Scottish Ale | Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ

very good
88 Reviews
Scottish AleScottish Ale

Brewed by:
Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
Maine, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Scotland’s rugged soils are not conducive to the cultivation of hops that grow readily in England, so during times of political strife Scotland’s southern neighbor would deprive Scottish brewers of their hops. The resourceful Scot turned to his native heather as a flavoring for his ales. Heather grows wild in the rockbound highlands and when added to the beer yields a silky aromatic result. Our Scottish Ale is brewed with a large amount of both malted barley and heather producing a rich-bodied ale with a sweet finish true to the style.

Formerly known as MacFoochie's 7+.

Added by xlperro on 09-28-2004

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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 138
Photo of Bestuurder
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What can I say? This is above and beyond for a Scottish ale. Poured from a bottle, the head lasted all through the drink.

My first impression about this ale was that it would be like most Scottish ale's, with a relatively easy drinkability, but lacking in the over taste and mouthfeel; this was not the case. Atlantic has brought a great beer to my table, with a wonderfully dark, almost pitch-black colouration, and a exceptional aroma of beautifully balanced hops. There was no malt aroma or flavouring, which is a plus. The abv is certainly not a factor, and is not noticed. This ale has a wonderfully smooth feel, and very easy drinkability. Overall, I would most certainly rate this beer as an A.

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Photo of beyah
4.48/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 22 oz bottle on August 19th 2010. Color is dark brown not quite Guinness Dark. Little or no head but did have some lacing. Hardly detectable alcohol,. Very complex flavor I could swear that someone put black licorice in the bottle, this is followed by a nice somewhat hoppy finish. Very well balanced and drinkable.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rich tan three inch head that is long lasting and fluffy.Big coffee and toffee and chicory on the nose. Rich and complex with roasted barley, spicy chicory and coffee with good carbonation that lifts the palate up. The body is so rich gives a creamy texture to the mix.
The finish leaves a smoky backwoods taste that makes you feel like your sitting next to a fire. Without being overwelming. A must try for scottish ale fans!

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Photo of caddybuyer
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass

A-Medium dark cherry cola coloring with mahogany cherry highlights when held to light. Light tan head that creams up on the pour but settles rapidly. I'd like to see a bit more head but this is one attractive beer.

S-This one was strong from the pour, sweet roasted caramel malts, toffee, vanilla, smoke, unsweetened cocoa (just a bit) and some dark fruits in the background along with a hint of alcohol. Enticing.

T-The smell carries through to the taste, all of the above, in one taste explosion. There is no nuance of flavor complexity across the palate, but it is wonderful nonetheless. Kind of like listening to a mono recording of the Velvet Underground...what it lacks in range it makes up for in sheer presence. Wow.

M-This is on the fuller side of medium, which is near perfection, but slighly undercarbonated. I seldom wish for more carbonation, but that is the only thing keeping this from being spot on.

D-This is a very drinkable beer. Huge on flavor, huge on enjoyment. Buy again, you betcha.

This one was a one off oddball I found at my local craft beer store. Easily the best beer that I have had from Atlantic, and the best new discovery have had in quite awhile.

Re-review on 4.11.10. This bottle was nowhere near as good as the first, which was amazing. I guess a little quality control is in order...or maybe the bottle was old, but this should age well. Flavor and mouthfeel was I was drinking a totally different beer.. Not saying it was bad, but it didn't blow me away like the first one. Will give this another try, but my local beer place had some of these in closeout so maybe its retired? Oh well...there is always Old Chubb...

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Photo of marburg
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Some Scottish ales, and a few select other styles I suppose, have this coherent smoothness that sets them apart from other beers. This beverage tastes like it's pure, natural, unadulterated nature. There's nothing ill-conceived, phony, extreme, or off about this. It's just a rock solid beer.

Dirty, earthy aromas of peat and grape skin. Alcohol is noticeable but seems to fit in nicely with the cola-like caramel notes that assert themselves. Smooth and, at times, almost oily, this has a chewy malt flavor with a light alcohol astringency that seems to fade as the beer sits or as I adjust to it. Either way, the beer tastes and feels quite natural. The finish isn't quite as distinct or abrupt as some beers. It's much more cohesive and well-rounded, presenting a solid malt flavor throughout and somehow just "feeling" balanced in the end. Must be the heather. Top notch stuff.

