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: 551
Photo of enfield249
3.07/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark, dark brown with ruby highlights in the corners. Ring of white foam that sticks around, no lacing.

S - Strong malty bready aroma, and some alcohol.

T - First thing I get is some alcohol burn, which is surprising. Then some sweetness from the malt. Followed up by more alcohol.

M - A bit thin feeling. Maybe that's the style, but it feels a little weak.

D - Overall, not bad. A bit to much alcohol flavor however.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice deep mahogany color. Low aroma-sort of vanilla and caramel thing going on. Has the metallic notes of their oatmeal stout I just had. Malty flavor-touch of alcohol which is suprising for only 7.5%. Some caramel sweetness though I keep getting the same sort of flavor as the last beer. Decent enough mouthfeel. Average scotch ale. I am put off by the "odd" flavors. Make your own opinion-I cant recommend this one.

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost opaque dark brown color with amber hues. The light tan head fades quickly and no lacing is present.

Medium bodied with little carbonation... lends to a simpler, uncomplicated beverage. I enjoy a Wee Heavy that's wee heavier, but this'll do.

The flavor is a nice balance between roasted malt and caramel.

I'm reading "Ambitious Brews" and i imagine early American dark brews being very similar to this. I'm call'n it drinkable; this one falls above the line.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.11/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured into a pint glass to one finger of mocha head. It is dark brown in color. Alcohol, toffee and caramel are the predominate aromas. This beer starts out with a sweet alcohol taste and finishes with a burnt almost smokey flavor. It mellows out as it warms. It is an average beer.


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Photo of SickGnar
3.13/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with garnet highlights. Medium size head popped up then fell so fast I barely got a look at the color – maybe a sort of light ecru. Clear with a fair number of bubbles rising. Very limited for retention and no lace. Okay look for a dark higher abv beer.

S: Dark fruit & scorched molasses sweetness. Pretty good hint of alcohol that grows as it warms. Quite clean. Surprisingly lacking in malty richness.

T: Initial dark fruit and scorched molasses/burnt cookie sweetness that fades into a fairly hefty roast aspect with noticeable peated component. Peaty bit grows as it warms and becomes a touch unpleasant. Background toasted biscuity pale base malt shows through in fits and starts along with a small bit of dark toffee. Balancing hops provide mostly bittering without much character, but they are an the strong side balance-wise for a Scotch Ale. Quite present spicy / sweet alcohol note.

M: A slight bit over medium, but still pretty low relative to abv. Carbonation is also low. Noticable alcohol bite. Overall a flaccid, slightly boozy feel. Roast and alcohol take it a bit drying.

D: Boozy & peaty. A bit roasty too. About mid-range for style abv, but alcohol is quite forward in aroma and palate. Flavor emphasis for malts is reversed. Roast & peat, that should be hints, are at the fore. Deep, malty richenss – with big caramel – that should be the burly backbone, is but a hint. Also a bit too attenuated / thin bodied. And with rather firm hopping. Not terrible, but odd for a Wee Heavy.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.16/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.17/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was not familiar with the Arcadia line of beers, so I grabbed a few at the store today. The Scotch Ale is the first to be opened. I'm not sure I understand the whole Celtic design of the brand logo, especially considering this is a Scotch ale, but whatever. I'm always up for trying new beers.

Pours a deep, dark brown color. Not much head to speak of here and what does exist thins out real fast. Smells sweet and woody. Sugary malt aroma with some heavier, earthen scents, keeping in line with the style but nothing spectacular. Taste is a bit bland as well. Smooth, but flat. There's some kick up front, with a burst of hops and lots of raisins. Some coffee here too, which I would not have expected. I mean, it's nice enough, but it doesn't do much for me. Not a great example of a Scotch or a Wee Heavy. I probably won't return to this one.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very, very dark cherry mahogany body with lovely ruby accents. The brew is clear and has a small beige head that departs very quickly. Insignificant lacing from the residual. The nose is light and hints of toasted malt and toffee. The taste starts much like a porter but as the brew warms begins to show its Scottich side as it becomes less roasted in flavor and a bit more malty. Smooth and easy body with just a bit of ending crispness, a very small bit. Light hints of alcohol despite its relatively high ABV, so this must be fairly well balanced beer. Seems as if it crosses styles and is not as true to the Scottish heritage as its name implies.

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Photo of uwmgdman
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark brown with a ruby glow and good clarity. There is a thin but steady off-white head. The aroma is moderate-high caramel sweetness as well as a bit earthy/woody. The flavor has a highly bittersweet caramel note and hop bitterness is low. The beer finishes with a slightl alcohol prick and some residual sweetness. The body is medium-full and carbonation is moderate. Overall a decent brew, but nothing out of this world.

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Photo of russpowell
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
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 litheum94
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled 11/1/11.

Deep brown body with sienna hi-lites. Scant, brown head leaves a patchy cover.

