Mac Queen's Nessie | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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Mac Queen's NessieMac Queen's Nessie
158 Ratings
Mac Queen's NessieMac Queen's Nessie

Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Note: New recipe from 2008, gravity went down from 16° to 12°, alcohol from 7.3% to 5%

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-03-2002

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Ratings: 158 |  Reviews: 113
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.51/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pale tangerine with scads of fine bubbles swarming up to a tight-bubbled, crazily pitting alabaster head that is beginning to leave sheets of BB-shot lace. It's still unclear to me if Nessie is a Scotch ale or simply a red ale that uses Scottish Highland malt. It couldn't look less like either one. If one ignores style completely (or imagines it as an APA) the beer looks better than decent.

I've now mentioned three completely different styles in this review and the beer smells like none of them. No surprise there since the other two Brewery Castle Eggenberg beers that I've had (Urbock Dunkel Eisbock, Urbock 23) smelled and tasted nothing like their stated styles either. The nose is weaker than weak and gives up nothing other than a whiff of toasted barley.

It's a bit better on the palate, but only marginally so. For a beer that's supposed to be the 'whisky of beers' due to the use of the same barley used in Scotland's finest, it isn't all that malty. Since the ingredients weren't added with a very heavy hand, alcohol is a more prominent part of the flavor profile than it should be. In that sense at least, Nessie tastes like watered down whisky (although more like a cheap blended Scotch than a high-quality single malt).

I don't know who assigns the styles on the beer from BCE, but I'm amazed at the disconnect between what is expected and what is actually tasted. The deeper I go into the bottle, the more Nessie is reminding me of a run-of-the-mill Euro strong lager. Little sweetness, little bitterness, just a firm, slightly fruity ethanol punch. I've changed my mind, the flavor isn't any better than the smell, it's just stronger.

It's hard to know how to judge the body/mouthfeel with no reliable style in my sights. In a strictly general sense, it's medium, firm and dessicatingly clean. I haven't really noticed the carbonation so I guess that means that it's somewhere within the vast range of acceptable.

Nessie (a great name for a *real* Scotch ale, by the way) is yet another strange beer from Brewery Castle Eggenberg. I didn't expect it to rival Belhaven Wee Heavy, but I also didn't expect the soulless beast that I've been struggling to finish as this review winds down. The 'real' Nessie deserves to have her name associated with a much better beer than this.

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Photo of cbl2
2.78/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

$3.08 11.2 oz 7.30% No best by date.


Pours a crystal clear light brown with a quarter inch of tight white head.


Mildly malt sweetness is the only predominant odor, with no hop presence at all.


Odd sweet adjunct flavor with a somewhat coarse mouthfeel. Alcohol is masked, though the other flavors that are present are rather unpleasant/lackluster. Blah, and unsettling. Not worth the cost of admission. I can find much better beers for much less. Pass on this one.

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Photo of clvand0
3.67/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark yellow color with a small head that falls fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of fruity character and some alcohol along with a light maltiness. Interesting. The flavor is pretty sweet with lots of caramel. There is also a fruitiness and a slight bite from the alcohol, just to let you know that it's there. Fairly malty, but it needs something more to be a Scotch Ale. It could use a lot more body and a little more complexity.

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Photo of joedon
3.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not even slightly "red" in color despite the label description as the "original red ale". Just gold-amber with a pretty thin white head.

Aroma of yeast and malt with just a trace of noble hops.

Tastes closer to Pilsner Urquell than a wee heavy. Body very thin for any sort of Scotch ale.

Just a pleasant, albeit high alcohol, beer. Certainly not worth the $3.59 for the 300ml bottle.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
2.55/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

An odd, almost misdirected beer. Pours out to a strong golden yellow color with a touch of red. Medium whie foamy head was well preserved, and hung around till the bottom of the beer. Aromas of pears, yeast, earth, eggs, some spice. Taste was a let-down... bland sweet malts and grain, a touch of hop bite, and a unappealing copper like flavor. If I wanted a penny in my mouth, i'd put a penny in my mouth. Mouthfeel was fair, but the carbonation only enhanced the unpleasantness of this beer. I won't be back for another.

THE BLOODHOUND FACTOR: The hounds like this one. Good. Let them have it, 'cause I sure as hell can't finish it.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.04/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear light honey gold color. No capping of any kind really, just a thin collar around the edge. Hmmm...I sense malts as suspect to the inadequate foam, actually I can smell em. Label states this as a "Red Ale", and is suppose to be a wee heavy styled brew, so the color appearance is a bit of a mystery as to why its not reminiscent of what either of those would be.

