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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

462 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 462
Hads: 1,362
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 49
Gots: 174 | FT: 1
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 462 | Hads: 1,362
Photo of Brenden
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Claymore is one of the darkest Scotch ales I've ever seen, about as close to black as the style gets. Some red-brown highlights do show in the light. The head is soft and compact, maybe half a finger tall, and leaves lacing spottily behind.
The malt holds a nice, firm foundation. Some light caramel and toffee notes give way to breads, while a sort of nuttiness resides underneath from start to finish. There's just a light kiss of dark cocoa. Dark fruits also rest on the tongue all the way through. At about the middle, a note of peat begins to gently build up a bit of a smoky note that adds a nice flavor without an acridity. A very light, not-quite-herbal hops bitterness complements the roast and other elements of the malt very well.
The body is about full but not heavy, rich enough but not chewy, per se. It balances crispness with smoothness and is semi-dry for the duration.

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Photo of tmm313
4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark brown with a ruby tinge. Poured a nice 1 finger head with good lacing.

S- Raisin and caramel mainly. Chocolate and scotch as accents.

T- Caramel, chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, fig, scotch, and a touch of earthy hop. Fair amount of spice in the finish. Very nicely balanced.

M- Medium body with good carbonation. Not much aftertaste. Lightly creamy.

O- I enjoyed this beer. The balance is what I'll remember most. No flavor stood above the others and all worked together very well.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a dimpled mug. The pour is dark chestnut and sports a nice 3 fingers of rocky head that slowly dissipates down to a fine lacing on the surface and sides of the glass. The nose is subdued, but has some malt, hazelnuts, and a hint of smoke.

Medium body beer with a firm feel and a sweet, malty flavor. Lots of rich biscuity malt, fresh brown bread, and a hint of sarsaparilla up front. The sweetness fights its way through whatever hop dust managed to fall into this beer and joins a little bit of alcohol warmth on the finish. Some smokiness kicks in and lingers behind. Very pleasant and sweet. The flavor isn't terribly complex, just malt, more malt, and a bit of smoke, but still tasty.

A nice, enjoyable malt bomb. As much as I love American IPAs, I really do like to have a good malty treat every now and then and this beer is certainly a GOOD malty treat. Great as an after-dinner drink too!

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a tulip

dark red pour, mild head. smell of malts and alcohol...very typical for the style. taste is on point but a tad boring. caramel, sweet, very malty...medium bodied, mild carbonation. just true to style but not that exciting. worth a try...

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a deep cola brown with a half finger of khaki head. Sub-par retention, resulting in a broken layer of surface suds. Virtually no lacing.

Smell - Caramel and light notes of cocoa.

Taste - Hits with deep caramel character and light mocha notes around the edges. Hints of earth? Hmmm.... not much else. Finishes much the way it begins.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body with moderate, tingly carbonation. Somewhat creamy. Smooth, semi-dry finish.

Overall - Certainly not the most complex Scotch out there, but if you're looking for a caramel bomb, this one'll do you no wrong.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from the 12 pack.

A- Finger thick white head with a pitch black liquid and somewhat thin-looking body.

S- Very lager-like, sweet, bready, heavy on the malt profile

T- Is this a scotch ale? I feel like I am drinking a Helles or other German lager. Heavy on the sweet, bready malts... There's a slight hint of vanilla, but not much else suggests a scotch ale, so I'm confused. I remember having this on draft at the Denver Airport and enjoying it, so I don't know what the hell happened here.

M- At least this part ain't so bad. Smooth and creamy, I'm not mad how this beer drinks. Just wondering where the scotch profile is.

I give it a three and a half with the caveat being that I need to revisit and figure out if this is the true representation or an anomaly.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Picked up as part of a mixed six as I am a fan of the wee heavy. Excellent color that is dark and rich, but not a lot of head. Good scotch smell but not real strong. Taste is very good, very clean and easy to drink for a wee heavy, which isn't all good. Also a little thin. Overall a very tasty scotch ale but not the top of wee heavy. Not sure the cost but it would have to be priced well to get again.

