Just for Gordon

Wee-Heavy Scotch Ale

  • Malts: Amber LME, U.K. Golden Promise, U.S. Caramel 10L, U.K. Roasted Barley, U.K. Peat-smoked malt.
  • Hops: U.K. Fuggles
  • Alcohol By Volume: 6.6%
  • IBU: 20 | SRM: 19 | OG: 1.071 | FG: 1.021 | 244 calories (12.oz)



First Place: 2018 Iowa Brewer’s Union Open Competition in the English Heavy Ale Category.

Gordon Duncan (14 May 1964 – 14 December 2005) was a bagpiper, low whistle player and composer, born in Turriff, Aberdeenshire. He composed an album of bagpipe songs to honor his mentor, Seamus MacNeill called “Just for Seamus”. Of Gordon’s unorthodox style, Seamus was speculated to have said, “If this is what piping has come to, I’m taking up the fiddle”.

This beer is made specially for Chris Tyrrell, also a piper and great friend. It really should be called, “Just for Chris”, who will most likely say, “If this is what beer has come to, I’m sticking with Scotch.”

On 14 December 2005, Duncan was found dead at his home in Perthshire following a long struggle with alcoholism.[1] His funeral was held at Pitlochry Church of Scotland and was attended by hundreds of pipers.[5][7] He is survived by his mother and father, brother and two sisters, as well as his son, Gordon, and his wife, Mary.[1]

Scotch Ales are strong ales, also known as “Wee Heavy.” In the 19th century Scotland, they’d also be known as 160/-, a nomenclature based on the now obsolete shilling currency.

Scotch Ales traditionally go through a long boil in the kettle for a caramelization of the wort. This produces a deep copper to brown in colored brew. Compared to Scottish Ales, they’ll be sweeter and fuller-bodied, and of course higher in alcohol, with a much more pronounced malty caramel and roasted malt flavor. A low tea-like bitterness can be found in many examples. Best served in a “thistle” glass.

See my BrewToad recipe here!


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