Beer Style: English and Scottish Strong Ale

Great Scot!

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Traditional Scottish breweries originally drew water from underground sources. Although some no longer have private wells, soft water remains the ideal base for a malty Scotch ale.

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Stewart’s Brewing Company McBride’s Strong Ale clone

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Close to a traditional English style Strong Ale, with earthy English East Kent Golding hops and roasted barley, pale and dark malts and some wheat malt for added body. “I would call ours a ‘Classic’ English Strong, because it isn’t as aggressive as the more modern examples out there,” says Stewart’s Head Brewer, Ric Hoffman.

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Snake River Brewing Ol’ Stinky’s Strong Ale clone

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According to Snake River Brewing Co. “This Strong Ale is sweet and fruity, balanced with a generous amount of hops. Fashioned after the “Old” ales of England this beer is intended to be heavy in alcohol. Ol’ Stinky’s has a small amount of Roasted Barley for color. In addition to a large amount of bittering hops, this beer is also dry hopped. The alcohol content is 8.2%”

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Phillips Brewery’s Burley Wine clone

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Found in Victoria, British Columbia, Philip’s Brewing Co. has since retired this barleywine from their line-up, but you can still brew it with this recipe.

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The Bruery: Mash clone

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The specifications for this English-style barleywine are all pre-barrel aging numbers. After aging in a bourbon barrel, the beer is above 13% ABV.

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The Brew Kettle Production Works’ Jack Hammer clone

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The Brew Kettle Production Works (Strongsville, Ohio) utilizes three specialty grains along with a load of base malt to brew this malt-forward English-style barleywine.

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Jackie O’s Brewery’s Brick Kiln clone

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Brick Kiln from Jackie O’s Brewery (Athens, Ohio) is brewed in the English tradition and features rich caramel and raisin notes, with a light herbal presence from noble hops.

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Firestone Walker Brewing Co.’s Sucaba clone

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This English-style barleywine from Firestone Walker (Paso Robles, California) is aged in recently emptied Bourbon barrels to pick up flavors and alcohol from the Bourbon. While this beer goes into the barrel around 10% ABV, it comes out above 12%.

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Oskar Blues Brewery’s Old Chub clone

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Oskar Blues wows malt lovers with this mega-malty Scottish strong ale brewed with a variety of specialty malts (including a touch of smoked malt). It features flavors of cocoa and coffee with just a bit of smoke.

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Big Horse Brewing Company: Macstallion Scotch Export Ale clone

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“Traditionally brewed with a 3-hour long boil, using two row carafa and roasted barley malt. This produces a deep copper to brown colored brew. Full bodied, with pronounced malty caramel and roasted malt flavor.”


21st Amendment Brewery and Ninkasi Brewing Company: Allies Win the War clone

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This collaboration English strong ale came to be thanks to 21st Amendment’s Shaun O’Sullivan and Ninkasi’s Jamie Floyd, who had been friends since brewing together in the 1990s at Steelhead Brewery. Both brewers had won GABF medals for their versions of this style, and decided to brew one together using local ingredients.

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Pelican Brewery: Stormwatcher’s Winterfest clone

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This barleywine is the winner of numerous awards, including a gold medal at the World Beer Cup in 2012. Features aromas and tastes of toasted malt, toffee, and caramel, with a warming finish.

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