I really love a good Scottish Ale. The best examples have a distinct clean malt profile with some residual sweetness. The 60/-, 70/- and 80/- (for some historical information click here) are all fairly sessionable and light. They can be tricky to brew right because the OG is quite low, yet you don’t want them to finish dry or sweet – they need balance.
I’ve brewed Jamil’s Scottish Ales before and his recipe is very solid. For this batch I decided I wanted to start with the recipe for my Robert the Bruce clone attempt, but I didn’t want it to be quite as big or sweet so I scaled back the specialty grains a bit and also used California Ale (WLP001) yeast instead of English Ale (WLP002) – mainly because I needed to build up some 001, but also to clean up the flavor profile a bit. I also swapped the 2 Row for Marris Otter as I thought some MO nuttiness would complement the recipe nicely.
2.5 finished gallons (3.5 gallon batch size – .75 left in kettle, .25 left in fermenter)
90 min boil
Mash @ 158*
86% Warminster Floor Malted Marris Otter (4.5L)
4% Weyermann Caramunich I
4% Weyermann Melanoiden Malt
2% Briess Crystal 10L
2% Simpson’s Medium Crystal
1% Fawcett Pale Chocolate Malt
.5% Simpson’s Black Malt
.5% Simpson’s Roasted Barley
90 Min Centennial to 19 IBU
Fermented at 62* F.
Aroma: Nutty, caramelly, cleanly MALTY, light roast. Malt sweetness is an accurate descriptor. No hop aroma, no esters, no diacetyl. Definitely would consider this to have a complex malt aroma. No alcohol. Slightly grainy as it warms – especially in the finish.
Appearance: Deep amber, some ruby. Brilliantly clear, offwhite head with good retention.
Flavor: Clean malt flavors with some malty sweetness hits you up front followed by caramel, toffee and nuttiness. Very faint roast, but mostly clean malt dominates. Again, complex malt flavors. Hop bitterness supports, but is in the background. Finishes moderately dry with some sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, low to moderately low carbonation. You can feel some dextrins on your palate.
Overall Impression: Very clean, very balanced. Tastes like a Scottish ale for sure, would be improved if finishing gravity was slightly lower – maybe 1.014, but I think this would compete well as is especially as it continues to improve from cold conditioning.