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Fat Scotch Ale | Silver City Brewing Co.

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88 Reviews
Fat Scotch AleFat Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Silver City Brewing Co.
Washington, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Previously known as Fat Bastard AAle.

Added by RoyalT on 11-27-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 199
Photo of JulietteWeiss
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not as flavorful as some other Scotch Ales that I have had but this one is really smooth with rich maltiness & a touch of smoky peat character. Silver City is becoming one of my favorite Washington breweries!

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.69/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Finishing off with something sweet, and something to put me to bed. On-tap at Tap House Grill in Seattle, on to the beer:

Dark brown colored beer with some head retention, an aroma that reminds you of tootsie rolls rolled in tobacco, and a flavor that can change your mind over dessert. Although it is a bit hot, tootsie roll chocolate and some smokiness makes Fat Scotch a good way to end a long journey.

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Photo of jwc215
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle:

Pours brown with thin wispy head. Trailing lace slides down the glass with little sticking.

The smell is of caramel/toffee, peat smoke and dried prunes.

The taste is of caramel/toffee, dried fruits, dark bread, peat smoke. Malty with just a touch of earthy (slightly grassy) hops and balancing smoke in the finish.

It is medium to full bodied with faint alcohol warmth.

A very pleasant, malt-forward brew.

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Photo of RizanTastingBeer
3.34/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz poured into a small snifter.

Look: Deep ruby-brown verging on dark copper. Moderate clarity. Thin, beige head that quickly dissipates. Little to no lacing.

Aroma: Light smoke/peat. Woody and earthy, almost cellar-like odors along with caramel and molasses, as well as bubble-gum and dark fruit esters. Light diacetyl note

Taste: Wee bit of peat smoke that lasts through to finish and beyond. Also molasses/caramel up front leading to bubblegum-like esters and dark fruit (plum/prune). Enough hop bitterness to balance the malt, but little to no hop derived flavors. Subtle roasted coffee flavor (or almost like burnt chocolate). Boozy flavors and slight acidity in the finish.

Feel: Light bodied, slightly astringent, dry.

Overall: An award-winning ale. I however find it a little on the dry side, and some of the esters feel a little out of place for me, but nonetheless an interesting and relatively enjoyable scotch ale. Respect should be given at 9%abv.

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Photo of Clwhitt
4.56/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first time I tried a "scotch ale", it was this beer. I've tried one other side then "Port Angeles Scotch Ale", but the Silver City brew is by far the best.

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Photo of Ninjakillzu
4.9/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: One of my favorite beers. Had on tap at Silver City's restaurant. Body is a dark reddish brown with a thin creamy head ring around the glass.

S: Smokey caramel, dark fruits, and roasted malt.

T: Same as the smell. It reminded me of a Belgian Strong Dark. I didn't notice the alcohol at all despite the 9.2 ABV.

F: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Smooth and very drinkable.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Dark brown caramel color, one finger white head.

Smell: Caramel, smoked wood and vanilla. Notes of dark fruit.

Taste: Caramel, vanilla, smoked wood, and dark fruit of some kind.

Feel: Medium carbonation, medium-full body, and slightly sweet.

Overall: The first beer that got me into craft drinking. Tasted just as amazing as I remembered.

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Photo of xxxxxxxxxxxxx
3.1/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I purchased a bottle of Fat Scotch Ale for $5.99 USD in Seattle, WA/USA.

Look: Fat Scotch Ale has a light foam.
Smell: Fat Scotch Ale does not really have a strong smell.
Taste: Fat Scotch Ale has a vague bitterness with strong elements of wheat and hops.
Feel: Fat Scotch Ale has both good alcohol content and carbonation.
Overall: Fat Scotch Ale is a beer for people who enjoy paying $5 USD or more for a bottle of beer.

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Photo of timontheroad
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown, very little foam that quickly dissipated to a thin film. Little to no lacing. Aroma is sweet, lots of vanilla, caramel and a bit of a medicinal smell also. Taste was fairly sweet and a little smoky. Got some dark fruits, bubble gum, caramel and vanilla notes as well. Mouthfeel was thinner than I expected, with a little bite from the 9.2%. Overall this was a pretty tasty brew, fairly complex and nicely done.

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Photo of RedSunRising
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This. Beer. Is. Amazing.

Poured from a 22oz bomber I snagged from Trader Joes in Bellingham into a Innis & Gunn thistle, it is a beautiful deep red/brown with a small off-white head. Looks similar to a cola or root beer.

Aroma is full of malt sweetness, with toffee, caramel and brown sugar notes. A hint of smoke and slight spice and booziness, as well as sasparilla (maybe?)

