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BJCP 2015 Guideline

Strong British Ale Wee Heavy


BJCP 2015 17C Wee Heavy example
17C - Wee Heavy


Overall Impression

Rich, malty, dextrinous, and usually caramel-sweet, these beers can give an impression that is suggestive of a dessert. Complex secondary malt and alcohol flavors prevent a one-dimensional quality. Strength and maltiness can vary, but should not be cloying or syrupy.


Also known as "strong Scotch ale." The term "wee heavy" means "small strong" and traces to the beer that made the term famous, Fowler's Wee Heavy, a 12 Guinea Ale. Historically, the strongest beer from a Scottish ale parti-gyle.

Commercial Examples

Belhaven Wee Heavy, Gordon Highland Scotch Ale, Inveralmond Blackfriar, McEwan's Scotch Ale, Orkney Skull Splitter, Traquair House Ale

There are more details available on the BJCP website. Click below to view the complete style.

View Style on BJCP Website


  • OG:  1070 - 1130
  • FG:  1018 - 1040
  • ABV: 6.5 - 10
  • IBU: 17 - 35
  • SRM: 14 - 25
BJCP 2015 17C - Wee Heavy Commercial Example