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!

Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia Loch Down Scotch AleArcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

459 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 459
Reviews: 257
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 14.05%
Wants: 11
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

(Beer added by: zerk on 10-02-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 459 | Reviews: 257 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Better than most of the standard Arcadia brews. Dark amber / brown-ruby. Nice firm head retention, lightly tanned. Smells quite malty, with a nutty, caramel, toffee, and chocolate flavor that melds together wonderfully. Noticable alcohol in the flavor, and mouthfeel, becomes a bit phenolic, but light. Medium to firm body that remains quite drinkable. The sweetness could use a bit more hopping to contribute balance and character. Finishes a bit sweet and a bit rough. Roughness from harsh carbonation and alcoholic strength without the depth to mask.

Photo of Shovelbum
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin tan head over a black body. Aromas of musty roasted grain and faint dark fruit. The flavor isn’t nearly as acrid, and is actually quite well rounded. Smooth sweet caramel malt up front. Bits of plum and other dark fruit mingle with a tea-like bitterness, a bit of tobacco and light peat. Despite that laundry list, there's good flavor harmony. Mild bitterness. Full-bodied, but not nearly as sweet or slick as some high shilling ales. Low carbonation. Slightly crisp with a slightly drying finish.

Quite a bit of depth and complexity in the flavor. A bit more balanced than some Scotch Ales, in that the malty sweetness isn’t as much of a presence. Still, this is a big beer. It has generous amounts of malt that have several interesting and well-blended flavor characteristics.

Photo of malty
4.5/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear ruby-copper color with a very thin cream-colored head. Faint and slow moving carbonation.

Scents of Concord grape jelly and peated whiskey malts. After a few more swirls a syrupy plumy aroma is evoked.

Apparent sweet dark roasted malt flavors mixed with a nice encore of the peat makes itself noticed once again. A welcome warmth starts to build-up in the middle of my chest, as I'm halfway through the pint. There's a very unorthodox (for this style) hop presence, which offsets the sweet roasted malts at just the right time. Notes of leather and oak in the finish leaving a tingling on the sides on my tongue, as if I were sipping on a dram of Oban single malt scotch.

Mouthfeel is superb. The carbonation is a notch above normal (again, for this style), which keep the flavors swirling and kinetic. The hops provide a swift dryness to the finish, coupled by the masterful array of sweet, dark and faintly smoky malts.

The medium body and the playful (but very tamed) carbonation make this a joy to drink. Put me fireside with this one and I'd be happy all night.

Overall a stunningly original and poised example of this style. There have been too many overly cloying and syrupy renditions to where I've almost avoided diving back into this style. I'm certainly glad I gave this one a try. Only wish I would have tried it in November, but better late than never!

Photo of KarlHungus
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours an opaque brown almost black color. The head is three-fingers in height, billowy, and rocky. The aroma is of caramel and cream. The taste is of caramel, toffee, cream. The mouthfeel is amazingly smooth and on the fuller side of medium bodied. Overall, this is a very solid brew. I will certainly have this again.

Photo of blackie
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The pour creates a .2" light than head that soon becomes just a ring around the snifter. The beer is a dark, reddish brown in color.

smell: Pretty subtle stuff going on. The generous hop aroma is probably the most prevalent. Under that I get a caramel like sweetness, with just a little chocolate hiding. A couple people mentioned cola, and they were right. There's a peaty, earthy scent...very light...that reminds me of the mulch we spread over the garden. Upon taking a big whiff, some slight ethanol tingles the nostrils.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium, and the body is light for the style...between light and medium.

taste: Definate charred hardwood...Tennessee whisky or Scotch flavors after the initial sip. Pretty tame, a little watery and bland even. Some light sweetness in the form of caramel and chocolate, and the slightest butterscotch note. Light ethanol fumes. No hop flavor, and just a light bitterness in the finish.

drinkability: Not a bad beer, but pretty average and uninteresting.

Brought a bottle back from my trip to Madison, think it came from Woodman's.

