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Claymore Scotch Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Claymore Scotch AleClaymore Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

462 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 462
Hads: 1,361
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 20.21%
Wants: 49
Gots: 174 | FT: 1
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 462 | Hads: 1,361
Photo of Oxymoron
3.24/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

GD is going crazy with its new beers. Pours a semi hazy chestnut brown color with a light shade of brown hue throughout. Not much of a head, even with a help on the pour. A egg shell white color with bigger bubbles and note much retention or lacing.

The nose is a bit off. There is a sweetness that is a bit much for style and an off caramel note. Some melanodian notes and a almost Special B like malt aromas as well. Some earthy and fig/raisin notes. The yeast really comes out and has some rose peddles, butyric and stale aromas. Some good but a bit of off notes really distracts.

The taste is note as sweet as the nose would indicate but still a bit sweet for style. Some bready and caramel notes and a touch of brown sugar notes. Would like more of a malty flavor, instead has a light husky note. The butyric is still there, if note comes out more. Some esters, plums, figs and hints of chocolate. There is a harshness from the hops and stale notes in the finish, but both are minor.

The body is moderate and really lacking for style. Some sugary notes leaves an almost dry finish. Overall a bit disappointing. Would like to see more depth and maltiness out of this one. But very easy to drink.

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Photo of Vierenner
3.24/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this beer lacking in many areas. Just sitting in my glass it looks boring and dull. No bubbles ... no life. Some beers lack carbonation in the glass and then liven up after entering the mouth ... not this one. Dead. It also seems watery and lacking any unique flavor punch. The label is cool.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from the 12 pack.

A- Finger thick white head with a pitch black liquid and somewhat thin-looking body.

S- Very lager-like, sweet, bready, heavy on the malt profile

T- Is this a scotch ale? I feel like I am drinking a Helles or other German lager. Heavy on the sweet, bready malts... There's a slight hint of vanilla, but not much else suggests a scotch ale, so I'm confused. I remember having this on draft at the Denver Airport and enjoying it, so I don't know what the hell happened here.

M- At least this part ain't so bad. Smooth and creamy, I'm not mad how this beer drinks. Just wondering where the scotch profile is.

I give it a three and a half with the caveat being that I need to revisit and figure out if this is the true representation or an anomaly.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

6 oz sampling. Poured dark brown with a thin beige head. Aromas were slightly fruity, some butterscotch, but had a strange rancid aroma that was difficult to describe. Tastes were malty with butterscotch notes and hints of brown sugar - very sweet. Finishes sweet with no bitterness and a mild taste of caramel with some off-flavors resembling the aroma mentioned earlier. Mouth-feel was thin-to-medium bodied with low carbonation. Overall, I was not a fan of this one. As far as resembling the style, I feel they did a pretty good job, but the flavors just weren't right for me.

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Photo of beagle75
3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Dark brown color, nearly opaque at it's core, with no foam head. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Dark roasted malt, coffee, tobacco, wintergreen, and slight woodsmoke.

T: Begins off-dry, initially very acidic, with toffee and fennel seed. Flavors smooth out in the middle, turning earthy with a whiff of vanilla. Bitterness rises to a moderate level in the malty finish, but does not linger.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly creamy on the palate but stops short of coating the mouth, with moderate carbonation.

D: A timid, middle-road scotch ale that is more along the lines of a Scottish export than a wee-heavy. Certain qualities of this beer are briefly off-putting, but in the end it satisfies, especially in the company of savory food.

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Photo of corby112
3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to shadowane for sharing.

Pours a dark chestnut brown color with mahogany edges and a half finger beige head that quickly fades into a thinring. No lacing.

Smokey malt aroma with hnts of choclate, chestnut, caramel, toffee and biscuit.

Medium bodied but on the lighter end with slight bitter hop presence up font along with subtle roasted malt. Hints of caramel and toffee as well as some alcohol sweetness and biscuit. Slight astringency with alcohol heat. Dry finish.

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Photo of speter
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear dark brown with a three-finger tan head. Moderate lacing in my tulip glass.

S: Brown sugar, toffee, caramel, and a hint of coffee.

