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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

463 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 463
Hads: 1,363
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 20.21%
Wants: 49
Gots: 175 | 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: 463 | Hads: 1,363
Photo of IronCitySteve
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown color with some rich amber hues. Provides a small off white foam head that dissipates. There is some very spotty small amounts of lacing.

S: Big malt character up front. Dark fruit, caramel, roasted malt and some chocolate.

T: This beer has a full malty character, lots of caramel and dark fruit. It is sweet but not overly sweet. There is some chocolate undertones as well.

M: Leaves a sweet creamy mouth feel. Sufficient carbonation.

D: This is a great Scotch Ale, despite a higher ABV it is easy to drink. Not overly sweet. Highly recommended.

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Photo of rowew
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, dark green label. I do love the latest round of Great Divide labels. Bottled on date and ABV are clearly marked.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with a ruby color around the edges, nice sized tan colored head with average retention.

Smell: Roasted malt, just a bit of caramel and a hint of smoke. A bit of spicy hops as it warms a bit.

Taste: Medium mouthfeel, the caramel flavors come through big, with the roasted being a bit more subtle.

Overall impression: This one is surprisingly drinkable given the ABV, another good offering from Great Divide.

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Photo of udubdawg
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This sort of dark reddish brown color might be my favorite color in a beer. Just fantastic, and helps the "rich" impression. Tan head quickly fades from a finely bubbled creamy cap to a thin ring, leaving a bit of lace behind.

Rich aroma, bit of roast coming out first then plenty of toast before more earthy notes - very fresh smelling. Caramelized sugars are there but perhaps less than in some other examples. Spot on. Not really getting fruit here.

Caramel and mild fruit flavors make more of an appearance in the flavor, but this remains a toasty malt bomb. Not sure if the earthy notes are entirely from the malt or whether the hops have contributed a fair amount, but bitterness is low and does not balance the hefty malt. It is sweet but not overly so. All in all an excellent example of the style. I think the smoke in many is overdone and needs to be faint if even present at all. This beer succeeds in that regard. I prefer the earthy tone set early and often in this beer.

Carbonation is a bit prickly so I wait to finish the glass. Body is only medium, and I'd actually like more alcohol feel/flavor here to balance all the sweet malt, but there is little to quibble with here. For a sipping style, this is remarkably drinkable.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of ScottyC
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
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

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Photo of leantom
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Actually quite good - much better than I expected. Here goes:

A: The only mediocre aspect of the beer. Pours black with a reddish hue - almost exactly like Coke.. Besides the body, the head also leaves something to be desired. The lacing is good, however.

S: Very fruity and sweet-smelling qualities. Lots of dark fruit in the scent. Also a notable sourdough yeast profile. Good.

T: Very good. Darkly-kilned malt imparts flavors resembling lots of sweet, dark fruit. There's definitely a substantial amount of caramel and toffee in the flavor profile, too. Bready, fruity yeast is also apparent.

F: Very sweet and thick. Great.

O: A very good beer by Great Divide. Would have again.

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Photo of takusan1000
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drunk from a bottle conditioned for 8 months after bottle date.

The darkest of ruby colors--looks black unless you hold it to the sunlight--and a very light lacing around the edges, head subsides quickly. Initial syrupy malt sweetness on first taste that transitions quickly to caramel, butterscotch, saffron, and honey. Light fuggle-like hops do little for the slab of sweet classic wee heavy taste. Not cloying, but be ready.

Mouthfeel and smell are the most lacking attributes. Light carbonation gives decent heft to a medium body. Not much to smell besides basic sweetness. Since I'm pretty congested, though, I am giving it the benefit of the doubt with a 3.5

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle I received in trade from dwennis into a standard pint glass. It has a very dark ruby color with a thick, creamy off-white head. There is a bit of lacing, but it is in clumps, not uniform around the glass. I can smell sweet malts and alcohol that is reminiscent of a mild bourbon. There is some hop in the taste, but ot is not bitter. There is also some mellow caramel sweetness that is quite tasty. You can also taste some alcohol at the end, which provides some warmth. Very nice, like a good port or bourbon. This is a rich, creamy beer. It has a full-bodied mouthfeel and provides some warmth as it goes down. I'm drinking it a bit above cellar temperature, and it is near perfect. I don't think I could drink it all night because it is so strong and rich, but I could certainly drink a few of these beers. My overall opinion is that it is an excellent beer and worth seeking out.

