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

very good
637 Reviews
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 05-19-2001

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Reviews: 637 | Ratings: 1,103
Photo of Deus1138
5/5  rDev +32.3%
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 RBorsato
4.97/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark amber color (Bronze-ish) with a low brown head and light bits of lace. Strong malt aroma and light smoky aroma. Big carmelized malt flavor with a nice smoky aspect. Full bodied , rich and creamy ! Ages very well ! This bottle was over 3 years old !

Probabaly the best Sam Adams beer made - shame it is essentially gone...

Label States: "Triple Malt" & "Brewed with Peat Smoked Malt"

Purchase Before: June '00
Tasted: 04/08/03

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.92/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cool tartan "kilt" pattern bottle with our friend Sam Adams hoisting a pint. I can hear the bagpipes callin' me home.... I couldn't pass up a mixed 12 pack of Samuel's finest at the grocery store, and it (a "brewer's choice" mixer) contained two of these scotch ales.

Pours dark rootbeer brown (actually very deep purple when held to the light). Three finger thick creamy head that has about the thickest lacing I've ever seen stuck to the side of the pint glass. Although it shrinks considerably, the head stays around 1/2 finger for the duration...excellent.

The smell wafting off this one is AWESOME. Big powerful malty chocolate milk shake scent is making me hungry. Caramel and diacetyl hints. Maybe some dark plum notes somewhere in there too. Damn that smells GOOD!

Wow. Smokey charred malt hits the palate first. Then come chocolate, earthy flavors, and whiskey (peat?). Dark raisin, rum, caramel, and ripe plum flavors come forward before a tangy wash of bitter hops (along with a hint of alcohol) finish it off. There is a slightly meaty or salty roasted aftertaste that is an excellent contrast to the initial charred smoke and earth notes.

This has alot of characteristics in common with big ass porters and stouts, but is somehow more drinkable, maybe due to the lighter body and slightly less powerful flavors. I've got so say that this is one of my favorite beers so far. Deep, robust, complex, well balanced....what's not to like? I can wait to drink the other one! (this wonderful brew alone makes buying the whole mixed 12-er worth every penny).

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.77/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy shit. The best SA brewmaster's beer I've ever had. I am sad I have to buy a whole mix pack just to get two of them. But oh well. This beer has a great head an retention. The smell leaped up to me as I poured. The taste is a balance of caramel and chocolate malts, sort of a licoriciness. It clings incredibly well and was the easiest to drink scotch ale I've had to date. The best SA beer that I've ever had.

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Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4.68/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

We have a winner! Another great job by the craft brewing pioneers!

Very interesting beer compaired to the Samuel Adams line up! Comes at you strong and follows with a bold rich afterbite.

Roasted malt, whisky barreled, coffee peat, slight caramel red.

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Photo of TheMadJack
4.68/5  rDev +23.8%
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 mclanem
4.68/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a great beer pours amberish brown but see through. held a good head the whole time I drank it not just on the pour. the smell was very clean lightly roasted malt. taste is good smooth and balanced malt. and the mouth feel was really pleasant a good balance of carbonation. I could drink several of these beers in one sitting it didn't seem really heavy so it will not fill you up too much. Over all great beer, and a great style of beer.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.67/5  rDev +23.5%
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 ricchezza
4.62/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear dark brown. Same color as the bottle.

Very malty, sugary aroma.

Taste/mouthfeel is also very malty; full of body. The smokiness of the peat malt is sublte, but not masked. Not as in your face as other Scotch Ales I've tried.

My only complaint is the availabilty. I wish this beer were released all year round, or at least in carriers by itself instead of only 2 in the Brewmaster 12-pack (sidenote: the rest of the 12 pack is also very good!)

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Photo of erosier
4.6/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

L: Pours a really nice dark amber/red color with a tall and pretty thick tan colored head that laces the glass very well all the way down.
S: Smells of sweet malts, some burnt ones, a bit of pete aroma from the pete smoked grains.
T: Very nice mix of malts, the pete smoked malt goes very well with the other malts. A bit of a hoppy finish but overall really well balanced.
M: Very smooth, warming, and clean feeling all around with the right amount of cabonation.
D: Very drinkable beer, I really finished it and wished I had more, very good beer.

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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
4.58/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is quite delicous, wish I could find it on it's own. Pours very dark brown, not much of a head on this. Tastes very malty, caramel, slight hops, even to me a little bit of chocolate, not what I was expecting, though it's extremly slight, but perfect in it's taste. Mouthfeel is nice. Best part is I can drink several of these in a row. Another great beer from the Boston Beer Co.

