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Belhaven Scottish Ale - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Belhaven Scottish AleBelhaven Scottish Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,588 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,588
Reviews: 810
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.61%
Wants: 34
Gots: 91 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 08-07-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,588 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sunset2b
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is available at many grocery stores (I got it at Kroger's). Looking to find a replacement for McEwan's Scottish Ale, which is no longer in production. This beer is not it.

This is an OK Scottish Ale, but doesn't have that strong and pleasant "Scotch" taste that the McEwan's had.

sunset2b, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of fastwrx05
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belhaven's scottish ale is rather enjoyable, it has a decent light amber color and a smooth taste, it is easy to drink quickly, but I find other scotch ales more enjoyable. It doesn't offer that robust flavor that I have come to expect form Scottish brews. Overall not a bad beer.

fastwrx05, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of rtepiak
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had many times but have found that its tastes best in a slightly expired nitro can. pour is like eye candy from a nitro. head is quite thick and nice with lace and thick foam. palate is not as bitter as on tap. mellowed out... nose of honey sweet malt and pollen. a mild apple sour in this case. palate is creamy and wonderful. great malt but not overly sweet. some breadiness like challah bread. honey and pollen with a mild hop citrus lemon at the end... not sharp. mild and corresponding to the malt character. a fruit of apple pie. nutmeg and cinnamon quality.

rtepiak, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of techfed87
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard English pint glass. Pours a strong, thick head. Has a distinctly malty smell to it. Dark amber in color.

Taste is sweeter than I would expect from a Scotch Ale. Almost honey-like, like a brown ale. Full flavored, but at the same time lighter than other ales in the category.

Although lighter and thinner than the Scotch Ale I was expecting, this ale has turned out to be something I really enjoy. It's a drinker, not a sipper. And while I usually trend towards darker, thicker brews, this has definitely become one of my favorites.

techfed87, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden honey color with a nice little ehad and some serious lacing.

Smells like honey and a little bitter hops. Very inviting.

Tastes as advertized. Lots of deep honey notes, great malt. A little hoppy bitterness in the finish to keep you thirsty.

Nice and creamy with a great body.

Greatly drinkable. I would like to find it on tap, though.

RomaniIteDomum, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of beergod1
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have to do this by memory because I had this On Tap at upick6 in Erie PA, but I made sure to remember. Beautiful pour with the nitro tap, Creamy,Malty, caramel note. Flavor stays with you for awhile, chewy....I can keep going, so I bought another. This is a classic Scottish, maybe a little less punch, but stellar non the less.

beergod1, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of MisterTiat
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Brown/amber, more on the amber side. Nice off white, cream colored head with good retention.

S: Not that good, maltiness comes through slighty, no hops. Actually kind of like wet socks but not is a bad way...

T: Much better than the smell. Creamy malt comes through, slightly sweet, bready flavor, with hops lingering on the tounge.

M: High point of this beer, you can taste this one long after you are done, the beer is almost chewy

D: Very smooth, easy to drink, nothing all that special

MisterTiat, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of newerbrewerthanu
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours well, copper color. More head than my first girlfriend.
toasted butternut, caramel, and mossy smells. Faint, yet clean smell, almost no room for malt or hops!
Slightly malty, which is balanced by the sweet and bitter hints. Super balanced! The flavor dwells long after the sip, and doesn't stale.
The flavor is not complex, and lacks the hops distinct smell (like most beers from the British Isles).
Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, lightens quickly as it hits the bitter receptors.
Easy to drink, but on this spectrum (which I assume goes from too easy to be quality --- too difficult to enjoy) I would but it a little on the too easy side.

newerbrewerthanu, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Big, thick, creamy reverse-cascading head on top of a hazy, copper-orange colored body.

S- Smells of clove, caramel, woodsy herbs, apple and cinnamon all on top of a toasty malt backbone.

T- The flavor is subtle and comes across sweet, grainy and malty along with a bitter, herbal hop pinch.

M- Creamy and succulent. Mmm... succulent beer.

D- Anytime of day... every day... I could never get tired of this beer. One of god's gifts to mankind. Nothing extreme, but the best beer is best left simple

EnojysAnyBeer, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of JWolf
4.8/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I first had this beer a month ago at a bar in Woods Hole, MA. It made such an impression that I've been on a quest to find it in my home town of Frederick, MD. Finally found it in both bottles and nitro-cans. This review is based on a nitro-can.

Poured from nitro-can into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark amber/copper color with a creamy off-white head. Head started about two fingers thick. By the end of the drink, it was still a little less than one finger thick, with nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Smokey, nutty

Taste: This is where this beer shines. This is, without a doubt, the smoothest beer I've ever tasted. No edge at all. It's got an earthy, smokey flavor, maybe even a little fruity, but that's not really the right word. Slightly hoppy aftertaste.

Feel: Creamy and smooth. I told a friend that it was like drinking a beer flavored milkshake.

Drinkability: Goes down smooth and easy. No bite, mild aftertaste.

This is, without a doubt, my new favorite beer. I am thrilled that the barmaid in Mass. talked me into trying it. Now that I've found it in my hometown, it will be a staple. I can't wait to try a Wee Heavy to see how it compares.

