Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale | Bristol Brewing Company

95 Reviews
Laughing Lab Scottish-Style AleLaughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale

Brewed by:
Bristol Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-04-2002

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Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 237
Photo of cbonham
5/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm with the others here. I've purchased this beer several times (most recent purchase was just on Sunday night), and cannot get enough of it. The color is a darkish amber, and you can definitely smell the malts in the beer. It goes down very smoothly as well.

Compared to all of the other local brewing companies, such as Trinity and Phantom Canyon, I think this scottish ale really stands out. The head, once the beer is poured, is manageable. I'll definitely continue to drink this in the future.

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Photo of jmbranum
4.62/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasting one of a few bottles I brought back from Colorado Springs. Saw this beer all over town while I was there btw. It was quite yummy on tap but am reviewing the bottle right now.

A superb Scottish ale with excellent balance.

Aroma is very good. Very malty with caramel and roasted notes.

Flavor is extremely balanced. Lots of malt but not cloying. Fairly dry at first with a sweetish finish. Nutty with some slight herbal notes. Slight caramel in the background.

Smooth medium mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable. Very much recommend this beer.

(I should have brought back more than a six pack.)

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Photo of KJay1408
4.6/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm really pumped to be reviewing this brew, I tried it on tap at the Bristol Brewing Co in Colorado Springs CO. and had to get some more before I traveled back to Nebraska.

A: Poured into a glass. Pours a beautiful deep copper/red, slightly cloudy, with about one finger worth of head, which quickly dissipates to a bit of white lace. 4/5

S: Some hops, blended with a good dose of malt aroma, slightly bready. A great smell for a Scottish style ale, but could use just a hair more hops. 4/5

T: Excellent, starts out slightly sweet and malty with hints of biscuit flavor and hops. Soon it transitions to a beautiful light to mild hop bitterness balanced by a lingering malty sweet/biscuit taste. 7/5

M: Very good, a nice substance feel that isn't thick like a milk/cream stout, nor is it watery like mega brewery "Beer". It is a nice balanced feel that seem appropriate for the brew

O: Easily one of the best beers I've had, and the best Scottish ale I've gotten to try. It is a very balanced brew that leans toward the malty side of things, but doesn't go overboard. The hops are minimal but detectable, which is appropriate for the style. If you're a fan of Scottish Ales this one is more than worth a try, and if you're not a fan of Scottish ales this one might change your mind. An awesome brew. 4.9/5

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.58/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This comes out of the tap a rich mahogany brown with a fine-bubbled head. Aroma is strong, spicy, malty, with a hint of hops. Flavor is rich and smooth, with hints of hops, caramel, smoke and cloves; the sweet nicely balances the hop bitterness. It goes down lively and sassy.

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Photo of bilyboy65
4.55/5  rDev +24%
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.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.33/5  rDev +18%
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.

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Photo of inebrius
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The name got me expecting the big malt fatty. Close. Burnt amber under thin fingers of lace. Wonderful nose of Autumn and the fallen leaves of Sugar Maples strewn about the forest floor. Smooth and malt and balance and smooth. This is a perfect Wintertime ale suitable for fireside contemplation or joyous snowball affairs in the front yard.

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

Brown, with dark ruby accenting. About an inch of tan head with decent retention, which slowly laces around the glass.

Sweet and malty, and a hint of roasted malt. Nothing to say about hops here. Not as full of a smell as dark beers often have, but it's nice.

Malty and caramel-y, some more of the toasted smell comes through with the taste. Not much alcohol hanging around, but the taste lingers for some time.

Medium-bodied and soft. You could probably argue that it's slightly chewy.

Drinkability: Pretty high. It doesn't have such a strong flavor that you need to recharge afterwards, and it tastes very smooth. Despite not kicking your taste buds, it certainly has a nice flavor to it. A good poster boy for the brand.

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Photo of Todd
4.16/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Bottle date on the side. Ahh ... look at the happy dog on the label.

Appearance: Hazy amber/brown in colour with a thin white cream lace.

Smell: Quite the malty aroma with caramel being the dominant, followed by fruity esters and hints of roasted, wood and sherri in the nose. Very aromatic and wonderful.

Taste: Malt flavours aren't too sweet, body is light to medium and the mouthfeel is smooth. Nutty, caramel, thin roasted twang, light chocolate with more fruity esters run the palate. A light buttery diacetly smoothes in, way back on the palate. No real hop bitterness, but there's a hop flavour reminiscent of a herbal/flower tea-like concoction, with an earthy "green" grass-like bite on the palate. Finishes real dry, near grain dry.

