Louie's Reserve Scotch Ale
Lake Louie Brewery Company

Louie's Reserve Scotch AleLouie's Reserve Scotch Ale
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Style:
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #17
ABV:
10%
Score:
91
Ranked #3,517
Avg:
4.13 | pDev: 10.65%
Reviews:
96
Ratings:
216
From:
Lake Louie Brewery Company
 
Wisconsin, United States
Avail:
Fall
Wants
  75
Gots
  21
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Louie's Reserve Scotch AleLouie's Reserve Scotch Ale
Notes: Released annually in August
View: Beers
Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 216 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by BarefootCharlie:
Photo of BarefootCharlie
4.74/5  rDev +14.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Kurmaraja
2.61/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Diacetyl bomb. All the comments about it being buttery, butterscotch ... are true. Fake, artificial butter flavor. Far too much fruity flavor for a scotch ale as well. Perhaps I got a bad bottle but this was not good.

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Photo of cokes
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Update 2010.
I've been a little disappointed with this over the past several years. This year, however, the nail has once again been hit on the head. Smoky toffee and all sort of creme brulee sweetness. Black cherry. Caramel brownies and burnt plums. Heathery Scotch booziness. Loads of toasted grains and nuts. It's liquid smoky, boozy granola, mixed with creamy dessert.
It's every bit as good as the '03 reviewed below, yet different. Less raw, more refined. It's found its niche. This might be its best year yet.

(Original 2003 review)
22 oz bomber.

A fiery ruby brown. Crystal clear, with a compacted, larged- bubbled tan crown.
Aromas of Peat bogs, low tide, smoked prunes, sherry, and burnt brown sugar.
A mezmirizing concoction. Comfortably harsh. Smooth and jagged.
Dripping wet.
Intensly earthy up front and throughout. Enough peat to be considered a natural resource. Ticklingly tangy clumps of sod. Earthy, muddy, dirty, dark and dank. Yet just when it teeters on the threshold of being too much, a sweetness swells up from the depths. Alluring and pacifying. Prunes and grape juice and toasted toffee. The sweet hues never depose the earthen tang, but rather join it in a blissful co-existence. It turns increasingly vinous, and mixes with an upwelling of bitter chocolate.
Tangy still, and ever will be.
A sedate, grassy hop note attempts dryness, but fails wonderfully. The mouth retains the humidity long after the beer travels southward down the esophagus.

Silken weight. Heavy yet dynamic. Fluid. Cloaked and evident and soft and intense and intoxicating...

And gone.

Fucking incredible.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Color is a tawny russet brown, with transparent reddish bottom and sides, and sporting a small, though sure, creamy head atop.
Aroma is dank and smoky on first sniff...we must go in deeper...smoked salmon, definitely...burnt, even crispy, dark, moist, swampy...I may run out of clear and understandable signifiers, but this much must be clear: I like it, and could keep on sniffing it all the live-long day!
Thick mouthfeel, rich, warm, substantial, chewy, chocolatey...amazing! Has a spectacular mellowing effect, with a remarkable assemblage of flavors that swim in the senses, and stun one with the complexity, soothing and also stimulating. A wonderfrul warmth, luxuriating...this is an awesome nightcap, for the four-poster calls me...although I don't want to end my association with this awesome ale!
Further flavor finally crytallize themselves in my unsorted mind: plums, figs, a touch of tobacco, a hint of cherries. Finish is long, lasting, luscious.
Alcohol feels a bit forward, but nothing I can't handle...maybe?
This is absolutely brilliant stuff, and stands in ably for a barleywine as a last-beer-of the-night, or happy reward when you've been good...I hope I've been good? Huge thanks to Mr. Cokes for sending along this 22oz. sample! A great beer sent by a great BA!

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Photo of assurbanipaul
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with a thin head. Aroma is strong with syrupy malt, maple flavor, some sugary sweetness.

Taste is rich and roasted malty sweetness, some obvious woody flavors, some smoke. I detect some black patent and chocolate malt, caramel, a little buttered toffee and some very mild hop bitterness. Sweetness diminishes as it warms, revealing more of the subtle bourbon flavors like the grain in a piece of wood. No trace of alcohol in the flavors.

