Caledonian 80/-
The Caledonian Brewing Company

Caledonian 80/-Caledonian 80/-
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Scottish Ale
Ranked #29
Ranked #27,658
3.81 | pDev: 15.49%
The Caledonian Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom
Very Good
Caledonian 80/-Caledonian 80/-
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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 136 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sheppard
Sheppard from Virginia

4.26/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pretty perfect bright brown. Soft off white head. This was served on nitro so the look is especially pillowy. It is a creamy, nutty (almonds), toasty concoction that is extremely pleasant to drink. Lots of brown ales are too heavily hopped, but this had some subtlety and finesse that is much appreciated.

Jun 12, 2016
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle with a BB date stamp of 31 Jan. 2016.

Poured deep red-amber with a decent size tan head that displayed very good retention and left ample lacing on the glass.

Feel: medium-full body with medium carbonation.

Flavor: lightly hops such that the hops are obvious but the ale is just mildly bitter and about equally malty and hoppy.

O: wel crafted but not very interesting or complex. It did improve and strengthen with warming

Apr 20, 2015
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Alexnzx from Ireland

2.56/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I see this beer gets very high reviews. Had two bottles of this beer the other day and to be honest I found it a bit bland. Defenitely nothing special enough to deserve all the praise it seems to be getting.

I remember having a few of cans Newcastle Brown Ale a few weeks back. This is what I find this beer is very similar to.

Feb 02, 2014
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IdeaSpeeder from Canada (ON)

3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type - 500ml can, poured into a nonic glass

Appearance - Pours an amber/medium brown color. Medium to low carbonation. Head is creamy and think, but dissipates quite quickly.

Smell - Definitely sweet smelling, with some toffee and malt aromas coming through. Possibly some dates.

Taste - Sweet and 'malty'. Some fruity flavours.

Mouthfeel - Thick, but average for the style. Carbonation is unobtrusive

Overal - 4/5

Apr 13, 2013
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mick303 from Canada (ON)

3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a chestnut colour with decent head and good lacing. Little in the way of carbonation.

Smell has mainly caramelized malt, with a nutty aspect. some coffee

Taste is good, a nice complimenting balance of malt and bitterness on the end. Every bit a scottish ale. Not too sweet, there's a nice bitter finish on it. A nice coating semisweet maltiness. If its not especially deep, it is quite pleasing.

Mouthfeel is quite light, it is very refreshing and sessionable.

An easy drinking tasty scotch ale, doesn't try to be anything its not, and balanced quite well. Lacks a bit in body.

Dec 09, 2012
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brewskifan55 from Mississippi

3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the Kenilworth, Edinburgh

A: Cola brown. A frothy one finger head that lingers. Wondrous lacing.

S: Malts come on strong. Sweet, toffee.

T: Smooth, light, malty, a bit smokey.

M: Light, watery. Not much carbonation.

O: Very drinkable. Recommended.

Jul 27, 2012
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EmperorBevis from England

3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous brown sugar coloured red hued body with a thick just ever so slightly off white big bubbled head that halved quickly but kept.

A subtle aroma of toffee, pepper and tequila, have to put your nose in but its worth it.

Nice well rounded taste of bold malts sweet smacks of grain and then swept around and out with a lovely hoppy finish.

good carbonation if slightly lively
and a decent mouthfeel makes a right little treat on a cold friday night

Dec 17, 2011
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Rijtjeshuis from Canada (ON)

3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

can to nonic

look -- pours a rich amber colour, 23-25*SRM. The head is good, it comes up to about two and a half fingers and falls at a reasonable rate to a cap that lasts. Little lacing. Colour of the head is off-white to cream. Clarity is very good.

smell -- a good hit of sweetness off the top. Very malty. I get caramel malt with a bit of dark, carmelized aroma in there and just a hint of smoke. Ther being said, the aroma wasn't too strong. A hint of crispness on the end, bit no real hop or yeast. Still a touch too sweet for me.

taste -- a good improvement on the nose. the leading flavour is really full caramel, which is deepened by some richer malt flavour (perhaps kettle caramelization). A hint of smoke, but no real peat flavours. Moderate hop bitterness, but no real flavour, no real yeast flavour.

feel -- medium high body and lower carbonation. There's a bit of butteriness that lends a bit of velvet feel to the finish. Finish is drier than expected.

