Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Plaid Bastard - Grand Lake Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Plaid BastardPlaid Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

36 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 36
Hads: 61
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 7.81%
Wants: 5
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Grand Lake Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

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

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 02-16-2004

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (14) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 36 | Hads: 61
Photo of 303beer
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brownish red. Thin bubbly head. No sediment. Light smoke and sweetness to it. Not over done. I like it. Tryed 4 from this brewery tonight. This is the best of the four. (174 characters)

Photo of mevett89
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown with a thin head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: you can definitely detect the smoked malt here, but that's about it.

Taste: smoked malt alongside roasted and chocolate notes. The hops are solidly in the background.

Mouth Feel: smooth and creamy with low carbonation.

Overall: the use of peat-smoked malt from Scotland make this unlike any Scotch Ale I've had. It's not nearly as strong in caramel malt flavor as I'm used to in this style, but the smoked malt used is showcased well. (510 characters)

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer is as dark brown as can be without being black. An oatmeal colored head calms to bubbles and the a wisp, with light lacing.

Aroma is rich, buttery with toffee notes and faint smokiness.

The taste is smooth and complex. Buttery toffee come first, followed by hearty malts with a faint smokey finish.

Medium mouthfeel, almost sticky.

Overall, a delicious brew with rich notes. Smooth and definitely worth my time. (459 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a good beer for this time of year. enjoyed on tap at fire on the mountain wing spot on 32nd. it pours a flat looking clear brown amber color with basically no head. it smells great though, lots of smokey malt and a decent level of booze. its earthy and dark, enticing. the flavor is rich, even for the style. and the malts remind me of campfire smoke, tree bark, and maple syrup, although this beer isnt sweet. there is a nice warming alcohol kick to this as well. the mouthfeel lags a bit because there isnt enough carbonation, but the full body and smooth texture was a great way to wash down a couple dozen wings. id like to try this in the bottle, maybe the feel would be better. either way, a good introduction to grand lake beer for me. (742 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from MilwaukeeCrusher so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains smoky roasted malts, bourbon dark fruit, vanilla and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste likewise starts out very smoky up front. Then some flavors of bourbon, chocolate, caramel, dark fruit and vanilla come in. The malt character is hearty despite being on the thin side for the style and there’s a mild hops presence that brings some balance.

M: Crisp and smooth but a bit watery for the style, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty and complex, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, even when you take into account the beer’s flaws, it’s still worth drinking for a while if you’re looking with a smoky beer with substance. (1,001 characters)

Photo of beergoot
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very little head after pouring this reddish brown bodied beer into my glass. Still, an great color...

Dark bread, rye-like, with hints of figs and raisins in the smell. A faint whiff of alcohol sneaks in there, too.

Robust malt goodness predominates in the taste. Rich and smooth on the tongue as roasted grains with hints of cocoa in there. Softly bitter with an ever so slight perception of alcohol rounds things out.

A fantastic rich, malted taste rescues this beer from a somewhat disappointing appearance (a thick, lasting head would have been great on this beer...). Excellent balance with the alcohol and grains coupled with an intriguing complexity makes for a fine brew in the grand scheme of things... (714 characters)

Photo of tbern007
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with ruby around the edges. No head, no lace. Pretty color, but the rest of the appearance is crap.
Scent is tantalizing. Dark fruit, malt, alcohol.
Taste is on one hand nice but on the other weak. Plum, anise, black licorice, roast malt- but all essentially weak. Very slight smoke.
A bit watered down and sugary. Medium body. I've had some Scotch Ales and this just seems a bit weak.
Side note: the label states: strong scotch ale is big and rich.
Not really. There's also a mention of the highest altitude of brewing in CO. So what. just make good beer. (592 characters)

Photo of xhuskr
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into std pint glass

thnx to my bro-in-law who lives in CO for this one. Had this years ago at the brew pub and enjoyed it.

