Claymore Scotch Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

very good
494 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 494 | Ratings: 1,488
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured a dark brown color from the tap into a standard pint, producing a pillow of head that laces the glass. Aroma is standard for the style, peaty, slightly charred malts and a nutty character with subtle sweetness. In the taste, more of the malty flavor, officially a "malt bomb" as these wonderful barley concoctions are known as in here in the states. A slight bitterness disappears quickly with a toasted nut aftertaste. Full bodied and generally smooth creamy feel. This beer is dense too. Overall Claymore is a solid beer, one I'd have again.

 555 characters

Photo of MacMalt
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into pint glass. It pours a lovely dark ruby-red, brown color with a thin, but creamy, tan head and lacing. The smell is a bready malt with hints of smoke, caramel, and molasses. The taste isn't as sweet as I anticipated but there is some subtle caramel and molasses along with the malt. It's also fairly dry and a little bitter at the finish. This ale is pleasantly carbonated and easy to drink. It's not very boozy at 7.7% ABV. Overall, this is a very good Scotch Ale. It's not the best I've had but it's still enjoyable and I would drink it again. I'd like to try it on draught.

 597 characters

Photo of fishyakLA
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I disagree with some of the recent reviewers in some respects.
L: Dark Mahogany, no real head or lacing.
S: I don't find too much sweetness, very light smoke/peat, some toffee
T: I don't find the high sweetness that others complained of. This isn't a high sugar or alcohol Belgium quad. There is molasses and caramel, but it is restrained. The carbonation is low/moderate. The bottle mentions some food pairings. I had mine with spicy ramen. The richness of the ramen and the beer played well together.
F: Medium due to the alcohol level and low carbonation.
O: A good rich food beer. And I like the fact the beer is available in 12 oz. size instead of just bombers. I like AleSmith's Wee Heavy better, but this is a good beer for this style. If you like Scotch Ales, odds are you will feel this is a good solid example of the type, but it does not quite raise to greatness. But it is a good food beer and I'll keep some 12 oz'ers around.

 957 characters

Photo of DenverHopHead
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle with a bottled on date of 10/27/2015; into a pint glass.
Appearance - a deep chestnut hue; some noticeably bubbly carbonation at the top, but no head. No lacing.
Smell - sweet and sticky caramel and bready malts.
Taste - a cola-esque syrupy sweetness, with a touch of warming alcohol.
Feel - medium build; sweetness sticks on the tongue, with a nice bit of carbonation.
Overall - the sweetness is overpowering in this beer, in my opinion.

 459 characters

Photo of Dravin
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle dated 10/07/2015 into a Duvel tulip.

Look -- Poured a tight half finger of tan head that dissipated rapidly and not much lacing to speak of. The body of the beer was a deep dark brown with hints of ruby at the edges.

Smell -- Molasses, peat, hints of booze and sweetness.

Taste -- Booze, peat, molasses, with a mild bitterness. The sweetness in the nose doesn't come across on the tongue. Surprisingly savory compared to something like Old Chub.

Feel -- Moderate carbonation, it's there but doesn't really call attention to itself. The body is medium and suitable for the style. It finishes dry which is keeping with relative lack of sweetness in the taste.

Overall -- I prefer a more sweet scotch ale, something more in line with Old Chub. I'm not a fan of the dryness either. It's not a bad tasting beer but it's certainly not the scotch ale I'd reach for first . All in all I find it a fairly okay experience.

 945 characters

Photo of JWU
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz. bottle poured into a tumbler glass.

A- a very dark mahogany color, with a dissapointing soda like, fizzy head. No lacing.

S- A nice molasses, caramel, and a bit of peaty/light smoke. Hint of toffee.

T- Heavy on the molasses, brown sugar, and caramel. Hints of the peat. Sweet, with not much balancing bitterness.

M- Medium, pretty slick, and ample carbonation.

O- a good, but not great scotch ale/wee heavy. If they could dial back the sweetness and add some slight bitterness or enhance the peat/smoke character, it would be top notch.

 555 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I like the Claymore Scotch Ale. The beer poured a deep almost opaque mahogany with then essentially non-existent head with no lacing. The scent has caramel and peat. The taste is malty rich with molasses like base and hints of earth. The mouthfeel is medium in body with subtle carbonation. Overall its quite tasty.

