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!

Black Douglas Ale - Broughton Ales Ltd

Not Rated.
Black Douglas AleBlack Douglas Ale

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

115 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 115
Reviews: 93
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.39%
Wants: 16
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Douglas Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 115 | Reviews: 93 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RyanBeer13
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of bigred89
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of spoonhawk
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of HardTarget
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Neck says best before Oct 11, but doesn't give a year, which is always a bit scary. 1 pt. 9 oz. brown bottle with raised hops.

Appearance: What looks to be a black glass shows to be a dark brown with excellent clarity given some back lighting. A half finger of tan foam holds and leaves thick coats of lace on the glass.

Smell: Malty, bit of peat, everything that should be and nothing that's not. Not a huge nose, but respectable.

Taste: Balanced but malty, some earthy hop notes, but there's a slightly astringent finish that seems a bit off. Goes a bit papery in the finish as well which has me wondering again, WHICH Oct 11th is this best by? Still not sure if it's oxidation or a slightly solvent taste which may just be the alcohol peeking through. It's fairly minor, doesn't seriously impair my enjoyment of the glass.

Mouthfeel: Fairly low carbonation but not flat by any means. Medium body with a slick texture.

Overall: A very nice Scot whose acquaintance I am glad to have met. Cheers to Illudium for the sample!

Photo of JayS2629
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark ruby, almost black with a thick, creamy tan head that fades fast leaving sea foam lace. Cola looking.

The smell is of rich caramel, toffee, and chocolate with some roasty notes. Butterscotch qualities, some buttery and nutty notes and some earthy background.

The taste is more mellow. Sweet, but not as sweet as the smell. Lots of caramel, butterscotch, and some toffee rounded off with a few roasted notes, some coffee and earthy tones of hops to bitter and balance things out. Nice touch of chocolate througout.

Its a little thin, but nicely balanced and very easy to drink. Extra note: This was very cheap and full of flavor. Lots of bang for the buck.

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After just having poured out by the far the most infected beer that's ever entered my oral cavity, this ale calmly came to my rescue. With the sting of microbes still setting my mouth on fire, every nuance here in this beer had the power to cut through and provide me with sexy smooth satisfaction.

A lively blanket of dense foam for sure on the pour, swelling up maybe an inch and settling out into a swirl and collar. Had to tilt this glass against the light to make sure there was color - super deep burgundy.

Dipping my nose to the foam I can't help think "Goddamn, they caramelized the living shit out of this wort!" I don't think I've ever come across a Scottish Ale that has quite this extreme degree of a caramel quality to the aroma. It smells like a 3D caramel candy chew - and it's awesome! It's supplemented with a touch of fruitiness and some peat smoke. Stunning.

The flavors, like the aroma, feature a very rich caramel maltiness, touch of floral hops, and a subtle smokiness late and lingering in the aftertaste. Fairly concentrated in their intensity, boosted no doubt by a soft, smooth, creamy, moderate (nearly full) body. Substantial, but not cloying and hardly filling. Surprisingly clean finish. Sessionable? - oh my, you bet.

Probably the most ideal 80/- I've encountered, or remember (I drank my fair share of shilling ales in Scotland a couple years back). Favorite Broughton ale so far - thank heavens I found a fresh bottle. If I could have one of these just about every day I'd just about be happy.

Photo of titosupertramp
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Syrupy brown. Whitish head. Excellent lacing.

S: Pretty faint, but nice. Sweet toffee, raisin, fruit.

T: Follows the nose. Toffee, dark fruit...kind of a grape like aftertaste.

M: Creamy and smooth. Leaves nothing behind, but that grape aftertaste.

D: Goes down easy. Nothing stopping one from drinking a few of these in one sitting...might be carbonated enough to make you pretty gassy if you tried though.

Photo of clickpush
4.68/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pour: 500ml bottle to pint glass. Light brown body transforms to amazing ruby hue when held to light. One finger of off-white head reduces to thorough cap of lace. Super sticky lacing along walls of glass all the way down.

Nose: Light aroma, unfortunately. Some chocolate note, sweetish.. Malty

Mouth: Great body, creamy yet bubbly. Light flavor of malt & hop, super well balanced. Some biscuit-like flavors, almost like soda biscuits. Unbelievably easy to drink. I could drink this all day, everyday.

