About Scottish Beer

Scotland: Malty Ales

Much like its culture, Scotland has managed to preserve a distinct brewing identity separate from that of England. The Scottish preference is for soft, sweetish malt-accented ales with low hop bittering. Scotch ales vary, with recipes ranging from medieval to avant-garde, especially among the emerging craft breweries around the country.

In earlier days, Scotch ales were shipped to all corners of the Empire. However, today many of the independent breweries that once made Edinburgh one of Britain’s greatest brewing centers are no longer in operation. Popular breweries with products exported to the United States include BrewDog from Fraserburgh, The Caledonian Brewing Company in Edinburgh and Belhaven from East Lothian.
Top Picks for Scotland
204367
Traquair House Brewery
Traquair Jacobite Ale
Dark brown color. Complex spicy aromas and flavors of coriander, mace, cinnamon, pink peppercorn, turmeric, cocoa and peach-date bread with a rich, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a long, chocolate toffee, radish, mocha, and heather accented finish. Amazing complexity and integration of flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
207434
Tennent Caledonian Breweries
Tennent's Gluten Free 1885 Lager
Bright gold color. Inviting aromas and flavors of toast and cheese soufflé with a supple, crisp, frothy, dryish medium body and a mildly astringent, appealing, medium length finish with notes of dried fruit and peppery spice. A rock solid gluten free beer that tastes like a very nice, regular lager.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217707
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company
Rum Finish Scotch Ale
Brilliant dark copper color. Aromas and flavors of buttery caramel corn, date bread, and smoked nuts with a supple, bright, dryish medium body and a tingling, interesting, crisp watercress, citrus marmalade, brown spices, and apple pie finish. A nice spicy, creamy Scottish ale.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213272
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company
Lager Beer
Pale light brilliant light gold color. Delicate, yeasty, grainy herbal curious aromas and flavors of egg sandwich, salty roasted corn, and pear skin with a supple, crisp, fizzy, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length melon, apple, sweet cream, and grass finish. A very tasty, nicely fruity lager that is super sessionable.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
207818
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company
Scottish Porter
Dark brown color. Delicate aromas of chocolate nuts, dried fruit, roasted parsnip, and vanilla hazelnut coffee with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium length toasted meringue, chestnut brittle, fig pastry, and cocoa puff finish. A rock solid porter with an appealing sweet roasted character.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
205386
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company
Oloroso Cask Oak Aged Beer
Golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of peach-raisin chutney, buttercream frosting, and roasted almonds with a chewy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a nicely balanced sweet and salty pasty and pepper finish. Tasty and refreshing with intriguing layers of flavor.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
205969
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company
Toasted Oak IPA
Golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of vanilla yogurt nuts and raisins and dried apricot pastry with a supple, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a creamy, tangy sweet citrus and melon gelato finish. An interesting oak-aged take on the classic style.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217706
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company
Original Scotch Ale
Minutely hazy amber color. Aromas and flavors of spiced jerky, buttered dark raisin toast, bbq woods, and clay pot with a silky, lively, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long spiced dried fruits and herbal honey finish. A rock solid Scottish ale with a nice blend of fruitiness and delicate smokiness.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
207819
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company
Bourbon Aged Stout
Dark brown color. Aromas and flavors of mango chutney, cashew butter, and dried banana and apples with a supple, lively, effervescent, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and an astringent, delightful, medium-long finish with shades of peppery spice, honeyed raisin toast, and bamboo. A rich and fruity dessert beer.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217708
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company
Bourbon Dark Ale Scottish Porter
Minutely hazy bronze color. Roasted aromas and flavors of baking chocolate, dark roasted nuts, and dark sourdough toast with a supple, racy, finely carbonated, sourish medium body and a tingling, swift chocolate yogurt, grilled sweet potato, hint of sauerkraut, and wet paper finish. A savory, earthy porter.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab