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 AltBock
2.91/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle in the brewmaster's variety pack.
Appearance: It pours a wonderful dark amber with an inch of foam that left some lacing in the glass.
Smell: The only thing I could smell was a strong roasted malt smell. At times it smelled like vegetables.
Taste: A strong smoky, bitter, dry roasted malt flavor.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and carbonated. The bitter aftertaste was a bit too much for me.
Drinkability: I couldn't see drinking more than one of these in a sitting. It was nice to see that Sam Adams brewed something that was different from other breweries. Nice to try, but not my favorite.

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Photo of elgiacomo
2.92/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, best by Sep 2010. Pours a brown/copper/red with a two finger fizzy and foamy off-white head that leaves big clumpy rings of lacing but doesn't retain much head.

Aroma is pretty quiet, a bit of caramel malt, a little earthy hops, and a hint of smokiness.

Flavor is better, smoked malts up front, some caramel, toffee, finishes with some hop bitterness. A fair amount, in fact.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, thin to medium body, a little sticky.

OK Scotch Ale, but Dirty Bastard has me absolutely spoiled.

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Photo of jnn4v
2.93/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark to medium brown color and thick texture. Looks about right for a Scotch / wee heavy.

S: Malts, some caramel, possibly a hint of vanilla, but also some things that confused me for a Scotch ale (ie. yeastyness, and maybe sour fruits?)

T: Not nearly as sweet as I would have expected or hoped for the genre. Slightly more hoppy than is usual, but not too much to be detrimental. Unfortunately, there was a significant breadiness and yeastiness combined with a moderate sourness start to finish that I found inappropriate for a Scotch Ale.

M: Good medium body. Moderate carbonation. Nothing out of the ordinary, which I suppose is good.

D: The pungent and almost sour tastes combined with breadiness and relatively low sweetness don't help here. It also tastes higher than its 5.4% alcohol.

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Photo of packetknife
2.98/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A remarkably average scotch ale for what I was expecting. The pour was a bit darker than I've had in other scotch ales and the head but a bit denser but that's about it. Light malty and 'dry' smell. Perhaps unbleached paper. Not really malty or sweet, not enough lowland scotch sensation either. Not bad but nothing remarkable about the taste. Perhaps a bit undercarbonated, readily drinkable.

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Photo of jdhilt
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger light tan head that fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Nice clear amber color. Medium carbonation and light bodied. Malty nose. Flavor is malty with some hop bite, medicinal, watery finish. Disappointing example of a scotch ale. $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

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Photo of warmstorage
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle from a mixed-12 pack.

Pours a deep tan with a moderate beige head, leaves little lacing.

Nose is sweet and smoky, but muted, even as it warms.

Taste is sweet, tangy, and predominately peaty and smoky. It's hard for me to tell which it is, peat or smoke, though I lean a little more towards peat. Taste has a muted but present metallic hint, especially on the finish.

Mouth is slightly tingly and moderate to high carbonation, especially for the style.

All of the 3 scores are intended; this is a deeply average beer. Little is technically wrong with it, it's just not impressive or interesting.

Overall, a decent beer, and certainly one of SA's better beers (though not better than Triple Bock, Double Bock, or any of the super specialty offerings like Millennium or Utopias.) It definitely beats the hell out of standard Sam offerings like Boston Lager; however, it's far from overwhelming. Like I said: average.

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Photo of Enola
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out with a thick creamy head. The color is a deep brown-mahogony.The smell is a malty caramel like scent. The taste is a little overpowering. Not as bad as others of this style though. It has sweet backnotes to it. The mouthfeel is affected a bit by the tangy taste but again, not as much as others of this style. The drinkability, I could drink one of these every now and then but not every day. An average beer that I would not mind having again.

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Photo of Kemmerlin
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark amber red in color with a two finger width long lasting head.

S: Hoppy, malty, and smokey. Has smells of oak or some other type of hard wood. Descent for the style.

T: Strong woody taste with a nutty flavor in it and a slight glue aftertaste that I would relinquish to be an alcohol taste.

M/D: Slightly bitter definitely not sweet and the glue taste kinda hurts the mouthfeel. The drinkability is ok not my favorite to enjoy. I have definitely had better scotch ales and probably will not pick this one up again.

