Wet Willy Scotch Ale | New England Brewing Co.

very good
157 Reviews
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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 319
Photo of taylorhamrick
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in a trade from woosterbill.

Pours a kind of copper color, looks clear, but the last bit of the bottle drops in a cloud of haze that settles trhough. The head is loose, and maybe maxes at 1cm, dies quickly, but the beer seems well carbonated. The smell has caramel and sweet booze, but I also sense a kind of tea-like smell in there. A little wood and vanilla come to the nose as well. But you can't escape the malty sweetness of the smell. Tastes the same, sweet caramel, with just a little hint of booze. It's kind of like a whiskey and coke or something, but with a lot more on the coke end (though not quite as sweet as straight coca-cola). The wood provides a nice bit of body with a creamy feel and a taste of vanilla. The kind of leafy, tea taste comes in with a little wash in the end. The sweetness is nice, but is held in check by a slight sharpness of booze. A fairly nice tasting scotch ale, though I would like a little more complexity in the beer (well, I guess it does have a little age on it), in the form of maybe some slight smoke, or some roastiness. The carbonation is sharp and biting, not quite what I expected, but it calms down considerably about half-way through (at least at my pace). Overall, the mouthfeel is alright. Overall, an interesting beer, one that I really liked, though I'd like to know what it was like when it was released, to compare to what I had.

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Photo of Thads324
3.69/5  rDev -6.1%
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 SiepJones
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Snifter

A: Pours a deep brown, like a glass of apple cider. There is no clarity through the beer. A half inch of head sits on top of the beer, and once it dissipates it leaves a small ring around the edges of the glass.

S: Lots of scents: Malt, Peat, Toffee, Carmel, Vanilla, Oak.

T: Oak up front with a touch of Peat. Good malt backbone with a hint of vanilla on the finish. That combination gives the taste sweet Carmel/Toffee flavor (scent also).

M: Chewy mouth with just enough carbonation, and a touch of alcohol heat. Very well balanced.

D: As far as flavor/scent/mouth goes this is an excellent, very enjoyable beer, with many characteristics of Scotch. Unfortunately the high ABV is going to keep me from drinking more than two of these. Bummer.

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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 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 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 Kkottonmouthkngz
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
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 tchaos
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter at Mellow Mushroom in Brandon. New England Brewing does not have a huge presence in FL; therefore, this beer was new to me.

A - Pours a hazy, deep copper with a one-finger off-white head that diminishes into fair lacing. Moderate carbonation can be seen. Expected this to be clearer for the style.

S - Very faint hops; predominantly deep, earthy malts, with a bit of sweetness and alcohol also present. Aroma develops exceptionally well as it warms.

T: Rich, nutty malts and dried fruit pervade. Less alcohol comes across than the 10.0% ABV would suggest. Some hop bitterness in the middle, before a touch of sweetness that gives way to a lightly dry finish. The hops were a pleasant surprise, as was the restrained sweetness (vs. for example, Old Chub -- http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/2681/14712)

M: Smooth and full, with moderate carbonation. A bit of warmth on the finish from the alcohol.

D: This is a very inviting scotch ale, from a drinkability perspective. The slight bitterness from the hops help balance the sweetness from the malt, which results in a clean finish. Each sip encourages another.

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Photo of jimmy82063
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler at the brewery. Always like going there, they are good guys. Poured in to a perfect pint glass.

A) - Mild amber color a little surprised at the translucence given the style. Medium head.

S) Very sweet.

T) - Caramel and toffee, what I like about this is that it is not a total malt bomb, you can actually, taste the hops. A little alcohol burn at the end.

M) Lightly carbonated.

D) - This is where it gets scary. Rob told me that this was 11%. This is very easy to drink despite the ABV.

Scotch ales is really not my style, but this one I like. I've had some that are tough to get down but this is certainly not one of those. This should be out in bottle in a couple of weeks. A few will be headed to the cellar. Very enjoyable!

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Photo of TotallyHosed
2.65/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks codysjb for the bottle.

The appearance was off-putting. This was poured into a wide mug and produced no head. Saw no carbonation around the glass. The color looked just like apple cider.

