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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

1,000 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1000
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: 1,000 | Reviews: 411 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CHickman

New York

3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours very dark brown (opaque basically) color with 2 finger creamy off tan head that had a ton of bubbles in it, and faded slowly leaving good foamy lacing and a layer on top.

Smells of sweet malt, caramel, lightly roasted grains, biscuit, brown sugar, and earthy and musky notes like yeast or an old basement; no trace of hops and basically a malty, caramel sweetness in the nose.

Tastes of caramel, sweet malt, butterscotch, biscuit, cocoa powder, roasted nuts, wheat bread, mild piney hops, toasted grains, brown sugar, peat moss, herbs, and light spices and a little yeast; a definite sweetness that is malty but somehow seems to hide the ABV.

Mouthfeel is smooth but yet smoky, with low carbonation, a medium chewy body and a sweet bitter aftertaste that trails off like a cross between rum and a very bready thick beer.

Overall this was typical of a Wee Heavy, with a lot of malt, caramel and roasted notes. This was earthy, sweet and full of malty caramel flavors – not something I’d go for if I wanted to relax or session, but it’s still a pretty good beer and accomplishment for this style of beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2013 04:47:22 | More by CHickman
Photo of lighthabit


3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

deep molasses brown, light shows it's clear
moderate head, dies to bit around rim
light sporadic lacing, i'd like a bit more here
smell faint sweet molasses, leather
faint fig/molasses, tobacco, leather, hint of mild smoke, finishes a bit dry, bit of anise?
just the right thickness for me
one i'd purchase again, would make for pleasant late night sipping near a cozy fireplace

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2013 07:05:56 | More by lighthabit
Photo of MattyG85


4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass. Bottled on Feb/15/2013.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brownish amber with some ruby. Lots of rising bubbles and a solid three fingers of off white head with good retention. Leaves some decent lacing.

Smell: A big bready toasted malt driven aroma with lots of caramel and nutty hints. Toasted barley malts with big hints of caramel and toffee. Hints of biscuit, toast, roast chocolate, coffee, nuts, grains, and yeast. Also some hints of butterscotch, peat, and a rye like spice. Lots of earthy scents with some grassy hops lingering around. A pretty good rich and bready malt aroma.

Taste: Follows the nose well, a big bready malt forward taste with lots of toasty caramel notes. Bready toasted barley malts with a big taste of caramel and toffee along with notes of toasted bread, biscuit, grains, nuts, yeast, butterscotch, and some roasty notes of chocolate and coffee. Spices notes of rye along with some peat. Solid earthy hop presence with notes of grass. Very toasty and malt forward. Pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy and smooth. Somewhat chewy and spicy.

Overall: A very solid Scotch ale. Good toasty malt taste with some nice undertones of spice and hops.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2013 07:39:29 | More by MattyG85
Photo of BeerForMuscle

New Jersey

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

A - Crystal clear, glowing mahogany pour. A thin layer of lace.

S - Earthy scents, wood, dust, musk. Malty sweetness, dry farm scents.

T - Full flavored with an earthy malty base. Dry and funky wood, barn yard notes, earthy bread. Sweet malty profile, some dry hop hints. A bit of caramel and dark sugar in the backend.

M - Slick and soft. Warming and semi dry finish.

O - Well balanced malty brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 02:00:46 | More by BeerForMuscle
Photo of delta490


4.39/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Cellared for about a year. Had a wee little amount of head and left a wee little bit of lacing. Aroma is sweet and has notes of cocoa and some boozy esters. Taste is similar with some additional notes of coffee and tofee. Mouthfeel is smooth with just a slight oil slickness. A nice Scotch ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 21:22:00 | More by delta490
Photo of KickbacksSteve


4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle dated 2/17/09. Poured into a snifter. Minimal head and retention, deep mahogany body. Aroma includes coca cola, chocolate, coffee, port and brandy. Taste includes all of the above with a touch of leather and bacon. Very tasty and quite enjoyable. Aged very gracefully.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2013 04:02:57 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of jondeelee


