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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

1,210 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,210
Reviews: 431
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 35
Gots: 87 | 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: 1,210 | Reviews: 431 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gobzilla
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark brown with brown highlights and had a thin head leaving a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: caramel, toffee, and molasses were noticeable on the first whiff with some roasty character but had grainy and mild herbal notes.

T: the taste had more toffee and caramel flavors with a hint of coffee, molasses, and brown sugar. The various grains did come through but were very mild.

M: the brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, herbal, slighty roasty, and creamy finish.

D: the brew was pretty drinkable but was just an average wee heavy.

Photo of patreely12
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - almost black with a ruby hue in the light. about one finger of tan head, which dissolves to a creamy film at the top. darker than most scotch ales I've had. very similar to the appearance of a stout.

S - roasted malts. smells of coffee with a hint of bittersweet chocolate. faint hint of caramel too. underlying presence of the alcohol.

T/M - the first thing I think of when I drink this is "stout". the body and everything is very similar. alcohol and roasted malts on the front. though the alcohol is the first thing I taste it's neither strong or off-putting. the coffee with bittersweet chocolate is the most prominent flavor on the back end and leaves a slightly dry aftertaste. body is on the fuller side. great flavor, kind of a mix between a scotch ale and a stout.

D - particularly drinkable despite the heaviness and ABV.

Photo of SirRuss
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A ruby-hued, thickly dark brown body foretells a sweet treat ahead. The head is equally informative as it's ephemeral presence confesses gentle carbonation, and the absence of lacing offers further validation for those not already convinced.

S - Sweet scents of butterscotch, caramel, and chocolate icing lend some serious substance to a complex aroma, which also exhibits a touch of bourbon, and a subtle spicy overtone of chilli dust and white pepper.

T - Sugar-speckled caramel introduces the profile from the forepalate, which smoothly transitions into the mid almost immediately. Chocolate notes take control as light hops lend a welcome bitterness and create the first sign of depth. Entwined butterscotch imparts the luxurious impression of cracked Brandini Toffee, and hints of dark stone fruit are unmistakably reminiscent of old world fruit cake. Whisky notes, detached from the sweetness, instill independence to the finish, and ripples of dark malts and hops gradually roll into the distance as it leaves its final impression. Yet despite demonstrating complexity, the depth of the overall profile is somewhat lacking. By failing to fill all these vital corners, this brew falls disappointingly short of the score that I wish I could give it in this category.

M&D - Wonderfully smooth, and pleasingly unusual. It achieves originality from a transitional characteristic, which sees a light but lively carbonation on the fore palate gradually fade away until nothing is left but a silky smooth swallow. Its stickiness should also be mentioned, but it does not exceed expectations for the style, and is more decadent than disputatious.

O - Despite blunted edges, this Claymore is definitely forged from a complex composite that creates an intimidating impression, and is definitely worth wielding again.

Photo of hopsyum
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into tall glass from bottle.

a- Barely any head even when poured somewhat aggressively. Beautiful deep ruby red color when held up to the light, otherwise appears dark brown.

s- Smells good. Malts are very present, and accentuate the "scotch" smell. Sweet smelling.

t- Yummo! Thick and sweet, there is more carbonation than I would expect from such a heavy beer, but in this case it actually works to liven up the thickness. The malts are the most present flavor, with hints of stout-like coffee flavors. Somewhat bitter aftertaste, in a scotch-like fashion. Nice.

m- A lot going on here. This beer is thick and creamy and stays around for a while. It leaves a sticky residue in the mouth (that's what she said) that is sweet and bitter at the same time.

d- Undecided. I was somewhat full when I drank this beer, but although it tasted delicious, I can't tell how many I would be able to drink. It is thick and sweet and bitter, I dont know how long I would be able to drink it.

Photo of SteveS1
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Dark brown w/ruby coloring at the edges. Small tan head with a little retention.

Smell: Warm alcohol, grainy malts, sweet toffee

Taste: Sweet grains on the tip of the tongue and palate, warm peat and roasted coffee finish. Dry roasted aftertaste, not particularly bitter.

Feel: A bit round, with even carbonation

Drink: Very drinkable, but complex enough that you can enjoy sipping it.

Not as sweet as expected, certainly more on the bready side.

Photo of BB1313
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled on December 23, 2010. 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a dark brown with ruby hues. There's little head and lacing going on. Lots of malts and grains up front. I'm picking up hints of caramel, toffee, and a slight amount of chocolate. Once again, lots of malts and grains, maybe too much. Finishes with a minor warm burn. Mouthfeel is good, unfortunately it's the best thing going. Drinkability isn't the best, I found myself nursing it. It's not that this is a bad beer, just not interesting enough to keep my attention. At the end of the day, it's still well crafted.

Somewhat dissapointing, I always have high expectation from Great Divide, so I won't hold it against them. Still a beer I'm sure someone can really enjoy.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!)

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,210 ratings.