T: An elephant dancing at the ballet. This hits you over the head with all the malt you could ever want. There are some decent dark fruit flavors and a dark cherry overtone, but the result is more like sucrettes than a real dark cherry.

M: Full-bodied, but with decent carbonation. Little alcohol burn.

O: I still prefer the finesse from the Scottish originals. This strikes me more as overkill of a good thing.

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Photo of blakelive784
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a generic pint glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a nearly black amber/ruby color with a 2 finger, dense brown head. Retention is only average, even considering the ABV, though the head does leave nice lacing.

S - Toasted malts, cream, light roast coffee, biscuity yeast, sweet crystal malts, and plum. Mild to moderate in strength, and a bit reserved. It is inviting though.

T - Not nearly as malty as I come to expect from the style. The toasted malts impart an almost roasty like quality to the beer that works pretty well to counter the sweetness of the crystall malt. Cream and dark fruit notes round out the body. A modestly boozy finish finishes the beer.

M - Medium to full bodied, thick and creamy. Very nice.

D - I like this beer, though I think it may disappoint fans of the wee heavy style. Another solid beer from Great Divide, though it's really not remarkable or special.

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Photo of Heritage02Rider
3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler of this Claymore Scotch Ale as I like the carmely taste of a good Scotch Ale.

I poured it in to my chilled glass fresh from the retailer and got a small head which quickly dissolved to a small ring around the edge. I put it up to my nose and found almost no odor representing scotch ale or beer. Almost inert. The color was dark and when held to the light produced a deep red (think maroon) color. First sip, not bad, but didn't knock my socks off. It went down smooth and as it warmed a bit to a better drinking temp, it stayed about the same.

A: Dark color with dark maroon color when held to light. The head is small and dissipates rapidly to a small ring.

S: Almost odorless. A little underwhelming and not a representation of a scotch ale.

T: The taste is fairly representative of a carmely scotch ale. The higher alcohol content (7.7) was not real noticeable. (A nice touch)

M: The beer at fridge temperature is too cold to enjoy properly, but as it warms a touch (say 45 to 50ish) it becomes better.

D: The beer goes down easily and leaves no lasting aftertaste.

I would say this is an average beer and only a fair representation of a scotch ale. I paid $13.99 for a growler which is , in my opinion, a bit high in comparison with other growlers of better beer I have had at lower prices.

I am glad I tried this beer, but for the price I will probably not purchase this again.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes:

Poured into a thistle glass:

P: Pour is black slightly translucent in the light with a thin line of airy head around the edge once it quickly dissipated. A placid brew from the start.

S: Caramelized malts, dark breads with a funky tang I cant quite make out.

T/M: Nice medium bodied, lightly carbonated brew with robust bourbon flavor. Partners in this arsenal are sweet caramel, wood, and cherry alcohol. The finish is dry with a timid smoke and bean spouts.

O: This was my first wee heavy to ever try. It wont be my last because I'm curious to see what other recipes deliver in this style. I was somewhat bored with this particular brew however it was for sure a good drinkable beer. With the price of $10+ for a six pack I will look else where for a better example.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours brown with a mild off-white head. Solid retention, no lace.

S: Sweet caramel malt. Hint of green hop and earth.

T: Malt flavour is pretty nice and it's not overhopped which is good to see. Strong caramel, but really not complex at all, it's just that one flavour with a hint of smoke.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth, soft carbonation, creamy.

D: Nice enough beer, not paying $12 for a sixer that's for sure, nowhere close to Traquair.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

It's difficult to review a beer that is generally good, but falls outside of the style guidelines.

The beer pours a very dark brown, almost opague black. The moderate carbonation provides a nice but short lived head with decent lace. The aroma is a weak whiff of bready malts with some roasted notes. The front end, middle and finish of this ale was a smooth and malty. Roasted malts came through in the finish. Not bad.

However, this is not a Wee Heavy. Except for the alcohol (7.2%), this is poor rendition of the category. Wee Heavy's should get most of thier character from a heavy malt load, long boil times, and long maturation. The taste should be intensely malty, with smooth sweetness, and a dry finish. This is closer to a stout or a strong dark ale.

Claymore is a good ale, don't get me wrong. I wouldn't turn this down. But, like many micros Great Divide dumbs down a classic style.

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Photo of Mojo
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Dogfish Head glass.