Aroma is quite big at first, sweet and uninhibited with a watermelon jolly rancher-like waft with hints to cherry pie filling, pear, and bread dough. It does however fade to a lighter aroma as it sits to just some bread dough with light hints to some fruity alcoholic esters.

Taste is malty and smooth with very well adjusted character. Nothing quite stands out on its own here. Subtlity is the name of the game here. Doughy sweetness to start, toffee/caramel dry out into some rough tinges thereafter and into the finish. Tiny bits of cherry and pear hover along the back sides. Finishes slow and a bit empty as some doughyness returns as it gains a bold chewyness with fruity hints on a late trail of soothing warming traits.

Feel is smooth and silky with malts. Favors a medium body and low carbonation, making for a soothing ride of subtle malt chewyness thats rounded just enough to give it enough gumption in girth the entire time.

Damn drinkable too. A very easy going Red/ Scotch/Wee Heavy/ Bock beer/Ale? Whatever it is or isn't style wise, I liked it and that's all that matters when it comes down it. If I could find it cheaper it may find a regular rotating spot within my fridge.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance- The head left a lot to be desired. The color was a more cognac like amber, copper color. Rather unexpected for a scotch ale/wee heavy.

Smell- Smelled very adjuncty than what I expected. Some hops bitterness to give the aroma a decent kick with some sugary amlt essence.

Taste- Could taste some adjunct akin to a Miller slash Bud creation. But the warming alcohol flavor was only a hint with some hopppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- A light ale that came off more as a lager with the carbonation and to amber color. But was definetly refreshing.

Drinkability- If I wanted to have 5 bottles of beer and be close to lit, this beer would be the one for me.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.48/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is really not at all what I was expecting for a scotch ale. Looks very clean and clear. Pours to a golden yellow with no apparent carbonation and little head.

The smell has a bit of an apple cider quality to it, along with a bit of sweet malt. The taste is quite similar. Sweet and very apple-ish. Where's all the caramel roastiness and smoke, peat, and other nutty, earthy flavors? This is basically a good strong cider, but as a scotch ale it is a bit laughable.

That being said, it isn't too terrible or offensive, but it is so far from what I was expecting that I can't help but be very disappointed in it.

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Photo of karst
3.82/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear gold with a white "soapy" head little lace on the side of the 0.4 L rastal sniffer. Aroma of caramel and Munich malts with Hallertauer hops. Although I could be wrong I could pass this off as a helles

Flavors of caramel and toasty Munich malts. Mildly hopped with sweetness overcomming the IBUs. Medium body and slick dextrinous mouthfeel. If you like Munich malt favors and sweeter finish this is your beer.

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Photo of cokes
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blotched, dull, shadowy brass, with a rimming of large, clinging enamel bubbles.
Helles bock nose of candied pears, golden raisins, toffee, and alcohol vapors.
It presents, again, as bock-like in the mouth, ripe with those same pears, raisins, and, now, red apples. Dripping honey and caramel and toffee and butterscotch as well. A minor cinnamon spicing preludes a diesel booze belch, and a vague reedy bitterness.
The texture is heavy and with a viscous slickness, though it thins partially over time.
It's bears all the traits of a down-shifted EKU 28.
There are elements to cherish here for malt-heads, but altogether, it seems too much like a Maibock fortified with a shot of Scotch.

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Photo of Globetrotter
2.88/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This 33cl brown bottle appeared recently on a Moscow supermarket shelf. Pale orange label with gold lettering and a coat of arms that includes a snake head coming out of the water. They make a big deal about using "whiskey malt" here. The significance is lost on me. Ingredients conform to the purity law. Best before July 2006, I opened it on 5/22/05.

Pours a pretty non-descript clear gold under a thin and pretty short-lived white head. No lace, no collar, no evidence of a head after just a minute or two. The nose is mild, with a touch of malt, but this doesn't strike me as any different than any other beer malt. The mouth is pretty light and a bit on the prickly side. Initial taste impression is sweet, more sugary than fruity. There is a slight whiskey-type edge here, and a slight hoppy bitterness comes out towards the finish. OK, I can note the fermented grain impression here. Still, not a great beer in my book.

