Wet Willy Scotch Ale | New England Brewing Co.

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Wet Willy Scotch AleWet Willy Scotch Ale
Very Good
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:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 320
Photo of OakedCanuck
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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 +1.3%
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%
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 -3.1%
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 -13.8%
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 -4.1%
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 +7.1%
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 -1.8%
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 -6.9%
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 -16.3%
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 -6.9%
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 +7.1%
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 -12.5%
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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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
2.47/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Brown and hazy, not a lot of head or lacing.

Sweet, fruity, malty smelling, with a little toffee.

Taste is so-so. Very malty with some fruits and a tinge of alcohol. A bit of an unpleasant pungent, moldy cellar flavor is somewhat off-putting.

Feel is slick and thin, not what I was expecting for a scotch ale.

Not an especially good beer. They need to tweak this recipe some.

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Photo of maximum12
2.18/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to biglobo8971 for the trade & almost simultaneously, to jmu500 for dropping this in as an extra. A sudden embarrasment of riches. I hope. We're about to find out. 500ML bottle, dated 2010.

Kudos to New England for the easy-remove foil thingee on the top; removed without issue or personal injury. Nice creepy guy in the artwork. Pour is paler than expected, like a faded Florida orange. Maybe it's just the typing, but there's an orange odor coming off the beer, too, along with earthiness. Not a lot going on.

Wet Willy gives off a first blush of being - thin. Not Heather Locklear thin, but Kate Moss thin (sorry, my frame of reference is showing, I'll pull that up). Watery. There's thin caramel, thin toffee...well, there's not much. Did I mention the mouthfeel is thin? That's really wrecking this one for me. If I could knock that score into negative territory, I would.

Really? This is the third disappointment of the night. Thin, dull, simple. I'd rather have a beer knock me for a loop in a daredevil attempt at somthing rather than this. Boring, I am sorry to report.

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Photo of ksimons
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a cloudy copper with white head that quickly disappears and leaves a bit of lace on top

S-malts, caramel, a hint of alcohol

T-big rich malt taste, sweet caramel with a light bitter hop backbone. Alcohol warming sets in after a few sips

M-medium to full body, light carbonation, smooth

D-alcohol very apparent after a few drinks, but it is 10%, a nice malty taste, but could only have one per sitting

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Photo of jdhilt
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger white head fades slowly leaving some lace. Slightly hazy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is complex maybe sherry and flavor is sweetish sherry. Different scotch ale expecting more dark fruit. High ABV is hidden. Not cheap - $7.99 for a 500ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of Thads324
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A : pours a hazy amber with a thin off white head. There is a hint of orange hue as well.

S : smells very sweet, with undertones of toffee, caramel and bittersweet chocolate. There is a sweet smelling alcohol smell as well with a hint of bourban whiskey in the back side.

T : Starts out mild and swings into a slightly sweet, slightly fruity malt flavor. finishes with a strong alcohol blended with a faint hop bitterness. There is a feeling of orange peel flavor, probably from the hops.

M : quite easy going in my opinion, while the flavor tends to escape the tongue, even after half a pint.

D : It is easier to drink than the 10% would let you assume, although you know the booze is there.

While it is a decent beer, I don't really like heavy malt without a heavy caramel taste for a scottish ale. Everything is there, just lacking in the area that makes it a true wee heavy. Still a good brew however

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 pint 9 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Style Glass. It has a light brown color, almost the color of brown sugar, when held up to the light it's close to a dark orange color in the middle. You can clearly see that there are some yeast particles floating around, so it's a little hazy. There is a tan head that produces some pretty good lacing, sort of an of off white/tan color.

The smell is very complex and pretty good. Toffee and caramelized malts start out. There are tones of fruitiness, particularly dark fruits, dehydrated. Has an almost banana, dopplebock, belgian yeastiness to it, really a lot going on. There is a hop presence, but it isn't very strong. That's really my only complaint, as complex as it is, none of the aromas are all that strong.

The taste is very good and a slight step up. Like the smell, the pale malts and toffee flavors stand out. Malts in general are very strong in the flavor profile. Again there are a whole lot of fruity tones, figs, prunes, other dehydrated darker fruits. Again there are some slight banana tones, but not as strong as in the smell. There is a smokeiness to it, but not as strong as I would like. I really like peat malt smoke flavors and aromas in scotch ales, and this would be perfect with just a hint more. It does have some slight boozy flavors, however they are not too strong despite a 10% abv. Again there is a hop presence overall bitterness towards the end of each sip, but clearly not the dominant feature. The end portion of each sip also has some slight grapeskin flavors sort of similar to a port wine, almost a slight sourness.

