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

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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: 1,098
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.

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Photo of AltBock
2.91/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle in the brewmaster's variety pack.
Appearance: It pours a wonderful dark amber with an inch of foam that left some lacing in the glass.
Smell: The only thing I could smell was a strong roasted malt smell. At times it smelled like vegetables.
Taste: A strong smoky, bitter, dry roasted malt flavor.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and carbonated. The bitter aftertaste was a bit too much for me.
Drinkability: I couldn't see drinking more than one of these in a sitting. It was nice to see that Sam Adams brewed something that was different from other breweries. Nice to try, but not my favorite.

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Photo of TheDeuce
1.86/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Sam Adams Scotch Ale....from the Brewmaster's Variety Pack

Appearance-pours a dark brown, decent head and good clarity, looks appetizing.

Smell-smoky, with a linger of chocolate and coffee malt, hops seem rather supressed.

Taste-Ugh, it's that simple. Whose idea was it to mix smoky whisky flavor with chocolate?!! Awful, hard to choke down, and I considered dumping it but I did manage to finish it.

Mouthfeel-Again awful, you want to get it down as fast as possible, the smoky chocolate flavors are unbearable.

Drinkability-I couldn't drink this, but if you can go for it, not that alcoholic so I will give it a 2.

Overall-While I suppose I can respect the labor of love that went into this brew and that I am a defender of Boston Beer this is one of the most disappointing beers I've had. The mix of flavors isn't sucessful and don't go together at all, chunky mouthfeel as well. I'm not a fan.

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Photo of necoadam
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a light brick ruby color with a nice 1/2 inch head. Smell was all malts for the most part. Some caramel makes an appearence with some smoky peat lingering in the background. I would of liked to see some more smokiness, but this will do. Taste was decent. Sweetened malts start out and gives away to a caramel, smoky peat flavor. Some hpos do show up, but just add to the variety of flavors that are already in here. Mouthfeel was a little weak I thought. It was medium but finished a tad watery with no big aftertaste. Overall it was a good, tasty brew.

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Photo of RealityDeviant
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle from the Kroger’s near VCU. It was obtained from a Samuel Adams Brewmaster’s Collection twelve pack.

Appearance: The coloration of this beer is a medium to dark amber. It has an off-white head that lasts for a brief period after the initial pour. Afterwards, it retains a noticeable ring and a slight head.

Smell: The smell is somewhat subdued, with buttery, smoky, and syrupy notes being dominant. It seems that the smell is one of the least noteworthy features of this brew, however, as it does not particularly stand out.

Taste: Upon first sip, an overpowering smoky and malty flavor assaults my taste buds. I can detect notes of sugary sweetness along with burnt caramel and chocolate. The hoppy flavor of this beer is minimal, offering a little bit of balance to what is primarily malty. As is characteristic of many scotch ales, the smoky flavor contributes to the overall complexity of the beer.

Mouthfeel: The smokiness and slightly dry nature of this brew in addition the medium carbonation and body definitely make this more of a sipping beer. Of course, it does go down smoothly in spite of the fact that it should be consumed slowly.

Drinkability: This is an intriguing offering from the Boston Beer Company that is fortunately featured in their Brewmaster’s Collection packs. While I find the smokiness a bit too overwhelming to enjoy this regularly (if I could, that is), this is nonetheless a beer worth tasting.

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

A very smooth pour; a nice deep red brown color, lots of clarity, little head. Smells strongly of butterscotch, sweet maltyness, toffee, and that classic Scotch Ale smokiness is just perfect. Wow, the smokiness is much more pronounced than I thought it might be. That hits you up front, and then fades to the sweeter candy butterscotch tones hinted at in the smell. Nice toffee malts. I'm sure there are hops in this beer, but beyond a slighty bitter bite in the finish, I can barely notice them. Nice slick full mouthfeel. A nice end of the evening beer.

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Photo of jimdkc
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Obtained in Sam Adams latest brewer's collection pack. Pours a reddish amber with a rocky off-white head. Nice retention and lacing. Malty/carmel nose. Nice mixture of sweetness and bitter in the taste. The neck band mentioned the presence of peat-smoked malt... and I was looking forward to it, but I'm not really sensing much smokiness. Interesting complexity to the taste. Clean finish and a medium body. Good drinkability. Went nicely with a grilled sirloin for dinner!

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well, out of all the sampler pack (SA MIXED pack) I must say i am most impressed with this brew. smooth, refreshing, and a nice shot at the style.

Smells are slightly burnt, but both matly and yeast-like. Nice Bne colored head that laces completely.

Tastes deep, rich, and smooth. The burnt/roasted malt taste is prevelant, mixed with a definate roasted carmel undertones and just hoppy-enough finish.

Pleseant brew, nice taste, and good enough to be made for a 6ers. nice show all around

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Photo of Pegasus
2.49/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Ruby red in color with a large and persistent off-white head, scattered patchy lacing with little carbonation. Quite attractive in all.

