McEwan's India Pale Ale | The Caledonian Brewing Company

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McEwan's India Pale AleMcEwan's India Pale Ale
176 Ratings
McEwan's India Pale AleMcEwan's India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
The Caledonian Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 07-07-2001

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Ratings: 176 |  Reviews: 147
Reviews by abeeronthebeach:
Photo of abeeronthebeach
3.5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.13/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lighter brown color with a light somehwat fizzy head,the aroma is on the malty side for a IPA with some fruitiness lingering.There is some hop presence in the taste but not like a IPA normally is,there is a metallic inge in the finish.Not a horrible beer but there are many coming from the UK for sure.

 310 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
3/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Dmann
2.41/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was not a good IPA by any stretch of the imagination. This poured a decent copper collor with a small head that faded quickly. The smell was non existant other than some trace elements of malt. The flavor was more like a amber ale than a Pale Ale or IPA. It had next to no hop presence and not much maltiness to it either, it was just kind of flat. I will be passing on this one in the future.

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Photo of Todd
2.45/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12oz European brown bottle, red labeling and a picture of the weird smiling pirate guy wearing a funny fu-fu hat. No freshness date

Appearance: A brown beer, with light copper hues. Pours a moderate healthy looking creamy white patchy head.

Smell: Bitter hops, floral aromas, toasted malts, some caramel.

Taste: Creamy mouthfeel, followed by an even semi-sweet malt flavour. Grain, a touch of caramel and toasted malt flavours. Little malt character. Alcohol notes. Bitterness is limey, floral and tea-like, becoming more pronounced by a fine, dry, champagne-like carbonation. Finishes grain dry.

Notes: An unusual IPA. First, it's Scottish. Second, it taste nothing like a traditional IPA and holds none of the characteristics that you might expect (big malts and big hops to balance). I'll pass on this one. Not to style and a rather bland brew.

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Photo of Jason
2.88/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Weak looking head, clarity is fine though.

Smell: Smells of shortbread, a touch fruity … where are the hops?

Taste: Maltiness is slightly feeble, light on the palate with a cracker like graininess. Bitterness tastes processed like an extract perhaps and light at that, just gets to the balancing point and goes no further. Maltiness drops a little residual sweetness in the end.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, faintly crisp. Lacks in fullness and depth.

Drinkability & Notes: Quite drinkable, it actually goes down real easy like a light ale would. Sad thing is this is not labeled as a light ale, labeled as an IPA makes this beer somewhat of a sham. I have had pale ales that are bigger than this! At $9 a six-pack don’t waste your dough.

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Photo of Billolick
2.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

disappointing is how I would characterize this "IPA" Flavor is thin,body is ehh, mostly malt, minimal hop flavor....abit cabbagy and a hint of nut flavor, but THAT IS IT. This style was created to survive the trip to India, but I dont think this brew survived the trip from scotland to my home town, expensive water, would avoid this one.

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Photo of far333
2.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow, did I get a bad pour, or was the keg tapped long ago? The color is a light amber, with a very low head. There is no hop flavor that I can detect at all, and this from an IPA. Very slight malt flavor. There is no aroma, and the mouthfeel is very watery. I may have to try this again sometime to be sure, but this was not an enjoyable pint.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.79/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

 595 characters

Photo of ADR
3.66/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark and clear amber. Very little smell. Head is thin and dissappears into large bubbles at the edge. Mouthfeel is pretty dense for an I.P.A., hops are assertive but not at all explosive -- mildly peppery/clovey. Malt taste is definitely there and helps add to the body and impression. Pretty good but very different from an American I.P.A.... I, personally, like a little more hops.

 387 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.15/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

We have all been duped, there's no way in hell this is an IPA. McEwan's IPA has virtually no hop aroma. This is false advertisement, it pours a wierd dim shade of amber brown almost a mohogany. The head poured very thin and was a tinted cream tone, and the lace slides right down the glass as it empties. I am getting all sweetness from a caramel malt origin. Is very easy drinking doesn't take too many brain cells to pick this one apart. I was expecting a lot more from it than I got, and I find myself disappointed. There is also a hidden fruity flavor in there, but overall a watered down lighter body for an IPA. I am not crazy by any means, in fact I can't even say I like this one. Definitely would not recommend this one to anybody.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
2.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of rastaman
2.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Buttery, oily, caramelly, malty and sweet, not bitter, just sweet, therefore it doesn't really resemble an IPA, and doesn't appeal with my tatses, needs bitterness.

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Photo of SetarconeX
3.5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I disagree with some of the terrible reviews given to this beer. Visually, nothing worth mentioning really. And I'll admit, it smells just a tad off.

I rather like the taste though. A bit maltier than I'd expected, with a bit of graininess. I must admit though, for something that claims to vehemently to be an IPA, it's strangely weak. Rather light on the hops. Even the heavier malts aren't too terribly powerful.

Not great. Not complicated, but rather appealing in its simplicity. Not for everyone though, I can see plenty of reasons others may hate this beer.

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Photo of brewQ
3.13/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The tap was an appetizing orange-brown.
Poured somewhat flat, with some malt and light floral aroma,

Flavor was balanced albeit subdued. This is English IPA?