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Photo of Kingdom4aPint
4.56/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Outstanding dark ruby with 1 finger head. Shortly diminishes to thin film with very nice lacing.

S - Pleasant earthy, fresh smell...very inviting!

T - Malty and Smoky at first, then transitioning to earthy and finishing with the peat smoked malt taste.

M - A very welcoming and unexpected thickness that was a wonder. Couldn't be more pleased.

d - Would drink this any time, any where. If sold in a sixer would no doubt be near the top of my list but will be content as long as I can continue to find the Brewmaster 12 pack.

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Photo of thryn
4.56/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A beautiful mahogany hue with off-white head that doesn't last but leaves a layer of foam behind.

The nose is roasty and slightly smoky -- not overwhelming but very nice.

Ah, but the taste. I love this beer and desperately wish that SA would put it in six-packs. It's nicely smoky, with a roasty peat malt flavor. There is a bit of caramel and biscuit, maybe even a hint of raisin. Mild bitterness at the back, balanced finish.

The smoky character of this is what sets it apart -- I think it's Sam Adams' best beer.

Sits a little heavy on the palate, but isn't super-dense. Carbonation is minimal.

At less than 6% abv, it's almost sessionable. Would without question be a staple in my fridge if it were available in sixers.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.54/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Also my main reason for buying the new sampler. Pours a very deep maroon color, with a tan head. Has a very different smell. Smells sweet, but robust, probably from the barrels that were used in the aging process. Has a nice roasted carmel taste that really shifts into a hops finish very smoothly. This is an extremely satisfying beer, that is worth buying the sampler to get. My only negative reaction to this beer was the label. Why can't Boston Beer have Sam in a kilt on the label? Is that too much to ask? OK, maybe it is.

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Photo of MattFrenzy
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark brown, ruby, thick creamy head that recedes to a fine lacing.
Smell: Malty, fruity, caramel, very refined smell that is wonderful to inhale.
Taste: Mmm... interesting... smooth, malty, roasted. Medium body beer with light carbonation, roasted aftertaste that quickly fades. Tad bit dry, but very welcome. Wow this is tasty, very drinkable, pity it is only found in the twelve pack brewmaster's collection.

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Photo of sponberg
4.5/5  rDev +19%
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 Luigi
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby red color with a large sticky head. Smells very sweet and malty. Some what smoky too. The taste is dominated by sweet and smokey malts. Some syrupy flavor and a little bit of hops make this ale a very balanced one. Mouth-feel is meduim, kind of creamy. What can I say, this is one the best Samuel Adams has to offer! One thing I do not undersand is; Why not six packs?! Either way a big thumbs up!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.48/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A – Poured a deep dark mahogany colored brown, nearly opaque if not for some light shining through on the bottom and sides of the glass. A very nice looking two inch or more tan head rose up from this and hung around for what seemed like a decent amount of time. Good side glass lace was apparent and stayed with it through out. Seemed nicely carbonated but you really could not tell. Very full overall look however and this really seemed quite nice.

S – Aroma was very sweet, which to be honest surprised me a bit as I was not expecting it to be. Lots of caramel and sugar tones to it as well a good amount of roasted malts. A deep underlying earthy tone set the stage for everything on top, with a good amount of fresh cut grass like aroma which I could tell was some hops trying to break their way through. Really a full and very well balanced smell, this was much fuller then I really thought it would be and it actually surprised me a bit. Very nice overall and really a quality feel to it.

T – Now where did this come from? I really did not expect this to be as strong feeling as this was. Huge taste profile left no doubt in your mind this that was something that was to be enjoyed. Lots of caramel, very full roasted malt flavors and a very nice palate pleasing blend of nut flavors and some hoppiness to round out the back. Really well done and to be honest my favorite thing I have had from Sam Adams to date. This was just so full flavored, to be honest I did not think they could put it together this well. Very sweet and at the same time had a very nice spiced backbone and hoppy like finish, I was very impressed.

M – Very thick, almost like a porter from the start. This was definitely one of the fuller things I have tried from them and it really got the point across as to what was going to go on here. Nice carbonation stuck with it until the end, never letting it get flat or dull. Very rich and creamy, and left you feeling very full.

D – Excellent. This was stuck in that world between being sessionable and being a sipper. There was not enough ABV and it was just light enough that I really would not consider it to be a sipper, but on the other hand this was not something you were going to have four or five of either. Went really well with a ham dinner and potatoes, seemed to really bring out the flavors on both very nicely.

Overall this was easily my favorite Sam Adams brew to date. It was the most full, and in my opinion the best crafted that I have seen. Very sweet for a scotch ale, but that was actually a plus here. Perfect one for dinner as it was just full enough that it accentuated flavors great. I really enjoyed this and will be on the lookout for more every time I see it. It just gave me a really good feeling to be trying this one. I highly recommend giving it a try if you can, you will definitely not regret it.

