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Claymore Scotch Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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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:
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Reviews: 481 | Ratings: 1,455
Photo of travduke
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep color, nearly back. Decent head and lacing.

Aroma: Sweet malt dominates. Chocolate, caramel, and toffee.

Taste: Just as the nose predicted with a slight, minor alcohol bite. This is really tasty.

Feel/Drink: Nice thick mouthfeel. Really nice. Drinkablity is right on, I enjoyed 4 out of the 6 already.

 321 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

says bottled on Feb 22, 2010

A - deep garnet/mahogany color - after intial pour, minimal head, but nice lacing

S - sweet malt, whiskey, caramel

T - sweetness, then a little spice, warming finish

M - thin to medium body, medium carbonation

D - very tasty, easy to drink, wish I had a few more

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Photo of Thur123
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark nearly opaque black color with a bit of red and a head that never swells above a finger and fades quickly. The smell is deep rich malts, caramel and smoke with a roasted coffee smell as well. Maybe a light creaminess involved. No hops in the smell.

Glug glug glug

The malt is smooth and heavy with a sugary flavor that soon gives way to the smoky malt flavor. The sweet flavor in the beer is really well balanced with smokiness and a slightly bitter hop edge in the after taste. In the end the overall taste is good, but I doubt it's the best. But since I'm new to this style mostly I have to say I want more. And that this is good. Mouth feel is heavy rich and smooth.

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Photo of bump8628
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on date of March 24, 2010. Served in a large snifter.

Pours mahogany with an off-white, loose, creamy head indicative of a well made ale with lower levels of carbonation.

Claymore is malt-driven, as expected, with dark caramelized sugars, mild roast, toffee, toasty nuttiness, and musky tobacco notes all present. Spicy alcohol warms considerably and is quite noticeable on the nose.

An excellent interpretation of the style and it doesn't taste like a fireplace, as do many poorly interpreted American versions. Also the appropriate lower level of carbonation really gives it a soft, inviting mouthfeel. Nothing drives me nuts more than American breweries that brew a non-American style and then fail to nail the carbonation level. Cheers to Great Divide for emulating a classic style perfectly.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, topped with a good two fingers of airy brown foam. Aromas of dark malt, molasses and burnt sugar, with a just a hint of peat smoke and cream. On the palate, the peat smoke is immediately noticeable from the first sip, dominating all else up front. As the beer warms a bit, I get some coffee, roasted malt and dark chocolate. A very nicely balanced beer, and a fine example of the style.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep, dark mahogany; almost opaque at first glance until held to the light, much darker than most representations of the style. A tiny quarter inch of beige foam disappears quickly, leaving behind no trace of itself on the sides of the glass.

Burnt toffee and some smokiness in the nose, not much else. Rather one-dimensional.

Thick and chewy in mouthfeel, with a full body and moderate carbonation. Sweet caramel and, as with the nose, burnt toffee up front, middling with a big dose of smoky, peaty malt flavor, showing just a hint of chocolate and a mildly herbal hop character with a mild-to-moderate bitterness; finishes semi-sweet and semi-smoky, a touch dry with a lingering bit of caramelly sweetness. Virtually begs for more.

Drinkability is fine for the style; alcohol content is, understandably, hindering in that area. A nice interpretation of the style, though a bit more nose would bump its allure a bit. A gorgeous dark beauty that's meant to be savored but which begs to be quaffed. Quite nice.

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Photo of Avagadro
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: claymore is mahogany in color with a head of cream. No lacing is noticeable, and retention is as poor as expected from this style.

S: bouquet is faint, but notes of smoke, bananas, and butter make it through nicely.

T: smokey upfront with a hefty dose of walnuts. Banana and butter are also present at low levels, and don't interfere with the beer's overall character.

M: medium to full in body with little in the way of carbonation. The mouthfeel complements the brew perfectly.

D: a great example of one of my favorite styles. I normally don't like much butter or banana in my wee heavies, but this brew keeps it in the background. being one of the handful of good scotch ales in America, I highly recommend grabbing one.

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Photo of erosier
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice red-brown-black color with a medium sized and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down. I really enjoyed how this one looked.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, huge notes of caramelized malts, hints of dark fruits and a hint of hops at the end.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted malts, caramelized malts, dark fruit flavors mixed with hints of chocolate and nuts, and a slight amount of hops at the end.
M: Very well balanced, medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation, relaxing, and slightly warming.
D: Very drinkable, the flavors were excellent and blended really well together for a very very good beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a deep cola brown in the body with a light khaki tan head forming thick, carbonation seems a bit lively, but it does last a good while dwindling down nice and slow. Scattered speckled lacing left behind on the sides of my chalice. Aromatics come with sweet caramel and plum and raisin notes, earthy and herbal hops with a touch of peated smoked malt. Even a bit of dark powdered cocoa edges come off with some toasted nuttiness, maybe it's the yeast and malt playing together. Flavors build upon each other nicely, deep with malt character plums, dark fruits with caramel and a bit of booze. Mild smoked malt and with dark chocolate, herbal earthy hops in the finish just enough to balance it out. Booze is there but doesn't overburden the experience. Mouthfeel is easy going medium bodied sturdy but not overdone in carbonation, not off flavors left behind. Drinkability is decent a good beer to go with some rustic wild game, a nice bison steak and this beer could befriend one another. Drink on it's on but I'd only be good for a max of 2-3 12 ounce portions.

