Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,109 |  Reviews: 638
Photo of BennyL1
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Last of the offerings from the Sam Adams American Originals pack. Poured into a Sam Adams PP glass. Best before October 2011 notched on the label.

A - This brew pours a nice and deep amber color. About two fingers worth of tan creamy head also forms . Spotty lacing along the glass.

S - Aroma is a bit weak but the malts shine through in the nose. Some nutty aromas in there as well. A bit of the smoked peat is there as well, I wish it would have been a little bit stronger.

T - Mostly toasted malt sweetness, especially caramel that comes through. Very slight hint of hops at the end. The smoke aspect of the beer rounds everything out nicely. Nothing to overbearing going on here, just a really solid taste.

M - Medium bodied, exceptionally creamy. Medium amount of carbonation which is pretty much right on for this beer.

O - Sam Adams is as Sam Adams does. This isn't going to wow to many people, but it is a good brew which deserves to be tried out.

 964 characters

Photo of krazyboi
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a globe glass.

A: Dark mahogany color with a pale tan head that dissipates fairly quickly.
S: Sweet malts, slightly smokey, not much hoppiness.
T: Malty, smokey, citrusy hops.
M: Medium thickness, medium carbonation.
D: I would have liked to describe this unique beer better, but I was at a loss of words. It has a very interesting taste and is easy to drink. I would suggest you try it!

 421 characters

Photo of SickGnar
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deeply reddish amber, clear with a very few rising bubbles. Shortish off-white head turns rocky and quickly falls to a cap, but leaves a nice amount of lace.

S: Smell is right, but on the faint side. Malty with caramel, nutty, biscuity/bready notes. Ghost hints of the stated peat-smoked malt. Not much of any hops in the nose.

T: Peat-smoked character is more pronounced on the palate, but not over done. It stays a quite nice accent note. This is rather hoppy for a scotch ale. It is noticeably bitter with a fairly firm herbal and resin hop profile. Malt backbone is toasty bread crust, malty sweetness, caramel and fainter toffee. Not overly sweet, but leaning more on the melanoidans. Just slight hints at dark dried fruit. There are some darker roast notes (even some cocoa edges in) that grow stronger at the end and into the finish. Woody lingering hop aftertaste.

M: Body is just over medium with a balanced soft, lush, and finely-textured CO2. Smooth and expansively creamy. Good amount of dextrins and a just barely semi-sweet finish.

D: Quite hoppy for the style. Very drinkable though, and not cloying in any manner. (I don't like scotch ales that are too heavy-handed in the malty sweet/caramel department.) It is funny how beers can be distinct, yet still have a brewery character to them. This one does that and pushes the style boundaries a bit, but above all it is an undeniably fine drinking beer.

 1,423 characters

Photo of chicagoabbot
2.63/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz into a snifter...let me preface this by saying I am in fact a big fan of the style...not this beer...I'll try to be constructive, but this one is fairly bad...this style is supposed to have a lot of malt depth, but it's pretty much all in one layer to my taste buds and has a slightly unpleasant astringency. This was purchased out of a sample pack and I'd never buy this on it's own, especially not now. It has some characteristics of scotch ales, but is not as impressive as the standard bearers of the style. I'm not sure what it is about Sam Adams, they seem to get their lagers and pilseners done with flying colors, quite good brews, but I've never to this day had a top quality ale from them.

 705 characters

Photo of ThirstyBird
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish brown with a light tan head that falls to a thin skim layer. Nice lacing.

Smell is sweet rich malt, some peat notes, A little nutty. Taste is roasty and peaty, some malt sweetness, some smoke and a finishing dryness and wood flavor. The body is medium with active and fine carbonation which makes for a silky and smooth beer. Overall an interesting brew though the uniqueness of the peat, wood and smoke flavors would limit my intake to one.

 456 characters

Photo of mikeg67
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from a variety pack. Pours deep mahogany with a thick, white, foamy head and a good amount of lacing. Aroma is of grassy hops in the beginning followed by sweet malt and some hints of ripe fruit. Full, smooth body. Earthy hops and smoky malt are balanced on the palate with some hints of ripe fruit. Long, dry finish. Nice ale.

 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 negroobserver
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Scotch Ale

C: 4.0 - Pours a dark brown color. Filtered Crystal Clear. One inch of head which leaves behind a moderate amount of lacing. Reddish tones similar to Samuel Adams' Irish Red ale.