A-nice dark mahogany color with very little lace that quickly diminished to none
S-nice...a wee bit of peaty malt
T-good light smoky/peaty flavor I've missed in other so called Scotch Ales
M-nice at first, then leading to off carbonation. Not too much from stopping me form finishing or wanting another. I've had some BAD Scotch Ales (last Maltopia) so I enjoyed this
O-a good beer to enjoy without any hype.

I'm often looking for a good Scotch ale...cautious to spend $ on failed brews. I'd buy/drink this again.

I wish I had some more (684 characters)

Photo of Pahn
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Thanks to codewarrior for including this as an extra in a recent trade--even though if you read below he himself apparently didn't like it! I'm joking with the "shit extra" implication though; among others, he included a 750ml Odell Saboteur as an extra, which is really going above and beyond. Generous trader, and much appreciated.

Appearance: Free pour yields a tiny offwhite head that disappears immediately. Pours a dark blackish red brown. No lacing. Considering this isn't an unblended lambic or something, looks like something went wrong.

Smell: Raisin, and a cola-like effervescence. There's an almost white wine-like note that's kind of sour. It actually smells good, but the smell is not strong enough and there's not enough going on really. Doesn't particularly enhance the flavor, but doesn't stop me from wanting to drink it either.

Taste: Interesting. I definitely taste the raisin and black cherry touted on the bottle's label, and there's a nice smokiness right up front from the peat smoked malt. Some molasses in the aftertaste. This beer would be great to cook with.

All told there isn't much going on with this beer, but I like what's there. The transition from smoke to raisin/cherry to molasses is good, and stays interesting throughout. It's sort of like a smoky Belgian dubbel actually (though a pretty simplistic dubbel). Also, even at 8% ABV there isn't a hint of solvent in the flavor. Maybe some warmth in the chest at the end, but that's it.

Drinkability: Medium bodied (feels heavier at first, but it starts to feel a bit watery after awhile). Low carbonation, which I actually found to be quite enjoyable (I don't want my thick malty beers to explode with bubbles in my mouth). Dryer than expected.

Drinkability: Goes down easy. I wouldn't have trouble throwing these back if I was with good company at a bar. That said, it's also not a beer such that I'd say, "Oh, such-and-such bar has Plaid Bastard?? Let's go *there* tonight!" If it were cheap enough I'd buy it every so often.

I liked this beer more than the low-for-BA and low-for-me scores probably indicate. I think the beer is well made and has real character. There's just some obvious problems in the appearance and smell, and the flavor is, when it comes down to it, not as deep as a wee heavy needs to be. However, it does taste good. Also, I bet a barbecue sauce made out of this stuff would be amazing. (2,439 characters)

Photo of codewarrior
2.85/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz from a 6-pack, poured into a pint glass

Picked this up on my first trip to Davidson's Liquors, the liquor store was impressive, this beer ... not so much.

L: Deep, dark, old, brown. Very little head, no lacing. Definitely a touch under-carbonated.

S: Fresh for a wee-heavy. Touch of smoke and peat in the back of th nose, lots of sweetness, but ultimately not much going on here.

T: Starts sweet, middle is sort of a meaty smokey confusion with not enough of either to make much of this beer. Finish is premature, and pretty flat.

F: Touch light for a wee-heavy and definitely under-carbonated. Nearly flat.

D: Not for me. (633 characters)

Photo of katan
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a deep dark amber color. Some brown high lights are present. Head formation was about nil, and it disappeared down to nothing. Looks somewhat flat.

S - Malty - strong chocolate and toffee, perhaps some caramel. Some alcohol warmth. Roasted notes are present, but they are are an afterthought.

T - Starts off with a light sweet, but then turns hard into some chocolate and peat malt. Lots of alcohol warmth. Mid-stream brings on some currants, raisins. Finishes with some smooth chocolate flavors.

M - Moderate beer body, but a very flat carbonation. Sticky and sweet on the tongue. Lots of alcohol warmth on the finish.

D - Moderate drinkability - abv will knock you around a little. Not filling. Flavors are pretty well rounded.

An interesting beer. (786 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
3.37/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been sitting on this one for a long time. Time to give it a try.

