Scotch Ale
Meantime Brewing Company Limited

Scotch AleScotch Ale
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
4.03 | pDev: 11.66%
Meantime Brewing Company Limited
England, United Kingdom
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Scotch AleScotch Ale
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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 104 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours tea brown with a frothy head (despite the weak pop when the cork was released); dots of lacing hang around

Smell: Toffee, stone fruit, tobacco, brown bread and vague peat tones

Taste: Toffee, brown bread and stone fruit flavors, up front, with tobacco and ann acrid character developing, in the middle; after the swallow, the acrid bitterness builds and overwhelms

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I discovered this is an older bottle (BBE 20/07/13) so a fresher example may well be better but this really lacks the big malt and peat character that I expect out of a better Wee Heavy

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #69 (October 2012):

A thinking person’s beer, so much depth it really takes a good while for this one to open up entirely. Originally brewed for the “Rare Beer Club”, now it is brewed on occasion. If you hear of another release it is certainly worth seeking it out, consider grabbing a couple of bottles as well … a bit of age on it, say six months, does it well.

STYLE: Scotch Ale
ABV: 8.0%

LOOK: Glowing garnet, very healthy lacing

SMELL: Chicory, dark bread, blackberry jam, faint caramel, spice, toasted wood, rose water, peppery, dried grass

TASTE: Creamy, smooth, full bodied, treacle, toasty, faint coffee, bread crust, green figs, browned apples, jam, faint leather, ghost-like smoke, musk, peppery backend, slight alcoholic warmth, semi-dry finish

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Photo of seedyone
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

02/20/14 On tap. Great body and texture. A touch of caramel and just the right amount of hops on the front side (which makes me happy). This is a solid beer. If it wasn't for the 8% ABV I would drink it all day. I'll be looking out for more from Meantime Brewing.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served from bottle into a Bruery tulip. Poured reddish brown with a one finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, dark fruit, bread, and plum. The flavor was of sweet malt, bread, dark fruit, plum, and earth. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. The aroma on this one was more on the sweet and dark fruit aspect rather than the usual peat aspect. This I really enjoyed as peat and I have a bitter love/hate relationship with each other. The flavor was more of the same. Tons of dark fruit going on. A fairly well done brew for the style.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a thistle glass)
A- This beer pours a clear dense caramel brown body with a sticky light tan head and a gentle carbonation.

S- The caramel malt aroma has a soft rich sweetness that grows a bit as it opens.

T- The sweet caramel malt takes on a candy quality with some toffee flavors lingering to a surprisingly gentle sweetness in the finish that is not cloying. The malt flavor is very rich.

M- The medium mouthfeel is very creamy with a soft fizz that cuts some of the sweetness but no real alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer is very rich and full of tasty caramel malt but it is still very drinkable and helps to knock the chill of a balmy day. It does have some candy qualities but it is not really overly sweet. This is a really spot on scotch ale and one of the best I have tasted.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, best before 12/10/2012. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a nice 1 finger dense cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lasts. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, raisin, fig, apple, molasses, toast, leather, brown bread, tobacco, pepper, earth, light peat smoke, and herbal spiciness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity, strength, and balance of malt and fruity notes. Taste of caramel, raisin, fig, apple, toast, brown sugar, leather, brown bread, tobacco, pepper, earth, light peat smoke, floral, and herbal spiciness. Lingering notes of caramel, light fruits, brown sugar, toast, leather, tobacco, brown bread, earth, light peat smoke, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity flavors; with zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonaton and body; with a slick and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent scotch ale! Great complexity and balance of malt and fruity notes; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sensible and chic, yet robust and masculine- The ever-classy Meantime brewery delivers on all promises to style, flavor, complexity, and impecible balance.

The ale pours a piquant amber with a misty haze- somewhat reminescent of honey. An absolutely beautiful creamy eggshell-colored head crowns the beer. Impressive in its steadfast structure, the beer continues with blanketed lace. If I hadn't known better, the beer looks like it has been nitro-infuesed.

