Deuchars IPA | The Caledonian Brewing Company

very good
114 Reviews
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Deuchars IPADeuchars IPA

Brewed by:
The Caledonian Brewing Company
United Kingdom (Scotland) | website

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
4.4% ABV in bottles and 3.8% in cask.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-28-2001

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Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 199
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An IPA in the American style. Big hops in the bottle. Fresh at the LCBO. Chinook citrus smell. Bit bitter side, but easy drink. Wheat for fruit? Peat moss grassy. Tad metallic. Are they foolin' with the recipe? Pine, limes? Very decent, session ale.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a golden colored ale with a small head with minimum retention. Aroma is mostly comprised of floral malts with limited sweetness. Taste is lightly hoppier then your average English pale ale and a bit dry at the end. Overall, very refreshing but I feel again that this would be way better served fresh on cask…

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Photo of biboergosum
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wonder how the Scots like having their IPA categorized as "English"... and for we New Worlders, "Dookers" it is...on the can, they have no lack of confidence in their assertion of the taste bud-satisfying qualities of their brew, so let's put that to the test...

This beer pours a clear medium straw colour, with a couple of fingers of thick, foamy white head, which leaves some random lace around the glass. It smells of biscuit malt and light citrus hops. The taste is crisp bready, biscuity malt, lemon, sour apple, and herbal, grassy hops, that seem to increase towards the finish. The carbonation is moderate, the body fairly light, and a bit slick, and the finish is dry, the mild citrus and earthy hoppiness maintaining its strength to the end.

As far as UK-produced IPAs go, this is surprising vibrant - smooth flavours, balanced hops and grain - I'd gladly have this one again.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes. Served on draught in Glasgow, Scotland.

A: Crazy cloudy, like a swarm of locusts in the middle of the beer. Pale gold colour. Appealing. Thick head.

Sm: Bitter hops. Malt. Standard IPA scent.

T: Clean barley open, hoppy simple body, fresh finish - almost citric.

Mf: Something's off. More dense than it ought to be. Sme nice coarseness at times, but overall too smooth - especially for the style.

Dr: IPA fanatics might love it, but the mouthfeel brings this beer down severely. Doesn't hide its abv (which is quite modest in fairness) well at all. Not a good session beer. Move right past this one, lads, and grab something more worthwhile.

Low C

09/09/15: 2nd impressions from a bottle in Edinburgh:

Pretty subpar for an IPA, but highly drinkable, and respectable disregarding style conventions.


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Photo of nickfl
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A copper-gold body with good clarity, topped by a white head of foam. The head exhibits poor retention, but leaves decent lace.

S - An aroma of bready malt with light caramel. Some herbal hops in the background with a hint a fruity yeast.

T - Bready malt up front with a light, herbal hop note. More toasted grain character in the middle with more musty hops. Finishes with light malt and a moderate hop flavor with fairly strong, mineral bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderately low carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A nice IPA with a more herbal that musty character. There is a nice mineral quality to the bitterness that reinforces the hop qualities and works nicely with the malt. Not too bad for a relatively inexpensive, canned IPA.

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Photo of Jason
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served @ NERAX 2004 in a pint a glass.

Sunrise golden orange color, mild haze and a thin lace to boot. Tons of delicate hop oil aroma and flavor, suggestions of ripe pear and golden raisin come to mind. Light dough malt in the back with a mild bitterness to balance ... there seems to be more hop flavor than bitterness is provides a perfect base for such a tasty brew. Certainly not an IPA by any means ... regardless this is a great cask ale.

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Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Impressively looking beer--thick, tight head that lasted throughout the tasting, leaving a blanket of lace as well as a chunkier ring after each sip. The beer is a deep gold color and is clear.

Creamy aroma of soft, pale grain. For the style, I felt the hop was far too mild.

Before I knew the style, I wrote "this beer seems to be a British Bitter". It is NOT an IPA. The hop is far too muted to qualify and the advertised abv of 3.8% is far too low. Still, I would say it is a good bitter--full bodied with a low carbonation.

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Photo of jwc215
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cask in London:

Pours slightly golden with a thin white head. Patchy lacing sticks.

The smell is herbal and lemony. Mildly tart and bitter.

The taste is of a mild malt sweetness with a lemon tartness and a minty, herbal tea-like bitterness. Pretty complex in a more subtle way. Well-balanced.

Light-bodied for an IPA, though a refreshing dryness lingers.

Very drinkable. An IPA by hop character more than strength or body. A very good choice for a "sessionable" English IPA.

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

Two hand pulled pints in the excellent 'Queens Head' a small locals pub very close to Gretna Green in Scotland (9th June 2012).

Fresh and well kept: pale with a good full, staying head.

The aroma was all about hops and their smells: piney, citrusy, this was a fine smelling beer if you like your hops.

The taste also had a hop front, side and back: not overly so, but it just seems right. A lovely couple of pints and although I've not rated/reviewed this in cask form before it is in fact a beer I often drink when in the UK, be it in England or Scotland.

