Deuchars IPA | The Caledonian Brewing Company

very good
120 Reviews
Deuchars IPADeuchars IPA

Brewed by:
The Caledonian Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
4.4% ABV in bottles and 3.8% in cask.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-28-2001

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Reviews: 120 | Ratings: 216
Photo of Flyer
2.53/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Maybe I’ve been having too many Imperial IPA’s lately, but this IPA struck me as more of a pale ale or even a bitter than anything else. It has a golden ale color, and a moderate head with a soapy appearance. The aroma is very lightly hoppy and a little herby. The body is thin, and the taste reminds me of a mild bitter with some subtle pepper notes. Not much malt character to this one at all. A refreshment beer much more so than a sipping beer, and it’s only a so-so one at that.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes. Served on draught in Glasgow, Scotland.

A: Crazy cloudy, like a swarm of locusts in the middle of the beer. Pale gold colour. Appealing. Thick head.

Sm: Bitter hops. Malt. Standard IPA scent.

T: Clean barley open, hoppy simple body, fresh finish - almost citric.

Mf: Something's off. More dense than it ought to be. Sme nice coarseness at times, but overall too smooth - especially for the style.

Dr: IPA fanatics might love it, but the mouthfeel brings this beer down severely. Doesn't hide its abv (which is quite modest in fairness) well at all. Not a good session beer. Move right past this one, lads, and grab something more worthwhile.

Low C

09/09/15: 2nd impressions from a bottle in Edinburgh:

Pretty subpar for an IPA, but highly drinkable, and respectable disregarding style conventions.


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Photo of diablo14
2.77/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

deuchars is end of the bench on caledonians roster. for a traditional brewery to produce something as out and out dull as this is bad, to call it an IPA is truly a misnomer.

if this was called a straight pale ale it would rate a little better but even then doesnt stand up. its a limpid gold color. with no great head to speak of. some slight hops and fruity tones, but lacking in this area overall especially when posing as an IPA. the taste is a rung below this. no malt presence, which is usually a trademark of a caledonian brew, and while there is some fruit its really just bland. there is also a nice sharp hoppiness towards the end, but unfortunately is not sustained. its drinkable, but ultimately unfulfilling.

ive marked this down because one, its not an IPA, and two, its a boring, forgettable beer. mix this with the fact this brewer is capable of so much better, theres not much to talk about here.

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Photo of DerBayer
2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I tried this yesterday and was a bit disappointed although I am not hugely a fan of IPAs

A - Quite nice really gold-ruby, slightly thin head.

S - It was lacking the fruitiness of many good beers

T - Quite bitter - a bit bland also

M - Mouthfeel was OK nothing special - low in carbonation

D - A can do if you re set on an IPA and there s no better IPA around

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.8/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a golden colored ale with a small head with minimum retention. Aroma is mostly comprised of floral malts with limited sweetness. Taste is lightly hoppier then your average English pale ale and a bit dry at the end. Overall, very refreshing but I feel again that this would be way better served fresh on cask…

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Photo of racer2k
2.87/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured beer into a pint glass

A - Golden copper color which yields a very clear beer. Small head of foam on the pour with very little retention around the glass.

S - Mild but sweet malt and some earthy citrus hops in the background.

T - An initial bready yeast flavor with a mild hop taste. There is plenty of back end grain flavor with a toasted mailt finish. The hops are quite mild compared to north american craft beers but this is a nice english version of the IPA.

M - Medium body with very little carbonation and a dry finish.

D - Drinkable session IPA with very little alcohol volume. Not my favorite but drinkable.

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Photo of ccrida
2.87/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On cask at the Thirsty Bear in London, Deuchars IPA is dark gold with a small bubbled head leaving no lace.
Smell is earthy, and sweet fruit, lychee.
Taste is odd, there is a strong, over-ripe fruit, a strong after taste of what I assume are esters, with a firmy bitter aftertaste. A touch metallic too, gives it an unpleasantly sharp finish.
Mouthfeel is light, slick.
Drinkability isn't too high for me with the aftertaste. A below average English IPA.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
2.9/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Light golden amber with a thin white head. Half decent head retention.

