McEwan's India Pale Ale
The Caledonian Brewing Company

McEwan's India Pale AleMcEwan's India Pale Ale
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IPA - English
Ranked #373
Ranked #50,193
2.93 | pDev: 20.14%
The Caledonian Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom
McEwan's India Pale AleMcEwan's India Pale Ale
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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 177 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Sigmund from Norway

3.25/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Barely discernible from McEwans Export. Some caramel in the flavour, well rounded, perhaps a bit thin. Drinkable stuff that shouldn’t offend anyone. Rerate (can): I understand why this beer is classified as a Scottish Ale at RateBeer, instead of an IPA - hardly any hops are discernible at all. But the brewers insist on calling it an IPA, so I guess it should be rated as such.

May 06, 2021
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

2.75/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours a Newcastle brown like appearance, so on one hand, a darker SRM than average for an ipa, but also it is noticeably more watery, lacking the heft typical of an ipa. Aroma isn't hoppy. More earthy than anything. Small 1/3" off white head.

Still comes off like a brown ale. I get the English IPA distinction, but that still doesn't seem to be an excuse for the lack of bitterness, hops and pale malts here. I used to drink a decent amount of these, they truly were one of my first ipa experiences.

At the end of the day (these days) this is just an expensive brown ale to me. Thanks for the memories, but I've moved on.

Nov 15, 2016
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Lemreway16 from England

1.39/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

This is not an IPA in any respect. Visually and in taste it resembles a lager rather than an Ale. It has an unpleasant musty smell and is very thin in taste. Still struggle to find a core of good beers in Scotland from a nation that's makes the best malt whisky available.

Oct 25, 2015
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patre_tim from Thailand

2.81/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: Golden, almost straw, filtered with lots of fine carbonation, 4 fingers of whit foamy head.

S: Malt, lager, skunk (came in a clear bottle) a little fruity raspberry quality.

T: Malt, some good bitter hops just way too few of them, light bitterness, light citrus, light grapefruit.

M: Light watery body, little fine bubbled carbonation.

O: A lot of lager qualities in this one, light, crisp, etc. Sort of like a lager gone slightly ipa-ish. It does have some interesting fruity and hop qualities, just very light on them even for the style. Found and drank in Bangkok, March 1st, 2015.

Mar 01, 2015
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Beerandraiderfan from Nevada

2.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Looks like a faint brown ale, almost no head, aroma was lacking hops but did have a fruity tomacco (yeah like the Simpsons episode) aroma that was enjoyable.

The brown ale comparison really comes out in the taste, this doesn't even taste like a weak English ipa, this is just like a mild brown ale. It is what it is. Expensive and disappointing. I used to enjoy these in the 90s, they were helpful in getting my palate in shape after drinking sub-BMC type of stuff in the early half of the decade (Meister Brau), but the more I drink of these lately, the more bland and expensive they come off.

Jul 29, 2010
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AgentZero from Illinois

2.28/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Brown, kind of like a caramel color, somewhat odd I thought. Not much of a head, just a 1/2 a finger of bubbles that dissapeared quickly leaving no lacing.

S - Somewhat grainy, slightly malty, more of that than any hopes.

T - This is not good, and I don't think it's an IPA. Tastes more like a somewhat creamy, crappy english bitter that was poured out of a can. Too sweet, not enough hops.

M - Thin, needs more bubbles.

D - Not hard to get down, but I don't want too have anymore.

Feb 17, 2010
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tatoodkelt from Maryland

3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had heard that McEwans wasnt going to be imported much longer so back in December I was lucky enough to score a couple of the scotch ales which I am a big fan of as well as one of these.

Consumed 12/10/2009- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle as shown poured into a pint glass.

A- Poured a clear rusty brown with a thin soapy white head that faded away quick. It was almost all red when held up to the light. Not much in the way of carbination or lacing.

S- Sweet malts, almost a Log Cabin syrup smell. Not bad, just not what I expected.

T- Pretty much matched the nose with the addition of some light fuits. Didnt seem to be much of a hop presence.

M- Light to medium bodied, a little thinner than I expected. Not any where near as much carbination as I've come to associate with IPA's.

D- Worth a try for a different take on an IPA but I wont be looking for this one a again.

Jan 13, 2010
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.42/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark amber-mahogany with a thin, creamy, quickly dissipating white head.

S: toasty and bready with a light floral hopping.

T: The initial flavor was dark, sweet malt, with a light smokiness and earthy tones. The sweet malt hopping dominates the palate with only a very light hoppiness and fruitiness in the finish.

M: a touch thin, smooth and lightly carbonated.

D: Drinks more like a Scottish ale, very sweet malting with earthy hopping. A decent drink by itself but many will be disappointed in the hop bitterness.

Jan 13, 2009
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barleywinefiend from Washington

2.86/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark caramel color, unusual for an IPA. Had a ruby color tint in the light, no head to note. Nose was almost more malts than hops. Tasted of SOME hops, little bitterness, but not as hoppy as I would like. Perhaps I am waaay to accustom to West Coast IPAs now. I would say for an English IPA it would do the trick.

