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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

1,506 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,506
Reviews: 803
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.91%
Wants: 33
Gots: 66 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,506 | Reviews: 803 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RBorsato


4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tawny brown in color with a nice creamy light tan head, nice constant carbonation, and some lace rings. Light toasted nut aroma with some smoky character. Toasty nutty flavor dominates with lots of smoky characteristics with some chocolate notes shining through. Medium bodied and suprisingly smooth for low ABV with a dry smoky malty finish.

Very nice.

Per label: "since 1719"

Per Belhaven website: 3.9% ABV

(12 oz. / 355 ml brown bottle with "Belhaven" embossed around the neck 4 times)

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2006 21:06:42 | More by RBorsato
Photo of plaztikjezuz


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

Pours a deep copper with a lacy ivory head.
the aroma hints at dryed figs ,wisp of alcohol, malt, slight hop.
the flavor is malty with a grassy hop flavor with a steady bitterness that drops off in to a citrus tingle.
the mouthfeel is a little slippery
this beer is very drinkable but cooler weather would serve it best.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2005 04:01:13 | More by plaztikjezuz
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

There's no picture of Robbie Burns...

Label on the neck says "Imported from Scotland".

Main label has a picture of some old buildings and a horse-drawn carriage. It says:


Handcrafted in Scotland since 1719
16.9 fl.oz 500ml

Back label says
"The Belhaven brewery is Scotland's oldest surviving independent brewery, dating back to 1719. Scottish Ale is a complex mix of malt and hop producing Belhaven's easily recognised malty and nutty flavour."

A: Copper-amber, off-white creamy head, a little retention and lace.

S: Light malty aroma (caramel and nut).

T: Slightly sweet, caramel and nut, with a little peat.

M: Light body, higher than average carbonation.

D: It's like water, though the peat is a little harsh, and the carbonation is a little high.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2005 06:52:35 | More by Derek
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle. Belhaven Scottish Ale pours out a dark copper color with a small head. The aroma is toffee with a strange tangy citrus smell. Sweet toffee flavor with tangy fruit and a smokiness, which is sort of like peat and sort of like tobacco. Strong malt flavor, which is thick and chewy. The sour flavor is odd, but not bad. Just a little spicy in the finish. Mouthfeel is creamy. High carbonation. Interesting beer, but some may be put off by the weird tobacco flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2005 04:56:15 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of whynot44


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

Amber/copper colored with a creamy ivory "nitro" head.

Sweet malt aroma with a hint of caramel.

Medium bodied, rich malt flavor, fruity with a bit of caramel and smoke. A definite hops overtone and finish.

Smooth, creamy and drinkable. Would go well with hearty foods.

Serving type: nitro-can

12-23-2005 04:21:14 | More by whynot44
Photo of aforbes10


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

Belhaven in a nitro can is one of my dad's favorites, and he's an old scot so he should know what he's talking about.

Pour is good with a nice, thick creamy head that lasts for a while. Good, but not strong, odor. Texture is very smooth, almost creamy. Tastes nutty and hoppy. A fairly heavy brew, but you can still put several back in an evening if need be.

Serving type: nitro-can

12-16-2005 19:50:29 | More by aforbes10
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served at ten minutes over fridge temperature in a Duvel tulip. No freshness date on the bottle.

Appearance- A crystal clear deep amber glows brightly, with an off-white centimeter thick crown that settles to a thin mat in a few moments. Sporadic, medium lacing... spongy soft bubbles adorn the surface.

Smell- Stale sourdough bread meets cat pee... at first. Not at all the aroma I was expecting. As we warm a bit, vanilla and malts fight their way through the fog and lend a heavy, winey sweetness.

