Scotch Style Ale
Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro

Scotch Style AleScotch Style Ale
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #288
Ranked #32,112
3.74 | pDev: 12.3%
Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
Washington, United States
Very Good
Scotch Style AleScotch Style Ale
Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 93 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a BIF from beertunes. 12 ounce can into tulip glass, canned on 9/14/2019. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep orange/copper/light reddish color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and rocky light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, apricot, red apple, caramel, nuttiness, brown sugar, and brown bread dough; with lighter notes of cocoa, coffee, roast, wood, herbal, grass, peppercorn, and yeast/toasted earthiness. A bit too fruity/yeasty aromas, but not overwhelming. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready/light roasted malts fruity yeast, and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with big strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, brown bread dough/crust, toasted biscuit, roasted nuts, raisin, plum, fig, pear, apricot, and red apple; with lighter notes of cocoa, coffee, roast, wood, herbal, grass, peppercorn, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate pine, herbal, woody, grassy, peppery, roasted bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread dough/crust, toasted biscuit, roasted nuts, fruit, cocoa, coffee, roast, wood, herbal, grass, peppercorn, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts, and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance, and no cloying/acrid/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering hop/roasted bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, and fairly sticky/chalky/resinous balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Minimal warming alcohol for 6.4%. Overall this is a very nice Scotch ale. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts, and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with the modestly bitter/resinous/drying finish; not overly aggressive. Great balance of nicely rich malts and fruity yeast complexity; with a nice sized hop presence for the style. Mild residual sweetness with lingering dryness. A very enjoyable offering, and well made style example. A bit too bitter/roasty than expected, but not overwhelming.

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Photo of thebeers
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, ruby-tinted caramel color with three fingers of tan foam head. Nice lacing.

Caramel, molasses and carbon dioxide in the nose, with hints of ginger and allspice.

Flashes of molasses, coffee, prune, gentian root and piney hops in the taste. There’s a touch of peppery burn to it that, along with the hops, prevents it from being overly sweet; it may be alcohol, but really comes across as ginger to me.

Full, creamy, almost-sticky feel with low carbonation.

This is a really enjoyable beer. Lots of depth, while still very approachable. Slight bitterness combined with the malty sweetness to make a great, lingering aftertaste.

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Photo of Buck89
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a snifter. Nice dark ruby-copper color with a frothy light-tan head. The aroma was cola-like with some malt, but somewhat sugary sweet without caramel, toffee, etc. The taste followed, in that the maltiness was there but not as deep and pronounced as others in the style. Cola taste dominated with a somewhat caramel finish. Medium bodied with less heft than bigger beers.

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Photo of Superheatnsubcool
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Drank straight from a 12 oz can. Tasty, complex malt flavor. It doesn’t come off as a Scotch Ale the way I’m used to, though. I’m missing the sweet caramelized maltiness resulting from a long boil. It’s still delicious, and I’m glad it’s finally in cans.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft Dark brown appearance with slight white head. Nice nutty aroma. Very nice sweet nutty taste that is very smooth and flavorful. One of the better scotch ales I have tried.

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Photo of achadwick454
4.94/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great beer! I first tried it when I visited my son who live in Bellingham in 2014, again in 2015 and again this summer. It is a fantastic Scotch Ale. I definitely recommend it.

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Photo of woemad
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased at a local grocery store for $4.79. No obvious freshness date. I can’t believe I’ve never reviewed it, always thought I’d drank it, but maybe haven’t.

Poured into a Boundary Bay pint glass (thanks, beertunes), this is a dark, hazy, coppery amber color, with a big, creamy looking, beige colored head that took it’s time dropping.

Sweet nose to this initially, but as it warms it becomes more bitter. Sweet caramel-bubblegum notes collide with prunes and coffee. One of the more complex Wee Heavies, on par with Fat, though not as big.

The complexity of the nose carries over to the taste. Sweet and bitter co-mingle, though it doesn’t all slide together perfectly, with some jarring bitter flavors that don’t quite seem to find a home.

Full bodied, with a creamy, heavy mouthfeel, almost too heavy.

