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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

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 458
Hads: 1,332
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 46
Gots: 149 | 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: 1,332
Photo of delta490
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Cellared for about a year. Had a wee little amount of head and left a wee little bit of lacing. Aroma is sweet and has notes of cocoa and some boozy esters. Taste is similar with some additional notes of coffee and tofee. Mouthfeel is smooth with just a slight oil slickness. A nice Scotch ale. (335 characters)

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle dated 2/17/09. Poured into a snifter. Minimal head and retention, deep mahogany body. Aroma includes coca cola, chocolate, coffee, port and brandy. Taste includes all of the above with a touch of leather and bacon. Very tasty and quite enjoyable. Aged very gracefully. (284 characters)

Photo of jondeelee
4.29/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Claymore Scotch Ale opens to a massively malty, yeasty nose, the beer smelling immediately of potent rising wheat bread dough, tinged with touches of fruit and peat. The fruit esters are divided nicely between dark and light, the former bringing berry and light peach, and the latter adding fig and date. There’s also a heavy thread of wildflower honey, as well as vanilla, brown sugar, and a dollop of molasses, which combine with the breads to suggest light sprinkles of homemade chocolate chip cookies. However, the yeasty bread dough smell underlies everything, adding a bakery aroma and mixing with biscuit and toast crust to form a wonderfully earthy undertone, combined with a healthy dose of smoky peat to form a nicely balanced and finely nuanced bouquet that lacks only an extra bit of oomph to firmly separate it from the field.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a shot of yeasty rising wheat dough that mixes instantly with smoky peat, biscuit, toast crust, and floury whole wheat baguette to form a distinctive, full-mouthed bread base. Sugars enter next, bringing the berry and, here, light orange fruit esters on the light side, and the fig and date from the dark side. The wildflower honey is still present, as are the vanilla and brown sugar, but the molasses is turned down a little, though still detectable. The medium-strength 7.7% ABV adds touches of bourbon vapors, though the beer was not barrel-aged, adding a pleasantly woody overtone that mixes well with the smoky peats. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main mouthful, heavy on yeasty rising bread dough and smoky peat, and lingers for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is very nice Scotch Ale, offering a rounded, nuanced, potent series of flavors, and the smoky peats are excellently integrated into the breads and darker fruits. Worth trying. (1,876 characters)

Photo of MickeyD
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this from a 12oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

Appearance: Dark but when held up to the light you can still see through it, head was about one and a half finger width and thick but dissipated quickly.

Smell: Dark caramel and roasted nuts.

Taste: coffee, nuts and caramel.

Mouth feel: very smooth and silky. Great malt aroma with caramel and dark roasted tones.

Overall: Really like scotch ales and this is no exception. The only thing that would make this better is if it had smoked peat. (505 characters)

Photo of Moose90
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled On: JAN 18 2013
Tasted On: MAR 24 2013

A – Pours a deep, dark mahogany color, with a light fluffy tan colored head that recedes. Lacing left behind is patchy, but clingy and nice.

S – Strangely hop forward, but then leads to a nice heavy malt foundation, with chocolates, coffee and some smoke.

T – Caramel sweetness, balanced by a dark roasted bitterness. Dark chocolates, and a nice nuttiness.

M – Filling and satisfying, has a nice lingering aftertaste and the overall balance is nice. Errs on the heavy side of things, but not too much so.

O – Nice for the style, the malt profile is spot on, and not overdone. The added hop character in this particular brew brings about a very nice balance not found in some others. (745 characters)

Photo of alex_hart
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

served from a bottle into my stella artois glass.

Looks dark black and brownish at first with no head after an aggressive pour. No lacing watsoever. When held up to the light you can see a faint red and maroon glow shine through, my favorite part of the whole experience thus far.

Smells like burnt coffee grinds, some sweet malt.

Taste is some of the same. Sweet and malty with some dark coffee grinds, slighty bitterness, and a bit of alcohol burn during a deep sip.

Medium to heavy body for the style.

