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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Scotch AleSamuel Adams Scotch Ale
1,117 Ratings
Samuel Adams Scotch AleSamuel Adams Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,117 |  Reviews: 638
Reviews by drxandy:
Photo of drxandy
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to flare pint, got a brewmaster's 12pack since i haven't had this since last year and had never had the chance to try the boston ale, pours a copper reddish shade, off white head fades to lacing

smells of smoked and caramel malt, slight cocoa-y smoothness, sweet floral

taste is of hop bitterness followed by a nice smooth malt blending, sweet and roasty, earthy peat smokiness, floral aroma hops, creamy body, dark fruits (mostly fig), molasses. BBC's take is what i would imagine to be a little hoppier than most scotch ales but is nice and flavorful

mouthfeel is of a good medium body contributing to a nice weight, good amount of carbonation, slightly creamy malt, residual lingering hoppy bitterness in the finish

overall drinkability is good and sessionable.. one of my favorites of the sam adams line, sad that it's only seasonal, but hey

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tjsdomer2
4.67/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful dark orange amber that changes shades depending on light with foam and lacing everywhere.

Smell: Smells pretty malty, not hoppy. Extremely smoky, unlike any beer I've seen although I'm sure others exist. Almost smells like...dirt? I guess that's the peat they use. This stuff is very sophisticated salt-of-the-earth beer!

Taste: Wow! Smoky, sweet, creamy, malty...all in perfect proportion for me. Very little carbonation. It definitely tastes like whiskey as well, including the oak. Paradoxically, Scotch Ale is very thick but also a tad bit watery. I could say instead that it's "watery whiskey" which makes it sound better I guess. Despite this, it warms you almost immediately. Flavors also change as the beer warms. Thumbs up!

Drinkability: Would not want a keg of this. That said, it's very relaxing to drink.

Overall: In my opinion, this is Sam Adam's at its best. Whiskey lovers will like this one. Anyone will appreciate it.

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Photo of 57md
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a mahogany color with a finger of head. The nose is both malty and bready. The flavor is deeply malty with a smokey peat essence for good measure. The finish is semi-dry but a note of sweetness sneaks in as well.

This is a rare beer that drinks "bigger" than it actually is. I would have pegged this as a 8% (or so) ABV beer.

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Photo of TheMadJack
4.68/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz. Bottle into Pint Glass

Beer is a warm, coppery brown. Lumpy, persistently foamy beige head that sticks a bit to the glass, but doesn't really lace, per se. Still, I wish it were as easy to get my shaving soap to lather up like this.

Smells of peaty smoke, oak barrels, caramel, bit of spiciness, almost like nutmeg.

The flavor is similar to the smell: good amount of peat smoke, oak, butter, and a caramelly sweetness. Nice tannin bitterness.

Mouthfeel has nice body, creamy and full.

I'm going to say right here that this is one of my favorite Sam Adams brews. One of their more challenging offerings and it reminds me of an Islay Scotch ...but not so much that I'd rather just have the scotch. I could drink these all day, and I'm still waiting for the brewer to produce a twelve pack of these exclusively.

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Photo of Deus1138
5/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this out of a sampler pack. I wrestled over trying this, or just enjoying the Black Lager.

Where has this beer been all my life?? WOW!! Pours a reddish copper color with not too much carbonation, but an ample amount of head. The smells is mostly of sweet caramel malts. Taste: WHOA! Talk about smooth, sweet, and balanced!! There' s just so much right about this beer! I have always been a huge fan of Boston Lager and pretty much everything (I don't think anyone really likes the Cranberry Lambic) they put out, but this one takes the cake! I have a new favorite from Sam Adams, and possible a new favorite beer! Drinkability is excellent!! You can sip and savor, or throw it back fast. It's just so delicious and easy to drink!

I hope to find it in cases or six packs, but some of the posts here lead me to believe that might not be possible!

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Photo of Czequershuus
2.8/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a deep, rich copper with an average head and decent lacing. The The aromas are of smoke, caramel, toffee, and apricot. The flavor presents a semi-rich toffee and caramel, with mild peat smoke on the back end. The mouthfeel is quite thin and somewhat astringent. Overall this is a unsatisfying and somewhat unpleasant beer. The smoke sticks out and is not well integrated in the rest of the brew, the moutfeel is very thin for a Scotch Ale, and nothing seems to harmonize.