Taste- Vanilla, wood, faint smoke, and Scottish malts share the same stage... very nice. Approachable, yet nicely distinctive. Hops appear just perfectly in the finish to dry the palate for the next sip.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Sublime mouthfeel, super-easy in the mouth. There is a creaminess that works so well with the spices and overall taste of this beer, it's remarkable. The drinkability here is quite good, and would make a better choice than a Scotch Ale when enjoying a few on a cool Winter's eve.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 23:59:05 | More by yelterdow
Photo of jmz62565


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

This pours a dark amber almost reddish color with a smallish,but creamy head that lasts.The smell is very floral,earthy ,and full of yeast.Very fragrant and nice.The taste is a rich creamy malt filled brew.I do taste some spices,nutmeg and alittle cinnmon?,but it's very faint with the malt dominating this beer.The m/f is light and full flavored,but it does end a little weak and watery,my only complaint.All in all, this is a quality beer that I will look forward to in the future.
I would love to try this on tap.

Serving type: nitro-can

11-26-2005 00:52:47 | More by jmz62565
Photo of NClifestyle

North Carolina

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

The Belhaven Brewery Company -
This beer was poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Belhaven pours up a bright, clear amber color with tons of frothy head. Dissipates slowly, and leaves mounds of chunky bubbles, lots of thick lace. Smells of sweet malt, nutty aromas, and a touch of raisin and some earthy notes cross the nose. Taste of this ale is dominated by malt, with a hint of smoky or wood-like flavor, not unlike something you would find in a glass of scotch. The fruit is present, but far in the back of the mouth, and not overbearing. Caramel sneaks up on you as the beer warms, and is partially bittersweet, as malt and hops mellow. This taste is a distinctly scottish ale affair. The body of this beer is light to medium, not thick like a stout or porter, and it offers a gentle carbonation that adds to the slick mouthfeel. The finish is quite dry, although this beer offers an array of complex flavors. Belhaven is not a particularly strong scottish ale, checking in at 5.2%ABV, and the alcohol is not present.


Serving type: bottle

11-21-2005 17:40:16 | More by NClifestyle
Photo of HardTarget


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: Brown 500 ml bottle, no useful information but nice raised EST 1719 on the bottle

Aroma: Some mild peat notes in a sweet, slightly fruity smell. Some pears noted.

Appearance: Hazy red/brown glass, nice cream/tan finger of head that leaves rings of lace

Flavor: Balance is toward the sweet malt, as it should be, but still a nice balanced flavor. Hops aren’t tasted, but the malt doesn’t get close to cloying.

Mouthfeel: It’s a bit foamy, the carbonation level is a touch high.

Overall Impression: A very tasty brew! I’m not a fan of the style, but we tasted a lot of Scottish beers this evening and this seemed the most authentic and one of the best tasting!

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2005 04:35:41 | More by HardTarget
Photo of Winter


4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, not the nitro can.

Pours a clear deep coppery chestnut in color with a creamy light tan head. Sweet malty aroma with hints of raisin. You'll catch a whiff of alcohol and brown sugar. Aroma exhibits a caramel scent too, as the ale warms. Full-bodied mouthfeel with a pleasant carbonation that softens as it sits. Intriguing nutty and malty flavor that has an underlying smokiness to it. Some raisin and date flavors midway. Touch of alcohol. Finish has a robust tobacco-like taste to it. Excellent Scottish Ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2005 04:10:02 | More by Winter
Photo of jakester


4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at The Pike Cafe in Reading, Pa. It came, via nitro-tap, in a pint glass.

Arrives a clear red/amber with a beautiful slightly off-white head of incredibly tight foam, like shaving cream. This head sticks around for the whole beer. Fantastic lacing, covering the entire glass.

Aroma is clean dark caramely malt, definitely smoked, but not overly so, lightly bready, with a nice touch of floral hops in the background. Smells inviting.

First flavor is toasted brown sugar, peat smoked malt, caramel candy, not much hops, bittering or flavor; in other words, pretty damn close on style. Aftertaste is fairly short, sweet, and smoky.

Mouthfeel is medium at first, thinning slightly during the sip. Carbonation, or in this case nitrogenation(?), is very soft and creamy. Finish is smooth, rich, and delicate.

This is really good, way better than I was anticipating. Luscious, creamy, smooth, smokey. Malt is definitely at the forefront here, and the peat smoked part is an added attraction. Highly recommended.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-05-2005 13:17:15 | More by jakester
Photo of MaltyGoodness


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

12oz. bottle

Pours a nice orange-amber with a nice white head that fades. Looks nice, but just ordinary.

Smells sweet and malty. Smells like a nice Scottish ale.

Tastes sweet and malty, with a very bland aftertaste. Flavor is on the weak side. Nothing special.

Body seems a little thin for the style. I like my Scottish ales to be a little meatier.

I would not seek this out to drink again. There are better Scottish ales to be had.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2005 00:33:21 | More by MaltyGoodness


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

Deep almost glowing dark brownish red body. Head is quite large off white leaving about an inch of lace.

Nose is very earthy and full of deep woodsy malt. Herbal and nutty tones present as well.

First sip and I wonder if I got a fresh beer. Enters the mouth with blunt sour but yeilds quickly to earthy malt. Does mellow a bit on the following sips. Noticeable smokey nutty mouthfeel on the finish of the palate.

Not a bad beer as I may have so prematurely thought. It doesnt seem to gel well early on but mellows. Kind of speratic at points but you get used to it.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2005 03:50:48 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of Erdinger2003


4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is great nutty full flavored beer that I don't wanna put down. At first taste you can tell it's a scottish ale and as you start drinking it more and more it becomes even better giving you more flavor and great mouthfeel as you go. It smells wonderful to compliment all of it's other fine qualities.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2005 22:54:00 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of LPorter33


2.68/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Purchased a single can from Martignetti's

Appearance = great thick, milky creamy head that goes down to about 1/4'' and stays. Deep, clear amber. Very beautiful.

Smell = Strong scent of whisky/sctoch with a big malt backbone.A bit of sourness and smokiness too, like cured meat. I'm not a huge fan of this scent but I can apperciate it.

Taste = Taste follows the smell. Smoky, meaty taste like drinking smoked beef jerky or smoked turkey. Not that agreeable with my palate but I can see why others might enjoy it.

Overall = I'm not a fan of this style but I can appreciate this beer. It looks beautiful and I can see why some might like the taste. Personally though I did not enjoy it and would never try another one on my own.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-24-2005 03:30:51 | More by LPorter33
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 500ml [16.9 fl.oz] sturdy brown glass bottle that has raised quadra-placed embossed lettering on the bottles shoulder “Belhaven Est. 1719”. Neck label is a cream colored with thin gold lined border, as indeed is the main label which proudly states that the beer is Imported from Scotland. Labeled as Belhaven Scottish Ale. No strength listed on the label.

Appearance: Rustic dark orange copper body. Off white head that rises quickly and slowly reconciles to leave to a finger thick crispy covering. Average carbonation with smattered lacing.

Nose: Striking nose, soft peats, damp woods and sterilized soil. Funky, dirty yet clean. Warm and inviting.

Taste: Smoky malts, peat like entrance with some light hazelnut tints. There is that lingering taste though ……it’s a little annoying…….sort of a mix between smoky bacon, peat and TCP Antiseptic. Nice enough though.

Mouthfeel: Reasonably large body, the smoky peat builds well. Soft carbonation is resilient and the feel is fulfilling.

Drinkability: Easily quaffed, it feels like a middling offering between an 80/- and a 70/-; sort of a 75/- in effect, the best of both worlds.

Overall: Aaah, a great brew from a traditional Scottish Brewery, as the reverse label states “Belhaven is Scotland’s oldest surviving independent brewery, dating back to 1719”…..or at least, it was……the Romans never got to screw with Scotland but the English did, Sassenachs have taken this one…..I wonder what the new owners Greene King will do with Belhaven….I’m not holding my breath that they leave them alone, so I recommend you pick up those bottles of Belhaven that you never tried as soon as you can.

A good bottled Scottish Ale…for now…at least.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2005 04:42:18 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in an imperial pint glass)

A-This beer pours a warm dark copper color with a nice light tan whipped-cream head. The nitro makes a nice bubbly layer in the middle that quickly rises to the top and there is zero carbonation after that.

S- Nice sweet malty flavors with some caramel notes. A faint smoky peat smell is in the background.