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Photo of ISmith87
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

"Wee Heavy" - over 6% ABV. Let's see if it's really a "heavy" beer...

A - 4 - Nice dark brown/black beer with a nice tan head that sticks and leaves nice lacing.
S - 3.75 - toffee, cinnamon, coffee, nutmeg, sweet smell, no real scotch or peaty smell, nice smooth smell
T - 3.25 - Some very light peaty tones, grass, wheat, nutmeg. It has a background taste similar to a light American lager.
M - 3.75 - Medium mouth feel. Alc is covered. Aftertaste is really light bready, toasty beer.
O - 3.5 - The thing that really brings this down is the lack of complexity in the taste.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark dark brown with a thin head of loose tan foam that fell fast to a thin ring. Left dots of soapy wet lace but not much lace really. There is a ruby hue if you look deeply into the beer but it's almost completely opaque. Nose is caramel, bread & toffee. Some dark fruits like fig and date and a light bit of raisin. It has a nice bit of earthy peat on the nose as well with a hint of smoke. Taste follows the nose. The caramel is rich and smooth and creamy, the toffee over that. The fruits are woven into the middle of the beer and there's some earthy peat to contrast the sweetness. There is just a hint of smoke in the finish. The grains are firm and and the mouthfeel is creamy, smooth and a bit slick. A grain bitterness that's light on the palate offers some dryness as this finishes.

Solid Wee Heavy from Great Divide.

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Photo of hopflyer
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 11/12/13. My first wee heavy

Fairly aggressive pour yields barely 1\2 finger head. Clear and very deep dark copper, dark reddish bronze color.

Smells of smooth and mellow toffee and light caramel. Almost like slightly burnt kettle corn popcorn

Taste is light caramel, and a bit of lightly roasted malts, toffee, molasses. A bit of alcohol but just barely. Strange but with he carbonation level and sweetness, it almost like a coke or Pepsi.

Mouthfeel is moderate to heavy body with moderate carbonation. Heavy and sticky in back of the throat. Body is bigger than some stouts I've had.

Didn't know what I was getting in this i picked up in a mix a six. Its a nice mellow and sweet beer. Was more viscous than I thought it would be but turns out to be pretty good. The alcohol is hidden well and its tasty. Couldn't see having more than two of these in a sitting though, but nice to cap off a long cold weekend on a Sunday night.

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Photo of ChrisL24481
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark, dark brown with a tan, one finger width head. The head dissipates to an outer ring around the edge of the beer.

Aroma - Smells of roasted malts, vanilla, toffee, caramel, dark fruits, and a slight bit of chocolate.

Taste - Roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel - Slight carbonation on the tongue. Goes down very smooth. It is full bodied and thick. Some bitterness and stickiness.

Overall - Another solid brew from Great Divide and a nice full bodied Scottish Ale.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark brown into translucent black with brown amber edges; slim and flimsy dirty white cap

S: deep, earthy, dark brown malty; hints of sweeter fruit underneath, like fig

T: chewy dark brown grains and subtle dark chewy fruit sugars; earthy and ripe; needs to warm; different beer ~ room temp.

M: smooth and slick; medium weight, but slippery

O: at first wasn't warming to it; as it warmed I found it to be a nice example of the style, without any particularly unusual stylings. Malt-forward and lip-smacking good.

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Photo of AaronTheBearded
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A - Pours a dark, ruby red. Almost looks like a cola. Can't see much through it, but not completely opaque. I got absolutely no head on this one, and very minimal lacing. Might be different on tap, though.

S - Picked up loads of dark fruits and malt. A little bit of a hop presence, but not much. Smelled quite lovely, really.

T - Follows the nose quite well. Starts out with a bit of hops, finishes very sweet, yet bitter, with a bunch of dark fruits - pomegranate, cherry.

M - Not much carbonation with this one. Felt very smooth, but picked up a little bite from the alcohol. Pleasant.

