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

very good
1,106 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: 1,106 |  Reviews: 637
Photo of orangemoustache
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-deep dark amber with some reds ,thick off white head,lots of lacing

S-malts,and hint of bannana

T-lots of rich malts,bit of a roasted,smokey tone with a dry finish,some vinilla at the end and a root beer after taste

M-strong body with wonderful mouth coating creamy texture mixes well with the light carbonation

D-very flavorful and thick keeps the drinkability to a minimum for me,but all in all a very enjoyable brew

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Photo of supertrirunner
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beatiful rich amber color with a admirablelight tan head that never seems to disipate till its all gone. Moderate lacing all the way down the glass. Great aromas of malty butterscotchiness and notes of caramel, a little sweet in the nose. Tastes smooth and balenced with both sweetness and twanginess. A bit milder than McEwans offering, watered down in comparision, but this is not exactly a bad thing as it adds to the ease of drinkability. Strong maltiness upfront that front that fades to a smooth buttery and creamy finish, quite pleasent. As mentioned feels a little watery in the mouth and a bit slipery. Quite a drinkable brew all in all and would definately be something to look forward to in the brewmasters collection.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a brown bottle into a pint glass. Bottle marked best by Aug. 2008 (drinking in Jan 2008)

A--Medium tan head that eventually goes down. Dark brown almost garnet color.

S--Peat smell is definitely up front. Some marshmallow broadens underneath.

T--scotch like taste up front. Then a full deep malt. Then some hop bitterness. And then a nice smoky burn on the way down.

M--Medium-full body. Smooth.

D--One of the better scotch ales out there. I would love to have this on tap. Winter bbq beer...or super bowl chili beer.

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Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, ruby red color with a decent head that fades into a one-finger head with mild lacing. Aroma is strong and malty with the smoked peat showing through nicely. I really enjoy the aroma. Taste is malty/fruity upfront and fades to a nice smoked peat finish at the back of the tongue. Definitely a smoky beer. A second sip catches more of the smokiness .

The finish is somewhat dry and lingering. I can see why this beer was so popular, that Sam Adams had to bring it back.


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

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a glass mug.

A: Poured an amber body with red undertones running through it. Left a small white head that slowed to a nice lacing along the top of the beer with some lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: A sweet, malty smell with a slightly roasted undertone.

T: A sweet malty taste with a slight roasted/smoky aftertaste that did well to balance with the malt taste.

M: A little on the thin side, but great carbonation.

D: A pretty drinkable beer. The balance between the malty taste and the smoky aftertaste makes it a great beer to drink.

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

From the Sam Adams Brewmaster's collection that I inherited that my uncle left over after he went back to Florida. A drink before Aug 2008 date.

A deep color that reminds me of cherry wood furniture with no carbonation streaming through and has amber and golden hues throughout it. Has a think slighty amber head that stays throughout and leaves lacing.

Smell a lot of malt coming off of this one; smells of caramel and also a bit of hicorky and charcoal smokiness as well.

The intial taste is all malt it hits me with a lot of caramel flavors mostly and a bit sweet. Then that sweetnees fades away into a deep smokiness that reminds me of hickory grilled foods. I have to say that I can taste the burnt peat that the bottle claims is in there. At the end, the malt is contrasted with a slight bitterness that hits the tongue before slowly dissapating.

Overall, a surprinsgly good beer from SA. I did not expect this one to be anything like it was and actually thought it would be kind of bland. Rather complex and comes through strong on its own. A beer I would definitely look for again especially because I don't find too many of this style. One of the better beers that I've ever had from SA and would make me consider buying the Brewmaster's collection for it if I had a craving.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just got two bottles in the 2007 Brewmaster collection (the one with the Irish Red that I have yet to try). Poured one into a pint glass and it had very little head, natch, and a dark mahogany color with small lace patches left on glass. This label doesn’t say triple malt like the picture on this site, but they are there. Smell is rather malty, with some caramel picked up – I didn’t pick up much else. You can taste the roasted malt immediately, and it gives this rather full-bodied ale (it doesn’t look like a traditional heavy ale) a mildly dry backbite. I think the malts overpower this ale a tad, but you can still pick up some earthy tones. I don’t know; I can’t put my finger on it but this is one of those instances where I am not thoroughly impressed w/ a beer, yet I can’t really find anything negative to point out. I will probably “cellar” the other brew and I would recommend this, yet there is a part of me that is probably being pessimistic because it isn’t a “real” Scottish Ale.

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Photo of auxiliary
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Has a mahogany color to it. Nice tan head, that decends

smell – Caramel, roasted malts here.

taste – Roasted malts some sweet caramel, a fruitiness and smoke taste here.

mouthfeel – Full body.

drinkability - Very good, nice balance of caramels and roasted malts here.

