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Black Douglas Ale | Broughton Ales Ltd

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very good
96 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 118
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 Crosling
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brownish/Orange in color. Head is light tan. Some lacing.

Caramel, Toasted malts, cherries and clove lead up to a very sweet but not hearty smelling nose.

Caramel in the flavor profile with some fruity characteristics. Medium bodied but lacking complexity and depth. Seems very mild for the style but still provides a lot of malty sweetness.
Not bad but not good either.

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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 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 BCMan
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the 3rd of the 4 pack I received as a gift and so far like it less than the others. I like the bit of history on the bottle. I think it helps to enjoy it a little more. The beer poured up nice with a frothy head that faded fast. I thought it would be black in color but it looks like what I would expect for a brown ale. The flovor is a bit nutty with slight alcohol finish. Would be a pretty good pick for a cold day. Definetly worth a try.

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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 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 rousee
3.47/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown murky color. It forms a small head that diminishes quickly to a wisp of foam on top. Does leave some lace along the sides of the glass.

Smell is malt, brown sugar and some slight hints of butter. Its nothing to make it truly negative as this aspect is so subtle and to be expected from this style to some degree.

Taste is a good sugarry malt and salt water taste up front. There is some woodiness in the middle and it does have a somewhat sappy finish.

Mouthfeel is too sticky.
Drinkability is okay but these are not necessarily my favorite style anyway.Considering I share my name with the beer, I had to try it.

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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 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 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 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 Gasp100
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really like the bottle and the look of this brew, but it was a little harsh for my tastes. I'm probably not ready or used to this style right now. The color was deep "purple" and the smell was of alcohol, dark ripe fruit, heavy malt; it smelled like a port wine to me. The taste was heavy and a little abrasive, with no attempt at hiding the alcohol at all. I really felt like I was drinking a strong wine or something. The was a nice assertive bitter aftertaste, but overall not my cup of tea.

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Photo of froghop
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear dark copper with a large light tan head, and great lacing.

smell is of malt, grain, caramel, and some sweetness.

taste is smooth, toffee, sweet caramel, malt, honey-nut cheerios, and roasted nuts, ends smooth and just a touch of bitterness.

 256 characters

Photo of mdagnew
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from Peckhams, Edinburgh...

Poured a deep mahogany red colour. Slightly off white head poured fairly thick and foamy with a frothy topping then faded quickly to patchy covering with thick edging that climbs up the glass... some light lacing lines...

Aroma - Rich and spicy dark berry fruitiness (blackberries and currents, red grapes, dates, also some raisins), rich toasted and biscuity malts, hints of chocolate and vanilla cookies, nutmeg notes, toasted nuts, grassy, cola traces, faint liquorice, treacle sweetness...

Taste is bit of a let down after the fine aromas... lots of spritzy cola notes, slightly watered down dark fruits (grapes, blackcurrents, apples), quite nutty, some sourness, quite a lot of peppery and grassy hop bitterness, some saltiness, lightly toasted bready malts, brown sugar sweetness...

M&D - Quite sharp and dry with a little oiliness just coming through... light / medium bodied... A good sessionable brew at only 5.2%...

Overall - A good straightforward example of a Scottish ale if a little on the one dimensional side... worth a try though...

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

Picked this up for $4.39 at Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati. Dated BB Aug06 printed on the neck, cool bottle with a description of Black Douglas the Scottish Knight.
Upon pouring it showed clear but deep amber. Mocha colored two finger head which subsided rather quick.
Smelled cherries, yeast and a little smoked wood. Slight floral hops.
Bitter at first, not as sweet as other Scottish Ales I've tried. A little nut and floral hoppiness. The hops aren't too strong, neither is the malt.
A fizziness as best as I can describe is what I felt during the drink. Slightly oily and good to drink.

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Photo of nomad
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer looked like a dark mud, but actually a nice shade of brown. Had a light tan colored frothy head, some good carbonation, and little lace. Nose was very nutty and of roasted malt. Taste was light nut and hops, the malt was restrained. Solid body for a low-alcohol brew, and some fruit taste came through with time. Short finish, and the mouthfeel was quite dry, goes down pretty watery. A decent session ale, had better Scottish ales.

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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 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 jwff
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great looking beer. Up to the light this proves to be a light plum/dark red with loads of carbonation and a thick fluffy head that just won't quit. One of the best looking beers I've seen. Smell is sweet with traces of grape, brown sugar, and a little roasted malt.

The taste is solid with a front that is similar to a juicy apple tartness followed by caramel and brown sugar that finishes with burnt chocolate/roasty malt and hops. The hops at the end linger on the tongue a little too long for my interest and seem out of place, but overall this is a solid taster. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and passes through with ease, and it isn't too thick or thin to be displeasing, but does lean towards the watery side. Low abv makes for easy drinking, but the overall sweetness (and price) doesn't make this a regular grab for me. "Hit it" - Bernie Mac.

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Black Douglas Ale from Broughton Ales Ltd
3.93 out of 5 based on 118 ratings.
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