1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Claymore Scotch Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Claymore Scotch AleClaymore Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,179 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,179
Reviews: 429
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 35
Gots: 77 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,179 | Reviews: 429 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jpkoch1962
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

It's difficult to review a beer that is generally good, but falls outside of the style guidelines.

The beer pours a very dark brown, almost opague black. The moderate carbonation provides a nice but short lived head with decent lace. The aroma is a weak whiff of bready malts with some roasted notes. The front end, middle and finish of this ale was a smooth and malty. Roasted malts came through in the finish. Not bad.

However, this is not a Wee Heavy. Except for the alcohol (7.2%), this is poor rendition of the category. Wee Heavy's should get most of thier character from a heavy malt load, long boil times, and long maturation. The taste should be intensely malty, with smooth sweetness, and a dry finish. This is closer to a stout or a strong dark ale.

Claymore is a good ale, don't get me wrong. I wouldn't turn this down. But, like many micros Great Divide dumbs down a classic style.

jpkoch1962, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark cola. Black with brown hues. Nice tan creamy head which recedes quickly but leaves nice creamy rings of lace.

S- Roasted malts, smoke, wood tones, nutty notes, hints of chocolate. Sweet malt forward, earthy tones.

T- Roasted malts with a quick follow up of oak, smoke, clean wood tones, and a hint of booze. Bitter coffee in the aftertaste. Touch of hops. Malt forward. Reserved but robust. Quite complex. Biscuits, heavy molasis, and toffee with a dose of cofee and scotch.

M- Medium bodied, creamy, smooth, slight boozy bite in the finish.

D- Very nice balanced beer. A little on the thick side and boozy aftertaste. Nice for a sipper.

JayS2629, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of BigPlay1824
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Tulip Glass. Claymore pours a near black color with slight brown hues when held up to the light. As it is poured into the glass it generates a nice amount of creamy light brown head that dissipates rather quickly. The brew leaves a scattered amount of lacing around the glass which I have found to be typical of the style. Claymore Scotch Ale has an overall scent of deep malts (possibly coffee malts) and dark roasted nutty scents. The taste of this brew is not exactly what Ive come to expect of the style but, that being said, it is not in anyway unpleasant. The initial taste is that of deep malts with a slight molasses note backed by roasted nut hues. As the brew finishes, more of the woody flavors and a very slight scotch note work their way onto the pallet. There is very little alcohol burn which really helps it drink easily. The brew is very smooth on the pallet and has a nice complexity of flavors. Overall, I would have liked to have seen more scotch notes in the scent and even more of the same in the taste but I did find the brew to be quite pleasant.

BigPlay1824, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of DovaliHops
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown color with a very small off-white head that disappears almost instantaneously. Scent is definitely malty with some caramel aromas and dark fruits. I also pick up a bit of toffee and roasted scents. Taste is initially roasted malt followed by toffee and caramel. Then I definitely get the biscuit flavor with a bit of roasted/bitter chocolate and dark fruits. A bit of alcohol at the end. I haven't had too many wee-heavy's but one that sticks out in my mind would be Founders Dirty Bastard...and that was SOOO much better...Other than that and Belhaven, I can't think of much to compare it to. Mouthfeel is sorta rich and somewhat creamy. Drinkability is fair, as it is a tasty beer, but maybe just not my favorite particular style as of right now.

DovaliHops, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of corby112
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to shadowane for sharing.

Pours a dark chestnut brown color with mahogany edges and a half finger beige head that quickly fades into a thinring. No lacing.

Smokey malt aroma with hnts of choclate, chestnut, caramel, toffee and biscuit.

Medium bodied but on the lighter end with slight bitter hop presence up font along with subtle roasted malt. Hints of caramel and toffee as well as some alcohol sweetness and biscuit. Slight astringency with alcohol heat. Dry finish.

corby112, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of claminat420
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- poured a stout color. light tannish head. light lacing.

S- not so much of malt and hops but that bubble gum yeast i've been pickin out of scotch ales. you can notice a different biscuit malt like scent.

T- well it's like the smell of the beer. alcohol in taste comes thru. this beer kinda hangs back on the throat.

M- medium bodied with the silkiest texture. acquired feel.

