Claymore Scotch Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Claymore Scotch AleClaymore Scotch Ale

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BA SCORE
86
very good

1,304 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 1,304
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 43
Gots: 140 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-22-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,304 | Reviews: 455
Photo of RDAdams
1.24/5  rDev -67.7%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

My childbride offered to pick me up a six pack of whatever while she was out. So I asked her to stop at Perfect Pour in Columbia, MD and get me a six pack of Scotch Ale other than Belhaven.

The appearance is dark brown with red highlights.

The aroma is Strong Scotch Ale - Fruit, Malt, and Peat. But there's something else in here that I could not place until I read other reviews. It really is the smell of wet socks!

The taste would be better if you never tasted a Scotch Ale before. I've made a better Strong Scotch Ale than this and, like this one, I don't use hops. When you don't use hops, you need more to use more peat malt. It has a musty aftertaste that is consistent with the wet socks aroma.

The mouthfeel is thin for a Strong Scotch Ale.

At $14/six pack, I feel ripped off.

Photo of gfreed
1.68/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I know jack about beer brewing. I think I do know something about Scotch ale, however. This one is... well, it's one of the worst I've had. Bad Scotch ales taste like over-boiled peas and beans. This one tastes like that *plus* wet dog fur. Or maybe it's wet cat fur. Or a wet wool coat that hasn't been cleaned in three seasons and could really, really use a good cleaning RIGHT NOW. In any case, this is one Scotch ale to avoid. I had a headache before I even finished the bottle. If you want a good American SA, head to the aisle that holds Founders Dirty Bastard. Better still, head to the aisle with the Orkney Skull Splitter.

Photo of elNopalero
2.14/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I’ve had a pretty solid success rate with Great Divide brews… until tonight.

Picked this one up in a bottle shop in Bakersfield early July, and cracked it open approximately two weeks later. Complete drainpour. Unfortunately, I did not notice until after the fact that this bottle was dated August 29, 2011. While I have known Scotch ales to have changed for the better with some time it seems this went downhill—or was infected. Either way, not cool.

This poured a thick dark roast caramel color with thin lacing. I thought it looked ok. It had a tart, sour aroma. Strongly off-putting. It’s not what I expected, I thought at first, as it lacked any sort of malty sweetness or an expected toasted caramel which I look forward to in my scotch ales. Flavor was more of the same—bad, off, and just wrong. As it warmed it developed what I can only describe as a “vomitty” flavor. Its hard to tell if its just old beer or a quality control issue. Unfortunately, drainpour.

Photo of nelsonracite
2.3/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

This was not my favorite type of beer.

Photo of charlzm
2.51/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Consumed at Encinitas Ale House in Encinitas, CA on December 29th, 2010.

Very clear dark brown (think cola). Minimal head disappears after just a few minutes. No sheeting.

The nose is greeted by a melanoidin-rich, peaty smoke aroma.

The expected malt and light smoke flavors are present, but so is an off, sweatsock note that ruins it. Infected? In any event, it did sort of balance out slightly as the beer warmed.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side (as opposed to the expected thicker body).

Don't know if it came from the brewery this way, or if the lines at the Ale House were dirty. Either way, I need to have it again somewhere else to really know.

Photo of monza
2.56/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

"Meh" to put it into modern terms. This beer is lacking in many respects.

While Great Divide makes some awesome stuff, this beer is a real disappointment. A Wee Heavy is supposed to have some serious mouthfeel from the caramelized wort, but this feels so thin. On top of that, its too sweet, even for a Wee Heavy. It pours a nice color, but has no life when in the glass. Its not supposed to have much carbonation, but some would be nice...

I really dont have much more to say on this one...At $10/6-pack its a weak offering among alot of fantastic beers in this style.

Photo of Jesse13713
2.62/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Pours a brownish black with barely any head at all. A little carbonation with poor to average lacing. Looks like coffee quite a bit.

Smell - Dark fruits, barley and malts are present right away. Prunes are slightly present as well. It does not smell hoppy at all.

Taste - Yeasty and filled with dark fruits, specifically plumbs. I also get a tangy cherry zing followed by a maple, brown sugar and coffee aftertaste. It does, however, taste quite medicinal. I agree with a below reviewers comments about it tasting quite buttery.

Mouthfeel - Bitter and quite alcoholic.

Drinkability - A little hard for me to get through, but quite tasty in some respect. The flavors were very complex.

Verdict - I enjoyed the dark fruits and buttery taste, but it isn't uncommon to find that in a lot of beers. While the taste was complex, it didn't respectfully agree with my taste buds.

Photo of NEdward
2.62/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

L: Coca-Cola, very minimal head, no lacing to speak of.

S: Faint sweetness, burnt sugar, very obvious alcohol

T: Sweet, mostly but an empty space. Hints of barley on the edges.

F: Limpid, no carbonation, watery

O: Vague sweetness that's hard to pin down when one actually tries to locate it (though a sweet aftertaste that's easily found).

Photo of Miami66
2.68/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Pretty standard for the style. It's got a beautiful dark ruby color with slight caramel and brings a warming characteristic.

