McEwan's Scotch Ale
Eagle Brewery

McEwan's Scotch AleMcEwan's Scotch Ale
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Eagle Brewery
England, United Kingdom
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #121
Ranked #20,559
3.81 | pDev: 13.39%
Dec 22, 2022
Aug 18, 2001
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.
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Photo of chum_husk
Reviewed by chum_husk from Minnesota

3.22/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5
Dark brown, almost black, clear. Smell is a mix between a peaty scotch and a 40oz. Taste's equal parts sweet and woody, chocolate and oak. Kinda thin on flavor and body, cola-like. After looking at the label I realize this is almost a year past the date. I was looking for a good scotch ale and this delivered, but it's not a go-to. I might try it again just to see if it's better fresh
Dec 22, 2022
Rated: 3.88 by shadyside from Georgia

Dec 04, 2022
Photo of puck1225
Reviewed by puck1225 from Texas

4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
I was in the mood for a Scotch Ale, and this is a good one.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Dark reddish mahogany with a nice beige head and good curtain lacing. Sweet caramel smell and taste. The taste is a bit too sweet at the beginning but it mellows to a rich earthiness as it progressed. A bit of warm spice and dark sweet cherries. A nice comforting beer.
Aug 22, 2022
Photo of barnzy78
Reviewed by barnzy78 from Illinois

3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
11.2oz bottle
Best before 28 JUL 22
I saw this on the shelf and grabbed it so fast! It HAS to be a decade or more since I had this one. Glad to see it’s back!
L: chestnut brown colored body with a frothy tan head
S: sweet malty aroma: caramel, grain, peat, fruit
T: fruit cake, caramel, spice, peat, brown sugar, grain, raisin, prune, plum, cherry, earthy hops
F: medium body, ample carbonation, finishes more sweet than I remember
O: sweeter yet more complex than I remember it being; I look forward to going through the rest of the 4-pack. It’s been too long.
Jun 05, 2022
Rated: 3.69 by Curt3 from New Jersey

Apr 16, 2022
Rated: 3.94 by BarrelAgedG from California

Mar 15, 2022
Photo of REDAMI
Reviewed by REDAMI from Ohio

3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

L - Sandy head, dissipates quickly, reddish brown pour.

S - Toffee, malts, dried figs, roasted grains.

T - Whole grain bread, not a syrupy malt profile, a grain malt flavor.

F - Thinner than expected, touch of heat.

A classic of the style. Founders Dirty Bastard is probably based on this.
Feb 20, 2022
Photo of Peach63
Reviewed by Peach63 from New York

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Copper with a 1/2" tan head, which fades to a wisp. Light lacing.

Aroma is toffee, coffee, peat.

Taste follows nose: Toffee, slight coffee, peat. Earthy.

Medium body, light carbonation. Dry finish.

A fine Scotch Ale.
Dec 21, 2021
Photo of rodbeermunch
Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Seein' ol' ragehead do up a review reminded me I haven't done mine for this one despite drinking it since the mid90s when it was owned/brewed by Caledonian.

Pours a dark black cola like color appearance but with more viscosity. Solid small bubbled beige head 3/4". The aroma has a big dark fruit, sherry like earthy bitterness. Basically as these age they get more and more like that. Prefer them fresh. Its a goth like aroma of darkness and smoke.

The taste is pretty complex and this is where my mind goes when I think "literal Old World" its nuanced flavor like this. Treacle, expired raisin, fig, sherry bitterness and booziness. Back in the 90s I grew to love this stuff, as time moved forward, I think it was my palate that shifted even though the ownership and brewing changed. Became weirdly, more of a chore to drink. Less caramel, more charcoal and toffee. Seemed thicker to me back in the day, now seems thin by contemporary standards.

Can't wait to see what the next few decades bring me in terms of feelings about this beer.
Dec 20, 2021
Photo of Todd
Reviewed by Todd from California

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
330ml bottle. Best before 15 May 22. Purchased at the Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles.

Rich, practically opaque, dark brown with tawny hues around the edges and an off-white, creamy, clingy, head. Light peat and fig jam in the nose. Surprisingly light in body with a incredibly creamy mouthfeel. Dark bread, toffee, cola, baked chocolate, black treacle, fig, peat, and a lingering smokiness that sticks with you for a long time. Some earthy and nutty notes in the back too. Other than the light smoke and some char at the end, the finish is sweet and clean.

McEwan's Scotch Ale is a classic that showcases old-school finesse in brewing. One of the benchmarks for the style.
Dec 20, 2021
Rated: 3.37 by irishevans from California

Dec 04, 2021
Rated: 3.94 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

Nov 06, 2021
Rated: 4 by Velivolus1 from Vermont

Sep 25, 2021
Rated: 3.84 by Wrigfen from South Carolina

Aug 14, 2021
Rated: 4.53 by thebeard99 from Canada (BC)

Apr 21, 2021
Photo of MNAle
Reviewed by MNAle from Minnesota

3.77/5  rDev -1%
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
Rated: 3.87 by StoutAtTheDevil from Alabama

Mar 28, 2021
Rated: 3.94 by Mattandwin from New Hampshire

Feb 28, 2021
Photo of GreesyFizeek
Reviewed by GreesyFizeek from New York

4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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
Rated: 4.39 by crazyspicychef from Pennsylvania

Nov 12, 2020
Rated: 3.96 by DruC4 from Michigan

Oct 22, 2020
Photo of Wxb1111
Reviewed by Wxb1111 from Rhode Island

3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
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
Rated: 4.3 by Archfiend from Illinois

Oct 03, 2020
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Reviewed by pkalix from California

3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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
Rated: 4.41 by DarrellK from Florida

Jun 05, 2020
Rated: 3.92 by smi69 from New York

May 25, 2020
Rated: 4.02 by mattreitz49 from Florida

May 15, 2020
Photo of jjamadorphd
Reviewed by jjamadorphd from Florida

3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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
Rated: 3.85 by kuhndog from New York

Mar 06, 2020
Rated: 4.46 by BKast409 from Virginia

Feb 14, 2020
Rated: 3.77 by BuxMontBeerLover from Pennsylvania

Dec 28, 2019
Photo of Nass
Reviewed by Nass from Florida

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
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
Rated: 2.93 by JustLikeMyDad from Michigan

Dec 07, 2019
Rated: 4.15 by SeymourDunn from Wisconsin

Nov 27, 2019
Rated: 3.5 by beaulabauve from Louisiana

Nov 26, 2019
Rated: 3.6 by FrancisM12 from New Jersey

Nov 10, 2019
Photo of stortore
Reviewed by stortore from Illinois

3.62/5  rDev -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
Reviewed by BigGuyDontCry from New York

4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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
Rated: 3.35 by Wellgoose12 from New York

Aug 07, 2019
Photo of C-Stockwell
Reviewed by C-Stockwell from New Hampshire

3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
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
McEwan's Scotch Ale from Eagle Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 870 ratings