Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale | Arcadia Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
83
good
269 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
269
Ratings:
530
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
18.63%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
53
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 269 | Ratings: 530
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.

 546 characters

Photo of bnes09
2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark leather brown. Fairly weak head that forms some lacing.

Big malty aroma of wheat toast, molasses and almonds.

Malty flavor, toasty, cherry sweetness. Rough and stale hop flavor ruins the experience. Old and musty aftertaste. Unpleasant.

Medium to full bodied. Low carbonation and strange texture with a dry finish.

I'll pass on this one. I am a fan of scotch ales but this is just not good.

 399 characters

Photo of Ratman197
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of adnielsen (thanks AAron) poured a cklear reddish brown with a small lingering tan head. Aromas of toffee,tobacco, grapes and light carmel. Palate was light to medium bodied and crisp. Flavors of toffee, tobacco, grapes and light carmel with a crisp lingering tobacco finish.

 293 characters

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

For starters, the new label is awesome, but the beer is dark with some orange highlights and headless. Nose is barley and some sweetness, the taste brings in chestnut and coffee, more roasted barley, anise, fruits, and florals, a lot of nice interplay of flavors, really, but there is this unresolved sweetness that I've found in a lot of their beers. Still, very complex and a nice example of the style, although it could have more peat as well as richness in the mouthfeel, which is on the dry side. Would buy again.

 518 characters

Photo of lurpy1
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A rock solid Scotch Ale. Smell is predominantly molasses, sugary, and clearly some alcohol content. The taste is all of the above, with caramel, raisin/grape, and a surprising twist of smoke thrown into the mix. Alcohol runs interference with the mouthfeel a bit, even for a wee heavy, it ran to the heavy.

Overall, definitely liked it. My first Arcadia experience was not a great one, but after talking with a beer store guy who is a big Arcadia suporter I gave them another try. Glad it panned out.

 501 characters

Photo of smwesson500
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark Brown

S: Dark Malts, with a hint of coffee. Think of how a guinness smells and its pretty darn close.

T: Starts of wonderfully. Dark malts mixed with molasses transitioning into coffee. However, a bitter metallic taste conquers the finish and is mildly displeasing. Still better than most.

M: Beautifully sculpted body until the metallic finish then it puckers the mouth.

O: I do like this beer. The metallic taste at the end of the beer throws it off. But the other attributes contribute enough to save this beer from mediocrity.

 542 characters

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

A - Pours a dark brown, almost opaque, but some copper light gets through. There's a finger or so of sand-colored head, but it drops to a thin film pretty quickly, but stays around 'til the glass is gone.

S - A fair amount of toffee and a touch of smoke. Some sweet fruitiness, too.

T - Smooth, sweet toffee, but not a ton of it. There's a touch of smoke and some roasty bitterness, but this is altogether pretty sweet and smooth. Pretty tasty, but definitely among the subtler wee heavies.

M - Moderately full, with a fair amount of carbonation that prickles the tongue.

Overall, this is a fine beer. I've definitely had better, but I certainly wouldn't turn this down.

 674 characters

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.

 783 characters

Photo of climax
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Loch Down pours a very deep black bear color. The head is surprisingly spry for an 8% Scotch. The retention is admirable, yet it leaves without much lacing.

The aroma is fuming from the get-go. Dark flavors of chocolate and black cherries are accompanied by an obvious but pleasant warmth of alcohol. More subtle, yet definitely detectable notes include: coffee, maple, licorice, and vanilla.

The flavor doesn't come across quite as bold as the nose. The flavors are warm and the alcohol is very evident. That complexity just isn't present in the way I was hoping.

The body is actually quite thin. The carbonation starts of like synthetic cotton and leaves a slightly sharp bite. My stomach definitely feels warm from the alcohol, which could be more refined.

 765 characters

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.

 477 characters

Photo of Bung
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Almost a mohoghany pour with minimal off white head. Seems about standard.

Aroma, Plenty of malt, toffee, yellow raisin, peat. Light toast and warmth.

Taste, it is malty for sure. Caramel, some red fruit and raisin. Finish has some more bitter roast, light currant and cocoa. Good but maybe just a bit acrid.

