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 bayougutter
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured a dark copper, burgandy color with a nice creamy white head that left nice lacing. Smells of malt, smokey peat. Tasted of malt, then earthy hops with a hint of caramel. subtle nutty pecan. Carbinated a little too much for me but nothing too excessive. Overall a smooth offering from SA. Came in a sample 12 pack and worth a try.

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Photo of cbutova
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Crimson red with a creamy white head. Good retention and a nice web of lace from a nice ring.

S- A nice scotch peat smoked note over dark fruit and caramel malt. Somewhat fades with time.

T- A lighter overall Wee Heavy but this one brings a good balance of peat smoke, dark fruit and caramel malt. Nutty hints.

MF- Creamy light body that pretty much is synonymous with most Sam Adams brews. High carbonation level.

The smoky edge here is a nice flavor and kind of unexpected for me. Another solid offering from Sam Adams, the mixed packs are pretty much a must buy a few times a year.

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Photo of litheum94
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Best before 10/10/11. Reviewed on 2/6/11.

Deep, ruddy brown, almost opaque body. Thin, light brown head that nearly disappears. Actually has nice lacing for such a minimal head.

Complex malt aromas. Smokey, peat moss and caramel. Some chocolate present. No hop profile.

Carmel sweetness at first, leads into a profoundly smokey and peaty flavor profile. Reminds me of an Islay scotch. There's a slight bitterness, more like chicory than hops. Tons of malts. Viscous mouthfeel.

This is way better than I expected. I was expecting a weak, overly sweet mess, but this was good. I love all the smoke in this beer; it gives it a real unique flavor.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle that came as part of the american originals mixed 12 pack. drank from a snifter.

A- this one pours out a very dark copper colored body with a half finger of khaki colored head on top. the head lasts for a minute before falling, and leaves behind nice rings of lacing.

S- the first thing i detect in the nose are caramel malts and some smoky peat. toffee-like malts are picked up also. not much else going on in here.

T- the taste starts out with some toffee and caramel malts which add some sweetness. there is a definite smokiness from the peat which plays nicely in here. earthy hops come in softly at the end.

M- the body is on the bigger side of medium, the alcohol is well hidden or lacking considering the style. the carbonation is a nice and low level.

D- easy to finish. lots of flavor packed into the almost session strength beer. i wish they sold this in six packs, id be all over it.

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Photo of darkbeerlover89
2.43/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Deep red, brandywine color. Poured into a glass that had a head but left very quickly.

S- Picked up some liquorish, hardly a sweet smell.

T- I dont know what to say about this one. I was expecting alot more from what my buddies were telling me but I got nothing. It tasted flat to me.

MF- Flat

Overall- I was very exicted to try this beer when I picked up the sampler pack but was kinda let down. I was kinda let down and I love Sam Adams.

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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 nimrod979
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear but deep red/amber hue with a decent little off white head.

Aroma is mostly caramel malt, witha hint of smokiness from the peat-smoked malt. But overall it doesn't have the strongest aroma.

Almost surprisingly where this beer lacks in aroma it more than makes up for in flavor. This beer comes in with a medium to full bodied but big smoky flavor. Caramel malts and even some light earthy hops show through for excellent balance in the extensive smoky finish. Soft and somewhat creamy mouthfeel make it an easy drink. I enjoyed it but I don't know if I would necessarily consider this my style.

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Photo of Chaney
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Ruby red, translucent to the 20th power, and the 1-2 finger, off-red(?) head was a sight to behold and the staying power was fantastic.

S: Small puff of sweetbread. Malty, but not too sugary. Nice fresh filtered-water undertow.

T: Malty, without a grain of hoppiness. Reminded me very much of a carbonated Kool-Aid, with a bit of a deep smokey flavor.

M: Moderate carbonation, substantial lacing, and the malt-sugar relationship was spot on.

O: I've always loved this one and look forward to getting to it whenever I go through a SA variety pack....

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Photo of CHickman
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy reddish copper in color with a foamy 2 finger off white head that had lots of bubbles in it and faded slowly, leaving very good foamy lacing; another good looking Sam Adams beer.

Smells of sweet malt, roasted grains, caramel, wheat, herbs, peat moss or charcoal; a nice roasted aroma that is malty overall.

