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McEwan's Scotch Ale - The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited

McEwan's Scotch AleMcEwan's Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

558 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 558
Reviews: 435
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 14.25%

Brewed by:
The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No longer exported to the US.

(Beer added by: UnionMade on 08-17-2001)
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Ratings: 558 | Reviews: 435 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of keithmurray

New York

4.43/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - dark mahogany color with tan head

Smell - cherry, plums, raisins, bit of peat

Taste - plums, cherries, caramel, grape, bit of smokey peat

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, smooth, rich,bit of sweetness upfront, flavors linger properly

Overall - I was happy to see this one back in the States and I enjoyed drinking this. A well made scotch ale. Recommended.

Price Point - $10.99/ 4pk 11.2 oz bottles

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 22:27:01 | More by keithmurray
Photo of tillmac62

South Carolina

4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

BBD 9/23/14. Very dark amber pour with a dark ruby cast. Nice head that laces well but diminishes in 3 minutes. Light nose of malt with hints of fig and other dark fruit. Outstanding medium body with a texture that approaches slick. Normal carbonation level. The well balanced and complex flavor profile is a blend of dark fruit that completely masks the 8.0% alcohol, set against a subtle caramel sweetness that is blessed with a touch of smoke. The finish is smooth with a short lived burst of smoke. Glad this outstanding ale is back.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2014 20:54:07 | More by tillmac62
Photo of Arithmeticus


3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured chilled in shaker pint, chez white

A: very dark; huge head; great lacing and excellent carbonation
S: all malt, very light
T: treacle, molasses, brown sugar; no hops, and out of balance; bit of ripe banana. @buzzlitebeer: "platonos maduros 2 weeks old" Well, I'm not so sure, but it does not best exemplify this style.

Not bad overall, but don't rush out to get one.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 20:38:15 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of metter98

New York

3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear but very dark garnet red is color (close to being black when viewed from afar). It poured with a thin off white head that died down, leaving only a small patch of bubbles
S: Moderate aromas of toffee and caramelized malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but has much more pronounced flavors of toffee and slight hints of bitterness and sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems a little lighter compared to some other Scotch Ales, but is easy to drink and is interesting enough to sip.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 01:53:55 | More by metter98
Photo of RonaldTheriot


4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

McEwan’s Scotch Ale has a medium, spongy, beige head and a very dark brown (yet, ruby under strong light) appearance, with a little thin lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet and spicy dark-roasted malt, dark bread crust, and maybe prunes. The taste is of all that, with dates, prune juice, strong, roasted malt, a touch of hop bitterness, and possibly a hint of chocolate. Brandy-like alcohol is present as well. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy and somewhat velvety, and McEwan’s Scotch Ale finishes rich, sugary, and dessert oriented. Overall, this is really nice, and I am glad it was restarted.


Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 23:06:19 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of CaptainStubing


4.64/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

When The Mads see this, I hope they'll move it over to McEwan's new page...

I essentially joined BA just to rant and rave over this brew; how it was no longer available, when was it coming back, yadda yadda yadda...

And now, it's HERE!!! After years of waiting, begging, waiting, searching forums, waiting, calling and emailing distributors, breweries, and local stores, and WAITING, I hold in my hands as I type a bona fide NEW McEwan's Scotch Ale, right here in the U.S. of A. It is no longer brewed by the Caledonian Brewery, however. Wells & Young have lovingly dug within their soul(s), and found a soft place for us beer geeks to land. First and foremost may I say a very hearty "Thank You!" to this fine company. They put up with a lot of us calling and clamoring for 1 specific ale that they worked diligently on for months to get just right.

So, how does it taste?

A - 5 - When I got to the store to purchase, I nearly wept. For that reason alone, it gets a 5. However, that distinctive light lacing at the top, the deep ruby color were all there, just as I remembered. If I could have rated higher, I would have.

S - 4.25 - Okay, so this is my 1st review. I don't want to just give 5's across the board, so this is my lowest rating. Not that it's not "perfect", but I honestly never jammed my nose into a McEwan's in years past. Still, it is a lovely aroma now - slightly fruity smells, like fresh berries. Very pleasant.

