Cottonwood Scottish Style Ale | Carolina Beer Company

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Cottonwood Scottish Style AleCottonwood Scottish Style Ale
28 Ratings
Cottonwood Scottish Style AleCottonwood Scottish Style Ale

Brewed by:
Carolina Beer Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by oberon on 03-13-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 28
Reviews by philipt:
Photo of philipt
3.47/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I will try just about anything new, and more importantly, anything local. This beer is/was both: new to me and from a quasi-local brewer. So imagine my excitement, especially when it turned out to be a Scottish style ale too.

Deep amber in color, bordering on a clear brown. I would comment on the head, but there is none (next to none, really), only a slight cream colored ring around the glass. Smells quite sweet, indicating the malt character to come. And the malt taste does not disappoint. The maltiness is dominant at first (let me also remark that I expected a strong malt character) but was surprised to find an impressive hoppiness as well. Hops really make their impression in the back of the mouth. Add some alcohol content, and you would have a real animal on your hands here.

This is not a tremendously complex ale, but I did enjoy it. I will definitely buy this again when I am looking for relaxed, easy to drink, well-made craft beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice reddish brown color poured with little head,nice to look at.Smelled very malty sweet and somewhat fruity.Great taste of malt and maybe chocolate covered rasberries?Great interpratation of the style not to high in alcohol,really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one poured a light orangish-brown in color and was crystal clear. The head was tanned and fluffy.

Smell – The gooey malts and refined sugars had a hint of peat. Well, it smells like a Scottish Ale.

Taste – The gooey molasses and malts are indeed complimented with a bit of smoky peat flavors. I can even pick up a bit of whiskey.

Mouthfeel – This one was light to medium-bodied and very sticky in the mouth. It lacked a good, solid structure but otherwise felt good in between the cheeks.

Drinkability – This was a nice, easy drinker if a bit light in the a**.

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Photo of Havinapretzel
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A hard pour into a tulip brought about nearly zero head. Caramel-colored with a sweet malt-and-caramel smell. My expectations for this beer were kind of low since I only paid $1.25 for it and it had been in my fridge for a while but I quite enjoyed it; sweet enough to taste like candy until the finish, which is when the alcohol comes out - and even then I was surprised to learn this is 8.5%. This is a little to sweet to be one of my session beers but I enjoyed it nevertheless, and would buy it again even if it wasn't so cheap.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rather dull amber with a thin beige head that doesnt retain at all. The aroma is a bit better, with a big caramel character, as well as some candied apples, slight bit of smoked peat, ethanol, some light floral hops and some earthiness. The flavor is also big on caramel sweetness, with some smoked peat, candied apples, floral and earthy hops and some big dark fruits (cherries, figs, plums and raisins). The mouthfeel is medium, with light carbonation...but drinkability is great and the alcohol is barely noticeable. A very drinkable, if slightly boring scottish ale, but enjoyable none the less.

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Photo of bditty187
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Murky, reddish-brown, a few bubbles constructed the head, quick to fade, no lace. Light nose, mainly malty with a hint of chocolate. Very pleasant palate, malty, slight sweet, hints of alcohol, chocolate, raisin… very enjoyable! A crisp bitterness becomes more apparent (it is still exceedingly quiet) as it warms, could be the hops… maybe. Thin mouthfeel, especially for the style, very meager carbonation, smooth & easy to drink. Pleasant. Seems more like an Irish Red. Session brew material… very drinkable. Try one if you’re a fan of malty beers.

Thanks Loki.

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

Mahogany in color with a tan head.
Roasted malt aroma with a hint of nut and smokiness. Underneath is an unpleasant sourness.

Very smooth caramel malt flavor. Hops are there to balance, but this one is about the malt. Unfortunately there is a sourness underneath that really detracted from this beer's good aspects. Bottled 2/18/03, so shouldn't be bad unless it saw some hot NC sun in transit.

Nice creamy mouthfeel.
Good drinkability minus what I'm perceiving as a sourness.

Overall a good beer, but I'd like to try this one again fresh to see if the same sour notes are present.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first scotch style ale is quite impressive. Very deep brown with moderate lacing and carbonation, appears almost as a porter would. One of the most malty ales I've tried with abit of a dry finish. Hints of caramel and chocolate. As hevay as a stout and just as difficult to consume more than one. Purchased this at the Carolina Beer & Beverage brewery for $1 per bottle. They told me it wa sproduces back in March but with pasteurization, they promised it would not be skunked.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.34/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark, brownish, burgandy color with orange hues at the bottom of the glass. Thin fizzy head that is gone in seconds. The smell is of dark fruits. Plums, grapes, raisins, and cherries. The taste is very sweet. I wonder what the abv is, because I can taste the alcohol. Feels crisp but a little thin and watery in the mouth. This could be a session beer. I tried a "Lift Your Kilt Scottish Ale" from Cottonwood at the Brewgrass Festival and was wondering if this is the same thing.