Photo of CaptFrothy
2.77/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

To me, scotch ale is all about mouthfeel and maltiness.
This has too much black patent malt tilting it towards a smokey tipple. A bit high on the carbination as well. Doubtfull I'll buy again, too many others that deliver the malty silkiness I associate and appreciate in this style.

Photo of kojevergas
2.81/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I've had this before and wasn't impressed.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and good retention. Body colour is a nontransparent opaque solid black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Bland toasted malts, light toffee, caramel, must, and wood, actually. The wood was unexpected. Burnt fruit. A moderate strength aroma, but far from great for the style. Lacks subtlety. Where's the vanilla, heavy toasted malt, well executed caramel, and vibrant warmth I expect from a good wee heavy?

T: Toffee, middling caramel, and generic malts. A bit cardboard-esque as it progresses towards the boring finish. No yeast character. Buried generic stonefruit; perhaps a hint of raisin. Imbalanced and simply built. Lacks the good attributes of a good wee heavy; Backwoods Bastard or Old Chub this is not. No alcohol comes through. Meh.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good thickness up front, but it thickens towards the back end to its detriment. Slightly overcarbonated. Dry right on the finish to ill effect. Unmotivated and untailored to its flavour profile.

Dr: Drinkable but pedestrian. A surprisingly forgettable offering from what may be Denver's best brewery. I wouldn't have it again. Hides its ABV nicely, but it doesn't bring much to the table as a wee heavy. I'll stick to Old Chub as my wee heavy of choice for Colorado. This doesn't cut it.

Lowish C

Photo of nsabo
2.82/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Still feel pretty clueless as to what a Wee Heavy is supposed to entail, as everyone I've tried seems radically different from the last (Founder's Dirty Bastard is excellent).
Fruity nose. Malty, but an oddly thin mouthfeel. I taste pears, caramel, tobacco, and a lingering sourness. At first this tasted like a Dubbel without the funky yeast, but the further I get into the beer, each sip finishes with a charcoaled wood taste that ruins everything that comes before it.
I dig Great Divide. Even when I've sipped on styles I don't like, I recognize that they've done an above average job. I love a malt bomb, but this is the only beer of theirs I don't like.

Photo of jkdrummer
2.87/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Man, do I really really REALLY miss McEwens now. Searching for a new Scotch Ale to fall in love with I've been trying them all. Old Chub from Dale's has been my go to so far. So this time I thought I'd try Claymore since it finally showed up here. Poured a nice caramel tawny golden brown, some head but not much. Tasted sweet and roasty, some bite but more of a malty mouthful. But after 10 min -- no head and flat. What a huge disappointment.

Photo of Franz4
2.95/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- pours dark brown, almost black, and nearly opaque but just a touch of light coming through the pint glass.

S- some smokiness and a touch of a chocolate roastiness in it. Smokiness seems to come from some peat.

T- Smokiness comes through in the taste as the dominant flavor, not much else is noticeable. I expected more malts flavors.

M- seems a little thin, almost no carbonation.

O- Well, this wasn't quite what I was expecting. I've enjoyed different smoke beers in the past, and this seems to be the dominant piece of this beer, but it just doesn't quite pull it off. If I'm looking for a scotch ale I'll go elsewhere, as this is just average.

Photo of cdizinno
2.96/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured into a tulip glass from a bottle, same as the one pictured. Bottled on: APR 29 2010, printed on label.

A: Black with a mild reddish tint. Thin off-white head and minimal lacing.

S: Rasted malts all the way. Some caramel, coffee and booze.

T&M: Tastes better than the smell. Fairly sweet with a good bit caramel and coffee taste. Almost like a cross between a porter and a stout. Light to medium bodied.

Decent, but definitely not my style of beer. I guess it is good compared to it's description of style with the exception of the body. It ends fairly thin, almost watery.

Photo of kc44
2.96/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep opaque reddish brown with a nice tan head, but it goes away pretty soon. Bit of caramelly malt on the nose and not a whole lot else, definitely looking for more here. Must say that the beer is totally tasty and drinkable, but wanted a whole lot more complexity out of something like this. No alcohol burn, no roast, no toast, no smoke, just a big malty beer, a bit of hoppiness for balance but only noticible as keeping the malt from becoming cloying. It doesn't taste bad, it just isn't as flavorful as it might be. Good through the mouth, can kick it back easier than you might want to. All in all, a slightly above average beer. Nothing is bad or wrong about it so much as it just fails to stand out, especially for a style with some room to play with.

Photo of BeerAngela
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Weee heavy, like a claymore, duh

Photo of dogma46an2
3.06/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- was true to style nice copper hues malty rust in color .

S- Aroma was Beautiful nutty malty slight roast notes as well as smokey.

T- Nice Mlat notes petesmoke from the yeast didnt seem like they used presmoked malts. gentle Melanoidins.

M- This was spot on . subtile creamy mouth feel .with a clean finish .

O-This was a great true to style wee heavy.

Photo of Brant
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'll get to the point here -- I was pretty disappointed by this beer. It looked gorgeous in my glass, but that was really the high point. I won't be drinking this again.