Mouthfeel is good. It's medium/full bodied and has a strong bitter finish. The alcohol level is good and doesn't bite you even though it makes itself noticeable, good carbonation level I guess it's the grapeskin mentioned earlier, but there is a slight sour feel to it. I find it pretty drinkable, but more of a sipper. Glad I finally got to try this one.

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Photo of sentomaster
3.02/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

No bottle date. 550 ml bottlePoured into a tulip.

Smell is rich sherry alcohol with a bit of vanilla and must.

Fusel alcohol dominates the palate. A bit of unripe tangerines and medicinal cherries. A leafy, earthy, oily, leathery bitterness rides along with the alcohol. Alcohol lingers with a bit of smoke and wood...

This was really disappointing after seeing what a high average this beer was getting. This really really fails as a scotch ale and is just ok as a...old ale maybe? It drinks more like an old ale with the musty, leathery, earthiness. None of the classic toasty, caramelized malt, which is quintessential scotch ale, is allowed to shine through at all- and what little fruitiness comes through is weak and unappealing.

Big letdown and I still can't seem to find an American brewery who can nail this style like the country of its origin...

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly bright cloudy amber-orange color with a finer of off-white head. The heads fairly quickly to a ring with some lacing.

S - Aroma is full of a ton of sweet carmel malt. There is also some nice oak and smokiness mixed in. Some dark fruit aromas with a touch of booze also noticeable.

T - Starts off with some sweet roasted carmel malt, some light fruit, and some smoke/oak flavor. Through the middle more of the dark fruit flavor really comes through with some more smokiness. The finish has a mix of the dark fruit flavor, some oak flavor, the sweet malt, and some booze in the background. These flavors really linger nicely.

M - Medium-full bodied with a moderate amount of subtle carbonation. Really nice and smooth and even crisp. Feels really balanced in the mouth. The finish is just a slightly bit syrupy.

D - For 10% abv and a ton a flavor this stays fairly drinkable. There is a lot of flavor going on, but it all stays really nice and balanced. Lots of sweetness, but again, it stays very enjoyable and avoids getting cloying.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours medium reddish amber with touches white foam. All malt smell. Malt taste open, peaty with a lingering back hop. Whiskey backed taste. Smooth. Earthy. Flavorful. Modestly drinkable, alcohol wallop.

I liked it, but not nearly as much as the other reviewers.

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Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The murky apricot nectar colored liquid is capped by a thick tan head that flattens to a bubbly pancake, leaving a few clumps behind

Smell: Toffee, dark fruit, and cinnamon and nutmeg

Taste: After the toffee opening, the earthy and peaty flavors move in, but by mid-palate, there is a fusel alcohol character that dominates, bringing along a harsh grainy aspect; after the swallow, the toffee flavors return, though the grainy element lingers

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Lacks the layers of malt and some of the sweetness that one finds in the best examples of the style; still, this is quite a decent stab at a Wee Heavy

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Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: this thing pours a murky, thick orange brown that kind of resembles apple cider. theres minimal head, as well as retention for what resulted from the pour. all thats left after a minute or so is a few pockets of bubbles hugging the side of the glass.

S: enormous blasts of oak and a mildly sweet booziness. the room just got overtaken by this beer. really from the second i popped the cap, the alcohol came out.

T: the carmelized malts provide a huge flavor profile here, with some undefined spice components. ive had very few scotch ales before so im not sure how to distinguish the different aspects. i feel like the flavors im getting belong with a cold night and a fire in the fireplace. although i cant quite figure this out completely, im rather enjoying it.

M: im almost immediately hit by the alcohol, but its more of a warming aspect and i think rounds this beer out. carbonation is on the lower side of the spectrum and yields a rather smooth mouthfeel. the booze comes back in the backend and warms
the back of your throat with the return of some interesting
spices. aside from the fact this is not what i was expecting, again i cant complain about much here.

D: every sip i take brings a new life to this beer and i learn something new, so ill enjoy it all the way through. highly recommended, this is a wicked cool brew!

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Photo of srandycarter
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Cloudy burnt orange, small tan head leaves immediately, some spotty lace.

S - Malt, fruit wood and moss. Booze evident too.

T - Malt and fruit first, slammed by booze flavor and wood/vanilla.

M - Not terribly balance, carbonation a little lower than I like, but each sip is asking for another.

D - At the ABV and the big flavors, not the session beer.

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Wet Willy Scotch Ale from New England Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 320 ratings