Kola nut, molasses and peat, with a slight smoke essence. Vanilla and caramel malts as well, with no hops.

Caramel and nutty malts. Vanilla and cream soda flavors. Some earthy peat. English toffee leads into light hopping on the finish, with a pine and floral essence.

Decent scotch ale. Definitely above average, but there are better examples out there.

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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 WesWes
3.21/5  rDev -11.8%
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 meathookjones
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a dark brown with a smallish tan head. Spotty lacing and a short lived head. Sweet caramel malt and a strong nutty character. There was an odd burnt smell as well that was a bit detracting. Flavor starts off with a kick of caramel malt and a light roastiness. Some earthy qualities but the odd burnt flavor is present in the taste. It tasted like almost an over roasted malt that didn’t quite fit in. Seemed more like a brown ale over all to me. Mouthfeel was about medium and quite creamy and smooth. Pretty drinkable stuff despite the off flavor. Decent beer just not what I would want out of a scotch ale.

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Photo of oracle
3.24/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

20oz imperial pint in a traditional english pint glass

Other than nice lacing, the beer did not have much to commend or reject with respects to its appearance. Clear dark mahogany in color, with medium thickness dense head.

Smell strongly fruity but ever-so slightly sour.

Taste was more fruits than malts or hops with a finish that was reminisent of either a wine or raisons.

An interesting beer, but probably not on the list for a re-order.

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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 brentk56
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
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 FungusBrewer
3.26/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep brown-chestnut pint with average head retention. Grab a spoon for this one. Loch Down ale tastes a bit buttery, heavy, and malty. Slight burnt toffee characteristics, but not "dried fig" like some old ales. At 8%, without the balanced hops, you taste the booze.

Best enjoyed while watching Highlander.

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Photo of scoobybrew
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams glass. It has a dark ruby, nearly opaque, color with a modest head that is well retained. The aroma is primarily peated malt with a touch of fruitiness. The flavor is dominated by sweet peated malt with a touch of smoke character. There's not much hops detectable, but this is typical to style. It has a medium body with moderately high carbonation.

Overall, this is a decent enough Scotch ale. However, I usually prefer some oak or wood-like qualities in the style which is absent here.

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Photo of silentjay
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.29/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pint glass. from notes.

a - pours a murky, reddish brown with a thin cap of tan head. spotty lacing.

s - earthy, carmel with notes of cocoa powder.

t - carmel malt with a light smokiness. notes of cocoa powder and raisin. no discernible hop character.

m - heavier side of medium with lighter carbonation.

o - decent but nothing memorable. can think of a few other examples of the style i would choose over this.

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Photo of CMUbrew
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Poured with a thin light tan head that made only a brief appearance before leaving behind just a few whisps of foam on top. The beer is a dark brown color that only reveals a lighter brown at the very edges of the glass. Surprising amount of carbonation bubbles rising to the top, although they make their way slowly.

S: Toasted bread malt and a whiff of alcohol at the end.

T: Toasty bready malts with perhaps a slight dough quality make up the flavor profile. A slight trace of earthy hops cut in somewhere but are lost quickly. Then comes alcohol that is in no way shy. It is warming in the mouth and throat to let its presence be known. As this beer warms up the alcohol becomes more aggressive and liquor-like.

M: The carbonation is lighter than all the bubbles would suggest. Body is on the lighter part of medium and has a slick feeling to it.

O: The toasted malt profile was very one-note for me and the alcohol really took center stage. I would almost say the toastiness made the alcohol more abrasive. An unrefined scotch ale in my opinion.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.32/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed August 10, 2005. 12 Oz Bottle. Slightly murky ruby brown pour, with a rich creamy, faded tan head. Slightly bourbon, rice and port aroma. Flavor is mostly of slightly alcoholic plain caramel malt and brown sugar, backed with a peculiar but not unpleasant barbecue sauce note, a touch of ketchup, and some dusty malt. Palate is sugary, backed with a light butterscotch and raisin flavor. Alcohol dominates the backend and the aftertaste. Light nutty smack.

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

12 oz. bottle, no bottled on date present. Poured into a Boulevard tulip glass.

A - Pours extremely dark and thick with just the slightest bit of a ruby glow coming through. One finger of thin head that goes down quickly. Little bit of alcohol lacing on the glass.

S - Can definitely smell a woody, smoked, whiskey smell coming from the scotch. Slight hint of vanilla, but not overwhelming.

T - Bit on the heavier / thicker side, but it works for this beer. Definitely a strong booze aftertaste on this one. Little bit of spice. Nicely balanced level of carbonation.

M - Mouth is nice and thick and filmy. Feels good, if maybe a little bit of hotness / spice that lingers for a minute. Extremely dry finish.

Overall, it is a decent brew for sure, but I tend to favor similar beers that are lighter bodied and lean more towards a vanilla flavor. Still a very well-made beer, and I have been a fan of most of the beers I have had from Arcadia.

Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale ---3/5

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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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Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 551 ratings.
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