Overall this is pretty good. Definitely not my favorite of this style, which i generally love, but still worth a single bottle purchase for a try. (657 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at the taproom. Appearance is a mahogany with nice clarity an a rim of white head. Nose is malty with hints of peat smokiness and caramel malts. Taste is very mild, light caramel malt, a slight smokiness. Mouthfeel is light with moderate carbonation. A nice clean scotch ale without too much character. (316 characters)

Photo of atr2605
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A-pours a deep red amber, almost a coca cola color with a tan head thats fades a bit quick for my liking
S-sweet malt and roasted peat aroma comes through nicely, slight green earthiness lingering in the background
T-lots of caramel sweetness, and a bit of spiciness from the smoked malt. More sweetness coming through in the finish with a delicate vanilla flavor
M-medium bodied and a bit slick
O-Appearance lacked slightly but still pretty solid beer. Wouldn't mind having it again on occasion (495 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a NB snifter.

A – Pours a deep, rich brown/copper. One-finger head of really loose foam is a mauve khaki, and dissipates quickly, leaving some pockets of lace on the surface against the glass with an island of micro-bubbles in the middle. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is a dark mahogany and almost completely opaque, although what light gets through at the edge of the glass reveals the beer is not cloudy.

S – Roasted malts; deep, dark caramels, hints of milk chocolate. Grassy hops pop up with touches of alcohol, followed by notes of butterscotch, toffee, and vanilla as it warms in the glass.

T – Similar to the nose, caramels are more forward in the taste. Malts are beyond simply toasted, with a noticeable roast, like a light breakfast-blend coffee. Chocolate/toffee mixes with the roast in the back-end. There's a bit of earthy peat in there, too. Every so often, a dollop of rich butterscotch liquid will show up on the tongue. Earthy hops are present just enough to balance the sugars.

M – Just a touch of fizziness initially smooths out in the mouth. Body itself is surprisingly lighter than anticipated, given the color of the pour and the roast. Components are well-integrated. Short, dry finish focused on roast and hops.

O – This is the kind of Scotch ale you give a porter fan to make the bridge between the two styles. The roasted malts in this beer, for me, distract from their mission to transport caramel/butterscotch/toffee flavors, and the chocolate notes are simply out-of-place. That being said, it's a pretty interesting take on the style, and really pretty tasty. Forget what it's supposed to be and enjoy it for what it is: a robust porter dressing up as a Scotch ale. (1,747 characters)

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a shaker pint.

The beer is a dark mahogany, almost black really. A cream colored head comes down to a film with heavy sheets of lacing.

The aroma is boozy up front followed by buttery toffee and malts.

The taste is much like the aroma. A nice buttery biscuit and toffee taste begins. Great malty oak body. Slight alcoholic finish.

Medium, slightly sticky mouthfeel.

Overall a good sipper. Slightly more booziness than I prefer. (444 characters)

Photo of C3likesbeer
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep brown almost black. Very thin light head. color with shades of red and amber. One inch of tan head dissipates rather quickly. Only a few small patches of lacing.

S: Malty and sweet.

T: Sweet and malty with some caramel. Hops really in the background.

M: medium heft with some carbonation and a long finish.

O: Nice Scotch Ale. (378 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 14oz tulip of this at Diciccos in Brewster recently, for $5.00.

Poured a deep, dark brown. Head was thin and bubbles sparse, though some light lacing was present. Nose was rather mild, with light sweetness and caramel evident. Good body, medium in feel and mostly smooth.

Flavor, too, had light sweetness. Had a solid malt base, caramel leading the way, with some subtle peatyness present. Hopping was floral and restrained. Improved with warming; decent, overall. Prosit!!

3.9/5 rDev +0.8%look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1557 (559 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Deep brown color with shades of red and amber. One inch of tan head dissipates rather quickly. Only a few small patches of lacing.

S: Powdery cocoa, damp earth, bread crust. Smoky. Whiff of spicy alcohol. Slight oily and leafy hop scent.

