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: 271 | Ratings: 554
Photo of BedetheVenerable
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top with really nice Scottish-themed label

Appearance: Nice bright beer...dark walnut with a tan head with decent retention

Smell: Lots of sweet dark and caramel malts, hints of alcohol soaked fruit

Taste: In keeping with the aroma; it's mildly alcoholic, sweet and fruity, with a touch of smoke on the finish...simple but real nice

Mouthfeel: Rich, fairly heavy

Drinkability: Pretty high

Conclusion: Good by the fire sipping beer for the colder months...this is a nice representation of the style

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Photo of CWBlues
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

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

Dark stained-oak brown with a russet sheen. Frothy, cobwebby, dirty khaki brown head with decent lacing. Brown sugar, plums, raisins, light peat, shoe leather, and a whiff of smoke. Nice and malty. Scorched sugar, sweet dark fruits, and rum cake make up the malty introduction. This is followed by hints of herbal bitterness around a peaty, whiskeyish, warming middle. Brown sugar, toffee, a hint of licorice, and a slight vegetal twang make up the chewy finish. Medium-full bodied with a creamy feel. The alcohol is perhaps a little too noticeable but otherwise a nice Scotch Ale.

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

A - Clear, dark, ruby red. Good head of tan foam.

S - Malty with toast, dark fruit - cherries and raisins - and caramel.

T - On the sweet side with a rich fruity body, some metal,licorice, toast and spicy alcohol. Drawn out bitter finish.

M - Chewy body with low carbonation.

D - Nice rich brew. Lots of flavour.

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Photo of jimbomill
4.01/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour is standard on this one. The nose is moist, in traces its earthy.

The drink is a dark one - filtering light well. I can see bubbles from the carbonation.

The first taste is one of delight as there is a smooth delivery with a slightly fruity finish - how do they get the malt to do that? I expected a stronger ale-like presence, but this is a pleasant surprise. This is a very tasty treat, have had before, will again

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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 Vancer
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Arcadia can be all over the board with the quality of their brews, but I must say I was pleased with this one.

Almost black – but a dark oak brown, little head unless poured aggressively. Luv the caramel , toffee and raisons(?) in the aroma. Taste was a solid scotcher – sweet malts mixed well with the previously mentioned attributes. In fact, the only ding would be that it stays a bit on the sweet side. Rich and full bodied for the style.

Still a tasty brew – smooth and either shippable or poundable.

Note: Whoa! I see on BA it’s 7.5% - alcohol not noticeable in the least, nice.

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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 ken3c
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very small head dwindles to very thin wisps. Murky dark brown color.

Malt, carmel, and peat aromas dominite the aroma with a hint of alcohol. There is also a "brewery" smell common to most Arcadia brews. I wish I could describe it better but I rather like it.

Sweet malty taste up front with a roasty malt finish.

Foamy mouthfeel is strange considering that there is no foam. Full bodied. Warming.

I just really like Arcadia beers. It feels like -my- beer. It's not great or inspiring or delicious. It just makes me smile.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz. bottle, acquired in trade, poured to a "La Rulles" tasting glass. Label is fairly lackluster design effort (two sword crossed behind a round shield; notched at 'F' and '1" to indicate when it was made, but I have no idea what the letters/numbers mean...

A: Deep mahogany brown, with almost no head as is typical. A thin ring of off-white creamy film encircles the glass. Clarity shows when held to light, as does a moderate amount of rising carbonation.

S: Nice husky smoke & peat smell. Sweet spices and molasses. Nothing standing out as "hops" in the aroma, maybe a little spice and mint(?)/herbalness.

T: Flavor is full, earthy and tantalizingly spiced. Molasses, caramel and some raisin notes. Smoked cereal grain gives a delicious sweetness. Hops don't dominate the maltiness; rather their bitterness rounds off and dries out the cocoa-like finish. Nice balance in this beer.

M: Crisp and lively carbonation. Sweeter malts do tend to stick on the palette, but it's in a pleasant, warming sort of way.

D: I found this to be a pleasure to drink - good flavors and balance, enticing aroma, alcohol that's present but well-concealed. Enjoyed it alot and would hope to have it again...thanks go out to CRJMellor for sending.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.06/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep auburn with some clarity. Very dark, light hardly passes through. Thin head forms a collar, some retention and quite a bit of lacing. The nose is rich and malty with waves of toffee and caramel along with grainy bread and nuts. No hop presence on the nose. A slight hint of smokiness in the background. The taste starts of bready and becomes very sweet as the flavor develops. The finish features a touch of molasses along with caramel. Nice balance of flavors working here. The body is moderate with higher than average carbonation for style. Overall, this is a well crafted Wee Heavy. Lots of rich malty flavors are present and well balanced, the abv is well hidden as well.

