Beer School

What is a Scottish Ale?

Scottish ales are light-bodied, malt-forward, low alcohol beers that originate from Scotland. Learn about what Scottish ales taste like, how bitter they are and more.

What is a Scottish Ale?

What is a Scottish Ale?

Scottish ales are a malty, low alcohol beer that originate from Scotland.

Scottish style ales are soft or light-bodied bitters that contain low alcohol and low hop bitterness. These beers can often contain a light smoked flavouring and caramel-like notes.


Scottish Ale Bitter Essential Information:


Style Region:



What colour is a Scottish Ale beer?

Scottish ales are golden to deep chestnut/reddish brown in colour.(Typically with an SRM between 6 and 19). Scottish ales are typically clear with slow-to-medium rising bubbles.

Flavour profile:

Hoppy & Bitter

Flavour & Aroma of Scottish Ale:

What does a Scottish Ale taste like?

English bitters are considered a hoppy and bitter beer– which you could probably tell by their name. These beers have a low hop bitterness, typically possessing an IBU of 9-25.

Scottish Style Ale Palate & Mouthfeel:

You can expect low to medium amounts of carbonation, with a soft body and short finish in an Scottish-style Ale.

Alcohol Content of an Scottish Ale

How much alcohol is in a Scottish Ale beer?

Scotish Ales are fairly low alcohol beers, typically possessing an ABV of 2.8% to 5.3%.

What foods pair well with Scottish Ale?

Scottish ales are a great beer to serve with game or dark meats and cheeses. It also complements creamy desserts, like cheesecake and fruitcake quite nicely.

How to serve a scottish Ale:

What temperature should you serve a Scottish ale?

English Bitters are best served at 50-55 degrees fahrenheit (approximately 10-13°C) in a Thistle glass.

Now that you know all about Scottish Ales. Learn more about the other beer styles below:

Amber Ale / Dark Ale
Belgian IPA / White India Pale Ale
Berliner Weisse
Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
Double IPA / Imperial IPA
Golden Ale / Blonde Ale
Golden Lager / Pale Lager
Gruit Beer
India Pale Ale (IPA)
Sour Ale / Wild Ale
Strong Ale
Wheat Beer

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