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Belhaven Scottish Ale - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Belhaven Scottish AleBelhaven Scottish Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,744 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,744
Reviews: 838
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 45
Gots: 165 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 08-07-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,744 | Reviews: 838
Photo of jporf911
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no freshness date provided.

Appearance- 4 out of 5. This beer is a clear medium brown with a pronounced reddish tint when held up to the light. A creamy white two finger head leaves a decent layer of lacing all around the beer into which multiple streams of carbonation bubbles slowly rise from the bottom, like the gas bubbles in Scottish peat swamps of days gone by.

Smell- 4 out of 5. Semi-sweet caramel malt mixes with a darker nutty flavor in the nose with undertones of peppery hops, smokiness, and a slight smell of sulfur. It's a lot like freshly-baked beer bread.

Taste- 4 out of 5. This is the kind of beer that makes me want to shout "GET IN MY BELLY!" in a Fat Bastard voice. It begins with a bit of caramel malt that soon fills the whole mouth like biting into a thick hunk of bread slathered in honey and butterscotch (from the diacetyl compounds); later, the malt deepens to a smokey, woody character. The smokiness isn't strong; it's more like looking into the woods at dusk and seeing the smokey traces of a distant fire rising above the darkening trees. The hops hardly have any bitterness at all and instead impart a somewhat peppery taste.

Mouthfeel- 4 out of 5. A cunning combination of creamy and crisp. For all its complex flavors, it's a surprisingly smooth beer.

Drinkability- 4 out of 5. Belhaven Scottish Ale looks good, smells good, tastes good, and feels good enough to drink all night. Not much else needs to be said except "Lang may yer lum reek!" (which is apparently a Scottish phrase wishing prosperity and long life; I think it literally translates to "long may your chimney smoke).

Photo of levifunk
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - cloudy brown color, head dies down immediately.

s - dark fruits, malts, and a little alcohol.

t - a dry peppery malt flavor. light raisin flavor. its an interesting flavor...

m - medium light body. sharp carbonation.

overall - not sure I'd want to drink this very often. The pepper flavor is interesting, but a little off putting.

Photo of July2Nov
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy amber like color with low carbonation, a slight head and a light lacing.

Smell: Sweet, honey and doughy scents are prominent. With a slight peppery citrus nose. Excellent!

Taste & Mouthfeel: sweet and peppery maltiness right off, with a smoked, roasted nut taste. Buttery biscuit notes also creep up. Dry hops near the end. Not overly complex. However it is very refreshing. Slight metallic aftertaste that also has a sweet syrupy linger.

Drinkability: Seeing as the brewery dates back to 1719, i can see why they've had lasting power. Very good traditional taste. Would come back to this one again.

Photo of Erish
3.32/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured this 16.9 oz. bottle into an English pint glass.

A: Coppery color, nice foamy head, long lasting lace.

S: Plenty of British hops and yeast, very malty and a little smoky.

T: Soy sauce, dry grain, not very hopped, yeast, molasses, and dry, smoked grain in the middle, the hops are more evident in the finish, as well as some sort of unidentified smoky funk.

M: Slick, moderate carbonation, challenges the pallet rather than refreshing it.

D: I was somewhat disappointed by this brew. I look forward to trying it on tap, though.

Photo of uustal
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A bit of a Caramel aroma. Light and creamy body. Sweet malts to start. Hints of caramel and fruit deep in the beer as well. Also a bit of scotch flavor in there. Ends a with a little dryness and hoppy aftertaste. Pretty standard European-style/Scottish Ale

Photo of sluggermatt15
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a light mahogany color. Some brownish and orange when held up to the light. Off white lacing and small two fingered head after the pour.

S- Malts, some caramel, sweetness, and some fruits come to mind.

T- Malty taste here with a hint of fruits. Just a little watery, but no bitterness to speak of. You can slightly taste the alcohol, but it is hidden. Solid taste for a Scottish Ale.

M- Some carbonation, not a ton. Feels a little watery.

D- Drinkable. Would be willing to drink a few in one sitting. No overwhelmingly alcohol taste adds to this category.

Being of Scottish decent, I had to try this one and I really enjoyed it. I have a knack for Scottish Ales and if you like them too, give this one a shot because you won't be disappointed.

Photo of JMad
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 16.9 oz bottle into a glass mug.

It looks clear dark brown, had a fluffy 2 finger head that left a lot of lacing.

The scent was of sweet nutty malt, just a hint of hops.

Taste was kind of woody, nutty, and malty.

This beer is a classic, very light for the flavor, perfect amount of carbonation.

Very drinkable, could have some nice sessions with this brew.

Photo of Bfarr
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear red amber with tan creamy head that is still apparent at the very end. Creamy and nutty aroma with a bit of heather. Taste is malty nut-flavored cream. After a few sips the taste begins to be watered down. The mouthfeel is very creamy while you can take in some of the head with the beer but becomes very thin when the foam separates.

