McEwan's No.1 Champion | The Caledonian Brewing Company

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McEwan's No.1 ChampionMcEwan's No.1 Champion
81 Ratings
McEwan's No.1 ChampionMcEwan's No.1 Champion

Brewed by:
The Caledonian Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by bditty187 on 08-24-2003

View: Beers
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Ratings: 81 |  Reviews: 46
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought today in Sainsbury's in west London. It was inexpensive/£1.70 and new to me so I didn't study the lable details closely. Hence I'm surprised to see it's 7.3% ABV.
L- Very dark chestnut brown, clear, and pours with a 1Cm pale tan head that is holding up well.
S- Unsurprisingly toasty
T- Deeply roasty-toasty grains and deep rich malts. Some coffee notes as well. The alcohol-tang is self-evident; no mistaking this is quite a beast.
F- The 7.3% gives a deep puddingy feel, as in the deep fruit richness in a traditional Xmas pudding.
O- Well well well. I'm no fan of the original/regular McEwan's but this is something else entirely. It might make an ideal winter/Xmas beer. It is pretty rich too and given the ABV% I would limit how much of this I had in a night to one or two.
BB 30/11/19. 500ml bottle. Apparently the name 'Champion' derives from it having 'won the Tesco bottled beer competition in 1997'. Yes I'd buy this again; it's an obvious choice for fans of heavier ales, and at £1.70/500ml...!

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Photo of Neilos
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Sexmortus
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Rymish
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bmaslakov
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ScottMcPherson96
4.44/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of josanguapo
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From Hipercor. In Ikea's pint glass. Watching Carmina y Amen. Very balanced and pleasant, with a soft sweetness and high drinkability in spite of its ABV

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Photo of Allegue04
4.21/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Ppin
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Delbertogrady
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown in colour with a creamy/fluffy off white head. I noted a slightly musty smell. Nice full flavoured and quite mellow considering its ABV. Dry, roasted malt taste.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a rusty tinge, 4 fingers of beige fluffy head, clear filtered with lots of fine bubbles.

Toasted malts, scotch, toffee.

Scotch, toffee, dark and roasted and toasty.

Light body, low carbonation, a tannic, dry, clinging but palate cleansing quality.

Got on Wish beer, really like this brew. Drank Dec 21st, 2015 in Chiang Mai.

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Photo of TwiggyCZ
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reddish brown body with a slight off white head that okay diminishes but pretty much sticks
Nice malty aroma reminds me of a good flapjack
Nice toffee flavour with slight fruity hints
It's satisfyingly solid
Quite a good standard of ale slightly surprisingly

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Photo of mousebeer
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kojevergas
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown colour with a light brown head. Aromas of fruit and malt. Tastes of sweetness, as well as fruit and malt with a real feel of the ABV. Overall a nice enough bottle which I'd have again, but would not go out of my way for.

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Photo of chinchill
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle consumed in Fife, Scotland.

Looks great, with a clear red-brown body and a durable, light tan head that leaves patterned sticky lacing behind.
High ABV is evident in the aroma, taste and feel. The aroma also harbors hints of toffee.
Flavor: A tad too bitter in the finish and aftertaste.

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Photo of Sharpee1937
2.51/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Dark, not especially enjoyable. Unclear flavours. Fairly bitter.

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Photo of mjgittens
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rulisekmartin
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of interzen
4.51/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a nonic pint

Look: Dark chestnut brown, almost like a porter. Thin, bubbly tan head which recedes leaving some lacing round the side of the glass. Head recedes to a thin, clumpy foam cap.

Smell: Fruit and malts, almost like Christmas cake. There's also a hefty dose of alcohol in the smell but it's not unappealing by any means. Overall, a fairly rich and heady aroma.

Feel: Definitely a bit on the heavy side for prolonged drinking, but creamy and full nonetheless. Worth taking your time over - you're not going to be throwing this down your neck.

Taste: Fruity, malty and slightly medicinal with a honey sweet alcohol finish. The alcohol isn't overpowering by any means, but it's there and serves to add an extra dimension of interest to proceedings. Again, there's definitely a Christmas cake vibe here. Very nice indeed.

Overall: I grew up in the North-East of England and during the 70s and 80s McEwans was part of Scottish & Newcastle and therefore an almost ubiquitous presence in the pubs (usually in the form of McEwan's Best Scotch). 30-odd years down the line and things have changed beyond recognition - Champion is a bit too heavy and malty for a session beer, but it's a mightly tasty pint that's worth taking your time over. Hop-heads will no doubt look elsewhere, but there's a lovely, malty fruitiness here that's worthy of more than just a cursory glance. Recommended.

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Photo of Malt_Man
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served cool from 500ml bottle into pint mug.

A) Dark reddish-brown chestnut, thin off-white film, a few small bubbles. Quite a bit of lacing on the glass.

S) Rich soft fruity malt and a fair bit of alcohol. Quite appealing.

T) Soft, warming malt, balanced with hint of hop bitterness. Honey-ish sweetness comes in later. Pretty good. The alcohol content does not overpower the flavours.

M) Pretty much ties in with the style. A pleasant drinking beer.

O) Big Scottish breweries don't have a good rep in England (tramp juice factories) but this is very nice and included in the 3 500ml bottles for £5 offer at Morrisons, so deriitely good value.

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Photo of frontalot
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of MikeKSmith
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Deep and dark ruby colouration. Tight beige shaving cream foam head adorns the top of this beer. The head has amazing retention and leaves wonderful clumpy lace down the sides of the glass much like a stout would. There is ample CO2 streaming in the glass.

Smell - Burnt sugar sweet malt aroma, light prune sweet sticky caramel and light hop. Sweet spice almost cake like.

Taste - Again a beer that has a taste almost identical to the aroma. Burnt sugar and caramel, light prune, red wine and raisin like a Christmas cake. There is a very interesting boozy taste in the middle of the mouth like a good whisky and some mild but still present hop at the very back.

Mouthfeel - Warming boozy tingle that moves from the gum and cheek to the throat and lingers long after each mouthful. Creamy and full this beer is rather nice but a little to boozy for me personally.

Overall - Well balanced if a little sweet, a good example of the style this beer is a great ambassador for the Scottish Ale.

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McEwan's No.1 Champion from The Caledonian Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 81 ratings