Photo of dirtylou
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, Woodmans - west side

appearance: pours a dark brown/plum with a bubbly beige-lightly tan head that recedes almost immediately.

smell: very sweet, toffee, cola, lightly toasted malt, smooth caramel, syrupy, some dark fruit (plum, grape)

taste: very interesting to say the least...It's probably been a year since I have had this (used to drink arcadia products more often when i lived just across the border from michigan in south bend) and i forgot what a scotch ale not made by Lake Louie tasted like. It's very smooth and quite sweet...packed full of juicy red grape, plum, bittersweet chocolate...lightly toasted malts, hops are faint but juicy...lots of toffee and sweet caramel, alcohol begins apparent as it warms a little

mouthfeel: on the light end of medium bodied, quite creamy

drinkability: enjoyable and pretty easy drinking

Photo of Brian700
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a slightly cloudy brown with a tan head that settles to a ring around my glass.

The aroma is mostly of sweet malt.

The flavor is of rich malt and was some malty sweetness. There is some caramel notes in there as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

I think this is a fairly drinkable beer. It didn't blow me away by any means but it is one that I will buy again.

Photo of ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from deejaydan as part of the WTF ASAP BIF. Thanks for the opportunity. "D" and "3" notched on the label, no note as what this indicates.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" tan head above the slightly cloudy brown brew, with burgundy highlights. Head diminshes slowly, with heavy lacing. Aroma is malty sweetness with tinges of alcohol. Taste is grain husks, with a green hoppy character, with alcohol apparent on the swallow, with a slight burn and generous warming. Mouthfeel and drinkability are not bad, but the flavor could be a bit more masking of the alcohol.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 ounce brown bottle sealed with a brass colored crown cap that has the words ‘Arcadia Ales’ in green Celtic font. The Celtic style text is also prevalent on the gold/white text on black neck label. Main label is a St. Andrews cross centered by a round Shield and a crossed pair of Highlander Claymore Swords….very Braveheart. Labeled as a ‘Scotch Ale’, no Best Before Date or Strength listed.

Appearance: Pellucid dark brown with some mahogany traits when backlit. Breaking tan colored head builds quickly but like a Soda it soon rescinds to leave only a thin covering, and with further time it breaks down to just a sad looking halo. Low on carbonation but a gentle swirl reinstates a Coca-Cola like appearance, which soon fizzes back to how it was. No lacing whatsoever. A little more head retention would have been nice.

Nose: Edinburgh Toffee!! And lots of it. Caramel, toasted malts, wholewheat, sweetbread and flashes of cocoa beans hidden in a dark chocolate cloak.

Taste: Hmmmm. Lovely. Warming malts with a roasted chestnut middle. Licks of dark Rum and old Brandy meld with Walnuts and some rich dark chocolate cake in the finish. Smooth yet dessert like.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant feel throughout, quite the ride through the warming malts, alcohols and dark chocolate liquors but it is always smooth and at times richly creamy like a mix between a soft fluffy chocolate sponge cake and Baileys Irish Cream.

Drinkability: A solid brew, I utterly destroyed this one, finished it long before I got to this part of the Review.

Overall: A very good offering, highly enjoyable, rock solid taste profile with a supremely attractive and exceptionally lovely mouthfeel, which is maybe the best part of this brew.

Thanks to the young William “BigHuge” Wallace for this one, the best of the 3 Arcadias to wing my way for sure. Slainte Mhath! Slainte Mhor!

Photo of deejaydan
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Solid, yet unremarkable. Pours a deep ruby amber into my glass. Aroma is syrupy, almost like frozen grape juice. Taste is good, malty, but a tad clingy and cloying. Mouthfeel is thick, carbonation is nice. A good beer, but perhaps a tad too thick and run-of-the-mill.

Photo of sopor
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours copper brown with ruby highlights and a relunctant tan cola head that shies fast to leave just a hint of film. This brew looks flat and dead. Smells of light caramel and roast notes.

Tangy syrupy grape and honey lays into roasted malts with a hint of butter and coffee. Tangy bite is a little too prevalant and I would like mroe biscuit and butter notes. Aftertaste is syrupy. MOderate body and delicate carbonation is lost in the tanginess.

