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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Ratings: 560 |  Reviews: 273
Photo of AJacob81
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Mahogany, with auburn highlights. Creamy one-finger head sticks around as a soapy white ring, leaving sporadic lacing.

S - Roasted malt, molasses, brown sugar, and a hint of caramel.

T - Follows the nose, with the addition of a warming alcohol presence that complements instead of overpowering. No hops at all, really.

M and D - Medium body, moderate carbonation. Drinks super easily.

The price is reasonable, and this is a pleasant enough example of a Wee Heavy. Will probably get this again.

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Photo of Davidpgibbons
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been saving for a year to see if its changed with age but i couldnt tell a differance
Pours a nice finger size creamy head that vanishes quickly. Smells just like any ord scotch ale but taste pretty smooth with minimal bozziness, heance the 8abv. I can taste notes of toffee and something sweet on my tongue, perhaps caramel? Aftertaste is great. Lots of lacing, and good carb
Overall i decent beer, not my fav scotch ale but pretty good. Im a decent fan of arcadia so....

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Photo of MowryJC
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass

A - Deep rich mahogany with dark rub highlights. Capped with an almost finger head of light walnut foam that collapses into a healthy thick film that sticks around to the end. Spotty lacing left down the side of the glass.

S - Super malty toffee and caramel, a bit of bread as well. Not even a hint of hops. An underlying booziness that you can barely sense, it's quite nice.

T - Powerful caramel maltiness, raisins and almost burned sugar. A certain sweetness that toes the line into being cloying, but not quite there. Very light smokiness. Definitely a strong example of the style, but could use a wee bit of balance from some hops, nothing perverse.

M - The best part of this beer, the thick mouthfeel is full of body and coats the mouth and tongue without being cloying. A little booze reminds you this beer should be a sipper. Quite nice.

This beer isn't made for slamming back, and that's a-ok with me. I'm not a raging fan of the style, but in the right mood or with the right food I'd happily pick up one of these guys. Nice job, Arcadia.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours decent for the style. There's about a finger thick light tan head, and the body is dark brown and barely see through.

The aroma is bready and toffee in character, and a hint of metallic hops.

The taste is more of a brown ale to me... Caramel, sweet dark breads, but not as much of a hops profile as I expected.

Feels lightly carbonated, a bit wetting to the palate with a warm finish.

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Photo of HOPPYKC
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. No bb date available on the bottle but says it was bottled on 1/23/2010, but i think it was probably bottled on 11/23/2010, i don't know if it would be a year old, i just bought it from the store today and they haven't been selling Arcadia in Kansas for that long. It pours a nice and thick dark brown, almost to a black color but more of a nice mahogany. It gave a nice foamy light tan head that went away very quickly. Opaque to look through and shows descent signs of carbonation. Has a bit of a bite on the tongue and even more on the back of the throat. Ive had a few scotch ales and this one delivers on the full flavor. Compared to O'Dell 90 shilling this is a bit more flavorful but its def. a little hard to drink, its a sipper. Leaves a nice film on the tongue and palate, roasted malt and grains for sure, barely, almost a soft milk chocolate. I think its a little unbalanced as there isn't enough hop flavor to even the brew out a bit but i still enjoy the brew. Cheers.

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Photo of DannyDan
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to a dark reddish-brown body with a thin tan head that has some lacing, little retention and good carbonation. The smell is some apples, caramel, some dark fruits and overall a malty aroma. The taste is a mix of apples, caramel followed by chocolate with raisins coming at the end. I also taste a slight hints of hops at the very last drop leaving that along with the apples and caramel in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is soft on the cheeks and back of tongue, but has a little bit of a tingly feel on the lips and tip of the tongue. This is a nice beer to drink and feels lighter than I would have expected. I'm guessing it is a medium to full body instead of just a full bodied beer. Pretty good stuff, but not quite as good as Dark Horse or Founder's, still worth a try.

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Photo of bfields4
3.32/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thin head. Deep brown body.

Very malty aroma toffee, fruity, a vanillaish.

More toffee. Nuts and vanilla. Toasted malts a hint of prunes. Small cinnamon burn at the end.

Chewy and lightly carbonated. A bit of a alcohol burn. Nothing too complex or out of the box. A good beer all in all. I have been more impressed by scotch ales, but it fits the standard nicely.

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

From notes...

This beer is a deep, opaque bronze with red-brown in the depth. A light reddish-brown head reaches just over one finger high. Retention and lacing are good.
Malts are big in the aroma here with a light, obviously present but not overbearing alcohol note. Underneath is some chocolate and caramel sweetness and a hint of nuts and a touch of raisin/prune.
The beauty of this one is how well everything melds together as well as the complexity and the excellent balancing of the hops, flavorfully adding a floral and earthy bitterness to balance the sweeter and boozier aspects. Otherwise all the caramel, toffee and dark fruits one would expect are here, along with a melding of light chocolate and slight nutty flavors.
Each swallow starts crisp and melds into a nocely smooth, medium-full body and ends in a lingering semi-dry finish.
This one is a bit underrated in my opinion and one of the best I've had from this brewery thus far.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
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 homebrewhawk
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a Celebrator glass. Poured a deep brown with a thin tan head. Malt predominates the aroma with chocolate and caramel. Medium bodied, pretty easy drinking for 8% ABV. More malt in the flavor as you would expect from a Scotch Ale. Caramel and a hint of smoke in the finish. Decent version of a Scotch Ale.

