1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

1,629 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,629
Reviews: 813
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.61%
Wants: 34
Gots: 102 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Belhaven Scottish Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,629 | Reviews: 813 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of soulgrowl
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep, leathery, orange-brown. Big, boisterous head with darn good retention. Erratic lacing.

Smell: Fruity, apple cidery yeast, butter toffee, a touch of honey. I can't seem to locate the hops, but this smells fairly well-balanced nonetheless.

Taste: Mmm... earthy, peaty, chock full of buttery caramel malts. A hint of hickory smoke and salt. Hops are lacking, but they do lend that characteristic European zing. Goes surprisingly well with saffron basmati rice.

Mouthfeel: Light but not refreshing.

Drinkability: Considering the weight of the malt content, this is surprisingly drinkable. Not too syrupy or sticky in the least.

soulgrowl, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of bearrunner44
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours with a glug-glug-glug into my pint glass. The head is thin, fizzy, and fades fairly quickly. The color is a medium, clear copper.

Smell: Rummy, sugary malt sweetness. Lightly smoky, somewhat woody.

Taste: Relatively thinly distributed malt flavor. A little on the dry side. Oaky, dry smoke. Light hints of caramel and rum flavors. Grassy touches of hops appear in the middle and in the finish. Clingy hop flavor. Dry and smoky overall, with underlying notes of rich sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Generally smooth, though the carbonation gives it a bit of a frothy feel on the way down.

Verdict: A little thin, but it's a good, sturdy Scottish ale. It's certainly worth a try.

bearrunner44, Mar 30, 2006
Photo of goochpunch
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear dark amber with a frothy head that dissipates into fine lacing along the sides of the glass. Smells of nutty grains and peat-smoked malt with a slightly off-putting metallic tinge. Tastes nutty and smokey with a robust hopping in the finish. The flavors present remind me exactly of some smoked almonds I had earlier today. Mouthfeel is light and slightly bubbly, which makes this a quite quaffable scottish ale.

goochpunch, Mar 18, 2006
Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours caramel to brown with a nice 3" offwhite head. Head retention & lacing very good

Smell: Malty sweetness and some peaty smokiness

Taste: Malt sweetness mingles with smokiness. Dry ever so slightly smokey/sweet finish

MF: Great balance with a smooth, slight syruppy feel, very good Carbonation levels

Extremely drinkable, this is a well put together beer that makes me want to try the nitro version soon. Highly reccomended, simple but tasty

russpowell, Mar 17, 2006
Photo of sevineyes
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured form a brown bottle featuring a horse drawing a cart on the tan label.

A: Poured with a big creamy head. Deep golden brown. Good lacing.

S: Very earthy nose. Some pine. Mineral. Iodine. Some saltiness, seaweed.

T: Caramel stone ground flavor. Earthiness carries over into the flavor. Very balanced. Brevid hints of smoke. A little lingering bitterness on the finish. Aftertaste comes back with a richer flavor like buttered rum.

M: Carbonation on the sides of the tongue. Finishes quite dry.

D: Nothing wrong here.

Overall: Has some elements I'd actually expect from my single-malt scotches which isn't a bad thing at all. Surprisingly light feeling considering the heft and weight of the flavors.

sevineyes, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of Greenfloyd
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

If you are looking for the perfect accompaniment to fried, breaded, portions of chicken or pork cutlets than you might give this beer a try. The amber/butterscotch hue gives way to a reasonable white smooth head. The aroma of honey roasted chestnuts leads to a similarly nutty like flavor with a finish milder than most Scottish Style ales, but slightly hoppy none the less. Ample body dictates it's ability to be enjoyed as an ale of "substance", but can still be enjoyed in socially redeemable venues in large quantities (I've tested this theory repeatedly)...enjoy

Greenfloyd, Mar 14, 2006
Photo of riversider76
2.53/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a rich gold color. Two finger foamy head. Good retention and lacing.For me the appearance was the best part of this beer. Smell is of weak malt. Body is thin and watery. Taste was like sugar water with a hint of nut flavor. Not a good beer in my opinion.

riversider76, Mar 14, 2006
Photo of Naes
2.9/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This ale is clear brown with a tall frothy nitrous head. It has great retention and lacing.
The aroma is a strong smoky smell.
The flavor is also smoky with hints of caramel and nuts.
Mouth feel is light bodied and a bit low on the carbonation.
This is just too smoky of a beer for my likings.

Naes, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of Padron4KM
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber, creamy nitro head and lacing.

Aroma from the nitro can is more smokey and peaty. Stagnant water aroma is not detected in this sample.

Flavor is a tad more smokey as well.

mouthfeel is decidedly more creamy due to the nitro.

still a decent easy drinking beer.

Padron4KM, Mar 01, 2006
Photo of Rezzin
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy copper color with a white/tan fluffy head. Tiny bubbles racing from the bottom to the top

S - Smokey, caramel, nuts, a little fruity. I have a slight cold so I'm not detecting much else.

T - Much like the St. Andrews but more roasty, more malty, a little tart. Slight alcohol bite but it's really mild. It's good.

M - Smooth and rich and almost creamy in an ale way.

D - Another solid offering from Belhaven. It's too bad I only picked up two. I'm not sure if I'd want to drink more than several in a row but I find myself enjoying it.

Rezzin, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of kmpitz2
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just had this at the local pub. Poured a solid copper color with a dense finger of creamy head over top. Nose is a nice combination between sweet caramel, ligher nutty notes and a light but present peated character. Flavor brought much the same as the nose...nut and caramel were dominant with a moderate peated smokeyness playing in the background. I really think the peated character made this beer for me. Very tasty. Feel was moderate, with a light carbonation, as is the case with most nitro taps brews. There was a good creamy character as well. Drinkability on this one was really good. I found it had nothing keeping me from sessioning it. I could have easily had one or two more of these. Very smooth and clean. I'll be having this one again.

kmpitz2, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of hefevice
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml brown bottle.

Pours a clear deep copper with an ample white compact bubbled head. Aroma is slightly sweet malt in the foreground, subtle biscuit in the background, with an ever so slight hint of peat smoke as it warms. Peat smoke is really noticable in the flavour, although very well balanced and not overwhelming. The solid dry malt platform is well balanced with a gentle bitterness at the finish. Mouthfeel is light with soft carbonation. Extremely drinkable and would make a great session beer.

hefevice, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of Higravity
4.72/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a nice refreshing beer. Slightly peaty, nutty smell, with a floral herb essence. The red color holds up a nice whitish head and gives up nice lacing. The taste is one of legends and I am glad I had a whole imperial pint glass worth. Sweet long boil swwetness covered in a light fog of peat and a gentle herbal bitterness carry my tongue off to happiness. Great full mouth feel and way too drinkable.

Higravity, Feb 13, 2006
Photo of cracgor
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It pours out a beautiful red beer with a nice tight sheet of bubbles on the surface. Mild sticking to the glass. It smells, well scottish. Not really that smoky. A malty sweet smell, and a touch of berry like tartness hiding in there somewhere. First part of the sip is a little too sweet, but as it goes down the flavors change and I'm left with a complex nutty, maybe a little roasted flavor. Not an over the top peat smoked scottish, but gentle and well, scottish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, smooth. Drinkable in the type that you could sit and drink for awhile at a slow to moderate pace, but not really quaffable

cracgor, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of matchz
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great googly moogly, this beer is smooth!! Lightly roasted nut/malt aromas lead into a sweet almost bread-y first sip. Very light citrus hop bite on the tongue that leads you into the almond/hazelnut flavors of this ale. Light carbonation and heavy malts give this brew a rich, creamy mouth-feel. Very smooth and drinkable, this beer will warm you against the coldest New England/Scottish winter.

matchz, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of PeatReek
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Medium amber color with a thick, solid ecru-colored nitro head. Crystal clear.

Aroma: Very slightly sweet, but mostly clean almost to the point of being metallic.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Very thick malty attack. Super smooth given the nitro carbonation; I would almost prefer the normal CO2 kick to balance out the malt a bit. Body is super-solid, almost chewy. A very subtle bitterness at the peak of the sip, washed away again by sweetness in the nutty aftertaste.

Drinkability: Hard to say... this beer is malty and delicious, but a bit thick to drink more than one or two.

PeatReek, Feb 01, 2006
Photo of cheers2beers
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From bottle to a tall weizen glass:

Appearance: A bronze to copper tone with white fluffy head that is subdued in size for a long period of time.Laceing to be found with even a touch of beading.

Smell: The aroma is slight honeynut apples with a hint of fresh hops and sweet malts.Not much aroma but pleasant.

Taste: Carameled bark,like the nose, honeynut apples linger in there with the sweetened malts and just a touch of hops for a bittersweet finish.Very subtle but just right for a nice quiet evening.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is medium bodied,smooth easy drinking.

Drinkability: This is my favorite Belhaven product to date.Its just one of those beers to either slam or sip.One person asked in the forum recently,what is a good gateway beer from BMC to craft.I would definitely say Belhaven Sottish Ale is a damn good pick.

Cheers2Beers

cheers2beers, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is the reddest beer I have ever seen. It is copper-amber in its regular appearance, but I happened to be drinking it in late afternoon when the sun poured through the Imperial Pint glass, and the color coming out the other side was nothing but red.

Aroma and flavor go hand in hand here- rich malty breadiness, slightly sweet of carmel and toffee. Slight hop finish. Not terribly complex, decent and tasty, but no wow factor. A solid, decent choice to drink when looking for a malty brew.

Decent full mouthfeel, and it is easily drinkable; the downside is that I didn't want to drink that much because it just didn't excite me.

Dukeofearl, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an auburn wood-like color with bronze tones when held to the light. Have to wait for the carbonation to rise and beer to settle, as the usual for these nitro-cans. I love to watch those millions of teeny-tiny bubbles rise to the top. Really makes an awesome looking beer. The head looks like melted vanilla ice cream.

Smell is herbal, fresh, and surprisingly hoppy.

Flavor is good. Mostly malty, but its paired with a nice hoppy/grassy taste. Very herbal and spicy. Much better tasting than other nitro-beers I've tried, but maybe I shouldnt be comparing to beers of different styles.

Mouthfeel is silky-smooth. Drinkability is good too. I've never been the biggest fan of nitros, I always think they lack a little bit of prickly carbonation. Can a beer be too smooth? I dont know. Anyways, this is actually real good. If you like nitros, this one is a must-try. Very nice flavor.

Cheers!

jasonpeckins32, Jan 14, 2006
Photo of mynie
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cherrywood glistening amber. Nice, 2 finger head that sticks around for a while.

Stingy sweet scottish malt smell. Mellow caramel comes through as it warms.

Sweet start to the tongue, moving abruptly into a mellow middle that's smoky and very, very dry. Charbroiled sweets. The two flavors knock you a big off your chair at first, but after a few sips you learn to love it and love it well. It's quite tasty.

mynie, Jan 13, 2006
Photo of brentk56
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with beige highlights; a bounteous head that leaves plenty of foamy lacing behind

Smell: Caramel malt and earthy peat aromas

Taste: Starts out with an earthy, peaty flavor that builds in butterscotch and smokiness; primarily malty as you would expect, but there is defintely some balance to this brew; a little acrid on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a touch slick with good carbonation

Drinkability: A decent enough brew for a malty change

brentk56, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of ghostwalker
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium to dark brown body. Kind of hazy/cloudy. Small whitish head.

Nose is sharp with some light hops and caramelly/malty. Gets the taste buds going a little even before the first sip.

Flavor is malty and nutty. Toffee and caramel notes in there too. Crisp hop finish.

Mouthfeel is medium and a little oily.

Drinkability is really much better than I remember from previous tastings. I bet this stuff is great on tap.

ghostwalker, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of RBorsato
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
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)

RBorsato, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

plaztikjezuz, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of Derek
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
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:

BELHAVEN
SCOTTISH
ALE

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.

Derek, Dec 28, 2005
Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 1,629 ratings.