Portsmouth 90 Shilling Scotch Ale | Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth 90 Shilling Scotch AlePortsmouth 90 Shilling Scotch Ale
25 Ratings
Portsmouth 90 Shilling Scotch AlePortsmouth 90 Shilling Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A big, malty, amber ale brewed in the tradition of the Scottish highlands with a touch of smoked malt. Full-bodied & smooth.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 15
Photo of WoostaBia
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of Fitheach44
1.5/5  rDev -64%

Photo of ajcormier
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Celtics76
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of jjcote
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of Bendurgin
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Pours a muddy light brown color with a thick cap of beige head. The head settles to foam and gives of some sparse lacing.

Light fruity aroma; like figs with a woody undertone. Rich toasty malts give this a nice body to the nose.

Maple on the pallet with some dark fruits to finish this off. A nice oaky flavor to the finish.

The body is full with soft carbonation. A bit hot.

Overall pretty solid brew here. Really enjoyable on the cusp of winter here.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of joepais
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of ElGallo
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of akorsak
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bomber from the brewery over Christmas.

A: The scotch ale is a tawny color, reddish in a hue that retains its translucence. A decent head, almost a finger on first pour, quickly whittles down to a thin band.

S: Plenty of malt, more than the draught version ever indicated. A mild peated aroma, very light, is par for the course, adding to the sweet tang of the rich malts.

T: The peat, soft in the nose, is upfront, adding a distinct, smoky, sea salt flavor to the ale. Sweet, lightly roasted malts follow the peat, chewier. Caramel comes through the warmer the ale gets, an aspect that is well at home with the peat. Another Portsmouth beer that is much better in the bottle. The cold temperature at the brewpub masked the delicate peat. Too bad because the bottle version is quite tasty.

M: The mouthfeel starts off salty, quickly moving into rich maltiness. My kind of wee heavy, bold and rich with just a touch of peat. I'm glad I brought a bottle home with me.

D: Pretty darn strong at 9.5%, whether it's a 70/+ or a 90/+. A good wee heavy.

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Photo of Kinsman
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle reads 70 Shilling Scotch Ale (same as picture), which I believe is a different recipe than the 90 Shilling with a lower ABV, so I'm not sure why this is listed as an alias.

Anyway, poured into my Smuttynose "Balloon" glass it shows a light mahogany color with chestnut red highlights and a sticky looking cream colored head.

Aroma is slightly bready and biscuity with some sweeter maltiness too but really nothing too strong.

Taste is surprisingly not as sweet as expected for a Scotch Ale. Lots of toasted malt-type flavors with some caramel sweetness which are well complimented by a nice hop bitterness to round it out. As it warms, a bit more of a residual sweetness comes through but seems appropriate for style.

Mouthfeel gives you a full body feel with some chewiness to it. Overall, as with many Portsmouth beers, this is a great example of the style and something you really can't go wrong with.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Bomber bottle bought at the Brewery earlier today. According to their website, this batch clocks in at a massive 9.5% (even heavier than the BA listing).

Appearance: Medium to dark brown in color with crimson red highlights throughout. Pours a half finger beige head with almost no retention whatsoever.

Aroma: Figs, molasses, and peat moss all in nice harmony. Good balance of sweet and earthy notes.

Taste: Caramel, raisans, and figs in the front. A touch of alcohol in there as well as this is nice and sweet upfront. The earthy flavors come in toward the end. Peat and herbal notes typical of a scotch ale. Clean finish. Very nice balance of earthy and sweet here. Complex and close to perfect for the style.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied and creamy. Wish the carbonation was a bit more lively here though.

Drinkability: Really smooth for the ABV and finishes clean. Definitely a sipper, but one I could sip on all night.

Overall, I'm not usually a huge fan of this style, but I think Portsmouth nailed it with their interpretation here. Perfect balance, nice flavors, and the added benefit of high ABV. Highly recommended. One of my top fives favorites from them definitely.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown root beer color with a thin mostly white head. Smells of tasted malts, alcohol, and scotch. First sip is malty like an Old Ale but with more carbonation. The 9% ABV is not hidden. It is large and warming. The caramel malty sweetness gives way for a beautiful bitter finish.

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Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle sampled courtesy of georgiabeer - thanks!

Pours a hazy reddish-brown color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of deep caramel malts with hints of plums, pears, and toffee.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the fruit flavors are a bit darker. Caramel malts are once again big, followed by small amounts of booze-soaked figs and plums. Light toffee flavors come in right before the slightly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness that's a bit crisper than most beers in the style.

Drinkability is very good. I had no problem finishing my glass and would have no problem finishing an entire bomber of this.

Overall this was certainly one of the tastier Wee Heavy's I've had the pleasure of imbibing. The mild fruit flavors complement the malts quite well, and this is definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of Hawthorne
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd mirror the thoughts below and just add that this is a beautiful beer for the malt lover. The pour I had follows the descriptions below and the taste was nothing short of graceful. what follows is a well balanced beer with a need for a second go. Well done Portsmouth!