JWolf, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of drtth
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours out a clear reddish and brownish color with a 1 ½" creamy off-white head that begins to recede soon leaving behind patches of foam and an open spider web of lacing. Soon the head settles to a ring of foam around the glass and a few small patches on the surface. Sipping continues to leave behind some sparse leggy lacing and patches of foam.

Smell: The aroma contains light caramel malt and faint spicy hops.

Taste: The malt chimes in first with some lightly sweet caramel or butterscotch flavor and some almost nutty character. Then lightly spiced hops appear on the scene lending some spicy bitterness to the flavor.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is light bodied, smooth and soft, with ongoing moderate carbonation. The medium length finish begins with the malt fading out to soft hop bitterness that shows itself as much in the dryness of the finish as in the spicy bitterness.

Drinkability: This is a nicely made, balanced ale that is a clear candidate for an evening of drinking and conversation with friends. It is good but not particularly challenging. It is enjoyable but not particularly complex. Just the thing to suit my tastes if I've got some things to do but want something to sip on while doing it. I'll certainly be having this one in again someday.

drtth, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of Daniellobo
2.85/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A pleasing nitro ale... Not much of a memorable Scottish ale but decently drinkable.

Presentation: 16 oz. draft pour. Chalk board or menu lacks any other description than "Belhaven". Served in a pint shaker glass.

A - Very rich and creamy nitro head over an amber brown to brown body, and persistent lacing throughout.

S - Uff, very little in the way of an aromatic profile. There is a faint malty sweetness.

T - A pleasing malty sweetness with a tiny hoppy feel.

M - Very creamy and smooth nitro body.

D - It is not tough to drink but is quite a bit blah and forgettable.

Notes: Uff, it had been a while (years in fact) since I had a nitro pour, and this is sort of reminding me why that was the case. Now, it is not a pain to drink, and against other choices I may pick it up gladly, but as of today I think those occasions will be few and far between.

Daniellobo, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of jbertsch
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

We all know Bellhaven well but I find not many of us give it much attention. Thught I'd sit down and give it a review.

I love Bellhaven's beautiful creamy nitro head, ala Guiness. The head is tan in color and stays throughout the duration of the drink. The beer itself is a beautiful mahogany.

Aromas are of sweet malts, caramel, brown sugar and toasted bread.

I taste those sweet malts right away along with nuts, a bit of smokiness, hops, and with a faint bitter aftertaste. When the beer is warmer it takes on some pleasant fruity notes.

Mouthfeel is super smooth and creamy. Drinkability is high because I think your senses feel like the beer itself is going to be heavy because of the thick head. And of course, the brew's body is a nicely rounded medium body that touches both ends of the sweet/savory spectrum.

I forgot how enjoyable a Bellhaven can be.

jbertsch, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of plaid75
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper hue with a one finger creamy bone white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a faint caramel malt.

The taste was likewise muted with just a bit of sweetness peaking through.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness and very smooth.

I usually don't dig on nitro, but this is one beer that has been rendered flavorless (at least at serving temperature) by the gas.

plaid75, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of lillitnn92
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 16.9 oz bottle to Pint glass

Appearance is a light copper with yellow on the edges. Looks like a light brewed iced tea.

Smell is a little spicy with a light roasted malt, little caramel hints

Taste, stronger hints of roasted malt with a nice quick spicy kick that dissipates quickly settling into a nice finish

Mouthfeel is a little creamy.

Very drinkable. I could sit down with this one all night for sure.

lillitnn92, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of nickynick
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bellhaven poured a nice cloudy caramel color with a nice tan head. The smell was of caramel, sweet, hints of some lightly roasted malt. The taste was full sweet caramel. Mouthfeel was a little sticky. Drinkability was good. Overall a nice beer with good flavors.

nickynick, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of BierFan
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

14.9 ounce can poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pretty much what you would expect from a nitro beer. Thick creamy white head. Coppery amber body. Great lacing.

Smell: Has a metallic character to the aroma. Sweet and earthy.

Taste: Unfortunately the taste isn't as good. Nitro beers always seem a little off in the taste department.

Mouthfeel isn't that great either but drinkability is pretty high. Much better experience poured from a regular bottle.

BierFan, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of BWH3
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very lucent copper crowned by the pale beige head which even from the bottle persists for a long time. The suds even lace out and cling to the glass nicely. The color is a bit lighter than I anticipated and light on the brown notes.

S: The aroma is light spicy noble English hop. The depth of the beer comes from a nutty caramel malt flavor. The nuttiness is more pecan than almond or hazelnut. I must admit the big disappointment came when I could only detect only the faintest hint of smoked and peat earthiness which I love in the Wee Heavy.

T: Very similar to a well balanced amber ale. The sweet light caramel with pecan finish quench the palate and are erased by a dry crisp finish not unlike an English tea. Peat and earth/mineral tones are very faint.

M: Light creamy and smooth. Lightly carbonated with fantastic head retention.

