Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale | Arcadia Brewing Company

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Arcadia Loch Down Scotch AleArcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
OG 1080; 28 IBU
Formerly called Arcadia Scotch Ale

Our tribute to the Scottish Highlands, this beer offers a gorgeous garnet color joined by the aroma of ripe plums and freshly-baked biscuits. The rich, full-bodied texture reveals notes of roasted chestnuts and caramel in the smooth single-malt style brew. Balanced with just the right amount of hop character, this beer delights with crisp alcohol finish.

Added by zerk on 10-02-2002

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Reviews: 272 | Ratings: 556
Photo of Hackattack
1.75/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Wow, I'm glad I only bought one of these to fill a 6-pack sampler. This is sour....maybe past date. I try to buy all my beers with the freshness date in mind. I took a chance on this one because there was no indication of a packaging or best by date. I like the malty dark beers..scotch ales..this one really sucked. I payed $2 for this bottle...the only reason I choked it down. Strong case for putting freshness dates on them ????......I'll never buy another brew with no date.

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Photo of GRMule
1.77/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

A: Dark brown with a suggestion of red. Tan, fizzy head disappears quick.
S: Plums, lightly floral, a hint of bread
T: Up front is sour, fruits, finishes with fruity sour notes on bread
M: Thin, carbonation feels sharp with the sourness
O: Not what I look for in a scotch ale at all. I finished one from Founders previous to this one, day and night. This almost comes off as a sour mash, if I weren't expecting a scotch ale I might have liked it better, but I also think it would give me heartburn if I tried to drink more than one. Brutal hot take: this was like a brown Mike's Hard Lemonaide.

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Photo of FBarber
3.04/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color. Thin tan head dissipates rather quickly leaving no residual head. The lack of head is disappointing.

Smell is a rather subdued aroma of stone fruits - prunes and plums with a hint of malts. Appears sweet on the nose. Rather underwhelming.

Taste has notes of sweet plums and prunes initially giving way to a bland bread-y malt backbone. Slight bitterness on the finish cuts the sweetness somewhat. You really just end up with a very sweet raisin flavor. Its a bit watery.

Feel is light and drinkable. Amazing how thin and light this beer is for an 8.5 ABV - and thats not necessarily a good thing. Medium carbonation.

Overall this beer is just OK. I wouldn't drink it again, there are just too many other good scotch ales out there.

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Photo of metter98
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is dark reddish brown in color. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that quickly settled down, leaving a bit of lacing on the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of plums are present in the nose along with hints of brown bread.
T: The initial taste starts off with some flavors of plums but has later notes of nutty malts and hints of brown bread. There is only a light amount of bitterness, but the hops mostly serve to negate any sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and yet a bit thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The relative lighter body nature of this beer makes it a little easier to drink compared to others in the style.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look : One finger white head, brown body.

Smell : Dark fruits, some caramel, a little peat, and interestingly enough some barnyard funk.

Taste : Dark fruits, some caramel, mild peat, a touch of coffee, a hint of belgian yeast?

Feel : medium-high carbonation, medium body. Slight alcohol bite. A bit more carbonation than I'm used to in a scotch ale.

Other: This is not a normal scotch ale. There is some odd Belgian notes in the flavor and smell.

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Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

With a brown copper color, it boasts flavors of yeasty dark bread, brandy and black tea, along with the light plum aftertaste. The aroma is dark fruit and bready and while the carbonation a little too brisk, the mouthfeel is great. Overall, this is a pretty solid non-peat scotch ale. Another good Scotch ale in its class will be the Kilt Lifter from Moylan's Brewing Company in Novato (Don't let the not-so-classy beer name discourage you. This is a good beer!). If you like some peat with your beer, I recommend Sprecher Brewery’s Piper’s Scotch-style ale, Ale Smith's Wee Heavy and even Belhaven Brewery’s Wee Heavy.

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice coffee color, a dark brown color with a thin foam head that stays forever.

Smells of malts, warm, almost sweet.

Tastes of lightly roasted malt.

Feels smooth, creamy, full bodied.

Overall, pretty good, not the best Scotch Ale but not the worst, but good.

 271 characters

Photo of Ottoj55
4.01/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a chalice glass, beer was deep chestnut brown with white foam that very quickly faded. Sweet malty smell with caramel and toffee. Sweet malty taste, caramel, toffee, nutty, a bit of warm alcohol and something that was vaguely cola like to me, no real hop presence. Smooth mouthfeel, silky with low carbonation. Really well made example of a wee heavy.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Always have enjoyed this brew----Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. This fine Scotch ale pours a murky dark mahogany with a nice head of off white foam that settles over time to a thick ring, thin layer, and nice lacing. Nose of brown sugars, peat malt, dark rye bread, and subtle caramel malts. Flavors exceed the nose with brown sugars and peat smoked malts on the front and middle, cherry and peach notes mingle with dark rye bread on the sides, and caramel malts with moderate alcohol notes hits on the back with a touch of cocoa. Very nice mouth feel; coating, smooth, and lightly dry on the finish. Overall a great brew perfect for a session.


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Photo of plumberman63
2.83/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Dark caramel, brown, descent light tan head. Caramel/ toffee/ alcohol smell. Taste follows smell, drank with a gourmet mushroom/pineapple/pepper cheese burger. At 8% wouldn't want to drink more than 2 in a setting.
This is OK but not a favorite.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/20/2015. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, cocoa, raisin, plum, apple, light peat smoke/tobacco, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and light fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, cocoa, raisin, plum, apple, light peat smoke/tobacco, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, cocoa, light peat smoke/tobacco, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from hop/roasted notes as well. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and slightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Scotch ale style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brew pub. A very dark chestnut brown pour. Almost black. Decent tan head. Smells of rich malts, toffee/caramel, and a bit nutty.

Tastes much the same. A bit of smokey peat moss, but more dominated by rich caramel flavor.

Body is on the fuller side. Pretty syrupy, but not too sticky. I thought this was a very nice Scotch

 338 characters

Photo of Jbix1995
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smelled caramel and sweet. The tastes were very subtle but well balanced. Surprisingly smooth going down. I would be willing to try again but it didn't knock my socks off.

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Photo of barczar
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is a 2012, so it's got some age on it.

Aroma is sweet, caramelly, toasted, and nutty, with light floral and specialty malt fruity notes. There's a hint of peat.

Flavor is initially specialty malt fruit dominant, a touch tart, but it mellows to a toasted, toffee malt backbone, becoming slightly smoky in the finish. The fruity character is overwhelming, and the finish is overly bitter. There's a lingering plasticy note.

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Photo of Suds
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On a chilly fall day, a scotch ale is always welcomed. This one is a rich brown color...lots of malt in the aroma....mixed with vanilla, malty, but eatery. Some over ripe fruit smells are present. The taste is sweet, with some serious warming. Full in body. Okay, but not what it could have been.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with ruby and copper highlights and a one finger off white head. Aroma is sweet malt, toffee, and a bit of booze. Taste is earthy, dark malts, roast, and residual sweetness. Mouthfeel is thin for the style and a bit harsh. Overall an okay scotch ale which could be improved with a more complex flavor profile and a more viscous mouthfeel.

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Photo of morris786
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with minimal head and lacing. The smell is very much of scotch and some Carmel notes. The taste fairly complex. Hard to get a grasp on it, smokey scotch taste with Carmel and vanilla with alcohol very present. Surprisingly smooth and drinkable for how much alcohol you taste. Not the best I've had but would have again.

 337 characters

Photo of 10Crumra
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. Very dark brown in color with very little head on the pour and minimal lacing.

Smell has some caramel notes with a tinge of funkiness. Vanilla and alcohol also present.

Taste is malty and smoky. Alcohol is definitely present in the taste. Some vanilla and toffee flavors. Very light carbonation but nice medium to heavy-bodied mouthfeel.

This is a very nice, drinkable beer. It doesn't wow me but it is something that even at 8% I could come back for multiple in a sitting. It is smooth and drinkable with respectable flavors.

 587 characters

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Peat smoke nose with a suspicion of smoked fish,
Pours deep chestnut under a finely bubbled 1" tan head that dissipates to a thick film. leaves delicate lace.
Palate: smoke, roast malt, malt spice, light sweetness.
Full bodied, medium carbonation.
Drinkable, but not outstanding.

 282 characters

Photo of patre_tim
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark brown with a slight strawberry tinge when held to the light. 2 fingers of light beige head, no apparent cloud or carbonation.

S: Toffee, coffee, peat, heather, earthy, film developing fluid, slight rubbing alcohol.

T: Toffee, banana, light sweetness, rubbing alcohol, earthy, peat, clean linen. Some corn, light bitterness, coffee.

M: Thick, syrupy body, medium carbonation.

O: Well done. Reminds me of Skull Splitter, but a little less rounded or refined. Still, very well done.

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Photo of lochef81
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This scotch ale pours a dark mahogany color with a generous off-white head that quickly gives way to a nice film and lacing. The aroma is very malty with hints of vanilla, alcohol, caramel, peat and a little yeast. The mouth is pleasantly thick and sticky. The flavor is malty but not overly sweet. It is a balanced blend of booze and earth. Not the best scotch ale I've had but not bad at all.

 394 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A scotch ale for $1.79 a single? Yes please! Poured into a pint glass.

A - A deep shade of brown clear in color with ruby hues. The head is great well over a 1/2 inch that settles to a thick ring. No real lacing.
S - Not very sweet or even hardcore peat smells you usually get. It does have some caramel and peat smells and no distinguishable ABV smells.
T - This is actually quite different than typical takes on the style the house yeast these guys use give it a very fruity taste. You get your English hops some peat malt and a touch of caramel. The taste is quite bitter and constant the the ABV is nowhere to be found.
M - Again I would say it drinks quite well for around 8% Light to medium is great for this ale.

Overall I can't say I like this more than Old Chub but I haven't been impressed with a Scotch ale in a while. Would really love to see what a bourbon treatment does to this beer. Worth picking up just for the cost really.

Not sure what the guy under me said its not naturally sour smell or taste. You got an infected batch bro.

 1,051 characters

Photo of kdahnke123
2.31/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured into snifter. From brewery so presume to be recent bottling.
A - Thin medium brown pour with minimal head.
S - Smells sour, like an old stale beer.
T - Tast is similar to the smell. The sourness overwhelms any malt or hops that could show through.
M - Thin, lightly carbonated.
O - Not a good representation of a Scotch Ale.

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Photo of biegaman
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Loch Down is as dark as the lakes of the Scottish Highlands and neither more carbonated nor clear; for all I know there could have been a mythical creature living in the bottle. I won't find out now until the glass is empty. This ale is opaque despite a trim of chestnut highlights.

The aroma showcases subtle alcohol esters and a rich, nutty-sweet maltiness that emits hints of dried fruits and licorice. It's almost a bulls-eye for the style, though it's missing the optional peatiness and smoky characteristics that so many - myself included - love about Scotch Ales. It's not a deal breaker, but it would have bumped the score that extra little bit.

Scotch Ales have a lovely way of caramelizing the palate after every sip. They aren't overly sweet - this one especially not given the more generous hop bill - but do contain a lot of residual nuttiness as well as traces of dried fruits and toffee. It's not long before these flavours mingle with an herbal, tea-like bitterness.

There's just enough maltiness to satisfy the style's high expectations in the mouthfeel department; Scotch Ales are also referred to as 'Wee Heavy', a name reflective of a full-bodied ale that can be so viscous as to almost be chewy. There's no knife or fork required for this one, but there is enough sticky-sweet malt to entirely disguise the sizable 8% alcohol.

Arcadia is a reliable brewery - they've never steered me wrong. Every beer of theirs I've tried has been average at the very least. Loch Down is better than that: it is a solid, perfectly serviceable offering in its own right and moreover makes a great ambassador for the style.

 1,633 characters

Photo of PaulyB83
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a stemless wine glass.

A- A very dark murky brown, not much light coming through but some on the edges reveals a deep garnet. Small slightly off-white head dissipates slowly to a ring.

S- Surprising presence of alcohol coming through. Lots of malts and some dark fruits. Getting a lot of the yeast and adds some spiciness.

T- Similar to nose but with an added bready yeast on the finish and finishes dry, which is different than others of the style that I've had. Slight malt sourness as well.

M- A medium/heavy mouthfeel in line with the style.

O- An okay beer could help with a little more sweetness. Not up to the standard of Dirty Bastard and Scotty Karate.

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Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 556 ratings.
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