S: 4.0 - Earthy. Sweet malty scent. No hoppy or floral scent. Slight fruity scent.

T: 4.0 - Malty. Honey. LIght presence of alcohol. Strong bitter finish. Sour Malty aftertaste.

M: 4.0 - Smooth texture. Low-medium carbonation.

D: 4.0 - Easy to drink. Good combination of flavors and mouthfeel. Overall a very enjoyable beer.


 551 characters

Photo of Meerkey
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Red mahogany/amber. Clear with tons of bubbles. Cream colored, frothy head.

S: Sweet malts, maybe a little smoke. Grains. Slight hops and maybe some fruit?

T: Very malty. More hops than in the smell. Interesting smoky finish (peat smoked malts), some grain, and a little spice.

M: Mostly clean, sticky sweetness lingers.

D: I like this. I enjoy the peat smoked malts (used in Scotch whiskeys) and the bit of a kick at the end.

 434 characters

Photo of rodney45
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

 511 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the Sam Adams American Originals Pack

A-Clear amber red with one finger of head, leaves behind near perfect lacing.

S-Roasted malts, peat and very smokey

T-Starts with roasted and smoked malts. Peat flavor follows. Heavy on the malts, some hops in the finish but not much.

M-Medium, smooth with some carbonation.

D-A good beer, you can get the sense of what the start of making the new Imperial Serials Wee Heavy is from. The Wee Heavy seems to be this beer ratcheted up a notch or two.

 499 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a ruby-amber color with a finger of foamy off-white head. The head fades fairly quickly leaving behind only a touch of lacing.

S - Aroma is full of sweet carmel malts and a bit of smoky at the end. There is also some nutty and coffee flavors blended in as well.

T - Starts off with some lighting toasted sweet toffee malts and some smoky flavors coming through. There is also some nutty flavors balancing. Through the middle more of the smoky flavor comes through with some caramel sweetness. The finish has a mix of smoky and sweet flavors and just a touch of coffee flavor which lingers nicely.

M - Medium bodied with a low amount of carbonation, but the beer does not feel empty. The flavors are very lively and smooth and just a touch creamy.

D - Very drinkable. Nice flavors and balance without being too heavy. The smoky flavors are nice and not too overpowering. Really nicely balanced.

 907 characters

Photo of IIKaRuII
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a light rusty red. with a generous two finger khaki head. clear and not very bubbly. decent lacing for a lower alcohol.
smell- roasted caramel with slight chocolate presence. Sweet and inviting.
taste- Caramel that instantly turns into bready malts. roasted coffee taste lingers on the side of the palate. little to no hops present. or very well hidden.
not very heavy, i would consider this to be a lighter bodied beer. well balanced and carbonated that sits well and drinks well. Certainly drinkable and sellable in my honest opinion. I'd like to see this in some 6rs rather then some of the other brewmaster collections out there. another good one from BBC!

 669 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark dark mahogany, with a thin head. Below average lacing and head retention I feel. No effervescence. Love the color, everything else leaves more to be desired.

s- Smoked wood.

T- No hops present. Great smokey undertones during the aftertaste. "Well balanced".

M- Feels nice in my mouth, medium to medium-thin. Good carbonation.

D/O- Enjoyed this one. "Drinkability" was there, even with the hints of peat-smoked malts. Props to BBC for this offering. Would probably buy a six pack of it if offered.

 516 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A finger and a half worth of tightly packed slightly creamy dark beige colored head with a slightly rocky top... Decent retention... Columnar streaks of small bubbled slow to medium paced carbonation throughout... The color is a medium brown with a distinctive cherry red hue... Loads of lacing clings tot he sides of the glass...

S - Subtle, but pleasant... Toasted malts... Nuttiness... Peat... Caramel... Toffee... Very subtle notes of coffee and chocolate... Some smokey character as well...

T - Caramel and toffee to start... Quickly turns to notes of peat and toasted malts... Some nuttiness... A very smokey finish... Some hoppy bitterness on the deep finish...

M - Medium bodied... Rather sturdy... Lush and moderately creamy... Consistent sip after sip... Finish is moderately dry...

D -

 808 characters

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

Deep reddish brown with a dirty teeth yellow head.

Aromas of nutty sweet maltiness and a little cookie dough.

