Wet Willy Scotch Ale | New England Brewing Co.

very good
319 Ratings
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Wet Willy Scotch AleWet Willy Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
New England Brewing Co.
Connecticut, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2008

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 319 |  Reviews: 157
Photo of BelgianDip
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of modernartblues
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head that goes quickly, high carbonation, yellowish-brown in color, cloudy

Smell: earth, vanilla cake, toasted malt—not very ipa like but very pleasant

Taste: pine and earth at the start followed by big time oak and some tobacco—light caramel and big alcohol round out the end

Mouthfeel: bitter start that gradually gets sweeter with noticeable alcohol burn at the end, moderate carbonation, heavy bodied and thick

Overall: This is a sipper and is a lot more oaky than I could ever have imagined. A solid sipper that is different from other Scotch Ales that I have tried. One per sitting but I would revisit this one.

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Photo of Cheesemoose
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served slowly into a 6oz snifter.

A nice red/yellow/orange collage, almost a bright amber in tone. Head, we don't need no stinking head. Lacing is moderate.

Mmm...sweet malty luscious beer. Warm alcohol blends with a soft malt base, providing some fine fruit notes. Rum raisins, molasses and vanilla.

The nose is deceiving. On the palate, there is a sharp start, a caramel/toffee/sweet fruit mid body and then a slow finish. It lacks the intensity that the nose provided.

Sticky mouthfeel. Coats the mouth and refuses to let go. The ABV is present, though adds more than hinders.

Well done, though a bit thin taste wise. Non abrasive and a good sipper. Dangerous as the abv is well masked.

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Photo of Krakistophales
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours grapefruit, rust colored with no head at all.

S: Lots of caramel, sweet malts, brown sugar, candied dark fruit like figs, plum, and dates, and a rum raisin type smell.

T: At first, a big hint of caramel and brown sugar, with the middle transitioning into dark fruity, bready, creamy sweetness, and the end having a nice hop bite and a butterscotch smooth finish. Excellent.

O: This is quite amazing. Probably the best scotch ale I've ever had, tastes more like a barleywine actually. Will definitely buy again.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 09/23/11 notes. Poured from a 500ml bottle into a snifter. Big thanks to Knifestyles for sending this as an extra; always like trying new NEBCO beers.

a - Pours a murky reddish orange brown color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, alcohol, bready malts, sweet sugar and fruit, and toffee. Really nice, but some alcohol is definitely there.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, sweet brown sugar, sweet fruit, and bready malts. Not as much alcohol as the nose and a step up.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth.

o - Overall a really good scotch ale with lots of caramel malts and toffee. I would have liked a little less alcohol in the nose, and might consider aging one if I got more. Would like to have again.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Bottle received as an extra some time ago.

A: Pours a hazy dark pumpkin color with a finger of off-white head that took a long time to fade into a thick collar that left a great network of soapy lacing down the glass.
S: I get dominant notes of butterscotch and toffee with a little bit of bread and light fruits.
T: Thankfully not as much butterscotch or toffee as the nose. I get notes of caramel, bread crust, spices, and roasted malt. This beer was sweet, but not as sweet as I was expecting. The aftertaste has a touch of tobacco in it. No booziness.
M: Thickish body with a slick mouthfeel and low carbonation. Alcohol is hidden very well.
O: A solid scotch ale. Not sure if the age mellowed it or what but I didn’t think it was overly sweet and definitely not overly boozy at all. I would drink this again.

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Photo of philbe311
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A slightly cascading pour yields two fingers worth of rich creamy khaki colored head... Solid retention gives way to a full rich creamy lacing... The color is a light-to-medium brown caramel... There is an ever so slight haziness... Mostly still though some small bubbled carbonation can be created at the top of the glass by gently rocking it back and forth... A bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Mostly sweet gooey caramel to start... Some brown sugars... A slight peat component... A very subtle whiff of boozienss...

T - Caramel... Brown sugar... Perhaps some raisins... Lots of bready malts... A hint of peat... A subtle nuttiness...

M - On the fuller side of medium bodied... Perhaps a bit thin... Sleek... Smooth... Sophisticated... Regal... Very light carbonation... A touch of chalkiness... Quite enjoyable...

D - Oh this is good... A bit of a booze bomb that is a definite sipper... The typical Wee Heavy goodness is dialed back a notch while the booze is dialed up... Still very rewarding... I'm quite glad that I opted to pick up a 2nd bottle...