S: Mild sweet caramel, musty fruit esters, leafy hops.

T: Tastes like piney tangerines in a biscuity malt, some Earthy undertones, overall grassy, slightly herbal hops with a mildly bitter, chalky finish. Not bad, but not overly interesting.

M: Medium to light with good carbonation.

D: It's more of an English Pale Ale than an IPA for me and pretty average for either. I only really drank the whole thing to finish it, not because I wanted more.

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Photo of sstackho
2.94/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500mL can purchased from LCBO in Toronto. I think I remember enjoying this beer during my year in the UK in 2001, but this example is making me doubt my fond memories. Appearance is light and clear and bubbly. Aroma is non-existent. Flavour is weak with just a tiny hint of fruitiness. Glad I only bought the single can.

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Photo of 3Vandoo
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well after reading the reviews of this beer, I must think I have to try in draft, not in bottle as my experience wasn't really interesting.

A very pale beer, so pale I thought I was looking at some Bud light diluated with some Coors Light, no head, no retetion and I was able to count the bubbles, 1, 2, 3!

Smell very shy of sugar, hoppish and a a finish of shy malt, everything was shy indeed.

Her taste is quite shy, a very watery beer with no character, not much body in mouth. shy hoppish flavours that came with a shy bitterness nothing interesting!

I'm disapointed

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Photo of froghop
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

beer two of day two in hong kong.

pours a clear pale orange-amber with a small white head, and good lacing.

smell is of purfume, bitter, some sour malt.

taste is of grain, bitter, and earth.

overall i would not call this an IPA, more of an english pale ale. needs more hops.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a white head that stays and leaves some lace. Nose has a hint of skunkiness maybe it's the clear bottle - it's best buy date is Nov 03. Clear orange color, little carbonation, hoppy as it should be but not overpowering with hints of malt coming through. The ABV is 4.4%.

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Photo of bobsy
3.07/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This continues to be disappointing. I've had it on cask at the GBBF and enjoyed it, but perhaps times have changed. Both the the canned version and recent casks I've had have fallen far short, which is puzzling because this did win champion beer of Britain one year.

A clear golden pour fills the glass, and a small white head kicks up and exhibits decent retention and lace. For the style, the appearance is fairly standard - lean, but unexciting. The aroma provides a lot of promise, as its full of grassy hops, caramel malts and biscuit. Unfortunately, the flavour fails to come through and is surprisingly flat and one-dimensional, following all the promise of the aroma. Its little more than water with a modicum of hops and malt. There's definitely a bit of citrus and grassy hops in there, but not enough to add character. The malt brings some light biscuit, but feels a little to frail to support everything else. The body is passable, though not exceptional.

It may well be a drinkable beer, as there's nothing offensive about it. Unfortunately there's nothing interesting about it either, and the disappointing lack of hops makes it a bad example for the style, and places it more akin to an English Pale Ale. There's no incentive for me to drink this again.


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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 3/22/2007 (Tap @ Salisbury, London, England):

Pours a clear golden yellow colored body, somewhat reddish, with an average head, lasting, creamy. Has a somewhat hoppy aroma, and some malts. A nice creamy mouthfeel, with some hops on the end, but smooth. Has a sweet malt taste.

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Photo of Polidmar
3.17/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deuchars IPA is like furniture in every pub in Edinburgh. Nice golden ale with very little head which however leaves good lacing around. Smell is predominantly hoppy, slightly lemony also but taste is too bitter [even due to the lack of carbonation] to discern any malt associations or characteristic. A typical scottish 'real ale'.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma: Buttered toast. There was some diacetyl there. Floral hop aroma.

Looks: Bright golden colour. Brilliantly clear. Average sized white head. Slightly above average head retention, it faded down to a thin cover that lasted for most of the Beer. No lace (in a Beer clean glass).

Taste: Spicy and floral hop flavours. Moderate bittering. Slight honey flavour. Biscuity malt flavour. I didn't taste any of the buttery diacetyl that I had got in the aroma, but I am usually better at picking up things like that on the nose.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation. Light- medium bodied.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

on tap, poured into an imperial pint glass.

dark golden copper colored, not much head. aroma and taste are not very hoppy - definitely an English style IPA.

