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Claymore Scotch Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Claymore Scotch AleClaymore Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

998 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 998
Reviews: 411
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.69%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-22-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 998 | Reviews: 411 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of homebrew311


3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2013 20:19:02 | More by homebrew311
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 14oz tulip of this at Diciccos in Brewster recently, for $5.00.

Poured a deep, dark brown. Head was thin and bubbles sparse, though some light lacing was present. Nose was rather mild, with light sweetness and caramel evident. Good body, medium in feel and mostly smooth.

Flavor, too, had light sweetness. Had a solid malt base, caramel leading the way, with some subtle peatyness present. Hopping was floral and restrained. Improved with warming; decent, overall. Prosit!!

3.9/5 rDev +0.8%look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2013 21:46:12 | More by Bierman9
Photo of Thorpe429


3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Great Divide. Pours a fairly-deep brown. Nice and malty. Slight caramel and toffee. Nice sweetness.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2013 03:49:49 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of JackieTH


4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at 2012 Autumn Brew Review, from notes.

Poured dark ruby red with a half inch of tan foam. Caramel and roasted malt dominates the nose. Taste is toasted toffee malt, dark fruits, subtle chocolate, light caramel sweetness. Medium body, mildly carbonated, slightly warming. Overall I found this to be a tasty scotch ale.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2012 02:28:41 | More by JackieTH
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 08/30/12 notes. Had this on tap at Blind Tiger in NYC. 2010 vintage, served in a pint glass.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color,
with one inch of medium tan head and low to moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, roasted malts, dark fruits, toffee, and toasted malts. Nice and malty; pretty much what I was looking for.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, sweey dark fruits, fruity malts, toasted malts, toffee, roasted malts, and some light chocolate. Pretty nice, was kind of surprised by the sweet dark fruits.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Body is very smooth, and no alcohol is detectable. Very nice mouthfeel.

o - Overall a very nice scotch ale. Nose was what I was expecting while the taste had some nice sweet dark fruit to it. Very easy to drink; not sure how much 2 years did to this but I liked it. Would have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2012 18:15:31 | More by mdfb79
Photo of nimrod979


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From my notes: On tap at Bulls & Bears. 3/14

Appearance: Dark, almost black. Some faint ruby highlights on the edges. Smallish white head. Good retention.

Aroma - Malty peat smoke aroma. Toffee and nutty.

Taste - Caramel malt. Good balance of sweet and smoky. Toffee and caramel. Good roasty flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied. Moderate carbonation. Dry finish.

Really enjoyed this one. Starting to really get into this style.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2012 21:09:35 | More by nimrod979
Photo of Rifugium


4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Prohibition Taproom, Philly, PA

Poured into a footed stange (or whatever those glasses are called), a dark, muddy, rusty brown, somewhat translucent when held up to the light. A small off-white head that dissipated within a minute or two. Aroma of sweet malts, roasty, dark fruits and caramel; not too pronounced. Taste of rich caramel malts, roasted grains and nuts, brown sugar, hints of earth and figs. Very smooth and highly drinkable, and I don't just say that because it was my third drink of the night. I really loved the mouthfeel on this one. Very nice overall, and I could honestly probably sip on this all night.

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2012 08:51:51 | More by Rifugium
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$8 for a big boy glass at The Indie, Somerville MA

Looks opaque black with brown edges like a glass of root beer but the Independent is dark enough it could be brown, purple or any shade of dark copper. Thick blanket of a head diminishes to a half circle skim by 2/3 glass.

Smells mildly roasty and mildly fruity and earthy like a smooth char barrel cabernet. Smells like a baltic porter actually.

Tastes like soda bread soaked in dark rum and Chambord. As it warms the fruit comes further and further forward and Claymore starts to taste like weird sangria. Mouthfeel is big, lightly carbonated and dead on.

No peat and not that malty milk ball-ish. Otherwise a pretty solid scotch ale.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2012 02:48:27 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of kylehay2004


3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: very dark but getting a little light through. Thin head, not much retention.

S: smokey and caramel aroma.

T: smokey with a sweet fruity finish. Very unique. Also, I have only had a few scotch ales so I have little experience in this genre. malt and some chocolate notes round out the taste.

M: oily. Moderate carbonation and medium body.

Overall: very smooth and drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2011 18:01:53 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of OrangeAmps


4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap in Fall River, MA

poured into a pint glass.

the beer is reddish black, and the head is a one finger type deal that is dark white. The lacing is pretty nice to look at, and the head stays for a while.

the aroma is very malty and sweet, with some slight vanilla in there. And the smell of booze is also apparent.

the initial taste is all malts, and then mid way through, the malts turn to smoky dark fruits, and ends with a slight alcohol burn at the end (emphasis on slight).