A clean finish yields a very drinkable beer.

This is certainly better than the nasty bottle version I sampled months ago. Not something I'd search for, though.

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Photo of DagFishHead
1.59/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Appearance: Clear, dark amber body. Full, off-white splotchy head with decent rentention and lace.
Smell: Stunning lack of hops. Faint, bready nose.
Taste: Sweet malt, semi-sweet finish... hops!! where are the hops?? Reminds me of a light scotch ale.
Mouthfeel: Low carbonation feel (almost stale), fairly full malt feel.
Drinkability: Not really a bad ale... there's simply NOTHING about it that's appropriate to the IPA style. If you're a hop-head, save your time and money.

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Photo of watermelonman
2.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This has got to be the darkest IPA I've ever seen. There's almost no head, and just a touch of lacing.

I don't like the smell very much. It's potent and makes me think of something like cheap scotch mixed with an innocent pale ale. The taste isn't too bad, though. However, I don't know why they call it an IPA. I could almost confuse it for a brown ale instead. There's some detectable hop action but nothing that sticks out.

I'll have something else for my next pint.

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Photo of soper2000
3.13/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First time I had this beer was on-tap at Macnivens in Indy at a BA gathering and I must say that bottled, this is certainly a different beast. Pours an interesting copper color but with very little head to speak of. Nose has a lot more bready malts than I would like in an IPA. It almost seems like an English Pale instead of an English IPA. Very mild flavor, a nice malt base gives way to a finish that is only slightly hoppy at best. I'm really struggling to pick out any hop characteristics other than a slight vague bitterness. I remember this being much better from the tap.

 579 characters

Photo of Bcant
2.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

McEwan’s IPA is a red/orange amber color with a small white head. The bouquet is dominated by metallic doers though some more pleasing caramel notes also exist. The taste is also metallic, almost like putting a penny in your mouth. Mouthfeel is light but slightly sandy. Is drinkable and a little bit quenching but this is compromised by the taste.

An IPA? Humm…

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Photo of Sammy
3.13/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A lighter bodied IPA with above average carbonation to make up for it. But still drinkable and passable for the style. There is bitterness there and some malt, but also on the watery side. Bit of acidity there. Fine at the end of a summer day.Moderate aroma of hops.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

McEwan's IPA is, not surprisingly, simply a more-bitter-than-usual Scottish ale. It's not really an IPA; but then again, many of the IPAs from Britain fail on that point as well. Instead, IPA is used here to declare it as a premium beer. In Britian it's labeled "McEwan's Export India Pale Ale"; and was once the best-selling canned beer in England.
It pours a clear dark-chestnut body beneath a short head of creamy antique-white foam. The head retention is average, and it leaves only minor lacing about the pint.
The nose is malty with a bit of a caramelized edge and some very subtle roastiness or smokiness. Nice!
In the mouth it's medium-light bodied with a bit of a dextrinous edge; and then remarkably smooth with a mild, restrained carbonation that's reminiscent of cask-ale.
The flavor is full with a decidedly malty slant that displays some roasted malt in the background, and perhaps even a touch of smoky peat (or is that just the roastiness deceiving a mind that wants to beleive there's something more there?). It's bitter, but not overdone at around 28 BU's - keep in mind, this beer only starts at around 10.5 degrees Plato!
It finishes with short lingering notes of burnt-sugar, dull caramel, and leafy hops as the bitterness fades.
It's an interesting beer with a distinctively Scottish character that makes a great switch-up from your regular pint, and easily serves in all-aspects as a brilliant session ale. Very well done! An excellent Scottish ale!

 1,481 characters

Photo of ElGordo
2.41/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours very dark for an IPA, a dark copper hue with a small, creamy white head. Not bad-looking, just out of character. Earthy, roasty aroma of malt, without any sign of hops and a faint sourness. This, however, doesn't prepare for the taste. Completely lacking in the typical sharp hoppiness of an IPA, this resembles more of a red ale. Mellow malt flavor is tempered by a light fruity character from the hops. Mouthfeel is agreeable, nice and creamy. While this is absolutely not what I expect in an IPA, it's an OK beer.

 522 characters

Photo of cliff1066
2.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of beerluvr
3.46/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a dirty white head quickly settling overclear and very deep amber liquid. Nose is lightly sweet, toasty and nutty...unlike any IPA I've ever smelled before. The taste is very un-IPA like as well, starts a bit sweet and earthy, the hops should be the big player here but there's nary a hop to be found in this strange brew. But there is something here that makes it not unbearable to quaff, some sweet malt, some light treacle and smooth carbonation saves this from being too weird to drink. Just think of it as a nice light ale, not an IPA...'cause it ain't!

 569 characters

Photo of Jon
3.55/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

McEwan's shouldn't really be labeled an IPA, but more of an English mild. It pours a pretty deep amber with a short-lived head that at least looks good when it's there. The smell is rather biscuity, with almost no hop profile present. The taste features more of that biscuity profile with some caramel malt making itself known, as well. This a pretty smooth drinker, and would make a decent session beer. It's not really worth overanalyzing, but it's a keeper in its own regard.

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McEwan's India Pale Ale from The Caledonian Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.92 out of 5 with 176 ratings