Heavy Horse Scotch Ale | Big Sky Brewing Company

Heavy Horse Scotch AleHeavy Horse Scotch Ale
BA SCORE
3.8/5
253 Ratings
Heavy Horse Scotch AleHeavy Horse Scotch Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States
bigskybrew.com

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brownbeer on 03-31-2010

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#15,617
Reviews:
111
Ratings:
253
pDev:
12.63%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
20
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 253 |  Reviews: 111
Photo of Latarnik
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Zorro
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Clear brown colored beer with a small light brown colored head.

Smell is sweet and malty with a moderate amount of smoke. Smells of scorched grain and burnt sugar. That is about all for the smell.

Starts out sweet and smoky with a fair taste of burnt sugar. Smoke gets stronger as you drink this. Stout bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is quite thick, think Oatmeal Stout type thick.

Drinkability is fairly good. This covers all the things you expect in a Wee Heavy. Only problem is it isn't outstanding. This is an excellent gateway beer or example of the style without being extreme in anyway. I probably will purchase this again.

 643 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

rb

A new bottled offering from Big Sky... Cool. Picked up on the way home from work at Brewforia.

Poured into my Old Guardian goblet... 2 finger lite tan head... good retention and great lacing... the brew is a polished deeeep amber.

Nose shows good maltiness with pretty pronounced caramel... earthy... dark toast...

Flavor is more rich than I was expecting from Big Sky (I'm not a Big Sky hater, it's just the truth)... good expected elements... rich malts... caramel combines well with some minor and hard to identify fruity esters (I will guess plummy?)... a bit of "black tea like" tannins on the finish that meshes well with the residual maltiness.

Pretty standard body with a medium carbonation.

Good.... pretty good... I always have a hard time with Scottish style beers and feel like I undervalue them, but this is pretty good and a nice contemplative sipper if you take your time on the glass.

4/4/4/4/4

 921 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Prying off the cap releases spicy British malt aromas with a touch of roast.
It pours deep bright mahogany under a 2" rocky tan head that slowly collapses to 1/2" and leaves thick lines of lace on the glass marking each drink.
With the first sip dark sugars, dark caramel to toffee, some dark malts, a little roast, and a light nuttiness seasoned with British malt spices and light grain roll over the tongue to finish with a medium firm hop accent.
The body is medium to a little above and the carbonation is a hair below medium.

 530 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- this pours a deep copper-red with a 2 finger head of foam. It looks gorgeous.

S- lots of malt in the smell...caramel, some toffee, a bit of a nutty aroma.

T- heavy on the toffee, lots of sweetness, huge grain note, light nuttiness. That grain and sweet malt is a bit overpowering.

M- I'd call it full bodied with the right level of carbonation.

O- aptly named brew...Heavy. Too heavy on most counts and not something I'd buy/drink again.

 444 characters

Photo of Donkster46
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DucksFan16
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of WDJersey
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a dimple mug)
A- This beer has a deep slightly dense glowing caramel brown body with a light tan head supported by a gentle carbonation.

S- The clean aroma has hints of soft brown malt but not much else.

T- The woody caramel flavor is dry that taste a bit oxidized and a water taste to follow. There is a brown malt note in the finish with a faint black roasted hint that lingers for a brief second.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle carbonation

O- The flavor is very soft and a bit thin with some stale characterizes. I didn’t taste any of the rich malt flavor or any pot caramel or any of the other wonderful characteristics of a scotch ale.

 671 characters

Photo of thinwhiteduke
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of crobinso
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of scruffwhor
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color is a tawny caramel with some very thin and sparse latte foam. One column of tiny bubbles rising to the top.

Sweet, super toasted malt and a lot of dark fruits like plums, raisins, black cherries, prunes, and others I can't name make up the nose. Plus a little heat from the abv.

The sip has a juicey palate that moves to something more syrupy in the middle. The taste starts with carbonated toasted bread crust. The middle is just an explosion of caramelized fruit. The finish adds some alcoholic heat that gives this beer a sort of liquer like finish.

