Fat Scotch Ale | Silver City Brewing Co.

90 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: 90 | Ratings: 208
Photo of lackenhauser
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to waldowin for the huge sample! Very nice,deep garnet color. Small head atop. Aroma of smoke, raisens, sherry and oak. Quite the underlying alcohol aroma as well. Big malt flavor-caramel tasting-somewhat vinuous. The alcohol is really there for me. Nice big, buttery slick mouthfeel. Overall a damn good effort of a wee heavy. The alcohol presence tends to detract some of the more positive notes. It really seemd more pleasant overall as the bottle warmed. Id like to try again someday to see if I enjoy it more. I would have to say worth seeking out.

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Photo of merlin48
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very stylish, .23 gallon swingtop bottle, obtained via trade with waldowin. Served slightly chilled into a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter. Pours a very deep brown body with an incredibly creamy, light brown head that is about one finger tall. Head is quite sturdy for the 9% abv, and lacing varies from sheets to island chains.

Aroma is bold, with vinous white grapes immediately leading into a kick of Scotch Whisky. Toffee, caramel, and brown sugar front an enormous malty profile. Smoky peat is prominent and engaging, and there is a pleasant fruity hint of berries and cherries.

Mouthfeel is almost full bodied, smooth and velvety, with the expected low carbonation and some alcohol warming that is welcome on a cold winter night. Slightly syrupy, in a good way.

Taste has lots of malty toffee with a kiss of brown sugar. Smoky peat and Scotch whisky notes are present all the way through. A restrained fruitiness of plums and cherries segues into figs as room temperature arrives. Turns a bit dry toward the finish, with a lasting smokiness embraced by the Scotch whisky notes.

I spent two hours enjoying this puppy, and each sip was better than the last. Very smooth, with a dangerous degree of drinkability. Quite a treat!

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at a Redbones lunch on November 30. Typed up from notes I took that day.

Poured very dark red. Almost a blood red but not thick looking like blood. But when held up to the light it seemed to glow. No head to speak to mention, but that I believe was the result of the bartender spooning it all out.

Nose was mild and mostly of fruit such as raisins and grapes--could also smell some of the alcohol. Alcohol was at first kind of too noticeable. but as the beer warmed the alcohol started taking a deep backseat to the flavors. Very sweet but the raisins and plums in the flavor mellowed out the malts a bit. Got some hints of caramel and for some reason this reminded me of those caramel dipped apples I used to eat as a kid at Fall Fests.

Mouthfeel was a bit thin than I would have expected. Also, after the pour it was very fizzy. The carbonation began to diminish after a bit but at first I thought it was perhaps a bit too much. Still an awesome beer that was tough not to enjoy.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chris and Redbones for having this one on tap and a big thanks to Muddyfeet for posting that is was still on...ran my ass down there today to find it still there...
Arrived a dark brown color with clear mahogony highlights in a 10.5oz. goblet with less than a half finger of off-white head...disappears almost instantly with very little lace.
Very nice aromas filled with raisins, sweet carmelized malt, and a nice underlying scotch scent.
The taste is great...semi-sweet with a huge malt profile...lots of rum raisins, subtle scotch, and toasted almonds.
Mouthfeel is thick, yet not cloying and the carbonation is perfect for the style....very drinkable and no hint of the alcohol until the very last sip. A warming sense comes over you with this one and it should be respected at 9%...either way, a great offering and one I am real glad to have enjoyed.
Get on over to Redbones if you can...it won't last the night.

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

Simply put the best Wee Heavy I have ever had period. This might be the first 5 I have given a beer but frankly words due no justice to the true character and taste of this beer. Smokey roasted caramel goodness, long lasting full body mouth coating, eye gouging tongue bitting pleasure. So good it hurts and yet another reason to visit the great northwest. Trade, buy, fight, this beer is everything promised and more. Thanks Knuckles, the wait was worth it.

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Photo of lostbearbrew
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

58 degrees in a 32 oz swingtop bottle - poured a dark amber, with light sneaking through on both sides. As it settled, the color darkened to a blood red, with brownish swirls. Nice 1/2-1" head which disappates quickly.

Smell is almost all malt with a touch of smokey residue. Perhaps a little dried fruit.

Taste - well, my o my, insanely smooth, with caramel, smoked woods and a little alchohol tinge. As beer warmed to about 65 degrees, the alchohol jumped out a little more, and the malt seemd to become "multi-layered." Smokey taste rises in the profile and the beer finishes a little drier. Still, wow, what a taste, what an insanely wonderful concoction. This is, to me, the perfect blend of whiskey/smoke/caramelly malts I could ask for.

Mouthfeel - wish I could get more in my mouth to swirl around...lol! Seriously, this is amazing.

Drinkability - well, at 9 percent, it isn't an "have a six pack" kind of beer. But it is imminently drinkable, and I would drink one again and again and again. I wish Silverdale were closer to Atlanta.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to the reigning queen BA Skyhand for the bottle sent to me many moons ago and left to age in my cellar a wee while.

