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McEwan's No.1 Champion - The Caledonian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
McEwan's No.1 ChampionMcEwan's No.1 Champion

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63 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 1
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Caledonian Brewing Company visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bditty187 on 08-24-2003

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 | Reviews: 38
Photo of mjgittens
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rulisekmartin
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of interzen
4.51/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a nonic pint

Look: Dark chestnut brown, almost like a porter. Thin, bubbly tan head which recedes leaving some lacing round the side of the glass. Head recedes to a thin, clumpy foam cap.

Smell: Fruit and malts, almost like Christmas cake. There's also a hefty dose of alcohol in the smell but it's not unappealing by any means. Overall, a fairly rich and heady aroma.

Feel: Definitely a bit on the heavy side for prolonged drinking, but creamy and full nonetheless. Worth taking your time over - you're not going to be throwing this down your neck.

Taste: Fruity, malty and slightly medicinal with a honey sweet alcohol finish. The alcohol isn't overpowering by any means, but it's there and serves to add an extra dimension of interest to proceedings. Again, there's definitely a Christmas cake vibe here. Very nice indeed.

Overall: I grew up in the North-East of England and during the 70s and 80s McEwans was part of Scottish & Newcastle and therefore an almost ubiquitous presence in the pubs (usually in the form of McEwan's Best Scotch). 30-odd years down the line and things have changed beyond recognition - Champion is a bit too heavy and malty for a session beer, but it's a mightly tasty pint that's worth taking your time over. Hop-heads will no doubt look elsewhere, but there's a lovely, malty fruitiness here that's worthy of more than just a cursory glance. Recommended.

Photo of Malt_Man
3.64/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served cool from 500ml bottle into pint mug.

A) Dark reddish-brown chestnut, thin off-white film, a few small bubbles. Quite a bit of lacing on the glass.

S) Rich soft fruity malt and a fair bit of alcohol. Quite appealing.

T) Soft, warming malt, balanced with hint of hop bitterness. Honey-ish sweetness comes in later. Pretty good. The alcohol content does not overpower the flavours.

M) Pretty much ties in with the style. A pleasant drinking beer.

O) Big Scottish breweries don't have a good rep in England (tramp juice factories) but this is very nice and included in the 3 500ml bottles for £5 offer at Morrisons, so deriitely good value.

Photo of frontalot
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of MikeKSmith
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Deep and dark ruby colouration. Tight beige shaving cream foam head adorns the top of this beer. The head has amazing retention and leaves wonderful clumpy lace down the sides of the glass much like a stout would. There is ample CO2 streaming in the glass.

Smell - Burnt sugar sweet malt aroma, light prune sweet sticky caramel and light hop. Sweet spice almost cake like.

Taste - Again a beer that has a taste almost identical to the aroma. Burnt sugar and caramel, light prune, red wine and raisin like a Christmas cake. There is a very interesting boozy taste in the middle of the mouth like a good whisky and some mild but still present hop at the very back.

Mouthfeel - Warming boozy tingle that moves from the gum and cheek to the throat and lingers long after each mouthful. Creamy and full this beer is rather nice but a little to boozy for me personally.

Overall - Well balanced if a little sweet, a good example of the style this beer is a great ambassador for the Scottish Ale.

Photo of MaevaS
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Leeham991
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep, deep copper with a very thick head. At first very little aroma got through that thick head, but when it down down and started coming through it was what I can only describe as sweet and with a lot of spirit.
As for the taste it starts of very sweet, going along with a syrupy mouth feel. It dies down into a soft carbonated burn then off into an aftertaste of spirits. Very pleasant overall, soft and malty, a hint of hops.

Overall it is very pleasant. A very warming beer I would imagine would be perfect for winter evenings, and with a flavour which is strong, but not overpowering.

Photo of beerinabottle
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of endless1408
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of utfiero
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color- rich Spanish oak brown. Medium head.

Aroma- mild hops, caramel, roasted malt, hint of Christmas cake. An excellent strong Scotch ale! Starts with a mild roastiness, moves quickly to Christmas cake, raisins, and spices, finishing with a linger cake, fruit, and coffee roastiness. Beautiful experience. Poured from 500 ml bottle into a small drinking glass while in Huntly, Scotland. Procured from a local store in Huntly.

As a side note, the photo posted is out of date (or perhaps for export bottles).

Mfg website www.mcewans.co.uk

Photo of MisledTitan
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of mizx
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of SimonTHGolfer
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of WGO
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Photo of vauxhaulastra
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Brewer1980
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of vinicole
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of windypete
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of Miha
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of mick303
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a really large creamy off-white head. Colour is a dark ruddy brown. Shows nice retention and pretty good lacing.

Smell has a pleasant earthy roastiness, burnt sugar, cooked apples, a light earthy spice, some pleasant hop bitterness. A bit candy-like but also warming, not especially deep though.

Taste has a surge of coffee roastiness, then some burnt roasty character, bitter cocoa powder, coffee bean, heavy malt. A lot of residual sugar sweetness comes through in the mid-point, almost bubblegum like. Finishes dry, earthy, with spice and alcohol.

Mouthfeel is big, quite roasty and malty with quite a bit of boozy alcohol toward the end, moderate carbonation. Why am I left feeling like someone poured vodka into this beer?, more alcohol astringency on finish, dry bitterness.

The alcohol phenols on the finish seem a bit offensive and this suffers from balance issues in places. I did think the flavour was quite good at points, but it never seemed to balance and join together. It became hard to drink honestly, with the high strength they might have bitten off more than they can chew. The last time I had this I remember it being better, so much raw alcohol coming through. This is really bad on the end as it warms, no complexity and tastes increasingly like discount vodka, avoid.

Photo of coltsr2
4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark chestnut brown with a cream-coloured half inch head...aroma wise it was pure malt surrounded by sweet chestnuts and sultanas....
On the first taste its soon apparent that this is a quite a sweet and strong-ish, warming ale, mildly carbonated and full bodied, with toffee, fudge and caramel notes launching at you!....the lack of initial hopped bitterness to calm the sweetness down seems a bit odd at first, but then it eventually makes its slow appearance under all that sweet caramelised toffee apple exterior, subtle and subdued..but enough to make the overall experience a pleasant one...i find this beer a nice easy to drink sweet and strong ale, ideal for those cold winter nights in...and at 4 bottles for only £5 at my local asda its a real bargain too!...

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McEwan's No.1 Champion from The Caledonian Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.