In the 20th century, Scotch Ale came to mean a strong, dark beer. Though the definition of “strong” varied over time.
Though they bore the same name, they had little connection with the Edinburgh Ales of the 19th century. These were strong, but universally pale in colour. The paler the better, in fact, according to sources of the time.
Scotch Ale didn’t only come in bottled form. There were also draught versions, usually of the weaker type. Younger’s No. 3, mostly. This was always reasonably common on draught, also in later port-WW II incarnations. The first five beers in the table are obviously No. 3. The last is another William Younger beer, No.1.
I wondering about the purity of these samples. Looks like they’ve been tampered with to me. No. 3 was brewed at 1055º. 1048º in particular seems too low.
No. 3 was an important beer for William Younger, as they had outlets in London. No. 3 filled the space usually occupied by draught Burton Ale. In terms of gravity and ABV it was roughly similar, but there was a big difference in the hopping rate. Barclay Perkins KK, for example, had almost double the hops of No. 3.
It’s quite a surprise to see something as strong as Younger’s No. 1 on draught in the 1930s. Usually the only time something that strong appeared on draught was in the form of an Old Ale in the winter months.
|Draught Scotch Ale before WW II|
|Year||Brewer||Beer||Price per pint||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation|
|1932||Younger, Wm.||Scotch Ale||9||1051||1011.8||5.10||76.86%|
|1932||Younger, Wm.||Scotch Ale||9||1048||1010.2||4.92||78.75%|
|1932||Younger, Wm.||Scotch Ale||9||1050||1012.6||4.86||74.80%|
|1934||Younger, Wm.||Strong Ale||10||1056||1012||5.73||78.57%|
|1936||Younger, Wm.||Strong Ale||16||1081.8||1026.7||7.16||67.36%|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.|