Tastes of malt, roasted grains, caramel, wheat, charcoal, oaky notes, red wine, dark fruit, light citrus hops, lemon zest, cinnamon and some light pepper; a sharp roasted malty flavor that was mild and tasty considering the malts seemed smoked and almost burnt.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a metallic twang, a light body and mellow carbonation. A decent beer that's tastes alright, but just is a little off base for my palate preference. OK beer that I enjoyed, but not something I'd drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of Overlord
2.06/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a dark cola brown. Big bubbles. No real head ... just a sliver of bubbling.

Smells like acrid, chemical smoke mixed with a smidgen of booze and burnt ... chocolate? Malt? Caramel? Ugh.

Taste is pretty horrid. One of the worst of this style I can remember. The weird chemical burnt/smoke/charred caramel and chocolate is really offputting.

Thin. Bad.

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

Sam Adams Scotch, 12oz's into HopNog pint. Pours a beutiful ruby shade with a light tan 1/4" head that drops quickly. Smells great, loads of the usual Crystal malt, pinch of chocolate malt, slight hint of Smoked malt, and a very soft touch of Hallertau's. Taste is earthy, sweet, and smokey. A very enjoyable Wee that stands out in its own class. Do yourself a favor and pair this brew with a few strips of bacon, uncured ham, chops, ect. Anything that can match its subtle smoke will prove itself to be a great reward! Cheers!

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Photo of Chico1985
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finishing up the Sam Adams spring variety pack.

Pours translucent amber, creamy off-white head retains as a finger leaving some lacing, good-looking.

Big earthy, peat-smoke scents in the nose. Has good strength but not the most pleasant or complex of odors. More sweetness and light fruit notes come out as it warms.

A nice variety of malty flavors. Buttery, toasty, caramel, peat-smoke and a touch of chocolate as well. Herbal and grassy hops are faint but just enough to balance things a little.

As with most Sam Adams beer, solid mouthfeel. Nice balance and medium carbonation with not much to complain about.

I've never had a scotch ale below 7%, this does it well. The super buttery/toasty feel makes it feel a little typical-Sam Adams for me but this is a nice beer.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A mainly clear dark copper colored brew, small tan head. Slight chill haze. Scent is mainly caramel malts, just a bit of hops. Pretty malty taste, some bittering elements, some candy sugar notes. Pretty full bodied with a soft feel. Its a pretty good beer, but i dont know, something is holding it back a bit.

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Photo of mattcrill
2.68/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Mild dark bread malty character. Light caramel notes. Low fruity esters.

Appearance: Clear brick red pour with an off-white head.

Flavor: Phenolic, artificial smoky character. Why does everyone think that all Scottish Ales have to be over-smoked? Some mild caramel-like character but that is under-stated.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation.

Overall impression: Big miss. Too much artificial smoke character and not enough true Scottish Ale character.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams signature glass. Why not a pint? Well, because I had the Sam Adams glass and figured why not. Is this really a wee heavy? I thought wee heavy had a bit more alcohol than 5.4%... I'll rate this against lighter Scotch ales that I've had, since judging this as a wee heavy doesn't do it justice.

Look: clear, reddish copper color with a sand colored, two finger head that is leaving clear layers of lacing behind as I drink. There's decent retention and after a few minutes of sitting, it ends up as a thin layer of foam on top of the beer that persists until the glass is gone. Pretty nice looking Scotch ale.

Smell: a fairly powerful smelling beer, especially considering that most of Sam Adams' beers leave me wanting more in the nose. Caramelized maltiness with some peat smoke character.

Taste: caramel sweetness, a little bit of peat smoke, and a little bit of woodiness and some spiciness, which maybe is coming from the hops. The finish is dry, almost like sipping on a Scotch. Surprisingly, quite flavorful. Well, at least for a Scotch ale... not so much for a wee heavy.

Feel: medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and sweet up front with a bit of a dry finish. I could see this being a decently sessionable brew.

Overall: not the biggest Sam Adams fan, but I will give credit where credit is due. This is a fairly solid Scotch ale. The maltiness works well and this is a good example of the style. I would give this beer a try if you have whatever sample pack this came from. Cheers!

