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Plaid Bastard | Grand Lake Brewing Company

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36 Reviews
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Plaid BastardPlaid Bastard

Brewed by:
Grand Lake Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 02-16-2004

For Trade:
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Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 61
Photo of codewarrior
2.85/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz from a 6-pack, poured into a pint glass

Picked this up on my first trip to Davidson's Liquors, the liquor store was impressive, this beer ... not so much.

L: Deep, dark, old, brown. Very little head, no lacing. Definitely a touch under-carbonated.

S: Fresh for a wee-heavy. Touch of smoke and peat in the back of th nose, lots of sweetness, but ultimately not much going on here.

T: Starts sweet, middle is sort of a meaty smokey confusion with not enough of either to make much of this beer. Finish is premature, and pretty flat.

F: Touch light for a wee-heavy and definitely under-carbonated. Nearly flat.

D: Not for me.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cola brown pour with a half finger of head that quickly dissipates. The aroma is extremely familiar but I'm having trouble pinpointing it. Sort of a toasted, bready, lightly sweet mix....I think I've got it, it is Wheat Chex cereal maybe?

Flavor is basically mashed Wheat Chex mixed with water. I love me a nice full flavored/full bodied wee heavy, but this just isn't it. Too watered down for the style, although by no means is it unpleasant. Just not really worth seeking out.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A good stab at the Scotch Ale. But like many American brewers, a few shortcuts were make that keeps it from competing with true Scottish versions.

Sweet maltiness gives more candied, sugary affects rather than the complex, richer, and more malty techniques from kettle caramelization that would give rich toffee taste and with the browning of malliard reactions. And, without any hop character outside of shortsighted balance, the beer is just too sweet. Fruity notes of cherries, grapes, apples, and plumbs shine nicely and would support the beer well if the maltiness were present. Lacking richness and fullness, the sugars fall flatly on the tongue and the beer just gets stuck.

It's an ok beer but the imported versions have this one beat. Thanks Ken.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.37/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been sitting on this one for a long time. Time to give it a try.

Served cool into a pint glass, Plaid Bastard is a deep dark brown color. There is good clarity around the edges. There is absolutely no head. Even with a splashy pour, nothing develops.

Aroma is sweet and malty. There is a little evidence of the peat or smoked malts that were used in the making of this beer.

Flavor much more strong and the smoke comes through here with force. There is a sweet malt backbone with a little chocolate and cherry flavor. There is basically no hops to speak of but that's how this style should be.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied with low carbonation. After pouring it, I thought this might be the second beer in as many nights to come out flat but luckily no.

Overall it's not a bad beer, pretty good for the style, but I prefer my Scotch ales to be smoke-free.

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Photo of tbern007
3.42/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with ruby around the edges. No head, no lace. Pretty color, but the rest of the appearance is crap.
Scent is tantalizing. Dark fruit, malt, alcohol.
Taste is on one hand nice but on the other weak. Plum, anise, black licorice, roast malt- but all essentially weak. Very slight smoke.
A bit watered down and sugary. Medium body. I've had some Scotch Ales and this just seems a bit weak.
Side note: the label states: strong scotch ale is big and rich.
Not really. There's also a mention of the highest altitude of brewing in CO. So what. just make good beer.

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Photo of Pahn
3.42/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Thanks to codewarrior for including this as an extra in a recent trade--even though if you read below he himself apparently didn't like it! I'm joking with the "shit extra" implication though; among others, he included a 750ml Odell Saboteur as an extra, which is really going above and beyond. Generous trader, and much appreciated.

Appearance: Free pour yields a tiny offwhite head that disappears immediately. Pours a dark blackish red brown. No lacing. Considering this isn't an unblended lambic or something, looks like something went wrong.

Smell: Raisin, and a cola-like effervescence. There's an almost white wine-like note that's kind of sour. It actually smells good, but the smell is not strong enough and there's not enough going on really. Doesn't particularly enhance the flavor, but doesn't stop me from wanting to drink it either.

Taste: Interesting. I definitely taste the raisin and black cherry touted on the bottle's label, and there's a nice smokiness right up front from the peat smoked malt. Some molasses in the aftertaste. This beer would be great to cook with.

All told there isn't much going on with this beer, but I like what's there. The transition from smoke to raisin/cherry to molasses is good, and stays interesting throughout. It's sort of like a smoky Belgian dubbel actually (though a pretty simplistic dubbel). Also, even at 8% ABV there isn't a hint of solvent in the flavor. Maybe some warmth in the chest at the end, but that's it.