4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Claymore Scotch Ale opens to a massively malty, yeasty nose, the beer smelling immediately of potent rising wheat bread dough, tinged with touches of fruit and peat. The fruit esters are divided nicely between dark and light, the former bringing berry and light peach, and the latter adding fig and date. There’s also a heavy thread of wildflower honey, as well as vanilla, brown sugar, and a dollop of molasses, which combine with the breads to suggest light sprinkles of homemade chocolate chip cookies. However, the yeasty bread dough smell underlies everything, adding a bakery aroma and mixing with biscuit and toast crust to form a wonderfully earthy undertone, combined with a healthy dose of smoky peat to form a nicely balanced and finely nuanced bouquet that lacks only an extra bit of oomph to firmly separate it from the field.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a shot of yeasty rising wheat dough that mixes instantly with smoky peat, biscuit, toast crust, and floury whole wheat baguette to form a distinctive, full-mouthed bread base. Sugars enter next, bringing the berry and, here, light orange fruit esters on the light side, and the fig and date from the dark side. The wildflower honey is still present, as are the vanilla and brown sugar, but the molasses is turned down a little, though still detectable. The medium-strength 7.7% ABV adds touches of bourbon vapors, though the beer was not barrel-aged, adding a pleasantly woody overtone that mixes well with the smoky peats. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main mouthful, heavy on yeasty rising bread dough and smoky peat, and lingers for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is very nice Scotch Ale, offering a rounded, nuanced, potent series of flavors, and the smoky peats are excellently integrated into the breads and darker fruits. Worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2013 17:36:01 | More by jondeelee
Photo of MickeyD


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

I poured this from a 12oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

Appearance: Dark but when held up to the light you can still see through it, head was about one and a half finger width and thick but dissipated quickly.

Smell: Dark caramel and roasted nuts.

Taste: coffee, nuts and caramel.

Mouth feel: very smooth and silky. Great malt aroma with caramel and dark roasted tones.

Overall: Really like scotch ales and this is no exception. The only thing that would make this better is if it had smoked peat.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2013 00:03:30 | More by MickeyD
Photo of Moose90


3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled On: JAN 18 2013
Tasted On: MAR 24 2013

A – Pours a deep, dark mahogany color, with a light fluffy tan colored head that recedes. Lacing left behind is patchy, but clingy and nice.

S – Strangely hop forward, but then leads to a nice heavy malt foundation, with chocolates, coffee and some smoke.

T – Caramel sweetness, balanced by a dark roasted bitterness. Dark chocolates, and a nice nuttiness.

M – Filling and satisfying, has a nice lingering aftertaste and the overall balance is nice. Errs on the heavy side of things, but not too much so.

O – Nice for the style, the malt profile is spot on, and not overdone. The added hop character in this particular brew brings about a very nice balance not found in some others.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2013 02:17:24 | More by Moose90
Photo of alex_hart


3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

served from a bottle into my stella artois glass.

Looks dark black and brownish at first with no head after an aggressive pour. No lacing watsoever. When held up to the light you can see a faint red and maroon glow shine through, my favorite part of the whole experience thus far.

Smells like burnt coffee grinds, some sweet malt.

Taste is some of the same. Sweet and malty with some dark coffee grinds, slighty bitterness, and a bit of alcohol burn during a deep sip.

Medium to heavy body for the style.

Overall this is pretty good. Definitely not my favorite of this style, which i generally love, but still worth a single bottle purchase for a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 03:16:00 | More by alex_hart
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 atr2605

New York

3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A-pours a deep red amber, almost a coca cola color with a tan head thats fades a bit quick for my liking
S-sweet malt and roasted peat aroma comes through nicely, slight green earthiness lingering in the background
T-lots of caramel sweetness, and a bit of spiciness from the smoked malt. More sweetness coming through in the finish with a delicate vanilla flavor
M-medium bodied and a bit slick
O-Appearance lacked slightly but still pretty solid beer. Wouldn't mind having it again on occasion

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2013 02:22:05 | More by atr2605
Photo of BuckeyeSlim


3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a NB snifter.