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Photo of bonkers
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a bomber into 2 snifters, light amber pour, big white head. The aroma was caramel, alcohol, sweet caramel. The flavor was sweet, alcohol notes, caramel malts. The finish lingered, The beer was medium to full bodied, good carbonation. A solid beer, but not best in class.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.5/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours out a cloudy, downright murky brew, tannish-brown in color, and with no real head formation beyond a small smattering of suds. Not the most attractive-looking beer around, particularly for a scotch ale.

Smell: An immediate sniff of ethanol followed by an earthy, yeasty uncleanness, a drizzle of cane sugar syrup, and hint of green peppercorns. Somewhat troubling, really. We will probably never know just what mischief that Wet Willy was up to.

Taste: Willy jumps to a high level of sweetness and already the alcohol content is quite apparent, even hot. Flavor of simple syrup dumped on bread crumbs and crushed graham crackers. Curious taste of raw wood. Slight spicy phenolics underneath. Clotted yeast. Drying, alcohol heated finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation.

Overall: Yeesh. Just an odd, odd brew, though not ever in an enjoyable sense and certainly nothing I would ever identify as a scotch ale.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle poured into dfh signature glass

Pours a auburn burnt orange color with a slight haze. Thinner white head slowly dissolves into bubbly retention with some spotty lacing left behind.

Nice roasted malt tones in the nose with peat, and booze. Caramel and bready tones mix in with some candied dark fruit. Burnt sugar with figs and cherries - plenty of fruit character in the nose.

Full flavored from the get-go with dark fruit and a spike of scotch-like booze. Candi sugar mixed with fruit tones driven by fig and cherry. The malts are burly and forward, with plenty of thick bready notes and drizzled syrupy caramel. Hints of peat and smoke towards the finish with a heavy blast of booze and heat.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, sticky and chewy on the tongue, lingering finish. This is definitely a little on the hot side, but delivers a nice offering of flavors to go with the alcohol.

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Photo of Homebrew35
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost no head, after a good rousing some pops up but hardly any remains. White bubbles remain with big alcohol legs cling to the glass. Body is deep amber, not what i was expecting when compared to others in this category.

Smells like a big malty beer. Carmel, some toffee, quite a bit of alcohol, grainy malts.

Tastes very malty as well go figure. Carmel and toffee, huge sugary malty sweetness. Alcohol comes through but for 10% that's ok by me.

Mouth-feel is medium/full bodied. Low carbonation. Coating sweet syrupy, oily finish.

Overall this is a big, malty sweet, sipping beer. I needed to split this with more than 2 people. This coming year I'll buy a few to lay down to mellow it out. $8 500ml bottle, its a fair price.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into cervoise. Props to Knife as usual

This beer pours a medium copper to darker orangy yellow with slight off white fizzy head. Decent island lacing. Nose consists predominantly of caramel and toffee malts however there is a slight citric zing in there too (lemon?).

Taste is quite malty but balanced. The caramel and toffee sweetness is there but there are other layers of flavour. I pick up cherries, vanilla, raisins and yes, some lemon.

Mouthfeel was slightly hot but not overwhelming. Medium and tacky.

Overall yet another tasty brew from NEBCO. Really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of Fluke828
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL bottle -> CCB Snifter
No freshness/discernible bottle date to be found

A-> Pours a dark/brunt copper color with a hint of blood red orange hue. Not much lace to speak of but to be expected wit this style and ABV. Some clingy legs do stick around the walls of the glass rather persistently.

S-> Definitely can sense the booze in this one but it is blended fairly well in the nose with a peaty and earthy sweet malty aroma that transitions into a sweet almost candied Belgian smell upon first few whiffs. Almost smells barrel aged in a pseudo, ninja kind of way. Even getting some tart fruitiness with some fairly subdued vanilla notes and a touch of caramel sweetness as well.

T-> I immediately thought "Whoa, this beer is big" upon my first few sips. This tastes almost barrel aged. Huge vanilla punch with a woody and malty sweetness that melds into a pleasant, tart citrus taste before going slightly bitter is it glides over the tongue and down the hatch. More sips reveal that it is more of a dark fruit kind of tart rather than citrus but that is likely just the beer warming up and revealing it's true flavors. Also getting some dark toffee maltiness. Still can't shake a woody oak flavor that screams barrel aged...

M-> I thought this was fairly light for the style and especially for such a big beer. That being said, it is likely more medium on the feel and the body as well. Not as much carbonation as I was expecting but that actually worked in this Scotch Ale's favor...bit of s bitter/spicy finish.

O-> Wasn't really sure what to expect heading into this one and was pleasantly surprised. Drinking this in late June I actually enjoyed it and would probably prefer something darker and more robust during the colder months however this would be most enjoyable in the Spring or Fall months. It was a bit boozy at first but that was fine with me and it wasn't too syrupy sweet either. It was a very creamy Scotch Ale despite all the myriad of flavors going on in there. I have another bottle in the cellar that will likely be cracked at some point in the Fall. Would definitely recommend giving it a whirl....

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Photo of mikereaser
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wet Willy Scotch Ale
New England Brewing Co.
A - Pours a muddy dark brownish red with a nice layer of soapy bubbles
S - Big malts up front, heavy syrupy sweet aroma, it just smells like a thick malty beer
T - Dark fruits, rich malts, a bit of a robitussin cherry flavor, belgian candi flavor with raisins and cherries becoming more prominant. There is a slight amount of alcohol feel to it along with some wood notes.
M - thicker cough syrup like feel to it, slight carbonation, its medium bodied but thick at the same time
D - unique flavor and very enjoyalbe. Maybe not an every day beer, but worth having again.


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Photo of akorsak
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wet Willy Scotch Ale
New England Brewing Co.

Thanks to monsterzero for this 500 mL bottle. Who is that sly figure on the bottle?

A: The Scotch ale is a robust looker, filling my glass with dark malt-tinged ale and a prodigious head. Plenty of off-white lace is left behind. The ale, for its darker hue, remains translucent.

S: The nose is malty thick, so thick and sweet that I had to double check that this isn't barrel aged. Sweet syrupy undertones drive a peat-smoked aroma, very filling. Excessive malts are well-concentrated.

T: Very interesting. Dark fruits, cherries, and vanilla pop out, definitely not what I was expecting (and something appropriately barrel-driven). Darker Belgian flavors, raisins as well as the cherries, attempt to mask the alcohol. They fail in that regard. The booziness is a trademark of the ale, lifting it. The ale seems to have a surprising amount of hops, a nice bite that gets through the intense malts. Very warming and sweet, the finish brings more fruits and wood to the table. An interesting take that veers off the path (in a good way).

M: The mouthfeel is big and malty. The Belgian flavors are a nice twist, detracting from the strength as they add to it. The wall of oaken flavor is worth trying again (even if no oak was harmed in the making...).

O: Not quite to the style but damned complex nonetheless. Ach, you'll love it, you cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

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Photo of hamilton23
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a nice caramel brown with a fair amount of beige head.

S: Peat, toffee, some roastiness and something just a bit funky, couldn't put my finger on it.

T: Slightly sweet, notes of caramel/toffee, smoked wood and vanilla cookies

M: Nicely carbonated, smooth finish

O: A nice beer, but not my favorite within my favorite style.

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Photo of surprenant1138
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky, deep burnt amber color with minimal head and light lacing with fair retention. Aroma is boozy, sweet, of vanilla, cherries, and hints of fruitiness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly carbonated. Taste is sweet, slightly boozy, nutty, of vanilla and malty. Overall tasty, but a bit light on the scotch ale taste.

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Photo of ChadQuest
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear light amber. a bit of lacing for a 10% beer.
All through out this beer there is a strong alcohol note, scotch like in that it's peaty and earthy, and all this is what you'd expect. This is one of the first scotch ales i've had at the 10% point and i now think that alcohol note is a must for this style, i simply don't think it would be a great scotch ale without that. There is burnt toffee notes running all over too, and i really enjoy them, subtle caramel with a touch of sweetness.

Really cool bottle to enjoy, this one was right up my alley.

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a snifter.

pours a dull copper shade yielding maybe a 3/4" off-white head. so-so retention as it recedes pretty quickly into a thin cap, collar around the glass. (not unsurprising given the style and strength); decent lacing evident.

nose is decidedly on the muted side; definitely lacking that boldness i was looking for. what is there is a bit sweet - as in fruity, maybe citrus, with some caramel malt in the background.

subtle nose belies the flavor, which does pack a bold punch. there's that fruit presence - citrus, maybe dark fruit, with caramel malt and secondary notes of vanilla and oak... good degree of complexity. is this barrel aged? has that feel but i was under the impression it wasn't. one of the more unique beers i've had lately.

nice, medium-full mouthfeel with slightly below average carbonation.

overall this may not be one of the best scotch ales out there but it is very solid. worth a try.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

454th review on BA
bottle to snifter
500 ML

App- A nice mix of orange, red and yellow. A matched 1 1/2 finger head. No real lacing on this one.

Smell- Huge citrus which was suprising and a little caramel with a barleywine esque note to it.

Taste- Very sweet for the style. Very tasty though. A bit light and a little unbalanced. A not of booze is there with a bit of creaminess.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbed. I don't know why its a bit spicy on the finish with some malty, sweetness and a residual creaminess.

Drink- Still a very tasty brew and a welcome extra. Nice sweet turn on the style to make it NEBCO unique. Would like to have again.

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Photo of RDHerm
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish amber with copper colored highlights. Has a thin white head that dissipates almost immediately, leaving a thin ring that holds throughout and displays excellent lacing.

A sweet aroma, but a bit on the weak side. Solid notes of dark fruits, roasted malts, and oak, with hints of caramel and yeast.

Taste is a lot stronger, and quite different, than what the smell indicates. Heavy flavors of scotch and malts predominate, with flavors of vanilla and fruit in the finish. There is a strong alcohol presence, but not so much that you would call it a bite.

Medium in body, light in carbonation. Initial feel is harsh, but it does finish smooth. Good carbonation level, and it lingers on the palate just long enough.

Reasonably tasty, but very strong both in flavor and in alcohol content. Not the best example of its style, but if there are no other Scotch Ales available, you won't be too disappointed.

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Photo of mltobin
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle, poured into basic wine glass.
Appearance is a dark copper with a thin head. Its` smell hits w/ liquor right away, scotch of course. There is also sweetness from brown sugar, vanilla. Upon taking a sip, the taste has caramel, nuts, wood, more scotch. MF is med-heavy. A good scotch ale, although not one of my favorites from NEBCO.

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Photo of Sam21
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle purchased for $6. 2010 vintage. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance – Pours a light reddish brown with excellent clarity. Small suspended particles are present, but only because the bottle may have moved a but too much from storage to glass. Head is off-white with surprisingly nice retention that eventually recedes to a thin sudsy film. Nice lacing.

Smell – Sweet dark fruits. Raisins, sticky dates, hints of fig, and caramel. Then the oak aging hits you with moderately strong aromas of bourbon and vanilla.

Taste – The sweet fruits caress the taste buds to start with notes of raisins, dates and plums backed by rich caramel. This opening is long and transitions very smoothly into rich notes of vanilla, bourbon, and smoke. The characteristics of the oak aging never overwhelm the sweetness in any way. Rather, they emphasize the sweetness by instituting balance. Finish is long and smooth with lingering oak. Alcohol is expertly integrated.

Mouthfeel – Full, chewy, with light carbonation that smoothes out the feel.

Drinkability – Complex and interesting would be the simple way to describe Wet Willy. Great foundation of dark fruit and caramel upon which the oak chip aging is put on display. What makes this beer so successful is that it achieves a balance. The oak isn't a commanding factor and does not pull your attention away from the rich malt flavors. A great warming libation on a cold spring night.

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Photo of portia99
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. This has been sitting in my cellar for a few months - not sure why I haven't tried yet, but now is the time.

A - Pours a murky, muddy sorta neutral amber brown color with a short finger of off-white foam that dies fairly quickly and leaves behind some spotty and loose lacing on the glass.

S - Sugary sweet, roasted malts, a bit of alcohol, a hint of citrus. Overall, aromas are pretty low and don't give much of an impression. As it warms, more aromas develop...vanilla pops out a bit and I get more and more barrel impressions.

T - Sweet, a bit boozy. I'm not aware of this hitting a barrel, but has a bit of a bourbony aspect to it. Caramel malt, sweet, fairly bitter for the style with hints of citrus.

M - Medium bodied, but still seems a bit thin for the style. Carbonation is low, really with just a small hint of some life. A bit warm...I get a distinct tingle on the tongue especially after the swallow which seems more a product of alcohol than carbonation.

O - Overall, not bad - but I wouldn't say this really stands out as a must have again. It is pretty well balanced with the malt just winning out in the battle against the hops. A bit of a different impression of the style. I could have this again without a problem, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

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Wet Willy Scotch Ale from New England Brewing Co.
3.93 out of 5 based on 319 ratings.
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