Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale | Bristol Brewing Company

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Laughing Lab Scottish-Style AleLaughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale
243 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 243 |  Reviews: 95
Photo of rawfish
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a slightly haze but a nice deep amber with auburn highlights when held up to the light. Capped with a thin off white half inch head which doesn't retain very well and trails of spotty lacing on the glass.

Initial aroma is full of raw and toasted grain and chewing tobacco and as the beer warms a bit of sweetness mixed with cocoa powder comes out. Hop profile sits in the back, rather grassy. Nice mix so far not overly sweet.

Sweetness is very muted for the style though not a bad thing malt profile is bready with a light syrup coating, lots of toasted grains, somewhat gritty. Hops are layered back grassy and herbal not very bittering but adding to the raw grainy taste of this brew. Slightly acidic on the finish.

A little below average on the body and a high biting carbonation, which doesn't seem necessary since the beer isn't overly sweet. Aftertaste is a bit acidic but well drying and no stickyness.

Props to Bristol's on this brew, there's nothing intense about it but it's well made and constructed with a good knowledge of the style. A bit less carbonation or increased sweetness could've done this some good, appreciable grain and malt feel.

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Photo of KJay1408
4.6/5  rDev +23%
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 JayS2629
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nicely balanced copper/brown beer with a medium white head, nice retention, and ok lace. The smell is of sweet malts, toasted grains, caramels, toffee, and earthy, grassy elements. Nutty flavors with a hint of roasted qualities. Nice toasted malts, caramels and sweet toffee with some earthy, grassy hops balanced in well. A nicely balanced, medium bodied, very drinkable beer. Very well done.

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

Had this one on tap yesterday at the Bristol Brewing Company in Colorado Springs. A favorite of both my wife and her friend yesterday, I found it to be not so bad myself. Poured a reddish brown color, with an ecru head on top. Aromas of bread dough, sweet malt and earthy hops. On the palate sweet malt, caramel and a very slight smokiness.

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Photo of ScorpyX
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
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 cyrock1
4.15/5  rDev +11%
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 evanlarkin
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
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 jmbranum
4.62/5  rDev +23.5%
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 SickGnar
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
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 codewarrior
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On Tap poured into a Compass IPA Pint glass.

Grabbed a pint of this at the brewery while in Colorado Springs this weekend.

L: Deep nut brown, amber 1-finger head good lacing and retention.

S: Very sweet and rich, some small funk in the back. Ultimately a bit thin smelling. Not as big as other scotch ales in the nose.

T: Big blast of caramel malts up front, goodly amount of booze. Nice slow finish to it, hangs around.

F: Rich and sweet but a tad thin throughout. Still pretty good.

D: Smooth, I could drink this all day.

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Photo of SassyBootblack
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
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 champ103
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark ruby red color. A one finger tan head forms, but recedes to a ring that sticks throughout. Light lace is left behind.
S: At first diacetyl hits the nose right up front. Though that fades to a substantial caramel sweetness. Light toasted malt and chocolate as well.
T: Follows the nose. Diacetyl almost takes over completely at first. Though much more subtle flavors come out as this warms. Sweet caramel, toasted malt, and a very light chocolate.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Though just a bit on the watery side. Easy to drink. I could put a few away pretty easy.

Pretty good. There is plenty of diacteyl here. Scottish Ales often have diacetyl, but there are usually other characteristics that help balance that. This is not over done, but a little more than I would like. Still, a beer that I enjoyed. Worth a try.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with freshness notches of Dec 2009. Pours a pretty clear, light red color with a swiss-cheese bubbled tan foam. Fades quick and no lace.

Smells like earthy, buttery popcorn and caramel sweet malts. Light on the smoke and almost no peat. Not unpleasant, but not exactly a great representation of the style, more like an amber ale really.

Has a bit of a buttery diacetyl flavor emboldening the sweet caramel and slight peat flavors. Pseudo-scottish/amber ale? Hints of sour malt and thin for the style. Flagship brew, hmmm...there are a few other Bristol brews I like better. It is a fairly pleasant, easy drinker, but falls short as a Scottish style ale. Drinkable? Yes. Introductory? Maybe. Certainly is better on tap as a local option.

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

12 oz. bottle tried 1 May 2010.

Served in a 0.5 L Adambrau becker. Small tan foamy head. Well carbonated. Clear ruby mahogany brown color. Aroma of roasted malts, touch of soapiness. Nutty to start. Sweet, sugary, caramel. Lingering sweet aftertaste. Just a hint of bitterness at the finish. Mild ethanol. Medium body.

Not bad.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bman1113vr for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a murky orangish-brown color with a white head. The aroma is very malt with bready and toffee notes, but I really expected some sort of peat smoke aroma. The flavor is peat smoke as well as toffee and caramel malts. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another beer I picked up during the summer because I've never had it before and one of the workers at the store I was in recommended it. I'm not one to drink Scottish Ales that much, and this seemed to be pretty run-of-the-mill to me. Nothing great, nothing bad, but I'm glad I tried it regardless and it went down pretty easily!

