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Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale | Arcadia Brewing Company

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Arcadia Loch Down Scotch AleArcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
OG 1080; 28 IBU
Formerly called Arcadia Scotch Ale

Added by zerk on 10-02-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 265 | Ratings: 523
Photo of Brutaltruth
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Always have enjoyed this brew----Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. This fine Scotch ale pours a murky dark mahogany with a nice head of off white foam that settles over time to a thick ring, thin layer, and nice lacing. Nose of brown sugars, peat malt, dark rye bread, and subtle caramel malts. Flavors exceed the nose with brown sugars and peat smoked malts on the front and middle, cherry and peach notes mingle with dark rye bread on the sides, and caramel malts with moderate alcohol notes hits on the back with a touch of cocoa. Very nice mouth feel; coating, smooth, and lightly dry on the finish. Overall a great brew perfect for a session.


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Photo of plumberman63
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark caramel, brown, descent light tan head. Caramel/ toffee/ alcohol smell. Taste follows smell, drank with a gourmet mushroom/pineapple/pepper cheese burger. At 8% wouldn't want to drink more than 2 in a seating.
This is a good beer that I would have again.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/20/2015. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, cocoa, raisin, plum, apple, light peat smoke/tobacco, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and light fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, cocoa, raisin, plum, apple, light peat smoke/tobacco, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, cocoa, light peat smoke/tobacco, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from hop/roasted notes as well. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and slightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Scotch ale style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brew pub. A very dark chestnut brown pour. Almost black. Decent tan head. Smells of rich malts, toffee/caramel, and a bit nutty.

Tastes much the same. A bit of smokey peat moss, but more dominated by rich caramel flavor.

Body is on the fuller side. Pretty syrupy, but not too sticky. I thought this was a very nice Scotch

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Photo of Jbix1995
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smelled caramel and sweet. The tastes were very subtle but well balanced. Surprisingly smooth going down. I would be willing to try again but it didn't knock my socks off.

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Photo of barczar
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is a 2012, so it's got some age on it.

Aroma is sweet, caramelly, toasted, and nutty, with light floral and specialty malt fruity notes. There's a hint of peat.

Flavor is initially specialty malt fruit dominant, a touch tart, but it mellows to a toasted, toffee malt backbone, becoming slightly smoky in the finish. The fruity character is overwhelming, and the finish is overly bitter. There's a lingering plasticy note.

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Photo of Suds
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On a chilly fall day, a scotch ale is always welcomed. This one is a rich brown color...lots of malt in the aroma....mixed with vanilla, malty, but eatery. Some over ripe fruit smells are present. The taste is sweet, with some serious warming. Full in body. Okay, but not what it could have been.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with ruby and copper highlights and a one finger off white head. Aroma is sweet malt, toffee, and a bit of booze. Taste is earthy, dark malts, roast, and residual sweetness. Mouthfeel is thin for the style and a bit harsh. Overall an okay scotch ale which could be improved with a more complex flavor profile and a more viscous mouthfeel.

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Photo of morris786
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with minimal head and lacing. The smell is very much of scotch and some Carmel notes. The taste fairly complex. Hard to get a grasp on it, smokey scotch taste with Carmel and vanilla with alcohol very present. Surprisingly smooth and drinkable for how much alcohol you taste. Not the best I've had but would have again.

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Photo of 10Crumra
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. Very dark brown in color with very little head on the pour and minimal lacing.

Smell has some caramel notes with a tinge of funkiness. Vanilla and alcohol also present.

Taste is malty and smoky. Alcohol is definitely present in the taste. Some vanilla and toffee flavors. Very light carbonation but nice medium to heavy-bodied mouthfeel.

This is a very nice, drinkable beer. It doesn't wow me but it is something that even at 8% I could come back for multiple in a sitting. It is smooth and drinkable with respectable flavors.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Peat smoke nose with a suspicion of smoked fish,
Pours deep chestnut under a finely bubbled 1" tan head that dissipates to a thick film. leaves delicate lace.
Palate: smoke, roast malt, malt spice, light sweetness.
Full bodied, medium carbonation.
Drinkable, but not outstanding.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark brown with a slight strawberry tinge when held to the light. 2 fingers of light beige head, no apparent cloud or carbonation.

S: Toffee, coffee, peat, heather, earthy, film developing fluid, slight rubbing alcohol.

T: Toffee, banana, light sweetness, rubbing alcohol, earthy, peat, clean linen. Some corn, light bitterness, coffee.

M: Thick, syrupy body, medium carbonation.

O: Well done. Reminds me of Skull Splitter, but a little less rounded or refined. Still, very well done.

