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!

Younger's Tartan Special - The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited

Not Rated.
Younger's Tartan SpecialYounger's Tartan Special

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

12 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 12
Reviews: 9
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.5%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: JISurfer on 12-24-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 12 | Reviews: 9 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Quej:
Photo of Quej
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%

A - This beer has a clear dark brown amber colour, pours with a thick white head which leaves a nice white lace.

S - Lacks a certain strength to its smell, but roasted barley and sweet toffee is present. Tends towards a slightly alcoholic scent as it warms.

T - At the first sip you can tell its a complex beer with many strong flavours. Immediately sweet caramels and nice roasted barleys roll over your palate, with an almost fruity sweet bitterness reminiscent of cranberries. Toffee flavours and dark raosted nuts accompany the hopps very nicely. It then becomes more bitter and hoppier which lingers to a strong delicious aftertaste. As it warms it begins to taste of alcohol, but none of the plaid-like complexity is lost.

M - Very thick and smooth. Thick enough to almost seem as though you are chewing on toffee, which makes it a little hard to swallow after a whole pint.

D - Not impressed by its drinkability. This is not a beer I could have many of. Its flavours are too complex to be had all night. The heavy thickness of the beer limit its drinkability.

Overall, I really enjoyed the flavours of the beer, which may have been slightly too hoppy for its style. It was quite a pleasure to drink, and I know that the low drinkability will hurt its score on my review, but it is better than the score would indicate. The taste more than makes up for the thickness.

Quej, Mar 26, 2007
More User Reviews:
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%

Dark reddish brown colour with white head. Could not get aroma as bleached glass. Lots of lace, very fresh. Creamy mouthfeel and very drinkable from very good malting. Roasty/burnt with smoke, salty and bitter finish. Above average carbonation. Henry the 8th new place.

Sammy, Aug 20, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%

The Younger's brewery has been through numerous mergers since 1931, yet the Tartan Special remains as it's best known ale (although I believe this beer is also sold as McEwan's 70 Shilling). It pours a just-slightly hazy (bottle conditioned) burnished copper capped by a short, creamy white head that holds fairly well before dropping to a creamy collar. Some thin and spotty lace adds to its appearance. The nose expresses sweetish caramel malt and a mild touch of buttery diacetyl. It's light/medium body is enlivened by an exceptionally fine, mild carbonation (from bottle conditioning) that gently caresses the tongue before becoming silky smooth across the palate. The flavor is sweetish with a light caramel-tinged malt, gently fruity (some raisin), a touch nutty from the diacetyl, and tempered by a cusp of brash roastiness. The bitterness plays a supporting role, anchoring the malt and lending a refreshing dryness to the finish. Very well balanced. A light but flavorful ale with a moderate alcohol content (3.7% abv) that has exceptional drinkability. A superb session ale in all regards.

NeroFiddled, Feb 10, 2003
Photo of BBM
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%

Had this one on tap in Quebec City. It poured a nice reddish-brown with a chunky white head atop. Aroma was sweet, with caramel malts, bread, and slight fruit esters.

I wasn't thrilled by this beer. It tasted a bit watery to me, with the usually powerful maltiness of a Scottish beer not coming through. There was certainly a level of sweetness, with raisins and caramel and a nice nuttienss, and it wasn't a bad brew by any means, but it didn't have that subtle complexity I was expecting. Mouthfeel was medium. This is fairly drinkable, if uneventful. Worth a try though.

BBM, May 31, 2007
Photo of Reidrover
3.6/5  rDev -7%

Pint in the Fife Arms,Dufftown, Scotland
Light brown colour,small off white head. Plenty laceing
Very malty aroma though not quite as sweet as others.
Has a quite distinctive malty and nutty taste ..the nuttiness raises this above the average 70 shilling type ales.
Nice palate, refreshing and well carbonated.
I found this very drinkable..good session brew.

Reidrover, Mar 04, 2005
Photo of cdwil
4/5  rDev +3.4%

cdwil, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of crwills
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Oddly enough, I went to a local pub last night that I'd never been to before and this was on tap. I'd never even heard of it before, and before ordering and getting the Younger's beermat, I figured it was some local brew. But, surprise surprise, it was this seeminly new Younger's brew, and a good one at that!

Anyway, typical pub-review: Looked great, exactly the colour a scotch ale should be (dark golden-brown, creamy looking). Aroma was nice, caramel and molasses. Taste was similar, but had some tobacco flavour in there as well, and mild roastiness in the aftertaste. Great mouthfeel, smooth and oily. I could have had a few of these if there weren't other beers at this pub I wanted to try!

crwills, Aug 07, 2006
Photo of JISurfer
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%

This is the beer that got me hooked on Scotch Ales. I had this beast on tap w/ a side of Haggis at the Charleston Scottish and Highland Games, in Charleston, Sc. I had it during "half time" of my very first games that I competed in. Enough about me and my endeavors though. This was a nice strong, yet easy beer. It had earthy overtones, mixed with stouty undertones. As it's Scottish counterparts has, it had a big thick head to it and dark color. Finished nice a smooth, with no harsh aftertaste. It'll make yer kilt fly up too!!

JISurfer, Dec 24, 2002
Photo of Johnq1964
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Johnq1964, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of sim0n17
5/5  rDev +29.2%

sim0n17, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of kmacphail
4/5  rDev +3.4%

This is the Scottish & Newcastle rival to Tennents Special. How does it compare, well the two are very similar.

The pint pours to a dark red, with a white head. The standard roasted malts and hops from many Scottish beers is evident on the nose.

The taste is again dominated by roasted malts, hops and barley, however this does have a slightly bitter after taste, which can be good or bad depending on your prefrence. It is light on the mouth, but still retains the character of a beer.

At a reasonably low abv this is a good all night beer and, if your in Scotland for a night out and are switching between this and it Tennents cousin, there are no major after effects of mixing. This is a good start for anyone who is introducing themselves to Scottish beer. It is very drinkable and is readily available,it is renamed "Tartan Special Bitter" in England. This and its Tennents equivalent have been my regular beers for most of my drinking life as you can get it in most pubs.

However the fact that this is mass produced can leave it coming second to a locally produced 70/- from a micro brewery.

kmacphail, Aug 29, 2006
Photo of francisweizen
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%

A very tasty scotch ale. This beer pours out a nice red colour with a small white head. The aromas were of sweet caramel malts, roasted malts, hops and alcohol. The taste was more of the same. Very sweet, very full, very malty. The mouthfeel was not very thick and the drinkability was very, very good! The bottled version of this seemed to possess more subdued aromas and a thinner mouthfeel than the tap version, I had a while ago...
I recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone who can find it!
cheers!
-F

francisweizen, Nov 21, 2003
Younger's Tartan Special from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
85 out of 100 based on 12 ratings.