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Photo of jonb5
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint from "spoons" Copper colour,clear, no bubbles. It had a small head. Could detect a faint hoppy fruity smell. Tasted like slightly off pears and apples. Lots of hops. Quite bitter. Not much fiz. Decent IPA but i've had better. Could be one to session

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Photo of flyingpig
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rating the Cask version this time.

Light amber in appearance with a thinnish lacing around the top that stays throughout the pint. Nice but the lack of a good head was slightly disappointing.

Very similar in smell to the cask version of Abbots Ale with a blend of fruity, spiciness and hints of caramel.

Somewhat simliar to the aroma with a fruity, caramel taste and a mildly bitter aftertaste that os quite pleasant. A nice warm tang of a finish. Again simliar to Abbots Ale but a lot lighter with a more smooth taste & less bitter finish

A very smooth ale with a medium body & crisp finish. Very easy to drink and quite warm in the finish.

Very drinkable and not too heavy. Not my usual style of drink but very much one I would buy again although it wasn't as good as the bottled version.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Jan 2012.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A clear golden colour with medium carbonation. Forms a decent head of white foam that lasts for a few minutes before disappearing. Aroma of light malt with notes dry yeast and subtle flowery hops; perhaps a hint of citrus.

Tastes of light malt with a dry finish. Notes of earthy yeast and flowery aromatic hops, with some leafy stewed hops upon swallowing. Not much bitterness to speak of. Mouthfeel is smooth and dry; coats the palate. Slightly astringent, with an aftertaste of yeasty malt.

A decent pale ale - it goes down easily and I rather like it. Not an IPA in the modern sense; the hops are very restrained. The aroma could be more distinctive, but the flavour is nice and distinctly yeasty. It's better on cask than from the bottle, but worth trying if you get the chance.

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Photo of notdan
3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At first glance, this beer doesn't seem like much of an IPA. Neither the 4.4% ABV or pale golden colour are giving me much confidence in the beer, though I haven't had many IPAs from the UK. The smell definitely gave of a nice presence of light hops. The first sips showed some solid promise... I picked out some light floral/citrus hops and a bit of malt to balance things out. I found soon after though that while the flavour is good, there just wasn't enough of it. Given the lower alcohol, this brew had a pretty nice flavour but it was too light and not quite what I'm looking for in an IPA, though it would make a fine session beer. Having mostly been exposed to American IPAs, I would like to try a few more British ones to see how they compare.

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Photo of darklordlager
3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Honey coloured, easy to see through. Moderate foam that dropped down almost immediately.

Smell- Malts, Less hop aroma than expected...

Taste- The hops come through here to match the malt. Fairly balanced, but a bit bland for an IPA.

Mouthfeel- Smooth.

Drinkability- An easy drinker, but not something I'd be prone to buy again.

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Photo of stcules
3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yellow orange color, classic foam.
In the smell a carpet of malt, where you can find some fresh and pleasant hop.
Same freshness note in the taste, with camomile, a light peppery note, and citrus.
The beer is everywhere (in Scotland), but anyway, a pleasant and drinkable one.

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Photo of newk340
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a cask in Deacon Brodie's Tavern on High Street in Edinburgh.

A: a hazy golden orange that is topped off by a full, but quickly dissipating, head. leaves a decent lacing despite the short lasting foam.

S: plenty of citrus evident as well as wheats and grasses. smells like fields in the countryside of Scotland.

T: while the traditional bitterness of an IPA is not entirely present, there are plenty of wheat, citrus, and hop flavors to go around. some malt flavors round out the taste after each swallow.

MF/D: a warm, full feel fills the mouth with each sip. very low carbonation leaves the mouth wanting more.

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Photo of rastaman
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hoppy like an IPA should be, hint of peatiness in the finish, combined with a nice bitter hop flavour, i really couldn't believe it had 3.8% (different to the the above ABV given, however i did sample it cask conditioned, so maybe its different from the bottle), this certainly was very tasty.

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Deuchars IPA from The Caledonian Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 216 ratings.
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