Belhaven Scottish Ale - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
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Ratings: 1,397 | Reviews: 796 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by MadeInOregon:
1.78/5 rDev -53.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5
If this is one of the best examples of a Scottish ale, then I definitely do not dig this style. After trying Belhaven's Scottish Ale I'm also thinking that the beers I've had which I thought were "Scottish ales" were probably wee heavys since they tasted nothing like this...but, hey, this is how ya learn.
The Belhaven Scottish Ale that I had came in their very nice 500ml bottle. Clear glass, nice clean label--really classy stuff. Poured out, it is a clear, brownish bronze color with a nice 1.5" sea foamy head. It looks nice and crisp. So far so good.
THE SMELL, however, instantly ruined this one for me. As others have mentioned, this beer has a VERY strong vinegar aroma to it. I suppose this is a result of this style's brewing process, but, man, this is a bit overpowering. I hadn't even had a sip yet and was still about 2 feet away from the opened bottle and cup and all I could smell was a rather awful odor of leak, pickles, sauerkraut, etc., filling my kitchen. In other words: semi-rotten vegetables. Holding the cup up to my nose, the smell was still vinegary but also that of a cheap, adjunct lager. Interesting, but unpleasant.
THE TASTE, to me, was basically of a bad brown ale. That vinegary smell was the first taste to hit me, then transitioning to a light smoky chocolate malt quality, and finishing with an admittedly nice hoppy bite. Unfortunately the mixture of all these very different flavors resulted in an overall flavor of vinegar + ashtrays. This is truly an acquired taste!
THE FEEL is just OK. It's probably the highlight of the actual drinking experience. I don't really have much else to say about that.
CONCLUSION: I was expecting something rich and sweet so I was quite disappointed with this one. I'm not sure if this is how a "Scottish ale" should taste so I can't rate it too low, but I can say that I really didn't like this. After the initial disappointment I tried to take it for what it is, but just couldn't get into it. This one was a waste of $3.79. Bleh.
Serving type: bottle
04-16-2011 08:55:40 | More by MadeInOregon
More User Reviews:
3.96/5 rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A: Very clear deep amber color with a moderate creamy white head that settles to a layer of bubbles. Great lacing on the glass as you drink.
S: Bready, nutty, some toffee and other roasted barley sweetness. Light fruit esters as well.
T: Fresh brown bread, toffee, caramel, light esters of cherry like flavor, mild hop bitterness to keep the sweetness from totally running away. Mild earthy hop flavor as well. The finish is on the dry side and sweet.
M: Medium body with tiny crisp carbonation and a dry finish. No warming from alcohol.
O: Very clean and fresh tasting with some slight estery flavors and low on the smoky flavors with this Scottish Ale. Well done and easy to drink! I would get this again.
Serving type: bottle
02-22-2014 01:04:14 | More by scottbrew4u
Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 1,397 ratings.