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Gritty McDuff's Scottish Ale - Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Gritty McDuff's Scottish AleGritty McDuff's Scottish Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

85 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 85
Hads: 118
Avg: 3.61
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 5
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 03-25-2002

It takes a brave beer to stand up to a Maine winter. Gritty McDuff 's Scottish Ale is returns every January to help you weather the season. Scottish Style Ale is our interpretation of the robust brews native to Scotland. Generous quantities of Pale malt along with Munich and Caramalts give this ale a deep and complex profile. Scottish Style Ale is just a shade darker than our Bitter, with a rich, slightly sweet first impression on the palate that rounds out to a satisfying maltiness and a medium-dry hop finish. At 6.3% ABV it's hearty but not overwhelming. Sure to please the Braveheart in all of us.

25 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 85 | Hads: 118
Photo of TakeTheMonyNrun
4.88/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Beautiful amber, light brownish color

S- Smells almost as beautiful as it tastes

T- An absolutely delicious caramel malt flavor, a little bit of hops in the after-taste

M- Very creamy with a nice, but mild, carbonation

D- A beer this good practically begs to be continued to drink

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Photo of CheckMate
4.53/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz screw-top bottle purchased at Hannaford in Augusta, Maine.
pours a crystal clear copper liquid with a half inch of off white head that slowly dissipated. scents of chocolate, toffee, butter, and tree nuts (like brazil nuts). tastes of chocolate and toffee grace the tongue, with butter and tree nuts taking a backseat in the flavor. light, crisp taste with a clean finish. the first sip invites another. its quite a beer. one of the best i have had in a while.


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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gritty's has come out with combo 12 packs. This one had Scottish Ale, Christmas Ale, and the year-round Pub Ale. This Scottish ale is very good. It had a nice amber color with minimal head (and I really tried to make so0me head when pouring). It has a spicy/sweet aroma, and a good cinnamon/malty taste, with a hoppy aftertaste that really lingers. Lightly carbonated, so good mouthfeel. A very drinkable beer.

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Photo of far333
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another great beer from this fine brewer. Chestnut colored with a fat and foamy and somewhat lumpy off-white head that lingers long. Thick rings of foam and spotty lace line the glass as I drink. Aroma is light, and consists of sweet malt and some hops. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel followed by a sweet malt flavor upfront, with toffee and caramel, plus some hops, in the finish. Light brown sugar emerges in the aftertaste. Veeeery drinkable.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Oured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is light smokey brown with ok carbonation. The head is small tan and leaves some lace.

The smell is light but nice, smoky toasted caramel malt.

The taste is very good I like this a lot, the caramel is very nice and it all works very good. Even the hops are done right.

The mouthfeel is a bit fizzy and the body could be thicker, but all pretty good.

The drinkability is just fine a very well dome brew that drinks agreat. Prosit, MK

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Photo of Schmidts
4.16/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just got this on the Holiday weekend, Pours dark amber nice head about 3/4 inch with lacing. Smell of Carmel and a little hops.It has a very Nice Taste and flavor. Feels very refreshing in your mouth and is easy to drink and one leads to another. This is a very nice Scottish Style Ale and I will revisit again for sure wish it was a little easier to get but a good taste and good price!

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Photo of Jason
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 brown bomber with no freshness date.

Appearance: Slim yet well formed lace leave a few rings on the glass as it goes down, deep brownish amber glows bright in the light.

Smell: Light citric hop with a round of toasted malt this is follow buy a hint of buttery malt to from an aromatic nose.

Taste & Mouthfeel: More smoothness than creaminess within the medium body, buttery malt from front to back. Herbal woody hoppiness seems to cut the malt sweetness enough. Dough toasted malt flavor with a semi-dry palate. A touch of alcohol with fruity ester in the finish.

Notes: A nice beefy Scottish ale, reminds me of some of the strong Scottish bitters I had many years ago in Edinburgh. A stogy beef stew would be a great pairing with this one.

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Photo of Drewcifer
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a nice rich amber with a good-sized off-white head.

Smell is sweet malt, a little caramel, a slight hoppy twinge to it. Mostly malts, though.

Taste is also sweet malts and a touch of caramel. No real hops to it. Overall pleasant, a bit subdued though.

