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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

583 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 583
Reviews: 436
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 34
Gots: 11 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of McEwan's Scotch Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 583 | Reviews: 436 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kwalters


4.6/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love malty beers, even if they are sometimes difficult to consume in large quantities. McEwan's Scotch Ale was a pleasant surprise to my senses. I knew Scotch ales tend to be malty and stronger than the average brew, but I was blown away by the deep sweetness and carmely, plum flavors.

The appearance is "merely" good. It's a dark brown with a nice creamy head. Drinkability is also "merely" good because I wouldn't want an entire sixer of this stuff, but 2 or 3 would be an excellent night cap! This remains one of my favorite malty beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2003 19:49:03 | More by kwalters
Photo of bobdylan


4.6/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love McEwan's Scotch Ale, I love its dark hue, its smooth, carmelly rich goodness, and although I never do, I could easily have more than one. The problem is that I can't find it anywhere anymore. Contact me if you know how I can find some. Thanks.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 00:07:47 | More by bobdylan
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The head on this one is modest, creamy and light-tan. The color is a deep red/brown, definitely one of the darkest in this style that I've been witness to. Little thin strings of lace. Ok, but doesn't look super-enticing.

Aroma is a bit musty, like a basement, some sour berries, malty, very very light smoke essence.

ooohh...let's begin backwards. The finish is amazing. Lighty smoked, succulent berry-like sweetness, and grassy bitterness. The front of the sip is huge on malt, peat, brown sugar, cherry pipe tobacco, and molasses. Wow. Yum. I want more. Seriously, where has this been all my life?!?

Mouthfeel achieves both frothy creaminess and excited carbonation.

I'm totally into this. Wish I'd bought more than one bottle. When I bought this I also bought a single of the amazing Sierra Nevada anniversary beer and a freakin' 6-pack of the organic Lamar Street pale ale. What a dummy.

[Music: Bolt Thrower - Realm Of Chaos]

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2007 23:22:31 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of Murph


4.58/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The brew pours a dark amber/ruby color with a great dark tan/light brown head that rings the glass excellently. The aroma has an excellent caramel malt aroma to it that has some nice breadiness to it along with the nice alcohol aroma that accompanies it with some weak peatish characteristics. Great sweet maltiness with some nice caramel qualities to it and a nice peatish flavor with some very nice bready qualities to it that give the brew an excellently smooth mouthfeel and there is also a great slightly warming alcohol quality to this brew. This is an excellently drinkable brew that I will be looking forward to trying again.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2002 23:26:58 | More by Murph
Photo of Damian


4.58/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz bottle purchased at Mall Discount Liquors, Cambridge, MA

Poured a thick, translucent brown/black with a light tan, one finger, foamy head. The head quickly faded to a thick ring of lace on the edge of the glass with swirls of lace on top. Some spotty lacing along the glass.

Smell was incredibly rich and aromatic. Sweet caramel malts, brown sugar and yeasts prevailed with alcohol soaked raisins, dates and figs and a bourbon like oakiness following. Alcohol phenols lingered.

Taste was caramel like and sweet. Earthy, peaty, nutty and smoky notes become noticeable as the beer sat on the palate. Little hop presence. Alcohol warming noticeable in the mouth and the throat. The alcohol taste (and resulting effects) really sneaked up on me with this beer. Clean finish.

Mouthfeel was incredibly rich, creamy, slick and slightly chewy. Light and pillowy on the tongue.

Outstanding drinkability. This beer went down amazingly well. Makes for a terrific after dinner drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2006 00:29:27 | More by Damian
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2003 19:07:28 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of thisisshsas


4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

this beer is a scotch ale, but it feels alot heavier than that. Beer poured very dark, with a nice red tint. Alcohol is sneeky but you feel the 8% soon enough. The taste is a great combination of an amber ale and a porter, with a great amount of malt while having enough hops that if you keep it in your mouth long enough you feel the hop flavor go through your nose. Has a thickness that rivals an average porter, and thus is anything but a session beer. I had this beer once before at a beer tasting, and it was great. I bought a 6 pack and though it was expensive ($11) this is a beer of the calibur that makes it worth it.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2008 02:15:54 | More by thisisshsas
Photo of DrZarkov


4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

McEwan's Scotch Ale is all around one of the best beers I have ever had. Nothing is too amazing about its appearance or its mouthfeel, but its taste and drinkability are amazing. Scotch Ale is my favorite style of beer and this one is on the very top of that list. It has a hint of carmel to its taste, but without the coffee hints that some Scotch Ale beers have. Also absoultely no bitterness. I highly recommend this beer to everybody and especially those who enjoy darker beers!

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 15:39:11 | More by DrZarkov
Photo of filmguy


4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

01-15-2014 11:07:20 | More by filmguy
Photo of Desert_Gypsy_Beer


4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

12-09-2012 17:01:00 | More by Desert_Gypsy_Beer
Photo of DreamDeath

New Brunswick (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

05-18-2014 09:25:29 | More by DreamDeath
Photo of Metal4Breakfast


4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

03-03-2012 19:03:01 | More by Metal4Breakfast
Photo of Extrajoker00


4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

03-19-2014 23:39:24 | More by Extrajoker00
Photo of RockinRob925


4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

02-25-2012 16:15:04 | More by RockinRob925
Photo of Dweedlebug


4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

03-11-2012 07:16:42 | More by Dweedlebug
Photo of fuzzcherry


4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

11-29-2011 01:07:41 | More by fuzzcherry
Photo of tommyguz


4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

12-22-2013 17:10:17 | More by tommyguz
Photo of KStark

British Columbia (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

06-14-2013 15:12:29 | More by KStark
Photo of Campodog


4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

01-16-2012 12:51:36 | More by Campodog
Photo of homersimpson

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark clear amber with light tan lace. Sweet fruity nose with a touch of coffee maybe? Velvet malt coats the palatte only to clear slowly to a sweet toffeelike finish that lingers for quite a while. The alcohol is very evident right before the finish. Almost no hop presence when cold, and it fades altogether as this brew warms. The malt is vivid throughout, but as it warms, the sweet aclohol flavor takes over. Excellent brew for an excellent style.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2003 07:17:34 | More by homersimpson
Photo of klintok21