Slightly more carbonation than I'd like and I don't think it helps the slightly harsh nature. Some warmth to it as well, not bad, but not sure how good th warming is either.
Worth a try I suppose.

 515 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark tan/brown, not much head or lacing.

SMell - Dark fruits, scotch, some sugars, not much smell.

Taste - Scotch and malts make the main flavor. Has a sweet fruit like rasin and plum mixed with some molasses to give it a cola like flavor. Mild chocolate like flavor also comes in.

MOuthfeel - Medium thickness, coats mouth with syrup-like sweetness. Tounge gets some sugars and malts, palette the same. Not real strong flavor and aftertaste is sweet but not long lasting.

Overall - Average, nothing special, and a little to bland/weak flavor. Theres alot better ones out there. Its decent and the price was nice for the bottle, but not worth another purchase.

 700 characters

Photo of MeisterBurger
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Fresh bottle from the brewery store.

Dark cola like in appearance. Not an abundance of head or carbonation or anything interesting. Just a 3/4 collar of foam and slight traces of lace, with the head slowly dying down and barely making it to the finish line.

The aroma is almost nonexistent for me. Getting raisins or prunes mostly with hint of vanilla.

Taste is earthy peaty sweet bready malts washed away by a gentle bitterness. Treacle. Black strap molasses. Plummy. Coke like aspects are at play. Cherry cola almost, or chocolate covered cherries. Alcohol is a tad abrasive.

Medium mouthfeel, smooth, a little watery. Could use some beefing up.

Overall it's just okay for me.

 683 characters

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark cola brown with a half-finger of head that dissipates pretty quickly.

S: I can smell the booze, but I like it. Also some sweet molasses, syrup, caramel, maple, etc.

T: Tastes almost like a cola! Malts, caramel, and molasses on the back end. Pretty tasty!

M: Feels every big like every scotch ale I've had does. Feels great on the palate.

O: Fantastic beer. Love scotch ales and love this one too. Cheers!

 467 characters

Photo of abgba121
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours black, with a very slight tan head that leaves behind a very light lacing

S: I can smell the alcohol, it is also very sweet to the nose

T: Alcohol very present, along with the strong, sweet and roasted malts

M: medium to thick body and good carbonation

O: a good scotch ale/wee heavy, a must try

 308 characters

Photo of silentjay
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

a ruby brown body with a small light khaki head that settles to a thin film and leaves a bit of lacing.

a bit of caramel and molasses with a ton of fruity scents (plums, dates, rasins). thats about it.

very sweet and syrupy, almost soda-like with a bit of caramel, molasses, and fruit juice. like plum soda. very sweet and sticky.

soda like in body as well, though less carbonated. I'm just getting the feel I get from drinks high in high fructose corn syrup.

its not a bad beer, its just not great either. too syrupy, though I know that a certain amount is expected in the style.... this just overdoes it.

 611 characters

Photo of jmbranum
4.32/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with light tan head.

Aroma is thick with maple and caramel notes.

Flavor is rich. Some maple. Lots of lingering sweetness. Some red wine,,molasses, very toasted malt,,little bit of hops are in the background.

Little bit of dark xhocolate. Lots of alcoholic warmth.

Medium smooth mouthfedl.

(Bought in manhattan,kansas. Enjoyed at home in oklahoma city)

 368 characters

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

 560 characters

Photo of jale
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the brewery.

A: Pours brown with a quarter of off white head.

S: Light smokiness caramel and a hint of sweet malt.

T: Slightly sweet smoky malt upfront followed by alcohol heat. Small amount of caramel and nuts. Mild hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium body. Could use a tad more carbonation.

O: Decent scotch ale.

 337 characters

Photo of jmvecchio1
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours off the draft a deep hazy garnet and the aroma off this beer is equally rich and deep.

There's a powerful pop of plums, candied cherries, and a slight nutty smell.

Surprisingly, this beer does not scream scotch upon the first taste. It's a warming blend of malts with hints of tart fruit and a small amount of hop bitterness.

Overall, a steady beer. But a one and done for me.

