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Claymore Scotch Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Claymore Scotch AleClaymore Scotch Ale

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

1,111 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,111
Reviews: 422
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 34
Gots: 54 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-22-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,111 | Reviews: 422 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hckyfn9999


3.88/5  rDev +1%

Pours dark brown with some reddish hues around the edges. About a finger of cream colored head. No lacing, and not much retention. Smell is of caramel, toasted malt, and raisins.

Taste is very malty but not too sweet. Nice toasted malt flavors, a touch of caramel, and some smokieness in the background. A bit of a grassy hop is noticeable in the finish. Medium-full mouthfeel with a nice smooth carbonation level. The 7.7% ABV is not noticeable at all.

04-29-2009 02:38:56 | More by hckyfn9999
Photo of flexinwext


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%

Poured into an imperial pint. Two to three fingers of nice tan head, stayed for about 5 mins. Nice dark brown opaque color. Sweet smell, somewhat caramel-esque. Brilliant lacing. Taste was very sweet and malty, slight alcohol and coffee aftertaste. Pretty thick mouthfeel but very soothing. Reminds me somewhat of a glass of sweet wine. Enjoyed this one quite a bit. Nice contrast to the usual hoppy beers I frequent.

04-29-2009 01:42:18 | More by flexinwext
Photo of yemenmocha


4.6/5  rDev +19.8%

Pours near black, or at least extremely dark ruby. Contrasting off white head is classy.

Nose is delightful with peatsmoke, a suggestion of bacon, and smoked malts.

Palate offers a masculine roasty malt flavor with some of the peat from the nose mixing in, and a robust toffee/caramel middle that leads to a toffee-like finish.

Medium bodied and dangerously drinkable for the alcohol. Exceptional beer.

04-25-2009 04:46:52 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +11.5%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown, nearly black, with reddish tint when held to light. Small tan head. Not much lacing.

Very malty aroma. Nice roast quality, as well as some sweet caramel and chocolate. Hints of dark fruits in the background.

Rich flavor. Pretty much follows the nose, although the roast isn't as prominent, and there's some minor hop bitterness. Great balance. Dry finish.

Very smooth drinker. Body is on the heavier side of medium. Very creamy. Really good stuff, which is the norm from Great Divide.

04-24-2009 03:19:24 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of BretSikkink


3.95/5  rDev +2.9%

Looks nearly black with a nice tall head of tanned, whipped foam. Nice look overall, even though the lacing is nil.

Aromas are mainly malty, in line with style, and mildly sweet with a hint of caramel mixed in among a light astringent coffee note.

The flavor is very balanced, with lots of malt characters: milk chocolate with a hint of bitterness, dark fruits, note of caramel. The finish is also balanced, dry, and doesn't linger much. The body is medium, with good smoothness. Not quite up to creamy, but not bad at all. Very drinkable.

04-23-2009 22:32:15 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of tpd975


4/5  rDev +4.2%

Thanks to markwise for the bottle.

A: Pours a very rich nutty brown hue. Creamy tan head with little retention. No lace.

S: Lots of rich sweet malt up front. Bitter chocolate, toffee, and a touch of dark fruit.

T: Malty no doubt. Lots of sweet caramel and brown sugar malt. A touch of nutty toffee and rich decadant chocolate. A smattering of hops in the finish.

M: Rather full for the style, big, bold, and rich.

D: Not bad. Nice shot at the style.

04-23-2009 21:45:04 | More by tpd975
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.47/5  rDev +16.4%

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!

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


3.68/5  rDev -4.2%

From notes 3-27-09

Eye: This beer is an extremely dark red. Because it is such a dark shade, it actually appears to be dark brown or even black. Its such a dark red that it is really hard to tell if the beer is clear, most of time you just end up seeing your reflection in the glass. But at the right angle you can see that the beer is a deep garnet and is perfectly clear. The head is creamy and has nice formation and retention, at about 3/4 of a finger...it doesn't look to be going anywhere anytime soon. Lacing is composed of rings where the beer sits in the glass betweet sips, when the level of the beer drops to for the next ring after a drink, a sheet of lace connects them.

Nose: Sweet malt and some smokiness is present yet reclusive. Can't really get much more that that to be honest. Some hints of caramel, some fruitiness...hard to tell. The aroma is weak overall, some more potentency would be nice.