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Photo of Slynger
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear chestnut brown with ruby highlights and a light tan head.
The nose suggests sweet caramel and roasted malts. Some maple syrup and a hint of dark earthiness are present too.
The taste is smooth with roasted malts up front and slightly sweet and bitter on the way down. A mild earthy smokiness shows up as well.
This is a very balanced and drinkable scotch ale. It is pretty good but doesn't blow me away.

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Photo of BiereBlanche
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from the brewmaster's collection, poured into a working glass.

The ale is a clear, dark brown capped with a rocky, tan head that falls to a light covering and leaves heavy sheeting and semi-rings as it descends. The nose is nearly all sweet malts, some toffee and notes of banana esters. Not too heavy or dark in the nose. The taste is full of similar malty sweetness with lots of caramel, light toffee. The fruity notes are absent from the taste, and the smokiness comes through distinctly, but not unbalanced. Bitters are very low and more of a bite comes from medium levels of carbonation. Mid-high mouthfeel. Slightly sweet and smokey aftertaste with lingering roasted notes. Alcohol is noticeable in the mouth as light tingling on the tongue, but not in the nose. Quite smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of jwc215
4.29/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before April 2008:

Pours slightly hazed dark amber/mahogany with a tan head that slowly descends to a patch.

The smell is of caramel/toffee with roasted malt and peat smoke.

The taste is of roasted grain, caramel/toffee and a touch of peat smoke. Scotch-whisky-like, it has a supporting/balancing earthy/woody characteristic in the back and a roasted, malty finish.

It is just about full-bodied without being syrupy or too thick. Pretty smooth it is.

This Scotch ale has a nice malt complexity with a subtle smokiness. It's a shame that it is only available in the variety pack, as I would have enjoyed having more than two of them in my fridge.

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Photo of tonistruth
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Amber with bronze hues, white silky head, little retent

S- molasses and brown sugar

T- semisweet caramel, peaty, slightly smoked malts, brown sugar, burnt caramel malts, smoked malt finish (caramel)

M- smooth and slightly sticky medium body

D- very tasty and impressive scotch ale, sessions limited by abv%, hands down of of the best brews under the sam adams label

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Photo of WJVII
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head that didn't last, but nice lacing. This beer has a very earthy smell, with hints of smokiness. I think of a mossy damp field when getting a whiff of this beer. The taste matches the smell. This is a very earthy flavored beer with a strong smoky flavor. The beer has moderate carbonation and is fuller in body. There is a malty after taste once you break through the overwhelming initial hit of must. This was one of 6 in a Samuel Adams variety pack. I don't think I would buy it on its own. Not my pint of beer, but as all beer I am glad I tried it.

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Photo of berserker256
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice reddish brown color. Like a wet Irish setter. Not much head. good lacing. Smells like the cork from a bottle of good scotch along with hoppyness and smokey malt. A little bit of a sweet smell and a bitter and sweet taste. Kind of rich and heavy. Good beer but I wouldn't want to drink too many of these. This is a good "two beers before bed" kind of beer.

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Photo of barknee
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sam’s Scotch Ale pours a light cola color with a malty frothy head. Interestingly there is a profound Bamberg beechwood smokiness in the flavor profile of this brew, what’s interesting is that this smokiness is barely perceptible in the nose! In the mouth are flavors of well-roasted malts, beechwood smoke, and sweet malts. Perhaps lacking the foundation and body of some of the top notch Scotch Ales, this version makes up for this departure by providing us with uber drinkability and a very enticing flavor profile from this original Scotch “Rauchbier” Ale. I would imagine this brew would firmly plant a smile on those who enjoy this type of brew, as I do..

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Photo of morimech
4.11/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich mahogany with a solid tan head that stays around for awhile. Also plenty of lacing noted.

The smell is sweet malt and a little citrus. A bit surprised by this in a Scotch Ale.

The flavor is dominated by the taste of roasted malt. A little smoke and hop bitterness leaves this a very balanced brew. It feels medium bodied and nicely carbonated. A beer that probably could be helped by a slightly higher ABV. I think this is Sam Adams most impressive beer. I had the lowest expectations for this beer and I am pleasantly surprised.

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

Barely translucent mahogany and red body topped with a tan buttes head of a rocky large bubbled center and creamy ring. Great retention and clumpy lace.
Thick caramel sweet scent with a wooden smoky note and abit of hops. Dark earthy and slightly musty smell.
Highly smoked malty flavor obviously from the peat smoked malts. Not as sweet as the smell but stronger in the way of hops. Earth and dark old hay and well balanced. Good aftertaste of smoke and slightly malty hops.
Medium to full body, Minimum coating and somewhat dry.
Drinkability is pretty good.


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Photo of Scribbles
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – A deep dark brown colour, with a finger and a half of what appears to be a decent tan head, after some initial subsiding whats left doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast.

Smell – Quite sweet smelling, caramel and fruity , with a bit of hop in there too. Quite nice.

Taste – Oh.... this.. well this is good, caramel malt, a bit sweet, slight bit of nutty flavour, hops are there but they're more to the background. This taste just make me want to sit back on a fall day with a big beer stein and watch the clouds go by.

