Black Douglas Ale | Broughton Ales Ltd

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Black Douglas AleBlack Douglas Ale
Very Good
118 Ratings
Black Douglas AleBlack Douglas Ale

Brewed by:
Broughton Ales Ltd
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 11-07-2001

View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 118 |  Reviews: 96
Reviews by obywan59:
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Real nice beer,poured a dark reddish/brown with nice caramel color head.Smelled of fruit cake and caramel.Taste was right on with aroma nice sweetish warming brew,I really liked the texture of this one.A perfect beer for winter in my opinion.A true Scottish ale.

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Photo of Jason
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: One pint, .9oz brown bottle with raised glass of hop vines below the neck of the bottle. Brief history about Black Douglas, a very powerful and heroic knight of Scotland. Freshness date clearly scored.

Appearance: Richly ruby hued with a adorning crown of sticky off white lace. Head retention is well above par.

Smell: Deep aromas of ripe fruit(apple) and over caramelized sugar with hints of hop and buttery diacetyl.

Taste: Medium bodied and crisp with an assertive toasted malt flavour that lingers with a cookie like dry finish. Hops are a little restrained yet still help to balance perfectly, a touch of ripe fruit, malt sweetness and the smallest hint of chocolate are also upon the palate. Quite clean in the end with some residual sweetness.

Notes: This is a product of brewing excellence, big on drinkablity for a medium bodied brew and packed with flavour and lots of malt complexity. By far one of the best Scottish Ales imported to the states.

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Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before date printed on the neck of the bottle, indicates I could have kept this ale around for another six weeks, but the temptation of a good Scottish Ale is difficult to resist on a chilly, November evening. Black Douglas pours a dark mahogany body with a healthy, tightknit, beige head that steadies at an inch in altitude. Lacing sheets the glass, initially, fading into patches toward the finish.
Toffee, caramel, and a hint of molasses, scent the expected malt bouquet, followed by a prominent note of fruit best described as McIntosh apples. I also noted a distinct hint of smoke that evoked the aroma of overdone toast.
Mouthfeel is nearly full bodied, somewhat oily, with low CO2.
The taste features toffee as the prominent malt character, with a minimal hops bitterness that is herbal, evoking thoughts of bog myrtle or heather. The faint smoky note of overdone toast is picked up in the taste, as in the nose.
This is a very decent Scottish ale, that hits the spot on a cool, autumn evening. Very well crafted and true to style.

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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 GratefulBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours out a nice ruby tinted brown color with a thick and sticky tan colored head that shows really good retention and leaves long, sticky legs behind. Looks Fine.

The aroma is dominated by a delightful chocolate malt with oats and grains and a mild vanilla scent. Old-spice herbalness balances the malt very well. The aroma is VERY chocolate-scented for this style.

The flavor is much like the aroma with a wonderfully smooth, full-bodied chocolate malt that becomes very spicey and herbalized and then blends back together, the balance of flavors seems really good. Big malt effect with just the right amount of spiceiness.

This is now one, if not my favorite Scotch Ale's. The big, bold malt flavor is right on.

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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 cokes
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A striking mahogany hues with a beige head that appears as though oozed from the spigot of a soft-serve ice cream machine.
The aroma drips of malt. All full with molasses and toffee and treacle.
Enters the mouth with equal malt maelstrom. Gobs of toffee. Mounds of molasses. Tarry fruits, especially black raisins and apples. A partially unifying roasted walnut coloring exists below. Hopping is a non-factor, aside from a whisper of grass at the close. Everything here is tasty, but it seems disorganized.
This is light bodied, pushing towards medium. It has the oiliness of chicken fat. The malt hangs thin and greasy and loose off its unstructured nature. It either needs to be bigger in feel, or more carbonated to provide some levity. It seems like a reduced Wee-Heavy, with the malt improperly calculated.
It's drinkable and decent, and I love the style. I readily gobbled it down, but was left feeling oddly vacant.
This comes close to being something special, but isn't.