A – Pours a deep, rich brown/copper. One-finger head of really loose foam is a mauve khaki, and dissipates quickly, leaving some pockets of lace on the surface against the glass with an island of micro-bubbles in the middle. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is a dark mahogany and almost completely opaque, although what light gets through at the edge of the glass reveals the beer is not cloudy.

S – Roasted malts; deep, dark caramels, hints of milk chocolate. Grassy hops pop up with touches of alcohol, followed by notes of butterscotch, toffee, and vanilla as it warms in the glass.

T – Similar to the nose, caramels are more forward in the taste. Malts are beyond simply toasted, with a noticeable roast, like a light breakfast-blend coffee. Chocolate/toffee mixes with the roast in the back-end. There's a bit of earthy peat in there, too. Every so often, a dollop of rich butterscotch liquid will show up on the tongue. Earthy hops are present just enough to balance the sugars.

M – Just a touch of fizziness initially smooths out in the mouth. Body itself is surprisingly lighter than anticipated, given the color of the pour and the roast. Components are well-integrated. Short, dry finish focused on roast and hops.

O – This is the kind of Scotch ale you give a porter fan to make the bridge between the two styles. The roasted malts in this beer, for me, distract from their mission to transport caramel/butterscotch/toffee flavors, and the chocolate notes are simply out-of-place. That being said, it's a pretty interesting take on the style, and really pretty tasty. Forget what it's supposed to be and enjoy it for what it is: a robust porter dressing up as a Scotch ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 07:12:24 | More by BuckeyeSlim
Photo of JuicesFlowing


3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a shaker pint.

The beer is a dark mahogany, almost black really. A cream colored head comes down to a film with heavy sheets of lacing.

The aroma is boozy up front followed by buttery toffee and malts.

The taste is much like the aroma. A nice buttery biscuit and toffee taste begins. Great malty oak body. Slight alcoholic finish.

Medium, slightly sticky mouthfeel.

Overall a good sipper. Slightly more booziness than I prefer.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 02:10:38 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of C3likesbeer


3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep brown almost black. Very thin light head. color with shades of red and amber. One inch of tan head dissipates rather quickly. Only a few small patches of lacing.

S: Malty and sweet.

T: Sweet and malty with some caramel. Hops really in the background.

M: medium heft with some carbonation and a long finish.

O: Nice Scotch Ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2013 03:05:00 | More by C3likesbeer
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 ryan1788a5


4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Deep brown color with shades of red and amber. One inch of tan head dissipates rather quickly. Only a few small patches of lacing.

S: Powdery cocoa, damp earth, bread crust. Smoky. Whiff of spicy alcohol. Slight oily and leafy hop scent.

T: Very sweet with impressions of caramel, cola, and molasses. Fruity tastes of sweet cherries and mixed berries. Bread crust. Kiss of smoke on the mid-palate. Earthy, oily, and spicy hops in the background. Smokiness builds a bit. Alcohol is actually fairly well hidden, and more subtle than the nose suggested. Finish of powdery cocoa and bakers chocolate.

M: Fairly hefty and thick in body. Slightly chewy. Carbonation has a mild bite.

O: A little bit more hoppy than the Scotch ales I've come across to date, but it works. Still well within the style, and a satisfying drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 06:09:45 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of kojevergas


2.8/5  rDev -27.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 07:10:48 | More by kojevergas
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 BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

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

Claymore Scotch ale pours, from the bottle, a deep mahogany color--think antique furniture--with a small tenacious ring of foam around the outside; a nice look brew, really. But it's the aroma where this thing gets interesting. Peat, roasted nuts, a slight hint of smoke, caramel and an unmistakeable sense of wood. The intricate layers of flavor continue onto the palate. Deeply roasted, but not black, caramel malt leads the away, along with the earthy tones of peat and mahogany. Sweetness develops and becomes more prominent as it warms. The beer is solid to the end where it signs off with a slight earthy bitterness. Just enough to balance it out, but not enough to betray the style. Nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 00:27:24 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of tectactoe