Mouthfeel – Very smooth, a bit thick but not in a bad way, a bit of carbonation but it isn't that prominent and what is there keeps this beer in balance.

Drinkability – Very good drinkability, very smooth and an easy drink. The only thing lacking in my opinion was maybe a bit more ABV, which might have helped it be a little bit 'warmer'. A great beer besides though.

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Photo of penguinjive7
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany with a couple fingers of fluffy white head.

Smells of toasted malt with caramel and caramel and brown sugar.

Huge malty taste upfront with the aroma transferring to the tongue. Even with the heavy malt profile there is a slight twinge of hops in the finish which is a pleasant surprise.

As in all of Sam Adams brews, I feel that the carbonation is a bit harsh, but the body is more hefty than most from this company. I would expect a bit of a fuller body from a Scotch ale, but this works just fine.

A very drinkable brew, and one of my favorites from Sam. A complex malt profile coupled with a bit of hop finish makes this a keeper.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark, reddish brown is what poured out. Wow, that smell was strong. A strong presence was immediately felt. The taste, was even more powerful. Bold and malty. The drink sweetly and warmly stays on the tongue but this drink is definitely not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of jp32
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish-brown with and average sized khaki colored head.

The aroma is subtle, a bit malty.

The blend of malts adds to a nice enjoying flavor. Sweet and smooth. I notice something just a faint bit citrusy but certain that its not hops. A strange lingering aftertaste.

Lighter bodied than expected, but still closer to medium bodied. Classic carbonation.

The drinkability on this one is great, almost perfect.

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Photo of Redwood21
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For me this beer has the unfortunate fate of being compared with other scotch ales, namely traquair. however that said, it is still a great example of the style. the appearance could stand to have a more robust head on top but that is the only complaint, not bad, not memorable.
the smell is also less than remarkable nothing really to note that i could pick up on.
the taste does shine through, it has an almost smoky flavor to it with heavy malts and a not too penetrating aggressiveness. I would recommend this beer, its a good style representation.

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Photo of animal69
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

# 3 out of the sampler 12 was the scotch ale, it poured a deep reddish hue w/ a slight pinkish head some lacing; nice malty aroma w/ some faint hop undertones; a good malt profile some hop flavor present; rich med-full body; i could drink a few of these, but not too many.

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Photo of armock
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber color with a light brown head that leaves lacing on my glass. Has a nice smell to it caramel and malts stand out. The taste is good with hints of malts and hops. Mouthfeel is good medium bodied and pretty smooth. I would buy this brew again if I ever see it again good tatse and smoothness.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.48/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A – Poured a deep dark mahogany colored brown, nearly opaque if not for some light shining through on the bottom and sides of the glass. A very nice looking two inch or more tan head rose up from this and hung around for what seemed like a decent amount of time. Good side glass lace was apparent and stayed with it through out. Seemed nicely carbonated but you really could not tell. Very full overall look however and this really seemed quite nice.

S – Aroma was very sweet, which to be honest surprised me a bit as I was not expecting it to be. Lots of caramel and sugar tones to it as well a good amount of roasted malts. A deep underlying earthy tone set the stage for everything on top, with a good amount of fresh cut grass like aroma which I could tell was some hops trying to break their way through. Really a full and very well balanced smell, this was much fuller then I really thought it would be and it actually surprised me a bit. Very nice overall and really a quality feel to it.

T – Now where did this come from? I really did not expect this to be as strong feeling as this was. Huge taste profile left no doubt in your mind this that was something that was to be enjoyed. Lots of caramel, very full roasted malt flavors and a very nice palate pleasing blend of nut flavors and some hoppiness to round out the back. Really well done and to be honest my favorite thing I have had from Sam Adams to date. This was just so full flavored, to be honest I did not think they could put it together this well. Very sweet and at the same time had a very nice spiced backbone and hoppy like finish, I was very impressed.

M – Very thick, almost like a porter from the start. This was definitely one of the fuller things I have tried from them and it really got the point across as to what was going to go on here. Nice carbonation stuck with it until the end, never letting it get flat or dull. Very rich and creamy, and left you feeling very full.

D – Excellent. This was stuck in that world between being sessionable and being a sipper. There was not enough ABV and it was just light enough that I really would not consider it to be a sipper, but on the other hand this was not something you were going to have four or five of either. Went really well with a ham dinner and potatoes, seemed to really bring out the flavors on both very nicely.

Overall this was easily my favorite Sam Adams brew to date. It was the most full, and in my opinion the best crafted that I have seen. Very sweet for a scotch ale, but that was actually a plus here. Perfect one for dinner as it was just full enough that it accentuated flavors great. I really enjoyed this and will be on the lookout for more every time I see it. It just gave me a really good feeling to be trying this one. I highly recommend giving it a try if you can, you will definitely not regret it.

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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,106 ratings.
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