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Photo of Loki
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Oh how times have changed. What was once a good beer is now just decent. This was much better when Cottonwood was Cottonwood and even earlier Tumbleweed back in Boone, NC. A few years ago they were bought by Carolina Blonde company and their beers IMO have never been the same.

Pours a dark, caramel brown with a thin head that fades quickly. The nose is malt, malt, and more malt. The taste is, surprise, malt with hints of roasted nuts and butter. This is a decent all malt Scottish Ale.
But it used to be much better. Ahh..longing for the days of yore when we would skip classes at Appalachian, go to the brew pub and drink great beers all night. But all good things must come to an end.

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Photo of Enola
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I first had this beer back in October at the Brewgrass Festival.
This beer has a thin head. It is a deep reddish brown color. It is cloudy in appearance. The smell is a sweet, sugary smell. The taste is where this one gets you. It has the taste of hard liqour. It is unmistakeable. It has a burn to it. Not as smooth as I remember from Brewgrass. I liked this beer much more before I tried it again. The mouthfeel sets you back somewhat because of the potent punch. Not a beer I would try often, because I am not much on this style. If you like harder drinks, this would probably be up your alley. I may try it again, but not on a regular basis.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.44/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2nd tasting (07/29/03): Less carbonated, no buttery character, and more malty with chocolate tones. Much better after aging - glad I saved a few.
Dark brown, amber with ruby highlights and a low beige, light brown head. Malty almost nutty aroma that's a bit buttery. Malty flavor with a diacetyl butteryness with a nice nutty finish. Medium bodied.

Usually a big fan of Cottonwood brews but this is probably my least favorite so far...

DOB: 02/18/03
Tasted: 03/26/03 & 07/29/03

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown color with a thick white head and tons of lacing. Smells of malts and nice vanilla, and some booze. Tastes of a lot of malts and plenty of toasted barley, maybe some vanilla. Mouthfeel is pretty nice and drinkability is high. Overall a pretty good beer.

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Photo of JISurfer
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Dude, I could drink this alll night long, a probably would, except I only got a sixer of it. I was really suprised by this one. I was expecting something ho-hum, dull, and one dimensional, but this far exceeded what I was thinking of. The brew I got had many smells and tastes going on. Not much on the hoppiness, but that's fine with me, it's a Scottish Ale, not an IPA. I could definately smell the chocolate malts used in this one. On the tour they said that they used it in there, and now I don't doubt it.

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Photo of rodrot
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Lowes in Banner Elk, NC for 6.99 a sixer on 3/2/07. Label on the bottle states that the bottling date is printed on the neck. Damned if I could find it after looking for 10 minutes. The beer pours a nice dark reddish-amber color with a substantial 1 inch head that subsides only slightly after a few minutes. Smell is malty and roasty with some nutty and smoky aromas mixed in. Taste is equally impressive. Toasty, malty, and nutty with just a faint hop profile in the flavor. Mouthfeel was medium in the palate. Drinkability was good. I'm an addicted hophead, but sometimes it's nice to take a break from hops and enjoy a rich, malty ale such as this.

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Photo of brentk56
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - bronze, with a decent head that lasts a few minutes and leaves a bit of lacing down the side of the glass

Smell - malty nose that is very distinct

Taste - the maltiness I was expecting from the nose quickly fades and is overtaken by a bitter/sour/metallic taste that was surprising; others have commented on the lack of hops in this brew so I'm not sure where that's coming from if it isn't from the hops; anyway, I was expecting a much more malty flavor through and through

Mouthfeel - a bit thin for a beer of this type

Drinkability - a bit of a disappointment really after the promise of the look and smell; I'll have to try this another time as some of things I'm seeing and tasting are different from the comments of others

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear amber borwn with a tan and small bubbled head which rose well, but fell very quickly and lapped at the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a bit of caramel and just a hint of vegetal nature that just might have been a smidge of smoke.

The flavor was caramel with a bit of toffee, but predominately caramel was in charge. The beer contained an almost candylike flavor and some dark fruits, but not quite raisins, a bit lighter in flavor like a dried cherry.

The finish was nicely malty with that perception lasting into the aftertaste. The body was medium full and nicely done. With a kick in the pants for aroma, this deceptively smooth drinking beer could be a contender.

