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 mshallah
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Feb 08 notched on side of label. Dark amber with reddish tan head that quickly dissapates and leaves ring. Aroma is mild; maltiness with a quick mild hop whiff. Taste is a caramel maltiness with an over-balance of bittering hops. Taste is not bad, just off for the style. Mouthfeel suffers from too much carbonation of a soda-like nature. The trait I expect from scottish and scotch style ales is a fresh malty wort-like flavor and aroma that is robust and up-front. The caramel banana fruitiness of the ringwood yeast makes me think more of an autumn or winter ale. Decent beer, just not a good representation of the style.

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Photo of DrJay
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as part of Secret Bunny '07 from cburian. Thanks Chris!

Pretty clear burnt orange colour with a longlasting short cap of whitish foam. Streaky lace stuck to the glass after each swirl. Very fruity aroma, with notes of sultana raisins, cakey malt, and mild banana bread. Maybe a faint whiff of alcohol as well. Sweet, malty base with mild, yet sturdy, hop bitterness. Mild caramel with a bit of fruitiness. Hop flavour made its presence felt in the finish, where it melded with a gentle combination of alcohol, malt, and bitterness. Nice level of attenuation, still some residual sugars left. Decent texture, medium/low carbonation. Not a bad beer at all, but the high level of esters really seems out of place. It would definitely work as a local session though.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours out as a red-hued amber color with good carbonation that creates a scattered, bubbly head that dissipated pretty fast. minor lacing is observed.

The nose on this brew is pretty sweet scented with a red berries malt scent and herbal hop aroma.

This scottish ale has a big, sweet brown sugar, bread and butter flavored malt with some very nice fruity sweet currents. The hop charecter is herbal and subtle but very effective. The finish is hearty and very pleasing with a unique sour/yeastie effect.

This brew is medium bodied but crisp and substantial. This is one of the more enjoyable version of this style that i've had, very bold flavor and extremely drinkable.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a five finger cream head that goes slowly, leaving some lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Malty/hoppy nose. Flavor starts as a sweet mix of malt and hops, finishes slightly bitter. $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first Gritty review, however, the Gritty Pub Ale back in '89 was probably my very first craft beer. Not a bad offering overall, deep ruby color along with a healty white, wispy head. decent floras and sweet flowery malts on the nose. I think the batch I bought might have been on the long side of being youg, but it still had a decent, slightly balenced malt-infused hop bite at the end.

At 6.3% a pretty healty beer, weighs a bit heavy but pretty tasty.

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

Nice looking brew from Gritty’s as it poured to a amber color that seems to have brown highlights. A fair sized head is present, slight tan color, which breaks down somewhat quickly but is not leaving much of any lacing. Also noticed this with the last one that I had a couple of nights ago. The aroma is malt, caramel in scent maybe some citrus in there as well. Not a bad smelling brew but not the most inviting Scottish Ale I have had. The feel is relatively smooth with tastes of roasted malt being dominant. Slight hop bite at the end that seems to be somewhat muted but finish nicely. Seems to have more flavors coming out as the brew warms a bit, a somewhat earthy tone. Over all it is a fair brew, but not one to rush out and get, a good offering in the 12 pack Gritty Dozen.

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Photo of BuckSpin
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11oz bottle in a thistle-style flared goblet

Nice, vibrant nose from a crisp, crackled pour. Lightly spiced, biscuity, crackers, faint orange peel, sweet malts and dark caramel. An earthy/peated quality rises as it warms & opens as do some sweet stone fruits like cherry, slight apricot, more of the orange peel, malts and their sugars are more noticeable..a nice, inviting bouquet.

Head was a good finger's worth of mixed, warm ivory hued foam that lasted a decent while before surrendering into a thin covering. Their is no lacing, but slight agitation does revigorate the head nicely to a lingering, slow fade back to that thin covering. Body is a beautifully warm, brassy-orange cherry amber hue, crisp, sharp, clean, a few rogue bubbles rising quickly thru it. Aromatically & visually this is an understated beauty.

Its like 2 clans.. the "McBitters" and the "MacMalts" having a go at it in some highland games. Its surprisingly bitter up front, which given all the nose & eye candy caught me off guard like a gillie in the Highlands. But this bitter tongue quality is offset with a pleasing malt profile. Malts are earthy, flat, their deep, caramelized sugars slightly smoky and burnt but very nice. A whisper of orange complements the bitters as they do a jig with the caramelized malts...very nice. The tastes all meld together on the tongue balanced, even, flattening like a descent into the Lowlands, somewhat thin & watery, with a slight creaminess and upswing with the sweet aspect of the caramel. The finish is very quiet, semi-dry with peated malts, slight caramel, leaving a pleasing, clean bittersweet aftertaste that lightly coats the mouth in semi-sweet creaminess, but yet leaves a little of that backroad, thru the peat bog, malted journey to remind you of where you came from.

