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

Samuel Adams Scotch AleSamuel Adams Scotch Ale
Liked This Beer
3.74 w/ 1,108 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

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Ratings: 1,108 |  Reviews: 638
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - deep reddish magenta. Thin cover of off-white bubbles, nice flares of lace around the edges.

Aroma - very brief note of peat and smoke. It's gone quickly, too quickly to get a good read on it. Nothing really left to enhance the flavor until it warms up, where a trace of buttery diacetyl emerges.

Taste - malty start, the peat flavor is well-done with a light smoke to it. Well attenuated with little sugar to sweeten. A good little hit of hops right at the swallow to help balance. Some roastiness and dark chocolate comes through on the aftertaste to pair with some mild drying bitterness.

Mouthfeel - crisp, medium to slightly light mouthfeel. Does the beer well.

Drinkability - always happy to enjoy a few of these.

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Photo of horshack7
4.48/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Straight out of the Samuel Adams brewmasters collection. It pours a very dark red with dark amber hues. It has a bout one and half fingers of head that is a little rocky with a light cream color.

Aromas: Malts, malts and more malts with very light hop nose. The malts deliver this smokey aroma that is so smooth. It's like like smeliing fresh pure honey.

Taste: Oh mercy this packs a great smokey flavor. The maltiness of this beauty is top notch that carries a incredible sweetness. The way a malty beer should be.

Notes: This malt bomb is amazing so smokey. It should have Smokey the bear somewhere on the label. It's such a perfect fall and winter beer. I wish this one would return to at least six pack form that would be incredible. Cheers

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Photo of EPseja
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 12oz bottle from my Brewmaster's Collection pack in my SABL glass at between fridge and cellar temperature. One of the first Sam Adams beers I had back in the day... glad to be able to give it a proper rating now.

A - Deep, chestnut brown with over an inch of foamy tan head that begins clinging to the rim immediately. Lacing comes in concentric micro-bubbled rings, and head retention is respectable.

S - Malty and toasty, but not overtly sweet. Notes of a light hoppiness are readily apparent, but remain on the fringes. Very faint notes of smoke. I prefer more sweetness in the nose of my Scotch Ales.

T - Toasty malts and smoked peat are equally matched, keeping the initial sweetness from being overly forward. Wow. Gets much drier as it makes it's way to the back of the throat, where a very gentle tinge of hoppiness staves off any possible cloying. It's hard to describe, but this beer is complex in it's nature, yet so straightforward in it's presence. Excellently crafted and balanced.

M - Creamy and tingly on the tongue, filling the mouth with great taste and pillowy texture before washing down the gullet.

D - At only 5.4% ABV, this is one of the "lightest" Scotch Ales I've had... but that's what makes it supremely drinkable -- especially since not a wisp of style was lost by keeping the ABV low. I could drink this all night long without worry that I'm going to get supremely hammered as I would if I were drinking most other Scotch Ales. Wonderful, and tragic that I believe this beer can't be bought in 6-packs anymore; only in the Brewmaster's Collection 12-packs.

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Photo of nebula1999
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smokey aroma that I love. Peat is clearly evident in the taste. Unique. I've never quite tasted a beer like this one. The peat stays with you, but isn't nauseating. Sweet, but followed by a mild dry punch. Not too boozy for a scotch ale either. Very drinkable.

Shame I can't buy a 6 pack.

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Photo of ricchezza
4.62/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear dark brown. Same color as the bottle.

Very malty, sugary aroma.

Taste/mouthfeel is also very malty; full of body. The smokiness of the peat malt is sublte, but not masked. Not as in your face as other Scotch Ales I've tried.

My only complaint is the availabilty. I wish this beer were released all year round, or at least in carriers by itself instead of only 2 in the Brewmaster 12-pack (sidenote: the rest of the 12 pack is also very good!)

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with a decent size head and a little lacing.

Smell is primarily roasted malt with some earthy undertones, some woodiness to it as well.

Taste is malty up-front with a buttery smooth feel to it, a bitterness lingers in the back, rich but not overly syrupy.

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

Appearance hazy brown with a three finger tan head that stuck around quite well. Smell malt fruit sweetness and some smoke. Taste some smoke up front malt seetness followed by a nutty dryness in the finish. Mouthfeel mediem body and mediem carbonation. Drinkability not bad a good representation of the style its a good beer for a cold winter evening like this one just don't serve to cold.

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

This was poured into a Sam Adams glass from the bottle.

A - deep amber color with a decent head that is fairly well retained

S - malty aroma, no hops, perhaps not as complex as expected for a Scotch (or Scottish) ale

T - strongly malty taste - smoked peat malt is definitely present, if not a bit strong and 'in-your-face', could possibly benefit from some more subtly; some hops on the finish, which is fairly dry and balanced

M - medium body, moderate carbonation

D - This is a decent Scottish ale, not really strong enough to be considered an accepted 'Scotch ale'. It drinks well enough; however, I think it could use more subtly in the smoked peat flavor. Nonetheless, it's a good American version of the style, even if my tastes lean towards the examples from Scotland.

