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

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Samuel Adams Scotch AleSamuel Adams Scotch Ale
1,109 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,109 |  Reviews: 638
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Knapp85
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This scotch ale pours out as a reddish copper colored beer, with a decent tan head on it that settles by mid glass. The smell of this beer is a on the sweet side with some possible caramel malts there is a very light aroma of peat or some kind of earthy tone to it. The taste is decent, this beer is big on malts and doesn't have a whole lot of hops in it. It's mostly a slightly roasted sweet earthy brew. It's interesting. The mouthfeel is medium and pretty easy to put a few down.

 483 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one of the first Scotch Ales I have ever tried so I wasn't sure what to expect. The smoky flavor was hard to get used to but it kinda grew on me and felt it added a good touch of flavor to the beer. Other than that it tasted a little bland but still very much drinkable. This led me to try many other scotch ales.

 321 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a rocky head that sticks well and webs lacing around the pint glass

Smell: Some good and bad points in the aroma; on the positive front, there is a peaty caramel element that is appropriate but on the negative side, there is a phenolic, medicinal smell that is a flaw

Taste: Opens with a smokey malt flavor that is surprisingly bitter up front; by mid-palate, the bitterness recedes and allows the smokey peat flavor to play its rightful role; after the swallow, the bitterness returns and the finish displays some of the medicinal phenols that crept into the aroma

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: While there are some nice elements, there are just a few too many distractions and flaws to this as a top tier Scottish

 803 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a ruby color with hints of brown. It had a small, foamy, tan head that left minimal traces of lace.

S - It smelled malty and earthy. A slight smokey and mossy aroma.

T - It tasted smokey and of roasted malt. A smooth earthy/mossy quality, too.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good scotch ale. The flavor really improved as it warmed.

 401 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big light tan head leaves a nice lacing above a clear deep amber colored beer.

Rich light caramelized grain malts aroma.

Rich caramelized grain malts taste.

Slightly bitter and dry aftertaste on this medium bodied beer that brings with it a bit of the caramel malt tastes.

A pretty darn good beer with some southwest style Mexican food.

 340 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

 634 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours a 2 finger light tan fluffy head. Leaves some thick lacing. Color is a deep amber bronze.

Aroma is malty. Carmel, honey, and coffee.

Taste is of leafy hops and robust malts. Honey and carmel as well. Leaves a smokey aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a little crisp, but very refreshing. Leaves a coffee aftertaste, but it still a little sticky.

Overall this is another staple from Sam Adams. Very easy drinking beer with a lot of flavor.

 476 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber/copper with reddish tints; and a nice creamy head that dissipates quickly leaving only a thin collar of foam. Minimal, and 'slightly touched-by-roast' malt aroma, as expected for style. Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Smooth, malty flavor showing an edge of peat smokiness and a touch of English hop bitterness. Well balanced. Finishes with a malty sweetness and light bitterness. Very smooth and drinkable. An excellent example of a full Scottish ale! Scotch ale as beer afficianados see it? Hmmm? However, nicely done.

 538 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium purplish brown color with a thick, off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: Vanilla malty aroma and a little bit of smokiness in the background.

T: The smokiness is much stronger in the taste, which overall is malty but bitter, with flavors of vanilla & caramel.

M: Very smooth, with a medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, dry finish and leaves some stickiness behind.

D: Tasty and goes down easy, although it’s just a little bit filling, it’s a beer I could stay with for a while.

I haven’t had any other beers of this style, but I certainly wasn’t expecting the smoky flavor. However, the more I drink it, the better it enhances the overall drinking experience. I suppose if I smoked, this would be really good beer to have with a cigar.

 881 characters

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.

 657 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - One and a half fingers of light tan head tops a clear, dark ruby body. Retention is decent and the head leaves behind a thick layer of lace as it settles.

S - Sweet, malty aroma with just a hint of roast.

T - Mild maltiness followed by strong, but round roasted flavor. Finishes with a long, drawn out coffee flavor, malt bitterness, and a good bit of smoke.

M - Moderate to high carbonation with medium body and a bit of astringency in the finish.

D - In my opinion, this beer emphasizes roast character a little too much for a scotch ale, but otherwise it is a reasonable interpretation of the style. The only issue that interferes with its drinkability is a strange, soapy note that fades in and out of the finish.