Its estery sweet aromas are carmelly, fruity, spicy, and deeply earthen. Pungent and raw tobacco scorched earth, bruised peach, grape, red apple and cranberry allow for a mild tangy-sweet interplay that causes much impatience heading into taste.

Caramel malts start the show and become the driving force for the introduction of bruised fruit, marmalade, biscuit, concord grape, and light honey. The sweet and fruity flavors are in complement to the earhten taste that rise in the middle palate. Light smoky peat, burnt dirt, fresh tobacco, and mild peppercorn steer the beer into a malty-dry closure and an oddly compelling hint of grape Kool-Aid.

Just as the taste takes the taste buds on quite a journey in short order, the same happens in the mouthfeel. Malty textures coat the early palate with nearly honey-like proportions. But the mild creamy carbonation slowly recede, leaving a dry-malt texture to close the beer with slight peppery warmth and a light minty woodi-ish hop spice.

Meantime captures all of the signature tastes of Wee Heavy in proper order, exquisite balance, and with authentic Scotish taste. It's a highly rewarding ale and surprisingly refreshing.

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Photo of champ103
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown/ruby red color. A two finger khaki head forms with good retention. Sheets of lace are left behind. This is a looker.
S: Just a huge malty aroma. At first caramel malts. Though much more comes out. Toasted malts, bread, cereal grains, wood. Slightly smokey. Then a very distinct nutty aroma. A wonderful nose that has so much depth. Amazing.
T: Follows the nose with a great malty character with tons of depth. Toasted and caramel malts. Very sweet at first. Though other malty nuances come out. Bread, grains, wood and smoke. The sweetness becomes a bit much towards the end, and there is a slight metallic flavor that will not go away in the finish. Though still very enjoyable.
M/D: A medium to full body. Moderate carbonation that is very smooth and creamy. The malt character is very chewy So easy to drink. A very enjoyable sipper.

Oh man, this is a big and complex beer. I love the big, chewy malty character. Just a great beer, and highly recommended. Another winner from Meantime.

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Photo of MDDMD
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-reddish golden color with an off- white head and good lacing

S-malt, caramel, dark fruit, spice

T-malt, caramel, raisins, toffee, hints of bourbon

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, creamy and smooth

O-a solid scotch ale with a nice blend of flavors

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 7/28/2012 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramel, dark fruit, brown sugar, malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with an intense brown sugar and caramel sweetness up front. Then a hearty malt character comes in along with background flavors of bourbon and dark fruit. There’s a mild but complementary hops presence that provides some balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style even though it’s on the sweet side, it’s a decent beer to drink for a while.

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

A dark, ruby-red body with a creamy off-white head. Toffee, caramel and light spice to the aroma. Sweet malt flavor, nicely offset with a lightly toasted grain component and lightly burnt sugar. The taste rounds out nicely with a well-balanced hop bitterness and slightly noticeable alcohol warmth. Medium sugary body, smooth and soft.

A very good malt-centric beer. Lots of depth and character all around. A very nice change of pace from hop bombs...

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Clear, deep amber color. Two and a half fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is very good and a short ring of lacing if left.

4.0 S: Nice aroma on this. Peaty foremost followed by toasted malts, caramel, and toffee. Also a fairly strong cider component. Some dark fruits.

3.5 T: Tastes just like the nose. Peaty, big toastiness with caramel and toffee in the background. This is a lot drier than I was expecting, but it's tasty nonetheless. Much less cidery than the nose suggested though.

3.5 M: Lighter medium to medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Creamy for how thin it is. Good, but I wish it was a bit thicker.

4.0 D: A couple categories were borderline, so I'll bump this. Tasty, well crafted beer.

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Photo of HopNelius
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served out of 22oz into Uk pint glass.
Appearance- Dark brown with a purple hue and very little carbonation.
Smell-notes of dark fruit and dark malt.
Taste-tastes of rasins, dark fruit, citrus, alcohol and a lot o malt.
Mouthfeel-syrup like consistency but pleasant.
Overall-solid and complex scotch ale, I enjoyed this one but not for the faint of heart, my wife tried it and she usually goes for more of the wheat/wit beer variety and she told me that she thought it tasted like cough syrup.

