1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

114 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 114
Reviews: 93
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.39%
Wants: 14
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Douglas Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 93 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of McClungbrew2
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Deep amber color with garnet highlights. 1/4" tan head. Lacing to the end of the beer.

Smell - Malty, peaty, woody nose. No hop aroma

Taste - Sweet malt up front, No hop flavor, but balanced by bitterness. Faint smoke, and toffee notes.

Mouthfeel - Rich ,clean, medium body. No heavy aftertase or cloying sweetnes.

Overall - Very good beer. Excellent balance of flavor and mouthfeel.

McClungbrew2, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of Stinkypuss
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.

Stinkypuss, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of froghop
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear dark copper with a large light tan head, and great lacing.

smell is of malt, grain, caramel, and some sweetness.

taste is smooth, toffee, sweet caramel, malt, honey-nut cheerios, and roasted nuts, ends smooth and just a touch of bitterness.

froghop, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of brentk56
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

brentk56, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of bluejacket74
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.

bluejacket74, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of zeff80
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.

zeff80, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of mdagnew
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from Peckhams, Edinburgh...

Poured a deep mahogany red colour. Slightly off white head poured fairly thick and foamy with a frothy topping then faded quickly to patchy covering with thick edging that climbs up the glass... some light lacing lines...

Aroma - Rich and spicy dark berry fruitiness (blackberries and currents, red grapes, dates, also some raisins), rich toasted and biscuity malts, hints of chocolate and vanilla cookies, nutmeg notes, toasted nuts, grassy, cola traces, faint liquorice, treacle sweetness...

Taste is bit of a let down after the fine aromas... lots of spritzy cola notes, slightly watered down dark fruits (grapes, blackcurrents, apples), quite nutty, some sourness, quite a lot of peppery and grassy hop bitterness, some saltiness, lightly toasted bready malts, brown sugar sweetness...

M&D - Quite sharp and dry with a little oiliness just coming through... light / medium bodied... A good sessionable brew at only 5.2%...

Overall - A good straightforward example of a Scottish ale if a little on the one dimensional side... worth a try though...

mdagnew, Sep 17, 2008
Photo of erosier
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper amber color with a tall and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass vrey well on the way down. The aroma is of very sweet malts, some faint hop bitterness, and then what seemed like a hint of a sweet scotch smell. The taste was also nice as well with a very sweet malty base followed by a sweeter scotchy sort of flavor and then a tiny bit of a hoppy bitterness at the end to round out the flavor so it wasn't too sweet. Really nice mouthfeel - very fresh and velvety feeling. This is a very drinkable Scottish Ale as I would gladly have more than one of these in a session.

erosier, Mar 18, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
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.

beerthulhu, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours dark ruby with some strange almost purple highlights. Not sure I've ever seen that color in a beer.

Smell is sweet, mostly dark fruits. There are also some grainy flavors, almost like a sweet corn, which sounds terrible but wasn't that bad.

Flavor is pretty strong with more dark fruits and sweet grains. There are some toasted flavors as well.

Felt great. Just enough carbonation to make its presence known.

ElGrecoVerde, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
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...

dsa7783, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of JamesS
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent Scottish Ale! It has a great dark copper color, nearly opaque, with nice head and excellent lacing. A very nice sweet/malty scent, with hints of lavender/heather in it. A wonderfully malty flavor with hints of peat. It's thick but very smooth and very refreshing. An excellent near-session scottish ale.

JamesS, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
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.

mikesgroove, Jan 04, 2008
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours out a nice ruby tinted brown color with a thick and sticky tan colored head that shows really good retention and leaves long, sticky legs behind. Looks Fine.

The aroma is dominated by a delightful chocolate malt with oats and grains and a mild vanilla scent. Old-spice herbalness balances the malt very well. The aroma is VERY chocolate-scented for this style.

The flavor is much like the aroma with a wonderfully smooth, full-bodied chocolate malt that becomes very spicey and herbalized and then blends back together, the balance of flavors seems really good. Big malt effect with just the right amount of spiceiness.

This is now one, if not my favorite Scotch Ale's. The big, bold malt flavor is right on.

GratefulBeerGuy, Nov 23, 2007
Photo of metallistout
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle bought at The Andersons in Columbus Ohio. Go Bucks!

Deep, dark red with a nice thick head. This head has lasting power.
I have found this with other Scottish brews also.

Smell very malty, fruity and a nice hop scent.

Tastes of sweet caramel and fruity malt. A nice hop balance and a refreshing mouthfeel.

This beer is pretty damn good. Sometimes I wish I live in the UK so I wouldn't have to pay all of the damn import taxes or fees on these fine brews.

metallistout, Nov 03, 2007
Photo of neenerzig
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. I enjoyed this beer last night with some friends at La Cav Du Vin. Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Tan head is about 1/4 inch when poured before settling to a decent surface layer with decent lace. Aromas of roasted caramel and malt are present along with hints of dark fruit and a trace of hops. Tastewise this beer is dominated by the roasted malt and caramel upfront and is followed by some fairly subtle hop flavors and some nuttiness. A good session beer indeed. Has a crisp and full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in the way a well crafted beer should be.