I really wanted to like this beer. It looked and smelled great but the taste thinned out way too much to make it really flavorful. Not bad, just not anything special.

Photo of SShelly
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Verdugo.

Pours medium amber, crystal clear with big cascading head, really nice looking beer.

Aroma is light and malty, enticing, lightly fruity.

Flavor follows the aroma pretty close, nicely malty with medium fruit and a nice sweet finish. Leaves a long lastig sweetness on the pallett.

A bar standard, easy drinking and tasty, I tend to overlook it on a stacked list but it hasn't let me down yet.

Photo of mcdevster
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought this on a whim and glad i did..
it pours reddish brown with a nice almost white head.. small bubbles mixed with larger, ultimately leaving a nice lacing on the pint glass i was using..
the first smell was very nice - yes we have malts here.. yes sweet yes caramel almost like a brown ale.. the flavor is pretty straight forward and tasty but with enough complexity to keep things interesting.. mostly malts a little floral hops - pretty much what i was expecting from a beer from the isles.. this is highly drinkable with a slightly thin but pleasant mouthfeel.. it has a nice lingering sweet finnish.. overall, a nice surprise.

Photo of DarrinRasberry
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Tan with a thick head that lasts. Pretty good-looking, inviting beer.

S: Malts and grass with a surprisingly fruity whiff. Sweet apple pie actually comes to mind.

T: Nice caramel flavor to this one! Not much of the fruit advertised in the nose, although I do pick up some raisins. Could definitely get into Scotch ales. I like it.

M: A little thin, if not watery.

D: Could session this one easily at ~5% ABV. Definitely want to try others of the style.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Comes out of the bottle a nice translucent dark amber with a fairly thick whitish head. Aroma is fairly strong and malty with a fruity hint. Flavor is malty and refreshing, a good accompaniment to a meal. Texture is smooth and fairly fizzy, leaving behind a nice tingly finish.

Photo of udubdawg
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a hazy copper/brown color. The head is finely bubbled, high, and leaves quite good lace behind as it fades to a ring by mid glass.

nose is more full of fruit than I expected but not unpleasant or that far out of style. Decent amount of lightly toasted malt, the faint diacetyl is OK, no hop aroma or earthy/peaty aromas noted.

Perhaps a little more malt sweetness than ideal, but it finishes pretty dry and more toasty and the minor flaw is ignored. In fact it probably helps the minor diacetyl with the perception of butterscotch I'm getting. Hop bitterness is pretty invisible until the finish when it is moderately low but mostly balances the malt.

Light in body, soft carbonation, an easy drinker for sure. Nothing about it particularly screams "scottish!" to me, but that's hardly a measure of the beer's worth. I'll have it again...and in fact, right now.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.19/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a solid amber color with a big 'ol creamy white head, stands tall for a long time. Dissipates pretty slow.

The aroma is classically hearty, with dark, dry wheat, nutty malt, grassy herbs and tangy yeast notes. Just about right.

Nutty, toasty malts are balanced perfectly with very hearty herbal and zesty dry, wheat.

The feel is lively, full and crisp.

This one is a great brew all-around, easy drinking, full of flavor and I love hearty brews. Classic.

Photo of thegodfather2701
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a nice amber color with a thick off white foamy head that lasts forever. The had leaves some beautiful lacing up and down the glass.

S-Not much on the nose, some malts and a hint of hops.

T-Caramel, some floral flavors, and ends with a lingering bitterness. Nice balance between hops and malts.

M-Thick and creamy.

D-I could drink this all day long. I love this beer on nitro-tap.

Overall, very good beer in my opinion. Its not challenging or complex, just an easy drinking ale. I get this every time its available at Finnegan's Wake.

Photo of LittleCreature
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Note: My bottle says it's 3.9%, which seems more in-line with the style description.

Appearance - 4.5
The creamy beige head settles at one finger's thickness over a clear, copper-brown body. Impressive head retention and left a few rings of lace.

Smell - 4.0
Smooth and malty, aromas of biscuity English malt, grain and a little caramel. Not a strong aroma, but this is expected.

Taste - 3.5
Quite interesting how the low level of hops brings out an earthy complexity from the malt (this may be my first Scottish Ale). Lots of sweet, malty hard toffee and biscuit flavour, quite clean with little yeast character and moderately bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel - 3.5
A little thin, as can be expected for one so small, and carbonation is a little prickly. I am probably drinking it a little too cold (half an hour out of the fridge on a cool day) and it should smooth out with increased temperature.

Drinkability - 4.5
An excellent session beer for anyone craving something richly malty without a lot of alcohol.

