This is a strong (high alcohol) brew made with Scottish malted barley. Less hoppy than English brews, there are hints of caramel and, sometimes, a slight tang of smoke in the flavor.

The BJCP offers the following style parameters:

9. SCOTTISH AND IRISH ALE

“All the Scottish Ale sub-categories (9A, 9B, 9C) share the same description. The Scottish ale sub-styles are differentiated mainly on gravity and alcoholic strength, although stronger versions will necessarily have slightly more intense flavors (and more hop bitterness to balance the increased malt). Entrants should select the appropriate category based on original gravity and alcohol level.”

Aroma: “Low to medium malty sweetness, sometimes accentuated by low to moderate kettle caramelization. Some examples have a… low to moderate peaty aroma… ”

Appearance: “Deep amber to dark copper…  Low to moderate, creamy off-white to light tan-colored head.”

Flavor: “The initial malty sweetness is usually accentuated by a low to moderate kettle caramelization, and is sometimes accompanied by a low diacetyl component.  Fruity esters may be moderate to none…  Hop flavor is low to none.”

Mouthfeel: “Sometimes a bit creamy, but often quite dry due to use of roasted barley.”

Overall Impression: “Most beers finish fairly dry considering their relatively sweet palate, and as such have a different balance than strong Scotch ales.”

 

The Brewers Association (US) offers the following style parameters:

Scottish-Style Light Ale

“Scottish light ales are light bodied. Little bitterness is perceived and hop flavor or aroma should not be perceived. Despite its lightness, Scottish light ale will have a degree of malty, caramel like, soft and chewy character. Yeast characters such as diacetyl (butterscotch) and sulfuriness are acceptable at very low levels. The color will range from golden amber to deep brown. Bottled versions of this traditional draft beer may contain higher amounts of carbon dioxide than is typical for mildly carbonated draft versions. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Though there is little evidence suggesting that traditionally made Scottish-style light ales exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers many Scottish-style light ales with peat or smoke character present at low to medium levels. Thus a peaty/smoky character may be evident at low levels (ales with medium or higher smoke character would be considered a smoke flavored beer and considered in another category). Scottish-style light ales may be split into two subcategories: Traditional (no smoke character) and Peated (low level of peat smoke character).”

Original Gravity (ºPlato): 1.030-1.035 (7.5-9 ºPlato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato): 1.006-1.012 (1.5-3 ºPlato)

Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 2.2-2.8% (2.8-3.5%)

Bitterness (IBU): 9-20

 

Vital Statistics from: The BJCP

9A. Scottish Light 60/-

Vital Statistics:: OG:  1.030 – 1.035

IBUs: 10 – 20

FG: 1.010 – 1.013

SRM: 9 – 17

ABV: 2.5 – 3.2%

Commercial Examples:

Belhaven 60/-

McEwan’s 60/-

 

The Brewers Association (US) offers the following style parameters:

Scottish-Style Heavy Ale

“Scottish heavy ale is moderate in strength and dominated by a smooth, sweet maltiness balanced with low, but perceptible, hop bitterness. Hop flavor or aroma should not be perceived. Scottish heavy ale will have a medium degree of malty, caramellike, soft and chewy character in flavor and mouthfeel. It has medium body, and fruity esters are very low, if evident.

Yeast characters such as diacetyl (butterscotch) and sulfuriness are acceptable at very low levels. The color will range from golden amber to deep brown. Bottled versions of this traditional draft beer may contain higher amounts of carbon dioxide than is typical for mildly carbonated draft versions. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Though there is little evidence suggesting that traditionally made Scottish-style heavy ales exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers many Scottish-style heavy ales with peat or smoke character present at low to medium levels . Thus a peaty/smoky character may be evident at low levels (ales with medium or higher smoke character would be considered a smoke flavored beer and considered in another category). Scottish-style heavy ales may be split into two subcategories: Traditional (no smoke character) and Peated (low level of peat smoke character).”

Original Gravity (ºPlato): 1.035-1.040 (9-10 ºPlato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato): 1.0010-1.014 (2.5-3.5 ºPlato)

Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 2.8-3.2% (3.5-4%)

Bitterness (IBU): 12-20

 

Vital Statistics from: The BJCP

9B. Scottish Heavy 70/-

Vital Statistics:: OG:  1.035 – 1.040

IBUs:  10 – 25

FG:  1.010 – 1.015

SRM:  9 – 17

ABV:  3.2 – 3.9%

Commercial Examples:

Belhaven 70/-

Orkney Raven Ale

 

The Brewers Association (US) offers the following style parameters:

Scottish-Style Export Ale

“The overriding character of Scottish export ale is sweet, caramel like, and malty. Its bitterness is perceived as low to medium. Hop flavor or aroma should not be perceived. It has medium body. Fruity-ester character may be apparent. Yeast characters such as diacetyl (butterscotch) and sulfuriness are acceptable at very low levels. The color will range from golden amber to deep brown. Bottled versions of this traditional draft beer may contain higher amounts of carbon dioxide than is typical for mildly carbonated draft versions. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Though there is little evidence suggesting that traditionally made Scottish-style export ales exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers many Scottish-style export ales with peat or smoke character present at low to medium levels . Thus a peaty/smoky character may be evident at low levels (ales with medium or higher smoke character would be considered a smoke flavored beer and considered in another category). Scottish-style export ales may be split into two subcategories: Traditional (no smoke character) and Peated (low level of peat smoke character).”

Original Gravity (ºPlato): 1.040-1.050 (10-12.5 ºPlato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato): 1.010-1.018 (2.5-4.5 ºPlato)

Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.2-4.2% (4.0-5.3%)

Bitterness (IBU): 15-25

 

Vital Statistics from: The BJCP

9C. Scottish Export 80/-

Vital Statistics:: OG:  1.040 – 1.054

IBUs:  15 – 30
FG:1.010 – 1.016
SRM: 9 – 17
ABV: 3.9 – 5.0%

Commercial Examples:

Orkney Dark Island

Belhaven 80/-(Belhaven Scottish Ale in the US)

Belhaven St. Andrews Ale

McEwan’s IPA

Caledonian 80/- Export Ale

Broughton Merlin’s Ale