1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Belhaven Scottish Ale - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Belhaven Scottish AleBelhaven Scottish Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,694 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,694
Reviews: 822
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 40
Gots: 134 | 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:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 08-07-2001

No notes at this time.
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: 1,694 | Reviews: 822 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheBungyo
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice body that looks like caramelized wine. Decent finger wide head. Nose is grainy caramel, with a hint of sugary sweetness. Taste is dry caramel, syrupy sweetness. Nice but I'd like a bit more complexity. Mouth is big and thick. I suppose I could happily drink this but I'd reach for many others of the same style in it's stead.

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

Copper-colored pour from a 12 oz. bottle. Malt aroma and flavor present from the start. Drank with a plate of hot wings, so admittedly some of the senses were alittle dulled, but for a low alcohol beer, this was very tasty and drinkable. Had a good finish that was still evident despite the food spices.

Photo of Abita45
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass with a thick, foamy head which, surprisingly, held up through out with nice lacing as well. There is a nice malty nose to the beer, and it has a dark copper color. It has a smooth, creamy mouthfeel and a roasted malty flavor to it. There's a certain earthiness to it, which I'll assume comes from the roasted malt and nut flavors. Overall, a fine beer, though in the heat of summer, good for a sample, rather than a couple. I could imagine having a few more of these during the late fall when a rainstorm has forced me to stay inside. Really good Scottish ale.

Photo of jokelahoma
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, dark copper from a nitro tap. As one would expect from a nitro, it had a very thick and creamy head that laced well all the way to the end of the glass.

This being a Scottish, one would hope to find no hoppiness in the aroma, and one would get exactly that in this brew. The nose is pure malt, with just a hint of roasted malts to whet the appetite.

The taste is very, very malty. Not sickeningly sweet like a doppelbock, but good, pure base malt in tandem with the roasted barley providing a wonderful senation on the tongue. There's really no hint of hop flavor at all, just a tinge of bitterness to keep it all in balance. There's a bit of a combination of dark fruit flavors from the base malt, but they are very understated. Extremely drinkable.

The mouthfeel seems thick, but that could be exaggerated by the nitro tap. It's not chewy in the least, and it isn't work to get this down your throat. Quite nice.

I'm a hophead, so I went into this pint with a bit of trepidation. I needn't have worried. This is a very nicely made beer, almost precisely what one would expect a Scottish ale to be. Malty, creamy, almost no hops to speak of, yet infinitely drinkable. Very good example of the style, and worth seeking out.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear orange/amber with a nice single finger head that melts to a sticky lacing which completely covers the top of the glass.
Aroma is carmel malt and biscuits.
Taste is sweet malt, but not overpowering at all...there is constantly a little hop moving into the flavor that keeps this brew very crisp and clean in the mouth...not like a pilsner, but more like a wonderfully flavorful malt brew.
Aftertaste is a little smokey malt and a tiny citrus hop that keeps it dry and makes you want another sip.
Very enjoyable.

Photo of tallar
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish brown with good-sized head of dense tan bubbles. Really presistent head, all in all, giving away to heavy, sticky lace.

Aroma is mostly sweet caramel and hops. Not bad, but per style not as strong as I've experienced with other Scottish Ales.

Sweetness from the malts, caramel, smoke and some trace amounts of bitterance from the hops are apparent upon tasting. Finishes kind of crisp, which is unexpected. It is smooth, but its kind of on the watery side and the carbonation is very light. I won;t say its bad, but I wasn't impressed and I don't think I'll be visiting this one again for a while.

Photo of ProfessorHops
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- dark reddish brown. Beautiful light brown head that is very stubborn, witch is awesome.

Smell- very sweet. Some mint and dry coffee.

Taste- bitter with roasted coffee. A burnt oak flavor is also present.

Mouthfeel- typical ale texture. Watery with a thick finish.

Drinkability- I found it hard to guzzle fast. But easy to drink normal.

The Scottish ale is good, but I find the Belhaven Wee Heavy a superior brew.

Gulp Gulp,

Photo of claytri
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a most remarkable dark gold like a fine whiskey with a good bit of off white head. The aroma was of good scotch malt. The taste was mainly of malt but with just a little hops in the finish to round it out nicely. The feel was medium and a bit dry and oily. This was a very enjoyable ale. It gave me all I look for in a Scottish Ale with a big malt taste, and added just enough hops. I enjoyed this while eating a steak blackened with cajun spices and topped with blue cheese. The Ale met my expectations and held up to these strong tastes complimenting them nicely.

Photo of ndekke39
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Light brown color, fairly opaque. Medium dark head on it. Very nice pour.

S: Faint malt aroma, not as strong as I like for this style. Good hints of the hops in there, too.

T: Head tastes just like the beer itself. A little weak for the style. Could taste a nice mix of the malt and hops, but not as deep of flavors as one would expect from this style.

M: Light creaminess and carbonation.