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Photo of meechum
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A deep amber to brown with red highlights. Nice rocky white head that fell slowly and left a good sticky lace all down the glass

S - A deep caramel smell along with a very biscuit like malt taste and just a hint of nuts and spices and just a hint of smoke in there too

T/M - A nice rich and thick malty taste with a lot of biscuit and grains up front punctuated by nut and caramel flavor and a some creamy toffee in there also..the hops were very subtle and cut the sweetness of the malt at just the right level. The smokiness from the peat is a constant throughout and is pleasant

D - A very drinkable Scotch ale and with a nice low ABV could session on this all night

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Photo of hardy008
2.53/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - dark bark brown with ruby highlights, off white foamy head which leaves a decent lace behind.

Smell - Some sweet malt and bitter hops.

Taste - Some sweet malt and bitter hops. Not sweet enough for this type of beer.

Mouthfeel - Too light for this type of beer.

drinkability - Average. An ok beer, nothing more.

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Photo of Mudpuppet
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to triplecoil for this one.

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. Pours a hazy reddish plum color.

S- Not a powerful nose. Some light malty notes.

T- Good malty flavor. Some definite hoppy notes also. A bit citrusy.

M- Good carbonation. Medium thickness on the tongue.

D- Decent session beer. Not my fav Sam beer.

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

Part of a mixed pack from Sam.

A - Poured a dark amber into a SA pint glass. Thick white two finger head with great retention. Lacing was sticky and lingering.

S - Strong malt nose up front. Grassy / earthy hops and hints of Carmel made this one great nose!

T - Carmel and hops up front followed by a smooth Smokey finish, very robust and flavorful, good attempt at the "Wee Heavy" (I love that BTW).

M - Medium / full bodied brew. Very well balanced with all that's going on in here.

D - Very drinkable in the right session. Perhaps with a steak or BBQ dish. Recommended.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a nonic.
Enjoy before 08.2008.

Pours a clean oak with cranberry highlights. Creamy, thin off-white head that retains as a thin sheet. Webbed lacing that slowly recedes.

Semi-sweet caramel malts with aged, vinous fruit: plum, fig, raisin, cranberry. Slick whaffs of alcohol with a lingering phenolic aroma.

Aged fruit with a moderate sweetness: fig, raisin, apple. Bready, toasted malts with a buttery diacetyl and a very noticeable phenolic astringency. At mid-sip is a bland, rubbing alcohol flavor followed by toasted wheat and grains.

Medium bodied; a very slick mouthfeel due mostly to the bland, over-the-top alcohol presence.

A bulky, bland tasting 'Scotch Ale' that is really hurt by the alcohol presence. Some poor flavors, lack of balance, and little resemblance to the style.

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Photo of medic25
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown-copper color with a foamy white head. Aroma is quite malty. Taste can best be described a buttery (Diacetyl?), and quite sweet, with very little presence of hops. Easy drinking, with a dry and slightly smoky aftertaste. A pleasant addition to the Sam Adams 12-pack.

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Photo of malcontent
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Solid two fingers of frothy, off-white head and loads of sticky lacing left behind. The body is a transparent, deep mahogany creating an impressive looking beer.

Soft peat smoke scent laces a malty, almost amber-ish aroma. Smells nice but a little off for the style.

Peaty bitterness right off the bat leads into a malty, but not sweet, body. Hops are actually quite apparent which strikes me as odd for the style. It's good, no doubt, but lacking in overall complexity that I enjoy from a truly great Scotch ale. In fact, I really am missing the sweetness I expect. Hmmm....

It's not as full-bodied as I'm used to for a Scotch but the dry finish is a definite plus. For all it's deficiencies, this is nevertheless a highly drinkable beer and one that doesn't overwhelm the taste buds so much that a few more wouldn't be welcome.

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

Scotch Ales, when brewed by the wrong hands, can land somewhere between boring and utterly bad. This one? It's good! Why was I skeptical?

Pours a foamy, creamy off-white head that looks great and stays awhile. Color is a deep burgundy/brown.

The expected peat-smoked malt comes out nicely in the aroma, giving a tiny whisky-like edge, quite subtle. Background smells of toffee and chocolate (remember Skor?).

An incredibly flavorful Scotch Ale that, while hardly feeling big or extreme, owes nothing to subtlety. Everything's out front, and if you dig this style, there's nothing to complain about. Big, earthy, peaty, toasty malt...cherry, tobacco...lingering toffee in the finish...then some grassy bitterness in the finish. A snap of hops giving crispness and balance. Body is firm and seems to have just the right amount of carbonation (ie. not overly prickly).

Solid. Solid. Solid. There's really nothing more to say except "solid".

