Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale
Bristol Brewing Company

Laughing Lab Scottish-Style AleLaughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale
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Scottish Ale
Ranked #56
Ranked #35,381
3.74 | pDev: 12.3%
Bristol Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Laughing Lab Scottish-Style AleLaughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale
Notes: Laughing Lab is our most popular brew among beer drinkers and beer judges alike, with nine medals to its name since 1994 at the Great American Beer Festival alone. The Lab has a complex maltiness that comes from a careful blend of specialty malts. Its nutty, roasted flavor is mildly sweet, but not too rich. Smooth and luscious!
Reviews: 99 | Ratings: 265 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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sjdevel from Utah

3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look - nice 3 finger head after a pour from a 12oz can (Bristol is now canning apparently) - nice copper color and very clear
Smell - some bread - some caramel - touch of yeast - not much there
Taste - a bit of a hop bite up front - caramel and scorched brown sugar inch there way in - some sweetness - some tart/tang - some decent Scotch Ale notes (yeast / bread)
Feel - pretty thin - some carbonation hangs on but it is pretty minimal / uninteresting
Overall - An ok beer - I consider it a Session Scottish Ale - light in ABV and light in mouthfeel - not my favorite beer from Bristol but it is a decent social beer.

Oct 01, 2019
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REVZEB from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Amber brown body with a thin white ring and lacing. Smell has some peat smoke, toffee, bright nuts, and slight leather. Taste starts traditional with toffee, earth, peat smoke, but then brightens up with orange and lemon aspects with plenty of sweet malt to round out. Feel is thin, a little watery, and bright.

Sep 19, 2019
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metter98 from New York

3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at The Mayor of Old Town, Fort Collins, CO

A: The beer is crystal clear orange amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a off white head that consistently left a short head covering the surface.
S: Light aromas of caramel, toasted malts, and toffee are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has additional notes of smoke with just a touch of malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a touch smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is nice and malty, but feels a bit lighter compared to other beers in the style.

Serving type: on-tap

Aug 30, 2019
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Parmesan from Colorado

3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours a dark amber red color with a small white head and no lacing on the glass.

S: Sweet apple juice and caramel, some toasted bread, a light nuttiness. A light floral hop.

T: Sweet apple juice, caramel, a bit of toasted bread and a light nuttiness, a small floral hop, this is q very sweet beer.

F: Medium body, smooth carbonation.

O: This is a pretty solid beer, however it is a tad to sweet, needs little more balance.

Aug 29, 2018
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KLHBB from Colorado

3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Smooth, easy-drinking, quite enjoyable and I love the dog on the label. Jewel-tone brown; smells of nuts, malt. Taste follows suit with the addition of caramel and mango. Medium mouth feel, overall delicious.

Jan 21, 2017
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Wasatch from Colorado

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

12 oz. Bottle
Bottled On: Jan 2016

Pours a very nice clean/clear dark golden brown color, very nice carbonation, with a pretty nice small thick/creamy off-white head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, sweet, kinda wheaty, caramel. The taste is malty, sweet, kinda wheaty, with some caramel. Medium body. Overall, a tasty brew.

Mar 12, 2016
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benjamminjones24 from Colorado

3.02/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured 12oz bottle into tulip glass (bottled on date of 12/1/15
Light mahogany in color, almost no head
smell is of a small amount of malt..that's about it
taste is of watered down malt

Feb 17, 2016
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jw4free from Kansas

2.98/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Look: Scottish Ale: dark amber, medium head.

Smell: missing strong malty overtones.
Taste: hops overpowered any hit of true Scottish ale style
Feel: beer finished with medium body and decent mouth feel.

Perhaps I was poured the wrong beer. Kind of bumbed out.

Jun 14, 2015
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StoneTSR from Colorado

4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Pretty dark brown, not black, but very dark brown. The head’s retention is not great, but it swells up to about a half-inch and when it falls it leaves a gorgeous cathedral lacing that continues on down throughout the whole glass.

SMELL: Rich, bready malts with some dark fruit sprinkled in. It kind of has that Dogfish-esque raisin smell.

TASTE: Both the raisin and the breadiness are present on the palate, but their roles flip-flop. That dark fruit, dark malt flavor really comes through with some slightly sweet caramel notes to round it out. The bread serves as a bit of balance.

MOUTHFEEL: Right down the middle, medium body. It’s both chuggable and sipable, depending on your mood. The carbonation provides a ‘medium-rare’ tickle; a little more than light, but not quite medium. Some sweetness hits up front with the dark fruits, but the finish is quite dry and satisfying.

OVERALL: This is simply a supremely drinkable beer. It isn’t going to blow the mind of a craft beer geek, but for anyone who appreciates a well-made, delicious, drinkable, malty beer, this is an excellent go-to. There is a reason this beer keeps winning awards, it’s just enjoyable.

May 13, 2015
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infinitebruner from Arkansas

4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

January 17, 2015

Draft, taster

A – Light brown with high clarity. Off-white to very light khaki foam.

S – Light chocolate and caramel, toffee. Fruity esters of apples and raisins. Slightly nutty.

