Highland Ambush Scotch Ale | BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

61 Reviews
Highland Ambush Scotch AleHighland Ambush Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
Oregon, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Notes from Bridgeport:

BU's: 40
ABV: 6.8%
Color: Reddish-Brown
Ingredients: Pale and Carmel Malts. UK Golding Hops.
Description: This beer will have a rich malt taste complementing vanilla flavors from the American oak barrels along with a bitterness attributed to the UK Golding hops

Added by msubulldog25 on 12-11-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 87
Photo of wetshoes
4.4/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

OK, this beer is a perfect match for my tastes. It's personal.

I found a bottle on the back of a shelf at Safeway behind some Full Sail bottles. Since it was a "special" brew, I probably won't be able to find it again. Too bad.

It has a nice dark color and light head. It has a rich malty taste with no "smokiness". There is a slight hint of hops at the end.

I would drink this beer all the time if I could (a) get it (b) afford it.

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Photo of industrialswill
4.4/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I found this at a local supermarket. Kind of expensive, but being a Bridgeport offering I was confident that it would be good. I wasn't disappointed, this is very good.
It looks like rootbeer and has a modest head.
It smells just as it tastes, which is delicious.
There is just enough carbonation to make me happy.
The bourbon flavor became most apparent towards the last few sips I took.
This beer would be an excellent choice for any "craft curious" individuals to try.
I love this beer and will have more.

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Photo of ccrida
4.38/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my Samuel Smith imperial pint, Highland Ambush is a ruddy mahogheny with a tight sand colored head with very long last, leaving nice, sticky, foamy lace.

Smell is caramel malt, herbal hops and bourbon (the flavor, without the alcohol vapors you sometimes get in wetter barrel beers).

Taste is big blast of barrel character, in a very pleasing way to me. Not overly strong but noticeable bourbon, more so vanilla and coconut notes, which provide very nice depth to the sweetish caramel malty backbone. Really more bittersweet though that's to the hops, especially after having the Pelican wee-heavy this weekend. Nice bourbon aftertaste without being boozy, overall very nice.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, with a lighter body and soft finish.

Drinkability is high, I'm really enjoying this scotch ale. Nice complexity, satisfying but smooth, and a nice ABV that warms without bruising. Add the nice price and this is yet another winner from the Bridgeport Big Brews series. I'lll have to buy a few more before they're gone.

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Photo of Docer
4.27/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to drinking this bomber...

- A rather light and clear brown.. bit of red... like a dark iced tea. Quick fizzling head down to a bit of a small ring and some floating continents.

- Nice rich roasted malt complexity... wonderfully balanced and roasted malt... reminds me of a nice Full Sail Lager... and a nice pine and grassy bittering hop presence for sure. Little caramel, alcohol... and oakey vanilla.

- What a perfectly blended ale... roasted malts... fired oak, light vanilla in the aftertaste.... and a bitter hop that is delicious. Talk about balance here... this is a very well made brew and for me certainly stands ahead of the pack in Scottish/Wee Heavies. Smooth sailing, and not a touch of alcohol to burn.

- Medium bodied, and a bit chewy roasty... but the hopping provides just enough to water the palate for another chug.

- Overall I am impressed with this brew, and it caught me off guard.... I wasn't expecting this delicious of a brew. I would however like a bit more of the barrel mix in this.. or none at all. A split between this, and another barrel aged series of about 60% would be killer.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Scotch ale comes out of the tap a nearly opaque chocolaty brown with a minimal light tan head. Malty, woody aroma has a hint of caramel. Rich, malty flavor has woody, yeasty and caramel tones as well as a hint of horehound. Texture is fizzy, edgy and tingly.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.12/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a burgundy color with a small and short lived off white head.

Smell of sweet, smooth caramel malts, anise, sugar, and some soapy hops.