Cautiously recommended. This beer seems bigger than it’s 6.4% abv, and is a little bit of a chore to drink in it’s bomber format. I’d much rather have this in a 12oz bottle. It’s almost a great beer, but just doesn’t quite get there. It just needs to meld together a little better and it’s home.

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Photo of Moose90
3.39/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served On-Tap @ The Scottish Highland Games

A — Pours a deep mahogany brown with a khaki colored head atop of it. Head fades quite quickly but leaves some stickiness along the inside of the glass.

S — Smells of rich malts and is quite bitter, some notes of lightly roasted coffee, lots of complex malt flavors, cereal, grain, oats, bready.

T — Tastes of dark fruits and malts, roasty and sweet.

M — Sweet, sticky, a bit heavy. OK

O — Nice Scotch ale overall, though a bit one dimensional and sweet.

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Photo of mactrail
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Robust foam on the dark amber brew poured in the tall Timmermans goblet. Lots of carbonation and a sudsy and malty mouthfeel. Fruity nose with some drak grainy aroma.

Rich and malty without being too sweet. There is just a tang of smoke with some apple and melon fruitiness. Dark roasted malt, some cedar woodiness, and blackberries with the seeds. A peachy hint is really pleasant. Modest barky bitterness for the aftertaste. Dark caramel with a slight sweetness lasts throughout.

I would agree this is not such an authentic Scotch ale, but I often like the American interpretations as well or better than the traditional styles. In this case it's a very drinkable malty brew. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Ken's Market in North Seattle.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.21/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance- Pours up pretty much no head and what little there is gone quickly. The head is a medium, dirty beige while the body is a muddy and dark maroon which glows a dark amber when held up to the light. There is no lacing at all.

Nose- Lacks presence. Roasted malts, a little bit of coffee, a little bit of caramel which tends to hint at bubblegum. The bottle mostly shows roasted notes while the glass shows more complexity. Burnt coffee notes, some sourness, and toast come out after some swirling.

Taste- Starts off fairly faint but responds with a flavor profile that is pretty reflective of the nose. Bubblegum, unfortunately, seems to dominate but is well balanced by muted coffee and roasted notes. I have to agree with many of the previous reviewers: this beer isn't bad, it just doesn't have a lot going for it. Weak notes of caramel but no suggestions of molasses, brown sugar, or raisins that you find in many scotch ales. Messiness is easily forgivable in a scotch ale but thinness, not so much. Subtle woody bitterness mixed with caramel but a very watery finish. Some hints of raisin and a little bit of oak start to come out as it opens up more, but this is still pretty thin.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied but watery for a scotch ale. A little too much carbonation.

Drinkability- Easygoing but very boring. This was a gift but I would guess that this was 5 to 6 bucks which is way more than I would ever pay for this beer.

Overall- A little better than average. Below average for the style. If you like scotch ales, I would pass. If you really don't care, maybe give it a try?

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Photo of Bookseeb
2.75/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance pours a dark amber brown having a dissipating thin head leaving nill lace. Smell of mainly sweet caramel and light roasted malt and dark fruit with no peatiness. Taste again of the sweeter malt having a slight acrid from the roast with no or very little peat. Mouthfeel is medium with maybe a slightly high carbonation. Not much complexity to this beer, just a simple scotch.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a rather hazy tawny color with a solid head that displays nice retention and leaves a few strands of lace behind

Smell: Roasted barley, caramel and a hint of earthy hops

Taste: Caramel and grainy husk, up front, with chocolate undertones; a surprising earthy hop character develops in the middle; balanced flavors, after the swallow, with the hops winding up more pronounced that the malt flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not your typical Wee Heavy, not by a long shot, though I really enjoyed it; more like a hoppy Amber with an Oktoberfest malt base, but really tasty

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Photo of jellikit
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal Clear. Reddish brown. Very little head. Thin bubbles. Very thin/quick lacing.

Smell: sweetish. Raisin.

Taste: slightly sweet. Roasted malty. Quick bittering aftertaste. Small alcohol tones, but balanced.

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. Quick spritz upon swallowing.
Nice medium to big body. Think Marilyn Monroe.