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Photo of RMcMinn
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't often drink Scotch Ale but decided to try this one. Does not have a strong scotch flavor or odor, but the presence of oak is very detectable. Nice amber color. Very little head and what little is there does not stay very long. The flavor is nice, but not as much body as you would expect from a scotch ale. It is a nice, drinkable beer, but would not present it to others as a true example of a scotch ale.

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Photo of CHickman
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaque black with a small creamy tan head that faded quickly; zero lacing, and I mean zero.

Smells of roasted malt, chocolate, toast, cocoa, grains, caramel, coffee and a barrel aged or smoky aroma; nice roasted nose overall.

Tastes of roasted malt, chocolate, burnt toast, cocoa, toasted grains, caramel, coffee, toffee, herbs, light citrus hops, licorice, pepper and faint alcohol; the barrel aged/smoky flavor adds a nice sweet touch before the bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with very little carbonation, a heavy body and a smoky slightly bitter finish.

Good drinkability, this was tasty and went down with relative ease. Will seek this out again, as this was a nice slow sipper and not a session beer.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer in Arcadia's mixed 12 pack. I sampled this beer a couple years ago but can't recall what it was like so let's see how it goes. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- This brew poured a very dark brown color, almost black, with two fingers worth of off white head that turned into a very thin ring that stayed the rest of the time.

S- Roasted caramel malts and dark fruits are the main things I get from the aroma, there is also a very slight presence of booze. This beer has most of the aromas you would expect from a scotch ale.

T- The Roasted caramel malts make their presence known at the start and come off creamy and smooth. The dark fruits come into play next along with some sweet brown sugar on the finish. The alcohol is almost non existent in the taste.

M- Medium bodied, smooth, and good carbonation.

D- I find this beer to be very drinkable. The flavors are nicely balanced and the alcohol is hidden very nicely, it's hard to believe this beer weighs in at 8%. I would have no problem drinking 3 or 4 of these.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good scotch ale and the flavors were on point for the style. I was surprised to find a brew with 8% percent in a mixed 12 pack, but I feel it was a great addition and was my favorite of the four. Good job Arcadia this was one kick ass scotch ale that I am glad i revisited. I would say this is the second best wee heavy i have had, Founders dirty Bastard is number one.

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3.21/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle of fresh winter 2010 "Loch Down".
A: A good deep brown to black body with slight red hues around the edges. Head holds well and lace is almost non-existing.
S: A nice example of the classic elements, but a strange chalky note. Good bit of intensity.
T/M: The front is a watery and almost vacant sensation until a sweetness of the body hits and throws in a bit of a caramel, barley note. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and too smooth. Finish is short and on the low intensity side of things.
D: Does not really have me running back for more, even so the rest of the beer was a bit off thinking about the false and empty front on this beer. Element all a bit short on this one.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.82/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apparently now called "Loch-Down" Scotch ale-Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown in color, with a rather short head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Dark, toasted malt
Taste-Toasted dark malts and an unexpected smokiness that bumps the flavor up a couple of notches. Subtle hop note plays well with the malt and underlying smokiness. Smooth and silky upon warming. A decent brew overall.

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Photo of deafcat
3.36/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11/18/10 poured from bottle into smuttynose tulip glass

a - dark brown with one inch head that dissipates slowly, great retention with just a slight layer of head that hangs around

s - strong burnt coffee notes, decent sense of alcohol

t - whoa! this is dark, bitter, roasted, and heavy; this is my first scotch ale, so perhaps this is common. Still, this was overwhelming. slight coffee notes, a little bit of burnt toast, not really sweet - good sense of the alcohol, though. you can really taste it.

m - okay, light carbonation, not very heavy, smooth, dry aftertaste

d - not bad, could probably have another one of these or two; alcohol makes it an unlikely choice for a session beer, though. Would rather something maltier, less burnt tasting.

overall a decent brew. This was my first scotch ale so hard to judge based on style. Didn't mind drinking it. Tried pairing it with some gouda cheese by recommendation but think it might have been a little too overwhelming in the burnt taste. Still, not a bad choice.

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Photo of radioscooter
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm currently on a Scotch Ale taste test to try to replace (and if possible, eclipse) my long-time favorite Mcewan's. We can't get McEwan's anymore in the US.

As I've mentioned, I don't feel qualified to simply add more commentary on beers, so I try to switch it up to bring a little something new to the table. This time I am taste-testing FOUR Scotch Ales (yes, I'm going to bed soon) and putting them all to my McEwan's Litmus test against the "real one". In this case, the real one is the McEwan's. No fancy Jacobites tonight - we are comparing McEwan's to :

Skull Splitter
Duck Rabbit
Arcadia Ales

Michigan is putting out some great brews these days. I was expecting this one to be like so many American craft beers, which seem to be inextricably linked to ridiculous amounts of hoppiness. I wonder if we'll all look back on these insanely hop-oriented days the way we look back on acid washed jeans. Can't be soon enough for my taste.

