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

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: 1,105
Photo of hero27
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Brewmaster's Collection. Best before October 2006.

Dark bronze color, creamy off-white head. Smoky, slightly roasted malt character. Woody, mildly chemical aftertaste. Medium-bodied, could use a bit more heft. Dissapointed it doesn't gain really any character as it warms..tastes nearly the same between fridge temp & room temp. Was nice to try, but didn't bowl me over. Will wait until I find this on-draft before I sample it again.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.19/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Samuel Adams Scotch Ale has a thin, bone-colored head, a clear copper appearance, and some lacing splotches left behind. The aroma is muted, but the drinker might pick up some sweet bread. Taste is of peat smoke, predominately, but sweet, brown bread crust and low-level, rounding bitterness is present. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Samuel Adams Scotch Ale finishes crisp and semi-dry.


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Photo of Riccymon
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a dark reddish-brown with a fast-fading finger of brown head. Both smell and taste contain a lightly spicy malt flavor and a little caramel sweetness, with the taste having a stronger, lasting spice. The taste reminded me a bit of SA's Holiday Porter. Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side for me, and leaves the mouth a little sticky. All around, a very average but drinkable scotch ale that I enjoyed, but won't necessarily seek out in the future.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pretty nice beer for the guys from bean town.
Well carbonated, with pretty good mouthfeel.
the nose was sweet and malty, with hist of molassis 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.
I liked this beer, and probably would buy more.

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Photo of steelerguy
3.21/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Deep mahogany color with a nice head that faded quickly to just a slight covering. Very clear although dark.

S - Nice malty smell that smells like cheese to me at the end. I don't like to smell cheese in my beer.

T - Beer hits you with a malt hammer, which is not a bad thing, but then I have that stinky cheese flavor. The smokey peat which is the distinctive character of this beer is what I don't like.

M - Very good mouthfeel, could see when I was pouring it that it was going to have some body and it sure does. Very nice, unfortunately this was it's best aspect to me.

D - When you don't really find a beer that good, it just loses some drinkability.

It is not a bad beer, and I will drink one more bottle (since it was in the 12 pack), but won't seek it out again.

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Photo of ItsTheLimit
3.22/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Label notched October for a freshness date.

A: Pours a nice transparent ruby/amber color with a thick, lasting head. Leaves nice lacing down the glass with each sip which sticks throughout consumption.

S: Fairly one-dimensional, with a lot of earthy, malty aromas coming through. Some smoke/roasty characteristics are apparent too. Not great.

T: Slightly sweet from all the malt. Slightly bitter finish with roasted and smokey flavors on the back end of the taste. Long finish leaves a nice aftertaste.

M: Well-balanced and medium-bodied. Nicely carbonated as well. Based on mouthfeel alone, this is a sessionable beer.

D: If only the smell and taste were a little better I could put away quite a few of these. Very easy to drink without being too light.

All in all, this is a pretty decent beer, and better than a number of other Sam Adams brews, however I was expecting a bit more from this one. Perhaps I'd have been a little more happy with the purchase if I didn't buy their spring sampler pack specifically to get to this brew.

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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 ordybill
3.24/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a tulip glass. The appearance is an awesome clear red amber with a small white head. The aroma has that scotch ale dirty sock aroma that I do not like. The taste is malt and alcohol.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.25/5  rDev -14%
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 kimcgolf
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
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 mooseisloose
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Also being an imbiber of scotch, a scotch ale sounds incredibly inviting. Bottle smell is sweet malty, and outdoorsy, like the scottish highlands, with hints of licorice. Poured into a chalice the color is dark caramel. Slight head, quickly dissapated. Taste is semi-sweet with an smokey more than roasted background and a slight bitterness. Good carbonation. Moderate weight not too heavy but not light. A great flavor. May be a little too smokey for a sessioner but tasty none-the-less. Sam continues to please with a great uniqueness of flavors. But, 4 oz of hops per barrel, this might need about 7.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- clear copper body with white head.

S- very malty. pretty much all I could smell.

T- some malts, chocolate, and dark fruits, but it was very metallic.

M- The first thing I noticed was the mouthfeel. It is light and very overcarbonated. The carbonation hides any good flavors.

D- Its pretty drinkable. Take the carbonation down a few notches and it would be much better.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Rich molasses color on the pour with no real
head to speak of and scant lacing.

S: The aroma is distinctly sweet and malty.

T: The alcohol is definately present as is a
unpleasantly bitter after taste. After
checking the date I assume that the after
taste is purposeful. This starts nicely and
ends poorly.

M: A bit watery and seemingly under carbonated

D: Drinkability is average at best maybe better
with a meal, I'll have to try that next time.

I don't have an incredible wealth of knowledge involving scotch ales so I hesitate to be too harsh. I'll try a few more and perhaps reevaluate.

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Photo of woemad
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle that was part of a seasonal 12pk. According to the label, this is best by September.

Poured a dark mahogany shade, with a big, creamy beige head that left lots of lace on the sides of my glass.

Peaty and caramelish in the nose. As it warms, there's also a mild, floral hop note. Bolder smelling than half the scotch ales I've tried, something I wasn't expecting from ol' Sam Adams.

