Black Douglas Ale
Broughton Ales Ltd

Black Douglas AleBlack Douglas Ale
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Scottish Ale
Ranked #9
Ranked #13,148
3.93 | pDev: 9.41%
Broughton Ales Ltd
Scotland, United Kingdom
Very Good
Black Douglas AleBlack Douglas Ale
View: Beers
Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 118 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.21/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Comes in the earthy mixture of red and brown tones. Head in the 1/5" range. Off white. Doesn't provide much in terms of lace or retention. The aroma is fairly muted.

Taste was a blend of all those earthy genre styles. Brown ale, scotch ale, red ale, amber ale. All those things, brown malt, peat, minimal bitterness or hops, woodiness, smoke, dirt, earth, moss.

Weird format and seemingly a marketing novelty for its artwork.

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Photo of drmeto
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

-pours a clear ruby with a medium,foamy,beige head
-medium carbonation visible
-very spicy,grassy,pine,caramel,blueberries,coffee
-high,lingering bitterniss for the style
-medium carbonation
-light to medium body
Another winner from Broughton

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Photo of Jeffo
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from the wine shop down the road. First beer bought in Maarssen at our new place.

From a 50cl bottle into a pint glass.

APPEARANCE: Pours a large, three finger, medium looking, fluffy, creamy, off-white head with great retention. Dark copper red color, perfectly clear, with robust carbonation. Head slowly fades to a thick, creamy, cap and clings to the sides of the glass. Full cap remains leaving some good lacing down the glass. Looks really good.

SMELL: Caramel, some toffee notes, floral hops and light grassy notes. Nice but a little too mild to be memorable.

TASTE: Caramel and light melon flavors up front with a nice dose of toffee, butterscotch, melon flavors, floral hops and some bubble gum at the finish. Bold and lingering aftertaste of bitter hops, melon, butterscotch and toffee sweetness. Very flavorful and enjoyable; much more impressive than the nose had lead on.

PALATE: Medium-full body and a touch lower levels of carbonation. Quite creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes just a touch dry. Some bitterness lingers.

OVERALL: Really good brew. Scotch ales are usually a preferred style of mine and this one did not disappoint. Lots of sweet malt flavor with a good dose of bitter, floral hops to balance it out. Plenty flavorful and a nice feel to boot. If the nose were a little more forthcoming, this would have been a real winner. In any case, this is definitely one worth visiting again. Happy to see the wine store down the road branching out to find beers like this. Recommended.

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Photo of MarkoNm
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a light brown color, completely clear, with some reddish undertone. About two fingers of white head quickly settles to just a miniature brim around the edge.
The aroma is extremely pleasant - chocolatey smell is complemented by some roasted malts and just a little coffee.
The creamy taste has the initial bitter kick, but is followed by moderate bitterness and some roastiness as well.
There is another bitter kick in the finish.

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Photo of scotorum
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 16.9 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip glass.

a: Clear dark ruby topped by a two inch tan head which receded slowly tro heavy surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Caramel malt with slight dark ripe fruit undertones.

t: Mild dark fruit sourness over caramel malt base. Sour aftertaste lingers. Had I drunk this blindfolded without knowing what it was supposed to be I might have thought it was a Belgian Dubbel or some sort of weak barleywine.

m: Surprisingly light body.

o: Sourness masks some of the malt flavor. Admittedly an old bottle bought on sale last summer and saved for colder weather. In my experience there is no guarantee any particular style will age well, and this is another instance where perhaps it did not.

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Photo of mick303
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- a caramel ruby colour, slight head with some decent lacing.

S- sweet toffee, caramel malt, fruity apple note, quite a bit of barley malt, mildly roasty.

T- sweet caramel, vegetal notes, toasty malt, cinnamon and some spice, and some zesty citrus but there doesn't seem to be much holding it all together. Finish has some caramel sugar, dry barley finish.

M- mild body, soft carbonation, a bit watery then dry and a bit bitter tannic tannic on finish, drinkable.

