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: 1,103
Photo of wahhmaster
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with reddish tints. Has a large, foamy tan head that dissipates slowly and leaves considerable lacing.

Smell: Has a rich, sweet malty smell to it. Also has hints of butter and smoke as well. Smells great!

Taste: A very complex brew. Overall, sweet and malty with just a touch of hoppy bitterness. Has a unique peaty/smoky taste to it. Almost tastes like a less alcoholic whisky.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and slightly chewy. Very nice.

Drinkability: A great beer! Sam Adams really hit this one on the head. I wish that this one was more available outside the mixed packs. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of JayNH
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep clear copper with a decent foamy head.

S- Sweet, plenty of butterscotch in the nose. A mildly smokey malt. A touch of alcohol is also noticeable.

T- Sweet but not heavy. A slightly smokey and buttery caramel that finishes with a pleasant mild grassy hop note.

M- Smooth and creamy, medium bodied, carbonation level is perfect.

D- Excellent! My personal favorite SA offering, it should be a crime that they don't offer this in 6/12 packs. Plenty of flavor but not overwhelming like some other Scotch ales I've had.

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Photo of Jraiona
4.36/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful deep Amber color with 1 finger of frothy head. I detected smoky aromas with a hint of molasses. Very ligh creamy mouthfeel with light carbonation. The finish was sweet and malty. Overall very enjoyable.

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Photo of diabecktic
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer itself is a lovely dark red/amber color. Slowly-rising carbonation is visible through this largely translucent brew. A creamy light-brown/reddish head is ~1 finger thick; retention and lacing are both excellent.

The aroma is an intriguing mix of sweet and smoky. A peaty malt definately reminds you of a scotch. I found the sweetness to be something remniscient of a dark fruit such as a plum or raisin with a hint of caramel. Overall, it's quite complex.

Much like the nose, I found that the smoky sensation dominates the palate. The fruity sweetness is somewhat subdued, as the peat character both "checks" and sustains this sensation long after sipping. It's a complex flavor, but it's also suprisingly well-balanced.

This is a very creamy beer; it's moderately dense with medium body. I didn't find that it was too vibrant on the tongue (see my remark about being "held in check").

This is definately a "sipper." The brew is very smooth and somewhat subdued, but it's fairly thick.

I'm not sure how often the Boston Beer Company brews this one, but I'll be back for more whenever I can find it. This beer features a complex flavor which is excellently balanced and just put together very well. I didn't find it as overpowering as some other Scotch Ales that I've had, so its appeal is probably pretty universal. Get yourself one of these if you haven't already done so.

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Photo of Phatz
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite styles and one of my favorite offering from BBC.

Appearance: Served a deep red amber color, with a froth tan cap. no head left when I received my glass.

Smell: mmm! Sweet caramel syrup, big malty aromas, hint of chocolate and smokiness and maybe some wood; it is all I love about the style. Terrific.

Taste: Lots of brown sugar and caramel and malts and raisins, dark fruits and sticky sweet flavors and wood, and peat. A bit of yeast and a hint of alcohol show through the body. Nice!

Mouthfeel: A bit thin for a Wee Heavy but still creamy and acceptable in general.

Drinkabilty: It is all the flavors I love in a Scotch Ale in a lighter body that makes it even more drinkable. I must say, Well done BBC!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of rodney45
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: wow, its a crimson and mahogany expression of my deepest ephemeral desires in a beer. I'd paint my walls this beer's color if i didnt have people in my life who would stop me.

S: It has a robust aroma of coffee, crystal malt and chocolate.

T: Deep hearty crystal malt flavor. Resonances of chocolate, espresso, and scotch whiskey.

M: smooth

O: I liked this beer a lot. It had a lot to offer in terms of depth and substance, and it was drinkable and accessible. Top 10 beer's ive had in the last month.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. with purchase by April on the side. Served chilled in a tulip. Pours a nice ruby color with medium carbonation and an off-white 2 finger head that is rocky/clumpy, taking awhile to recede. It leaves beautiful lacing and retains a half inch cap throughout. Smells of sweet dark fruits, nutty/earthiness, green hops, and some smokiness. Lots of hops on the palate - mostly floral/citric - along with a big malt backbone of earthy/nutty malts, dark fruits, and a medium to high bitterness. The malts are wonderful - hard to pin down individual flavors - and the hops balance nicely. The mouthfeel is medium and quite smooth. Without a doubt the best Sam Adam's I've tried to date, whether it is true to the Scotch style or not.