Mouthfeel is a little heavy and syrupy but remarkably smooth and drinkable. Would make a fine winter warmer, or pair well with a cigar. I like it, no matter what it decides to be.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Burnt butterscotch suffused with red. The toffee colored cap is whipped creamy with a surprising retention given its apparent airiness. A respectable amount of bubble bath-like foam finds the glass, but would look better and last longer if it was more substantial.

The nose is redolent of (and dominated by) dark butterscotch. Brown sugar crusted figs and dates, along with a tendril or two of smoke, play second fiddle. It smells like the beer will be both tangy and sweet. Oh yeah... and as delicious as all get out.

Louie's Reserve is everything I'd hoped for after drinking Warped Speed. I can't call up too many details about the smaller beer, but this one seems sweeter, more caramel malty and more lush. Can't forget higher in alcohol since the 9.0% isn't completely masked. It's masked well enough though.

Each mouthful delivers a dizzying blast of flavors that includes dark butterscotch (and Scotch whisky), dark toffee, brown sugar, cocoa and sourish peat smoke. Now *this* is what a wee heavy should taste like. There are plenty of Scottish brewers who don't brew Scotch ales this Scottish in character. I didn't think it was possible, but complexity increases as the beer warms.

The mouthfeel is pure, hedonistic pleasure. Time fixes a slightly too bubblicious nature right out of the gate, leaving a gloriously lush beer that is the very definition of silky smooth. I'm trying to slow down since the ABV is beginning to do a number on coherent sentence formation, but it's hard to keep from grabbing the glass again and again.

Louie's Reserve Strong Scotch Ale (as the neck label reads) is the best beer that I've ever had from what I think is the best brewer in the great state of Wisconsin. It's everything I want in a wee heavy and then some. If I was a Badger, I'd buy this stuff by case whenever the brewery decided to grace us with a batch.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

See Cokess review. He hit this one right on the head. I can't improve upon it but to say that this is the best Scotch Ale that I have ever laid lips on.

Wonderful at any temperature. I took a glass out gardening today and two hours of sipping later it was still alive and kicking.

Totally drinkable. Smooth and cremey as any beer can be.

Taste is absloutely dead on Scotland.

Appearance is the most beautiful deep ruby-brown I have ever seen.

I am tempted to give this a 5 across the board but the aroma could be more and the mouthfeel is actually slightly too smooth, to warming, calm, and cremey. I actually want more bite in a scotch ale and the regular Warped takes care of that a bit better than this one.

So refined. Amaizing. How do they do it?

I picked up two sixers today and they will not last long enough. I will be out tomorrow to get more. I'm going to hoard this stuff.

let's unretire this brew and get it on the best of BA. It deserves it!

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Photo of BlindPig
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Thick tan head on a cloudy amber body.
S- Big toffee aroma with grass and some earthy notes in it. Very light hints of fruit too. A light burnt aroma also.
T- A balance between toffee, grass hops, cherries, and a few other darker fruits, a light earthy note as well.
M- Full body with low/medium carbonation.
D- It is pretty good. I think it might be a tad to old but still tasty. I think there are better wee heavies though.

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Photo of DragYourBone
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A red-brown, nearly opaque glass welcomed me on my first pour in over a week.
Slight malt, nutty, and some fleeing sweet caramel scents came through on first sniff.
On first taste, it is noticebly more full bodied than their Warped Speed offering. It was wet and mildy acidic on the way down. Definite tongue-smack quality present.
After a few more swallows, the warmth in my previously empty belly began to warm. The ABV was fairly well hidden despite the early acidity- that I attribute to not allowing the ale to warm fully.
The nuttiness becomes more present as it warms.

Although it was bit more than I wanted to spend (partly because the vendor), the ale is quite good and can see indulging again.

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Photo of SMark
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was poured into an Imperial pint glass from a 12 ounce brown bottle at 46º. One and one half fingers of light tan head resulted on top of the mahogany coloring. No dating appeared on the bottle.

Some malt aromatics were present with the first breath. A darker and brown malt aroma seemed to be present later.

There was a bitter taste with the first sip that took away from the sweetness of the malt. The malt taste is different and I would not classify it as sweet from any of the additional sips.

