Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
85
very good
636 Reviews
Samuel Adams Scotch AleSamuel Adams Scotch Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
636
Ratings:
1,095
Avg:
3.78
pDev:
18.25%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
87
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 636 | Ratings: 1,095
Photo of wcudwight
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amberish, dark brown, with a nice sticky 1/4" head with average retention and sticky lacing. Smell is malt heavy. Sweet. The forementioned caramel. And a tad bit grainy. The taste is a complex malt dominated chewy taste. I also get some dark fruits. Plums maybe. And a bit of an oak taste. Wonderfully complex but I wish the hops were more noticable. Feels thick and creamy in the mouth with a nice bite on the back end. Drinakble but not to session. Seems more of a desert beer to me, or one to sit by the fire with a good book and sip.

 550 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

part of the 12-pk. i was allowed to have one because i helped allie clean the house and they're hers.

nice dark amber maple syrup colored.. clear. thin but intricate lacing, creamy head. very visually appealing. big brown sugary sweet malted nose. very wee heavy with a touch of additional sweetness. the smoked malts come through more in the flavor, mirroring the taste of jinx with a bit more sweet and buttery malt presence. the lower ratio of peat smoke in the malt bill shows here, providing something a bit more drinkable and accessible to the boston lager drinking public. still, a little thick and sweet and personally i'd like more smoke to it. a nice achievement nonetheless.

 688 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
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 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.

 465 characters

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
4.58/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is quite delicous, wish I could find it on it's own. Pours very dark brown, not much of a head on this. Tastes very malty, caramel, slight hops, even to me a little bit of chocolate, not what I was expecting, though it's extremly slight, but perfect in it's taste. Mouthfeel is nice. Best part is I can drink several of these in a row. Another great beer from the Boston Beer Co.

 384 characters

Photo of MSchae1017
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from the bottle.

It has a great head that holds well. The color is a little murkey brown. It has a great complex smell. One can dectect both hops and sweet malts. THe taste is even more complex than the smell. Hops and malts are once again present but there is also a definite bitterness. Smokey malts are present along with some woody flavoring. The beer has a good body and carbonation. Overall this is a great beer that can bring something totaly different to one's palate

 515 characters

Photo of Rootdog316
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Scotch Ale pours to a tawny reddish amber color with a generous creamy head formation and a sweet, sticky malt nose. The palate is chewy malty, slightly smokey, with hints of butterscotch and caramel and hints of fruit. In the finish, there’s more of that peat-smoked malt and a generous dose of hops bitterness.

I think the beer could do with a little more alcohol, but it’s still a decent beer indeed. Outstanding.

 433 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. with purchase by April on the side. Served chilled in a tulip. Pours a nice ruby color with medium carbonation and an off-white 2 finger head that is rocky/clumpy, taking awhile to recede. It leaves beautiful lacing and retains a half inch cap throughout. Smells of sweet dark fruits, nutty/earthiness, green hops, and some smokiness. Lots of hops on the palate - mostly floral/citric - along with a big malt backbone of earthy/nutty malts, dark fruits, and a medium to high bitterness. The malts are wonderful - hard to pin down individual flavors - and the hops balance nicely. The mouthfeel is medium and quite smooth. Without a doubt the best Sam Adam's I've tried to date, whether it is true to the Scotch style or not.

 731 characters

Photo of tomthumbsblues
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A thin tannish foamy head over a dark nutty brown clear beer. Smoky roasted malt aroma with hint of nuttiness lurking in the background. Tasted nutty, slightly bitter, and smoky. A burnt aftertaste and a hint of residual sweetness. This beer is smooth on the tongue. This Scotch Ale is weighty in my opinion, so I don't think I'd drink one after another after another. I think this is more of a session beer.

 408 characters

Photo of niknar
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a deep crimson with a smallish, but nice, almond colored head. Head dissipates fairly quickly, but leaves a nice lacing. Aroma is of strong malts (caramel?) and a notable nutty scent. Tastes of big malts and a nice strong hop balance. Finishes slightly dry, but not overwhelmingly so. Mouthfeel is slightly thin, but not a distraction in any way. Very drinkable, but not something to make a long session with. Recommended for people who are not a fan of the style.

