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 JVEyck309
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint (Had to buy the SA vartiety 12 to get this one)

A - Clear brown with a slight red/orange tint when held to the light. Very thin head leaving minor lacing which sticks the whole way down.
S - Caramel notes with a vague smell of dark chocolate. Slightly burnt smell, roasted malts. Perhaps some vanilla too..
T - Burnt charcoal, caramel, and sweet malts at first then the dark chocolate plays around with a drying bitterness from the hops. Malts are more dominant but the aftertaste is that hop bitterness. Enjoyable complexity.
M - chewey, enjoyable, a bit much on the carbonation IMO, crisp.
D - I could see myself having a few of these without a problem .. but not all night. An enjoyable brew none the less

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Photo of mikeal1917
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My third beer on my Sam Adams exploration was the Scotch Ale from the originals 12 pack.

Appearance: Amber/Reddish hue that reminds me of tea or Red Sox red (GO SOX!). Has a wispy head that disapates quickly.

Smell: This brew smells absolute amazing, with a smokey, wood-like smell that is intoxicating. One of my favorite so far.

Taste: Lots of malty flavor, with the obvious peat overtones from scotch barrels.

Mouthfeel: Quite heavy, smooth beer that is satisfying, though makes it filling.

Drinkability: Not for the brew pounding type, this is definitely a heavy beer, thought very satisfying.

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Photo of JesseP09
4.26/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is really quite good. It has a wonderful aroma to it, and though it looks just average when poured out, it has a splendid taste and a rich, flavorful mouthfeel. I could easily drink a sixer of these with no problem. It's too bad they don't release this more widely, or I would be first in line to buy it in mass quantities.

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Photo of sj660
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bright brown with a yellow foam. Head retention is ok, bubbles are fat.

Earthy, furniture polish, lightly smoky smell.

Complicated taste. Very malty, but not sweet. Seems like this really could be whisky wash. There's a bit of a bite in the aftertaste, with a bit of bitter.

Seems carbonated, and a bit oily. Astringency lingers.

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Photo of cleverbeername
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

53* bottle, bordeaux

a redish brown, off white head. 1.5 fingers, recedes quick after induced.

s hint of alcohol, malty aromas

T hint of coffee, robust malt and spice flavors

M mid- full bodied, nice coat and grip

D Style wise its fairly smooth and not a show stopper. i would drink more than one, and price is good too. works nice in a variety pack but i wouldnt buy it six pack or more.

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Photo of McClungbrew2
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark amber to walnut color. Creamy off white head. Lacing to the end of the beer.

Smell - Faint caramel malt nose. No hop aroma.

Taste - Balance of malt sweetness and mellow smoke. No hop flavor. Hop bitterness is in the finish. Very faint spice, with some woodiness.

Mouthfeel - Slightly creamy, with lasting aftertaste.

Overall - Good balance. This beer is a good choice to sip and enjoy.

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Photo of slowbie
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant deep amber with some red hues and amazing clarity. Two finger head stays around for at least five minutes, pretty impressive in a scotch ale.

Heavy on bready malts in the aroma. A hint of that smokiness advertised on the bottle. Not an overly complex aroma though.

More smokiness in the taste than I expected. I like it though. The caramel malt flavors balance nicely with the smoke. The taste is good, but I can tell it's not as high of ABV as most wee heavies, which is not so good.

The mouthfeel on this one is well matched to the carbonation. Pretty thick but with enough of a carbonated bite that it balances well.

Overall, an interesting take on the wee heavy style and one that I wouldn't mind drinking another of.

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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 JDew
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep rich red with frothy tan head, one finger and nice lacing

S - Smoky, deep malts, wood and charcoal, smells like some porters

T - More smoky goodness, fireside charred wood taste, smooth as cream and malty throughout. No bitterness to speak of here

M/D - Could drink it all night long, its a tricky body, tastes full, but on the tongue is a medium ale.

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Photo of nastley3
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I poured this out of the bottle it had surprisingly little head. A dark beer that had a unique smokey smell, I found the appearance and smell to be only slightly above average. The taste was better than the smell, with a very rich and long lasting flavor. It was smooth to drink, and I enjoyed this beer, however it is not a beer that I could see myself drinking frequently, (which probably has to do with how unique of a taste this beer has.)

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Photo of Vvall
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first Scotch Ale,and if the rest are as good or better...bring 'em on! I got this in a Sam Adams mixed 12 pack and enjoyed it the most.I drank the two that came in the 12 pack with a Punch cigar,and afterwards was wishing I had found a 12 pack of just these.I will be looking around for more in my area...but I'm not going to hold my breath.

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Photo of reallyhoppie
3.47/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. It's a dard red copper color witha light tan, 1/2" head.

Smells of malt, malt, and more malt.

The taste is almost entirely malt sweetness with a small amount of alcohol showing through and almost no hops. I did not enjoy the finish, it was faintly metallic.

Moderate body, quite quaffable.

Not a bad beer, just not a very good one either. I hope Sam Adams keeps this one going though, because I do have a craving for one every once in awhile.

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Photo of RealityDeviant
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle from the Kroger’s near VCU. It was obtained from a Samuel Adams Brewmaster’s Collection twelve pack.

Appearance: The coloration of this beer is a medium to dark amber. It has an off-white head that lasts for a brief period after the initial pour. Afterwards, it retains a noticeable ring and a slight head.

Smell: The smell is somewhat subdued, with buttery, smoky, and syrupy notes being dominant. It seems that the smell is one of the least noteworthy features of this brew, however, as it does not particularly stand out.

