Black Douglas Ale | Broughton Ales Ltd

Black Douglas AleBlack Douglas Ale
Liked This Beer
3.93 w/ 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 | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 118 |  Reviews: 96
Photo of Contagion
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There is a dark crimson color to it with a dark walnut hint. A thick, tan head formed when poured. It was made up of a combination of large and tiny bubbles. It lasted for most of the life of the beer. There is a good amount of lacing on the side of the glass.

The scent is a combination of molasses, nuts, caramel malts with a touch of yeast. It's very aromatic, but not as strong as one would expect from a Scottish ale. The flavor is a mix of Molasses, malts, a hint of dark fruit with a slight smokiness. They blend together to make the beer very appetizing. The aftertaste is a pleasant hint of bitterness on the tongue with a mild sweetness.

This is a medium bodied beer that has a gentle carbonation level.

This beer is very easy to drink. It has a good flavor and I could see myself grabbing one if it was available or if the mood strikes me just right. I don't know if I would pay $10.90 for it in a theme bar like I did in Kalamazoo, MI. Overall I thought this was a pretty good beer.

 1,000 characters

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

The foam was a rich dark wheat color and feel. The color of this Scot beer was deep red and beautiful with a simple but pungent aroma. The taste at first had acute feel followed by a deep malty full-bodied flavor. Very hearty and great drinkibility feel.

 254 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby tinted seethru brown w/ well-carbonated one-finger tan head that quickly died. A floral, earthy hop aroma with minor fruit notes and a subdued bread malt sensation w/ hints of caramel (and hints of some roasted malts as well). A little heavy but mostly medium-bodied and smooth. Has a molasses stickiness feeling on the sides, and finishes slightly dry from roasted malts. Comprised of some minor malt sweetness and is a little buttery, and also contains some dark druit tastes and maybe figs. A balanced beer that I could relax with anytime.

 555 characters

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

This beer poured a clear dark amber color with decent white head that dissipated to a thin film along the top. Aroma was of roasted malt sweetness, peat, caramel. Flavor was the same and nicely balanced. Mouthfeel was pleasant, pretty full-bodied. I enjoyed this ale, and it would make a nice session beer.

 306 characters

Photo of McClungbrew2
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Deep amber color with garnet highlights. 1/4" tan head. Lacing to the end of the beer.

Smell - Malty, peaty, woody nose. No hop aroma

Taste - Sweet malt up front, No hop flavor, but balanced by bitterness. Faint smoke, and toffee notes.

Mouthfeel - Rich ,clean, medium body. No heavy aftertase or cloying sweetnes.

Overall - Very good beer. Excellent balance of flavor and mouthfeel.

 400 characters

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

1 pint, 9 oz bottle.

a. Ruby highlights and a small khaki head. A bit of lace.

s. malty, slightly grassy.

t. roasted malt, minerally/earthy noble hop. Nutty, bready, biscuity, buttery.

m. slightly chewey mouthfeel. full bodied.

d. Drinkability is very good. Solid session beer.

 283 characters

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 brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a frothy tan head; great retention and lacing

Smell: Rich aromatics of dark fruit, roasted malt, tamarind and a hint of molasses

Taste: Opens with a slightly smokey flavor, redolent of dark fruit and tamarind that builds in a roasted direction by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors mellow out with a bit of the sweeter malt and chocolate elements balancing the bitter roasted flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nicely balanced with plenty of flavor, this is an excellent example of a flavorful session ale in the Scottish style

 623 characters

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.

 726 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a rust colored brown with a small, short-lived, tan head. It left a slight trace of lace.

S - It smelled of sweet maltiness and earthy, mossy notes.

T - It tasted of sweet caramelized molasses with spicy, peppery kicks.

M - It was smooth and fairly crisp. A medium-bodied beer that went down easy.

D - This is a nice scottish ale that is very quaffable.

 372 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...

 1,103 characters

Photo of erosier
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper amber color with a tall and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass vrey well on the way down. The aroma is of very sweet malts, some faint hop bitterness, and then what seemed like a hint of a sweet scotch smell. The taste was also nice as well with a very sweet malty base followed by a sweeter scotchy sort of flavor and then a tiny bit of a hoppy bitterness at the end to round out the flavor so it wasn't too sweet. Really nice mouthfeel - very fresh and velvety feeling. This is a very drinkable Scottish Ale as I would gladly have more than one of these in a session.

 606 characters

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.

 547 characters

Photo of ElGrecoVerde
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours dark ruby with some strange almost purple highlights. Not sure I've ever seen that color in a beer.

Smell is sweet, mostly dark fruits. There are also some grainy flavors, almost like a sweet corn, which sounds terrible but wasn't that bad.

Flavor is pretty strong with more dark fruits and sweet grains. There are some toasted flavors as well.

Felt great. Just enough carbonation to make its presence known.

