Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale | Bristol Brewing Company

238 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

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Ratings: 238 |  Reviews: 95
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 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 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 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 codewarrior
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
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 +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 champ103
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
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 -9.3%
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 -7.9%
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 +0.3%
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 +0.3%
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 -0.5%
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 -0.3%
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 +4.9%
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 +6.3%
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 -6.8%
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 +3.5%
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 -21%
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 -13.4%
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 +6%
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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Photo of Rayek
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly hazy chestnut brown with a minimalist tan head that doesn't leave much lace.

S: Not much of a nose up front, but what's there is fruity and buttery, with a bit of a burnt malt twang.

T: Very well balanced. Heavy on the butterscotch out of the gate. Bitterness follows and adds a nice fruity taste of tart apple and lemon. Finishes with a lingering maltiness.

M: Medium-light body feels a bit watery. Carbonation level is quite low.

D: I didn't like this much right out of the gate. But it grew on me the more I drank it. The low ABV and mild body make this a nice session beer.

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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 russpowell
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a sixer, might as well review

Pours copper/brown with a finger of sand colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Toasty malt in abundance, a bit of toffee

T: Slight smokiness, toasty malt, slight leafy hoppy presence & brown sugar. Dryness, more toasted malt, toffee & a hint of sulphur as this warms. Finishes with some singed caramel, more toffee & more dryness

MF: Medium bodied, low carbonation, not quite as beefy as it is on draft

Easy drinking, much better on draft, but a nice session beer in the bottle

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My buddy Matt from work gave me one of these out of a six pack his parents brought him from the brewery. What a nice guy.

A - This one is dark caramelized sugar brown with a purplish-red cast when held to the light. The head is a slowly building dense finger of khaki cream, and lots of gooey lace is left around the glass. Good lookin' stuff!

S - Deep musty earth tones mix with a distant hint of toffee. This has that wet compost heap, mushroomy, forest floor aroma that I love! I really like the rustic nature of this nose.

T - Starts funky and earthy before a nice sweet toffee and caramel note gradually builds in the mid-palate. The sweetness fades to a easy and simple toast and butter flavor.

M - Very lightly carbonated and relatively thin for the style. This is easy going and neutral, but it lacks interest.

D - Not bad. Looks and smells great, and the flavor is average. The mouthfeel is a bit anemic IMHO, and this doesn't really stand out in the crowd.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark slightly cloudy reddish brown color with a small 1/8" head of small off-white bubbles that faded really quickly to remain a lasting ring around the top of the beer sustained by some bubbles rising.

Aroma: I initially get only a sweet malty presence with some supporting dark caramel. There is some toasty British malt qualities deep in the background. Some hops are starting to come out more as it warms.

Taste: The beer is pretty dry and very well attenuated. The sweet malt is still the main factor in this beer. The caramel is very noticeable in the flavor as well as the aroma. There is some hops in here that is more noticeable as flavoring than from bittering. The beer is a little thin, so it is a good thing that there isn't a whole lot of hops. As the beer warms up, the flavoring hops are becoming more apparent.

Opinion: This is a decent beer. It is not flawed in any way, but it is just really mild on the palate. The flavors are in balance, but the overall presentation of the beer left me wanting for something. I personally just think that they are either just using the wrong yeast strain, or their mash temp is just too low. The beer has a good flavor, but it leaves me thinking that something is missing.

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Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale from Bristol Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 238 ratings.
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