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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

458 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 458
Hads: 1,348
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 20.21%
Wants: 48
Gots: 162 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 458 | Hads: 1,348
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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!

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.13/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of light brown hea on an opaque, black body. Weak retention and minor lace.

S - A light, roasted malt aroma with some caramel and a little bit of fruity yeast.

T - Sweet malt with a light roasted flavor up front. Dark fruit in the middle, notes of plum and raisin. Finishes with caramel and a hint of smoke balanced by light, lingering malt bitterness.

M - Medium-heavy body, moderately light carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - While this beer is fairly thick and sweet, it is balanced and the finish is dry enough to keep it drinkable. A decent example of the style, though there isn't that much going on and the roast character may be a bit stronger than expected.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
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!

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Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A very underrated style and one of my favorite styles of beer. Pours a beautiful dark red color, huge off white foamy head to it. Get a bit of caramel in the nose and a hint of booziness. Taste is just magically smooth.. great body and mouthfeel to this beer. Nice roastiness flavor to it, a bit hot on alcohol on the swallow (which I don't really mind) although some people may find it a negative thing. Incredibly well balanced and fairly drinkable for a higher ABV beer... I've liked everything I've tried from this brewery especially this one.. give it a try.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.81/5  rDev -27.2%
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

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Photo of Rifugium
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
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

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled 02-10-11. Pours clear dark reddish brown color with a fairly dense 1 finger light tan head with decent retention, that reduces to a lacing ring. Some decent lacing left on the glass. Aromas of dark fruits, molasses, caramel, spices, and a bit of chocolate, coffee, and smoke in the background. Nice complex aromas here with great balance. Taste of big caramel, chocolate, molasses, and roasted flavor in the front; that leads to smokiness, a bit of dark fruits, and a bit of booziness in the back. A small amount of bitterness is noticed in the back on the finish as well. Notes of caramel, molasses, and roasted flavors linger for a short period after the finish. Surprisingly smooth and creamy body that drinks easily for the alcohol level. Medium carbonation and medium-full body. Fairly strong alcohol warming after the finish, with very little noticed in the taste. Overall a great Wee Heavy ale, probably the best one I have had yet.

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Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 458 ratings.