• Ian

McEwan's - Levy

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

Ale from Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿


Brewed by McEwan's Brewery,

Edinburgh, Scotland.

Beer Type

Scottish Ale

Alcohol %


A bit about the beer

Ingredients – Water, Barley, selection of British Hops and peated Malt

In 1856 William McEwan started his own Fountain Brewery in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh. Over the next century it changed hands and underwent multiple mergers, including with local rival William Younger's, and then later with Newcastle Breweries, eventually forming Scottish & Newcastle. Its popular brands included 80/-, a Heavy beer and an India Pale Ale.

Unfortunately the McEwan's brands were neglected by Scottish & Newcastle, who instead concentrated on their own brands. Eventually in 2008 the McEwan's brand passed to Heineken, after they purchased Scottish & Newcastle's British operations. Then, in 2011Heineken sold the brand to Wells & Young's who in turn sold it in May 2017 to Marston's.

The story behind the name Levy is an interesting one, as described at the back of the bottle -

During the 19th Century, the government introduced the shilling system, which was a duty levied on barrels of beer, dependent on strength; the stronger the beer, the greater the levy. Honouring this uniquely Scottish tradition, McEwan's Levy is an extremely drinkable Scottish beer that balances roast flavour notes and a residual sweetness, with roasted coffee and hazelnut aromas.

For me, it was a decent beer. It is on the light side in terms of alcohol percentage but it doesn't taste like a light beer. It pours a dark brown colour, almost stout-like and has a very light brown foamy head which doesn't last too long. You get the aromas of slight roasted coffee and nuts. The taste has some character, not too complex but decent. You get the roast taste which is complimented but a light sweetness and a very slight bitter aftertaste.

All in all, a pretty good Ale and a very drinkable beer!

Hoppiness Rating


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