4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Love this beer! A dark scotch ale, high in aroma and flavor. Scents of caramel/toffee/coffee. High ABV @ 8.0%. Very rich flavor with hints of what the smells suggest, caramel/coffee. However this doesn't take away to much from the fact it is still a beer. Basically if you like Scotch Ales and have not tried this one, do so. If you haven't ever tried Scotch Ales and want to, this is a great one to start with! Regardless of anything, give one a try!

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2008 05:08:37 | More by klintok21
Photo of jsolack


4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2004 02:26:44 | More by jsolack
Photo of Jyubei

New Mexico

4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I used McEwan's scotch ale to break in the thistle glass I ordered and it was wonderful.

A. The brew pours a dark brown which attains amber tones in the light and has about a 2 inch light tan head. It also shows some moderate lacing.

S.The aroma of roasted malt and hops leads to a hint of caramel, grains and fresh grasses.

T.Strong sweet creamy butterscotch and toffee with roasted malt and hops at the end. It has a creamy after taste like Irish Cream, but less alcoholic.

M. It has a creamy feel in the mouth followed by stickiness after swallowing. The carbonation and alcohol provide a good feel as well.

D. I liked this one really well, but it is pretty strong( I finished it just before writing this and can already feel a little buzz.) so if you drink it you will be staying where you are. However I love it as a nightcap so no problem.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2008 06:17:10 | More by Jyubei
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big, frothy, 1-inch head sits on top of a great-looking mahogany-garnet colored bier. Head shrinks down to a fine, thin layer, with excellent lacing in the glass! Has a smoky, peaty nose with good malt notes. Good body, and makes it's way very well over the tongue! Malty-sweet up front, smoky peat notes, smooth dry finish. My kind of Scotch Ale! Even with 8% abv I did not find that that made it too heavy, or detracted from the drinkability. Cheers!!

overall: 4.45
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5


Serving type: bottle

06-22-2002 17:25:28 | More by Bierman9
Photo of Chaz


4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium-firm pour (cold from fridge) into a bulb. Pale tan head dissipates rather quickly but uniformly, leaving a tenacious ring around the glass and some stubborn but moderate lacing. There's an immediately striking presence to the nose: rum and booze . . . much more prominent than I remember. Smells treacly-sweet, malty, tangy / semi-sour, with a touch of iodine-minerality. Nose is also vinuous and rather fruity with notes of grapes, prune, date and fig - one hell of a nose, I'd say! Clear, dark ruby/amber in color, with fine champagne-like bubbles and carbonation. I gave it a few minutes to warm before tasting, as I recall from past experience that this brew really opens up after it warms. It comes on strong initially, with a sharp bittersweet character, and the bitterness really surprises me a little at first. Plum / ripe pear sweetness is balanced by a stout-like roasted malt character (think Guinness Estra Stout) as well as an underlying bitterness which is part malt and part hop. Aromatic qualities are all fruit and no hop. Alcohol is certainly present but very well mitigated by a landslide of malt complexities (note: alcohol becomes more pronounced as this warms!) Mouthfeel is a lot thinner than I recall from my days as a Meister Brau drinker / homebrewer (gotta put those returnables to good use y'know?), but not thin by any stetch, more like "medium". Notes of juicy plum and roasted malt simply last and last, and there is a further scintilla of berries (think blackberry mashed-up with boysenberry) in the aromatics. Mouthfeel is also fairly complex: begins creamy/sweet and winds its way through vinuous and oily to become semi-sweet and a lot drier than I remember. As far as the mouthfeel, well, it isn't altogether "easy" to put one of these down, but it's a lot easier than it should be - very drinkable for a big brew. About three ounces into this and I'm catching the warmth of the alcohol alongside the iodine/mineral/medicinal qualities (even a touch Peaty!) that had made the Wee Heavy my favorite style for many, many years. Scotch whiskey-like, insofar as a "beer" can be, and definitely a sipper. This is amongst the heavier of the more widely-available offerings in the Wee Heavy style. In fact, I have before me my trusty xeroxed copy of "Beer Analysis: Alcohol and calorie content for a cross-section of imported and domestic beers." from the December, 1991 issue of Modern Brewery Age magazine. The old, 9.5% ABV export version was rated at 295 calories per 11.2 oz bottle . . . just imagine the carbs in that!!! But apart from a weight-tweak to the recipe to bring it down to a reasonable 8.0% ABV, there's nary a difference in taste or overall characteristics (or at least not enough to cry "foul" over). This remains a beer that drinks like a meal, and among my all-time Top 10. I've heard rumours that Scottish and Newcastle are dropping this from their North American import scheme, and this is quite a shame: a value at twice the price, it will be sorely missed - I guess it's time I got back into homebrewing, eh? I have a couple of empty returnable cases in the cellar . . .

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2006 02:58:23 | More by Chaz
McEwan's Scotch Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
85 out of 100 based on 583 ratings.