T - 4.75 - Remember your last McEwan's? Let me just say yeah, Wells & Young nailed it. Smokey, caramel flavor abounds, with a lovely aftertaste. Still 8% A.B.V., so a strong one that deserves respect (just like any Scotsman!)

M - 4.50 - Only because it is HEAVY! A thick brew that'll make ya' chew. But Old McEwan's was the same - 1 or 2 in a sitting, but any more and you'd be a fool. Which stings, because I want more right now. Hmmmm...

O - 4.75 - Alright, the real "overall" would be 4.625 (math geek) but let me say, even though the world waited for so long, it was worth the wait! If you truly enjoyed McEwan's before, the same joy can be had again. No, now you are older, balder and heavier. You have aged terribly. But McEwan's hasn't. I hope it will be with us for many years to come.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2013 17:49:15 | More by CaptainStubing
Photo of barczar


3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretty sure this is several years old.

Pours an opaque deep brown with amber highlights and a modest half inch khaki head that lingers.

Molasses, toffee, roasted malt, booze, and a bit of peat begin the aroma. Deep caramelization and a vanilla quality emerge.

Flavor is sweet and buttery, with diacetyl and molasses dominating initially, accompanied by figs, prunes, dates, raisins, and deeply caramelized malts. There's a nutty, lightly roasted malt backbone. Earthy hops round out the profile, which finishes slightly dry. Cola and peaty notes emerge as it warms.

Body is syrupy, with minimal carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

Overall, a delicious, dark fruit-centric beer, with a touch of earthiness. Fairly peaty. The cola flavor is offputting.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 09:13:36 | More by barczar
Photo of kojevergas


3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a .25cl tulip in a cafe in Belfort, France. 7.2%. Reviewed from notes taken in June 2011.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice cream, fair thickness, and average retention. Body colour is a dark ruby-black.

Sm: Caramel, chocolate, malts, toffee, and alcohol.

T: The notes from the nose are all present in the body, and come together nicely for the climax. Caramelized malt ties it together but feels overdone. The balance is decent. Fairly complex, but far from unique. Built fairly well for the style.

Mf: Coarse enough to bring out its flavours, but otherwise smooth and wet to aid drinkability. Complements the flavours nicely.

Dr: Easy to drink and of above average quality, but it's ass expensive in France at 3 quid per half pint. It's a nice little Scotch Ale, but not good enough to warrant buying again. I'll stick to Old Chub for my go-to Scotch Ale. It does hide its ABV well.


Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2012 21:22:59 | More by kojevergas
Photo of brewskifan55


3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the Jolly Judge while on a literary pub tour, Edinburgh.

A: Semi-dark amber with a creamy, one finger head that stays. Thick lacing.

S: Heavy on the malts, with dark fruits cascading in (raisens, plums, figs).

T: Follows nose. Rich, sweet, smokey.

M: medium with medium carbonation.

O: A very smooth Wee Heavy, not as strong as I thought. But this was a cask ale, not from a bottle, so a bit of difference. Would like to try from a bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2012 20:05:08 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of sweetmaltman


5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It has been a while (1 1/2 years) since I was priviledged to sample this, since it is no longer imported to the US, I do not know when I will have the pleasure again.

This is my favorite beer! Strong on the malt with hints of raisins, figs, peat, vanilla and caramel. A great sipping beer (8% alc.). You probably would not want to drink more than 2 or 3. Complex aroma that carries over to the tasting. Just a wonderful pastime. Take your time, savor it, do not be in a hurry!

My only wish is that Caledonia would start exporting it to the US again.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2012 13:24:41 | More by sweetmaltman
Photo of spacecommander

5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was my second favorite beer (ale) of all time. Traquir house ale was #1, but for the price of 1 Traquir house ale I could buy a 6 pack of this exceptional ale. Extremely heavy taste, wonderful flavo(u)r, not ove-hopped like most microbrews - remember, gotta serve it at 60-65 degrees - slightly chilled - not cold. One word - AWESOME. And it's a meal too! I don't drink anymore but if I did - this is all I'd drink. Beers are boring. A ale takes a lot more work to get it to be fantastic at near room temperature. Nothing gets better than this. I'ts not chewable but comes pretty close ;~)

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 04:47:09 | More by spacecommander
Photo of Alchemist


4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer brings back many memories for me as it was one of my favorites back in the eighties when craft brewing was getting geared-up. This is my last bottle, perhaps ever, since it is no longer available in the US.