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Photo of lochef81
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This scotch ale pours a dark mahogany color with a generous off-white head that quickly gives way to a nice film and lacing. The aroma is very malty with hints of vanilla, alcohol, caramel, peat and a little yeast. The mouth is pleasantly thick and sticky. The flavor is malty but not overly sweet. It is a balanced blend of booze and earth. Not the best scotch ale I've had but not bad at all.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A scotch ale for $1.79 a single? Yes please! Poured into a pint glass.

A - A deep shade of brown clear in color with ruby hues. The head is great well over a 1/2 inch that settles to a thick ring. No real lacing.
S - Not very sweet or even hardcore peat smells you usually get. It does have some caramel and peat smells and no distinguishable ABV smells.
T - This is actually quite different than typical takes on the style the house yeast these guys use give it a very fruity taste. You get your English hops some peat malt and a touch of caramel. The taste is quite bitter and constant the the ABV is nowhere to be found.
M - Again I would say it drinks quite well for around 8% Light to medium is great for this ale.

Overall I can't say I like this more than Old Chub but I haven't been impressed with a Scotch ale in a while. Would really love to see what a bourbon treatment does to this beer. Worth picking up just for the cost really.

Not sure what the guy under me said its not naturally sour smell or taste. You got an infected batch bro.

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Photo of kdahnke123
2.31/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured into snifter. From brewery so presume to be recent bottling.
A - Thin medium brown pour with minimal head.
S - Smells sour, like an old stale beer.
T - Tast is similar to the smell. The sourness overwhelms any malt or hops that could show through.
M - Thin, lightly carbonated.
O - Not a good representation of a Scotch Ale.

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Photo of biegaman
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Loch Down is as dark as the lakes of the Scottish Highlands and neither more carbonated nor clear; for all I know there could have been a mythical creature living in the bottle. I won't find out now until the glass is empty. This ale is opaque despite a trim of chestnut highlights.

The aroma showcases subtle alcohol esters and a rich, nutty-sweet maltiness that emits hints of dried fruits and licorice. It's almost a bulls-eye for the style, though it's missing the optional peatiness and smoky characteristics that so many - myself included - love about Scotch Ales. It's not a deal breaker, but it would have bumped the score that extra little bit.

Scotch Ales have a lovely way of caramelizing the palate after every sip. They aren't overly sweet - this one especially not given the more generous hop bill - but do contain a lot of residual nuttiness as well as traces of dried fruits and toffee. It's not long before these flavours mingle with an herbal, tea-like bitterness.

There's just enough maltiness to satisfy the style's high expectations in the mouthfeel department; Scotch Ales are also referred to as 'Wee Heavy', a name reflective of a full-bodied ale that can be so viscous as to almost be chewy. There's no knife or fork required for this one, but there is enough sticky-sweet malt to entirely disguise the sizable 8% alcohol.

Arcadia is a reliable brewery - they've never steered me wrong. Every beer of theirs I've tried has been average at the very least. Loch Down is better than that: it is a solid, perfectly serviceable offering in its own right and moreover makes a great ambassador for the style.

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Photo of PaulyB83
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a stemless wine glass.

A- A very dark murky brown, not much light coming through but some on the edges reveals a deep garnet. Small slightly off-white head dissipates slowly to a ring.

S- Surprising presence of alcohol coming through. Lots of malts and some dark fruits. Getting a lot of the yeast and adds some spiciness.

T- Similar to nose but with an added bready yeast on the finish and finishes dry, which is different than others of the style that I've had. Slight malt sourness as well.

M- A medium/heavy mouthfeel in line with the style.

O- An okay beer could help with a little more sweetness. Not up to the standard of Dirty Bastard and Scotty Karate.

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Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Undated 2013(?) bottle poured with some vigor into a snifter.

Clear despite a coat of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Only a thin tan head with weak retention, but some spotty lacing.

Rich, malty aroma and flavor with an excellent finish and aftertaste. Lightly sweet well into the aftertaste. Some dark fruit. Peppry with faint hints of other spices.

Feel: medium+ body; fine, low carbonation.

O: Nicely true to style, particularly the malty aroma, but with the higher ABV a bit more obvious. Best ale I've had from this brewery.

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Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle given to me by my sales rep to check out. Poured into a Chimay goblet.

