Scottish-Style Heavy Ale Style
- Color: Amber to dark brown
- Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
- Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malty, caramel aroma is present. The style exhibits a medium degree of sweet malt and caramel. The overall impression is smooth and balanced.
- Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Should not be present
- Perceived Bitterness: Perceptible but low
- Fermentation Characteristics: Yeast attributes such as diacetyl and sulfur are acceptable at very low levels. Bottled versions may contain higher amounts of carbon dioxide than is typical for lightly carbonated draft versions. Fruity esters, if present, are low.
- Body: Medium with a soft chewy character
- Additional notes: These beers differ significantly from Scotch Ale, especially regarding original gravity, alcohol content and malt attributes. While there are conflicting theories as to whether traditional Scottish Heavy Ale exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers many examples with peat smoke character present at low to medium-low levels. Peat smoke attributes may be absent or present at low to medium-low levels. Versions exhibiting higher levels of smoke character are categorized as Smoke Beer.
When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, competition organizers may create subcategories which reflect groups of entries based on presence or absence of peat smoke-derived attributes.
Scottish-Style Heavy Ale Vital Statistics
- Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.035-1.040 (8.8-10 °Plato)
- Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.010-1.014 (2.6-3.6 °Plato)
- Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 2.8%-3.2% (3.5%-4.1%)
- Bitterness (IBU) 12-20
- Color SRM (EBC) 8-30(16-60 EBC)
2020 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines used with permission of Brewers Association.