Davey Murray's Best Scotch Ale
Lagunitas Brewing Company

Davey Murray's Best Scotch AleDavey Murray's Best Scotch Ale
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
3.78 | pDev: 11.11%
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Davey Murray's Best Scotch AleDavey Murray's Best Scotch Ale
Reviews: 80 | Ratings: 224 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by thebeers:
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thebeers from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a ruby brown with an excessive three or more fingers of tan head that are a bit on the soupy side. It slowly dissipates to leave thick lacing.

Dark-roasted, almost caramelized malts stand out first in the nose with a hint of cherry and slight medicinal quality, then some earthy hops behind.

The taste is fairly similar. It's not quite at a peat smoke level, but has more of a roasted character, with definite caramel, a medicinal note and enough lingering hop bitterness to prevent it from being sweet. There's a nice alcohol bite on the back end, too.

It has a thick-bodied, somewhat-creamy and over-carbonated feel.

Aside from the carbonation level, this seems really solid to me. Definitely a sipper. It's more bitter than many examples, but the bitterness doesn't seem out of place. Unlike a lot of overly bitter beers, it seems very complementary here.

May 22, 2017
More User Reviews:
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beer_bottle from Colorado

1.72/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Not sure what to say about this beer. It not a Scotch ale by any definition. Its just another mediocre overly boozy non-descript DIPA using the same old Lagunitas house hop blend. Most home brewers can better this brew, its only good on price and strength, you may aswell buy malt liquor instead.

Mar 20, 2017
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BB1313 from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a dark auburn with ruby highlights an has solid clarity; big chunky light khaki head that slowly falls leaving great thick bubbly retention and very sticky lacing. The aromas are hop forward along with some caramel malts. Tropical fruits are there. Lots of pineapple and caramel. Some peach in the mix. The flavors seem to follow the nose. Lots of hop flavors, but the malts cut down on the hop bitterness. Solid malt backbone. It's bittersweet. More pineapple and peach along with some grapefruit. Lots of caramel along with some hints of toffee. Alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is nice. It's full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's very fluffy and very smooth. Dangerously drinkable.

This is a very nice brew. It's obviously not a traditional example of the style, but did anyone really expect that coming from Lagunitas? If you like what they do with hops then you should enjoy this one. I definitely understand some people not liking this because it doesn't resemble a scotch ale, but it's still highly enjoyable nonetheless. I give it extra credit for being an enjoyable experience.

Mar 19, 2017
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zshaft from Connecticut

3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

ok so im gonna review this a little different than usual. this beer is false advertisement. I thought I was buying a scotch ale but. ...nope. it's listed as one but is only true to the style in look. nose and taste scream hoppy american strong ale and a damn good one at that. but I had to knock it down cause of poor rep for the style. great beer. bad scotch ale.

Mar 11, 2017
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

While the Scots never could grow suitable hops for brewing, nor were particularly happy giving their hard earned money to the Brits for their hops, the brewers at Lagunitas have no such limitations as they take this wee malt heavy style and slather it with juicy northwest lupulin glory. That poor beer style never saw it coming.

Chestnut brown and hazy from generous hopping rates, Davey Murray's Best pours with a frothy ecru crown and concentric lacing. Juicy aromas of citrus, tropic and herb blend with the toasty, almost chocolate, almost coffee scent for brightness and depth. Driven by molasses, the early flavors are chocked full of brown sugar, sorghum and toffee.

As the beer rolls across the middle palate, its sweetness turns toasty and peppery while never relinquishing its malty sweet taste entirely. Stone fruit and fennel decorate the finish while the floral hops trend brazen with pink grapefruit, freshly zested orange, pineapple, mango, chivy and sprucy until its bitterness achieves an even keel balance.

Full bodied but garnering a relaxes sensibility, the beer dries to medium degree, trailing with nutty, toasty and a bite of peppercorn before the resinous character of hops grip the throat with pine sap and an overall fresh grassy taste of hemp.

