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Black Douglas Ale - Broughton Ales Ltd

Black Douglas AleBlack Douglas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

114 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 114
Reviews: 93
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.39%


Brewed by:
Broughton Ales Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 11-07-2001)
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Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 93 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark crimson-bronze with orange peel highlights. The beer is capped by a wonderful looking head the color of golden brown sugar that resembles a scoop of ice cream as it slowly melts. The surface is riddled with bumps and pits and the glass is an intricate maze of interlocking fingers of lace that resemble Celtic runes. I have divined their secret message, and it is... 'a great looking beer stands before you'.

Now why did the nose have to go and let me down? Many of the usual Scottish aromas are present, but aren't very aromatic. I can appreciate dark fruit, caramel and weak molasses. Alas, there's almost no peat and no smoke. Black Douglas was supposed to be a badass warrior. What would he have thought of such a cowardly nose?

The flavor explodes on the palate and signals its intentions to wreak a little havoc and do a little violent bloodletting. I got a little carried away there (Black Douglas isn't Braveheart on steroids), but still, this is one of the more flavorful Scottish ales that I've ever run across and should give a few of the weaker wee heavies a fright.

The malt portion of the flavor profile tastes mega-toasted and derives a little added gravitas from the use of black malt. A tangy dark fruitiness stands up to the malt with head unbowed. There's also a pinch of cocoa powder, a lovely earthy-herbal hoppiness and the merest hint of sour peatiness.

The mouthfeel hits the style target. That is, it's solidly medium with a restrained amount of carbonation that makes delivering the beer to its rightful place a lead pipe cinch. Thick sheets of lace at midglass have now given way to thick, chunky rings of caramel-colored crust.

I was beginning to think Broughton Ales brewed nothing but mediocre beer (Kinmount Willie was a disaster). This offering is definitely a beer of a different color. It's a fabulous example of the Scottish ale style and has flavor to burn. Let loose the dogs of war! But first, drink up.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2005 16:08:58 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a Pint Glass and served straight out of the fridge

A – Poured a deep ruby amber with a nice clarity to it and adequate carbonation visible trickling up from the bottom of the glass. This gathered at the top and combined to form a delicate head of off white colored lace that reached a height of around two fingers or so. Decent retention let it hang around for just a little while before it was finally leached out and settled down to just a thin film across the top with some small residual side glass lace apparent for the rest of the session.

S – The aroma was a bit on the light side with the most dominant smells coming from the roasted malts. Some nice delicate notes of nuts and caramel were mixed and intertwined with a deeply rooted grain filled back. This was a malt monster for sure as the only thing that was easily picked up through all this was the dark roasted malts that made up the majority of it. There was a thick essence of earthy grassy like notes as it started to warm and almost musty bread like quality to it as well.

T – The flavor was not terribly bad and was actually decently full with a nice depth and profile to it that I had not expected from this one. There was a nice bit of caramel and sweetness right from the start and this really never faded as any other flavors that were here simply mingled and swirled around this. There were hints of roasted nuts as well as a nice bit of overt grassy notes in the finish. The finish was somewhat dry, but nothing too drastic and the hop profile itself was definitely nothing too extreme. There was just a nice English ale quality to it, hard to describe other then that.

M – The feel was very nice, a medium bodied ale with a nice smoothness that blended itself very well to the overall character here. There was a certain amount of crispness to this one, as the carbonation really dictated where this was going to go and served to lighten it up a bit and keep it from feeling too heavy or waited down.

D – A very very nice sessionable English ale. The flavor profile was perfect to just sit down and have a few as nothing was watered down or thin and the carbonation kept the profile lively enough to keep your interest up throughout the session. This was one you could have easily had more of and in fact this one it was gone before I knew it.

Overall I really did not know what to expect going into this one. The ales in this Scottish gift pack have all seemed to be pretty straightforward with nothing really standing out as being outstanding or that much different in any way. This was my favorite of them so far, having a bit more depth and a large flavor then the ones before it. I would actually not mind having this again and it is probably very good on tap. Not half bad I would have to say.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2008 03:02:30 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a frothy tan head; great retention and lacing

Smell: Rich aromatics of dark fruit, roasted malt, tamarind and a hint of molasses

Taste: Opens with a slightly smokey flavor, redolent of dark fruit and tamarind that builds in a roasted direction by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors mellow out with a bit of the sweeter malt and chocolate elements balancing the bitter roasted flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nicely balanced with plenty of flavor, this is an excellent example of a flavorful session ale in the Scottish style