AP: Dark muddy brown colour. Not much of a head on this, only about 1/8" right after the pour which quickly fizzled to just a sliver around the rim.
AR: Dark fruits (raisin, fig, black cherry), toffee, licorice, brown sugar, brown bread and a hint of vanilla. Faint Earthy hops in the background.
T: Taste is a bit thicker and sweeter than the nose led me to believe, which is fine. It's not an overly sweet beer, nor would I call it straight up sweet, but it does have some sugary sweetness to it. I also get some molasses in the taste along with the other aromas I described above. Nice little soft note of bitter Earthy hops on the aftertaste, not enough to balance the sweetness but enough to let you know it's there.
M: Low carbonation, medium body which with the sweetness and ABV of this beer I would say the body is a bit lighter than I would expect it to be, smooth and silky on the palate. Finish is kind of off dry, it doesn't coat your tongue with sticky flavours like you might think.
OV: Decent flavours and very drinkable, hides the ABV well. Not as chewy as I'd like it to be. A good sipper for a cold night.

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Photo of gopens44
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Chestnut brown with a little whispy head is my introduction to this little nugget. Nose doesn't jump up and impress a whole lot but it does carry a molasses arena and somehow a little of the upcoming heat. Taste is pretty darn neat. Sweet molasses, a little heat yet not too demanding on the dry yet smooth finish. Pretty enjoyable this one.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint.

3.5 A: Lightly hazed deep amber brown color. One finger of frothy tan head. Retention is a tad below average and a thin ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Caramel, toffee, and peat right from the start. Then an almost mineral rustic outdoors. Sweet, yet manageable. Hints of tobacco, raisin, and dates.

3.5 T: Wow, there's a lot of flavor in here. Big peat component with layers of caramel and toffee. More fruity than the nose with plum joining tobacco, raisin, and date. Mineral and a touch of metal. It's not dry or sweet, but somewhere in the middle. Viscous neutral maltiness however.

3.5 M: Medium to heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation with a little bite to it. Light creaminess with a little more chewiness.

3.5 D: Good enough all around. Give it a try if you haven't already.

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Photo of RenownedHack
2.85/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into tall wine glass.

A: The appearance isn't anything too horribly remarkable. Quite dark, slightly light-permeable, with about a finger of head which dissipated moderately quickly, leaving some light lacing.

S: There's a booziness there. The first thing I thought of was Jack and Coca Cola - maybe SoCo. Definitely some bourbon oakiness in this one. The nose really isn't that impressive.

T: I really hate to say this, but the balance on this one is off. I took a sip, waiting to see what the taste was reminiscent of, and it was just kind of...flavor. Nothing at all standing out, nothing at all balanced with or supplementing anything else. Just a blob of various flavors with an oaky finish. Very light hops for a moment or two, but that flavor dissipates quite quickly.

M: It doesn't feel bad in the mouth; it really doesn't. It feels pretty medium-bodied, just the right amount of carbonation, and no irksome, syrupy hanglings. It's really pretty basic, though, truth be told.

O: I really feel like so much more could have been accomplished by this brew, and that it's onto something. I feel like it fell short of its goals somewhere, however, and just kind of faded into the woodwork. It's disappointing, because it felt like it was getting there with smell, taste, mouthfeel...then it just stopped without peaking. A bottle rocket when you wanted a mortar shell firework.

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Photo of SerialTicker
2.77/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Looks like Coke or something -- dark reddish brown with about a finger of head that quickly bubbles away. Absolutely no lacing whatsoever, and very few bubbles stick to the side of the glass.

Smell: Really Scotchy with some traces of alcohol. Caramel malts are there as well, but this is distinctively Scotch-like.

Taste/feel: Now, there's no bottle date on this, but I have to think it's past its prime. Dark fruits and Scotch on the front, and it really stays the same the whole way through. Slight bitter aftertaste. Quite carbonated, and with a pretty thin feel.

This is the second Scotch Ale that I've had in a row (the other being Innis & Gun's Oak Aged) that has just been unappealing to me. This is considerably better than the I&G beer I had, but I still feel like it has to be an old bottle. It looks ugly, it smells "bleh", and it doesn't taste very good. I'd say it could be because I don't like the style, but I find Dirty Bastard and Old Chub to both be tasty brews. Not feeling this one by Arcadia.

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Photo of jmendels
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

An overall enjoyable beer. While I didn't find it to be anything impressive, it's a good craft brew. The taste has a bit of toffee with some subtle roasted characteristics. It's medium bodied and leave s you warm after drinking. The after taste was a tad too bitter, I feel like this beer could have been balanced better.


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Photo of breakingbland
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A deep brown -- almost opaque with a red tinge.

Aroma: Sweet with some hints of oak and smoke.

Taste: A definite coffee taste. It has a well balanced taste profile with a sweet, lingering hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth body with a slight carbonation bite.

Overall: I like this style, and this is one of my "go to" everyday favorites. It goes with a variety of foods, as well as standing well by itself.

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Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.