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Scarecrow Ale - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.
Scarecrow AleScarecrow Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
71
okay

245 Reviews
THE BROS
76
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 245
Hads: 467
rAvg: 3.05
pDev: 20%
Wants: 8
Gots: 41 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-20-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 245 | Hads: 467
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, honey, fruit, and grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, citrus, and herbal flavors on the finish. I am also getting a slight metallic taste as the beer warms up. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is drinkable but a bit boring in my opinion. (578 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: half finger head on a hazy golden body with excellent thick lacing.

S: pale and musty malts, orange peel, herbal hops and dirty socks.

T: pale malts, clean grains, herbal hops with provide mild bitterness.

M: light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Not sure how excited you can get over an English pale ale This one just doesnt seem to be memorable or make you appreciate the flavors and malt content you expect from english hopped beers plus this one seems to lack the hop flavors for the style. (519 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.21/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high white head that died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of fruity yeast—apples stand out in particular—are present in the nose along with some hints of floral hops.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the apple juice flavors subside a little as the beer warms up and there are also flavors of pale malts and slight hints of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink; I found it tastes better after it warms up and the fruity and apple juice flavors subside a little. (801 characters)

Photo of brentk56
2.69/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color, verging on golden; the head is rocky and, as it fades, leaves some clumps of foam behind

Smell: Slightly grainy, but not much else

Taste: Opens with a bready, somewhat toasty flavor with a hint of earthy hop arriving by mid-palate; after the swallow, the hop presence builds somewhat but the finish is grainy, with just a touch of butter diacetyl

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Truly forgettable; the best part of the beer is the label (514 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.8/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decent, but predictable beer. Typicall English in a very sweet, heavy malt kinda way. Held away from cloying by hop flavor (herbally). Hops show modestly in the aroma, but round out the flavor. Hops add very little bittering to the bigger malt base. Ripe fruits and a light vegetal flavor emerge near the finish. A little slick on the toung (buttery). It's worth drinking, but I'm getting bored with a lot of these English brews. Light, refreshing, but a little weak in the finish. Easy to drink, but tough to appreciate. (521 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.18/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml bottle, BB October 31, 2012 - how appropriate...

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium golden amber colour, with one fat finger of pocked foamy white head, which dissipates at a fair pace, leaving an undulating wave of painted lace around the circumference of the glass.

It smells of crackery, somewhat crisp pale grain, sweetened lemon, and leafy, perfumed floral hops. The taste is more grainy cereal malt, aged citrus peel, and increasingly acrid, frowsy leafy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is on the low side, timid, but not absent, the body supporting a struggling medium weight, hinting at wateriness here and there, and a bit too tacky to be deemed all that smooth. It finishes a tad off-dry, with the musty, almost flinty hops more distracting than equalizing.

Not a poorly-rendered EPA, but something just seems off - always hinting at an astringency, without fully delving into one. I got a little bored, a little too fast, is all I'm sayin'. (963 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.68/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich amber with a hint of orange juice. The bone white head is frothy and bubbly initially, then compresses over time to something more creamy and thick. An impressive amount of lace finds its way to the glass and adds to the quality look.

Thank you Wychwood for using brown glass bottles. Finally! I'm happy to report that there's no trace of skunk in the nose, not one little paw print. The beer smells both lightly musky and lightly citrusy. It's simple and clean, slightly favoring hops.

The flavor is more bold than expected. A barely acceptable pale malt backbone struggles to support the hop load. Thankfully, I can still taste its sweet, biscuitiness in each sip. I'm not overly enamored with the choice of hops. The flavor they provide isn't strictly floral, earthy, citrusy or herbal, but is a muddled combination of all four.

I continue to be impressed with the amount of flavor Scarecrow delivers, if not its depth. I'm a sucker for bold, hoppy beer and this one just barely falls into that category. The finish brings nothing new to the table, just the continuation of a better than average EPA. The mouthfeel is firm enough with a vigorous carbonation.

I intentionally stayed away from all Wychwood products (after Hobgoblin) until they jettisoned the clear glass in favor of brown. When protected from UV light, these guys brew decent beer. Scarecrow Ale, the North American name for Circle Master, may not be stupendous, but it's a worthwhile English pale ale and is a beer that I just might pick up again. (1,535 characters)

Photo of zeff80
2.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured out a very clear, pale gold color with a small, white head of foam that did not linger long, nor leave much lacing to speak of.

S - It smelled grassy and a little skunky (surprising because it is a brown bottle, not the clear one pictured here).

T - It was earthy and a little spicy with some sweet caramel malt. Mellow like most English ales but not as good.

M - It's never good when mouthfeel is your best quality, but this is crisp, sharp and dry. A light bodied ale that is easy drinking.