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Photo of Pahn
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a standard wine glass.

Appearance: Moderately aggressive pour yields a 1/3 inch off-white head that disappears immediately leaving no lacing. Pours a dark, not quite opaque ruby red. Leaves okay lacing that doesn't last long.

Smell: Smell is a little faint. Nutty, roasted malt, some smoke, and a small pine note. Develops a pleasant smell reminiscent of Oreo cookies as it warms. Would score higher if I didn't have to try so hard to get the smell to come to me.

Taste: Starts with a strong nutty flavor, with some chocolate and subtle caramel. Alcohol heat comes out right away, though it's not overbearing. The carbonation is too much for my liking, but it compliments the deep roasted character of the taste. The burnt, toasted flavor mixes well with the mild but constantly present alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with carbonation of almost soda-like proportions. Borders on sticky. I was very put off by the feel at first, but it does work decently well with the strong malty flavor.

Drinkability: Not bad. The alcohol presence is fine for the style, but the feel doesn't call me back and the flavor could have a little more depth.

Claymore is a good but by no means great Scotch ale. The roasted malt flavor is spot on and the heat is nice, but the feel is only so-so, and the weak aroma doesn't help anything. Really only good if you're in the mood for the style and can't find a superior instantiation of it in the store or on the menu.

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Photo of chickenflea
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured very dark, almost black with a small tan head.

Aroma understated. Heavy malt profile with anise, pear, apple pie and dried dates in the nose.

Texture thin.

Taste is barley-wine-ish and pleasant. A little paper napkin on the finish.

Drinkable. An excellent accompaniment to watching curling on the TV.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great Divide Claymore Scotch Ale purchased at Boo's in Columbus Ga. Poured into a DFH shaped Pint.
Appearance: Handsome dark brown with a substantial tan head, some lacing.
smell: malty, dark chocolate, earthy. Very nice
taste: as the nose advertises. Maybe not as promising.
Nice creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of JEdmund
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly black with just faint ruby highlights visible

Unique and pleasing aroma of smoky and sweet malts and just a hint of berry

Taste & Body
Taste follows nose closely and delivers a full spectrum of flavor. Great mix of smoke, bread, berries, and bitterness. Reminds me quite a bit of Hibernation Ale; I'm guessing this was dry-hopped like it. Body is medium-full with a low-to-medium level of carbonation. Finishes dry and light, with a slight hop bitterness and berry flavor lingering.

I'm surprised by how unique and quaffable this is. My only experience with Scotch ales has been that they are syrupy and cloying. This is not the case, though it's still on the heftier end of beers. I questioned this being a year-round beer and the porter being discontinued, but I think this substitute is bold enough and unique enough to make it worthy. Really impressed with this beer by Great Divide.

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Photo of BlackBearForge
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on January 29, 2010

Claymore pours an unexpectedly deep ruby brown in the pint glass with a creamy light brown head which leaves some nice looking oily lacing.

The aroma has a nice fresh dark roasted malt scent with a touch of floral hops and caramel.

The flavor is very nicely balanced between dark roasted malts and the taste of sweet caramel. It has coffee notes also as well as mild dark chocolate. There are some dark fruit notes, perhaps raisins, a little date and figs. Very nice, it actually seems rather porterish to me. Bitterness is low but sweetness is not over the top and the alcohol is all but invisible.

Mouthfeel is medium and very creamy with nice carbonation, it is soft and rather luscious as well and very smooth.

Claymore is an interesting beer, I like it very much. The porter like character was unexpected but very appreciated. I will definitely be buying this beer on a regular basis. Great Divide seldom dissapoints!

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Photo of AlFromBayShore
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear and dark brown in color. I cannot remember the head because I started drinking this 10 minutes before writing this review but what remains is a thin ring that hugs the edge of the glass which encircles this dark brown ale. Could barely pick up an aroma, had to let it warm. Like other beers with big malty profiles, this had that characteristic sugary and sticky caramel aroma. After swirling it around in my chalice, I'm gathering some slight raisin or fig mixed with subtle smoke and booze. Up front is a roasty malt character with subtle hints of dark chocolate, maple syrup, and honey. The texture is almost medium bodied with mild carbonation that feels slightly creamy. I could gulp this but when I sip this with a bit of air, the creaminess is more pronounced and I like this method of drinking.

Let this ale warm so as to maximize the flavour.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottled Jan 30, 2010. Pours very, very dark brown with a 1.5 finger beige head. Reduces to a ring with a few small islands, leaves very little lacing.

Aroma of dark roasted malts, bordering on burnt, caramel, chocolate.

Flavor is dark roasted malts, again almost burnt, light chocolate, some caramel and coffee, some coffee-like bitterness. Not much in the way of hops.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, pretty rich, low carbonation.