Mar 20, 2017
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Apr 09, 2017
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justintcoons from Pennsylvania

3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Pilsner glass.

Mahogany. Good clarity. Light carbonation.

Passion fruit, peach, toffee, caramel, and candy sugar.

Peach and passion fruit hoppiness. Pine and grapefruit. Toffee, caramel, and candy sugar maltiness.

Medium-plus bodied, oily, silky, and smooth.

A delicious DIPA but a shitty Scotch Ale. Good beer nonetheless.

Mar 20, 2017
BIGPOPPAS from New Jersey

3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
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 :(

Mar 22, 2017
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Spikester from Oregon

4.31/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear dark brown with three fingers of cream color head that lasts about ten minutes and leaves curtains of fine bubble lace.
Smell is sweet dark malts.
Taste is sweet dark malts with a good amount of hop support.
Mouthfeel is medium which surprised me. I expected a thicker body. Carbonation is proper level. Finish is sweet then lightly bitter.
Not usually a favorite style for me but this one I enjoyed very much. I will pick up some more if I can find it.

May 07, 2017
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TheSixthRing from California

3.22/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours mostly clear and deep auburn brown with a caramel colored, finger width head. Good retention, resulting in a thin, broken layer of suds and a fair ring around the edge of the glass. Decent lacing, with a few small, broken lines and some spotting.

Smell - Smoke hits the nose first, then notes of caramel and a bit of toasted malt. Sitting beneath, though, is that oh so familiar Lagunitas hop aroma. Uh-oh.

Taste - Follows the nose. Smokiness hits upfront and stays present throughout, and you also get a bit of caramel. By mid-taste the hops creep in; that signature Lagunitas sweet, slightly bitter ruby red grapefruit-like flavor profile. It dominates the finish and lingers long into the aftertaste. Long breaks between sips is needed to avoid the hop onslaught. Scotch ale? Best Scotch ale? Yeah, no.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Slick, slightly sticky texture with a somewhat dry finish. Rather easy drinker at 9.5%.

Overall - Nice smokiness and some caramel malt in the front, and then they had to go and muck it up by using their signature hop profile in a beer that ABSOLUTELY does not warrant it. What should be a smokey, mostly malty brew has become a travesty at the hands of Lagunitas, and so my love/hate relationship with them continues. And to think I was excited for this one, haha. One-hitter series? Let's hope so.

Mar 15, 2017
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maz from Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Soooo.... let me preface by saying I think Lagunitas is a great brewery. They consistently make awesome, clean, hoppy strong ales. That's what I love about them!

This particular beer is very tasty. Well worth the price. However, unless it's a pale ale, IPA, barleywine or stout, Lag just doesn't know how to brew to style. This beer's color and ABV are the only things that resemble a Scotch Ale. It's a delicious brew, but it's not a Scotch ale.

Edit: if I were reviewing this as an American Strong Ale, it would be a solid 4.2 or 4.3.

Mar 09, 2017
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lic217 from Connecticut

3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Disappointed that this is not a scotch ale. Tastes like a malty IPA. Get roasted malt flavor and tropical and citrus hops. Definitely some alcohol on the finish. Strange beer.

Mar 10, 2017
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Immortale25 from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Wicked Weed snifter. Bottleneck says 055 7

A- Pours a medium brown color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a large center patch of sheer surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Oh for Gods' sake. Even with a Scotch Ale, Lagunitas takes the liberty of hopping the shit out of it and not even indicating anywhere on the label that it might not be to style. Basically smells like Wilco Tango Foxtrot or Brown Shugga with that dank, piney hop character backed by a healthy dose of sweet malt that brings to mind dark bread.

T- Yep, tastes like WTF and Brown Shugga. Assertive bitterness and resinous hop flavor plus lots of toasty malt presence. A slight sweetness to balance brings a note of caramel. Very easy to drink for the ABV. The only thing that makes this close to a scotch ale is yes, there's a bit of a smoky essence to the malt character but only after taking multiple sips back to back.