Taste of sweet, juicy caramel hops, vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon. A simple, but very tasty Scotch Ale.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pinching; too much carbonation.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber from Fred Meyer. Chesnut brown,slightly hazy ale,smokey looking,even! Light brown loose ,large bubbled head. Strong Oaky,smoky aromas,little vanilla bean too. Good strong semi-bitter malt driven beer, the oak and vanilla take the background until the end, when a nice after taste is left. Not much notice of hops ( good for style)..little smke even in the after glow. Very nice palate on this one..they got it just right for style. Overall a beer i really enjoyed and will buy more before this bottling s over.

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Photo of czechsaaz
4.09/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Lots of vanilla in the aroma but the base malty aroma I'm looking for just isn't there. Lots of yeast-y bread smell and fruity esters. For a wee heavy, the real lack of caramel or peat or malt is troubling.

Deep copper color that starts with an inch thick head that keeps a quarter inch layer of off-white foam for the remainder of the drinking and leaves good lacing. There's a light amount of rising carbonation feeding that head.

Flavor is where the malt comes in. Really nice big malty start with caramel and cereal and a hint of smokey that is so subtle that it could be yeast esters instead of peated malt. Lots of ripe fruit. It seems like plums or raisins. Very light hopping (good for the style) just enough to make it not sweet while still being really malty. There's a buttery diacetyl that isn't
overpowering and adds some richness, diacetyl being fairly common in Scotch Ales. I guess my only complaint is that for the premium price of a bourbon aged beer, I don't get a lot of barrel flavors. But it's a solid wee heavy.

Nice full body and smooth light carbonation. All of that is right on for the style.

Really a good example of the strong scotch style. Not an ass-kicker but not a lightweight either. Probably wouldn't want more than one of these at a sitting but having two wouldn't wreck you the next morning either.

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Photo of Clamwacker
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my first experiments with Scotch ale, but being a huge fan of Scotch whisky I thought I'd grab it and give it a try.

It pours a deep reddish amber with a creamy white head that, at least for me, stuck around for the whole glass, leaving a great lace pattern all the way down.

The smell is probably my favorite part, it has lots of malt, caramel and a spicy oak note to it, which lingers through to the aftertaste.

It has a fairly mild flavor considering the smell, with a relatively malty character punctuated by the caramel and oak, although my nose detects more oak than my tongue. I didn't taste a lot of alcohol like some others did, it's very well masked. I also didn't detect a whole lot of hop bittering, the malt balances it quite nicely.

The mouthfeel is a bit underwhelming, I expected a bit more lively carbonation given the long lasting head, but it does lend a creamy character to the brew.

Overall I would get this again, but I'm not quite sure it's worth the $6 for the 22 oz bottle I paid for it. Maybe $4 or $5. It's a nice break from the super hoppy pales that everybody is going crazy on right now.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from 1/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark red amber, two finger light tan head and lacing, good retention. Aroma of caramel malt and wood. A nice medium bodied, creamy scotch ale. Oak elements are noticeable, with a caramel sweetness. Seems a bit tame; misses being an excellent beer by not being assertive enough. Still really liked this one.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 22oz bottle (2010?) split with my brother, poured into pint nonics.

A: Brilliant clear amber with an off-white head...lower carbonation.

S: Oak, malt, caramel, toffee, a bit fruity (yeast?). Malt bomb for sure, beside of bit of a spice character and the wood, all you get is malt.

T: Malty smooth body with plenty of caramel and oak...spicy...dark fruit, raisin bread, lots of malt, woody notes and plenty of nutty flavors.

MF: Medium body, lower carbonation, a bit spicy, smooth and creamy. Alcohol is pretty much gone at this point in its life.

O: Pretty darn good Scotch Ale, and a great value.

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Photo of mykie73
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a unique beer.

L) beautiful mahogany in color with a very attractive 1/2 marshmellow head. transparent for style so i'll give it a little knock for that.

S) sweet malt, pecans, fruit, vanilla, some roast....

