1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

615 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 615
Reviews: 441
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 14.21%
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)
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
Ratings: 615 | Reviews: 441 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CaptainStubing
4.64/5  rDev +22.1%
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.

CaptainStubing, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of KodyBrannon
4.63/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a reddish color with a cream, 2 finger head. Had the slight hint of toffee smell to it, Was kind of scared when I saw this bottle at 8% abv. I had never had a beer to this point with an abv that high. So I though this would mess me up drinking it, but from the first sip it was very smooth and easy to drink. The mouthfell of this beer is very light. The overall drinkability is great, I will buy this beer agian and agian to drink from time to time.

KodyBrannon, Sep 06, 2007
Photo of kwalters
4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

kwalters, Dec 23, 2003
Photo of bobdylan
4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

bobdylan, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
4.58/5  rDev +20.5%
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]

Metalmonk, Sep 27, 2007
Photo of Murph
4.58/5  rDev +20.5%
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.

Murph, Sep 25, 2002
Photo of Damian
4.58/5  rDev +20.5%
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.

Damian, Oct 11, 2006
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.

WVbeergeek, Oct 14, 2003
Photo of thisisshsas
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

thisisshsas, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of DrZarkov
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
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!

DrZarkov, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of KensWorld
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

KensWorld, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of filmguy
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

filmguy, Jan 15, 2014
Photo of Desert_Gypsy_Beer
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Desert_Gypsy_Beer, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of DreamDeath
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

DreamDeath, May 18, 2014
Photo of Metal4Breakfast
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Metal4Breakfast, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of Twotonsandwich
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Twotonsandwich, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of Extrajoker00
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Extrajoker00, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of RockinRob925
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

RockinRob925, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of Dweedlebug
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Dweedlebug, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of fuzzcherry
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

fuzzcherry, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of tommyguz
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

tommyguz, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of KStark
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

KStark, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of Campodog
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Campodog, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of Dukesbarandgrill
4.48/5  rDev +17.9%

Dukesbarandgrill, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of homersimpson
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

homersimpson, Oct 12, 2003
McEwan's Scotch Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
86 out of 100 based on 615 ratings.