Scotch Ale?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by texasdrugaddict, Aug 17, 2013.

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  1. texasdrugaddict

    texasdrugaddict Initiate (0) Oct 11, 2012 New Mexico

    What is Scotch Ale. Is it just a beer aged in used scotch barrels or something else. Are thier any beers aged in Famous scotch distillery(Like Glenievet,Lapiogh,Ardbeg,etc..)barrels. I know there are bourbon barrel beers from american distilleries but what about scotch distilleries. Would the smokness or sweetness for scotch barrels be too much for a beer.
  2. macandrewsRIP

    macandrewsRIP Initiate (48) Oct 28, 2007 Massachusetts

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  3. Hanglow

    Hanglow Crusader (791) Feb 18, 2012 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Yeah, what he said.

    I will probably be corrected here, but it started really pale and really strong and got gradually darker and weaker. And the earlier ones were heavily hopped but finished sweet so were probably more like english barley wines maybe?

    might be paler to darker and heavily hopped to less hopped rather than strength

    Nowadays though you will get barrel aged ones, which can be excellent.
  4. KS1297

    KS1297 Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    Sorta like a wee heavy
  5. TheBrewo

    TheBrewo Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2010 New York

    Not so much about barrels, but very much so about the grain bill utilized. All about the malts.
  6. c64person

    c64person Devotee (416) Mar 20, 2010 North Carolina

    Not quite anything to do with barrels per say, more the type of brew the Scottish have brewed that was traditionally a top fermented beer using pale ale malt, unmalted roasted barley and pale caramel malt. Some people in the US started putting peat smoked malts in theirs thinking it was Scottish, but is not typically done in Scotland. Wee Heavies are a version of a Scotch Ale (the heavy duty version) but there are very light version as well, typically due to process involved. Most often Scotch Ales are very hop light as hops don't grow well in Scotland, so it's something they don't put in them. -Mostly from the Oxford Companion To Beer (Not sure but the Kindle edition was super cheap on Amazon recently).
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  7. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (2,326) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    J.W.Lees aged a beer in Lagavulin barrels
  8. Hanglow

    Hanglow Crusader (791) Feb 18, 2012 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    There was also ten guinea ale

    quick google of that brings up Rons Blog

    a guinea was 21 shillings usually, so 63, 84, 126, so on to 210 and 252 shilling ales.
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  9. texasdrugaddict

    texasdrugaddict Initiate (0) Oct 11, 2012 New Mexico

    So its the process of how the beer is made that makes it a Scotch Ale. Are there laws like the German laws that say what be used to make the beer.
  10. Hanglow

    Hanglow Crusader (791) Feb 18, 2012 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Not directly like that , although historically there were things like the Free Mash Tun Act which will have influenced things along with other tax laws and rationing which lasted until the mid 1950s
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  11. Doppelbockulus

    Doppelbockulus Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2012 Florida

    A Wee Heavy is a scotch ale, and so is a heavy, and all of that plays into the shilling rating which is a representation of the fermentable sugars and alcohol content.

    The history lesson in that link covers most of it, but here is an exta bit of info. Scotch ales originated in Scotland, but also have some history in Belgium stemming from World War I. Scottish soldiers stationed in Belgium wanted beer brewed in the same style that they were familiar with back home in Scotland, so the brewer at Brasserie Silly brewed that style for them. The style has remained in Belgium with a good bit of success.

    Now Scotch Barrel aged beer! Yes it absolutely exists, and I've had some good ones. They are typically smokey, and not usually sweet, and from my experience are commonly stouts. Brewdog and Harviestoun both have entire lineups dedicated to Scotch barrel aging. Brewdog has the Paradox series, which is wonderful, aged in pretty much any scotch barrel the guys at Brewdog can get their hands on, and most of the recent editions specify what distillery the barrels came from. Harviestoun has the Ola Dubh series, also wonderful, which is specifically aged in barrels from the Highland Scotch Distillery. Ola Dubh 1991 just came out! I have also had Mikkeller Black Hole aged in Scotch barrels, and it was loaded with peat smoke character. It was good, but certainly a sipper.
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  12. BedetheVenerable

    BedetheVenerable Meyvn (1,140) Sep 5, 2008 Missouri

    And it was terrible...