Body is on the lighter side of medium, slight carbonation.

Good drinkability, and overall, an above average Scottish, well done, not top of the heap, but quality.

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Photo of chaunur
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tuckermans in North Conway NH,

Poured a clear copperish tan with a nice 1" cream head, Very pleasant aroma, sweet, carmel tones with a hint of hops and some winter spice.

Wonderful flavor, semi-sweet yet not cloying, maltly, some toffee, and a woodsy hops flavor that lends balance.

A great Scottish Ale, almost as good as Cally's Smokin Scottish Ale

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I often question the freshness of many Maine beers when people buy them in singles or sixers at their local market. Whilst I am suer that the further north you go, the better your chance of getting fresh product is, for me in PA anything that we get is questionable at best. I learned a lot about Maine beer on my trip to Portland at the end of February, but the main thing is this: Maine beer *needs* to be drunk fresh from the tap. Sorry about that little rant, but this beer is no exception to the above rule. I had this on tap at several Portland-area beer bars. It's a nice ruddy brown colour that is not opaque, but is almost black. Their are some red highlights though if you look at this one closely. The head is small and consists of thick white-ish foam. Lacing is there, but minimal in nature. The aromas of this brew are classic UK Scotch ale. Big beefy malts, and a big sweetnes, are barely balanced by some nice leafy UK hop variatels. Taste is malty and sweet, with some nice smoky/oaky/scotchy notes that are there, but partially hidden by the huge maltiness of this brew. Mouthfeel is medium modied>thick and drinkability is very good. A very solid example of this style, done up right by one of the best breweries that Maine has to offer. Don't take this place for granted all you Maine BA's.

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Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into shaker pint glass on 3/10/08.

A - Clear, dark copper-colored body with half a finger of creamy off-white head and lots of active carbonation. Head retained quite nicely, but left minimal lacing.

S - Lots of caramel malt up front with hints of vanilla and bourbon. Hops are earthy and not as pronounced as the other aromas.

T - Sweet caramel is apparent right away with a bit of molasses and a syrupy quality. Nice dose of gritty, earthy hops, which is pleasant. Like the aroma, there are hints of vanilla and bourbon in the background. Finishes with a heavy caramel aspect paired with bitter earthy hops.

M - Medium body with quite vigorous carbonation, resulting in a very prickly mouthfeel. Texture is fairly thick and syrupy. Finish is moderately bitter for a Scottish style ale.

D - Very solid Scottish style ale with a good amount of hops and flavors to keep it interesting. Carbonation is pretty heavy, but it doesn't detract from the overall aesthetic. I enjoyed this brew very much!

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Photo of BuckSpin
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11oz bottle in a thistle-style flared goblet

Nice, vibrant nose from a crisp, crackled pour. Lightly spiced, biscuity, crackers, faint orange peel, sweet malts and dark caramel. An earthy/peated quality rises as it warms & opens as do some sweet stone fruits like cherry, slight apricot, more of the orange peel, malts and their sugars are more noticeable..a nice, inviting bouquet.

Head was a good finger's worth of mixed, warm ivory hued foam that lasted a decent while before surrendering into a thin covering. Their is no lacing, but slight agitation does revigorate the head nicely to a lingering, slow fade back to that thin covering. Body is a beautifully warm, brassy-orange cherry amber hue, crisp, sharp, clean, a few rogue bubbles rising quickly thru it. Aromatically & visually this is an understated beauty.

Its like 2 clans.. the "McBitters" and the "MacMalts" having a go at it in some highland games. Its surprisingly bitter up front, which given all the nose & eye candy caught me off guard like a gillie in the Highlands. But this bitter tongue quality is offset with a pleasing malt profile. Malts are earthy, flat, their deep, caramelized sugars slightly smoky and burnt but very nice. A whisper of orange complements the bitters as they do a jig with the caramelized malts...very nice. The tastes all meld together on the tongue balanced, even, flattening like a descent into the Lowlands, somewhat thin & watery, with a slight creaminess and upswing with the sweet aspect of the caramel. The finish is very quiet, semi-dry with peated malts, slight caramel, leaving a pleasing, clean bittersweet aftertaste that lightly coats the mouth in semi-sweet creaminess, but yet leaves a little of that backroad, thru the peat bog, malted journey to remind you of where you came from.