Tongue: Malt sweetness and some smokey flavors come through as well. Huge malt flavor here, sweetness from caramel malts, perhaps some caramunich or caravienna in here. Slight graininess in the background as well. All in all a nicely crafted beer, nothing huge about it that would keep drawing me back, then again I'd have to horizontally compare it to others of the same style to understand this beers placement in the bigger picture. Just a pleasant malty beer, hard not to like this one.

Feel and Drinkability: Medium-heavy body with just enough carbonation to give it life. I've had other Great Divide beers that were poor, but in this one I can find no fault. Its a nice beer. This is one that I'll not be opposed to drinking again, though I'd like to explore the style further before I come back. Nothing outstanding or mind shattering about his brew, it is as it should be.

04-19-2009 19:09:19 | More by becktone
Photo of u2carew


3.9/5  rDev +1.6%

A) Dark brown with reddish hues. Pours with a creamy, tan head then settles to a quarter inch and remains the life of the pint.
S) Yeasty with notes of roasted coffee and caramel. A very earthy aroma.
T) A mellow crispness on the nose then a transition to a mildly smoky, caramel aftertaste.
M) Creamy and smooth, not the harsh bitterness sometimes accompanying this style of beer.
D) A unique, yet true to form Scottish / Wee Heavy.

04-19-2009 18:33:40 | More by u2carew
Photo of SeattleBeerBlog


4.33/5  rDev +12.8%

A- Dark dark brown almost black looks like a porter almost, good head

S- Smells of coffee and dark chocolate with some good crystal malt as well. Delicious after a nice long day I am getting excited.

T- Sweet yet not overpowering, a great clean after taste as well, the taste doesn't linger to long which is good with this high malt and low hops profile. The more I drink it the more I really really like it, man I wish these were easier to find in the NW.

M- Good with a heavy body.

D- These are very drinkable. There is a very good toffee or coffee taste that makes you come back and wish for more. It gets better throughout the pint which makes for a good beer.

04-19-2009 08:18:54 | More by SeattleBeerBlog
Photo of blackjack000


4.72/5  rDev +22.9%

12 oz bottle poured into goblet.

Appearance: A pretty, dark brown. It has a silky look as it pours. A modest amount of lacy head sits on top. In the glass, the beer is an impenetrable black with hints of its brown at the edges.

Smell: Thick caramel immediately comes off. A woodsy smoked scent follows. A light scent of alcohol comes afterwards, adding spiciness. A touch of clove sits in the back. The smells come together in a really full and bodied way. The heft of the smell makes me expect a meal rather than something that can be contained in a glass.

Taste/Mouthfeel: A sweet caramel that comes across without being overly sweet. The taste is spiced up with the alcohol content. There is a muted sour aftertaste. I'm usually impartial to that flavor, but it melds very well with the caramel. It has a very well rounded taste overall. No taste crowds out another--it is all complementary.

04-18-2009 03:13:29 | More by blackjack000
Photo of connecticutpoet


3.85/5  rDev +0.3%

I was looking forward to this beer, after reading reviews. The style is not among my favorites, but tonight I was in the mood for maltier brews. I was not disappointed.

Poured out a dark brown, clear body with a one finger head that quickly died to a thin ring around the glass. As I drank, even this ring disappeared.

Aroma was of rich darker malts, along with very faint milk chocolate. No hoppiness, which was expected.

Taste starts out with dark malt, with a slight smokiness. Very faint bitter chocolate followed, just enough to tease the taste buds. It finished with a light hoppiness. As it warmed, more roasted notes started to come out. This was really good... I liked it more as it warmed.

Mouthfeel is smooth, well bodied, and thick enough to support the roasted character. Coated my tongue a little, but that was not disagreeable.

Drinkability is good. It went down well, and I was sad when it was done.

04-17-2009 02:48:09 | More by connecticutpoet
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.1/5  rDev +6.8%

12 ouncer from a $13.99 (ouch) six-pack, bought at DeCiccios in Ardsley, NY. Bottled on 3-03-09 according to the lower right portion of the label. (Nice to get this type of info, I wish other quality minded breweries did the same for their customers)

Pours molasses brown loose and lazy darker mocha latte head, leaving tons of fine wispy spots of lacing.

Great loads of sweet maple malts in the nose.

