Type of Beer: Ale

Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy

English Beer

Our Thoughts on Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy

Commercial Examples of Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy

2020 Brewers Association Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy Characteristics

Traits Details
Color Light reddish-brown to very dark
Clarity Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor Scotch Ales are aggressively malty with a rich and dominant sweet malt aroma and flavor. A caramel character is often part of the profile. Dark roasted malt flavors may be present at low levels.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor Not present to very low
Perceived Bitterness Not present to very low
Fermentation Characteristics Fruity esters, if present, are generally at low levels. Diacetyl is usually absent in these beers but may be present at low levels.
Body Full
Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.072-1.085 (17.5-20.4 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.016-1.028 (4.1-7.1 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 5.2%-6.7% (6.6%-8.5%)
Bitterness (IBU) 25-35
Color SRM (EBC) 15-30(30-60 EBC)
Additional notes Pleasant, low level oxidation is acceptable in Scotch Ales. Examples exhibiting more prevalent oxidation are categorized as Aged Beer. While there are conflicting theories as to whether traditional Scotch Ales exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers many examples with peat smoke character present at low to medium levels. Peat smoke attributes may be absent or present at low to medium levels. Versions exhibiting higher levels of smoke character are categorized as Smoke Beer.
Source: 2020 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines used with permission of Brewers Association.