Not bad, but not great. Probably my least favorite offering from Arcadia so far.

Photo of Sammy
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nice black colour, with a bit of head. But did not deliver but a faint taste of licorice and molasses. Malt. Recently bought. Some numbing carbonation. Medium mouthfeel. More of an Inoffensive brown ale, particularly since licorice on the aftertaste.

Photo of karst
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rough pour in my Grindstone pint glass results in little head that fades quickly.
Inviting caramel and coffee aromas with earthy wafts from hops and some alcohol. Crisp flavors are toffe and caramel. Initially acidic but not tart. Medium-full body and dextrinous mouthfeel. Roasted malts linger in the finish that could use more IBUs

Photo of edbeered
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this in a bottle at my local watering hole. One could smell the sweet malty aroma typical of Scotch ales. The head was minimal with little lace on the glass. The color was a deep amber burgandy hue. The taste was the aroma magnified. It had a glorious sweet malty toasty taste. The sweetness was not cloying. The body was a little thin, but this made it even more drinkable. A fine effort from a brewery I'm not overly familiar with(I hope to remedy that).

Photo of TastyTaste
4.43/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown, even darker than cola colored body, head fades in the blink of an eye, until nothing is left except a couple of specks on the dark surface. Smell is sweet and malty, and a smell similar to potting soil (not in a bad way, though). Taste is sweet, with carmel, sweet apples, a touch of alcohol, and some slightly nutty flavors. Mouthfeel has a low carbonation level, but this is a very smooth drinking, yet strong and delicious beer. This makes up for the Battle Creek Reserve disaster that I recently had from Arcadia.

Photo of ADR
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown appearance with chestnut-colored highlights. Smallish head, last about half a minute at the most. Very little lace to speak of. Impressively malty aroma, accompanied by a little anise and tobacco as well. Mouthfeel is medium along with carbonation, fairly hefty but not at all sticky. Candyish flavors, caramel, candy popcorn with a touch of diacetyl, slightly cashew nutty. Just a slight sense of bitterness, no real chance to put a finger on the hop impression. Pretty good beer at hanging on to its flavor and agreeable mouthfeel, dries a bit to a dusky unsweetened cocoa at the close. An enjoyable brew.

Photo of Applesauce1
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first scotch ale. I must say, I was pretty impressed. The first smell I took of the beer was good. A little bit of fruit? Maybe, it's hard to tell. The taste definitely was not fruity. The first taste definitely had a coffee flavor. It was a good flavor though. It wasn't overdone. I could also taste the alcohol.
The beer is very smooth though. Good drinkability with this scotch ale. I would drink another one of these.

Photo of macpapi
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a regular Scotch Ale drinker, though I've downed a few. But this one was more of an experiment.

It poured a dark brownish (dare I say black?--though not in the Guinness tone) color with a very small, tan head. The lace was minimal and came from the center of the glass up--i.e. not very visible from the sides.

Smell was malty, roasty, with a bit of caramel and floral scents at the end. Overall dominated by sweetness. Good though from its full aroma.

It had a nice, bold taste with deep malt flavors. Caramel and chocolate were noticeable in the undertones. Its bitter aftertaste helped to give it a complex and complete overall feel.

In the mouth it was full but creamy. Despite its heaviness and general sweetness this Scotch ale goes down easy.

Overall, despite the relatively high alcohol content and really full flavor, this is a surprisingly easy beer to drink. Perhaps better suited for a fall or winter night than one at the end of July, but....

Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is my first Scotch Ale... we'll see how she treats me.
Pours a very dark brown color. Not quite black, but close. A nice tan colored head rises from the beer, but leaves quickly. This beer smells sweet and malty, maybe a little nutty as well. The taste is milder than I had expected at first, but that gives way to a sweet, carmelly, syrupy, and warm-as-hell aftertaste that just sticks and sticks and sticks. I also notice chocolate and maybe some fruity notes. This one is definitly heavy-bodied. Any heavier and we'd be slugging out of an Aunt Jemima's bottle. It's really warm going down, seems much higher than the listed 7.5% which is still very nice. The drinkability is good as long as I sip it slowly. I'm sure I'll be trying this one again, along with other beers of the same style to compare. Cheers!

