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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

1,198 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,198
Reviews: 431
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 36
Gots: 81 | 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: 1,198 | Reviews: 431 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheHoppiest
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pours a dark cherry brown. Starts with a finger of tan head that quickly recedes to a small floe of tan in the midst of a dark mahogany sea. While this beer is dark brown, I see glints of red from the light above.

Smells of barley, straw, slight caramel, and a burnt peat smell. Very earthy, almost a little sulfur.

Smooth tasting, sweet tempered by a little sour. Caramel and toffee swirl with malted barley. The aftertaste is a bit earthy but not nearly so much as it's smell. As I let it warm, more of the woody undertones come out. Though not bitter, my mouth is left a little dry.

Quaffable, for sure, but these are sippin beers. Will have another next week!

TheHoppiest, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of Thiestru
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into my Terrapin pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark, almost black; in some lights you would mistake it for black, but it is really a very, very deep reddish brown. Two-finger creamy head at first, which eventually recedes, but not much lacing.

Smell: Sweet, dark malts and alcohol. No hops discernible.

Taste: Overwhelmingly malty, and in a rather sweet way. Not like a lambic, but more like an oatmeal stout, without actually tasting like an oatmeal stout. I think I taste a little alcohol too. I probably would have gone nuts for this three years ago, when all I wanted was malt, all the time. Although now I notice something somehow fructal underneath all that malt. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and creamy! Yeah, this is good.

Drinkability: Now then! How many of these could I drink? I have five left, just cooling in the 'fridge, but do I plan on going for another after this? You know, I think I actually could, and savor a second one; but I don't think I would normally want to. Now, if I were in a malt mood....

Great Divide has never failed me in any of their beers I've tried, and I'm happy to say that they didn't disappoint me this time, either. This stands proudly alongside such delicious brews as Hercules Double IPA and Yeti Imperial Stout.

Thiestru, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of travduke
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep color, nearly back. Decent head and lacing.

Aroma: Sweet malt dominates. Chocolate, caramel, and toffee.

Taste: Just as the nose predicted with a slight, minor alcohol bite. This is really tasty.

Feel/Drink: Nice thick mouthfeel. Really nice. Drinkablity is right on, I enjoyed 4 out of the 6 already.

travduke, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of jmdrpi
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

says bottled on Feb 22, 2010

A - deep garnet/mahogany color - after intial pour, minimal head, but nice lacing

S - sweet malt, whiskey, caramel

T - sweetness, then a little spice, warming finish

M - thin to medium body, medium carbonation

D - very tasty, easy to drink, wish I had a few more

jmdrpi, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of Thur123
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark nearly opaque black color with a bit of red and a head that never swells above a finger and fades quickly. The smell is deep rich malts, caramel and smoke with a roasted coffee smell as well. Maybe a light creaminess involved. No hops in the smell.

Glug glug glug

The malt is smooth and heavy with a sugary flavor that soon gives way to the smoky malt flavor. The sweet flavor in the beer is really well balanced with smokiness and a slightly bitter hop edge in the after taste. In the end the overall taste is good, but I doubt it's the best. But since I'm new to this style mostly I have to say I want more. And that this is good. Mouth feel is heavy rich and smooth.

Thur123, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of bump8628
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on date of March 24, 2010. Served in a large snifter.

Pours mahogany with an off-white, loose, creamy head indicative of a well made ale with lower levels of carbonation.

Claymore is malt-driven, as expected, with dark caramelized sugars, mild roast, toffee, toasty nuttiness, and musky tobacco notes all present. Spicy alcohol warms considerably and is quite noticeable on the nose.

An excellent interpretation of the style and it doesn't taste like a fireplace, as do many poorly interpreted American versions. Also the appropriate lower level of carbonation really gives it a soft, inviting mouthfeel. Nothing drives me nuts more than American breweries that brew a non-American style and then fail to nail the carbonation level. Cheers to Great Divide for emulating a classic style perfectly.

bump8628, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, topped with a good two fingers of airy brown foam. Aromas of dark malt, molasses and burnt sugar, with a just a hint of peat smoke and cream. On the palate, the peat smoke is immediately noticeable from the first sip, dominating all else up front. As the beer warms a bit, I get some coffee, roasted malt and dark chocolate. A very nicely balanced beer, and a fine example of the style.

emmasdad, Apr 07, 2010
Photo of superdedooperboy
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep, dark mahogany; almost opaque at first glance until held to the light, much darker than most representations of the style. A tiny quarter inch of beige foam disappears quickly, leaving behind no trace of itself on the sides of the glass.