Tasty, smooth, malty, notes of caramel, more maple, with some earthy smoke swirling around. Memorable and lingering finish.

Enjoyable full throttle sessioner. Would work nicely in a marinade. Solid offering from GD

04-15-2009 02:51:27 | More by Billolick
Photo of russpowell


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%

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

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


4.05/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours a great dark copper color, the darkest Scotch ale I've ever had; good initial head and some nice lacing. Nice deep scent, mostly malty sweet with a hint of peat. Good deep flavor, thick and malty, a nice hit of peat (although not as much as I would've liked), and just enough hops to round it out. Goes down great for a 7.7% beer.

04-14-2009 00:02:18 | More by JamesS
Photo of prototypic


4.33/5  rDev +12.8%

Claymore pours an attractive chestnut brown color. Burgundy highlights are apparent when held to light. Its head is foamy, tan in color, and reaches two fingers deep. It dissipated slowly and left sticky traces of lace in its wake.

A little more muscle would improve the nose. But, it's far from bad. Roasted and caramel malts are the strongest scents. Smells a little sweet. Dark fruit (mostly plum) emerges and complements the malts well. There's very interesting smoked and peat aromas that add a ton of character to the nose. It's subtle, but extremely effective. A little yeast is noted on the tail. Alcohol is very well masked. I'm not picking up any. I wish I knew what the abv is.

Roasted and caramel malts are easily the strongest flavors. It's on the sweet side, but doesn't taste sugary. Dark fruit is very apparent. Tastes like plum mostly and has a slight tangy flavor. It's secondary, but has a really nice flavor. There's some light yeasty notes. There is some smoke and peat that really provide quality depth and character. They work immensely well with the other flavors. No alcohol is noted. Finishes a little smoky and tangy. With each passing sip, I'm liking Claymore more and more. It's extremely well rounded and has a really nice flavor.

Claymore has a medium body that is smooth. Carbonation is relative low and doesn't interfere. It's not exactly silky, but it has a nice feel. Drinkability is very good. I'm liking the flavor a lot. It's goes down smooth and easy. I'm unsure of the abv, but it doesn't present itself as intimidating in any way.

Great Divide did a really nice job with Claymore. It's a nice Scotch Ale. It's well rounded and doesn't have any material flaws. The smoke and peat flavors really make this beer. They refine and sharpen this beer a lot. Come to think of it, they're just what Bell's Christmas Ale needed. The comparison naturally comes to mind. Sorry, but there it is. This one's better. Definitely worth seeking out.

04-13-2009 02:12:55 | More by prototypic
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +12.8%

12oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours dark mahogany, but with a beautifull ruby hue when held to the light. A one inch head of tight biege fell to a partial skim coat on the surface, and traces of smeared lacework remained.

Aromatics are meaty, robust, and smokey. Roasted barley, caramel, and rich malt with hints of chocolate and peat.

Full bodied with a chewy, tacky mouthfeel. Creamy and lush with a hint of crispness.

Lush malt, caramel, and smoke-filled barley start the palate. Bitterness offsets the residuals and so does plenty of robustness.

Finishes with lingering caramel, peat, and chocolate.

This is a really nice Wee Heavy. Just a tad of the sweet malt that lingers and plenty of peaty smokeyness, and very robust. Great balance.

04-11-2009 23:36:43 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of ccrida


3.55/5  rDev -7.6%

12 oz. bottle poured into my Meantime snifter, Claymore is a blackish dark brown with a small and tight, off-white head that leaves some foamy lace.

Smell is sweeter malt, vinous.

Taste is sweet, fruity, prunes and raisins. Pretty clean though, abrupt finish.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, smooth.

Drinkability isn't too bad. I'd don't like my Scotch ale's so fruity, but it's well made.

04-11-2009 02:10:51 | More by ccrida
Photo of jamie2dope


3.68/5  rDev -4.2%

It is always cool to see Great Divide coming out with new products. Bottle says this beer is a ruby color, though it looks a lot darker to me, almost black as far as I can tell. Not much heading, pretty much a simple white lacing, maybe it was too cold. From the nose I can smell coffee, smoke, some musty earth, and a slight hint of vanilla. Taste is of toffee, shortbread, caramel, vanilla, cream, lingering hints of smoke. Body is nice and creamy, which is just how I like this style. Alcohol is not readily apparent. Although this is a great example of the style, one or two is enough for me. Great Divide came through with this beer. I always imagine this style with hearty holiday meals. I might have to get another bottle for Easter Sunday. Cheers

04-10-2009 22:35:26 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of gciccarelli


4/5  rDev +4.2%

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Pours a very deep, dark brown/nearly black color with a huge fluffy head. Some red highlights. A nice looking pour.

