Highland Ambush Scotch Ale | BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

Highland Ambush Scotch AleHighland Ambush Scotch Ale
Liked This Beer
3.58 w/ 87 Ratings
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 87 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of Beerboi1123
1/5  rDev -72.1%

Photo of Shasty
2/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of Irentat
2.8/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Cloudy amber with light head and minimal lace.

Smell: Minimal aromatics with slight scent of alcohol, malts, earthy.

Taste: Grainy earthiness with a slight metallic.

Mouthfeel: Slightly dry, light/medium body with dry finish and good carbonation.

Drinkability: Their attempt to satisfy too many people with one beer.

 332 characters

Photo of russpowell
2.86/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up in Wichita last week & see that is now in Oklahoma..

Pours auburn with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Pears & figs, apricots as well, faint smokiness, boozeyness as well

T: Slight caramel notes, apple peels, a whisper of smoke, some vanilla & woody hops up front. Oakyness & a slight booze sting as this warms, s bit of coarse smokeyness as well. finishes with slight oakyness, some figs & raisins, plus a tinge of persimmons

MF: Light bodied, over carbonated by a mile , warming

I like some of this breweries products, but this one seems like a hackneyed/rushed approach to offering a barrel aged product. This did get better as it got closer to room temp, but not enough to save it. i might pick up a bottle or 2 if see it on sale latter, this might shape up after some 6-10 months, maybe...

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber pours a dirty brown color with a thin tan foam. Not much lacing.

Nose is like caramel apples with a bit of wood and some candy-sweet malts. Meh...not a very good smelling Scotch Ale.

Disappointingly thin. Caramel seems strained and pulled a bit, like taffy. A little too sweet, without any of the smoky, peaty malts that are such a delicious part of Scotch Ales and also help balance the sweet malts. Needs more body, some chewiness even. Oak does nothing for this snoozer. Not that bad tasting of a beer, but such a boring experience this one was.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.96/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

16 ounce bottle - $4.75 at Taco Mac in Woodstock, Georgia.

Appearance: Served up by bartender JoJo (seriously) a clear, darkened garnet-hued body with a half-inch head of faintly beige-colored froth.

Smell: Sweet-scented, fruity, and alcohol-laced aroma with notes of booze dunked toast, fruit-flavored gum, and haphazardly strew sugars.

Taste: Sugary sweet upfront, with tastes of lightly toasted bread and an impression of some crystal-type malts. Some scotch ales have a tasty, sweet kettle caramelization thing going on, but this one just has a banal simple syrup sugariness. Small dash of chocolate powder. Splash of plum juice. Lightly spicy earthiness, marginal bitterness. Faint, faint basic woodiness and some peppery alcohol tones. Drying on the vaguely spicy finish with a bit of dry toasty malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-light carbonation. Slight smoothness, slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Overall: My initial impression was: it's strong and it's sweet. Then, I come here and see 6.8%. Whaaaa? And here I was ready to quote that Christopher Lambert flick from the 80's. "You can drink only one." Post Highland Ambush, I had a pint of Highland Brewing's Tasgall Ale. The difference is completely night and day.

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Photo of Briken
2.98/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear red amber with big tan foamy head with good retention poor lacing. Lager and light peat and smoke. Peat and light oak with a light sweet tea and nice balance. Clean finish aside from a slight dryness. Smooth and silky feel.

Very subtle flavors that do not benefit a big scotch ale. Easy drinking beer but considering it is partially barrel aged I expected a little more. There is definitely not enough here for a “big brew” designation. Again, there is nice subtlety and I applaud the blend of barrel aging to keep the price down but I think I might be more interested in a “cask strength” version. I do also remember enjoying this more last year though I don’t know if the beer changed or my tastes did.

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Photo of mhaugo
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of canawler
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of stephens101
3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Burgundy pour with a densely packed and resilient tan head. Good lacing all around after settling.

Caramel malts, light fruits, a little fresh cut grass and bubblegum candy to the nose. Tastes of grain and earthy hops up front with light and sour fruits at the end. Oak aged? Where? When? How?

