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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

1,251 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,251
Reviews: 439
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 37
Gots: 106 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,251 | Reviews: 439 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of impending
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz into a tulip. Pours a dark cola, opaque in the glass. Nearly non existent head was fleeting, minor lacing.

Traditional scotch ale aroma but mild in all respects.

Taste too is traditional. Minor sweetness, dehydrated dark fruits. The peat is barely singed but fine none the less. Bitter is nearly non existent. Long lasting pleasant aftertaste. Light to medium bodied creamy mouthfeel.

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

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled 02-10-11. Pours clear dark reddish brown color with a fairly dense 1 finger light tan head with decent retention, that reduces to a lacing ring. Some decent lacing left on the glass. Aromas of dark fruits, molasses, caramel, spices, and a bit of chocolate, coffee, and smoke in the background. Nice complex aromas here with great balance. Taste of big caramel, chocolate, molasses, and roasted flavor in the front; that leads to smokiness, a bit of dark fruits, and a bit of booziness in the back. A small amount of bitterness is noticed in the back on the finish as well. Notes of caramel, molasses, and roasted flavors linger for a short period after the finish. Surprisingly smooth and creamy body that drinks easily for the alcohol level. Medium carbonation and medium-full body. Fairly strong alcohol warming after the finish, with very little noticed in the taste. Overall a great Wee Heavy ale, probably the best one I have had yet.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a BrewDog cervoise glass. Bottled on 13 May 2011.

A: Very dark, with a brief but tight head. Impenetrable to light and almost black. Scattered lacing.

S: Roasted malts. A bit sweet, but not very interesting. EDIT: Later bottles had a more much pronounced smokiness, almost exactly like dried barley malt.

T: Malty-sweet mainbody carries the taste to its more bitter conclusion, with a touch of coffee and hops leading into a lingering bittersweet aftertaste.

M: Substantial and smooth. Pleasant. Lightly drying after a while.

O: Very drinkable and very tasty. Great Divide does it again. I enjoyed this wee heavy and would recommend it, even if it's not on the top of my To Have Again Soon list.

Photo of claytong
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - small head on a controlled pour, dark, almost opaque, amber edges for otherwise what looks like a brown caramel

smell - roasted malts, coffee

taste - taste is the same with coffee, some alcohol but barely noticeable

mouthfeel - very smooth, very drinkable, at almost 8 percent its a strong one for a 6 pack, i enjoyed it and could see myself getting some more of these

Photo of hoptualBrew
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured a deadly deep dark brown borderline black color into snifter. Only way I saw through this one was holding the snifter up to the direct light. Nice tan cream head 2 finger widths with an aggressive pour. Falls down pretty quickly.

Smells of sweet dark toasted flamed malts with caramel & alcohol clearly present in the nose. The alcohol reacts to give it a coolness even though I am drinking this at about 50 degrees.

Starts off caramelized mouthfeel with an almost toffee like component transitioning into a heavy malty sweetness midtaste. Aftertaste is a little burn to the back of the tongue and throat with the alcohol seemingly warming me. Not as full bodied as I was expecting, but definitely mixes well with the stlye. Medium body on this one & less alcohol end-bite than I had expected.

Bought this one in mixed 6pack 1/2 Claymore, 1/2 Colette for $12. Definitely worth a try. Great Divide never fails to put out solid brews!

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Super night train cola brown coloring with more than a few dollops of cream of bubbles on top, some nice shoe laces down the glass :)

Cocoa, and malts hit the nose along with some light coffee

Wee forward, m-80 of malts, lightly salted soft movie pretzel. Not too deep yet quite tasty

Medium body, creamy and smooth. Floats on the tongue like a cloud and no real burn for almost 8% booze is kind of nice

Overall a semi mild scotch ale, with the right flavors, creamy and easy down. Not bad decently priced at 10 bones a sixer

Photo of techfed87
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reasonable-sized head. Color is a bit darker than what I would expect from a Wee Heavy. Smell is pretty malty.