 320 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark mahogany, virtually no head. Sharp coffee on the nose, with nutty toffee malt closely following. Rich malty flavor, warm caramel and biscuit. Body is pretty flat but still full and rich.
Love the dark body, just wish it could produce some kind of head. The nose was phenomenal but the flavor was a bit tired, simple flavor profile but still a great beer.

 359 characters

Photo of car2052
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to pint glass.
Beer has been aged 6 months.
A: Chocolate Brown, with dark red hues. Small 1/2 in. dark tan head.
S: Coffee, Brown bread, Cereal, Root beer.
T: A sweet, roasty malt character with some zing that leads to a nice coffee aftertaste.
M: Medium-full.
O: Get through the beginning sweetness to some nice flavor notes.

 352 characters

Photo of Mitzvahman72
2.48/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

With a near-black mahogany color, it has an interesting weave of dark bready malts with a fondant taste and very astringent and unfitting piney hops. This type of hops get more piney when warm. Fantastic mouthfeel, but has that weird piney aftertaste that doesn’t fit well with the caramel. Unusual for the style, but gets the job done.

 338 characters

Photo of Jeffsta1
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, looks unfiltered, pretty.

Nice, malty smell.

Taste is malty, very dry. There were some notes there I didn't like.

Mouthfeel is moderately rich. Not bad.

Finish is subtle, short, inoffensive but not great.

There's a bunch of good stuff in this beer, obviously Great Divide knows what they're doing, but I just didn't love the flavor. No plans to re-buy.

 370 characters

Photo of twosheds
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with a light tan head.

Smells very malty. Lots of caramel and chocolate with some dark bread and a little bit of booze.

Taste is very similar to smell. Very smooth and tasty.

Overall this is a really great scotch ale. Doesn't hit you over the head like some others I've had, but sometimes that's a good thing.

 323 characters

Photo of stratocati88
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wonderfully decorated bottle with subtle Scottish pattern and green text/design. Smells imparts some acidity and malt. Taste has an aggressive sweetness in the beginning and dark chocolate and bitter finish. Overall would recommend and drink again!

 248 characters

Photo of Jeremiah5_0
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: pours a deep copper color. S: like a brown ale. T: roasty malt F: thin for a scotch ale. A lighter scotch ale. Very drinkable. To me it tasted like a stronger brown ale. Was an enjoyable beer, but I prefer something a little stronger in a scotch ale. Probably will not buy again.

 282 characters

Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, almost black with some ruby highlights, and a one finger tan head. Aroma is dark malts, caramel, and dark fruits. Taste is earty, bread, caramel, chocolate, dark fruits, and a little smoke. Mouthfeel is medium and viscous. Overall a very well done scotch ale, and a definite possibility for a fridge staple in cooler months.

 348 characters

Photo of dbl_delta
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated February, but it doesn't say what year. (Let's assume the current one.) Poured into a pint glass. Deep brown - almost black, but not quite - with a thin head that doesn't stick around long. Choccolate, coffee, caramel, raisins, and just a hint of hops bitterness in the finish. Very, very smooth - little carbonation, really easy to drink. Thick and chewey. Alcohol is well-hidden. My new favorite for the style.

 433 characters

Photo of Cannibalgasm
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a deep dark brown with red hues when held to light. Head is one finger of beige color. Head fades quickly and lacing is minimal. Honestly if I didn't pour it and it was handed to me I could mistake it for a coke.

S: Dark roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, fig, raisin, dark fruits, some smoked wood, and a slight earthiness.

T: Dark roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, toffee, dark fruits, smoked wood, nuts, and some earthy hops hiding in the background.

M: Medium bodied, moderately carbonated, slick and smooth with a slight creaminess.

O: An enjoyable scotch ale but nothing spectacular. The pour was depressing but it tasted great and the mouth feel makes it incredibly drinkable.

 726 characters

Photo of leantom
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Actually quite good - much better than I expected. Here goes:

A: The only mediocre aspect of the beer. Pours black with a reddish hue - almost exactly like Coke.. Besides the body, the head also leaves something to be desired. The lacing is good, however.

S: Very fruity and sweet-smelling qualities. Lots of dark fruit in the scent. Also a notable sourdough yeast profile. Good.

T: Very good. Darkly-kilned malt imparts flavors resembling lots of sweet, dark fruit. There's definitely a substantial amount of caramel and toffee in the flavor profile, too. Bready, fruity yeast is also apparent.

F: Very sweet and thick. Great.

O: A very good beer by Great Divide. Would have again.

