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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,671 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,671
Reviews: 816
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.91%
Wants: 38
Gots: 118 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Belhaven Scottish Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,671 | Reviews: 816 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tugdriver7
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another fine offering in the "...of the month" club (thanks DK!!!). Nice deep gold/amber in the glass, with a tall, smooth billowy head. Soft malt in the nose with a delicious carmel first taste on the tongue. As Scottish Ales go, this is one of my favorites. Extremely smooth tasting, little hops except to provide a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste. And the nitro can is a lot of fun because you get a gorgeous bubble show (like a Guinness) along the sides of the glass after the pour. It's one classy beer. That's 3 for 3 of those I've tasted from my box so far.

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

16.9 oz. glass bottle- color of medium brown, with a thick long lasting eggshell colored head - nose of scotch barrel, iodine, malt, and cola – taste of earthy, woody, malts, slightly sour, and nutty notes - body is smooth, and with decent carbonation – aftertaste of roasted malts, some woodyness, and lingering

Photo of SargeC
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep copper-brown with a dense and creamy, light tan head.

Smell: Bold malt with nutty qualities and a mild hop presence.

Taste: Intensely smooth and creamy. Malt flavors embrace nutty tones with limited bitterness throughout.

Mouthfeel: Full body. Thick and creamy, goes down like nectar.

Drinkablity: Extremely tasty. I could drink this constantly. Great sessionability.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid id a clear copper with good carbonation. The head is a nice 2 fingers off white and leaves just a bit of lace.

The smell is light, some caramel and smoky malt, easy on the hops.

The taste follows but is good, a slightly smoky toasted caramel malt, evenly hopped for balance.

The mouthfeel is good, nice body and a good carbonation.

The drinkability is good, a classic example of the style.

prosit, MK

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

A: Poured from a nitro-can into a pint glass. Not sure if I chilled it enough, heard a lot of nitro escape right when I opened it. One finger white head was evident, and it was retained throughout consumption. Moderate lacing on the glass.

S: Very bready. There is some yeast, sweetness, and a roasted caramel character that I find rather pleasing.

T: Again, like fresh baked bread. It is quite sweet, with some citrus notes, but hardly any bitterness.

M: Gotta love the nitro bottle for mouthfeel. So creamy, like drinking a glass of lightly carbonated milk.

D: Its a solid beer, but is somewhat light on taste/complexity. Still, as a lover of nitro beers, I could see myself putting a few of these away. Very sessionable. Not hard to drink, and I will consider picking a few up again.

Photo of joe1510
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

440ml Can
$8.99 4-Pack
Binny's Plainfield

I don't know why but this is my first go around with Belhaven's Scottish Ale. The widget gives this beer that wonderful cascade effect. After it settles there's a perfectly creamy two finger white head atop a clear copper body. The head will not fade on this one and it leaves great sheet lacing after each sip. A good looking beer for sure.

The smell is appetizing but a little on the faint side for my liking. There's notes of toffee and just a tiny touch of smokiness. There is also a nice balancing softly floral quality that I'm assuming is from the hop addition. Slightly minerally.

Flavor is right in line with the aroma. The most dominant maltiness is toffee and the smokiness is slightly more pronounced in the flavor than aroma. As this one continues to warm the flavor does come across slightly more bold and pronounced.

Super creamy mouthfeel with a coating feel. Semi dry finish with a lively tingle on the tip of the tongue. The widget gives this beer a great body.

An easy drinking Scottish ale. The good balance keeps it going down easy and the semi dryness keeps you wanting more.

For some reason this is the first time trying anything from Belhaven even though it's easily available. This is a quality Scotch ale that is a joy to drink on these cold evenings.

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

Appearance - A dark, clear amber. Typical ultra-rich nitro head with really sticky lace.

Smell - Caramel and butterscotch, floral hops.

Taste & mouthfeel - Sweet and caramelly with a buttery quality; a bit mineral as well. Mild hop bitterness in the finish. Very slick mouthfeel. Medium-bodied with fairly still carbonation. The creamy head adds a bit of richness to the body.