I quite like this one, a good show for the malts, without getting too sweet. Good drinkability.

Dec 02, 2011
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andrenaline from Canada (ON)

2.92/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a crystal clear, dark copper colour, with a thin layer of head which quickly recedes and leaves no lacing.

S - Scent is bready and malty, caramel, toffee and a hint of wooden peat.

T - The peat is very subdued and mild, the bready caramel malts dominate and a touch of leafy green hops on the finish.

M - Comes across a tad thin, could use a carbonation lift.

O - Given the style, it could easily have used a bit of a flavour boost. Too mild for my liking and by no means better than average for the style.

Oct 21, 2011
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fostachild from Canada (ON)

3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

best before 30 06 12.

nice clear dark brown amber, only a bit of head fades quick - barely any lacing.

smell is interesting - fruit, malt aromas with a bitterness to it.

taste is nice and similar to the smell with the malt, bitterness but also some sweetness and roastiness. overall pretty easy going, but you still get some nice flavours each sip - solid offering.

Sep 27, 2011
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thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a translucent copper colour topped with an ample, puffy off-white head. Retention is respectable; a decent cap remains in place for the duration of the session along with some stringy lacing on the sides. The smell is subdued but pleasant; roasted caramel malts with a nutty character to them.

Flavour is similar - toasted bread and caramel malts, vanilla toffee and roasted nuts. A little smoky throughout, with some leafy hop bitterness in the dry finish. Not really sweet or bitter, there's a good balance here. Maybe it's a genetic thing that comes with my Scottish heritage but I have always liked the taste of 80/-. Medium-bodied and quite creamy with low carbonation. Due to the low alcohol and exceptional smoothness, this is a great session ale.

It's been a few years since I've had this stuff, but I think it deserves to get back in the rotation. Nothing especially complex, but a highly satisfying ale and definitely worth a try.

[Updated April 10 2014]

Another can. This is a beer I seem to purchase in spurts... it has a very smooth, gentle mouthfeel, sort of like a nitro beer, but not quite that soft as there is a noticeable mild bite. The nutty, toffee-like malts are also stronger (and tastier!) than most brews of that ilk, and it is possibly one of the most drinkable beers I've ever purchased. Caledonian 80/- isn't flashy, but it's a damn fine ale all the same.

Final Grade: 3.89, a B+.

Jul 25, 2011
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flyingpig from Scotland

3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown colour with hints of amber, it has a tanned white head with a thin bubble texture to it but is short lived.

A dark, nutty aroma to it although the smell is not the most pronounced. It has an almost smoky aroma too it and includes some mild fruit smells & a nice caramel scent too.

Not dissimilar to the the smell with a strong caramel flavour and some sort smoky taste and the back end. Again there is a nutty presence but this is only a small one at the end that is coupled with some sweet flavouring.

Medium bodied beer with a smooth texture that is appealing & is followed up by a mild tang when drank thanks to some good carbonation. Overall the drink has a nice feel to it & is very easy to drink.

Not a bad beer at all, very enjoyable & easy to savour. There is a large smoky presence to this one & the flavours are pretty nice, especially on the nose where the competing smells are very well balanced.

Included in the 1001 Beers to Try list:

Jul 17, 2011
Photo of jazzyjeff13
jazzyjeff13 from England

3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Dec 2011. Described on the rear label as a blend of six malts and three types of hops.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A clear coppery-amber colour with good carbonation. Yields a large off-white head of foam with a creamy texture and decent retention. Aroma of sweet, grainy malt with hints of roasted grain and caramel/toffee.

Tastes of slightly sweet malt with a mild bitterness. Notes of grain and caramel with faint hints of chocolate and roasted malt. Underpinned by a subtle leafy bitterness, although no aromatic hops are discernible. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and somewhat astringent. Aftertaste of mild bitter malt.

A highly drinkable ale with an undemanding but moreish flavour. The sweetness, grainy notes and mild bitterness all blend perfectly to create a pleasing beer. Well worth sampling if you encounter it.

