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

1,493 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,493
Reviews: 803
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 32
Gots: 59 | 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)
View: Beers (25) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Belhaven Scottish Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,493 | Reviews: 803 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yeastpuppet

New Jersey

2.78/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark amber , with full head that rapidly drops leaving fine lacing . Dark amber in color .

Faint smell of malt . I'm thinking this beer was mishandled . Card board smell , slight fruit .

Bitterness up front , very little malt flavor .A lack of complexity .

Feels light for a scotch ale . bummer .Good carbonation though .

I'd expected more from this beer , maybe I have a cold coming on .
'cause I usually enjoy the style .
Harumph ..

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 23:16:33 | More by yeastpuppet
Photo of JohnnyDuvel


3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew started out predictably, with a carmel-like nose and deep golden hue. Unfortunately, that was the best part. The beer is thin, and has a strange, almost metallic taste. It doesn't improve as it goes, either. This is not a very good beer IMO. I really like the Wee-Heavy, but I won't buy this one again.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2007 03:44:24 | More by JohnnyDuvel


4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber - bronze colored beer. 1 1/2" beige head. Retains well for a few minutes and settles into a solid cap. Very good lacing.

S - Fruity malt.

T - Rich malt. Earthy. Brown sugar. Touch of smokiness - very natural. Lightly hopped, but plenty enough to balance. Sweetness in flavor not in the finish - a plus to me. Definite nuttiness in the finish. Good malty beer with some complex malt flavors.

M - Full bodied with a mid level of carbonation.

D - Excellent drinkability -- I will always like this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2007 20:55:07 | More by MUSHROOMCLOUD
Photo of BuckSpin


3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a stunning, rich amber hue, thick yet crystal clarity, bourbon like, warm a little rudy. Some very subtle carbonation rose slowly from the bottom of the thistle glass used for presentation.

Head was a pinky's worth of mixed almond hued foam that slowly faded yet laced at the edges.

Subtle, soft woods, some biscuits, yeasted qualities initially on the nose, sweet like caramel, some straw, wet pavement or earth...nice.

Its a little sharp and somewhat bitter initially, soft, some subtle burnt sugars, but otherwise a tad understanded, almost a bit boring. Maybe a trace of some oakiness, a nice bitter quality but overall watery, dull, not what I've come to know from a Scottish Ale. The aftertaste is a bit dull, slightly chalked and filmy, maybe a bit bittersweet.

I've had the nitro can version of this and far prefer that to the bottle. While admittedly a very pretty beer, the taste is lacking, especially for the genre. This is more of a ESB than Scottish Ale. No real rich malts or strong burnt sugars, or any peatiness or earthy tones outside the nose. I'm actually quite bummed out. Outside of the admittedly pleasing bitter quality there isn't much here. Too bad.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2007 00:51:43 | More by BuckSpin
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep reddish amber color, clear. Moderate head, mild carbonation. Pretty color.

Floral sticky honey/toffee apple grape. Candy, molasses. Rich bready malt with mild mild hop traces.

Thick molasses dextrose brown sugar honey. Balanced by modest bouquet of bitterness and citrus. Deeply infused roasted/burnt/smoky element.

Mild carbonation and foamation. Fairly thick and sticky.

A most enjoyable experience drinking this brew. Hearty and stiff yet sweet and complex.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2007 05:58:04 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of tonistruth


4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from can to glass at Freakin' Frog (Las Vegas,NV)

A- two finger white creamy head, great retent, light copper color, creamy lacing

S- malts, clean and sweet, cream as well

T- creamy sweet, caramel malts, pine hops balancing the malt sweetness, toasted malts, nitro sweetness wears off with warmth, then brew really shines

M- mid body, creamy, low carbonation

D- highly drinkable and sessionable (and what a session it would be), though not my preference, the nitro scottish ale thing is interesting and delicious, i prefer w/o nitro, but I'm still recommending this brew

Serving type: nitro-can

02-04-2007 20:51:28 | More by tonistruth
Photo of stegmakk

New York

3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the best looking beers ever.
Poured a beautiful dark copper with a head that resembled a layer of cream. It stayed for the whole glass, and left a nice sheet of lacing down the glass.
Aroma and taste were malty and goood. The taste was well blended and was not mild. A little sweet, a little nutty. Finished dry but good.
It went down with a nice creaminess. I could have drank a few of these in one sitting.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2007 02:23:04 | More by stegmakk
Photo of Vancer


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The ol’ nitro can really adds a flair to the brew – that was quite a cascading show of thick, creamy ivory head. All floating on top of a semi-clear amber brown pour. Just yummy.

Notes of sweet malt and caramel in the sniff, followed by a enjoyable quaff session of woody/nutty and a role in the hay. Still fairly sweet to start, but finished nicely with a lil’ hop pop. Not heavy, but a noticeable surge of sweet sugar and molasses.

An extremely creamy brew, but at 5.2% this makes for a decent session drinker. I was a little bummed when the 440ml/14.9oz can ran dry. (WTF is up with 440ml? Just make it an even 500. Geez!)