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Photo of horshack7
4.48/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Straight out of the Samuel Adams brewmasters collection. It pours a very dark red with dark amber hues. It has a bout one and half fingers of head that is a little rocky with a light cream color.

Aromas: Malts, malts and more malts with very light hop nose. The malts deliver this smokey aroma that is so smooth. It's like like smeliing fresh pure honey.

Taste: Oh mercy this packs a great smokey flavor. The maltiness of this beauty is top notch that carries a incredible sweetness. The way a malty beer should be.

Notes: This malt bomb is amazing so smokey. It should have Smokey the bear somewhere on the label. It's such a perfect fall and winter beer. I wish this one would return to at least six pack form that would be incredible. Cheers

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Photo of JDK
4.48/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber with a one finger off white head that stayed for the whole glass. It was pretty thick and left a nice lacing.
Light to medium mouthfeel with almost no lingering aftertaste.
Very light toasted malt smell with a touch of citrus
The rare smoked peat malt (used in Scotch Whisky) in this ale really gives it a nice flavor, (along with the other 3 malts).
This is by far the best Scotch Ale I've tried, not too complex, just right!

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Photo of Greggy
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a nice dark ruby color with no sediment with a 2 finger head that recedes rather slowly into a nice cab. Some nice thick clinging lace is evident as well.

Smell- I definitely pick up scotch, plum, a light amount of vanilla and maybe a little oak. Also, notes of caramel and malt are evident.

Taste- What starts with a light amount of dark scotch fnishes into an oaky/smoke like warming on the palette. It almost feels like alcohol, but at 5.4%, I rather doubt it. This is a nice alternative to the overly sweet vanilla and caramel scotch ales as this one has an oaky character and a very dry oak finish. Interesting.

Mouthfeel- low to medium carbonation but most notably, as stated above, a warming on the palette.

Drinkability- 5.4% is rather lower for a scotch ale, making this unique offering, a bit more sessionable.

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Photo of botham
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. pours a deep chocolate brown with brilliant ruby red highlights. a thin light tan head sits atop the brew.

aroma is earthy, with caramel and sweet maple, with notes of roasted malts and a slighty smoked character.

taste is of smoked malts up front, with sweet caramel malts and roasted malts showing as well. taste profile is mild overall, creating a very smooth character. finish is very clean and exceptionally smooth, with a bit of lingering smoke and a mildly dry finish.

mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a creamy texture and a bit of arbonation. very refined and smooth on the palate.

drinkability is great for a wee-heavy. these brews tend to be over-smoked, which makes this one a milder exception to the rule. another well-crafted brew from the guys at the Boston Beer Company. cheers!

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Photo of BelgiumBill
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams glass which produced a one finger beige head that dissipated quickly leaving some light lacing throughout. Poured a clear medium brown.

Pleasant toasty clean smell.

The first half of the flavor was a sweet smokiness followed by a campfire smokiness on the back end.

Very well balanced with the right carbonation to let the flavors come through. Bitterness is low but there to hold things together. A solid mouthfeel and very approachable. I could drink more than one at a time.

This is probably one of my favorite Sam Adams offerings, along with Old Fezziwig and Chocolate Bock. I would buy this by the case if I could.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with golden and ruby hues. Mild carbonation is visible throughout the translucence. On top, a rocky white head holds steady at about half-a-finger. It has left a fairly heavy lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Good mix of hops and malts here...the malt is very caramel-tinted, and the hops are about halfway between floral and bitter. Also, a scent reminiscent of Earl Grey tea. Very nice.

Taste: The hops bite first, with a very tea-like quality. After a moment, the oils dissolve and a sweetbread malt character overtakes the bitterness. Aftertaste is a perfect mixture of all aforementioned flavors. The flavor development in this beer is exceptional...if there were one or two more flavors equally distributed in this brew, it would have gotten a 5 from me.

Drinkability: I like this better than Sam's Boston Lager. It's got more going on flavor-wise, and it goes down smoother than many Scotch Ales, probably on account of the lower-than-average ABV.

Very tasty brew here, I would recommend it to those who enjoy red ales and/or Scotch ales.

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Photo of dcook11
4.44/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two finger head with spider web lacing. Fades o pencil thin head. Low carbonation. Amber color. Smell is very sweet like 1 percent milk mixed with cereal. Slight chocolate and a hint of vanilla. touch of hops at the finish. Same with taste, but with a touch of bitterness and a dry finish.

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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,103 ratings.
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