    Love smoky Single Malts, love J.W. Lees and their Harvest Ale, but yetch :slight_smile:
  13. weltywm

    weltywm Devotee (462) Jul 27, 2012 Pennsylvania

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  14. marquis

    marquis Crusader (792) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    There is more drivel written about Scottish brewing than anything else in the beer world.The Oxford Companion section is pure fantasy.
    Wee Heavy came from Fowler's bottling of their 12 guinea ale (Heavy) in small (wee) bottles and has been misrepresented as a style. Scotch Ale issimilar to Burton Ale.
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  15. marquis

    marquis Crusader (792) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    This system related to the wholesale price of a hogshead (54 gallons) and was unrelated to style.
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  16. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    There are a variety of beers here aged in Scottish whisky barrels. As everyone knows the Ola Dubh ranges uses various Highlands Park barrels while Hawkeshead in Cumbria (that in the Beautiful Lake District in England) has used Lowland Bladnoch barrels for their bottled Imperial stouts. Just two examples.
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  17. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    kernel have just released 3 ba Scottish whisky examples. glen garioch stout and imperial brown stout and glen spey imperial brown stout.
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  18. regularjohn

    regularjohn Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 New Jersey

    backwoods bastard and robert the bruce ftw, please someone recommend more like these they're so choice !
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  19. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (535) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    The section on Scotch Ales in the Oxford Companion To Beer was written by Horst Dornbusch and is total bullshit.

    Not sure where the stuff about roast barley originated. I've never found a Scottish beer other than a Stout that used it. Drybrough used tiny amounts of black malt in their beers. Acottish beers were typically brewed from pale malt, corn grits and caramel for colouring. Maclay used a bit of crystal malt in the 1990's and William Younger occasionally used it, too. Real Scottish recipes are pretty boring, to be honest. Coloured malts of any kind were almost never used, other than in Stout.

    I'm going to scream the next time someone says they didn't use many hops in Scotland because they don't grow there. Hops don't grow close to Burton, either.
  20. Flibber

    Flibber Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2013 United Kingdom (England)

    It's my understanding that it's a Burton Ale brewed in Scotland. Strong, dark red, fruity and quite sweet. Not a widely used term in the UK as far as I know.

    BJRHOMEBREW Initiate (0) Dec 18, 2008 Ohio

    Scotch Ale was pretty much any beer brewed in Scotland. As previously mentioned it varied in strength and the stronger it was the more expensive. What most people don't realize is that the Scotch Ales of those days could be any type of beer style from and IPA to a Porter. In today's beer world however I would define a Scotch Ale as malt forward, slightly smokey, higher gravity beer.
  22. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Just a cheery reminder that the word 'Scotch' to describe anything of Scottish designation is virtually NEVER used in Scotland. Yes, that includes whisky (blended, malt or otherwise), beer, caramel or whatever. No one here would take any offense by the word mind but it's use would just cause confusion to the native Caledonians.
  23. Dr_Bahmbay13

    Dr_Bahmbay13 Devotee (439) Mar 10, 2013 Michigan

    Founders Dirty Bastard is available year round here, I have only been accused of being a bastard twice, and it's pretty tasty too! You should be able to get it there i would think or maybe not? If you like a good malty sweet ale (which i am starting to find out I like this style more myself) you will enjoy it.
  24. RobertColianni

    RobertColianni Zealot (566) Nov 4, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Wow! I think we all just learned exactly how little you all actually know about beer styles. Thank God only a couple of you actually serve beer for a living.
    A Scotch Ale is typically a malt driven beer that imparts the subtle nuances of a Scotch standard to the style rendered by the Scottish. Typically this style is pale or amber grain heavy (almost double the grain bill of any other style), with a rich sweetness from chocolate malts, charred, but fresh roastiness from toasted malts, extremely subtle smokiness from crystal malts, and an early hop addition to the boil to extract your resinous, fermentable sugars quickly and use them in a reduction boil to get your complete, concentrated wort that embodies toastiness from grain, sweetness of chocolate, malt reminiscent of vanilla and coconut, and an oak feel from your reduction. It, in turn, does not taste like Scotch, but allows the drinker to observe a more fresh, subtle, softer version of the drink by mimicking the flavor profiles with malts.
    You're welcome. You can close the thread, now.
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  25. Leepa_Time

