 1,354 characters

Photo of ohiobeer29
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of thagr81us
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured a deep red-orange with a one finger off-white that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, wood, and peat. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, wood, peat, and dark chocolate. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The flavors on this one were very muted and not very robust, but the flavors that were present were very well balanced and enjoyable. This made this one very smooth and easy drinking. Good brew for the style, but could have been better had the flavors been a little more robust. Definitely glad I got to try this one!

 726 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear brown/dark amber color with a small yet tight egg-shell colored head that settles into a light ring.

The aroma is of bourbon and vanilla as well as some oak. The barrel aroma is strong enough to cover up any other notes from the beer.

The taste is sweet from the bourbon flavor. The bourbon hits first, not boozy but flavorful. There seems to be some cola notes with hints of brown sugar and a toasted malt. Some caramel sweetness as well. The malt doesn't really come through but I'm not certain that a Scottish ale would be able to overcome the flavor from bourbon aging. Perhaps a Scotch ale would have been a better choice to bourbon age. Tastes like a watered down bourbon and coke.

The feel is light with fizzy carbonation. The beer sits sweet on the palate but it is no where near sticky or syrupy.

Drinks very easy. I don't know the ABV but it is nowhere to be found. Pretty much a bourbon spritzer, wish it would have a more malty presence.

 975 characters

Photo of VABA
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a nice dark color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has bourbon and whiskey hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a slight bourbon and whiskey flavor
M-A medium bodied with decent carbonation
O-A nice borboun and whiskey barrel aged scottish ale

 259 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dvmin98
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of skunk242
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.89/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

On tap at The Beer Market in Rochester, NY.

It pours a rusted looking brown, with a surprisingly persistent head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like...not a whole lot, for a BA Scotch Ale. Some caramel, faint and wispy bourbon, toffee. It's all faint, like there's a curtain in front of the beer.

More and more I feel like Ballast Point is going down the tubes, slowly but surely. I hate being that guy...but c'mon. The carbonation overpowers this one, it's got s prickly feeling that leaves a tingling throughout the glass. There's like 1% barrel here, it feels like it was aged in the shadow of a bourbon barrel. There a little bit of nice caramelly malt and toffee, but it's not bold. This is disappointing.

This has a prickly mouthfeel, with a way too high level of carbonation.

A disappointment in basically every way.

 834 characters

Photo of scottoale
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just tapped at O'Brien's Pub tonight, Tom handed out some samples. Nice copper brown with a 1/4" off-white head.

Smell is definitely boozy with bourbon, oak, vanilla and a smooth butterscotch coming through strong. It smells quite a bit stronger than your average Scottish Ale.

The taste is much the same, with the butterscotch standing out and the booziness coming through in the finish. Not too sweet for this style and a complementary earthiness from the oak that really brings balance to this brew.

Not as heavy as your standard Scottish Wee Heavy, but lighter due to the bourbon barrel ageing characteristics and what tastes like a significantly higher ABV than 6%.

Medium body that drinks like a champ...I haven't tried the non-barrel aged version of this brew and don't see the need to, it's not going to top this. Good on ya Ballast Point!

 851 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Homebrew Mart.

Bright amber in the glass with a slight haze to it, a small white head crowns the body. It smells strongly of butterscotch, moreso than any other beer I've tried, and it's rather glorious. Bourbon is noticeable with some digging, along with an apricot-like fruitiness. I could accuse this of being somewhat one-dimensional, but it really does smell awesome. The taste is less sweet than the nose led me to believe. Butterscotch is still there, along with toffee, vanilla and bourbon. There's a bit of oak in there, but it has a subdued presence. Medium-bodied, this dries up a touch toward the finish, and despite the massive butterscotch aroma, there's very little diacetyl or slickness. This is surely one of the better Scottish ales I've tried.

 773 characters

Photo of MrHirschybar
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Kaiser81
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My 100th beer review! - Gold Medal Winner!
Don't ask how I got a growler...I just enjoyed the beer. Poured into a snifter brewery glass.

A - Murky tannish brown with a reddish hue on the edges. About a finger width of head on a 5-6 oz pour, which dies fairly quickly. It leaves decent lacing on the glass.

S - Touch of bourbon mixed with scotch style smells...toffee, lots of caramel, and malty/bready goodness. It's very sweet.

T - Bourbon up front with caramel notes and a touch of something I can't put my finger on. There is slight oakiness on the aftertaste. Very good.

M - Light mouthfeel, maybe up to medium. There is amble carbonation. Nice for a -bal aged beer, but I would like just a bit more body in a scotch style ale...especially -bal aged.

D - Yeah, I can drink a lot of this all day. It would work on a cool day, a warm day. Doesn't matter.

 861 characters

Photo of ShanePB
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of ChrisPro
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Devil's Den.

A - translucent copper with the thinnest of heads and little to no lacing.

S - rich molasses, coconut, vanilla and caramel. This is straight bourbon in the nose and I love it.

T - nice vanilla and caramel sweetness, with a slightly balanced roasted bitter finish. Not sure how they did this, but it was great. Literally tastes like a watered down bourbon, but it just works so well.

M - a bit thin, but not inappropriate for the style. Carb was subtle, but again, appropriate

D - Amazingly drinkable. I love bourbon, and it takes a while to drink a small pour. This beer solves that problem as it goes down incredibly easily.

 653 characters

Photo of scottiethebody
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of aaronyoung01
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Lantern
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

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Piper Down - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 74 ratings