In Recipe


This beer ended up winning Gold at the 15th Annual B.E.E.R. Brew-off! (

I've heard a lot of good things about this style of beer so I figured I would try and brew it. Scottish Ales (not to be confused with Scotch Ales) are all pretty similar, with the defining characteristic being the different alcohol levels. The 60 shilling refers to the tax which was based on the amount of alcohol in the finished beer. The 60 Shilling has the lowest alcohol content of all the Scottish Ales. It's a malty low gravity session beer characterized by a rich caramel malt flavor and low hop bitterness/flavor/aroma.

I won't get into the whole thing about, "Scottish Ales had low hop levels because hops were hard to grow in Scotland so they had to be imported from England" thing. Ron Pattinson over at "Shut Up About Barclay Perkins" shows historical records indicating that the hop rates of Scottish Ales vs. English Ales were the same. I tend to believe primary sources over repeated quotes from who knows where, but feel free to go over to his website to debate him. That being said since this is a low gravity ale I hopped it to about 18 IBUs which is on the high side of the BJCP guidelines.

In Jamil's Brewing Classic Styles book he lists two recipes for a Scottish ale. One uses crystal malts for the caramel sweetness, the other relies on kettle caramelization for the caramel flavor. Traditionally the kettle caramelization method was used so I went with that one. I boiled the first runnings (about a gallon) down by about half in a separate pot, then added that to the second runnings and boiled as usual

Scottish 60 Shilling (BJCP Description)
(6 Gallons, ~70% Eff, Tinseth)

OG: 1.034
FG: 1.009
IBU: 18
ABV: 3.3%
SRM: 9 L

* 7 lbs 13 oz - 2-Row Pale (Marris Otter)
* 3.2 oz - Roast Barley (500 L)

* 1.2 oz East Kent Goldings 4.5% @60 Min

* Yeast: White Labs WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

* Mashed 60 min @ 154, 1 qt/lb

Tasting Notes:
Look - Dark Red, Brilliantly Clear
Aroma - Sweet Caramel, Touch of Toffee, No Noticeable Esters
Mouthfeel - Surprisingly Medium-Full Bodied
Taste - More Sweet Caramel, Slight "Mineral" Quality, Faint Earthy Hops, Clean

The caramel character of this beer surprised me since there are no caramel malts in it. Reducing the first runnings does a good job of creating those same flavors. This was a favorite around my house. This beer was fermented low around 62 and then cellared around 50 for two months. The Edinburgh strain is very neutral and lets the small amount of hops come through. I re-pitched the washed yeast from this beer for my most recent American Pale Ale and it worked great. I usually use US-05/1056/WLP001 but if I have some fresh Edinburgh yeast hanging around I wouldn't hesitate to use it in a hop forward beer like an APA or IPA. This will be a regular in my house.

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