One note - this started better than it finished. The 1st half of the glass was much better & more complex than the 2nd, and as it warmed more it started to thin & lose qualities.

Overall, a damn fine Scottish Ale in all regards except for its staying power with warmth & air. I'm not saying to chug it, but sipping/nursing it does not help nor do it justice. However, there are far worse things in the world than a beer that appeals to all senses and can just be enjoyed without much thought over a session, one after the other. Perhaps one of the biggest sleepers in the New England market. By all means check it out & enjoy it while its here before the bagpipes call it away for another year.

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Photo of granite
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A--- It poured copper with large white head.

S---Burnt sugar and butter-scotch.

T---It had toffee sweetness with a good dose of bitterness to balance. It was easy to detect diacetyl in the aftertaste.

M---Medium-full bodied

D---Nice ale but it reminded me of an ESB brewed with crystal 120. It was too bitter and pale to be Scottish ale but they can call it what ever they want. The bottom line is this is very drinkable and I enjoyed it.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber from my local Shaw's. Dark amber/red translucent body with a half an inch of off-white head. Aroma is weak, but hints at roasted malt and hop. Roastiness dominates the flavor, not like a porter, but a roasted malt nonetheless. Medium-bodied. Flavor and mouthfeel are not overwealming, thus this is a really drinkable brew for the style. While not the best Scottish ale I've had, it's a good one from one of my favorite breweries. I'll be having this one again, sure.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.09/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gritty McDuff's- Scottish Ale Winter Seasonal

Appearance- Hazy caramel orange with a thick cappachiano head. Thick lacing down the glass.
Smell- Funky yeast and moss.
Taste- Light floral/ mossy hop. Sugary malt appears secondary.
Mouthfeel- Bland, but with an increasing flavor. The taste seems to jump out as you swallow.

Overall- A decent Ale nothing great. My 1st from Gritty.

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

Clear amber red with a thin white cap. Clean, sweet caramel malt aroma with some diacetyl and light fruits. Sweet and bright on the tongue at first though, thankfully, a darker maltiness attempts to chase down the sweetness - some light esters show up as well. Smooth, medium, clean body. Not bad.

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Photo of JMD71
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep copper color with a small head when poured.
Smell: Malty character with some sweet caramel flavor.
Taste: Nice full bodied flavor with good malty overtones. Good hop flavor in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Nice, clingy feeling. Highly carbonated lends good motuhfeel.
Drinkability: Very smooth, easy drinking. Not too heavy or overpowering.

I found this very enjoyable. Really nice malty flavor & good hop balance in the finish. Leaves a slight bitter aftertaste which is enjoyable,

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

Medium-brown pour with a large fluffy white head.

Nose is sharp malt with a touch of smokiness.

Flavor is biscuity, sour malt with both smoky and caramel components. Tastes pretty good, actually. However, it has more in common with Bitters/ESB than what I consider a Scottish Ale, (Robert the Bruce, anyone?). It's very light on the malt scale for a Scottish Ale. Also, has a distinct butteriness that is unusual in this style, probably not a good sign to some, but I don't mind it.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin to medium with fairly high carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. On tap, I might be inclined to have more than 1-2. At home, I will probably reach for something else from the mix pack I found this in.

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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Well not what you would expect a scottish ale to be. Pours dark brown a little of a head. Not much smell, a bit sweet. Tastes somewhat malty with quite a bit of hops for a scottish ale. Overall not bad but not overly exciting either. Good way to introduce people to darker beers.

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

Pours a rich brown in color that is absolutely clear. Thick, white head that dissolves into a thin film. Nose is sweet caramel with just a hint of hops. Flavor is fairly straightforward. Sweet at first with a bit more hop bitterness towards the finish. Got some caramel. Kind of an apple thing going on too. Full body. I wonder how this would be on cask? Nice and drinkable.

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Photo of akahn
3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cola-brown with a tight half-inch head. Very little lace.

Aroma of dark fruit such as cured black olives and raisins. Aroma reminds me of some really bad homebrew I've had.

Dark malty taste. Somewhat sweet, hint of roasted character. Subtlest hint of chocolate in the aftertaste. Not much flavor here, and I suppose the strong carbonation is meant to hide that, but it isn't working. It also can't hide this beer's weak, thin body. This beer is too boring to be very drinkable.

Somehow, this tastes the same as Best Brown and Best Bitter... variations on the same lackluster theme.

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Acquired through a long lost BIF. Best by October 06 clearly notched on the label (which looks different from what is pictured and is also marked as a "winter warmer")
Pours a good woody amber with a hefty finger and a half of off white head. Excellent retention and lacing with a good bit of carbonation livening up the brew.
Aroma of light booze, malt, and wet paper.
Light malt flavor that is overly buttery. Some light almost sour hops on the finish.
Thin, oily and buttery mouthfeel.
Strangely, I could imagine several hours of darts or pool while swigging this and BS'ing with the guys.