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Photo of JamesS
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The first scotch ale I've had. It took a bottle or two before I became a fan, but now I love it! Sam Adam's version has a very nice coloring, an excellent rich, deep, dark aroma, and a wonderful peaty-smoky finish. My favorite American brewed Scotch Ale. (So, I suppose it should be called a Scotch style ale, huh?)

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Photo of DanThomas
4.41/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Great deep red/amber color with a good head and lots of thick lacing.

S- Full bodied malt on the nose, strong notes of caramel and toast. Towards the end, a hint of a sharp smokiness that adds a nice contrast.

T- Tons of bread and malt flavors, like drinking freshly baked bread in liquid form. Balanced with a relatively small but satisfying sweetness. I also get some nuttiness, maybe unsalted cashews or peanuts. Long-lasting on the palate, and finishes again with that nice touch of smokiness. I had this beer warm at room temperature and recommend that you do too.

M- Immensely satisfying. Full-bodied and thick on the palate without being overkill.

D- Very high. Lots of flavor without killing the palate and a manageable ABV for a session. I love scotch ales, but most American brewers seem to try and go over the top with this style and, quite frankly, they are awful. Sam Adams hasn't done that, and they deserve a lot of credit. I would definitely buy this in droves if it was offered in 6 packs.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To be enjoyed by october 2011

A - Deep burnt red with a medium creamy tan head. A pretty beer, for sure. Not as dark as I'm used to.

S - roasted caramel malt, vanilla and toffee undertones. Actually a very good smelling beer.

T - A very nice smoked character and dryness compliments very nicely the earthy and roasty malts. This is a good tasting beer!

M - a light and fairly thin mouthfeel. quite smooth, a bit dry.

D - Yeah this is very drinkable. A good taste, interesting, not heavy, not high abv.

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Photo of RJLarse
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From the Brewmaster's Collection (2 bottles of 6 different beers) poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a rich amber color, with garnet red hues, and a foamy off-white (approaching beige) head. As the head dissipates there are darker creamy swirls in the foam. Hundreds of tiny bubble slowly rise in the glass.

Smell is an earthy smoke flavor. A little peat perhaps, and some roasted grain scents.

The taste is a sweet caramel or butter scotch flavor up front, with a mildly bitter smoky finish.

Mouthfeel is very full-bodied. There is a rich thick character to the beer.

Very drinkable. The ABV is under control. I'm not much on the style, and had low expectations going in to the one. It might be the most drinkable Scotch Ale I have ever had.

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Photo of dcoux09
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a 24oz mug, and it was beautiful. a dark beer with a wonderful aroma of heavy scents of barley and hops. tastes even better, with an almost burnt aftertaste (which I love). it is a heavy dark beer, while not incredibly filling. would definitely buy again and again.

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Photo of dcook11
4.44/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two finger head with spider web lacing. Fades o pencil thin head. Low carbonation. Amber color. Smell is very sweet like 1 percent milk mixed with cereal. Slight chocolate and a hint of vanilla. touch of hops at the finish. Same with taste, but with a touch of bitterness and a dry finish.

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Photo of BelgiumBill
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams glass which produced a one finger beige head that dissipated quickly leaving some light lacing throughout. Poured a clear medium brown.

Pleasant toasty clean smell.

The first half of the flavor was a sweet smokiness followed by a campfire smokiness on the back end.

Very well balanced with the right carbonation to let the flavors come through. Bitterness is low but there to hold things together. A solid mouthfeel and very approachable. I could drink more than one at a time.

This is probably one of my favorite Sam Adams offerings, along with Old Fezziwig and Chocolate Bock. I would buy this by the case if I could.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with golden and ruby hues. Mild carbonation is visible throughout the translucence. On top, a rocky white head holds steady at about half-a-finger. It has left a fairly heavy lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Good mix of hops and malts here...the malt is very caramel-tinted, and the hops are about halfway between floral and bitter. Also, a scent reminiscent of Earl Grey tea. Very nice.