This is a pretty good beer, and good for the style!

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2011 16:35:25 | More by OrangeAmps
Photo of Reaper16


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served on-tap @Egan's, Tuscaloosa, AL, into a pint glass

Pours a dark, dark brown like the pots of coffee that grizzled auto mechanics make in the morning. It has something of a bluesteel tint to it; that's how dark this beer is. I'm not sure that I've had a Scotch Ale or a Wee Heavy as dark as this one. The bartender gave me absolutely zero head, so I can't comment on the head or the lacing (and as such, won't factor their absence into my score).

The first thing that came to mind when I smell Claymore is "balance." It smells every bit like a beer that knows what it is and is confident with itself. Sure, its nearly entirely malt-driven, but no one malt aroma stands out as dominant. The caramel is balanced with the coffee grinds which is balanced with the toasted almond which is balanced by the tobacco leaf which is balanced by the black tea. Yes, the leafy flavors are indicative of an actual hop presence. The only thing I can find fault with in the nose is a lack of intensity in those aromas, and in a slight alcohol presence.

The taste follows the nose very closely. Lots of nutty malt flavors -- almond, something approximating pecan -- along with some more herbal/leafy hop flavors. I pick up on some very slight vanilla; feint ghosts of vanilla, really. The alcohol lends some peppery sweetness. It's strange to me how big a role the alcohol plays on the palate. The alcohol presence made me think this beer was approaching 9% ABV, but it's actually slightly more than a full percentage point lower than that (7.7%). That alcohol presence works to undo some of the subtlety that the otherwise-balanced flavor profile achieves. But be aware that I am nitpicking, looking for a reason to score or not score this beer a 4.5 in the style. I love the balance, but the alcohol hurts it just a bit.

The alcohol makes you think that the beer should be a bit heavier in terms of mouthfeel. It's nicely medium-bodied, and would be suitable for much of the flavor profile. But that pesky alcohol is here and unaccounted for and makes the beer seem more watery than it actually is.

Overall, this is one of the finer examples of the Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy style that I've come across. If Great Divide could figure out how to keep the alcohol in check then the smell and taste scores for me would go up to 4.5 and the mouthfeel perhaps too, and this would be nearly an A+ beer for the style. There's a lot of potential in this beer. I might have to pick up a six-pack and see if the alcohol is more subdued in the bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2011 18:48:10 | More by Reaper16
Photo of Slatetank


3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Al's of Hamdpen in Enola, PA. Served chilled in a Nonic.

The color is as close to black as brown get, like a good strong cup of cofee, with a very small ring of pale tan capping which is made up of tiny beads. The retention and lacing are ok. the clarity is tranclucent with a medium brown hue at the base of the glass. The smell is good, plenty of toffee-like aromas w/ some mild cocoa and accents of cedar and light nutty toast odors. The earthy aroma brings to mind tobacco and mild vanilla with a hint of coffee. the feel is good, but a little high in carbonation for my taste, mild roast and creamy texture with some mild bitterness and very low alchol presence for the abv with a semi-dry finish.

The taste is very good, I like how the malt and yeast are integrated with some dark fruit notes like date and light cocoa with some woody elements as well. The flavor brings a gentle toasted grain which also comes off like roasted beans, but is not really bready, just smooth and chewy. The only drawback to this beer for me is it lacks a little in the complexity factor, a very drinkable beer mind you, and I found it to have a very well hidden 7.7% abv, but there are many better examples out there IMO.

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2011 14:13:47 | More by Slatetank
Photo of thedoubler55

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark opaque in color, leaves a nice 2 finger tan head with nice lacing around the glass as you sip.

S- Maltiness with a slight hint of aged scotch, little hints of caramel

T- Same as the smell, little bit of booze at the tail end.

M- Medium bodied not to much carbonation

D-Great brew from great divide, would definitely like to have this one again. First time was at The Porter Bar in Atlanta,GA ON TAP!

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2011 00:09:48 | More by thedoubler55
Photo of charlzm


2.42/5  rDev -37.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2011 23:24:53 | More by charlzm
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 9/24/2010 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with flavors of chocolate, vanilla and caramel, followed by a very hearty roasted malt character. The hops presence is very mild but is right where it should be for the style and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easy, slightly filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a nice sipper beer to drink for a long time.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2010 20:09:00 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint glass a deep almost opaque black with a quickly diminishing head. Aroma is dark malts with a slight bit of roast. The taste is a nice dark malts, caramel, dark chocolate and espresso. The beer is medium bodied with mild carbonation. This is an enjoyable beer, even on a hot summer afternoon.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2010 19:20:07 | More by atsprings
Photo of WOTO97


3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the finest looking and tasting American versions of a Scotch Ale I've had the pleasure of tasting. Had a pour from the GD tap room and was very impressed. A deep dark chocolate brown with dense mocha head. Lots of roasted malt character on the nose with a hint of roasted coffee notes. Flavor profile focuses primarily on the malt here with dense malt flavors and a hint of cocoa in the background. Finishes clean with a hint of hop presence. Wish the feel was a bitter rounder and denser, but this one really great and stands up to the best of 'em.

