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

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Samuel Adams Scotch AleSamuel Adams Scotch Ale
1,114 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: 1,114 |  Reviews: 638
Photo of barefootbrewer
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clear amber/brown color. Nice creamy head and some decent lacing – this is a pretty beer. The aroma is quite malty with some hints of caramel. The taste is malty with a bit of a smoke flavor. Overall it seems to be well balanced. The mouthfeel is on the full side and seems fitting for this brew. I think this is a smooth beer and would consider it an easy drink.

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Photo of jdhilt
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger light tan head that fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Nice clear amber color. Medium carbonation and light bodied. Malty nose. Flavor is malty with some hop bite, medicinal, watery finish. Disappointing example of a scotch ale. $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.26/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured to a medium dark reddish-brown with medium thick off-white head that lingered well and left good lacing. Aroma was a blend of smoked wood and malty dark fruit. Flavor oicked up teh dark fruit more than the smoke, and the mouthfell was slightly tingly, and somewhat bitter-sweet. The finish was on the bitter side, and of medium duration, both of what I have found to be the case in most Scotch Ales. Not a bad beer.

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Photo of umustdrink
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep red in color. Head is a dark yellowy white color that reluctantly fades to thick splotches. Lacing is strong.

S - Sweet caramel malts, cereal malts, a nice smoky aroma and a green bitterness.

T - Bitter upfront into a strong thick caramel malt. Faint dark coffee and a bready malt finish with a warming alcohol profile.

M - Mouthfeel is thick and smooth, with a good carbonation level. Just a little bit oily allowing for tastes to linger.

D - Very strong tasting beer not for the faint of heart. One of my favorite beers from Sam Adams.

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

Reddish copper with a thin cream colored head.

Strong malty aroma, with caramel toffee, and a good helping of smoky peat.

Taste is big on malt without being overly thick or cloying. Creamy mouthfeel, and a drying, tea-like flavor that mingles with another note of peat smoke in the finish. Hints of vanilla, and fairly low bitterness.

Light alcohol warmth as an aftertaste only.

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Photo of Byeast
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear , darker reddish brown , with a small offwhite head which left a bit of lace. The aroma is of fairly rich and sweet malt , bit of dark fruit , and some chocolate. Taste is nice and smooth with a fair amount of roasty and sweet malt , a light smoky character , brown bread ,slight chocolate , caramel , brown sugar, hint at a dark fruit , balancing bitterness , and dryer finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slightly slick quality. Not a bad scotch ale at all , very quaffable and i liked the peaty/smoked quality. Definatly worth a try , a bit like a smoky doppelbock.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with best before date of October 07. Pours a medium dark amber with a 1 finger head, decent longevity and good lace. Big malt aromas - nuff said. big malt flavors but mixed with a smokey flavotr as well. The smokiness is a bit too strong for me. a well amde a tasty beer but it could be a bit smoother. With a bit more work this one could be a really nice beer, but its not there yet.

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

Served in a bulb. A medium pour produces a two-fingered tan head, which collapses into a rocky formation in a few minutes. Lacing is quite good, adhering very firmly to the surface of the glass in a lattice-like formation. Dark garnet in color, and brilliant to the eye. The nose is very compelling, with notes of peat-smoked malts dominating tangy dark malts and sweet, biscuity pale malts. Bright and lively on the first sip, with a pleasant roundness to the malt profile coming to the fore. Finish is actually compelling as well, beginning with lingering biscuit notes before giving way to a partway tangy, partway peaty finish. There's a nice touch of oily, viscousity here, too. Fruity and a bit boozy at one moment, yet hardly sweet; tangy, light, almost crisp. Notes of ripe dark fruits and berries, particularly those that balance sweet with tart (cranberry). A little bit buttery, with a bit more alcohol in the aromatics. Hop bitterness is very well defined, yet works in tandem with the carefully blended malt profile (besides, has anyone heard of a hoppy Scotch Ale?) This may be a bit lighter than I prefer for the style, but no doubt this was formulated with an appeal to the more casual drinker than Scotch loyalists. Either way, there's no missed-step in the execution of the style. Perhaps a bit too smokey for some, it works for me. A fine rendition overall.

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Photo of dough
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased " Brewmasters Collection" sampler set and the Scotch Ale was one of the choices. Pours a nice reddish brown color with decent head. Has a strong smoke taste as well as hints of subdued fruits. I will say that the first bottle of the Scotch ale that I tried was not all that appealing. On second taste I have discovered that this is a pretty complex brew with some nice subtle flavors. I now look forward to drinking more of this beer.

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

12 oz brown longneck with a freshness “notch”. Note that I noticed that SA now best by dates their 12 packs on the lids, this is a nice touch.

Poured into a standard pint, the beer is a reddish brown with a thick beige head. Decent lacing.

The nose is of slightly roasted malts, dark fruit and brown sugar.

My first impression of the taste is slightly smoky and sweet. I get sugared plums and grains. This is tasty and the bit of smoke in the background adds a nice touch.

The mouth is just thick enough. I’m on the fence if this one is a session beer or not, but it sure is tasty.