 566 characters

Photo of jzlyo
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of barnzy78
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz, best by date bottle stamped 071015
A - creamy beige head holds good retention atop a mahogany colored ale
S - malty nose - smells like a scotch ale with peat, earth, dark caramel, bread
T - very sweet with caramel, bread, brown sugar, peat, and earthy hops
M - medium body, smooth, and creamy; slightly peppery on the finish
O - this wasn't bad, but was cloyingly sweet at times. Pretty good representation of the style but I won't be buying it again.

 457 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours mahogany color with a one finger head of fizzy off-white foam. The head fades rather rapidly, leaving a decent sum of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is very sweet with a ton of caramel, toffee, and some butterscotch. These sweet aromas are complimented by some lighter dark fruit smells of a cherry and plum nature as well as some bready aromas that has a lighter level of a toast smell mixed within. Overall the aroma is quite sweet and very inviting.

Taste – The taste begins as the nose would have let on, with a good sum of a rather caramel and toffee sweetness. Some lighter dark fruit flavors of raisin are there as well, mixing with the slightly bready flavors of the brew nicely. As the taste advances the fruit fades a bit all while with the caramel taking on some more buttery tastes leaving the sweet to take a slightly more butterscotch flavor overall. All the while however, more roast comes to the tongue, which along with it, brings some molasses. A hint of an earthy hop hits the tongue at the very end, mixing with the slightly more roasted and sweet flavors of the brew nicely and leaving one with a quite pleasant flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner side for the 6.7 % abv. scotch ale with it containing a carbonation level that is rather average to a little bit higher. For the style I would have likes a slightly thicker body and bit of a lower carbonation to allow for a more sticky feel for the more sugary and slightly roasted flavors of the brew, but even with that said the feel was pretty good overall and it did make for a rather easy drinking style.

Overall – A quite tasty scotch ale that isn’t too overwhelming. The flavors and smell are fantastic but a little thicker of a body may have slightly more fitting. Overall though it was a rather good drinker.

 1,970 characters

Photo of Hellpop65
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of rspauldi
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of StoutHunter
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I picked up a bottle of Big Sky's Heavy Horse Scotch Ale last month for $1.49 at The Lager Mill. I have been drinking a lot of Dirty Bastard's lately and I thought I would switch it up and try Big Sky's example of the style, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I know it's a spring 2012 release. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks good and it had a nice scene of a horse towing some lumber up a dirt road, I like it. It poured a darker brown color that took on a nice bright copper/ruby red color with three fingers worth of creamy light tan head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left some nice lacing. This is a good looking Scotch Ale, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with loads of malts that have a higher amount of medium sweetness and impart some some grainy, brown bread, medium roast, and a slightly smokey aroma. After that comes a good amount of sweet dark fruits with raisins and plums sticking out the most. Next comes some more grainy and bready aromas and a really slight alcohol aroma. This is a proper smelling Scotch Ale, it has all the aromas that I look for in the style.

T- The flavor seems to be bland and muted compared to the aroma. It starts out with a pretty large amount of malts that seem to dominate the flavor of this beer, they have much lighter amount of sweetness then the aroma led me to believe, and it imparted some grainy, brown and white bread, along with a light toasted flavor. Wheres the dark fruits that I got in the aroma. I found the taste to be unimpressive, I wish it was much more like the aroma, it was pretty one note and bland.

M- Smooth, slightly creamy, on the light side of being medium bodied, and it had a nice amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either, it needed to be thicker.

Overall I wasn't impressed with this beer and I though that it was a little below average for the style. The look and the aroma were going in the right direction but when it got to the taste it really fizzled out and left me wanting much more. This beer had OK drinkability, it went down smooth, but the flavor was pretty bland and it couldn't hold my attention, one is enough for me and I'm ready to move onto something with more flavor. What I liked most about this beer was the appearance and the aroma, they were both were they should be for the style. What I liked least about this beer was the flavor, it seems like all the nice things I picked up in the aroma never made it's way to the taste and that really hurt this beer. This beer was priced well but the lackluster taste really holds this beer back and I would much rather have a Dirty Bastard, I can't say that I would recommend this beer. I find Big Sky to be a pretty solid brewery, but I was a little let down with beer as it really didn't deliver when it came to the flavor, you guys make some good and solid beers, it's too bad this is not one of them, better luck next time, looks like I'm back to the Dirty Bastard's.

