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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

1,169 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,169
Reviews: 427
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 35
Gots: 73 | 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: 1,169 | Reviews: 427 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Gueuzedude, May 24, 2009
Photo of Birdiebeagle
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Ours a deep brown with a tan head. The head is creamy and lasting. The head is producing nice lacing. Aroma is of caramel, malts, and nuts. Has a light carbonation. The flavor is on the lines of a light stout. Has good blending. Hints of a slight metalic taste. Has a medium body. A solid finish with a good aftertaste. This is a pretty good beer.

Birdiebeagle, May 13, 2009
Photo of bamadog
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Overall a pretty solid scotch ale - I would have actually expected more of a carmelly malt profile than what did show up as this was much more like like burnt and toasty malty flavor, but overall still pretty good. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, like freshly brewed coffee with a slight hint of deep ruby when held to the light; starts with a 1 finger head that is the lightest tan and looks thick (almost like a skin); pretty full curtain-like lacing holds on to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Deep dark long boiled malts and a nice bitter hop profile is in the back; slight presence of alcohol in the nose.

Taste: Very toasty and bready malt profile with a very mild caramel/burnt sugar presence as well that follows right behind the bread, even a little smokey; again there is a slight bitter/earthy hop profile way in the back that helps balance the sweeter aspects of the malt (which really isn't overly sweet to begin with but more toasty).

Mouthfeel: Moderately tingly; mouth is left a little sticky on the tongue but largely the finish is clean; body of the beer is actually a little lighter than I would have preferred or expected as I prefer these to be a little creamier.

Drinkability: Pretty high actually - this would be a great fall beer. The smokey/toasty presence reminds me a bit of a campfire. While the body isn't what I would have preferred, still a solid beer overall and I'd gladly drink some more.

bamadog, May 12, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz fresh bottle into a standard pint glass. Interested in trying this new brew from GD.

A- Claymore Scotch Ale is a dark brown color with some thickness coming out of the bottle. A steady pour yielded no more than 1/2 an inch of semi tight off white foam that left minimal lace. Looks rather thick once it's all condensed in the glass.

S- Typical of a scotch ale this is heavy on the caramel and roasted malt scents rising up. Also getting some light coffee and some peat. Smells rich and very sweet with hops there but not powerful. Some bready scents plus some dark fruits. Not the best scent, but it will do.

T- Surprisingly, the first thing I pick up on is dark fruits which are noticable and have a dark plum taste. Right up there with the fruit is caramel and peat with just a underlining of smoke. Roasted malts and just a touch of bittering hops. Overall this one is on the sweet side.

M- You can't really taste the alcohol, that's well hidden, but there is a sharp burn on the tounge coming from this, which is odd as this is quite low in alc. Claymore almost reaches a full bodied brew but it is not quite there. Some carbonation is felt. Not sure if it gets better as it warms, more of the same.

D- This was a good one to go to for a try at something new, but it did not quite hit the mark for me. I guess scotch ales taste the same to me and leave me wanting more variety. Perhaps some short term aging in the cellar can mute that alcohol sting that was present and meld the flavors better.

BARFLYB, May 04, 2009
Photo of hosehead83
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glas
Dark brown/red with half-inch tan head
Aroma-Malty, slight chocolate and caramel
Taste- Big malts with subtle smokiness and a hint of hops lingering in the background. Very smooth and to my taste a bit thin. I would like a bit more hop profile to round out the flavor a bit more.
Overall, not bad, but certainly some room for a little more body

hosehead83, May 04, 2009
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

4.5 A: Used motor oil color. Thick creamy tan head has good retention and leaves a ton of lacing.

4.0 S: Sweet chocolately aroma predominates then brown sugar and some breadiness.

4.0 T: Bread bomb. Tons of breadiness followed by a big hit of sweet chocolate. Decent amount of hop bitterness and some grassy hop flavor. I approve.

4.5 M: Medium heavy body. Good amount of carbonation. Quite creamy and smooth.

4.0 D: Good brew all around. Not so drinkable if you don't like a strong breadiness.

DavoleBomb, May 02, 2009
Photo of ColForbinBC
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a dark garnet, almost perfectly clear with a creamy tan head that rose two fingers. Good staying power with sheets of lacing.

An immediate smoked aroma fills my nose. A little too much smoke for a scotch ale. Some mild fruitiness and sweet caramel malts lay very low behind the smoke. Not a big fan of the nose.

The smoke hangs back a little bit in the flavor, but is still very present. An interesting addition to the flavor of a scotch ale. The rest of the flavor profile consists of burnt caramel, dark cherries and a touch of booze.

Medium to full bodied with a decent carbonation that makes it lighter than it probably really is. A tad creamy.

Once you get past the smoke, this guy drinks OK. This is not my favorite of the style and probably one I will not revisit in the near future.

ColForbinBC, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of coldmeat23
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Pours a very deep, dark shade of brown. One finger head of creamy, light brown foam. Retention is good. Lacing is good in form, but quite slippery.

Nice, sweet malty nose. Hints of dark cherries floating in caramel toffee. A raft, made of brown sugar, floats by and the cherries climb aboard. On the raft, the cherries mingle with raisins, who say that they would offer them some bacon, but it is gone, with only a light hint of smoke remaining.

A big malty presence, as there should be. Not as overly sweet as the nose suggested it would be. Light hints of caramel and brown sugar mixed with some dark fruits. Unexpectedly, there is a definite note of coffee and some light chocolate hints. Quite surprising, to me, to find these here, but they work nicely. Light touch of smoke. Very mild hop kiss on the finish.

Good medium-full body. I would like it to be fuller, for my tastes, but it's not bad, by any means. Nice level of smooth creaminess.

Nicely drinkable, but not quite as good as I'd hoped. I'll revisit another bottle in the future and see how it goes. I do believe that it will age well for up to three to five years.

coldmeat23, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of hckyfn9999
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

hckyfn9999, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of flexinwext
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

flexinwext, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of yemenmocha
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

yemenmocha, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of Gyle41386
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Gyle41386, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of BretSikkink
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

BretSikkink, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

tpd975, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
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!

NeroFiddled, Apr 21, 2009
Photo of becktone
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

becktone, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of u2carew
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

u2carew, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

SeattleBeerBlog, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of blackjack000
4.72/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

blackjack000, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

connecticutpoet, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Billolick, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of russpowell
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
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

russpowell, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of JamesS
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

JamesS, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of prototypic
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

prototypic, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of brewandbbq
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

brewandbbq, Apr 12, 2009
Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,169 ratings.