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McEwan's No.1 Champion - The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

58 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: bditty187 on 08-24-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerGogglesReviews
1.73/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1

Full bodied could describe Jordan's Physique, Basil Brush's brush or even this beer. This syrupy sticky sicky substance has all the subtlety of a drunken Mike Tyson on the pull. Mix some liquorice, and antifreeze together and you've got an idea of how this tastes. 'Champion!' Of what?!? A fairground prize-fighting brawl maybe.
Drink it if you wanna get drunker after a greasy Saturday night kebab or if you measure a beers quality by its ABV. If it were cheaper, painters would love it.
B G Score 08/100

BeerGogglesReviews, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of flyingpig
2.8/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very dark mahogany brown colour with a tanned brownish white head that is quite foamy. Retention is good with some lacing too.

Sweet smelling but with a very strong background alcohol smell that comes from the beer. There is an initial sweet toffee and caramel aroma that the drink gives off which is very sweet. As mentioned the alcohol smell sits in the background and is accompanied by a quite rich, sugary one that has hints of roasted malts.

Lots of roasted malts and barely in the flavour with some good dark fruits in the mix as well, although they are not a pronounced. The middle is a caramel flavoured one that is quite nice too & this is quickly followed up by a warm & creamy bitterness that is nice without being too strong.

Medium, almost heavy beer that is quite smooth & has medium carbonation.

Definitely too much alcohol coming from both the aroma & the taste make this a difficult beer to enjoy fully.

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flyingpig, Aug 03, 2011
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3/5  rDev -19.1%

beerinabottle, Jul 07, 2014
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3/5  rDev -19.1%

cfalovo97, May 09, 2013
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3/5  rDev -19.1%

windypete, Jun 22, 2013
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3/5  rDev -19.1%

mizx, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of Brewer1980
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Brewer1980, Sep 29, 2013
Photo of mick303
3.1/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

mick303, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of Doiv
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark ruby colour. Off white to tan head that is thick, creamy and lasts well.
The nose is ever so slightly fruity, but altogether is disappointing and lacking. Thw taste is incredibly sweet - perhaps too sweet. Very intense, malty with a little cinnamon back-bite in the aftertaste. Slightly yeasty also.

Mouthfeel is smooth and it is very quaffable, but the taste and smell let it down. That said, I was pleasantly surprised by this ale compared to the rest of the Mc Ewan's range, but I would certainly not consider this a 'champion'.

Doiv, Apr 02, 2004
Photo of jakea
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

jakea, May 08, 2012
Photo of MisledTitan
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

MisledTitan, May 17, 2014
Photo of vauxhaulastra
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

vauxhaulastra, Nov 08, 2013
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown bottle, 500ml, best before Oct 2007, drank 1st feb 2007.

Poured into a straight pint sleeve glass.

Dark, very dark, where is my 'Deep Purple' collection, I can't remember, most likely in the attic. Off white head soon disappears to leave a wispy covering on the liquid.

Caramel, burnt malts and biscuits (cookies for my American readers) cooked for too long, all come to mind as I sniff out the aroma.

Sweet, creamy and heavy, well it is 7.3%, the burnt malty aroma is in the taste also, but not enough to turn your tastebuds against the beer, a good complexed feel to it really.

Sweetness stays, malts and dark, bitter chocolate, arrive later as the mouth is drying.

This beer grew on me, as I drank it, rich is too strong a word to describe it (although the label does), well off, or comfortable would be better terms to use. Will I have another, yes, but not tonight.

BlackHaddock, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of ltdantheman
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

ltdantheman, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of MaevaS
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

MaevaS, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of pin
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

pin, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of endless1408
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

endless1408, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of Hanglow
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Hanglow, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of BDTyre
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not bad, but way too sweet for me. Rich brown-ruby colour. The head is slightly off-white, thick and creamy. It takes a long time to settle down and even then big, fluffy chunks float around in it.

Very sweet, rich and sugary scent. It almost smells like this has syrup added to it. Slight fruit presence to it, but the predominant smell is syrup and sugar.

