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

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Reviews: 494 | Ratings: 1,488
Photo of udubdawg
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This sort of dark reddish brown color might be my favorite color in a beer. Just fantastic, and helps the "rich" impression. Tan head quickly fades from a finely bubbled creamy cap to a thin ring, leaving a bit of lace behind.

Rich aroma, bit of roast coming out first then plenty of toast before more earthy notes - very fresh smelling. Caramelized sugars are there but perhaps less than in some other examples. Spot on. Not really getting fruit here.

Caramel and mild fruit flavors make more of an appearance in the flavor, but this remains a toasty malt bomb. Not sure if the earthy notes are entirely from the malt or whether the hops have contributed a fair amount, but bitterness is low and does not balance the hefty malt. It is sweet but not overly so. All in all an excellent example of the style. I think the smoke in many is overdone and needs to be faint if even present at all. This beer succeeds in that regard. I prefer the earthy tone set early and often in this beer.

Carbonation is a bit prickly so I wait to finish the glass. Body is only medium, and I'd actually like more alcohol feel/flavor here to balance all the sweet malt, but there is little to quibble with here. For a sipping style, this is remarkably drinkable.

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Photo of xjapanhomebrewx
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A-poured into pilsener glass with two fingers of chocolate colored head. body was dark, stout-like, with a lighter transparent tea-like appearance at the bottom of the glass

S-smells of chocolate and roasted malts. sweet toffeeness as well as a bit of rasberry in the nose. chocolate donuts?

T-full of dark breads and grain. very malty in and out. slight skin of a plum bit in there as well. there is a husk or hull vibe as well. must be from the dark grains? reminded me of a nice fat slice of pumpernickel.

M-thick and chewy. just lovely.

D-one more please!

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Photo of bceagles39
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Plan B in West Hartford, CT in May 2010.

Pours a nice deep mahogany.

Smells of dark/burnt malts.

Tastes of roasted malts, molasses, lots of sweetness to it. Noticeable hoppiness, so somewhat balanced but scales tip to the sweetness.

Very creamy mouthfeel, smooth.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep red mixed with brown. The highlights are a rich garnet. The head is fluffy but small dispute a semi rough pour. The lacing is minimal.

S- The smell is the weakest part of this beer. It smells strange. There are grassy hops and lots of grain. It smells like a bowl of grits or cocoa wheats.

T- Coffee is pretty strong. There is more heavy, damp grains and chocolate powder.

M- Thicker side of medium, dry with low carbonation.

D- I think this is an easy Wee Heavy. Its much more approachable and palatable than many others of this style. That doesnt mean its among the best...

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Photo of al3
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown, clear when held to the light. No real retention or lacing.

S - Roasted malt, slight sweet/smokey aroma

T&M - Roasted malt with molasses, and some dark fruit. Medium feel with a DRY finish.

D - Yeah, it's got it..

Overall, another great one from Great Divide, probably not my favorite, but still a beer worth seeking out and I would do so again.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear dark brown; almost black in low light. Poured a 1 finger tan head that dissipated to a quarter inch skim. Laced in broken rings.

S: Sweet toasted malts; coffee and roasted nuts. Alcohol. No hops character.

T: Big toasted malts with a rather sweet overall character. Warming alcohol blends with burnt toast and caramel.

M: Medium to full body. Moderately low carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

D: Drinkable, though I don't know how much after the first one. Rich and malty a bit of abv...but it tastes so good.

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Photo of arizcards
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple of singles from the Scottsdale AJ's in late February for $2.19 each. Beer was bottled on 3-3-09.

Beer poured a dark brown with a small tan head that dissapated quickly. Nose has hints of smoked peat and carmalized malts. Taste is big on carmalized smoked malts, slightly sweet but not cloying, finish is slightly dry with light hop action. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderately carbonated and fairly smooth. Overall the abv is well hidden and it drinks easy. I wanted to try this brew when it came out in '09 but could not find until i visited my old beer guy JonPol's store. Glad i had the opportunity and i would try again!

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Photo of smcolw
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Modest starting head that goes to a single layer of minute bubbles. Little lace Dark brown color where some light shines through. Porter-like without the head.

Some alcohol to the nose. Appropriately malty, but not sweet.

