Heavy Horse Scotch Ale | Big Sky Brewing Company

BA SCORE
85
very good
253 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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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
Ratings:
253
Reviews:
111
Avg:
3.76
pDev:
12.77%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
20
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 253 |  Reviews: 111
Photo of tavernjef
3.46/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep crimson brown with a smearish body of clearness. Small, dense, compacted, dark beige foam sits briefly before fading to an always present thick ring and moderate lacing in small waves of sheeting.

Soft, faint aroma of barely there raisin, purple grape, and roasted grains.

Taste is a simple quick tone of malt sweetness. Short toned maple and raisin switch with some brief caramel and toasted doughy breadyness. Finish has a bit of the Scotch ale tint to it with a slight cloying malt stick and warming toasted malt.

Body is just about medium to light medium with a smooth clean profile to the palate. Malts mostly prevail, but comes up a bit short for a being a solid Scotch ale. The body and drinkability are probably the best aspect of the entire experience of this Heavy Horse other then its solid appearance. About what you'd expect form Big Sky if its not their bigger beers.

 890 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.42/5  rDev -9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured no head, only a couple small bubbles on the surface of an opaque dark brown colored body.
The aroma is nice. Like fresh baked whole wheat bread.
The taste is characteristically sweet with a touch of lemon bitterness.
The texture is thin with low carbonation.
Drinkable.

 276 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead in early April for $1.79. Best by 07/10/15.

Beer poured a ruby brown with a nice head on the initial pour.

Nose is bready with not much else going on.

Taste is bready, caramelized malts lend to a nice sweetness with ample hopping that prevents cloying.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a nice Scotch ale that sticks pretty well to the style. Give it a shot if you see it!

 444 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.39/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a perfect pint. Somehow this only have 3 other reviews despite my purchasing it a couple months ago.

3.5 A: Clear medium amber color. One and a half fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is about average and a short ring of lacing is left.

4.5 D: Deep caramel and toffee. Huge toastiness that is just such a pleasure to take in. It's pretty simple, but it sure as hell is potent and it smells wonderful.

4.5 T: Taste is much like the nose. Big caramel and a huge toastiness. Toffee underneath. Flavors slap your palate silly. Big nuttiness. Such perfect harmony among the flavors and a potency to keep you loving it.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light creaminess. Good here.

4.5 D: Damn good beer. Big, bold flavors that you can't help but love.

 780 characters

Photo of Chucker17
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of jsh420
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

best by 01-05-11

pours bright dark ruby brown with a 2+ finger head that left spotted lacing

smells of dark fruit and sugary caramel malts

taste is like the nose - i dont pick up on any scotch flavors - i taste more burnt malts and some tang of some pale malts hidden away

mouthfeel has a medium body with plenty of carbonation that give it a crispand creamy feel with a great dry finish

drinkability - now i am not one for this style but this is a beer i would want the next time i grill up a fat ribeye

 510 characters

Photo of jheezee
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Beaver13
3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours a copper brown with a medium light tan head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is subdued - peaty caramel malts with a little fruit and perfume.

The flavor is sweet caramel/toffee malts and a touch of fruit with some smoky peat and a dry lightly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a solid Scotch ale - not my favorite style.

 405 characters

Photo of jpuetz
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of tbone1384
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a deep ruby brown with a 2 finger head, decent retention, and the resulting lace is thin and semi-sticky.

Smell - Lots of sweet caramel and toffee on the nose, the kind usually reserved for English bitters.

Taste - Sweet and sugary esters take the form of sweet toffee with notes of caramel. Hops are near undetectable. Sip after sip, it's unbalanced richness tends to get too sweet to enjoy.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Carbonation is a bit on the low side.

Overall - Very rich. Anyone trying to session this might find themselves regretting their decision after the first beer or two. Consider this a one off dessert beer.

 645 characters

Photo of Mitchster
2.89/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

$1.80 for a single at Jacks. Brewed with pale, crystal chocolate, and "roast" malt per the website. Hopped with Hallertau Tradition and East Kent Goldings. 20 IBU, 6.7% ABV

Pours out to a sparkingly clear deep garnet brown, forming a tall whipped dark yellow head with excellent retention and superior sheets of sticky lacing. Mild to moderate carbonation. The aroma is of caramelized sugar, cola syrup, cherry, lightly soured milk, and hazelnuts. Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium dense body. Somewhat syrupy. The taste is a recap of the aroma...essentially an Imperial Brown if you want to think of it that way...nutty, lightly toasty, cola and carob. Overall, a little sweet. No smoke.

This is a decent beer, but nothing that gets me excited. It's run of the mill, and the cola cherry carob combination makes my stomach a little queezy.

 841 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a chestnut brown, perhaps rich/dark shade of amber in there. Light tan head. Nose has dark fruits and caramel candy. Similar results on the palate with caramel, dark fruits, and an almost cough-syrup candy like component. Finishes sweet with cough syrup aftertaste. Easy drinking and light for a Scottish Ale.