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

Pours a light honey brown color, slight haze, with a small tan head that dissipated into a very small ring around the glass. The smell is of caramel malt, buttery. The taste starts off with a buttery caramel malt, then an earthy bitterness follows. I only pick up some light smoke & nutty flavors. The feel is fairly light and quite fizzy, finishes with a slight bitterness. A pretty easy drinking brew. It is a bit light and I expected a little more complexity to it. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of TheDeuce
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Belhaven Scottish Ale..

I ordered a pint of this at a restaurant, I didn't expect it to be nitro fired and the pint came to me with the nitro haze I expect from Guinness or Murphys stout. Not a good start as I don't want more nitro nonsense.

Smell was hidden by the nitro gas mostly but I did get a scent of maltyness and butterscotch coming through.

Once you cut through the huge carbonation there is actually a decent beer to be had, smooth tasting, lighter than most scottish ales I think but a very malty flavor and finish which I enjoyed and went well with my meal. Seems like a beer to have at that sort of setting.

Overall this review is uneven as I have never had a nitro fueled scottish ale before, I found it the worst part of the beer, would definitely try it again if there was a non-gassed version. If there is I'm sure there is a dandy of a beer behind it.

Photo of LeftonJackman
2.83/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ordered a bottle after work in hopes to enjoy another in the line of fine Scottsh Ales.

A: Poured a smokey amber color with a hint of cloudiness. A beautiful color. The head was a half-finger, max and sadly disappeared too soon leaving negligible lace.

S: Just what I would hope to expect. The Belhaven was floral, perfectly present: not too strong, not too weak.

T: Carbonated and medicinal. The bubbles distracted from the flavor I hoped to find. Hints of bread and yeast. But at least it was more Scottish than American as some Scottish Ales tend to be.

M: Again, the carbonation reminded me of a poor American Pilsner and not the Scottish Ale's I remember. Obtrusive attack does, however, settle to a nice gentle finish.

D: Overall I am a fan of Scottish Ales. Just not this one. But I do see that people who enjoyed it in a nitro-can or on-tap had a much better experience. One reviewer said "with the nitro, this would just be an ordinary ale." I'll bet he is spot on. Willing to give it another try.

Photo of snpub540
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber. Eggshell colored head on top was about two fingers high after a moderate pour. Nice thin lacing on the glass.

Smelled of sweet malts and a little bread.

Taste is sweet malts mostly with a little nuttiness. Also a hint of piney hops in the finish to make a delightful bitterness.

Chewy mouthfeel and great drinkability.

Photo of emerge077
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Eggshell foam, nice webby lacing, with a burnt copper body. A good 1-2 fingers of foam from the 1st pour.

Aroma is earthy and peaty, with a clear display of nutty malt, also walnuts.

Caramel, dark malts, vaguely earthy. Dry earthy hops in the finish (Fuggles?) very understated with a dry nutty finish. Malty feel, medium-bodied with good carbonation. Lighter in body actually, and not really cloying. Could easily have 1-2 at a time, it's more flavorful at cellar temperature.

Photo of Amalak
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Crimson Red, bubbly, great lace-age with solid head.

S: There really isn't any kind of scent, which I actually liked in this case because it was all taste.

T: Nutty, smooth, and crisp.

M: Has a great feel that stays. Crisp and Clean.

D: So easy. It's refreshing and has great flavor.

One of my favorite beers actually. It has such a clean taste to it. Never went wrong with this brew.

Photo of bort11
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle poured into a goblet. Tall creamy tan head that stands above the rim of the glass. It's a good thing the glass is designed to contain. Color is a clear dark red-orange.
Smell has a mild sweet malt base with floral notes integrated. Taste is slightly medicinal and herbal. Thistle flavor is abundant.
Mouthfeel is mildly creamy and smooth. Nice medium body.

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

Poured out nice, had an excellent head with very nice lacing. Wonderful smell, deep and oaky with nice tones of malt and smokiness. Very nice deep copper coloring. Tastes excellent, a nice deep scotch ale with hints of caramel and peat, along with the nice smoky maltiness of a scotch ale. Goes down nice and smooth. Although not as complex as a wee heavy, this is a great scotch ale to try if you don't want the heavier and more alcoholic wee heavy.

