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AHA Guideline

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Scottish-Style Light Ale

Scottish-Style Light Ales are golden to light brown. Chill haze is allowable at low temperatures. Malty, caramel-like aroma may be present. Fruity-ester aromas are low if evident. Hop aroma is not perceived. Despite its lightness a low to medium-low degree of malty, caramel-like, soft and chewy character will be present. Hop flavor is not perceived. Hop bitterness is low. Yeast characters such as diacetyl and sulfuriness are acceptable at very low levels. Bottled versions may contain higher amounts of carbon dioxide than is typical for mildly carbonated draft versions. Though there is little evidence suggesting that traditionally made Scottish Light Ale 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. Ales with medium or higher smoke character would be considered a smoke flavored beer and considered in another category. Body is light. Scottish Light Ale may be split into two subcategories: Traditional (no smoke character) and Peated (low level of peat smoke character).


  • Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.030 - 1.035 (7.6 - 8.8)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.006 - 1.012 (1.5 - 3.1)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 2.20% - 2.80% (2.80% - 3.50%)
  • Bitterness (IBU) (9 - 20)
  • Color SRM (EBC) 6 - 15 (12 - 30)