Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

You’ve probably already guessed that Scotch ale, also known rather delightfully as ‘wee heavy’ is Scottish in origin. What you might not have guessed is that this is a strong beer, a complex beer, and one that is very malty to taste. It’s so distinctive that even those who don’t know much (if anything at all) about beer can recognize it. But does that make it good? ‘Wee’ think so.

Scotch Ale Fun Facts

Let’s talk about that name for a moment, shall we? We mentioned that it was delightful, perhaps something that some would even consider ‘cute’, but that name actually has a bit of a bite to it; the beer is traditionally so strong that it was only served in small (‘wee’) measures. Breaking this down, the standard ‘heavy’ Scottish ale would have an ABV of between 3.5 and 4 percent. The wee heavy has a range from 5.5 to a massive 9 percent. It’s clear now why the measures were always so small.

Enjoy a Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

Wee heavy is a dark and malty beer with a little carbonation. Smell it, and you’ll get a nose-full of malt, but there are other aromas present too if you take your time over the Scotch ale. Underneath the malt there is caramel and toffee, giving this otherwise potentially unpalatable drink an edge of sweetness that both belies its strength and makes it popular. As this is a complex ale, we can’t leave things there; keep sniffing and tasting (and enjoy that!), and you’ll find earthy tones too, perhaps even a smoky fragrance. It’s a mix that works well, and all adds up to something special.