Maxwell's Scottish Ale | Rivertowne Brewing

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Maxwell's Scottish AleMaxwell's Scottish Ale

Brewed by:
Rivertowne Brewing
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Maxwells have made the art of brewing a family tradition for centuries. This Scot comes alive, as five different varieties of malt create a deep, surprisingly smooth finish. Intrigued? Go ahead and lift its kilt!

Added by WoodBrew on 08-02-2012

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 113
Photo of Treyliff
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap

Pours a deep brown color with a creamy off white head, good retention. Smells of toasted bread crust, caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Nice toasted bready malt base gives way to sweet caramel, dark fruit and brown sugar. Medium body with moderate carbonation, foamy mouthfeel and finish. Very well made Scottish ale

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can, no canning date that I could find but I'm pretty sure this was a new arrival at my local beer store so I'm assuming it's a somewhat fresh can. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a clear reddish/amber color with about an inch off-white head that stuck around a little while. There's also a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like nuts, grainy/bready malt, toffee and some eathiness. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some light peaty smokiness and fruitness (apple, pear) noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth with a moderate amount of carbonation. Truthfully, I only bought this because Maxwell is my last name. But this is a nice Scottish Ale, it's certainly worth a try! If you like malty Scottish Style Ales, might as well try this one. $2.79 a can.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear though almost opaque deep reddish brown in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and moderate crimson red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy light tan head that quickly reduces to a mottled thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark + caramel malts with a moderate amount of brown sugar + light fruit (apple + pear) sweetness. Hints of smokiness (like from peat).

T: Upfront there is a moderate to slightly stronger than moderate flavor of dark + caramel malts with a moderate amount of brown sugar, caramel, and light fruit (apple + pear) sweetness. That is followed by light flavors of peat smokiness and a light flavor of earthy + spicy hops which contribute a light amount of bitterness to the finish which fades away pretty quickly.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Definitely a malt bomb but in a good way - enjoyable and easy to drink.

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Photo of chinchill
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can at the Dublin Irish festival.
Medium body with excellent soft mouthful. The head initially looks fine but has weak retention.
Lightly Smokey aroma is dominated by dark roasted grains with a faint trace of hops at most.
The flavor is not as appealing but certainly good.
O: average flavor but very appealing aroma ... In a can.

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Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My first try of this PA. breweries wares.Pours an amber/brown with a thinner light beige head atop.Toasted nuts and buttery aromas mingle with dark.A nice fuller feel with buttery caramel and toast flavors,some dark fruit wich is usually a bigger component for the style comes in the finish.A pretty decent malty offering here.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Rivertowne Maxwell's Scottish Ale
12 oz. can, no apparent freshness dating
$1.83 @ Weis Market, Conshohocken, PA

What makes a Scottish ale a Scottish ale, and not something else? The malt, the caramelish and somewhat toasty malt; and whether acquired through caramelization in the kettle or modern malts, this one's got it in spades.

It's dark mahogany body is capped by a creamy yellowed khaki head that holds well and leaves some very nice Belgian lace behind.

The aroma is, you guessed it, malty with toasty caramel and toffee, as well as a bit of roastiness and a very subtle fruitiness that's reminiscent of apple.

The flavor follows the aroma, delivering lots of caramel and toffee: there's golden caramel, buttery caramel, medium "amber" caramel, and even a bit of dark, almost-burnt-sugar-like caramel which is probably coming from a combination with the roasted barley that gives it just a bit of roastiness, and an almost molasses-like edge. That's not to say that it's overtly malty, because it's not. This is a Scottish ale, not a Scotch ale. The bitterness is restrained because Scottish brewers didn't have the same access to hops as their southern English neighbors, and thus the malt dominated and they grew to love it. Some hops do make their way through, however, delivering some underlying leafy and tea-like tones.

In the mouth it's medium bodied with a dextrinous edge, and creamy smooth with a fine-bubbled, seemingly natural carbonation.