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Photo of therica
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In comparison to the correctness of its category, it has most of the traits but it isn't anywhere in the "wee heavy" category. It impresses me that it is a more "fast production" in comparison to a true quality Scotch Ale.

A= basically copper-amber, some decent head when first poured, lots of rimming and lacing.

S= caramel and nice robust malts, slight cherry notes. The decent scent seems to disappear and then to re-appear with more complexity a few minutes after it's been settling.

T= nice caramelized malts, a touch of cherry, modest carbonation, slightly sweet and syrupy. Hints of tea-bitterness which is typical of its category but the quality falls short thereof.

M= burnt cherry, slight sweet syrup on the tongue, noticeable hops florals and bitters.

O= possible session if on-tap somewhere.

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

Appearance: Reddish brown, very clear, minimal whitish head, decent lacing

Smell: Smokey and peaty, some earth, dirt, and hay in there.

Taste: Smokey and peaty, earthy, little bit of barnyard, with some caramely malts in the background. Some hop spice too.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body, semi crisp carbonation, very good

Overall: The most sessionable Scotch ale I've had so far. Very good, but not quite as complex as others I've had. This is also the only one with a distinct peat flavor, so thats good if that is what you like.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Scotch Ale pours an attractive deep ruby color and is completely clear. The head is tightly packed and slightly frothy, leaving pretty nice lace on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is rich and malty with some notes of toffee and plenty of caramel. There is a bit of tea like hop aroma as well as the slightest touch of peat smoked malt that only becomes apparent as I reach the very end of the glass.

The flavor is similar to the aroma with a rich toffee sweetness and plenty of caramelized notes.It also has a slightly grainy character to it that adds quite a bit of dimension. This grainy aspect seems to bring out the earthy tea like hops, but I almost wish that this beer let the malt carry more of the flavor.

The mouthfeel is quite enjoyable with a medium body and a nice amount of carbonation. It is slightly smooth but lively with a finish that is surprisingly dry.

The mouthfeel and finish make this pretty drinkable, but I was a bit disappointed. I like my scotch ales to be a bit more malty. Still, this is a good quality beer and one that fits well in Sam's seasonal mix.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with a label notched November.

Sam Adams Scotch Ale poured a dark amber color with a 1 ½ finger tan head that hung around a while. Hit and miss lacing was left clinging to the sides of my glass. The nose was dominated by sweet malt, caramel-like, peaty and smoky. The taste matched the nose however, for a Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy it was too light for the category. The mouth feel is to the smoother side but light for the style.

I like Sam Adams Scotch Ale as a Scottish Ale with the likes of Robert the Bruce. I do not feel it quite fits in the same category as a Founders Dirty Bastard or Dark Horse Scotty Karate.

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Photo of MattyG85
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

Appearance: Deep reddish brown with a decent head that quickly goes.

Smell: Mild caramel malt with a mild scent of hops.

Taste: Earthy with a slight sweetness and light Scotch whiskey like flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium, creamy and smooth.

Overall: A good version of a Scotch.

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Photo of benclimbs
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours beautiful red brown with a massive head and lacing all the way to the top of the glass.

smell is pretty boring, a little caramel malts but that's it - not a whole lot more

taste is nice, typical for a scotch ale but very drinkable and tasty, a nice sweet fruity character driven by lots of molasses, black bread and a touch of vanilla spice.

overall this is a nice example of the style - with their special releases, i'm starting to reconsider my opinion of sam adams!

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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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Photo of woemad
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle that was part of a seasonal 12pk. According to the label, this is best by September.

Poured a dark mahogany shade, with a big, creamy beige head that left lots of lace on the sides of my glass.

Peaty and caramelish in the nose. As it warms, there's also a mild, floral hop note. Bolder smelling than half the scotch ales I've tried, something I wasn't expecting from ol' Sam Adams.

Loses some points in the taste. Sure, there's a biscuity maltiness that has a mild hop flavor in the background, all anchored by a peaty flavor. But as it warms up, there's a slight solvent-like taste that mars things a bit.

Slightly too full-bodied for comfort, with a sticky mouthfeel.

This beer started out promising, but fell to earth fast. Too bad, as I was initially veyr impressed with it.

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