T – Very rich chocolate with caramel, almost like a Caramello bar in liquid form, without all the cheap sugar. Slightly nutty here, with some light fruity esters.

M – Moderate carbonation with a very moderate sweetness level.

O – A fantastic blend of chocolate malt and nutty flavors. Excellent Scottish ale.

Jan 22, 2015
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As a dog lover myself, I find great satisfaction seeing the panting Labadore on the label- always make these K-9 friends of ours appear to be laughing. Of course I give the beer all 5's, right?

Bright but dark in appearance, the conflicting descriptors seem an oxymoron at first. But dark garnet, ruby and mahogony in its saturated hues, the beer prevails in a brilliant depth of clarity- albeit slightly ominous. Medium-stern in its ivory-stained foam stance, the beer retains fairly well but it laces with blanketed quilted patterns in its wake.

Toffee and toast take hold in its sweet and malty scent. Backed by the dark fruit-fermented fruitiness of cherry and plumb- its complex nose does more that just imply simple syrups. Lightly charred bread, toasted peanuts and deep caramel give impressions of peanut brittle. Heavily caramelized sugars bleed into the alcohol scent to provide an overall roundness of fruitcake with spiced rum masculinities.

Malty-sweet and strong caramelization gives its taste a bread pudding flavor and feel. Sweet alcohol support is rummy, peppery and offers a dash of cinnamon. Light cola nuts, coffee grounds, and chocolate can be found underneath the caramel and bread taste.

Medium-full with hearty malt structure, its deeply embedded carbonation and starchy feel results in a firm creamy texture. The beer slowly proceeds toward a semi-dry finish with light spicy bite, rummy alcohol warmth, and mild grain-derived astringency.

Laughing Lab is a classic example of a Scottish-inspired, American-brewed crafted ale done well. But it needs more boldness in character, depth, and dryness to compete with the best that Scotland has to offer. But any fan of Porter or Brown Ales won't have any qualms about this beer in their glass.

Apr 11, 2013
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spoony from Colorado

3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From a 355 ml bottle (bottled during the 4th week of December 2012) into a nonic.

A-This brew pours without any head. The beer is a nice color for the style; sort of a deep, rusty amber. It is clear with no visible carbonation.

S-The smells is mild, with dark toasted, lightly sweet malts being dominant. I detect a little bit of caramel and toffee, but unlike some Scottish Ales, there is not a ton of sweet, sugary flavors here.

T-This brew tastes much like it smells with lightly sweet malt flavors (toffee, caramel, nuttiness) being the most noticeable aspect. There is a slight hop twang that provides just a little metallic counterpoint to the maltiness. The finish is long and slightly bitter.

M-The feel is medium to lighter in body for the style with very little carbonation. Easy to drink.

O-This brew is a touch underwhelming. I prefer a bit more chutzpah in beers of this type, whether that means more spice, toffee/chocolate, or caramel...whatever. On the plus side, this beer does provide a nice, long finish, without cloying sweetness. In sum, this is a fair representation of a Scottish Ale that should appeal to those looking for something with a lighter, easy-to-drink flavor profile and feel.

Mar 17, 2013
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riored4v from Colorado

3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured in to a tulip. 1/2 finger, khaki colored head. Clear, ruby colored body.

Aroma was malty, a bit roasty, sweet and a hint of metallic. Some notes of dark fruit and a bit floral.

Taste had a good amount of malty sweetness, but still clean on the tongue. Maltyness upfront, with a chocolately, roasty flavor in the mix. Mild sweetness comes up before the hop flavor. A bit of dark fruit flavor, slightly bitter in the finish helps clean up the sweetness. Slightly floral.

Medium body, medium/high carb, crisp finish.

Nice Scottish Ale. Easy drinking. Sweet and malty, but finishes light enough to enjoy quite a few.

Jan 19, 2013
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DevilDogBeer from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Laughing Lab Scoth Ale poured a nice deep amber color with a fan head. The head in the std pint was two fingers and kept a consistent one finger with nice lacing for the duration. The smell was malty with hints of caramel and mocha. The taste was true to style with a sweet malt front, and finishing with a toasted note and just enough hop for balance. The beer had nice body and finished clean. Overall this is a solid Scotch Ale and worth the effort to look for. Cheers!

Jun 20, 2012
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Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

2.68/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled April 2012. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Expectations are high on account of me friend Brendan's recommendation. Reviewed live.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 3.5 finger head of beige colour, nice cream, good thickness, and great retention. Colour is a clear textbook amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Yeast, heavy toasted malt, cream, and clean malts. Quite light amber hopping. A mild strength aroma.

T: Amber hops and malts, some caramelization and toasted character, cream, and hints of light barley. Fairly balanced and built. Not horribly complex or subtle. I guess I like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Adequately carbonated. Fair thickness.

Dr: Drinkable but somewhat boring. I wouldn't have it again. A decent example of the style.