T) rye bread, tapioca, red apples, with a cola finish. I would love to see more bourbon and more roast in taste

F) The feel of this beer is where it shines. Quite full bodied and quite smooth and creamy. Coasts the mouth great... missing the stickiness of a wee heavy however though...if this was another style (strong ale) it would get a 5.

D) thought this beer would be too sweet for after first sip but it grew on me as it warned. great beer. worth trying.

I enjoyed this beer more than it's score shows.

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Photo of g00dness
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-opaque amethyst color with a small but resilient head. Aroma was weak caramel malt and anise. Taste was really nice scotch ale, with a bit of complexity from the aging, but not "too dense". Major flavors were malt, vanilla, leather and a spicy hop finish. Mouthfeel was great with smooth carbonation and maltiness rounded out by spicy hops. Drinkability was good since it is so smooth and balanced, although the carbonation came out a bit too much in my stomach. :(

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Photo of Offa
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep red, medium tan head steadily shrinks to thin foamy top, then to foamy ring and wisps.

Aroma is nice winey fruit, toasty bread, grapes, bread crust, hint if earth.

Taste is metal and wine, fruit, alcoholic element, bitter wet wood. It finishes with a woody toastiness and bitterness plus a winey fruitiness. It is very good, but a bit thin and the character elements fairly light, without a richness or strong integration.

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Photo of Streetcar
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L: Cloudy, cherry wood red. A dirty tan, tight foam head. Wonderful lacing as it's consumed.

S: Malt, bready and light oaky smoke.

T: The smoky malts you would expect in a Scotch ale. The taste takes a slow journey to the back of the tongue. The oak flavor becomes slightly more pronounced if you are looking for it, but if "Oak Bourbon Barrels" weren't listed on the label, I might not have picked it up in the taste. Slight hops to ease the heaviness of the malt.

M: Not as chewy as I expected for a Scottish ale, but still plenty of body. The carbonation provides a nice effervescence.

D: Quite smooth, and not as filling as I expected. It wouldn't be hard to have more than one.

Comments: I wouldn't hold it up as a classic example of the style, but it would serve well as a way to introduce someone to scotch ales. I would certainly buy one or two if I found them on tap.

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Photo of echoes
3.87/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a glass.

A: Pours brownish-red in color. Head is off-white, very bubbly and takes a long time to dissipate. Leaves a lot of lacing. Some carbonation is visible in the beer from time-to-time as well.

Smell and Taste: Very complex smell is the reason I rated the smell good. Very complex taste as well. Can definitely make out all of the following: roasted malts, hops, caramel, yeast, wood/oak/earthy, fruit/floral. The "alcohol" smell is somewhat present.

M: Medium-bodied. Carbonation definitely felt.

O: A very interesting and complex beer! My first Scotch Ale and it's pretty good. The flavors seem to blend but not all of them together. Some are apparent at different times than others, if that makes sense. It's kind of hard to describe unless you're actually drinking it.

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Photo of Kromes
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy dark amber color with a thin line of bubbles on top.

S: Sweet malt aroma with a touch of earthy hop.

T: A nice toasted malt flavor with some peat moss, oak and earthy hop. A touch of bitterness to balance out the sweetness.

M: Lower carbonation and a smooth feel to it.

O: Not a bad Scotch ale. Tasty and smooth.

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Photo of bump8628
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep garnet with off-white foam...looks the part of a Scotch ale.

Caramel and toffee in full force with an equally balancing bitterness and a pleasant hit of spicy/earthy hop flavor. Oak really stands out - a bit raw with coarse toasted wood and more subtle creme brûlée and spice cake.

A nice find at a reasonabe price. The American oak and more aggressive hopping drives this one apart from the Scottish examples, but the lower ABV and drier complexity also keep it more in line with many of the traditional examples.

