Polarized surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and UV-vis absorbance spectra were measured for a nonplanar Ag nanorod array substrate prepared by oblique angle vapor deposition. The anisotropy of the SERS polarization was shown to differ from that of the polarized UV-vis absorbance. The maximum SERS intensity was observed in the polarization direction perpendicular to the long axis of the Ag nanorods, while the UV-vis absorbance was strongly polarized along the direction of the long axis of the nanorod array. Analysis of the polarization data showed that molecular orientation was not the cause of the anisotropic SERS scattering. Rather, the SERS anisotropy was primarily attributed to the lateral arrangement of the three-dimensional tilted nanorod lattice in which highly localized plasmon modes are created by strong electromagnetic coupling between adjacent metallic nanorods. © 2006 American Chemical Society.