This beer pours up a beautiful deep mahogany with a small caramel colored head, a small ring of retention, and no lacing to speak of. The smell was minimal, but I mainly picked up some alcohol and soy sauce. The taste was very salty upfront followed by notes of cola, coffee, toffee, caramel, and a minimal amount of alcohol. Mouthfeel was full but I didn't like the weak aftertaste. Though weak, it was not very pleasant. Overall okay, but not one I would seek out again.

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Photo of claminat420
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- poured a stout color. light tannish head. light lacing.

S- not so much of malt and hops but that bubble gum yeast i've been pickin out of scotch ales. you can notice a different biscuit malt like scent.

T- well it's like the smell of the beer. alcohol in taste comes thru. this beer kinda hangs back on the throat.

M- medium bodied with the silkiest texture. acquired feel.

D- i wouldn't mind pickin a 6 of this some day or some singles. i've had wayyy better scotch's in my day (dark horse's scotty karate).

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Photo of Durge
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A black mahogany color with a decent oatmeal colored head and fair lacing. The aroma brings alcohol malt and bayberry hop. Not bad but not impressing me much yet. The flavor is a tangy maple syrup and juniper malt. Alcohol is pretty intrusive here and not entirely to my liking as it seems like the astringent qualities are knocking out the malt sweetness. It's grassy and medicinal to me, chemical hilights. Medium bodied and very lazily carbonated, it has a somewhat silky but limp feel. Soapy sweet, just not my cup of tea and a disappointment from Great Divide, especially for a normally exotic style like this. Vaguely drinkable.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a murky, colloidal, dark chestnut color with a nearly nonexistent skim of coarse khaki bubbles. Bold, complex aroma smells of caramel, toffee, peat, char, and blackberries, with a whiff of alcohol to boot.

The taste is milder than the aroma would suggest, primarily a blend of brown sugar and alcohol, which is a disappointment considering the complex nose. Hints of peat come through as well, but for the most part the sweetness is fairly obtuse. The carbonation is mild and tingly, and the mouthfeel is a good deal thinner than what I would have preferred.

Overall, this is a simplistic scotch ale that lacks the beef to assert itself like a scotch ale should. It’s not light on flavor, but the flavor is unrefined and the body is sorely lacking.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: deep brown/black body, trace tan head,

S: roasted nut, caramel/toffee, malt

T: caramel, nut, malt, green veg/grassy roasted

M: med body, smooth/mild chewy mouth

O: One of the FEW GD beers that I have
had that I was slightly disappointed.
Love this style, but missing the scotch/barrel
nose and flavor.


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Photo of mklinger
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. This pours a dark brown, only a bright light shows through it. This looks much more like a porter than a scotch ale to me. With a vigorous pour only a half inch head forms and it dissipated quickly.

Smell is nice, though again, not so Scotch ale like. I get some chocolate roastiness, along with a slight bit of bourbon-like booziness. Not much caramel sweetness which is the usual hallmark of a Wee Heavy. It smells good, just not what I expected.

Roast and malt are at the forefront here with a nice balance of hop bitterness at the end. Sort of surprised there isn't more sweetness in here. It's really a pretty dry beer. A taste of alcohol in the finish, too. Mostly this doesn't taste like a 7+% abv beer; it's pretty well hidden.

Mouthfeel is lighter than expected for the style, but pretty easy to drink. I like this beer, but I wish they would have called it something else. By giving it the Scotch Ale label they are setting up expectations they can't meet. Heck, I'd rate this beer higher if they called it something nondescript like a Dark Ale. However, expectations are a big part of the taste experience.

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Photo of BB1313
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Bottled on December 23, 2010. 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a dark brown with ruby hues. There's little head and lacing going on. Lots of malts and grains up front. I'm picking up hints of caramel, toffee, and a slight amount of chocolate. Once again, lots of malts and grains, maybe too much. Finishes with a minor warm burn. Mouthfeel is good, unfortunately it's the best thing going. Drinkability isn't the best, I found myself nursing it. It's not that this is a bad beer, just not interesting enough to keep my attention. At the end of the day, it's still well crafted.

