Serve in Thistle


on tap

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RATINGS: 96   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.24/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 23   EST. CALORIES: 183   ABV: 6.1%
• First brewed 1995
• Available November 1st to mid January
A ruby colored classic Scotch Ale made with crystal, Munich, smoked and special malts. No spices needed for this rich flavored brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
YogiBeera (2570) - New Jersey, USA - MAR 9, 2005
Tap at Redbones: I liked it. Alcohol nose, but nice. Medium dark red color, flrothy head. Nice roasted, dark berries taste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
HogTownHarry (6375) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - NOV 30, 2006
Bottle (12oz). Deep clear brick red, small frothy off-white head. Rich nutty, chocolate-toffee malt aroma, some floral hops, mahogany shavings and mild spices. Very nice lightly chocolate sweet malt taste, with some woody lightly herbal hops adding a much-needed bitter edge to the full-on sweet malt finish - very much like a nice scotch ale - the alcohol is decidedly not aggressive, but my ears started warming after the second sip. Decent body, light nutshell bitterness/astringency, moderately alcoholic body, soft, medium-length finish - very nice winter beer, I may buy more next time I’m in Buffalo.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
thornecb (5498) - Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 12, 2008
Pours a deep, clear orange and ruby tinged brown into a thistle. Off-white micro head recedes to skim surface leaving sheet lacing. Smoky orange aromas. Sweet smoked nuts with a creamy, short marshmallow and vanilla alcohol finish. I actually like this one, but it became a little cloying as it warmed which brings it down a notch or two. Also glad to see it is classified here as an English strong as it is certainly not a scotch ale as the label implies.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Derek881 (1250) - Denver, Colorado, USA - FEB 25, 2010
I had this beer in the lodge after my first ski trip, at Wachusett Mountain. The beer had a cloudy, dark amber color with a bubbly white head that had good retention and some cling. The beer had a smoky caramel malt and light dense fruit aroma mixed with some lighter grainy and grassy hops scents. The taste was largely sweet with a caramel presence, but also some bitterness too. It had a smooth, creamy mouthfeel and was fairly wet with average carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
ChadPolenz (1690) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - DEC 5, 2013
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
GeniusGirl (221) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 10, 2004
tap. nice rich garnet/amber hue... aroma has hints of cocoa, caramel, malts... the sweetness os balanced by smokey undertones... much better than i expected... i’ll be trying it again this holiday season

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
mvcramer (243) - Lexington, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 14, 2007
Reminded me of a lighter version of Sam Adams Old Fezziwig... only less flavorful. Pours a light brown with a fairly thin head. Mild hoppy flavor with hints of spices - ginger and an almost nutmeg-like taste? Subtle in the spices. Balanced and tasty. Good beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - FEB 20, 2008
Draft at Hop Devil. Amber/brown with a sturdy head. Aroma is a ton of chocolate and cherry. The flavor is more cherry with a stinging hoppiness. Theres a very dry quality to it. Not too bad.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
OldGrowth (3238) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - DEC 12, 2004
Bottle, from Julio’s. Ok nose, apple,cardboard,carmel,cherry, nutty.NIce clean orangy red color. No head.Sweet bitter flavors Carmel, little cocoa, applecider, little burnt/roasty thing. Medium bodied, creamy/oily mouthfeel, roasted bitter finish. NIcely done from Wachusett. Flavor got better as it warmed.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
hopscotch (10609) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 19, 2005
Bottle... Clear, deep copper ale with a small, creamy, off-white head. Excellent retention. The malty nose is full of caramel and gingerbread. Malty, rich flavor. Unbalanced. Sweet, but not cloyingly so. Full-bodied and velvety with medium carbonation. Finishes fairly thin and bland. Thanks go out to growler for the bottle!

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