Claymore Scotch Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

Claymore Scotch AleClaymore Scotch Ale
Liked This Beer
3.85 w/ 1,518 ratings
Claymore Scotch AleClaymore Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-22-2009

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Ratings: 1,518 |  Reviews: 501
Photo of Rayek
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Great Divide Tap Room.

A: Deep garnet with nice clarity and somewhat active carbonation. Frothy nougat head starts out strong, then quickly fades to a thin film. Leaves behind a very nice lace.

S: Slightly vinous, with scents of raisins and dark fruits. A smoky goodness rides alongside a healthy dose of toasted malts.

T: On the malty side, but the sweet/bitter balance is still quite good. The vinous character from the nose carries into the taste. Roasted malts take over from there with a sweet and smoke combination. Bitterness is earthy and adds a dose of black tea to the proceedings, as well as a hint of pine.

M: Medium body feels a bit overly carbonated.

D: My favorite of the three beers I had at the Tap Room. It's a nice departure from Great Divide's heavier offerings.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Appears a dark brown-red color with a half inch off-white head. It sinks to a skim and leaves minimal lacing behind.

Aroma has some cocoa, slight smokiness, and just a general "just fermented" beer smell that is not good.

Taste is much better than the smell. Some rich caramel malts up front, mild smokiness in the middle, and a bit of a roasty edge towards the back. A fair amount of spiciness comes in the back end too, and a slight alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, pretty chewy but it's smooth, and fairly easy to drink.

The smell was just not good on this one, but it redeemed itself by tasting good. I won't rush out for more, but it's one of the only Scotch ales around here.

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Photo of nhudson
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very unique beer that I can only hope to describe. Drank from a Terrapin snifter out of a 12oz bottle.

a- Color is a very reddish brown color. Minimal or no lacing and head quickly was diminished once poured into the glass.

s- is of roasted malt and with a light smokiness and maybe some slight cocoa. This is very very malty which I have some to love. The more I keep smelling this beer I dont want to drink it I want to make it into a candle.

t- very malty with a slight bit of smoke in there. There is some kind of fruit as well, maybe raisins? This beer is almost funky I would say.

m- I dont even want to swallow this beer it feels so good in my mouth. The beer covers in the inside of my mouth with this peaty, smoky goodness that you just want to cherish forever.

d- There isn't an ABV on this bottle, but reading other reviews I would say its 7.5-8%abv. You really dont notice until after its going down. It warms you from the inside and with each drink you want more. I can imagine drinking more, but I am afraid that after 2-3 I would be gone.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single from Abe's for $2 at Abe's. This is a bit different for the usual, heavy sweet caramel and smoke wee heavy I get. This is a dry, extremely bready, like dark multigrain loaf crust. There are notes of cocoa and toast with an underlying caramel malt profile. Despite the 7.7%, this beer was fairly drinkable and I'd go back it. Check this beer out if you're looking for something a little different with the style.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a dark amber brown with about an inch of off white foam which shrinks really quick leaving very little lacing.

The smell has a big malt profile that brings a lot of sweetness to my nose. More whiffs in and there's some smokiness and nice roasted malt with a touch of some plum fruitiness? It's some kind of dark fruit, for sure.

The taste is big on caramel and roasted malt with a pronounced smoke character. I'm starting to notice a real earthy thing going on and that seems to be cutting into the sweet factor big time. Hey, I like a nice Scotch Ale with a lot of caramel malty goodness and this one is more of a earthy/smoky example of the style. Not my favourite interpretation but I'm not going to knock it too much as it *is* interesting.

The mouthfeel is really close to being full, the carbonation is on the light side, and it finishes smoky with a touch of sweetness.

Drinkability? The label on the (bottled on Feb 17 2009) bottle says it's 7.7%abv and I think they've done one heck of a job of hiding it but...I would not turn around and open another bottle. This style seems to be a real hit or miss with me and the Claymore falls somewhere in between. I say, try it and judge for yourself.

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

Pours a beautiful clear root beer color with a small quickly dissipating head and not much carbonation. Smells of sweet roasted malts, caramel, and just a tad of dark fruits. First sip is creamy, clean and refreshing with the sweet roasted malts and caramel giving way to a welcomed rather bitter finish. Great malty goodness here with almost no hop presence. Medium bodied and very drinkable.

