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McEwan's Scotch Ale - The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited

Not Rated.
McEwan's Scotch AleMcEwan's Scotch Ale

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

618 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 618
Reviews: 441
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.95%
Wants: 34
Gots: 17 | FT: 1
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)
View: Beers (30) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 618 | Reviews: 441 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by RunawayJim:
Photo of RunawayJim
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a thicker, but not too thick, dark ruby brown/black color with a thick light tan head. No lacing.

Smells a little of caramel and a slight hint of alcohol with maybe a little anise.

First sip is of almost a whiskey flavor followed by a little anise, a little caramel, and a slight hint of alcohol. As the beer warms, the alcohol flavor is gone along with the whiskey flavor, but the others are still there. The flavor is fairly mild, nothing really strong sticks out.

Feels a bit thick, though I'd like it to be a bit thicker. It's mildly carbonated. I'd say it's a drinkable beer, but nothing special. I'm not overly impressed by it other than the way it looks.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Liked the mahogany rich color,reasonable head very appetizing looking.Smell was a little punget on mine,I liked the malty sweet taste very alcholic tasting but that is fine with me.Had this on tap the first time I drank this at Molly McQ's in Lakeland ,Florida

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.03/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thin, weak, bland, and boring.

I used to love this beer when I was a kid but since having the opportunity to get to know several better scotch ales, this one just doesn't stand up anymore.

I'm a big scotch ale fan but McEwans first and foremost, doesn't have the body. Secondly, there is almost no peat in the aroma. The malts are sweet but very light in flavor. There isn't much of anything roasted going on here either.

Very smooth but no complexity at all. Some hints of currants and coffee. Burnt molasses in the flavor.

This is an alright beer but it doesn’t stand up in the category when others are available.

Very smooth but no complexity at all. Some hints of currants and coffee. Burnt molases in the flavor.

Photo of beerhunter13
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of tbryan5
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Dmann
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my first scotch ale and I have a feeling there must be better ones out there. This one poured a decent dark brown color with a nice brownish head that was nice a thick. The smell was inviting with great sweet fruit scents and a nice sweet malt smell as well. The taste was a bit of a let down though with a kind of one dimentional oak flavor and lots of vanilla sweetness. Those flavors were good, but they needed to be balanced out a little by something else.

Photo of EsoxLucius
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Alright, got this one in a 6 pack and I'm glad I bought it. First time trying this beer out and I'm thoroughly impressed and will definitely be getting it again.

A: Very nice looking beer, pours a dark red-brown with a light tan, fluffy head that gradually dissipates into a nice slick of the same color that remains throughout the drink. Lacing is also notable as, though thin, does remain throughout as well.

S: Definitely a sweet toffee smell with pronounced roasted malts that combine to give a noticeable black cherry aroma. The more I put my nose in it, the more it smelled of cherry mixed with a slight nutty blend. The 8% ABV is concealed nicely, though even the smell has warmth, hinting at the potency.

T: The best part has a sweet, malted taste to it with soothing warmth to it. Fruity notes are pronounced, though aren't as definitely pegged as being cherry-like. It's not bitter and if I find fault, the ABV, though hidden well, does bite back as the drink warms, especially in the aftertaste.

M: Good, it has just the right body going in and going down, though a bit dry. Its low carbonation lends it to feel quite smooth until the slightly dry finish.

D: Not a one after another beer, though a very nice change of pace and incredibly enjoyable. It's a bit too sweet for me to session with, but definitely a beer to savor when one does have one.

Very nice drink and is now on my recommended/re-purchase list.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a very dark, amber brown with a nice head and left pretty nice rings round my glass with each sip.

Smell: Biscuity, raisins, sweet malts, honey, wood...

Taste: Sweet caramel and toffee, bready malts up front, bitter finish, alcohol very present. Finishes very dry.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, medium to heavy body, very dry.

Drinkability: I could enjoy a couple of these very easily, but not all night.

Goes very well with these chocolates.

Photo of Jason
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Dark brown with a tarnished bronze hue, good head retention that leaves behind some sticky lace.

Smell: Sweet and mildly alcoholic with undertones of dark sugar, roasted malt and black currants. Smells of a coffee liquor or similar.

Taste: Incredibly smooth and creamy with a slick and almost syrupy mouth feel within the full body. Quite sweet on the palate, cloying at times. Lots of residual sugars floating around with very little hop character at all. Fruitiness is very light with hints of black currants. Malt flavours lack a bit in depth and complexity. Alcohol warms the mouth. Faint roasted malt flavour give a coffee like influence and a bitty dextrin grain leaves an odd feeling in the mouth further in the finish.

Notes: Undoubted as good dessert beer or as a night cap with a cigar, to drink on its own is too much for some. Big time sipping brew that should be consumed at cellar temperature. As far as Scotch Ales go, I have had better and locally brewed at that.

Photo of Rifrafboy
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark with a good creamy head. Taste is very malty and sweet. Very faint hoppiness. The malt is where the taste is. Heavy alcohol going down. Almost an iodine type aftertaste. This is a good starter beer for Scotch Ale drinkers. It's quite expensive $7.99 and up for a six pack but worth a try.