T: Very sweet with impressions of caramel, cola, and molasses. Fruity tastes of sweet cherries and mixed berries. Bread crust. Kiss of smoke on the mid-palate. Earthy, oily, and spicy hops in the background. Smokiness builds a bit. Alcohol is actually fairly well hidden, and more subtle than the nose suggested. Finish of powdery cocoa and bakers chocolate.

M: Fairly hefty and thick in body. Slightly chewy. Carbonation has a mild bite.

O: A little bit more hoppy than the Scotch ales I've come across to date, but it works. Still well within the style, and a satisfying drink. (862 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.81/5  rDev -27.6%
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 (1,707 characters)

Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Claymore Scotch ale pours, from the bottle, a deep mahogany color--think antique furniture--with a small tenacious ring of foam around the outside; a nice look brew, really. But it's the aroma where this thing gets interesting. Peat, roasted nuts, a slight hint of smoke, caramel and an unmistakeable sense of wood. The intricate layers of flavor continue onto the palate. Deeply roasted, but not black, caramel malt leads the away, along with the earthy tones of peat and mahogany. Sweetness develops and becomes more prominent as it warms. The beer is solid to the end where it signs off with a slight earthy bitterness. Just enough to balance it out, but not enough to betray the style. Nice brew. (700 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep brown color, appearing black and highly opaque in the center with only a little light shining through around the edges. Off-white, almost beige head settles down quick to a thin layer covering the top of the brew, not much lacing to be found. Aroma is hard to decipher at first - a lot of different things going on here, but they really start to become separable as the beer warms up a little bit. Polished mahogany, nutty, musky and earthy, herbal and weedy-type hops, deep, dark fruits, sweet toasted malt, and slight cocoa undertones. Vibrant and alive, very powerful aroma.

The taste delivers, as well. Full of a nice, roasty backbone - woody, nutty, musky on the malt side with touches of caramel and buttery sweetness here and there. Hops are more abundant than expected, but this is not a bad thing - weedy, earthy, musky, ashy, and a good balance to the malt. Some charcoal and slight smoke flavors last throughout the entirety of the beer and provide a nice mesh to the flavors taking place. Some fruit sweetness plays a smaller, but still important role; prunes, apples, raisins. Aftertaste includes a nice combo of yeast, smoke, spice, and herbal hop. Medium body, slick on the tongue, medium amount of carbonation.

This was the first non-Yeti brew I've had from Great Divide, and I was pretty impressed. Not my favorite Scotch Ale, but it's still damn good and I'd be happy to revisit this one anytime. A nice hop character along with subtle smokey hints and lots of malt flavors. (1,507 characters)

Photo of jjchristiano
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Pint glass. Nice dark brown almost cola-like appearance. retained head throughout. Pick up malt but not any hops in the smell.
Real malty and nice sweetness. While ABV is relatively high (7.7%) did not really feel it was too hot. This was another of the offerings in the sampler 12 pack I got. All the beers are in the 6-8% alcohol range. 2 for 2 made > 4 ratings in my opinion(Rumble + Claymore Scotch Ale). And I never had Great Divide before I was given this 12 pack for Christmas. (501 characters)

Photo of pkalix
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into the glass a very dark brown with ruby red around the thinner edges, very minor foam on top.
smell from the bottle is a dark earthen, peatiness(?), like a rich fertile soil...
taste is rich, malty, smoky, and a little sweet. almost a chocalte-y taste around the sides of the tongue, although there seems to be something missing at the end of each draw- like it's a bit lighter than it tasted on the tongue.
it's a bit heavier, toward the stout, but not that heavy.
overall, a pleasant venture into another untried brew for me. two scotch ales in a row; i do like the style. partial to the dopplebocks and looking for others and i really like this style. just not as much as the sweet malty dopples.... but i imagine i could do a few of these in a row and they would be awesome with a shot of some good bourbon or really good whiskey. in fact, a good evening would be these two in moderate amounts... (910 characters)

Photo of shand
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Claymore pours out a red-tinged brown color with a small head. The aroma is muted, what I can detect is some maltiness. The taste brings through a robust, slightly prickly maltiness, with a bit of smokiness on the finish. It's pretty relaxed for a scotch ale, but it's tasty. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and moderately carbonated, and the drinkability is very good. This beer hides the ABV very well. Overall, it's a tasty scotch ale. I like the style with more aggression personally, but this is still a well-composed beer. (527 characters)

Photo of brureview
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark chocolate-coffee color with no head.