Taste: The hops bite first, with a very tea-like quality. After a moment, the oils dissolve and a sweetbread malt character overtakes the bitterness. Aftertaste is a perfect mixture of all aforementioned flavors. The flavor development in this beer is exceptional...if there were one or two more flavors equally distributed in this brew, it would have gotten a 5 from me.

Drinkability: I like this better than Sam's Boston Lager. It's got more going on flavor-wise, and it goes down smoother than many Scotch Ales, probably on account of the lower-than-average ABV.

Very tasty brew here, I would recommend it to those who enjoy red ales and/or Scotch ales.

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Photo of Greggy
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
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 botham
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. pours a deep chocolate brown with brilliant ruby red highlights. a thin light tan head sits atop the brew.

aroma is earthy, with caramel and sweet maple, with notes of roasted malts and a slighty smoked character.

taste is of smoked malts up front, with sweet caramel malts and roasted malts showing as well. taste profile is mild overall, creating a very smooth character. finish is very clean and exceptionally smooth, with a bit of lingering smoke and a mildly dry finish.

mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a creamy texture and a bit of arbonation. very refined and smooth on the palate.

drinkability is great for a wee-heavy. these brews tend to be over-smoked, which makes this one a milder exception to the rule. another well-crafted brew from the guys at the Boston Beer Company. cheers!

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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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Photo of horshack7
4.48/5  rDev +18.5%
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 JDK
4.48/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber with a one finger off white head that stayed for the whole glass. It was pretty thick and left a nice lacing.
Light to medium mouthfeel with almost no lingering aftertaste.
Very light toasted malt smell with a touch of citrus
The rare smoked peat malt (used in Scotch Whisky) in this ale really gives it a nice flavor, (along with the other 3 malts).
This is by far the best Scotch Ale I've tried, not too complex, just right!

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Photo of sponberg
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like the Clapton song goes, "Hello old friend, really good to see you once again..." Pours that beautiful russet/auburn color with a whitish head that lasts 'til the flavor is but a happy memory. Aroma is smoky, dark cherry maltiness with hints of toffee and nuts (Brazil nuts?).

Ahhh... that wonderful combination of malt and hints of smoke, all sorts of chewy dark flavors and a little apple flowing over the tongue, finishing slightly dry, smoky, chocolatey, and slightly bitter. This is such a drinkable Scotch Ale. The mouth just fills with flavors when this bad boy hits the tongue. Two to a twelve pack, but dammit they need to start this one back up in six packs. A fine beer, greatly missed. Welcome back.

Who says the Atkins diet sucks? I was able to pawn the SA Lights off on my buddy. Heh heh heh...

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Photo of Luigi
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby red color with a large sticky head. Smells very sweet and malty. Some what smoky too. The taste is dominated by sweet and smokey malts. Some syrupy flavor and a little bit of hops make this ale a very balanced one. Mouth-feel is meduim, kind of creamy. What can I say, this is one the best Samuel Adams has to offer! One thing I do not undersand is; Why not six packs?! Either way a big thumbs up!

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Photo of MattFrenzy
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark brown, ruby, thick creamy head that recedes to a fine lacing.
Smell: Malty, fruity, caramel, very refined smell that is wonderful to inhale.
Taste: Mmm... interesting... smooth, malty, roasted. Medium body beer with light carbonation, roasted aftertaste that quickly fades. Tad bit dry, but very welcome. Wow this is tasty, very drinkable, pity it is only found in the twelve pack brewmaster's collection.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.54/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Also my main reason for buying the new sampler. Pours a very deep maroon color, with a tan head. Has a very different smell. Smells sweet, but robust, probably from the barrels that were used in the aging process. Has a nice roasted carmel taste that really shifts into a hops finish very smoothly. This is an extremely satisfying beer, that is worth buying the sampler to get. My only negative reaction to this beer was the label. Why can't Boston Beer have Sam in a kilt on the label? Is that too much to ask? OK, maybe it is.

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Photo of Kingdom4aPint
4.56/5  rDev +20.6%
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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Samuel Adams Scotch Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,103 ratings.
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