 725 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a very dark brown with a very thin tan head and no lacing. Nose brings through quite a few notes, with caramel, slightly-burnt toast, and a slight peaty character. Some light dark fruit characteristics and a bit of brown sugar. The taste is mostly caramel and some dark toast. Medium feel with good carbonation and a bit of booze. Drinkability is pretty good, and a pretty good, low alcohol example of the style.

 440 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of russpowell
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not as good as I remebered it, but its been at least a year
( thinking more like 4-5 yrs ago).

Pours russet red with a light tan fluffy head. Head settles at about 1/4" with a somewhat active head. Lacing is average

Smell: Malt, the peat-like smokiness wafts in

Taste: Fullmalty taste, chased away by restrained subtle smokiness with layers of fruitiness, slight nutiness & alcohol. Nice smokiness, sweetness/fruitiness& alcohol warming in the finish

MF: Full and chewy, a little more malt wouldn't hurt. Carbonation is spot on.

A nice fireside sipper, could be that I've had few other smoked beers since then so I'm skewed as far as my memory goes. This is in the upper tier of Sammy's bootled efforts widely available to us poor masses outside of the North East

 782 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Today was spent putting the pieces back together from the previous evening, during which I dedicated myself to polishing off the entire keg of 1995 J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale at the Brick Store Pub. So, what better way to calm down and gear up for the upcoming work week than to spend the evening pounding more beers?

Samuel Adams Scotch Ale - "This is a brew for adventurous beer drinkers." Well, then let us go on a Beer Adventure! That's just right up my alley.

Appearance: Pours out a reddish-brown body with a somewhat creamy, off-white head.

Smell: A sweetish aroma of caramel and toasted nuts infused with a smokey peat scent (and that metallic note that always seems to crop up in these BBC beers).

Taste: Starts off with a toasty caramel sweetness that shifts towards a slightly spicy hop bitterness. The flavors are rounded out by a delicate smokiness that continues to develop, and even take on a more wooden aspect as it warms. The sweet malt, the hops, and the smoke all combine for a gentle finish that ends dry, and somewhat ashy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderately carbonated. Actually, its a bit too carbonated for me. There, I said it.

Drinkability: I dare say that this reminds me of their Brown Ale, but with the peatiness. There, I said it.

Now, then, time to take some Tylenol PM, and drift off to sleep.

 1,346 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish bronze with orange and amber accents. The crystalline liquid is capped by three fingers of sandalwood colored foam that has plenty of character and plenty of stick-to-it-iveness, both in terms of persistence and lace deposition. On the money so far.

The aroma is modestly caramel-like and features the characteristic scent of Munich malt. The remainder of the grain bill consists of pale, chocolate and peat-smoked, but none of the three are especially prominent. A tendril or two of smoke begins to waft out of the glass as the beer warms. Bolder would have been better.

The same could be said for the flavor. Scotch Ale is too light and too tame to be a good wee heavy. Since Boston Beer's philosophy (for the most part) is to brew approachable, easy drinking beer, that isn't surprising. This is a good first step for those curious about the style, but they'll want to move on to something more substantial in fairly short order.

It's great that the brewers use peat-smoked malt and that it's easily appreciated on the taste buds. Too many Scotch ales don't taste smoky at all. Otherwise, SASA is earthy, fruity, toasted bready and caramel-like. Goldings and Fuggles provide slightly more bitterness than flavor, although a certain tea leafiness on the back end is nice.

The mouthfeel is smooth enough and is properly carbonated, but it's too light for the style. Given the ABV, it's probably appropriate, so it won't be punished too severely.

When it comes to Scotch Ale, it would have been great if Mr. Koch had gone the 'craft beer' route rather than the 'appeal to the widest range of beer drinkers' route. If this stuff was easier to find, I might be tempted to buy a sixer now and again. Just for a change of pace.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.48/5  rDev +19.8%
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.

 2,883 characters

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

A- Ruddy deep copper with golden bronze higlights. A even beige flower like head topography that expands as it reaches the edges of the glass and smooths out slowly

S - A medium strong peaty whiff and mellow malty sidenote as gentle dry smoky aromas emanate with subtlety

M - Thin with an effect of density, depth is an element that is promoted byt the malt character.

T -An interesting dry character is contained within the sweet and salty bitterness. Nutty and smoky flavors hang in the retreating sweet miasma.

D - Mouthfeel is pleasant. I found myself enjoying almost as much as the gentle hop spice nuance complimenting the malt backing. A larger gulp increases enjoyment of the experience w/ this ales salty caramel sweet balance.

 749 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 1,109 ratings
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