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Photo of granger10
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown mohagony wood color. Fizzy tan head rises and falls a bit quickly but holds about an inch high. Lots of sticky lacing along the glass. Looks a little like a cola. Aroma is very smoky with some sweetness in there as well. I like it already. Taste brings about a nice thick sweet malty mouthfeel. Lots of toffee flavors and residual earthy sweetness. The smoke comes back in the middle of this beer and then a nice floral finish, which must be from the heather. Alcohol is not really that evident at all. This seems like a fairly traditional representation of the scottish ale style and a very good one at that. Not a session beer but definitely a nice beer to enjoy.

many thanks to brewguru for the bottle!

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Photo of ActonBrewer
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- beautiful reddish brown... thin tan head... decent carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass.

S- Great heather nose. Malts, vanilla and maybe a little cocoa

T- Nice and malty. Some coffee, dark fruit, and caramel malts. Slight herbal flavor (heather?)

M- Medium body, slightly under carbed.

O - Awesome scottish ale. I'll definitely get this again for a larger tasting of this style.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had the opportunity to try this when it first came out while on a visit to Bar Harbor. It doesn't make it to my state so this year while on a visit to Bar Harbor I made sure to pick some up for the cellar!

A - rich dark brown, almost black color, thick dark tan head
S - smoked peat, bakers chocolate with a caramel rounding note.
T - Light caramel malts swirl with a wonderfully blended smoke / peat and bakers chocolate.
M - medium bodied, nicely carbonated, dry finish
D - so easy to quaff the bottles gone and you don't even realize it.

Unlike other scottish ales I've had, this one is less sweet, amazingly flavorful and drinks much lighter than it is. If you get a chance to try one definitely go for it.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a dark reddish hue with decent sized tan head. Some rings of lacing were left as this was consumed. Sweet malty aroma with some fruits and caramel. Lighter earthy notes mingled about. Sweet fruit blended with a bit of dark chocolate started off the flavor. Light smoky and earthy herbal notes mixed in well. Pretty full and interesting taste. Easy drinking stuff that is smooth going down and the last sip is as tasty as the first.

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Photo of jwc215
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle, poured into snifter:

Pours dark brown - almost black - with a thin head that thins to a swirl. Thin rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of toffee, roasted nuts, some peat, whisky and an earthy/floral tone (from the heather). The complexity of the aroma is on the subtle side, but very nice.

The taste is malty, but not too sweet. Toffee, roasted nuts, heather (floral/earthy), some peat and woody, whisky notes all combine and blend nicely. The heather tips play in well, as does the touch of peat, not overwhelming the rich maltiness. The balanced sweetness turns to a dry, whisky-ish finish.

It has a smooth (fuller side of?) medium body.

It's an interesting, delicious, smooth interpretation of a Scottish Ale that is oh so easy to drink.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draught at the brewery.

Pours dark brown with thin, creamy off-white head.

Aroma is an almost cola-like sweetness, caramel and roasty notes blended together, with a hint of herbal heather coming through.

Taste is roasty malt, cocoa, earthy, very rich and malty, almost cola like, with nice, floral heather and smoky peat notes on the finish to balance - beautifully executed, my favorite beer by Atlantic.

Palate was creamy with a subdued carbonation that was just crisp enough to go perfectly with the (surprisingly excellent) barbecue served at Atlantic's own brewpub. Marvelous job.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark, dark brown with ruby highlights. Creamy tan head emits lacy arms grasping for the glass top.

Aroma is deep and rich - lots of malt, rich fruit and subtle peat smoke. Tastes like it smells but with a mineral "cleanliness" in back - I'm guessing that's that heather? Plush, creamy mouthfeel that's almost as good as I could possibly imagine.

This was a fun one. Not only was it a great beer but we only had one glass so my wife and I passed it back and forth in front of a campfire. Good camping beer.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.26/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good beer. One of the best I've had of one of my favorite styles. Thanks to Dogfooddog for the bottle.

The beer pours to a very dark brown color with a deep ruby hue when held to the light. Nearly opaque. Forms a very nice foamy brown head with a decent staying power. A decent lacing sticks to the glass as well.

