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

Gritty McDuff's Scottish AleGritty McDuff's Scottish Ale
122 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 122 |  Reviews: 86
Photo of ppoitras
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

 1,077 characters

Photo of beermanbrian
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 341 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.33/5  rDev -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.

 857 characters

Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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!

 1,016 characters

Photo of Brad007
2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
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).

 552 characters

Photo of joepais
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
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 let’s say it tastes a lot different but still an interesting beer none the less

 403 characters

Photo of sraimondi
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
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!


 738 characters

Photo of WesWes
3/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

 612 characters

Photo of williamherbert
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 701 characters

Photo of ericj551
3.39/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

 319 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 567 characters

Photo of mshallah
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

 637 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 774 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

 688 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

 276 characters

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

 461 characters

Photo of Stimack
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 784 characters

Photo of BuckSpin
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

 2,521 characters

Photo of granite
3.76/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

 484 characters

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.76/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

 478 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.09/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

 389 characters

Photo of wedge
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

 297 characters

Photo of JMD71
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
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,

 499 characters

Photo of ghostwalker
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

 716 characters

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

 279 characters

Gritty McDuff's Scottish Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 122 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.