McEwan's Scotch Ale
Eagle Brewery

McEwan's Scotch AleMcEwan's Scotch Ale
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #213
Ranked #25,129
3.83 | pDev: 13.32%
Eagle Brewery
England, United Kingdom
Very Good
McEwan's Scotch AleMcEwan's Scotch Ale
Notes: Formerly brewed by The Caledonian Brewing Company

An intensely satisfying full bodied beer, McEwan’s Scotch Ale has sweet aromas of caramel, toffee, malt bread and dried fruit.
View: Beers
Reviews: 508 | Ratings: 857 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MNAle
MNAle from Minnesota

3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sweet aroma. Toffee and figs.

Clear dark ruby with bubbles (visible with a backlight) rising to a 1/2 inch off-white-to-tan head with relatively short retention. Thick lacing lines the glass.

The taste does repeat the flavors from the aroma, toffee and figs, but more assertively and with more complexity. There's an earthiness, a peatiness, a very slight bittering in the initial taste that retains throughout, but fades in the aftertaste. Bready malts make their contribution. The beer is a bit on the sweet side, but not overly so.

Mouth feel has a moderate body with a restrained carbonation. Creamy.

Overall, this is an easy-drinking, tasty scotch ale. Perhaps not as substantial in the body as some of the more modern examples of the style, but a nice traditional example. I only just this evening had this beer for the first time, so I can't comment on whether it has changed. I can say, though, that it seems to have come through the jumble of owners and brewing locations as a very nice scotch ale.

Mar 30, 2021
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

This oe pours a golden amber/brown-ish color, with a small white head, and a bit of lacing.

This smells like toffee, breadiness, chocolate, smoke, and some light peat.

This is a solid traditional scotch ale, with a mild sweetness, some steely breadiness, a touch of smoke, and just a hint of peat - not too much. I don't really want it to be too peaty, so I'm happy with it.

This is medium bodied, crisp on the back end and somewhat creamy up on front.

It's nice to go back and appreciate stuff like this every so often.

Feb 21, 2021
Photo of Wxb1111
Wxb1111 from Rhode Island

3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A great Scotch Ale. Not the best-in-class, But it will not cost you $5 a bottle . You get exactly what it says on the label - an 8% Scotch Ale that's as malty and wonderful on a crisp fall day. We All hope someday to bring back the 12oz bottle...

Oct 15, 2020
Photo of pkalix
pkalix from California

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

hated this 20+ years ago in Der Baron's in Las Vegas.... what a greta place, though! 101 Beers From Around The World!!! T-shirts, pewter mugs, jackets.... what a great time! many of us Air Force guys would drink til we saw double and never noticed the owners snorting so much coke thay they eventually lost the place.... aside from the beer, their nachos were THEE greatest construction of artwork on the planet! i would wake up with dreams of their nachos still lingering in my head... so anyway, i love the sweetness, which i can now enjoy after many years of torturing my taste buds with american IPAs, and the way it leaves the glass so clean.... slight tinge of 'band-aid' to the flavor but that may be from sitting on a Total Wine shelf a bit too long.

Aug 02, 2020
Photo of jjamadorphd
jjamadorphd from Florida

3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I’m always on the lookout for a good scotch ale, I think this one fits the bill...

Great dark caramel coloration, think head and with a tiny bit of lacing. The smell was about average for the style, and mouthfeel was light with some carbonation at the back end. I enjoyed the mild scotch flavoring and maltiness as well. Overall, solid enough if not spectacular.

Mar 08, 2020
Photo of Nass
Nass from Florida

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like the classy looking bottle label artwork. The pour is brown with red ruby tinges when the beer snifter is held up to in the light. The taste is malt, peat, brown sugar, faint roasted nuts, & faint char. Cheers! B

Dec 24, 2019
Photo of stortore
stortore from Illinois

3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into a snifter. Best by date of 5/31/19, had 10/20/19.

Pours a fairly dark ruby/brown amber, semi opaque, with a quick flash of a head and some soapy cling. Aromas of malt, caramel, some chocolate, some smoke, a little bread. The taste starts with a pretty good jolt of earthy hops, though it diminishes over time. Malt, caramel, some smoke, some chocolate- more as it warms, Smooth, a good medium body, appropriately carbonated.

A well made example of the style. Has a good flavor and aroma, but both are a little muted than I look forward to. Worth a try.

Oct 21, 2019
Photo of BigGuyDontCry
BigGuyDontCry from New York

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first truly good beer that I was ever introduced to over 20 years ago when the options were much fewer. It has really stood the test of time and is still one of my favorites. It is a perfect example of what can be done with malt. That a malt heavy beer does not have to be ,one-dimensional, syrupy or end up tasting like raw grain. There are a number of IPA producers who could learn a great lesson from McEwans. Dumping more hops in doesn't cover up a poor malt profile. This is the classic Scotch ale and well worth trying.