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Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep rich amber with pretty weel sustained off white head leaving seperate sheets of lace behind as it it eally never sttled completely.Big malt driven aromas brown sugar and dried fruit aromas dominate dried cherries really show thru along with the before mentioned brown sugar.Alot like the aromas the flavors start out with a big brown sugar character melding into a pruney,raisin flavor finish somewhat dry but not earthy just an ubrupt finish to the sweetness.I think a very well made Scottish style ale deeply malty and packed with flavor,give Boston Beer company credit for this one there are many out there that dont come close to this one.

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Photo of mojohawk21
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of brownbeer
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish in color with a fluffy, tan head.

The aroma is earthy, with wood smoke and caramel.

The flavor is of slighty caramel balanced by a hint of smoke.

Pretty good beer. It's clean, malty, and smooth but fails to really distinguish itself as a scotch ale, aside from the slight smokiness. Unique but not great.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Rich molasses color on the pour with no real
head to speak of and scant lacing.

S: The aroma is distinctly sweet and malty.

T: The alcohol is definately present as is a
unpleasantly bitter after taste. After
checking the date I assume that the after
taste is purposeful. This starts nicely and
ends poorly.

M: A bit watery and seemingly under carbonated

D: Drinkability is average at best maybe better
with a meal, I'll have to try that next time.

I don't have an incredible wealth of knowledge involving scotch ales so I hesitate to be too harsh. I'll try a few more and perhaps reevaluate.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The nose on this one was rather... abrupt. While the malts were present, it honestly struck me as rather typical of most of the Sam Adams brews and therefore nothing really special. The first taste brought an immediate intensity of the malts tempered with a sort of earthy flavor. Definitely full bodied, there was still a nice clean finish with an interesting hint of hops lingering for just a bit.

I enjoyed this brew. The carbonation in this beverage is noteworthy - the abundance of which contributed to the foamy head. With so many malts and hops combined so skillfully, I am looking foreword to "sampling" this again.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine March 2007

One of the more talked-about beers from Boston Beer Company--at least from the beer geek's point of view. BBC utilizes a bit of peat-smoked malt to add depth and give it a traditional flare. It can be an acquired taste as well.

The lacing is absolutely amazing, leaving rings down the glass after each sip; the deep but clear mahogany color glows in the light. Malty, sweet aroma lends a kiss of smoke and an even-more faint, herbal hoppiness. Moderate carbonation leaves an unbelievable smoothness that rides the medium body. Semi-thick caramel maltiness has a quick rush of smoke, chocolate and toasted grain. Very quiet fruitiness does not stake much ground. A small bite of spicy bitterness from the hops, with a mild, lingering flavor. Finishes sweet with a dim- ming, chocolate/smoke mix.

We've always been fond of this brew, even though it doesn't hold its own against many of the other American-brewed Scotch Ales that are double its size. That said, it's without a doubt one of the most drinkable Scotch Ales. Combine it with some herb-crusted, grilled pork chops and broiled, stuffed apples.

 1,149 characters

Photo of steelerguy
3.21/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Deep mahogany color with a nice head that faded quickly to just a slight covering. Very clear although dark.

S - Nice malty smell that smells like cheese to me at the end. I don't like to smell cheese in my beer.

T - Beer hits you with a malt hammer, which is not a bad thing, but then I have that stinky cheese flavor. The smokey peat which is the distinctive character of this beer is what I don't like.

M - Very good mouthfeel, could see when I was pouring it that it was going to have some body and it sure does. Very nice, unfortunately this was it's best aspect to me.

D - When you don't really find a beer that good, it just loses some drinkability.

It is not a bad beer, and I will drink one more bottle (since it was in the 12 pack), but won't seek it out again.

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Photo of skybluewater
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice reddish amber color. Smell is quite nice, malty sweet. Taste isn't quite as good, although it's not bad. Malty with a smoky background and red licorice (WTF?!).

Overall, this beer isn't my cup of tea. Other than the second bottle I have, I can't see ever wanting to drink this one again.

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Photo of jonny1138
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark amber color with a small head that dissipates quickly. The fun starts with a good sniff. A sweet smoky odor, almost like a burned caramel. It has a similar taste, with a grainy background. Some hoppiness also. A smooth feel to it, and fairly substantial too. A good beer to drink, but not too many in a single sitting.

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Photo of Todd
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Old style, more reserve Sam Adams on the label. Label states a Triple Malt brew, brewed with peat smoked malts. This particular bottle is from early 2000 with a best before of May 2000.

Appearance: Rich looking ruby/dark amber colour with a rocky, creamy off-white head that has very nice staying power and stickiness.

Smell: Caramel, butter (diacetyl), esters, cardboard (oxidation), smoke and an overall syrup sweetness.

Taste: Wow! This beer has really held up nicely for its age. Body is full, rich and chewy with a smooth and well-rounded mouthfeel that is slicked with sweet caramel, some diacetyl, faint burnt sugars, light chocolate and toasted malt flavours. A distinct layer of smoke permeates the palate and raises the beer's overall complexity -- gotta love that unique peat flavour. Hops come into play, but are delicate with herbal and earth flavours that give the malt dominance just enough balance. Slight sherry flavours also pull-thru, a result of oxidation. Finishes sweet, slightly dry and the smokiness lingers for a bit.

Notes: A moment of silence please ...

Sadly this beer is no longer part of the Samuel Adams line-up of beers, which is a damn shame as this was one of their best brews and Scotch Ales are hard to come by these days. One of my all-time favourite beers. I had to review it, or it would spoil otherwise and I'd go to hell. I go cry now. Update: you can still get it at select establishments in the Boston area, but only on tap from the JP/Boston brewery.

[ Edit: now available in the Sam Adams Brewmaster's Collection 12-pack ... but you only get 2 of them. )

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Photo of sponberg
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like the Clapton song goes, "Hello old friend, really good to see you once again..." Pours that beautiful russet/auburn color with a whitish head that lasts 'til the flavor is but a happy memory. Aroma is smoky, dark cherry maltiness with hints of toffee and nuts (Brazil nuts?).

Ahhh... that wonderful combination of malt and hints of smoke, all sorts of chewy dark flavors and a little apple flowing over the tongue, finishing slightly dry, smoky, chocolatey, and slightly bitter. This is such a drinkable Scotch Ale. The mouth just fills with flavors when this bad boy hits the tongue. Two to a twelve pack, but dammit they need to start this one back up in six packs. A fine beer, greatly missed. Welcome back.

Who says the Atkins diet sucks? I was able to pawn the SA Lights off on my buddy. Heh heh heh...

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Photo of twi1609372
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

excellent ale from sam adams. looks good, smells good, and tastes good. cant compare this ale to another because it is quite unique, smooth malt, goes down nice, refreshing also. can say a lot negative about this beer, one of the best in the ne wline of sam adams ales.

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Photo of 40451
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of dditto2
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Wow this one caught me off guard. I had avoided Scotch ales because Scotch isn't one of my favorite liquors. This doesn't taste like scotch to me. Pours a pretty whisky like reddish amber color with a moderate white head.
Smells like toasty roasted malts with a bit of peat. Not a really strong aroma.
Then it gets real good with the taste. Very smokey peaty roasted malt. Alot of flavor here. Hardly any noticeable hops.
Mouth feel is pretty typical Sam Adams. Nothing really special.
Overall I'm really exited drinking this beer. It is very pleasant and goes good with the frigid weather we are having. Not sure I could drink a lot of these but goes great in the cabin pack and great beer to finish off the day with.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber in color. Has a thick white head with good lacing and retention. The smell is of malt mostly with hints of a Scottish smokiness. The flavor is full of malt and lingers. This finishes with a roasted oak flavor. All around a great Scottish ale the hints of scotch and oak are subtle but apparent, however the malt is the star here.

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Photo of Scribbles
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – A deep dark brown colour, with a finger and a half of what appears to be a decent tan head, after some initial subsiding whats left doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast.

Smell – Quite sweet smelling, caramel and fruity , with a bit of hop in there too. Quite nice.

Taste – Oh.... this.. well this is good, caramel malt, a bit sweet, slight bit of nutty flavour, hops are there but they're more to the background. This taste just make me want to sit back on a fall day with a big beer stein and watch the clouds go by.

Mouthfeel – Very smooth, a bit thick but not in a bad way, a bit of carbonation but it isn't that prominent and what is there keeps this beer in balance.

Drinkability – Very good drinkability, very smooth and an easy drink. The only thing lacking in my opinion was maybe a bit more ABV, which might have helped it be a little bit 'warmer'. A great beer besides though.

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Magister_Beav
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 1,117 ratings