An impressive, really nicely done and remarkably drinkable Scottish ale that satisfies from first to last. Absolutely worth trying.

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Photo of McNealc31
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Pours a deep amber that you can see through if you hold it up to the light. Not much in the way of aroma, but there are obviously some different malts going on. Starts out with a sweet caramel flavor with just a hint of smoke and wood at the finish. Almost no hop presence, as it should be. Good balance.

Smooth, good flavor. Quite nice.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A very solid Scottish style ale from Rivertowne. Pours a deep ruby amber, decent foam which dies down with light soapy clinging lacing. Aromas of deep roasted sweet malts, butterscotch, and peat. Flavor is solid with great mouthfeel, moderately high carbonation, silky smooth peat malts, brown sugar, caramel, and cola flavors with a barely detectable hops presence. First beer I have had from this brewer, and definitely will the others that I can get my hands on. Good starter beer for the beer novice.


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

This beer comes out a thin-at-the-edges cola-colored brown, looking even more like cola with the bubbling and the activity on the pour. It settles nicely, though. While the tan head isn't large, it's thick and extremely sticky, leaving chunky pocking from the very top of the glass immediately and in good portion the rest of the way down.
It get what I want from a Scottish ale: malt-forward with just enough leaf to balance, it's earthy and sweet with toffee and molasses and a light metallic overtone that holds it together.
It's on the light side of medium-bodied, pretty smooth and crisp most of the way, easing out of it a little later in the sip.

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

12oz can poured into a pint glass
A: Mahogany color with a one-half finger latte-colored head
S: Sweet roasted malt, hints of coffee, toffee and iron
T: Largely matches the nose. Sweet toasted malt is the primary note along with underlying toffee
M: Medium-bodied, a bit sweet
O: Straight-forward, fairly tasty - I'd prefer this in the fall/winter vs drinking it now in the spring. Would be better with more complexity

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

32 oz. growler filled yesterday poured into a NB snifter.

A - Pours a shimmering golden copper brown. A one-finger head of very tight and soft light khaki brown foam dissipates rather quickly, leaving a fine sheen of lace across the surface. Held to a full spectrum light, the beer is a deep but luminous ruby red. While the beer is clear, it also swallows most of the light that's on the other side of the glass.

S - Soft caramels with notes of butterscotch. Hints of light floral hops in the background. Touches of toffee when it warms in the glass. The nose also acquires a peat quality mixed in with the toast of the malts.

T - Moderately toasted malts with somewhat dark, dense caramels. Darker, almost smokey molasses emerges in the finish. Straightforward taste profile that's true to the style.

M - Carbonation is on the light side. Pretty thin body that's almost a bit watery, but, surprisingly, warming in the glass pulls it together better. Structure is integrated but simple and rather two-dimensional. Finish is a distinct end-stage that slowly fades away.

O - I really enjoy Scotch-style ales, especially those with a rich grain bill, high-ABV, and barrel-aging that attempt to capture the flavor profiles of their 18 year-old big brothers. While this isn't one of them, it is a pretty tasty and true take on the style that you can enjoy several pints of in an evening. Recommended.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from can into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep brown-mahogany color with a small bubbly head of a tan colored head. The head fades very fast leaving almost no lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is strongest of a caramel smell along with some aromas of brown bread, chocolate, and brown sugar. Along with these aromas are some lighter raisin smells as well as a bit of an aroma of toffee and some light hoppy smells of an earth and herbal nature.

Taste – The taste begins of a sweeter brown bread, a lighter chocolate taste, and some caramel flavor. The caramel transitions more toward a toffee and molasses flavor as the taste advances. Some darker fruity flavors come to the tongue later on in the taste with cherry and raisin being the most prevalent of the fruit. While the fruity flavors come, the caramel and toffee flavors seem to dwindle more and more, with the overall sweetness of the brew remaining relatively constant, if not growing slightly less toward the end of the taste. With a bit of a herbal and earthy flavor coming to the tongue at the very end of the taste, one is left with a rather malty and moderately sweet flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – For a brew of only 5.1 % abv, this is one thick and chewy brew with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. Both are very nice for the style and flavors and make for a thick and chewy feel that is well beyond the expected.