Sep 23, 2019
Photo of C-Stockwell
C-Stockwell from Rhode Island

3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: deep ruddy brown, almost black
S: malt, caramel, and cherries
T: malt sweetness and hops dryness
F: excellent carbonation

A very good, rich, refreshing ale. Somewhat one-toned in flavor, could use more nuance. Buy with confidence.

Jul 21, 2019
Photo of gbiello
gbiello from Massachusetts

3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear dark -brown into the glass with some light coming through the thin part of the glass. Just a trace of head. Malty boozy scent and taste. Earthy bitterness on the palate.

Dec 03, 2018
Photo of jkblr
jkblr from Indiana

3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle bb 7/31/18 (Whoops) poured into a thistle glass at fridge temp 8% ABV. The beer pours dark brown with ruby highlights and light tan colored head. The head recedes to a thin ring and leaves a little lacing. The aroma is smoked malt and a hint of alcohol. The taste is light smoke over chocolate, cherry and raisin flavored malts. No real bitterness, but not really sweet either. Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. The finish is mostly dry. Overall, very good. Thin mouthfeel and lack of genuine peat smoke flavor are the only thing keeping the score down for me. Really enjoyable beer though.

Sep 09, 2018
Photo of Prometheus75
Prometheus75 from New York

4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had my first one about 15 years ago and confirmed my love for Scotch Ales.

Has been harder to come by lately. Was happy to grab one and flash back to the business trip that led me to the first one.

To me, it's the standard-bearer for a Scotch Ale. Not the best-in-class, not a "must-have" to be sought by collectors. Just exactly what it says on the label - an 8% Scotch Ale that's as malty and delicious as it should be. So refreshing to get this flavor without the heaviness of a stout or quad.

Jun 08, 2018
Photo of Raime
Raime from Greenland

3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer has become increasingly rare as the years have gone by according to my father. He used to drink these up decades ago. Never had one but found a sixer at a gas station tonight and since I have a rare weekday off work tomorrow and a few straggler beers laying around to supplement I figured I'd give it a whirl.

Look - Deep garnet with a finger of off white head that rapidly dies down to cloud formations amongst the top of the glass. Clarity is clear when held to the light and carbonation appears quite low. No lacing or stick amongst a finished glass.

Smell - Kind of a cherry robitussin thing that happens immediately upon a whiff but luckily the other malty aspects show up rapidly and put that into the back of your mind.

Taste - Cherry at the forefront though not medicinal thankfully. Burnt bread aspects are all apparent with a hop bite showing up around the end.

Feel - Cold and slightly creamy with a low carbonation. Exceptionally sweet and swallows a touch sticky.

Overall - Pretty solid scotch ale without a lot of off the wall frills. The scent is a bit of a whirl but everything else is pretty nice. Won't have a problem tossing back the rest of the sixer. Could definitely take these on a hunting trip.

Feb 20, 2018
Photo of Premo88
Premo88 from Texas

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into snifter
(5/15/18 best-by date printed on bottle neck)

L: pours dark brown, looks black in glass until you hold it up to the sun and see the deepest, darkest, clearest claret/crimson ... stunningly beautiful; pushes up thick 1-inch head of beige foam; only a little sticking and lacing, does keep a big-bubbled soapy-looking collar and a piece of skin on top

S: can smell a little roasted wood as you pour, then sweet dark dried fruits, figs, dates as it settles in glass; plum; fruitcake ... and the aroma has a smokiness in the "after" aroma if such a thing exists, not sure I've ever run across it like this

T: almost quadrupel-level dark-malt fruitiness, candied dates, sugar-coated figs ... quite sweet but a subtle-yet-strong earthy something entrenches itself in the background and sorta just sits there, balancing it out; yeasty dustiness ... in fact some of that earthy flavor is just yeast, not hops or charred/burnt/roasted malt

F: light middleweight, arguably watery for the style but the carbonation gives it a body; I could see aficionados of the style hating the lighter weight but it does make for easy drinking

O: count me as a big fan of McEwan's ... while this beer arguably lacks the complexity and body of the world's great wee heavies, it still delivers a good amount of roasted malt flavor with enough balancing earthiness to keep the sweet notes in check; I can't remember the price, but whatever it is, I'll not hesitate to grab some more of this in the future

Nov 12, 2017
Photo of Tstromer
Tstromer from Texas

4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little different then the scott(ish) ales. I thought it was much darker like a mahogany, with a quick dissolving head. Had a wonderful malty taste. Couldn't tell that it was 8% abv which most likely helped the flavor of peated malts and something sweet that I couldn't quite distinguish. A-/B+

Sep 01, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The pour is a dark brown color that leaves the same colored body. Two fingered white foamy head that once it dies a nice spider web lacing sticks around the sides of the glass. The aroma has peat, light chocolate, deep malts, just a touch of caramel all coming through smokey and sweet The taste is sweet through the malts, chocolate and caramel. Sticky sweet aftertaste with a long dark sweet finish. On the palate, it sits about a medium, shows that its more of a sipper and has a smooth carbonation to it. Overall, I’d say this is some pretty good stuff that I would have again.