Serving type: nitro-can

01-25-2007 13:41:05 | More by Vancer
Photo of dstc


3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Rich amber color with nice foamy head the disappeared quickly leaving nice lacing behind.

S: Rich, sweet and a bit malty.

T: Found it to be a bit bitter but didn't mind it much. Nice full flavor.

M: Very carbonated and nice and creamy.

D: Overall a decent deer, this is something I come back to every now and then.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2007 18:47:02 | More by dstc
Photo of ChainGangGuy


2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a brownish-amber body with an off-white head that is thin and short-lived.

Smell: Flimsy, weak aroma of watered down caramel and, to my surprise, green apples.

Taste: Light, biscuity malt flavor along with some vague wooden notes and hints of sour green apples. Some faint hops spring up late into the already short finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body with a carbonated mouthfeel that reminds me of a soda.

Drinkability: Disappointing and fairly unremarkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2007 04:50:44 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of beveritt


3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 440ml/14.9oz nitro-can into an Imperial pint glass. The can depicts some brewery scenes and contains instructions on how to pour the beer. Apparently I a;ready screwed up because I didn't wait for the head to rise int he can prior to pouring.

Appearance: Pours cloudy, then reverse waterfalls into 3/4 inch of extremely creamy, off white head. The beer itself is a nice copper color and completely clear.

Smell: Sweet, caramelized malt with just a hint of floral hops.

Taste: Slightly sweet, subtle malt flavor with undertones of smokiness. A little bitterness, but not much. All in all, most of the flavors I expect from a Scottish ale are here, they just seem muted.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and thick, as most nitro offerings are.

Drinkability: Not bad, but all in all, nothing outstanding here. I think many of the bottled Scottish ales are better and offer a maltier flavor.

Serving type: nitro-can

01-07-2007 01:45:33 | More by beveritt
Photo of eberkman


4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice, clear copper into a pint glass, leaving a creamy one-finger light beige head that dissipates to a film, but leaves lacing as you go. Smell is a sweet maltiness -- some caramel and cookie there too. The taste is a malty smoothness with the kind of creaminess you expect from a good ale from the British Isles, balanced out by a slightly dry, hoppy finish. Feels a little thin in the mouth, but exceptional drinkable. A great session beer and one I love to have around.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2007 19:23:21 | More by eberkman
Photo of zuggy9


4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale pours a rich brown and a thick head with nice retention and some lacing. Its aroma is filled with malt, as well as caramel and chocolate qualities. The taste is full of sweet and bready qualities, with a little bit of hops. Very candy like in many ways. It has a good medium body and is rather creamy. The finish is quite dry, more some than you would expect. Very drinkable!

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2007 21:34:54 | More by zuggy9
Photo of Phatz


4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Belhaven Scottish Ale is style I really enjoy drinking. I could easily drink this all night at a party or have one or two at a lunch; in the summer or the winter it is a beer that is really flexible. It is not surprising or explosive in any way, it is simply easy drinking goodness from start to finish.

Appearance: Pours a crimson amber color with a beige head and loads of lacing.

Smell: Sweet brown sugar dissolved into browned butter and caramel malts make a rich red amber Scottish nose that is gentle but rich and luscious and seductively sweet.

Taste: Sweet smooth easy caramel malts glide across the plate. It is a simple approachable straightforward flavor but there is a hint of peaty smoked malt attribute along with the caramel and bread flavors.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth medium body. The carbonation is low which aids to the exceptional creaminess.

Drinkability: I could drink this any time of day or night under any circumstance. A favorite ... no ... but a very flexible friendly beer no doubt.

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2007 09:34:39 | More by Phatz
Photo of kernalklink


3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy amber with big head and a lot of lace. A burnt caramel malt aroma dominated- not much else. Good blending on the taste, balancing the slight malt character with the finish. Slightly watery on the backend. All in all clean, refreshing and unoffensive. A solid dinner brew and easy to down couple.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2006 20:25:05 | More by kernalklink
Photo of beeragent


4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer poured a light copper, forming a nice 1 1/2 inch head, that only faded slightly, leaving very nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet, with a slight nutty mix to it. The taste is exceptional! Nice creamy nutty flavor. Not overpowering, but just enough to taste. The mouthfeel is medium. For a session beer, this one ranks at the top. Very easy to drink. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2006 07:14:56 | More by beeragent
Photo of CH3CH2OH

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Rich malt, herbal aroma in a rich, red-gold pour with a mousse-like head. Taste is sweet malt upfront with just enough bitterness to offset, finishing with a light carbonic bite. Some woodiness in flavor and faint kettle carmelization. Light mouthfeel and very drinkable. I happen to be drinking it with a beef stew and the sweet malt offsets the salty, thick stew very well.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2006 18:19:35 | More by CH3CH2OH
Photo of BeerSox


4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into mug.

Light copper color hue. A light tan frothy head slowly settles to a thick foamy cap. Layers of stringy lacing.

Grainy malt aromas and a little bit of light sweet fruity notes. Hints of honey from yeast products.