This is reflected in the taste too - very syrupy, and it comes off almost like molasses at times. Other than some very faint sweet fruit hints, there is almost no suggestion of hops.

Decent mouthfeel, but this is a little too sweet and the alcohol really shines in this.

BDTyre, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of thepeter
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Dark Mahogany brown, with a creamy head and fantastic lacing.

S - Roasted malts dominates with dark fruits not far behind. Mildly sweet smell of molasses and brown bread after I swirl the beer in my glass a bit.

T - Dark roasted malt, And Tons of it! Dry, yeasty brown bread with a hint of metal. I got a small amount of herbal woody hop bitterness on the back end.

M&D - Smooth with a medium carbonation, goes down quite easily. Nice drinking beer but one is enough.

thepeter, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of Zimbo
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The most commonly found 'wee heavy' in Scotland and made in the Caledonian brewery in Edinburgh. I haven't had this since the switch until now.

The delicate dense but fluffy heavy head formed pretty easily. In the mouth there is now a more dominant almost black treacle quality which is rich and more complex than it once was. Seems more rounded as well with some vinous qualities almost like Caledonian 80 but bigger.

Drank this chilled but as it warmed up it became much more raw and overwelmingly boozy and confected . Still a bit simple to be honest.

Zimbo, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of bditty187
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brought back from Ipswich, England by my girlfriend’s parents…

Darkish ruby-brown hue, translucent, light beige head, slightly more than a finger’s worth, excellent retention. Thick rings of lace were produced. The nose is weak… light hints of malt, nuts, and butter. Disappointing. The palate is malty with very little hops influences, the alcohol is discernible… slight spiciness and licorice hints… the sweetness (and butteriness) grows as the beer warms, bready. The body is a touch thin, watery in spots… very drinkable, easy to quaff. Low carbonation… silky mouthfeel. Sweet/spiced aftertaste. This beer has its moments of greatness… the bouquet does lack in potency and it is somewhat simplistic but overall it’s a damn nice brew. Try one.

bditty187, Aug 24, 2003
Photo of Dave1999
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very dark brownish red with a huge head which left a lot of lacing.

Smells of malts not much else.

Tastes of coffee and sweet malts,a bit of caramel and toffee even a little alcohol.

Feels smooth very little carbonation, quite thick.

This is an OK beer, the abv is much higher than most scottish ales I've tried so far. It tastes decent but not great. The Innes and Gunn scottish ale was better.

Dave1999, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of zebedee
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a deep ruby, with a thick off white head, which diminished to a nice layer. Plenty of thick lacing left on the glass. The smell was similar to a wine, raisins, prunes, dark, fruity. The initial treacle flavour gave way to a blackcurrant/liquorice combo, with a hint of pepperyness and a lingering bitterness. This felt heavy in the mouth, and had a warming effect due to the alcohol content. In fact, the alcohol was very noticeable, and became a bit too much as the pint diminished, hence the 3. Way too heavy to session on, and a bit sticky, but nice as a one off I'd say. I did struggle to finish it. I don't think I'll be having this again, but I'm glad I tried it.

zebedee, Sep 07, 2006
Photo of fullsweep
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 mL poured into a glass.

I was given this by a friend, and due to the 7.3 ABV, was waiting for the right setting to enjoy it. Tonight was it.

Pours really great with a very thick head, 3 finger or more. A dark brown color, but not quite stout-colored. Really attractive brew.

Aroma was nice as well. Lots of grain in the scent, more than I expected.

Taste is very sweet. Carmelized malts (due to the extra fermentation process?) with a bitter finish. I think this might have been slightly nicer at a slightly warmer temperature.

Sits nice on the palette and is nice going down.

Definitely a drinkable brew, but it's not one I'd want all the time for 2 reasons: the sweetness is a bit overpowering, and the ABV is too high for a regular drink in my opinion.

fullsweep, Jan 28, 2009
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McEwan's No.1 Champion from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
84 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.