D: Balanced, extremely drinkable and enjoyable beer. Not the most complex Scottish Ale but is my standard to which I compare all others in this style.

BWH3, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of BeanBone
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A crystal-clear, orange-brown body capped by two amazingly solid fingers of creamy head that endure until the bottom of the glass and leave great lacing all the way down.

Aroma: Spicy, earthy hops and assorted fruit over toasty malt with some mineral notes. It's all muted a little by the dense head.

Taste: Essentially what's promised in the nose, but with the intensity ratcheted up a notch. Earthy hops and fruit (banana and apricot) over a backbone of sweet, lightly toasted malt. There's some nuttiness and a hint of smokiness added in, giving it a little more character. The aftertaste is fruity with toasty malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and highly creamy with typically smooth nitro bubbles. Dries in the finish.

Drinkability: An easy-drinking brew that makes for a great session choice.

Verdict: Straightforward, yet tasty, and nicely sessionable, Belhaven is a great example of the lower-alcohol style of Scottish Ale. If you're a fan of nitro creaminess and you're looking for a new quaffable new brew, this is a great choice.

BeanBone, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a whim this afternoon, had a hankering for something malty and this seems to fit the bill quite nicely even though it is an ale.

14.9oz can poured into a shaker pint glass.

A: It's hard to beat the look of a freshly poured draught beer, love the cascading effect, like a reverse pour it is. Head is dense and creamy as it should be, color is lighter than I would have expected but then again this is a Scottish Ale not a Scotch Ale so the lighter color is a bit more understandable.

S: Creamy, slightly nutty, milky chocolate even the slightest bit smokey, or should I say peaty. Understated and it doesn't bother me, smells dignified and unobtrusive.

T/MF: Slightly fruity open hops play a bigger role in this beer than I would have imagined as they are noticeable in the opening and middle of the beer but let you know they are there in a long drying finish. The bitterness in this beer is more tea-like than anything, herbal, slightly fruity with the underpinnings of bitterness. There is something else trying to happen in this beer and it comes right in the beginning
where I am picking up this slightly nutty/smokey faintness that is begging to be explored but just doesn't do anything beyond tease me with the promise of a depth that doesn't come. Mouthfeel is understandably creamy but a bit thin overall, hoping for something a bit more substantial with a bit more coating.

D: I think overall I'd say I like this beer, a lot going for it if you know where to look. Wouldn't have guessed it weighing in at 5+% either as it drinks quite faster than that. Would be interesting to see how it compares to a bottle or draft.

bluemoonswoon, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of tone77
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 14.9 oz. nitro can. Has a cloudy brown color with a slowly fading 1 inch head. Some yeast and hops detected, not a strong aroma. Taste is very mild, not a lot of flavor. Feels creamy in the mouth and has decent drinkability. Overall this is a pretty good selection.

tone77, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of Tates
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Surprisingly strong chocolate notes from this dark, Scottish ale. The huge mouth feel actually finishes very smooth. A strong ale to be savored, it was both the perfect accompaniment for and participant in (I used it in the marinade) my grilled shrimp.

Tates, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of Offa
4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is not only excellent from the bottle, but an excellent ale from the nitro draught can and among the better ones, reatining a solid feel and lots of charachter.

Copper with a little brown, it has a medium-large offwhite head, creamy and rich, shrinking very, very slowly and never dissipating beyond a small creamy head. It leaves rich foamy loace down the glass.

The aroma is rich toasted grain, a little dough, milk chocolate, light leaf, earth, and winey prune.

The taste is toasty grain with hints of chocolate, nuttiness, earthy leaves, caramel, and a little prune. It has light sweetness with the nutty-leafy-chocolatey bitterness just barely dominating through the finish, after which a light sweet caramelly maltiness lingers. It retains a nice, firm body uinderneath the creamy head and does not become so watery like many nitro beers can be.

Offa, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of jsh420
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours copper amber with a 2 finger head that faded fast but left spotted lacing down the glass

smell - not much here pale malts some hops

taste - this is so much better then the nitro can - reminds alot of english pales but has the sweet yet roasted malts along with those earthy english hops

mouthfeel is good - light to medium body with good carbonation that gives it some bite that goes perfect with the taste

drinkability - very easy - just wish i had bought more then a single

overall the bottle version owns the nitro can(which i will never buy again)

jsh420, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of jbone78
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

when I think of a scottish ale, I think of Belhaven. My girlfriend's uncle went to Scotland and came back raving about the Belhaven. He is of Scottish decent. You know?

A-Pours reddish/light brown with a finger of head into my warm glass. Lacing is interesting, creates a nice design on the glass.
S- Malty, expected.
T- I wish I could identify malts. There is a malty character, as expected in a Scottish Ale, but there is a spice or two also. I detect more alcohol than hop. The label mentions a balance of malts and hops. I don't know. Some sourness, but not hops, maybe yeast caused.
M- Malt, I like the carbonation. It is a little low, which I like and is to style.
D- Like I said, if I want a Scottish Ale, this is the one I want... Skull Splitter is a Wee Heavy.


jbone78, Aug 29, 2009
Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 1,588 ratings.