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Photo of WesWes
3.17/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a golden color with a one finger white head that quickly fades to lacing. This says it's a red ale, but I'm seeing no signs of red coloration. The aroma is decent. It has a powerful pale malt scent that is warm and dry. It has a honey-like aroma that is slightly sweet, but crisp and dry. The taste is decent. It has a bland and boring pale malt flavor that is strong, but lacking real character. There is also a distinct lack of hops in the taste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an average wee heavy. It lacks complexity and drinkability. This is a forgetable brew.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Red ale? Red ale? Dark gold ale is about the best description. Very small head, just a few random bubbles on top of the beer. Smell is surprisingly alcohol heavy, slightly sweet with carmel and corn. Taste has a good alcoholic punch, and not a lot more. Slight berry flavors, and moderate maltiness round out this beer. I should have gotten the Eggenberg Eisbock's instead of this, but I had vicions of 7.3% Red Ale dancing in my head.

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Photo of shippos
4.33/5  rDev +32%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

first off this is not a red and doesn't even seem like a scotch/wee heavy to me, this is just based on what came out of the bottle regardless of style.

poured with a tightly packed white head on top a clear golden color. soft sugary malt aroma wth some hints of a peated smokey character and a little bit of alcohol in there as well. heafty mouthfeel with a thick chewy consistency , rich but not over poweringly caramel rich or cloying/sweet. very creamy and sugary and very easy to drink. nicely balanced flavors for whatever style it is.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a two fingered white head that leaves a good lace. Light-medium carbonation. Light clear amber. Nose is musty hay. On the sweet side but just barely. Starts smooth with some malt finishes with a slight metallic aftertaste. Nothing like a red. $3.04 for a 330ml bottle from Oliver's Beverage Albany, NY.

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Photo of merlin48
3.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Austrian, Nessie pours a clear, light gold, with a smallish, offwhite head that leaves no lace. Aroma is on the sweet malty side, with lots of caramel and a hint of noble, floral hops. Mouthfeel is average, with a light body and medium carbonation. The taste is very nice, though a bit on the sweet malty side of the scale. Munich malt seems to be present, and there is a definite breadiness. Floral hops add a bitterness that compliments the malts quite well. Castle Eggenberg is an excellent brewery, but this effort, though acceptable and tasty, seems out of place. This is not a Red Ale, in any sense of the word, or style. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this and can't wait to find another. The alcohol is well concealed, but has a pleasant, warming sensation after the finish. Perhaps, they should rename this one.

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Photo of rkhaze
3.72/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This "red ale" pours out a light gold color with a medium sized, big bubbled head.
Aromas of malt, light caramel and fruit.
Flavor is much better trhan the smell, although quite cloying. Big sweet grainy malt taste. Some rich caramel, fruit and a bare hint of hop bitterness.
Light to medium bodied with a rich full mouthfeel and tingly carbonation.
The sweetness hurt the drinkability.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours to a brilliant clear golden color with a white head. I have never seen a golden “red ale” before, but maybe they are color blind. The aroma is semi-sweet and malty. It has a bit of breadiness and a fruity, spicy hop aroma. The flavor is malty, spicy and alcoholic. It is full-bodied due to its strength with a semi-drying finish. Not what I was expecting from this brewery. I am disappointed in this one.

Sampled 4/13/04

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Photo of elmocoso
3.65/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red? Medium gold - nice 2 finger head that quickly recedes, leaving a curious webbing effect on the glass. the smell is kind of malty - butterscotch. kind of sweet in the nose, cloying? Smooth, malty draws. Full mouth and almost too sweet. Sweeet aftertaste. Pretty drinkable, but rich.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.72/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The label calls this beer an "Original Red Ale." So you'll understand my surprise when I poured out a perfectly clear golden pilsner. I mean red. I mean Scotch. What the hell is it?? Doesn't matter I guess, cuz it tastes pretty good. The aroma was big on dough and also had some nice cinnamon bread tones. A little earthy as well. The flavor is smooth and clean. Doughy flavors rise to the top. Nice little earthy hop tones. Dry finish leaves me longing for more. Yeasty properties are minimal, but distinguishable. This doens't taste or look like a Scotch ale, but the beer tastes pretty good and goes down the chute with no problem.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, golden color, not the red as advertised, with a full, fresh, white head.
Aroma, clean, malty, rich, sweet, caramel-y...very interesting that an Austrian brewery tries for an Irish style, yet names it after Scotland and it's legends...
Taste: crisp and clean, malty, sweet, and rather one-dimensional, lacking in complexity, though high alcohol gives it an exra benefit, the appearance of an extra-character, but the liquor that accompanies this flavor is a shallow friend.
Rich and malty...a very nice little beer, but nothing too special...that is , until I take the remainder of this bottle of Nessie and add it to a 2003 SN Bigfoot barleywine, for a combo I call "the Monster Mash", and you know what? It's..the..BEST...BEER..EVER!
Try one for yourself, seriously!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
1.77/5  rDev -46%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Presentation: 11.2 fluid ounce, usual Eggenberg bottle with the embossed logo on the shoulder of the bottle. This one has a creamy-pink label. Listed as 7.3% alc/vol. and labeled as ‘Mac Queen’s Nessie Original Red Ale’. States that this is made with whisky malts.