Jun 11, 2012
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LittleDon from Texas

3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy brown-red. Pours a decent enough head that quickly fades. Very little lace. It takes a bit of swirling to coax a malty aroma from this brew, where there appears to be a bit of caramel sweetness. Very dry compared to the majority of Scottish Ales I've had. Not much going on flavor wise, but this is possibly due to age (purchased 6 months ago, stored refrigerated). Mouthfeel is where this beer shines. Rich, soft, creamy, consistent flavor from start to finish. A mild hint of earthy bitterness at the end.

Mar 29, 2012
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BigBry from Canada (AB)

3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from a 'Make your Own' 6 pack from a Colorado trip.
Clear, amber brown color. Light foam that lasts nicely, leaves a few thin lace strands.
Smells of caramel, nuts, more on the sweet side.
Taste starts with caramel malt sweetness, some graininess, smooth finish.
Medium body, good level of carbonation.
Easy to drink, a good representation for the style.

Mar 22, 2012
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bilyboy65 from Colorado

4.55/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is one of the first I had upon relocating to Colorado. I'm glad that it was a first because this was delicious.

Beautiful brown color that gets lighter around the edges. This includes a nice tan head. Plenty of bubbles from carbonation. The nose on the beer is just as nice. I smell some coffee with caramel and brown sugar. Nice grainy hops round off the smell. From there the taste is delectable. The coffee flavors stay away until the after taste, but before that seems to be a fruity flavor that isn't apparent in the scent.

This beer is crisp and light body beer. Goes down easy and with little stress to the system. Perfect for anytime of year, activity or food.

Jan 09, 2012
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agirlandherpen from South Carolina

3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I purchased this at a local beer/wine store in a mixed 12 pack. The label indicates it was bottled in late October (and it is now December 19th). It poured a dark brown, clear with very small head to it. Excellent carbonation with a nice mouthfeel to it. I find it on the thin side in taste, as I was hoping for a more robust beer. However, It definitely has roasty malt overtones. Its good if you just want to sit back and watch some TV, but I am not a huge fan.

Dec 20, 2011
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Tone from Missouri

3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, brown color. 1/5 inch head of a white color. Slight retention and poor lacing. Smells of caramel malt, slight earthy malt, hint of nut, slight chocolate, and a hint of grain. Fits the style of a Scottish Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of caramel malt, sweet malt, hint of earthy malt, hint of chocolate, and a hint of grain. Overall, poor appearance, but good aroma, body, and blend.

Nov 22, 2011
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bmwats from Louisiana

3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured from a tap into a standard pint.

a: medium brown. 1 finger foamy white head. leaves a substantial beer ring as it settles. very strong lacing.

n: hops, baked bread, and a liitle oregano and basil.

t; slightly sweet (almost artificially so), peaty malt, and a bit of a bittersweet lemon rind.

m: light but full flavored. pungent throughout but a bit of a synthetic sweet twang kind of lingers.

d: easy drinking.

atmosphere is good. nice head and lacing. nose is sweet and grain components. flavor is grain and sweet but has a synthetic feel. overall this is a pretty decent quaff.

Nov 16, 2011
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MsRif from Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at their brewery. Poured a nice amber color with a very small head that receded quickly and left no lacing. Smelled of caramel, sweet malts and molasses. A little bit funky smelling. Tasted sweet...all sweet flavors that I got from the nose of the brew...still a little funky. I think maybe the funk flavor was from some earthy hops, though I'm not sure. Pretty malty, very sweet. A little above average...a good enough beer. Nothing too memorable.

Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Not nearly as boozy as I am used to for the style, but that's not really a bad thing as it does make it more drinkable. I wouldn't have more than one, but I can see the appeal of this one. Try it once and see what you think.

Oct 30, 2011
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bigaltemple from Colorado

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

A - Pours cola-brown in color, with red hues at the edges when held to light. Two finger, soapy, tan head settles to a fingernail width cap leaving some spotty lacing.

S - Rich, dark caramel malt backbone. Some hints of baking bread. Mild hops underneath.

T/M - Sticks close to the nose. Roasted breadiness with caramel/toffee notes. Finishes with a nice hop bitterness, leaving a mild aftertaste. Smooth, medium body with light carbonation.

O - Consistently good local brew. Always a pleasant treat, as I tend to pass it up because it is always around.

Oct 27, 2011
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

not a scotch ale as i am used to having them, but distinct in its own way. pours a lighter shade of brown, with a fair head. nose is sweet roasted malts, and a hit of smoke? burnt sugars in the taste, this is a very very sweet beer. doesnt quite stack up to the best scotch ales ive enjoyed, but a decent brew nonetheless. has a nice warming effect and goes will with just about anything in the fridge. above average

Oct 08, 2011
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blakelive784 from Colorado

3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass:

A - Pours a non-transparent, dark amber/brown color. Head is off white, 1 finger, and fades fast.

S - Toasty malt, a hint of smokiness, and some tart fruit all present and in balance on the nose. Quite nice.

T - Strong malty caramel tones balanced by light, fruity hops. Quite sweet, with a nice smoky bite.

M - Smooth and wet. Medium bodied.

D - A very fine example of the style. Nice, malty and simple, this one I'd have again.

Oct 03, 2011
Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale from Bristol Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 265 ratings