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Photo of WJVII
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head that didn't last, but nice lacing. This beer has a very earthy smell, with hints of smokiness. I think of a mossy damp field when getting a whiff of this beer. The taste matches the smell. This is a very earthy flavored beer with a strong smoky flavor. The beer has moderate carbonation and is fuller in body. There is a malty after taste once you break through the overwhelming initial hit of must. This was one of 6 in a Samuel Adams variety pack. I don't think I would buy it on its own. Not my pint of beer, but as all beer I am glad I tried it.

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Photo of GDMFSOB
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For year's this has been my favorite Sam Adams offering. While it still is, I would say it only is because Sam's quality has declined across the board. I bought the twelve pack that it comes in a couple of months ago for the sole purpose of getting two scotch ales. They were not anything like the ales I fell in love with years ago. Thinking I might have got a bad batch I've bought two more of these very mediocre twelve packs within the past two weeks. I don't think I've just bought three bad batches. This beer lacks the zing it once had. The qualities that I once admired, the delicate balance of smoke and malty sweetness, have either been carelessly overdone or removed from the formula. In there place is an unimpressive tanginess and a confused jumble of flavors. Obviously Sam Adams is going for quantity over quality. I just wish they'd give this new ale a new name because it is not the Sam Adams Scotch Ale that I had grown so fond of. An average offering at best, which is sad because it is just about the best ale that Sam Adams is offering these days.

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Photo of Looneybiz
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass and had a very nice appearance. An inch of head with a deep amber hue. Left a moderate amount of lacing.

Smell was fient but malty, nothing to really impress you.

The flavor was what you would expect from the style and Sam Adams. A Malty start with a slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel was light for the style. Feels like low carbonation.

I would drink it again but probally just in the sampler packs. Couldn't see me buying a pack of just this beer.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.05/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a nonic.
Enjoy before 08.2008.

Pours a clean oak with cranberry highlights. Creamy, thin off-white head that retains as a thin sheet. Webbed lacing that slowly recedes.

Semi-sweet caramel malts with aged, vinous fruit: plum, fig, raisin, cranberry. Slick whaffs of alcohol with a lingering phenolic aroma.

Aged fruit with a moderate sweetness: fig, raisin, apple. Bready, toasted malts with a buttery diacetyl and a very noticeable phenolic astringency. At mid-sip is a bland, rubbing alcohol flavor followed by toasted wheat and grains.

Medium bodied; a very slick mouthfeel due mostly to the bland, over-the-top alcohol presence.

A bulky, bland tasting 'Scotch Ale' that is really hurt by the alcohol presence. Some poor flavors, lack of balance, and little resemblance to the style.

 823 characters

Photo of NickMunford
3.06/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark clear red with a thick foamy head. Moderate retention & little lacing.

S: Subtle aromas of dark roasted malts with a hint of caramelization.

T: The roasted malt flavors come through, along with a hint of caramel and a light hops.

M: Feels smooth and moderately carbonated in the mouth.

D: Another easy drinker from the Sam Adams Spring seasonal multi-pack.

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Photo of rye726
3.06/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice amber color lies beneath a thin tan head. The nose has some smokey malts behind some really sweet caramel or toffee. The taste has better balance with a big malt structure hiding the sweetness fairly well. A medium body is a bit cloying. Not a bad Scotch ale, just a bit out of balance.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Snagged one of these from my brother in a mixed SA 12-pack.
Rust in color with two full fingers of light tan head...most sticks around for quite a bit and leaves behind some frothy lacing.
Sweet and spicy in the nose...boasting plenty of malt with a nice scotch aroma.
The taste is a bit more lacking in the scotch profile...very weak from others I have tried. Actually, more bitter than sweet and much thinner than I was expecting after seeing the lacing and smelling all that this one has going on in the nose.
A "rubber" twang presents itself in the finish which I don't find very inviting...this flavor fades quickly as it finished fairly clean.
Thin mouthfeel and the carbonation is a touch to high for my liking.
I would enjoy this one much more on tap I believe...not something I'd purchase in the future.

 827 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark reddish-brown with excellent clarity. An inch tall head tops the body, and settles to a thin cap in minutes.

Really not much aroma on these Sam Adams beers... Peat, smoke, toasted malt. Pretty bland.

