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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

608 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 608
Reviews: 439
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 14.21%
Wants: 32
Gots: 14 | 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: 608 | Reviews: 439 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of udubdawg
4/5  rDev +5.3%

udubdawg, Sep 09, 2013
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.

merlin48, Dec 21, 2003
Photo of JayQue
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never had a Wee Heavy before, didn't know what to expect. Was anticipating a malty stout on 8% abv steroids. This beer poured a clear mahogany color with beautiful red highlights when held up to the light. Good sized off-white head and fairly thick lacing. A very impressive appearance. Smell was dark fruit (plum maybe) and a hint of chocolate. Taste was surprising, no malty flavor. Slightly astringent and fruity/chocolate taste. Reminded me very much of a very mild Mad Elf. At first taste, I thought the mouthfeel was a bit weak. Subsequent sips cleared that up. The mouthfeel is fairly rich and creamy. At 8%, this don't qualify as a session beer, but it is quite drinkable and a second one would be welcome along with good conversation on a cool evening. A nice experience.

JayQue, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of Derek
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before: 31 05 06

A: Black with a slight redish hue. Small tan head, but it leaves a little lace.

S: Dark malt with a hint of tar.

T: Sweet & syrupy, but balanced by the bitter dark malt. Only a hint of bitter aftertaste & alcohol warming. It's like a dopplebock, with a little fruity Ale flavour. Hops... are there any hops in this?

M: Moderate to heavy. Syrupy. Moderate carbonation.

D: No overpowering flavours, so it should be approachable to the amateur. Enough flavours to keep the geek drinking!

Derek, Sep 08, 2005
Photo of TPoling
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Scotch ale poured black with hints of red and a quickly dissolving head. The nose is a little fruit and a little toffee. Finished with a mild sourness, but is made up for by the lingering roastiness and grassiness. Overall, a passable example of the style.

TPoling, Jan 05, 2004
Photo of aubuc1
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle in to an imperial pint glass.

Nice tan head on a clear dark brown cola like color.

Sweet malt with some currant/raisin.

Complex taste that is roasty but sweet. Great taste.

Lighter feel than taste.

Heavy taste has lots of booze. Classic taste copied significantly.

aubuc1, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of wordemupg
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle poured into pint glass on sept4 2009

A a deep ruby red when held to the light. A solid two finger tan head falls slowly to a 1/4 inch film that coats the glass with lace.

S sweet malt and molasses with a little booze, some burnt sugar and a little fruity bit I can't place

T Very sweet with molasses being what i get the most of. Other then some mild coffee and some grape it tastes as it smells and that's not a bad thing

M creamy with low carbonation, easy finish easy too enjoy

D I don't see myself drinking a 6er back too back but it's not a problem putting down one or two. I plan on drinking this in the future

wordemupg, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, very dark brown with virtually no head. Nose is like musty strawberries with a syrupy sugar sauce poured all over them. Flavor is sweet with an earthy edge. Almost like port with peat or something off the ground overlapping it. You also get a distinct tangy edge on the top of your mouth. Mouthfeel is extremely thick, bordering on syrupy with a high airy edge to it. Not the most drinkable of brews due to the thick syrup edge, but this is one 6 pack I will let sit in the fridge for a while and go back to now and again for a nice, relaxing drink.

I know that my personal preference for very flavorful and sweet beers will effect my ratings, but I really dig this one.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of birchstick
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - extremely deep ruby brown with a small head that dissipated quickly
S - smells of sweet malts, with a dash of earth.
T - this is one of the more flavorful scotch ales I have tried. Very sweet and candy-ish, followed by a little bit come burnt tones and smokiness.
M - a bit watery and over carbonated
D - Good drinkability, however the 8% can creep up on you quickly if you are knocking a couple back. This is a great beer and I definitely one of the top examples of this style.

birchstick, Sep 27, 2008
Photo of AudioGilz
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What a great dessert!.....I mean BEER! Talk about SWEET caramel maltiness! The aroma and flavor are strongly malty like this. Alcohol comes through in the finish. It's kinda chewy in the mouthfeel and also very smooth with a low carbonation feel. This beer kicks ass, and it will kick your ass as well. Plan for an awesome lacing effect from the head, a very dark amber color with clarity, and some serious malty and alcohol bite! It's yummy for dessert or in my case any occassion.

AudioGilz, Apr 04, 2003
Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a rich beige head. Color is dark-brown opaque. Nice lacing.
S-Creamy, sweet toasted malt with molasses. Very earthy.
T-Sweet molasses and peet round out sweet malts.
M-Rich and creamy. Excellent body and near-perfect texture really makes the drink.
D-Alcohol is not immediately apparent. Flavors and body are excellent. All in all, a great drink.