Photo of neonbrown82
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was acquired from the beer cache in Amana, IA. Poured extremely heady into my most thistle-like glass: a Duvel tulip. I couldn't pour the entire 12 ounce serving into the glass due to the massive foam. The liquid itself was a dark nutty brown with a ruby red haze when held to the light. It seems to have no active carbonation, but it is a beauty of a beer.

Smells very berry phenolic with a healthy dose of alcohol. Very fruity and caramel malty. Quite pleasant.

The smell is much better than the taste, however. The alcohol is huge up front, and even tastes like a shot of scotch. Also contains a bit of a dark caramel roast along with some chocolatey flavors in the aftertaste. Not bad, but the flavors don't seem to blend well.

The finish is very dry, sour, and bitter. It isn't very pleasant in the mouth, and I was not able to see the sediment when I poured due to the darkness of the contents.

This beer is not highly drinkable, and surely wasn't intended to be a session beer. It also rates fairly low on the "would I like another" scale. Not nearly as well done as the last Arcadia brew I had (the nut brown ale). I'm glad I was able to try it, though, as Arcadia brews are not available in the area.

Photo of meathookjones
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a dark brown with a smallish tan head. Spotty lacing and a short lived head. Sweet caramel malt and a strong nutty character. There was an odd burnt smell as well that was a bit detracting. Flavor starts off with a kick of caramel malt and a light roastiness. Some earthy qualities but the odd burnt flavor is present in the taste. It tasted like almost an over roasted malt that didn’t quite fit in. Seemed more like a brown ale over all to me. Mouthfeel was about medium and quite creamy and smooth. Pretty drinkable stuff despite the off flavor. Decent beer just not what I would want out of a scotch ale.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, caramel brown color, small, fizzy head, soon dissolved.
Aroma is toffee and nuts, cola and little else. Sweet, nice enough.
Taste: chocolatey sweet, thick presence on the palate, but not too much so, in fact a bit lacking in character. A bit one-dimensional. Huge malt, mocha and cocoa, sweet and delightful, but not much beyond that.
Tasty, rolls easily off the tongue, long, gritty cocoa finish, fuller bodied.
A good tasting, easy drinker.

Photo of Gaisgeil
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a fine microbrewed example of Scotch Ale. This one is actually more balanced than many other takes in the same style, not overly malty like many, but not too heavy on the hops either. Don't get me wrong, Scotch Ale is supposed to be malty, but some really take that idea too far.

This one pours a darker copperish-brown, reminds me of a porter in some ways with a thin medium tan head. Lacing is moderate through the whole pint. The nose is very nice, in retrospect you can really smell everything that you end up tasting if you really pay attention. In this case, what you smell is exactly what you get. So in both cases malts are easily detected as they should be, with some caramel, fig and an almost whisky-like presence hinted at. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, goes down quite easily. The aftertaste is very nice, warming and pleasant throughout. Overall just a nice example of the style, and from Michigan too! Bonus!

Also, really dig the label! A little overdone/gaudy, but I like holding the saltire in my hand, nice!

Uncle Hamish says: "Whut tha' fuch dew ye Yanks know abou' ale anyway!? ...Mm, tha's gewd."

Photo of maxpower
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy reddish-brown, has a small foamy off white head that leaves some lacing in my glass, has a sweet fruity, bready and nutty aroma. Nice sweet fruity, smokey plum and caramel flavors, nice sweetness in the finish, medium body with a smooth creamy mouthfeel, not bad.

Photo of Skidz
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out foggy brown and sits chocolate brown in the glass with a very smll off-white head going fast to nothing.

Smells of caramel chocolate and laced with alcohol. Sweet and tangy with a hint of raspberry puree on the nose.

Taste is full of brown sugar and carmel. Nice flavorful and citric hop flavors. Finishes mildly bitter with lingering citric (oranges) and nutty flavors.

Smooth and easy going with light carbonation in a medium-full body. Good tasting beer and soothing in the mouth.

Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 459 ratings.