Very smoky on the tongue. Toasted and roasted malts, peat, earth. A rather dry beer, with the smoke only enhancing that perception. Medium-full body, pretty viscous for a sub-6% alcohol brew. Virtually no hop flavor or bitterness, the finish is more malty with a sticky peat smoke flavor.

An alright scotch ale on the whole, though it's a bit heavy handed with the peat smoked malt, making for a somewhat one-dimensional beer.

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Photo of sj660
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bright brown with a yellow foam. Head retention is ok, bubbles are fat.

Earthy, furniture polish, lightly smoky smell.

Complicated taste. Very malty, but not sweet. Seems like this really could be whisky wash. There's a bit of a bite in the aftertaste, with a bit of bitter.

Seems carbonated, and a bit oily. Astringency lingers.

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Photo of RedChrome
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The pour offered a very nicely colored dark copper color with a nice red tone. Very little white head that vanished quickly. Plenty of tiny carbonation bubble, which were hidden by the deep color of this beer.

A very nice aroma of malt that was ruined at the edges by a hint of too much alcohol. A small bite of toffee on the edges of the nose, but not enough to overpower the alcohol.

First taste provided a flavor of almost complete malt. The notes of tofe from aroma were there but were too weak against the other flavors. The alcohol noted on smell also mad an apperance in the taste and was slightly too strong for a balance with the rest of the flavors.

Had a very nice feel that was quite solid in the mouth. The carbonation was very nice. There wasn't the slight alcohol burn I expected from a beer with as much alcohol in the taste.

If you are looking for a stronger beer with a nice feel, this is a winner. Not an everyday brew, but for a scotch ale, a decent offering.

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Photo of techdiver
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear deep amber with a modest head that dissipates quickly. Caramel malty aroma that is pleasant to the nose. Smooth initial taste leads to a somewhat astringent finish. My first Scotch Ale and to me, not one of the better Samuel Adams offerings, to my taste.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear copper with a light head of foam.

S - Mostly a light caramel nose, with a hint of apple and maltiness.

T - Very light whiskey-like undertone and light caramel. Straightforward bitterness seems to lack some nuance.

M - Fairly light body with a hard carbonation.

D - Not really a fan of this one. Not sure if it's the style or interpretation.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one out of a friend's fridge. Pours a nice looking smooth dark amber color with a mild off-white head. Solid lacing. Nose is fairly mild for the style, mostly toffee malt with a hit of hops too. Some oak in there. Taste is likewise, although the oak sort of mutates into a fairly untasty bacon flavor. A fair bit of bitter hops melding with oddly not-sweet roasted malt. Really not a very good flavor. Feel is solid, no complaints. Overall though, the flavor just didn't do it for me. Not gonna recommend this of the worst Sam Adams I've tried so far.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown and dark red together at last. Small thin beige head 1/4". Aroma wafts some serious alcohol, almost fusel like in its harshness.

Taste is like a tempered McEwans Scotch Ale (they still make that?) The smoke/peat/earth/tobacco malt and yeast impressions are tame relatively speaking. You could say its a complex Sam Adams beer. Its not my jam style wise, but I do like when this style is mixed up with some oak and bourbon, this one could use some of that treatment I was thinking.

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Photo of moosiz
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this from the bottle into a pint glass.
there was little to no head retention whatsoever with light carbonation.

Smells of sweet caramel and roasted malt.

crisp semi-sweet malty character with a bit of a "strange" aftertaste, almost sour.

nice light interpretation of this style. not sticky or overdone.

very drinkable if you like this sort of beer.

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Photo of jayrod20
3.17/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Well carbonated, with pretty good mouthfeel. the nose was sweet and malty, with hist of molasses and bready, grains. Taste was sweet.Typical for style, with caramel malts and sweet malt shining through.Color was medium dark amber, with good clarity.

Not really my taste, but I can enjoy the quality of a good beer.

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Photo of sm0key
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a nice dark, but not cloudy beer. reminds me of stained oak in appearance. It took me a while to figure out the taste... I drank half the stinking bottle before i could put a label on it. It reminds me of hay or grass. Mind you, it doesn't taste bad, just kinda grassy... The smell is very similar to Boston Lager, so much so that it bothers me a little. As far as mouthfeel goes, it's fairly thin, not too much, but not really thick either. Overall I like it. I don't know if I would go out and buy a case of it, but I would definitely drink it again!

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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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