Santa's Swallie | Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

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Santa's SwallieSanta's Swallie
32 Ratings
Santa's SwallieSanta's Swallie

Brewed by:
Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by bucklemyshoe on 11-24-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 21
Reviews by dismal:
Photo of dismal
3.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange that is slightly hazy. Has a nice big white head with little retention and leaves some lacing on the sides. The smell is malty, fruity, some caramel, kind of biscuity. Seemed kind of earthy at first but that when away pretty fast. The taste is pretty similar, mainly malty and biscuity. The mouthfeel is smooth but pretty average. Low ABV makes this very drinkable on the alcohol side but I don't think I would do more than one or two of these in a night as it's something I don't think I want a lot of in a night. Overall it's not bad but it's not great either, pretty average. I don't think I'd call it a 'Scottish Ale' but probably something else. Probably wouldn't buy it again but I wouldn't turn one down if it was offered.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First of many CHRISTman/winter beers for me to come this month.Poured into an imperial nonic a clear medium golden with a thin but well sustained sticky bone white head.Aromas were really lacking in my mind, British malt biscuit and hard water,thats all really.Thinner in the feel and pretty carbonated.Flavors are sweetish with a hint of nutmeg spice,a bit of nuttiness as well.Eh its very subdued compared to most U.S. styles,decent not great.

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Photo of pat61
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours cloudy gold amber, under a quickly collapsing sudsy cream colored foam cap that produces excellent lace.
S: Spice, hints of smoke, biscuit.
T: Nutmeg, cinnamon, light malt, hints of caramel.
F: Medium to medium low body, medium low carbonation.
O: Kind of nondescript for a Christmas ale.

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Photo of dahlen22
3.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pale orange with a small lacy head.

Aroma: Butter, fruits and toffee.

Taste: Smooth and easy drinking...some fruits and buttery-biscuits.

Overall: I LOVE Scottish beers, but this one is NOT a "scotch" ale, nor is it a classic Christmas ale. It is an easy drinking session beer (more of a spring ale if you ask me) that they are marketing as a Christmas Ale. I have been to Scotland and can say that their beers are terribly underrated in the US, but they are actually good, and this one is no different. Again, not a Christmas ale so if that is what you are looking for, go elsewhere, but if you want an easy drinking session beer at a good price, this one is worth a try. Cheers!!

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.95/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle at 45* into a Murphy's Pint glass.

A: This pours a mostly clear copper color with lively carbonation and a finger of moist foam that holds and laces well.

S: The fuggles are quite noticeable up front with cinnamon and buttered toast notes as well.

T: It features a sweet malty character with buttery biscuit flavors early with the fuggles, medium fruits, and spices (nutmeg and cinammon) finishing.

M: This has a medium body with a consistently creamy feel.

D: Sessionable Christmas beers seem to be a rarity but hopefully this tasty brew will revitalize the idea.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.71/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 500 ml. bottle, 2012 batch.

The color is copper-amber-orange with a delicate but small off-white head that leaves a little lacing around the glass.

On the nose I get some sweet pale malts, baked bread, and semi dark fruit like cranberries.

It is a creamy medium body.

The taste has a slight citrus sweetness at the start and a low to moderate bitterness capping off the tail side. A likable brew.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.26/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dull cadmium orange in the glass filled with a feverish rise of seltzer like carbonation bubbles. On top lies a foamy, ivory colored head that sits a towering 2 fingers plus high and remains so for a good time. The glass sees a generous shellacking of spongey spackled lace with micro pocket windows of visibility. The carbonation remained rabid and strong thoughout the course of the drink.

S: The aroma was baked Christmas cookies with a sugary coating and some cinnamon. Some fresh oranges with light lime and a moist wheat breadiness comes about in the finish. Not as festive as I would of thought for a xmas beer, even at a slightly warmer then recommended temperature. Failed to get any nutmeg detection.

T: Sugar cookies with some cinnamon and dried caramel come about first. Some lime and juicy wet citrus creeps in mid-palate. A brief maltiness is exhibited mid way while the beer that finishes off with a fresh wet lemony-lime juicy bitterness and some wheat and yeasty character. The spicing is more evident upon warming, some gingerbread, more so then at the recommended slightly chilled temperature advised on the bottle. The maltiness seems to be lacking and appears only in flashes during mid-palate (much less then Scottish standards) while the hopping and body seem to be more on par with a English pale ale.

M: The mouthful provided a nice tingle from the strong carbonation, one of the few highlights here. Light to medium body but otherwise meh.

D: When I think xmas I think a winter warmer, one with a festive spicing. When I think Scottish ale (what this is labeled as supposedly) I think of a powdery malt presence coating the tongue, with a full and silty feel. This beer pretty much had neither of these qualities. More citrusy-lime hopping with a light body that came off more like a English pale ale then a Scottish that just doesn't conjure up much xmas spirit when drinking.