    Leepa_Time Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2013 Maryland

  26. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    Yeah it's a good thing you were available to step in here
  27. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,249) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    At the risk of stepping into these shark infested waters, it might be useful to the OP to know that if he were to obtain a Scotch Ale made by a US craft brewery, it will likely have the following attributes:

    Scotch Ale

    Scotch ale ranges from light-reddish brown to very dark in color. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. They are overwhelmingly malty with a rich and dominant sweet malt flavor and aroma. A caramel character is often a part of the profile. Dark roasted malt flavors and aroma may be evident at low levels. Though there is little evidence suggesting that traditionally made strong Scotch ales exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers many Scotch 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). Perception of hop bitterness is very low. Hop flavor and aroma are very low or nonexistent. They are full-bodied beers. If present, fruity esters are generally at very low aromatic and flavor levels. Low diacetyl levels are acceptable. Scotch Ales may be split into two subcategories: Traditional (no smoke character) and Peated (low level of peat smoke character).

    Original Gravity (ºPlato) 1.072-1.085 (17.5-20.5 ºPlato) ● Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato) 1.016-1.028 (4-7 ºPlato) ● Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 5.2-6.7% (6.2-8%) ● Bitterness (IBU) 25-35 ● Color SRM (EBC) 15-30 (30-60 EBC)

  28. marquis

    marquis Crusader (792) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    This is to confuse Scottish ale-which means nothing more than any ale brewed in Scotland-with Scotch Ale which is a beer style going back to at least the mid 19th century.Read Ron's blog for well researched details and demolition of myths such as low hopping and kettle caramelisation.
  29. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (449) Jan 2, 2010 California

    I love me some Dirty Bastard, great entry beer to the style.

    Much like Barley Wines, throwing a scotch ale into a bourbon barrel completely changes it. Both great, but you will get a better appreciation for the style trying the non barrel aged
  30. lulubrewer

    lulubrewer Initiate (61) May 9, 2013 Kentucky

    I personnaly find the dirty bastard way to hoppy for the style (in bitterness).
  31. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    I'm really sorry to do this but...Innis and Gunn? Bwahahahahahahahah!!! Among those in the know in Scotland, they have zero credibility. You won't find their beers on cask or craft keg anywhere actually here and I know of a few places that firmly refuse to stock them in any form ever. Innis and Gunn are in essence The Rogue of Scotland.
  32. marquis

    marquis Crusader (792) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    If you look in Ron's blog you will find many examples of massively hopped Scotch Ales , even over 100 IBU. These.were brewed in Scotland ,labelled and sold as Scotch Ales.
    The Scots have always been well placed regarding hops as practically all brewing has been near seaports.
  33. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,472) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The old saying that hops were used sparingly in Scotland due to the distance from the hop growing regions always makes me grimace. Here are a couple of other examples.

    The hop fields in Germany are in the middle and south of the country. The Pilsners in Bavaria are not as bitter and hoppy (big generalization) as the the a examples in the far north. Many of the other styles in Munich are lightly hopped, even though the largest hop growing region in the world is a short drive up the autobahn.

    In the US the hop growing region is in Oregon and Washington. San Diego is known as the epicenter of super hoppy IPAs. The distance from San Diego to Yakima is more than twice the distance from the hop fields in Kent to Edinburgh.
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  34. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Devotee (497) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

  35. marquis

    marquis Crusader (792) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Scottish breweries were concentrated in port towns such as Edinburgh and Alloa so importation of hops would be easy and cheap
  36. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,472) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Yes, important in earlier times. My point was to say why is the distance an issue in some cases, where there are examples where distance to the hop growing regions is not.
  37. lulubrewer

    lulubrewer Initiate (61) May 9, 2013 Kentucky

    yeah, I guess you're right. If I recal, they were brewing IPAs in Edinburgh.
  38. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,360) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    If you take a regular ale, wrap it in a blanket of sausage, bread it, and deep fry it, you get a scotch ale.
  39. marquis

    marquis Crusader (792) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Edinburgh was the world's second largest producer of IPA. But I was referring to heavily hopped Scotch Ale.
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