Drinkability: Medium bodied (feels heavier at first, but it starts to feel a bit watery after awhile). Low carbonation, which I actually found to be quite enjoyable (I don't want my thick malty beers to explode with bubbles in my mouth). Dryer than expected.

Drinkability: Goes down easy. I wouldn't have trouble throwing these back if I was with good company at a bar. That said, it's also not a beer such that I'd say, "Oh, such-and-such bar has Plaid Bastard?? Let's go *there* tonight!" If it were cheap enough I'd buy it every so often.

I liked this beer more than the low-for-BA and low-for-me scores probably indicate. I think the beer is well made and has real character. There's just some obvious problems in the appearance and smell, and the flavor is, when it comes down to it, not as deep as a wee heavy needs to be. However, it does taste good. Also, I bet a barbecue sauce made out of this stuff would be amazing.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours brown with no head at all other than a few bubbles after a very vigorous pour.

The aroma is sweet peaty caramel and toffee with a bit of smoke and molasses and nuts. As it warms some vegetal notes come out.

The flavor is sweet peaty nutty caramel and toffee malts with some chocolate and a touch of fruits and smoke. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with very low carbonation.

Overall, this didn't have much carbonation like the other Grand Lake beers that I purchased from the brewery. Unlike the others, this hold up pretty nicely. It's got some great flavors for a Scotch ale - a good balance of peat, smoke and sweet caramel without being overly sweet.

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Photo of blackie
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: unibroue tulip, completely dead on the surface - absolutely no head, deep murky brown in color

s: peaty, woody smoke, and smooth roasty malts with a subtle sweet-sour aroma akin to apple juice, some chocolate syrup, big malty toffee, molasses, dark fruits, not bad

m: barely carbonated, body a full medium

t: typical scotch style malts - toffee and smoky peat with some glimpses of iced coffee, light chocolate coating, okay but a bit of a flatline, turns somewhat to a dry earthiness in the finish with dusty cocoa and charred wood

d: eh, okay

single from College Liquors, Grand Junction, CO

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Photo of Rayek
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Thistle.

A: Very deep mahogany. As dark as some porters. Clarity is a quite good. A small and fizzy nougat head comes and goes quickly. Leaves no lace.

S: The peat smoked malt comes through strong and forms the center point of the beer's nose. It's surrounded by aromas of toffee, tobacco, molasses and raw earth in equal measure.

T: Tastes heavily of toffee, tobacco and smoke up front. A molasses sweetness is in the background. Bitterness is just enough to keep the sweetness in check. It brings in earth and black tea flavors. Finishes with a slight warmth and lingering molasses and smoke flavors.

M: The body is both syrupy and slightly watery. The carbonation on my bottle seems way off the mark.

D: Smells good and tastes good. But the weak appearance and mouthfeel really let this one down. Perhaps a better bottle will come my way at some point.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Industrial strength iced tea brown with scarlet and gold accents. In spite of an elevated pour, barely one finger of sandstone colored foam has appeared atop the beer. A weak burst of CO2 on crown cracking is further evidence that carbonation may be seriously lacking. Minimal lace appears in the end.

The nose is more roasted malty (dark chocolate and coffee) than most wee heavies. Since the beer is less than aromatic, I'm having trouble appreciating the gen-u-ine Scottish peat-smoked malt. Maybe it will be more evident on the taste buds.

Plaid Bastard tastes more aggressive than it smells. As suspected, it's impressively dark malty. With more total malt, it would be a killer-diller of a Scotch ale. As is, it's pretty delicious, especially if you're a fan of boldness. In my opinion, any beer that uses the word 'bastard' had better be bold.

The flavor profile consists of dark butterscotch, bittersweet chocolate, whiskey-soaked raisins and a surprising amount of smokiness. Now that the beer has warmed a little, the nose is beginning to give off a tendril or two of smoke. More malt would have resulted in more complexity and a much better mouthfeel.

I have no way of knowing, but this bomber may be on the aged side. The body seems to have broken down a bit and is thinner than an 8.0% ale ought to be. Given that, too few bubbles works out better than too many bubbles would have.

With some bulking up (or a fresh bottle if age is the culprit), Grand Lake Plaid Bastard could be an excellent Scotch ale. Since flavor is king, I like this one more than the final score will reflect.

Note: according to raised numbers along the bottom edge, the bottle was manufactured in '08. Therefore, the thin mouthfeel and the lack of carbonation isn't due to age, but to either poor craftsmanship or a lack of quality control.

