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

very good
1,105 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 05-19-2001

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Reviews: 637 | Ratings: 1,105
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle. Dated Oct. 04.
Pours a ruby-tinted mahogany with a medium-sized beige head and some patchy and trailing lace.
A big strong roasted malt aroma lasts and lasts. A slight smell of smoke seems to come and go. A note of brown sugar is also noticed.
This brew is maltier than most Scotch Ales. The taste of smoke is light and quite pleasant. A hint of molasses sweetness adds a nice dimension.
The bitter and resinous hoppiness, while not overly potent, compliments rather than competes with the big smoky malt.
I'm really glad SA decided to bring this brew back!

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A shiney clear metallic red body, topped by a rocky off-white-to-tan head rising above the glass. Good lacing.

Good malty nose, with some earthy hops, and smoked peat which brings scotch whiskey to mind.

With each sip, the caramel sweet malt flows in, coating the mouth, with the earthy hops remaining a moment to balance the scales as the malt tide rolls out, before the hops fade gently away. The malt is a tinge understated from what I expected, but satisfying.

Mouthfeel is a hint to the watery side, would have liked it a little chewier.

Drinkability is quite good.

Nice to see this brew back, if only in the Brewmaster's Collection. Perhaps BBC can put a couple in the Winter Classics box too. Tis a proper pint.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this when it was formerly brewed and sure glad it's back.
Aroma is sweet, somewhat smokey (that gives off a bourbon quality), somewhat rich with just a hint of diacetyl.
Quite an attractive beer. Deep red with golds and brown. Thinnish head but creamy looking when first poured. Shows a little around the rim eventually.
Flavor is nice deep and rich malt flavor. Taste is pretty consistent start to finish. Ending is a very long malt dryness. Slight caramel notes.
Wonderfully smooth and somewhat creamy. Contrasted by slight bite from malt bitterness.
I've always liked this beer. This didn't disappoint.

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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 kmo1030
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

dark brown ruby beer with tan head. looks like root beer. a little darker than i thought it would be. nutty aromas with coffee, caramel and chocolate notes. i get a faint licorice smell as well. a little grainy too. the taste is pretty rich, with nutty caramel and coffee flavors coming through the most. a grainy character is present that contributes to a little bit of dryness that this beer needs. hops make an appearance but the maltiness dominates. there is a delicate smokey flavors that lends itself excellently to the complexity of this beer. surprisingly light mouthfeel for the taste. an enjoyable beer. i feel like this walks the line between porter and scotch ale.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark ruby color with a thick frothy off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that is very pleasant. It has a caramel malt aroma that is sweet and creamy. The taste is good. It has a smooth, malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes creamy. It has a dry yeast finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine Scotch ale. It has real malty complexity and a creamy finish; a good drinker.

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Photo of Winter
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of the Brewmaster's Collection. Pours a light tan with a creamy dark caramel colored head. Aroma consists of toffee, mineral water and a touch of peat. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and smooth. Roasted, rich malty front. I love the finish of this scotch ale.... sweet caramel malt and a smokey, peaty finish. Robust and satisfying. The hop bitterness that arrives midway through provides a nice balance to the malty sweetness. Glad to see the return of Sam Adams' Scotch Ale.

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Photo of Stimack
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very nice brew. This was one of the brews that were included in the Brewmasters Collection. The brew poured to a nice deep mahogany type color with a nice pillowy off white head that broke down slowly and left nice chunky lacing on the sides of the glass. The aromas from this brew are of heavy on the malt with a strong caramel sweetness that goes perfectly together. Also notice a slight smoky aroma with highlights of dark fruit. Simply a fantastic smelling brew! The taste and mouth feel are very good with a strong caramel sweetness that leads to a slight smoky mixed with earthy flavors. Also has a little bit of a alcohol taste that I was able to notice but was mixed nicely with the rest of the flavors of this brew. Very nice offering from BBC, wish the would sell just this in a 6’er!

