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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 MDekker
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a orangish ruby color with an OK head. Looks alright. The aroma is bready and smoky with hints of dark fruit. The taste has similar flavors, is a little boozy, and seems earthy. Quite sweet, but with a strong bitter finish. It's a little soapy, but with decent thickness in the mouth. As do many Sam Adams offerings, it went down well, but there are certainly better scotch ales out there.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not the best choice for a hot day like this, but a good brew nonetheless:

The sharply toasted palate features a satisfying caramel/toffee maltiness with a great smokey touch. The toasted malt and toffee are initially balanced by some bready sweetness, but goes on to dominate the lengthy finish.

Great smokey palate with tasty toasted flavors, very nice.


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Photo of msolar
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep bronze color with a large head that slowly dissipates into a nice lacing. Nice smokey smell with a medium-to-full body. Nice full flavor that lingers on the palette nicely. This is one of my favorite Sam Adams brews - goes great with grilling and BBQ'ed food.

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Photo of rye726
3.06/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice amber color lies beneath a thin tan head. The nose has some smokey malts behind some really sweet caramel or toffee. The taste has better balance with a big malt structure hiding the sweetness fairly well. A medium body is a bit cloying. Not a bad Scotch ale, just a bit out of balance.

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Photo of stewart124
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a dark amber with a slightly tan head. The head is two fingers thick. Nice lacing is left along the sides of the glass.

The nose is very malty with toffee and caramel notes. Slight smokey notes as well with no hop aroma.

Taste is big and chewy. Huge mouthfeel with lots of malt background. Slight buttery tastes, caramel, toffee, bits of spices, and that smoke character. Peated malts are mentioned on the bottle but I'm not sure if that is to style. It adds a bold mouthfeel and I think bits of pepper.

Aftertaste is peppery with bits of toffee and caramel. This finishes lots of residual sweetness and slightly bitter.

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Photo of jayrod20
3.17/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Well carbonated, with pretty good mouthfeel. the nose was sweet and malty, with hist of molasses and bready, grains. Taste was sweet.Typical for style, with caramel malts and sweet malt shining through.Color was medium dark amber, with good clarity.

Not really my taste, but I can enjoy the quality of a good beer.

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Photo of tempest
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a word - smoky. Not overpowering though. this beer appears a dark amber with a thin white head a nice, thin lacing. The aroma focuses on the smoke with a hit of toast and wood. The flavor however, expands with the malts and mild hops.This is wonderfully balanced beer. There's an element of the smoked peat that blends with dry cocoa and toffee malt flavors and a balancing slightly herbal bitterness.

This is a great scotch ale and worth trying if you're into the style.

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Photo of KeefD
3.49/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a chilled pint glass. Very dark amber color with a hint of ruby-red shining through this clear dark beer. Huge 3 finger head nearly spills over the glass and huge lacing ensues at it goes down.

Smell is of light caramel malts, bready toastiness, and burnt sugar.

Taste is sweet and ultra malty. Surprising to me, as Sam Adams usually makes slightly more bitter beers. The hops bitterness follows up at the end, but it's very subtle and pleasant.

Mouthfeel is good, but slightly less carbonated than I would have liked for this style of beer. It can be a bit syrupy on the palate and needs a little more balance.

Nice brew overall.

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

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass from the 12 oz bottle. The beer is a clear dark amber liquid with my pour producing a whitish head about 1/2 inch in height. Leaves some patchwork lacing.

Smell: Mostly malty. There is a bit of a sweeter caramelly scent when I first pour the beer, as it sits and warms a little there becomes a slightly smokey, roasted malts aroma from this.

Taste: While not exactly a "maltbomb", it is a beer for those who enjoy maltier brews. Hop heads may not totally dig this. My guess it it is low in hops, with just a tinge of bitterness on the swallow, but it is my drink of choice. Nice malty brew, not too sweet, with just a touch of peety smokiness to it.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium in body, adequate carbonation (not too light and fizzy, but not flat either). Crisp, clean finish.

Drinkability: I had two in amixed 12 pack, which is the only way I think I have seen this for sale (at least around here). I want more. I would really enjoy to just sit back an consume a six pack of this one evening.