Taste: Upon first sip, an overpowering smoky and malty flavor assaults my taste buds. I can detect notes of sugary sweetness along with burnt caramel and chocolate. The hoppy flavor of this beer is minimal, offering a little bit of balance to what is primarily malty. As is characteristic of many scotch ales, the smoky flavor contributes to the overall complexity of the beer.

Mouthfeel: The smokiness and slightly dry nature of this brew in addition the medium carbonation and body definitely make this more of a sipping beer. Of course, it does go down smoothly in spite of the fact that it should be consumed slowly.

Drinkability: This is an intriguing offering from the Boston Beer Company that is fortunately featured in their Brewmaster’s Collection packs. While I find the smokiness a bit too overwhelming to enjoy this regularly (if I could, that is), this is nonetheless a beer worth tasting.

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Photo of jph424
3.93/5  rDev +4%
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 brandoncox
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ruby brown pour.

Nutty and malty with notes of caramel, toffee, and a slight hint of booze. Smoked raisins are also hinted with a mellow milky kick.

Has a milk chocolate and toffee flavor with a touch of whiskey bitterness on the finish that lingers for a bit. I appreciate that they didn't go overboard with the nuttiness that I was expecting.

Silky smooth and soft feel on the palate. A long lasting creaminess lofts in the mouth throughout the entire session. Incredible mouthfeel. Not overly carbonated, just right. Thick and almost chewy.

Excellent Sam Adams brew here. Something I'd like to see around in the fall but I believe it is only available throughout the spring.

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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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Photo of Shoegaze99
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Scotch Ales, aka Wee Heavys, are a sadly overlooked style these days, especially in the American craft market, where IPAs, imperial stouts, and more recently saisons and Belgian styles are king.

But Scotch Ales are a damn nice style. Samuel Adams used to offer this one in six packs. These days we have to be satisfied with getting it two bottles at a time in seasonal mix packs. Damnit. At one time this was a class American version of a Scotch Ale. Does it hold up?

A - Pours a rich brass color with a finger and a half of cream colored head with an aggressive pour. The head lingers longer than most Sams and clings nicely to the side of the glass.

S - Has that nice, roasted Scotch aroma of a good Scotch ale. Faintly boozy but in a very pleasing way.

T - Starts smooth and low-impact with the watered-down taste of (too) many Sams, then quickly opens up with a nice, sharp, malty Scotch taste. Faintly metallic tastes here are mildly distracting, but that quickly dissipates with the highly aggressive (and quite delicious) finish. Let it pause in your mouth before swallowing and this one starts to show its stuff. This is a beer that starts like a lamb and leaves like a lion.

M - Almost NO discernible mouthfeel at first, then that bold finish comes and slathers your mouth in heavy carbonation and a feisty taste. It's not full-bodied, exactly, but it does scrub out the mouth.

D - Like any Scotch ale this one is relatively aggressive, suggesting it doesn't want to be guzzled -- the longer you let it linger in your mouth the bolder it becomes -- but in typical Sam Adams fashion it drinks nice and smooth and effortlessly.

Bottom line? The same as most beers in the Samuel Adams lineup. There are better examples of the style out there, but Sam's Scotch Ale is a very drinkable, suitably tasty beer that is a nice example of the style for someone new to it while also being highly sessionable for someone who likes Scotch Ales and wants to drink more than a few.

I bought the spring mixer for this beer specifically, and don't regret doing so.

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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 TylerAddisonJ13
4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Medium red-brown with a slightly off-white 2 1/2 finger head that diminished quicker than I would have liked. Good lacing. Overall, beautiful.

S - Malts. Not picking up on the smoked malt character yet. Smell not very strong. But very pleasing.

T - Bursting with flavor. Big and malty. The light smokiness lingers on the palate. Brilliant. Refreshing, sweet, and bold.

M - Light and crisp, but smooth and almost creamy.

D - Very drinkable, but not sacrificing any character. Light carbonation.

Overall, one of my all time favorite beers. I'll recommend it to anyone. I wish I could get this stuff by the case :/

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Photo of Dangerous
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smokey, peaty and malty. A thin, lightweight mouth feel.Not a Bellhaven, but decent.

I would write more about this brew but I think my two sentences sum things up. It is a decent brew that is a scotch ale. The problem is that it tastes like a watered down scotch ale. If you don't like bold brews, you'll probably love this version of scotch ale.

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

Got this beer from the brew masters collection pack. Poured out of the bottle into a mug
It pours a very pleasing dark ruby color with not much head but a lot of lacing for what little head there was.
Smells smokey and bitter. I can detect a slight sugar smell behind a good balance of malt smells. Smokey.
Tastes like it would go wonderfully with bbq ribs. It has that smokey flavor that is great but definitely not overwhelming. The finish presents the malt flavor more than before. Maybe let it sit in your mouth for a few seconds and you'll taste it.
Drink ability is great. It goes down smooth, is only slightly thick, and the alcohol isn't even noticeable. It was 35 degrees here when I had this but I will get it again as soon as it is warm out. Downside I'd that the inky way to get it is in samper pack

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Photo of gillis
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful reddish, deep amber color. Substantial head, about two fingers' worth, that lasted for two or three minutes after pouring and then dissipated into a thin layer on top of the beer.

It smells sweet and malty, with an almost flowery aroma. A tiny hint of smoke.

The taste was malty, not overly sweet, with just a touch of bitterness in the finish. Just like the smell, I only got a little bit of smoke, but I did notice it.

The mouthfeel is substantial without being overly heavy. It lingers for a few seconds. Full-bodied and very nice.

Overall, this is very drinkable. I tend to think that the Sam variety packs are kind of hit or miss, but this one is certainly a hit. I will seek it out again.

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Photo of dough
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
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 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 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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