Overall – The mouthfeel of this brew in conjunction with its moderately sweet, but rather malty flavor really make this brew a nice drinker. A very interesting scotch ale that tastes much bigger then it should (at least in terms of its abv.). A rather nice brew overall.

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Photo of Bone53
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was given to me from the can so I can't describe the appearance, however the aromas and flavors were typical of a scottish ale. Sweet malts, toffee, nuts. Its a little lighter than say Dirty Bastard or Old Chub, but the flavors come together nicely and id consider this a good, sessionable/drinkable scottish ale. Better than the Babbling Blonde I had previously.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought Maxwell's scottish ale was pretty good and worthy of another.
It smelled good with sweet candied malts toffee and some anise dark fruits too. Smelled borderline like a dubbel.
Equally tasty but a little on the flat side. Malty sweetness with a good bit of toffee and dark fruits. Perhaps a tad too sweet, for me anyway.

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Photo of austina3214
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving type: Can

Apperence: Dark amber. Whatever head it had dissolved immediately. Very small amount of lacing--if any.

Smell: Smokey w/ plenty of malty notes. Bread and caramel are what I notice the most. Also, a considerable amount of banana.

Taste: Sweet. Very sweet. As with the smell I get heavy malty taste. Caramel/bread/biscuit. Low level ABV so very low alcohol taste. Tasting the banana as well.

Mouthfeel: Light body with some carbonation. Very smooth and drinkable.

Overall: I thought this was a solid beer. Price is good and the beer is tasty. I think most anyone would could like this. Especially non-beer lovers. At 5.1% ABV I would say pretty sessionable. I would have no problem drinking this again.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This Scottish is far better than the other product I sampled from this brewery. It's quite good.

It pours dark and slightly opaque with a thin head. The aroma is a robust malty affair - very nice. The taste is a well balanced, easy drinking combination of malts that works quite well. It might be a bit tame for the style, but it is very pleasant, unlike some. The aftertaste likewise lingers a nice sweet, not too deep flavor.

I think this is a nice version of the style that is easy drinking. I probably will purchase it again especially since it is competitively priced.

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Photo of Josh24
5/5  rDev +34%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite beer by far right now.

Dark color yet fairly light in abv and easy to drink all night.

Malty chocolate flavor and so smooth!

I have had this beer on tap and in a can and both are still my goto beer...

I enjoy all Rivertowne beers but this one takes the cake for me...give it a shot

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Photo of wac9
4.24/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

what a wonderful beer if so hard to find a good scottish ale their to heavy or too much alc this one taste great looks great this one has moree then a hint of choclate sosit back and enjoy a great tasting beer that you will be telling other in the morning enjoy

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a can of this mixed and matched at the House of 1,00 beers.
A - Very weird I got little carbonation what I had fizzed to a mild lace ring. Color is a deep chocolate brown.
S - Smells good smoke, peat, chocolate, and sugary brown malts.
T - Very smooth and complex enough to be session able. Peat is minimal thankfully with mild ashy smoke, chocolate malts, and brown malts with a sugary edge,
M - Smooth, easy going and sessionable, with decent flavors. Like most of Rivertowne offerings.

Overall I really like and had it before but this is the first time it's not very carbonated. Flavors are not off and drinks great so it didn't influence much. Great brew from a local craft brewery.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.19/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber to brown-ish in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, faint and a small sweet caramel like malt. In the taste, sweet caramel malt, yet somewhat mellow. A small bite, but mainly smooth, with a medium bodied mouthfeel, and a dryer caramel like malt in the aftertaste. Not much in the nose, big maltiness, and a small stickiness all the way through.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a sam adams specialty glass, color is transparent dark amber, to brown; head presents nicely, dense, dissipates to a ring with spotty remnants on the glass.

Smell is malty, bready, light toffee and chocolate, touch of fruitiness, pretty solid.

