Caledonian 80/- | The Caledonian Brewing Company

very good
98 Reviews
Caledonian 80/-Caledonian 80/-

Brewed by:
The Caledonian Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UnionMade on 11-06-2000

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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 135
Photo of jonnypopgun
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pleasant enough drinking, if not exceptional. Only the faintest of aromas, not the best in that department. Flavour is chiefly sweet and malty. Nicely carbonated. Pretty much no bitterness at all. Good session beer, but prefer Deuchars IPA from this brewery. Would like to try on tap and have spotted it somewhere, so may report back...

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Photo of seand
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear brown with an off white head. Enough of the head retains to leave a small amount of lacing.

S: Sweet, light fruit and brown sugar.

T: Sweet but nicely balanced, with some subtle but noticeable hops on the finish.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

D: Drinks very nicely, would be a good session beer.

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Photo of imprezawrxsti
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 500ml bottle purchased at the Odd Bins on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

Pours out a dark gold, almost brown colour. Some lacing remains, even almost half an hour after pouring.

Tastes of nuts and malt, slight citrus notes, coriander. Really tasty. Just enough fizz that one can tell it's there. This claims to be "the definitive Scottish style ale", and tastes like a good benchmark to start from. Feels just heavy enough in the mouth, not syrupy, but with a presence.

Definitely a good choice, certainly better than the Tennent's that started the night.

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Photo of ericj551
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Caledonian 80/- pours a bright amber with a nice lingering layer of head. The aroma is malty and fruity, with some caramel, toffee and butterscotch. The flavor is nice and malty and a bit sweet without being cloying. There is a bit of ripe dark fruit, and some darker crystal toasted sweetness. Some light buttery diacetyl comes through in the end. The finish is crisp and almost heavy, very flavorful for a beer of it's strength.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear medium reddish amber colour, with two fingers of creamy off-white head, which leaves some scattered lace in its wake. It smells of sweet, fruity biscuit malt. The taste is caramel and biscuit malt, some mild generic fruitiness, and mild muddled, kind of mineral-like hops. The carbonation is soft, the body medium weight, smooth, and fleshy, and it finishes off-dry, with a bit more of that indeterminate fruitiness.

A decent enough session ale, but a bit on the sweet, non-bitter side for me, though.

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Photo of jhall00
2.73/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a reddish brown with light initial head that quickly recedes to only a faint tan lace

S- malty nutty smell

T- initial maltiness that fades to the light hops bitterness with a hint of smokiness

M- light body with residual hops bitterness. large amount of carbonization, in my opinion, too much carbonation for the style.

D- Okay light body beer. Nothing memorable.

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Photo of cfrancis
3.29/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is faint, but there is malt, woodsmoke and barley. Colour is a gorgeous brown/gold colour. Taste is malt with a woodsmoke aftertaste. Great mouthfeel and good balance. Funny that they call this a bitter since there is very little bitter taste to it.

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Photo of zoso493
2.78/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Well, having reviewed this beer from the tap earlier, I decided to give the bottle a go. I gave the tap version a D- because it was truly a bad beer, but after having read a lot of other reviews, I thought I may have had a completely different beer. I've had it on tap twice, and it tasted the same both times, so let's see what the bottle has going on.

Appearance: Pours a watery-looking reddish-brown with a nice eggshell colored two-finger head. Honestly, it looks a little thin, but the head gives me hope.

Smell: Ah, yes, this is the same beer I had on tap. Smells very much of sweet malts, but this time has a nicer aroma of some faint hops.

Taste: Upfront is a slight malt sweetness that finishes with a decent but light hop bitterness. Really not a hell of a whole lot going on.

Mouthfeel: Very light, thin and watery, as the appearance had indicated. Good amount of carbonation, though. Does leave a sort of soapy feeling in your mouth.

Drinkability: Not so bad, I guess. I would never want to have more than one of these, but it's fine.

Overall, this was definitely a better experience than what I had on tap, but I certainly would still maintain that this beer is mediocre at best. Try it if you must, but I wouldn't recommend it.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish brown, nice and clear, with a respectable if not particularly showy head.

The aroma is malty with hints of freshly torn Italian bread crusts with a bit of herbal hops and aluminum.

The taste is similar, very bready and malty with only a hint of herbal hops in the finish. Nuts. There's a weird metallic dryness in the aftertaste I find off-putting. It's all a little watery.

Mouthfeel is a little harsh. I'd like to try the nitro-can or cask version for comparison. I think it would help.

It's drinkable enough I suppose but not one I'd seek out again any time soon.

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Photo of ecoastman
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinkability - very easy to drink. This is a slightly earthy-hop type beer so it's not my personal favourite - but it's definitely worth a try.

Appearance - a nice clear dark copper with a good head to start and recedes to a thin layer.

Smell - malty chocolate-caramel sweet with some clean herbal hops in the balance.