Cracker like malts create the bass for the sweet honey like flavors and light hop bitterness. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. The finish is mostly clean, but a little bit of dry grainy malts and leafy bitterness shortly linger.

I'll admit that I don't know much about this style, but as far as off flavors or unpleasantness this beer doesn't have them. See for yourself.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2006 04:40:14 | More by BeerSox
Photo of mwagner1018


3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Poured a nice coppery, burnt orange, unfiltered honey appearance....nice light airy head, about 2 fingers, pours a very clean nice looking beer.

Smell- Initial but quickly dissipating, creamy, sense of nutmeg/caramel/slight honey. Good, but was not highly impressed, lack of complexity and strength of smell.

Taste- Very carbonated, nice creamy initial drink, but overpowered by a watery texture. Some slight taste of a nutty malted mild caramel.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation overpowers the initial creaminess, light and airy on the tounge.

Drinkability- Not bad, but not overly impressed...I would love to try this brew in the can or on tap...I think it would improve the overall release of flavors and smells. Decent, and recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2006 22:47:31 | More by mwagner1018
Photo of IdentityAles


3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Served in a presentable 16 oz widget can. Carmel candy sweetness, and graininess in the aroma and flavor. Nice reddish hue to otherwise brown body with long lasting, fluffy head (very inviting). Creamy, smooth mouthfeel goes excellent with the flavor profile.

Serving type: nitro-can

12-03-2006 12:08:42 | More by IdentityAles
Photo of BeerForMuscle

New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - When poured, fills the glass with an intriguing deep amber color. A light tan, one finger head proceeds the always entertaining reverse cream waterfall of the common nitro-canned beer.

S - This ale smells like one would imagine it does. A sweet and creamy, malty aroma can be taken in. This ale is not potently aromatic yet elicits a comfortable and homey scent.

T - From the first sip, to the last, the mouth is filled with a perfect combination of malty, earthy, sweet, and smokey flavors. The taste makes me think I might be drinking this ale inside one of the buildings on the front of the can. Definitely a comforting and delicious brew.

M - The mouthfeel is light and very creamy. The nitro can delivers the finest carbonation ratio and allows for a soft, silky ride from your lips to your stomach.

D - The drinkability of Belhaven Scottish Ale is top shelf. It's so smooth and creamy and is a great session beer.

Notes - I've yet to be dissapointed and will continue to include this beer among my favorites. Anyone interested in beer at all should give this a try, whereas it can be easily respected for its fine tuned characteristics, and high quality throughout.

Serving type: nitro-can

11-27-2006 04:39:56 | More by BeerForMuscle
Photo of Budlum


3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a huge, rich, cascading head when poured pub style. (Thanks to Dave at Zeno's for the lesson.) After settling, the creamy, tan head holds at one half inch for most of a glass. The body is a light copper color with excellent clarity. This looks damn good for a non-draft serving.

The nose of this ale is very light. Sweet, malty smells with a very nutty profile are dispensed in a creamy smell. Not a whole lot to offer for the olfactory senses.

Flavors start out nutty and malty with only a touch of hops. Earthy notes add some oak flavors for a bit of complexity. The finish is creamy and smooth with a lot of nut flavors. Very mild throughout.

Mouthfeel is excellent from the nitro-can. This ale is very low in carbonation and amazingly creamy on the tongue. Purchasing bottles with the nito-can available would be a waste.

Drinkability is excellent. This is a very nice representation for the style. It would be very easy to finish a four-pack of the cans during a football game or movie.

Serving type: nitro-can

11-20-2006 03:01:55 | More by Budlum
Photo of hckyfn9999


4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out of a nitro can a clear, deep reddish amber color. I love watching the nitro pour settle, doesn't look as good as Guinness settling but looks good none the less. A perfect thick head with great retention as nitros usually do.

Smell is of sweet bread-like toasty malt, ripe fruit, and a little bit of spice.

Taste is more of the same. Pretty strong fruit flavor with some malty sweetness and some smoke as well. Also a little bit of hops bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with little carbonation as expected from a nitro.

Overall a pretty drinkable and a solid brew.

Serving type: nitro-can

11-19-2006 04:38:37 | More by hckyfn9999
Photo of KevPet84


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

The draft can, got to love them! Anyway, the mouthfeel and the smell of this beer is better in the can compared to the bottle. The creamy head on the beer was perfect and laced heavily on the glass. The taste was of earthy, meaning oak and roasted malts, light on the hops for me but still had great taste in my book. It is a good medium to heavy bodied beer that you can enjoy with a heavy meal. Mine happened to be pizza.

Serving type: can

11-17-2006 22:00:42 | More by KevPet84
Photo of phishgator


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

Had this at Dwyer's Irish Pub. Served with on a nitro-tap. Came out creamy with a large foamy, thick head that dissipates quickly. The flavor is nice and mellow. A nice malt dominance. There's not much else in there, a slight hop presence, but notenough to balance. This is for someone who wants the malty beer without it being overly sweet. The body is medium and I drink this all night when I'm out.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-14-2006 00:19:09 | More by phishgator
Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 1,493 ratings.