First sip confirms the smell. This beer is probably one of the better examples of what I would expect from a Scotch Ale. Lots of malt up front, very drinkable, light aftertaste. Mouthfeel is moderate overall, which also leads to the overall quality of the beer.

A very nice scotch ale.

Photo of mactrail
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich malty ale with a touch of smoke.

Attractive dark amber in the tulip glass with a handsome head. Carbonation is quite pleasant and gives a good jolt in the mouth. Interesting mix of watery gulpability with a lot of sweet malt. Seems to steer a well balanced course through the checklist of flavors. Ends with a hint of bitterness.

One of my top favorite Scotch Ales for interest as well as drinkability.

Photo of OrangeAmps
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap in Fall River, MA

poured into a pint glass.

the beer is reddish black, and the head is a one finger type deal that is dark white. The lacing is pretty nice to look at, and the head stays for a while.

the aroma is very malty and sweet, with some slight vanilla in there. And the smell of booze is also apparent.

the initial taste is all malts, and then mid way through, the malts turn to smoky dark fruits, and ends with a slight alcohol burn at the end (emphasis on slight).

This is a pretty good beer, and good for the style!

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark black color with just a hint of red around the edges with a finger of off whit head. The head fades slowly to a ring around the glass leaving behind some nice lacing in the process.

S - Aroma is filled with rich toasted caramel malts with some vanilla. There is also some earthiness and has a touch of dark fruit.

T - Starts off with rich toasted caramel malt flavor and some vanilla. There is also a bit of smoke mixed in. Through the middle, some earthiness and a touch of sweet dark fruit jumps in. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel malts and some vanilla and oak flavor that lingers nicely.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Really rich flavors. It avoids hitting the palate too hard while still having strong flavors. Even feels a touch crisp.

D - Very drinkable. Rich and balanced flavors. Really like the semi-clean finish. The slightly higher than average 7.7% abv is pretty much undetectable. Super smooth beer for how rich the flavors are.

Photo of stercomm
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A -Dark ruby/brown with a slight tan head which dissipates quickly, very little lacing on the sides.

S - Loads of sweet carmel, with the slightest bit of smoke.

T - Malty carmel with a hint of chocolate and some smoked bacon.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Not a bad brew, is fairly rich in taste.

Photo of haazer
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, bottled on 2/10/2009. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours about 1 finger of dark tan head, fairly bubbly but dissapates down to a thin ring rather quickly. Brew is some of the darkest brown you'd ever see, not quite black. Bit of ruby accents on the outskirts. Some of the foam from the small ring stays on the sides.

S- Aroma has a strong caramel malt profile. Tiny bit of smokiness. A nice blend of vanilla and small amount of heat.

T- Flavor is better and not as disguised as the aroma. Sweet dark chocolate starts on the palatte. The caramel malts linger in the background but are not prominent like the nose. A faint hint of vanilla leads into the ending flavor of a smooth bourbon. Very tasty.

M- The mouth is medium bodied, and the mid range 7.7% abv adds some warming effects. Very smooth and somewhat easy drinking.

O- This being only my second in this style probably fell slightly short to Founders Backwoods Bastard. Good brew though and definitely another solid offering from Great Divide. I don't think they can brew wrong.

Photo of sendsilk
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just tried tonight for the first time. A very nice example of the category.

A- Nice and dark
S- Solid! Malty and slightly sweet smell, pretty nice.
T- Very good. Smooth and easy drinking.
M- Creamy and thick, once again, nice

O- Although not my favorite category, I would gladly have another one of these.

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

- from the notes
12 ounce bottles
A - straight up black with little foam.
S - nothing really jumps out.
T - I get sweet smooth malts.
M - light carbonation and a heavy consistency.
D - a sipper for me but certainly a good one. Gets better when it's warmer.

Photo of secondtooth
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost black, with a light head of tan bubbles. Very minor hint of lace.

