1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

597 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 597
Reviews: 438
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 33
Gots: 12 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of McEwan's Scotch Ale Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 597 | Reviews: 438 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerhunter13
5/5  rDev +31.9%

beerhunter13, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of
5/5  rDev +31.9%

You rated this beer. Add a review.

, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of ZCW
5/5  rDev +31.9%

ZCW, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of Darrell1986
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Darrell1986, Jul 02, 2014
Photo of jdhilt
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Pours a five finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Deep mahogany color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose. Flavor is smooth, not too sweet, hops mellow, higher ABV is hidden. Really the standard for scotch ales. $1.99 for a 12oz bottle from Tull's Beer & Wine Wells, ME.

jdhilt, Apr 12, 2007
Photo of wrightst
5/5  rDev +31.9%

wrightst, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of spacecommander
5/5  rDev +31.9%

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 ;~)

spacecommander, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of law00
5/5  rDev +31.9%

law00, Jul 02, 2014
Photo of sweetmaltman
5/5  rDev +31.9%

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.

sweetmaltman, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of mjwalker858
5/5  rDev +31.9%

mjwalker858, May 16, 2014
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of Mosul
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Mosul, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of RedBaron
4.88/5  rDev +28.8%

I can't believe that after 38 beer-tasting submissions to BA, I'm FINALLY getting around to tasting one of my favorite beers in this world.

The appearance of this blessed ale is of a Loch Lomond dark red hue. The well-placed, tannish head sustained nicely through the drink.

The smell was of fig, raisin and a blanched mixed malt character, which our friends at the brewery are trying to tell us that the peat character of the bogs of Scotland provide more than just fuel for the hearth: They mean business with their ale!

Taste? Aye, my bonnie lass! This is a wonderfully rich and dark fruity ale which delivers a divine taste (thank Jesus MacChrist for this one, mate). I'm guessing several roasted malts went into the mix, as well as a possible assortment of darker fruits (currants, etc.) and even molasses, but the unfiltered, or at least heavy-handed yeasty residuals, make this ale one for the ages. For all lovers of tride-and-true Scotch ales, this one is for you!

Mouthfeel: Exceptional body. Not as heavy as you'd think, but enough to let you know that you're drinking something that intends to linger for a long, good time.

Drinkability: If I were stuck on a lonely island in the outer Hebrides, and St. Andrew appeared with offerings of just one beer for the rest of my days to enjoy on a cold, deserted hard rock, I'd have little hesitation on my request.

RedBaron, Jun 16, 2004
Photo of ZAP
4.85/5  rDev +28%

Deep dark brown with a fizzy white head....nose is of alcohol and sweet fruit sugars...very little carbonation in the mouth...smoooth....you can't taste the alcohol at first but the alcohol bites a little on the finish...I love the flavor....very sweet..almost like molasses....as you drink this it becomes a little overwhelming but it's right up my alley....a big sweet beer that would go perfect with desert. I may make this my after Thanksgiving dinner pie eating beer....might pair better with caramel rolls or chocolate cake....I haven't eaten either in about a year(all extra calories go for beer right??) but I think it would be a nice combo...this isn't for everyone but I sure enjoy it....my first Scotch Ale...I must try more....

ZAP, Sep 19, 2002
Photo of philmath
4.83/5  rDev +27.4%

THE beer which introduced me to the marvellous world of drinking GOOD beer. First, I was rather reticent towards the products of beer, my experiment being rather limited to the Boomerangs, Tornades and other malt-hybrid drinks. What struck me the most at the beginning, it's this incredible aroma of coffee and brandy. The taste is extraordinary! Sugar, sugar and even sugar! The caramel and the molasses are very present in mouth. Still talking about the taste, i can't forget the presence of roast bread. An ideal beer for the long winter nights.

philmath, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of blackthistle
4.83/5  rDev +27.4%

Opaque and dark brown in color, this ale pours with a thick, creamy, light brown head. The aroma consists of a sweet maltiness followed by a light smokiness and a hint of sherry and fruity esters. This heavy-bodied beer is thick, creamy and very malty with a smokiness in the finish along with some notes of sherry in the complex flavor profile. This is no session beer, but the type of beer that you can sip by the fire on a cold winter day... brings a warmth to your cheeks as well as your heart. This is one of my all-time favorite beers and the beer that I judge all strong scotch ales against.

blackthistle, Jul 11, 2005
Photo of GilaMinumBeer
4.8/5  rDev +26.6%

A silky, yet somewhat chewy mouthfeel with no perceivable bitterness leaving a yearning on the palate to sip again. High alcohol content with no perceived heat.

Earthy to the nose and a very subtle smokiness in the finish.

This is by and large the best commercial brew I have yet to try.

GilaMinumBeer, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of Noboatfred
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Noboatfred, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of JamesS
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

After trying Sam Adam's Scotch Ale, I thought I might really be onto something. I searched around and this was the first import Scotch Ale I could find... and wow! Nectar of the gods for me. Smoky finish, great aroma, beautiful copper color. I couldn't ask for anything more. My next step will be to try the pop top cans.

JamesS, Sep 06, 2007
Photo of Lonestargazer52
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Lonestargazer52, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of jkdrummer
4.72/5  rDev +24.5%

Without a doubt, this ale stands out among all Scotch Ales made. The warm sweet taste is unique and not matched by anyother Scotch. Complex but pleasant with no bitterness. A little tang to it but nothing gets in the way, it's breakfast in a bottle and one of my all time favorites.

jkdrummer, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of zuggy9
4.68/5  rDev +23.5%

This Scotch ale pours a very dark brown with a good head that trailed off to a decent crown. The smell is strong with a nice array of sweet maltiness, earthy honey and fruit notes and a rich grainy bread scents. The taste is rich in bready malts and caramel notes. The alcohol is hard to miss and blends exceptionally with the whole. It finishes dry with good carbonation and a full-bodied mouthfeel. Very drinkable, though the ABV will creep up on you.

zuggy9, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of techtatu
4.68/5  rDev +23.5%

Very dark color and cream colored head. The head left nice lace marks on the glass and taste was very good, almost like whiskey. It gave off a smokey aroma with a slight hint of sweetness.

Definitely something I would drink again and something I would enjoy with a cigar or a pipe. Not recommend for all of your buddies to try unless they like a good strong beer.

techtatu, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of JamieDuncan
4.66/5  rDev +23%

JamieDuncan, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of CaptainStubing
4.64/5  rDev +22.4%

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.

CaptainStubing, Jun 07, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
McEwan's Scotch Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
85 out of 100 based on 597 ratings.