BoitSansSoif, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of Garin
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown with flashes of ruby in the light, and a creamy pale head that clings to the glass.

Aromas of burnt sugar and caramel, and rich malt. Fairly simple, but in a good clean way.

Flavours of rich caramel, toffee, and slightly bitter malt. A sweetness lingers for a final impression, with a hint of maple syrup. It's really interesting how that works! About five seconds after I swallow, the maple syrupy sweetness creeps in. I don't taste the alcohol very much. As I get through the bottle, I find a dark raisiny fruity flavour building.

It feels rich and slick, creamy and warm. What more can I ask for?

I like it.

Garin, Aug 07, 2003
Photo of the42ndtourist
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The one redeeming aspect of a summer in Newfoundland - I got to drink this. (the beer situation there is pretty grim).

Pours a swirling maelstrom of ruby and brown tints topped by a pleasant and relatively thick tan head. Smells of malt, malt, malt. The same can be said for the taste. Loads of malt flavours, heaps of caramel and a bit of peaty bite at the close. Feels a little thin going down, but still retains an immense drinkability.

Not McAuslan's - not nearly - but perfect after a day in the cold ocean wind on the coastal outcrops of 'the island'.

the42ndtourist, Aug 10, 2003
Photo of BuckSpin
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured as a nice, deep ruddy, tealike warm mahogany, nice epervescent with some bubbles clinging. Little to no lacing, the head was a nice short 1/2" of a dull greyish-cream, mixed of tight & loose.

Nose is very pleasant. Noticable alcohol, dried fruit (cherries or currants), a wisp of some hay/wheat, some wood tones develop as it warms, a little peaty, wet earth on a hot day.

Initailly its soft, a little creamy, some lite fruit, a bit understated for the genre but very nice. It peaks & sharpens more on the pallete, echoes of slightly burnt caramel, with a mild hop peak on the throat. There is a pleasant warmness as well, and a very clean, warm, sweetness that lingers after.

Its good. I enjoy Scotch Ales very much, and would certainly drink this again as well as recommend it.

BuckSpin, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruit, vanilla, bourbon, caramel and some spice.

T: The taste very sweet with flavors of brown sugar, dark fruits, caramel, vanilla and bourbon. The malt character is very hearty as you would expect from the style and there’s a little bit of smokiness in the background. There’s also a mild hops presence that give the beer a little bit of balance. The after-taste is sweet with a little tartness and spice.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, clean and dry finish especially for a style that usually has a sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not as filling most Wee Heavies, good kick, good representation of style. It might not be the absolute best-tasting Scotch Ale but it’s up there and isn’t quite the gut-buster that others are. It’s one of the few with the style that you could drink several of.

TheManiacalOne, Aug 12, 2007
Photo of ndekke39
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a 12 oz. bottle with my brother. Tasted them from wine glasses. No freshness date on the bottle that we could see. Poured a clear, reddish-brown (dark ruby, I believe he said) with a small, white head. Aromas of sweet malt, caramel, burnt sugar, and a fruity smell. The more I stuck my nose in it, the more I got some aromas of fruity white wine - peach or apricot mostly. Tastes of dark roasted malt, toasted coffee. Sharp notes of alcohol, too. Very tiny fizz in the mouthfeel. A touch watery - not as thick and smooth as other Scotch Ales I've tried. Very good drinkabililty - it's light enough that it doesn't overpower. A fine example of this style.

ndekke39, Aug 14, 2006
Photo of Stunner97
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance- dark black, not gonna see even a speak of light come through this sucker, nice white head of moderate thickness of the pour, nice powerful look

Smell- very sweet off the first sniff, lots of sugar caramel and molasses assault the nose, chocolate candy and all kinds of sweet malts dominate

Taste- wow this is very tasty off the first sip, some burnt malts and coffee notes off first sip, tastes like a stout maybe even and oatmeal stout in profile, though kind of lighter still then thickness of some stouts in flavor, nice sweet malts and flavor, very full and rich long finish, very nice complex flavor almost like slight port finish, hmm, just very nice complex flavor super enjoyable,

Mouthfeel- medium to full bodied, very creamy and smooth,

Drinkability- the alcohol is big and yet hidden, but this is a massive goliath of a beer and a definite sipper, it feels bigger and bigger to you as you go but its a very enjoyable beer, the flavor has a beautiful complexity and a great length, I really have to say i liked this beer very much so its a tad depressing knowing that I have just about the last one shipped to the US, but i guess i will have to hunt out similar examples of the style, if you can get this near you surely worth a try

Stunner97, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of GordonQuid
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle to a freshly washed pint glass. Chesnut brown with a two inch rocky head, thick lacing.