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Photo of eberkman
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burnished copper with a nice, creamy light tan head with awesome stickiness and retention, leaving plenty of lacing. Aesthetically an unusually pleasing brew. The smell is mostly sweet malts, as is to be expected. The taste is a pleasant malty sweetness -- cookie and toffee notes, a hint of diacetyl butteriness and a nice little hoppy bite in the finish. Medium bodied and perfectly carbonated. I could definitely session this. Very enjoyable -- I'm a big Belhaven fan, and this compares favorably. Very solid version of the style. I wouldn't call it a Wee Heavy -- it's not that strong, but it's definitely a very good Scotch Ale.

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Photo of jph424
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark red with great lacing and head retention

S - Malty and sweet

T - Strong malt flavor with the faintest hint of hops. A bit of an alcohol bite at the finish.

M - Light carbonation and medium bodied.

D - A little too sweet for me personally to drink a ton of them. Great for a sitting though and pairs well with a lot of foods.

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Photo of Kingdom4aPint
4.56/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Outstanding dark ruby with 1 finger head. Shortly diminishes to thin film with very nice lacing.

S - Pleasant earthy, fresh smell...very inviting!

T - Malty and Smoky at first, then transitioning to earthy and finishing with the peat smoked malt taste.

M - A very welcoming and unexpected thickness that was a wonder. Couldn't be more pleased.

d - Would drink this any time, any where. If sold in a sixer would no doubt be near the top of my list but will be content as long as I can continue to find the Brewmaster 12 pack.

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Photo of thirtysixbelow
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - dark copper color with a 1.5 finger head. Diminishes to a creamy ring. Good lacing.

s - sweet smell, probably from all the malt. Can't really pick up much.

t - very sweet up front which turns to a smoky and earthy taste. Leaves behind a hint of hops which lingers for a while. A little dry as well.

m - feels heavier and has more carbonation then I expected. Not a bad thing :)

d - Overall this is a very enjoyable beer. The flavor is interesting and well balanced. This is one of my favorite sam adams. It's a shame you have to buy a 12-pack to get two of these.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The nose on this one was rather... abrupt. While the malts were present, it honestly struck me as rather typical of most of the Sam Adams brews and therefore nothing really special. The first taste brought an immediate intensity of the malts tempered with a sort of earthy flavor. Definitely full bodied, there was still a nice clean finish with an interesting hint of hops lingering for just a bit.

I enjoyed this brew. The carbonation in this beverage is noteworthy - the abundance of which contributed to the foamy head. With so many malts and hops combined so skillfully, I am looking foreword to "sampling" this again.

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Photo of MetalBoozingBen
1.06/5  rDev -71.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

this beer is horrible,it tasted more like beer mixed with whiskey. ive tried more bitter ales like arogant bastard, but this beer was

just awful sam's best beer is the oktoberfest one.

i dont recomend this, im sure a scottish person would be insulted by this horrible brew.

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

This used to be a beverage from the Brewmasters' Collection that would sit until the other, more favored beers were gone until getting some attention. No longer. Scotch Ale has, for whatever reason, perhaps the recent sampling of Founders, grown on me. A finger of foam caps this amber-red body. Lots of bitter hops assail the nose, accompanied by roasted malt, and a little fruit. The taste, I'll admit, has me a bit baffled. I get and like the bitters. Roasted malt--check. But there's more, there's fruit, that I detect but cannot place well. I want to say plum, dates, and raisins, but I'm admittedly guessing. But there's no denying a spicy fruit here. If only I were as seasoned as a beer critic as the beer is seasoned, there might be answers.

The mouthfeel leaves a wee bit of bitterness too much for this reviewer, detracting somewhat from my final ratings. Yet all in all, this is tasty and worth grabbing. There is a nice complexity that, hopefully, a more skilled reviewer can unravel, and it finishes fairly well despite the accumulating bitterness. Good show.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, crisp copper, with a rich and frothy high retaining head. Lots of sticky lace, very nice.

S: Roasted grain malts, somewhat wood-like scents. The mildest of sweet aromas and a cardboard sniff roll around within.

T: Buttery, roasted or slightly burnt grain. A sweet sugary taste, and a dash of herbal hops.

M: Round, almost creamy... a bit of a butter oiliness to it through the finish. Quite easy to take a nice big mouthful, swish it around and swallow it all back. One of the better choices from the selection of Adams brews I've had.

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Photo of drperm
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is definitely a "sometimes love, sometimes hate" kind of beer. When in the right mood, it would hit the spot, whilst at other times it would be tough to even finish the pint. I call this "campfire beer" -- smoky and peaty in both taste and finish. It's a brilliant dark red color and exhibits a bready, soy-like nose. But that complex smoky/peatiness is what really defines this one. One of the better Sam's, but make sure you work yourself up for the commitment.

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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 59.9% out of 100 with 1,108 ratings
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