 3,069 characters

Photo of cdwil
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of ccrida
2.4/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On draught at The Viking in Spokane, served in a mug, Heavy Horse is dark chestnut with a small off-white head that leaves light, scattered lace.

Smell is pretty sweet, some pie spices as well as caramel. Bit buttery as well.

Taste is less sweet, but this is still all about the malt. The diacetyl is more pronounced, and not that good. There's also a booziness to it, it tastes *a lot* like a watered down bourbon and coke.

Mouthfeel is medium light, flacid.

Drinkability isn't too high, didn't like this beer, some off-flavors, leaving me not impressed.

 563 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher nonic. 6.7% ABV, 237102, 231210 printed on the bottle stacked on the neck.

A - Heavy Horse pours with a gorgeous bronzed ruby mahogany color with perfect clarity and is topped off by an incredible dense khaki head. Great retention despite no carbonation bubbles through the beer and thick, Swiss-cheese-like lace caked to the glass. Perfection is appearance.

S - Heavy Horse has a classic aroma of toasted malt with notes of caramel, toffee, and a pinch of nuttiness but is hindered by a dry, strong mineral finish.

T - Malt driven with very tasty toffee notes playing with gooey caramel and a dense breadiness. A lingering sweetness with underlying nuttiness is golden here. The mineral flavor barley comes through.

M - Medium-bodied and very smooth with a slick finish that's only held back by a seemingly absent, (in reality, it's just low) carbonation level.

D - A slow starting but powerful horse this beer is, Heavy Horse certainly pulls it's weight. Tasty and absolutely gorgeous, it's not a perfect brew, but it's a treat of a scotch ale nonetheless.

 1,099 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into a firm cap of lacing. The aroma is of caramel, toffee, nuts, cream, and hints of vanilla. The taste is similar to the aroma. What I think really makes this beer wonderful is that no one aspect of the flavor or aroma dominates. Instead everything seems to work well together in perfect balance. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a good Scotch Ale that I will certainly drink again.

 536 characters

Photo of morimech
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear crimson color with one finger of head that had decent retention before settling to a thin cap. Quite a bit of spotty lacing is left on the glass. Aroma of caramel with notes of peat with some grassy hops. Flavor is caramel with a hint of peat and smoke. Just a little grassy near the finish. Seems very dry for a Scotch Ale. Nothing terrible about the flavor but there is very little to make one excited. Body seems a little thin for the style as well but has nice carbonation. Easy drinking beer which is a little dangerous considering the ABV. Nothing really to savor to slow consumption. I expected something better from Big Sky.

 638 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I've got no complaints with this beer's look; it's a nice, thick ruddy brown, opaque except in the very bottom of my tulip, where a hint of carnelian or the like shines. The head is creamy and, while not huge, sizeable enough and quite dense.It leaves a ring right where it tops off and follows with webbing and patching.
Lots of dark fruits, somewhat sweet but more tangy, a bit of straight up dry wood, something powdery, a bit of nut (more almond than walnut), a very light touch of smoke, and a vague hint of leaf make up the aroma. It may be yeast that kicks in that dryness (like kindling or split dry oak), but it gets stronger as it goes. The aroma fades with time, too.
The taste brings out more molasses and brown sugar, though not exceedingly sweet by any means, with lots of earth and some dark grains. While nice, I'd actually prefer it a little sweeter. Some herb and leaf even it out, lingering into the finish, where a bit of a peat flavor meets the tongue. For the transition, it goes almost briny.
The feel is this beer's strong suit. it's not phenomenal, but it hits the balance in the strength of body, provides ample crispness and smoothness, and remains consistent to the end.

 1,198 characters

Photo of Dope
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours dark brown with a huge fizzy light brown head. Small streaks of lacing left behind after it fades away. Decent retention.

S: Sweet with lots of caramel and raisin. A little bit of brown sugar and toffee.

T: Again, sweet. Quite malty with a good amount of raisin. It's mainly caramel here up front with some cocoa and earthiness. Sweetness fades into the middle, leaving more of a dried fruit and toffee flavor.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: Not a bad scotch ale. It's on the sweet side which I tend to prefer. Relatively simple but tasty and goes down easy.

 575 characters

Heavy Horse Scotch Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 253 ratings
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