Oct 24, 2008
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changeup45 from Florida

1.81/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Sampled in 2004. When I first tried this beer I really liked it. I must have been drunk. I'm glad I've had it again to give it the correct review. IPA? Not even close. IPAs are one of my favorite styles and this has got to be the worst one I've had. This had a dark brown body, a little heavy, with a fairy thick head and a decent amount of lace. The color looks nothing like an IPA. Hops? Hardly any. Are they sure they put the right label on this? Wow. Somewhat smooth, but not a fan of the flavor at all. A scotchy malt flavor is the best way I can describe it. Or a mild version of their Scotch Ale, which I found disgusting. Maybe I'll get it again in a year or so to see what I think then.

Aug 23, 2008
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frischd from Ohio

1.33/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

My wife poured this into a pint glass when I tried it. I could swear she had a Jack Daniels, "Jack and Cola". The color is a dark caramel color with a nice head. With the first sip I gag a little. After each drink it become easier to go down. But over all it was a challenge to drink the whole bottle. Being a huge fans of hops and IPA I was let down. I am still confuse why this is called an IPA.

May 21, 2008
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JamesS from Indiana

2.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a wonderful dark copper color, almost a barleywine in tint, with a nice head and nice lacing. A rather weak aroma, a bit of malt (strange for a PA), but not much else. An odd taste for a PA, more malty than hoppy, not really bitter at all. The nice little bit of smokiness saved it from being below average. Goes down pretty smoothly, though.

Try it for a different take on an English IPA, but not if you really want a normal IPA beer.

Jan 09, 2008
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BBM from New York

3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep brown with amber highlights and almost no head. The aroma is earthy and herbal, with that slight twangy sweetness you find in other Scottish ales.

Certainly not in the vain of other IPAs you may be used to, the order of the day here is more herbal and tea-like, with a burnt sweetness colliding with the bitter herbal hop finish. Think of it as an English pale with a Scottish flare and you're almost there. Mouthfeel is medium-thin and well carbonated. This beer is perfectly sessionable and fine to drink as long as you're not expecting an IPA.

Dec 11, 2007
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Mudpuppet from Massachusetts

3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Poured an almost brown color with very little head into an imperial pint glass.

S- Sweet, malty nose with very little hops.

T- It isn't a bad tasting beer but I am with everyone else when they say they thought try got the wrong beer. Until I looked on BA I thought it was labeled incorrectly. I am not a huge blow-your-face-off hops fan and wanted an English IPA with balanced hop presence but this is not an IPA at all. I would call this a brown ale with a nutty almost caramel flavor.

M- This has good carbonation for a brown ale but maybe a bit low for an IPA.

D- It isn't great but very drinkable. I could drink this as a session beer without a problem. GIve it a shot but remember it isn't a IPA!

Nov 17, 2007
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goffer from California

2.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: poured out nicely with little to no head that lingered as the brew went down.
S: Very interesting... not hoppy at all though labeled IPA. It smelt like a cheap wine with some camel malty goodness.
T: For some odd reason I'm picking up on grapes. Very tart and an apparent taste of alcohol... also a bit watery. No bitterness at all.
M: Little carbonation with a lingering taste.
D: I bought a sixer and the 5 brothers will rest in the fridge until a rare mood arises.

I was recommended this beer by a small foreign man who offered his assistance on finding a good beer. I asked for a strong IPA and he pointed me to this, sadly.

Nov 13, 2007
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biggmike from Mississippi

3.28/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not bad, but nothing like what I expected. I thought my beer had been mislabeled until I read others comments. Tasted and looked more like an Octoberfest than IPA. Brown in color with little head, lower alcohol content, and no hoppy bitterness. This is nothing like an IPA. Still, it was pretty drinkable

Jul 29, 2007
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Phatz from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I was warned by a friend, "don't buy that beer" when I put it in my cart. But I feel I must thank my good friend weeare138 who gave me a McEwan's India Pale Ale pint glass from which I am drinking this beer now. Since I had the glass a few people asked if the beer was any good... so, while in the beerstore loading my cart and another friend warns against it, I knew I had to taste this beer. Needless-to-say I now had low expectations for it. I understand the warning but I do enjoy the beer. It is more like a 60 or 70 shilling Scottish ale than it is like an IPA. They through a little bit of extra hops in the Scottish Ale and slapped on a label. I like a sweet woody smoky caramel flavored Scottish ale, and that is what you have here.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous dark brown partly transparent with a thick tan head that fades slowly and leaves heavy sheets of lacing literally plastered to the walls of my glass.

Smell: Caramel and sweet ripe fruits. It has a fruit juice flavor coming through in the nose along with the toasted malts.

Taste: Flavor of caramel and fruit juice that is lightly sour with a woodiness and rotten fruit. A few swishes and what is left on my cheeks tastes like tea. The beer is a bit watery, but the flavors are nice and approachable.

Mouthfeel: light body clean and crisp.

Drinkability: I like sweet. This beer levees my with a sweetened Ice Tea feel. It is refreshing and easy to drink. I you want depth and intrigue look elseware but this is worth a shot.

Hope this is helpful.