The smell is good, but it doesn't really jump out at me. After a deep whiff, I get a bit of heavily caramelized and lightly smoked malt. A bit nutty and chocolatey.

The taste is great. Starts off with a sweet caramel malt flavor followed by a bit of smoke. Gently roasty, chocolatey, nutty finish with a lingering smokiness. Has a very light English hops bitterness that lingers in the finish with a spicy, herbal taste.

Has a nice big body with very little carbonation. The alcohol cannot be detected. A small bit sweet, but the finish dries out the palate a bit. Very easy to drink for a big beer. I wish I had a steady supply of this.

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

Pours dark brown with maroon highlights. Light tan head gives way quicly on the pour leaving pin-pricks of lace on the glass.
Aroma is lots of caramel and earthy, peat tones with some minor chocolate and subtle but noticeable heather.
Flavor of rich caramel and chocolate with a touch of peaty/whiskey notes and a bitter unlike others I've had. (Must be the Heather and Hops combo)
Mouthfeel is smooth, sweet malt to start sliding kind of casually into a roaste, peat hit and finishing with a mild but long and drawn out bitterness. Somewhat surprisingly this one leaves a sweet aftertaste.
Drinkability is very solid. Heather is an acquired taste and sometimes flat out does not work. However, with this beer the combination and transitions are excpetionally well done. Very nice brew.

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

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" light brown head over the clear dark burgundy brew. Aroma is dominated by smoky maltiness, with flowery notes. Taste follows right along with the nose, exactly as predicted. Mouthfeel is super smooth and soft over the tongue, tremendously drinkable. My mouth tells me this ain't no 7+%, but my head will probably verify the abv later. Excellent brew.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a rich, deep, dark chestnut hued bier, with glimmers of garnet highlighting the clear liquid. Didn't get much of a topping, basically a fine, thin light-tan head, most of which clings to the edge of the glass, and leaves some lace. Nose is not overly strong, yet what's there is a lovely, malty-sweet aroma, with toffee notes and caramel. Body is an easy medium-plus, with lots of smoothness on the tongue with some chewy qualities. Nice! Flavor is awash with malt and more malt. Almost makes me think I've got a Doppelbock in the glass! Caramel sweetness and hints of brown sugar coat the tongue in a most pleasurable way, with a welcome peatyness being everpresent. Light bitterness appears near the finish; so this is heather? Hmmm.... adds an interesting touch, like a mild floral aspect. I like my Scottish Ales heavy on the malt...and this one goes down smooth and easy. A fine offering from the boys at ABC down in Maine.


overall: 4.2
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5


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Photo of sulldaddy
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a bomber of this with Stopper at room temperature. The beer is poured into a snifter and exhibits a clear but deep mahogany color. Little to zero head leaves the surface barren. Aroma is caramel malt and some brown sugar and dark fruit. Slightly peaty and earthy as well.
First sip reveals a smooth silky texture and almost no carbonation.
Flavor is sweet and slightly smokey or peaty. Easy drinking with only malt flavors to speak of, no hops or ABV present. Nice malty brew.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours a nearly opaque dark brown/black body with ruby-red highlights and a thin film of light tan head. Smells roasty, slightly peaty, with chocolate notes. Tastes sweet and malty, with roast, caramel, chocolate, and hints of peatiness. Medium to full in body with moderate carbonation. A good combination and balance of flavors, though it reminds me of some mid-point between a Scottish and Scotch ale. A solid and flavorful beer.

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Photo of BillyBrew
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first Scottish ale I ever really enjoyed. Had this at the brewery's on-site tavern. They brewed the first batch in mid-September.

Two-dergrees mahogany of black. White head that dissipates completey fairly quickly.

Pleasantly malty nose, but light. Delightful.

Thickly malted, but very balanced for a Scottish. The heather used in the brewing (30lbs of it) cuts the thick, malted sweets. Peat smoked malts also cut some sweetness. No forward hops, but balanced great.

Pleasantly rough carbonation within a very smooth, medium body. I think the smoked malts limited a typicaly viscous style.

Best Scottish ale I ever had! Good session brew with a lighter mouthfeel and sweetness.

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Photo of Truh
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to break in a new herd with this one on 2/24/2005. 22 fl. oz. bomber poured twice in a shaker.