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Photo of jacobseyb
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A=virtually no head, deep amber almost black

S=smoky smell, some fruity notes

T=smoky taste, roasted malts evident, almost chocolate

M=even with no head carbonation is tight though feel is heavy and thick

D=not one of my favorites though i will drink again, probably would not choose as a session beer

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Photo of JMBSH
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Paours a dark amber almost brown color with almost no head. Head disappears to just a ring where the glass meets the liquid.

S - Caramel, a bit whiskey like.

T - Bring on the caramel. Somemore of the whiskey like flavor as well but the sweet caramel in really driving this bus. Very little bitterness. A bit on the sweet side like candy sugars were used.

M - Not too heavy tasting. Coats the back of the mouth a bit but still slick feeling overall. Once again the sweetness is bit higher then I am used to.

D - I can have more then a couple before realizing that the 8% ABV is there. Don't know if what besides things like cheeses would go good with this beer. Maybe it is best as a after-dinner drink. Would have again.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I took a trip up to Evergeen to buy some vintage beers and found this. I'd read previous reviews and $10.49 a sixer didn't seem too bad for a strong scotch ale. I have also been trying to taste more examples of this style since I really like Old Chub and Alesmith Wee Heavy. This beer has an instant malty, subtle smoke smell that is nice. The color is super-black with an off-white ring of bubbles running around the circumference of the glass. Whoah, the taste starts out as smoky malts and turns into band-aids and then meat. That may sound bad but if you like smoky, peaty beers this is definitely one of them and it gets better as it warms. This is a good beer to split into two snifters to increase drinkability, 12oz is too much.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from MilwaukeeCrusher so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains smoky roasted malts, bourbon dark fruit, vanilla and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste likewise starts out very smoky up front. Then some flavors of bourbon, chocolate, caramel, dark fruit and vanilla come in. The malt character is hearty despite being on the thin side for the style and there’s a mild hops presence that brings some balance.

M: Crisp and smooth but a bit watery for the style, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty and complex, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, even when you take into account the beer’s flaws, it’s still worth drinking for a while if you’re looking with a smoky beer with substance.

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Photo of mevett89
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown with a thin head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: you can definitely detect the smoked malt here, but that's about it.

Taste: smoked malt alongside roasted and chocolate notes. The hops are solidly in the background.

Mouth Feel: smooth and creamy with low carbonation.

Overall: the use of peat-smoked malt from Scotland make this unlike any Scotch Ale I've had. It's not nearly as strong in caramel malt flavor as I'm used to in this style, but the smoked malt used is showcased well.

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Photo of beergoot
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very little head after pouring this reddish brown bodied beer into my glass. Still, an great color...

Dark bread, rye-like, with hints of figs and raisins in the smell. A faint whiff of alcohol sneaks in there, too.

Robust malt goodness predominates in the taste. Rich and smooth on the tongue as roasted grains with hints of cocoa in there. Softly bitter with an ever so slight perception of alcohol rounds things out.

A fantastic rich, malted taste rescues this beer from a somewhat disappointing appearance (a thick, lasting head would have been great on this beer...). Excellent balance with the alcohol and grains coupled with an intriguing complexity makes for a fine brew in the grand scheme of things...

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a good beer for this time of year. enjoyed on tap at fire on the mountain wing spot on 32nd. it pours a flat looking clear brown amber color with basically no head. it smells great though, lots of smokey malt and a decent level of booze. its earthy and dark, enticing. the flavor is rich, even for the style. and the malts remind me of campfire smoke, tree bark, and maple syrup, although this beer isnt sweet. there is a nice warming alcohol kick to this as well. the mouthfeel lags a bit because there isnt enough carbonation, but the full body and smooth texture was a great way to wash down a couple dozen wings. id like to try this in the bottle, maybe the feel would be better. either way, a good introduction to grand lake beer for me.

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Photo of katan
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a deep dark amber color. Some brown high lights are present. Head formation was about nil, and it disappeared down to nothing. Looks somewhat flat.

S - Malty - strong chocolate and toffee, perhaps some caramel. Some alcohol warmth. Roasted notes are present, but they are are an afterthought.

T - Starts off with a light sweet, but then turns hard into some chocolate and peat malt. Lots of alcohol warmth. Mid-stream brings on some currants, raisins. Finishes with some smooth chocolate flavors.

M - Moderate beer body, but a very flat carbonation. Sticky and sweet on the tongue. Lots of alcohol warmth on the finish.

D - Moderate drinkability - abv will knock you around a little. Not filling. Flavors are pretty well rounded.

An interesting beer.

