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 MuddyFeet
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mentor for the bottle.

Pours a deep burnt red brown color. Filmish head that never went away. Nose is dark maltiness and bits of peat.

Very mellow beer. Makes me think more of a brown ale in flavor. Slightly burnt malts. Burnt biscuits. Bit of peat too. Molasses and brown sugar. Medium body. Seems to tingle on the palate--kind of odd. Slightly dry.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Laughing Lab Scottish Ale pours out a dark brown color with a huge, off-white head. Sweet aroma with some fruit, but there is a definite cardboard aroma that isn't pleasant. The flavor is sweet, with the caramelized sugar flavor typical of the style. Just a bit fruity. Finishes with a cocoa flavor and a touch of hops. Good balance. This beer is almost very good. It has a nice flavor, but it doesn't taste as fresh as it should, and I don't think my bottle is particulary old. I would love to try a fresh bottle to see.

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Photo of AlexJ
2.77/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium brown with some light red highlights, abundant carbonation sets off a nice, fluffy tan head that quickly falls to a very thin rind of large bubbles.

Aroma is sweet, buttery malts, maple syrup, dry grain, and a tough of something bitter.

Flavor is not very characteristic of this style, sweet, grainey malt, a bit of roast, metallic notes, and some peppery, earthy (dirty) hops in the finish. Leaves an empty feeling in your mouth.

Body is light, way too light, with big bubbles of carbonation that lend a very flat, watery mouthfeel and slick, wet texture. Another pass.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewed with 2-row, Chocolate, Crystal and Carapils malts. Hopped with Chinook and Willamette.

4.2% ABV (per the website), 19 IBU's.

Pours to a clear deep ruby red/dark amber, barely forming a small soapy head which quickly recedes to a quick scum of bubbles with no lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is mostly of brown sugar, vanilla and caramel. The mouthfeel is slick and slightly cloying with a medium body. The taste is much better than the begins with a punch of herbal flavor hops that aren't apparent in the aroma and is quickly followed by a sugary malt body. It's not too sweet however, as the finish is offset by leafy, green hops and a mild/moderate herbaceous bitterness. Offputtingly soapy in the finish as well.

This is quite par for the course of a microbrew Scotch Ale. Really quite average and it reminds me of the stock attempt at a Scotch Ale of any McBrewpub.

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Photo of benito
2.48/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cola brown that reddens when held to the light, fairly transparent and well carbonated. A good head that dissipates quickly but ultimately leaves a nice ring and swirl of light froth around the top of the beerline. The smell is strict malts: sweet and subdued with a hint of rice or something else dry and grainy.

Overall the flavor underwhelmed me. The body is light with a nice dryness and almost peppery quality that emerges at back of the mouth and lingers well, but the initial flavor itself is a blank, the maltiness is almost non-existent and the only description that I can come up with is 'watery.'

This is easy to guzzle down (or slowly nip) but rather uninteresting. I was disappointed.

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Photo of loren01
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Bristol taproom during a summer vacation through Colorado. Poured a dark amber color with slight head that dissipated very quickly. Smell is somewhat lacking as I don't really smell much of anything, maybe a very slight sweetness. Taste is sweet at first with an earthy/mossy aftertaste. The smell of this beer becomes more apparent the more you drink of it for some reason. Still a sweet/malty smell. Mouthfeel is good although there is very little carbonation this beer goes down good. Overall not a bad scottish style but I've had tastier ones than this.

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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 Beaver13
2.42/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours a reddish copper with a smallish big bubbled head that quickly goes to a wispy layer disappeared completely.

The aroma is sweet toffee and caramel malts - slightly smokey with a little roasted chocolate and some sweet sugariness.

The flavor is sweet malts and roasted toffee with some acidic bitterness at the finish. There are some off flavors as well - a little sour and acidic and some diacetyl. It is light to medium bodied and a little watery with some harsh carbonation.

Overall, I didn't care for it much. A little too sweet and the off flavors and mouthfeel turned me off.

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Photo of sweethome
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber/red. A wisp of a head. Tiny bubbles ceate a wave appearance on the top. Sweet candy nose. Medium mouthfeel. Some bready malts, but very limited compexity. Just a hint of alcohol. I'm a bit disappointed in the lack of flavor develpment. No apparent flaws, just fails to develop well. Markedly sweet finish is to style.

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

Clear chestnut with a smallish froth that goes bye-bye quickly, then spends the rest of the session orbiting the glass. Smells like old honey whole wheat bread crumbs.
Tastes of baking powder bisuits with a dash of cocoa, and a smack on the tongue with a cedar plank. I'm thinking of the last sensation of a salmon filet when it's stuffed into a smokehouse, right before it's smoked beyond recovery. This would be good by the pitcher with smoked salmon, dill mayo, pickled things and rye bread and lightly sweetened whole wheat crackers. It's got a nutty aftertaste.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a mahogany/red color low co2 and a very low off-white head. Lacing is sticky. Aroma is of malt, molasses, caramel, and lightly earthy. Caramel flavor with malt and a very light hop finish. Palate is light bodied and effervescent with a hoppy finish. IMHO: a fair representation of the style, but fairly one-dimensional.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber color, a rustic crimson, really, with a nice, but thin, topping of creamy foam above.
Aroma, crisp, dry, yet fruity, the bright, sweet kind.
Decent tasting, too, nice and ripe, replete with dark fruits and caramel maltiness, rich and redolent of the slicker, sweeter things in life, pretty candyish. Not as vigorous in the mouthfeel or the body as I'd like, but, again, decent. Finish is sweet and tasty, and lasts just long enough. Actually, it just got a touch too cloying right at the end.
Nice beer, actually, I think the operative word was "decent"...ayup.
Thanks to tavernjef for sharing this after bringing it back from the SouthWest.

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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 tavernjef
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark rust, somewhat clouded, barely a head appeared but what did, stayed on top awhile, very minimal spotty lace. Aroma is faint of burntish toffee, a bit buttery with some slight earthyness of peat moss or wet wood. Taste is bit bland with some slight roasty factions in the start which linger throughout. Some slight hops of herbalness and pale leafyness makes its way towards the finish. Feel is a bit empty in the middle, start is mildly roasted and ends a bit dry and buttery with slight nut shades. Overall feel in body is thin, but some of the flavors keep it going somewhat to make it worth drinking, but its pretty average for a Scottish Ale.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice-looking deep reddish brown with a small, creamy head. Very nice aroma of roasted malt, toffee, oak, and a light whiff of smoke. Slightly sweet and sticky up front, with notes of toffee and treacle, balanced by a robust malt profile. Finishes with a sweet, oaky flavor that lingers in the back of the mouth. A little sweeter than I tend to prefer in a scottish ale, without the hops. Nevertheless, a decent offering.

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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 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 palliko
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A local favorite (it is available in bottles here in Colorado Springs).

The draft version is a little better than the bottle - just noticeably.

A very drinkable brew. Someone else said it has chocolate somewhere in its makeup. Not really. But still a nice drink on a hot day.

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