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Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rather woody is the first impression. Puts the teeth slightly on edge like pear peelings. More barrel than oaky vanilla, but a different taste. Aroma is really nice with the touch of oak and roasted malt.

Very nice carbonation and lacing along the snifter. Quite pleasant in the mouth and rather prickly. Very drinkable with its modest sweetness. More on the watery side than the typical sticky Scotch Ale. Lots of malt with a nice balance of fruity acidiity and just a whiff of hops. Aftertaste is woody fruit, a hint of burnt raisins. Another intriguing and slightly offbeat brew from BridgePort.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Extra in a trade...

A: Deep ruby with a small white head that fades at a decent pace. Not bad.

S: Smells slightly of bourbon upfront with dark fruits in the middle and candi sugars on the backend. Decent.

T: Bitter hops upfront with an earthy grassy flavor mixed in. Refreshing with a grapefruit flavor in the middle. Watery on the backend.

M: A good, refreshing brew that does not leave any harsh tastes on the palate. Very good.

D: Goes down very easy. Not bad at all in this category.

All in all, this is a decent brew. Not worth hunting down, but ok to try at least once if you have access to it.

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Photo of Jason
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Sudsy start, decent lacing with a slightly hazed rusty brown color. Hint of wood, vanilla, faint roasted grain, toasted biscuits and a vague herbal note from the hops in the nose. Pretty smooth but really creamy. Toasted malt flavor wraps around the mild oaky character. Hint of char from the roasted grain. Hops are there for balance. Suggestions of currants and vanilla with a small breath of alcohol. Finishes malty with a drying oaky overlay.

Nice twist on the style, not massive like many of the American versions but probably more complex than most as the oak adds a whole lot of depth. Thumbs up!

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Photo of zeff80
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a hazy, burgundy color with almost no head. It didn't leave any lacing, either.

S - It smelled malty and grassy with some subtle oak notes.

T - The flavor surprised me because appearance an aroma lowered my expectations. It had a rich, biscuity malt backbone with some grassy hops. The oak and vanilla flavors are mild but increase as it warms.

M - It was crisp, sharp and fairly smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - At $2.99 a bomber this is certainly worth a try. I was a little skeptical of an oak aged Scottish Ale, but it was quite good.

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Photo of loren01
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a reddish brown color, not very much head or lacing
S: Smell is sweet and malty mostly, hint of vanilla
T: Here i taste the oak/vanilla flavors. Lots of caramelly sweetness
M: Lighter bodied than most scotch ales ive had but goes down very well
O: This is a pretty good beer....that could describe most beers ive ever had from Bridgeport...good to very good, not anything world class but definately better than average.

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Photo of elginirishpunk
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very deep abmer red color. Hop and carmel initial aroma and an oaky sweetness similar to BBQ. Very light in the mouth for a scotch ale. Initial bitterness but discipates quickly. The flavor lingures on the back of the tounge. Extremely drinkable, and don't realize it is 7%. Good Scotch beer.

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Photo of RedBrewer83
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aggressive pour into tulip...

A: Dark amber body with a creamy two finger head. Falls slowly leaving excellent creamy lacing on the sides.

S: Typical scottish malt profile, lots of fruit, faint cherry, a little wood. Not overly complex, but solid.

T: Falls short of what is expected from a scotch ale, not as big of a malt flavor profile. Drinks more like a scottish ale, lighter body and has a lot of reminiscent qualities of ebenezer...can really tell it is 50% of the beer. Super faint bourbon, if it wasn't on the bottle I probably couldn't pick it up.

M: Too light to be a scotch ale, again drinks more like a scottish ale. Light medium body, very aggressive carbonation...a little too harsh, gets in the way of the flavor.

D: Pretty drinkable, carbonation detracts somewhat, but light body and lower abv helps this go down pretty easily. Overall a good beer but not great...needs more backbone.

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Highland Ambush Scotch Ale from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
3.6 out of 5 based on 87 ratings.
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