Scotch and Best Scotch were used in the Northeast of England to refer to certain classes of Pale Ales. Essentially, draught Bitter. These names weren't used either in Scotland, or in the rest of the UK, for such beers.
They were sometimes brewed in Scotland, but also in the Northeast of England. For example Vaux in Sunderland and Newcastle Breweries in, well, Newcastle.
It seems customers weren't always getting exactly what they expected.
PINT OF BEST (?) SCOTCH
WHEN a customer asks for a pint of Best Scotch at his local does he know what he is getting?
Analysis a number of brands beer sold in Northumberland has disclosed that although Best Scotch’ marketed by various companies is the same price there is variation in strength. In fact, some firms’ ‘Best Scotch’ is WEAKER than other brewers’ ordinary beer.
A Northumberland County Council General Purposes Committee REPORT says that a representative of one firm whose Best Scotch was particularly low in original gravity, explained that his company could not produce beer as cheaply as the larger concerns. His firm marketed lower gravity beer at the same price as the higher gravity beer sold by other companies. Money was saved on materials and less duty was payable.
The report explains that there no legal standard of compositional quality for beer.
Shields Daily News - Saturday 01 November 1952, page 1.
If you look in the table, you'll see that Scotch was around the same strength as draught Mild or Boys Bitter. While Best Scotch, averaging out at about 1037º, looks very much like Ordinary Bitter. In Scottish terms, Scotch was 60/- and Best Scotch 70/-.
I'm guessing that the small brewery was selling something around the strength of Scotch as Best Scotch. Naughty, but, in the days before the stre4ngth of beer was made public, who was to know? There was no legal definition of either term and brewers could sell anything they liked under those names.
|Scotch and Best Scotch 1964 - 1967|
|1964||Newcastle Breweries||Sotch Ale||15||1032.3||1005.4||3.36||83.28%||30|
|1965||Vaux Lorimer||Best Scotch||18||1036.4||1006.3||3.76||82.69%||26|
|1967||Younger, Wm.||Best Scotch||21||1036.7||1007.6||3.78||79.29%||31|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.|