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Claymore Scotch Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Claymore Scotch AleClaymore Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

998 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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 UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/6/11.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 1/2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is very malty with some roasty notes and caramel aromas. Taste is of roasty/toasty malt up front with a mild burnt caramel flavor on the finish. There is a mild roasty bitterness that lingers on the palate with each sip. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good Scotch ale with a tasty malt presence in both smell and taste.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 01:43:06 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

Pecan shell brown with black cherry and orange accents. Opacity versus lucency is a tough call since the sun hasn't risen high enough yet. A good-sized crown of golden ecru colored foam rests atop the liquid, lasts seemingly forever, and is responsible for some lovely lace.

The nose pretty much nails the style to the wall. It's caramel malty and is more musky and earthy than sweet. Maybe a little medium-dark fruit and cocoa powder as well. No smoke and no peat.

Claymore Scotch Ale isn't the heaviest wee heavy on the block, but it's big enough to get the job done. As a lover of big beer, I tend to gravitate toward those Scotch ales that are even more burly and bold. Still, this is a mighty tasty malt-dominant treat that fills a niche in the remarkably diverse GDBC lineup.

The flavor profile includes steely caramel, cocoa powder, bruised apples, a little molasses and a small sprinkling of tea leaves. Still no peat and still no smoke. The amount of herbal-earthy hoppiness is somewhat surprising, but then this is Great Divide we're talking about. Although the ABV would have been easy to approximate, alcohol is essentially absent.

The mouthfeel is exactly as it should be, all things considered. It's at least medium in heft and is properly bubbled. I don't remember the last time that these guys let me down on *any* characteristic of *any* beer.

Claymore Scotch Ale may not be one of the sexier Great Divide brews, but it's as solid as a block of granite. If you have any interest in the style, this would be a great place to start. And if the strongly rumored changes to the Iowa alcohol laws come to pass, I might even be able to buy it around here.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 13:10:11 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

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

Appearance: Pours a surprising dark chestnut brown color with respectable head that scores some success with the lace

Smell: Lots of roasty malt, with caramel and peaty undertones

Taste: Burnt caramel, up front, with a developing brown bread character that adds a bit of peaty earthiness by mid-palate; after the swallow, the caramel is subsumed by the smoky, peaty character

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A rather odd beer, but tastes quite good - the flavors here produce a rather dry wee heavy, if that makes any sense at all

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 00:29:48 | More by brentk56
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Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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

Bottle: Poured a deep mahogany color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with a nice touch of toffee. Taste is very well balanced by caramel and toffee malt with just the right amount of sweetness. Body has a creamy texture with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done though I prefer my scotch ale with more peat malt.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 04:03:03 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

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 metter98
metter98

New York

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

A: The beer is clear but very dark amber in color. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down and left lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are light aromas of caramel in the nose.
T: The taste is rather malty and has flavors of caramel and hints of malty sweetness and vanilla.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is well balanced and goes down smoothly.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 04:50:27 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

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 oberon
oberon

North Carolina

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

Poured into a nonic a deep mahogany brown with a tinge of amber,a toasted almond colored 1/2 finger head atop.Aromas have a slight smokiness along with some earth,juicy dark fruits come alive more as the beer warms.A big shot of dark fruit and caramel malt hits the palate from the onset,a sweet alcohol warming note comes in as the beer warms as well.A pretty solid Scottish ale with the peat-like smokiness and hefty fruitiness,pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 22:51:10 | More by oberon
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Claymore pours an almost black body beneath a creamy head of tan foam. When held to the light you can see clear, dark mahogany brown highlights.

The aroma is malty and gently sweetish with notes of caramel and chocolate, and a subtle hint of roasted grains. Occasional notes of light fruit waft by, but hops are not to be found.

In the mouth it's medium-full in body and creamy smooth, as it should be, adding to the perception of the maltiness.

The flavor is rich, as might be expected, but not overdone. It's malty with lots of dark caramel and soft notes of bittersweet chocolate. Some minor roastiness is present, and along with the moderate hop bitterness and a touch of alcohol, it finishes drying and balanced.

The Scotch ale/wee heavy style is one that's easily overdone, tipping either towards too much malt or too much alcohol. And even just within the maltiness, it can lean too much towards caramel or too much towards roastiness - but there's none of that here. It's very focused. And that's what the style is really about. It's a big beer, and it's rich, but it's also very focused which keeps it drinkable. Great Divide is kind of known for that in all of their beers, but it's particularly welcome here. Very nicely done, and I'd have to say, quite possibly the most authentic American-brewed version of the style (although a little more yeast character wouldn't hurt). Superb!

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 00:10:28 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, from the King Soopers across from my hotel in Glendale during GABF 2013.

