Gritty McDuff's Scottish Ale | Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

86 Reviews
Gritty McDuff's Scottish AleGritty McDuff's Scottish Ale

Brewed by:
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
It takes a brave beer to stand up to a Maine winter. Gritty McDuff 's Scottish Ale is returns every January to help you weather the season. Scottish Style Ale is our interpretation of the robust brews native to Scotland. Generous quantities of Pale malt along with Munich and Caramalts give this ale a deep and complex profile. Scottish Style Ale is just a shade darker than our Bitter, with a rich, slightly sweet first impression on the palate that rounds out to a satisfying maltiness and a medium-dry hop finish. At 6.3% ABV it's hearty but not overwhelming. Sure to please the Braveheart in all of us.

25 IBU

Added by Bierman9 on 03-25-2002

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Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 122
Photo of OatmattStout
3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

white fleeting fluffy head that renders sufficient lacing down the glass.

smell of caramel and buttery malts and subtle hops.

Taste is full and bigger than i expected for a Scottish. Lots of backbone with the nice sweat fruity and biscuity malts. Diaceytly is her and not in a bad way. Good blunt hop taste that mellows on the tongue.

A big beer that for me would start a session but I would move on after one.

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Photo of Yeastcakes
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving notes: Hefe glass, 45F
Aroma: Malty sweetness with a light earthy hops in the background. Hint of smokiness.
Appearance: Nice inch of head upon pour dark, clear amber in color. Nice effervescence of bubbles.
Mouthfeel: medium to full body, light carbonation. Slickness on the tongue.
Taste: Malty sweetness dominates across the pallet. Hops in the background but still provide a good balance.
Drinkability: A nice winter beer. I would definitely get this beer again.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours s dark amber/brown with some nice red hues peeking through. Characteristic Gritty slight head that is gone in a flash.

Scents of toasted malt and some hop aromas. Also catching some mineral notes as well.

Toasted brown bread, some hop leaf herbal flavors, but slight at best. Some caramel, almost burnt sugar (that heavier burnt/sweet element) as well.

Medium bodied with not much carbonation, almost a little too light.

Overall, not too bad. Has some really great elements and some weak ones as well. Alcohol is present, but not too in your face. Worth a try, and was worth the purchase of a single.

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Photo of matty
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber colored ale with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is buttery caramel.Taste is caramel or perhaps butterscotch.This is something I could see myself buying again.I would recommend to my buddies.Nothing overly great but a pretty damn good drinkable ale!!

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Photo of Drewcifer
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a nice rich amber with a good-sized off-white head.

Smell is sweet malt, a little caramel, a slight hoppy twinge to it. Mostly malts, though.

Taste is also sweet malts and a touch of caramel. No real hops to it. Overall pleasant, a bit subdued though.

Body is on the lighter side of medium, slight carbonation.

Good drinkability, and overall, an above average Scottish, well done, not top of the heap, but quality.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Oured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is light smokey brown with ok carbonation. The head is small tan and leaves some lace.

The smell is light but nice, smoky toasted caramel malt.

The taste is very good I like this a lot, the caramel is very nice and it all works very good. Even the hops are done right.

The mouthfeel is a bit fizzy and the body could be thicker, but all pretty good.

The drinkability is just fine a very well dome brew that drinks agreat. Prosit, MK

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Photo of Schmidts
4.16/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just got this on the Holiday weekend, Pours dark amber nice head about 3/4 inch with lacing. Smell of Carmel and a little hops.It has a very Nice Taste and flavor. Feels very refreshing in your mouth and is easy to drink and one leads to another. This is a very nice Scottish Style Ale and I will revisit again for sure wish it was a little easier to get but a good taste and good price!

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Photo of jackorain
3.91/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clear brown/amber color Yellowish tan head. Good retention and nice lace.

Smells sweet like caramel, mild floral hops

Tastes nicely sweet anfd malty earthy and floral hops

medium body, nice medium fizzy carbonation

I could drink a few of these.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Glazed terra cotta with bright tangerine trim. The upper third of the glass contains a thick slice of pastel orange-gold foam that has a great deal of character. The upper surface is absolutely loaded with sticky bubbles, while broken blankets of BB-shot Belgian lace look beautiful as well.

Although there's nothing much wrong with the nose, it isn't exactly classic for the style. It smells like butter caramel... and not much else. A little cocoa or medium-dark fruitiness or peat or smoke would be nice. Perhaps the aroma will come alive with warming.

Gritty McDuff's Scottish Ale is a decent Scottish ale, but it doesn't rock my world. At least it tastes authentic, even if it isn't likely to put a scare into the world's best versions. It tastes like it's missing something, but I can't zero in on what that might be.

