Armchair Scotch Ale
MacLean's Ales Brewing

Armchair Scotch AleArmchair Scotch Ale
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #226
Ranked #28,351
3.79 | pDev: 8.71%
MacLean's Ales Brewing
Ontario, Canada
Very Good
Armchair Scotch AleArmchair Scotch Ale
Notes: Stoke the fire and settle into a comfy armchair to savour the rich and distinct malty flavours of this full-body ale.

25 IBU
View: Beers
Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 21 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by BigGruntyThirst:
Photo of BigGruntyThirst
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

More User Reviews:
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark cherry amber with a small but long lasting patchy head. Malts and stewed fruits in the nose. Malts in all forms fill the first sip - fruity, peaty, roasty, butterscotch, grainy. Light bitterness and a shadow of hop aroma. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a light carbonation. Rum cake, berries, toffee and a bit of booze in the finish.

A nice Scotch Ale but not as full bodied as I'd like. Still worth a try.

 429 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle procured at the local LCBO; best before Mar 24 2016 and served slightly chilled. This is the first time I've seen anything from this brewery being sold in Sarnia, but hopefully its appearance represents a harbinger of beers to come.

Pours a lovely ruby-copper colour; clear in complexion and capped off with a full inch of frothy, light beige-tinged head that shows good retention. It eventually settles into a thin, creamy-looking cap flanked by a foamy collar and a continuous curtain of lacing - there's no denying that this is a pretty attractive-looking ale. Interesting aroma too; I'm getting some significant toffee, treacle, raisin and date fruit sweetness, as well as toasted biscuits, roasted nuts, earthy dead leaves, leather and a hint of woodsmoke. The alcohol barely becomes perceptible as the glass warms. Off to a strong start so far.

Quite rich-flavoured, with an array of malty flavours proving to be the most dominant features of the profile. Elements of toffee, brown sugar and molasses are all abundantly present, mingling beautifully with subtler hints of fig and date fruitiness. A tad on the nutty side, with notes of leafy, earthy hops and faint smokiness tying things up at the finish. The ethanol warmth comes through in the aftertaste, but not in an overbearing manner - rather, it blends nicely with the lingering flavours of toasted malt, leather and caramelized sugar sweetness. On the fuller side of medium-bodied, with extremely light carbonation levels that result in a smooth, soft feel on the palate.

Final Grade: 3.92, a solid B+. Probably the most impressive MacLean's products I've tried to date, their Armchair Scotch Ale is an unassuming British-style strong ale that is sure to warm the cockles of your heart on a cold autumn/winter night. It is unapologetic in its application of richly saccharine malt flavours - it's a beer that has nothing to hide, and doesn't bother trying, which is a good way to approach this style. Not perfect, but very easy to like, and something that I would both recommend and return to again. Good stuff.

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Photo of Electros
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheHammer
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured with a thumb of head that actually stay around for a good period of time but didn't lace much. The beer is a translucent brown that turns more copper when held up to the light that boast ample albiet thin carbonation.

Smell: Ample toffee malt with touches dates, molasses, shortbread biscuits and a barest note of charred smokey oak. Good potency that doesn't need warming to come out.

Taste: Ample toffee malt with sweet molasses that is properly restrained by a proper touch of chestnuts, booziness and smoke which builds and takes over with a bitter kick of leafy and earthy hops.

Mouthfeel: Transistioning is very good, the carbonation seems to pan out near the end of the beer somewhat lightening the bitter end, but I'm ok with that. Aftertaste is a mild malt with that smokey hint so quite good. Only complaint is it has a slight buttery texture to it that throws me a bit off, but it's a minor complaint.

Drinkability: On the heavier end of medium bodied where a Scotch ale should be, although it seems a bit deceptive about that fact as I expected it to be a bit lighter. Really do lament that buttery note and lack of carbonation over time, but refreshing and certain a great offering.

Final Thoughts: I didn't realize I had this in the back of my fridge when I reviewed this, and I suppose I am doing a bit of a disservice by reviewing this in the summer. Really, this is a Fall and Winter drinker and a damn good one at that. Looking forward at stopping in at Hanover when I go up to Owen Sound this year in October.

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Photo of RedAleMan
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Molson2000
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of hotsudge
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of polloenfuego
3.34/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of KJ2013
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bf_89
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500 ml bottle served reasonably cold and into a pint glass. Purchased for about $4.50 CDN. Best before March 24, 2016.

Appearance -dark copper. Looted beer with ruby highlights. Clear as glass and pours a nice near finger of thin white head. Modest retention and some lacing left around the glass.

Smell - inviting with butterscotch and toffee taking the lead, elements of vanilla and crackers goodness in behind and a slight wood smoked aroma.

Taste - very much like the aroma, butterscotch and toffee are the stars again. A slight earthiness lends itself nicely in this brew, with a touch of wood smoke as well. Flavor is good but not as bold as I'd expect. For those like like a strong but not overwhelming flavor, Maclean armchair scotch ale should do the trick.

Mouthfeel - smooth with a near buttery texture. Not syrupy, but carbonation is low.

Overall - certainly a well crafted and enjoyable Scottish ale, toffee and butterscotch dominate with vanilla and wood flavours playing the supporting cast. Give it a try, it might just surprise you.

 1,055 characters

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

500ml bottle into snifter. "03/24 2016". consumed nov 12 2015

a: transparent deep copper, almost ruby, with dark tan head

s: sweet and malty as expected. strong caramel/brown sugar/toffee, butterscotch. something vaguely smoky in here too

t: follows the nose. just a constant wave of malt flavours all the way through -- big brown sugar, caramel, toffee, butterscotch flavours. the finish has the smoky character which is a bit more pronounced, and it comes off as woody in taste. medium, almost medium-plus bitterness

m: medium-ish body, a bit on the light side, with low carbonation. definitely not watery though

o: a really tasty and enjoyable scottish ale, my first of the style (excluding a few wee heavy beers i've had). hops are the craze these days but i'm also a sucker for big malt flavours

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Photo of byronic
3.09/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Jotora
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Wajohnst
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of CantankerousCaveBear
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Fionas
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I look for this beer every fall, when it is released. Distribution starts in November and by February it's sold out. This micro brewer has limited capacity and a few other beers to brew year round. But this is the beer I love. High alcohol and very malty Scotch Ale that really satisfies when the temperatures drop.

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Photo of Colborne
4.54/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of achepil
3.21/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of boszormeny
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Armchair Scotch Ale from MacLean's Ales Brewing
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 21 ratings