Not a particularly remarkable or memorable ale, easy enough to drink, and some decent malty notes coming through, but not much complexity. Develops nicely though, good session ale.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.24/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this okay beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was co-cola colored pouring a pretty big head that had really bid bubbles. I guess that is why they did not last very long either. The beer smelled really good. It had a rich caramelly hazel nut smell that I thought was going to be yummy. It was not though and in fact the beer was fruity tasting with a bitter finish. I will not buy again.

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Photo of Aml42000
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown body with a beautiful ruby tint at the bottom of the glass. Thick off white head with excellent lacing.

S- Roasted malts expressing caramel and hazelnuts. Very subtle, but quite elegant aromatics.

T- Almonds on entry with hints of chocolate and caramel on the mid palate. Some light fruit and hops on the finish.

M- Medium to full bodied with light carbonation. Drying finish. Very soft in the mouth. Elegant.

O- A good effort here. It takes a little coaxing, but some good complexity both aromatically and in the mouth comes through. The pint bottle is a good serving considering the low alcohol and easy approachability.

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Photo of obywan59
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The ale pours a dark ruby with a light tan head leaving copius lacing.

The aroma is of ripe apples and butterscotch.

There's fruitiness in the taste as well, sweet-tart apple with caramel.

Medium-bodied with light carbonation and warming alcohol in the throat.

This is an easy drinker, very good for a cool spring evening.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pub pint. Appearance is clear, dark amber with a nice fluffy white head. Head retention is about average. The nose has notes of biscuits, dried fruits, nuts, and toasted malt.

The beer has a mild sweet flavor and a bit of a hop bite at mid-palate. The hops give it a somewhat woody kind of taste, making it slightly tart. The beer is nicely carbonated and is medium bodied. The hop profile makes it a somewhat unique Scottish Ale, but I honestly prefer examples with more malty sweetness. This one strikes me as a bit unbalanced. Perhaps I have had too many American-made Scottish Ales and not enough Scottish Scottish Ales.

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Photo of Kromes
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Clear dark brown with a thin line of tan bubbles on top.

S: Chocolate, caramel, peat, and port wine.

T: The dominant flavor is dark cherry with a little bit of peat and a touch of caramel.

M: Thin beer with low carbonation makes it is bordering on soda-like feel, but has just enough body to fill it out.

O: The flavors in this beer are good. It's a nice little scotch ale. Not bad for $1.25 on sale.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Neck says best before Oct 11, but doesn't give a year, which is always a bit scary. 1 pt. 9 oz. brown bottle with raised hops.

Appearance: What looks to be a black glass shows to be a dark brown with excellent clarity given some back lighting. A half finger of tan foam holds and leaves thick coats of lace on the glass.

Smell: Malty, bit of peat, everything that should be and nothing that's not. Not a huge nose, but respectable.

Taste: Balanced but malty, some earthy hop notes, but there's a slightly astringent finish that seems a bit off. Goes a bit papery in the finish as well which has me wondering again, WHICH Oct 11th is this best by? Still not sure if it's oxidation or a slightly solvent taste which may just be the alcohol peeking through. It's fairly minor, doesn't seriously impair my enjoyment of the glass.

Mouthfeel: Fairly low carbonation but not flat by any means. Medium body with a slick texture.

Overall: A very nice Scot whose acquaintance I am glad to have met. Cheers to Illudium for the sample!

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Photo of JayS2629
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark ruby, almost black with a thick, creamy tan head that fades fast leaving sea foam lace. Cola looking.

The smell is of rich caramel, toffee, and chocolate with some roasty notes. Butterscotch qualities, some buttery and nutty notes and some earthy background.

The taste is more mellow. Sweet, but not as sweet as the smell. Lots of caramel, butterscotch, and some toffee rounded off with a few roasted notes, some coffee and earthy tones of hops to bitter and balance things out. Nice touch of chocolate througout.

Its a little thin, but nicely balanced and very easy to drink. Extra note: This was very cheap and full of flavor. Lots of bang for the buck.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.59/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After just having poured out by the far the most infected beer that's ever entered my oral cavity, this ale calmly came to my rescue. With the sting of microbes still setting my mouth on fire, every nuance here in this beer had the power to cut through and provide me with sexy smooth satisfaction.

