Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JAN 29, 2002
I used to drink this years ago when it was brewed by Caledonian and was called Scotch Ale. I had forgotten about it, and then saw this in the store one day. It is every bit as good as I remember. A rich, malty, peaty, Scotch ale that is just as good as Traquair House and more affordable. One of my all-time favorites. I.C.suds (189) - Da U.P. eh?, Michigan, USA - MAR 4, 2002
I loved this beer and contacted Merchant DuVin to see where I could get more and was informed that they haven’t imported it since 1998! Excellent beer for being 3 years old (at least) krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - JAN 1, 2004
when i first joined ratebeer, i listed 'scotch ale' as my chosen favorite style-- and this beer alone comprised the reason. with the move to samuel smith, it became very scarce, and thus i haven't had it in years until tonight. i myself have moved on-- on to favoring the stronger styles, yet this one remains indeed a great friend. it's a dense pour of osage orange-- ruddy copper tones as thick as carrot cake. an oat colored froth covers the top of the brew with loyal vigilance. an enormous aroma of peat and hearty burgundy, of musty old bookstore leather, raisins, scotch and vanilla soaked fruit cake. a charming libation to sip, this old dog, the scotch flavors permeate the earthy malts-- malts that seem to nearly creak with antiquity: old cellars, parchment, cracked steamer trunks and cobwebs. the bitterness seems to derive from a sour tincture of sugar maple roots, with a chocolate cherry liquer and praline sweetness. okay-- perhaps it's a trifle too sweet, like the maudlin notes of some silly old love song; but i'll honor it still, to emulate the fedelity of that noble terrier, the memory of near perfection is hereby enshrined. beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - JUL 15, 2003
Color is a deep amber/copper with a nice frothy, creamy head that goes absolutely nowhere. Then there's the lace, very nice sheeting effect that clinges forever. In most sips, the lace stacked up on top of lace already there like layers of paint.
Smell is faintly sweet malt close to a toffee but more caramelness then anything, very soft and warm.
Taste is sweet caramel malt, slightly bitter, and a balanced in hop that hints nicely over the top giving a fruity/citrus note thats very subtle and super interesting lending the feel with a long lasting bitter drying effect that smacks of warming alcohol. Not overpowering though, its a sneaker with its nice welcoming malt and then earns your respect as it goes complex in its subtle ending. One heck of a keeper. I always pick up two or three singles of these when ever I see em, which is sporactic at best.
I also just love the label, it's a classy Scottish green with a yellow banner sporting the name and a Black Scottish Terrier with a innocent look on its face saying "please drink me, I'm oh so good."
DavefromChicago (201) - Illinois, USA - JAN 4, 2003
Excellent. Pours reddish brown with a lasting creamy head (from a pint bottle). Hoppy, sweet caramel-raisin bread aroma. Very smooth mouthfeel. Well-balanced chocolate, raisins, malt, some woodiness. Finished with a slightly bitter, vanilla note. Extremely drinkable.
JCW (1278) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 1, 2004
UPDATED: OCT 4, 2004 I got this at the bargin bin of Jungle Jim’s, and I couldn’t be more pleased with it. Rick brown color, opaque with a small white head. Smooth carmel aroma, slighty buttery. Flavor is fairly sweet as fly noted. Sweet, buttery finish. It is one of the better scotch ale that I’ve had. Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 7, 2002
Beautiful garnet color, creamy beige head and sheets of lace. Nose is malt, caramel, brandy tones, maybe even plummish. Front is malt and slightly sweet, the top medium, the finish is dry, tart, nicely hopped, light carbonation, and the 6.5% abv is also evident. A beer not meant for the ’Weak of Palate’, robust and hearty. Another example of why ’STRONG ALES KICK-ASS’. benzim (36) - USA - SEP 9, 2002
One of the best Scotch Ales. Nice body, good malt flavour, rich and satisfying. DougShoemaker (3147) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 26, 2002
Candied fruit aroma. Garnet, huge toffee head. Treacle, plums, raisins, cherries, almonds. Complex, woody, bitter, dry. Wonderful texture. A real treat! Seems like a Barley Wine.