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2008 00:58:01 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There are serious flavors in here. Very dark brown with light tan retention that proves promising. Smells very malty, fruity, and lightly smoky and peat-ey. Earthy and sweet in the nose and leads directly to flavors. Dark caramelized malts shows molassas, dates, figs, grapes, and nuts. A little 'dirty' flavor from the smoked peat adds complexity and boldness. Weighted on the toung without feeling overly heavy. A bit slick and viscous. Finishes sweet with a lingering hop bitterness that was not present until the end.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2006 03:09:00 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Real nice beer,poured a dark reddish/brown with nice caramel color head.Smelled of fruit cake and caramel.Taste was right on with aroma nice sweetish warming brew,I really liked the texture of this one.A perfect beer for winter in my opinion.A true Scottish ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2003 09:53:20 | More by oberon
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, dark crimson coloring, lush, tannish head, rocky and well-lived.
Malt-dominated nose, nuts, dark fruits, apples and grapes, with an uplifting yeasty quality. Nice.
Clean entrance on the palate, dark, but crisp and clean. Dark malts still dominates, hardly a whiff of hops....but darkly delicious, malignantly tasty, rough and ridiculoucly flavorful. I like this one, called a Scottish Ale here, making me think of a schwarzbier mixed with a Scotch ale.
I like it, I like it...I can consume this happily, though it's no milestone of taste, it's still a noble ale, and I'm happy to imbibe.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2005 09:51:40 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut mahagony with a sand colored 1" head. Some head retention & lacing

S: Choclate then floral hops as it warms

T: Iron & choclate up front. Dryness & fruitness as it warms. Finishes dry with more iron notes

MF: Light to medium body, slightly under carbonated & okay balance

Drinks fairly well, but over all I was expecting more. Caveat emptor

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2006 04:43:43 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thick off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is excellent. It has a rich and creamy malt scent that boasts of crystal and roasted barley. It has lots of toasted smells; awesome. The taste is great also. It has a rich, toasted malt complexity that goes down easy and finishes dry and slightly bitter. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good beer. I love the aroma and flavor; very nice.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2004 01:10:29 | More by WesWes
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a rust colored brown with a small, short-lived, tan head. It left a slight trace of lace.

S - It smelled of sweet maltiness and earthy, mossy notes.

T - It tasted of sweet caramelized molasses with spicy, peppery kicks.

M - It was smooth and fairly crisp. A medium-bodied beer that went down easy.

D - This is a nice scottish ale that is very quaffable.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2008 02:27:35 | More by zeff80
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark amber, nearly brown in color. Impressive, thick beige head...long lasting, excellent lace.

A fresh baked bread smell. Nice sugary maltiness. A touch of moulasses.

Creamy caramel sweetness and richness. Noticeable hops providing excellent balance. Very full body with a relatively low carbonation. Nice residual sugar for a sweet and bitter beer.

A very fine scotch ale--flavorful, rich and well-balanced.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2005 20:36:47 | More by smcolw
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: One pint, .9oz brown bottle with raised glass of hop vines below the neck of the bottle. Brief history about Black Douglas, a very powerful and heroic knight of Scotland. Freshness date clearly scored.

Appearance: Richly ruby hued with a adorning crown of sticky off white lace. Head retention is well above par.

Smell: Deep aromas of ripe fruit(apple) and over caramelized sugar with hints of hop and buttery diacetyl.

Taste: Medium bodied and crisp with an assertive toasted malt flavour that lingers with a cookie like dry finish. Hops are a little restrained yet still help to balance perfectly, a touch of ripe fruit, malt sweetness and the smallest hint of chocolate are also upon the palate. Quite clean in the end with some residual sweetness.

Notes: This is a product of brewing excellence, big on drinkablity for a medium bodied brew and packed with flavour and lots of malt complexity. By far one of the best Scottish Ales imported to the states.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2001 00:55:06 | More by Jason
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear mahogany brown liquid.

Smell is very malty with a nice fruitiness and some mincemeat spice scent.

Taste is not sweet with a good malt flavor and a fair b it of fruitiness to it. The expected smokiness is missing. Taste is good but is this really scotch ale?

Mouthfeel is OK.

Nice drinkable brew, but there are better examples of the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2004 22:41:34 | More by Zorro
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had a reddish brown vibe going, minimal head, lace and aroma.

