Great Divide makes some good stuff. I wrote a pretty enthusiastic review of their Hibernation Ale, which I recommend you try.

The other day I picked up a single (my preferred method of purchasing beer) of this Claymore Scotch Ale, which Great Divide is terming “Wee Heavy” because of its alcohol content. It took me a few days to get to it, but here is my review.

The beer poured as a brownish-black body, somewhat of a surprise to me. I guess I’m used to brown with a lot of red tones for a Scottish Ale, but I can’t be too picky on this point. There was a thick, finely carbonated head that maintained well on the beer.

When I stuck my nose into the glass, I immediately thought that this beer had more hops on the nose than I’m used to for the style. Of course, there was the typical sweet, malty aroma associated with stronger Scottish ales. Some coffee tones were also noticeable. Slightly cola-ish qualities were also present with a nice roast on the nose.

Drinking the beer was the real measure of whether or not it was “wee heavy.” I found that the sweet maltiness and roasty finish were right up my alley for it being an appropriate expression of the style. The alcohol taste (not overbearing) reminded me that it really was a fairly strong beer, coming in a almost 8%. Some of the coffee tones came through on the beer, which wrapped up nicely with the roastiness.

Overall, it was a pretty decent beer. I still like Skull Splitter as a heavy Scottish Ale, but this is a fair example of the style.  I should age a bottle of this to see what it does in the future.

Mike’s Rating:

Overall Satisfaction: ★★★½☆ 

Among other Scotch Ales: ★★★☆☆