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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 cliff1066
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of DESTRO
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this pours out a deep ruby with a frothy pillow of a head (think cappuccino). leaves a very nice lacing. aromas are just mouth watering. fruits and spices, toasted/sweet malt....just really nice. creamy in the mouth, smooth but not heavy, it goes down oh so easy. flavors are all over. big toasted sweet malt backbone, fruits and spices are plentiful, caramel and toffee...just damn flavorful. this was a suprise to me, i didnt expect to enjoy this as much as i did. overall a more than solid, drinkable scottish ale. hella!

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Photo of Southernbrew
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown color, big bubbly head, thick lacing the whole way down.

Strong fruit aroma, like apples with a slight sweetness and a touch of hops.

Medium body, good crispness. Toasted malts with a light fruitiness and a touch of hops. Finishes with a nice sweetness.

Very good drinkability, could definitely put a few down.

A fine scottish ale I will buy again.

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

Pours chestnut mahagony with a sand colored 1" head. Some head retention & lacing

S: Choclate then floral hops as it warms

T: Iron & choclate up front. Dryness & fruitness as it warms. Finishes dry with more iron notes

MF: Light to medium body, slightly under carbonated & okay balance

Drinks fairly well, but over all I was expecting more. Caveat emptor

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Photo of dgallina
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml brown bottle dated best-before August 2006.

Pours clear dark mahogany with thin creamy head but thick lace. Aroma is dominated by toasted biscuit malts and underpinned with fragrant floral and leafy hops. Flavor follows the aroma nicely. Toasty (slightly smoky even) caramel malts intertwine with leafy hops and a bit of hard mineral water, leaving a well balanced bitter finish. Quite creamy and lightly carbonated medium body. Finally a worthwhile beer from the folks at Broughton Ales!

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

Pours out quite a dark red, fading into brown at the top of the glass. Head is about three fingers, and a moderate tan in colour. Lasts well and leaves good lacing. Smell is nearly archetypal for a scottish ale: strong caramel, molasses, and smoky peat. Nuttiness and fruits, apples and raisins, are present as well. Taste is along the same lines, the nutty malts making a stronger case for themselves, but the dark caramel and peat smoke holding their own. Very mild metallic note in the finish, hardly noticible but slightly distracting. Mouthfeel is slightly thin, good carbonation though. Drinkability is quite good. Nice example of a scottish ale, but nothing extraordinary.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark mahogany red with a light tan head with slight orange hues.

S: a rich roasted character of coffee, dried fruit, and dark molasses.

T: For flavor there was a dark caramelized molasses, dark fruit (raisins, plums), figs, and some dried apples. There was also hints of dark bitter chocolate. The flavor is very rich and nicely balanced.

M: medium bodied with some creaminess leaving a sweet chocolate/caramel lacing behind.

D: Good drinkability, nicely balanced and not overly sweet allowing you to enjoy multiples with ease.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, best before July 2009. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a dark copper/ruby red color with an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The aroma is sweet and malty, it smells like toasted malt, molasses, caramel, dark fruit, nuts and peat. Taste is similar to the aroma (but not quite as strong), it tastes like molasses, toasted malt, nuts, peat, smoke, dark fruit and a bit of pepper. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's dry and a littly bit velvety. It also seems a bit thin to me. The drinkability is pretty good, it's smooth and very easy to drink. Drinkability is good, it's nice and sessionable. I could have a few of these in a sitting. Overall I think this is a pretty decent brew.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle best before Dec 05.
Dark reddish brown with a fat fluffy tan head and lots of sticky lace.
Aroma is sweet with some caramelized sugar/roasted marshmallow scents.
Flavor is toasty, caramel, slightly woody. Finish is clean and dry with a hint of smokiness.

