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Scottish Heavy Ale

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Scottish Heavy Ale or 70 Shilling (sometimes abbreviated 70/-) is a malty but not heavy beer, with a strong malt character from a traditional boil and little hop character, and more alcohol and flavor than a Scottish Light Ale

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Brewing Scottish Heavy Ale

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Competition Styles

Both the BJCP and the GABF recognize Scottish Heavy Ale.

BJCP Style Guidelines

Scottish Heavy 70/-

9B. Scottish Heavy 70/- Vital Statistics
BJCP Style Guideline Definition (2004)
IBUs: 10-25 SRM: 9-17 OG: 1.035-1.040 FG: 1.010-1.015 ABV: 3.2-3.9
Aroma: Low to medium malty sweetness, sometimes accentuated by low to moderate kettle caramelization. Some examples have a low hop aroma, light fruitiness, low diacetyl, and/or a low to moderate peaty aroma (all are optional). The peaty aroma is sometimes perceived as earthy, smoky or very lightly roasted.
Appearance: Deep amber to dark copper. Usually very clear due to long, cool fermentations. Low to moderate, creamy off-white to light tan-colored head.
Flavor: Low to medium malty sweetness, sometimes accentuated by low to moderate kettle caramelization. Some examples have a low hop aroma, light fruitiness, low diacetyl, and/or a low to moderate peaty aroma (all are optional). The peaty aroma is sometimes perceived as earthy, smoky or very lightly roasted.
Mouthfeel: Medium-low to medium body. Low to moderate carbonation. Sometimes a bit creamy, but often quite dry due to use of roasted barley.
Overall Impression: Low to medium malty sweetness, sometimes accentuated by low to moderate kettle caramelization. Some examples have a low hop aroma, light fruitiness, low diacetyl, and/or a low to moderate peaty aroma (all are optional). The peaty aroma is sometimes perceived as earthy, smoky or very lightly roasted.
History: Traditional Scottish session beers reflecting the indigenous ingredients (water, malt), with less hops than their English counterparts (due to the need to import them). Long, cool fermentations are traditionally used in Scottish brewing.
Comments: The malt-hop balance is slightly to moderately tilted towards the malt side. Any caramelization comes from kettle caramelization and not caramel malt (and is sometimes confused with diacetyl). Although unusual, any smoked character is yeast- or water-derived and not from the use of peat-smoked malts. Use of peat-smoked malt to replicate the peaty character should be restrained; overly smoky beers should be entered in the Smoked Beer category rather than here.
Ingredients: Scottish or English pale base malt. Small amounts of roasted barley add color and flavor, and lend a dry, slightly roasty finish. English hops. Clean, relatively un-attenuative ale yeast. Some commercial brewers add small amounts of crystal, amber, or wheat malts, and adjuncts such as sugar. The optional peaty, earthy and/or smoky character comes from the traditional yeast and from the local malt and water rather than using smoked malts.
Commercial Examples: Caledonian 70/- (Caledonian Amber Ale in the US), Belhaven 70/-, Orkney Raven Ale, Maclay 70/-

GABF Style Listings

Scottish Style Heavy Ale

50B. Scottish Style Heavy Ale
GABF Style Listing (2007)
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, caramel-like, 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 for the purpose of this competition 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).
Original Gravity (ºPlato): 1.035-1.040 (9-10 ºPlato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato): 1.010-1.014 (2.5-3.5 ºPlato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 2.8-3.2% (3.5-4%)
Bitterness (IBU): 12-20
Color SRM (EBC): 10-19 (20-38 EBC)