A - A deep deep ruby red, like red velvet cake. Looked black in my dim kitchen light, but holding it up to the sunlight really brought out the beautiful ruby color of the beer. Almost no head. Maybe I poured it incorrectly (I'm admittedly a bit of a noob with the finer points of beer procedure), but whatever head was there fizzled out pretty fast. I would have given this a 5 on appearance if it had a nice head.

S - A scotchy, Fig Newtonish sort of smell. Clean and inviting.

T - The taste was kind of blah. Not particularly sweet or caramelly, but not bitter either. I don't know how to describe it other than I thought it tasted like heirloom oak furniture. Sort of musty, old, vintage. It had a lingering dusty aftertaste.

M - Honestly, this felt like week-old diet soda in my mouth. Kind of watery.

O - I didn't like it. It looked great sitting there in my glass, but the flavor seemed confused.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.15/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Here's 12 ounces of scotch ale coming:

Cola brown colored with red hues resting along the edges of the glass. Its head is compact and white, dropping to a thin lace before saying goodbye. The nose features a good note of baker's chocolate and a little fume of peat smoke. Its major sin is an odd DMS note that roughens the nose.

Sweet tasting as expected, chocolate and peat piggyback much of the taste score, while a rough veggie hop flavor adds a major bump to the road. The medium body is thanks to the amount of malt this beer has, somewhat smooth. Alcohol is hidden well, which helps expedite things (such as they are).

Some would say adequate, I will say mediocre. It's rougher than I'd like. Forget the claymore to fix things here, a steamroller would be more appropriate.

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.15/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First off: Merry X-mas one and all!!! Cheers, slainte, prost, and all that rubbish....Second off: You put the "Scotch Ale" suffix on there, and you're gonna be compared to McEwan's...just sayin' is all...Ok, this is a highly carbonated ale. It immediately bursts into a cavalcade of soda-like bubbles. Pretty crazy. This quickly disappears, however, and you get a steady stream of very small bubbles. Not much head forms for all the bubbles ya see. Pours a dark mahogany and leaves little lacing. Heavy caramel malt aromas, as one might expect, battle with your nose. Some of the usual suspects arrive: Vanilla, caramel, and mayhaps some pineapple way back there. So far, par for the American course. Flavor is big and rich upfront, but quickly scatters into a slightly thin middle and ever thinner finish. The flavor profile is punctuated by some off bitter notes here and there, as though they tried to mimic barrel aging without the barrel. At 7.7%ABV, this wee heavy be a wee bit light, in my opinion. One would think, initially, that this is decently priced at $1.99/12oz. bottle but that makes this a $12 sixer. That's close to not acceptable. decent enough beer, but still leagues beneath the elite versions of the style.

What I like most: The initial malty burst of flavor.

What I like least: A lot of the rest.

Verdict: Not worth tracking down and a somewhat pedestrian effort.

Photo of Infamous7100
3.17/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a dark brown and slightly red. On this pour, I had absolutely no head.
S: Picked up on the malts and caramel right away. Roasty and perhaps a hint of syrup. Not too bad.
T: Very bold and complex. I get some sweetness which is quickly overtaken by some unexpected bitterness, which I assume is the hop profile coming through. I can taste the roasted malts as well.
M: Medium to thick bodied. It's definitely hearty and leaves a little bitter hang on the palate.
D: This was more first endevour into the wee heavy catagory, so perhaps I need to get used to it. It was a good beer, but I expected more malty sweetness rather than the bitterness I was left with.

Photo of Chico1985
3.17/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle date is 12/7/11.

Pours very dark red, nearly black, barely any light gets through, definitely dark for the style. Very small beige head forms on the pour quickly turning to a ring, retains decently as that.

Nose reminds me a little of cherry coke. Some cocoa and caramel there too, some toasty malts.

Taste is similar, definitely an overall cola feel with some milk chocolate, caramel, dark fruits, maybe some rye bread? Earthy hops hiding in the malts somewhere.

Decent mouthfeel overall, it's smooth and has a decent thickness, I do wish there was more carbonation, not quite lively enough.

A decent beer, but feels kinda bland, not really a good representation of a scotch ale either.

Photo of fitrock2112
3.17/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured Claymore into a ice cold frosty pint glass.

A - The appearance looks like coca cola with no head at all.

S - Smells like a porter, coffee, bitter roasted malts.

T - The taste follows the nose. coffee, bitter roasted malts. It does have some smokiness in there mid palate. Different for a good scotch ale.

M - Not a bad mouthfeel, medium with medium carbonation.

O - Not a bad beer, I actually like the roasted smokiness of this but you know the rest.

Photo of scarfield
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled on Date of July 12 2010 7.7%ABV

Pours very dark- stoutish from the bottle, a bit of red shows through when held to a light. No head to speak of, just a faint tan rim around the glass.

Smell is "earthy" almost a mossy scent. Very malty.

Big malty taste. Nothing tricky about this beer. A bit of burnt/carmelized sugar, and a bit of a stale-smoky aftertaste.

Hides the ABV well, but there is nothing remarkable about this beer.

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Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,304 ratings.