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Photo of UnionMade
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, woody brown, about two fingers of ivory foam sitting atop. Excellent clarity, the head settling into a thick coating after a few moments. Lace sticks to where the initial froth was, trailing all the way down the glass, forming a filmy coating, down to the last sip. The head keeps at least a thick collar all the way through, generating plenty of aroma.
The aroma is deeply malty, with an excellent peat smokiness. The smoke is subtle and well placed, allowing the caramel sweetness of the malt to keep focus. A brown sugar feel, with very pleasant, well integrated fruitiness. Hints of prune, and fig, with a mild woodiness and some leathery scent. Faint earthy hops in the background.
The flavor starts with a rich caramel maltiness. A touch grainy, adding a slight roughness to the overall feel. Some smoky roastiness, adding a slight hint of coffee throughout. The peat flavor is mild, but present throughout, adding a subtle smokiness to the malt. Some prune and oakiness in the middle, intensifying the earthy feel the peat brings along. The malt continues into the finish, tempered somewhat with a slight herbal and earthy hopping. A bit of a floral tang, lasting into the aftertaste with some wood and peat. A touch of dried tobacco in the aftertaste. A fullish medium body, easily supported by rather agressive carbonation. A full, slightly chewy mouthfeel.
Very nice stuff, probably one of Sam Adams' best offerings. I could do with a little finer, less enthusiastic carbonation, but I have no complaints with the malt at all. Pretty much the same as i remember it in it's previous incarnation. Great beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Big ol' deep caramel amber hue with a nice light cream head forming two finger measurement leaves nice evenly dispersed lacing all around me pint. Aroma: Awesome caramel nutty edge with a great smokey peated malt influenced note, hops play in the background but the malts rule this brew. Taste: Relatively strong smoked malts tangle with a caramel toasted nut edge simply excellent Scotch ale mild but well balanced and tasty as all hell. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied textbook for the style slightly sticky with each sip but the carbonation very nice even and smooth. Drinkability: Easily one of the most quaffable Scotch style ales I have had to date and very well the best Boston Beer Co. brew widely distributed in the Brewmaster's Collection.

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Photo of tommy78
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the brewmaster's collection, I heard through a buddy of mine that the Scotch Ale would kick my butt as soon as I sip it. Man, was he right! For appearance, Scotch Ale pours out in a deep red colour, with little head. The bottle label uses a tartan design. I didn't smell much of an odor upon opening the bottle. After I poured it into a glass, I detected a smoky odor. The taste was really strong at first. It was very smoky, and I felt it immediately on my tongue. On the label, Jim Koch describes it as a "subtle smoky flavor." There was nothing subtle about it! After a few sips, I began to fully enjoy the drink. If you are not familiar with scotch ale, like myself, then enjoy one and see if you like it. I came around to enjoying this drink. Cheers.

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Photo of ColForbin
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Scotch Ale was the first micro I ever drank that was outside of the basic pale ale flavor profile. It was the beer that taught me that beers could taste "different." It pours a deep red/mahogany with a thick tan head that has some staying power. Aroma is one of malt, peat and even some iodine/medicinal notes like one would find in Scotch. Maybe a hint of hops as well. Taste is malty with some strong smokey peat notes with a nice dry finish with a decent amount of bitterness. The dry finish makes this beer very drinkable. As good as I remember; a pity that it is only available in mixed 12 packs currently.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a brownish-red color, almost mahogany in color with a creamy tan head that leaves good lacing. The aroma is rich and sweet, malty with a smoky peat malt aroma. I also got hints of dark chocolate. The flavor is sweet, malty upfront, spicy, peppery and peaty through the finish. It is a full-bodied brew that finishes dry. A nice flavorful Sammy’s.