Aroma: Slight burnt caramel, cooked vegetables, and grainy characteristics.

Taste: Harsh bitter, burnt taste at the opening, medicinal in character, and lingering throughout the taste. Finishes dry with tannin notes and a follow through with medicinal characteristics.

Mouth feel: Thin overall, with a harsh and biting soda-like carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Far off of style for a Scotch Ale, a type which I happen to like very well. Disappointing that such a beer comes from Sam Adams, whom I associate with competent, if not inspired, craft brewing.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.11/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Nov notched very faintly. Sampled from the brewers collection pack, thanks to Pegasus for the bottle
Aroma: Ick. DMS? Grainy, hints of peat and malt with a slight note of cinnamon
Appearance: Red amber glass with a white head that collapsed to a thin coat. Single lonely carbonation bubbles rarely raced to the top.
Flavor: Some sort of chemical spill? An artificial harshness that reminds me of stove cleaner. Every beer we tasted out of this sampler had the same kind of flaw, are you shipping your mistakes to Texas? Just bad, far too bitter with a medicinal taste.
Mouthfeel: Acidic pucker, tannins, harsh hop bite in the finish.
Overall Impression: Drain food. Didn’t enjoy this at all, and I like Scotch ales. I think Sam Adams is trying to be all things to all people, which is a bad road. I’m also thinking that somehow the case we got was abused, well, hoping really.

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Photo of Citadel82
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought the Sam Adams sampler because I was dying to try this one, along with the Black Lager. It is a superb beer. Balanced, yet distinctly malty enough to really satisify my preference for maltier beers. Poured a dark Copper withg a rocky, thick, creamy tan head that left lots of lace as it receded to form a ringlet of foam on the inside of the thistle-shaped glass. The aroma is distinctly malty with a hint of peat and a faint whiff of hops. Tastes of caramel and smoky peat -sweet and smoky with a lengthy dry finish that fades to bitter hops and primes the palate for another sip. This is a fine brew and embodies all the traits that I was looking for in the Scotch Ale style. Of course I am not staggering down the streets of London with a Brit Artilleyman looking for a Bloody Great Bowl of Beef Bougenone(sp) ... but that is another story.

Have another laddie? Aye.

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

Fairly dense, dark cream colored head leaves some nice. Aroma is nice and malty; kind of biscuity/doughy with a bit of caramel. Transparent, deep mahogany colored beer with a ruby hue. Body isn't too thick, but the mouthfeel is still soft and chewy. Flavor is just sweet enough. Tastes like a bit of caramel and some toasted bready goodness. The finish is slightly bitter and just a tad tangy. A good scotch ale that would probably go over well with a wide variety of beer drinkers.

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Photo of beergeek279
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The color is a dark amber with a very nice thick foamy head with a good bit of lacing. The smell is a nice slightly peaty, slightly caramel maltiness. The taste is dominated by the peaty smokiness, with just a bit of the caramel Munich-ish malt and a bit of hops in the flavor as well, with a peaty, slightly bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average. Drinkability-wise, a nice one to have a few of, but maybe a bit too much to have too much of.

Well, honestly I bought a 12-pack of the Brewmasters Collection for the Black Lager, but this was the real gem in the package. I know that Sam Adams presents a fine target for the beer geeks of the world, but I hope I've always given them a fair shake, and this is my reward for doing so. A very nice Wee Heavy with a nice mix of the caramel and smoked malts along with an uncharacteristic hop touch that melds nicely into the beer. In general, I can see why people begged Boston Beer to bring this one back, and I hope that this will be a regular offering for them.

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Photo of froggyfrog
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this ale in a glass mug poured from the bottle.

Good-sized frothy head like thick dishsoap bubbles. Moderate to high carbonation. Reddish amber hue. Smells like a mild whiskey. The strongest character of this beer's taste is definitely the smoke flavor imparted to the beer from the peat-smoked malts used in its brewing.

This beer has a fairly long finish with more of the smoke flavor and a definite alcohol taste.

In my opinion not the best example of the scotch ale style, but still enjoyable. If you enjoy good scotch, then you should love this beer.

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Photo of Luigi
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby red color with a large sticky head. Smells very sweet and malty. Some what smoky too. The taste is dominated by sweet and smokey malts. Some syrupy flavor and a little bit of hops make this ale a very balanced one. Mouth-feel is meduim, kind of creamy. What can I say, this is one the best Samuel Adams has to offer! One thing I do not undersand is; Why not six packs?! Either way a big thumbs up!

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

Pours a very clear reddish amber with a handsome beige head. Lots of lacing. Smells mildly nutty and sugary. Strong dark caramel malt profile with a bit of tart sweetness. Scant chestnut and ginger blurbs in there too. Finishes slightly dry and astringent. Easy on the tounge, easy going down. Another nice Sam specialty brew.

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

Appearance: This beer was crystal clear and deep amber-red in color. The tan head rose up to two fingers with a little coaxing and settled down dense and fluffy. There was some very nice lacing left behind on the glass.

