Another one of the “love the name” beers. A claymore, for the non-Scottish-geekery types out there, is a bloody ginormous sword used by highlanders to inflict pain on Campbells.* When I say “bloody ginormous,” I mean that the one I saw was actually longer than I am tall (I’m tall, people) and had to weigh nearly as much. The concept of someone swinging one of those is beyond my imagination.
Name: Claymore Scotch Ale
Origin: Great Divide Brewing Company, Denver, CO
Style: Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy
IBU: not given
I drank this: poured from a bottle at home while making cottage pie
This lovely little beer pours a really deep auburn with a nonexistent head. It pours like motor oil – it’s really, really thick, so that you can almost watch it fold in on top of itself while it’s filling the glass. It’s kinda awesome.
Flavor-wise, this is a standard Wee Heavy, if a fairly well-done one. It has a (unsurprisingly, really) thick mouthfeel – almost like drinking real maple syrup, it’s so thick. It has a light hop kick right in the back of the mouth, just enough to keep it from going into diabetes-inducing-sweet territory.
This beer is (obviously, I suppose) a malt show. The malts are all over the place, from biscuit-y to caramel-y and roasted to ever-so-slightly fruity. There’s a really slight smoke hint running through it. To my tastes, hops hide alcohol flavor better than malts do, so that I always notice the alcohol more in maltier beers. No exception here – there’s a definite alcohol burn tingling as the beer goes down.
I didn’t notice an aftertaste with this beer. Like, at all. It went down smooth and was content to stay there while I finished cooking dinner. No sourness, no funky bitterness at the end, nothing. After all the foul aftertastes of Oktoberfest season, this was welcome.
As a Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy, this is solid. It isn’t my favorite – that honor goes to the Orkney Brewery’s SkullSplitter Ale** – but it’s easier to find and it’s well done. Enjoy one if you trip over it!
* if you don’t know the reference, I’m assuming you probably did need to be told what a claymore is
** beware the name: it is truth in advertising should you make the mistake of having more than one