Cream crenellation of head to start that falls down to just a shawl of all-sized bubbles. Very clear but deep brown hue with burgundy touches and some flitting action. Light peat smokiness on nose with a mossy presence and light floral note, which I’d take a stab at as being the heather. Great smoke on mouth right away, malt finagles its way through quite nicely with some caramel, toffee, and Sumatra coffee notes. Well-balanced ale with just the right amount of burn.

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Photo of Todd
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bomber. MacFoochie's pours a very deep, dark brown, that's seemingly black with rich ruby red hues around the edges of the glass, and topped with a creamy tan head that settles to nice lacing with ample retention and a playful stick.

Rich malty aroma that's a bit smoky, with some peat, toffee, touch of steel and a pleasant herbal / floral finish.

Silky smooth on the palate with a creamy back. Carbonation breaks through and lifts a savory mix of herbal and spice notes through a rich and chewy malt profile. Very low bitterness. Nice juicy fruitiness with some sweet grape-like vinous notes right in the middle. Light berry esters. Milk chocolate within the malty sweetness, toffee, with some background deep roastiness in the form of coffee grinds lurking in the corners. Earth and some nutty flavors too. Wonderful peat accents blend with heather flavors in a steeped tea-like fashion. As this blends with the emerging 7+% ABV, it evokes suggestions of whiskey. Dry finish with lingering peat and heather notes, and a fumy alcohol exhale on the breath.

This is a big, complex and malty brew, but it's also well balanced and extremely pleasing to the palate, with perfect use of heather and smoked malts. Way too easy to drink, so share this one with friends ... unless you're reviewing it right now, alone, like me!

Damn ... you ... MacFoochie!

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Photo of smokeypeat
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Has a deep mahogany wood look with a nice reddish hue when held up to the light. Comes with a 1 finger eggshell head that slowly dissolved to a nice ever present lace. Lots of great aroma on this one. Standard toffee, caramel, dark malts present like in all scotch ales, but what makes this unique is the light floral component that is definitely present. On tasting, the floral/heather component was even more pronounced. Very unique compared to other scotch ales I've sampled. It makes the beer extremely drinkable, and it tastes "lighter" than other scotch ales I've tried. In fact I don't really pick up on the alcohol at all which is somewhat surprising considering it comes in just shy of 8% ABV. Nice hint of smoke/peat which is something I want in my scotch ales as well. This stuff is rock solid and I will definitely seek it out again. If you like the style and want to try something a little different give it a try.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/mahogany color with a thin watery 1/2" head that disappears quickly. Single ring of wet, watery lace around the top of the glass.
Smells a bit like a week burbon.
The alcohol in the aroma is missing in the taste. Very smooth drinkable beer. Heavy on the malt flavors as par for the style. Caramel with a bit of earthy spiciness in the finish. Excellent mouthfeel. Medium bodied and just chewy enough with out being too thick. I would love to have this one again.

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Photo of wyllder
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this as a gift from one of my wife's coworkers.

22oz bomber bears the lable MacFoochie's 7+ Scottish Ale, hopped with heather.

Pours a deep mahogany brown with a slight biege head, and leaves a sticky lacing on the glass as you go.

Nose is dark roasted bread mingled with caramel and heather.

Taste is a smooth & dark roasted malt flavor. Finish is bitter with a decided alcohol kick in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel & drinkability are both solid. No problems finishing the 22oz bomber.

Overall, a very nice offering.


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Photo of brureview
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a deep chocolate brown with a 1F head in a Gordon Thistle.

Deep Aroma:fruit, prune, sweet toffee, candy.

The taste follows the aroma, however there an added flavor of smoked peat, and heather, the latter comes out with warming. A first, I didn't like the smoked peat, and it seemed to bring imbalance to the flavor. After a while, I began to enjoy the peat and the heather. The approach is quite different than other American brewer's Scottish ale. This is quite complex, and I can't recall such a pronounced smoked peat flavor in a Scottish Ale.

There is also sweetness, toffee, candy, and prune ( or dried fruit) in the taste which is finished by a good bitterness.

There is a traditional approach to this beer. It's complex and a sipper. Worth checking out.

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Scottish Ale from Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
3.94 out of 5 based on 138 ratings.
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