Smells of caramel brandy, candy corns, and fig jam on toast.

Taste is sweet medium bodied toffee, slight raosted coffee and fig. Very delicious and drinkable for a Wee Heavy.

GordonQuid, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of BeardedSquash
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep brownish red. A slowly receding tan head. Healthy looking beer that laces the edges all the way down.

S: Malt and earth up front. A rich smoke and grain mixture. A wound down sweetness with a touch of vanilla and cinnamon. No apparent hop aroma.

T: This is a well rounded beer. I love Scottish ales and there is a reason this is a staple. Malt, malt and malt, with an alcohol back. Sweet at the swallow.

M: Wonderful for this style. I rich beer needs an equally rich mouth. Almost chewy.

D: All night long. For 8% ABV, this could easily pass for a session beer. Great around a fire pit.

BeardedSquash, Jul 13, 2007
Photo of rodenbach99
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bouteille brune de 355ml.

belle couleur brune avec reflet rouge, malheureusement la mousse avait disparue avant que je la voie, nez de pomme verte, de malt, un peu sucré, la bouche est ronde, goût de malt, elle a du corps, belle finale sucrée. bonne bière.

rodenbach99, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of SirSketch
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - very deep amber in color. beautiful beige head with good retention and very small, fine bubbles.

S - extremely malty with hints of chocolate and caramel. if I tried really hard, I could catch a whiff of hops. the alcohol is apparent in it's aroma, as well.

T - I found this scotch ale to be very nutty and chocolaty. modest hop bitterness and low hop flavor. I also found this beer to be a little sweet.

M - amazing. low to moderate carbonation (expected) and full bodied. it has an amazing creaminess to it that helped it go down very smooth. it left my lips dry, but it left me wanting more, regardless

D - excellent

I am fairly new to the style of scotch ales, but, surprisingly, I very much liked this beer

SirSketch, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a big lacy tan head. Smells of burnt malt. Nutty.

Taste is surprisingly creamy and smooth. Rich, sweet and malty . Nutty undertones. Smoky and spicy. A bit salty? A lightly dry and bitter finish in contrast to the overall malty sweetness. Very malty and sweet aftertaste. Body is a bit lighter than I'm used to with a Scottish Ale but it's very well balanced and remarkably drinkable for a beer of 8% ABV. Very solid brew to add to your selections.

ViveLaChouffe, Oct 10, 2003
Photo of Offa
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a smooth, easy-to-drink, yet still tasty, characterful wee heavy.

Deep red brown, not quite black, it has a medium tan head that shrinks very slowly to a permanent thin, foamy top. It leaves even rings of lace resembling icicles.

The aroma is sweet brown bread, butter, caramel, caramleized prunes, along with hints of wine and whole wheat bread.

The taste is fairly simple but rich, full-bodied, smooth and mellow. It has strong fruit, especially cherries, toast, hints of chocolate and red wine, and spices. The feel is zesty and rather lively despite light oiliness. Alcohol adds a nice, full warmth without being too evident. The result is a beer that may lack complexity of some wee heavies, but still has plenty of firm character, some complexity, and is also extremely smooth and easy to drink.

Offa, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of padjo1
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In presenting this review it would assist the reader to know that this is the first of the Scotch Ale style I have tried. Being a resident of the southwest coast of the USA, (Southern California for the geographically challenged), one doesn't have as many opportunities to have a go at this reputable category.

Appearance: Dark brown, an auburn when held up to the light.
Nice billowy head that leaves a white lace throughout.

Smell: MALT, fruit underneath (orange peel, figs, raisins or currants), and delicate spice (cinnamon, cloves, and perhaps nutmeg and just a little bit of coriander).

Taste: Very malty with hints of molasses. Not much chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy. High gravity.

Drinkability: High points are given to the complexity. Can't drink tooo much of this beer. It's just too heavy. That's not a bad thing though. The alcohol is a little overdone. Dare I say, the character of the malt needs to be more pronounced?

padjo1, May 15, 2003
Photo of joshwlt
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured it fairly rigorously into a pint glass has a cola color with a fluffy, receding, sticky light brown head. Can see carbonation sticking to the sides of the glass. Smells sweet with dark fruits, toffee and caramel. Yeah this is interesting. Creamy texture with a silky raisiny, caramel flavor. Slight alcohol presence, but fairly hidden. Fairly sweet but has a bitterness to match (slighty woody, spicy with just the tiniest hint of smoke)... still on the malt end of the spectrum. I really like the creamy yet not overbearing mouthfeel of this brew, and it goes down fairly easy. My first scotch ale and very tasty and drinkable ale.

joshwlt, Jul 03, 2008
McEwan's Scotch Ale from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
86 out of 100 based on 608 ratings.