Final beer musings: Overall I would say this is not bad so much flavor wise as much disappointing spice and style wise.

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Photo of hdtrice
3.42/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Kromes
3.23/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A light orange color with a chill haze and a thin off white head that laces the glass.

S: A caramel malt with some fruity and earthy qualities and an off-smelling phenol aroma that seems out of place.

T: Not too much flavor, seems watered down, but there are some caramel malt, earthy flavors and plum flavors in there and maybe a little peach. Don't really taste the spices.

M: Thin with low carbonation.

O: Not too bad. Just seems a little watery to me.

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Photo of esmyth15
3/5  rDev -11%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains honey, spices, caramelized malts, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with strong flavors of spices, caramel and honey. Then a hearty but not too heavy malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

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

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it’s not a bad beer but there are other beers in the style or other Christmas seasonal that I would choose first.

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Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -11%

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

Pours a one finger white head that fades quickly to a ring leaving traces of lace. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Clear amber color. Nose is light malty and flavor is malt with hints of nutmeg. $5.95 for a 500ml bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

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

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The beer pours an orange/amber color with a finger of white head that settles down to a thin layer.

S: Quite a bit of spice here. Cinnamon is certainly there as well as some spicy hop notes. Bread, caramel, and toffee malts and a slight creaminess to it. Perhaps a little bit of yeast in there too.

T: A pronounced spiciness to the flavor as well with some nutmeg and cinnamon as well as some spicy hop notes. Sweet caramel and toffee with a little bit of bread.

M: The body is on the light end of medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: This was an alright beer. Not bad but I don't really care whether or not I have this again.

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Photo of Schmoog
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of nquigley16
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of MylesMac
3/5  rDev -11%

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours light hazy orange with a ring of head. No lace.

Light malt, some floral and honeyed notes.

Watered down, a bit dry. Malt is lean and a bit coarse, but not really bitter. Some light spice and lightly toasted malt. Light bitterness in the end. A light touch of sweetness.

Medium body, a little watery.

Not great. Drinkable, but barely. Needs everything - depth of malt, some booze, complexity.

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Photo of seedyone
3.24/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From bottle at Home. Funny how the flavor elements yield no aroma to speak of but show up on the tongue in a perverse array of non-array. Label says nutmeg & cinnamon which are usually major players (& spoilers), but when the best before date reads "2372" perhaps it wasn't fully ripe.

There is a bit of rock candy sweetness with a trace of the spices, but the overall seems to be the malt...or maybe that's the last man standing.

They say curiosity killed the cat, but in this case it has put a serious dent in mine. I guess I'll take a harder look at the chapter titled "Nothing ventured..."

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Photo of BillRoth
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of thierrynantes
3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from 20/20 La Chapelle/Erdre, and tasted in 2014.

Appearance : amber golden color, with white foamy head.
Smell : malty and hoppy aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : malty caramel and hop flavors, with a bitter finish.
Overall : an average beer in the style Bitter

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Photo of maxk
2.46/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a snifter.

A: A beautiful amber/honey color with a 2 finger head. Very nice lacing.

S: Spice, light malts, orange and hops.

T: Subtle hops, spices, a little of some lighter malt flavors.

M: Watery, not so much carbonation.

Overall, this is beer is pretty poor. It tastes like a glorified lager, and not even a good one. Just a tiny bit of badly chosen spice, a little more hoppiness than lagers, but not much.

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Photo of flyingpig
2.63/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A light orange copper coloured drink that has good clarity and is topped with a foamy white head that is about a pinkys width tall and stays constant throughout.

A fair bit of spice in this one, particularly cinnamon, there is some muted hops and dark malts. It was quite an unusual smell but not really great.

Pretty unusual but not it a good way, it was very spicy and there was tonnes of cinnamon but not a lot else. Not very complex or enjoyable.

Light to medium bodied with a spicy but smooth feel to it & a crisp finish.

A poor effort, even for a novelty Christmas beer. There was far too much spice and not enough variation, I'd avoid this one if I was you.

1001 Beers To Try Before You Die:

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Photo of rao2100
4.25/5  rDev +26.1%

Photo of kjyost
3.14/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a Duvel tulip. Bottle dated Feb 2012.

Looks great, crystal clear with a nice amber body anbd a fine head that laces wonderfully. The aromas is muted. A bit of sweet caramel paired with some spice, it almost smells like mulling spices. The taste is similar, with a thick caramel flavour and feel and a but of spice barely playing around there. If they hadn't told me this was spiced, I wouldn't have known it. Decent, but nothing to write home about.

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Santa's Swallie from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
Beer rating: 3.37 out of 5 with 32 ratings