The characteristic garnet color and malty aroma are inviting.The mouthfeel is very viscous, almost chewy. I detect the taste of dark fruit, like plum that is pleasant in the aftertaste.

If you prefer malty beers, scotch ales are a great place to start. Those who are not fond of hops will really enjoy them. A good nightcap beer. McEwan's is a good, quality example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2012 22:44:45 | More by Alchemist
Photo of Converge

Alberta (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle poured into 16oz pint glass.

A - Pours with a thin, mocha head that's gone in under a minute. The beer itself is a really dark brown hue with some ruby highlights.

S - Deep and complex. Some roasted malt, as well as caramel malt. A lot of black licorice. Something really smokey in there too. The alcohol is poorly disguised, as this smells more like and jack-and-coke than anything to me. I also swear I can smell soy sauce and Pepsi in here. Deep and complex.

T - The taste is actually a lot more flat than the aroma. The alcohol also isn't as apparent as I remember either. It still bears a resemblance to whiskey and cola, but there's a lot else going on here. The black licorice that I found in the smell is still here, but to a lesser degree. It also isn't as bitter as the aroma had me believe. There's actually a nice sweetness to it that I didn't expect at all. It's almost like toffee and brown sugar, with some dark chocolate looming in the background. The smokiness is still here as well, but also to a lesser extent. I still do think the alcohol is somewhat poorly masked, but the complex nature of this beer is something new to me, and to me this is a really unique taste. Given a little more time out of the bottle, I'm starting to pick up on some dark fruits, specifically a faint flavor of cranberry, although it seems to be more in the aroma.

M - Rather flat feeling, with little carbonation. Medium bodied mouthfeel, but it's certainly got some chew to it. Although this mouthfeel may not be my preference, I feel it compliments the beer nicely.

D - I had been putting this one off for a while, because I really didn't expect to enjoy this one at all; but thankfully I've been pleasantly surprised, to and extent. The dark and rich complexities here are something pretty foreign to me, but I enjoyed them much more than I had intended to. Overall, this was a much better experience than previous tastings led me to believe.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 06:57:11 | More by Converge
Photo of Knapp85


3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a deep brownish amber color with a light tan colored head. The head left a decent lacing behind. The smell of the beer was of burnt wood and some smoke, some whiskey on the nose too. The taste was rather burnt as well, seemed to be very bitey and left a charred dry taste in the back of your mouth. The mouthfeel was on the heavier side which was a nice change of pace. Overall I would drink this one again, if I ever see it around that is.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 17:08:33 | More by Knapp85
Photo of CuriousMonk


3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle (no date) into thistle glass. Pours clear brown with a ruby tint. It had a nice creamy pinkish head. Very strong aromas of smoke, wood, scotch, and call me crazy but I detected a tropical pineapple/coconut whiff as well. It has a very malty alcoholic taste with a heavy chewey mouthfeel. Good carbonation and drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 15:10:52 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of deltatauhobbit


3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brownish, smallish head that fades quickly, leaves a light cap on top, small bits of lacing on the glass.

Smell is primarily caramel malt, as would be expected for a Scotch ale, another interesting aroma that I can't quite put my finger on, seems like either some dark fruit or herbal-ness, not much else of interest going on though.

Taste has a nice rich creamy mouthfeel to it due to its soft carbonation, the caramel malt has an odd taste to it, like it's been steeped in tea, while unique I'm not sure I'm a big fan of it, no heat on the tongue but I can feel the strength.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 23:00:05 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of Yoonisaykul

Quebec (Canada)

2.58/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Poured in some sort of conical goblet (fancy water glass?). Had this a few times. It's in most (every?) SAQs so I keep seeing it and buy it on occasion hoping for a palate change which would help me love it. I've always been disappointed. So here's my first review of it which might help me understand it better.