Flavors are the same with the addition of a slight smoked malt note that comes and goes.

Full bodied with an off-dry malty finish. It's still drinkable though - not cloying. The taste buds are not over-whelmed with syrup.

I'd love one of these on cask in February.

 378 characters

Photo of DanThomas
4.41/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

 1,015 characters

Photo of Looneybiz
3.03/5  rDev -19%
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.

 478 characters

Photo of Wattsox
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, consumed Feb 2011.

A - Reddish amber body with not too much head that leaves thick lacing that clings to the glass.

S - Malty caramel aromas with a slight smoky undertone.

T - The peat smoked malts definitely come through in the taste, adding some bite, but are balanced well with a little sweetness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, quite smooth.

D - Very drinkable beer, either on its own or as a session.

 432 characters

Photo of NATOuk
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A transparent deep red/amber, a thin white head receding to a frothy ring around the glass

A light smokiness, similar peat notes you associate with Scottish whisky. Pleasant sweetness in the start and middle. A distinctive but not overpowering aroma.

A malty brew, sweet initially then a smokiness develops in the middle of the mouth before a light bitterness appears at the back. Very well balanced, the smokiness does not overpower. Very tasty.

Medium carbonation and a medium body. Slightly denser liquid than I expected, it coats the mouth well

A fine brew, the peated malts do produce a distinctive addition to the taste but not where it dominates the flavour. Very drinkable.

 733 characters

Photo of SpdKilz
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes.

Appearance - Pours into a SA Perfect Pint with a slight brown, copper color. Over a finger of off white head that dissipates quickly but leaves good lacing.

Smell - Heavy caramel and toffee, slight floral hops, and an odd metallic aroma.

Taste - While I couldn't smell the peat, it is noticeable in the flavor. Heavy toffee/caramel backbone, slight floral hops. As the beer warms, an odd metallic taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, decent carbonation.

Drinkability - I didn't particularly like this to be honest. That metallic taste was just offsetting. Would not seek out in the future.

 603 characters

Photo of Vdubb86
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adam's perfect pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for this Sam's beer I've not yet had.

This beer pours a clear amber color with a near white finger plus of foam on the surface. The smell is strongly malty in nature, but there are nice hints of cinnamon and strong caramel notes. The taste is pretty standard for the style, but that doesn't mean it's not good. I rather enjoyed the caramel flavoring with an almost nutty background flavor. The mouthfeel was a little thin for the style, I expect a more syrupy body. This is a very good beer and I enjoyed drinking it. One of the better beers that Sam's produces.

 627 characters

Photo of JunkYardJake
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle to stemless wine glass.
Deep and dark copper color with a thin whispy head. Smells a little medicinal, with a fermented cherry note. As it warmed, scents of oak and smoked malts become more apparent giving it a unique and pleasent nose. The palate is pretty nice. Dark fruits, smoked and caramel malts, and a subtle woody oak flavor. Mouthfeel is heavy and silky. This brew grew on me quite a bit. Worth a try.

 422 characters

Photo of stonermouse
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

Pours a golden-amber color with a smooth, persistent off-white head.

Aroma has nice spice to it. It's all malts, with a little fruity touch.

Taste is almost perfectly described on the neck label of the bottle- smokey peat. The brew tastes like a beer version of a modest scotch, which is just what I wanted and expected. I'm not sure if it was the power of suggestion from the label, but peat was dominant. I got a little sweetness, perhaps banana or melon. But mostly scotchy peat. Pretty nice.

Mouthfeel is nice. Slightly dense and a little sticky. The sweetness is in the aftertaste, washing away the smokiness quite nicely.

Drinkability is high. Being fair-weather fan of scotch, I actually could have stood to have this be a little stronger. I'll seek more in this vein, perhaps with even more of a scotch-like umph.

 868 characters

Photo of sixerofelixir
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle notched with typical SA enjoy-by date. Part of the "American Originals" variety 12 pack. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a supremely clear, dark honey-amber. A tannish head patches to the glass. Looks good already. Smell and taste are definitely smoky, peaty malts, mostly. An underlying sweetness balances things out nicely. Mouthfeel is crisp and tart, a lot of complexities going on in this beer. Perhaps my favorite wee heavy to date. Like smoked meats and cheddar in a bottle. And scotch!

 507 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.