D - This is only an okay ale. It just doesn't taste that good. (570 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.21/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Its to bad I had to give this a bad rating,I love to get the hard to find English ales.Anyways this poured a sort of gold color with a light head that did leave some lacing,the aroma was a little skunky (damn clear bottles!) and musty.The taste was a little skunky as well but I did pick up some slight maltiness to it.I would like to try this on tap or in its home country Iam sure it would be better. (402 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely beautiful packaging! Stunning. Mettalic green cap... gold foil label... beautiful and interesting artwork... the whole deal! But the beer looks hazy in the clear glass bottle, and nowhere on the package does it say if it's bottle-conditioned or not. It does list it as being organic, which is a big bonus. Oddly enough, in the UK brown glass is used. As soon as the cap was pried up I could smell that it'd been skunked. Of course I'd expected that. (It goes by the name of Circle Master as well).

It poured a hazy golden-orange body beneath a frothy head of off-white. The head retention was very good, and it left some nice lace as it slowly dropped to a thin, but almost complete, surface covering. A little further on, the creamy surface covering moved away from the side of the glass I was sipping from (I'd had some greasy fries earlier), but it stayed full on the other side and left lace througout the remainder of the pint.

Sweetish grainy malt comes through in the nose, and what's left of it's mildy citrusy and floral hops (kind of like orange marmalade).

The body is medium with a dextrinous edge, and it's lightly crisp in the mouth with a moderate carbonation of around 2.4 volumes. The bubbles are quite fine, and I wonder if it is indeed bottle-conditioned.

There's a wonderful balance to this ale. It starts sweetish and fruity with a mild citrusy edge. The maltiness becomes apparent as it warms, revealing itself to be just lightly caramelish and bready; perhaps even a touch nutty. More floral and grassy hop flavors appear across the middle; and its solid bitterness leads it into a dry finish that lingers on the palate with a soft pepperiness.

Quite nice. Refreshing and satiating, but not over-filling or abusive to the palate - just a great session ale! Well worth trying. (1,824 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.34/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Cool 500ml bowling pin style bottle, sadly it is clear glass. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pale yellow golden colour with a great clarity, the head lacks a bit and is only a thin ring of white lace.

Smell: Herbal earthy hop aroma with hints of musty diacetyl, light malt also.

Taste: Crisp without a doubt, moderate body. Laid back maltiness, very uncomplicated and one dimensional. Lots of grain the tongue that flows with the somewhat brash hop bitterness. Mild fruitiness as well as some sweetish hop oil. A bit biscuity with a light sweet finish that holds on to a lingering hop flavour.

Notes: An all around ok pale ale, easy to drink but does not impress at all. Its lack of head and dull malt flavours made me a bit withdrawn from the brew. Not bad just lackluster. (800 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
2.2/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Kind of the same thing as the Dark English Ale (I tried them back to back). It drops off your palate pretty fast and you are left with virtually nothing after a very short flow of taste. Even the fact that it is a USDA Organic brew doesn't help at all with it. (260 characters)

Photo of smcolw
2.94/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Half-liter bottle. Pours golden and clear. Nice head, good lace.

Grainy aroma--some band-aid smells mixed in. Mostly malt, very little hop.

Very thin body with high carbonation. Strong hop flavors. This is the full picture, from sip to swallow to aftertaste. The flavor is better than the appearance or aroma would lead you to believe.

Unusual aroma/taste, they seem to contradict each other. The weak body dooms this brew. Oh, well. (442 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.28/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Okay. I like the shape of the bottle, very classy, but it's clear glass, not a great sign, and the beer's color doesn't appeal much, either. Well, let's crack it open anyway...
Appearance: clear and golden, nice enough, bubbly white head. Eh.
Aroma: doesn't hold promise, even from a foot away, but, here goes, bringing it to the nose...very odd. Vegetal, cooked cabbage, bit skunky. Not my cuppa.
Taste? Must I ...? Nothing on the palate, completely lackluster, just slides past the lips and down the throat without any pleasure left behing. A total dud! Nothing better than moist paper, lemon rind, cereal husks...English pale ale, eh? Certainly a paragon of pale, if it can attest to no other accomplishment.
$3.33 down the drain...skip this one (752 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden yellow with a thin, lasting head.

The smell is of sweet grainy malt with some underlying fruitiness.

The taste is of sweet breadiness with a hint of grassiness. Sweetness well-balanced by citrusy bitterness. Remains slightly more sweet than bitter. Not complex, but tasty, smooth, clean and refreshing.

This easy-drinking organic brew is a thirst-quencher with a refreshing dryness in the finish. It makes for a fine "session" ale. This was from a 550 ml bottle - I'd like to find 6-packs of this one. (523 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.13/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served from a bottle at City Beverage in Winston-Salem, NC

A: Pours a crystal clear golden honey in color with light amounts of visible carbonation and some faint orange highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy off-white head that reduces to a medium sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of a slightly sweet fruit malt with light notes of citrus/orange hops.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of slightly sweet malts with notes of light fruit (apple & pear). The solid malt backbone is followed by light flavors of citrus/orange hops that impart only a light amount of bitterness which fades quickly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly slick, almost buttery.

O: Tastes like a very traditional English ale, easy to drink. Definitely sessionable. (923 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head. The aroma is simple; pale malts and yeast. The taste is much the same; very plain, no malt character, bitter, and quite dry. The mouthfeel sucks. It's a light bodied beer, but the carbonation is way too low. This was a hard drink. One and done for me. (316 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.7/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As the summer progresses and I find myself with idle time on my hands, more and more beers are coming up from the cellar. I really want to make a dent in the backlog of bottles so that I may return to The CANQuest (TM).