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

After hearing my brother rave about this, I was expecting a lot more. Pours a dark golden color. Decent tan head.

Taste is malt. Maybe a bit of fruit ... perhaps a tad of hops ... but pretty much just malt. It's a good tasting maltiness, I'll grant you that, but not special whatsoever.

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

This beer poured a clear golden/amber color with a big, rocky, cream colored head. The aroma is quite malty. The taste is smoky with a large dose of malt – nice balance. The mouthfeel is full and creamy. Overall, the flavors and mouthfeel work well to make this is a smooth easy drinking Scottish Ale.

Photo of mattster
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Opened bottle, standard import skunk smell. Poured down the side into a standard pint glass from a 12oz bottle. Very little head/almost no lacing when head decipates. Smells of malt, nothing major. Taste is standard malty - as expected for dark color of beer. OK mouthfeel, bubbles would not make me to have more than a couple of these with dinner. I was hoping that this beer would give me the inspiration to paint the face blue/white and pillage. I just feel the expereince was average, at best. Oh well.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear auburn brew with a large foamy head and thick bands of lacing.

S - Mild strawberries, red licorice vines. Not much else.

T - A mild sweetness of red licorice rope. Some earthy/woodsy bitterness with some lingering red licorice sweetness.

M - Smooth, thin to medium bodied, not very refreshing.

D - Pretty good. Certainly worth a try. A mild ESB-esque scottish ale. Definitely toward the normal side of scottish ales.

Photo of shadow1961
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Belhaven Scottish Ale (draught can) pours that weird reverse
carbonation thing typical of nitrogen widget-equipped canned
draught beer. The head settles into a perfect finger of creamy
foam over a dark amber brew. There is no carbonation, and the
nose is the typical fruity English ale yeast esters. The flavor is
toasty malt, with molasses and coffee notes, with a bit of subtle
herbal hop in the finish. Mouthfeel is velvety due to the nitrogen,
but also dry. Not bad.

Photo of malibujohnny
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper amber color.Leaves a good half inch head throughout the glass and laces very good.I can not get too much from the smell,a little tad carmel but the malt is there.Maybe because of the thick head the smell does not come in as well.The taste...thats there.Wonderful medium malty goodness that is fantastic in the mouth.A sweet little nutty kick as well in the back end.( I like to take in some of the head as i drink ) Finishes with a slight bittering hoppiness to end a great tasting scottish ale.I'm very pleased with this tasty beverage.

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

On nitro-tap 8/28/07 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a medium dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of vanilla, caramelized malt, some spice and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is very malty and creamy, with flavors of vanilla, spices and a smoky touch. The hops presence is mild. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Very smooth with a little crispness, medium body, light carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, nice beer to wind down with after a good meal, an ideal dessert beer for sure.

Photo of thegiggy86
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer over at the Brazen Head in Brooklyn, NY. It was poured from the tap into a clean pint glass. The beer resembled a fine guiness as it settled into the glass, an impressive sight indeed. What was even more impressive was the mouthfeel and taste. I genuinely enjoyed this beer and will continue to drink it as long as it is offered at The Head. -Steve from Staten Island

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

Pours a dark amber rose color with a decent one to two finger head that lasts.

Smells like beer, not being funny, smells like a beer should smell. A solid aroma that has hints of fruit, caramel and hops.

Taste: A very balanced beer. Goes well with meals or standing alone. I would say the taste is not complex but has layers. Malts without coffee or chocolate and a good hop finish without a bite.

Good carbonation without distracting from taste. Not thick like a porter or stout can be but definitely not flat/light/watery.

Easy to drink as an end of day thirst quencher, session beer or sip and enjoy with summertime grilled food .

Can you tell I like this ALE?

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

nitro can, so of course lots of creamy head and several puffy rings of lace. great clear amber color.

aroma is much too faint and subtle for me. maybe something metallic

the taste has noticeable malt, with mild hop flavors and bitterness all around. low carbonation gives a smooth feel,almost slippery. there is this pleasant sweet finish which is followed by a clean, faintly bitter aftertaste.

despite not being particularly exceptional in aroma or taste, it is still very smooth and very drinkable.

Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 1,671 ratings.