Overall: great Scotch beer. Malts are big but balanced with a great toasty flavor. Not too much alcohol flavor...but it's there

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 3/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark red amber. Sweet malt, fruit aroma. Subdued caramel malt, light fruit, butterscotch, brown sugar. Nice but a little too understated. Nice medium body. Slight bitterness in the finish. A pleasant, subtle scotch ale.

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Photo of liamt07
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Justin, by way of Steve. 650ml bottle into a tulip.

Pours a brownish-mahogany with a light offwhite head. A ring of retention, but nothing else to note. Nose is nutty, some chocolate, dark breads and dry malt notes. Palate reflects this, more drying malt flavours, light caramelized notes, breadniess and a bit of chocolate again. Some vegetal notes at times as well. Body is thin, good carbonation. Beer lacks quite a bit in the flavour department. OK, but I doubt I would seek this out again.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper colour with a off-white, porous, lacy head. Sweet, creamy scent with light smokiness, leather, chocolate and fruit.

Malty, rich, Christmas pudding-ish flavour. Toffee, whisky, buttery flavours. Very smooth, and creamy. Light, hoppy bitterness.

Mild carbonation, a trace of alcohol. A bit light - could be thicker, but not bad.

A good scotch ale. A bit on the sweet side, but quite enjoyable.

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Photo of beertunes
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet. I'll correct that. I've drank gallons of this beer, so I went for the cask version today. Poured the dark brown with a bit of a reddish tint that I've come to know so well. Poured with just a thin cap of tan head that OK retention and lacing.

The aroma was the sweet malt scent I know too well. It doesn't really have much of a peat scent, as many of the style do. The flavors were much the same, malty and sweet with a typical BB hop tang.

The body is nicely full and smooth, but there is a bit of an alcohol burn. Drinkability is good, I have this as one of my go-to, best bang for the buck beers when I'm not at beer oriented bars here in town. Overall, a very nice example of the style. Worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
Served in a sampler part of my unsuccessful Seattle-to-Vancouver journey.

A fairly decent Scotch ale. Reddish-brown pour with some head. Sweet and malty to the nose, and similarly to the tongue. Not overly strong or flavorful as I'd expect from the style. But still moderately drinkable.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, an extra courtesy of a generous BA whose username has been lost to the ages. Poured in to a snifter. Cleared out of my cellar over the holidays as part of my "Clearing Out My Cellar Over the Holidays" project.

Appearance: Pours a Tuscan rosewood, crisp and clean looking, at least until the yeast spike, and even then at least crisp and clean enough to showcase a number of nice, bright, lively looking streams of effervescence racing towards the surface. The surface itself is decorated by a spartan pattern of delicate dust and a foamy, bubbly collar, the remnants of one finger of foamy head with average to above average retention. The lacing itself is about the same - blotty, with average to above average stick. Not bad.

Aroma: Light fruit sugars and caramel notes play well off one another, with faint chocolate cherry cordial notes in the distance. It's a fairly roasty, bready nose, with hints of molasses, fruit cake, and brown sugar complimenting the husky, earthy, mildly spicy notes contributed by the well-attenuated malts and mild hop addition nicely.

Taste: A pretty classic and straightforward Scottish Ale taste. Bready, roasted malts dominate, showcasing tons of caramel malts, toffee, and brown sugar. There isn't a lot of residual sweetness here - it's a relatively dry beer, a little husky, but it's not light on the malt. Chewy, heavily toasted breadiness is the name of the game here, though there are a few light grassy and citrusy hop notes (as well as a dash of cherry-esque, fructose malt sugar) and a moderate underpinning bitterness that does keep what unattenuated sugars remain here in check.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated but not overly so, and with a thick but not sweet, sticky, or heavy body. The two facets interact well together, making for an expressive though not spritzy or prickly body with a good amount of chew and presence.

Drinkability: I really like beers like this. Beers from small, local breweries that don't get any recognition or shout outs on the boards and aren't out of this world, but are damn solid and well made (stylistically). This is local watering hole beer, a flavorful, mild, local beer that - at 6.4% - isn't going to knock anyone on their butt too quickly. Well done.

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Photo of malty
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber gifted from an excellent BA (beertunes) back in May '10.