Notes: A fantastic Scottish-style Ale, in my opinion. Balanced all the way with loads of malt tease, without bogging you down in sweetness. Incredibly enjoyable to drink. Thumbs up to Bristol.

Thanks to Arctic Liquors for the sample.

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Photo of DelMontiac
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 20oz weizen glass at Cheddars, 11136 Rampart HIlls View, Colorado Springs, CO.

Yes, for starters, it was served in the wrong glass, but I didn't care. Note that on the ticket, they called it Laughing Lab Pilsner. Ha! Oh well, that's another review.

Classic bronze/brown color with ruby highlights and a very nice 2-3 finger bulging tan head that produced a grand lace on the tall glass. May not have been in the appropriate glass, but it still looked nice.

Aromas were of sweet malts and dark fruit. Slight sweet pipe tobacco as well.

Flavor was more of the same. Sweeter than what I imagined. Bready, dark fruit (plum, raison), slightly buttery, faint chocolate hint, a bit muted in the hops department, but still very good. Like it a lot.

Okay mouthfeel. Slightly prickly carbonation. A good dinner brew.

The abv felt higher that what's listed here, but then I'm not used to the elevation either, if it matters much. I was very impressed with this beer. Why in the hell didn't I buy some to bring back home with me?!

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Photo of cyrock1
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Mahogany with a dull white head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Some carmelized notes, light toffee.

Taste: Mildly sweet with nice roasted hints.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is just enough to cleanse the palate each time you take a sip leaving you wanting more.

Drinkability: Very clean finish leaves just enough flavor on the tongue to make you want to refresh the tastebuds of the flavor and have another sip.

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Photo of jokelahoma
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs, watching the Sky Sox on July 4th.

Beer pours a deep mahogany color, and crystal clear. Had a tight head that lasted a remarkably long time, and carried an extensive lace all the way to the end.

Aroma carries no hop nose that I can detect at all, which is just what you'd expect from a Scottish. The beer smells like it will be bitter, but most of that perception comes from the roasted grains. And grain is all you smell here. Just sweet malt.

The taste is very mild, and very subdued. There is a little roastiness to this, but not what you might expect from the nose. There's no mistaking this for a porter or a stout. It's somewhat caramelly, and certainly sweet enough to balance any roast grain-induced bitterness that may be present. No hop flavor to speak of. Just a slight level of bitterness that counters the malt sweetness to prevent it becoming cloying. Keeping in mind this is a Scottish ale, the balance here is quite good.

Mouthfeel is a high medium, bordering on plain old high. It isn't overwhelmingly thick or oily, but it certainly isn't watery either. Again, just about what you'd expect from a Scottish ale. Excellent.

Typically, I look for something in a beer that stands out as a remarkable feature, something that makes me want to try that beer again. This brew is an exception. The drinkability is enhanced by the fact that nothing really stands out. It's extremely well balanced, at least to my palate. I would definitely drink this one again.

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Photo of SickGnar
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Tawny mahogany with a garnet hue and bright crimson highlights. Quite clear despite dark color. It has a good sized light tan head that sticks around a bit and leaves nice lacing.

S: Smells like a nice lower gravity Scottish ale. Steely clean malts, some caramel (but not too sweet), nutty, softly roasty. Some light fruity esters. No hops. A tad stronger would be okay, but it is very good.

T: Like the nose, but more - all the way around. Caramel fades back a bit and toasty, nutty, and roasty come out a bit more along with some present but reserved, mostly estery, dark fruits. Sweetness is a bit candy-like, but reserved and with a slight toffee character from some faint diacetyl. Some bready, not quite biscuity, grainyness works its way in too. Hint of a faint smokey note that might be from yeast or all in my head. Faint powdered cocoa is softly layered way back in finish. Not much of any hops found. Might show as a slight earthy/grassy flavor note, and could be helping contribute to dryness, but not giving any real bitterness. This is really nice and easy drinking. Dead on for style.

M: Just medium body with a medium-low carbonation. Right on for style and works well with the flavors. Softly chewy and trending toward dryness.

D: Very nicely done. Super drinkable. Flavorful and sessionable. It is nice to see a flagship brew in this style (especially at this gravity level/strength). Some how in this style, like too many others, competition takes a hold. People expect Ur /- beers Jeez people - there is a range to the style. I have, um, found some of those... ahem, unclean bastards to be right nice - but not every Scottish beer needs to make kilts fall off.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

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Photo of SassyBootblack
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap.

