The Scottish IPA that's been around the longest - it was one of the first to be brewed - is Younger's IPA. It's one of the first IPA's I tried. Believe me, that was yonks ago. Back when I could still see my feet and walk up two flights of stairs without collapsing in a wheezy heap. It's not many people's idea of an IPA nowadays, but it has been around for an awfully long time. Let's think. Is there one that's been brewed longer? It depends if you count Draught Bass an IPA, I suppose. Other than that and White Shield, I don't think there are any contenders.
The two conflicting strands of Scottish IPA are clearly visible in the table below. There's the type typified by William Younger's draught IPA and McEwan's Export IPA. Beers somewhere in the 1040's. It's nice to see that some of the more modern versions - Broughton and Deuchars - fit into this mould.
The other type is the piss-weak bottled variety. As epitomised by Younger's bottled IPA from 1954. Beers with a gravity around 1030º. You'll notice one - Bernard's from 1949 - is billed as a 90/-, despite having a gravity below 1030º. Remember what I told you about the use of 90/- for Strong Ale being very recent? This is an example of 90/- being used with a completely different meaning.
One thing just about every beer in the table has in common is a decent level of attenuation. Something which isn't always the case with Scottish beer. Only one beers has an apparent attenuation of less than 70%. High attenuation is something you would expect in an IPA. One of the skills in brewing IPA for export to the tropics in the 19th century was to get the attenuation as low as possible, so there was no food for anything nasty during the long voyage.
One last point about colour. Somewhere in the low 20's EBC is what you'd expect an IPA to be. The canned Bernard's from 1958 is more than double that at 50. But as we've already learned, the Scots often liked their Pale Ales quite dark.
Here's the table:
|Late 20th century Scottish IPA|
|1947||Younger, Geo||India Pale Ale 120/-||14d||half||bottled||1010||1042||4.16||76.19%|
|1949||Bernard||90/- India Pale Ale||pint||bottled||1006.5||1029.5||2.98||77.97%|
|1949||Fowler||India Pale Ale (Extra Pale)||pint||bottled||1009||1030||2.72||70.00%|
|1949||McEwan||India Pale Ale Export||pint||bottled||1008||1045.5||4.89||82.42%|
|1949||McEwan & Co.||Export IPA||half||bottled||0.06||1008.5||1046.8||19.5 brown||4.99||81.84%|
|1950||McEwan||Export IPA||1/1.5d||half||bottled||0.05||1012.6||1048.8||25 B||4.70||74.18%|
|1954||McEwan||India Pale Ale||bottled||0.05||1008.2||1048.6||24||5.27||83.13%|
|1955||Younger, Wm.||India Pale Ale||9.5d||half||bottled||0.04||1006.9||1030.2||22||3.02||77.15%|
|1957||McEwan||Export India Pale Ale||2/2d||16 oz||can||0.05||1010.7||1046.4||22||4.64||76.94%|
|1958||Bernard||India Pale Ale||21d||16 oz||can||0.04||1008.9||1030.6||50||2.71||70.92%|
|1959||Usher||India Pale Ale||10d||half||bottled||0.03||1008.4||1032.3||18||2.99||73.99%|
|1961||Jeffrey & Co||Export IPA||15d||half||bottled||0.05||1010.8||1042.3||24||3.94||74.47%|
|1961||McEwan||Export India Pale Ale||17d||half||bottled||0.04||1011.6||1045||20||4.18||74.22%|
|1993||Caledonian||R&D Deuchars IPA||draught||1008||1038||3.9||78.95%|
|1994||Borve||Tall Ships IPA||pint||bottled||5.00|
|Thomas Usher Gravity Book document TU/6/11|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002|
|T & J Bernard's brewing records held at the Scottish Brewing Archive|
|1993 Real Ale Drinker's Almanac|
|Good Beer Guide 1978, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1990, 2002, 2005|
|The Best of British Bottled Beer|
|Daily Mirror July 10th 1972, page 15|