OK, that’s the good bit out of the way.

Appearance: Clear darkish golden body that poured with a very audible fizz as the head immediately formed and appeared, and then subsequently immediately disappeared. Finished with no head at all. It looks awful I have to say, flatter than the Netherlands and about as appetizing as a Big Mac to a Vegetarian.

Nose: Smells sweet with a light sickly feel, reminiscent of a very, very cheap Lager. I didn’t get any of the Whisky Malts at all.

Taste: Sickly and Sweet. Barely drinkable when chilled but almost poured away when it warmed up. A depressing mix of sweet malts and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Can’t seem to get rid of the taste of this one.

Drinkability: Urrgh.

Overall: Not impressed. Looks awful, smells sickly, tastes sweet, feels flat and drinks like a cheap high strength English-brewed chemical laden Germanic sounding 24-pack super economy lager.

#1: So it’s called ‘Mac Queens Original Red Ale’ – and it's bloody golden blonde in color. WTF? Am I missing something here? How can a Red Ale be blonde?

#2: It’s crap - this soooo reminded me of Kestrel Super Strength Lager that I drank back in England down the woods with the rest of my 14 year old friends when I was too young and poor to know better.

#3: Oh I get it - the Brewers Color Blind right !?!?!

Nessie Original Red Ale; My Arse!! More like a Jessie Red Ale!

Do Eggenberg really brew this stuff? Extremely Disappointing.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.33/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours crystal clear pale straw colored. The head is ghost white and falls back quickly.

The aroma is fruits, mainly apples. Behind the fruitiness is a very sweet, sugary aroma.

The flavor is malty and sweet with a crispness to the flavor. The beer does have some bitterness behind the sweetness.

The finish is slightly sweet drying out into an apple flavor. There is also a bitterness component in the aftertaste as well as some alcohol. The body is medium.

11.2 ounce bottle. The bottle says Original Red Ale, best I can see there is nothing red at all about this beer.

I have no idea who dubbed this a Wee Heavy, but it is more like a cross between a maibock and an old ale.

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Photo of Suds
3.15/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal-clear, golden color with a soda-pop fizz. Almost no head immediately after the pour. The aroma is a mix of candy-sugar sweetness, subtle maltiness, and a hint of whiskey. Foretaste is serious sweetness, in a distractingly sugary manner. Malt flavors and alcohol round out the sweetness by the mid-taste, followed by slight hopiness. It's not exactly what I think of when I imagine Scottish-style ales. The bottom line is that this is moderately enjoyable, somewhat interesting, and otherwise middle-of-the-road.

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Photo of RoyalT
2.97/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Amazingly clear yellow in the body with an active, white head.

Smell – Light Scottish whisky aroma that is otherwise balanced with subtle hops and a hint of citrus hops. Not like anything I’ve smelled before.

Taste – The sweets pick up the pace big time at the tongue. They are predominantly man-made, like sucrose. Definitely simple carbs here. I should comment on the malt base and short but complimenting hops, but it’s the sugar that commands attention. The cheap carbonation (see below) and sucrose orientation makes this one tastes almost like one of those fizzy candies you hand out at Halloween.

Mouthfeel – The fizzy Neutron Bomb kind of carbonation left me wanting. I don’t even understand why it was there in the first place, but it spoiled the experience IMO.

Drinkability – Overall, this was an interesting ale but with one too many faults for me to give it the thumbs up.

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Mac Queen's Nessie from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Beer rating: 3.28 out of 5 with 158 ratings