New style list poll - what to do with Scottish ale

why not if you want…but IMO we better not start merging for the sake of merging…

Yeah, feel free. More opinions on these things would be great. The more we know about people think, the better informed our decisions can be. (Though I guess I should say that these polls will inform decisions rather than make them)

The old ale and burton ale families overlap too. “Old” was never really a style, more just a description or a modifier. The old beers were typically keepers, but you could buy a keeper young.

I don’t understand the scottish ale in the final proposal? I see that the only change is that some of the scottish ales will end up as scotch ales on the site, but isn’t heavy for example same as wee heavy? Can anyone give me definition of the style? @Viper666.Qc ?


Light (60/-) under 3.5%
Heavy (70/-) between 3.5% and 4.0%
Export (80/-) between 4.0% and 5.5%
Wee Heavy (90/-) over 6.0% abv
(probably most of “American” Scottish Ale fall between Export and a “light” Wee Heavy)

It’s tough to separate the first 3, especially when the name doesn’t user the shilling terms.
The Wee heavy term is commonly used to represent a typical Scotch Ale.

The shilling system number frequently associated with Scottish ale is a historical touch implying tradition. It was first used in the mid-19th century and refers to the invoice price of a hogshead. The 60-, 70-, 80- and 90-shilling designations were replaced by light, heavy, export and wee heavy, terms that are also still in use. Wee heavy is generally considered by many to separate from plain Scottish ale, traditionally more of a specialty offered in smaller portions.

So if we are merging all 6%+ ABV scottish ale to scotch ale, why can’t we merge first 3 with bitter?

Because most people want to keep it according to polls, and those who want to merge it seem to be clearly divided between Bitter and Amber Ales (except for the Wee Heavy who are more obvious)…Scottish are supposed to be more on the malty side with reserved hops but many examples are hopped up so it’s difficult to statue. It’s viewed as a separate style almost everywhere so it’s probably safer to keep it.
But It’s possible to add a “larger group (in column C)” including both Amber Ales (or Bitter…we will have to decide then) and Scottish Ales for stats if people want it, just like we did with golden ales/Cream Ale for example.

I am asking just because it seems to me that merging some to scotch ale makes things more confusing than they already are? I was pro keeping scottish ale in the current form (aka anything that has scottish ale on the label goes under it), but I’m against keeping it in the half way.

Yes, but the main problem is that it doesn’t have clear definition.

I know the history of the shilling system, but Scottish ale is purely American invention (you can ask from UK admins what they think about Scottish ale :smiley: ). At the moment there are total of 15 scottish ales in Scotland …

I’m just trying understand the style for the future as for example in Estonian language we don’t distinguish between Scottish and Scotch - we have only one word.

I think most Wee Heavy beers are already listed as Scotch Ale as far I know…so there’s nothing new here.

We can’t explain everything for the future…just as why is an American Black IPA an “India Pale” Ale :stuck_out_tongue: People are just used to it and the term is commonly used…

This doesn’t help at all. Just looking examples (I think examples are always the best way to understand a style)
Scottish Light 60/-: Belhaven 60/- (mild in ratebeer), McEwan’s 60/- (bitter), Maclay 60/- (not in rb, but no scottish ales by Maclay).
Scottish Heavy 70/-: Caledonian 70/- (not in rb, but only one Scottish Ale by Caledonia is collab and it is 90/-, so would go under wee heavy now?!), Belhaven 70/- (bitter), Orkney Raven Ale (bitter), Maclay 70/- (not in rb), Tennents Special (bitter), Broughton Greenmantle Ale (bitter)
Scottish Export 80/-: Orkney Dark Island (old ale), Caledonian 80/- Export Ale (bitter), Belhaven 80/- (bitter), Southampton 80 Shilling (woah a Scottish ale in rb, but of course it is made in US!), Broughton Exciseman’s 80/- (ESB), Belhaven St. Andrews Ale (ESB), McEwan’s Export (bitter), Inveralmond Lia Fail (ESB), Broughton Merlin’s Ale (bitter), Arran Dark (bitter)

Out of all the examples in BCJP 2008, only 1 (!) is under Scottish Ale in rb… Mostly I learned that what BCJP 2008 considers scottish ale is actually bitter by rb standards. I hope you see the problem, so I ask the definition again :smiley:

I used the link to the 2008 one because it’s the first url that popped up. But the Iatest 2015 one isn’t different.

If all of you guys from UK think it’s better to remove the Light to Heavy mentions in Scottish ale (and simply rename the other to “Wee Heavy” only) and you continue to put “Shilling mentioned” beers in other English styles, I don’t see a problem with that.

The idea was that we included the terms so people don’t Add Shilling ales in a style they think seems the appropriate one over the one described by the brewer.

And why are so many of your examples not in the RB database? Is RB dying in UK like it is in Canada?

I’m not sure how many beers there will be left under Scottish ale then? Even moving the 90/- and the ones with over 6% ABV actually means that there are less than 40 examples with at least 50 ratings…

I think they may be under different names?! Even BCJP gives some alternative names, but I didn’t want to make it too complicated.

Well, if we remove the light to heavy mentions, its complete statue quo, we won’t have more or less Scottish Ale since the Wee Heavy are already under Scotch Ale and the schilling ales under a mix of Bitter and ESB

For me there are two reasonable solutions: either we leave this style kind of as it is or we clean the style up so that anything that is entered as scottish ale goes either to scotch ale or bitter (or maybe ESB if it is stronger than usual bitters).