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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

1,728 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,728
Reviews: 831
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 41
Gots: 158 | 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:
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: 1,728 | Reviews: 831 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JWolf
4.76/5  rDev +24.9%
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.

Photo of drtth
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of Daniellobo
2.82/5  rDev -26%
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.

Photo of jbertsch
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of plaid75
3.59/5  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.

Photo of lillitnn92
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of nickynick
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of BierFan
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Photo of BWH3
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of BeanBone
3.69/5  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.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of tone77
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

Photo of Tates
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of Offa
4.58/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

Photo of jsh420
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
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)

Photo of jbone78
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
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.


Photo of raoulduke37
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This has become my session brew of choice, and when entertaining other beer-inclined company.

Pours from a nitro-can thick and viscous. Opaque golden in color, like honey, with an off-white head that sticks all over the inside of my pint glass. A truly inviting pint.

Smells of fresh bread, like an Irish soda bread - nutmeg and even a little cinnamon balance out the floral hop component.

I absolutely love the taste of this beer - lightly malted but with a clear melon or cantaloupe component. You could drink this all day, and I frequently do. The nitro gives this a full body that's easy on the tongue. Reach for this one when you just want "a beer." It won't steer you wrong.

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

Poured a medium tan with a light red hue, a finger of solid tan head that reduces to a thin layer. Lacing is awesome though.

Smells of lightly roasted malts with some spice and peanut.

Taste is a nice balance of nutty malt and spice. Hop isn't very strong or noticeable, but the roasted malt is so smooth and nutty that it doesnt matter. Light spice in the finish, nutmeg maybe.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, very smooth and a bit syrupy.

Drinkability is high. Easy to finish, you can have a few of these with cloying. Flavor is great.

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

Appearance: Clear but has a dark amber color. Nice cream colored head at first but it broke up in the glass. Think this beer could have been sitting on the shelf a while.

Smell: Malty & sweet.

Taste: Definitely malty and faintly sweet, maybe caramel. Just a hint of fruitiness. Definitely reminds me some of the Belhaven Wee Heavy, but with less fruit flavor and more carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and slightly buttery.

Drinkability: Goes down very easy. Not sure if I'd try this one again since I'm a hop-head, but a great example of a beer that puts malt flavor at the forefront.

Photo of trentley87
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnt orange with sticky orange-yellow head. Some lacing. Very cloudy. Caramel and woody (aromas). Not incredibly appetizing to me personally. Very rich and malty flavor, lots of caramel notes. Much better than expected coming off of the aroma. Thick mouthfeel, lingering finish.

Not my personal favorite, but I'm coming off an ESB and a 4-month tasting hiatus. I'll try this one again.

Photo of armock
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a mahogany color with a tan head tat leaves lacing behind

S - Is of sweet malt with some caramel

T - Follows the nose caramel sweet malt

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - Nothing too exciting or bad about this beer its just a good easy to drink beer thats worth trying sometime

Photo of cudmud
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After pouring, this beer it produced a light-tan layer of foam, which was about two fingers thick. Next, a nice layer of lace stuck to the mug. This brew has a rich amber color; plus, this beer is quite clear. The hops are very light to the nose, but this beer has some nice fruit-like esters (perhaps apples). In addition, to the esters, the malt aromas are very noticeable. The malt really comes out in the flavor, which is a strong point of this beer. Likewise, the hops come out in the flavor. Overall, this beer does an excellent job of represneting this style.

Photo of benteach
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, a really good Scottish Ale.

Light brown in color with a thin head, but good lacing.

Smell is very pleasant, Malty, sugary, woodsy.

Taste is superb. Very clear notes of nuts, carmels, and toasted malt.

Very crafted beer, can't wait for the next one.

Photo of flexabull
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tall can courtesy of khiasmus, thanks again!

Pours a clear and bright bronze color with that perfect nitro head.

Aromas are of light tea, bread, and malts.

Taste is clean with a light malt and brewed tea flavor. There is some spices, and bready dough noted as well. Finish is crisp with some earthy hops.

Mouthfeel is nice, feels full, but not at all heavy.

Drinkability is good. All in all, a tasty session brew. I'd happily have another.

Photo of srrn
3.44/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear garnet color with pillowy head that reduces to lacing, nice

S: a hint of carmel malt not much going on here

T: Malt, a bit of earthiness which is nice then maybe some fruit, plumlike, hop bittering in the finish which lingers nicely

M: kind of thin I think,

D: quite good, I just think there are better beers out there

Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 1,728 ratings.