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: 1,105
Photo of RJLarse
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From the Brewmaster's Collection (2 bottles of 6 different beers) poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a rich amber color, with garnet red hues, and a foamy off-white (approaching beige) head. As the head dissipates there are darker creamy swirls in the foam. Hundreds of tiny bubble slowly rise in the glass.

Smell is an earthy smoke flavor. A little peat perhaps, and some roasted grain scents.

The taste is a sweet caramel or butter scotch flavor up front, with a mildly bitter smoky finish.

Mouthfeel is very full-bodied. There is a rich thick character to the beer.

Very drinkable. The ABV is under control. I'm not much on the style, and had low expectations going in to the one. It might be the most drinkable Scotch Ale I have ever had.

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Photo of dcoux09
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a 24oz mug, and it was beautiful. a dark beer with a wonderful aroma of heavy scents of barley and hops. tastes even better, with an almost burnt aftertaste (which I love). it is a heavy dark beer, while not incredibly filling. would definitely buy again and again.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To be enjoyed by october 2011

A - Deep burnt red with a medium creamy tan head. A pretty beer, for sure. Not as dark as I'm used to.

S - roasted caramel malt, vanilla and toffee undertones. Actually a very good smelling beer.

T - A very nice smoked character and dryness compliments very nicely the earthy and roasty malts. This is a good tasting beer!

M - a light and fairly thin mouthfeel. quite smooth, a bit dry.

D - Yeah this is very drinkable. A good taste, interesting, not heavy, not high abv.

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Photo of DanThomas
4.41/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Great deep red/amber color with a good head and lots of thick lacing.

S- Full bodied malt on the nose, strong notes of caramel and toast. Towards the end, a hint of a sharp smokiness that adds a nice contrast.

T- Tons of bread and malt flavors, like drinking freshly baked bread in liquid form. Balanced with a relatively small but satisfying sweetness. I also get some nuttiness, maybe unsalted cashews or peanuts. Long-lasting on the palate, and finishes again with that nice touch of smokiness. I had this beer warm at room temperature and recommend that you do too.

M- Immensely satisfying. Full-bodied and thick on the palate without being overkill.

D- Very high. Lots of flavor without killing the palate and a manageable ABV for a session. I love scotch ales, but most American brewers seem to try and go over the top with this style and, quite frankly, they are awful. Sam Adams hasn't done that, and they deserve a lot of credit. I would definitely buy this in droves if it was offered in 6 packs.

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Photo of JamesS
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The first scotch ale I've had. It took a bottle or two before I became a fan, but now I love it! Sam Adam's version has a very nice coloring, an excellent rich, deep, dark aroma, and a wonderful peaty-smoky finish. My favorite American brewed Scotch Ale. (So, I suppose it should be called a Scotch style ale, huh?)

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Photo of rodney45
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: wow, its a crimson and mahogany expression of my deepest ephemeral desires in a beer. I'd paint my walls this beer's color if i didnt have people in my life who would stop me.

S: It has a robust aroma of coffee, crystal malt and chocolate.

T: Deep hearty crystal malt flavor. Resonances of chocolate, espresso, and scotch whiskey.

M: smooth

O: I liked this beer a lot. It had a lot to offer in terms of depth and substance, and it was drinkable and accessible. Top 10 beer's ive had in the last month.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. with purchase by April on the side. Served chilled in a tulip. Pours a nice ruby color with medium carbonation and an off-white 2 finger head that is rocky/clumpy, taking awhile to recede. It leaves beautiful lacing and retains a half inch cap throughout. Smells of sweet dark fruits, nutty/earthiness, green hops, and some smokiness. Lots of hops on the palate - mostly floral/citric - along with a big malt backbone of earthy/nutty malts, dark fruits, and a medium to high bitterness. The malts are wonderful - hard to pin down individual flavors - and the hops balance nicely. The mouthfeel is medium and quite smooth. Without a doubt the best Sam Adam's I've tried to date, whether it is true to the Scotch style or not.

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Photo of diabecktic
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer itself is a lovely dark red/amber color. Slowly-rising carbonation is visible through this largely translucent brew. A creamy light-brown/reddish head is ~1 finger thick; retention and lacing are both excellent.

The aroma is an intriguing mix of sweet and smoky. A peaty malt definately reminds you of a scotch. I found the sweetness to be something remniscient of a dark fruit such as a plum or raisin with a hint of caramel. Overall, it's quite complex.

Much like the nose, I found that the smoky sensation dominates the palate. The fruity sweetness is somewhat subdued, as the peat character both "checks" and sustains this sensation long after sipping. It's a complex flavor, but it's also suprisingly well-balanced.

This is a very creamy beer; it's moderately dense with medium body. I didn't find that it was too vibrant on the tongue (see my remark about being "held in check").

