McEwan's Scotch Ale | The Caledonian Brewing Company

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McEwan's Scotch AleMcEwan's Scotch Ale
Very Good
727 Ratings
McEwan's Scotch AleMcEwan's Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
The Caledonian Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UnionMade on 08-17-2001

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 727 |  Reviews: 467
Photo of travelguy
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bobstockwell
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Raime
3.64/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer has become increasingly rare as the years have gone by according to my father. He used to drink these up decades ago. Never had one but found a sixer at a gas station tonight and since I have a rare weekday off work tomorrow and a few straggler beers laying around to supplement I figured I'd give it a whirl.

Look - Deep garnet with a finger of off white head that rapidly dies down to cloud formations amongst the top of the glass. Clarity is clear when held to the light and carbonation appears quite low. No lacing or stick amongst a finished glass.

Smell - Kind of a cherry robitussin thing that happens immediately upon a whiff but luckily the other malty aspects show up rapidly and put that into the back of your mind.

Taste - Cherry at the forefront though not medicinal thankfully. Burnt bread aspects are all apparent with a hop bite showing up around the end.

Feel - Cold and slightly creamy with a low carbonation. Exceptionally sweet and swallows a touch sticky.

Overall - Pretty solid scotch ale without a lot of off the wall frills. The scent is a bit of a whirl but everything else is pretty nice. Won't have a problem tossing back the rest of the sixer. Could definitely take these on a hunting trip.

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Photo of Stoutmaster9
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of teslagod6
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of faatcase
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Premo88
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into snifter
(5/15/18 best-by date printed on bottle neck)

L: pours dark brown, looks black in glass until you hold it up to the sun and see the deepest, darkest, clearest claret/crimson ... stunningly beautiful; pushes up thick 1-inch head of beige foam; only a little sticking and lacing, does keep a big-bubbled soapy-looking collar and a piece of skin on top

S: can smell a little roasted wood as you pour, then sweet dark dried fruits, figs, dates as it settles in glass; plum; fruitcake ... and the aroma has a smokiness in the "after" aroma if such a thing exists, not sure I've ever run across it like this

T: almost quadrupel-level dark-malt fruitiness, candied dates, sugar-coated figs ... quite sweet but a subtle-yet-strong earthy something entrenches itself in the background and sorta just sits there, balancing it out; yeasty dustiness ... in fact some of that earthy flavor is just yeast, not hops or charred/burnt/roasted malt

F: light middleweight, arguably watery for the style but the carbonation gives it a body; I could see aficionados of the style hating the lighter weight but it does make for easy drinking

O: count me as a big fan of McEwan's ... while this beer arguably lacks the complexity and body of the world's great wee heavies, it still delivers a good amount of roasted malt flavor with enough balancing earthiness to keep the sweet notes in check; I can't remember the price, but whatever it is, I'll not hesitate to grab some more of this in the future

 1,520 characters

Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of OzmanBey
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kkmiller76
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Tstromer
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little different then the scott(ish) ales. I thought it was much darker like a mahogany, with a quick dissolving head. Had a wonderful malty taste. Couldn't tell that it was 8% abv which most likely helped the flavor of peated malts and something sweet that I couldn't quite distinguish. A-/B+

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Photo of dertyd
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

The pour is a dark brown color that leaves the same colored body. Two fingered white foamy head that once it dies a nice spider web lacing sticks around the sides of the glass. The aroma has peat, light chocolate, deep malts, just a touch of caramel all coming through smokey and sweet The taste is sweet through the malts, chocolate and caramel. Sticky sweet aftertaste with a long dark sweet finish. On the palate, it sits about a medium, shows that its more of a sipper and has a smooth carbonation to it. Overall, I’d say this is some pretty good stuff that I would have again.

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Photo of trllte
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

yum, and darn import taxes

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Photo of Cristoph
2.69/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Photo of JSG18
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3


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Photo of monk2021
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dfconnor
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As scotch ales go, this one is OK, but nothing special. It has a somewhat sweetish bland flavor that actually improves once you let the beer warm up a little bit. The texture was a little too flat for my taste.

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Photo of chinchill
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml brown bottle.
Pours clear but very dark reddish-brown. A weak head soon becomes a partial coat and a thin ring. Minimal lacing.

Lightly sweet with partially hidden alcohol. High ABV is particularly well hidden in the feel. Hints of dried plums and raisins.

 268 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: [3.75] The bottle lists the ABV (8.0%) there is also a date code (04/11/17). Obviously a best by date but I am not sure if it is April 11 or Nov 4. Either way it is in the future at least by a little. The beer is a cola color and very transparent. It produces 1 1/2 fingers of thick tan head.

S: [3.75] Peat, leather, cherries, rust, maple syrup, cocoa.

T: [4.00] Mellow flavors of maple syrup (sweet), peat, cherries, cocoa. The cherry is more pronounced as it warms.

M: [3.50] A little thin for 8% with lower carbonation.

O: [3.75] This is a nice overall Scotch Ale. The flavor of cherry is a bit unique. Normally I do not like cherries but it works in this flavor combination. The biggest detraction was the body. It was kind of watery for an 8%.

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Photo of VoxRationis
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decanted into a conical pint glass. Pour a dark copper which is translucent yielding a garnet color in light; khaki head that dissipates with modest lacing. Nose rich with roasted malt with a tobacco note; tastes remarkably mild with little complexity. Light to medium body. Refreshing without much distinctive character.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: pours ruby highlighted deep dark brown with streams of fine bubbles rapidly rising to join a thin, light tan foam collar.

S: Rich malt and caramel aromas rise from the glass with traces of spice, earth, and faint smoke. Fruit and hop aromas are low.

T: The flavors start rich and creamy showcasing rich malt, slight roast, a hint of smoke, light fruit and nuts. Malt and nuts dominate a slightly sweet finish balanced by a medium low bitterness. There are traces of plum and raisin in the background.

F: McEwan's Scotch ale has a medium full to full body and medium low carbonation.

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Photo of Reef
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle that probably took the slow boat from Edinburgh. Scores probably suffer from the age and handling by the time I got it.

Appearance: Dark brown not quite opaque. Can't think of another beer this shade darker than Amber, lighter than mahogany. Scant head despite a vigorous pour. Narrow ribbons of lacing.

Scent: Gingerbready malt, fig, prune, stone fruits, spice cake.

Taste: Follows nose, starting with the spices and stone fruits, and a hint of peat and cinnamon following. Taste seems more subdued than I remember, perhaps due to age. Not much change as glass warms.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, fairly flat, a little aqueous.

Overall: This was the first wee heavy In my drinking career. I guess the term je ne sais quoi is applicable as it has some quality that I don't find in others. I wished the flavors had a little more pop. Maybe I'll have to go to Edinburgh to try it fresh.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 330 ml. Bottle. Sampled on March 18, 2017.

Brown pour with a short lasting off-white head and some selected lacing.

The aroma has a kind of barnyard shed malty note with a touch of moss, butterscotch, and tobacco. Low hop profile.

The body is around medium. I might've preferred heavier.

The taste is most definitely malt forward with a slight molasses note and generally sweet. It is easy to drink at 8% and the liquor is muted.

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McEwan's Scotch Ale from The Caledonian Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 727 ratings