Less sweet than most Scotch Ales. In fact, I'd describe this as a unhopped porter. Neutral body and carbonation. Easy-to-drink, but overall uninteresting.

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Photo of mklinger
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. This pours a dark brown, only a bright light shows through it. This looks much more like a porter than a scotch ale to me. With a vigorous pour only a half inch head forms and it dissipated quickly.

Smell is nice, though again, not so Scotch ale like. I get some chocolate roastiness, along with a slight bit of bourbon-like booziness. Not much caramel sweetness which is the usual hallmark of a Wee Heavy. It smells good, just not what I expected.

Roast and malt are at the forefront here with a nice balance of hop bitterness at the end. Sort of surprised there isn't more sweetness in here. It's really a pretty dry beer. A taste of alcohol in the finish, too. Mostly this doesn't taste like a 7+% abv beer; it's pretty well hidden.

Mouthfeel is lighter than expected for the style, but pretty easy to drink. I like this beer, but I wish they would have called it something else. By giving it the Scotch Ale label they are setting up expectations they can't meet. Heck, I'd rate this beer higher if they called it something nondescript like a Dark Ale. However, expectations are a big part of the taste experience.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark in color-almost porter looking. Might be a tad dark for the style but stll a good lookin' brew. Extremely malty aroma-hints of caramel and a very mild roasted quality to it. Whisper of smoke. Very malty flavor upfront. Has a great caramel/toffee like quality. Slight hop bite. Body is right there with the flavor and the style. Dangerously drinkable-a great wee heavy. Certainly not balls to the wall on the alcohol scale like some. Well balanced and very, very enjoyable.

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Photo of wolfinthemirror
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours very very dark brown, nearly black. Small head that dissipates quickly. looks a lot like a porter or something in the glass.

smells kind of similar to Yeti. i get bitter chocolate malts, some smokiness. pretty nice smell.

There is some smokey, dark chocolate malts in there, slight bitterness which seems to come more from the toasted malts than hops. I'm also getting like a hint of licorice or something.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and it feels lighter than I'd expect. light carbonation. This beer kind of reminds me of fresh coconut milk in the mouth, it has some milky/creaminess to it.

it says 7.7% but surprisingly didn't hit me that hard. it's a fairly good beer that you could easily have a couple of.

Overall this is a pretty decent beer.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pours a dark cherry brown. Starts with a finger of tan head that quickly recedes to a small floe of tan in the midst of a dark mahogany sea. While this beer is dark brown, I see glints of red from the light above.

Smells of barley, straw, slight caramel, and a burnt peat smell. Very earthy, almost a little sulfur.

Smooth tasting, sweet tempered by a little sour. Caramel and toffee swirl with malted barley. The aftertaste is a bit earthy but not nearly so much as it's smell. As I let it warm, more of the woody undertones come out. Though not bitter, my mouth is left a little dry.

Quaffable, for sure, but these are sippin beers. Will have another next week!

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Photo of Thiestru
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into my Terrapin pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark, almost black; in some lights you would mistake it for black, but it is really a very, very deep reddish brown. Two-finger creamy head at first, which eventually recedes, but not much lacing.

Smell: Sweet, dark malts and alcohol. No hops discernible.

Taste: Overwhelmingly malty, and in a rather sweet way. Not like a lambic, but more like an oatmeal stout, without actually tasting like an oatmeal stout. I think I taste a little alcohol too. I probably would have gone nuts for this three years ago, when all I wanted was malt, all the time. Although now I notice something somehow fructal underneath all that malt. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and creamy! Yeah, this is good.

Drinkability: Now then! How many of these could I drink? I have five left, just cooling in the 'fridge, but do I plan on going for another after this? You know, I think I actually could, and savor a second one; but I don't think I would normally want to. Now, if I were in a malt mood....

Great Divide has never failed me in any of their beers I've tried, and I'm happy to say that they didn't disappoint me this time, either. This stands proudly alongside such delicious brews as Hercules Double IPA and Yeti Imperial Stout.

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Photo of travduke
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
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 +5.2%
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 +4.7%
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 +11.1%
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 -3.6%
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 +3.1%
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 +13.2%
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 -8.8%
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 -4.4%
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 -2.3%
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 +7.8%
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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Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.87 out of 5 based on 1,488 ratings.
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