May 15, 2007
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

2.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color with a very thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is heavy with tea mostly. There’s a little bit of caramel, roasted malt and hops in it as well.

T: Just like with the smell, the taste is almost all tea flavored with some caramel, nuts & spice mixed in. There’s a little bit more sweetness in it than most others I’ve had in the style and there’s not much of a hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth with a little crispness, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: A little tasty, but definitely not what I had expected, goes down ok, doesn’t really seem to fit the style, so I’ll have to take the label’s word for it that the beer is an EIPA. Overall, I don’t think it’s bad, but it’s yet another English beer that has under-whelmed me.

Mar 27, 2007
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jwc215 from Arizona

2.23/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours dark amber with a thin head that soon becomes a small patch.

The smell is musty, sweet caramelish, grainy, with a slight alcohol touch that probably shouldn't be there considering relatively low abv.

The taste is of sweet malt - caramel, sweet grains. Some earthy, leafy bitterness shows up late, but not enough to balance out sweetness. Hardly a typical IPA. It has a characteristic of a caramelish, farily flat cola, that someone dipped a tea-bag in.

The body is rather thin, certainly weak. It barely hits medium at most. A certain sweetness tries to act in a coating manner, but it doesn't quite hold up.

Much too imbalanced sweetness. Not an IPA - more of a brown ale/pale ale mix with a touch of Scottish Ale that doesn't quite come together well. My advise -don't bother with this, esp. if you are looking for an IPA.

Feb 25, 2007
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Frozensoul327 from Michigan

3.04/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Dark reddish orange color that looks like sun brewed tea made with too many tea bags. White flaking of bubbles on top of the beer are all that remain of the short lived head. Low carbonation.

S: Roasted malts and grain are prevalent. No hops noted. Some grassy aromas, but not much.

T: A mild hop character swells above the sweet malty and grain flavors. Mild husk and earth notes. Som roasted wood characters are noted. Interesting. Not unpleasing.

M: Very watery and bland. No carbonation noted on the tongue, and this one cruises down the throat quite weak.

D: Fair. I'd have another, but the mouthfeel is definitely lacking and the appearance is boardering on horrific. Not one of the better EIPA's i've had.

Jan 16, 2007
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eberkman from Massachusetts

3.43/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a dark reddish-purplish brown with a fairly thick, light head.

Not much hops in the nose -- mostly malty notes. Taste was the sort of buttery smoothness I'd typically expect from an ESB, not so much from an IPA. Some hoppiness but not a lot. Goes down smoothly and feels smooth and refreshing in the mouth, but a bit watery.

In any event, a fairly enjoyable brew but not one that I'd peg as very characteristic of the IPA style. And there are better options for bitters out there too.

Jan 01, 2007
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hunteraw from China

3.38/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat orange tinted garnet in color, very clear. Nice head and impressive lacing.

Smell: Fair bit of diacetyl in the nose. Hop character is mild and earthy. Not what I've come to expect in an IPA, but this is the British version after all.

Taste: Diacetyl is present, but not to the point of distraction. Hint of smoke, especially in the finish. Aftertaste described by a friend as vinous. Some bitterness, but not much in the way of hop flavor at all. I know not to expect lots of hops in an EIPA, but I expect more than this, at least.

Mouthfeel: Lighter than one would expect, given the amount of malt flavor present. Light-medium body, lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability: On its own, easy to drink but not exceptional and not a great example of the style. Paired with some Irish porter cheese it worked pretty well, though - keeping it gaelic here.

Dec 01, 2006
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Neehan from North Carolina

2.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brownish bronze with a decent sized head, but the most appealing part of the appearance is some nice lacing. Smells of malts with a touch of sour fruits. The taste is rather unremarkable and certainly not like an IPA-- quite weak. The taste is mainly of malts and little else. The mouthfeel is a bit stronger than the taste, but still watery. Quite drinkable because of such an easy finish. If this was not an IPA, I would feel differently but this comes up a bit disappointing.

Oct 26, 2006
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durandal from Massachusetts

2.63/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I don't really think I understand this beer. It's kind of dark for your traditional IPA, and the aroma is more like a pub ale or an ESB. The flavor is not very "IPA-ish": it's sweetish and there's really no hop flavor to speak of, at least not that I can taste.

It went down okay-- I gave it a decent score for drinkability-- but I seriously thought that maybe I had ordered the wrong drink since it tasted nothing like any IPA I've ever had.

I will rate it lower in taste and mouthfeel for the disparity between its stated style and what it actually ends up tasting like. It's hard to know what the brewer was even going for since I really couldn't taste any hops, which are to my inexperienced palate the main ingredient in a normal IPA. Worth trying just for the odd experience but I can't recommend it beyond that.

Oct 24, 2006
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barefootbrewer from Mississippi

2.83/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark brown color with a decent head. The smell is malty with a touch of hops. The taste is malty and bitter with a touch of sourness. The mouthfeel is a bit thin and slightly carbonated. This is a pretty non-offensive type beer that is easy to drink.

Oct 22, 2006
McEwan's India Pale Ale from The Caledonian Brewing Company
Beer rating: 70 out of 100 with 177 ratings