Burnt toffee and some smokiness in the nose, not much else. Rather one-dimensional.

Thick and chewy in mouthfeel, with a full body and moderate carbonation. Sweet caramel and, as with the nose, burnt toffee up front, middling with a big dose of smoky, peaty malt flavor, showing just a hint of chocolate and a mildly herbal hop character with a mild-to-moderate bitterness; finishes semi-sweet and semi-smoky, a touch dry with a lingering bit of caramelly sweetness. Virtually begs for more.

Drinkability is fine for the style; alcohol content is, understandably, hindering in that area. A nice interpretation of the style, though a bit more nose would bump its allure a bit. A gorgeous dark beauty that's meant to be savored but which begs to be quaffed. Quite nice.

superdedooperboy, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of Avagadro
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: claymore is mahogany in color with a head of cream. No lacing is noticeable, and retention is as poor as expected from this style.

S: bouquet is faint, but notes of smoke, bananas, and butter make it through nicely.

T: smokey upfront with a hefty dose of walnuts. Banana and butter are also present at low levels, and don't interfere with the beer's overall character.

M: medium to full in body with little in the way of carbonation. The mouthfeel complements the brew perfectly.

D: a great example of one of my favorite styles. I normally don't like much butter or banana in my wee heavies, but this brew keeps it in the background. being one of the handful of good scotch ales in America, I highly recommend grabbing one.

Avagadro, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of erosier
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice red-brown-black color with a medium sized and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down. I really enjoyed how this one looked.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, huge notes of caramelized malts, hints of dark fruits and a hint of hops at the end.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted malts, caramelized malts, dark fruit flavors mixed with hints of chocolate and nuts, and a slight amount of hops at the end.
M: Very well balanced, medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation, relaxing, and slightly warming.
D: Very drinkable, the flavors were excellent and blended really well together for a very very good beer.

erosier, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

WVbeergeek, Mar 17, 2010
Photo of Pahn
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a standard wine glass.

Appearance: Moderately aggressive pour yields a 1/3 inch off-white head that disappears immediately leaving no lacing. Pours a dark, not quite opaque ruby red. Leaves okay lacing that doesn't last long.

Smell: Smell is a little faint. Nutty, roasted malt, some smoke, and a small pine note. Develops a pleasant smell reminiscent of Oreo cookies as it warms. Would score higher if I didn't have to try so hard to get the smell to come to me.

Taste: Starts with a strong nutty flavor, with some chocolate and subtle caramel. Alcohol heat comes out right away, though it's not overbearing. The carbonation is too much for my liking, but it compliments the deep roasted character of the taste. The burnt, toasted flavor mixes well with the mild but constantly present alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with carbonation of almost soda-like proportions. Borders on sticky. I was very put off by the feel at first, but it does work decently well with the strong malty flavor.

Drinkability: Not bad. The alcohol presence is fine for the style, but the feel doesn't call me back and the flavor could have a little more depth.

Claymore is a good but by no means great Scotch ale. The roasted malt flavor is spot on and the heat is nice, but the feel is only so-so, and the weak aroma doesn't help anything. Really only good if you're in the mood for the style and can't find a superior instantiation of it in the store or on the menu.

Pahn, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of chickenflea
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured very dark, almost black with a small tan head.

Aroma understated. Heavy malt profile with anise, pear, apple pie and dried dates in the nose.

Texture thin.

Taste is barley-wine-ish and pleasant. A little paper napkin on the finish.

Drinkable. An excellent accompaniment to watching curling on the TV.

chickenflea, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great Divide Claymore Scotch Ale purchased at Boo's in Columbus Ga. Poured into a DFH shaped Pint.
Appearance: Handsome dark brown with a substantial tan head, some lacing.
smell: malty, dark chocolate, earthy. Very nice
taste: as the nose advertises. Maybe not as promising.
Nice creamy mouthfeel.

cindyjeffsmith, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of JEdmund
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly black with just faint ruby highlights visible

Unique and pleasing aroma of smoky and sweet malts and just a hint of berry

Taste & Body
Taste follows nose closely and delivers a full spectrum of flavor. Great mix of smoke, bread, berries, and bitterness. Reminds me quite a bit of Hibernation Ale; I'm guessing this was dry-hopped like it. Body is medium-full with a low-to-medium level of carbonation. Finishes dry and light, with a slight hop bitterness and berry flavor lingering.