Taste - The malt isn't too sweet off the start and the transition is smooth to some slightly earthy hops. There's also some faint smokiness present.

Mouthfeel - thin / watery and smooth. Low carbonation and quite refreshing. Slightly course in the finish.

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Photo of DerBayer
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light chestnut colour with creamy head

Smells of malt and hops with slight floral and herbal character

Tastes of the above - well balanced

Mouthfeel is adequate for the sztyle - a bit flat

Yes definitely drinkable but not great will try again though

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Photo of crowncapcollect
1.95/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pint on tap, Pub who's name I've forgotten, Edinburgh

Scotland produces some really good beers these days, not like ten years ago, but this is not one of them.

It is really too sweet and malty. I rarely leave beer behind, and had to force myself to finish this one. But, the same brewery makes Deuchars, which is delightful.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On Cask, served at what appeared to be slightly above room temperature, at The Horseshoe Bar, Glasgow, Scotland, April 20, 2009:

A: The beer appeared a dark copper-ish color with a decent white head that was not well retained.

S: Malty aroma, with a hint of a buttery/bready aroma as well. A touch of hops could also be detected as well as a hint of smokiness.

T: The taste was good, a nice well rounded malt flavor to it, with a little hint of sweetness and a slight bitter aftertaste.

M/D: The beer had a medium body to it, the carbonation was not noticeable, due to the cask, very smooth, creamy and one could drink this all day long. Overall, a good beer and one that I will try again when given the chance.

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Photo of bobsy
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

80/- pours a nice rich copper colour with a fluffy off-white head, that keeps a cap on throughout and throws the odd streak of lace on to the side of the glass. Sweet malt aroma of caramel and fruit with a hint of earthy hops. The flavours are very malt forward, finding expression in wholegrain bread, caramel and nuts. In the finish there's a peaty smokiness that reminds you that this is a Scottish creation. However, there's also some brown sugar to keep it in check. The mouthfeel is full considering the low strength of this beer, but I felt the carbonation was a little too aggressive and harsh. I would have preferred a softer mouthfeel, which would have felt more in keeping with the flavours going on here.

I had the Neustadt earlier in the evening, and although this is the higher regarded beer, I preferred the local to this. Still, its a decent ale, and should be a must for lovers of the Scottish styles.

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Photo of atomicbolt
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 500 mL can of this. And, I got to learn a fun fact about the old Scottish shilling system from Wikipedia! Apparently by being an 80 shilling beer this is "export" class, going back to 19th century barrel-pricing by alcohol content standards. I have no idea how the step below is called "heavy" but the step above is called "wee heavy", but that's Scottish terminology for you.

Pours a nice dark brown with amber hilights, a decent-sized beige head that faded away. Smells pretty good - caramel, chocolate, malty, with a bit of rough smokiness too.

Pretty tasty, too - chocolate, malt, toastiness, but altogether the ideal word would be smooth. Goes down just as velvety smooth, a bit of a hoppy tinge, altogether well-balanced mouthfeel. Hugely drinkable, especially given the creaminess and the relatively low alcohol content, you can pound back one of these like a dessert.

Altogether a well-made, tasty beer.

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Photo of fullsweep
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle. I bought this on holiday in Scotland--had to try it while there. Unfortunately I had no proper glass though so I drank it straight from the bottle.

Smells great--of buttery malts.

The malt taste comes through nicely, caramelized sweetness, not fruity or grainy, just nice and balanced.

Feels great on the mouth (wish I'd had a proper glass to release more of the mouthfeel).

High drinkability. Would love to try again from a different serving type.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Poured with two fingers of creamy head, that sadly doesn't lace or sustain itself. The beer itself is a nice, clear dark brown with orange highlights. I see a lot of carbonation is going on with this beer, a little too much.

Smell - Has a bit of a smokey scent to it, with some definite sweet malts with a slight biscuit scent in the background. Something is a little bit off though, as someone dropped a few drops of malt vinegar into the mix.

Taste - Starts with a sweet malts, with a little bit of a nice, toast flavor. Transitions into a nice taste of smooth, buttery biscuit flavor with a touch of soft hops. The beer finishes with that hoppy taste, but that malt vinegar makes an appearance just as it goes down. Sadly the end of the experience leaves a bit of a coppery aftertaste. It's pretty good, but there is room for improvement.

Mouthfeel - As stated, this beer leaves a coppery aftertaste which does lingers just a little bit too long and the vinegar like sensation isn't pleasant. It does go down smoothly, but the carbonation is also a bit excessive.

Drinkability - This beer is gassy, it seems to keep it's carbonation until it hits your stomach. It's medium bodied, not very refreshing but would be good with food and there isn't much of a problem getting it down. However I wouldn't want more then a couple.