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Photo of oberon
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
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 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.

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Photo of jsolack
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown... looks slightly hazy. Rich head.

Slight butterscotch scent. Lighter smell than I would think.

Very smooth and sweet taste. Carmal flavor... mild sweet bitterness and alcohol in finish. Very nice.

Thick and coating in mouth. Carbonation is mild and that works well with taste.

This is a very tastey beer. Goes down smooth and leaves you wanting more! Quenches thirst well.

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Photo of ProfessorHops
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To be honest I had about three ales before this one, so the transparent result could be caused by this.

Appearance- Dark. Maybe a little iddy biddy brown.

Aroma-Very light and bitter. Almost transparent.

Pallet- Interesting very light transparent. Not as robust as most Scotch Ale I'm use to. A little apple sauce in the back. When drank and drink is incarcerated in mouth. Becomes more robust, alcohol and malt prevail

Finish- This is where the beer turns magical. Upon the finish is where the essence of this beer is displayed. I taste apples, pears, some maple, and cedar. The flavors are sent in layers of tranquility. Which is genius. How they did that I don't know. It's amazing though.

Guzzle- Drinks as easy as anything.

Texture- Ale like

Extra: Again the backlash of flavor in the finish made this beer something else But with that said I'm not going to give a beer 5 stars because of innovation. The backlash was simply scrumptious and full.

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Photo of Caskaway
4.09/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Currently, the bottle is labeled "Arcadia Ales" and contains the illustration of a castle. It must be a new bottle, not sure if the recipe has changed.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours dark, minimal head, reminiscent of syrup. Smell is nothing to write home about, but taste and mouthfeel are wonderful. Borders on overly sweet, but full-bodied malts are enough to keep it balanced.

Overall, I think this is an exceptional and robust beer. Much better than the current scores would indicate.

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Photo of BangerNYC
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Trappist Roquefort Chalice...

Seeing that this is my very first review, please bear with me here...

I tried this Scotch Ale two ways: 1) Fridge temp & room temp...

Aroma: With both pourings, I noticed a distinct oak barrel with underlaying scotch, caramel & fruitness, i.e prune & slight hint of orange (maybe some coriander?)

Cold pouring, I failed to unleash the sediment, but..

Pour: Cold poured; little to almost no head; and room temp, (where the sediment was released,) poured a nice head that subsided quickly. Both had little or no glass lacing.

Mouth: The barleys are not overpowering and are very pleasant. Cold, the yeasts aren't as active, but room temp, they danced on the pallet. I've only had one other Scotch Ale, but the hops seemed to be a little more present, but added to the taste.

Finish: The 8.0% is seductively there with a trace of pumpernickel and walnuts.

Overall: A very nice Scotch Ale whether you are chatting with your buds in Alaska or just want something different while in The keys!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
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 trentley87
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark mahogany color with about 1/2 in. of foamy tan head, which quickly dissapates.

Nose is very mild, hardly any scent at all in this bottle.

I really enjoyed the flavors in this beer. There are definite sweet overtones at first but they are well balanced by some smokiness and hops flavors. There is a very mild flavor of alcohol but it blends nicely in my opinion. Pleasant, but very mild aftertaste.

I do not enjoy a lot of carbonation, but this beer did seem slightly undercarbonated. However, I felt that the very light/thin mouthfeel and low carbonation paired well with the sweet flavors of the beer.

This is one of my current favorites since I'm a Michigan boy and it is easily available and not overly expensive.

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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 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 ModemMisuser
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

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Photo of irish53b
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass. The label on the neck says Premium Two-Row Malted Barley and Premium NW Hops. The larger label features a notched freshness marker, but not a way to decipher it. Mine was notched D3

The beer develops half a pinky's thickness in head, it dissipates slowly but leaves a ring on the sides that lasts throughout. The color is a dark bourbon or brandy color.

The smell is bit on the clean side but some plum and spiced cake notes come through.

The taste is quite good, very citrus with a caramel sweetness to finish the roasted notes are not as pronounced as in most scotch ales but it has a peppery finish on the lips that I highly enjoy.

The mouthfeel is somewhat slick and medium in weight. The carbonation breaks up the slickness and is enjoyable.

I enjoyed two back to back. The high ABV may make it a non-cession brew, but the beer is nicely balanced and doesn't wear out the palate. The pepper finish and elevated ABV remind me of a fine whiskey.

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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 smcolw
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
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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Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 554 ratings.
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