Davey Murray's Best Scotch Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Davey Murray's Best Scotch AleDavey Murray's Best Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ambruns1979 on 03-01-2017

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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 146
Photo of avalon07
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brownish color with ruby tints and a hazy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Pretty good lacing.

S: A decent aroma of malt, caramel, booze, and hops as well.

T: Tasted of a fair amount of caramel (not as much as in other scotch ales), some malt, a surprising shot of hops, lots of booze, and light citrus notes. This is a slightly uneven flavor in some respects. The fruit and hops give it a unique dimension, but the booze content is pretty bracing. Still, fairly tasty.

F: An average amount of carbonation with a lively, if overly boozy, finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, this is a solid beer with some flaws. Worth a try, though.

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Photo of Conradist
2/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I agree with the other negative reviews here. If people tried this in a blind taste test they'd peg it as a (very ordinary) DIPA. It's just waaaaaaaay too hop forward for the style. Stupidly, confusingly hop forward. Maybe it's labelled a Scotch ale as a joke, because I cannot fathom how anyone could taste this and think it remotely fits that style. As a Scotch ale it isn't. As a DIPA it is mediocre and a tad too malt forward. Not everything needs massive amounts of piney, floral hops, Lagunitas.

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Photo of andrewh995
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber with an off white head. Smell isn't too strong but I can get some hops and sweetness. Tastes slightly bitter and sweet with caramel, malt, and peat. Creamy full mouth feel. Great beer, very different than the style it's going for but that's not a bad thing.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $2.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep garnet-hued body with an inch of loose, ivory-toned froth. A few small blobs of lacing on the way down.

Smell: Darkened toast and coarsely chopped nuts with some grain, just a bit of dry caramel and a cool waft of smoke. Subtler hop aspects of florals and citrus which, when adhering to the up-nosed alcohol, give it a hint of a citrus liqeuer.

Taste: Deeply toasted with almost an edge of roast about it. Lightly smokey, peaty accent, touches of caramel (though not particularly sweet, really) and somewhat nutty throughout. Lightly floral, lightly citrusy (and a mite bit oily) hops await underneath that maltiness and yield a bit of bitterness. Near dry, smooth finish with some belly warming alcohol tones.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-soft carbonation.

Overall: It's fine. Not your typical Lagunitas beer, though it's also not your typical Scotch Ale.

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Photo of Billolick
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle...I cant find any freshness/bottling date info

Pours clear darker brown, under a lasting khaki cap that leaves low sheeting and scattered bits of lacing.

Maple malty nose.

Thick and viscious on the tongue.

Tasty, smooth and sturdy Scotch ale...loaded with more maple infused malts. Nice beer with a rich dessert or as a might capper.

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Photo of cbutova
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Big Naws for sharing.

A- Pours to a goblet with a deep red-brown body and an off-white, pale tan cap. That head is a foamy and creamy consistency and peaks at about a finger high sticking around briefly. Webs of lace immediately with sparse trails beneath.

S- Hops right off the bat; not what I expected when I took this out of the fridge. Floral, earthy, woody and slight citrus notes from the hops atop a malty base of brown sugar, toast, nuts, caramel and bread. The citrus and toffee aspects work well together here.

T- Talk about an almost 180 degree turn around. The flavor profile retains most of what is above but is rather smoky with a wood fire opening up the brew, not quite like peat but more standard wood smoke. It is strange when the beer is on the palate you get the brighter citrus, earthy, woody and floral/herbal hops but once it is gone the smoke takes over immediately with the rest of the malt notes of brown sugar sweets, caramel, toffee, biscuit, heavily toasted almost burnt nuts and breadiness.

MF- Very decadent creamy and foamy texture makes this one a joy on the palate. Silky smooth with a heavy body, some oily slickness, medium carbonation and a bit of warming.

The aroma works better than the flavor. Somehow the smoke is contained more in the aroma but in the flavor it kind of clashes with the hops with an aftertaste of campfire plus citrus. The aroma is more like a citrus toffee marriage. Dave Murray has an interesting take on this style.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Can't wait to try this beer been loving every single of these "one hitter" brews!
A - Looks excellent a full half inch of opaque colored foam settles on a deep brown ruby colored beer. Takes a while to clear.
S - Classic Lagunitas citrus and floral hops meets some peat and smoke flavors of the style.
T - Hops and malts mend pretty good to me it drinks like a lighter version of Brown Shugga with some caramel malts and fruity smokeyness.
M - Quite smooth yet medium to heavy in body. For me it was a sipper.