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Photo of Tone
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of earthy malt, slight sweet malt, hint of yeast, and citrus hops. Fits the style of an English IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with low carbonation. Tastes of earthy malt, slight pale malt, hint of sweet malt, and citrus hops. Overall, good appearance, feel, and blend.

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Photo of biegaman
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Honeycomb plastered in the sticky smear of golden toffee. There is some radiance, some resplendence and an impeccable clarity. Its bubbles seem to be loafing but make repeated appearances nonetheless. Its head is well spaced out, segregated to the outskirts where it is elevated hardly a quarter inch from the surface. Lacing is noted but not abundant.

The aroma is hoppy but not in the now conventional sense. It is pungent and inordinately herbal. It is leafy green with a very vinous quality. It is fragrantly floral with an underlying spice; very similar to what you find in teas such as chamomile, lavender or jasmine, with which it shares a particular affinity. There's more hops than I've become accustom to expecting from anything exported out of the United Kingdom.

Those hops find their way into the taste as well. (It's not IPA level hops but it's welcomed.) They impart a distinctively fruity persona, again not in the conventional sense, the one that touts bright and vivid tropical fruits oozing with resins and acidity, but in a dry, pithy sort of way. The taste of grapefruit skin and pomegranate peel combine with lemon and citrus zest for an arid and bitter (rather than vibrant and juicy) fruitiness.

And although all this pithy dryness and rind-like vinous character carries over into the mouthfeel, the beer never dries out. Its malt base is hefty, crisply toasted with a sweet honey-milk lather and subtle hints of maple, toffee and roasted pecans. The sweetness and bitterness play out well together, simultaneously appeasing both those parts of the palate.

The side of the can lists this as "2.2 UK Alcohol Units" and that "Responsible drinkers don't exceed 4 daily units". At least that almost allows me another can of Deuchars, which I am just about ready for. Let me go on record as saying this: this beer is better in bottle, and it must be a dream on cask, but it is so good that (unlike most other UK offerings) even the dreaded pasteurized, preservative ridden can can't ruin it.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a white head that stays and leaves some lace. Nose has a hint of skunkiness maybe it's the clear bottle - it's best buy date is Nov 03. Clear orange color, little carbonation, hoppy as it should be but not overpowering with hints of malt coming through. The ABV is 4.4%.

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Photo of wl0307
4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Transcribed from Notes, mid-Feb. 2006)
Revisiting the cask-conditioned version of this beer, when I spotted it fresh on cask at my local JDW pub, the Half Moon, East End London. Tasted by a pint.

A: flawless appearance--pale amber, low carbonation, great clarity, an extremely creamy, cappuccino-like off-white froth sustains only too well, leaving thick sheets of lacing covering every single inch on the inner walls of the glass... A sheer beauty~~
S: lightly spicy and floral hoppyness, as well as citric-like grapefruit zests and bits, plus a touch of honey drink and softly flowery esters in the background. Balanced, and aromatic.
T: green-tea flavoured and textured... a softly tannic bitterness, mild grapefruity flavour, and a delicate, aromatic tea-ish hoppyness springs non-stoppingly... just when the hoppy impact settles, a second layer of taste consisting of restrained toasted malts and a floral bitterness develops down the throat, leaving a faintly bitter-sweet touch and a long, semi-dry finish with endless tannic bitterness...
M&D: this beer on draught is distinctive from the bottled version, with a less aromatic profile, and somewhat less malty, but the lively and delicately bitter texture makes it an incredibly drinkable bitter-hoppy ale... Fresh and subtle on the mouthfeel, as a true real ale on form should be, superbly balanced... In fact, it's more like a cup of good quality Taiwanese high-mountain green tea if I may~~

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Photo of Derek
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4.4% ABV. A stellar pale ale, but an IPA it's not.

A: Golden-yellow with a white head. Initially a hint of lace, but very little retention.

S: Earthy-orange, pleasant fruity aroma, toffee and biscuity malt.

T: Mineral, orange, biscuity malt, good bitterness, pleasant fruityness. Quality malt flavour is impressive for its weight, hop flavour & bitterness could be a little higher for an IPA.

M: Moderate body is creamy & smooth (impressive for its weight), carbonation on the low side of moderate.

D: Very drinkable.

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Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very clear, amber coloured beer topped by a thin, but creamy and long-lasting, white head. Toasted malt aroma, a mix of herbal and floral hops. The start is balanced more in favour of maltiness and toasted flavours. As the malt disappears, the balance moves towards hop bitterness, finishing with a resinous hop quality at the finish. Medium carbonation and body, decent smoothness. ABV is a little light for the style.

500 mL brown bottle with a clearly marked freshness date on the side of the bottle.

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Photo of Viggo
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Neil and Maz for giving me a can!

Pours a crystal clear light amber, some orange highlights, very thin white head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring around the glass, some lace spirals stick. Smell is nice, floral, herbal hoppiness, very fruity, mangoes, quite sweet, lots of honey and toast, nice biscuity maltiness, more floral and fruit, minerally, not bad. Taste is similar, sharp and minerally, some fruit, floral, caramel sweetness, biscuit, apricots, mango, herbal hoppiness, more fruity sweetness, decent bitterness. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation. Definitely a good session beer, very refreshing and easy drinking. Thanks Neil and Maz!