Aroma says "Malty", with a capital "M". Fruity esters, alcohol.

Flavor is quite strong and bold. Wee heavy, indeed! I get more of the fruit, and some raisin undercurrents. Some whiskey woodiness, too.

Definitely a sipper. And although the ABV is relatively modest (7.7%), this one seems stronger somehow. Solid, and a good choice for the style.

Photo of mattkoon
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

smells of creamy chocolate- I have to say the look of this beer is fierce. It pours near black with almost no head. It looks like a beast. The taste however is shockingly smooth. The taste is very creamy, smooth and has a rich sweetness. I was very surprised. I have really started to like the beers from great divide.

Photo of Holland
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: very dark with little if any light showing through, even along the edges. I poured it when it was about 45 degrees, so there was very little head. Lacing kept throughout the glass though.

S: toasted grain, caramel, toffee, and some earthy tones

T: very earthy, but I can't detect the peat. Some butterscotch - it's a bit sweeter than I thought.

M: Medium body, lightly carbonated (again, could be the temperature, though I've had it before), and leaves an earthy finish. This is a smooth scotch ale.

O: I like scotch ales, and I like Great Divide. Somehow this one doesn't work out as well as I thought it would. Try Founders or Oskar Blues or Dark Horse for a better scotch ale.

Photo of TheSarge
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours good with a fizzie yet somewhat sticky tan cranium. The body is dark ruby red in color and is cleanly filtered.

The aroma is figgy and perhaps raison as well. The metallic hops give it a copper kind of smell like a roll of pennies.

The taste is rich with caramel, cola, fig, vanilla, and an herbal finish. Oh there is a peaty smokiness to this as well.

Feels very full in body, moderately carbonated, a tad creamy, and barely warm in the end. This is about the best Scotch Ale I've had as of yet.

Photo of thebrood1987
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I only gave it a 4 in appearance because the head disappears quickly. It pours nice and black and looks like a stout. It does smell delicious though with thick malts and caramel and maybe some spicyness from the hops. The taste is even better with an extremely smooth thick sweet malt taste that reminds me of caramel that is roasted some. As you drink the beer more and more you get the earthy hop on the back of the tongue and I'm happy its there even though its subtle and comes in the taste real quick.

It reminds me of a less hoppier Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale that isn't dry. Actually that's how I can explain this beer the best. Even though I like Dogfish Head's IBA better because it has more of that earthy hop that tastes real delicious with the scotch ale caramel creaminess this beer still has all those qualities too and its delicious. This is a quiet sleeper of Great Divide. It's a beer that shoudl definitely get some more attention because its great one.

Photo of Reaper16
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served on-tap @Egan's, Tuscaloosa, AL, into a pint glass

Pours a dark, dark brown like the pots of coffee that grizzled auto mechanics make in the morning. It has something of a bluesteel tint to it; that's how dark this beer is. I'm not sure that I've had a Scotch Ale or a Wee Heavy as dark as this one. The bartender gave me absolutely zero head, so I can't comment on the head or the lacing (and as such, won't factor their absence into my score).

The first thing that came to mind when I smell Claymore is "balance." It smells every bit like a beer that knows what it is and is confident with itself. Sure, its nearly entirely malt-driven, but no one malt aroma stands out as dominant. The caramel is balanced with the coffee grinds which is balanced with the toasted almond which is balanced by the tobacco leaf which is balanced by the black tea. Yes, the leafy flavors are indicative of an actual hop presence. The only thing I can find fault with in the nose is a lack of intensity in those aromas, and in a slight alcohol presence.