Served cool into a pint glass, Plaid Bastard is a deep dark brown color. There is good clarity around the edges. There is absolutely no head. Even with a splashy pour, nothing develops.

Aroma is sweet and malty. There is a little evidence of the peat or smoked malts that were used in the making of this beer.

Flavor much more strong and the smoke comes through here with force. There is a sweet malt backbone with a little chocolate and cherry flavor. There is basically no hops to speak of but that's how this style should be.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied with low carbonation. After pouring it, I thought this might be the second beer in as many nights to come out flat but luckily no.

Overall it's not a bad beer, pretty good for the style, but I prefer my Scotch ales to be smoke-free. (868 characters)

Photo of blackie
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: unibroue tulip, completely dead on the surface - absolutely no head, deep murky brown in color

s: peaty, woody smoke, and smooth roasty malts with a subtle sweet-sour aroma akin to apple juice, some chocolate syrup, big malty toffee, molasses, dark fruits, not bad

m: barely carbonated, body a full medium

t: typical scotch style malts - toffee and smoky peat with some glimpses of iced coffee, light chocolate coating, okay but a bit of a flatline, turns somewhat to a dry earthiness in the finish with dusty cocoa and charred wood

d: eh, okay

single from College Liquors, Grand Junction, CO (600 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours brown with no head at all other than a few bubbles after a very vigorous pour.

The aroma is sweet peaty caramel and toffee with a bit of smoke and molasses and nuts. As it warms some vegetal notes come out.

The flavor is sweet peaty nutty caramel and toffee malts with some chocolate and a touch of fruits and smoke. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with very low carbonation.

Overall, this didn't have much carbonation like the other Grand Lake beers that I purchased from the brewery. Unlike the others, this hold up pretty nicely. It's got some great flavors for a Scotch ale - a good balance of peat, smoke and sweet caramel without being overly sweet. (677 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
3.03/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cola brown pour with a half finger of head that quickly dissipates. The aroma is extremely familiar but I'm having trouble pinpointing it. Sort of a toasted, bready, lightly sweet mix....I think I've got it, it is Wheat Chex cereal maybe?

Flavor is basically mashed Wheat Chex mixed with water. I love me a nice full flavored/full bodied wee heavy, but this just isn't it. Too watered down for the style, although by no means is it unpleasant. Just not really worth seeking out. (479 characters)

Photo of chicano4craft
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter as suggested on the label. Very dark with ruby highlights when held to the light. Modest head from a strong pour. Head leaves fast with no lacing.

Smoke, malt, and dark fruit in the nose.

Very nice mix of sweet fruit and smokey malt in the taste. The alcohol comes through slightly in the end. Not a lot of carbonation here, but enough for the style.

Pretty solid scotch ale. Nice flavors. I could have used a little more carbonation. This seems to be a problem with all Grand Lake beers. As for this beer I'll definitely buy this again. (563 characters)

Photo of Rayek
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Thistle.

A: Very deep mahogany. As dark as some porters. Clarity is a quite good. A small and fizzy nougat head comes and goes quickly. Leaves no lace.

S: The peat smoked malt comes through strong and forms the center point of the beer's nose. It's surrounded by aromas of toffee, tobacco, molasses and raw earth in equal measure.

T: Tastes heavily of toffee, tobacco and smoke up front. A molasses sweetness is in the background. Bitterness is just enough to keep the sweetness in check. It brings in earth and black tea flavors. Finishes with a slight warmth and lingering molasses and smoke flavors.

M: The body is both syrupy and slightly watery. The carbonation on my bottle seems way off the mark.

D: Smells good and tastes good. But the weak appearance and mouthfeel really let this one down. Perhaps a better bottle will come my way at some point. (874 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A good stab at the Scotch Ale. But like many American brewers, a few shortcuts were make that keeps it from competing with true Scottish versions.

Sweet maltiness gives more candied, sugary affects rather than the complex, richer, and more malty techniques from kettle caramelization that would give rich toffee taste and with the browning of malliard reactions. And, without any hop character outside of shortsighted balance, the beer is just too sweet. Fruity notes of cherries, grapes, apples, and plumbs shine nicely and would support the beer well if the maltiness were present. Lacking richness and fullness, the sugars fall flatly on the tongue and the beer just gets stuck.

