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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 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 jlindros
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at a small bar in downtown Portland, ME, forgot the name of the bar.

Light creamy head, crystal clear copper colored.

Nose is light malts, light brown sugar, creamy molasses, light herbal earthy hops

Taste is creamy, light malts, sweet molasses, light sugar, no real dark malts, creamy, bitter, herbal earthy uk hops, light minerality

Mouth is med bodied with decent carb

Drink is decent, light minerality and herbal hops, dry finish, fairly bitter

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Loved all of the previous offerings from this brewery... this one didn't really do it for me to be honest. Pours a nice cloudy red color, small head, minimal lacing. Medium body to it.. some caramel aroma notes. Taste is a bit watery and don't get a lot of the peat/smokey flavor or even that much caramel in the taste. When I get a scotch ale that's what I expect, but this one is a bit lacking. Good try GM, but I'll pass on this Scottish Ale in the future... not a bad beer overall though.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a short of-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, vanilla, butterscotch and touches of fruit and hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet but mild flavors of caramel, vanilla and butterscotch. The malt character is hearty and there is a bit of fruit in the background. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is a bit dry and slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a long time if you’re in the mood for the style.

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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 russpowell
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to ppoitras for this one!

Pours an orange/copper with 1 finger of sand colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: S: Some toffee & that's it

T: Toffee, slight peat notes & some caramel up front. Slight sour tinge as this warms, then dryness, more peaty smokeyness. Finishes somewhat cloying & smokey

MF: Light bodied with moderate smokeyness

Drinks okay, nothing special here

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Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice head and corresponding lace; dark amber and quite clear

Caramel sugar aromas as expected; no hop.

Slight sweetness that reminds me of maple syrup. I can detect some hop after the swallow, but only then. Full body, but lighter than the style would suggest, with a correspondingly high carbonation. The aftertaste is interesting in that the hop becomes more noticeable as time progresses, becoming the exclusive flavor after about a minute.

While this isn't my style, I like this one. If you like sweet beers, this one is decently balanced with some hops.

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Photo of WesWes
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a 1/2" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a mild malt scent that boasts of crystal and roasted malts. It's dry with some sweetness. The taste is average also. It has a dry, malty taste that seems watered down even at 6.3%. It has a very light peated flavor along with an alcohol zing. The mouthfeel is average as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This has got to be the least enjoyable Scottish ale I've ever had. It lacks depth in the malt bill. It lacks body and it lacks aroma. Down the drain it goes.

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Photo of Gavage
3.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear orange / amber in color with a thick fluffy 3" head. Some spotty lacing develops. The aroma is weak as a hint of piney hops and bread is all you pick up. The flavor is nice combination of caramel, mild piney bitterness, hint of pepper, and butter, with an overall toastiness.

Mouthfeel is crisp at the start and finish, while the finish has a soft buttery caramel aftertaste. Medium bodied. Nice drinkability.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cask pour in a tumbler pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, bright, ruby-copper coloring with a frothy, filmy, clingy, off-white head. Aromas of scotch and caramel sweetness, with a subtle roasting. Tangy sweet flavors of scotch and floral thistle, with a boozey highlight. Very smooth across the palate, with a clean, hoppy bitterness at the end. Rich, smooth feel across the mouth, with a slightly scotchy and sweet aftertaste. Smooth, clean, slightly drying finish. Tasty brew.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a five finger cream head that goes slowly, leaving some lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Malty/hoppy nose. Flavor starts as a sweet mix of malt and hops, finishes slightly bitter. $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

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Photo of akorsak
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle from a variety case purchased as Westy's.

A: The ale is a darker brew, reasonably brown but not quite a cola colored brown-black. A decent head of 1.5 fingers arose on the pour but didn't retain for long.

S: The nose is biscuity malts, touched but smoke and floral notes. There isn't much in the nose to get jazzed about.

T: The taste improves mightily on the nose. The malts are the dominant flavor, grainy with toffee and bread-like flavors. A touch of smokiness aids the malts and the overall taste. A floral flavor emerges midway through a sip. Those flowers are not hops as they lack bitterness, but they sweeten up the taste a bit.

M: The mouthfeel is average, nothing spectacular rises out of the glass.

D: The ale works as a sessioner, decent taste and not much alcohol. But if you are looking for something deeper, pass on this.

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

22oz bottle from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" off-white head above the dark amber brew. Head is promptly down to a thin layer of small bubbles, with prevalent sticky lacing. Aroma is malty with a light alcohol presence. Taste is grain husks, fruitiness in the middle, with a bit of a harsh alcohol character to the close. Mouthfeel is not as smooth as it could be, and drinkability feels the same limitation. I think Gritty's is always better on cask at the brewpub. Have to get up there again.

