With all due respect, as I am sure Jamil is an EXCELLENT brewer, I would disagree with his assessment that smoked malt is inappropriate in a Scotch Ale.
First of all, the BJCP guidelines specifically mention smoked malt and while the BJCP is certainly not the be-all-end all of brewing "rules," it DOES seem to be the most cited reference when you are dealing with styles concerning homebrew. For this reason, I do not understand how he can say the ingredient is inappropriate.
In addition to this, the character of "smoke" or "peat" in the beer must have originated somewhere
. How do we know this character did not start in Scotland? Absence of evidence does not prove a negative. If ANYthing, one could look at historical references from Scotland and probably make a pretty strong case for using heather in the beer more than anything.
With that said, do I feel smoked malt (or even smoke character) is necessary
in a Scotch Ale? ...absolutely not... but do I feel we should have one brewer's OPINION of a beer determine what builds a beer style? ...again, no way.
Oh, I just had a couple of Founder's Dirty Bastards last night and LOVED it! I think I'll drink the rest of the 6-pack tonight