Taste follows the nose wonderfully with big, sweet malts dominating the palate. Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar coming on all at once. The smokiness that appeared shy-ly on the nose is much more evident here, playing nice with smooth fruity characteristics of raisins and prunes. A slight bitterness is also present, and no hop flavor is detectable. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden, if I had to guess from a blind tasting I would put it around 6% but it is a whopping 9.2%. As it warms the raisin, prune and alcohol become a bit more prominent, as well as another flavor that is hard to discern. (Almost a sort of nuttiness)

The mouth-feel is smooth and slightly sticky with medium-low carbonation that compliments the flavor profile nicely.

Overall, probably the best scotch ale I've ever had the pleasure of consuming. (And I’ve tried very many) It remains complex and flavorful in a style of beer where it is all too easy to become one dimensional. Definitely one of my favorites.

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Photo of hreb
3.13/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle of Silver City's Fat Scotch Ale. Beer pours dark cola brown, clearly a little syrupy in texture. Aroma is slightly phenol and chemical, I think. Flavor is dominant, malty, with molasses and spice. Also dark fruit: raisins, prunes. Could have been a barley wine in a parallel universe, I guess. Just enough bitterness to round it out. Aftertaste is neither cloying nor hop burn -- but it's not subtle, either. There's just a lot of flavor here. Unfortunately I'm not loving it.

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Photo of mactrail
3.22/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Clear reddish, coppery amber color with plenty of head. Quite carbonated in the mouth, and maybe a little more than it needs to be. I usually don't complain about that, but it's quite prickly with a soda water sensation.

Sweet and smokey. Bubble gum and kelp. Big malt gets down and rolls in it. A bitter burn for the finish. Sharp and alcoholic, veering toward the acidic. After a few sips this is not very pleasing, but it's powerful. Dark burnt malt and overly bitter. From the 22 oz bottle purchased from The Market at Anacortes.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and slight smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and toffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors.

 569 characters

Photo of DenverLogan
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bottled ordered through Letspour...into Corsendonk chalice.
Pours a root beer brown with amber head.
Aroma of Dr Pepper soda, sarsaparilla (root beer), malt sweetness.
Moderate carbonation and strong mouthfeel.
Flavors of a funky soda, alcohol, brown malts, burnt malts, peat, sarsaparilla, a touch of chalk, oak, pepper, field greens. Overall bold and full bodied, quite a bit of a soda flavor but also strong or burnt malts, sweet malts and some astringency. Letting the beer sit for 20 or so minutes removes much of the bitterness and burnt notes.

 568 characters

Photo of deedric
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of Paul Stutzman...

Pours a beautiful, dark brown with ruby highlights. Creamy tan head - a slightly aggressive pour yielded a thick head that bubbled like a pancake batter, then fell quickly. Relatively little in the way of lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, perhaps a little maple syrup with a slight hint of vanilla.

Tate's as it smells - malty followed by a hint of booze - as one would expect from a 9.2% Scotch Ale. Taste follows through all across the tounge with Hints of hops on the back end of the swallow.

Mouthfeel is good, perhaps thinner than I expected, but rather nice.

I enjoyed this Scotch Ale, not what I expected, but the surprise was not unpleasant.

 682 characters

Photo of flagmantho
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich amber hue which allows bright red highlights when held up to the light. Body seems free of haze. A somewhat vigorous pour resulted in 3 fingers of creamy tan foam. Quite nice.

Smell: big malty aroma has some spicy and yeasty characteristics to go along with it. Appealing and quite stylistically appropriate.

Taste: smoky and fruity. I would not be surprised if this brew used some smoked malt in its preparation. The yeast character adds a fruitiness to the malt; bitterness is present but not at all in the forefront; hop flavor is nonexistent. I think the use of smoked malt is probably not historically accurate, but it sure is tasty. Good stuff!

Mouthfeel: big body with a good level of carbonation. There is a good creaminess and a big silky feel to this brew. Very near perfect.

Overall: this is a very good and highly drinkable Scotch ale. Aside from the smokiness, which appears forced and out of style, this is a nearly perfect wee heavy. Of course, the smokiness still adds something in its own right. Yum!

 1,082 characters

Photo of daveytheformer
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a light khaki head that immediately recedes to some spotting.

Smells boozy and sweet. Prunish aroma meets grape juice.

Tastes like candy with a big raisin like quality. Light caramel and cake all meet in the end for a nice syrupy sweet get together.

Mouthfeel is sticky and medium with light carbonation that suits this very well.

Overall I really enjoyed this a lot. Glad I picked this one up. I'll certainly be trying this beer again.

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Photo of claspada
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark dark copper color (basically brown if not held up to the light) with dark ruby highlights, a small light khaki head that drops quite rapidly leaving some splashy lacing behind.

Aromas begin very sweet and malty. I get lots of maple syrup, dark caramelized sugars, brown sugar and toffee. As it warms i get some of the earthiness (presumably from the hops) and some light but pleasant amount of peat.

The tastes begin with just waves of malt. Initially I get sweet toffee, dark caramelized malts and the peat. As it warms I can appreciate more of the base, bready/biscuity malt flavors. As I continue to sample I get a nice amount of dark fruits (raisins and prunes mainly). It becomes a bit too sweet and one-dimensional towards the bottom of the bomber.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Finish is full bodied and slightly toward the sweeter end, but far from cloying in any sense.