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Photo of GrandpaGeorge
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit pricey, but well worth trying. The clerk at Perfect Pour recommended it. Good advice. Gorgeous dark amber in the glass, with a soft foamy head that fell slightly but never really left. Slight, sweet malt in the nose and the initial taste. Very enjoyable caramel malt with subtle hops bitterness to round out the flavor profile. Nicely balanced, not too sweet, and an incredibly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of matjack85
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a Pint Glass and served straight out of the fridge

A – Poured a deep ruby amber with a nice clarity to it and adequate carbonation visible trickling up from the bottom of the glass. This gathered at the top and combined to form a delicate head of off white colored lace that reached a height of around two fingers or so. Decent retention let it hang around for just a little while before it was finally leached out and settled down to just a thin film across the top with some small residual side glass lace apparent for the rest of the session.

S – The aroma was a bit on the light side with the most dominant smells coming from the roasted malts. Some nice delicate notes of nuts and caramel were mixed and intertwined with a deeply rooted grain filled back. This was a malt monster for sure as the only thing that was easily picked up through all this was the dark roasted malts that made up the majority of it. There was a thick essence of earthy grassy like notes as it started to warm and almost musty bread like quality to it as well.

T – The flavor was not terribly bad and was actually decently full with a nice depth and profile to it that I had not expected from this one. There was a nice bit of caramel and sweetness right from the start and this really never faded as any other flavors that were here simply mingled and swirled around this. There were hints of roasted nuts as well as a nice bit of overt grassy notes in the finish. The finish was somewhat dry, but nothing too drastic and the hop profile itself was definitely nothing too extreme. There was just a nice English ale quality to it, hard to describe other then that.

M – The feel was very nice, a medium bodied ale with a nice smoothness that blended itself very well to the overall character here. There was a certain amount of crispness to this one, as the carbonation really dictated where this was going to go and served to lighten it up a bit and keep it from feeling too heavy or waited down.

D – A very very nice sessionable English ale. The flavor profile was perfect to just sit down and have a few as nothing was watered down or thin and the carbonation kept the profile lively enough to keep your interest up throughout the session. This was one you could have easily had more of and in fact this one it was gone before I knew it.

Overall I really did not know what to expect going into this one. The ales in this Scottish gift pack have all seemed to be pretty straightforward with nothing really standing out as being outstanding or that much different in any way. This was my favorite of them so far, having a bit more depth and a large flavor then the ones before it. I would actually not mind having this again and it is probably very good on tap. Not half bad I would have to say.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid beer in every attribute. Hefty malt, a bit on the sweet side with vague apple notes and some caramel malt to carry things along. A little lingering bittersweetness at the finish which is quite pleasant and not cloying. Although neither the flavor or body are heavy, the beer nonetheless manages to come across as quite substantial in profile. A nice quaffer.

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Photo of StevieW
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550 ml big brown Euro shaped bottle with raised hop leafs below the neck. Label depicts the menacing Sir James Douglas, the trusted friend of Robert the Bruce. The brave knight is flanked by two Scottish fllags. Cool.
Nice toasty dark carmel color, with small ruby hints along the edge. Head is a bubbly dense beige pillow. Very pleasing to the eye. Smell has some hints of traditional Scotch ales. Some faintly discernable peat flavors, hints of smoke, and toasted bread. Taste is much of the same. Nice toasty malt through and through. Malty sweetness is followed up with the slightest hints of oily chocolate and peat to finish. Medium to light bodied, moderatly carbonated. A very good beer. Bought on my Scotland trip last summer and kept in my fridge until dinner tonight.

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Photo of Gusler
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer makes good its escape from the 500ml brown bottle into my glass, the color a deep blood red, the head Bunyanesque in size, the texture creamy and the color a beauteous light tan, as it slowly dematerializes, the lace forms a concealing blanket to obscure the glass. Nice rich malt nose, with a bit of caramel, sugar like, and a bit of fresh churned butter, start is lightly sweet, the grain profile adequate and the top light to medium in feel. Finish is surly in its acidity, the hops perfection, quite dry and refreshing on this 100 degree day in Arizona.

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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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Black Douglas Ale from Broughton Ales Ltd
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 118 ratings