This is definately a "sipper." The brew is very smooth and somewhat subdued, but it's fairly thick.

I'm not sure how often the Boston Beer Company brews this one, but I'll be back for more whenever I can find it. This beer features a complex flavor which is excellently balanced and just put together very well. I didn't find it as overpowering as some other Scotch Ales that I've had, so its appeal is probably pretty universal. Get yourself one of these if you haven't already done so.

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Photo of Phatz
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite styles and one of my favorite offering from BBC.

Appearance: Served a deep red amber color, with a froth tan cap. no head left when I received my glass.

Smell: mmm! Sweet caramel syrup, big malty aromas, hint of chocolate and smokiness and maybe some wood; it is all I love about the style. Terrific.

Taste: Lots of brown sugar and caramel and malts and raisins, dark fruits and sticky sweet flavors and wood, and peat. A bit of yeast and a hint of alcohol show through the body. Nice!

Mouthfeel: A bit thin for a Wee Heavy but still creamy and acceptable in general.

Drinkabilty: It is all the flavors I love in a Scotch Ale in a lighter body that makes it even more drinkable. I must say, Well done BBC!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Jraiona
4.36/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful deep Amber color with 1 finger of frothy head. I detected smoky aromas with a hint of molasses. Very ligh creamy mouthfeel with light carbonation. The finish was sweet and malty. Overall very enjoyable.

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Photo of Todd
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
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 Rootdog316
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Scotch Ale pours to a tawny reddish amber color with a generous creamy head formation and a sweet, sticky malt nose. The palate is chewy malty, slightly smokey, with hints of butterscotch and caramel and hints of fruit. In the finish, there’s more of that peat-smoked malt and a generous dose of hops bitterness.

I think the beer could do with a little more alcohol, but it’s still a decent beer indeed. Outstanding.

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Photo of mbenthall
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: deep, dark amber. I nice head that lingers laced on the side.

Smell: Sweet but not overly carmel syrup smell with smoky hints.

Taste: Chew on this one. It complex with subtle hops with sweet carmel and smokey roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Thick and bold.

Drinkability: Very drinkable one of the best in the Sam Adams line.

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Photo of vtisme
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer from the brew masters collection pack. Poured out of the bottle into a mug
It pours a very pleasing dark ruby color with not much head but a lot of lacing for what little head there was.
Smells smokey and bitter. I can detect a slight sugar smell behind a good balance of malt smells. Smokey.
Tastes like it would go wonderfully with bbq ribs. It has that smokey flavor that is great but definitely not overwhelming. The finish presents the malt flavor more than before. Maybe let it sit in your mouth for a few seconds and you'll taste it.
Drink ability is great. It goes down smooth, is only slightly thick, and the alcohol isn't even noticeable. It was 35 degrees here when I had this but I will get it again as soon as it is warm out. Downside I'd that the inky way to get it is in samper pack

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ah, the ever elusive sam scotch ale. i was able to grab the second to last brewmaster's pack at a local store solely for two bottles of this brew. it's been at least five years since my last sample and boy did i miss it. it pours a lovely amber/copper colour with a clear, crisp body. a slightly tan thick and foamy head hangs out for a good while. the smell is just great: mainly of malt with a little sweetness in the back (maybe berries of some kind) with some caramel and a touch of smoke. the flavour is full on (but niceley balanced) smokey malt with a dry, slightly chocolate finish. burnt toast and caramel are interlaced throughout. yum, yum, yum. this is an easy drinking brew that's just loaded with flavour. it's one of, if not the best of the bbc's beers.

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Photo of JISurfer
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Call me Ishmael. This is one of my white whale beers. Well, I was not disappointed at all. It was a nice amber color with a tan head. The head was fairly thick and stood around for the whole drink. The smell was like most Scotch ales, but had a bit more body in the malt area. It says that whickey malt is used in it, and I can detect it in the smell. The taste had a small hint of whiskey malt to it, I thought, but had a creamy sweetness to it as well. The only thing that was a "let down" to the beer was that it wasn't really thick in the taste, like most are. Don't get me wrong though, it was still really friggin awesome. That aids the drinkability though, IMHO. It doesn't leave you all full and bloated, and leaves you refreshed. If you see this, buy it, or leave more for me!!!

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Photo of ZAP
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A tasty, malty, Scotch Ale....pours a deep reddish orange...noser is big on the peat...close to full-bodied..medium carbonation...a nice tasting beer....sweet and malty....hints of the peat and a spiciness on the finish....very tasty...seems to warm up the belly some which would contradict it's ABV rating some....

One ofthe better SA beers and an enjoyable drink...nowhere close to McEwens but that is a truly special beer...this is simply very good..

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Photo of wahhmaster
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with reddish tints. Has a large, foamy tan head that dissipates slowly and leaves considerable lacing.