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Photo of billybob
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours medium brown color, tan three finger head with good lacing. smokey caramel, molasses roasted malt and coffee nose. taste is the same with a lingering after taste of coffee. mouthfeel light, little weak on the carbonation. its not my style, i am not a fan of that smokey flavor otherwise its ok.

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Photo of BigJTrucker
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a 12oz bottle as part of a "Brewmasters Collection" mixpack. Pours a deep amber color. Decent head settles quickly, forming light collar. Not overly carbonated.Smells mossy and woodsy. Tastes slightly sour as you might expect a scotch ale to taste, and finishes very smooth. Not too bad, but it wouldnt be my first choice.

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Photo of rodrot
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish amber color with a solid half inch head and good carbonation. Aroma was quite malty and biscuity. Taste was of sweet malts, smoke, tobacco and light hop bitterness. Mouthfeel was light to medium and had a smooth character. Drinkability was good. For a Scotch ale though, you expect something a little more substantial and heavier. Still, this is a fairly tasty ale. I just wish I could buy a sixer of it and not one of those mixed 12 packs.

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Photo of John1985
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from the Brewmaster's Collection:

The ale pours a deep brown with a fluffy half inch head. Faint malty aroma that dives into a rich complex malty flavor that has some roasted malts & hops that bites slightly on the back end to balance the sweetness. This is a full bodied ale that is very drinkable. The malt profile is rather interesting. I wish we could have this in six packs in Nashville because our Scotch Ales are few and far between.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. The beer is a very deep amber color with a finger of light tan head that falls to a full coating over top. The brew is fairly clear and there is a lack of visible carbonation in it. I like how this one sits in the glass. The nose is caramel, a little buttery, and light with peaty smoke. The butteryness seems to dominate a bit and is not what I really wanted to find. Taking a sip, I find a more pronounced peaty smoke than the nose would tell me. The caramel is really nice behind that, adding a mild sweetness and a very good malt base. The butteryness is not present in the flavor, which really helps pull this one together for me. There is just a hint of a mild hop bitterness that fills out the finish of this one. It is enjoyable. The mouthfeel is moderate with a lightish to moderate carbonation. Overall, I like this one. Outside of the buttery aromas that are in there, this one is solid.

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Photo of barrettds
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- dark amber brown. Probably should have had a more aggressive pour, as I babied this one and the collar is less than I expected. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

S- Sweet malt, no hops. I can detect a slight smokiness as well.

T- Nice effort here, but not as good as a the REAL scotch ales. Still, a worthy substitute if you're shopping at a non beer enlightened super market. Many different malts make for a somewhat complex character. The smokiness fits well.

M- Smooth all the way through, but has that macro scotch ale feel. A bit too carbonated for the style, I think.

D- You could throw a couple of these back easily. That being said, this disappoints, as it is supposed to be a scotch ale. 5.4% doesn't cut it.

All in all, it is a decent interpretation of a scotch ale. However, if you want something GREAT and are in the Western New York area, Rohrback makes an incredible scotch ale.

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Photo of gmfessen
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a ruby brown color with a thin, creamy looking head. The smell is primarily of sweet malt, but the smokiness is also quite prevalent. The taste has a little bit of a roasted character to it, very smoky and sweet with amber/caramel malt, almost no hop character. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and chewey. This is a very drinkable beer, goes down easy, full of taste. This one is worth a try.

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Photo of theformula
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Dark, ruby colored body. 1" or so head that retains decently. Lace sticks around pretty well.

S: Smokey malts, butter, caramel, some earthiness and just a subtle hops aroma.

M & T: Pretty much tastes like the aroma. The smoked flavor is prominant but this beer has a great balance from the crisp, light mouthfeel. Some caramel, diacetyl, coffee and burnt sugar. Where's the warming alcahol? That's typical of the style, but it's not here.

D: Like I mentioned, a great sessional Scotch Ale (if that's possible), but it's just not a genuine S.A. and doesn't have nearly the depth of most. It's the drinkability and the balance that's game here. So, it's a Sam Adams.

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Photo of becktone
2.32/5  rDev -38%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm beginging to notice a trend with Sam Adams brew. They all look great, but thats about it. Nice one finger creamy off-white head, great retention and lacing as well. Color is a deep copper, the color of cherry stained wood, red and ruby hues.

Aroma: Strong malt backbone, but lacks the sweet smell that's usually found in this style. Some diacetyl and a metallic tang. Not that impressed witht the aroma of this one. Some faint hop aromas-Noble?

Before I even taste this brew I'm going to predict a metallic tang. Not only does the aroma hint at this but so do the previous Sam Adams brews I've reviewed. Not as much metallic tang as the others but there's a bit in there. This brew also has a smoky flavor, along with some graininess to it. Some dark grains and bitterness from roasted grains. In my opinion this brew is a very poor example of a Scotch Ale. Nothing like Traquir Jacobite, I mean it shouldn't be just like it but I wouldn't even classifiy it as being a Scotch ale. The ABV isn't even high enough to classify it as a Scotch Ale, Scottish yes, but not Scotch. The brw isn't sweet enough to be balanced out by a higher alcohol content-a very common characteristic of scotch ales. This brew is way off the mark.