No surprise - this had a dark pour to it. Good lacing, decent head, and a thin appearance. The taste was also thin, but had a strong peat taste to it with a hint of smokiness. I tend to prefer my Scotch Ales to have the mouthfeel and thickness of an actual Scotch but this came up just a wee bit short. It reminded me more of a Brown Ale in terms of it's consistency, but the taste and mouthfeel resemble more of the maltiness that would expect from a brew of this style.

Even though the alcohol content isn't that high, I wouldn't consider this to be a session beer. One for a sitting after dinner is good, just like I would have with a nice single malt Scotch and a snifter to bring the aroma out. There isn't as much of a "nose" on this beer, but it's still worth finding and enjoying before a night is called. I wouldn't mind having another one once the weather cools off a bit more!

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Photo of geokills
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring a deep dark amber, vigorously for some head which soon dissipated to leave me with an unremarkable, albeit quite drinkable ale with hints of chocolate and coffee. Comfortable, refreshing, a light feeling for a darker ale. Not something that I would seek out specifically, though happy to drink it!

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice chestnut brown color with a head that disappeared very quickly. It has a malty smell that seems pretty nondescript. The flavor seems right in line for the style but subtle. Malty, a little bit of smokiness but not overpowering like some Scottish ales I've had. Very easy to drink and I could probably have had more than one of these in a session.

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

Pours a clear dark brown with a thin crème head. Nose is leafy with a fruit tone. Flavor brings a hearty fruit tone. Seems slight apples. Smooth. More sweet than earthy. Feel is low on carbonation and liquid is fairly smooth. Easy to drink. Medium level of complexity. Pretty nice.

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Photo of Domingo
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes I think this beer gets overlooked because it's from Co. Springs rather than Denver or Ft. Collins.
Pours a chocolate brown color with amber highlights. Head's more than ample, especially with an aggressive pour.
Smells malty, with mild roasted flavors and just a hint of English hops.
Things start off sweet and molasses-based with that smoky flavor coming in the middle. Finish is really dry and there's a little essence of partially cured tobacco. Hops are really only there to keep the sweetness in check.
Texture varies between thick and thin. You'd think it's "just right" but not quite.
This is a pretty easy session choice that's wonderful no matter what season it is.
Every bit as good as 90 Shilling. Don't overlook this hidden gem. Luckily there's a lot of support for this beer in the Co. Springs area. It's a much better go-to beer than Fat Tire or Avalanche in my opinion.

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Photo of hopdog
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle labeled bottled in Jul.

Poured a darker amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of peat, bread, light smoke and light caramel. Tastes of caramel, nuts, lightly roasted malts, and had a lighter earthiness to it. Tastes on the weaker side compared to the aromas (somewhat of a let down). Lacing left on the glass.

Notes from: 12/31/05

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Photo of johnyeast
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper in color with a slight beige head. Sweet and malty in smell. Slight fruity smell. Sweet in taste. I get notes of apple, oatmeal, and brown sugar. Kinda rich in taste also leaves a little on the tongue. A drinkable beer that is a mild Scotch Ale. I do like this beer, but mainly, because I like the style. Very sweet.

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Photo of Beefeater57
2.9/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Wine red in color, with some dark orange edges. Decent head with okay retention.

S: Cherry and a little bit of an ashy smell.

T: I get sweetness from the malt up front, but it doesn't linger long. Hops are slightly noticeable in the back of the tongue, little grassy. Overall, it tastes a little bit like seltzer water, not getting much here.

M: Bubbly, like seltzer water or club soda.

D: Not much here at all, not as malty as I thought it might be. It comes off thin and carbonated and no particular flavor shines though. I hope I got a bad bottle. It isn't horrible, but not pounding back many of these.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce bottle.

Moderate pour into a 19-ounce goblet yields a tight light-tan head under a hazy mahogany body. Pretty beer.

Smell is light cocoa malt, hint of cracker and a bit of floral hops. Not a very robust smell, but nice.

Taste is surprisingly hoppy. Firm metallic-pine-bitter hopping dominates the taste. Where's the malt? How can they call this a Scottish Ale? Not at all what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is thin for a Scottish Ale, spot on for an English Brown.

Drinkability is fairly high, in view of the low ABV, but this beer seems not to style.

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

A: Lightly cluded chestnut color. Poured a 1 finger biege head that dissipated. Broken, clingy lacing.

S: Very earthy grain smell. Foiundation of butter and toasted malt.

T: Butterscotch and toasted malt up front. Some fruits and citrus (lemon peeo). Nice big bitter finish to balance with lingering malts.

M: Ligh side of medium body. Low carbonation.

D: Very flavorful and not too filling. Definitely a beer that grew on me. ABV and body will bring me back to this one.

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Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale from Bristol Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 243 ratings
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