About Scottish Beer

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

Traquair House Brewery Traquair Jacobite Ale
95 points
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.
Tennent Caledonian Breweries Tennents Gluten Free 1885 Lager
93 points
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.
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company Rum Finish Scotch Ale
92 points
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.
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company Lager Beer
92 points
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.
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company Scottish Porter
91 points
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.
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company Oloroso Cask Oak Aged Beer
90 points
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.
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company Toasted Oak IPA
88 points
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.
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company Original Scotch Ale
87 points
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.
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company Bourbon Aged Stout
86 points
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.
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company Bourbon Dark Ale Scottish Porter
81 points
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.