Mouthfeel of this brew is pretty good. Creamy in the mouth with a medium-heavy body, and lower carbonation...well at least for Sam Adams. I would not buy this beer again. It is a complete let down. I was looking forward to a Scotch Ale, and well this shouldn't be classified as one. There are definitely better examples of the style out there if you're looking to try a scotch ale don't look here.

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Photo of warmstorage
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle from a mixed-12 pack.

Pours a deep tan with a moderate beige head, leaves little lacing.

Nose is sweet and smoky, but muted, even as it warms.

Taste is sweet, tangy, and predominately peaty and smoky. It's hard for me to tell which it is, peat or smoke, though I lean a little more towards peat. Taste has a muted but present metallic hint, especially on the finish.

Mouth is slightly tingly and moderate to high carbonation, especially for the style.

All of the 3 scores are intended; this is a deeply average beer. Little is technically wrong with it, it's just not impressive or interesting.

Overall, a decent beer, and certainly one of SA's better beers (though not better than Triple Bock, Double Bock, or any of the super specialty offerings like Millennium or Utopias.) It definitely beats the hell out of standard Sam offerings like Boston Lager; however, it's far from overwhelming. Like I said: average.

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Photo of themilkman01
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Disclaimer: this review is by a beer-newbie, for beer-newbies. Being as such, this review may not appeal to those beer veterans.)

Sam Adams Scotch Ale is a beer that attempts to be a blend between beer and Scotch, and while I'm not sure if it's that attempt is very successful; but it does create a different, however very good beer.

The appearance of this beer was good ... it poured out and had about a 1.5 to 2 inch head ... with a deep amber color.

The smell of this beer was good ... it didn't have an overwhelming beer smell, however when you did smell it, there were some beer smells, plus the roast smell too. Hard to explain, but very pleasant.

The taste of this beer was very average; the roasty taste doesn't appeal to me, but there are other flavors to experience, too. Unfortunately, the roast flavor overpowers the other flavors in the aftertaste, so while you are drinking this beer it may taste good, but you will have a roasty flavor in the aftertaste. Fortunately, it's not a strong aftertaste ....

The mouthfeel was good, but there is a slight heavy carbonation feeling to this beer, which I do not like. On the other side, this is a very smooth beer that you can really drink on, it won't hurt your mouth with carbonation, but it won't feel flat, either.

I gave this beer a pretty high drinkability because of the smoothness of the beer. This is definately not my fav beer thus far, but it is, by far, the smoothest beer I've drank to date. Disregarding the taste and just drinking this beer down was definately the way to drink it in my opinion.

This is a beer that I will drink again, and may order it. Definately on of my favs ... even with the roasty taste.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a variety 12-pack (which by the way, is quite enjoyable!). A little dry on the tongue, most likely from the "triple malt". No don't get me worng, I love the malty aspect of beers, but this ends up being a little too much. Lots of smoke and bark root. I think what's missing is the heavy ABV that I accustomed too witht this style. Witht the low ABV, it ends up being quite drinkable. This is a beer you give to your cousin-in-law that doesn't drink craft beer regulary. Not a bad offering, certinaly won't be purchasing a 12-pack of it though/

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Photo of kkosmoski
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Longneck into a standard pint. Produced a 1/2 inch light tan head and was deep red in color. Took a while for the head to fade, and it did leave some lacing. Aroma was dominated by malt with some caramel sweetness and a scotch or whisky-like smell. Taste was very malty and caramelly-sweet up front with some light roast. This was balanced by a nice, earthy hop presence, and finished peaty with a whisky feel. A medium-bodied brew with moderate carbonation and a slight alcohol warming. This malt-bolstered brew is heavy and complex, and it is probably better in smaller amounts or as the end of a session. One is enough for me.

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Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 ounce bottle from the brewmaster's 12 pack. Freshness date says the beer is fresh until the end of July 2007.

A: A very nice dark brown color w/a good amount of head. Good amount of lacing on the glass as the beer was being consumed.

S: Nose is mostly choclate and smokey malts.

T: Starts off w/a medium sweet taste and then fades to a choclate/smoke flavor. The smoke flavor is present throughout the middle of the sip until the end a leaves a nice aftertaste. As w/most of the BBC's beers, the balance is almost dead on.

M: While this is the first of the style I have tried, this one is not watery nor is it too heavy. Seems to accompany the style well.

D: This is not a brew to sit down and drink several at a time, as there are several malt flavors to analyze. Because of the variety of malt flavors present, this is probably one of the best brews to analyze, as its complexity is awesome. It might be argued there are too many malt flavors going around, but when this beer is served at the right temperature, they taste damn good.

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Photo of beeragent
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, with a freshness date of Sept. 2007. Poured into a pint glass. the beer poured a deep amber, forming a 1/2 inch fluffy head, leaving thick lacing on the glass. The aroma is very weak, being mostly of the malts. The taste is of malt, with a little caramel sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium. An interesting brew from Sam Adams. Not something that I could drink several of in one sitting, but definitely one worth experiencing.

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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 1,114 ratings