A little thin with the grainy edge taking away from any smoothness that might be present. The sweet gum and candy notes mimic the characteristics of a Scotch Ale, but the other notes resemble a Red (with the palpable bitterness) and possibly even a borderline Imperial Red, as some alcohol heat and extra bitterness works in noticeably after a while.

This beer is like Ariel Pink opening for Slayer at a mosque in Nebraska that was speciously advertised as an old fashioned tent revival. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it could be fun watching a load of folks getting ambushed in the mosh pit if you didn't have to pay for admission.

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Photo of csiewert
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a hazy dark amber color with a finger of white foamy head that retains well and leaves some decent lacing on the way down. The aroma is unique, with hints of oak and vanilla that when combined creates an interesting banana bread type aroma. The taste is very disappointing. It reminds me of a malty pale ale rather than a scotch ale. It is lacking in roasted malt characteristic and is fairly empty. The mouthfeel is also a little empty and doesn't have much of a feel to it. Overall I would say give it a try because it has a lot of potential and could be very very good if worked on.

 601 characters

Photo of 100floods
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a ruby red brow hue. Muddy/pale off white head that goes away fast.

Aroma is slightly sweet, alcoholic (but not warm) and a thin caramel aroma. Borderline apple cider aromas, too.

Definitely taste the wood, no bourbon, but whatever. Faint hints of vanilla. Strong hints of juicy-ish malt with a woody sweet finish.

Can't say I'd have this again. The flavors listed above are unbalanced. Definitely have had better.

 425 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

To me, Bridgeport makes good beer for cheaper prices than most other breweries. This one is no different. Not a great beer, but it is good.

Dark amber, chestnut pour with a large head: off-white with some stickiness. Lacing is good.

Weak aroma of cherry wood, caramel and some ethanol.

Somewhat nutty flavor. The wood combines with the caramel, I"m guessing, to give that cherry-wood aroma some tasting power. Slight smoke and sweetness. Light bodied. Could use more umph, but otherwise would go well with some smoked pork sammich

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Photo of codsmith
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: pours a dark dirty looking red with a nice 2 fingers of off-white foam that settles down nicely to a thin layer, it also laces the glass nicely

S: smells a little like red wine, oak and just a tiny amount of vanilla. It has a slight bitterness as well

T: It looks good and smells good, but the taste is way bland and off putting. Has a malty taste at first, but quickly changes over to a very flat and bitter taste

M: Sits very heavy in the mouth, medium-to-full body and chewy

O: I wish it tastes like it looks and smells. Very disappointed in this one.

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Photo of champ103
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark ruby/brown color. A two finger beige head forms with good retention. Sticky spiderweb looking lace is left behind.
S: Earth yeast aromas up front. Toasted malts, grain, and some light wood. Even some smoke and fairly sweet as well.
T: Up front is sweet malt and raisins. Some earthy yeast and dry wood. Mostly just sweetness.
M/D: A medium body that is creamy and smooth. Not hard to drink, but nothing all that engaging.

Another American made Scotch Ale that I was looking forward to trying, and another one that misses the mark. Lots of sweetness, and just a bit of wood from the barrel. Overall not bad, but not what I am looking for in the style.

 667 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears a semi-transparent, dark amber with a small beige head that quickly fades into a small cap and collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of sweet caramel, toffee, mild traces of cardboard, and floral notes.
Taste is of the aromas with an overkill of sugary sweetness that is a bit too much to deal with. I can't say that I get any of the bourbon in the flavor.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sticky, sugary, and hot.

 448 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The beer pours a hazed amber color with a frothy, khaki colored head.

S: Sweet and malty with tons of banana (which is a bit odd for a Scotch ale). Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar make up most of the aroma with a light bread note. The banana character is almost like the Runts candies.

T: Sort of a bland flavor. Lots of old/stale bread notes with some more of the banana candy. A mild oak and vanilla note with some hints of caramel and brown sugar.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation.

O: Nothing like a Scotch ale and just not very good, flavorwise, at least.