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Photo of choyhosoi
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

Got this along with 6 other brands in a variety pack from costco. This one had a red/brown color with a decent head. I was expecting a unique taste but I got a taste that was similar to some Canadian brews I've had. The smell was a fruity smell with some sugary lacing. This is a good brew and I look forward to the rest of the pack.

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Photo of williamherbert
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glassy reddish brown mahogany. Thick and murky. Frosty lace at the top.

Smells of smoky malt, which has a roasted burnt coffee hint. Smokiness gives it a good tangy balance, offsetting the bitter harshness.

The taste is a nice mix of some sweet caramel, toasted coffee and BBQ smokyhness. The tangy, pungent smoky element really sets it apart.

Thick and a bit oily. Sticks to the mouth. Not a choker but sticky and heavy. Quite nice. It's really a pleasant beer. Bursting with sweet/smoky flavors. Repeats are most welcome.

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Photo of Kemmerlin
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark amber red in color with a two finger width long lasting head.

S: Hoppy, malty, and smokey. Has smells of oak or some other type of hard wood. Descent for the style.

T: Strong woody taste with a nutty flavor in it and a slight glue aftertaste that I would relinquish to be an alcohol taste.

M/D: Slightly bitter definitely not sweet and the glue taste kinda hurts the mouthfeel. The drinkability is ok not my favorite to enjoy. I have definitely had better scotch ales and probably will not pick this one up again.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before November, notched on the label. Served in my SA Sensory Pint. Translucent amber in appearance with reddish-brown highlights. Luscious off-white head was barely contained in the glass (went from the stripe surrounding the bowl up to the lip of the glass) leaving behind lots sticky white lacing. Good head retention eventually dissipated into a thin consistent layer of foam. Fair amount of lacing with decent adhesion during the tasting. Lots of sweet malt (perhaps a hint of caramel) in the nose as well as a subtle smoky quality. Flavors are consistent with the nose; however, sweetness is less pronounced and a nice earthy-peaty flavor at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with just the right amount of carbonation to round out some of the flavors. Decent drinkability for the style, although I personally wouldn't have more than two in a session.

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Photo of Spidey13
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams Scotch Ale has the coolest of the Sam Adams labels because of the plaid. Other than that, the beer pours a very nice, dark amber with a 1-finger off-white head. It smells of sweet chocolate maltiness and a bit of grassy hops. The taste hits hard with smoked flavor and roasted, grainy chocolate. This is followed by a bit of bitterness and astringency. I think I also detected some alcohol flavor in there. The mouthfeel is very nice and full-bodied. Though not real high in alcohol, the richness and somewhat harsh graininess make this closer to a sipping beer than I would have expected.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.16/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one out of a friend's fridge. Pours a nice looking smooth dark amber color with a mild off-white head. Solid lacing. Nose is fairly mild for the style, mostly toffee malt with a hit of hops too. Some oak in there. Taste is likewise, although the oak sort of mutates into a fairly untasty bacon flavor. A fair bit of bitter hops melding with oddly not-sweet roasted malt. Really not a very good flavor. Feel is solid, no complaints. Overall though, the flavor just didn't do it for me. Not gonna recommend this one...one of the worst Sam Adams I've tried so far.

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Photo of Greggy
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a nice dark ruby color with no sediment with a 2 finger head that recedes rather slowly into a nice cab. Some nice thick clinging lace is evident as well.

Smell- I definitely pick up scotch, plum, a light amount of vanilla and maybe a little oak. Also, notes of caramel and malt are evident.

Taste- What starts with a light amount of dark scotch fnishes into an oaky/smoke like warming on the palette. It almost feels like alcohol, but at 5.4%, I rather doubt it. This is a nice alternative to the overly sweet vanilla and caramel scotch ales as this one has an oaky character and a very dry oak finish. Interesting.

Mouthfeel- low to medium carbonation but most notably, as stated above, a warming on the palette.

Drinkability- 5.4% is rather lower for a scotch ale, making this unique offering, a bit more sessionable.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A nice clear rich amber color. Small amount of head that leaves a huge amoung of lacing.

