Highland Ambush Scotch Ale | BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 87 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of csiewert
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

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Photo of Glibber
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured rusty abmer color with a healthy creme colored head that hung around for about 5 minutes then left a small cloud cover across the beers surface. Not much lacing of the glass. Not a big smell, but some hints of yeast and light alcohol. Good carbination and a nice mouthfeel. I havn't had many scotch ales lately, some nut flavors along with malt, not much sweetness, and on the backend a nice warming of the stomach with a lingering malty alcohol taste. I don't really drink scotch, but it is not overpowering and kinda nice. A nice beer.

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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 russpowell
2.86/5  rDev -20.6%
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 emerge077
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
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...

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Photo of Rayek
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a thistle glass. This is beer 1,001 and one of my favorite styles. Time to start a new millennium of reviews by changing my style up.

This beer pours a deep cherry wood with a slight haze and minimal carbonation. Although the generous head doesn't stick long, it does leave lots of lace. It's a generally above average look.

Moving on, the aromas and flavors at work meld nicely. The oak aging is quite obvious in the nose. It brings a pronounced woodsy aroma that carries a touch of vanilla. Stepping back, toffee and a hint of chocolate come through. Bitterness is mild and earthy, with lemon and black tea qualities. The oak lingers through the finish. The disappointment here is that the flavor thins out late. This might be the result of a rather light body for the style. It carries a light carbonation that could stand an extra kick.

In the end, I liked this beer, but didn't love it. It's a nice Scotch Ale, but not a great one.

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Photo of philbertk
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of 100floods
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
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?)

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Photo of CaptainTripps
3.42/5  rDev -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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Photo of Airyk12
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber:

Pours a deep caramel color, with a foamy, sand-colored head; about 2 fingers.
Vanilla, herbal hops, and a hint of caramel in the nose.
Feels creamy, but not too flat. Oak aging is obvious from the first taste; vanilla, noticeable malt, and some hoppiness for balance.
Quite drinkable; not too robust or overbearing. Aging really adds a little uniqueness.

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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 twiggamortis420
2.95/5  rDev -18.1%
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 snaotheus
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into a goblet

Pours a dark brown color, not cloudy, but not clear. Head is tiny and very pale. No active carbonation that I can see. Smell is mild, but moderately smokey and pretty bready (sweet and yeasty).

Slight scotch flavor, but very sweet. A little smoke, a little molasses. Pretty mild, overall, nothing overpowering.

Mouthfeel is dry and light. Too sweet to be above average in terms of drinkability.

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Photo of IRONRakkasan
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle with a nice burnt amber color. The head was a good inch thick that disappeared into good lacing. Aroma was a yeasty malt with a bit of black licorice.

Tastewise it's a solid Scottish ale, with a somewhat dry an sour finish. The brew had little bitterness and gave the impression tastewise of a higher alcohol content then in reality.

Not a bad brew. Try it.

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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 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 Irentat
2.8/5  rDev -22.2%
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.

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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 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 barleywinefiend
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark reddish brown with good carbonation and a beige head. Nose is caramel, light oak no bourbon and a tab bit toffee. No peat here. Taste is dominant caramel with toffee and light oak notes, very little bourbon. Mouthfeel is thin, thinner than I would expect, sweet, light booze and guess what...more caramel. Ok but not one I would go back too.

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Photo of weeare138
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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