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2010 20:45:01 | More by WOTO97
Photo of Bouleboubier


4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the better domestic Scotch Ales around. Every detail is modest, refined.

Really rich deep maroon-brown. Shines like stained wood. Neat off-white head. The aroma is faint, outdoorsy. Lightly smoked grain and old wood.

The flavors are subtle and well-balanced. Nice blend of smoky malt and rustic, noble hops with hints of dark fruit. Pleasant degree of bitter. Pretty much like an American Brown, similar to Brooklyn Brown, with a Scottish malt/yeast angle.

A gently softer, smoother, more rounded quality is possibly the only thing preventing the feel from being spot on. It's not big and lip-smacking and it's not slick and thin. It has some pull to it - tight, compact, touch of viscosity. Very nice. I'll be back.

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2010 04:15:02 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of champ103


3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color with some ruby highlights. A small beige head forms, and leaves light lace behind.
S: Dark fruits of plums and raisins. Toasted malt with some sweet toffee.
T: Toasted malt and sweet toffee up front and center. Dark fruits that follow the nose.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Smooth and creamy. So easy to drink. I can have several without a problem.

This is a very good Wee Heavy. Something I really enjoyed, and would recommend.

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2010 03:01:39 | More by champ103
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Great Divide promo at Blind Tiger in NYC. Poured a cloudy reddish-brown into a pint glass, with two fingers of beige head, and excellent lacing. Smelled very bready, toasty, and yeasty, with only a tiny hint of molasses. The flavor didn't reveal much else either, with an overwhelming bready/biscuity essence, and a dry finish. This beer could certainly benefit from a little more flavor balance. From the smell and appearance, I expected the body to be thicker, but I was surprised to find it medium, smooth, and mildly carbonated. I wouldn't attempt to session this unless the flavor balance is tweaked a little, but the body feel does help this beer's drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2010 20:37:09 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of bceagles39


4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Plan B in West Hartford, CT in May 2010.

Pours a nice deep mahogany.

Smells of dark/burnt malts.

Tastes of roasted malts, molasses, lots of sweetness to it. Noticeable hoppiness, so somewhat balanced but scales tip to the sweetness.

Very creamy mouthfeel, smooth.

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2010 21:10:11 | More by bceagles39
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store Pub. This really quite a nice Scotch Ale. Pours very dark brown with some reddish/brown highlights. Little head. Smells complex- nutty, slightly smokey, and treacly, but still fairly dry. Tastes a little like kombuchi- toasted brown rice, treacle, nutty, and with an interesting Scotch whisky note that floats in and out. Very interesting. Smooth and round in the mouth, this is overall a tiny bit challenging to drink easily with its smoky overtones, but still delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2009 00:20:15 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of drgonzo3705


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deep cola brown with a half inch head that quickly disappears.

S: Soft sweet malts with a touch of leather.

T: Slightly sweet malt, mild hoppiness.

M: Medium bodied good carbonation.

D: Not too bad at all. Not the first bottle I would grab, but i wouldn't be upset if I had to drink some!

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2009 16:58:11 | More by drgonzo3705
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What follows is a conglomeration of three separate tastings: a 10 ounce goblet at the Brick Store Pub, a pint at a nearby Taco Mac, and a 12 ounce bottle (bottled on Feb. 17, 2009). Apparently, I just can't get enough of GD Claymore.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with some reddish tones when held aloft to the light. Smallish, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Pleasant blend of roasted, toasted, and smoked malts. Distant background note of over-cooked plums.

Taste: Sound dark malt base, a tad bit nutty and bready, with tastes of chocolate, dark caramel, and a tiny pinch of brown sugar. Medium-high sweetness throughout. Well-integrated smoke component replete with hints of earth and tobacco. Very slight fruitiness. Earthy bitterness, though fairly light. Touch of alcohol warmth on the drying, earthy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A very competent and enjoyable scotch ale, IMHO. Recommended. I can fully envision myself snatching up a six-pack of the stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2009 21:06:44 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of klewis


3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2009 03:49:45 | More by klewis
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Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 998 ratings.