Taste was that of a red or brown ale (maybe the visuals were warping my mind) more than a Scotch ale. Little hop, but the malt aspect felt peaty and thin enough to be one of the other styles. Wood, smoke maybe a little bit of chocolate in this one. Decent enough, price could be better.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 18:24:58 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark mahogany red with a light tan head with slight orange hues.

S: a rich roasted character of coffee, dried fruit, and dark molasses.

T: For flavor there was a dark caramelized molasses, dark fruit (raisins, plums), figs, and some dried apples. There was also hints of dark bitter chocolate. The flavor is very rich and nicely balanced.

M: medium bodied with some creaminess leaving a sweet chocolate/caramel lacing behind.

D: Good drinkability, nicely balanced and not overly sweet allowing you to enjoy multiples with ease.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2008 18:12:41 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pint, 9 oz bottle.

a. Ruby highlights and a small khaki head. A bit of lace.

s. malty, slightly grassy.

t. roasted malt, minerally/earthy noble hop. Nutty, bready, biscuity, buttery.

m. slightly chewey mouthfeel. full bodied.

d. Drinkability is very good. Solid session beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 18:42:16 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer makes good its escape from the 500ml brown bottle into my glass, the color a deep blood red, the head Bunyanesque in size, the texture creamy and the color a beauteous light tan, as it slowly dematerializes, the lace forms a concealing blanket to obscure the glass. Nice rich malt nose, with a bit of caramel, sugar like, and a bit of fresh churned butter, start is lightly sweet, the grain profile adequate and the top light to medium in feel. Finish is surly in its acidity, the hops perfection, quite dry and refreshing on this 100 degree day in Arizona.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2006 00:34:16 | More by Gusler
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, best before July 2009. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a dark copper/ruby red color with an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The aroma is sweet and malty, it smells like toasted malt, molasses, caramel, dark fruit, nuts and peat. Taste is similar to the aroma (but not quite as strong), it tastes like molasses, toasted malt, nuts, peat, smoke, dark fruit and a bit of pepper. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's dry and a littly bit velvety. It also seems a bit thin to me. The drinkability is pretty good, it's smooth and very easy to drink. Drinkability is good, it's nice and sessionable. I could have a few of these in a sitting. Overall I think this is a pretty decent brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2008 01:32:47 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 500ml [16.9 fl.oz] sturdy brown glass bottle that has raised Hop plants embossed all around the bottles shoulder, sealed with a blue crown cap. The main label has a picture of a black bearded knight Sir James Douglas whose head is clad in a tight fitting chain-mail and helmet, known simply as “Black Douglas”, he is surrounded either side by a brace of Scottish Flags entwined in hops. Above the avatar it proudly states that ‘Black Douglas’ is ‘Brewed in the Scottish Borders by Broughton Ales Limited’. No strength listed. BB May 07 inked on the bottle neck.

Appearance: Dark ruby body, mahogany and deep browns fill the drinking vessel. Tan colored cloth cap is thick and resilient, remaining at ¼” deep at all times. Lively conditioning but not over-carbonated. Very good overall presentation.

Nose: Malty nose with flashes off nuts, wild berries, freshly cut apples, cinnamon and Toffee apples. Fruity in a dark way.

Taste: Dark fruits entrance with a toasted malt cross-section whilst a toffee chewyness fills the middle. Finish has a soupcon of powdered cocoa for texture but a delicate icing of malt-bitterness also helps to add a defined finish. The toasted malts are earthy with some peaty aspects. Smoked dark chocolates come and go, and then return again. A sturdy brew with a real Scottish feel.

Mouthfeel: Soft carbonation is nicely juxta-posed against the earthy malts. The texture is of toasted malts with smatterings of dark bitter chocolate on the tongue. The cheeks are coated with the peat laden dew of this long after the swallow. A strong feel that would befit the Highland Games.

Drinkability: The half litre was a nice enough, but like dark chocolate I couldn’t drink too much of this, maybe a second 500ml I could cope with but that would be it….simply because of the rich nature rather than anything else though.

Overall: Has a terrific dependable posture, there is a real Scottish feel to this one. A dark ruby ale that has a nicely balanced toasted malt and dark chocolate skeleton with an interesting soft toffee flesh. Very individual and hearty, not seen this one before and I’m rather impressed, this would make for a cracking brew to sit round the fire with on a cold Burns Night.

Slainte Mhath!!