D- i wouldn't mind pickin a 6 of this some day or some singles. i've had wayyy better scotch's in my day (dark horse's scotty karate).

claminat420, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of charlzm
2.42/5  rDev -37%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Consumed at Encinitas Ale House in Encinitas, CA on December 29th, 2010.

Very clear dark brown (think cola). Minimal head disappears after just a few minutes. No sheeting.

The nose is greeted by a melanoidin-rich, peaty smoke aroma.

The expected malt and light smoke flavors are present, but so is an off, sweatsock note that ruins it. Infected? In any event, it did sort of balance out slightly as the beer warmed.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side (as opposed to the expected thicker body).

Don't know if it came from the brewery this way, or if the lines at the Ale House were dirty. Either way, I need to have it again somewhere else to really know.

charlzm, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of beagle75
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Dark brown color, nearly opaque at it's core, with no foam head. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Dark roasted malt, coffee, tobacco, wintergreen, and slight woodsmoke.

T: Begins off-dry, initially very acidic, with toffee and fennel seed. Flavors smooth out in the middle, turning earthy with a whiff of vanilla. Bitterness rises to a moderate level in the malty finish, but does not linger.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly creamy on the palate but stops short of coating the mouth, with moderate carbonation.

D: A timid, middle-road scotch ale that is more along the lines of a Scottish export than a wee-heavy. Certain qualities of this beer are briefly off-putting, but in the end it satisfies, especially in the company of savory food.

beagle75, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of Gmann
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark brown color with amber highlights. The head is bit small but is very dense; settles into a solid ring.

The aroma is of a rich brown bread, pumpernickle, with some peat and damp rotting wood, light tobacco, and burnt caramel sweetness. Very nice.

The taste is of brown sugar, honey, burnt caramel, peat and wet wood. It is a bit sweet but has some good earthiness to it.

Moderate feel with tingly carbonation. Sweet on the palate but not cloying, slick or sticky.

A very good scotch ale, borders on being too sweet but it holds the line. Nice showcase of woodsy flavors. I am disappointed that they don't distribute this beer to NY

Gmann, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.15/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First off: Merry X-mas one and all!!! Cheers, slainte, prost, and all that rubbish....Second off: You put the "Scotch Ale" suffix on there, and you're gonna be compared to McEwan's...just sayin' is all...Ok, this is a highly carbonated ale. It immediately bursts into a cavalcade of soda-like bubbles. Pretty crazy. This quickly disappears, however, and you get a steady stream of very small bubbles. Not much head forms for all the bubbles ya see. Pours a dark mahogany and leaves little lacing. Heavy caramel malt aromas, as one might expect, battle with your nose. Some of the usual suspects arrive: Vanilla, caramel, and mayhaps some pineapple way back there. So far, par for the American course. Flavor is big and rich upfront, but quickly scatters into a slightly thin middle and ever thinner finish. The flavor profile is punctuated by some off bitter notes here and there, as though they tried to mimic barrel aging without the barrel. At 7.7%ABV, this wee heavy be a wee bit light, in my opinion. One would think, initially, that this is decently priced at $1.99/12oz. bottle but that makes this a $12 sixer. That's close to not acceptable. decent enough beer, but still leagues beneath the elite versions of the style.

What I like most: The initial malty burst of flavor.

What I like least: A lot of the rest.

Verdict: Not worth tracking down and a somewhat pedestrian effort.

SolomonGrundy, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of cooch69
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This Scotch ale pours a deep dark chocolate brown with a small head full of large loose bubbles. Your not seeing through this beer, but rather just a small bit of chestnuts on the edges when held up to light.

The nose is caramelly and mollassesy.

Taste is like a candied apple dipped in caramel. It is slightly bitter in the finish with a full mouthfeel almost getting syrupy.
A decent amount of smokiness, but still pretty mild.
It is a scotch ale worthy of a try, but I've had better.

cooch69, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of mattsdenney
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip glass. Bottled on 8/10/2010.

A: Pours dark brown w/ one finger of head. Some lacing.

S: Chocolate, Malt, Licorice, Caramel.

T: The taste is true to the smell. Sweet w/ hints of caramel and licorice. Malty w/ a somewhat smoky aftertaste.

M: Nice consistency, not too heavy but with substance. Slightly frothy, coats the mouth well.