Jul 10, 2017
Photo of dfconnor
dfconnor from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As scotch ales go, this one is OK, but nothing special. It has a somewhat sweetish bland flavor that actually improves once you let the beer warm up a little bit. The texture was a little too flat for my taste.

May 19, 2017
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml brown bottle.
Pours clear but very dark reddish-brown. A weak head soon becomes a partial coat and a thin ring. Minimal lacing.

Lightly sweet with partially hidden alcohol. High ABV is particularly well hidden in the feel. Hints of dried plums and raisins.

Apr 22, 2017
Photo of fscottkey
fscottkey from New York

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: [3.75] The bottle lists the ABV (8.0%) there is also a date code (04/11/17). Obviously a best by date but I am not sure if it is April 11 or Nov 4. Either way it is in the future at least by a little. The beer is a cola color and very transparent. It produces 1 1/2 fingers of thick tan head.

S: [3.75] Peat, leather, cherries, rust, maple syrup, cocoa.

T: [4.00] Mellow flavors of maple syrup (sweet), peat, cherries, cocoa. The cherry is more pronounced as it warms.

M: [3.50] A little thin for 8% with lower carbonation.

O: [3.75] This is a nice overall Scotch Ale. The flavor of cherry is a bit unique. Normally I do not like cherries but it works in this flavor combination. The biggest detraction was the body. It was kind of watery for an 8%.

Apr 11, 2017
Photo of VoxRationis
VoxRationis from New York

3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decanted into a conical pint glass. Pour a dark copper which is translucent yielding a garnet color in light; khaki head that dissipates with modest lacing. Nose rich with roasted malt with a tobacco note; tastes remarkably mild with little complexity. Light to medium body. Refreshing without much distinctive character.

Apr 02, 2017
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: pours ruby highlighted deep dark brown with streams of fine bubbles rapidly rising to join a thin, light tan foam collar.

S: Rich malt and caramel aromas rise from the glass with traces of spice, earth, and faint smoke. Fruit and hop aromas are low.

T: The flavors start rich and creamy showcasing rich malt, slight roast, a hint of smoke, light fruit and nuts. Malt and nuts dominate a slightly sweet finish balanced by a medium low bitterness. There are traces of plum and raisin in the background.

F: McEwan's Scotch ale has a medium full to full body and medium low carbonation.

Mar 31, 2017
Photo of Reef
Reef from South Carolina

3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle that probably took the slow boat from Edinburgh. Scores probably suffer from the age and handling by the time I got it.

Appearance: Dark brown not quite opaque. Can't think of another beer this shade darker than Amber, lighter than mahogany. Scant head despite a vigorous pour. Narrow ribbons of lacing.

Scent: Gingerbready malt, fig, prune, stone fruits, spice cake.

Taste: Follows nose, starting with the spices and stone fruits, and a hint of peat and cinnamon following. Taste seems more subdued than I remember, perhaps due to age. Not much change as glass warms.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, fairly flat, a little aqueous.

Overall: This was the first wee heavy In my drinking career. I guess the term je ne sais quoi is applicable as it has some quality that I don't find in others. I wished the flavors had a little more pop. Maybe I'll have to go to Edinburgh to try it fresh.

Mar 24, 2017
Photo of Bravo06
Bravo06 from New York

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark, holding the glass to the sun and you'll find clear deep red, without back-light just dark. Had a medium head.
Very subtle aroma with some oak and malty sweetness.
Bold and sweet with a strong malty sweetness and caramel, not really bitter.
Overall a decent Scotch Ale.

Mar 19, 2017
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 330 ml. Bottle. Sampled on March 18, 2017.

Brown pour with a short lasting off-white head and some selected lacing.

The aroma has a kind of barnyard shed malty note with a touch of moss, butterscotch, and tobacco. Low hop profile.

The body is around medium. I might've preferred heavier.

The taste is most definitely malt forward with a slight molasses note and generally sweet. It is easy to drink at 8% and the liquor is muted.

Mar 18, 2017
Photo of Troy-Hawaii
Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a single $4.25 Liquor Collection
Dark black color
Medium-heavy mouthfeel
Medium-light carbonation
Chocolate, malty flavor, sweet molasses, hides high alcohol well
Overall an ok beer. Probably won't buy again

Dec 03, 2016
McEwan's Scotch Ale from Eagle Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 857 ratings