 474 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a dark brown color with a huge fluffy white head. The aroma is rather subdued. It is sweet, and buttery. The taste sweet with no detectable hops. Still, it is not overly sweet. There are also some buttery flavors. The mouthfeel is slightly no the light side of medium bodied, and mildly creamy. Overall, this is a decent brew, but there are better Wee Heavys available in my area.

 396 characters

Photo of jmz62565
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice dark amber color,but the head was a little on the smallish side,one finger.A real spice and hop smell,very aromatic.A strong hop and spiced filled flavor.This leaves a very nice malty after taste.A medium/heavy feel that means I don't know if I could have more than a couple.A very good offering from Sam.I'll try this again.

 332 characters

Photo of tweeder263
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a nice dark red brew with a 2 finger head,,very nice.Nice malt sweet smell, if i could place it i would say smell of black licorice.Taste is decieving at first,,sweet up front then a nice tight dryness in the finish. Mildly hopped,,hops show up in the middle of the sip.An ok brew this is my first of the style.

 322 characters

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

Pours a beautiful dark red amber with a nice two-finger head. Smell is sweet and fruity malt. Tastes is sweet malt with a little smokiness- very interesting and good. There's a little bit of hops in the finish- but not much. Also leaves a slight smokey flavor in the mouth. This beer is medium-bodied and easy to drink.

 319 characters

Photo of abcsofbeer
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle with Feb 06 freshness date. This one comes out with a rosy brown color that is very clear and slightly carbonated. The head poured is only about half an inch even with a hearty pour. The head dissipates quickly leaving only spotty lace.

The aroma is mostly malt and toffee smells. The aroma is nice and distinguished in that it stands out after several sips. The taste is nicely malted with a caramel and toffee chewiness. There is also a nice balance of hoppiness in the aftertaste. This is one of the best I have tasted from Sam.

 559 characters

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red amber, semi-clear. An off-white two finger head holds a foamy cap to the end and produces some patchy lacing. Smell is faint burnt malt and sweet esters. A burnt malt flavor washes over the palate followed immediatly by an pungent bitterness. I'd guess the rich flavor is due to the "rare peat smoked malt used in scotch whiskies" and addional malts. Hop presence is low and incidental, just enough to dry aftertaste. Full bodied and strong, but finishes clean.

 478 characters

Photo of jakester
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful, clear ruby red with a slight brownish tint. A one finger tan colored head of tight foam forms on top. Head drops to islands and a ring, but lacing is observed all the way down. Boston Beer Co. beers all have this. It's amazing.

Really nice fruity caramel aroma, maybe a little chocolate, no real roasted barley smell coming through. Maybe a little smoke going on? Smells increase as this warms.

The smoky malt makes this a very interesting beer. A full, round, caramely sweetness is on top of that. Hop bitterness is there, trying to balance the malt sweetness, but in this style the malt always wins. I wouldn't mind a little more alcohol presence is this, but this is tasty. Kind of scrumptious. Aftertaste is smoky caramel. Damn nice! More alcohol!

Mouthfeel is really smooth and creamy, with soft carbonation across the tongue. Finish is slightly astringent from smoked malt, but pleasant.

As a Scotch Ale, this is real drinkable. Lower alcohol, a nice smoke presence, and caramel sweetness make this an interesting diversion for any day. Or all day, as the case may be! I would like to see more alcohol in this, but this is damn good.

 1,171 characters

Photo of cracgor
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark caramel color. Tan rocky head. Leaves lace. Good retention.

Smell: Sort of a grassy plastic nose. Notes of caramel and smoke as well.

Taste: A somewhat meaty quality...but not like rauchbier. Its got some saltiness. It does taste a little like scotch but much much more like beer with the non-peat moss smoked malts standing out.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied

Drinkabilit: it is a deep and complex beer I could definitely enjoy.