 417 characters

Photo of dsa7783
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 Pint, .09 fl oz bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
An aggressive pour resulted in a prune-colored, jet-black ebony hue with a minimal frothy and foamy head that quickly dissipated and left lots of lacing...
Faint of aroma of malts and barely touched with dates and figs...
Taste strongly resembled the aroma, with an obvious suggestion of strong malts, barley, prunes, figs, dates, caramel, and a touch of subtle vanilla added to the mix...
Soft, subtle, liquid, watered-down mouthfeel with no alcohol hinted at all...
Drinkability was limited at best without any cloying or interfering flavors...
Not bad, but certainly not the best depiction of the style...

 692 characters

Photo of JamesS
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent Scottish Ale! It has a great dark copper color, nearly opaque, with nice head and excellent lacing. A very nice sweet/malty scent, with hints of lavender/heather in it. A wonderfully malty flavor with hints of peat. It's thick but very smooth and very refreshing. An excellent near-session scottish ale.

 316 characters

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.

 2,812 characters

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.

 729 characters

Photo of metallistout
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle bought at The Andersons in Columbus Ohio. Go Bucks!

Deep, dark red with a nice thick head. This head has lasting power.
I have found this with other Scottish brews also.

Smell very malty, fruity and a nice hop scent.

Tastes of sweet caramel and fruity malt. A nice hop balance and a refreshing mouthfeel.

This beer is pretty damn good. Sometimes I wish I live in the UK so I wouldn't have to pay all of the damn import taxes or fees on these fine brews.

 472 characters

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

Poured into a pint glass. I enjoyed this beer last night with some friends at La Cav Du Vin. Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Tan head is about 1/4 inch when poured before settling to a decent surface layer with decent lace. Aromas of roasted caramel and malt are present along with hints of dark fruit and a trace of hops. Tastewise this beer is dominated by the roasted malt and caramel upfront and is followed by some fairly subtle hop flavors and some nuttiness. A good session beer indeed. Has a crisp and full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in the way a well crafted beer should be.


 662 characters

Photo of kmacphail
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This poured a lovely dark ruby-brown colour into a pint mug, this produced a thick off-white head with very good retention, especially considering this is a bottled beer.

A plesant scent of bitter fruits along with sweet malts dominated the nose along with a hint of burnt caramel and treacle afterwards. The taste of malts continued through to the mouth along with a bitter hoppy and fruity aftertaste. Very pleasant indeed.

A nice medium-thick mouthfeel gave this the ideal body for a robust full bodied ale that it claims to be.

However the further down the pint I got, the fuller I started to feel. After the pint was finished I struggled to even drink a light beer after it.

This was very nice, however it was like a Christmas pudding. Beautiful aromas, nice rich taste and a lot of mouthfeel. However I serving was more than enough. Ideal if you are in the mood for one beer, but not to be taken in any real quantity.

 935 characters

Photo of Poser
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

White top with good lacing with chocolate-fruity and hoppy aroma. Medium bodied and slightly creamy with some strong malty flavors up front with some noticeable spices, but easy enough for a session beer. The taste is nutty and earthy similiar to a John Courage. Finishes with a good hoppy balance. A very solid ale with low enough ABV to have a few of. It also comes in a nifty looking pint bottle from Scotland, so it's just fun all around.

I bought this completely blind having never heard of the brewery even, so I'm very happy with my choice.

 550 characters

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.

 679 characters

Photo of swid
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black Douglas Ale pours a dark amber color into my pint glass. Atop the hazy liquid sits a 1/4", off-white head, which quickly dissipates into a soapy foam. The aroma of this beer is that of a smoky malt, with a strong mineral presence and only the faintest hint of floral hops.

The taste of this beer is intensely malty, with a sweet, smoked presence. After a little bit, a moderately intense mineral and herbal bitterness takes over. The mouthfeel of Black Douglas is quite "wet" and full, but without being overly thick. The finish is malty and mildly bitter, with a trademark British "hard water" aftertaste.

Overall, a refreshing Scottish Ale. I wish I could try it a bit closer to its place of origin, however.

 722 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Rootbeer like brew with a similar looking head when mixed with icecream. The body is clean with amber highlights...copius streams of bubbles meander to the top adding to the already thick head.

S: Very malty with hints of peat, deep red fruits and brown sugar.

T: Light caramel with red apple, dry wood and a weak malt profile based on the smell IMO. The middle is roasted barley, slightly smoky with a charred characteristic. Toasted bread mingles with the rest of the group. Finishes with mild chocolate and coffee moments.

M: Medium body yet thin on the tongue.

D: The smell led me to believe this was going to be something really special. Had some nice roasted characteristics but pretty straight forward if you ask me.

 739 characters

Black Douglas Ale from Broughton Ales Ltd
Beer rating: 72% out of 100 with 118 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.