One note - this started better than it finished. The 1st half of the glass was much better & more complex than the 2nd, and as it warmed more it started to thin & lose qualities.

Overall, a damn fine Scottish Ale in all regards except for its staying power with warmth & air. I'm not saying to chug it, but sipping/nursing it does not help nor do it justice. However, there are far worse things in the world than a beer that appeals to all senses and can just be enjoyed without much thought over a session, one after the other. Perhaps one of the biggest sleepers in the New England market. By all means check it out & enjoy it while its here before the bagpipes call it away for another year.

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Photo of alexhammond
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is only the second Scottish ale I've tried, the other being a little too strong in taste for me. Gritty's, however, was very drinkable. Paired this one with some bread and sharp cheddar cheese, which actually brought out a little bit of sweet malty flavor in the beer. Alcohol content isn't too noticeable, and it isn't as heavy as I expected, but still an enjoyably rich taste. Got me interested in trying some other Scottish ales.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours out as a red-hued amber color with good carbonation that creates a scattered, bubbly head that dissipated pretty fast. minor lacing is observed.

The nose on this brew is pretty sweet scented with a red berries malt scent and herbal hop aroma.

This scottish ale has a big, sweet brown sugar, bread and butter flavored malt with some very nice fruity sweet currents. The hop charecter is herbal and subtle but very effective. The finish is hearty and very pleasing with a unique sour/yeastie effect.

This brew is medium bodied but crisp and substantial. This is one of the more enjoyable version of this style that i've had, very bold flavor and extremely drinkable.

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Photo of jackorain
3.91/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clear brown/amber color Yellowish tan head. Good retention and nice lace.

Smells sweet like caramel, mild floral hops

Tastes nicely sweet anfd malty earthy and floral hops

medium body, nice medium fizzy carbonation

I could drink a few of these.

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Photo of Durge
3.91/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark caramel color with a thick off-white head and great thick lacing. The aroma is a mild nutty grass hops and cider. The taste is smooth malt and sharp pine hops. A crisp but somewhat full mouth feel. It's a decent drinker for the style, doesn't seem too strong in alcohol. I pick up some sour apple and lemon, rye and peat. Very enjoyable, perhaps the best Gritty's I ever had. Be sure to try it!

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. This beer pours an amber brown color with a creamy white head that goes away pretty quickly. There is no real lacing on this beer, just a small ring around the edge of the liquid. Also it has very good clarity. Smell is good, not great, but good. Actually when cool it really doesn't have much of a smell at all. After it warms up a bit the nose gets a bit stronger. It's big on the malts, very sweet, even a little rich. The taste is a step up. Again it's very malty, caramelized with a bit of a butterscotch flavor. It doesn't taste very hoppy, maybe a little bit of a citrus hop flavor, but it unquestionably targets your bitter taste buds. The mouthfeel is excellent. Creamy and smooth with a clean bitter finish. No carbonation bite at all. Full bodied and well balanced overall. This beer has good drinkability overall. I would certainly get it again if the opportunity arose. This beer won't blow you away, but it's pretty unique for this style.

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Photo of JMD71
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep copper color with a small head when poured.
Smell: Malty character with some sweet caramel flavor.
Taste: Nice full bodied flavor with good malty overtones. Good hop flavor in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Nice, clingy feeling. Highly carbonated lends good motuhfeel.
Drinkability: Very smooth, easy drinking. Not too heavy or overpowering.

I found this very enjoyable. Really nice malty flavor & good hop balance in the finish. Leaves a slight bitter aftertaste which is enjoyable,

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Photo of Yeastcakes
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving notes: Hefe glass, 45F
Aroma: Malty sweetness with a light earthy hops in the background. Hint of smokiness.
Appearance: Nice inch of head upon pour dark, clear amber in color. Nice effervescence of bubbles.
Mouthfeel: medium to full body, light carbonation. Slickness on the tongue.
Taste: Malty sweetness dominates across the pallet. Hops in the background but still provide a good balance.
Drinkability: A nice winter beer. I would definitely get this beer again.