The taste follows the nose very closely. Lots of nutty malt flavors -- almond, something approximating pecan -- along with some more herbal/leafy hop flavors. I pick up on some very slight vanilla; feint ghosts of vanilla, really. The alcohol lends some peppery sweetness. It's strange to me how big a role the alcohol plays on the palate. The alcohol presence made me think this beer was approaching 9% ABV, but it's actually slightly more than a full percentage point lower than that (7.7%). That alcohol presence works to undo some of the subtlety that the otherwise-balanced flavor profile achieves. But be aware that I am nitpicking, looking for a reason to score or not score this beer a 4.5 in the style. I love the balance, but the alcohol hurts it just a bit.

The alcohol makes you think that the beer should be a bit heavier in terms of mouthfeel. It's nicely medium-bodied, and would be suitable for much of the flavor profile. But that pesky alcohol is here and unaccounted for and makes the beer seem more watery than it actually is.

Overall, this is one of the finer examples of the Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy style that I've come across. If Great Divide could figure out how to keep the alcohol in check then the smell and taste scores for me would go up to 4.5 and the mouthfeel perhaps too, and this would be nearly an A+ beer for the style. There's a lot of potential in this beer. I might have to pick up a six-pack and see if the alcohol is more subdued in the bottle.

Photo of beer4colin
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pour is a deep dark opaque with a light head.

S - nice roast with the good roast with a good smokiness.

T - taste is what A Wee Heavy is all about. And Great Divide delivers a head shot with Claymore. This is a beautiful blend of chocolate and coffee, with a nice brown sugar finish. Alcohol is very understated but, by style, is definitely there, very nicely balanced.

D - I could easily see this as my Friday nighter. Then off to bed!

Photo of rawfish
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours incredibly dark for the style, nearly opaque dark brown with garnet highlights that travel halfway up the glass. Half finger parchment colored head with little retention and leaves spotty lacing on the glass.

Noticeable sweetness a little syrupy edge lingers over roasted malt and a hybrid coffee and hot chocolate aroma. Slight fruity esters on the back end, banana and ripe black plums.

Malt dominant, good balance of coffee flavor, dark chocolate and touches of sweetness. Rounds off with drying bitterness, though hop flavor is not evident it is felt, along with a second wave of coffee flavor and campfire wood. Rich flavor, malts nearly as bold as a porter.

Prickly carbonation, medium bodied with a mouth feel that degenerates from slick and easy to slightly sticky as the beer warms

Great example of a wee heavy, bold malts balanced just enough by the hops and smokiness. Recommended.

Photo of Franz4
2.95/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- pours dark brown, almost black, and nearly opaque but just a touch of light coming through the pint glass.

S- some smokiness and a touch of a chocolate roastiness in it. Smokiness seems to come from some peat.

T- Smokiness comes through in the taste as the dominant flavor, not much else is noticeable. I expected more malts flavors.

M- seems a little thin, almost no carbonation.

O- Well, this wasn't quite what I was expecting. I've enjoyed different smoke beers in the past, and this seems to be the dominant piece of this beer, but it just doesn't quite pull it off. If I'm looking for a scotch ale I'll go elsewhere, as this is just average.

Photo of gfreed
1.68/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I know jack about beer brewing. I think I do know something about Scotch ale, however. This one is... well, it's one of the worst I've had. Bad Scotch ales taste like over-boiled peas and beans. This one tastes like that *plus* wet dog fur. Or maybe it's wet cat fur. Or a wet wool coat that hasn't been cleaned in three seasons and could really, really use a good cleaning RIGHT NOW. In any case, this is one Scotch ale to avoid. I had a headache before I even finished the bottle. If you want a good American SA, head to the aisle that holds Founders Dirty Bastard. Better still, head to the aisle with the Orkney Skull Splitter.

Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$1.79 at Beertopia

Continuing St. Patrick's Day I went for the beer my wife picked out at the store. Good eye, hun.

It's a very dark red with just a hint of light at the edges of my perfect pour glass. The aroma is malty with a bit of spice lit cinnamon. The taste is nicely malted, sweet with a touch of spice and caramel. The body seems just a tad thin. The finish is a bit on the dry side. It's a good example of the style and worth a repeat bottle or 6.

Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,251 ratings.