Loses some points in the taste. Sure, there's a biscuity maltiness that has a mild hop flavor in the background, all anchored by a peaty flavor. But as it warms up, there's a slight solvent-like taste that mars things a bit.

Slightly too full-bodied for comfort, with a sticky mouthfeel.

This beer started out promising, but fell to earth fast. Too bad, as I was initially veyr impressed with it.

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Photo of barrettds
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
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 Briken
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear red amber, thin tan head, and great retention and lacing. Malty tea aroma. Strong smoky and peat upfront that tailors to a rather tacky, lightly hopped linger. Okay biting and smooth but a little sticky.

Good flavor especially warm. Feel is too easy for a scotch ale. It finishes cleanly and unfortunately the flavor backs away and disappears too quickly. An easily accessible scotch ale

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 2/25/2007 (12oz bottle BB Sep07):

Pours a clear brown color, off-white head, big bubbles, good lacing, somewhat lasting. Very malty aroma, some sweet, light fruit like green grapes, and some dark fruit like plums. Malty sweet taste, sweet nutty aftertaste, somewhat bitter. Interesting, and good flavor. Somewhat smokey flavor. Surprisingly good. Nice session beer.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of June 2016. Sampled on January 24, 2016.

Honey-amber-red pour with a modest off-white head up top.

The aroma has a caramel malt sweetness and a good peat moss note.

The body is light to medium and I would have preferred a bit more depth to it.

Very sweet malt character in the taste with that back yard peat moss flavor. Little to no bitterness.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- About a 2" thick tan head on a clear deep ruby body.
S- Toffee, earthy notes, cherries, plums, grass hops, and one other thing that makes it a bit "lighter."
T- Toffee and some big smoke characters to it, light hints of darker fruits like cherries, kind of sweet, and some grass hops. Long smoky aftertaste lingers with the sweetness of candy cherries.
M- Medium/thin body and medium carbonation.
D- It is a ok Scottish Ale but I would never call it a Wee Heavy. I probably won't bother to get it again.

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Photo of bayougutter
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured a dark copper, burgandy color with a nice creamy white head that left nice lacing. Smells of malt, smokey peat. Tasted of malt, then earthy hops with a hint of caramel. subtle nutty pecan. Carbinated a little too much for me but nothing too excessive. Overall a smooth offering from SA. Came in a sample 12 pack and worth a try.

 335 characters

Photo of Kooz
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I remember trying my first scotch ale in 1998. I hated it. I have generally avoided them until now.

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams special pint glass. I like how this looks--reddish/orange (too dark to be called amber), good foamy tannish head.

Smells malty and slightly sweet.

First thing that hits me with the taste is the bitterness. That fades almost as quickly as it came, and leaves a lingering sweetness. The sweetness turns slightly sour as an aftertaste. Overall, and interesting experience. Not exceptional, but not too shabby.

Good mouthfeel, as usual from Sam Adams. Foams up nicely, good body.

It's complexity works against it here. I think it's a bit too sophisticated to drink much of.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass. Perhaps not quite appropriate but a Rebel I am!

Pours a clear copper amber in color with a half inch of head. Head settles to a film in short order but yields some spotty lacing throughout.

Smell is rich with smoky, peaty malts and reminds me of a bock beer in a sense, given the sweet nose. Hoppy sweet when agitated. Like many Sam beers, I don't pick up any hops until mid glass when I can give it a good spin, and even then the hop profile is inconsistant. Taste follows with a simple sweetness and a moderate carbonation level. Light in flavor, light in ABV yet a bit too syrupy. Does offer a bit more smoke on the finish which supports the feel a bit, but limits the drink. A decent offering from Sam but nothing special.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a jewel-like, translucent brown with highlights like dried amber. Sticky head that leaves lacing in spite of its small size. The aroma is quite smoky, and also features some molasses-y sweet malts. Dusty, dry nut aroma sneaks in as it warms. On the palate, there's a sharp twang of bitterness first off, then a sweet, smoky, oaky warmness at the center. The finish dries out a bit as those earthy hop tastes return. Medium bodied, not very thick for the style, with pretty understated carbonation. Overall, this is only OK. IMO, it's too smoky; I would have preferred a bit of fruity and nutty complexity. It has a touch of astringency in the mouthfeel and feels a bit sticky on my teeth. It's not bad or anything, just flawed.

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Reddish copper color, 1/2 inch off white head, decent lacing

S: Not much nose to speak of, maybe a bit of cherry or something in there

T: A slight smokey flavor, toasty malty sweetness, a little hop bitterness and that slight cherry flavor

M: Light to medium

O: Not as good as I expected. Not a bad beer, just not the measurables that I hoped for.

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Photo of dfunkadillio
3.39/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark red brown, baige head that takes a few minutes to go down.

Smell - Strong malty roasty caramel smell.

Taste - Strong roast malt flavor, very bitter, taste of caramel. Bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - More then medium body feel.

Drinkability - Not a big fan of the bitterness and it is filling, but still better then some.

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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,105 ratings.
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