A- Coca-cola colored. Greyish beige, big bubble head which was a little challenge to build but lasts.

S- Like those nonalcoholic malta drinks. A smell I don't enjoy very much. A bit like light molasses.

T-Ah, some hops to the rescue. Very little but more than in those damn malt juices which helps me a lot. So if you're not familiar with malta or molasses, this could also be compared to prune juice. What helps me enjoy this is the ''very'' pale ale breadiness and bitterness that shows up half way through the taste sequence. Finishes with more of a caramel sweetness and acrid bitterness.

M- Carbonation is also similar to those malt drinks but finer and creamier. Medium body. Slightly oily finish.

D- No good. As light as it may be, I don't like the taste and it's too sweet. Alcohol is well hidden though.

Kind of sickening to me, and not being one to waste beer, I'm kind of in a hurry to get it over with.
I don't feel like I'm drinking beer when having this. As I've thought to myself many times before:'' Never buying this again'' but I know a year from now, I'll probably buy it again, hoping for the best. I do think I enjoyed it a bit more than last time though.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 19:08:54 | More by Yoonisaykul
Photo of brewymcgee

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A blackish brown body with a slight reddish hue when viewed in front of a light and a pleasant dense tan head

Aroma: Caramelly malt with hints of cherry and spice playing softly in the background.

Taste: Big, sweet malt flavours immediately fill the mouth with dark fruit and vanilla behind it, and a slight tang coming through on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, thick and almost oily (but not in a bad way!) with small tingling bubbles. You can feel a bit of heat from the alcohol.

Drinkability: This is a sipper for sure.

Excellent when the weather's cold, also a personal favourite ingredient in a rich beef stew... one bottle for the pot and one for the cook of course ;)

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 00:46:54 | More by brewymcgee
Photo of radioscooter


4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Ah, the long, lost wee love of my life come back to haunt me once again.

We can't get McEwan's anymore in the US. And if you research it - it would seem like it's gone, daddy, gone from everywhere, including Scotland. The story goes that the brewery was bought by Heineken etc. and they phased out all the beers from the legendary Edinburgh brewery back in 2007.

Well...maybe. But there seems to be an awful lot of them floating around Canada for that to be completely true. Could it be so unpopular that we're drinking 4 year old stock? If so - thanks for the cellaring, Canada!

I got a few in a trade recently and while it didn't live up to my mythologized mental enhanced image of it (what ever does?) it is still a fantastic ale. To think that this was once just one of the stable of beers that you could get in almost any UK pub makes its absence that much more poignant. It's an incredibly dark and sweet beer for standard pub fare.

But that's how I like them, so let's roll with the review. As I've mentioned, I don't feel qualified to simply add more commentary on beers, so I try to switch it up to bring a little something new to the table. This time I am taste-testing FOUR Scotch Ales (yes, I'm going to bed soon) and putting them all to the McEwan's Litmus test against the "real one". In this case, the real one is the McEwan's. No Jacobite tonight - we are comparing McEwan's to :

Skull Splitter
Duck Rabbit
Arcadia Ales

Head is frothy and thick, with the density you'd expect from the style. It seems authentic and chocolatey brown with a red tinge.

First taste cold is still sweet, not a lot of cloves or heather as other S.A.'s but plenty of burnt toffee, malt, a little fig maybe? Make no mistake, this is a sweet beer. But it has an (as of yet) unmatched roasty flavor and aroma.

The mouthfeel and gravity are both light enough that, despite the sweetness I could drink this all night. Or at least until the 8% caught up with me.

Certainly this comes across as a more pedestrian example of the style, but that assessment would not do justice to the wonderful aromatic flavor that is present here. Though I haven't tried it and am not a fan - this would be a perfect "Black & tan" mixer.

If you're a fan of Scotch Ales, you should seek this one out to round out your education. This is an everyday, Scotsman's drinking ale. Less uppity and fancy than many. You'll be roaming in the gloaming by the end of the night.

