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Claymore Scotch Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Claymore Scotch AleClaymore Scotch Ale
Very Good
1,531 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,531 |  Reviews: 503
Photo of soccerman7
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my ommegang goblet.

A - Very deep brown with a finger of tan head. Red in color on the edges.

S - Toasty and malty. Baked breads and sweetness. a faint note of caramel.

T - Very nice. A balance of toast and caramel sweetness. A nice body that has minimal hop presence as the style should be. An oak like note towards the end.

M - Very good. Minimal carbonation gives a creaminess on the mouth. Not overly coating with a touch of dryness.

D - An excellent example of the style and not over the top. A great beer to enjoy on a cool fall or spring day.

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Photo of damienblack
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, almost black. The person who said it kind of looks like coke wasn't too far off. Light tan head that starts off tall but quickly boils down. Smells like smokey dark malts, bit of spices and yeast. Something else in there that goes with the smokey flavor, like tobacco maybe.

Big malt flavor tempered by a smokey peatyness. The smokiness and tobaccoey flavor imparts a bitterness that helps offset the sweetness from the malt. Very porter-ish, in that it has a bit of a toffeeness with the sweetness as well. As it warms, the bitterness receeds a bit, and the late sweetness kicks up a notch. Mouthfeel is decent, slick but not creamy, medium-heavy body. Drinkability moves up as it warms, at first, the bitterness overwhelms it, but by the end it is right where it should be. Definitely an interesting beer, worthy of another look.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deep cola brown with a half inch head that quickly disappears.

S: Soft sweet malts with a touch of leather.

T: Slightly sweet malt, mild hoppiness.

M: Medium bodied good carbonation.

D: Not too bad at all. Not the first bottle I would grab, but i wouldn't be upset if I had to drink some!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What follows is a conglomeration of three separate tastings: a 10 ounce goblet at the Brick Store Pub, a pint at a nearby Taco Mac, and a 12 ounce bottle (bottled on Feb. 17, 2009). Apparently, I just can't get enough of GD Claymore.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with some reddish tones when held aloft to the light. Smallish, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Pleasant blend of roasted, toasted, and smoked malts. Distant background note of over-cooked plums.

Taste: Sound dark malt base, a tad bit nutty and bready, with tastes of chocolate, dark caramel, and a tiny pinch of brown sugar. Medium-high sweetness throughout. Well-integrated smoke component replete with hints of earth and tobacco. Very slight fruitiness. Earthy bitterness, though fairly light. Touch of alcohol warmth on the drying, earthy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A very competent and enjoyable scotch ale, IMHO. Recommended. I can fully envision myself snatching up a six-pack of the stuff.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, bottled on 2/17/09. Pours a dark ruby brown with a creamy off-white head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is peaty smoky malts, leather and tobacco and maybe some vegetables. Sweet toffee comes out as it warms. It's unusual and odd and I'm not sure if I like it.

The flavor is sweet caramel and toffee malts with earthy smoky bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is pretty full bodied with creamy carbonation.

Overall, a very good wee heavy. I find many to be too sweet. I like the balance of the sweet malts, smoke and bitterness in this one.

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Photo of spointon
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This one poured a shockingly dark, cola-brown color with a 3/4" dark tan head. The head quickly settled to a thin cap and left only a few spots of lace.

S= Smelled like heavy sweet malts, with bits of caramel, toffee, molasses, and treacle. I also noted a faint bit of smoke.

T= This beer improved from ok to pretty damn good just by letting it warm up 10 degrees from fridge temp. The flavor profile was of course all malty sweetness, with the roasted peat/grain adding just enough bitterness to offset the toffee sweetness. Just a mild pop of alcohol as the finish dried out a bit.

MF= Heavy side of medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level that never really lifts this beer above a creamy slick feel.

D= This one grew on me as I progressed through the glass. Its appearance is way too dark (almost to an off-putting level) but the aroma and flavor make up for that. I would drink this again for sure.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark garnet/purple/brown shade that is transparent only at its highlights with thick, khaki head that looks like it came from a thick stout.

S - Burnt brown sugar, molasses, roasted malt.

T - Very "portery" if that makes any sense. Earthy, toasted malts, molasses.

M - Creamy, lots of carbonation.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really dark brown with garnet highlights when held to light, smallish creamy tan head dissipates quickly to a cap. Smells of molasses and burnt sugars, caramel, smoke. Very malty, very nice aroma. Taste is molasses burnt sugars and toffee up front with a touch of alcohol mid way followed by some raisins and a bit of spice in the finish. Sweet sticky mouthfeel, syrupy full body, medium carbonation. Nice Wee heavy, a little dark, a bit sweet, but very nice nonetheless.

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Photo of bigdeuce
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a rich, creamy brew this was. Pours a blackish color, not deep amber, like a true wee heavy. Full bodied with a smokey taste. However, looked and smelled and tasted more like a smoked porter than a "wee heavy".. Wasn't "peaty" enough in my mind, to be a wee heavy. Very tasty, somewhat sweet, but elegant!! Roasty malts with a touch of hops and a smoked porter flavor. This is one hell of an interesting beer.

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Photo of sevopie
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark brown with ruby highlights, with a moderate light-brown head.

Smell - The first smell that jumps out at me is a food item that I cannot place. If I figure it out, I will edit. Past that, it has smoke, caramel, chocolate, and a slight bit of alcohol on the nose.

Taste - This one is almost porter-like in its delivery. Roasted malts bordering on charred are prominent, with hints of caramel and a slight earthiness. Slight alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel with a moderate (see: perfect) amount of carbonation.

Drinkability - I love the way this one blends together, and Great Divide just has a way of making their beers ultimately drinkable. Only negative points here are the noticeable alcohol on the tongue and the nose. Overall, this is another great one from Great Divide.

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Photo of jdubjacket
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack of this at Green's.

Pours a near black color with ruby hues. Modest-sized head and minimal lacing along the side of the glass.

Smell is slightly muddled. Smoke and nuts perhaps.

Taste is nutty with earthy undertones. Lack of molasses or sugar. Not as malty as I thought it would be.

Overall, a relatively good beer. Not my favorite interpretation of the style.

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Photo of klewis
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the GD tap room 3/19/09

A: Nearly black with ruby hues. Light bubbly head.

S: A light, nondescript smell with light smoky tones.

T: Nutty malt taste with a light peat flavor. Unusual in that it leans much more in the bitter end of the spectrum than the sweet side.

M: Medium-full bodied with medium carbonation. A nice stickiness.

D: A bit atypical for the style, yet tasty. Worth a try, but not one that I'd actively seek out again.

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

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, dark green label. I do love the latest round of Great Divide labels. Bottled on date and ABV are clearly marked.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with a ruby color around the edges, nice sized tan colored head with average retention.

Smell: Roasted malt, just a bit of caramel and a hint of smoke. A bit of spicy hops as it warms a bit.

Taste: Medium mouthfeel, the caramel flavors come through big, with the roasted being a bit more subtle.

Overall impression: This one is surprisingly drinkable given the ABV, another good offering from Great Divide.

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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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Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 1,531 ratings
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