 396 characters

Photo of ModemMisuser
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle was purchased from Siciliano's in Grand Rapids during a road trip. I whipped up a mixed 6-pack of MI brews, and this was the one I chose from Arcadia. I'm on a Scottish/Scotch ale kick... :D

Appearance is very dark brown, mildly cloudy. I wasn't able to evaluate the head formation or retention, as I split the bottle with my wife. We use small sample glasses for this, and thus never get much head.

Aroma... Medium-dark malts. Chocolate. Mild-to-moderate alcohol.

The beer had a medium body, fairly low carbonation.

Taste was of caramel, a slight bourbon-y note, and did I mention caramel. I mainly got caramel from the flavor, with a medium alcohol character. Not barleywine-like, definitely more mild than that, but alcohol was noted.

Overall a good Wee Heavy; would like the chance to try it on tap sometime.

 825 characters

Photo of ElizabethCraig
3.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had from a bottle we brought home from our Michigan road trip.

Appearance was a dark brown translucent (opacity was 9/10, you could just see a little light through it when you hold it up a bit). Some pretty copper tones when you hold it up to the light. The head was a pale tan. I can't evaluate the formation since my husband and I split the 12oz into 2 sample glasses.

The scent was a rich dark chocolate malt. I'm trying to learn to be more specific about what I'm smelling, but there you are: dark chocolate malt was all I could get.

Low carbonation, a sweet chocolate malt with a high alcohol 'burn' going to a coffee bittersweet, to chocolate malt sweetness at the end.

I am a malt freak, but admittedly not the best person to review this style of beer.

I don't care for the higher alcohol burn in this beer, and if I recall correctly it's a character of the style. Looking it up in the Android BJCP app didn't help me much on that. What can be a 'mild alcohol' taste to one person may be overwhelming to another.

This was my first Arcadia beer, and I will seek them out to try more.

 1,095 characters

Photo of ssimpson89
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 3/23/11

Pours almost stout like black, with hint of ruby around the edges when held to the light. Aroma is almost non existent, but did pick a faint peat like smell. Small tan head quickly evaporated leaving small bubble around the ring.

Roasted malty flavor with a hint of dark fruits and smoky peat, although the flavors are not very prominent. Thin and crisp mouth feel with a dry finish. The flavor did improve as the beer warmed.

Very drinkable for a Scotch Ale although I would have preferred a stronger flavor profile.

 536 characters

Photo of thegodfather1076
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served out of a 12oz. bottle dispensed into a glass....

Presentation - Cool graphics on the label.

Appearance - Pours out a rootbeer brown with a 1 finger tan head that dissipates rather quickly into a light foam ring. Left a light lacing on the glass.

Smell - Smells of a sweet toasted caramel malt with hints of vanilla.

Taste - Tastes of a toasted nutty malt and raisin. Finishes off as toasty and smokey.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light carbonation. Slightly creamy feel.

Drinkability - Very tasty, smooth, and drinkable.

I believe this was my first Wee Heavy and I really enjoyed the flavor profile and mouthfeel that this brew had. I would definitly recommend trying this and I will probably end up trying it again in the future.

 763 characters

Photo of zoso1967
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Loch Down pours a very dark tawny brown with a light tan head. The beer is surprisingly dark and looks a bit murky. The head has moderate staying power and leaves run of the mill lace.

The aroma is a bit one dimensional. It has a lot of malty sweet and not much else. It is a very caramelized sweetness that has a pleasant character to it, but I just wish it was a bit richer and had some peat. Some earthy hops and a bit of alcohol are also present, but way in the back.

The flavor is much like the aroma, but it does have a bit more going on. The caramelized malt is once again front and center. It is also joined by some dark fruity notes, a tad of roastyness, a touch of molasses and some earthy hops.

The mouthfeel is medium with a very low amount of carbonation. It is a sweet beer but finishes without being terribly cloying. Some nice malty flavors linger on my tongue.

Overall this is actually a pretty decent beer, though it seems a little weak for a scotch ale. It drinks a lot more like a smaller beer, which I guess is a good thing. If you want a more aggressive scotch ale with more peat character, look elsewhere.

 1,133 characters

Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 269 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe