Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale | Arcadia Brewing Company

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Arcadia Loch Down Scotch AleArcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
270
Ratings:
535
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
18.63%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
57
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 270 | Ratings: 535
Photo of Sammy
2.84/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nice black colour, with a bit of head. But did not deliver but a faint taste of licorice and molasses. Malt. Recently bought. Some numbing carbonation. Medium mouthfeel. More of an Inoffensive brown ale, particularly since licorice on the aftertaste.

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Photo of metter98
3.59/5  rDev -1.6%
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 BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Better than most of the standard Arcadia brews. Dark amber / brown-ruby. Nice firm head retention, lightly tanned. Smells quite malty, with a nutty, caramel, toffee, and chocolate flavor that melds together wonderfully. Noticable alcohol in the flavor, and mouthfeel, becomes a bit phenolic, but light. Medium to firm body that remains quite drinkable. The sweetness could use a bit more hopping to contribute balance and character. Finishes a bit sweet and a bit rough. Roughness from harsh carbonation and alcoholic strength without the depth to mask.

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Photo of brentk56
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with a modest head that quickly fades to a ringlet though it leaves a smattering of lace

Smell: Sweet sugary plums with undertones of chocolate

Taste: Opens with a sweet dried plum flavor with smoky chocolate elements building by mid-palate; after the swallow, the chocolate lingers along with some warmth from the alcohol

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Overall: A bit too sweet, a bit too much fusel alcohol and not enough peaty/smoky complexity, unfortunately

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Photo of emerge077
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown mahogany edges, long lasting sticky tan foam that never dies down completely.

Complex malt aroma, brown sugar, figs, crushed acorns, fall leaves. Sweet with a light toffee caramel vibe happening. Drizzled over them acorns.

Burly malt flavors, some fruity yeast notes, plum and fig, some dry toastiness that lingers. Dry woody finish, lightly sweet and vaguely boozy toward the end as it warms up. Medium bodied, slightly astringent with a bigger sip. Still fairly smooth. Overall it a good Scotch Ale, and worth another try.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a hazy, burgundy/brown color with a small, tan head of foam. It left thin traces of lace.

S - It smelled malty sweet with boozy notes. Like most scotch ales it had a nice earthy and mossy aroma, too.

T - It tasted of sweet breads, caramel and toffee with an earthy hop presence. It had a boozy alcohol flavor.

M - It was very sharp and crisp. A medium-bodied ale with a subtle warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a pretty good scotch ale/wee heavy. I had my doubts because Arcadia an be hit or miss on some of their "bigger" beers.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Grand Rapids in December. Served in a tulip.

Pours a very, very dark brown color with a single-finger off-white head with really nice spotty lacing and a thin cap as the head falls. Nose brings forward quite a bit of dark fruits, molasses, and caramel. A bit of hops there as well, actually. The taste is fairly sweet with molasses, notes of wood, and some dark fruits. The mouthfeel is fairly full, but the finish is a bit too dry. Doesn't quite match the sweetness. Drinkability is pretty good. Something I'd have again for sure.

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Photo of oberon
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a tawny brown with a slightly off white head,aroma is rainy and fruity with almost a vanolla note.Taste is of burnt fruit and raisins with a biscuit malt back bone with a pleasant soft fruitiness thru the finish.A real nice night cap beer even better than expected,another good one from Arcadia.

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Photo of mactrail
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Winey, medium bodied amber ale. An intriguing scent, like apple mash at the cider press. A hint of whiskey and alcohol fumes. Dark butterscotch color in the tulip glass, nice lacing after a modest head. Quite fragrant in the nose. A whiff of mince pie and brandy, maybe a touch of smoke but not much. Not very sweet but plenty of dark malt flavors. Long aftertaste with some bitterness and more dark fruit. More subtle than the smoky sweet examples of the style. Very sippable.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arcadia Scotch Ale pours a very dark chocolate "black" body beneath a huge dollop of creamy dark tan foam that shortly dies down into a thin, thick head. The retention is good but the lacing could be better (must be due to the alcohol).