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Photo of rudzud
2.94/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared with by jlindros. October 2009 vintage, bottle # 170/2050.

A - Poured into a tulip a rudy garnet with a light one finger head that left a nice white blanket.

S - Light fruits but this is mostly smelling of spoiled hop oil. Just...very blech.

T - Tastes light burnt malts and old hops. Rather acrid and salty.

M - Mouthfeel is thinner and flat. Very underwhelming.

O - Eck. So far Meantime has been one disappointment after another for me. Really hesistant to try it again.

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Photo of jlindros
3.08/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Oct, 2009, maybe left too long, but you would think a nice 8% scotch ale would age well.

Light bubbly head fades semi quickly, dark molasses brown color with haze and yeast chunks.

Nose has a bit of rancid oil either infected or too old, hints of molasses, brown sugar, toffee, light sour either from infection or rancid oils, light creamy dark roasty like malt, caramel malts, hint of chocolate.

Taste starts with an acrid dark roasty almost burnt acidic but also rancid oil like, then dark malts with caramel, molasses, brown sugar, hint of chocolate, light syrupy, stale malts, light roast, sweet dark sugars. Finishes sticky and syrupy, little bitter, more of the acrid flavors, a bit if briny salty earthy quality.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied but kinda flat.

Overall not too great. I was really excited for this one, as it was a bit on the expensive side and a nice big UK style scotch ale. Should have been good with 2 years aging, but that seemed to kill it, or it wasn't good from the beginning. Who knows. I'm not risking buying another 750ml bottle to find out.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium-Dark brown with a cherry hue. Topped with very light tan colored head which has a pancake batter consistency. Good retention and decent lacing.

S: It has that distinctive toasted-charred malt quality about it which I only get from this style. It's almost like very dry firewood. Next to a hot caramel coco of some kind.

T: Very nice progression of flavors. This is a very well made beer. Caramel/toffee with an ever so slight orange pulp tart suggestion as well as molasses. It does have a mildly woody quality about it as well. All of these flavors are rather soft merging harmoniously with one another. A high degree of carbonation really adds to this beer as it might become a bit cloying if the tiny bubbles weren't there to help break up the sweetness.

M: Prickly and sticky at once.

O: I actually really like this stuff. It's crazy drinkable and probably one of the better balanced beers I have tried in the style. Absolutely worth a try.

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

Not sure of the vintage of this one as I got it from the Michael Jackson Rare Beer club and I haven't been a member of that four over two years; I'm guessing this one is about four years old or so. Poured from 750 corked and caged bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Pourd a dark brown color with a nice foamy tan head that actually lingered longer than I thought it might. Aroma of toasted malt, dark fruits, raisins. Taste was very good: roasted malt, smoke, dark fruits with no bitterness in the end. I'm a bit disapointed that this is my last bottle of this as I would like to have it again.

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Photo of MarvinTheMarzen
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Bavarian Lodge. The beer was dark ruby in color, only slightly lighter than Guinness. The aroma was clean but deep, which could easily describe the taste as well. The taste was also not overly complex but what was there was good. Glad I tried it but probably won't have it again.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale dark brown color with a foamy tan head with low retention and lacing. A little visible carb.

Dark rich malt, raisins, darke fruit, rum soaked plums notes. Sweet rich nose. Smells like it'd be very heavy.

Flavor is almost exactly like the nose but surprisingly lighter than expected. For the style of beer the flavor is decently balanced. Front ended flavor which is good, keeping it from finishing heavy.

Full bodied mouthfeel. Seems at first seems a bit tacky but actually finishes a bit dry. Surprisingly good carbonation after a flat cork pop.