This one got the better of me, I admit. I think I became sort of jaded over time in that I've tried a LOT of scotch ales and a lot of them frankly don't cut it. I'm not sure exactly what some brewers are thinking a wee heavy is but there sure are some "interesting" examples out there. I'd been sitting on this bottle for the better part of a year, sort of just letting it slide not wanting to be let down by yet another yankee attempt at my country of heritage's finest style of beer.

So on a cool early autumn night I decided to give it a crack, the timing just felt right. I sure am glad I did. This is truly a very good wee heavy all told, let me expand:

Pours a rich and dark brown with jewelled ruby tones around the edges and medium creamy head that left a swirling crown all throughout my pint. Nose is intensely malty, fruity with deep caramel wafts, bits and hints of smoke and peat, quite inviting and beautiful. Taste is quite amazing, again, quite malty with a good touch of peat and smoke. There are some devious caramel and toffee tones as well, very rich and complex and warming, as a good scotch ale should be. Mouthfeel is creamy and full, with plenty of body, but remains light enough to remain dangerously drinkable, the alcohol, while present, is nicely tucked into the background like a sgian dubh in yer kilt hose. I would drink a LOT of this if I had the resources to procure a steady supply.

Slàinte mhath!
This one'll wake ye in tha mornin' lads!

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

I've avoided reviewing this beer for as long as I've been a member of BA, simply because it's impossible for me to be objective about the damn thing. I've been drinking it non-stop ever since its introduction back in the fall of 2001, and love it as much today as I did back then. Fat Bastard got its introduction as a beefed up version of Silver City's regular Scotch Ale (which I don't particularly care for). Don Spencer added more peated malt, brought up the alcohol from 6% to 9%, and created an instant classic for the style of Strong Scotch Ale. This beer won gold medals two years running at the GABF, so it's been recognized for its excellence. I'd recommend getting your hands on some so you can recognize its excellence as well. If I were to equate a specific beer to a specific woman, this beer is Salma Hayek. Dark, intoxicating, beguiling, addictive, and not afraid to kick your ass.

Appearance: I am a Brewmaster VIP at Silver City (I realize I mention this all the time, but I'm just trying to justify the expense), so I get my beer in the big glass. This glass has caused great amounts of consternation amongst my drinking companions, as it seems to engender feelings of inadequacy. Don't feel inadequate, good people, enjoy your damn beer. What this means is that I get my beer in a 22 oz. mug that is approximately a foot tall. On the tray and on the table, the VIP glass filled with Fat Bastard possesses a sense of mystery and self-confidence that reminds me (for no particular reason) of the monolith from "2001: A Space Odyssey". Fortunately, there are no shilleighly-wielding monkeys about, so I can drink this dark brown beauty with the light brown head in peace. (SONOFABITCH!!!! I've already used this goddam line, and with a goddam Silver City beer no less. Crap.I'll have to edit.)

Take 2: On the tray and on the table, the VIP glass filled with Fat Bastard possesses a sense of mystery and self-confidence that reminds me of George W. Bush, yet I know my beer is smarter. I'm also quite confident that if elected, this beer will give me my four dollars worth.

Smell: Peat. Malt. Smoke. Beer. Mmmmm...this beer is a cornucopia of "ohmyfuckyes" aromas. The nose has just a hint of peat to it. It doesn't have the "Angus! Bring me another glass of fookin' whisky!" type of smell that the Traquair House Ale does, but it still smells damn good to me. In the words of Blackalicious, "Just a whiff of her ferment will make your knees get weak." My knees are weak now just thinking about it.

Taste: This is where my review always breaks down. How to describe the taste? Beautifully malty, just a wee bit smoky, and always, ALWAYS delicious. There's a brown sugar quality to it that reminds me of the sauce poured over Bananas Foster. This is a beer without fault to me, and the only beer in the world that my father and I agree on. Were we to be restricted to one beer only for the rest of our lives, this beer would be it.

Mouthfeel: I've never french kissed Salma Hayek (although it is on my 'to-do' list), but I hope her tongue feels half as sexy in my mouth as this beer does. It has the viscosity of melted ice cream, yet never leaves anything behind on the tongue. It wants to be with you, be part of you, and I welcome it's invasion each and every time. (That goes for the beer as well as Salma.)

Drinkability: I'm going to mark this bad boy down to a 4.5, simply because it's a 9.0% beer. I've had three of the 22 oz. Fats before, and needed to be shepherded home. Take your time and enjoy a pint, or two, or three. I mean, come on, would you limit the time you spent with Salma? I sure as hell wouldn't. Unless it got in the way of me getting another VIP Fat.

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Photo of waldowin
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 750mL swing-top jug, aged for three months (I ran out of patience).

Appearance - Pours a dark, dark syrup, so dark it's black. When it's held to the light, thin streamers of blood red wrap around the sides which give hint to the true color. Absolutely massive head at least four fingers tall, so thick you could cut it with a knife (I actually did, as a test, the cut stayed). Fades to a thin cake of foam for several minutes, and finally fades to a sheen with a ring, and leaves ringlets all the way down. Very impressive for a beer this high in ABV. Every dark beer should have heads like this.