The nose is grainy with a hint of roasted barley, some very dark chocolate notes, and perhaps even a bit of smoke.

The body is full, and it's creamy and smooth across the palate.

In the mouth, it's richly malty, sweetish, caramelish, and delicately fruity and floral with a bit of anise as well... surprisingly complex, yet still right on for the style - this one gives the Scottish quite a run for their money!

Worth trying. Arcadia does well with English styles, and apparently Scottish styles as well!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark walnut that becomes darkest cherry with orange peel edges when backlit. The cap is on the small side due to what appears to be a less than optimal amount of carbonation. I still managed to get two fingers for a brief instant. The toasted tan foam is nearly featureless as it fades away and isn't the least bit sticky, resulting in a clean glass.

The nose is better than average, though not by a whole helluva lot. It needs to be stronger, maltier, peatier, smokier... something to engage the olfactory lobe. I can appreciate moderately roasted dark malt, cocoa and--oddly enough--a whiff of maple syrup. I certainly hope that Scotch Ale has something more to offer on the palate.

It does and it doesn't. It comes on like gangbusters at first, but there's very little depth or complexity, very little substance underneath that initial flash of flavor. As a consequence, it's tough to tease out many facets to the flavor profile. Let's see... black malt, chocolate, licorice (especially)... that's about it. There's just a hint of peaty sourness and no smoke that I could detect.

In addition, it's at least as bitter as it is sweet, maybe more so. That's certainly an odd personality quirk for a beer of this style and it isn't an altogether welcome one. I drink Scotch Ales for their complex malty sweetness, not for their hoppy bitterness. It tastes and feels like the ABV is at least a percentage point higher, but I don't mind a bit.

The mouthfeel falls into line behind the appearance, the aroma and the flavor. It could stand to be bigger, creamier and more bubbled, yet still manages to get the job done. I wouldn't mind the lack of carbonation so much if the beer was bigger overall.

My hope was that ASA would at least as good as Arcadia's superb London Porter and Imperial Stout, but it isn't close. Most of the necessary elements are present, they just need a huge spark in order to create something the least bit electrifying. As currently constructed, Scotch Ale generates nothing more than a minor buzz. Then again, that could be the alcohol talking.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
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 chinchill
3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Undated 2013(?) bottle poured with some vigor into a snifter.

Clear despite a coat of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Only a thin tan head with weak retention, but some spotty lacing.

Rich, malty aroma and flavor with an excellent finish and aftertaste. Lightly sweet well into the aftertaste. Some dark fruit. Peppry with faint hints of other spices.

Feel: medium+ body; fine, low carbonation.

O: Nicely true to style, particularly the malty aroma, but with the higher ABV a bit more obvious. Best ale I've had from this brewery.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick foamy lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruit, vanilla, spices, chocolate and caramelized malts.

T: The taste is malty and sweet with flavors of cherries, chocolate, vanilla and some spices. There's very mild hops presence, but that is expected for the style. The after-taste is sweet with a touch of tartness.

M: Smooth and deceptively crisp, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, very good representation of style, it's not really a beer that you can pound down, but that's not what you look for from a Scotch Ale. It's a very good beer that you would want to relax with and sip slowly. This is another good beer from Arcadia.

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Photo of russpowell
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a chestnut tinged mahogany with a thumb of tan head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Plums, cherry & taffy

T:Dark fruit, woody hop notes & cola notes up front, along with some raw boozey notes. Molasess, carob & cherry are there as this warms, Finishes with raw boozeynes cherriess a touch smokeynesss

MF: Medium bodied, light carbonation, warming but rough around the edges

This is better than previous bottles I've had, but still not much to get excited about. Another run of the mill beer from Arcadia

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Stole a bottle o' this from my brother, but I figure I helped pay for it (in a way), so this is my cut. ...Right?... Anyway, it pours a dark ruby-burnt sienna topped by a finger of dirty tan foam. The nose comprises figs, raisins, light red grapes, candi sugar, brown sugar, caramel, maple syrup, and cinnamon. The slightly acrid fruitiness up front worries me, but I trudge onward. Nothing to worry about here in the taste: The figs return, but the grapes are left behind; in their stead stand brown sugar, toasted toffee, molasses, and a surprising amount of alcohol. The body is a strong medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly thick, slightly oily feel. Overall, a pretty good scotch ale, a bit boozy for its size, but not bad.