D: Good for sipping. Flavors aren't overwhelming.

Photo of Globetrotter
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found in a Moscow grocery store, the brown half liter bottle has a yellow and blue label featuring a picture of a small Scottish village behind the name. Not even the Russian import label includes ingredient information (not technically legal, but who cares about legality). I couldn't find the promised freshness info, either.

Pours a clear copper under a one figner off-white head that fades slowly and with nice creamy contour, leaving some good lace strings. The nose is nicely balanced between fruity malt and floral hops. The mouth is fairly well-carbonated and rather light, with just a touch of stickiness. Mild taste impression at first, fronted by some plum along with smooth bready malt. The hops surge forth at the finish, particularly as it warms, with a hint of espresso to go with the dominant floral tone. The aftertaste is very mild, with just a touch of dry bitter. This is a solid if unexciting brew.

Photo of BeerRun13
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper tone. A small creamy off white head leaves a little lacing.
Malty caramel aroma, with a crisp hop presence. Mellow.
Malty with a mellow caramel backdrop. A bit of a roasted nutty flavor. Mellow overall, but a nice hop presence ballancesa it out well.
Light to medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. The bubbles and hops dance on the palate.
Very Drinkable. A nice beer. Not a strong flavor, or much carmelization, but a good beer all the same.

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

Had this beer poured into a glass.
Has a nice white head that if poured right sits about two fingers. The head is thick and creamy leaving a nice lacing on the glass. This beer has a nice redish color typical of the style. This one was particularly crystal clear did not have a lot of large bubbles.
The smell gives of sort of a nutty note and some hops are certainly present as well. It is kind of light and a little difficult to pick up at first. Not a bad a idea to let this one sit just a little out of the can.
Taste on this is really a great example of this style. It starts sort of buttery and nutty and then you notice the malt flavor that is really smooth and a nice hop finish. The overall bitterness is low and this beer has a smooth flavor to it.
The mouthfeel is also uncommonly smooth. The carbonation is very light and it leaves the beer a very thick quality to it. It is less syrupy and more smooth like milk (though it does not leave a film like milk).
This a very drinkable beer and does not leave you wanting. However some may find the thick and smooth mouthfeel not a really great choice as a session beer. I would disagree. The beer's great quality is that it is balanced well and I could have several of these in a sitting.

Photo of Shovelbum
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a creamy dense white two finger head over a hazy copper body. Some weird chunks can be seen floating around in the beer. Aromas of light caramel malt, but overall fairly neutral. Taste is similar with the head providing a nice creamy mouthfeel. Smooth caramel malt with a slight nuttiness and a faint earthy hop presence. Medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation.

I’ve had the mid to lower shilling Belhavens on cask in Scotland so it is difficult to give this nitro-can version a completely unbiased review. However, prior experience aside, the chunks floating around in the body of this ale were a serious turnoff. There was also a slight tartness that may be attributable to spoilage. Hopefully this is an isolated phenomenon and I’ll report back on the other three cans in the 4-pack. Otherwise this a nice middle of the road Scottish ale with a tasty emphasis on the malt. Considering American examples of the lower shilling Scottish ales are rather hard to come by its nice to see this being imported.

Photo of scottoale
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

440ml. nitro can pours a dark copper-brown, with a big nitro, off-white head of cream. Some nice lace as well.

Nutty, malt nose with a trace of hops in the background, mild and not real sweet aroma.

Similar in taste, nutty roasted malt flavor with hops taking the finish to neutral and clean. Nice full flavor with a good clean ending, definitely calls for more.

Medium body, alcohol well hidden and the nitro-creamy head give a nice , but mellow mouthfeel.

Easy drinker that's worth a try, cheers!

Photo of daliandragon
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belhaven Scottish Ale pours dark copper with a compact off white head and mostly clear bottle. There appears to be some sediment but the beer is mostly clear. The nose is hoppy and metallic with side notes of alcohol.
Flavor is softer than in the nose, rounding off with mellow hoppy bitterness. The alcohol is well hidden. Nice, dry malt flavors, maybe slightly toasted. Mouthfeel is complemetary but not outstanding.
Very easy to drink and quite refreshing for such a beefy abv. Not a bad choice for a session either.

Photo of Drew966
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Belhaven Scottish Ale pours to be almost identical in color to the brown bottle it came in. It is a bit lighter around the edges however. Nice off white head. The aroma is a bit malty. Taste is pleasingly malty. Very tasty. Definitely worth a try. I've been enjoying this style lately since one of the stores I shop at has expanded its selection.

Photo of soulgrowl
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of bearrunner44
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

Photo of goochpunch
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of russpowell
4.38/5  rDev +15%
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

Photo of sevineyes
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of Greenfloyd
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
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

Photo of riversider76
2.54/5  rDev -33.3%
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.

Photo of Naes
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

Photo of Padron4KM
3.62/5  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.

Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 1,694 ratings.