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Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a dark brown color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes fairly quickly into a wispy layer on top leaving nice lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with a good amount of earthy smokiness. Not as much sweet malt as I've come to expect from this style, but for me it's welcome.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mild roasted malt flavors up front are followed by robust smokiness with hints of chocolate coming in right before the mildly bitter ending. There's an underlying sweetness throughout.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing one and could have a few of these.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this beer as it's not one of my favorite styles, though with Great Divide on the label I should have been expecting it. Definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler obtained in trade with JohnQVegas by way of Bierkraft. Thanks for the opportunity.

Formed a 1" dense tan head over the clear ruby brown brew. Head falls gradually, with ample lasting lace. Aroma is malty, with wisps of peat smoke. Taste starts with sweet roasty grain, goes a touch leathery in the middle, and closes malty as well, with a touch of warmth. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is great. I'm liking this one.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours an unexpectedly dark cherry brown hue, almost black in the glass with garnet and raisin highlights, with a solid two finger creamy head that has impressive retention and leaves some nice sticky lacing down the glass.

aroma is solidly malty. roasted malt, a bit of caramel malt, a bit of bread. woody, smoky, and rich with hints of cocoa and roasted (burnt?) coffee beans.

Taste follows aroma... a complex roasted malt profile with subtle bitter hops, a bit of dark cherries, raisins, and hints of apple. A touch of tobacco and a bit of leather... almost reminds me of an old ale... actually, reminds me of a lighter, warmer, and creamier version of Hibernation. Some of the same funky woody toasty peaty malt notes as well. delicious.

Mouthfeel is exceptional. full and creamy without being overly thick. Not even a hint of being syrupy. goes down smooth, with just a smidgen of warming from the alcohol. ample fine carbonation really pulls it all together.

I'm impressed. really impressed. One of the better scotch ales I've had in a good while, and definitely an interesting interpretation. Nice to see an American brewery take on a style with so much power and make something so ultimately drinkable. Definitely wish I had a few more on me at the moment... a problem I will have to rectify in the morning. Hands down, a must try - no question.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2/17/09.

Pours into a pint glass with very dark brown color and red highlights around the edges. Creamy tan head is thick but wanes quickly to just a film.

Aroma is somewhat sweet with a bit of fruit and nut smell to it. Roasted malts come through as well. Nothing to powerful but pleasant overall.

Flavor is sweet and toasty with a minimal amount of bitterness. Somehow it doesn't come across as too sweet despite the apparent lack of hops. There is a nutty carmel flavor with a slightly funky fruit thing going on. All very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is very good with gentle carbonation on a full bodied beer. Drinkability is excellent as the alcohol is very well hidden.

I always looked to Old Chub for a good Scottish Ale but this beer has just changed my preference.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: very dark saturated reds with crimson and ruby colors. I poured strongly and was given a thin golden-brown fizzy cap, nothing too spectacular. A random spraying of foam pebbles scattered about the glass. This beer is light on lace and absorbed in deep dark colors

S: heavy "n" sweet toasted malts with caramel and soft tea-like floral smells

T: husky malt profile with a delicate smokiness, earth notes, and spiciness. Sweetness is caramel apple-like with brown sugar edges. Subtle hops keep things clean and provide a watery floral essence that cuts through the sweetness.
I often find that "Wee Heavy" beers are huge in malts and sometimes cloyingly sweet, but this one is different. It is not overly sweet, has some hops, and holds a good malty profile. Has a soft warming feel after a bit that is reminiscently peat-like

M: tight feel and just shy of creamy. Body is a good medium and drinks very well

D: nice flavorful beer and has a good even flavor. A good take on this style of beer

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Photo of merlin48
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draught at the Brick Store. Body is a dark chestnut hue with a small tan head. Some patchy lacing.

Aroma is a bit muted. Hints of chocolate, roasted malts, red apples, and smoke. The smoke emerges more as it warms.

Solid medium body has a light medium carbonation and creamy texture.

Taste features toffee notes, a hint of pipe tobacco, and a really nice element of peated malt smokiness. The smokiness here really takes centerstage as the beer warms. Undertones of chocolate are subtle but add a nice hint of roastiness.

One of the better American brewed Scotch ales. Highly recommended.