Only a faint aroma of plum from the head- unlike stronger Scotch ales which have prominent
complex aromas wafting from the head.

Mouth feel- fine- a bit carbonated.

Taste: chocolate-coffee- perhaps a peanut like flavor? Good, but light for the style. Barely any alcoholic finish.

Overall: a very good beer to drink, but light for the style. Aroma is weak, and finish is not complex.
I prefer a strong, overbearing presentation of the style such as Bannatyne Scotch ale from Cambridge Brewing. (553 characters)

Photo of kristiekatk
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours totally opaque, like a black jelly bean, with a tinge of ruby around the edge. The nose is full of umami/savory components, plus a barrage of coffee, cocoa powder, and rich malts.

The taste is much the same as the nose; cocoa, dark caramel, and a subtle, roasted grain. The sweet malts really bring out the rich and concentrated fruit character, as well as some very light brandy notes, but overall, the alcohol is relatively non-existent. A light herbalness makes for a drying and earthy finish.

It’s malty and smooth, without being overly sweet. Sometimes scotch ales can be a little over-the-top, but this is an extremely drinkable, yet big beer. (659 characters)

Photo of Mojo
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Dogfish Head glass.

This beer pours up a beautiful deep mahogany with a small caramel colored head, a small ring of retention, and no lacing to speak of. The smell was minimal, but I mainly picked up some alcohol and soy sauce. The taste was very salty upfront followed by notes of cola, coffee, toffee, caramel, and a minimal amount of alcohol. Mouthfeel was full but I didn't like the weak aftertaste. Though weak, it was not very pleasant. Overall okay, but not one I would seek out again. (507 characters)

Photo of UnkleFester
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a very dark ruby almost black that lets very little light through, about a fingers worth of off-white head that has very little retention not much lacing to speak on this one.

S: Caramel, toffee and roasted malts were all that I was able to detect on this one.

T: There is a chocolate note that I didn't pick up in the aroma along with some dark fruits

M: Has a medium body with a good amount of carbonation the alcohol is well masked.

O: My first beer for the style reminds me of some of the better stouts I have had, not sure where this one ranks for the style but I enjoyed it. (631 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Gainesville House of Beer. Pours very dark reddish brown with little head. Smells like chlorine and slight scotch to me, but my nose may be wrecked from gaving an Oak Aged Yeti right before. Nice sweet toffee and a bit of scotch, some light peat. Good mouthfeel, slick but not too heavy--perhaps even on the light side for the style. Solid scotch ale that is pretty mellow in flavor and mouthfeel and could be enjoyed in larger quantities than others in the style. Otherwise, somewhat unexciting. (508 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- Bottled 8/1/12. Consumed 11/16/12.

A: Dark coppery-cranberry pour has a scant pecan tinted head providing a minimal lacing.

S: Nice aroma on the pour, in the vessel it loses some of its luster. Some smoky moss and caramel, but not as malty as one hopes for nor is to sweet. Lacks that malty backbone and strength, finishes out with some caramelized wood.

T: Nice malty flavor, good depth of character, making up for the lackluster nose. Gentle smoked caramel and peat moss with a nice sweetness along with a dry munich touch. Dark caramelized sugars help add sweetness with touch of burbon and bread. Alcohol is perfect and complimenatary, doesnt interfere or exceed its stay. well matched.

M: Nice malty depth and substance, some carbonation adds texture while the finish has a bump of burbon love. mmm.

O: Besides a weak nose, this provides a nice malty sweety flavor and mouthful per style that is surely worth a taste. (934 characters)

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