Photo of maddogruss
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this as part of my PhD study program at the Cloverleaf Tavern in West Caldwell, NJ

A: Pours a dark brown body with a small, white head with ok retention and lacing; pretty standard for the style.

S: A pretty sweet, burnt toffee smell with some slight caramel notes. Alcohol notes were also evident in the smell.

T: A sweet, burnt toffee taste with a slight alcohol burning which was a little unexpected given the lower ABV style, but I guess i should have surmised based on the smell. There were some earthy notes evident in the taste as well with some slight caramel undertones in the aftertaste.

M: Overall, a pretty smooth, medium bodied beer that is perfect for this time of year. Not too shabby, slightly filling, and yet still pretty refreshing.

D: A nice mouthfeel and taste combo does make the beer still pretty drinkable. Alcohol presence was still evident, but nothing too overbearing or anything that really detracted from the quality of the beer or the overall drinking experience of it. Worth a go if you can grab it; definitely a pretty solid, Scottish ale.

Photo of damndirtyape
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single bottle (best by 03/11) poured into a nonic glass.

Appearance: The beer is a cola brown on the table and a dark ruby red when held up to the light with very tiny bubbles moving up very slowly through the beer. The foam is a dense light tan color (about 1/8" thick) and is persistent the whole way down the glass. Islands and walls of lacing all over the glass. A very nice looking beer.

Smell: When first poured and cold, there is strong dark fruits, but as it warms up, this goes away completely and is replaced with roasted malt/caramel flavors and a hint of molasses. The molasses gets stronger as the beer warms up.

Taste: When cold there is a lot more sweetness and malt with a mild bitter finish....this beer only gets better as it warms up so wait a bit. Upon warming the roasted malts with a blended caramel / molasses flavor comes through along with some dark fruits and a mild English bitter finish. A really tasty and outstanding Scottish ale.

Mouthfeel: Very mild carbonation and goes down very easily. The beer is slick and chewy at the same time.

Drinkability: I think this would be outstanding in cask form, and I'd love to have another bottle of this right now. It's a bit heavy, so I could see myself stopping at two, but it's a great beer by itself or with a meal (beef + bacon + tomato sauce pasta). I've had this before and it's just as good now as it was the first time I've had it. A great beer.

Photo of LairdChisholm
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep, chestnut brown with a one finger head that sticks around for just a little while.

S - Just dark malts. Nothing to interesting here.

T - Initial taste of dark malts with a hint of chocolate. The after taste has notes of coffee with a bitter impression left in the mouth. Maybe a little raisin or another dark fruit? A fine tasting brew!

M - A little on the thicker side. Minimal carbonation. Nothing really sticks out here.

D - A wee bit above average. While not hard to drink, I can't see myself running back to the fridge for another. A good after dinner drink.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
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.

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

Into a pint glass, it poured reddish brown with two fingers of beige, with good retention and great lacing. Modestly visible carbonation. Sweet toffee, caramel, and malt in the nose. Tasted sweet and woodsy, with caramel and malt midpalate, and possessing a dry orange peel finish. Medium-bodied and smooth, with more carbonation than expected, given the appearance. Too malty/sweet to session.

Photo of champ103
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.

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

50 cl bottle. Pours a clear dark mahogany color with a big, frothy off-white head, good lacing. Aroma is sweet, caramel, and roasted malts, bread, and a touch of smoke. Flavor is roasted malts, fruity, smoke, and herbal hops. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium, a bit chalky, dry, low carbonation with a slightly bitter finish. Pretty good beer, drinkable with some good flavor.

Photo of dahlen22
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Amber color with a decent amount of head.

Aroma: Definitely apple, caramel, and perhaps figs.

Taste: Medium bodied and crisp with a toasted malt flavor. A nice balance of ripe fruit, malt sweetness and some toasted bread. A nice Scottish beer with decent ABV at 5.20%

Drinkability: I can easily put back several of these beers. Like the Merlin's Ale, the Broughton Ales has another winner here. Not your traditional Scotch Ale, but nevertheless, an enjoyable ale that I could have all year round. Cheers!!!

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

Consumed 1/19/2010- from notes.

1 pint 9oz almost black bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Dark chestnut brown with ruby edging when held up to the light. Topped off with a bubbly one finger tan head that hung around pretty much the whole time. Pretty good lacing, this is a good looking scotch ale!

S- Roasty caramel malt jumps out right away and a little earthy/musty note tags along after a bit. Mixed together very nicely.

T- The roasty caramel rolls in pretty bold at first, a little light bread and something else ( peat? ) becoming more noticable as it goes on.

M- Medium to heavy just because of the stickiness, still very smooth.

D- Very drinkable, could definitely go through a couple of these in a sitting if you're not worried about the cost. I'll be picking this one up again.

Photo of gfreed
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For all the blather and chest-beating on the label about the brave warrior depicted on the label, this was actually a soft and polite beer. Weak-coffee colored that gets quite dense in the middle of the glass and bright around the edges. Decent head with loose bubbles. Nice aroma of coffee, chocolate, figs, other dense fruit and a bit of sharp citrus, as expected from an ale from the UK. Decent body, perhaps a little thin; pleasant taste that seemed lighter than it should be given the color of the beer. Still, there was a good amount of fruity malt and a nice, if padded, tang of hops at the end. Could be a bit more forward in both taste and aroma, but still very drinkable. Definitely worth the cost.

Photo of tugdriver7
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit pricey, but well worth trying. The clerk at Perfect Pour recommended it. Good advice. Gorgeous dark amber in the glass, with a soft foamy head that fell slightly but never really left. Slight, sweet malt in the nose and the initial taste. Very enjoyable caramel malt with subtle hops bitterness to round out the flavor profile. Nicely balanced, not too sweet, and an incredibly enjoyable offering.

Photo of bmwats
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 50 cl bottle into an imperial nonic.

A: Dark brown. Pours into a 2 finger, frothy, light brown head. Leaves dry sticky lacing as it settles into a thick layer of foam on the surface of the brew. More spiderweb lacing builds as you drink.

S: Syrupy malt, with a bit a sweet fruity aroma. Raisin and molasses. Smells a little like a cola.

T: A hefty, robust malt with an implied sweetness. Not really that sweet, but the nose kinda' makes it seem that way. Almost tastes like a malty glass of unsweetened iced tea (if you can in fact imagine something like that).

M: Thick and filling. Not much of an aftertaste.

D: Great body and flavor balance.

Really solid atmosphere. Great appearance, and pretty good nose that's quite typical of the style. Really good flavor balance, although not complex. Something I really like about this style. . .palettes are pretty basic, but full flavored and robust. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

Photo of Contagion
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There is a dark crimson color to it with a dark walnut hint. A thick, tan head formed when poured. It was made up of a combination of large and tiny bubbles. It lasted for most of the life of the beer. There is a good amount of lacing on the side of the glass.

The scent is a combination of molasses, nuts, caramel malts with a touch of yeast. It's very aromatic, but not as strong as one would expect from a Scottish ale. The flavor is a mix of Molasses, malts, a hint of dark fruit with a slight smokiness. They blend together to make the beer very appetizing. The aftertaste is a pleasant hint of bitterness on the tongue with a mild sweetness.

This is a medium bodied beer that has a gentle carbonation level.

This beer is very easy to drink. It has a good flavor and I could see myself grabbing one if it was available or if the mood strikes me just right. I don't know if I would pay $10.90 for it in a theme bar like I did in Kalamazoo, MI. Overall I thought this was a pretty good beer.

Photo of Monsteruss
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The foam was a rich dark wheat color and feel. The color of this Scot beer was deep red and beautiful with a simple but pungent aroma. The taste at first had acute feel followed by a deep malty full-bodied flavor. Very hearty and great drinkibility feel.

Photo of clayrock81
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.

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

This beer poured a clear dark amber color with decent white head that dissipated to a thin film along the top. Aroma was of roasted malt sweetness, peat, caramel. Flavor was the same and nicely balanced. Mouthfeel was pleasant, pretty full-bodied. I enjoyed this ale, and it would make a nice session beer.

Black Douglas Ale from Broughton Ales Ltd
88 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.