I'm surprised by how unique and quaffable this is. My only experience with Scotch ales has been that they are syrupy and cloying. This is not the case, though it's still on the heftier end of beers. I questioned this being a year-round beer and the porter being discontinued, but I think this substitute is bold enough and unique enough to make it worthy. Really impressed with this beer by Great Divide.

JEdmund, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of BlackBearForge
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on January 29, 2010

Claymore pours an unexpectedly deep ruby brown in the pint glass with a creamy light brown head which leaves some nice looking oily lacing.

The aroma has a nice fresh dark roasted malt scent with a touch of floral hops and caramel.

The flavor is very nicely balanced between dark roasted malts and the taste of sweet caramel. It has coffee notes also as well as mild dark chocolate. There are some dark fruit notes, perhaps raisins, a little date and figs. Very nice, it actually seems rather porterish to me. Bitterness is low but sweetness is not over the top and the alcohol is all but invisible.

Mouthfeel is medium and very creamy with nice carbonation, it is soft and rather luscious as well and very smooth.

Claymore is an interesting beer, I like it very much. The porter like character was unexpected but very appreciated. I will definitely be buying this beer on a regular basis. Great Divide seldom dissapoints!

BlackBearForge, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of AlFromBayShore
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear and dark brown in color. I cannot remember the head because I started drinking this 10 minutes before writing this review but what remains is a thin ring that hugs the edge of the glass which encircles this dark brown ale. Could barely pick up an aroma, had to let it warm. Like other beers with big malty profiles, this had that characteristic sugary and sticky caramel aroma. After swirling it around in my chalice, I'm gathering some slight raisin or fig mixed with subtle smoke and booze. Up front is a roasty malt character with subtle hints of dark chocolate, maple syrup, and honey. The texture is almost medium bodied with mild carbonation that feels slightly creamy. I could gulp this but when I sip this with a bit of air, the creaminess is more pronounced and I like this method of drinking.

Let this ale warm so as to maximize the flavour.

AlFromBayShore, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of elgiacomo
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottled Jan 30, 2010. Pours very, very dark brown with a 1.5 finger beige head. Reduces to a ring with a few small islands, leaves very little lacing.

Aroma of dark roasted malts, bordering on burnt, caramel, chocolate.

Flavor is dark roasted malts, again almost burnt, light chocolate, some caramel and coffee, some coffee-like bitterness. Not much in the way of hops.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, pretty rich, low carbonation.

Could use a touch more carbonation, malts roasted just a tad too much. I put this somewhere between Old Chub (pretty good) and Dirty Bastard (excellent). I do prefer Claymore to the St. Bridgets it replaces.

elgiacomo, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, almost black, not much head. Rich malty smell and a smoky malty taste. Easily fits the style and the alcohol is well hidden for being darn near 8%. good stuff but I really don't need more than one in a sitting. I'm not sure why this is going year-round but it must sell well.

ArrogantB, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of ClassicBrad
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark black with a tan head that slowly falls to a ring of lacing with an opaque film of head through the center.

Smells like burnt dark chocolate. The malt takes over the nose in this beer, which is very appropriate for the style.

WOW! There is a lot of taste in this beer. It almost tastes like a dark chocolate covered yellow cake donut. Delicious!!

Mouthfeel is there and has ample, soft carbonation.

For 7.7%, this beer is more than drinkable enough.

ClassicBrad, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of thecarster1
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from markwise in the review this bif!

a- bottle poured into a snifter, half a finger of tan head that fades fast to a wispy ring of bubbly lace around the glass, deep dark chesnut brown coloring.

s- lots of roasted malts, burnt chocolate, sweet caramel, interesting nose.

t- burnt candied caramel sweetnes, biscuit, no major alcohol - just a slight touch, this beer is nice and warming, but not through an alcohol burn which is nice.

m- medium bodied, very smooth.

d- this has a nice drinkability to it, my first scotch/wee heavy. i think this beer is a nice place to start out, i've got a backwoods bastard in the fridge that i think is going to kick things up a notch!

thecarster1, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Phyl21ca, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of biophiliadude
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to pint.

A: Black bubbling up to tan head. Layers of lacing that sticks to the glass.

S: waffles

T: Malty biscuit.

S: Smooth that turns into bubbly coffee.

D: Wee heavy Scotch Ales make cold winter nights more bearable. This is a great one. I can always do with more malt, but very satisfied and will have this again, usually look for 10+ abv. Recommend!

biophiliadude, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of jdhilt
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly, leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Malty nose. Flavor is malty caramel and dark fruit. Nice scotch ale. Brewed Mar 3, 2009. $1.83 for a 12oz bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT

jdhilt, Nov 10, 2009
Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,198 ratings.