From the bottle: "This beer is brewed from organically grown malt & hops without the use of chemical sprays or artificial fertilizer."

It was another gentle pour on my part so as not to stir up too much sediment. No head, but only simple wisps as a result. Color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Nose was quite malty, somewhat buttery with a light underlying grassiness. Mouthfeel was medium and it had a pleasant intermingling of grassy hops and a light sweetness on the tongue. Finish was semi-dry and fairly unobtrusive. (762 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.83/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First beer of another random tasting evening: brown 500ml bottle best before 30 Apr 2011, drank and reviewed 31 Jan 2011. Poured into an 'Abbot Ale' pint tankard. Chilled, as asked for on the rear label.

Looked fine, a good foaming white head sat on top of a bright golden/light amber body of clear beer.

Hop aroma, without being over the top, fruity and floral smells, not the citrusy, resiny hop smell produced by some aromatic hops.

Refreshing and sharp taste, good hop and malt mix, malts up front with a hop bitterness just under the surface waiting to be unleashed as the mouth dries.

Well balanced brew, nothing too strong, different, interesting or overpoweringly brilliant, but a good steady beer in my eyes. (721 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
2.68/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle, the beer is a golden color with a tinge of copper with minimal head that clung around the edges. The beer has a sour, malty smell to it. It has a strong sour taste for a pale, with typical matly flavors. The sourness trails through to the finish and the aftertaste, along with a bittersweet flavor at the tip of the tongue. This is one of my first English Pales, and there are some distinct differences between that and US Pales. I look forward to trying more to expand my palate, and then maybe coming back to review this again. (551 characters)

Photo of Zorro
2.3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear pale yellow-Orange brew.

Smell is sweet with malt and a wine like fruit and flowers smell.

Taste is malt with an almost salty flavor to it. Mild bitterness and flower flavors. Blah I don't really like the flavor of this.

Mouthfeel is thin.

Drinkable but not really good to drink. I can't recommend that you buy this stuff. (348 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Scarecrow is a lusterless golden colour with a fall foliage kind of tone. Although perfectly transparent it lacks that truly sunny disposition of a summer quencher and looks better suited to autumn temperatures. Its head is certainly no bale of hay but does leave behind straws of lacing.

You'd expect a brand marketed on the basis of being organic to smell cleaner and more wholesome than this; an aroma of stale corn kernels doesn't conjure pristine images of golden grain fields the way that scents of lightly sweet and soft, fresh-baked bread can. The total lack of hoppiness also robs the bouquet the possibility of any kind of 'green' qualities either.

When attempting to brew a clean, approachable pale ale the answer is not to tone down the flavour - it's to up the quality of the ingredients. This is the mistake so many producers make. People like the softly sweet, subtly biscuity flavours of barley malt - what they don't enjoy is a bitter and bloating form of mineral water. What's the point of drinking that?

Scarecrow, unfortunately, has more of the latter than the former. There's very little malt flavour except for the most raw, rudimentary taste of cereal grain. Hops are entirely absent though a light but crude bitterness concludes each sip. And the hard water minerals make the ale feel especially dense but don't add any redeeming flavour qualities.

Like a real-life scarecrow, this may take the shape and appearance of a beer but it's all hollow inside. If the people at Wychwood had a brain they'd ditch this offering and put their reasonably talented brewer to better use - then again this is the same company that brought us Ginger Beard and Forest Fruits so I wouldn't bank on it. (1,714 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a medium white head that leaves no lace. Despite reading other reviews that this was skunkiest brew on the planet, I got a good batch without a trace of skunkiness. Clear golden color with carbonation that gradually dies. Crisp clean finish after a hoppy/malt start. Light - medium bodied. (300 characters)

Photo of Evil_Pidde
2.42/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours amber with a rather small white head. Leaves very small lacings.

S: Loaded with butter in an artificial way. Sweet caramell malt, slightly roasted.

T: Sweet malt, but with an off-taste (artificial). Butter and bitter hops.

M: Aftertaste is ok, and holds bitterness. Body is medium and carbonation is mild.

D: I still haven't had an organic beer that was any good... The weakest part of this beer is the taste. (426 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
2.68/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 500ml bottle(room temp) medium gold with a fairly large head of foam that dissipated slowly, leaving a fine layer.

The smell when I opened the bottle had an initial air of skunkiness but that settled down quickly leaving a kind of malty nose with some nutty notes.

The taste has some malt up front but then, a rather citrusy hoppy bitter flavour moves in and it's a bit harsh on the tongue. The finish also has that harsh bitterness to it..hmm...maybe I'm not a fan of Target hops(as per label).

Bottom line: I like a lot of UK brews and appreciate the fact that they can make a flavourful beer with rather low abv %s but..this is one that I won't make a habit of buying. I'll blame the hops. :^( (719 characters)

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Scarecrow Ale from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
71 out of 100 based on 245 ratings.