Overall not a malt bomb as expected but still a very balanced ale. May be worth getting again especially since these beers are usually dirt cheap.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz into a tulip.

Look is a dark reddish amber with an off white head.

Aroma is like a malty scotch rich and decedent.

Taste is dry and fruity with a smokiness.

Very good beer, but the aroma is definitely the best part.

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Photo of Tohibii
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This isn't really true to the style, being more like "Lagunitas does...SCOTCH ALE!"

It's got a signature Lagunitas floral-citrus hops flavor and a thinner, delicate body compared to other versions I've tried; it's also notably lacking the smokey malt character which really makes it its own thing. It's a nice flavor with a good bit going on, but no single aspect is particularly powerful other than maybe sweetness.

All that said, it's not a bad tasting beer by any means and in particular it's doing an amazing job of hiding the 9.5% alcohol. In a blind taste test I would never guess how powerful this is and it could be a good introduction to something kinda like a Wee Heavy for hop-heads, though with a surprisingly light body. For Malt lovers or sticklers for purer examples of the style, not so much to offer here.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a wee heavy glass.

Big nice off white creamy to khaki colored head, makes a good easy three fingers on an aggressive pour. Good retention with a little bit of lace, settles easily to just under two fingers. Gorgeous body color, deep ruby and chestnut brown red, fairly clear too, just very dark.

Faint accents of sticky malt, a bit of toffee quality, but a very noticeable hop quality though. Hints earthy, and maybe a touch of citrus in there as well. Quite pleasuable, and a slight hint of berry like fruit. Pretty solid.

This is a very different scotch ale. Takes some big chances and definitely twists the style on its head. Light crisp toffee but a very big fruity hop mix that comes out like jellied candy. Hints of lemon, orange, grapefruit like warmth with a light malt toffee sweetness in the mid palate. Hop centric, but turning out in a very different way, with a good complimentary angle. Juiced finish almost like gum drops tasting.

Now this is what a real well crafted take chances beer should turn out like. Nice flip on the style that really takes it to a whole new direction.

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Photo of mchegash
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: A deep crimson, slightly clear. A good quantity of light tan head.

S: Resinous, piney and dank hops, with the dankness being the most prominent aroma. Whether such dankness is good or bad is a matter of personal preference, I guess. It certainly doesn't fit the style.

T: Taste is very dank, as would be expected from the aroma. The resin and pin aspects apparent as well. The hops almost overpower everything, but there is a detectable malt presence as well. Taste is not bad, but this beer totally violates the style of Scotch Ales, perhaps warranting lower points for those who care about such things.

F: Fairly full bodied. Carbonation is average. Fairly smooth.

O: A decent beer, worthy of the Lagunitas name.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at BC's Pizza & Beer

A: Pours deep ruby brown with a frothy khaki head that settles to a light layer and leaves a little nice lacing.

S: Typical Lagunitas, fruity tropical and citrus hits that give way to the malty heart of the beer with caramel, toffee, toasted bread, and a little spice.

T: Nice balance of hop flavor and malt backbone. Toasty bready malt, caramel, toffee, faint smoke, hints of chocolate, countered with spicy pine, fruity tropical notes, peach, passion fruit, mango, berries, and plum, citrus, orange and grapefruit, floral notes, and just just a touch of alcohol that comes out as it warms.

M: On the fuller side of medium body, moderate carbonation, a little creamy with just a touch of alcohol as it warms.

O: Unmistakably a Lagunitas beer, hopped to holy heaven. Is it a by the book Scotch ale? Most certainly not. Is it still tasty? Absolutely.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours a dark mahogany color with a half inch of head. Good amount of lacing. The aroma is surprisingly hoppy. Orange, berries and some floral hops. Not much of a smell of the malts, earth, smoke etc I expected from the style. The taste is more of the hoppy flavor. Almost like a hoppy barleywine. More caramel malt flavor this time around with some earth and bread. An odd combo of flavors that I'm not sure what to think of. Lightly carbonated. Fair amount of alcohol heat. Its odd for a Scotch Ale but I don't think it's a bad beer. Maybe it's just a case of semi false advertising in a way, since I expected something else. I'm glad I tried it but I don't think I need to have it again. Maybe the hops will mellow over time with age and bring out some of the other flavors that are stuck in the background.

