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AHA Guideline

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Scotch Ale

Scotch Ales are light-reddish brown to very dark. Chill haze is allowable at low temperatures. Rich dominant sweet malt aroma is present. Fruity-ester aroma if present is very low. Hop aroma is not perceived to very low. They are overwhelmingly malty with a rich and dominant sweet malt flavor; a caramel character is often part of the profile. Dark roasted malt flavors may be evident at low levels. Hop flavor is not perceived to very low. Hop bitterness is perceived to be very low. If present, fruity-esters are generally at low levels. Low diacetyl levels are acceptable. A brewery fresh experience is intended in these beers, thus oxidation is not an acceptable character. Pleasantly oxidized Scotch Ales can be entered in "Aged Beer" categories. Body is full. Scotch Ales may be split into two subcategories: Traditional (no smoke character) and Peated (low level of peat smoke character). Though there is little evidence suggesting that traditionally made Strong Scotch Ales exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers many examples with peat or smoke character present at low to medium levels. Thus a peaty/smoky character may be evident at low levels in peated versions.


  • Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.072 - 1.085 (17.5 - 20.4)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.016 - 1.028 (4.1 - 7.1)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 5.20% - 6.70% (6.60% - 8.50%)
  • Bitterness (IBU) (25 - 35)
  • Color SRM (EBC) 15 - 30 (30 - 60)