 450 characters

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the brewmasters mixed 12 pack: poured from the 12oz. brown bottle into a pint glass forming a healthy 2 finger beige head that sunk down to about a half-finger and stayed for the length of the sample. The beer itself is a ruby colored light brown. Some nice lacing down the sides of the glass during the sample.

Smell is a hoppy and nutty fresh scent to it. Perhaps some slight butter-scotch and a little pine tar as well.

Taste has a bit of a a bitter hop blast hit you right away upfront. This then yeilds to a malty and balanced aftertaste. A slight thick caramel and toffee-ish finish as well.

Moderate mouthfeel, gets a little heavy as the sample goes on. Slight carbonation, in check with the style.

Very enjoyable and very drinkable. I wish this was available in more than the mix pack.

 810 characters

Photo of villainchiwwin
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured from 12 oz. bottle from brewmaster's collection mix pack
deep ruby color with a creamy head that shrunk to a thin patch; nice lacing. smelled fruity and floral with a candy or soapy overtone. dry malty taste with a slight sweet finish and small bite. metallic and prune or liquorice qualities in the flavor as well. could only find the faintest smoke or peatiness which was disappointed. medium body with almost no apparent carbonation - very smooth. not bad, but not my thing i guess. as a scotch fan i was hoping for more smoked peat.

 544 characters

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

Attractive reddish-brown with a medium height creamy head.
The caramel , malty nose sits well with me.

You get quality malt here, with woody notes in the back. Apparently some of the interest is peat smoked malts- very nice.

A light hope finsih rounds it out.
This is a pleasant session beer or night cap.

Got this from their 12pk Collection- seems to be a good marketing device for them.Certainly gets you to ttry the full line.

 441 characters

Photo of Fish113d
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pouring into an English Ale glass at about 50 degrees (F), it pours a chestnut color with hints of strong red/ruby tints throughout more than just brown coloring. It leaves a dignified, creamy, tannish-colored head that clings pretty "tough" to the glass; actually it apprears a little milky and smooth. Decent looking brew!

Aroma is of caramel malts with a bit of plums and hops that burst through my sinuses. Nothing really exciting, but pleasant to the nose. Maybe even a little rasberry comes through on the nose.

Taking a sip, it reveals a rather sweet caramel maltiness, accompanied by a big bite of floral hops that helps to balance out the sweetness. A bit of coffee or cocoa is also found on my palete. A bitter hops finish helps round this one off a bit. Nicely done really.

A good amount of carbonation stings my tongue, while the body of the beer is on the lighter side, but ends up being a bit creamy and smooth underneath the carbonation. Alcohol is nil on the tongue. The carbonation "kills" this brew a little IMO.

Overall, a nice scotch ale, while being mass-produced. I'd recommend this to anyone who wanted to be able to drink a nice Scotch Ale by the sixer.

 1,189 characters

Photo of clemtig76
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle notched best by October 2005. When I heard Sam Adams was bringing this beer back, I was overjoyed. I fondly remembered the complex, smokey flavor of the old brew. Finally found some in a brewaster 12 pack at Green's in Columbia, SC. Alas, I was a little disapointed. Poured a deep rich ruby red with an off white head. Smell of dark chocolate and caramel malts with just a hint of the peat smoked malt that I remember. Maybe my taste buds have matured or they have changed the recipe, but I did not sense as much of the peat smoked malt as before. A very satifying brew, just not as good as I remember.

 609 characters

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.

 393 characters

Photo of budgood1
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours out a clear, deep ruby colour, with an off white head that sticks slightly as lace. sweet malty and slightly smoky aroma. lots of peat smoked malt in the flavour; quite tasty. a bit of alcohol spice adds a touch of character. the overall profile is sweet and malty but a dryness in the finish balances this brew out. the body comes off as lacking, mainly because i prefer a big body with a flavourful brew. the mouthfeel is a bit prickly. ends with some warmth and satisfaction. i'm sure i'd like this more in december rather than early june. i would buy this if offered in six packs and available in the fall and winter. a nice ale.

 639 characters

Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 636 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe