1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Belhaven Scottish Ale - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Belhaven Scottish AleBelhaven Scottish Ale

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

1,557 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,557
Reviews: 807
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 33
Gots: 85 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Belhaven Scottish Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,557 | Reviews: 807 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dfitch81


3.83/5  rDev +0.5%

First time I've tried Belhaven. Pours a nice amber with thin but enduring head that leaves generous lacing. Gives off a medicinal, malty aroma. Taste is of toasted malts with suggestions of chocolate and caramel. Earthiness and ever-so-subtle English hops emerging towards the end. Slick mouthfeel helps make this a very drinkable brew. Good stuff, but not my favorite style...

10-28-2008 20:53:36 | More by dfitch81
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.85/5  rDev +1%

Poured a clear amber with a nice creamy head and good substantial lacing.

Smells of soft sweet malt, some floral hops, and a whiff of burnt toast.

Nice toasty elements here combined with the malti-sweetness and a touch of smoke. Hops are present, but not up front and not distinctive to the other flavors. Some buttery notes as well. Funky complexities here.

These go down a bit too good. Have had this on tap in the Boston area before, as well as in the bottle --- first foray into the nitro can. Not bad. Was afraid of overcarbonation, but you get the trade off of the creamy head. Decent brew.

10-28-2008 01:49:40 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of Contagion


4.33/5  rDev +13.6%

When poured into a glass it has a dark reddish copper color. It's clear with no cloudiness to it at all. It's too dark to make out what's on the other side of the glass, but light still passes through. The head is thick and creamy. It has a nice tan color to it and it lasts for a long time. There is a very minimal amount of lacing on the side.

The scent is grainy and cereal like, almost like a whole grain or bran cereal. The gentle scent of hops follows along with a touch of fruit. The taste is much like the taste. There is a sweetness of toasted malts with a mild hop follow up. There is a fruit flavor that is reminiscent of apples or pears. A slight nuttiness is also present. The aftertaste is mild and fades quickly.

This is a medium bodied beer. There is a creamy coating that washes through the mouth as it is drank. It helps to lock in the flavor. It's easy to drink and is refreshing.

I'm a huge fan of Scottish Ales. I've drank many of them, and this is a pretty good one. It's a little light in the color and flavor, but still not bad. The smokiness and dark roasted malt flavor is not present like in most Scottish ales. Overall I like this beer.

10-16-2008 02:26:52 | More by Contagion
Photo of spointon


4.1/5  rDev +7.6%

I poured this ale from a 12oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass.

A= This ale poured a perfectly clear pale amber color with a 1.5" white head that quickly dropped to a skim. A bit of sticky lace down the glass.

S= I found aromas of fresh grain, bready malts, mild earthy hops, and a faint bit of buttery diacetyl.

T= As you would expect, this ale had alot of bready maltiness up front. That was followed by a sweet buttery middle shot through with a mild smokiness and some earthy hops. The finish dried just enough to balance the sweetness and made me want another sip.

MF= This ale was a bit grainy, with a medium body and a lovely soft carbonation.

D= This is an excellent and often imitated ale. I found it to be very easy to drink and quite complex for its size. Would make an excellent session beer.

10-15-2008 04:29:23 | More by spointon
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +5%

A: Pours a perfectly clear reddish brown, with a big, rocky, off-white head. Nice retention and lacing.

S: Bread, light floral hops, hints of butter, maybe some yeast.

T: Some grain, big burnt malt flavor. Hops are quite tight and add nice balance. Hints of smoke and fruit, perhaps grapes. An underlying sweetness is present, with a slightly buttery finish.

M: Rather smooth and crisp, finishes on the dry side.

D: A nice brew with a subdued complexity. An interesting smoky malt backbone, I'd certainly drink a few of these.

10-13-2008 02:24:30 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of bigkahunas4


3.98/5  rDev +4.5%

This was the second time I have had Belhaven. The first time was from the bottle, and this time out of the tap. I can say, I enjoyed both experiences but noted differences between the two.

Poured a translucent copper/amber, with a nice frothy head that cascaded down. The pour really caught me of guard as it looked like a stout - very nice. Smell was dominated actually by oaked whiskey, with hints of nuts and fruit. Taste was a bit sour up front, with hints of apple and cranberry. It then moved to a bready malt, followed by a hoppy finish. Mouthfeel was thinner than what the appearance would have had me to believe.

Overall though really enjoyed the difference in character on tap, and definitely quite enjoyable. This brew from the bottle has a lot more nuttiness to it - and while still enjoyable, I prefer this on tap. Certainly one I will have again.

10-10-2008 13:12:45 | More by bigkahunas4
Photo of sgoodship


3.68/5  rDev -3.4%

A: 16.9fl.oz. bottle. Poured a fluffy half a finger head - was expecting more head. The color was a dark copper hazy brown with some golden highlights at the bottom of the glass. Some carbonation visible. Decent lace and spotty on the glass.

S: Initially, I was getting some hoppiness with hint of fruit but the main smell was like a woody grain Whisky. Very appropriate for a Scottish Ale! As the drink progressed, the smell definitely moved into the malty area.

T: Initially, I got the pay-off of the grainy woody Whisky type smell. A very interesting taste for sure. I got some very subtle fruit (predominantly apple type flavor) and hoppy sourness. It felt pretty well balanced but there was complexity without enough of the right type of focus for me. As the drink progressed, it got more malty, caramel but throughout, the aftertaste was a little disappointing - florally with a flat mineral water.

M: Lively carbonation that invigorates. Slick, butttery medium body. I would have preferred a thicker, creamier mouth feel.

D: A good quality and distinctive ale. Makes me want to try more Scottish Ale and try more from Belhaven for sure. Not sure if I could drink more than one or two of this particular brew. I'd like to try it on tap.

10-09-2008 02:45:02 | More by sgoodship
Photo of champ103


3.35/5  rDev -12.1%

A: Pours a deep amber color. That perfect nitro-tap, finger and a half head forms that does not recede. Lots of spiderweb looking lace.
S: Malty with some caramel and nutty aromas. Not a lot of depth, but pleasant none the less.
T: A really sweet caramel and peat flavor. Very cloying. Not much depth.
M/D: Unlike most other nitro-tap beers, this has a rich a creamy texture. A medium body, and just a little watery. So smooth and easy to drink. A session beer for me.

I used to really enjoy this. It was a staple of mine at a pub. Though, my tastes have changed. Not a bad beer on nitro, but pales in comparison to cask.

09-29-2008 02:30:51 | More by champ103
Photo of ATPete

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +5%

One hell of a show errupts after pouring a large Belhaven pub can into a pint glass. A large mass of foam settles to a perfect one finger white head that doesnt look like it will budge anytime soon atop with dark brown/orange brew. Candy sweet malts, it even smells like a beer straight from the tap. Creamy body, sweet roasty malts, much better than a bottle. . This drinks incredibly, and what an awesome look in the glass as you get down a few sips, extreme lacing. Medium fluffy body and very drinkable. I think im in love.

09-27-2008 01:56:21 | More by ATPete
Photo of chaunur


4.2/5  rDev +10.2%

On tap at the Pub in Louisville,
My second scottish ale, so now I have something to compare. My first was at Cally's in Harrisonburg VA. This wasn't quite as good although it was still very good (I think I'm really going to like scottish ales) The beer came well chilled but not overly so. It was a med reddish brown with a nice head that lasted for several minutes

To me it had a sort of semi sweet woody taste that I reallly enjoyed, not very hoppy and with a very smooth feel. Had several and cant wait to try other ales

09-23-2008 04:27:53 | More by chaunur
Photo of illidurit


3.6/5  rDev -5.5%

Nitro tap at 99 Bottles in Santa Cruz. Light caramel color, good clarity, massive thick lacing, great retention.
Bread crust malt aroma, toffee, some fruit.
Flavor is of sweet bread, apple juice, a touch of peat, toffee, grass.
Creamy body with low carbonation. Smooth but not flavorful enough for the thickness of the body. Very easy to drink.

09-19-2008 05:49:02 | More by illidurit
Photo of TeeCee


2.75/5  rDev -27.8%

Quick review - light in the mouth, hoppy tasting and smelling, but smoothes to a richer malt taste.

I poured it in a standard American pint glass as that's the type I keep in rotation. The color was red/brown with a medium head that dissipated quickly with respectable lacing as I drank.

It smelled rather hoppy which some may love but I'm a malty guy.

The taste was as hoppy as the smell led me to believe, sort of medium bitter. As the beer warmed (as the Saints lost), it developed a malty character. I would prefer this maltiness at the onset and developing an even more of a malty character.

The mouthfeel was rather thin. I was hoping for something thicker.

I am not a hops lover and the hops quality of this beer would prevent me from having it often much less having several. I would have to drink this beer warm to enjoy it to any degree and I'm just not having that.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 20:33:23 | More by TeeCee
Photo of superdedooperboy


4.1/5  rDev +7.6%

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a pint glass.

Deep, murky copper appearance with a well-formed off-white head that slowly mellows into a full cap of foam, leaving thick splotches of lacing down the walls of the glass.

Herbal, resinous, piney aromas come forth in the nose, along with a whiff of toasted malt.

Rich, creamy mouthfeel with a bold body full of toffee and toasted biscuit, along with slight undertones of dark chocolate and a faint hop bitterness. A nice, long, sweet semi-dry finish follows.

Drinkability is perfect. Alcohol content is in just the right range, and the flavors meld perfectly to leave you wanting to quaff another. This would make a perfect session beer.

09-12-2008 02:32:09 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of tedsox31


4.05/5  rDev +6.3%

Figured I'd follow up my tap review with a nitro-can review. Eventually I'll get around to drinking another bottle of it, and then I'll review that as well.

Appearance is similar to the tap I had last night. It pours a nice dark red or brown color, with a good head to it that is slow to dissipate. It does dissipate though, unlike the tap version.

Smell is quite similar also. I can pick up coffee, malts, and the cream smell.

Taste is just different enough to make it not quite as good. There is something a little thinner about it, maybe it is the head dissipating quicker or something. I can still taste coffee and chocolate and cream, but everything seems a bit paler.

Mouthfeel, likewise, is thinner. There is still a full body to it, but it is not quite the same.

Overall, a very quaffable version of the on-tap. It is very drinkable and I would gladly have seconds and thirds.

09-10-2008 01:10:14 | More by tedsox31
Photo of phantomwyse


3.93/5  rDev +3.1%

A: Light caramel copper color with light frothy, patchy head with heavy sheet lacing.

S: Biscuit and bready malts lead into a sugary sweetness with a touch or earthy spice ending with a floral hop flourish in the background.

T: Hearty malts with caramel and an underlying smokiness. Light fruitiness comes into play in the middle with a bit of pine flowing past at the bitter end.

M: Nice and creamy with carbonation.

D: A well mannered gentlemen and enjoyable.

09-09-2008 13:35:18 | More by phantomwyse
Photo of Herrbrokt


4.53/5  rDev +18.9%

From bottle into snifter.

an Orange-red Brown with small beige head that falls off quick.

Subtle sweet malts, hard to find anything particular to define?

Taste is soft but wonderful. Nuts, grape caramel and this wonderful hop dryness that balances the whole thing. MMM

Mouthfeel is superb. Light but not watery.

I downed this one before I knew it was there almost.
I could drink these all day long. NICE

09-08-2008 02:52:49 | More by Herrbrokt
Photo of Jayli


4/5  rDev +5%

This beer poured a nice ruby color, roughly 1 inch white head to it. There is a scent of roasted malt that finished with a hint of hops. The flavor was more of the same, roasted malt with a nicely balanced hop finish. The mouthfeel was smooth, with long-lasting flavor.

09-06-2008 21:48:18 | More by Jayli
Photo of RodBurg


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

Poured out of the bottle into a pint glass. Clear brown/amber in color with a light tan head that left a little lacing on the glass.

Aromas of toasty malt, caramel, nutty bread and a light hops hit me.

Tastes of sweet, bready malt and caramel. The malt finishes with a little hop flavor. Has a medium body and a good carbonation.

Very good Scottish ale. This'll read like a commercial. The next time I'm in the mood for a malty brew, I'm reaching for Belhaven.