3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep brown color, appearing black and highly opaque in the center with only a little light shining through around the edges. Off-white, almost beige head settles down quick to a thin layer covering the top of the brew, not much lacing to be found. Aroma is hard to decipher at first - a lot of different things going on here, but they really start to become separable as the beer warms up a little bit. Polished mahogany, nutty, musky and earthy, herbal and weedy-type hops, deep, dark fruits, sweet toasted malt, and slight cocoa undertones. Vibrant and alive, very powerful aroma.

The taste delivers, as well. Full of a nice, roasty backbone - woody, nutty, musky on the malt side with touches of caramel and buttery sweetness here and there. Hops are more abundant than expected, but this is not a bad thing - weedy, earthy, musky, ashy, and a good balance to the malt. Some charcoal and slight smoke flavors last throughout the entirety of the beer and provide a nice mesh to the flavors taking place. Some fruit sweetness plays a smaller, but still important role; prunes, apples, raisins. Aftertaste includes a nice combo of yeast, smoke, spice, and herbal hop. Medium body, slick on the tongue, medium amount of carbonation.

This was the first non-Yeti brew I've had from Great Divide, and I was pretty impressed. Not my favorite Scotch Ale, but it's still damn good and I'd be happy to revisit this one anytime. A nice hop character along with subtle smokey hints and lots of malt flavors.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2013 12:59:15 | More by tectactoe
Photo of jjchristiano

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Pint glass. Nice dark brown almost cola-like appearance. retained head throughout. Pick up malt but not any hops in the smell.
Real malty and nice sweetness. While ABV is relatively high (7.7%) did not really feel it was too hot. This was another of the offerings in the sampler 12 pack I got. All the beers are in the 6-8% alcohol range. 2 for 2 made > 4 ratings in my opinion(Rumble + Claymore Scotch Ale). And I never had Great Divide before I was given this 12 pack for Christmas.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 02:21:36 | More by jjchristiano
Photo of pkalix


4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into the glass a very dark brown with ruby red around the thinner edges, very minor foam on top.
smell from the bottle is a dark earthen, peatiness(?), like a rich fertile soil...
taste is rich, malty, smoky, and a little sweet. almost a chocalte-y taste around the sides of the tongue, although there seems to be something missing at the end of each draw- like it's a bit lighter than it tasted on the tongue.
it's a bit heavier, toward the stout, but not that heavy.
overall, a pleasant venture into another untried brew for me. two scotch ales in a row; i do like the style. partial to the dopplebocks and looking for others and i really like this style. just not as much as the sweet malty dopples.... but i imagine i could do a few of these in a row and they would be awesome with a shot of some good bourbon or really good whiskey. in fact, a good evening would be these two in moderate amounts...

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 00:37:39 | More by pkalix
Photo of shand


3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Claymore pours out a red-tinged brown color with a small head. The aroma is muted, what I can detect is some maltiness. The taste brings through a robust, slightly prickly maltiness, with a bit of smokiness on the finish. It's pretty relaxed for a scotch ale, but it's tasty. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and moderately carbonated, and the drinkability is very good. This beer hides the ABV very well. Overall, it's a tasty scotch ale. I like the style with more aggression personally, but this is still a well-composed beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2012 02:03:33 | More by shand
Photo of brureview


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

Poured a very dark chocolate-coffee color with no head.

Only a faint aroma of plum from the head- unlike stronger Scotch ales which have prominent
complex aromas wafting from the head.

Mouth feel- fine- a bit carbonated.

Taste: chocolate-coffee- perhaps a peanut like flavor? Good, but light for the style. Barely any alcoholic finish.

Overall: a very good beer to drink, but light for the style. Aroma is weak, and finish is not complex.
I prefer a strong, overbearing presentation of the style such as Bannatyne Scotch ale from Cambridge Brewing.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 02:40:35 | More by brureview
Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,000 ratings.