 315 characters

Photo of Pegasus
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep amber in color, with a robust tan head, thick, patchy lacing, and slight carbonation - which required a strong light to see.

Aroma: Rich aroma of sweet dark, caramel dominates, as well as a little smoke and earth. The caramel is dominant in the aroma.

Taste: Opens with dark caramel malt, sweet alcohol and a bit of wood that reminds me of French oak. Earth and a little smoke are present, but offer proper deference to the omnipresent dark caramel. Roasted nuts are also notable, and the hops offer a restrained herbal bite, but are just supporting players to the dark caramel malt. The finish is dominated by dark caramel, earth, and smoke.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, very full, with just a hint of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A graceful example, which exhibits all the glory of the style without seeming harsh or overbearing.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of harrymel
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of flexabull
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark garnet color with a very nice tan head. Looks good.

Aromas are oaky, malty, nutty, and with some dark ripe fruits.

Taste is pretty subtle for a scotch ale. Slightly sweet malts, brewed tea, faint fruit flavors, and some nuttiness, and maybe some crisp apple... but I'm not finding a lot of big flavors here. Finish is crisp, with a mineral like hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, smooth, with crisp carbonation, wish it had a little more body though.

All in all, a pretty good take on the style. Not a big powerhouse of flavors like others in the style. But this is nicely balanced, and tasty enough to be well worth a try.

 642 characters

Photo of ssimpson89
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of thebigredone
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on nitro, which really fucked up my ability to taste this. Would likely have tasted better on regular draft. The above rating reflects the subpar nitro presentation.

 176 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another brew from the head of industrial electric from Nebraska---THANKS RANDY!

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a JAFB snifter. Pour a beautiful ruby red with touches of dark brown under a nice off white had of dissipating bubbles that settles down to a thick ring and fine thin layer of foam with nice lacing. Nose of toasted malts, light wood, mild dark berry notes, caramel, and fresh bread. Flavors are sweet up front with a light berry note, sweet caramel malts to the front and sides, and notes of oak and toffee on the back. Some light bittering from subdued hops as it warms, but still a good dose of sweet malts round it all together. Moderate carbonation and a lightly dry finish. VERY NICE.

Cheers

 718 characters

Photo of NickMunford
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of jsprain1
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Red-garnet, very clear with a very light brown head that is one and a half fingers and lays firm at a slick. Minimal lacing.
S- The smell is very mild with a very slightly peaty malt with some light coffee and medium caramel.
T- The taste is pleasing at first but very mild. Caramel and just a bit of coffee. A touch off woody flavors.
M- Medium body, maybe a touch lighter than medium. Body is fairly dry for as malt forward as this is.
O- It's ok but on the spectrum of scotch ales, there are many that are above this.

 523 characters

Photo of bsp77
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass. Best by date of June 22, 2011.

Appearance: Clear mahogany with an almost yellow head.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, and cherry are fairly strong. Some floral, spicy and metallic English hops. Smells more like a English Strong Ale than a Scotch Ale.

Taste: Fairly sweet with loads of caramel and dark fruits such as cherry, figs and raisins. Not as much hops as noted in the smell, just a light spicy and metallic finish. Straddles the line of cloying, but somehow the flavor profile works for me.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, odd finish. Since I did not knock the Taste score for almost being cloying, I while knock the Feel score for the residual sweetness.

Overall: Pretty good Scotch Ale. A little sweet and the finish and aroma is a little odd, but for some reason I simply like the taste. Isn't that good enough?

 879 characters

Photo of woemad
2.23/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Pint consumed at Capone's in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Hadn't seen it before, so I decided to try it.

Poured a dark, reddish mahoigany color, with a thin, off-white head that left scattered spots on the sides of the glass.

Malty sweet in the nose. Vaguely caramel, with some extremely faint peaty notes. Fruity "off" notes as well that didn't seem to meld with anything.

Taste was very similar to the nose. Sweet flavor combined with an overbearing apple-ish fruit flavor that was all wrong for the style. Peaty flavor way, way, way in the background.

Ridiculously heavy-bodied, with a thick, cotton-mouth mouthfeel. Yuck.

Not even remotely impressed with this beer. Afterwards, when talking with the owner of Enoteca, I mentioned this beer and he told me he believed it was replacing either Powder Hound or Slow Elk. Now, I wasn't a huge fan of either of those beers, but I sure don't remember them being anywhere near this bad. Avoid.

 937 characters

Photo of DerwinWentworth
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of seeswo
2.66/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly see-through brown with a tannish head. The nose is light caramel and breadiness. None of the smokiness/particular roasted malt character I always hope for and sometimes fail to get off of a scotch ale. A little concerned already that this is going to be a Scottish Ale. Taste is pretty light - caramel malt and bready sweetness in a package with a thin flavor and a thin body. No depth in the flavor. Seems to be short of the style. Someone mentioned that it was more like a odd brown ale than a Scotch Ale, and I would say it represents something more like a Scottish Style Ale or a Brown Ale than a Scotch Ale. Overall, this is not nearly my favorite representation of the style.

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Heavy Horse Scotch Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 253 ratings.
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