S- A little weak here. I expected to pick up a lot more here. Heavy malt and could also pick up on the smoke odor.

T- A nice smoke flavour, with a nice balance of sweet hops.

M- Good carbonation and nice and smooth

D- A very drinkable and enjoyable.

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

Appearance: It's very clear and reddish amber in color. Head is off white and roughly two and a half fingers deep. Excellent retention and lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts come through loud and clear initially. That's followed by a nice smoky aroma. Caramel malts are notable. Dark fruit scents emerge (raisin and plum). Hop aromas round it out.

Taste: Initially, an excellent combo of hops and roasted malts hit the palate. It does have an excellent smoke flavor. Caramel malts add a sweet element. Raisin and plum flavors mix very well and add a lot of depth.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied. Carbonation is excellent. Very, very smooth and drinkable. I could drink a number of these. Overall, this is an excellent offering from Sam Adams. I wish they sold it in six packs. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this is one delicious brew from Sam Adams...

Dark amber color with a good head as well. Sort of looks like the Irish Red..

Aroma of heavy malt and some definite smokiness as well.. Smells great..

Mixture of smokiness and malts with the faintest of hop presence on the back... Its sweet and delicious...

This is now my second favorite behind the Irish Red... Now why don't they offer this in six packs???

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Photo of AgingWarrior
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice semi-translucent medium reddish gold. A good two finger of off-white foamy head that held up the entire drink and provide plenty of lacing.

Smell was semi-malty with a bit of hops and other spices. Nothing overpowering in the scent, but as many beers do, the smell gets better as the beer warms up a bit.

Taste hits the tongue kind of malty, but well balanced. It spices up some as it moves to the back of the mouth. The carbonation is nice and the finish is very good.

The mouthfeel is nice due the carbonation, it's not too thin or too thick. Like a lot of Sam Adams products, it's very nice.

I could drink a couple of these at a time, more of an indoor or cooler weather drink.

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Photo of CNeilP09
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

great thick creamy head, layered lacing upon dissipation. tanned brown orange bark in color. too malty. yes the peat is present and welcome, but too malty sweet. the smokiness is offset too harshly with the sweet maltiness which leads to a bloody character in the taste. it's a good beer all in all...but for what their intent was, it didn't seem to come out as eloquently as probably desired. Bonus points for using good peat to smoke the malts. i'll stick to my laphroaig, ardbeg, and lagavulin if i want any good peat/smoke notes in a drink.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Val-Dieu goblet. Pours a dark amber with almost auburn highlights when held up to the light. It pours a big, off white head that disappears into a think creamy layer on the top of the beer that leaves a mild lacing down the sides of the glass. Deep toffee notes and sweet caramel are big on the nose. Taste is much the same as the aroma is. Huge caramel notes with raisins and other dark fruits. The mouthfeel is full and well carbonated. All in all, another good brew from Sam Adams.

As a afternote, the warmer this beer gets the smokier it gets. More of a liquid smoke saltiness, and not a natural smokiness.

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

12oz bottle in pint glass (spring break)

A: Very dark ruby color, not much light comes through. Thin white head, almost no lace.
S: Muted nose, slight hint of smoke.
T: Definite smoke but not at all overpowering, bready malts with hints of caramel, no sign of hops.
M: Mouthfilling and rich, carbonation is a little high
D: A very nice beer and a nice change of pace. Not quite as "big" as a smoked porter but feels similar. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a chalice. (only thing clean)

Pours amber in color with a thin quickly dissipating head that leaves no lacing. (could have been the glassware)

Smell is caramel roasted malt with hops, simple and clean aroma. Fruity and really not what I am used to in a Scotch Ale.

Taste is abundant malts with lighter hops, or they seem lighter because of the heavy malt in this one. Lightly smokey, peaty malts with a nice caramel backing. This is really good and am impressed after the weak aroma. The peaty, smokey malt is very appealing.

Mouthfeel is medium in body with a nice carbonation that finishes clean but leaves a little hop and alcohol burn on the back.

Drinkability would be good as it's so damn tasty.

Overall I really liked this beer and may seek it out in sixers as I wonder how it would sit for awhile.

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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

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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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