Appearance: Lots of off-white head, but this was probably from the bartender wrestling with a hand pump for the keg and having the keg on ice. Beer was clear and had a beautiful dark color.

Smell: Some rich malt aroma.

Taste: It tasted little sweet and had what seemed like breadcrust Munich malt flavor. This doesn't have as much caramel flavors as some examples. Some fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, very drinkable.

Drinkability: Has a great flavor and isn't too big, very drinkable.

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Photo of ScorpyX
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful, cloudy dark amber brown with a small off0white head which quickly dissipates.

S: Love the malt smell. It has a sweetness to it to be sure. Caramel and sugar are the accompaniment. Doesn't engulf the sense, but it's there.

T: Pretty malty and a toasted quality leads the way. Not too complex, but it works. It has the usual sweetness, but it doesn't dominate.

M: Medium-bodied and smooth. It might be the drink's strongest quality.

D: Nothing about it really blows me away, but the decent taste and good moderate body make it quite drinkable. This is definitely a beer I can return to.

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Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber in color; thin head throughout the tasting; good lace. Very mild aromas, nearly no hop smells, the rest was a sweet malt nose.

There is a touch of hop balance, but the beer stays true to its style. Delicious crystal and chocolate malts come through. The aftertaste is pleasant malt, but it isn't sweet (Yes!). The beer features a medium to full body and has a relatively high carbonation for the style.

This is a very nice scottish ale although I sense it teeters close to the Brown Ale style. Still, I would recommend it.

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Photo of cokes
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obscured, murk-filled amber with nary a head to be found, save for a pattern of swirly lace on the surface.
Nose is buttered toffee, candied raisin, and peat.
Taste begins with a well-measured roastiness. Herbal too, but earlier and not from hops as is typically customary. Earthy hues segue into caramel and butterscotch. Bits of oxidation and diacetyl are more nuances than flaws (though they do provide clues to the age of this bottles...since it was left unmarked). Ends with a powdery cocoa bitterness, a decrease in heft, an earthy continuation, and general hop-related dryness, if not an outright hop-derived flavor signature.
Begins northward of medium bodied, but thins as it progresses...though never to the point where it becomes an issue.
This is quite drinkable and generally amiable. A fresh sample might even be killer.

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Photo of DevilDogBeer
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
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!

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Photo of scottblaze
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish amber, small head disappeared fairly quickly but leaves nice ring of lacing. Smells of vanilla and molasses. Flavor is of toffee and toasted malt, the hop profile seems slighty more pronounced than the imports I've had. Mouthfeel and drinkability are very nice.

This maybe the only American Scottish Ale I've had, can't recall another. I love the style, this one did not dissapoint. Very nice....cheers!

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Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chocolate amber color with a low light brown head. Light malty aroma with a malty flavor. Tastes kind of chocolately but thinking that is due to age. Medium bodied and smooth.

Bottled: Week 3 April '99 ('99 embossed on bottom of bottle)
Tasted: 04/06/03

(old) - need to taste a fresh version again but I remember this being quite a good brew when fresh.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of riored4v
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of Buebie
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtasy of russpowell.

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle with a 2nd week of October date, but no year.
Brown in color, with a red glow when held to light. 1 finger fluffy white head that fizzles down to some bubbly retention. Not much in the lace department.

Malty aroma, some coffee, toasted grains and burnt caramel. Just a smidge of cocoa.

Flavor is prodomintatly malt, toasted grains, a bit of coffee, somthing metalic, and lettuce like in flavor. Mild sweetness upfront, medium carbonation.
A touch of smoked oaky flavor. Finish is dry and simple with a smoke linger.

Quite the malty brew with a great malt backbone.
Love the lable and quirky name.

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Photo of Norsebrew
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer in bottles and on tap at the brewery and around town many times. This is the flagship beer of Bristol, and it is available at many establishments in the area.

A - Pours dark brown in color. The head is 1 finger and quickly disappears. clear.

S - burnt caramel smell and a hint of nuts and coffee.

T - Refreshing and crisp. There's some bitterness and mostly malty.

M- dry aftertaste and moderately carbonated.

D - Extremely drinkable and goes with pretty much any meal (even breakfast sometimes). A great representation of a Scottish ale.

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Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale from Bristol Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 237 ratings.
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