A lovely malty beer that would surely be better still on cask.

Photo of flagmantho
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: deep, clear, rich amber-orange color with a finger of ivory foam. I really like the look of this beer.

Smell: sweet, toasty, biscuity malt aroma. It's not my favorite aroma profile, but it seems well-balanced and well-crafted.

Taste: sweet, toasty and biscuity malt. Balance is more toward malt, but there is a very nice bitterness toward the end. I would call this a nicely balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a relatively high level of carbonation. This yields a nice, creamy body which I happen to like.

Drinkability: while I'm not a big fan of such a heavy hand with the biscuit malt, I am finding this to be a highly quaffable and refreshing beverage. I would have this again.

Photo of samie85
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is reviewed from notes; originally reviewed 4/24.

A-Pours a clear amber with a tan head. Leaves some lacing.

S-Smells peaty and scotch-like with a gentle earthiness to it.

T-Mainly that peaty, scoth-like character with some mild caramel and earthy hop notes.

M-Very smooth and on the thicker side of medium bodied but ample carbonation keeps this one from feeling too heavy.

D-This is one of those styles that always seems to underwhelm a bit, but I ultimately enjoy them. This is very similar to the other scottish ales I've had in terms of taste and mouthfeel and probably the model on which others are built.

Photo of JuggaloPhatMatt
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Belhaven Brewery is Scotland's oldest surviving independent brewery, dating back to 1719. Belhaven Scottish Ale is a fully rounded ale, a complex mix of malt and hop producting Belhaven's easily recognised malted and nutty flavour. The Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd., Dunbar, Scotland.
You don't stick around making beer for close to 300 years unless you're doing something right. So I have high hopes for this beer.
The tasting notes: Pours a hazy amber brown, there are visual yeasty floaties rising and falling, there is decent carbonation but not much of a head which recedes to leave some lacing behind. The nose is a malty/nutty aroma. Flavor/mouth nutty, very creamy, it starts out sour upfront, then is turns smooth and about two seconds later the bitterness hits you. This beer is sessionable with an ABV of 5.2%. It's a good beer and i want another to bad i only bought one when i was mixing ang matching a six pack.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.93/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Light brown color, a little bit of ruby in the light. Not a big fan of the metallic aroma.

Kind of a weak profile for the style. Minimal smoke or thickness. No alcohol feel to it, which is a plus I guess. Its really, uh, boring? I wouldn't call it sessionable, because it just doesn't resonate with me, the malt, hopping, just don't feel up to par. And expensive to boot? Pass.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear amber/red with a perfectly white head that leaves lots of lacing and sticks around for a while

S- Caramel malts are dominant. Some floral hops are also there.

T- Big on caramel and biscuit. Hops are only strong enough to balance this beer perfectly.

D- Super drinkable. This beer is a true classic.

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: It poured clear amber in color with a thick, creamy white head. A moderate level of carbonation is visible; the head retention is very good.
S: The smell isn't very pronounced but has aromas of caramel malts and earthy hops.
T: There's a rich flavor of malts in the taste along with some hints of nutty and smoky flavors.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate.
D: This beer is easy to drink and quite sessionable.

Photo of rfabian
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass it forms a 1 inch head that produces moderate lacing. The appearance is amber and clear. The aroma is of toasted malt and a bit of spicy hops. The taste is dry and malty, slightly bitter. The feel is medium bodied with a clean finish.

This is a delicious and refreshing ale.

Photo of wolfinthemirror
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours golden amber almost like an IPA. very transparent, sizeable off white head.

smells of toffee, herbal hops, hints of vanilla, and maybe some toasted malt to top it all off.

penetrating through the creamy head, i get a bright nuttiness that gives way to a scotch whisky like sweetness. not too complex and apparent alcohol.

feels like an ordinary ale, nothing too special really.

I could definitely drink this, but i don't think it's anything special by any means, really ordinary. though it might be pretty good for scotland.

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper with an amber tint. It's a cloudy beer as well. Tons and tons of foam and lacing, making this beer very attractive!

Smell: I expected to find this beer malty, and it is as such with a caramel maltiness. However, I did not expect the hops, which I found as well. Sweet hops pervades throughout this beer. It's a very very good smell that doesn't need much else.

Taste/Mouthfeel: I like the taste. It's bitter, but sweet. Definitely caramel and hops, something I hadn't been used to. Farily complex, since it warms nicely and almost becomes a bit fruity, but only faintly. As for how this feels...holy cow! Amazing amazing creaminess make this as smooth as a baby's bottom! I hate to be cliché but I found this extraordinarily smooth! One of the best!

Drinkability: Another good pub brew!

Overall: The initial appearance raises expectations, as does the feel. Ultimately, this beer does not live up to those expectations, preventing a high A grade.

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Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 1,744 ratings.