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

1,587 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,587
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Belhaven Scottish Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,587 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of moulefrite
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany and sports an ultra lush, creamy nitro head that can easily produce stiff, egg white like peaks in the form of choice per user. Caramel and woodsy aromas followed by a luxurious creamy nitro mouthfeel, and flavors of grain, butter and caramel/chocolate candy. The finish is long and kicked up a bit with a supple dose of hop bitter. This is a decent can o suds.

moulefrite, Aug 02, 2004
Photo of tjd25
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer might have travelled a lot. It has the American labels, but I bought it in Switzerland. Anyway. The body is of a transparent mahogany color. The head's foamy and not really regular. It fades slowly, but not as slowly as I expected. The smell is malty and reminds me mostly of nuts and chestnuts. The taste is enjoyably malty, almost burnt. It really is nutty and chestnutty with some viscosity from the hops. Some sweet citric notes, but very light. Quite woody, showing hints of dark chocolate too. Maybe a light hint of blackberries. Mouthfeel is smooth but kind of weak at first, gets chewy with hops and a dark chocolate-like feeling in the mouth. Soft hot chestnuts, that's what it reminds me of.

tjd25, Jul 28, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lucent reddish bronze capped by an ecru head that is impressively creamy and will, no doubt, persist for as long as there's beer in the glass; as is usually the case with a nitro pour. A short collar of lace can be seen with pseudopods extending farther up the glass. The nose is interesting and consists of orchard fruit and somewhat spicy English hops. It's difficult to appreciate nuances through the dense cap of foam.

The flavor profile contains lightly sweet toasted malt and spicy fruity hops. In other words, the aroma in liquid form. It's also tea-like, as are many English ales in my experience. Further mouthfuls reveal a pecan nuttiness and hint of smoky peat. The body is light without being thin and is nitro creamery .

Belhaven Scottish Ale is a straightforward (in a good way), balanced, drinkable, enjoyable version of the style. I've never had it in any other form, but I have to say that it's one of the best nitro can British ales that I've run across.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 28, 2004
Photo of canucklehead
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow, this is one tasty beer considering the low ABV. The colour is lighter than its bigger cousins but the full malty flavour is definetely in the beer. It's all about balance and this one has in spades. A truly great session beer that tastes bigger than its bite.

canucklehead, Jul 24, 2004
Photo of joecast
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

deep clear copper color with a large foamy white head.
admiring the intensely sweet, malty, floral aroma gives the head time to settle to a drinkably thin layer.
malty flavors dominate with any hop contribution relegated to the bench. smooth, toasty, chocolate and caramel are all over the tongue at soon as the beer gets a chance. unfortunately, these similar flavors need some opposition and leave the mouth all too quickly. this leaves the taste buds feeling empty from a finish that is a bit too bland.
overall, not too bad. makes a pretty good impact for 3.9%.

joecast, Jul 16, 2004
Photo of niknar
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep, dark, ruby tinted amber with a white head that settles down to a nice collar in a few minutes. Exceptional clarity for such a darkly tinted beer. Smell was hard for me to place, but definitely had some hints of dark malts and some fruity and nutty undertones. Taste is excellent. Nutty, fruity, malty, and balanced with a bit of hops. Finishes with some chocolate malt undertones and a bit more bitterness. Mouthfeel is a little thin compared to the malty flavor, but still quite pleasant. This beer is quite drinkable and definitely worth a try!

niknar, Jul 04, 2004
Photo of kbub6f
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nitro can reviewed in a side-by-side with the 12oz bottle.

Head is thick cream, cream-colored (almost white, with slight hints of coffee). Clear, dark, amber-brown liquid. Thick, foamy lacing. Ink in the nose, with faint (faint) nuts. Inky front. Maybe some malted milk. Smooth, creamy, watery-tasting middle. Some faint, dark malt. Finish is somewhat bitter, with some tangy malt. A little boring. Not nearly as flavorful as the non-nitro bottle. There's almost no peat or nuts. And just a hint of caramel. But it's a decent, nitro-creamy malt.

kbub6f, Jul 02, 2004
Photo of SilentSabre
4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This was a magnificent ale. rust/amber in colour, but clear. Nice off-white head with tightly knit bubbles, which deteriorated in about 45 seconds or so leaving a very sticky ring around the glass which resulted in nice lacing. The smell is very pleasant. I found it a bit bready and very nutty with a bit of smoke. Slightly sweet. The taste is quite nutty, as well, which I like quite alot. It leaves a slight nutty/very slight hoppy taste in ones mouth about 3 seconds after the first breath you take after having had a sip. The limited hops is good in that I am not a big fan of hoppy/grassy brews. The mouthfeel is very impressive.(to me anyway) Very smooth. A negligible or non-existant amount of carbonation "sting"; very easy to drink. This has been one of my favourites for years. Brilliant!