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2006 05:37:11 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A striking mahogany hues with a beige head that appears as though oozed from the spigot of a soft-serve ice cream machine.
The aroma drips of malt. All full with molasses and toffee and treacle.
Enters the mouth with equal malt maelstrom. Gobs of toffee. Mounds of molasses. Tarry fruits, especially black raisins and apples. A partially unifying roasted walnut coloring exists below. Hopping is a non-factor, aside from a whisper of grass at the close. Everything here is tasty, but it seems disorganized.
This is light bodied, pushing towards medium. It has the oiliness of chicken fat. The malt hangs thin and greasy and loose off its unstructured nature. It either needs to be bigger in feel, or more carbonated to provide some levity. It seems like a reduced Wee-Heavy, with the malt improperly calculated.
It's drinkable and decent, and I love the style. I readily gobbled it down, but was left feeling oddly vacant.
This comes close to being something special, but isn't.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2004 22:06:16 | More by cokes
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark ruby red color. A two finger tan head forms, and recedes after a minute. Lots of patchy lace is left behind.
S: An awesome aroma of tasted caramel malt, chocolate, smoke, and dark fruits. Cherry, plums, raisins. There is a lot of depth here.
T: Plenty of toasted caramel malt. It become a bit cloying after a bit. A mineral and metallic flavor as well. All the depth that was in the nose is gone here for some reason.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A little on the thin side. Not hard to drink, but one is enough.

Not bad at all. The nose is just amazing, but it kind of falls apart from there. Worth a try, but there are better versions of the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2010 15:36:57 | More by champ103
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid beer in every attribute. Hefty malt, a bit on the sweet side with vague apple notes and some caramel malt to carry things along. A little lingering bittersweetness at the finish which is quite pleasant and not cloying. Although neither the flavor or body are heavy, the beer nonetheless manages to come across as quite substantial in profile. A nice quaffer.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2003 14:18:30 | More by Brent
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby tinted seethru brown w/ well-carbonated one-finger tan head that quickly died. A floral, earthy hop aroma with minor fruit notes and a subdued bread malt sensation w/ hints of caramel (and hints of some roasted malts as well). A little heavy but mostly medium-bodied and smooth. Has a molasses stickiness feeling on the sides, and finishes slightly dry from roasted malts. Comprised of some minor malt sweetness and is a little buttery, and also contains some dark druit tastes and maybe figs. A balanced beer that I could relax with anytime.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2009 17:13:15 | More by clayrock81
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very attractive beer served out of a thistle glass…big, puffy, cream-colored head atop a deep brown liquid. The aroma is what I would call medium-strength malt. It’s not as intense as a lot of strong Scottish ales, but presents nice thick layering of malt notes. The beer is a little grainy, with toasted and caramel notes as well. Again, foremost sensation is maltiness, with a medium-intensity. Smooth mouthfeel and medium body: the beer finishes with a hint of bitterness. Easy drinking, but not really very challenging.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2004 00:55:18 | More by Suds
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before date printed on the neck of the bottle, indicates I could have kept this ale around for another six weeks, but the temptation of a good Scottish Ale is difficult to resist on a chilly, November evening. Black Douglas pours a dark mahogany body with a healthy, tightknit, beige head that steadies at an inch in altitude. Lacing sheets the glass, initially, fading into patches toward the finish.
Toffee, caramel, and a hint of molasses, scent the expected malt bouquet, followed by a prominent note of fruit best described as McIntosh apples. I also noted a distinct hint of smoke that evoked the aroma of overdone toast.
Mouthfeel is nearly full bodied, somewhat oily, with low CO2.
The taste features toffee as the prominent malt character, with a minimal hops bitterness that is herbal, evoking thoughts of bog myrtle or heather. The faint smoky note of overdone toast is picked up in the taste, as in the nose.
This is a very decent Scottish ale, that hits the spot on a cool, autumn evening. Very well crafted and true to style.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2004 00:12:48 | More by merlin48
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 Pint, .09 fl oz bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
An aggressive pour resulted in a prune-colored, jet-black ebony hue with a minimal frothy and foamy head that quickly dissipated and left lots of lacing...
Faint of aroma of malts and barely touched with dates and figs...
Taste strongly resembled the aroma, with an obvious suggestion of strong malts, barley, prunes, figs, dates, caramel, and a touch of subtle vanilla added to the mix...
Soft, subtle, liquid, watered-down mouthfeel with no alcohol hinted at all...
Drinkability was limited at best without any cloying or interfering flavors...
Not bad, but certainly not the best depiction of the style...

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2008 22:48:09 | More by dsa7783
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Black Douglas Ale from Broughton Ales Ltd
88 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.