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Photo of donteatpoop
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice dark brew with a thick creamy head, it is a dark chestnut color that is nearly black; clear enough when held up to the light.

Smell is caramel malts and burnt coffee.

The taste is excellent. I wasn't sure what to think of it at first as I am still relatively unfamiliar with the style, it was much sweeter than I anticipated. Great taste though, the sweet caramel flavors play off of the burnt coffee and tosty malt flavors really well.

Nice thick mouthfeel, goes down deceptively smooth.

Excellent beer. Great Divide is fast becoming a preferred brewer in my fridge.

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Photo of hopsyum
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Moderate pour into a chalice yields three-finger fading head over a nearly-opaque dark mahogany body. Lots of lacing.

Smell is good and rich, dark fruits, sour mash, leather, light cherry tobacco smoke. Lovely aroma -- hope it tastes this good!

Taste does not disappoint, and follows the aroma to a "T." The smokiness is not pronounced, but certainly present and pervasive, though subtle.

Mouthfeel is a bit of a disappointment. I was hoping for something a bit more palate-coating.

Good drinkability for a Wee Heavy. I could handle two or three of these, although the 7.7% might sneak up on me -- it's entirely hidden in the taste.

Good beer, and one I will certainly look for again as the weather turns this fall.

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Photo of Rasolante1
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured very dark brown. Verging on porter country in color.

S: Super roasty up front. Like smelling a bag of fresh crushed roasted barley. Alcohol, tootsie roll, and sweet malt aromas. Reminds me of fresh stout wort.

T: Chocolate roast upfront in the taste. Very malty and brownieie. Smokey, almost candy like. Very complex. Love this beer!

M: Chewy. Chewy. Chewy. Carbonation level could be a cunt hair lower but quite enjoyable.

O: I am quite impressed with this scotch ale. It is extremely complex without being overly boozie.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.26/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 12oz Tumbler

Appearance - Pours a Black/Dark Brown color and really not much else. Pours a brownish 2 finger head

Smell - Has a very strong butterscotch and vanilla scent with some caramel and scotch. There are some hints of malts, but it's very minor. Kind of reminds me of Bailey's Irish.

Taste - True to it's word of "Scotch Ale", it tastes like scotch but in a good way.Rich and Strong toffee and butterscotch flavors with a chocolate aftertaste and some malt notes, but not like you'd find in a porter.

Mouthfeel - This is actually a very light bodied beer, despite it's darkness. And it also fairly smooth and easy to drink as well. Carbonation is also very minor which helps!

Overall - While it may look like your average stout/porter, there's an excellent beer waiting underneath that seemingly ordinary appearance. This is my first scotch ale I've ever had and I loved it; I would highly recommend checking this out!

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drinking a 12 oz. bottle from a thistle glass.
A: Bright dark chestnut under a 3” pillowy, finely bubbled foam collar that hugs the side of the glass.
S: Malt, spicy grains, kettle sugars.
T: Big rich malt flavors and kettle sugars support spicy, grainy malt flavors.
A very light hop touch.
F: Clean and smooth with a big body and below average carbonation.
O:A pleasant drinking wee heavy.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not your typical Wee Heavy but sort of a hybrid stout/wee heavy. Lots of roasty notes and smoke. Not as much caramel or vanilla. Still very solid beer and enjoyable.