Somewhat dissapointing, I always have high expectations from Great Divide, so I won't hold it against them. Still a beer I'm sure someone can really enjoy. It's not bad, I just wasn't crazy about it.

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Photo of Blueribbon666
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. My 1st Great Divide and I'm always up for scotch ale so I took a flyer on this six. Pours dark almost black in color with zero head into dimpled mug. Smells of alcohol, malt and a smokiness with a bit of peat as well as dull sweet bread. Full malt flavor in the front with the aforementioned peat like smokiness and mellows rather quickly without any real mix of sweet bread or dark fruit. I found this overall to be a bit underwhelming for the style, not very complex, rather average though I'm willing to give it a second try in the future.

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Photo of Mancer
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a slightly clear dark brown color with a 1 finger high light brown had. The head dissipated fairly quickly to light lace. The initial smell of the beer was that of dark bitter chocolate with a mellow roastiness. The initial taste of the beer was that of roasted dark chocolate, peat, and light caramel sweetness. This gave way to the finish which was primarily roasty with a slight booziness. The brew had a medium body with light carbonation.

Overall, this was a good beer, especially for its price. I'd buy this again, if given the option.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Near black with a solid near finger of caramel head, retention is a bit weak, lacing is decent.

S - Faint and roasty chocolate aromas in the background, lots of butterscotch, toffee, and caramel for sure. Hops are pretty much non existent, might be getting a little bitterness from earthy hops.

T - Tastes a lot like it smells, biscuity qualities and chocolate dominate though, a slight twang follows the butterscotch/caramel flavors, not so sure about the toffee anymore. Slightly dry finish. Not bad but not great.

M - Medium bodied at most, quite drinkable which is nice, but a little thin for a 7.7% scotch wee heavy. Carbonation is appropriate

O - Decent, was hoping for a little more, it was a little underwhelming for me in comparison to other Wee Heavy's I;ve enjoyed. Not bad, though, very drinkable for sure.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Doesn't pour up much head at all and has just about that much retention. The head is a slightly darker than medium beige while the body is pretty dark for a scotch ale. Very dark maroon brown with hints of chocolate and it shows glimmers of crimson and garnet when held up to the light.

Nose- When I first opened the bottle, I got a bit of a cheesy smell followed by messy caramel. The bottle shows some caramel mix with popcorn and some buttery notes. The glass, at the moment, shows almost nothing. Swirling doesn't help out much.

Taste- Starts off with light caramel that builds and show hints of cinnamon and raisin. More raisin than cinnamon but still a lot more spice than I expect out of a Scotch ale. Also not as malty as I expected. A little vinous as the raisin hints at red grapes. It seems like age might have played a factor in this beer. It's less than 3 months old and should be fine but it seems a little thin as far a the flavor profile goes. Some hints of citrus (orange and lemon) and the finish has a little bit of wood to it (pine, resin, and oak). It's pretty well rounded but I would like a little more presence from a Scotch ale unless it has sublimity and complexity of a Traquair. Still, an above average to good beer but a little bit of disappointment from Great Divide. Closer to above average though.

Mouthfeel- A little below medium bodied (which is too thin for the style) with too much carbonation. A little too much zing as well.

Drinkability- The drinkability is fine as it doesn't really have any flaws but it doesn't entice me anyway either. Reasonable price for craft beer but I think it would only go for this if it were fresher. And in it that case to see if freshness is a factor.

Overall- Above average. Worth a try but if you've had a fair amount of Great Divide's beers, it might be the letdown it was for me. A little odd for the style.

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Photo of klewis
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the GD tap room 3/19/09

A: Nearly black with ruby hues. Light bubbly head.

S: A light, nondescript smell with light smoky tones.

T: Nutty malt taste with a light peat flavor. Unusual in that it leans much more in the bitter end of the spectrum than the sweet side.

M: Medium-full bodied with medium carbonation. A nice stickiness.

D: A bit atypical for the style, yet tasty. Worth a try, but not one that I'd actively seek out again.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at the taproom. Appearance is a mahogany with nice clarity an a rim of white head. Nose is malty with hints of peat smokiness and caramel malts. Taste is very mild, light caramel malt, a slight smokiness. Mouthfeel is light with moderate carbonation. A nice clean scotch ale without too much character.

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Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 462 ratings.