A lively blanket of dense foam for sure on the pour, swelling up maybe an inch and settling out into a swirl and collar. Had to tilt this glass against the light to make sure there was color - super deep burgundy.

Dipping my nose to the foam I can't help think "Goddamn, they caramelized the living shit out of this wort!" I don't think I've ever come across a Scottish Ale that has quite this extreme degree of a caramel quality to the aroma. It smells like a 3D caramel candy chew - and it's awesome! It's supplemented with a touch of fruitiness and some peat smoke. Stunning.

The flavors, like the aroma, feature a very rich caramel maltiness, touch of floral hops, and a subtle smokiness late and lingering in the aftertaste. Fairly concentrated in their intensity, boosted no doubt by a soft, smooth, creamy, moderate (nearly full) body. Substantial, but not cloying and hardly filling. Surprisingly clean finish. Sessionable? - oh my, you bet.

Probably the most ideal 80/- I've encountered, or remember (I drank my fair share of shilling ales in Scotland a couple years back). Favorite Broughton ale so far - thank heavens I found a fresh bottle. If I could have one of these just about every day I'd just about be happy.

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Photo of titosupertramp
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Syrupy brown. Whitish head. Excellent lacing.

S: Pretty faint, but nice. Sweet toffee, raisin, fruit.

T: Follows the nose. Toffee, dark fruit...kind of a grape like aftertaste.

M: Creamy and smooth. Leaves nothing behind, but that grape aftertaste.

D: Goes down easy. Nothing stopping one from drinking a few of these in one sitting...might be carbonated enough to make you pretty gassy if you tried though.

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Photo of clickpush
4.61/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pour: 500ml bottle to pint glass. Light brown body transforms to amazing ruby hue when held to light. One finger of off-white head reduces to thorough cap of lace. Super sticky lacing along walls of glass all the way down.

Nose: Light aroma, unfortunately. Some chocolate note, sweetish.. Malty

Mouth: Great body, creamy yet bubbly. Light flavor of malt & hop, super well balanced. Some biscuit-like flavors, almost like soda biscuits. Unbelievably easy to drink. I could drink this all day, everyday.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this as part of my PhD study program at the Cloverleaf Tavern in West Caldwell, NJ

A: Pours a dark brown body with a small, white head with ok retention and lacing; pretty standard for the style.

S: A pretty sweet, burnt toffee smell with some slight caramel notes. Alcohol notes were also evident in the smell.

T: A sweet, burnt toffee taste with a slight alcohol burning which was a little unexpected given the lower ABV style, but I guess i should have surmised based on the smell. There were some earthy notes evident in the taste as well with some slight caramel undertones in the aftertaste.

M: Overall, a pretty smooth, medium bodied beer that is perfect for this time of year. Not too shabby, slightly filling, and yet still pretty refreshing.

D: A nice mouthfeel and taste combo does make the beer still pretty drinkable. Alcohol presence was still evident, but nothing too overbearing or anything that really detracted from the quality of the beer or the overall drinking experience of it. Worth a go if you can grab it; definitely a pretty solid, Scottish ale.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single bottle (best by 03/11) poured into a nonic glass.

Appearance: The beer is a cola brown on the table and a dark ruby red when held up to the light with very tiny bubbles moving up very slowly through the beer. The foam is a dense light tan color (about 1/8" thick) and is persistent the whole way down the glass. Islands and walls of lacing all over the glass. A very nice looking beer.

Smell: When first poured and cold, there is strong dark fruits, but as it warms up, this goes away completely and is replaced with roasted malt/caramel flavors and a hint of molasses. The molasses gets stronger as the beer warms up.

Taste: When cold there is a lot more sweetness and malt with a mild bitter finish....this beer only gets better as it warms up so wait a bit. Upon warming the roasted malts with a blended caramel / molasses flavor comes through along with some dark fruits and a mild English bitter finish. A really tasty and outstanding Scottish ale.