SilentSabre, Jun 26, 2004
Photo of smcolw
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful head--thick and tight-bubbled, gorgeous sticky lace. Dark, dark amber in color. Clear when placed in front of light.

Dark malts dominate the aroma--slight cream, carmelized brown sugar, although it is not sweet. The taste has a slight "band-aid" flavor suggesting that this can may have been exposed to chlorophenol. Thin in body, the dark malts seemed watered down. Hop is present, providing balance, but little complexity. The aftertaste is largely chocolate malt. Tastes good, less filling.

smcolw, Jun 25, 2004
Photo of Reidrover
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Been a long time since i had this beer( 7 years ago in Atlanta)
Got in the 500ml brown old style brown bottle.
Very handsome beer poured into my glass, dark chesnut colour..with a good sized off white head..great laceing.
Nice peaty, almost smoky malt aroma..liked it.
again the taste is all malts..lightly smoked..somewhat woody..kinda fizzles out near the end though.
Ok on the palte for 2 thirds of the time then watery in the end.
This has to be the ultimate session brew..tasty and low alcohol..exceptional drinkability.

Reidrover, Jun 13, 2004
Photo of scriabin
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a crisp, smooth ale that makes you want to come back again and again. Decent head and nice amber color. Very smooth flavor with hints of hops and some malt. The carbonation level is just about perfect. An excellent choice to accompany summer bbq fare!

scriabin, Jun 09, 2004
Photo of maybrick
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this for the very first time a few hours ago. Beleive it or not, TGI Fridays in Exton, PA has it in Nitro Cans. The annoying little ball.

Anyway, color is caramel medium brown to amber beer with an off-white head. I assume the notro keeps the haed around. The glass I drunk from was a Fridays Pint glass and apparently very clean as the lace from the head stuck all the way down.

Delicate nose with hints of a soft malt with a touch of smoke.
Slightly sweet taste and quite smooth. Not much hop at all and finishes a little on the heavy side.

maybrick, Jun 09, 2004
Photo of hobbes2112
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium bronze with thick milkshake-like head.

A smoky malty smell shows up after a little bit of warming but there really wasn't much on first try.

I taste sweet malt, earthy on the aft palate. I can't find much in the way of hops. As strange as it sounds on of the major tastes in this beer is that of "Lil Smokies" sausages.

This is a pleasant brew, but not someting I could drink all the time. I am sure it will make the rotation again though.

hobbes2112, Jun 05, 2004
Photo of shapudding
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a nice dark amber. Gave it a good heavy pour but the head left quick, leaving behind an eggshell colored ring and a bit left in the center. Scents of smoke and cherries. More watery flavored than I expected from this... Very light mouthfeel. Taste of clubsoda, light maltiness, roasted malts. Decent bitterness with a nice dry finish. Wish there was a bit more body to it, but overall liked it.

shapudding, Jun 03, 2004
Photo of HochFliegen
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a nice bright amberish color with a good head but laced very little.
The smell is dominated by sweet malt and a hint of dried fruit.
The tatse is a sweet malt taste much like the smell and has a slight smokey flavor in the aftertaste.

HochFliegen, May 27, 2004
Photo of Stimack
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brew pours to a dark amber color with a perfect think creamy two finger tan head that has great retention and lacing. The aromas are nice, dominated by malt and yeast with a somewhat smoky smell. The taste is quite smooth with a strong malt flavor that leads to the smoky flavor that goes along with the scent I picked up. Has a bit of a sweetness to it that highlights caramel flavors. Overall it is a nice brew, glad I gave it a try. Not one of my favorite beers, but is solid.

Stimack, May 26, 2004
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a ruby/amber color with a rocky pillow of pure white head.

Smell: Sweet smell that consists of honey and raisin mixed in with an alcohol/scotch pressence.

Taste: Mild flavor to start. It then grows to a full flavored scotch ale. There is a yeast and wheat flavor mixed with the scotch flavoring. In addition, there were notes of caramel and corriander.

Mouthfeel: This is a smooth, creamy beer that feels soft and buttery on the tongue.

GuinnessSmurf, May 18, 2004
Photo of daledeee
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another pub ale I thought I would try. Pours pretty auburn/orange with a good head. Nice earthy nose. Taste is malty with a little bitterness blended in. Pretty middle of the road mouthfeel. Too light on the alchohol.