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Photo of philwags
3.07/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Reddish copper in color. Pours with a decent off-white almost tan head which condensed to large bubbles quickly which then lasted a long time, fair amount of lacing.

Smell: Malt. Musty, like the forest floor under a pine tree (Odd description I realize but that's what I got out of it).

Taste: Smoke, peat, more smoke, nuances of caramel. Alcohol not really noticeable. Long finish where the hops make an appearance along with minor notes of pepper.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thicker than Gritty's other offerings. Coats the tongue.

Drinkability: Not bad, but not the best breakfast I've ever had. I found the smoke to be overpowering which made it hard to discern additional flavors in the brew.

Overall I'd drink another one if offered, but I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to track one down.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gritty's has come out with combo 12 packs. This one had Scottish Ale, Christmas Ale, and the year-round Pub Ale. This Scottish ale is very good. It had a nice amber color with minimal head (and I really tried to make so0me head when pouring). It has a spicy/sweet aroma, and a good cinnamon/malty taste, with a hoppy aftertaste that really lingers. Lightly carbonated, so good mouthfeel. A very drinkable beer.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solild copper to amber color with a small head that falls to a sparse coat over top. Small bubbles slowly form at the bottom of the glass and float up. Nose is nice and butter to toffee with a lot of caramel sweetness. A bit too buttery for me. Flavor is better than the nose. Buttery diacetyl is still there, but I get some moderte herbal hopping with a moderate hop bitter finish. Also good caramel sweetness. Not quite what I expect from my scottish ales. I'd like some peaty or smokey character and not with the hops. Feel is moderate with a full moderate carbonation. The hopping is really not working with me on this one. It should be more sweet and with some peaty or smokey phenols. Just okay.

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

Pours a robust off-white head over a glowing red-hued copper body. Excellent lace and head retention. Light aromas of caramel malt, but fairly clean in the nose. Sweet and malty caramel flavors with a substantial smoky character as well. Slighty acrid and a moderate hop spiciness. Lean to medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Ends with a drying finish and a lingering smokiness.

The smoky character teams up well with the hops and malt, although I would have liked a bit more body. Overall, this a decent Scottish ale with respectable complexity.

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

I'm not usually a big fan of the Gritty's line of beers, but this one caught my interest. Pours with a real orange/red/amber color and a decent enough head. Has a nice classic ale style nose and taste with ample bitterness on the finish. It could have had a little bigger mouthfeel; but all in all, a damn fine winter brew.

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Photo of Gavage
3.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear orange / amber in color with a thick fluffy 3" head. Some spotty lacing develops. The aroma is weak as a hint of piney hops and bread is all you pick up. The flavor is nice combination of caramel, mild piney bitterness, hint of pepper, and butter, with an overall toastiness.

Mouthfeel is crisp at the start and finish, while the finish has a soft buttery caramel aftertaste. Medium bodied. Nice drinkability.

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

I often question the freshness of many Maine beers when people buy them in singles or sixers at their local market. Whilst I am suer that the further north you go, the better your chance of getting fresh product is, for me in PA anything that we get is questionable at best. I learned a lot about Maine beer on my trip to Portland at the end of February, but the main thing is this: Maine beer *needs* to be drunk fresh from the tap. Sorry about that little rant, but this beer is no exception to the above rule. I had this on tap at several Portland-area beer bars. It's a nice ruddy brown colour that is not opaque, but is almost black. Their are some red highlights though if you look at this one closely. The head is small and consists of thick white-ish foam. Lacing is there, but minimal in nature. The aromas of this brew are classic UK Scotch ale. Big beefy malts, and a big sweetnes, are barely balanced by some nice leafy UK hop variatels. Taste is malty and sweet, with some nice smoky/oaky/scotchy notes that are there, but partially hidden by the huge maltiness of this brew. Mouthfeel is medium modied>thick and drinkability is very good. A very solid example of this style, done up right by one of the best breweries that Maine has to offer. Don't take this place for granted all you Maine BA's.

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

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle and served in an imperial pint glass. Best enjoyed before date clearly notched for December 05. Wow, at least a 10 month shelf life on a beer that is 6.3% ABV and not bottle conditioned. Something is not right here. Anyways, on to the review:

Pours a golden brownish amber color with a head that quickly vanished and turns into a thin ring of lace.

Whiffs of heavly buttered popcorn, caramel malts, and fruit.

This is a pretty smooth and creamy beer. Emphasis on the buttery cream part. Butter cream mouthfeel with caramel malt sweetness up front with a toasted dryness in the middle. There is a certain dryness of toasted malts also. Baby hop snap on the finish.

This is a good Scottish Ale and one of my favorite styles this time of year. There are much better beers of this style out there, but this one is solid.

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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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