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Photo of Shovelbum
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a robust off-white head over a glowing red-hued copper body. Excellent lace and head retention. Light aromas of caramel malt, but fairly clean in the nose. Sweet and malty caramel flavors with a substantial smoky character as well. Slighty acrid and a moderate hop spiciness. Lean to medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Ends with a drying finish and a lingering smokiness.

The smoky character teams up well with the hops and malt, although I would have liked a bit more body. Overall, this a decent Scottish ale with respectable complexity.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Glazed terra cotta with bright tangerine trim. The upper third of the glass contains a thick slice of pastel orange-gold foam that has a great deal of character. The upper surface is absolutely loaded with sticky bubbles, while broken blankets of BB-shot Belgian lace look beautiful as well.

Although there's nothing much wrong with the nose, it isn't exactly classic for the style. It smells like butter caramel... and not much else. A little cocoa or medium-dark fruitiness or peat or smoke would be nice. Perhaps the aroma will come alive with warming.

Gritty McDuff's Scottish Ale is a decent Scottish ale, but it doesn't rock my world. At least it tastes authentic, even if it isn't likely to put a scare into the world's best versions. It tastes like it's missing something, but I can't zero in on what that might be.

This is one of those styles that, in my considered opinion, is allowed to contain a moderate amount of diacetyl (which this one does) and still be good. As in the aroma, butter caramel describes the flavor profile best. There's also some mushy apple fruitiness, along with an herbal hop accent on the finish. For those who care, the hops are Northern Brewer and Yakima Goldings. 25 IBUs.

Sweet, bitter and tangy all take the lead at various points, achieving a complementary balance in the end. Warming amplifies the flavors that are already present (especially overripe apples), without changing things to any significant extent.

Keeping in mind that this isn't a wee heavy, it's still a bit light. There's nothing wrong with the mouthfeel, it just isn't worthy of the next highest score. Having said that, it doesn't stand in the way of rapid consumption if you're thirsty.

Scottish Ale is my fourth Gritty McDuff's beer and is my fourth solid Gritty McDuff's beer. This brewery isn't likely to be anyone's all-time favorite (apologies if it is), but I'd love to live within their distribution area. Thanks to fo5s for the bomber.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber, fizzy head comes up and falls quick. Smell is malty sweetness. Maple, caramel, light spice and floral presence. Good taste. Sweet up front but an excellent doughy, bready profile that comes soon after. It has a light nutty aspect to it as well. Smooth medium mouthfeel that is lightly creamy and well rounded, tiny bit of dryness in the finish. I'd take a couple more if I had them, that's for sure.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Liberal Cup.

A very attractive brew, though not much head by the time it got to me, and no lacing. It was exceptionally clear, and the color was a beautiful amber/red.

Smell was more boozy than expected, but also apricot fruity, a little butterscotch, malty sweet with just the faintest hint of peat. It improved in depth and strength as it warmed.

Didn't really get the peatiness at all in the taste, and not as fruity either. Had a mild bitterness balancing the malty sweetness, with a bit of the butterscotch noted in the nose.

Medium full body, pleasantly creamy and rich, and it finished clean.

Very easy drinking, quite tasty, but not really quite having all of the elements of a top notch Scottish ale. Most notably, the smoky/peaty character associated with the style. A quality brew that I'll be happy to have again upon occasion.

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Photo of bth86
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Golden Brown, thin cream colored head that dissapates after some time, leaving a small amount of lacing

S- Butterscotch, a little malty caramel, maybe a little smokey- overall nothing too standout

T- Malty, sugar, butterscotch, a slight bitter hop finish

M- Smooth, refreshing carbonation, dry finish, very refreshing!

O- I really enjoyed this one, very refreshing as well as drinkable, Great session beer!

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Photo of granite
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A--- It poured copper with large white head.

S---Burnt sugar and butter-scotch.

T---It had toffee sweetness with a good dose of bitterness to balance. It was easy to detect diacetyl in the aftertaste.

M---Medium-full bodied

D---Nice ale but it reminded me of an ESB brewed with crystal 120. It was too bitter and pale to be Scottish ale but they can call it what ever they want. The bottom line is this is very drinkable and I enjoyed it.

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Gritty McDuff's Scottish Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.