It's an ok beer but the imported versions have this one beat. Thanks Ken. (757 characters)

Photo of rowew
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, plaid label. no date or abv.

Appearance: Dark color, ruby when held to the light. Very little head.

Smell: Smoky, a bit of dark fruit.

Taste: Farily thin bodied, nice flavors of dark fruit, and just a bit of smokiness, but not overpowering.

Overall impression: Drinkable, good flavors - another nice offering from Grand Lake. (361 characters)

Photo of Beejay
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Domingo!!

A: Deep reddish brown, not a lot of head, but some white bubbles on top.

S: Malt with a touch of smoke. Like smoked meats...Slightly earthy, maybe some mocha in there.

T: Wow, big flavor. Roasted malt backed with some nice smoke flavors. Subtle and not overpowering.. Very nicely balanced, and the alcohol is well hidden. This is the first beer from this brewery that I have had, and what a good one to start with. Very nice.

M: A little light on the carbonation,but I don't think it is out of it's style.

D: It's a shame I only have 1/2 of a bomber left... must procure more.. (599 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown color; very little light penetrates. Poured a skim of chocolate colored head that dissipated thin layer that was thicker around the edges. Laced in thin rings.

S: Bitter coffee and dark sweet fruits; raisins and black cherry. Toasted malts in the foiundation.

T: Crystal malt much more prominent. Dark fruity flavors in the middle consistent with smell. Just enough bitter to finish leaving a slight sweet cherry aftertaste (from candi sugar?).

M: Medium body. Low carbonation. Smooth, silky and coating.

D: Very dirnkable. Disguises the abv very (too) well. Flavorful, smoooth and rich. (605 characters)

Photo of jacobseyb
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A=virtually no head, deep amber almost black

S=smoky smell, some fruity notes

T=smoky taste, roasted malts evident, almost chocolate

M=even with no head carbonation is tight though feel is heavy and thick

D=not one of my favorites though i will drink again, probably would not choose as a session beer (305 characters)

Photo of Domingo
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is like Old Chub's brother to the west.
Pours a very dark brown color with hints of red. It's about as thick as non-nitro'd beer gets. Head's normal per the style.
Smells really sweet and malty, with a touch of smoke. It's not the powerful rauch-type smoke, but similar to a scotch.
The taste has a lot of depth. It starts of sweet and chocolaty, with a little bit of a malted milkball flavor. In the center you get some dried fruits, and the finish is peat smokey like a scotch. Nice. Granted the smoke isn't really in the classic versions of the style, I enjoy it.
It's a sipper due to the texture and sheer amount of flavor, but alcohol is well hidden so you aren't limited to one.
This makes for a great dessert beer.
Highly recommended. Glad to see a small mountain brewer putting out something so tasty and bottling it. (830 characters)

Photo of JMBSH
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Paours a dark amber almost brown color with almost no head. Head disappears to just a ring where the glass meets the liquid.

S - Caramel, a bit whiskey like.

T - Bring on the caramel. Somemore of the whiskey like flavor as well but the sweet caramel in really driving this bus. Very little bitterness. A bit on the sweet side like candy sugars were used.

M - Not too heavy tasting. Coats the back of the mouth a bit but still slick feeling overall. Once again the sweetness is bit higher then I am used to.

D - I can have more then a couple before realizing that the 8% ABV is there. Don't know if what besides things like cheeses would go good with this beer. Maybe it is best as a after-dinner drink. Would have again. (728 characters)

Photo of FrognutUnl
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cola in color with no head. The nose is filled with dark chocolate, dried fruits, cinnamon, and a slight smokiness. Taste yields a mild pleasant smoky flavor, just like the bottle states. This accompanied by delicious dark fruits, cinnamon, clove with a little bite of the hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is velvety without being overly sticky. This is certainly one of the better scotch ales I have had. (412 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Plaid Bastard from Grand Lake Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.