This beer lasted a little while with some lingering warmth after swallowing. Hangs to the upper back part of the mouth for quite a length of time.

Quite a bit of punch here which is probably due to the alcohol. I like the lasting flavors and slight lacing which also hung around for a while. Read some information on Louie Reserve and it looks like the alcohol at 9% to 10% is what I am sensing. I did not get the caramel either but then I don’t always know what I’m doing. Looks like I was lucky to pick up a six of this.

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Photo of Old_Dead_Oak
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mikesgroove
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was really excited to get to try this one. There was a lot of hype around it, and I watched as it climbed the ranks of the BA top 100 over and over again. I just had to get my hands on a bottle of this one, but from where? Well I was lucky enough to be able to score a bottle of this one in a trade a while back and let it sit in my cellar for a few weeks before bringing it out to get ready to try it. After sitting in the fridge for a few weeks, it was ready to go tonight. Took it out and let it warm up to around 50 degrees before serving this nice twelve ounce bottle into a Lafayette Brewing Pint Glass.

A - Poured a very deep dark brown color, very full looking with the color of dark mud or old wood. Deep hazelnut like color with a very thick almost opaque look to it. Lots of cloudiness and haze built into it as well, really giving it that full look. A nice two finger high head of tan colored lace rose up above the glass upon the first pour. Very quick fade on this one left behind essentially nothing but a thin lace veil across the top and some light bubbles toward the side of the glass. Some light silky side glass lace became apparent when you swirled I a little in the glass. No visible carbonation was apparent. Overall not a bad appearance for a scotch ale.

S - The aroma was rather interesting I have to admit, A little different then I was expecting it to, having had a few scotch ales in the last week. Started out quite mellow with big notes of caramel and toffee coming right up front. No hiding the big malts in this one what so ever. Lots of brown sugar now coming through as well. Something very musty in here as well, bready malts perhaps, maybe butterscotch. A thick aroma, but at the same time, very mellow and light. Quite different to be honest. There was a hint of some coffee beans in here as well, perhaps the lightest touch of bourbon in the alcohol department. Overall not bad at all, I have smelled better, but the profile had sufficient depth to keep me interested.

T - The flavor to me, I have to be honest seemed a tad bit underwhelming to me. It was good and all, don't get me wrong, I had just expected that for something rated higher then any other Scotch Ale on the board that it would really be draw dropping, however for me it just was not. The first flavor to come across was a muted caramel, mixed in with a less then subtle musty bread like taste. It was just that moldy weird flavor I really just do not care for in the slightest. Up next was a deep sweet flavor, hints of vanilla, butterscotch and several types of earthy grain, were all very well represented. However there was just no good follow through for me, nothing that really capped it and said this was great, nothing to really set it apart. No hint of alcohol in this one what so ever which was nice. The finish again came off as somewhat muted and unfinished, really not earth shattering in any way. Drawn out for a short time, were hints of caramel and grass, but these quickly faded into the sugar and were never to be seen from again.

M - The feel on this one was decent enough. A nice medium bodied ale, that did not come off too thin or watery, however just really did not have the big full feel I would have looked for. This was mostly due to the lack of carbonation, which was very evident and to be honest a shame as it really distracted here, making it come off somewhat dull.

D - The 9% ABV was nowhere to be seen here at all. I honestly thought it was around 6 until I looked it up. It definitely was smooth and creamy, but the only distraction was in the flavor, which was just not up my alley what so ever. I still could have put down more then one with ease, but still not the greatest thing in the world here,

Overall I was completely under whelmed by this one. I was hoping that this was going to be some really great Scotch ale the likes of which I had not seen before, however this was just not the case. It was dull , muted, and just really just did not taste anywhere near what I would have liked it to. I don't think I would try this one again, unless I just had a bad bottle, but whatever there are much better representations of the style out there to be found, I don't really think this one is worth the hype.

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Photo of morimech
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown color with one finger of head that slowly settled to a thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma is full of caramel, toffee malt. Some peat and smoke sneak in as well. Alcohol is well hidden.

Flavor has some depth and charactor. It better with the ABV this beer is packing. Full of caramel and brown sugar flavors. It has earthy and grassy hints. Not as sweet as feared as some bitterness comes in at the finish. Alcohol does not play much of a role in the flavor. Just a little warming. A little smokiness would of been welcomed in the flavor but I missed it here.