Eric

neenerzig, Oct 15, 2007
Photo of kmacphail
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This poured a lovely dark ruby-brown colour into a pint mug, this produced a thick off-white head with very good retention, especially considering this is a bottled beer.

A plesant scent of bitter fruits along with sweet malts dominated the nose along with a hint of burnt caramel and treacle afterwards. The taste of malts continued through to the mouth along with a bitter hoppy and fruity aftertaste. Very pleasant indeed.

A nice medium-thick mouthfeel gave this the ideal body for a robust full bodied ale that it claims to be.

However the further down the pint I got, the fuller I started to feel. After the pint was finished I struggled to even drink a light beer after it.

This was very nice, however it was like a Christmas pudding. Beautiful aromas, nice rich taste and a lot of mouthfeel. However I serving was more than enough. Ideal if you are in the mood for one beer, but not to be taken in any real quantity.

kmacphail, May 22, 2007
Photo of Poser
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

White top with good lacing with chocolate-fruity and hoppy aroma. Medium bodied and slightly creamy with some strong malty flavors up front with some noticeable spices, but easy enough for a session beer. The taste is nutty and earthy similiar to a John Courage. Finishes with a good hoppy balance. A very solid ale with low enough ABV to have a few of. It also comes in a nifty looking pint bottle from Scotland, so it's just fun all around.

I bought this completely blind having never heard of the brewery even, so I'm very happy with my choice.

Poser, Apr 24, 2007
Photo of Mandrake
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out quite a dark red, fading into brown at the top of the glass. Head is about three fingers, and a moderate tan in colour. Lasts well and leaves good lacing. Smell is nearly archetypal for a scottish ale: strong caramel, molasses, and smoky peat. Nuttiness and fruits, apples and raisins, are present as well. Taste is along the same lines, the nutty malts making a stronger case for themselves, but the dark caramel and peat smoke holding their own. Very mild metallic note in the finish, hardly noticible but slightly distracting. Mouthfeel is slightly thin, good carbonation though. Drinkability is quite good. Nice example of a scottish ale, but nothing extraordinary.

Mandrake, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of swid
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black Douglas Ale pours a dark amber color into my pint glass. Atop the hazy liquid sits a 1/4", off-white head, which quickly dissipates into a soapy foam. The aroma of this beer is that of a smoky malt, with a strong mineral presence and only the faintest hint of floral hops.

The taste of this beer is intensely malty, with a sweet, smoked presence. After a little bit, a moderately intense mineral and herbal bitterness takes over. The mouthfeel of Black Douglas is quite "wet" and full, but without being overly thick. The finish is malty and mildly bitter, with a trademark British "hard water" aftertaste.

Overall, a refreshing Scottish Ale. I wish I could try it a bit closer to its place of origin, however.

swid, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Rootbeer like brew with a similar looking head when mixed with icecream. The body is clean with amber highlights...copius streams of bubbles meander to the top adding to the already thick head.

S: Very malty with hints of peat, deep red fruits and brown sugar.

T: Light caramel with red apple, dry wood and a weak malt profile based on the smell IMO. The middle is roasted barley, slightly smoky with a charred characteristic. Toasted bread mingles with the rest of the group. Finishes with mild chocolate and coffee moments.

M: Medium body yet thin on the tongue.

D: The smell led me to believe this was going to be something really special. Had some nice roasted characteristics but pretty straight forward if you ask me.

Westsidethreat, Oct 19, 2006
Photo of kimcgolf
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the bottle to a dark brown with hintgs of ruby red, and an off-white head that lingers thru mid-glass, and leaves some, but not much, lacing. Aroma is a mild malty roasted nuts, with a bit of toffee. Taste is a continuation of the mild malty sweetness, though never real pronounced, nicely balanced wioth hops. Finish was nice and smooth, and overall, this was a darn good beer of which I could drink several.

kimcgolf, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of rousee
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown murky color. It forms a small head that diminishes quickly to a wisp of foam on top. Does leave some lace along the sides of the glass.

Smell is malt, brown sugar and some slight hints of butter. Its nothing to make it truly negative as this aspect is so subtle and to be expected from this style to some degree.

Taste is a good sugarry malt and salt water taste up front. There is some woodiness in the middle and it does have a somewhat sappy finish.

Mouthfeel is too sticky.
Drinkability is okay but these are not necessarily my favorite style anyway.Considering I share my name with the beer, I had to try it.

rousee, Sep 16, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Every time I think I've scoured every beer to be had in my immediate area I find another shitload of unfounded goodness. This being my latest find I let it chill for a day in the beer fridge and out she comes for the choice of the night. Poured this in my favorite modified tulip it forms a meaty head that leaves coat lacing. The body is dark brown with carbonation clinging to the sides of the glass.

Nuts come to mind up front. A ping pong game takes place with the toasted side and the roasted side and throw in some dark fruits and this becomes one complex offering. It really dances back and forth even getting some stout qualities to this. The true brilliance in this offering to me though is it has a backend smokehouse flavor to it that leaves me wanting a case of this next time I see it.

Notes: This is a beer I really enjoyed. That being said this is an offering that is best as a stand alone offering. Hard to follow or preceed this beer. What a huge compliment.

DogFood11, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
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!!

TheLongBeachBum, Aug 31, 2006
Black Douglas Ale from Broughton Ales Ltd
88 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.