Mouthfeel: Very mild carbonation and goes down very easily. The beer is slick and chewy at the same time.

Drinkability: I think this would be outstanding in cask form, and I'd love to have another bottle of this right now. It's a bit heavy, so I could see myself stopping at two, but it's a great beer by itself or with a meal (beef + bacon + tomato sauce pasta). I've had this before and it's just as good now as it was the first time I've had it. A great beer.

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Photo of LairdChisholm
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep, chestnut brown with a one finger head that sticks around for just a little while.

S - Just dark malts. Nothing to interesting here.

T - Initial taste of dark malts with a hint of chocolate. The after taste has notes of coffee with a bitter impression left in the mouth. Maybe a little raisin or another dark fruit? A fine tasting brew!

M - A little on the thicker side. Minimal carbonation. Nothing really sticks out here.

D - A wee bit above average. While not hard to drink, I can't see myself running back to the fridge for another. A good after dinner drink.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.31/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had a reddish brown vibe going, minimal head, lace and aroma.

Taste was that of a red or brown ale (maybe the visuals were warping my mind) more than a Scotch ale. Little hop, but the malt aspect felt peaty and thin enough to be one of the other styles. Wood, smoke maybe a little bit of chocolate in this one. Decent enough, price could be better.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass, it poured reddish brown with two fingers of beige, with good retention and great lacing. Modestly visible carbonation. Sweet toffee, caramel, and malt in the nose. Tasted sweet and woodsy, with caramel and malt midpalate, and possessing a dry orange peel finish. Medium-bodied and smooth, with more carbonation than expected, given the appearance. Too malty/sweet to session.

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Photo of champ103
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark ruby red color. A two finger tan head forms, and recedes after a minute. Lots of patchy lace is left behind.
S: An awesome aroma of tasted caramel malt, chocolate, smoke, and dark fruits. Cherry, plums, raisins. There is a lot of depth here.
T: Plenty of toasted caramel malt. It become a bit cloying after a bit. A mineral and metallic flavor as well. All the depth that was in the nose is gone here for some reason.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A little on the thin side. Not hard to drink, but one is enough.

Not bad at all. The nose is just amazing, but it kind of falls apart from there. Worth a try, but there are better versions of the style.

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Photo of mtstatebeer
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

50 cl bottle. Pours a clear dark mahogany color with a big, frothy off-white head, good lacing. Aroma is sweet, caramel, and roasted malts, bread, and a touch of smoke. Flavor is roasted malts, fruity, smoke, and herbal hops. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium, a bit chalky, dry, low carbonation with a slightly bitter finish. Pretty good beer, drinkable with some good flavor.

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Photo of dahlen22
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Amber color with a decent amount of head.

Aroma: Definitely apple, caramel, and perhaps figs.

Taste: Medium bodied and crisp with a toasted malt flavor. A nice balance of ripe fruit, malt sweetness and some toasted bread. A nice Scottish beer with decent ABV at 5.20%

Drinkability: I can easily put back several of these beers. Like the Merlin's Ale, the Broughton Ales has another winner here. Not your traditional Scotch Ale, but nevertheless, an enjoyable ale that I could have all year round. Cheers!!!

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Photo of tatoodkelt
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 1/19/2010- from notes.

1 pint 9oz almost black bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Dark chestnut brown with ruby edging when held up to the light. Topped off with a bubbly one finger tan head that hung around pretty much the whole time. Pretty good lacing, this is a good looking scotch ale!

S- Roasty caramel malt jumps out right away and a little earthy/musty note tags along after a bit. Mixed together very nicely.

T- The roasty caramel rolls in pretty bold at first, a little light bread and something else ( peat? ) becoming more noticable as it goes on.

M- Medium to heavy just because of the stickiness, still very smooth.

D- Very drinkable, could definitely go through a couple of these in a sitting if you're not worried about the cost. I'll be picking this one up again.

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Black Douglas Ale from Broughton Ales Ltd
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 118 ratings