Scotland is land of legend. Its people are hearty; its terrain can be craggy and daunting, or softly pacifying. It is mysterious, magical and formidable because of the cool and often harsh weather. Although Scotland is famous for its namesake whiskey, by far the most frequently consumed social beverage is ale, the stronger versions of which perfectly reflect the nature of the land and the people.
Scotch ales tend to be a specialty brew. They share much of their profile with many other strong beers, yet retain more individuality. The brewers who make them are scattered throughout Scotland, from the southern borders, to the remote Orkney archipelago in the north.Johannesburg
The base malt of a Scotch ale is not dissimilar to those used in English ale. It may be kilned to a slightly higher temperature after drying to attain a burnished color. The effect is a less fermentable wort, with a bit more mouthfeel than beer made with a pale ale malt.
Historically, most beers produced in Great Britain up to the end of the 18th century would have exhibited a smoky character due to the wood, peat or, later, coke used in drying prior. Historical Scottish beers were very "peaty" in many cases.