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Photo of ajm5108
2.5/5  rDev -33%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Pours a classic amber, great carbonation & head. Aroma has lots of dry hops & lager yeast...doesn't exactly evoke a scotch ale beyond a little smokey oak. The nose indicates the amount of hops in the beer, and it really doesn't work with this style. The base itself isn't impressive - you get a little caramel malt & smoked wood, which I guess was an attempt at a peat flavor - and coupled with unnecessary hops it really is a misfire. Finishes pretty bitter with more soft smoke. Really misses those warm caramel / toffee notes of a good scotchbale.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(12 oz bottle, poured into a Chouffe tulip)

L: clear, black-cherry red color... medium-tall, moderately compact, off-white foam, with a slow fade... looks pretty, some thick bands of lace down the glass - which doesn't look right for this, but it's still nice to see

S: predominantly hoppy (unforgivable blasphemy)... orange creme, raspberry aromas, fruity-candy underbelly... perhaps a tiny hint of ashy roast in the background... lovely smell, but not at all reminiscent of its supposed style - the malt is nearly entirely choked out

T: again, just too damn aggressively hoppy for the style - Froot-Loop-like white noise blasting across the palate, with a spicy flare in the finish... no sweet nectary malt in the aftertaste, just sweetish citrus peels and potpourri... later some dark caramel builds and lingers in the aftertaste, but it's clipped rather dry by the marginally tongue-scraping bitterness

F: one can tell the malt body is quite rich and lovely, but the (out-of-place) pungent, punching hop bitterness coupled with the delicately hot-boozy heat renders this coming across like a sunburnt porcupine passed out upon a melt-soggy gummy puck... notch too fluffy-foamy (hop resins?)

O: quite a bold, explosive beer (if not original(ly-hopped)/remarkable/accurate in flavor/balance) - Scotch ale perhaps only in appearance... throw in some coriander, cinnabon, or your beloved nutmeg or vanilla and call this a holiday ale - that's really what it tastes like... I naively hoped they were doing a somewhat on-point example - they do have the capability given the fantastic malt bases of some of their other beers... this reminds of the Kolsch I had at their brewery in CA, needlessly fopped to huck... they may be the only brewery I know that the hop bill for every beer, regardless of history/tradition/style, is 'to the max, dude'

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Photo of jzlyo
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is malts, mild caramel and somewhat out of place West Coast hops. The flavor is malts, slight caramel, fruit and hoppy/slight heat in the finish.

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Photo of craigbelly
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Not unlike most other Scotch ales. Little more hop toward. An almost herbal hop presence. Mild sweetness and medium body. Nutty toasted finish. Not a scotch ale...but what do you call it?

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Photo of kojevergas
3.19/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Brief initial impression from a bottle purchased for $14.99 as part of a six pack at a Whole Paycheck in NYC:

Laggy went big on the ABV with this 9.50% Scotch ale. I'm hoping it's not too boozy going in...

APPEARANCE: Off-white head. Amber body.

AROMA: Surprisingly hoppy, actually. Definitely atypical of the style. Floral, herbaceous, piney. Some toasted malt/amber malt sweetness lurks underneath, but the hops actually dominate.

Reticent aroma.

TASTE: Follows the aroma. The cynic in me wants to advise you it's completely wrong for the intended style. The idealist in me digs the mellow hoppiness in tandem with the high ABV and subtle malt sweetness, but though I like it outside style conventions, the balance isn't dialed in and it lacks focus or direction.

TEXTURE: Coating, medium-bodied, smooth, and unrefreshing. Uneven, with a tug of war between dryness and wetness going unresolved either way.

OVERALL: A scattered beer best regarded outside of style conventions - unless "hoppy copper ale" is a thing? This would be alien to anyone living in 19th century Scotland, with barely much noticeable caramelization to its sugars, but uneven and overhopped as it is for the intended style, it isn't bad when judged on its own merits. Not great work from one of the U.S.A.'s most dependable breweries (nor, surprisingly, affordable work), but I don't dislike it. Definitely not a beer I'd buy over its competitors and it'd probably be one of my last choices when buying a beer from this brewery, but I'll enjoy polishing off the sixer. This is a brew Lagunitas can definitely retire; it's a weak link within their usually strong lineup.