I am not a fan of most British Isle brews. This one is not remarkable but tastes fine.

daledeee, May 14, 2004
Photo of IceAce
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: The nitro can provided a finger and a half of dense creamy foam atop a dark bronze brew with very good clarity. The nitrogen bloom lasted about 45 seconds but head retention is in line with expectations for a nitro boosted product.

Aroma: The nose is dominated by earthy malt and yeast with just a hint of both coffee and chocolate. Unfortunately, one has to dive deep into the glass just to get a hint of this delicious aroma as it seems a bit reluctant to show itself.

Taste: The initial impression of the taste of this brew is one of very rounded smoothness.The malts and hops are delightfully balanced...a condition multiplied by the fact that the most (if not all) CO² is displaced by the nitrogen. The finish is malty, nutty, and very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is good with just a hint of thinness which contradicts the fine, even lacing left all the way down the beer-clean glass.

Drinkability: While there is very little bad to report about this beer...it is not something that makes me want to run out to grab another four of them. Solid...but nothing really stands out.

IceAce, May 07, 2004
Photo of jazzyjake
2.78/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reading the other reviews makes me wonder about the quality control of this beer. There have been times when I've loved it, but my recent experience was one of a beer I had to force down.

I used to think of it as a hearty brown ale, a good strong palate clearer with just enough carbonation to keep it from overwhelming you. A special occasion brew.

The last time I bought it, it was unpleasantly syrupy -- cloying sweetness with no offsetting hoppiness. It was like drinking maltose. Very unpleasant. I wound up cutting the remaining bottles with a pale ale so as not to waste the $9 this cost me.

My numbers above are really bogus, I'm really unable to assign values on a beer that has affected me so differently.

I need to try it again sometime, it's odd for a beer to change that drastically in my opinion. I'll not be buying a six-pack again though, until I get a better reading.

jazzyjake, Apr 27, 2004
Photo of PSUDREW
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

MMM the 1st time I ever sampled this was at a freinds party in college. The guy giving it out was a nice fella, na it will always have a special place in my heart

Pour a dark amber, with a thick, creamy lightly tan head.

Nice malty sweet and lightly smokey flavor to it. However, it has little to no hop presence, and that does hurt it.

I like tha fact that it is now widely available, and, I think this beer makes for a nice conversation peice. Also, who doesn't like the nitro bubble?

PSUDREW, Apr 24, 2004
Photo of dippy
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice darkish amber colored brew, with a slightly off white head.

Sweet slightly, fruity scent.

I tasted apple, it was almost like a cider to me, but good. A medium bodied beer. Well balenced, with nice malt characteristics. Hops are there but barely.

A smooth one to drink, I would try cooking with this one, but I don't know any scottish dishes besides Haggis.

I was supprised by this one, I thoght it would be shit, but I would buy this one every now and again.

dippy, Apr 23, 2004
Photo of Biffster
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a beautiful beer. Sparkling clear, deep copper brown with amber highlights and a off white head.

The aroma is malty but subued. There is some caramel, and a hint of toast and smoke. The fruitiness is almost imperceptible, but there.

The sip starts rich and malty, leading quickly to a smokiness that permeates. It is tart from the smokiness and slightly caramel like at the swallow. The caramel and buttery diacetyl notes linger with the smoky tartness.

The body and carbonation are in the medium range, but the mouth impression is quite creamy.

This is an interesting beer, overall. I found the aroma somewhat wanting in this sample, and I found the diacetyl somewhat distracting.

Biffster, Apr 04, 2004
Photo of findlayfan
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Modest off-white head.

Medium mahogany body with moderate bubbles.

Solid, drinkable Scottish ale - not as cloying as MacEwan's can be, but certainly distinctive.

I've also tried the nitro-charged in cans, but prefer the bottled version. Hopefully, I'll get back to Edinburgh and/or St. Andrews before too long, where I can make a REAL comparison! Until then, this will do nicely...

findlayfan, Mar 30, 2004
Photo of budsboy
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours brown as the bottle it came in. Nice rocky white cap that stays awhile.

Malty, fruity nose with a hint of berry.

Taste is hard for me to discern, possibly because it isn't as bold as others I have been drinking lately. There is a tartness to the finish and somewhat understated carmel. Hops, what hops?

Carbonation gives beer a sharpness that makes it almost a light-bodied ale.

I could drink more of this, it is a good brew. But I'd just as soon spend my money on a more memorable beer.

budsboy, Mar 27, 2004
Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 1,587 ratings.