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Photo of grub
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled sept 4/09.

pours deep dark red-brown, nearly opaque, with a small dense light brown head. the head drops slowly and leaves plenty of spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. tons of malt. rich caramel and toffee. bit of butterscotch. multi-grain and rye bread. biscuit. bit of cracker. light smoke. bit earthy and woody too. light alcohol. a bit fruity.

taste is good. a bit more smoke than in the aroma. still tons of malt. caramel and toffee. multi-grain bread and biscuit. lightly warming alcohol. a bit earthy and woody again. low bitterness level. hint of chocolate.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. slightly below medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. good balance. great depth and complexity. this is one tasty scotch ale!

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Photo of aubuc1
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle dated June 17, 2010

Pours a clear dark brown with a nice light tan head.

Smell is an earthy, wheat bread, and some light caramel.

Taste is a tobaccoish, light roast, and some light hop to keep it dry. Slight twinge of alcohol, but not hot. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is a little thin.

Highly drinkable beer.

A top for the style.

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Photo of Gyle41386
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown, nearly black, with reddish tint when held to light. Small tan head. Not much lacing.

Very malty aroma. Nice roast quality, as well as some sweet caramel and chocolate. Hints of dark fruits in the background.

Rich flavor. Pretty much follows the nose, although the roast isn't as prominent, and there's some minor hop bitterness. Great balance. Dry finish.

Very smooth drinker. Body is on the heavier side of medium. Very creamy. Really good stuff, which is the norm from Great Divide.

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Photo of biophiliadude
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to pint.

A: Black bubbling up to tan head. Layers of lacing that sticks to the glass.

S: waffles

T: Malty biscuit.

S: Smooth that turns into bubbly coffee.

D: Wee heavy Scotch Ales make cold winter nights more bearable. This is a great one. I can always do with more malt, but very satisfied and will have this again, usually look for 10+ abv. Recommend!

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Photo of farrago
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of xjapanhomebrewx
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A-poured into pilsener glass with two fingers of chocolate colored head. body was dark, stout-like, with a lighter transparent tea-like appearance at the bottom of the glass

S-smells of chocolate and roasted malts. sweet toffeeness as well as a bit of rasberry in the nose. chocolate donuts?

T-full of dark breads and grain. very malty in and out. slight skin of a plum bit in there as well. there is a husk or hull vibe as well. must be from the dark grains? reminded me of a nice fat slice of pumpernickel.

M-thick and chewy. just lovely.

D-one more please!

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Photo of beer4colin
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
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!

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Photo of car2052
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to pint glass.
Beer has been aged 6 months.
A: Chocolate Brown, with dark red hues. Small 1/2 in. dark tan head.
S: Coffee, Brown bread, Cereal, Root beer.
T: A sweet, roasty malt character with some zing that leads to a nice coffee aftertaste.
M: Medium-full.
O: Get through the beginning sweetness to some nice flavor notes.

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Photo of soccerman7
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my ommegang goblet.

A - Very deep brown with a finger of tan head. Red in color on the edges.

S - Toasty and malty. Baked breads and sweetness. a faint note of caramel.

T - Very nice. A balance of toast and caramel sweetness. A nice body that has minimal hop presence as the style should be. An oak like note towards the end.

M - Very good. Minimal carbonation gives a creaminess on the mouth. Not overly coating with a touch of dryness.

D - An excellent example of the style and not over the top. A great beer to enjoy on a cool fall or spring day.

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Photo of iSip
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great Divide Claymore Scotch Ale “Wee Heavy”: I have finished a long cycle of tasting IPA’s, which was great fun. Switching gears, I am now sampling darker fare, porters and stouts. The Great Divide Claymore Scotch Ale is a great find. The body is black, and the tan head fades quickly. No matter, the aroma is wonderful. You cannot miss the roasted malt and wisps of smoke that linger above the glass. The Scotch Ale is very smooth on the palate with an even malt flavor throughout, and the long pleasing aftertaste make for a great sipping experience. Nothing bitter, acidic or unpleasant here. Highly recommended if you are in the mood for an easy going dark ale. Great Divide has a number of off the beaten path offerings that are really good, and the Claymore Scotch Ale is another.

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Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 463 ratings.