Overall this beer is pretty good. I wouldn't search it out again but it was good.

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Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mahogany-brown with a creamy off-tan head.

What a creamy, sweetly roasted nose- dark chewy barley joined by hazelnut oil and freshly roasted coffee. There's some vanilla bean creaminess and brown sugar spice, while the hops add delicate and indiscriminate floral tones.

The palate is full-bodied with a very low carbonation and a sweet delivery that manages to stay restrained and uncloying, keeping a lot of its elegance. The creaminess joins the big roasted grain for a flavor reminiscent of breakfast with a warm and gooey cinnamon bun and perfectly roasted coffee. Very delicious with a long, sweet finish.

I'm a big fan of this. It's always awesome when a brew reminds me that any style can be delicious if made properly. The Sam Adams Wee Heavy sort of killed Scottish-style beers for me for a while, but this has signaled a triumphant return of the style to my beer-radar. A lovely roastiness which allows many delicious flavors to join the very pure barley character I've come to expect from the style.

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Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark reddish brown in color and poured with a thin tan head.
S: There are light aromas of sweet malts in the nose along with some notes of dark fruits and hints of peat.
T: Flavors of sweet malt dominate the taste, which also has hints of caramel and toffee.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and goes down smoothly.

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Photo of emsroth
2.27/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

App: great ruby brown with a solid head

Smell: salted caramel which is on par with the style. A bit of Apple cider which is off-putting.

Taste: overdone caramel malt. Just too much of the stuff. Tastes like saranac's caramel porter, but here, I'm not expecting it. Good dry malt finish and slight, perhaps too slight, herbal hop finish. No smoke or any burnt flavor I associate with the style.

Cheap, sugar water, homebrew body

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Photo of DearthVader
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml Poured to a snifter

This is an intro into the style so I'll definitely give this one another shot down the road.

Pours a very dark brown with a nice 2 finger tan head. Head falls to about a 1/4" that lasts throughout. No lacing left behind at all.

Smells very sweet. Pick up sweet white wine, berries, and strong caramel malt. Hues of apple juice as well.

Taste follows the smell. Mostly of sweet berries and caramel malt, but with a roasted finish. Maybe it's typical of a wee heavy, but it just doesn't impress me.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thick and creamy. Slight carb but not much.

Again, it was an intro into scotch ales for me so I will definitely revisit this one down the road after trying a few others.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.79/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The inside of the cage has this printed: 'AN I FOR DETAL'

Appearance - pours a fine reddish caramel, a light mocha cap on top. Fades back and holds at a thin cover.

Aroma - a spritzy wisp of grain, some very light peat. A bit of a letdown, though I do begin to pick up a little toastiness as it sets up.

Taste - sweetness up front for the grain. Lots of brown sugary taste. A scant hint of development on the swallow with some balancing hops, a touch of pithy rind but nothing real citrusy or distinct. The aftertaste lets on with some mild abv heat. Finishes a touch twangy.

Mouthfeel - moderately crisp, a decent upright body. At 8% it could get big quick but it stays manageable.

Drinkability - two ways of looking at it. 1) I should have had it sooner, it didn't come across at peak I think. Decent, but the brown sugar edge to me often means a step away from going rogue on flavor; 2) at 8%, this should develop or at least hold 18 months later. Not a fail but I did expect more.

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Photo of Offa
4.97/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is phenomenal. I had several Oct.09 bottles in early 2011.

Very deep red brown, medium-big tan head steadily shrinking to a foamy ring and leaving a little bit of lace.

Aroma is hints of wine, vinegar, lots of very toasty fruity maltiness, candied fruits, dark toast, bread, hint of chocolate, wonderful, engaging, and complex.

Taste is as above for aroma, winy-fruity, toasty, hints of chocolate and spices, dried fruits, etc. It has a lot of flavour, great balance and integration, complexity, etc., and a lively, engaging feel. It's outstanding.

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Scotch Ale from Meantime Brewing Company Limited
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 104 ratings