Smell: Has a rich, sweet malty smell to it. Also has hints of butter and smoke as well. Smells great!

Taste: A very complex brew. Overall, sweet and malty with just a touch of hoppy bitterness. Has a unique peaty/smoky taste to it. Almost tastes like a less alcoholic whisky.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and slightly chewy. Very nice.

Drinkability: A great beer! Sam Adams really hit this one on the head. I wish that this one was more available outside the mixed packs. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of JayNH
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep clear copper with a decent foamy head.

S- Sweet, plenty of butterscotch in the nose. A mildly smokey malt. A touch of alcohol is also noticeable.

T- Sweet but not heavy. A slightly smokey and buttery caramel that finishes with a pleasant mild grassy hop note.

M- Smooth and creamy, medium bodied, carbonation level is perfect.

D- Excellent! My personal favorite SA offering, it should be a crime that they don't offer this in 6/12 packs. Plenty of flavor but not overwhelming like some other Scotch ales I've had.

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Photo of EPseja
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 12oz bottle from my Brewmaster's Collection pack in my SABL glass at between fridge and cellar temperature. One of the first Sam Adams beers I had back in the day... glad to be able to give it a proper rating now.

A - Deep, chestnut brown with over an inch of foamy tan head that begins clinging to the rim immediately. Lacing comes in concentric micro-bubbled rings, and head retention is respectable.

S - Malty and toasty, but not overtly sweet. Notes of a light hoppiness are readily apparent, but remain on the fringes. Very faint notes of smoke. I prefer more sweetness in the nose of my Scotch Ales.

T - Toasty malts and smoked peat are equally matched, keeping the initial sweetness from being overly forward. Wow. Gets much drier as it makes it's way to the back of the throat, where a very gentle tinge of hoppiness staves off any possible cloying. It's hard to describe, but this beer is complex in it's nature, yet so straightforward in it's presence. Excellently crafted and balanced.

M - Creamy and tingly on the tongue, filling the mouth with great taste and pillowy texture before washing down the gullet.

D - At only 5.4% ABV, this is one of the "lightest" Scotch Ales I've had... but that's what makes it supremely drinkable -- especially since not a wisp of style was lost by keeping the ABV low. I could drink this all night long without worry that I'm going to get supremely hammered as I would if I were drinking most other Scotch Ales. Wonderful, and tragic that I believe this beer can't be bought in 6-packs anymore; only in the Brewmaster's Collection 12-packs.

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Photo of NatetheGreat
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent brew. Beautiful deep ruby/brown with good tan head.

Aroma is sweet but also pungent hops that add a very earthy smell (typical from SA IMO). Some whiskey/smoky character also in the nose. Taste is very close to aroma. Thick malty flavors with some fruitiness and surprisingly balanced earthy and bittering hops, but still allowing the malt complexity and the smoky-bourbon/whiskey character to be center stage. Excellent. The smokiness unwraps even more as the brew warms, reminiscent of smoked cheddar or gouda and some meatiness - sounds weird but tastes great. I had it with beef stew and it worked very well.

Feel is velvety smooth and carbonation is adequate. Very drinkable and just a really great beer.

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Photo of Tolnik
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good robust red ale that pours with a good finger width head then reduces to good keeping lacing. Great taste of a scotch and oak barrel flavor malted ale. Low hops tasting as it just leaves a aftertaste of one that is associated with a good quality scotch.

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Photo of auxiliary
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Has a mahogany color to it. Nice tan head, that decends

smell – Caramel, roasted malts here.

taste – Roasted malts some sweet caramel, a fruitiness and smoke taste here.

mouthfeel – Full body.

drinkability - Very good, nice balance of caramels and roasted malts here.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a brown bottle into a pint glass. Bottle marked best by Aug. 2008 (drinking in Jan 2008)

A--Medium tan head that eventually goes down. Dark brown almost garnet color.

S--Peat smell is definitely up front. Some marshmallow broadens underneath.

T--scotch like taste up front. Then a full deep malt. Then some hop bitterness. And then a nice smoky burn on the way down.

M--Medium-full body. Smooth.

D--One of the better scotch ales out there. I would love to have this on tap. Winter bbq beer...or super bowl chili beer.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler pint glass. I picked up a Sam Adams mix 12 pack, which I believe this beer is exclusive to. It pours s a clear, medium amber brown color with deep red highlights. The head was about 1/3 of an inch thick upon pouring and settled do a decent film layer about 5 minutes after being poured. Left some pretty good lacing as well. Aromas of strongly roasted malt, brown sugar, maple syrup, etc. were all present. It has a sweet taste of roasted malt with nice hints of caramel, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Mouthfeel is of a good, medium body that is also crisp and creamy with low to moderate carbonation. very drinkable. A very good beer. One of the best from Sam Adams that I have ever had.


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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,105 ratings.
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