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Beer Styles
Scottish and Irish Ale
All the Scottish Ale sub-categories share the same description. The Scottish ale sub-styles are differentiated mainly on gravity and alcoholic strength, although stronger versions will necessarily have slightly more intense flavors (and more hop bitterness to balance the increased malt).
Scottish Light 60/-
Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.030 – 1.035        IBUs: 10 – 20     FG: 1.010 – 1.013          SRM: 9 – 17       ABV: 2.5 – 3.2%
Scottish Heavy 70/-
Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.035 – 1.040        IBUs: 10 – 25     FG: 1.010 – 1.015          SRM: 9 – 17       ABV: 3.2 – 3.9%
Scottish Export 80/-
Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.040 – 1.054        IBUs: 15 – 30     FG: 1.010 – 1.016          SRM: 9 – 17       ABV:3.9 – 5.0%
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. 
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:
Malt is the primary flavor, but isn’t overly strong.  The initial malty sweetness is usually accentuated by a low to moderate kettle caramelization, and is sometimes accompanied by a low diacetyl component.  Fruity esters may be moderate to none.  Hop bitterness is low to moderate, but the balance will always be towards the malt (although not always by much).  Hop flavor is low to none.  A low to moderate peaty character is optional, and may be perceived as earthy or smoky. Generally has a grainy, dry finish due to small amounts of unmalted roasted barley. 
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:
Cleanly malty with a drying finish, perhaps a few esters, and on occasion a faint bit of peaty earthiness (smoke).  Most beers finish fairly dry considering their relatively sweet palate, and as such have a different balance than strong Scotch ales.
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. 
Irish Red Ale
Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.044 – 1.060        IBUs: 17 – 28     FG: 1.010 – 1.014         SRM: 9 – 18       ABV: 4.0 – 6.0%
Ingredients:
May contain some adjuncts (corn, rice, or sugar), although excessive adjunct use will harm the character of the beer.  Generally has a bit of roasted barley to provide reddish color and dry roasted finish.  UK/Irish malts, hops, yeast.
Aroma:
Low to moderate malt aroma, generally caramel-like but occasionally toasty or toffee-like in nature.  May have a light buttery character (although this is not required).  Hop aroma is low to none (usually not present).  Quite clean.
Appearance:
Amber to deep reddish copper color (most examples have a deep reddish hue).  Clear.  Low off-white to tan colored head.
Flavor:
Moderate caramel malt flavor and sweetness, occasionally with a buttered toast or toffee-like quality.  Finishes with a light taste of roasted grain, which lends a characteristic dryness to the finish.  Generally no flavor hops, although some examples may have a light English hop flavor.  Medium-low hop bitterness, although light use of roasted grains may increase the perception of bitterness to the medium range.  Medium-dry to dry finish.  Clean and smooth (lager versions can be very smooth).  No esters.
Mouthfeel:
Medium-light to medium body, although examples containing low levels of diacetyl may have a slightly slick mouthfeel.  Moderate carbonation.  Smooth.  Moderately attenuated (more so than Scottish ales).  May have a slight alcohol warmth in stronger versions.
Overall Impression:
An easy-drinking pint.  Malt-focused with an initial sweetness and a roasted dryness in the finish.
Comments:
Sometimes brewed as a lager (if so, generally will not exhibit a diacetyl character).  When served too cold, the roasted character and bitterness may seem more elevated.
Strong Scotch Ale
Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.070 – 1.130       IBUs: 17 – 35     FG: 1.018 – 1.030+        SRM:1 4 – 25     ABV: 6.5 – 10%
Ingredients:
Well-modified pale malt, with up to 3% roasted barley.  May use some crystal malt for color adjustment; sweetness usually comes not from crystal malts rather from low hopping, high mash temperatures, and kettle caramelization. A small proportion of smoked malt may add depth, though a peaty character (sometimes perceived as earthy or smoky) may also originate from the yeast and native water. Hop presence is minimal, although English varieties are most authentic. Fairly soft water is typical.
Aroma:
Deeply malty, with caramel often apparent. Peaty, earthy and/or smoky secondary aromas may also be present, adding complexity.  Caramelization often is mistaken for diacetyl, which should be low to none.  Low to moderate esters and alcohol are often present in stronger versions.  Hops are very low to none.
Appearance:
Light copper to dark brown color, often with deep ruby highlights.  Clear.  Usually has a large tan head, which may not persist in stronger versions.  Legs may be evident in stronger versions.
Flavor:
Richly malty with kettle caramelization often apparent (particularly in stronger versions).  Hints of roasted malt or smoky flavor may be present, as may some nutty character, all of which may last into the finish.  Hop flavors and bitterness are low to medium-low, so malt impression should dominate.  Diacetyl is low to none, although caramelization may sometimes be mistaken for it.  Low to moderate esters and alcohol are usually present.  Esters may suggest plums, raisins or dried fruit.  The palate is usually full and sweet, but the finish may be sweet to medium-dry (from light use of roasted barley).
Mouthfeel:
Medium-full to full-bodied, with some versions (but not all) having a thick, chewy viscosity. A smooth, alcoholic warmth is usually present and is quite welcome since it balances the malty sweetness.  Moderate carbonation.
Overall Impression:
Rich, malty and usually sweet, which can be suggestive of a dessert. Complex secondary malt flavors prevent a one-dimensional impression.  Strength and maltiness can vary.
History/Comments:
Also known as a “wee heavy.”  Fermented at cooler temperatures than most ales, and with lower hopping rates, resulting in clean, intense malt flavors.  Well suited to the region of origin, with abundant malt and cool fermentation and aging temperature.  Hops, which are not native to Scotland and formerly expensive to import, were kept to a minimum.



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