The smell was also uninviting. I just got some sour notes. Nothing else, probably due to the total lack of head.

The taste was all this brew had to offer. It was slightly hot, with some hints of caramel.

The feel was light to medium. No carbonation was felt.

I did not enjoy this beer. I think I'm being generous with a 3.0 overall rating, but at the same time I don't think it's bad. Should I ever see this on tap, I'll give it another try.

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Photo of C20Percent
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A little surprised this is ranked so low. The appearance isn't anything to write home about. A bit lighter than expected, and pretty murky; not much head. The money is in the aroma and flavor. Super solid taste. Nice sweet caramel goodness with an appropriate hit ness. Dark fruits and all. Way good. The feel is also nice. Creamier than expected. Feels really good in the mouth. Overall, highly recommended. My bottle was aged two years. So that might make a difference. If you can get a bottle, then sit on it and drink it later.

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Photo of begforme4484
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice brown with amber hues, minimal off white head that receded quickly. Spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

Some nice scents hit your right away. A profound woody smell with hints of chocolate laced in. It's toasty and smokey, with a touch of vanilla. It's all over the place in a good way, but still malt-centric.

Wow, a smooth vanilla oak flavor on my first sip, very nice. A nice sweet caramel effect in there, with a clean and slightly bitter hop finish. It's smokey, woody, and sweet all rolled into one, with a slight hop finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and midly carbonated.

The drinkability is definitely a sipper, although, I can easily see myself consuming more than one.

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Photo of Lazerlobe
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at the BA IST release

A: Flocculent yeast dots this primarily dark red-orange beer. I probably shouldn't have poured the entire bottle in to the glass but at 8$, there was no way I was wasting a drop. Little head formed and quickly receded.

S: Prominent sweet malt profile comes through, with some peat and ethanol permeating the nose. It just smells deeeep. Some light fruits are mixed in too.

T: Wow, what a sweet beer. It blasts off with an almost sweet red wine quality, giving way to mild smoke with drying finish. The malts are robust and linger but I'm not sure if I am enjoying the sweetness.

M: Carbonation is present but faint. For the ABV, this is a fairly light beer, lacking some of the viscosity I've had in other Scotch ales.

D: I'm OK with just this one.

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Photo of BTPete
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumer on 3/6 in my basement while staining outdoor furniture 

12oz bottle to tulip

A: See through golden amber. Minimal head and lacing.

S: smells of sweet whiskey and malts.

T: Caramel, vanilla, malt, and some oak character. I'm not even sure this was oak aged at all but I certainly thought I tasted it.

M: low carbonation but appropriate.

D: surprisingly drinkable and coy. Willy will take you out to the tool shed behind the school and mess you up. Really good beer overall and one I'm glad I have a few of. I'll share another bottle soon with friends. Glad this will be made again this year also.

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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 henskejk
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into tulip glass. Reviewed from notes

A - Dark orange, slightly red in color, good amount of lacing on glass

S - not as strong a smell as I would have liked, but it is mostly sweet/,alty smelling with a little bit of oak

T - nice sweetness mixed with oaky flavor and a little bit of booziness on the back

M - medium body, medium carbonation, smooth

O - enjoyable, but wish it had a stronger aroma

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Photo of radioscooter
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade and was eager to try it as part of my ongoing WH/SA journey.

Appearance is underwhelming. Almost no head, quickly dissipating bubbles. Cloudy caramel color.

Aroma is earthy, musty, mossy, and heady.

First taste throws me off. Wow. A Scotch Ale that actually tastes a bit like Scotch... Okay, that's a new one. Of course it's possible. It's all about the malt after all. But usually we don't get this much woodiness and Glen-roaming -in-the-gloaming in ale form.

Sadly, the ridiculously inane name of this beer paired with the stupid label art did not set me up for the seriousness of the brew. This beer deserves a label with a crest on it and a name like "The Highlander" or "Glen Woodbridge" or something that makes you anticipate their effort. As opposed to yet another overly goofy, fraternity-aimed gigglefest.

The alcohol level is immediately up front. Not annoyingly so, but prominent.
I think mine is much too cold so I'm going to back off for a little while.

20 minutes later...