Sampled 1/15/04

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Photo of mschofield
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper-red with a three finger small bubbled creamy tan head. The head never fully dissipates, remaining as a floating mushroom cap. Laces in rings. Highly carbonated.
Smoky, earthy aroma, full of roasted malt, caramel.
Sweet, smoky, very smoky taste. A note of peat or maybe I'm imagining things. Acrid reminiscent of rye with warming.
Medium feel, smooth, very lightly bitter.

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Photo of waughbrew
2.46/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Very red color with beige dense head, ok retention and lacing. Slightly peaty aroma, grape skin, diacetyl, earthy cheesy hops. Flavor has more spicy hop than I would like, but it still finishes sweet. A little twang in there makes it a bit interesting.

Disappointing, confused as to what they are thinking with this brew. Overhopped for sure, which basically ruins the beer.

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Photo of Suds
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I loved this beer the last time I had it (several years ago). I hope it stays around for goof, even if it is part of a gift pack.
Pours a rich, deep russet color with a very sticky, creamy head. Aroma is full of roasted, smoky malt….peat, molasses, dark cherries, and a slightly winy character. The taste is wonderfully malty and sweet….caramel and nut flavors. It still had the full, rich flavor that I recall. Finish has a hop balance, but seems to tilt to the sweet side of things.
SA Scotch Ale is solidly drinkable and enjoyable. What a treat! A notch above most other BBC’s brews.

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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 ViveLaChouffe
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice cherry-brown with a big light tan head. Lots of lace as it dissipates. Smells of nutty, caramel malt has an understated smokiness.

Rich malt flavors. Bitter smokiness and nutty flavors. Big malt and big flavor. Hints of caramel and bitter chocolate. Nice hoppy finish. Big beer flavor from a small ABV. Full bodied and just so tasty and chewy. Very well balanced, a symphony of flavors. Very smooth. This beer is worth the Sam Adams Lights I am now stuck with. Oh how I've missed this beer! Now if only the Honey Porter would return.

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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 Jacobob10
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful brown color with tan head that holds up nicely throught the duration of the beer. I really love the appearance of this beer. Has a smoky scent to it with a hint of tobacco. Tastes a bit chocolatey, very malty, and goes down great. A drinkable beer with a great taste. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm about to have another right now.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice deep burgandy tone to this one. A decent sized creamy brown head sits on top. Retention is solid. Pretty good whiff of malt on the nose mixed with some smokey and chocolatey tones. The body of this one is a little light for the style. It checks in around medium at best. Could use a little less carb as well. Average mouthfeel. The taste is caramel, toffee, molasses, smoke, chocolate and raisin all mixed to varying degrees. Not bad. But not outstanding either. I chalk this one up as pretty good.

Now bring back the Honey Porter, dammit!!

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Photo of taez555
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a reddish/brown body with a finger sized pillowy white head.

The nose was a mix of dark malts, molasses, and a sweet dark brown sugar. I actually smelled a little touch of grass.

The beer was light to medium bodied. Very big, but even malt taste from start to finish. A smooth even bitterness that’s balanced perfectly in the mix. Light caramel touches, a hint of wood, dark malt, a few earthy notes.

Basically this is just superb scotch ale. A little on the light side, but that just makes it a spectacular session beer. A beer Sam Adams really needs to bring back into full rotation.

On a side note I had a chance to try this beer at the brewery about 2 years ago. They were playing around with the recipe a little and they had added a bit more smoked malt in that batch. It really added another depth to this wonderful beer. It’s really sort of a shame they didn’t push the envelope again with this mass release. Still, one of my all time favorite Sam Adams beers.

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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 counselor
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gotta love the brewmasters collection. This beer pours a gleaming reddish with a middling head. Smells of peat, roased malts and smoke. Tastes of smoke, peat and a nice malt hop balnce. Finished dry with a nice citrus hop aftertaste that compliments the smoke scotch flavors of the beer. The mouthfeel is lighter than what I expected given the aromas, but was pleasing overall and made me wish there were more than two of these in the pack as I would have liked more.

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