I'm still hoarding these so feel free to send me some in trade.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2010 03:37:58 | More by radioscooter
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours a brown colour with a medium size frothy beige head. I can't make out much carbonation due to the colour. There is also some good lacing and the head lasted for a minute or two.

Smell - some new smells here for me beer wise.. I can smell a smoky wood, molasses, caramel and maybe a little bittersweet chocolate

Taste & Mouth - an interesting mouth feel; its starts off creamy and velvety, but then a little carbonation kicks in at the end. I can taste a woodiness, something metallic, molasses/chocolate, and a little bit of alcohol. The beer finishes slightly sweet mixed with a touch of bitterness.

Drink - Once again, points for originality - but not a beer that is for me. It kind of reminds me of Drambuie liqueur mixed with beer and molasses and red wine. Worth a try if you are looking to mix it up.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2010 23:35:25 | More by spinrsx
Photo of tone77


3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of caramel and malts. Taste is of caramel, alcohol, a bit nutty, finishing slightly sour. A lot going on, but somehow not gelling together. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this makes for a decent brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 14:20:57 | More by tone77
Photo of StephenRich

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Scotch Ales almost always treat me right. Really, I can't think of a time when one hasn't, so I always try to have a few in my fridge just in case the mood strikes me. Unfortunately in the LCBO we don't have a wide selection of scotch ales, so many people aren't familiar with the style.

If you enjoy the rich, thick and robust flavors of malt right upfront in your palate, than you may find something special in a scotch ale. Hops are usually subdued, and the oily sweet sugars of malted barley is what strikes at you, usually with significant force. Although the LCBO's selection is not great, we do thankfully have the McEwan's six pack pretty much at every location.

Everyone needs a staple beer for some of their favorite styles; Schnieder Weisse for a wheat beer, Dogfish Head 60 Minute for an IPA, or the Maudite for Belgium Spicy ales. The McEwan's in mine for Scotch Ales.

The McEwan's comes in six-packs of 355ml bottles at 8% abv. I prefer my scotch ales around cellar temperature, but always begin them cool around 10C (50F). At cellar temp you are able to absorb all the rich characteristics of the malt, but when cooler a scotch ale can offer great quenching and refreshing traits. So start cool and get the best of both worlds. The glass in this case should be anything with a narrower mouth than base; this way you are able to trap the huge aromas from the beer and capture all the aromatic properties of the malt. Even a straight walled glass though is ok, as shown.

Thats what this beer is all about, the malt. So get ready, cause it comes at you fast. The pour is smooth and easy developing a creamy soft off white head from the start. A slow pour gently builds a deep amber black beer with brown burgundy and rich oak red notes. By the end of the pour it rests calmly showing no signs of life, just a soft and silky head contently sitting above a smooth and oily dark beer.

The nose is packed with rich and thick roasted malts. Sweet luscious caramel and butterscotch lifts from the beer and dominates your senses. If you can get behind the power of the malt, notes of espresso, cocoa, black berries and brown sugar all show themselves as a soft lingering scent in the aftermath of malty gooey caramel. Still, there are more complexities to be found here; classic plum, cherry, fig, date and raisin are shy but friendly also.

Let this beer in big and wide - it will coat your tongue and mouth easily without question and shows you its malt right away. Thick and dense caramel malts glide everywhere forming a barrier almost to keep the sweet brown sugary sweetness in. Toffee and butterscotch candy is your friend as they float through your cheeks and lift the caramel off your palate.

Smooth mild chocolate and roast is right behind, but also comes in as a malty treat. It is obvious that this beer's party piece is the malt. It is hugely aromatic and potent everywhere on your palate. As the beer warms the dark fruit flavors begin to show themselves with a touch of smoke, oak, and vanilla sweetness. Overall it is a very warming sensation and soothing on the palate. The alcohol is there, but hides behind the succulent malts that easily dominate this beer.

The mouthfeel is relatively average; smooth with a touch of carbonation; I would have preferred it to be a bit creamier. The balance is completely malt, but softly bitter chocolate and smoke help aid this sensation. Additional roast or smoky flavors may have balanced it out more, or even a note of whisky. Hops are almost negligible, and as they should be for a beer of this stature.