10/17/04 - 4/2.5/4/4/4.5
12ozer bottle from a six pack from somewhere around here, probably Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head above the deeply amber brew. Good lacing. Aroma is well-balanced of caramel malts and somewhat non-descript hops. Taste is caramel malts, with a crisp somewhat citrusy hop finish. Everyone needs to remember, Scottish, not Scotch ale. Mouthfeel is good, and drinkability is great. I enjoy most any Gritty brew, and this one fits the bill as well.

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Photo of DrJay
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as part of Secret Bunny '07 from cburian. Thanks Chris!

Pretty clear burnt orange colour with a longlasting short cap of whitish foam. Streaky lace stuck to the glass after each swirl. Very fruity aroma, with notes of sultana raisins, cakey malt, and mild banana bread. Maybe a faint whiff of alcohol as well. Sweet, malty base with mild, yet sturdy, hop bitterness. Mild caramel with a bit of fruitiness. Hop flavour made its presence felt in the finish, where it melded with a gentle combination of alcohol, malt, and bitterness. Nice level of attenuation, still some residual sugars left. Decent texture, medium/low carbonation. Not a bad beer at all, but the high level of esters really seems out of place. It would definitely work as a local session though.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.42/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of Dec 12. Sampled on April 26, 2012. It pours a handsome looking deep amber with little to no head, which tends to disappoint me. The aroma has a pleasant malt sweetness to it, some yeast, with a bit of bread. The body is in the medium range or maybe just a bit under. The taste is upfront sweet and malty with licorice and a moderate bitterness. It ends off-dry. This is an adequate take on the style.

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Photo of Brad007
2.88/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a ruby red color with lively carbonation and nice foamy head. Aroma is of peat-smoked malt and ringwood with some dryness. Taste is mostly smoked malt upfront with a bit too much sweetness at first. Aftertaste is much better with a nice smoky finish and dryness. A second confirms much of the same. It doesn't feel well balanced upfront.

Obviously contract-bottled by Shipyard. Not a bad effort but I can name better efforts. Will look for this in a bomber though as I hear bombers are better quality (unless they won't be available in bombers).

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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 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 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 Bierman9
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of my man, JohnnyP.... Crystal clear and copper colored, this bier had a short, fine head which very rapidly shrank to near-nothingness. Nose exhibited a decent amount of maltiness, as well as a healthy dollop of peat aromas. A small hint of caramel is also present. Caramel makes an appearance in the flavor as well. Malty taste does not measure up to the suggestions of it presented in the nose, though. Found there to be a lot more hoppiness present here than I come to expect in a Scottish Ale. Still a nice offering from Grittys. Thnx again to JohnnyP!

overall: 3.75
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5


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Photo of Reidrover
3.31/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ok last of the brews kindly sent by my man Bennybrew.
Comes in the 22 oz brown bomber the label has a half naked Scotsman brandishing a sword ..different.
Beer actually looks very handsome ( though not like any Scottish ale I have seen)..a slightly vibrant brown with a slight haziness topped with a gorgeous off white head..that sinks to leave excellent lacing.
Im rather taken aback by the aroma though..theres something too sweet about it..and it destroys the enjoyment of the malts.
Again with the taste I am confronted with an almost acrid sweetness , like artifficial sweetner) though the beer is saved by a nice creamy , chocolaty taste at the end and a wee bit of hops
Pretty good on the palate after you get rid of the sweetness..its a pretty thin brew really for a Scottish ale.
Pretty average on the drinkability stakes..could have been a lot better.

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

Clear amber red with a thin white cap. Clean, sweet caramel malt aroma with some diacetyl and light fruits. Sweet and bright on the tongue at first though, thankfully, a darker maltiness attempts to chase down the sweetness - some light esters show up as well. Smooth, medium, clean body. Not bad.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 12/12. Stupid new bottle artwork not as snazzy as the old labels.

Clear copper color. I had few of these in my Gritty Dozen mix pack and one looked pretty said with a fleeting head. Another had a head that stayed until the bottom the glass and strung up a few lacey ribbons. Looks polarizing.

Aroma features that Scottish ale malted milk ball trademark but pretty faint.

Malty sweetness all over with some candied fruit in the middle and cocoa and a big herbal bitter in back. Hoppy for a Scottish ale but it fits.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.09/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gritty McDuff's- Scottish Ale Winter Seasonal

Appearance- Hazy caramel orange with a thick cappachiano head. Thick lacing down the glass.
Smell- Funky yeast and moss.
Taste- Light floral/ mossy hop. Sugary malt appears secondary.
Mouthfeel- Bland, but with an increasing flavor. The taste seems to jump out as you swallow.

Overall- A decent Ale nothing great. My 1st from Gritty.

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