This is one of those styles that, in my considered opinion, is allowed to contain a moderate amount of diacetyl (which this one does) and still be good. As in the aroma, butter caramel describes the flavor profile best. There's also some mushy apple fruitiness, along with an herbal hop accent on the finish. For those who care, the hops are Northern Brewer and Yakima Goldings. 25 IBUs.

Sweet, bitter and tangy all take the lead at various points, achieving a complementary balance in the end. Warming amplifies the flavors that are already present (especially overripe apples), without changing things to any significant extent.

Keeping in mind that this isn't a wee heavy, it's still a bit light. There's nothing wrong with the mouthfeel, it just isn't worthy of the next highest score. Having said that, it doesn't stand in the way of rapid consumption if you're thirsty.

Scottish Ale is my fourth Gritty McDuff's beer and is my fourth solid Gritty McDuff's beer. This brewery isn't likely to be anyone's all-time favorite (apologies if it is), but I'd love to live within their distribution area. Thanks to fo5s for the bomber.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber, fizzy head comes up and falls quick. Smell is malty sweetness. Maple, caramel, light spice and floral presence. Good taste. Sweet up front but an excellent doughy, bready profile that comes soon after. It has a light nutty aspect to it as well. Smooth medium mouthfeel that is lightly creamy and well rounded, tiny bit of dryness in the finish. I'd take a couple more if I had them, that's for sure.

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Photo of erosier
3.16/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark amber color with a short and medium bodied tan head that sticks around and laces the glass on the way down. The aroma is of sweet malts, some nice hoppy bitter aromas, and then some scotch in there as well. The taste is of very nice sweet roasted malts, some scotch flavoring, and then a nice bitter hit at the end from the hops. The mouthfeel is smooth and kind of refreshing making it a drinkable beer. I was hoping for something a little less bitter, more scotchy, and smoother feeling.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color with slight head that is bubbly, fluffy and hangs to the sides of the glass.

Smells of roasty sweet malts with slight creaminess. Not a lot of hop presence obviously. I also get faint whiffs of cinnamon but not sure where that is coming from. All in all, its a rich smelling beer that is inviting on a cool/cold night.

Taste initially reminds me of sweet tea, some dark fruit with the bitter finish of the hops as the label says. Its a solid beer that is for sure. One thing that I would love is if it had that hint of peat smoke to it.

A solid beer overall.

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Photo of KOPBeerDrinker
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber into the pint glass. Short head formed and quickly receded-no lacing is evident. Smells mainly of biscuit malt. Tastes of bread with some hops and mild fruity flavor. Medium mouthfeel and relatively easy to drink. I like this better than most scottish ales I have tried, but is not one of my favorites from this brewery.

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Photo of russpowell
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to ppoitras for this one!

Pours an orange/copper with 1 finger of sand colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: S: Some toffee & that's it

T: Toffee, slight peat notes & some caramel up front. Slight sour tinge as this warms, then dryness, more peaty smokeyness. Finishes somewhat cloying & smokey

MF: Light bodied with moderate smokeyness

Drinks okay, nothing special here

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

22oz bottle from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" off-white head above the dark amber brew. Head is promptly down to a thin layer of small bubbles, with prevalent sticky lacing. Aroma is malty with a light alcohol presence. Taste is grain husks, fruitiness in the middle, with a bit of a harsh alcohol character to the close. Mouthfeel is not as smooth as it could be, and drinkability feels the same limitation. I think Gritty's is always better on cask at the brewpub. Have to get up there again.

10/17/04 - 4/2.5/4/4/4.5
12ozer bottle from a six pack from somewhere around here, probably Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head above the deeply amber brew. Good lacing. Aroma is well-balanced of caramel malts and somewhat non-descript hops. Taste is caramel malts, with a crisp somewhat citrusy hop finish. Everyone needs to remember, Scottish, not Scotch ale. Mouthfeel is good, and drinkability is great. I enjoy most any Gritty brew, and this one fits the bill as well.

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Photo of beermanbrian
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown/sligtly amber color. Cola fizz of a head with zero lace. Smell of some biscuit malt and not much else. Taste gets more interesting with a solid malty base with some biscuit and caramel maltyness. A surprizing bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is a little to high on the carbonation side. A solid session brew that was enjoyable.

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Photo of akorsak
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle from a variety case purchased as Westy's.

A: The ale is a darker brew, reasonably brown but not quite a cola colored brown-black. A decent head of 1.5 fingers arose on the pour but didn't retain for long.

S: The nose is biscuity malts, touched but smoke and floral notes. There isn't much in the nose to get jazzed about.

T: The taste improves mightily on the nose. The malts are the dominant flavor, grainy with toffee and bread-like flavors. A touch of smokiness aids the malts and the overall taste. A floral flavor emerges midway through a sip. Those flowers are not hops as they lack bitterness, but they sweeten up the taste a bit.