Final Thoughts - All in all, this beer is better then average and enough off the beaten path to make it an import worth buying. It does some things right, and other things wrong but the pros outweigh the cons. I probably wouldn't get it again unless it was offered or was the only option, but for the most part it was a solid offering. If you like this, I'd suggest Newcastle Brown Ale.

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Photo of DoctorStrangiato
4.52/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a 500-ml can into a pub ale glass.

Appearance - amber ale with a short-lived head, very little surface bubbles. Nice colour.

Smell - caramel scents permeate a nice malt aroma. Fantastic on the senses.

Taste - chocolate, caramel and even a hint of peat of all things! Ah, well, it's from Scotland. A short, dry finish marked by a punctuated hoppiness.

Mouthfeel - smooth, even mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation to keep it interesting throughout.

Drinkability - definitely a great choice. Lots of flavour and low ABV make it a great beer to keep coming back to.

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Photo of ludachris
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a really nice deep amber with a two finger creamy white head. Smell is malty sweet with some chocolate and biscuit. Taste is very sweet, but the chocolate becomes much less prominent. A slight hop finish balances this one out really nicely. The mouthfeel is ridiculously smooth and the drinkability is excellent. This beer seems like a heavier one despite its low alcohol content. Overall, a really great brew and would love to have another.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from recently found notes:

Brown color with amber-bronze highlights. Head is served thin but creamy. Good legs from the cask.

Lightly sweet, malty aroma of toast with vegemite. A little weak, but pleasantly sessionable.

The flavor is of dark fruit sweetness, with only a hint of herbal, grassy hops in the finish. Malted milk, toasted wheat bread, with a floral note.

Super smooth and velvety mouthfeel. Perfect cask ale. Easy to drink and enjoy several, just don't go looking for a lot of complexity.

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Photo of MM3
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Caledonian 80 has a beautiful red/brown color and a small and creamy head.

The beer smells sweet and malty.

The taste is sweet and malty like the smell. There is a bit hop bitter after taste.

The mouthfeel is really smooth.

I think this beer is really easy to drink. This is because the carbonation is smooth and the taste is not very dominant.

There is a difference between the cask version of this ale and the bottled one. The cask version is a bit sweeter and smoother than the botteled beer.

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Photo of EatsTacos
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

100th review.

Pours a copper colour with a two finger head that receded to a small ring.

The smell is sweet and sugary. Reminds me of cookies actually. There's also an unfortunate metallic smell to it.

The taste is very malty for the most part but its not overly sweet. The malt sweetness is like wafer. The sides of my mouth get a fruity apple/peach taste. There's a lot of peach there actually. The hop character is pretty much in the background but it is present and the finish is balanced.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin but not watery and the carbonation is low to medium.

This is a good beer, pretty textbook for a scottish beer.

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Photo of darklordlager
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle...Expiration date of 23 June 2009.

Appearance: Huge head of foam with lively carbonation. Light amber in color. 1.5 inch off-white foam that leaves some lacing.

Smell: Smells is mostly malts, with a hint of hops somewhere in back.

Taste: A combination of caramel flavors, with an interesting malt profile. While looking at this one I thought it was going to taste way overcarbonated, but it seems to fit the beer fairly well. Perhaps a bit too much carbonation though for my tastes...

Mouthfeel: Great body, that goes down smooth.

Drinkablity: Only issue here is with the carbonation, I think that would start to bother me after a few...

Note: Recently had this on tap, and it was highly inferior to both the cask and bottled versions...Much thinner, without the great flavours....

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Photo of Ralphus
2.26/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I picked up two cans of Caledonia 80/- from the LCBO after reading all the positive reviews. The first can is labeled as being stale in just over a year and I was expecting some good things. The pour and color were quite nice.. a pleasant amber color with a medium head.. but it went down hill from there unfortunately.

The smell from the pour is virtually non-existent. There was literally no smell for a few minutes unless you really get your nose in deep and pull air. After a quarter pint you start to pick it up on the mouthful and it's pretty much as described. Earthy.. nutty with a hint of alcohol.

The taste, like a sweet then bitter toffee, just wasn't for me .. but it didn't stop there. It was watery on the tongue, like there should have been more complexity but it was not part of the formula, instead I was left with the never changing toffee taste.

I realize I'm out of the mold on this one. Lets hope the next reviewer loves the style and gets you back on track.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown 500ml bottle, caught just before it went out of date (in three weeks).

Poured into my new La Chouffe glass two and a half times. Deep, clear mahogany colour with a good foaming slightly off-white head. Looked good to me.

A real chocolate aroma to it and some toasted caramel with a coffee hint too.

Rich roasted malt flavour, the chocolate, caramel and coffee in the aroma are not so prominent, but they are present in the taste.

This isn't a creamy thick beer, but nor is it a wishy washy thin one. It is just about right.

Impressed, this is good and an ideal winter drinking beer, even at the low 4.1%, it punches well above its alcohol weight.

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Caledonian 80/- from The Caledonian Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 135 ratings.
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