M- Slightly creamy with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- This is an instance where I have to deduct points for not being true to style. Tastes great but I'm sorry, this is not a Scotch Ale. This is an American Strong just like a lot of other Lagunitas' hoppy malty offerings. If it were labeled as such, I would give a much higher score.

Apr 29, 2017
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MostlyNorwegian from Illinois

3.64/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

If I'm going to review this to style. It's a lost cause. It's a 9.5.% abv version of Lagunitas house flavors with some smoked malt.
Caramel. Raisin. Earthy smokiness. Plum. Blueberry. Red Grape, and the Lagunitas house aroma kind of flow into the same thing on the palate with some faint puffs of smoke around the edge. Sexy lacing. Nice rich color. Supple abiding head that does not quit all go into this big beer that drinks easily, and finishes nicely, but also completely ignores what boundaries and lines anyone has tried to establish around what a Scotch Ale should drink like.

Mar 15, 2017
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Mongrel from Maryland

3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Looks nice in a glass, like a frothy scotch ale, but that's about where the similarities end.

The nose is fruity Lagunitas hops as soon as it hits the glass. Tropical almost.

That signature Lagunitas fruity hop/yeast combo carries through to the palate, and if blindfolded I would say this is some sort of double IPA. Along the lines of Brown Shugga, Undercover, etc. Maybe a slightly ashy note on the finish, but otherwise nothing that would characterize this beer as a scotch ale. As much as they've talked about peated malt in the marketing for this beer, it's absolutely nowhere to be found.

Again, not a bad beer, but certainly nothing approaching a scotch ale.

Mar 12, 2017
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AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark brown with an enormous billowing head of light brown that lingers. The aroma is malt, vinegar and Lagunita's hops. Taste is not what I expect from a Scotch Ale, and yet it's pleasant. A cross between an IPA and a Scotch Ale? Maybe. Well carbonated for a crisp feel. Overall an enjoyable beer.

Mar 07, 2017
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Mike1958 from Michigan

3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had some great scotch ales, Central Waters out of Akron, and Backwoods Bastard from Founders come to mind, but this is uniquely different and really doesn't represent a scotch ale well, though it does take pretty good.

Mar 09, 2017
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Bierman9 from New Hampshire

3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had a 12oz pour today during Father's Day lunch with my ladies. $7.00 At The Grill Next Door.

A small tulip was filled with a deep, clear chestnut colored brew, with some ruby shining at the edges. Had a short, fine tan head with solid lacing. Aroma wad a tad mild, but I did discern some caramel and toffee. Feel was rather smooth but it was a touch thin

Taste also displayed caramel and toffee, with a touch of light peaty action. Also had hints of brown sugar and brown bread. Finish had a little earthy character to it. Not bad, but for 9.5% AVB I would think it would have more backbone and kick. Prosit!

3.81/5 rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75


Jun 18, 2017
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oberon from North Carolina

3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aug 07, 2017
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Mar 24, 2017
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arizcards from North Carolina

3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead 3-12-17 for $2.79. No bottling date visible but picked this up shortly after it became available.

Beer poured brown with a nice off white head that is leaving lacing.

Nose is citrusy and lightly smoked malts.

Taste is smoked malts, citrus, brown sugar, and baked bread - the citrus is the outlier. Finished is semi sweet.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall not a bad beer nor great beer. Hats off to Lagunitas for having the gumption to release a slightly off beat brew to the mass market.

Jun 05, 2017
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Billolick from New York

4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Apr 21, 2017
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Zorro from California

3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Clear brown colored ale with a medium sized tan colored head.

Smells of malt and smoke with a strong parsnip and carrot scent. Lesser scents of caramel and a whiff of charcoal.

Starts out malty and bitter with a parsnip after taste. Taste of smoke and hops. The flavor reminds me of carrots. Overall a bittersweet ale.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a better Red Ale than a Scottish Ale.

Mar 11, 2017
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ejimhof from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apr 20, 2017
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Apr 22, 2017
Davey Murray's Best Scotch Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 224 ratings