T- This beer has a nice subtle malty flavor with a good smoky peat flavor coming through. There is also some earthy flavors followed by a dry finish with notes of raw grain. No real hop flavor in aroma or bittering.

M- This beer has a full creamy mouthfeel when the head and beer are mixed but when the head is gone the beer is light and a bit watery in mouthfeel.

D- This beer could use a bit more malt backbone to stand up to the smoky peat flavors. I think with normal carbonation this beer would give a much different impression.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-18-2005 01:24:28 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of KarlHungus


3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear red color witha large creamy white head. The aroma is matly, but faint. The taste is nice and matly, with some nutty tones at the end of the sip. The aftertaste has a relaxing sweetness to it. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty good brew. Nothing about it says, "Wow." But it is nowhere near bad.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2005 23:00:13 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of BEERchitect


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

A standard and a favorite. Clear ruby in color, pours a thick creamy head that lasted til the last sip (expected for the nitro tap) Mild aromas of caramel, toffee, barley with a tad bit of hop detection and subtle sourness. Tastes wonderful of toffee, caramel, maple syrup, and perhapse vanilla. Moderate roundness in the mouth and rapidly tapers toward the finish. Becomes a bit watery, but fine for style. Finishes clean and disipates expenintually to a mildly bitter dryness. Very easily drinkable.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-14-2005 11:34:38 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of neonbrown82


3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours to a clear amber color with no visible carbonation but a nice fluffy white head. The appearance, however, is the best part, and it's not too particularly impressive at that.

The smell is nigh undetectable. A very faint of sweet caramel and buttery toffee, but nothing beyond that. The taste continues with the caramel and buttery toffee flavor and adds a bit of a campfire smoke flavor to the finish. Very earthy, and tastes as if it were straight from a medievil cask. Not for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2005 03:14:00 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of hyuga

North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Almost opaque with that nitro-thick head. Head stays all the way through to the bottom.

Smoky and nutty aroma, nice maltiness.

Nutty flavors and gently smoked malt combined with subtle leafy hops and a nice roastiness, however, this is downplayed by the nitro...

Very smooth nitro mouthfeel that cuts out the flavors.

I really don't think this is a beer that should be on nitro tap. I prefer it from the bottle, the flavors are cut off abruptly by the ultra-overstated mouthfeel that the nitro gives it. Nitro is much more suited for stouts and richer beers than this.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-13-2005 01:27:26 | More by hyuga
Photo of beertastegood


4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Re-reviewing this one before I brew a clone next week.

Pours a clear reddish-amber color with a fluffy white head. Good retention. Smells of caramel, sweet bready malt and faint spicy hops. Tastes: more of the same, great malt flavor with the requisite very slight roasted grain flavor and dry finish. Hop character is subdued, as expected. The only thing I do not like about this beer is that it is a little lacking in body - seems a bit thin. However, a very good session brew that I will be attempting to recreate.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2005 17:19:12 | More by beertastegood
Photo of Sycodrummer


4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the Nitro can into a nonic imperial pint glass the beer was a medium brown color with a copper tinge. A thick, creamy, two finger head formed that lasted for the entire length of the sample. Lace ran all the way down the sides of the glass. A very nice looking beer.

Smell was malty and had a slightly sweet caramel aroma as well.

A very smooth taste accented with large portions of malt that finished creamy and sweet. Some caramel and cookie dough as well.

A moderate creamy mouthfeel with little carbonation.

Very drinkable and very smooth and creamy. A solid all around Scottish ale that is very easy to have many of these.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-01-2005 03:32:35 | More by Sycodrummer
Photo of thechaacster


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

Rich copper color, but totally clear, with a nice, foamy off-white head. Cider-like, herbal, slightly fruity aroma. Rich malt flavor, slightly grainy and ever-so-slightly smoky. Cider spice flavor is there in moderation. Medium bodied and full flavored, with just the right touch of smokiness. Really nice stuff, I would really like to try the nitro version.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2005 06:05:29 | More by thechaacster
Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 1,506 ratings.