O - A nice, dark brew for a cold day. Not my favorite Great Divide beer, but it definitely stands out as unique. Give it a try!

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Photo of MrBoz21
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured opaque with ruby hue. Thick tan head settled into thin cap. Lace rings cling as glass empties.

Aroma: Roasty caramel and vanilla. Fig and banana esters. Slight spice.

Taste: Burnt toast with caramel. Mild peat and roast astringency. Fig notes.

Mouthfeel: Moderately dry and thin. Slight warmth on tongue

Overall: Mild, balanced and drinkable betrays the style and ABV. I like it! Usually find Scotch ales to be too strong with peat malt. Very smooth. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour rounded up a taupe half-inch of dense suds. Deep maroon brown color with very little clarity to boast. Lacing is rather low-performance.

Milky and nutty aromas with dry caramel brittle and herbal hopping. Light chocolate and toned-down coffee notes featured. Subtle hints of savory breadiness and browned apple.

Lightly warming feel with an alcohol note behind layers of nut brittle, burnt sugars, herbal bitterness, phenols, mocha, caramel, earthiness, leather, and dried fruit. Malt-heavy and whispering with booze. Hops are overcast by the prominent grain flavors, however, they're not thickened with sweetness or bolstered by much meatiness. Disappointing is the lack of a good, sturdy carbonation. Body is flaccid and wet without it. Questionable intensity steers me away from calling this a Wee Heavy, but it makes for a tasty strong Scottish Ale.

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Photo of MarkQ617
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is my fifth Great Divide beer reviewed. Had this poured out of the bottle into a tulip glass. One of the better offerings of its kind that I've had, if not the best. Strong boozy flavor with a dark fruit aftertaste, and a bit of malty smokiness as one would hope. Not of ton, and a relatively thin mouthfeel, but I didn't mind here. Pick it up on a cold night or when you just want to get pretty loaded.

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Photo of LI_PO12
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip

appearance- Dark reddish/Brown, clear, offwhite head

Aroma- Smokey, deep malts, some dark fruit figs, nutty and toffee notes present but not as strong as id like

flavor- Deep malts , smoke dies off a bit and more fruits, and toffee to come to play, sweet but not overbearing, a touch of warming alcohol

Mouthfeel- A bit to thin, but otherwise ok. good carbonation

Overall- I enjoyed it. I got 6 pack and feel good about that, but probably wont get more. Its solid, and worth a try for wee heavy fans.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Doesn't pour up much head at all and has just about that much retention. The head is a slightly darker than medium beige while the body is pretty dark for a scotch ale. Very dark maroon brown with hints of chocolate and it shows glimmers of crimson and garnet when held up to the light.

Nose- When I first opened the bottle, I got a bit of a cheesy smell followed by messy caramel. The bottle shows some caramel mix with popcorn and some buttery notes. The glass, at the moment, shows almost nothing. Swirling doesn't help out much.

Taste- Starts off with light caramel that builds and show hints of cinnamon and raisin. More raisin than cinnamon but still a lot more spice than I expect out of a Scotch ale. Also not as malty as I expected. A little vinous as the raisin hints at red grapes. It seems like age might have played a factor in this beer. It's less than 3 months old and should be fine but it seems a little thin as far a the flavor profile goes. Some hints of citrus (orange and lemon) and the finish has a little bit of wood to it (pine, resin, and oak). It's pretty well rounded but I would like a little more presence from a Scotch ale unless it has sublimity and complexity of a Traquair. Still, an above average to good beer but a little bit of disappointment from Great Divide. Closer to above average though.

Mouthfeel- A little below medium bodied (which is too thin for the style) with too much carbonation. A little too much zing as well.

Drinkability- The drinkability is fine as it doesn't really have any flaws but it doesn't entice me anyway either. Reasonable price for craft beer but I think it would only go for this if it were fresher. And in it that case to see if freshness is a factor.