Poured into my old school stemmed thick-walled Busch Bavarian Beer chalice a deep and brilliantly clear rosewood color with ruby edges. The dense and foamy slightly off-white head settled at 1/2". Adequate thin lace.

Smells of sweet, lush concord grapes with a big dose of biscuity malt heartiness. A few swirls of said chalice evoked a very faint scent of oak bark right before it's tossed into the fireplace. Very nice.

Hmmm...Any sweetness I was anticipating from the aromas I enjoyed a few minutes ago were took a back seat to the woody, earthy and faintly toasted malts. The flavors are lighter and definitely not-at-all sweet as I expected from the nose. A nice chalkiness is building in the mouth as I'm 10 oz. into this bomber. A noticeable hop addition is welcomed to this Scotch-style ale, but you really can't taste it (only feel it). The slight toasted flavors meld well with the dry, woody notes. As this ale warmed to room temperature, delicate coffee notes surfaced.

Mouthfeel is spot-on medium bodied with light, fine and airy carbonation that's graceful and elegant. The flavor lightly lingers on the tongue, while the dry/chalkiness really sticks around - making you want to drink...

...more! Drinkability is very high. No cloying sweetness/syrup one might be concerned with from a Scotch-style ale.

Overall this gorgeous brew really surprised me and blew-away any preconceived notion I held for this style of beer. It's pretty simple and straight forward with a reserved quality that isn't found too often in American versions of European styles. Thanks again beertunes for this lovely ale.

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Photo of Briken
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dark reddish brown with a medium tan head that leaves little lacing. A strong molasses aroma with a hint of floral. Taste is at first a very sweet maltiness but the carbonation brings forth a rush of floral hops. An interesting bitter lingering with a fuzzy carbonated feel.

This definitely is a loose interpretation of a scotch ale but is really a very interesting beer. The taste teeters beween the sweet maltiness and a strong hop presence the entire time with a stong carbonation being a good background for them to play against each other. I can and definitely will have more than one.

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Photo of froghop
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear dark brown-orange with a small khaki head, and some lacing.

smell is of malt, brown sugar, some butterscotch, some spice, and malt.

taste is thick, malt, spice, brown sugar, pepper, and some hops, ends tangy, and a little bitter.

overall a nice scotch.

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Photo of John_M
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub last night

The beer pours a dark mahogany color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty matly, which is to be expected in a scotch ale I suppose. There's also some nice vanilla and butterscotch as well. On the palate, this is just a flat out delicious beer. While it's fairly sweet and malty, I'm loving the smokey butterscotch that I pick up as well. Mouthfeel is pretty full, with the beer delivering plenty of malty sweet flavor. Drinkability is good, with the 6.4% alcohol well integrated into the flavor profile.

Am not always in the mood for something this malty, but have to say I really liked this beer. Probably wouldn't order it all the time, but especially on cold winter nights, this is yet another winner from Boundary Bay.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased a bottle of this Scotch-style ale at the brewery and drank it just four days after having a pint on draught at Boundary Bay. Usually I expect more from a draught serving, but in this case the bottle delivered more character and substance. An aroma of cherries, strawberry, melon, and brown sugar emerged that wasn't evident on draught. And a taste of granular sugar with minimal hops accents stepped forward where the draught was ambiguous. Peat character made no appearance.

The beer delivered a soft, pleasant texture that was easily appreciated and vanished with a punctual finish that left no aftertaste. This was a fine drinking ale from start to finish. So why was the draught version so blasé?

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Photo of cdViking
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 5/1/09. Purchased from brewery.

Poured into pint glass from 22oz. bomber. Color is a gorgeous dark reddish amber, with about a finger of foam that dissipates rather quickly. The smell is dominated by sweet malt, with a little bit of dried fruit and grain scent sneaking in. Taste is sweet off the top, with syrupy malt coming through rather strongly, and a little bit of fruity goodness as well. Good carbonation, but a little bit thin for me, even for the style. The abv is deceptive in this one, and I could drink these all night (or as long as my tolerance would allow me to), and with it being good, why not?

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Scotch Style Ale from Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 93 ratings