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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a mahogany color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a nice cap that leaves good lacing

S: Lots of malt and a sharp fruitiness up front. Some earthy hops and caramel in there as well

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with some caramel, fruity notes, and earthy hops. Goes into a bit of sharpness with both the fruit and malt. Finishes with a touch of alcohol and fruitiness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A solid scotch ale that drinks easily for the 9.5%. Nothing too stand-offish so it is a little boring, but solid nonetheless

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Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, I put this one off for a couple weeks, but I really should obtain more.

It looks pretty wee heavy, dark reddish brown. It smells of Lagunitas (a nice improvement on the style). The taste is bitter like it should be, but with a hoppy, Lagunitas twang.

This is a stylized take on a Scotch ale. I expected nothing less from these brewers who always put their stamp on a style. Great stuff.

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Photo of SABERG
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into the test glass.
A - Nice ruby. mahogany color, big carbonation and massive froth on top
S - Burnt butter, brown sugar, slightly roasted malts.
T - Follows the nose, monochromatic
M - Light in body, carbonation moves things along, and a sweet linger like root beer barrel candy.
O - I hope they can revisit and improve this offering

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from ABV.

A clear dark mahogany red with a dense, beige head with good retention and lacing, this looks great. The nose is surprisingly underwhelming. There's a mild dark caramel/toffee note with a little bit of butterscotch, a little honey and a moderate hop character and...little else? The hops are earthy, mildly savory, pairing well with the dark caramel. Similarly so on the palate with a mild earthy bitterness with burnt toast, toffee and a little butterscotch. Also surprising is the lack of sweetness, even the savory sweetness of molasses, licorice and rum cake that you encounter in the better Wee Heavies - I've had good IPAs that are sweeter than this. Medium light in body and moderately carbonated, this beer finishes dry with a hint of leather. Decent

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Lagunitas Brewing Co. "Davey Murray's Best Scotch Ale"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, production coded but without freshness dating
$2.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness (as fast as I can type): I can always trust Lagunitas to produce a good beer so I sucked it up and laid out the $3 for this, let's hope it was worth it. Looks good. Very deep mahogany brown body with a ruby cast beneath a frothy head of yellowed off-white. Ahh, the aroma is hoppy. You can always trust Lagunitas to put their own mark on a beer as well. It's resinous, piney, citrusy, and just a touch smoky. The head has dropped, but it maintains a full surface covering of now creamy foam. Excellent lacing. On to the taste... more citrusy and fruity than I thought it would be, but also malty. It's got an almost-burnt-sugar character to it, some dark brown sugar, and soft molasses. Toasty as well. Still, it's very hoppy. I think that overall the hops win out between the two components. They linger in the finish with a bit of an herbal edge, alongside a stiff bitterness, some residual malt, and a touch of smokiness. It's interesting, certainly not what I'd expect from a Scotch ale, but good in it's own right. I think I'm picking up some alcohol in the finish, but it doesn't stand out otherwise. Looking back, the lacing is very nice, solid walls with ridges that mark each sip taken. Medium bodied on the fuller side with a dextrinous edge. Moderate, fine-bubbled carbonation. Nice. Not unlike most other Scotch ales I'd call this one a sipper.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 16 oz snifter bottled on the 55th day of 2017. Pours a very attractive mahogany with a massive two plus finger sticky slightly off white head that leaves plenty of lace behind.

Smell is brown sugar, toffee, caramel, biscuit, a hint of ginger, and peat.

Taste follows brown sugar, toffee, bread, biscuit, caramel, once again a little hint of fresh ginger, and mild peat and no alcohol burn to speak of.

Mouthfeel is bigger than medium, mild carbonation, maybe a touch dry, and drinks very easy for the ABV and style.

Overall another pleasant surprise at an amazing price from Lagunitas. Drinks more like a Barleywine or Strong Ale for me, but who cares very tasty.

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3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was so excited when I saw this on the shelf that I bought two six packs at $13.49 each plus tax .
I totally love most every offering by Lagunitas, but this was very disappointing for sure .
Looked and tasted more like a hoppy brown/IPA combo .
Won't be buying it again :(

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Davey Murray's Best Scotch Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 146 ratings.
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