On earlier visits I’d concentrated on the Abbey Brewery, which was the older of their two breweries on the Royal Mile. But, especially in the 19th century, this produced a distorted image as most of the Pale Ales were brewed in the Holyrood Brewery. I also continued on after the Abbey Brewery had closed. Which is where this set come in.
As always, Younger has an unusually long list of beers. And, unlike as at most breweries in Scotland, they weren’t all just parti-gyles of a single Pale Ale recipe. Younger is notable for never parti-gyling in the 20th century.
They had a range of seven Pale Ales at four different gravities. I can guess what you’re going to ask: what’s the difference between them all? That’s easy to answer with the bottling versions (ones with “Btg” suffixing the name). They weren’t dry-hopped as the draught versions were.
|William Younger beers in 1958|
|Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||Pitch temp||max. fermen-tation temp|
|XP Btg||Pale Ale||1031||1006||3.31||80.65%||5.62||0.67||61º F||70.5º F|
|XXP||Pale Ale||1033||1010||3.04||69.70%||4.04||0.49||62.5º F||67.5º F|
|XXPQ||Pale Ale||1033||1012||2.78||63.64%||3.53||0.46||60º F||68º F|
|XXPS||Pale Ale||1038||1011||3.57||71.05%||4.36||0.61||62º F||71º F|
|XXPS Btg||Pale Ale||1038||1008||3.97||78.95%||4.34||0.60||62º F||70º F|
|XXPSL||Pale Ale||1038||1012||3.44||68.42%||3.84||0.63||64º F||72º F|
|EXT||Pale Ale||1046||1009.5||4.83||79.35%||4.39||0.77||60º F||73.5º F|
|3L||Strong Ale||1044||1014||3.97||68.18%||4.36||0.70||61º F||69.5º F|
|3N||Strong Ale||1045||1013||4.23||71.11%||4.36||0.73||61º F||62º F|
|3 Btg||Strong Ale||1047||1013||4.50||72.34%||3.61||0.67||61º F||68.5º F|
|DCA||Strong Ale||1057||1014||5.69||75.44%||4.07||0.88||59º F||71º F|
|1BW||Strong Ale||1089||1027.5||8.14||69.10%||4.29||1.53||57.5º F||70.5º F|
|200/- BW||Strong Ale||1100||1025||9.92||75.00%||5.57||2.29||57.5º F||75.5º F|
|XXX||Mild||1033||1012||2.78||63.64%||4.17||0.53||63.5º F||68.5º F|
|BA||Brown Ale||1031||1005||3.44||83.87%||4.17||0.48||62º F||68º F|
|EBA||Brown Ale||1047||1012||4.63||74.47%||4.14||0.75||59.5º F||69º F|
|SS||Stout||1034||1011||3.04||67.65%||2.38||0.30||63º F||68º F|
|William Younger brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number WY/6/1/3/134.|
With XXP and XXPQ, it’s the colour. In addition to colouring beers up to different shades using caramel, Younger also brewed some beers to different colours. It’s all very confusing and not particularly obvious from the brewing records. Especially as there’s no mention of colour in them.
Luckily, I’ve phots of a document that lists the different colours for Younger’s Pale Ales. It’s from 1960, so almost exactly the same period as the beers:
|Younger (Holyrood) colours in 1960|
|XXPS (old trade name P. 70/-)||XXP, XXPQ, XXPV. (old trade name P. 60/-)|
|Brewery shade||Tint.||Brewery shade||Tint.|
|* P||25||* P||25|
|* J||36||* J||36|
|Colours are as brewed except when indicated by *|
As you can see, XXPQ was a good bit darker than the standard XXP. I haven’t yet found any examples of XXPV in the logs. That was brewed to the colour of Dark Mild. I can’t really see the point of the P shade. No customer would have noticed the difference between that and C shade.
There are a surprisingly large number of Strong Ales, five in all. Though three are variations on No. 3. My guess would be that the difference between 3L and 3N was the colour. Unfortunately, I have no documentation to confirm that.
DCA is Double Century Ale, a bottled beer introduced to celebrate Younger’s double centenary in 1947. Except 1747 isn’t really the year William Younger started brewing. In fact it’s almost certain William Younger never brewed at all.
Note that Younger have added the suffix “BW” to No. 1 and 200/-. I assume that stands for Barley Wine. I’m very surprised to see 200/-. No-one else brewed strong Shilling Ales after WW I. It’s probably a beer brewed for export. Most likely, for the Belgian market. There were only a couple of beers as strong as 10% ABV being sold in the UK in the 1950’s.
It’s interesting to see that Younger still brewed a genuine Mild ale and had two Brown Ales. The former is most likely because they sold quite a lot of beer in England, where Mild was still a standard beer. The stronger Brown Ale is probably for the Northeast of England, where they did a lot of trade, to compete with Newcastle Brown.
I was very disappointed to see that DBS, one of their oldest beers, has disappeared and been replaced by SS, presumably standing for “Sweet Stout”. It’s a funny beer, that doesn’t even contain any dark malt. But we’ll be going into that in more detail next time, when we look at the grists.