This beer pours a clear, very dark russet brown colour, with pervasive cola highlights, and one finger of frothy, bubbly beige head, which leaves some sparse ribcage lace around the glass as it duly recedes.

It smells of mildly roasted, pithy, and slightly bitter caramel malt, a fleshy, oily nuttiness, a bit of smoky dry chocolate, and singed leafy hops. The taste is bready, grainy caramel malt, a touch of treacle - all gently roughed up by an invasive, but still laid back gritty smokiness - with some pleasant bittersweet cocoa and rolled tobacco notes, and an obviously peaty, torched leaf, low-key hoppiness.

The bubbles are soft and frothy at the outset, and do little to dispel that notion thereafter, the body a strapping medium-heavy weight, and fairly smooth, what with all those cinders floating about. It finishes a bit on the sweet side, as the caramel, chocolate, and heretofore unmentioned generic fruitiness maintain a stranglehold, even in the face of the lingering vegetal smokiness.

A tasty example of what Scotland has traditionally had to offer the beer world - big malts, peat, smoke, and alcohol. This offering displays all of these in spades, except, gratifyingly, the latter - the north of 15-proof booze nowhere near the radar scope. Maybe not a repeat choice for an evening's goings on, but nice as a steeling force against the increasingly inevitable winter.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 05:59:56 | More by biboergosum
Photo of TheManiacalOne
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 russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Goebel in Wichita

Pours mahogany with a pinky of mocha colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Toasty malt & brown sugar

T: Breadyness, toasty malt & a gentle touch of herbal hops & brown sugar up front. Hints of dark fruit, dryness & more brown sugar as this warms. I'm not getting any real smokeyness , this makes me think IMP Brown or old ale. Half point deduction for straying off style...Finishes dry with more figs & brown sugar, plus booze

MF: Chewy enough, with tight carbonation

Drinks alright, off style too dry for my liking, had much higher hopes for this great brewery. Hopefully the espresso yeti will make up for it

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 02:41:02 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a really malty scent that boasts of crystal, peated, and roasted malts. It's sweet with a light smokey aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a rich, malty flavor that borders on sweet, but finishes with a slightly dry, peated edge. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an easy drinking beer. It has excellent malt character and a smooth finish.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2010 17:44:10 | More by WesWes
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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

Thanks to Dixonian for trading me this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate and toffee malt with some dark fruit and peat character mixed in. Definitely smells like a Scotch ale.

The flavor is similar. I get a lot of dark fruit, with the majority tasting like cherries and prunes. There is also a lot of toffee and caramel malt with a little bit of peat smoke and alcohol mixed in.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2011 02:16:38 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, dark brown color with a one-finger, light brown head of pillowy foam. It left a little sudsy residue on the glass.

S - It smelled mossy and earthy. There were some bready malts present, too.

T - Good caramel and chocolate maltiness with an earthy, grassy hop presence. It had a slightly boozy taste, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - Nice scotch ale. Great Divide does another great job with yet another style.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 03:38:56 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

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

I've had this beer quite a few times, and just realized I never reviewed it.

A creamy 1 finger head rises and fades somewhat quickly, leaving a slight lacing on the sides. The beer is super dark molasses brown, almost black, with just the slightest hint of light coming through.

The nose is loaded with dark malts and syrupy aromas. Plenty of lots of various crystal malts, some light roasted barley, and hints of smoke. The smoke even adds just a touch of smoked meat. Some dark fruits, little raisin and fig, and hint of chocolate actually. Light toffee, a little bitterness, and hint of burnt coffee beans round off the aroma.

Taste is creamy and rich, lots of dark malts as well. Loaded with crystal malt, and lots of chocolate malt actually, a little roasted barley. A light creamy taste adds a chocolate milk flavor, and even some baker's chocolate and cocoa nibs. Light coffee and a touch of burnt coffee grinds. Some fruit as well, btu less than the nose, bringing plum mostly. It starts pretty sweet but dries a bit as it finishes. The chocolate lingers a bit but dies off mostly leaving the roast, coffee, toffee, and fruits.

The mouth is fairly thick and rich, a little creamy, with lower but decent carbonation.

Drinkability is OK, a touch of warming booze, but typical for 7.7%, fairly rich and thick, touch of syrupy taste, and lots of dark malts.

This is a really tasty beer, but it borders on porter more than scotch ale. Lots of dark malts, especially chocolate, such a dark demeanor to the beer. I think I should get a bottle and age it to see how it goes.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 03:08:07 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

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

Bottled on Date March 2009; Sampled April 2009
A full pour produces a thick, creamy, three-finger, amber tinged, almost brownish, dark tan colored head. The beer is a deep amber color with some dark brown hues. It shows a brilliantly clear, deep ruby hue when held up to the light. The aroma has a rich toasty malt character to it, a touch of roast even, with lots of concentrated dark fruitiness (raisin, prune and bright berry aromatics), a caramelized malt sugar note as well as a touch of brown sugar. I don't get any sense of any hop aromatics in the nose. The aroma is definitely big and malty (exactly what you want from this style of beer); it is sweet up front but finishes with a drying, solid toasted malt character.

