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 | website

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: 479 | Ratings: 1,442
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

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

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled sept 4/09.

pours deep dark red-brown, nearly opaque, with a small dense light brown head. the head drops slowly and leaves plenty of spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. tons of malt. rich caramel and toffee. bit of butterscotch. multi-grain and rye bread. biscuit. bit of cracker. light smoke. bit earthy and woody too. light alcohol. a bit fruity.

taste is good. a bit more smoke than in the aroma. still tons of malt. caramel and toffee. multi-grain bread and biscuit. lightly warming alcohol. a bit earthy and woody again. low bitterness level. hint of chocolate.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. slightly below medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. good balance. great depth and complexity. this is one tasty scotch ale!

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

A: Looks more like a stout than a scotch ale, the color of prune skin with a tightly packed head, signs of spotty lace along the edges of the glass - 4.25, S: Solid wallop of sweet malts and dark fruits, some toasty caramel, I am unable to perceive any hops - 3.75, T: Caramelized brown sugars, dates and figs, roasted malts and a slight hop bite, ends a little dry, less sweet on the palate than it was on the nose - 4.00, M: Heavy body and a little on the side of being syrupy - 4.00, D: A solid outing by Great Divide in the style, very drinkable and one I would be happy to drink again - 4.00

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Photo of Viggo
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, picked up at Sicilianos in Grand Rapids.

Pours a relatively clear garnet, really dark ruby red, almost approaching brown, thick tan head forms, settles to a medium ring around the glass, good retention, some lace chunks stick to the glass. Smell is nice, very malty and caramelized, bready, biscuity malt, lots of dark fruit, raisins, dates and figs, light chocolate and roast, nutty, very nice and malty, lightly smokey. Taste is nice, caramelized and smokey, raisins, figs, brown sugar, chocolate, biscuit, quite fruity, some roast, a touch of alcohol, real nice finish on it, sweet but not overly so, really nice smokey character. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, smooth and drinkable but could had a bigger mouthfeel.

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Photo of jwc215
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bitterbill for this!

Pours dark brown with dark ruby highlights on the edges. A thin head becomes a lasting large patch, leaving some vanishing lacing.

The smell is of some chocolate and toffee with a hint of peat, some dark fruit and earthy notes and a hint of Scotch.

The taste is sweet upfront - licorice, toffee, some milk chocolate. It is balanced by earthy tones and a touch of peat smoke/roast. A touch of Scotch whiskey is in the dry finish.

It is medium bodied, smooth with mild to medium carbontion.

Leaves a nice malty aftertaste that is not too sweet. Nicely done - an enjoyable Wee Heavy!

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Photo of nickfl
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of light brown hea on an opaque, black body. Weak retention and minor lace.

S - A light, roasted malt aroma with some caramel and a little bit of fruity yeast.

T - Sweet malt with a light roasted flavor up front. Dark fruit in the middle, notes of plum and raisin. Finishes with caramel and a hint of smoke balanced by light, lingering malt bitterness.

M - Medium-heavy body, moderately light carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - While this beer is fairly thick and sweet, it is balanced and the finish is dry enough to keep it drinkable. A decent example of the style, though there isn't that much going on and the roast character may be a bit stronger than expected.

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Photo of meatyard
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, nearly opaque dark brown/black with a 2 finger tan head that falls to a cover with just a ring of lace.
Smell is toasted malt with a bit of sweetness and some smoke.
The taste starts with a little smoke then followed by the toasty, caramel malt sweetness.
Mouthfeel is a bit lacking for me feeling a somewhat thin.
Drinkability is good, up there but not terribly high in ABV and it's not apparent. Lots of malt if you appreciate that in a SA/WH.

Thanks to AltBock for pulling one from his sixpack and giving it to me at the Canadian Breakfast Stout event at Capone's.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

6 oz sampling. Poured dark brown with a thin beige head. Aromas were slightly fruity, some butterscotch, but had a strange rancid aroma that was difficult to describe. Tastes were malty with butterscotch notes and hints of brown sugar - very sweet. Finishes sweet with no bitterness and a mild taste of caramel with some off-flavors resembling the aroma mentioned earlier. Mouth-feel was thin-to-medium bodied with low carbonation. Overall, I was not a fan of this one. As far as resembling the style, I feel they did a pretty good job, but the flavors just weren't right for me.

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

Bottled on March 3, 2009.

Poured into a Tulip glass. Pours a clear but murky brown color. Appears nearly black, but when held into the light it has deep ruby hues. Light tan half finger head produced that shrinks to a small ring. Slow, laboring carbonation. Small sheets of lace coat the outside of the glass.

The aroma is caramel malts, with a nice toasted character. Toasty and roasty, mmm. Very smokey as well. I'm not getting any hops but then again this bottle is over 5 months old so it's not unreasonable for them to have dropped off a bit. Mostly smokey and roasted malts, with a nice caramel base.

The taste is very light, and if served at a cold temperature you might not taste anything. Very lightly roasted and smoked malts, the caramel is almost non-existent in the taste. As it warms, chocolate comes out in force and nearly takes this one over completely. Definitely drink this one warmer rather than colder, you'll miss out if you don't.

Mouthfeel is light body, smooth with a little bite from the carbonation. No lingering bitter aftertaste in this one. Drinkability is great, however. I could drink these all night.