Could use a touch more carbonation, malts roasted just a tad too much. I put this somewhere between Old Chub (pretty good) and Dirty Bastard (excellent). I do prefer Claymore to the St. Bridgets it replaces.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, almost black, not much head. Rich malty smell and a smoky malty taste. Easily fits the style and the alcohol is well hidden for being darn near 8%. good stuff but I really don't need more than one in a sitting. I'm not sure why this is going year-round but it must sell well.

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Photo of ClassicBrad
4.54/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark black with a tan head that slowly falls to a ring of lacing with an opaque film of head through the center.

Smells like burnt dark chocolate. The malt takes over the nose in this beer, which is very appropriate for the style.

WOW! There is a lot of taste in this beer. It almost tastes like a dark chocolate covered yellow cake donut. Delicious!!

Mouthfeel is there and has ample, soft carbonation.

For 7.7%, this beer is more than drinkable enough.

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Photo of thecarster1
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from markwise in the review this bif!

a- bottle poured into a snifter, half a finger of tan head that fades fast to a wispy ring of bubbly lace around the glass, deep dark chesnut brown coloring.

s- lots of roasted malts, burnt chocolate, sweet caramel, interesting nose.

t- burnt candied caramel sweetnes, biscuit, no major alcohol - just a slight touch, this beer is nice and warming, but not through an alcohol burn which is nice.

m- medium bodied, very smooth.

d- this has a nice drinkability to it, my first scotch/wee heavy. i think this beer is a nice place to start out, i've got a backwoods bastard in the fridge that i think is going to kick things up a notch!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep mahogany color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with a nice touch of toffee. Taste is very well balanced by caramel and toffee malt with just the right amount of sweetness. Body has a creamy texture with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done though I prefer my scotch ale with more peat malt.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pecan shell brown with black cherry and orange accents. Opacity versus lucency is a tough call since the sun hasn't risen high enough yet. A good-sized crown of golden ecru colored foam rests atop the liquid, lasts seemingly forever, and is responsible for some lovely lace.

The nose pretty much nails the style to the wall. It's caramel malty and is more musky and earthy than sweet. Maybe a little medium-dark fruit and cocoa powder as well. No smoke and no peat.

Claymore Scotch Ale isn't the heaviest wee heavy on the block, but it's big enough to get the job done. As a lover of big beer, I tend to gravitate toward those Scotch ales that are even more burly and bold. Still, this is a mighty tasty malt-dominant treat that fills a niche in the remarkably diverse GDBC lineup.

The flavor profile includes steely caramel, cocoa powder, bruised apples, a little molasses and a small sprinkling of tea leaves. Still no peat and still no smoke. The amount of herbal-earthy hoppiness is somewhat surprising, but then this is Great Divide we're talking about. Although the ABV would have been easy to approximate, alcohol is essentially absent.

The mouthfeel is exactly as it should be, all things considered. It's at least medium in heft and is properly bubbled. I don't remember the last time that these guys let me down on *any* characteristic of *any* beer.

Claymore Scotch Ale may not be one of the sexier Great Divide brews, but it's as solid as a block of granite. If you have any interest in the style, this would be a great place to start. And if the strongly rumored changes to the Iowa alcohol laws come to pass, I might even be able to buy it around here.

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Photo of biophiliadude
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to pint.

A: Black bubbling up to tan head. Layers of lacing that sticks to the glass.

S: waffles

T: Malty biscuit.

S: Smooth that turns into bubbly coffee.

D: Wee heavy Scotch Ales make cold winter nights more bearable. This is a great one. I can always do with more malt, but very satisfied and will have this again, usually look for 10+ abv. Recommend!

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Photo of jdhilt
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly, leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Malty nose. Flavor is malty caramel and dark fruit. Nice scotch ale. Brewed Mar 3, 2009. $1.83 for a 12oz bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT

 308 characters

Photo of Natural510
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.
Pours a dark, brown-black; completely opaque with ruby highlights. Leaves a light tan head with excellent lacing.
Scent of deep caramel malt, slightly roasted, with cocoa and brown sugar.
Flavor contains elements of cinnamon, dark cocoa and caramel. Sweet, toasted malt with a lightly dry bite. Alcohol heats the palate as it is ingested. Apples & honey in the finish.
Maximum body to the style. Goes down creamy and smooth. Dry yeast, snappy hop finish.
One of the best Scotch Ales I've had; excellently malty and complex with a multitude of flavors to be enjoyed. I'm looking forward to trying more offerings from this brewery.

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Photo of PerzentRizen
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass at around 44 degrees this beer has a very dark look for a scottish style ale. The tan froth on top quickly reduces to a few whisps of head. The color of this beer is extremely dark brown to a near black.

The aroma is heavy malt, peat, and stale bread.

The flavors are sweet malt, smooth rich velvety grain and a touch of tannin bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is heavy but delicious. This is probably the strongest aspect of this beer.

Drinkability is high because of the clean finish and sweet flavor. This beer is certainly quaffable but I would prefer to enjoy it after dinner by the window on a stormy night with some soft music playing. Great beer!

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Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,455 ratings.
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