As it oxidizes a bit more of the phenols come out and the spice levels reveal themselves in the flavor. Lots of sweet butter, toffee, and butterscotch syrup. It's like an alcoholic Werther's.

Too boozy for all night. And not dark or heavy enough to treat like a true sipper. But definitely something to visit.

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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 naproxen
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Ginger Man in Manhattan, only slightly bitter on the fact that I had to go to NYC to get a beer brewed in CT but well worth the trip :-)

I had this first about a year ago at the NEBC open house, and the years time has treated this one phenomenally.

Presented in a tulip, this Scotch ale had a medium orange hue, slightly amber in the body, but overall not as dark as I expected it to pour from my memory of a year ago (which im sure is spotty at best).

There is no denying the scotch ale, it will own your taste buds. Amen to that, I have had my share of wishy washy scotch ales. The smoked peat is present in both the aroma and palate, finishing actually pretty smooth. I picked up vanilla and herbal traits as well in the palate as it went down oh so easy. At 10% this is a big boy to handle, I could probably drink two in a night and be happy with that. "Drinkability" is an odd category when reviewing beers that are noted for their strong or unique flavors, so I left it at 4 as I could drink this anytime it is offered. Now, please release the bottles.

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Photo of dougofthefuture
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been looking forward to cracking this one for a while...

A - It took forever to cut through the fancy bottle cap wrapping. At first it poured a light amber scotch ale color. As I was watching this, a large chunk of something came out from the bottom and made the beer significantly more cloudy. Very little head.

S - Plenty of booze, But delicious scents of roasted malt and smokiness are also very obvious. It smells great.

T&M - Heavy is an understatement but I expected this. While it is a bit on the syrupy side, the big flavors match the big sweetness. Plenty of smokey roasty goodness that was apparent in the nose, and a nice BA component turns it into a great sipper. A little bit boring on the boozy finish, but still very good.

D - A sipper through and through, but I am glad to have gotten a chance to try this.

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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 beer4colin
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


That's Brigadoon:
It tells the story of a mysterious Scottish village that appears for only one day every hundred years, though to the villagers, the passing of each century seems no longer than one night. The enchantment is viewed by them as a blessing rather than a curse, for it saved the village from destruction. According to their covenant with God, no one from Brigadoon may ever leave, or the enchantment will be broken and the site and all its inhabitants will disappear into the mist forever. Two American tourists, lost in the Scottish Highlands, stumble upon the village just as a wedding is about to be celebrated, and their arrival has serious implications for the village's inhabitants.

And that says it all, except for the wedding part....

Scotch Ale is my favorite style and this beer rocks!! But, it is only here, like Brigadoon, for an instant. Love this beer....

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Photo of sentomaster
3.02/5  rDev -23.2%
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 FishGetter
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jaxon53 for the hook-up on this offering. Pours a hazey golden honey color. Bits of yeast chunks float around from a complete pour. Almost no head, very minimal.
Very much of a scotch aroma, but not as strong as straight scotch. Some oak barrel aromas too.
Mostly quality scotch taste. Mildly watered down scotch drink. Some clove mixed in. Some buttery flavors too. Finishes a little dry with oak barrel tones.
Thin to slight medium mouthfeel.
Enjoyable oak dryness left in mouth.
May have a bit too much scotch flavor. As mentioned above, reminds reviewer of a slightly watered down scotch. Would perfer a little more noble hop and grain profile. May be a bit too sweet also. Enjoyable offering, personal preferance may not have been met, however quality offering here.

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Photo of ThreeDimesDown
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cellared for about a month on a recommendation from a guy who was present during bottling.

Poured a clear burnt Sienna color with an eggshell white head. The one finger thick head dissipated to a skin that stuck around for the duration.

Notes of caramel, vanilla, oak and a hint of spice (cinnamon). Very subdued nose.

Taste is bigger, with some nice complexities. Caramel and toffy malts with a bready malt backbone. Black cherries, brown sugar sweetness, and nuttiness. The only presence of hops detected was in the slightly bitter finish. Alcohol warmth is well balanced especially for the %.

Mouthfeel is medium and smooth, almost creamy.

Overall a very nice brew, lots going on but balanced out well.

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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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