porterhouse (1581) - Boothbay, Maine, USA - FEB 9, 2007
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
(Bottle from <A HREF=http://www.ratebeer.com/Place/massachusetts/w target=blank>Julio’s Liquors) OK but a little funny-tasting...Pours darkish amber with two fingers of rather rich-looking biscuit head. Recedes to a nice 1/2" cap. Nose not real strong but kind of caramel and vanilla. Mouthfeel fairly smooth but a little thin, lightly prickly. Some sloppy rings of lacing. Flavor starts with kind of weak caramel and vanilla maltiness followed by a surprise note of slightly smoky, kind of stinky/decaying peatiness that appears then disappears. Interesting but not very good. Weakly bitter.
mcox90 (1538) - Wilton, New Hampshire, USA - NOV 11, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Sampled at Mass Brewers Fest @ Julio’s. Poured a clear red/amber with a small, dense off white head. Sweet caramel nose with just a hint of smoke. Fairly sweet taste with more caramel malt and some nuttiness. Some spices. Sweet, but not overly so. Full bodied and warming.
Scrapersnbeer (1467) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 3, 2012
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
A smooth malty nose with a hint of smoke. Medium amber color - when one pictures strong English beer this isn’t it. Could be a bitter or even a pale. Tastes, however, are the roasted malt and bitter bankground that define the style. Not enough sweetness to be Scotch ale; English classification is correct. An easy enough drinking beer with a medium body. Just out of the session range.
Heathen (1458) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - FEB 14, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
THOUGHTS: Nice and malty. Toffee. Not all that Christmasy, but a nice winter warmer. All sorts of malts. Warming.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a medium to dark orangey amber with a large, off-white head that left good lacing. The aroma was moderate toasted, nutty, molasses and caramel malts; light chocolate; light herbal and earthy hops; apple, cherry and toffee. The initial flavor was light to moderately sweet and slightly bitter; while the finish was rather sweet, lightly bitter and slightly sour with and average to long duration. There was toffee, caramel, a little chocolate, earthy hops, some citrus and earthy hops, burnt caramel, cookies, toasted and nutty malts, cherry and apple. The medium body was a bit syrupy and then a bit dry with fizzy carbonation and a slightly metallic, slightly astringent and lightly dry finish.
coolpop (1395) - Birmingham, Alabama, USA - JAN 8, 2011
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Draft. Orangey amber with a medium off white head. Aroma and flavor: lots of caramel, some raisins and cherry, spicy hops. Good English ale, but not particularly wintry.
MaBeer1972 (1285) - Taunton, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 20, 2003
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
On-tap. This is a nice rich amber colored brew with plenty of malt character. The middle is a tad sweet and the finish is rather bitter and dry. One of the better ones from this Brewer.
Miguel (1181) - Saint-Ours, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 21, 2007
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Robe rouge très claire surmontée d’une mousse beige épaisse en dentelle. Arômes âcres. Saveurs âcres de mangue.
Hopistotle420 (1178) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - OCT 27, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Light fruit aroma, raison, plums. Garnett amber hue. Off white head. Sweet first, dark fruit, medium bodied, candy, bubblegum, then its a nice bitter finish. I definately enjoy this brew. Its sweet, but well balanced, hiding alcohol well. Definately quaffable.
halfonit (1164) - Fall River, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 28, 2008
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I liked this one! It was actually really good. Has a nice dark amber color to it. Has hints of malts and something sweet. Has a nice, sweeter flavor to it with hints of some types of fruits. Very pleasantly surprised with this. It all works out very nicely. Not too much of an aftertaste in the end. Overall this was a pleasure to have. I will definitely get this one again before the season’s over. If anybody sees this on the shelf, give it a try. This is a great brew for an ice cold night.
Chad9976 (1163) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 5, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
I poured a 12oz bottle into a mug. It has a best by date of 3/8/14 and cost $2.70 ($0.23 per ounce).
Appearance: Clear, bright shade of copper/burgundy. Pours to an average size, white, foamy head which mostly dissipates and leaves minor lacing on the glass.
Smell: General malty aroma with hints of the usual scents for the style. Smells more like an Oktoberfest than a true Scotch Ale.
Taste: Scotch Ales are, in my opinion, an acquired taste. They’re very rich in character, has a smoky/peaty astringency and tend to be big in body. Wachusett Winter Ale has those qualities, but with less intensity. It’s remarkably drinker-friendly, making it a good introductory beer for those unfamiliar with the style.
The palette starts out with a nice malty flavor, similar to that of an Oktoberfest with distinct toffee and caramel flavors but without any lager character at all (as well it shouldn’t since it’s an ale). Slightly dry bitterness at the crest of the swig with subtle notes of chocolate and peat moss on the finish. There’s a slight tang or astringency on the back end, though I wouldn’t considering it a distraction per se. Hints of butterscotch on the aftertaste, at least momentarily.
Drinkability: While Wachusett Winter Ale may not be the best Scotch Ale ever, it’s in contention of the smoothest and most drinkable of the style I’ve ever had. The mouthfeel is somewhat thick, but soft with a smooth texture and easy finish. This would be an ideal accompaniment with cheese, or as an after-dinner beverage or nightcap. Though at only 6.1% ABV it’s not that heavy of a beer, but not light enough to consider sessioning. A single serving is satisfying.