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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

1,588 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,588
Reviews: 810
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.61%
Wants: 34
Gots: 91 | 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
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Ratings: 1,588 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

BEERchitect, Sep 14, 2005
Photo of neonbrown82
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

neonbrown82, Sep 14, 2005
Photo of hyuga
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

hyuga, Sep 13, 2005
Photo of beertastegood
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

beertastegood, Sep 07, 2005
Photo of Sycodrummer
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Sycodrummer, Sep 01, 2005
Photo of thechaacster
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

thechaacster, Aug 28, 2005
Photo of Citadel82
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can you say Beach Beer?

Think I am nuts? We live a few miles from Sandy Hook - No glass allowed! Great this stuff comes in cans!

Typical nitro pour. Nice malty aroma. Beautifal Tan head - nice lacing.

Taste is malty with roast peat highlights. Malty sweet with some English hop notes. Great with fried chicken and sea air.

Citadel82, Aug 14, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've always enjoyed the appearance of these bottles with the merlot type sharp neck and a nice picture of a horse and carriage with some housing in the background....

I actually get this brew at a local supermarket....I have to dig in the cooler but its always in there.

perfect clarity, nice flavors, a malty and somewhat sweet brew with hints of a porter type flavor in the middle and sweeter on the end.

some sour flavoring cleans the palate but not enough to kill all the aftertaste...nice balance.

I like this beer but definately couldn't session it as the sour aftertaste lingers a bit and makes it just an above average beer for me.

DogFood11, Aug 05, 2005
Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one began foaming as soon as the can was cracked open. It poured with a creamy tan head and lots of cascading action, finally settling to a deep amber color. The nose was malty sweet with notes of chocolate. The mouthfeel was light with a big malty sweetness on the palate. The finish had a whiskey-like flavor. This was certainly interesting to pour with its widget action, but it just wasn't enough to fully captivate my attention. Not bad, but not good enough.

woodychandler, Jul 27, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The brew exploded from the can into the glass to beome a moderate copper colored beverage with a beuatifel creamy head that lasted for the duration of the glass. Some particulate matter is visible.Smell is malty and a pleasure to the nose. Taste is on the sweet side but the malt seems to moderate the effect. mouthfeel is a creamy delight. This beer makes me even more of a scottish ale fan.

tgbljb, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of packetknife
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

MUCH better tapped than bottled. Dark amber with some red highlights, tan head, thick/dense and held. Very difficult to detect much of an aroma this time but I won't hinder it too much for that (this time). Tasted plenty of malt, some smoke, nice almost almond character to it. Felt pleasant on the tongue and was agreeable and drinkable. MUCH better than my last try (bottle).

packetknife, Jul 07, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Some people just adore the cascading effect of the rolling foam in a nitro "draught" pour, tap or can. Doesn't do much for me...I just want to see the damn beer, and get to drinkin' it...buuurp...

this one, when the flashy effect dissolves, is a crimson/amber hue, capped with a thick, creamy head that lasts quite a while...very nice, indeed.

Aroma: coppery, metallic, odd..some hops, a bit of fruity sweetness, malty, but not much too it, beyond the initial impression.

Taste: kind of limp...tastes like fish, no kidding...was is smoked? Very unusual, and not too kind, nothing I enjoy. Smooth on the tongue, but this smoked fish feel never leaves! Weird!
Easy drinking, but to a fault, very minimal character, insipid mouthfeel, lean body...I'm gonna have to keep passing this one by (though I couldn't resist one last chance...)

Halfway, through (it's a 15 ounce can we got here) it's almost passable, but still disappointing.
crazy how much I liked the bottle, when I reviewed it over 2 1/2 years ago, but was far from taken by this version!

feloniousmonk, Jul 02, 2005
Photo of silver0rlead
3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark amber color with a thick frothy white head that retains well...a very nice looking scottish ale. Aroma is mostly malts, with hints of caramel, toffee, and biscuit. Taste is somewhat dissapointing, pretty flat and lacking character. Flavor is all malts with a light nutty caramel flavor and a fruity yeast taste...pretty standard and uninteresting really. Mouthfeel is really too thin and is lacking appropraite carbonation. Drinkability is descent, not something to seek out again especially given it's high price.

silver0rlead, Jun 27, 2005
Photo of jimbotrost
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at LCBO in Sarnia, Ontario. This is a deceiving beer, seems higher in ABV than it is. Pours a deep brown with a small tan head. Nose reveals big sugary aromas. Flavor is sweet malt, almost chewy brown sugar like. Finish is very short, suprisingly so, nice beer.

jimbotrost, Jun 01, 2005
Photo of OatherS
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellow label has farm scene of horse and carriage.

Appearance: Half finer head quickly dissipates. Pours a very dark amber, almost opaque.

Smell: Slight caramel odor, not very strong.

Taste: Definitely has that british isles flavor common to beers of this region. Mighty tasty. Caramel comes back in the taste. Somewhat of a sharp flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth.

Drinkability: Really good beer overall, worth picking up a six pack of this stuff.

OatherS, May 25, 2005
Photo of Litterbean
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice shade of red, almost brown in dim light. Big fluffy head crops up then settles into a white pillowy film. Lace is present but patchy.

Light and faint aroma. Smells of syrupy malts. Slight hop presence. Overall not a very satisfying smell. No real hint of what to expect from the taste.

Taste begins light and smooth, with a sweet malt undertone. Very slight spicy hop flavors are hidden in the background. Smokiness is slightly noticeable. This is a sweet beer but not very overwhelming. Slightly above average taste and not a whole lot to think about, although it is very refreshing. Drinkability is high, not only because of the low alcohol but because of the non-confrontational taste and body.