Jun 17, 2011
Photo of paxkey
paxkey from Canada (ON)

1.36/5  rDev -64.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

different can than one pictured. can is black and not striped.

rust colored beer poured into a nonic. generous offwhite head. rocky.

that is a hit to the nose. getting almost a celery-like aroma. might be the malts, sensing some grain in the back of that powerful note coming from the glass. some alcohol underneath the main aroma. i'm sensing the smell may be mostly from the hops actually. is it bad? freshness date says jan 31,2012. smelling horseradish now. its a strong smell its unusual and not entirely welcoming but i will taste anyway.

ya that is off. spit it back in glass. feh.

better luck next time caledonian...luckily i have a fresh weihenstephaner

May 31, 2011
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Caledonian 80/- looks the product of layers upon layers of brown and amber shades laminated one atop the other; it is a deep-set tone with a heavily lacquered tawny overlay. It has as much clarity as a whiskey but a much denser, heavier look and is crowned with a loose splashing of stagnant white suds that travel part of the way up the glass.

I feel as though I've just stepped into some kind of secret garden; the smell of scorched earth and peat reverberates with tremendous presence. A mead (fermented honey)-like sweetness silently stoops behind the notes of heather and peaty tree bark. Vapors of fruity esters and a little kettle caramelization rounds things out nicely.

Caledonian 80/- doesn't smell or taste much like I remember it smelling and tasting. It is much more distinct than I recall, with a far more pronounced peatiness and is buried knee deep in a smoky, scorched earth flavour. Chances are hops could be partly behind that earthiness, although the beer's bitterness is not by any means compelling.

I might be mistaken, but my first (and last) few times trying this beer were from a nitro-can, which would explain why this sample doesn't possess the same creamy texture I remember it having. It also provides a clue about why the beer seems so much more rounded, complete and confident; the unapologetic peat, gritty earthiness and smoky, dry finish.

Caledonian 80/- should be exactly what you think of when you close your eyes and imagine a Scottish ale. It has a distinctive peaty character that portrays the true charm of Scotland, something that North American (or English) brewers are simply incapable of capturing. It certainly earns a spot alongside haggis in the Scots' gastronomic highlight reel.

Mar 18, 2011
Photo of bylerteck
bylerteck from Canada (ON)

3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice deep copper/ruby colour. Fizzy, creamy two finger eggshell head. Mild to medium carbonation. As head fades, it remains in the form of a nice cap, leaving a small amount of lacing. Bright.

S - Toasty, sweet, quite malty, caramel. Very mild.

T - Metallic, sweet caramel, and that toasted or smoky sort of characteristic is present again. Not overly sweet, but fairly malt forward. Nice but not overly tasty or complex.

M - Fair amount of body for such a low abv, clocking in around medium. Low to medium carbonation with a sweet finish.

D - Nothing seriously deep or interesting about this, but it's easy to drink and quite flavourful. The smokiness is what really dominates the taste, making it somewhat difficult to get down quickly, but the sweetness backing it up is a good balance. Not bad, not amazing, I'd drink it if someone offered it.

Feb 18, 2011
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StJamesGate from New York

3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pale rosy tan with a loose off white head that surprisingly holds. Whisky brack nose: raisin, barrel, malt. Sugar roasted almond malts and prickly ginger spice tea hops Dry finish. Minty linger. Lively, light-medium, some stick.

Balanced and the flavors work very harmoniously together. Especially appreciate the hops presence - first conscious experience of WGV, which are seemingly a high alpha Goldings variant.

One of the better examples of the style.

Dec 07, 2010
Photo of Zimbo
Zimbo from Scotland

4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark copper brown with a rich head which stays the distance.
Truly smooth and slightly fat and rich on the tongue like velvet.
Loads of treacly malt with elements of pear. Vinous, morish and rich to taste. Ends that way too. Very satisfying.
From a well kept cask this really sings.

One of Scotland's best examples of 80/-, the seemingly disappearing beer style.
May it always be brewed in direct flame open fire kettles in Slateford.

Oct 18, 2010
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case4816 from Canada (ON)

3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark Auburn brown, orange hints in Colour. Very clear. Head poured very foamy, and dissipated fairly quickly and did not really linger, just some spots of the head remained for any real amount of time

S- Heavy Caramel smell, lots of Vanilla as well. Can also smell the nice lightly roasted malts. Can also detect the alcohol in the smell. There is a light hint of some coffee (from the malts) as well, but not very much. Also fairly yeasty smell can be detected.