D: If you're looking for a cold weather beer that isn't a stout or porter this is a great option. Very impressive. I haven't had the opportunity to experience any Wee Heavy beers and am enjoying this one. Will definitely seek out more in this style.

mattsdenney, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of Mitchster
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$2.39 for a 12oz bottle @ Merchants. 7.70% ABV per the website. No ingredients listed. Bottled on Aug 10 2010.

Pours out to a clear very dark brown, near black, forming a soapy sudsy tan head with good retention and very good lacing. Moderate carbonation. The aroma is nice, with toasty malts, a hint of smoked malt, perhaps some roasted barley, black walnut, toast, and chalk. The mouthfeel is a little prickly, lightly acidic, and medium bodied. The taste opens with some herbal hop notes, followed by a whiff of smoke, some caramel and prunes in the middle, then some woodsy medium bitterness with smoke and brown sugar lingering in the aftertaste. The hops are a bit much for this style of beer. This reminds me a bit of Sam Adams Scotch Ale.

A decent Scotch Ale, but doesn't quite compare to Dirty Bastard, #1 on BA for Scotch Ale at the moment, and my go-to Scotch Ale. (Although I would love to try their Sappy Slappy Bastard, which sounds even better!)

Mitchster, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of adam42381
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip. Bottled on November 18, 2010 printed on label.

Appearance: Pours a dark cola brown with a 1 finger greyish tan head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt with dark bread, cocoa and light earthy notes. I also detect very faint hints of banana and clove.

Taste: Chocolate malt up front followed by caramel and a little dried fruit in the middle and ending with just a hint of earthy hops at the finish. Aftertaste is dry and somewhat earthy. The alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and creamy with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. You could knock back a few of these on a cold evening.

Overall: Very solid Wee Heavy. Another solid offering from Great Divide. I would recommend trying it.

adam42381, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of Rumplemintz
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This may be my favorite Beer period, but I say that after every new beer I try?
Very dark almost stout color for a scottish ale.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into an icy pint stout glass. Thick cream colored head that hung around awhile. The flavors were rich and sweet like toffee or caramel at first then became full and warm by the end of the glass.
Just a delicious beer!

Rumplemintz, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Has a rich, thick aroma that is strongly yeasty and a little fruity and malty. It pours a barely translucent light chocolate brown with a pale tan head. Flavor is malty, yeasty and fruity - like thick, unpasteurized apple juice - with just a hint of semi-sweet chocolate. Smooth, rather thick texture had a nice fizz.

Cyberkedi, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of Heritage02Rider
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler of this Claymore Scotch Ale as I like the carmely taste of a good Scotch Ale.

I poured it in to my chilled glass fresh from the retailer and got a small head which quickly dissolved to a small ring around the edge. I put it up to my nose and found almost no odor representing scotch ale or beer. Almost inert. The color was dark and when held to the light produced a deep red (think maroon) color. First sip, not bad, but didn't knock my socks off. It went down smooth and as it warmed a bit to a better drinking temp, it stayed about the same.

A: Dark color with dark maroon color when held to light. The head is small and dissipates rapidly to a small ring.

S: Almost odorless. A little underwhelming and not a representation of a scotch ale.

T: The taste is fairly representative of a carmely scotch ale. The higher alcohol content (7.7) was not real noticeable. (A nice touch)

M: The beer at fridge temperature is too cold to enjoy properly, but as it warms a touch (say 45 to 50ish) it becomes better.

D: The beer goes down easily and leaves no lasting aftertaste.

I would say this is an average beer and only a fair representation of a scotch ale. I paid $13.99 for a growler which is , in my opinion, a bit high in comparison with other growlers of better beer I have had at lower prices.

I am glad I tried this beer, but for the price I will probably not purchase this again.

Heritage02Rider, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of PicoPapa
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with a Bottled On Date of Jun 17 2010. Pours a deep dark brown with very little head. Some lacing. Beer smells somewhat earthy with roasted malts. Tastes alot like it smells. Earthy, boozey and roasted malts. Not too much going on here. It's an alright beer but nothing really stands out one way or the other. I'm a big fan of Great Divide and I can think of a bunch of their beers I'd grab before I picked up this one again.

PicoPapa, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of Mancer
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a slightly clear dark brown color with a 1 finger high light brown had. The head dissipated fairly quickly to light lace. The initial smell of the beer was that of dark bitter chocolate with a mellow roastiness. The initial taste of the beer was that of roasted dark chocolate, peat, and light caramel sweetness. This gave way to the finish which was primarily roasty with a slight booziness. The brew had a medium body with light carbonation.