Photo of merlin48
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark mahogany with a small beige head. The head quickly dissipates and left only some minimal lacing. Plenty of malt on the nose, toffee and butterscotch abound. Exquisite mouthfeel, thick and chewy with minimal carbonation. Taste is smoky sweet, with plenty of butterscotch and toffee. A lot of dark fruit around, as well. Hops aren't really apparent other than to lend a decent balance to the sweetness.Nothing here that conceals the alcohol burn, but not a bad thing on a snowy night that's way below freezing outside. Somewhat smoky and syrupy aftertaste that ends up rather clean. This very tasty Scotch Ale is an excellent addition to a winter cellar.

Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, no freshness dating. Pours dark molassas in color. Peat, earthyness and malt in the nose. White, tiny bubble head and leaves a fair bit of lace. Sticky, smooth malt, carries the day. Notes of earth, must, peat, caramel,toffee, cinnimon etc come foward here. Rich and syrupy, tasty stuff. Nice rich flavors balanced by a dry finish. Worth trying, nice brew for a cold damp night.

Photo of Byeast
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown , quarter inch head , moderate lace.

Smell: Unfermented Malt sweetness, some slight roasty qualities ,Tad bit of cedar , yeast , slight dark fruityness , and some alcohol.

Taste: Sweet , dark malts flavors ,slight bit of spicy bite in the back , toungue coating sweet sugars and darker fruit , little bit of coffee , little hop.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth , with a bit of biting carbonation in the finish.

Drinkablility: Quite drinkable , but more so as a dessert pairing or sipper , on the sweet side.

Photo of bsp77
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown with ruby highlights. Thin tan head.

Smell: Brown sugar, toffee and lots of very overripe dark fruit.

Taste: Very sweet with brown sugar and dark fruit that has been sitting on the counter for a few days. Some light toffee and chocolate. The finish has some counterbalance from spicy hops, but this still stays in sweet territory. The mix of overripe fruit and spice really reminds me of Dark Belgian Ales.

Feel: Full body that is fairly sticky. Low carbonation. Slightly warming.

Overall: This was one of my favorite beers from many years ago and I am thrilled to try it again. It actually tastes somewhat similar to what I remembered but, at the time, I did not recognize that there were Belgian elements to this Scotch Ale. Overall, it is sweet and decadent but not quite cloying. Good stuff.

Photo of greasycog
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this beer in a chalice. It had nice lacing but lacked a good head. Nice dark color. Smell was musty. Taste was strong with a similar aftertaste. Slight bitterness but mostly sweet. While this beer wasn't unpleasant, my taste tends to go more for flavors along the lighter flavors.

Photo of jsolack
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours thick with very rich and creamy head. Color is a very dark brown/red. Overall looks great!

Sweet caramel and very light hops. Great smell.

Bright and creamy in mouth. Finish is sweet caramel flavor and virtually no bitterness.

Smooth and thick in mouth... coats tounge great. Thickness is perfect. Overall great.

A fantasic beer. Tastes great and goes down easy. Excellent!

Photo of bpfrush
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of Mantooth
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of GOBLIN
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Dizzy
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darker reddish brown with a creamy tan head which recedes into a thin film. Aroma is all malt, almost smells like an old ale or a barleywine. I'm picking up aroma reminiscent of raisins. Taste is malty, some carmel elements there. Medium bodied with a little bit of a bite from carbonation and some alcohol burn. This stuff is great.

Photo of ADR
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep, clear chestnut brown appearance. Head settles at a thin 1/4 of an inch around 30 seconds after the pour. Sweet and powerful semi-molasses aroma. Malty, maple sugar taste, nice and coating in a full-bodied way. Notes of alcohol and raisins. A little orange rind flavor, maybe from the malts or maybe from the subtle English hops. Nice and flavorful, represents the style well but close to a Doppelbock in stickiness. A little heavy for high drinkability.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep ruby brown body with sort of a thin tan bubbly head lacing patterns nice thin sheets of foam. Aroma: Chocolate, slightly smoked peated malt aromatics here a sweet alcoholic nectar mixture of the smoked darker roasts take the forefront but what an aroma very nice brew here. Taste: Malty strong flavor a searing ripple of scotch malts the smokiness and chocolate tones are completely evident wow this is an extraoridnary beer that is the epitome of the style we're dealing with here. Mouthfeel: Not as full as the flavor but still a medium to wee heavy body, wow it's just good. Drinkability: After having beers like McEwan's IPA how can one transition so well to their Scotch Ale because it's so fucking good one of the best blends of heavy flavors to mix and complement eachother out of any beer, and at 8% abv this beer will definitely stir something up within your beer loving soul.

Photo of chrisms86
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I hate to criticize a Scottish Scotch ale but this one wasn't quite right. The appearence was great, slightly opaque black with a decent sized head. The taste was a bit cheap, a bland nose with a sharp bitter bite. The smell was more inviting but couldn't make up for the flavor, which was very good but not good enough for someone like me who is very picky about this type of brew. Recommended maybe for someone just getting into Scotch ales.

Photo of Miha
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

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McEwan's Scotch Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
86 out of 100 based on 618 ratings.