Smell - First hit is strongly of cinnamon, which surprised me. Having had this beer before, that wasn't something I'd noticed. Plums, scotch, and spiced rum. Almost a tropical smell.

Taste - Up front taste is malts. Caramel, toffee, buttery and some plum and molasses. Almost a bubble-gum like sweetness in there, like a Bazooka Joe is sitting on the bottom. A hint of smoked peat midway through, and a *very* slight hint of single-malt. Finishes with some cedar-like hops, and a bit of smoke. Definitely a big beer, it's easy to see how this won two golds back to back in '02 and '03.

Mouthfeel - Feels a bit slick (wondering if maybe this one was oxidized), and dry, at first. Then widens out to a massive chewy, bubbly feel, that almost literally tumbles along the tongue. The syrupy thickness of this brew combines with the large amount of carbonation to make a wonderful experience.

Drinkability - This stuff is scarily drinkable. It'd be so very easy to drink enough of this to be sick later, especially with all this sugar. Once it hits your lips, it pulls itself down your throat with abandon. The alcohol really sneaks up on you.

Would absolutely recommend it to anyone who hasn't tried it, but it's so much fresher and bigger off the tap (I've had both tap and bottle).

As a footnote, as this beer warmed up, the buttery slickness faded, and the sweet notes got deeper. Once this beer hit about 50 degrees or so, it was fantastic. If you buy some, let it warm a bit before drinking it from the fridge.

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Photo of beertaster13
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice deep cherry wood with a decent looking mocha head. The smell is of toasted malts and rich clove yeasts. The alcohol aroma is ever present. A nice butter toast, deeply toasted. The taste is syrupy with a nice toasted almond and butter taste. The malts are deep and dark, a light plum sweetness. Great for those cold nights. Medium bodied and rich, perfect with meat.

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Photo of FirstMan
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark dark brown out of the bomber bottle. I've had this a few times on tap at the Silver City Brewpub in Silverdale, WA, but it's a bottle I've got right now, so it's a bottle I'll rate.

Smell is of raisins, molasses and little smoke. Very malty nose with overtones of alcohol.

Alcohol is the first thing you notice in the taste, but then the smoke sets in and sticks around for a while with notes of peat and lots of sweetness. It's a scotch for sure - and a robust one at that.

A slick, full mouth-feel, slightly tempered by the carbination.

This is a big, full bear of a beer. The huge flavors and the 9% alcohol content make this a treat, but not a session beer.

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Photo of beerceller99
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

32 oz. ceramic swing top bottle pours a mahogany fluid with a tan head. Smokey, sweet malt smell. Nice lacing. Sticky sweet smoked malt flavor with molasses and alderwood smoked tasting malts. Medium/heavy bodied with a very smooth mouthfeel.
The smoked flavors here went well with a cigar on Superbowl Sunday 2005.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 liter swing-top courtesy of the awesome west-coast BA RoyalT.

Poured a wonderful deep and dark cherry-colored gloriousness, with ruby-tinged highlights around the edges. Initial thick layer of barely off-white head quickly subsides into a paper-thin, edges-only ring. Decent lacing of the glass. Aromas are complex, to say the least. A funky "chocolatey-whiskey" smell is noted, along with a supporting cast of Heath Bar and caramel. Flavors are tasty, with some big-time sweetness shining through. Bourbon-soaked raisins also appear and mix nicely with the chocolate cocoa powder. Finishes with just a hint of alcohol burn and a smoky aftertaste that was as nice as it was unexpected. Mouthfeel is smooth...a little on the dry side. Quite drinkable, though the 9.0% ABV does limit you to a respectable quantity before calling it a night.

I'm liking this style more and more! Big thanks to RoyalT for this one.

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Photo of PatandDavid
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Redbones during the NW fest. Nice dark pour that was opaque. Had a big fluffy off-white head that dissipated quickly. Aroma was a pleasant mix of roasted chocolate and toffee. Flavor was rather good, tastes reminiscent of those in the aroma. Found it very smooth, also noted some pear flavors in the aftertaste. pat

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Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Very dark brown with just the slightest hint of red. The head was monstrous even though I controlled it at the pour.

Smell – This smells like scotch; nothing more, nothing less. The faint peat aroma, sweet malt, and alcohol scream scotch all the way.

Taste – The sugars take over at the tongue (and go well with my hot dog). The malt deepens as well, making this quite the sweet, malty offering.

Mouthfeel – This one is “wee heavy” for sure. It gives the mouth the same feeling you’d get at the finish of a nice, long drink of scotch.

Drinkability – This went down way too easy for a 9.0 ABV ale. I’ll have to call it a night on account of the fact that this came in a .26 gallon bottle.

Comments – This offering from Silver City won the Gold Medal for the top Scotch Style Ale at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival. If there ever was a scotch session ale, this is it.

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Fat Scotch Ale from Silver City Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 208 ratings.
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