Overall, this was a good beer, especially for its price. I'd buy this again, if given the option.

Mancer, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of mikeg67
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a variety pack. Pours brown with a small, short-lived, tanned head. Aroma is of toasted, bready malt, some dark fruit and sherry. Full body, medium carbonation, sweet but not cloying. Taste is toasted malt, dark fruit, chocolate and some molasses. Long finish of fruit and chocolate. Tasty brew.

mikeg67, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of gestyr
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep brown that has red notes when held to the light. The head is thin and dissipates rapidly

S: Malt, caramel, slight smoky aroma, hint of a minty aroma.

T: Sweet, malty, caramel, slight molassas, toffee with a touch of alcohol aftertaste.

M: thin with a bit of a late alcohol burn

D: Overall, very drinkable. I would drink this again.

gestyr, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
3.15/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Here's 12 ounces of scotch ale coming:

Cola brown colored with red hues resting along the edges of the glass. Its head is compact and white, dropping to a thin lace before saying goodbye. The nose features a good note of baker's chocolate and a little fume of peat smoke. Its major sin is an odd DMS note that roughens the nose.

Sweet tasting as expected, chocolate and peat piggyback much of the taste score, while a rough veggie hop flavor adds a major bump to the road. The medium body is thanks to the amount of malt this beer has, somewhat smooth. Alcohol is hidden well, which helps expedite things (such as they are).

Some would say adequate, I will say mediocre. It's rougher than I'd like. Forget the claymore to fix things here, a steamroller would be more appropriate.

DoubleJ, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of mountsnow1010
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle into Chimay goblet that I gave myself for turning 21

A - deep, dark red nearly black. tan head that disappears fast
S - bit of roasted nuttiness, good amount of alcohol, a couple of other elements that are hard to pick out
T - more roasted flavor, starts a bit sweeter, progresses to a bit of dryness. hard to pick out a distinct flavor. not nearly as much body as I was expecting based off of the description and appearance but scent clued me in somewhat, a stronger nuttiness in the aftertaste
M - Nice, smooth and pleasant carbonation. expecting it to feel a bit thicker, though. feels more watery.
D - could drink a few of these, very easily, especially given the alcohol content. don't really notice it until its too late! very high drinkability IMO (unfortunately it is a result of the lack of a deep flavor profile)

Very enjoyable beer, would drink again. Probably wouldn't pay what I paid for this again, however (17.00$ sixer in montgomery cty maryland, expensive due mainly to locale and beer store)

mountsnow1010, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of ScottyC
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

App. - Black (w/hints of ruby in light) with a coarse, soda-like, tan head that dissipates quickly. 3/5

Aroma - A dark, roasty, malty smell. Hints of coffee or cocoa nibs. Slightly bitter. Nice and subtle. 4/5

Taste - Mmm, chocolaty without being astringent or too bitter. Like a stout, but without the harshness associated with it. Get a coffee taste, too. Sweet and not bitter. Really good. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel - very good for the style. Silky smooth and thick. 4.5/5

Drinkability - This one went really fast, especially for a dark, heavy beer. 4.5/5

ScottyC, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of farrago
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finger's worth of rich brown color, full range of bubble sizes with poor retention, lacing fares just slightly better, The liquid is a very deep brown but does avoid blackness, fully opaque, you get some amber red to orange tint around the rims. The nose is not especially heavy but it sure is sweet, loaded with molasses, butterscotch, maple syrup, caramel, cola bean and milk chocolate, as well as plum, black cherry fruit, brings a hoppy greenness and peppery kick too, scone and oatmeal accents, firms up appreciably before evaporating in your nostrils. Full-bodied, more broad than deep, skips nimbly across the tongue, the carbonation has a fine tightness to it. Still packed with molasses, maple syrup, chocolate and toffee but not as dulcet as in the nose, the cherry, blackberry, apricot fruit ripe with a fresh feel. Oats, multi-grain bread flavors dry it out a touch, minimal greenness or real bitter bite, however, the hop presence is clear. Grill smoke, perhaps even meaty at times. Good contrast of elements, drinkability is very good for the beer category.

farrago, Nov 14, 2010
Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,179 ratings.