As a house Scotch Ale the McEwan's does treat me quite well. The finish is appetizing, and it pairs very well with rich meats and BBQ. Smoked cheeses can be nice, but this beer is very potent and may overwhelm cheese. Enjoy it on its own for best results.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 23:11:37 | More by StephenRich
Photo of cratez

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle from a six pack purchased at the Oxford & Adelaide LCBO. Dark ruby brown in colour, creamy beige head, a few dots of lacing on the snifter. Smell is leathery, tannic, toffee-like, a tad fruity, lots of toasty roastiness, with English pudding and Amaretto coming through as well. Taste is thick toffee, caramel, chocolate, bittersweet maltiness, brown sugar, nuts, faint metallic note, earthy hops, some warmth going down. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, almost syrupy, soft carbonation, slight tang on the tongue, dryly parched finish, very mild astringency. A balanced and enjoyable malt-forward ale. Not nearly as good as Oskar Blues Old Chub, but still one of the better imports available at the 'BO.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 17:41:50 | More by cratez
Photo of MattyV

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Decided to pick this one up and give it a go after a review popped up on my youtube homepage.

Poured from a bottle into a Maudite tulip/snifter-ish glass.

A very vigorous pour yields a nice fluffy beige head. Head retention is decent and leaves substantial lacing. Beer is dark chestnut/cola in colour, showing some faint ruby highlights when held to the light.

Mackintosh toffee is detected right away from the nose, as well as faint hints of dark fruits and a bit of roasted malt. Nose is overall pretty subtle but very pleasant.

Taste is very sweet, dark fruits start come to forefront now, detecting some raisin and fig. A slightly cloying brown sugar/molasses-type flavour is apparent as well. The toffee notes are much less predominant in the taste than expect, but still present.

Pretty low carbonation, and a medium to thick body.

Not exactly my cup of tea, but it seems to be a decent example of the style given my (very) limited experience. Rather sweet but shows some interesting complexity, would be quite enjoyable sipping inside on a blistery, cold winter evening.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2010 04:39:52 | More by MattyV
Photo of jlindros


4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've heard all these crazy rumors that the distributor stopped shipping this to the US, a new distributor, but not, etc. Anyways, I've seen it for quite a while and still there at Mass Liquors in Worcester, MA. Either way I can still enjoy it, and I've seen quite a few people looking for it, so anyone who sees this review and looking for it send me a BM.

A: A big fluffy head rises up and over the sides of my oversized snifter glass, but just enough of a pour that it doesn't overflow the edges, just rises up over the top. It leaves a slight lacing as it fades semi slowly. the beer is super dark brown basically black with almost no light sneaking through.

N: A scotch ale definitely. Lots of dark malts, brown sugar, and more brown sugar, molasses, a slight creamy malt, a little porter like roasted malt, a little dark fruit with all that. A nice nose.

T: Starts pretty sweet, actually very sweet. Lots of brown sugar again, as the nose implied. Lots of dark fruit with that, some raisin and plum. There is even some Belgian candi sugar flavors. A little dark malt roasty flavor, crystal malts, and I think Munich malt. A slight boozy tingly tongue feel with all that and slight warming booze as a good scotch ale should have. A touch of smoked malt too. Slight fluffy malt flavor and somewhat rich as well.

M: Slightly heavier body with decent carbonation.

F: Still very sweet, but dries off quite a bit in the feel of it. Then quite a bit of brown and candi sugar flavors lingering, with more dark malts. Smoked malt, and even a little bitterness there. Chewy malt lingering as well. A very slight boozy taste on the finish, but not very much. There is a slight minerality on the roasty malt flavors too.

Almost the staple of what a typical scotch ale should be. Lots of sweetness, perhaps too much, roasty and dark malts, a little boozy quality, little smoked malts (probably could have used more), and a smooth rich texture. I can see why so many people are looking for this beer. Tasty, and I could drink this more often in winter.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 03:35:18 | More by jlindros
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McEwan's Scotch Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
85 out of 100 based on 558 ratings.