The beer has a full malty mouthfeel to it with a definite chewy, caramelized sweetness, but it is not nearly as sweet as the rich body might have suggested. This is fairly well carbonated for the style, but it could be a touch less, though it is still light by American standards. Sweet, complex malt notes accentuate a rich fruit character that has me tasting notes of raisins, light cherry, berries and, in combination with a touch of warming alcohol, even some brandy like flavors. There is a light herbal hop character here as well as a touch of light bitterness in the finish. The bitterness is also boosted just a bit by a slight toasted / roasted grain note.

This beer has a really nice richness to it; malty and thick without being overly sweet. The rich concentrated fruit really adds to this beer and the touch of hops adds just enough balance to the over all profile.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2009 16:35:46 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

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

This poured out as a much darker color than I expected. the beer is a deep brown color with a tan colored head on top. The lacing is good with a strong retention. The smell of the beer gives off some nice earthy amromas. The taste of the beer has a good caramel base with a light bitterness in the finish with some earthy peat notes in there also. The mouthfeel of the beer was on the thinker side, it was very smooth. Overall this beer was pretty good. I would drink this one again.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 00:53:28 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

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

Thanks to bitterbill for this!

Pours dark brown with dark ruby highlights on the edges. A thin head becomes a lasting large patch, leaving some vanishing lacing.

The smell is of some chocolate and toffee with a hint of peat, some dark fruit and earthy notes and a hint of Scotch.

The taste is sweet upfront - licorice, toffee, some milk chocolate. It is balanced by earthy tones and a touch of peat smoke/roast. A touch of Scotch whiskey is in the dry finish.

It is medium bodied, smooth with mild to medium carbontion.

Leaves a nice malty aftertaste that is not too sweet. Nicely done - an enjoyable Wee Heavy!

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2009 16:14:33 | More by jwc215
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a deep cola brown in the body with a light khaki tan head forming thick, carbonation seems a bit lively, but it does last a good while dwindling down nice and slow. Scattered speckled lacing left behind on the sides of my chalice. Aromatics come with sweet caramel and plum and raisin notes, earthy and herbal hops with a touch of peated smoked malt. Even a bit of dark powdered cocoa edges come off with some toasted nuttiness, maybe it's the yeast and malt playing together. Flavors build upon each other nicely, deep with malt character plums, dark fruits with caramel and a bit of booze. Mild smoked malt and with dark chocolate, herbal earthy hops in the finish just enough to balance it out. Booze is there but doesn't overburden the experience. Mouthfeel is easy going medium bodied sturdy but not overdone in carbonation, not off flavors left behind. Drinkability is decent a good beer to go with some rustic wild game, a nice bison steak and this beer could befriend one another. Drink on it's on but I'd only be good for a max of 2-3 12 ounce portions.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 19:49:44 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Modest starting head that goes to a single layer of minute bubbles. Little lace Dark brown color where some light shines through. Porter-like without the head.

Some alcohol to the nose. Appropriately malty, but not sweet.

Less sweet than most Scotch Ales. In fact, I'd describe this as a unhopped porter. Neutral body and carbonation. Easy-to-drink, but overall uninteresting.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2010 18:33:47 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2010 01:43:55 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

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

Rich malty ale with a touch of smoke.

Attractive dark amber in the tulip glass with a handsome head. Carbonation is quite pleasant and gives a good jolt in the mouth. Interesting mix of watery gulpability with a lot of sweet malt. Seems to steer a well balanced course through the checklist of flavors. Ends with a hint of bitterness.

One of my top favorite Scotch Ales for interest as well as drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2011 04:42:41 | More by mactrail
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

this is possibly my new favorite scotch ale! big and balanced with all the richness you'd expect. not sweet like some can be, super drinkable. caramel color throws me off a little, because this tastes a lot fuller and richer than it looks. a testament to visual and sensual deception, in a positive light. full bodied with a savory aftertaste of burnt sugars and tobacco possibly. sensational offering from great divide!

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2011 22:45:26 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single from Abe's for $2 at Abe's. This is a bit different for the usual, heavy sweet caramel and smoke wee heavy I get. This is a dry, extremely bready, like dark multigrain loaf crust. There are notes of cocoa and toast with an underlying caramel malt profile. Despite the 7.7%, this beer was fairly drinkable and I'd go back it. Check this beer out if you're looking for something a little different with the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2009 14:34:21 | More by tempest
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Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 998 ratings.