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Photo of drpimento
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served with a small off white head that mostly faded and no lace. Color is medium amber. Aroma is malt, toffee, British hop. flavor's about the same. Very good balance. Tad thin but good carbonation. Great finish. Easy drinking. Definitely a session.

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Photo of champ103
4.62/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden orange color. A one finger white head forms. The foam recedes in a minute, sticky lace is left all the way down the glass.
S: Light hop oils up front. Plenty of citrus, floral, and grassy hops. Ripe fruits of green apples. A sweet malty, toffee aroma lingers.
T: This is excellent. Plenty of hop flavors to go around. Citrus, floral, and grassy. A huge ripe and tart green apple flavor that I can not get enough of. A light toffee sweetness in the finish.
M/D: A light to medium body. Dry, crisp and smooth. Really easy to drink. A great session beer (3.8 ABV on cask). All day long with this one.

An excellent beer on cask. Caledonian really impresses me. Probably the best Englsih IPA I have tried. The hops are present and strong, but the tart apple is what puts this over the top. Excellent, and highly recommended.

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Photo of ccrida
2.87/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On cask at the Thirsty Bear in London, Deuchars IPA is dark gold with a small bubbled head leaving no lace.
Smell is earthy, and sweet fruit, lychee.
Taste is odd, there is a strong, over-ripe fruit, a strong after taste of what I assume are esters, with a firmy bitter aftertaste. A touch metallic too, gives it an unpleasantly sharp finish.
Mouthfeel is light, slick.
Drinkability isn't too high for me with the aftertaste. A below average English IPA.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

on tap, poured into an imperial pint glass.

dark golden copper colored, not much head. aroma and taste are not very hoppy - definitely an English style IPA.

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Photo of stcules
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yellow orange color, classic foam.
In the smell a carpet of malt, where you can find some fresh and pleasant hop.
Same freshness note in the taste, with camomile, a light peppery note, and citrus.
The beer is everywhere (in Scotland), but anyway, a pleasant and drinkable one.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hand-pulled cask at Prince of Wales in London. Dark golden orange color with a minimal off-white head and almost no lacing. Aroma of toned down hops along with some fruit. Very smooth, with flavors of malt and hops at the forefront, along with some fruit and a pinch of spice. The finish is mild but insistently bitter. Pretty good offering from Caledonian.

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

This is a lovely real ale that I had on cask at the Wenlock Arms. This pale golden/amber beer has a nice cap of white foam on top. The aromas are of FRESH, juciy hops, and floral light malts. The taste is lovely. It's quite hoppy and a bit malty, but I would not call this an IPA, i'd call it a regular pale ale. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth and the drinkability? GREAT

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Sampled at the Grove Inn, Leeds. Listed on the Pubs chalkboard as “Deuchars IPA (3.8%) £2.10” for an Imperial Pint from the Handpump.

Appearance: Light amber body with a nice looking white head on the pull. Head quickly dissipated though, which was a shame because it had a terrific appearance on the bar whilst I waited for my change.

Nose: Freshly tapped the aromas leapt out of the Pint glass. Fruity hops, some floral, some oily, all intermingled in a lightly toasted malt base. Smells great.

Taste: Bitterness starts and finishes the Deuchars. In between this there are a mélange of flavors that come and go. Crisp profile, baked bread, lightly toasted malts, some wheat, grass and grain with a fresh floral fruity hop twist in the finish. Light hop bitterness lingers on the tongue after the swallow. Lovely!!

Mouthfeel: For a Cask Ale it is full-bodied, not as much as the Caledonian 80/- but it certainly has a feel that is supportive of the cask conditioning which lends a soft palate to the Deuchars IPA.

Drinkability: Deliciously drinkable, stupendously suppable, a lambasting libation…. This really is a very good Session brew, a real quaffer that has lots of flavor and body to keep you interested for a Gallon or two.

Overall: Don’t worry yourself too much about the “IPA” moniker if you’re not from the UK, this is just a damn good brew that should be enjoyed no matter what they decide to call it. In fact, such is its popularity that the Caledonian Deuchars IPA is now a regular beer at the Grove Inn, Leeds it seems. When on form, this really does take some beating from the Cask.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed several pints of this on cask at Ye Olde Mitre Pub in London. What a wonderful beer on cask.

The bartender would top off each glass which reduced the head since they would let it settle as they hand pulled each pint. The beer was a slightly lighter orange/amber color with excellent clarity. The glass was essentially covered with lace as the glass emptied.

Aroma was smooth with notes of fruit, some light hop notes and some light grain. Definitely an English IPA vs. American. Still a very nice aroma.

Flavor was excellent. A perfect balance of fruit, bread and hop bitterness. Nothing overwhelmed and it all melded in a great flavor. Cask was clearly fresh and well tended.

So silky smooth it was crazy.

While I am a certified American Hop head and love the likes of Sculpin, Pliny and the American hop bombs, it was a real treat to try an English IPA as it was meant to taste. Just fantastic.

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Deuchars IPA from The Caledonian Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.