12 ounce bottle. This is the High Gravity 8.5% ABV version.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Unique dark brownish-red amber color, that of cherrywood or mahgoney or even the color of the bottle it came in, and glows bright orangy highlights up to the light. Received a thin tight off-white head that faded in seconds flat. Has some spotty lace. Sweet tangy aroma of caramel and toffee, somewhat fruity, faint banana note noticed deep in the back on bigger wiffs. Taste is sooo smoooth, and lightly tangy with a slight sweet toffeeish covering through to the middle of mostly malts then thins out to nothing. Feel is medium-full bodied and slightly creamy-buttery smooth and some super light drying at the finish. This scotch ale is one super easy drinker, would make for a good session beer.
Overall, it needs a bit more of a boost in flavor/taste and feel, its a little to light in both, but still good. Thanks Loki.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Label is a chess piece like cartoon king. "Production date printed on neck" and no date on the neck.

Dark clear amber bown topped with a khaki thin settled head cap.

Aroma is a dark deep smoked peat malt with a metallic twinge.

First swigs: A clean scottish ale with sharp smoked peat smoked malt. Some caramel notes. A lingering aftertaste of cola and vegetal notes.

Medium body with soft carbonation. A slick buttery body.

Last swigs: Soft peat smoke ale. Spot on interpretation of the style.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of ZAP
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Well this is no McEwens but I'm not sure if it's designed to be...a tasty beer none the less that slides down very easily....pours a cherrywood color with virtually no head...nose is malty with some peat undertones...body feels thin and uncarbonated which makes for a real easy drinking tasty beer ( I do have to knock some points for the thinness though).....taste is all malt...if there are hops in here I'd like to hire a detective to find them...that's cool with me as I love malty beers....peat is a secondary characteristic and it never becomes smokey like some Scottish Ales I've had...I don't care for a real smokey taste so this is good for be honest, minus the peat taste this tastes a lot like a really good red ale to enjoyable beer that I could hammer down about 12 in 3 hours if I felt like it I'm sure.....Like I said..very tasty and easy driking...

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured form a 12 ounce bottle into my nonic Imperial pint glass. The ale appears a clear deep amber color with about two fingers of dense light rust colored head. Nose and flavor are of mildly smokey, sweet malt, caramel, earthy, bitter hops. Alcohol is well hidden here, making for a nice, nearly full bodied, and rather drinkable ale.

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Photo of beermanbrian
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really nice amber red color but a rather anemic head. Smell is all sweet candy sugars. Just a faint floral hops smell but this beer is really all about the malt. Taste is caramel maltyness with a finish that is slightly smokey. Mouthfeel is syrpy thick. The high ABV starts to show with some warming in the throat. An OK attempt at this style but nothing to make it stand out. This is really a very one dimensional brew.

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Photo of atsprings
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this beer at The Good Beer Store in Chapel Hill. I have to figure its almost a year old as it is a spring seasonal and Frostbite is regularly available everywhere else. Poured a deep amber almost brown with a moderate head that was somewhat slow to diminish. Aroma was very much on the malty side with somewhat of a whiskey characteristic to it. Taste was very strong of a high lovibond caramel malt with strong candy-like sweetness. Any hops stay well subdued in the background. Mouthfeel is very tolerable for a beer of this strength. Much more so than I remember Duck Rabbit's Scottish seasonal being. A Spring release, this beer has held up nicely and is a good warmer for a cold winter night.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a post pop the cap review so the alcohol has been increased, therefore a new review is due.

Pours a hazy iced tea color with a small head that leaves no lacing and turns into a pleasant film on top of the beer.

Caramel malts, whiskey, and some oak characteristics. Not a whole lot in the aromas.

Flavor is wonderful. It seems the major flavors were whiskey and apples and fresh grapes (I know those are completely out of style) and of course, caramel malts. Some peat tastes as well; similar to a smokey Isly scotch I had yesterday. Very enjoyable, on both counts. Some lingering sweetness as well.

At just over 8%, alcohol is supremely subdued. Very enjoyable. I cant recollect the exact flavors of the pre pop the cap version but this one is definitely enjoyable. Not really to style but enjoyable nevertheless.

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Photo of IceAce
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Greeted by a fragrant nose dominated by malty goodness and a chocolate background, this mahogony brew is topped with a finger of dense tan foam following a conservative pour into a beer-clean stemmed-pilsner glass. Clarity is superb while lacing is virtually nil.

True to style, this brew is malty sweet through the midtaste. As it warms, the beer softens to a point where the chocolate and smoked malt begin to work in concert with a very Euro feel (Doh!) to it. Warmer = Smoother in this case, with the end result being a maltlovers paradise toward the end.

Mouthfeel runs a tad thin considering the grain bil...but a nice sipper by the fire on a cool spring evening.

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Cottonwood Scottish Style Ale from Carolina Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 28 ratings