T- Tastes heavy of the caramel and vanilla combination. The malts are very heavy tasting as well. The taste of the alcohol comes through a little, but is not that bad cause it's not overpowering at all. The coffee flavour is also there but only just a hint. There is also an unpleasant flavour of yeast that is detectable the longer the beer sits on the tongue.

D- Very drinkable, but nothing special. Tastes just like a standard Scottish Ale, almost like a Red Ale to me.

Oct 04, 2010
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MattyV from Canada (ON)

3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber colour with fluffy off-white head that recedes to a thin ring and leaves a few sporadic gobs of lacing.

Aroma is all malt; bread and caramel.

Flavour is malt-heavy, as expected. Sweet caramel and bread notes with a light roastiness; very rich tasting. The roasted malt flavour lends a touch of bitterness to maintain balance. Some very slight fruitiness detected, presumably the hops trying to make their presence known.

Medium body and carbonation.

This is successfully malt-dominant without being overly sweet. That being said, while an enjoyable beer, more than one would probably be too much. Would have enjoyed more fruity hoppiness, which would've definitely helped its drinkability for me.

Sep 29, 2010
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roadhouse from Florida

4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber-red color with an inch head the dissipates to a mild skim.

Aromas of sweet caramel with some toasted notes. A fruity character is there but nothing in particular stands out.

Taste is really great working together with the caramel and toastiness with that odd fruit character coming through as well. Clean on the pallet yet complex.

Mouthfeel is medium with a good level of carbonation.

Surprised at how good this one was, I want more, one can isn't enough. Quite sessionable I must say.

Sep 23, 2010
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kwjd from Canada (ON)

3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a amber colour with thin head with a small amount of lacing on some parts of the glass. Smells of caramel and bread with maybe the faintest hint of hops. Small bitterness, but more sweetness comes through in the flavour. Fairly thin mouthfeel. I would like to try this on cask as I suspect it would be much better.

Sep 12, 2010
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spinrsx from Canada (ON)

3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml can poured into a pint glass

Appearance - pours a clear copper brown colour with a fair size foamy off white head. Lots of carbonation showing, and also some decent lacing. The head dissipated fairly quickly.

Smell - this beer has some hops up front and some caramel notes. Also a nutty aroma and slightly metallic.

Taste & Mouth - Average amount of carbonation on the drink, light hops and malts at first, a pleasing not overpowering taste. The middle of the drink brings a malty/almond like sweetness, followed by a slightly bitter finish. It's too bad that the beer is a little on the watery side

Drink - A nice well rounded beer that has a little of everything. The richness of a dark beer, but the refreshing aspect of a light beer.

Aug 23, 2010
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kjyost from Canada (MB)

3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice rich and clear orange-red with a moderate head, but no lacing. Very enjoyable aroma with notes of caramel, toffee and bread. Taste has many of the same notes, but it seems thin at times, almost watery. No substantial bitterness nor hop aroma. The thinness is the only drawback to the beer, killing the mouthfeel. Nevertheless, an enjoyable and drinkable beer.

Jul 10, 2010
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champ103 from Texas

4.52/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a slighlty hazy dark brown color. A one finger beige head forms with good retention. Lots of patchy lace is left behind.
S: This is awesome. At first some toasted caramel aromas. Though that quickly gives way to a great fruity aroma. Pears, cherries are present. A tart green apple aroma lingers on that is great.
T: Follows the nose. Lots of toffee and sweet malt. A huge fruity flavor. A medely of pears and cherries. One of the biggest tart, green apple flavor I have come across for the style. Just amazing.
M/D: A medium to full body. Velvety smooth, creamy and rich. This is something I can drink all day long.

This is amazing. A great cask offering. One of the best Scottish Ales I have come across. There is really no smoky peat character, but what is here is really unique. A perfect example of a Scottish brewery pushing the bounderies. Highly recommended to say the least.

Jun 15, 2010
Caledonian 80/- from The Caledonian Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 136 ratings