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Photo of xhuskr
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into std pint glass

thnx to my bro-in-law who lives in CO for this one. Had this years ago at the brew pub and enjoyed it.

A-nice dark mahogany color with very little lace that quickly diminished to none
S-nice...a wee bit of peaty malt
T-good light smoky/peaty flavor I've missed in other so called Scotch Ales
M-nice at first, then leading to off carbonation. Not too much from stopping me form finishing or wanting another. I've had some BAD Scotch Ales (last Maltopia) so I enjoyed this
O-a good beer to enjoy without any hype.

I'm often looking for a good Scotch ale...cautious to spend $ on failed brews. I'd buy/drink this again.

I wish I had some more

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Photo of rowew
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, plaid label. no date or abv.

Appearance: Dark color, ruby when held to the light. Very little head.

Smell: Smoky, a bit of dark fruit.

Taste: Farily thin bodied, nice flavors of dark fruit, and just a bit of smokiness, but not overpowering.

Overall impression: Drinkable, good flavors - another nice offering from Grand Lake.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Why does it have to be a bastard? Pours a dark brown color that is boarderline black. Darker red hues throughout and on the edge of the glass. A bit cloudy but not bad. A soft tanish to white head that faded quickly and no really lacing to speak of.

The nose is interesting. A very noticeable peaty aroma with a slight sour-dough bready quality. Gives it a smoky aroma to it. Some other minor caramel notes that are muttled in the background. This along with some yeast notes of mostly figs and raisins. Some minor yeast notes too with a light cherry and a slight solvent note.

The taste is very similar. Super peaty flavor that really comes out more than anything else. I learned that the brewers actually smoke the malt but not sure with what though. There is a smokiness that comes out stronger than the nose indicates. There is a light astringent note that reminds me of Carafa as well. The yeasty notes come out more as well with strong fig notes. Raisins and a slight vanilla cherry flavor as well. Hops come out in the finish mostly with a light earthy and hints of off citrus flavors as well. Some minor alcohol notes but pretty subtle considering ABV and style.

The body is moderate and actually pretty easy to drink considering style. Although some in our party were not fans, I thought it was pretty good and I'm not a smoke/peat fan.

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Photo of chicano4craft
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter as suggested on the label. Very dark with ruby highlights when held to the light. Modest head from a strong pour. Head leaves fast with no lacing.

Smoke, malt, and dark fruit in the nose.

Very nice mix of sweet fruit and smokey malt in the taste. The alcohol comes through slightly in the end. Not a lot of carbonation here, but enough for the style.

Pretty solid scotch ale. Nice flavors. I could have used a little more carbonation. This seems to be a problem with all Grand Lake beers. As for this beer I'll definitely buy this again.

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Photo of joepais
3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to goryshkewych for this one
Bottle poured into a sniffer produced a finger worth of tan head that goes to a light ring of lace. On top of a rich dark black body

Aromas on this is great smoked peat and roasted malts

Taste is much like the nose dominated by the roasted malts and smoked peat. A nice sweetness on this brew, the alcohol in not noticeable at all. Medium mouthfeel next to no carbonation in the brew

Drinkability is good on this brew but the bomber was quite enough for a sitting. I had it with some Brisket that was left over from purplehops (thanks Stan) gathering and I must say it was a great meal

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Photo of Haybeerman
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown color; very little light penetrates. Poured a skim of chocolate colored head that dissipated thin layer that was thicker around the edges. Laced in thin rings.

S: Bitter coffee and dark sweet fruits; raisins and black cherry. Toasted malts in the foiundation.

T: Crystal malt much more prominent. Dark fruity flavors in the middle consistent with smell. Just enough bitter to finish leaving a slight sweet cherry aftertaste (from candi sugar?).

M: Medium body. Low carbonation. Smooth, silky and coating.

D: Very dirnkable. Disguises the abv very (too) well. Flavorful, smoooth and rich.

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Photo of Beejay
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Domingo!!

A: Deep reddish brown, not a lot of head, but some white bubbles on top.

S: Malt with a touch of smoke. Like smoked meats...Slightly earthy, maybe some mocha in there.

T: Wow, big flavor. Roasted malt backed with some nice smoke flavors. Subtle and not overpowering.. Very nicely balanced, and the alcohol is well hidden. This is the first beer from this brewery that I have had, and what a good one to start with. Very nice.

M: A little light on the carbonation,but I don't think it is out of it's style.

D: It's a shame I only have 1/2 of a bomber left... must procure more..

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Plaid Bastard from Grand Lake Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 61 ratings.
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