 614 characters

Photo of bbadger
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of Bookseeb
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a dark orange amber with a fair head that dissipates slowly having spotty lace. Smell of a little oak aging with light malt and hops. Taste has an oak barrel maltiness, lightly roasted bitter end thats a little thinned compared to other scotch ales. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Not bad, had better, worth a try.

 340 characters

Photo of philbertk
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bridgeport Brewing Company Highland Ambush Scotch Ale--33% Ale Aged in Oak Bourbon Barrels and 67% Ale. *Bridgeport Big Brews*--2009 Release--22 oz. Bottle--6.80% ABV--40 IBU's. (4.15 / 5.0) Scotch Ale--Thin, thin lace off white head. Clear dark garnet ruby red black color. Mild bourbon Oak hop heather front. Malty Oak infused mild sweet roasted toffee bourbon vanilla hint Scottish body. Clean smooth mild hop hot spicy end. Fully fermented malty Scotch Ale. Sampled 1/23/2010. $5.59 Each.

Bridgeport Brewing Company--Highland Ambush Scotch Ale--Oak Aged--Bridgeport Big Brews--2011 22 oz. Bottle. 6.80% ABV. 40 IBU's. (3.5 / 5.0) Big foamy rocky lacy dense off white thick head. Mild hop smoke bourbon peat hints front. Cloudy fizzy bright rich dark amber brown red color. Richly carbonated roasted toffee caramel peat hint body. Mild sweetness dampened by CO2. Light loose sediment. Dry malty flavor. Dry sweet slightly puckery huge oak end. Oak dominates too much. Very dry. Malty flavor, but missing texture. Not as good as 2009 Release. Sampled 3/3/2011. Purchased for $5.59 at Fred Meyer--Ballard, Seattle on 3/3/2011.

 1,129 characters

Photo of Tone
3.34/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/5 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of strong sweet malt, slight citrus hops, hint of alcohol, and slight pale malt. Fits the style of a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, slight yeast, and slight hop. Overall, lacking in appearance and complexity, but decent blend and body.

 433 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this one on the shelf at Argonaut last night, and though Ive been mostly less than impressed with BridgePort in the past, I decided to grab a bomber. Sadly, this hasn't changed my opinion of them much. Pours a nice reddish-brown color with a big finger and a half of khaki foam. Aromas of dark fruits (plums, prunes, dates) and caramel, but sadly none of the promised oak. Medium bodied and easily drinkable, with more dark fruit, sweet malt and just a hint of wood (maybe?)

 480 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.41/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish copper, so saturated it's almost ruby. Three fingers of light tan foam that sticks to the glass, leaving concentric rings of delicate lacing. Okay retention, a healthy skim across the top remains the whole time.

Aroma is muted, as it warms some malt complexity surfaces. Gingersnap cookies. Light banana esters, earthy and funky scotch ale yeast. Slightly vegetal, something ill defined but a little off putting.

Flavor reflects the oak aging a bit more, slightly sweet oak, vanilla traces, multigrain bread. Slight astringency, most likely from the oak. Bready malt aftertaste, some dryness. Light bodied, somewhat creamy feel. Definitely not sweet. Overall not all that interesting, stays true to style, but ultimately it doesn't really hold interest. Thanks to Sebastian for this one...

 800 characters

Photo of CaptainTripps
3.42/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Winter 2011 batch
22oz bomber poured into a tulip.

A: Poured a deep, deep dark caramel red amber color (think rust). Pretty foamy at pour; 2 fingers worth of tan head came. Love the suds.

S: Slightly roasted grain paired with hints of oak and vanilla. Some caramel, molasses and a slight hop character present. Faily aromatic beer.

T: Roasted (lightly) malts paired with oak and a small amount of vanilla. Has certain spice character with it along with hints of caramel and molasses. Hops are really tuned down compared to the smell. Some alcohol on the finish.

M: Faily medium bodied beer and great carbonation. Alcohol present but adds to the overall flavor. Not bad.

D: I thought this beer had decent drinkablity. Scotch ales are not my favorite but this one was pretty dang decent. Might have to revisit again some time soon.

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Highland Ambush Scotch Ale from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
Beer rating: 37.9% out of 100 with 87 ratings
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