Smell: Thick caramel and sweet malt assaulted the nose on the first smell. These were definitely the dominant aromas, especially right after the pour. There were light hints of cream and vanilla, and a decent dose of dark cherries and plums. The slightest hint of yeast just nipped at my nose.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy upfront. A lot of carbonation kicked in as the beer hit the back of the mouth, making this beer a little rougher than I think it should have been. Definitely some chewiness in the cheeks and along the sides of the tongue. Good mouthfeel, but not quite what one expects from a malty ale such as this.

Taste: A biting, husky bitterness combined with a sharp fruit tartness were immediately evident upfront. This developed into a caramelized malt richness towards the middle. The finish became much more roasted, to the point of being slightly burnt, though the flavor was not overpowering. Of course, peat came to mind at this point in time, but what else would I think of when drinking a Scotch ale. Just a light amount of hops was present to balance out what little sweetness this beer had. The finish ended up dry and lightly bitter.

A good beer and fairly complex, but a lot more subtle than I remember it being years ago. More balls, and this would be a great one.

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Photo of alexgash
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this in the Brewmaster’s 12 pack.
Rich, dark crimson body with a creamy, light-khaki head. Good lacing.
Nose is soapy-sweet. Light smoky, whiskey malt comes through. Not much else.
Tastes of sweet cookie dough malts with notes of peat bog and whiskey. Moves toward a meaty, smoky bitterness as we head into a bready-sweet finish. Medium/big body with a creamy mouthfeel. Nice. Good example of the style (as far as I can tell). One of the best SA’s I’ve had as well. They should sell six-packs of this.

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Photo of NYbeerwolf
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured a reddish-brown color with a good head. I'm thinking of a burnt apricot smell,pleasant. Smokey, but more of a licorice taste,this isn't my type of ale but not that bad. It has a slight malty after taste that stays for awhile. This is worth a try, not something that I would go out of my way to drink again.

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Photo of skybluewater
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice reddish amber color. Smell is quite nice, malty sweet. Taste isn't quite as good, although it's not bad. Malty with a smoky background and red licorice (WTF?!).

Overall, this beer isn't my cup of tea. Other than the second bottle I have, I can't see ever wanting to drink this one again.

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

Dark mahogany color with some creamy head that sticks to the glass. This is a ‘triple malted’ ale, brewed with ‘peat smoked’ malts. (Note: peat flavor is really what? Answer: from a bog = compost. ‘Earthy’ isn’t necessarily a good thing!) . In this case, though it works. Taste is like butter toffee. Smoky and sweet. Full bodied, loaded with rich, smooth flavor, mildly carbonated and a bold, chewy MALT middle. Hints of chocolate – a satisfying, complex ale. Some hops, (could use more) but nicely balanced with the malt. Hint of sherry. Sweet aftertaste, that remains on the palateFinishes sweet, slightly dry and the smokiness lingers for a bit.
Alstrom’s update: you can now get two bottles of this beer in the Sam Adams ‘Brewermaster’s Collection Mix pack!’ (12 pack).

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Photo of twi1609372
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

excellent ale from sam adams. looks good, smells good, and tastes good. cant compare this ale to another because it is quite unique, smooth malt, goes down nice, refreshing also. can say a lot negative about this beer, one of the best in the ne wline of sam adams ales.

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

Paid $13.99 as part of the "Brewmaster's Collection" 12-pack.

The appearence is a beautiful dark amber lager with a nice large head with good retention and good lacing throughout. The aroma was a bit soft but nice of a smoky-caramel malt...

The taste was refreshing, I thought the 5.4% would overdominate some taste... in addition to what the smell gave, I swore I tasted some chocolate in this beer, a nice find in the taste and increases the overall value of the beer. The mouthfeel is pretty nice, it's all good until the very end, a touch bit harsh on the throat, but so negligable... The drinkability is good, a 5.4% that tastes this well may be problems for buyers of a 6 pack... but Samuel Adams product have nothing but impressed me.

Final Thought: This was the 6th & final beer of the Brewmasters' Collection and all were great, I raise my beer for you Sam, you founded the microbrewery, and I drink to you!

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Photo of edchicma
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a pleasant surprise. This brew poured a caramell brown with an initial two finger head that dissipated but remained with excellent lacing. Smell was malty with a smoked character. Taste was three fold...an initial malt sweetness, then a smoky peat character, and finally a lightly bitter hop finish. Mouthfeel was good, with no harsh or oily element throughout. Easy to drink...a pleasant surprise out of a sampler pack.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured a clear brown with a good-sized head. About what I expected for a Scotch ale.

The aroma was heavily malted, and also was very much like scotch. Unfortunately, there was a hint of skunkiness to it as well.

The taste was quite good, however. It was nice and bitter, with a strong malt taste that had hints of sweetness. The alcohol was not noticeable, as iw often is with the stronger Scotch ales.

A nice example of the style.

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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,098 ratings.
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