For my money though, the wee-heavy and St. Andrew's Ale are far superior.

Litterbean, Apr 20, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16oz nitrocan bought from Harrington's Wine & Liquors, Chelmsford, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, got the whole full-height nitro-cascade thing working, formed a dense 1" milky head over the clear amber brew. Head is frothy, as one expects from the serving style, and lasts excellently, with heavy, foamy lacing. Aroma is creamy and slightly sweet. Taste is also creamy, with sweet pale malts, following the nose. Good flavor for a nitro brew, especially a mild abv one. Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, and as such, drinkability is excellent. Nice session brew, and a rare sedate brew whose flavor can shine through the nitro presentation.

ppoitras, Apr 15, 2005
Photo of ski271
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Medium copper beer with a medium-large-sized, slightly off-white, creamy, mostly diminishing head. Spotty lacing all the way down.

Smell: Quite malty with a butterscotch sweetness, a cookie-like smell and a hint of yeast. Hardly any hops to speak of.

Taste: Smoke and charcoal surprised me, but work every well. More malt sweetness with a medium-long toffee-like finish.

Mouthfeel: lightly acidic at first, then mellow and sweet. Medium body, creamy texture, low carbonation and a very slightly metallic.

Drinkability: I wasn’t thrilled at first, but it got better as it went. Enjoyable, and worth trying, but I'm not sure it's quite worth the higher price.

ski271, Mar 14, 2005
Photo of Billolick
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice to try this on tap instead of the usual can. is preented in a pint glass, almond in color, with a very creamy tan head, malty, peat nose. Soft and again very creamy mouthfeel. NIce on the tongue. Notes of maple syrup, nuts, smoke. Smooth and flavorful, sessioner supreme. Most could drink this all day.

Billolick, Mar 12, 2005
Photo of Redrover
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz Brown longneck.. No freshness dating. Great raised letters on the bottle and a very cool label make for an attractive package.

Beer pours a dark brown with mahogany highlights. Nice head with good lacing.

The beer has a nice aroma of fruit, brown sugar & molasses.

The taste starts off slightly fruity and sweet. The fruit taste reminds of ripe plums. Some subtle caramel and slightly roasted/smoked malts emerge after a bit. Seems very lightly hopped but the beer is balanced.

Smooth & creamy mouthfeel with nice levels of carbonation. It almost reminds me of a nitro the mouthfeel is so soft. Very easy to drink beer. This would be my idea of a session ale.

This is a delightful beer and well worth the modest investment of $10.99 per 12 pack at Sal’s Liquors!

Redrover, Mar 06, 2005
Photo of steinlifter
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a clear caramel, decent head with some retention, malty nose, taste was of toasty malts, bit of nuttiness, good balance of hops and malt, little sweetness in the after taste. mouthfeel was a bit thin, moderately carbonated, with a tad of chewiness, drinkability is fine, nice ale on a cold night! I would drink this again.

steinlifter, Mar 01, 2005
Photo of allengarvin
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear mahogany, with a three quarters inch head of frothy white foam. Good retention and lacing.

Smell: Good malt aroma, bready, touched with a light caramel.

Taste: Wonderful malt profile: firm, nutty, toasted malt with a light smokiness. Restrained hop bitterness, but with the smoky malt is sufficient to combine to perfectly offset the sweetness of the malt. Finish is exceptionally well-balanced.

Moderately-full mouthfeel with a creamy, slightly oily texture.

In my opinion, one of the best Scottish beers sold in the US. I've drunk Belhaven in Edinburgh, and I think this beats their native lineup of beers.

allengarvin, Feb 16, 2005
Photo of Quaffer
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

14.9 nitro can.

Appearance: This beer poured a crystal clear, pure amber. I'm not a fan of what nitro can do to a beer's flavor and aroma, but I am still a sucker for the way it makes a beer look. The beautiful cascade settled into a finger high head was looked solid as a rock. Light tan in color, it stuck around for the entire pint and was still pretty damn thick when I finished. There was a tone of lace left behind.

Smell: I really enjoyed the aroma of this brew. It wasn't as washed out as I was expecting it to be. It was a conglomeration of sweet malts and fruit, tart cherries, roasted malt, light milk chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla. Nice and round and warm, with just a bit of an edge from the tart cherries. After the beer had warmed significantly, hints of hops emerged.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and extremely smooth, with little to no carbonation feel in the mouth. Practically cask-like.

Taste: Smoke. That's about all there was to this one. There were hints of a sweet/sour thing going on underneath, but the main, overriding component was a peaty smokiness. It wasn't bad, it was just blah.

A great complex aroma with a flat, one-dimensional flavor.

Quaffer, Feb 10, 2005
Photo of pezoids
4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fake, real, artificially induced or whatever – this beer looks friggin perfect. It looks like I pulled this right out of the telly and placed it on the table in front of me. The cascade of foam was quick, but coalesced into a dense and solid wall of sticky tan whipped cream. The color is wonderful – sumptuously bright brown with glowing touches of orange and amber. The aroma is creamy and oaky with rich touches of molasses and peat. The taste is sweet, but light – caramel notes come through, along with cocoa. The body has a solid and buttery malt texture. Overall, this turned out to really be a great beer. I could drink plenty more of this.

pezoids, Jan 31, 2005
Photo of Hibernator
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle and served in an imperial pint glass. I was unable to find a freshness date on the label.

Pours a copper colored brown with a mini head on top. The head turns into a circle around the glass with some sticky lacings.

Aroma of bready yeast, butter and malts.

A pretty smooth brew that provides a malty and nutty backbone with a touch of caramel sweetness. A very soft and round mouthfeel. Creamy and buttery at times with a slight hop finish.

Hibernator, Jan 28, 2005
Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 1,588 ratings.