09-06-2008 15:31:27 | More by RodBurg
Photo of thekevlarkid


4.13/5  rDev +8.4%

Poured out of the can an amber/copper color with a tan head. Head didn't last long but it did retain the ring it left behind very well and this laced nicely. The aroma is sweet and malty with a rich soil undertone. Robust beer with a good mouthfeel, flavors are sweet malts, nuts, slightly bitter and dry. Very much a classic ale and distinctly European in style. Medium carbonation with a soft, medium body. Well balanced in every well and quite enjoyable. A little expensive as a six pack but for a brew ordered at a restaurant (Thanks Vanessa of Ri Ra!) it's worth the price.

08-20-2008 17:30:21 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of AKBelgianBeast


3.55/5  rDev -6.8%

Pours out of the widet can with a typical nitro head of creamy tiny white bubbles. Nose is damn near non-existent, but what there is is copper and slight peat. Malty flavor, thin, some peat and very slight smoke. Really kind of bland here. Mouthfeel is typical nitro, thin, milky, slick, watery. Drinkability is good, as this one is quite slammable. I think this is an ideal beer for session drinking after youve had more than a few good ones, and have a screwed palate. Good for its purpose, but not one to get excited about.

08-13-2008 00:47:46 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of kinger


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Draught Can, 5.2% abv, this is a spectacular ale. Creamy pour that ends up a medium copper/amber with an enormously thick fluffy head and some signs of sticky lacing. Aroma is sweet with a nice bread-like quality. Semi-thick mouthfeel that finishes full and smooth. Flavor is great, nice and malty agian with a nice bread tone. Slightly bitter but hardly noticeable. This is a great example for a Scottish "Pub" Ale.

08-04-2008 22:10:40 | More by kinger
Photo of Pencible


3.83/5  rDev +0.5%

This poured a clear, dark mahogany with off-white head. It smelled like watery toffee and caramel malts, with wild barley and slight copper hops. It tasted mostly like earthy caramel malt, with a hint of sour cherry and copper hops. It was watery with moderate carbonation, and had a bitter/sour aftertaste. Overall this was a good old fashioned ale that was easy enough to drink, but could have been cleaner.

08-03-2008 23:57:04 | More by Pencible
Photo of PatrickJR

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Reddish copper, clear, with 1-2 fingers of off white head. Moderate retention. Head falls to a film that persists throughout and leaves moderate lace.

S - Enticing malt aroma of caramel, butter, a little rum, and a suggestion of apples and pears.

T - The sweet caramel and butter, almost chocolate, overtones are most prevalent, but the beer sort of weakens near the finish. The sweet malt is broken down by a strange accompaniment of earthy, citrus hops. A lemon-pith bitterness prevails.

M - Moderate to high carbonation with a light to medium body that thins out during each sip.

D - A nice, low ABV malt fix with a beautiful sweetness. It's too bad the entire brew falls apart late palate.

08-03-2008 07:38:23 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of hooligan


4.08/5  rDev +7.1%

Tap poured to a ruby beer, thin white soapy lace that stuck to the side of the glass.

Smell is clean, green apples and toasted bread.

Big savory malt profile upfront like rye toast, settling down to a subtle caramel sweetness as you enjoy this beer. Just enough hop to cut through the sweetness.

This beer is chewy, excellent thick mouthfeel without being too cloying.

This is the beer I order the most of at my corner pub. It's easy to drink and never fails to put a smile on my face. However, I can't help but thinking it's not a Scottish ale as much as it's a Scottish rendition of a Brown Ale. Who cares? It's fantastic.

07-22-2008 00:22:25 | More by hooligan
Photo of SetarconeX


3.58/5  rDev -6%

Decent looking. Smells oddly sweet without actually managing to smell too malty. Not really sure how it does that.

Tastes a bit weird. There's a really odd bitterness here. Maybe it's just some sort of hop I'm not used to, maybe this brew sat out in the sun too long, but there's a strange flavor to it. Sort of like the hops were muddy.

Not a bad beer, but since it cost me a whopping 12 bucks for a six pack, I'm not sure I'll be quick to come back to this one.

07-15-2008 00:45:26 | More by SetarconeX
Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 1,557 ratings.