S - Malt aromas, hint of caramel, a little bit of a smoky smell. Not a very strong scent however - there are different things to check out, but weak.

T - Caramel, malts, and hint of coffee. Slight hint of alcohol - 7.7% ABV. Hint of hops in the finish. Very good.

M - Heavy body, low carbonation. Very smooth however - never too thick.

D - Very well-balanced and very drinkable.

A solid brew - maybe not the best Scotch Ale, but certainly very strong.

04-10-2009 21:28:22 | More by gciccarelli
Photo of kels


3.98/5  rDev +3.6%

Picked up a mixed 6 at The Party Source tonight and made this one the first to try. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Very nice deep brown with coppery red highlights. A 1 1/2 finger cream colored head fades to a bubbly ring, leaving behind slight sticky lacing. Beer is not clear in the least, but doesn't look thick either.

Smell: Really nice chewy malt aroma pairs with a slight charred, smoky scent. A light metallic tone comes through and competes unpleasantly with the others.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Really nice, classic Scotch ale flavors come through in pleasant balance. There's a pretty forward hop presence, which adds a nice dimension to the chewy, syrupy malts. The smokiness from the smell is lightly apparent in the taste of the peat, and there's an earthiness it lends in the finish that strangely enough reminds me of fresh pumpkin pulp or squash. Not really a typical ingredient in a Scotch ale, so I can only assume it's coming from the other earthy flavors. Feel is actually nicely effervescent, and I think that helps mask the alcohol, which is only notable in the finish, pretty well. A sticky, sweet aftertaste and feel linger.

Drinkability: Moderate. It is a nice tasting representation of the Scotch ale, and it goes down well thanks to the carbonation. Glad I got to try this one.

04-07-2009 02:10:44 | More by kels
Photo of TheBierBand


4.05/5  rDev +5.5%

Poured into my trusty pint glass to produce a 1-1/2" head of light tan tight foam. This hung around quite a while and left a decent bit of lacing on the sides of the glass. The color is a nice ruby when held to light.

The nose was everything you'd expect from a wee heavy.... caramel, smokey, just a touch fruity.

Taste: Pretty darn good.... very pronounced and robust. some caramel.... and a smokey flavor. Maybe just a hint of dark chocolate.

MF: a little light.... not as much body as I would like.... appropriate carbonation.

Drinkability: For me... my reference Wee Heavy is Dirty Bastard by Founders. This is not quite as drinkable as that. I like it... but I'd have to do a side by side to pick out the nuances.

04-06-2009 18:53:37 | More by TheBierBand
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -7.6%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a slightly thick consistency. Not much head, but some OK lacing.

S: An underplayed aroma of malt, caramel and even - it seemed to me - a hint of coffee.

T: Tasted of caramel, strong malts, and a little coffee. Not as complex as one might like (or expect from Great Divide).

M: A well carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This is a decent, easy to drink beer, though I wouldn't say it's one of my favorites. Still, not a bad effort.

04-06-2009 12:40:46 | More by avalon07
Photo of tmoneyba


3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Bottle from Party Town, KY.

Poured dark brown color with an average frothy off-white head that lasted with good lacing. Moderate toasted caramel malt aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Moderate toasted sweet malt flavor with a moderate bittersweet finish of average duration.

Wee scotch ale.

04-06-2009 00:41:21 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of kirok1999


3.95/5  rDev +2.9%

A nice ruddy, ruby in the glass. Just a bit of a head with a slightly hard pour. Not much lacing or apparent carbonation.
Smells pretty sweet, nice malt backbone with just a bit of hop presence.
Taste is not as sweet as many Scotch ales but very nice. A good bit of roasty caramel and slight charcoal. Just a bit of hops in the finish but the malts take over.
Slightly weak in the mouth, just a bit thin. A really nice sipper.

04-05-2009 22:17:11 | More by kirok1999
Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,111 ratings.