Overall this is a nice example of a Scotch Ale in my opinion. Carbonation is a little low for my liking which makes this borderline too sweet but the earthy and peat flavors help to balance out those detractors. Overall this was enjoyable, bit I do not need to revisit anytime soon. Worth a go because of the reasonable price and if it is readily available to you but no need to seek it out.

 1,327 characters

Photo of woosterbill
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into z Duvel tulip; thanks to vonschplieffen for sharing this one.

A: Opaque, dark reddish-boron body with a finger of frothy tan foam. Not bad, but pretty standard for the style.

S: Caramel + toffee start things off, with peat smoke swelling on the back end. A touch metallic. Ok.

T: Follows the nose extremely closely, but without the metal (thankfully): sweet caramel up front, with peat providing good balance. Rich, sweet, and enjoyable.

M: Medium body - a bit thin for what this beer is going for, I think; nice light carbonation. Decent.

O: Good, not great. I won't be seeking it out.


 612 characters

Photo of lwillitz
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the "six shooter sampler" at Silver City Restaurant and Brewery. This was one of the six. For whatever reason (small servings, straight glasses, environment, etc.) detecting the smells of these beers was difficult. Also, the heads had receded by the time the waitress brought the glasses to the table, decreasing my enjoyment of the appearance. With all of this in mind . . .

A - clear dark red body

S - clean malty smell; weak smell

T - rich caramel malt flavor; faint touches of peat and smoke; smooth!

M - medium-full body; medium carbonation

O – typical Scotch ale

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with hints of rusty red around the edges. Head is only about one finger and retention is decent Spotty foaming left on the glass.

S - Deep nuttiness and a bit of bready sweetness. A faint peaty aroma comes through as the beer warms. Dark malts are certainly the star of the show here.

T - A decent amount of sweet bread in the taste initially with a fair amount of burnt sugar as well. A light nuttiness carries though as well.

M - Medium bodied but a bit on the light side, especially for a big scotch ale. Carbonation is low to moderate; about what I would want in a beer of this style.

O - Certainly a good American example of a scotch ale. Rather easy drinking with well melded tastes.

 708 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

A crackling in the head leads to a thin ring of lace. Burgundy on brown. Stodgy malt nose with a hint of alcohol and a faint twang of smoke. Slick and mildly crisp, semi-syrupy full body. The maltiness reaches high--sweet but not cloying. Kiss of caramel, brown bread, fresh-cut grass and a ghost-like smoke. Light on the hops but this is par for the style; quick stroke of bitterness and a leafy flavor within. Alcohol is slow to warm, with a faint raisin tone. Sweet ending to a pleasant malt story.

 559 characters

Photo of snaotheus
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a large goblet

Pours basically opaque dark brown, small pale head with lots of fine but slow continuing carbonation. Smell is very sweet and oaky/smokey, maybe some cherry or sherry.

Taste is chocolatey and smokey, sweet but not too sweet. Lots of oakiness.

Mouthfeel is thin with a hint of syrupiness. Sweet, like you expect from a Scotch Ale. It's pretty tasty.

 390 characters

Photo of soze47
2.92/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this at Red Bones at the NW Fest on 11/09/10

Appearance: Very clear body with a deep red color. Almost has a grape/cherry kool aid color to it. Odd looking

Aroma: Not too much on the nose except some spicy sweetness. Generic malty breadiness and hot booze. Not too pleasant.

Taste: Hot and sweet, but it does mellow out as herbal spiciness and dark fruits come out a bit. A cinnamon and all spice flavor develops. After it warms in the glass, all the flavors create an overwhelming butterscotch flavor.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Hot and viscous in the mouth. This is not an easy drinker and should only be enjoyed as an after dinner drink.

Overall: While I know Scotch Ales are not my favorite, even this one is too much. Too sweet, too hot, too much of almost everything.

 781 characters

Photo of champ103
4.56/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Dajtai007 for the trade.

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black color. At first a two finger beige head forms that quickly fades to a ring. Light lace is left behind.
S: An awesome aroma of toasted malt, chocolate, light coffee, and some toffee sweetness. More than that, huge peat, wood, and some smoke as well. Everything I love in my favorite style.
T: The nose is huge, and the flavor does not disappoint. Toasted malt up front with lots of chocolate and sweet toffee. Big peat and smoke that many American versions skimp on. Excellent.
M/D: A big full body that is low on the carbonation. Incredibly smooth, creamy, and decadent. Such an easy beer to sip on. A great night cap.

This is really exceptional. Maybe the best American version of a Wee Heavy I have come across (Founders Backwards Bastard is the only other that comes to mind). My favorite style, and Silver City has done it right. Highly recommended.

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Fat Scotch Ale from Silver City Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 199 ratings.
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