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

To my surprise I saw this sitting on the shelf at Mondo Vino. A new GD brew? Sweet.

a bright mahogany and amber color, tends to be black. The head could have used some body to it and retention, otherwise it looked great.
Sweet smell. Candied caramel and apple. Malt slight roasted. Followed through in the taste as well. Sweet, but not overly. Good balance. A nice crisp finish, but not dry. I haven't had many wee's but this one is darn good, even though it's not my style.

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Photo of philbe311
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark deep rich brown color... Two fingers of uniform lush off-white slightly tan head... The head fades to leave a full rich lacing... Almost completely opaque, only a slightest amount of light gets through... Good stickiness... Quite still with no noticeable carbonation...

S - Layers of complexity took a while to figure out... Coffee beans... Chocolate... Roasted Malts... Caramel...

T - Roasted Malt... Caramel... Smoke... Dark chocolate... Straight forward, balanced, and highly enjoyable...

M - Smooth and incredibly well balanced... A slight creaminess... Crisp with only the faintest hint of carbonation bubbles on tongue... A little bit of chewiness... Medium to full bodied... Taste lingers and tickles the tongue... The smokey character carries through be felt in throat until your next sip... Faint warming characteristics... Very clean all the way around...

D - Extremely impressive... Looks good, smells good, tastes good, feels good, and an enjoyable experience... Probably the most well balanced, yet complex, Scotch Ales that I've ever had the pleasure of trying... Two thumbs up to Great Divide on what may become a staple in my beer fridge...

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

On tap at Capone's.

Poured a deeper brown color with reddish edges and an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of roastiness, earthy, smoke, and peat. Tastes of roast, peat, smoke, caramel, brown sugary sweetness, and earthy. Medium sweet.

Notes from and tasted on: 3/4/09

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

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a pretty dark brown color with good head retention and minimal lacing. The beer is very roasty and malty on the nose, with maybe a hint of underlying butterscotch. Flavors on the palate are interesting, consisting of some rootbeer, lifesaver candy and smokey malt. The beer is moderately sweet, but the hint of smokiness keeps it from becoming overly so. The beer has a medium to full bodied mouthfeel, with a decent finish. Drinkability is pretty good, though I'm not sure I'd want more then a single glass at a sitting. According to the beer menu at Max's, alcohol is a fairly modest 7.5%.

This is a nice enough beer, though I can't say I was wowed by it. It's definitely a beer I would have to be in the mood for. Not sure I am today.

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Photo of Domingo
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been waiting for this item for a while. This is the first bottled batch, with a freshness date of less than a week ago.
Pours a deep dark brown/black. Pretty thick and murky looking, but not quite stout territory.
Smells malty, chocolaty, and a little smoky.
The taste is huge. Malty sweetness hits you from every angle with a little bit of tobacco and peat smoke, as well as molasses and chocolate. Arguably the maltiest beer from Colorado, and that's saying a lot with Old Chub. Hops are definitely there and you can pick them up, but they're so far in the back that the malt is THE star.
Drinkability is better than expected. It falls in in the 7% abv range, yet it doesn't have any heat to it.
The texture's ideal for a beer that's stronger than average, but not huge.
I really like this one!
It might not be the absolute best Scotch Ale in the state, but it's eerily close.
Great Divide knows what a big beer should be!

EDIT: I tried a second 6-pack of this more recently and I think I might've overestimated this one. It's still really good, but maybe not QUITE this good. I get a weird burnt wood overtone that's hit or miss based upon my mood.

EDIT #2: The 2010 version of this apparently has a different yeast and tastes even stronger. Smoke carries through more.

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Photo of RicoBrew
4.85/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at the Great Divide brewery down the street from my apartment.

A - The color was a nice deep, dark brown with an eggshell-white head with good retention and minimal lacing.

S - The roasted barley aroma was there, but intermingled with a mild tobacco smell. Probably due to the low fermentation temp on the yeast.

T - The first word to come to mind as I was tasting this beer was 'clean'. The roasted barley/dark malt flavor gave way quickly to a very nice clean taste. There was a hint of tobacco or caramel as it hit your tongue, but it was very fleeting. Extremely pleasant.

M- For the amount of alcohol, it was very light and clean. It hit your tongue and faded away promptly. Almost as if it was begging you to take a bigger swig.

D - Extremely drinkable. It drinks like a very well done doppelbock, but hits you like an english style stout. I'm extremely impressed.

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Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 71% out of 100 with 1,518 ratings
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