I am honestly impressed with this one. Granted, it's not a fresh bottle and I would like to try one, but I think this tastes better than a fresh bottle would. I like that the bitterness has dropped off and the smokey malts shine through. A good offering from a great brewery.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours near black in color with a finger of head. Smell is bread right out of the toaster with some caramel drizzled on top. Taste is slightly ashy, which is unfortunate. A bit sweet with lots of bread and caramel malt qualities. Medium bodied. This one isn't too bad, but the ashiness detracts from the drinkability.

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Photo of CaptFrothy
2.77/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

To me, scotch ale is all about mouthfeel and maltiness.
This has too much black patent malt tilting it towards a smokey tipple. A bit high on the carbination as well. Doubtfull I'll buy again, too many others that deliver the malty silkiness I associate and appreciate in this style.

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3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A strong pour releases a two and a half finger rocky tan head that has nice retention. Body is the deepest of browns showing ruby tones on the edges when held to light. Nose is slightly smokey at first then comes through with sweet malts and dark fruit notes including ripe wine grapes. First sip shows a hint of smoke quickly yielding to a very sweet palate full of silky fruit. This fruit feel is a mix of sweet grape juice, raisins, plum and some backround spice. Overall this is quite sweet with a smokey balance but it is almost to sweet. It is a bit scattered on the mouthfeel. Drinkability is solid.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz. bottle, bottled on Feb 17 2009. Poured to a snifter, thanks to Wasatch for sending this along.

Label gives not only a brief description of the beer and the sword for which it's named, it adds suggested food pairings (pot roast with roasted vegetables, seared lamb shank with white beans, bread pudding). Making me hungry, but alas i have none of these kingly staples of which to partake...

A: Seems black at first glance, so dark that no light penetrates. On closer inspection it's the deepest brown, barely permitting a deep garnet light to cut through. Modest head fades to near nothingness, leaving only a slim tan ring and kiss of film atop.

S: Loads of smoke, an earthy/peaty noseful that hides its sugars and its hops well. Kept waiting on this to develop, but it remains mostly smoke, beginning to take on more a 'stale ashtray' the more it warms...

T: Loads of malt, husky grain, zesty spice (nutmeg and earthy cinnamon), plenty of cocoa. The chocolate/cocoa really builds, becoming more bittersweet and rich as it warms and lingers. Has a mild citric tartness, just like the best dark chocolate. Nice.

M: Terrific feel: warm, coating, filling. Medium-full body seems to thicken with each sip.

D: Solid choice in the US-made 'Scotch/Wee Heavy' category. Plenty of flavor, long-lasting...some happy accidents develop along the way to make things interesting. One I'd be happy to have again; thanks for the bottle, John.

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Photo of magine
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Brew has a deep brown - almost black color, with some ruby red shining through.

Brew has a big roasted malt smell, caramel, nuts and a coffee type smell.

The brew tastes of roasted malts, sweet caramel some spicy mouthfeel/aftertaste. This one is almost like a winter warmer to me.

The brew is tasty but not what I was expecting or hoping for. It is almost a bit like a winter warmer - which is what I wasnt looking for. Decent brew. More of a sipper then an all nighter.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A very underrated style and one of my favorite styles of beer. Pours a beautiful dark red color, huge off white foamy head to it. Get a bit of caramel in the nose and a hint of booziness. Taste is just magically smooth.. great body and mouthfeel to this beer. Nice roastiness flavor to it, a bit hot on alcohol on the swallow (which I don't really mind) although some people may find it a negative thing. Incredibly well balanced and fairly drinkable for a higher ABV beer... I've liked everything I've tried from this brewery especially this one.. give it a try.

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle I received in trade from dwennis into a standard pint glass. It has a very dark ruby color with a thick, creamy off-white head. There is a bit of lacing, but it is in clumps, not uniform around the glass. I can smell sweet malts and alcohol that is reminiscent of a mild bourbon. There is some hop in the taste, but ot is not bitter. There is also some mellow caramel sweetness that is quite tasty. You can also taste some alcohol at the end, which provides some warmth. Very nice, like a good port or bourbon. This is a rich, creamy beer. It has a full-bodied mouthfeel and provides some warmth as it goes down. I'm drinking it a bit above cellar temperature, and it is near perfect. I don't think I could drink it all night because it is so strong and rich, but I could certainly drink a few of these beers. My overall opinion is that it is an excellent beer and worth seeking out.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep mahogany, opaque, with a short ring of off-white bubbles. Some lacing at first, but dissipates halfway down the glass. Rich caramel and smoke aroma. Some chocolate and toffee, but always with a nice lingering smoke. Smooth, slick mouthfeel with a long finish. Hearty malt profile. More smoke, kind of peaty, but matched with the caramel malt. Bit of a hop bitterness towards the back. Again, toffee and cocoa flavors come out as the beer warms. A very good example of the style.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a very rich brown color with just a hint of red on the edges. Creamy tan head with little retention and no lace.

S- Smells of rich sweet malts up front. Bitter chocolate, toffee, and a touch of dark fruit.

T- Malts everywhere here no doubt about it. Lots of sweet caramel and brown sugar malt. A bit of toffee, chocolate and a touch of hops at the very finish.

M- Medium to full in body and good carbonation.

D- I had no problems drinking this one.

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Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 479 ratings.
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