Overall- Above average. Worth a try but if you've had a fair amount of Great Divide's beers, it might be the letdown it was for me. A little odd for the style.

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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 fitrock2112
3.17/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured Claymore into a ice cold frosty pint glass.

A - The appearance looks like coca cola with no head at all.

S - Smells like a porter, coffee, bitter roasted malts.

T - The taste follows the nose. coffee, bitter roasted malts. It does have some smokiness in there mid palate. Different for a good scotch ale.

M - Not a bad mouthfeel, medium with medium carbonation.

O - Not a bad beer, I actually like the roasted smokiness of this but you know the rest.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark chestnut color. The head is a one finger cream shade. It's retention is rather poor, sadly, but it does try to leave behind a little lacing.

S: To the surprise of absolutely no one, this is loaded with tons of sweet caramel. That's what the style dictates, natch - what catches me off guard is the pleasant chocolaty smell I pick up. It's also rather smoky, too, almost to rauchbier levels. This aroma is really intriguing.

T: It hits hard with caramel right from the start. And that dark chocolate note from the nose? It's here, if a little buried within the other notes. But I don't care. Smoky malts finish it off, with an occasional kiss of herbal hop bitterness coming through. The key here is that's it's not oppressively sweet - just kind of sweet. It's still a wee heavy though, so that means the caramel sweetness shouts at you while the other subtle notes sort of dance around behind it.

M: This has good body, but could be a little creamier. There's a slight dry touch on the finish which goes a long way to giving it good drinkability. The carbonation is perhaps a bit sharp, but it's not overdone by any stretch.

O: I've come to the realization I enjoy this style. A lot. And this satiates my enjoyment of said style quite well. Really good dessert beer, this one.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours a deep, deep brown with hints of amber around the edges of the body. Very small head forms and is gone quickly. Lacing is minimal because of the lack of a head. Fairly clear, but the dark color makes it hard to see through.

S- I get a lot of dark, almost stout-like, roasted malts here. A hint of chocolate and light coffee, as well as dark caramel sweetness. Rather sweet smelling and reminiscent of a porter.

T- Dead on like the scent, just with more prominent caramel malts. Slight hint of peat flavored malts. The slight chocolate and coffee flavors are there, just less prominent than in the scent. Sweetness is still present and lingers a little at the end of the drink.

M- Thick and creamy with a medium level of carbonation. The dark, heavy malts make it drink a little heavier than most Scotch ales or porters, but it still doesn't weigh you down much in the stomach.

Overall, this is a great value for a darker beer that is sold in six packs. Nice, full, dark flavors in a semi-drinkable weight for a beer.

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Photo of scvance
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep brown color with a touch of red and a small off white head. Smell is roasty, with biscuit like maltiness. There is a touch of caramel. Taste is caramel and roasted barley right up front. Fades to a very sweet finish with a noticeable alcohol note in the finish. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous, moderately low carbonation. This beer is quite heavy. Overall this is a nice, heavy, malt forward beer. Definitely a good representation of the style.

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Photo of beergoot
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smoky, musty aroma; lots of roasted grain and caramel notes. Deep brown body color topped with a one-finger thick head. Medium sweetness tempered with a smooth hop bitterness. Smooth, semi-dry body; soft, medium feel.

A rich, malty beer with just the right touch of hop bitterness and alcohol presence. Easy enough drinking for a big beer, even with the fairly high ABV. Yes, it's noticeable, yet the malt and hops do an excellent job of keeping things balanced and enjoyable.

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Photo of ADZA
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours just like a bourbon and cola with a one finger head that quickly dissapates to a wispy swirl and a rim of lacing,the smell is ripe dark plums,sweet caramel,candied figs and sweet malts,the mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation which suits and has tastes of ripe dark fruits,a touch of smokey peat,a hit of boozy heat,a nice reserved touch of hops and finished with a bittersweet malty finish and overall yeah it's nice and warming for a cold night like tonight but I def prefer Old Chub cheers.

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Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 462 ratings.