heemer77 (5008) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - DEC 5, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Ruddy, rusty red with a light khaki head. The aroma is lightly sweet with mango and some amaretto. There is also a little bit of bread crust. The taste has light bread crust and pecans. There was a little bit of orange peels. The body is light and bright with just enough sharp carbonation.
edfitz (118) - Toledo, Ohio, USA - DEC 5, 2008
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Deep copper color with a frothy, lasting head. Malty with hints of caramel and dark fruit. Not overly sweet like some Christmas Ales. Some are too sweet and I cannot have more than one or two. This is one is not that way.
ClarkVV (3579) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 5, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottles drunk over Thanksgiving 2008
Wasnt sure what to expect, noting that Bells dosent brew special releases to any particular style guidelines, yet scotch ale was mentioned on the label.
Im not a big fan of scotch ales, as they generally combine many qualities that I dislike in beer relatively high sweetness, lots of different dark malts, caramelization in the boil, lots of stickines and/or syrupiness in the mouthfeel, but I was very, very pleasantly surprised to find a very dry, even crisply finishing, balanced beer upon first sip. The malts are lightly grainy, with only a hint of caramel flavor and restrained, yet obvious PNW hop aromatics and bitterness. The lean body makes it extremely drinkable and I was finished with my glass in a shockingly short amount of time.
I suppose I can see some of the low scores from people who are expecting a traditional scotch ale, but since when was Bells, or most any brewer, for that reason, held to style guidelines on this site? Excellent, drinkable, beer with a very fresh, wholesome, malt flavor that really lets the barley shine through and downplays the yeast character or any obtrusive hoppiness, though the bitterness and hop flavor is just enough to balance the finish. Great stuff, incredibly sessionable.
BBB63 (5406) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - DEC 5, 2008
2.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle that poured a bronze hue with a lasting frothy off-white head which very good lacing. The aroma has notes of butterscotch, maple syrup, sweet bread, slight smoked malt, overripened apple and fig, noble spicy hops and an minerally yeast ester. The taste is rather flat with a basic malt driven profile and some twangy fruit but missing much of what your expect from the genre. A mismatched combination of flavors. Some peppery bite on the finish is the highlight to a rather dull beer. The mouth feel does not do this beer any favors either as it is lively but quick to fade. Who in hell brewed this? They should be let go. Utterly underwhelming. Maybe I dump this rest of this upon my dad, it could be a cheap drunk for him.
LinusStick (2614) - Moon Twp, suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 5, 2008
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Ehhhh...Bells did this? Aroma was so so. Could pick up some pepper, pine and light fruit. Pour was a nice murky multi colored light brown with a thin off white film for a head. Taste was very malty and thick. Caramel, spices and a hint of peat smokiness with decent carbonation and a dry aftertaste. I would label this beer as a S/H/V beer myself. More spices than malt in my opinion.
punkrkr27 (903) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - DEC 4, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Orangish copper pour with a 1 finger off-white head. The aroma has some orange, dark fruit, toffee, biscuit, faint pepper and pine. Flavor is pine, fruit, subtle smoke, pepper and biscuit malt. Creamy medium-full body.
Silphium (2969) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - DEC 4, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
In bottle and on tap. Murky orange-brown body, cloudier on tap than in the bottle, puffy buff head. Sweet nose with berries, caramel, brown sugar, and toast. Malt-driven body with same notes and hints of dark fruit. Earthy. Finishes bitter, but the hops are subdued by sweet malts. A winter warmer session-style scotch ale that lacks the twigs-n-berries and peat notes that characterize my favorite examples of the style.
emacgee (3430) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - DEC 4, 2008
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours copper orange with a one to two finger creamy yellow head. The aroma is malty, bready, has a mild fruitiness to it. Not very complex. The flavor is fruity, sweet, malty, some hop bitterness, has a crisp piny bite. Feels like its missing its middle. The palate is lacking and mildly bitter.
MatSciGuy (905) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - DEC 3, 2008
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
[Bottle] Pours a cloudy caramel-gold with a medium sized, fluffy beige head. Aroma is lager yeast, slightly metallic, a touch of old noble hops, and some caramel. Tastes like a weak pilsener. Thin, slightly malty with more hops than I was expecting based on the description. A touch metallic, with a bit of hop bitterness on the finish. Really not what I was expecting in a scotch ale from Bells - especially a christmas beer.
nefarious (220) - Waterford, Michigan, USA - DEC 2, 2008
2.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
copper pour into a shaker. youknow this is sub-par for bells. alot better than most other companys but. just not up to there standards. It a WEAK scotch ale. not bad though, just disappointing.