M: The mouthfeel is average, nothing spectacular rises out of the glass.

D: The ale works as a sessioner, decent taste and not much alcohol. But if you are looking for something deeper, pass on this.

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Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into shaker pint glass on 3/10/08.

A - Clear, dark copper-colored body with half a finger of creamy off-white head and lots of active carbonation. Head retained quite nicely, but left minimal lacing.

S - Lots of caramel malt up front with hints of vanilla and bourbon. Hops are earthy and not as pronounced as the other aromas.

T - Sweet caramel is apparent right away with a bit of molasses and a syrupy quality. Nice dose of gritty, earthy hops, which is pleasant. Like the aroma, there are hints of vanilla and bourbon in the background. Finishes with a heavy caramel aspect paired with bitter earthy hops.

M - Medium body with quite vigorous carbonation, resulting in a very prickly mouthfeel. Texture is fairly thick and syrupy. Finish is moderately bitter for a Scottish style ale.

D - Very solid Scottish style ale with a good amount of hops and flavors to keep it interesting. Carbonation is pretty heavy, but it doesn't detract from the overall aesthetic. I enjoyed this brew very much!

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Photo of Brad007
2.88/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a ruby red color with lively carbonation and nice foamy head. Aroma is of peat-smoked malt and ringwood with some dryness. Taste is mostly smoked malt upfront with a bit too much sweetness at first. Aftertaste is much better with a nice smoky finish and dryness. A second confirms much of the same. It doesn't feel well balanced upfront.

Obviously contract-bottled by Shipyard. Not a bad effort but I can name better efforts. Will look for this in a bomber though as I hear bombers are better quality (unless they won't be available in bombers).

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Photo of joepais
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

10 oz bottle poured reddish brown with an off white head

Aromas of malt and slight bread smell along with some hops

Palate is medium light carbonation on the tongue

Flavors of malt and caramel a rather strong hop bitter finish for the stile

I was a little disappointed in the bottle I had this from the brewpub and letÂ’s say it tastes a lot different but still an interesting beer none the less

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Photo of sraimondi
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a 1 inch tan head with some spot lacing which hangs around. Gorgeous medium to deep copper color.

The smell is sweet biscuity malt, per the Light Scotch Ale style. Some slight raisan smell as well.

This one's all about the malt in the taste. Definite caramel as should be the case. On the sweet side without the balance that I usually like; but not cloying.Very faint taste of smoke, but not assertive enough to really make an impression.

Mouthfeel is nice and round, not quite creamy, but very pleasant.

Overall a good example of the Light Scotch Ale style (60/- shilling) from one of my favorite places to hang out in Portland. The ABV is pretty well masked & the overall experience is very satisfying. Good job!


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Photo of WesWes
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a 1/2" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a mild malt scent that boasts of crystal and roasted malts. It's dry with some sweetness. The taste is average also. It has a dry, malty taste that seems watered down even at 6.3%. It has a very light peated flavor along with an alcohol zing. The mouthfeel is average as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This has got to be the least enjoyable Scottish ale I've ever had. It lacks depth in the malt bill. It lacks body and it lacks aroma. Down the drain it goes.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks like an amber. A deep, brownish red, but quite clear. Big head that goes away quick. Looks a tad light.

The smell is thick and malty. Also a bit nutty. Roasted aroma of malt. Also a nice wafting hit of yeast. A bit pungent, but overall aroma is kind of slight. Does have a sharp alcoholy-malt smell.

The taste is like a stout, roasted malt (but no coffee). Has a sweet nutty end to the malt. Has that rich Scottish flavor. It's strong, with an ashy flavor, but not too bad. Notes of caramel and toffee.

Feels thick like a porter. Rich and leaves a film. A little bubbly, and thicker than it looks. It's not amazing, but definitely decent enough. Roasted, bitter, nutty, alcohol-fueled.

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Photo of ericj551
3.39/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Gritty McDuff's Scottish Ale pours a red amber with a creamy off-white head. Aroma is dominated by ringwoody diacetyl with some malts hidden in the background. Flavor is also dominated by the same buttery diacetyl with the addition of some roasted malt flavor. The bitterness is balanced and there is little hop flavor.

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Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice head and corresponding lace; dark amber and quite clear

Caramel sugar aromas as expected; no hop.

Slight sweetness that reminds me of maple syrup. I can detect some hop after the swallow, but only then. Full body, but lighter than the style would suggest, with a correspondingly high carbonation. The aftertaste is interesting in that the hop becomes more noticeable as time progresses, becoming the exclusive flavor after about a minute.

While this isn't my style, I like this one. If you like sweet beers, this one is decently balanced with some hops.

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Gritty McDuff's Scottish Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 122 ratings.
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