Brewed by Charles Wells
Style: Scotch Ale
Bedford, England
Serve in Thistle


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 983   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
Bottle: Filtered
Deep brown colour. A chocolate and caramel body with a lingering sweet finish.
Originally brewed by McEwan’s at the Fountain brewery in Edinburgh. Production moved from Fountain to the Caledonian Brewery in 2004. The McEwan’s brand passed to Heineken in 2008 after their purchase of Scottish & Newcastle’s British operations. Heineken sold the brand to Wells & Youngs in 2011. Packaged (bottle & can) McEwan’s beers are produced at Wells & Youngs brewery in Bedford.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
LoveABeer (141) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - JUL 25, 2002
Nice malty caramel taste, excellent bite, easy on the palate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
nstal (237) - Houston, Texas, USA - JUL 22, 2002
Not extremely complex, but good alcohol kick with a smooth finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
TheBeerGod (6025) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JUL 22, 2002
UPDATED: MAR 16, 2011 A World classic!! Dark reddish black. Very malty and not very carbonated. Strong ale. Goes great with a shot of Scotch to make it a true Scotch Ale! HIGHLY recommended.

***Re-rate of a vintage bottle. I’ve had this bottle for a few years now and it was given to me as part of a six-pack from a friend who’d purchased a case a year or two before that. No idea how old this really is. Murky ruby-brown pour with a short, fizzy tan head. Strong caramel, sweet malt, chocolate, light peat and brown sugar in the nose. Taste is sweet malt, toasted caramel, chocolate, brown sugar, soft peat notes and candied dark fruit. Body is light-medium with soft carbonation. Finishes with more sweet malt, strong caramel presence, chocolate, dark fruit and brown sugar. Only really lacking in the body based off my original rating numbers. This is still smooth drinking and a classic brew. I love it!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
radiomgb (2686) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 17, 2002
Dark amber. Malty, thick, fruity, sweet. Finishes quickly. For 8%, the alcohol is well hidden.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
crdic (105) - California, USA - JUL 16, 2002
This is a dark Scottish ale with a strong aroma and flavor of caramel. It manages to mix a healthy hint of dark chocolate with an almost overpowering sweetness. It’s not really to my taste, but it’s a good example of its kind. The 8% alcohol is surprisingly well covered.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
cathcacr (646) - Oregon, USA - JUL 7, 2002
Slight downgrade 7/7/02: Initial infatuation having worn off, I’m now somewhat less enamored with the almost overpowering sweetness of this. Among Scottish Ales that I’ve had, I think the Harveistoun Old Engine Oil takes back the top spot for me -- just barely. (This is based on direct taste-comparison.) Originally rated a 4.4, now a 4.2. Original 6/22/02 comments: My only regret with this beer is having taken so long before trying it. I’m definitely getting more of this good, good stuff! Light aroma that gets more prominent as it warms; dark opaque reddish-brown with creamy head that recedes to pleasing bubble layer; thick, heavy and hearty mouthfeel and flavor. Lots of malt character and sweetness (chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate, mmmm!), reminds me a lot of a well-done Doppelbock. It’ll fill you up. Bready, roasty, grainy feel on the back of the mouth upon the finish that is wholly pleasant. What a joy to drink. A winner!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
davidoc (113) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 2, 2002
McEwans is a strong ale, and quite good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
MaxPower (961) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - JUN 29, 2002
UPDATED: FEB 15, 2003 Dark deep clear brown color, off white foamy, creamy head. Malty caremel smokey aroma, sweet, a little too sweet and smokey medium to full body with a nice rounded roasty bitter mouthfeel, some sour sweetness in the lasting sticky finish, I like this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
omhper (23688) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - JUN 24, 2002
Dark amber. Thick, rich and malty and flavourful strong Scottish ale. Perhaps not the most complex example of the style.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
PhillyBeer2112 (2761) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - JUN 17, 2002
Rerating, as I’ve resampled and my experience better matches the consensus, so it seems I had a bad bottle last time. First note in aroma was a little chocolate and strong fruity malt, and a slight burn of alcohol. First sip - wow I can taste the alcohol. Its strong and malty, mainly caramel with some fruitiness, not any peated malt or smokiness that I could detect. Very smooth for a strong beer.

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