 704 characters

Photo of Marraybay
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a very solid beer. I came in from outdoor work and this disappeared very quickly with dinner. Smooth, pleasant, easy-drinking: Nice sweetness, mild bitterness. I compared Belhaven wee heavy to a doppelbock: in contrast, would probably compare this to say Einbecker ur-bock. Just a solid beer; Another that could be easily plugged in as straight adjunct placement--particularly with food--anytime/anyplace. Will try another of these.

 448 characters

Photo of dacrza1
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Date: June 21, 2015...Occasion: Father’s Day at The Draught House...Vessel: Dogfish Head oversized pint...Appearance: dark mahogany body, dense and imposing as a claymore might be in battle! Head retention seems absent, but the beer was poured by another on draft, so tough to comment on this...Aroma: subtle berry, darkened nuts, and then a malty roundhouse to the nose... Palate: Forceful, round and balanced, with a strong, lasting finish...Taste: plays like a porter, with soda and treacle pairing with a burning malt to produce a clean yet textured experience; nutty and dry at the finish...Overall: enough hops to build at the teeth, smooth and powerful for a 7.7% ABV...a very drinkable Scottish ale, with enough malt to spare...

 738 characters

Photo of do_ob
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle into a tulip. Pours an abyssmal dark brown and settles black in the glass. Tops off with about 1 finger of light-vanilla colored foam after an aggressive pour. A light, roasty-caramel-chocolate aroma is present initially, along with sublte notes of booziness and malt. Quite heavy weight, and very smooth and creamy - moreso than most porters I've had. Roasty caramel, malt, and sweet chocolate/cocoa on the taste. There's a slight hoppy bitterness middleways, but very faint. My bottle was only 2 months old, so I'm sure that would fade in time. Very smooth and silky on the finish, and leaves some malt ans caramel behind on the aftertaste. No taste of alcohol whatsoever.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It was nothing like Dirty Bastard, which is the only other Wee Heavy I've had to date. Whereas that one was quite boozy and syrupy, this beer was very robust, smokey, yet quite weak in comparison. Not that any of that is a bad thing, because I honestly enjoyed this one more than DB. I'm eager to try more from this brewery, as well as more beers of this style.

 1,089 characters

Photo of sjdevel
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Light 1-finger head with a slightly aggressive pour that quickly fades, but leaves a slight foam ring. This beer is a very dark brownish red color that still lets a bit of light through. There is a minute amount of lacing.

Smell: The aroma that comes off is very rich caramel and chocolate. There is no real evidence of hops or any floral notes.

Feel: This is a very full bodied and rich beer. There are some bubbles that latch onto the tongue, but not fizz. There is a nice slippery/oily feel, but it is not overly thick or syrupy.

Taste: At first there is a tart punch and a slight hop bite, but then it leads quickly into rich sweet chocolate and caramel flavors. The caramelly sweetness fades and smoke and nutty wood flavors are brought in at the end.

Overall: This is a great Scotch Ale that is full of flavor. It’s a bit low on carbonation, but still has a decent mouthfeel. There is a nice balance between caramel / chocolate flavors and the higher ABV (7.7% not that noticeable).

 1,017 characters

Photo of mlockman
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The darkest scotch ale I've ever seen. Drank semi-chilled, definitely drinks like somewhat like a porter, though not totally. If all Scotch Ales drank like this, I would be extremely hard-pressed a new favorite style; and while it is porter-like, if all porters drank like this, I would say I love porters. Very, very good.

 326 characters

Photo of IPAGeorge
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip

A. A very dark brown ale 95% opaque. Foamy almost sparkling bubbly, tan, 2 finger head firms then dies down in about 30 seconds like a coke a cola.

S. Aromas of smoked wood and dark roasted malts. Fig or raisin comes through a bit.

T. Alot of porter characteristics. Some chocolate. Def smoked wood and roasted malts. Didn't seem very boozy.

M. 5 out of 10 on body thickness. Some decent carbonation. Finishes slightly dry. Not very heavy.

O. To me this is more like a porter. Neither the body or the booze is heavy. It's a decent beer. Nothing to go crazy for. Nothing to be real disappointed about.

 677 characters

Photo of Sonofcur
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good, not great. Definitely would put the Traquir ahead of this. More of a fruity scotch ale. Not a strong alcohol after taste like the Dirty Bastard from Founders.

 164 characters

Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.87 out of 5 based on 1,488 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.