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Photo of smcolw
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours reddish-brown on the light side. Difficult to determine the clarity. Moderate head; nearly no lace

Sweet brown malt aromas. This has the hint of alcohol potential.

The taste starts with a crystal/chocolate malt flavor. This quickly moves to a bitter black patent flavoring. Soft hop balance in the swallow. The aftertaste is similar to mocha. Full bodied with an appropriate amount of carbonation.

This is a smooth Scotch Ale. It is not as sweet as most, but it is full of big flavor.

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Photo of jwc215
1.94/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours very dark brown with a huge foamy tan head that descends, quite loudly to a rocky cover then a thin lid that eventually disappears.

The smell is fruity, yeasty and sour. A hint of caramel and a touch of peat are subdued.

The taste is sweet, sour and fruity. Some caramel and only a vague hint of peat are present - though they take some patience to allow them to come through at all. The Pacific NW hops - usually welcomed - do nothing here and seem out of place. It's off on the style, and is too clumsy as a beer regardless of style. Sourness is too dominating. Sweetness is misplaced.

It is on the lighter side of medium bodied. The rush of carbonation in the first half disappears in the second, leaving something of a watery character to the body.

Too flawed to be enjoyable. Misses the boat on the style. Odd.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, caramel brown color, small, fizzy head, soon dissolved.
Aroma is toffee and nuts, cola and little else. Sweet, nice enough.
Taste: chocolatey sweet, thick presence on the palate, but not too much so, in fact a bit lacking in character. A bit one-dimensional. Huge malt, mocha and cocoa, sweet and delightful, but not much beyond that.
Tasty, rolls easily off the tongue, long, gritty cocoa finish, fuller bodied.
A good tasting, easy drinker.

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Photo of Billolick
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer, w/o freshness info being offered, pours dark amber, under a dark tan head, decent retention, minor lacing. The nose is boldly of cola and malt.Malty sweet brew, notes of ripe fruits, vanilla, and honey. Not the most interesting of styles, IMHO, but this one is servicable, drinkable and represents a decent sessioner.

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Photo of tempest
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A tasty example of a scotch ale. Not amazing and the appearance doesn't have much going for it, but still not a bad brew. Rich caramel grain flavor with a touch of alcohol when it gets warm. Very smooth drinking and a medium mouthfeel, about right for the abv.

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Photo of WesWes
3.21/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a sour yeast scent that is paired with pale, crystal, and roasted malts. There may be others present, but I can't tell the difference because of the contamination. The taste is average. It has a bold malt presence. It's rich with crystal, peated, and roasted malts. It goes down and warms on the finish. There is a sour finish. It's not as pronounced due to the high dark malt component. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This beer is at least drinkable, but not one I'd buy again. The contamination is too distracting.

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Photo of Tone
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color. 1/6 inch head of pale tan. Good retentiona and slight lacing. Smells of a hint of alcohol, roasted malt, sweet malt, slight nut, hint of earthy malt, and dry hop. Fits the style of a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy. Mouth feel is smooth and clean with an average carbonation level. Tastes of a hint of alcohol, roasted malt, sweet malt, hint of oatmeal, slight dry hop, and a hint of earthy malt. Overall, lacking in appearance, decent aroma, blend and body.

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Photo of Gavage
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear burgandy brown color with a decent 1" head. No lacing lacing develops.

Smell: slight roasted malts and a bit of nuts are light in the aroma category.

Taste: roasted malts, hints of nuts, prunes, bits of peat, and a nice bitterness make this a nice brew to sip.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start and finish. The maltiness lingers briefly on the tongue. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: very easy drinking and a decent session brew. Well worth giving this a try.

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Photo of biegaman
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 535 ratings.
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