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Photo of gestyr
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! I can't add anything to the previous reviews without being redundant. Excellent example of a Scottish ale. Nice mahogany color. Smells of malt, peat, figs. Full bodied and warming. Slight alcohol aftertaste but not overpowering. You have to taste it to believe it. Definitely a beer to be enjoyed slowly on a quiet evening.
If you have never tried a Scottish ale, this would be the perfect introduction to the style!

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.57/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Outstanding beer! One of the very best Scotch ales I have ever had. I had this on-tap in the brewpub in Portsmouth, and snagged a bottle as well for home consumption. Both the beer menu in the pub and the bottle describe this as 70 shilling rather than 80, but I note that that is an alias for the 80. Perhaps the name change is permanent? The beer pours a dark brown with ruby highlights, a light head, but great lacing. The smell is deep, rich, and malty, but not overly sweet with notes of wood, fig, date, and a bit of smoke. The taste is fantastic. I'd go so far as to see that it's the best U.S. brewed Scotch ale that I've tasted. Deep flavors of deeply carmelized treacle, smoke, and some dark fruit. So much richer than most butterscotch dominated Scotch ales. The mouthfeel is very smooth big and full without being sticky. The drinkability is good for such a big beer, but it is a little hot. Laying down a bottle of this should produce glorious results. This was the best we had at the brewpub that day, and after Kate and perhaps their double IPA, it might be their best offering. Highly recommended.

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Photo of gford217
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of MrRetardedMonkey poured into a snifter. My bottle clearly reads "70 Shilling Scotch Ale" but I'll stick my review here.

Pours a deep, deep copper with a small bubbly tan head that dissipates quickly to a collar leaving sporadic lacing. Aroma is dominated by sweetness with caramel malts, toffee and dark fruits, but there is a hint of citrus hops in the nose as well. The taste is a more toasted version of the smell with big sweet caramel malts and dark fruits playing big roles. Again, there is a slight hop presence in the background but not enough to leave more than a passing bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with strong carbonation that tickles the tongue with the sweetness that dominates the taste. This is one of the best scotch ales I've ever had and I can't thank Scott enough for giving me the opportunity to try it. Highly recommended!

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Photo of MrMonkey
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this on tap at the brewery a while ago, but I've been a bit too busy lately to write any reviews. This is from my notes.

Pours a dark reddish brown with a one-finger beige head that faded to a thin but lasting cap. Fairly decent lacing.

Nose is caramel, toffee, a hint of peat smoke, vanilla, and some dark fruits.

Taste pretty much follows the nose, with lots of sweet caramel malt, toffee and vanilla flavors, a mild but noticeable peaty smokiness, and dark dried fruits.

Mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium, and is very smooth.

At 9%, the alcohol is not noticeable at all. Very easy to drink and quite enjoyable. I'm psyched that I managed to score a couple of bottles of this one.

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

I had this at the bar with lunch, and enjoyed it so much I took a growler home. Served in a tulip glass, the beer was a dark red/brown color with a medium head and a little bit of lacing. It had a sweet, chocolate, caramel aroma. Very strong malt presence in the taste. The sweet aroma translated into a dark fruit taste, chocolate was there, and even a hint of smoke. This is a full-bodied, filling beer.

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Photo of mbrandon2w
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice deep brown/red, almost mahogany, color. Low carbonation.
Aroma was of toffee, chocolate, hints of vanilla and coffee. Chocolate, toffee, dark fruit flavors dominated, all mixed together and blending more and more with each sip. This is a beer that makes you really sit back and think about all the flavors you're experiencing.
The mouthfeel was smooth, with a nice full body to the beer. It never became excessive or overbearing though.
The one issue was after a while the alcohol became a bit harsh. As it warmed it seemed to get more and more hot and solvent-like.

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a pleasant surprise this was! I could not get enough of this stuff - a nice deep red with a thin but solid white head and a good mellow, peaty malt aroma. This ale went down super-smooth, with a tasty well-balanced caramel\peat flavor with a perfectly clean finish, only the barest hint of bitterness. Honesty I have to rank this among my favorite Scotch Ales of all time. God, if this was in a cask...

"Please sir, may I have some more?"

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Photo of Bierman9
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed big-time on a week-day visit to the Brewery... Tracy poured me a nice pint of rich, copper-amber colored brew with a superb, off-white, creamy head. It started out at about 1/2", then shrank to a thin, lasting layer...with very good lacing! Nose tended to be on the mild side, though malt and peaty notes were evident! Body was medium-plus...almost full....and it was quite smooth on the tongue. Nice sweetness assaulted the palate...with decent malty notes and peaty-smoky flavors (which were subtle yet present in a positive manner). There was very minimal bitterness, leading to a very smooth, easy-drinking finish! Prosit!!

overall: 4.2
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5


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Portsmouth 90 Shilling Scotch Ale from Portsmouth Brewery
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 25 ratings