Pours a dark amber with a fair but light head. Nice structure and lacing but not a ton of body.

Aroma sends hoips and herbs right to the nose as expected.

Taste is surprisingly pleasant though. The thing that marks McEwans as a different ale in my book is its malty, toffee sweetness and this one blends a little of that in with its hoppy, herbal underlaying.

I can't drink this all night as it is a bit too bitter for my taste but I applaud the adherance to the style. Back off the hops a bit (shudder) and we'd be one step closer to the Loch.

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Photo of LairdChisholm
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Pours a deep amber color with copper highlights. There is about a one finger, tan head that has wonderful retention along with lacing that is just as good.

S - There is some roasted, caramel malts and dark fruits. Maybe a little bit of maple syrup also.

T - Has smooth dark roasted malts up front. There are notes of dark fruits, mostly plums. At the end there is an aftertaste of burnt brown sugar.

M - This is where this Ale suffers. There is not nearly enough carbonation which makes this way too thin for any ale, let alone a Wee Heavy.

D - This tastes fine but the mouthfeel really holds this ale back.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle

Arcadia Scotch Ale poured a dark caramel color with a 1 ½ finger tan head forming lacing that circled the glass. The nose is of roasted malts, toffee and nutty. The taste is like the smell with the flavor of dark rum and chocolate added. Mouth feel is a little creamy, and to the lighter side for a Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy.

Arcadia Scotch Ale falls on the "smaller" side of the Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy category. Not my [most] favorite Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy, however, it is tasty and worth a try...another and another...

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

I have to admit that I was a little disappointed to see that the average rating for this beer is only a B (at least as of the date of my review), as I found it to be an excellent find. Review is from notes taken on 4/8/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark caramel (burnt kind of color) brown; starts with a one finger tan head that fades rather quickly to a thin, uneven, incomplete skim; body is dark and nearly opaque, but it does show sufficient dark mahogany highlights when held to the light; fair washes and spots of lacing are left holding to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Nice and quite strong! Strong hints of sweet caramel malts; a bit of a wet grainy and peaty/mossy scent; mild whiff of vaporous alcohol.

Taste: What a find! Nice balance of flavors that are true to the style -- nice sweet caramel malts with a firm balance of that tall, wet graininess and a slight hint of smokey peat and moss; a bit of a cola like sweetness as it warms just a little bit, but it's still largely subdued and doesn't overwhelm the palate and allows the other flavors to rule it as they do.

Mouthfeel: A chewy mouthfeel with a medium weight in the body; carbonation is fairly strong, but not sharp and it keeps a fairly thick body quite lively; a nice thick coating of stickiness is all over the roof of the mouth and holds the malty flavors quite well in the aftertaste; belly is left a little warm.

Drinkability: I'm so stoked that I picked this beer up! A solid scotch ale at a very reasonable price ($1.65/bottle); great flavors, solid smell and mouthfeel -- I could really sip on this all day, and even more so when the weather turns chilly.

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Photo of EtOHMD
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Friend from Michigan visiting us which made the beer choice easier at the Wine Cellar. Pours a dark brown / copper / mahogany / maroon color with decently thick head. Sweet / caramel and boozy / whiskey combination of smells. Malty caramel boozy taste -- nice and warming. Bit syrupy feel as others have noted, only down side of this beer. Can taste the alcohol but not overwhelming. Definitely a good brew that I would get again.

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Photo of adamwonak
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a surprisingly mellow version of a Scotch Ale. I found it had less of smokey malt flavor than I'm used to in a Scotch Ale. However, I feel that is one of the strong points of this beer. I found it very well balanced, neither the hops nor malts were overwhelming. Surprisingly, I didn't even notice the alcohol notes. That is impressive for a 7.5% beer. I would definitely drink this beer again.

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Photo of mobyfann
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid around $1.90 for a single at The Party Source...

The beer pours a clear dark brown base, huge head, very good retention and lacing on the glass. A very heavy malty smell with smokey and sweet bourbon tones.

This beer tastes a little syrupy to start and end, mixed in the middle with a very low carbonated smooth malt roller coaster; nothing amazing but solid for its style. Smooth in the mouth and a good rotation beer!

Final Thought: Liked the experience, except those almost too syrupy moments.

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Photo of youngleo
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a one fingered head that hung around for a little while. Head itself was caramelish in color. Left some lacing. Smelled a little on the boozy side. Also of burnt malt. Tasted of burnt smokey malt, a little caramel, and had that burnt smokey malt aftertaste. Felt a little thicker in the mouth. Carbonation was right. I could drink a few of these. You would have to be carefull while making the Scotch Ale a session beer. Only because of the higher alcohol content. Ill drink again.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
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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Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 560 ratings.
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