Not quite full bodied. Smooth and rich bodied. Carbonation well suited to the beer.

An enjoyable, large, sipping beer. Does not live up to expectations however. I wonder what would happen if they barrel-aged this beer?

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Photo of sjstraub
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of grumpygerman
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of MasterSki
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer of this one at Steve's in Madison - for some reason I never see Lake Louie in Milwaukee. Served in a Leinenkugel's pint glass.

A - Pours with a finger of foam that settles to a thin cap, leaving behind splotchy lace. Transparent cherry brown color.

S - Just to be clear - this isn't barrel aged. It's just a higher-gravity version of Warped Speed. Fruity tropical vibe to the malt, along with some caramel, treacle, and cotton candy alongside some yeasty bread notes. Didn't realize this was 9% - it's very well hidden.

T - Again, heavy on caramel and bready malt, with a hefty dose of lightly roasted malts and burnt sugars. Perhaps a faint hint of smoke in there as well.

M - Active carbonation keeps it from getting heavy or cloying. Sticky medium body, and a touch of warmth that builds as time goes on.

D - This is an above-average Scotch Ale that doesn't have any major flaws, but doesn't really blow my mind either (although it's not one of my favorite styles, so I'm curious what it would take to do so). It's not very heavy in peat or smoke but otherwise it's quite true to style. Definitely recommended if you're into this type of brew.

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Photo of vande
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of gford217
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of FrankenBrew poured into a tulip.

The aroma is more roasty than the Warped Speed, with a bigger brown sugar sweetness with some peat smoke hints. The aroma took a while to open up and there is some booze in there. Very complex nose.

The taste isn't as sweet as Warped Speed with a bit more smoke and more heavily roasted. The finish is fairly boozy with some thick rich caramel malts, molasses and dark fruits.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and really malty, sugary and sticks on the palate for a while.

A good, thick malt bomb of a scotch ale that has just enough smoke and fruit to keep things from getting too syrupy.

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Photo of Strix
3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear reddish, decent initial head, fading to nothing, no lacing.

Malt, spices, vanilla, and a bit of heat in the nose.

Very malty, cherry, vanilla, bread, alcohol.

Smooth but somewhat undercarbonated.

My initial sips of this were nice, but as it warmed I felt like it lost complexity and the mouthfeel thinned.

Not a bad beer, but fell a little short of my expectations.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

They still have bottles of this at Malt House in Madison. I had one last night and was very excited.

Poured a deep deep brownish red with no head. The scent wasn't what I was expecting, malty, caramel sweetness and dark fruits! The taste was earthy and sweet. There was a good presence of dark fruit which added to the sweetness I'm guessing and you could pick-up the alcohol in there too. What a beer! I'm glad I tried and wish I would've bought more than a single bottle this fall.

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Photo of enelson
4.52/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of ChrisPr
4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber-brown with little head. Very little aromatics to give a sense of the beer. The mouthfeel is thicker than Warped Speed with much more intense dark flavors, leather and earth. This is a very good beer pushing to the edge of the Scotch ale spectrum, being a bit heavy to have more than one. It would have outstanding potential to be aged on oak.

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Photo of wryepicures
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown shot with red highlights, murky as a lake and little tan head with low retention. It does have some legs that I can see in my large snifter glass.

Aroma: complex malts with notes of caramel, bread crust, nuts, and chocolate. Also with a little toffee, smoky/peat, earthiness, and some alcohol.

Taste: smooth, rich malts. sweet, caramel, nuts, bread, and hints of chocolate. The smokiness adds a bitter/dark chocolate sensation, also some fruits from the yeast add to malty sweetness. Some earthy hops are present but low. A bitterness finishes it out, preventing any cloying sweetness. Alcohol also dries it out.

Mouthfeel: body is lighter than expected, but still substantial. low/medium carbonation is very appropriate to style. a warming quality to the alcohol is present but not harsh, the slight bitterness lingers in the finish but overall I feel its well balanced for style.

A good, strong brew that I like to linger over.

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Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Louie's Reserve Scotch Ale from Lake Louie Brewery Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 216 ratings