Taste is pretty spot on for a scottish, good malt presence, sweet, light caramel, toffee and chocolate flavors, touch of raisans; bitterness is noted, but not strong, indistinguishable hops.

Mouthfeel is a touch off, a little too carbonated for a scottish i would think, but the lingering malt flavors are pleasant.

Overall, a very solid, very drinkable lighter scottish style ale.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On my last trip to Da Burgh, I met up with a couple of my buddies at Rivertowne Pour House and the staff was kind enough to assemble a mixed case of four (4) six-packs of each of their six (6) CANned beers in support of The CANQuest (TM)! If that is not customer service, then I do not know what is!

From the CAN: "Scottish Ale"; The Malty/Hoppy Meter pegs this one at the bottom of the Malty end of the spectrum; "The Maxwells have made the art of brewing a family tradition for centuries. This Scot comes alive, as five different varieties of malt create a deep, surprisingly smooth finish. Intrigued? Go ahead and lift its kilt!"; "Cheers and thanks, [undersigned] Andrew T. [?] Maxwell Brew Master".

I think that I will pass on lifting kilts and go for the Crack, instead. I am getting better at opening these brimful CANs, but caveat emptor. Once again, an inverted Glug created a visible pseudo-cascading action against the background of a dark beer. I initially had two fingers of foamy, deep-tan head, but it began falling almost as soon as I had completed the pour. Color evidenced a ruby-red shade when held up to the light, along with NE-quality clarity. If you have not done so already, mark the weekend of 28 February 2015 on your calendar. I will be returning to Lincoln, NE to jointly celebrate my 50th birthday and her 21st with the lovely Val MidWest and all are welcome to join the party! Nose was, as expected, quite sweet in a maple syrup vein. There was a light smokiness to it, but it was definitely a malt bomb. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was not as sweet as the nose had led me to expect. In fact, it was kind of muted for the style, with a cracker-y kind of sweetness. Interesting. Finish was semi-sweet with the potential to be much sweeter. I wonder if this is what was intended or if I just got lucky. Me likee.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can courtesy of tommyguz pours a beautifully clear garnet hue with a modest off-white head. Not much for retention and lace.

Nose smells pretty good - malty with notes of coconut husk, caramel, baking cocoa and nuts. I like it...probably would have guessed nut brown ale before scottish though.

Taste is more of the same..really nutty, hazelnuts to be precise. Caramely and maybe even a little bit of buttered popcorn. Its light and malty with just a hint of bitterness on the finish. Its an enjoyable brew...all 3 from Rivertowne I have had are - though they wont wow you with complexity. Mouthfeel is a bit watery, but not too bad. This would be a good candidate for tailgating.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can't decipher the canning code. The can label notes this beer is 'Malty Sweet'. I'm sure.

Pours dark red with a helping of brown. Nice clarity, all things considered. The head sits proudly at well over a finger's height. Looks foamy, but not that coarse. Sits well, beige in color.

Roasty-toasty malt notes of toffee, cardboard, hard-tack candy, weird cherry, artificial red apple, caramel, and sweet meats. A bit bready with a lot of crust. A decent nose. Perfumey, for a Scottish Ale.

Drinks with notes of dry red apple, light roast, cardboard, dark fruits, and savory meatiness. Well-attenuated. Almost watery. A bit disappointing. Has a malty whip all the way through. Not much in the line of hopping.

Drinks a little too easy. Sacrifices flavor. Easy in the mouth, body-wise. Carries a medium weight. Carbonation wants to develop, but only manages the pace of the middle. Severely average. Not complaining about drinkability, though.

Not savory enough, due to the slight watery taste. Had a lot going for it, at first. Then, it died off into 'mellow land'. Take it or leave it. Either way.

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Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a dark bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, slightly sweet. Taste is mild, malty, a touch sweet, a little light on flavor for the style. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer.

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Maxwell's Scottish Ale from Rivertowne Brewing
3.73 out of 5 based on 113 ratings.
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