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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

1,671 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,671
Reviews: 816
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.91%
Wants: 38
Gots: 117 | 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: 1,671 | Reviews: 816 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Winter
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, not the nitro can.

Pours a clear deep coppery chestnut in color with a creamy light tan head. Sweet malty aroma with hints of raisin. You'll catch a whiff of alcohol and brown sugar. Aroma exhibits a caramel scent too, as the ale warms. Full-bodied mouthfeel with a pleasant carbonation that softens as it sits. Intriguing nutty and malty flavor that has an underlying smokiness to it. Some raisin and date flavors midway. Touch of alcohol. Finish has a robust tobacco-like taste to it. Excellent Scottish Ale.

Photo of jakester
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at The Pike Cafe in Reading, Pa. It came, via nitro-tap, in a pint glass.

Arrives a clear red/amber with a beautiful slightly off-white head of incredibly tight foam, like shaving cream. This head sticks around for the whole beer. Fantastic lacing, covering the entire glass.

Aroma is clean dark caramely malt, definitely smoked, but not overly so, lightly bready, with a nice touch of floral hops in the background. Smells inviting.

First flavor is toasted brown sugar, peat smoked malt, caramel candy, not much hops, bittering or flavor; in other words, pretty damn close on style. Aftertaste is fairly short, sweet, and smoky.

Mouthfeel is medium at first, thinning slightly during the sip. Carbonation, or in this case nitrogenation(?), is very soft and creamy. Finish is smooth, rich, and delicate.

This is really good, way better than I was anticipating. Luscious, creamy, smooth, smokey. Malt is definitely at the forefront here, and the peat smoked part is an added attraction. Highly recommended.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle

Pours a nice orange-amber with a nice white head that fades. Looks nice, but just ordinary.

Smells sweet and malty. Smells like a nice Scottish ale.

Tastes sweet and malty, with a very bland aftertaste. Flavor is on the weak side. Nothing special.

Body seems a little thin for the style. I like my Scottish ales to be a little meatier.

I would not seek this out to drink again. There are better Scottish ales to be had.

3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep almost glowing dark brownish red body. Head is quite large off white leaving about an inch of lace.

Nose is very earthy and full of deep woodsy malt. Herbal and nutty tones present as well.

First sip and I wonder if I got a fresh beer. Enters the mouth with blunt sour but yeilds quickly to earthy malt. Does mellow a bit on the following sips. Noticeable smokey nutty mouthfeel on the finish of the palate.

Not a bad beer as I may have so prematurely thought. It doesnt seem to gel well early on but mellows. Kind of speratic at points but you get used to it.

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is great nutty full flavored beer that I don't wanna put down. At first taste you can tell it's a scottish ale and as you start drinking it more and more it becomes even better giving you more flavor and great mouthfeel as you go. It smells wonderful to compliment all of it's other fine qualities.

Photo of LPorter33
2.68/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Purchased a single can from Martignetti's

Appearance = great thick, milky creamy head that goes down to about 1/4'' and stays. Deep, clear amber. Very beautiful.

Smell = Strong scent of whisky/sctoch with a big malt backbone.A bit of sourness and smokiness too, like cured meat. I'm not a huge fan of this scent but I can apperciate it.

Taste = Taste follows the smell. Smoky, meaty taste like drinking smoked beef jerky or smoked turkey. Not that agreeable with my palate but I can see why others might enjoy it.

Overall = I'm not a fan of this style but I can appreciate this beer. It looks beautiful and I can see why some might like the taste. Personally though I did not enjoy it and would never try another one on my own.

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

Presentation: 500ml [16.9 fl.oz] sturdy brown glass bottle that has raised quadra-placed embossed lettering on the bottles shoulder “Belhaven Est. 1719”. Neck label is a cream colored with thin gold lined border, as indeed is the main label which proudly states that the beer is Imported from Scotland. Labeled as Belhaven Scottish Ale. No strength listed on the label.

Appearance: Rustic dark orange copper body. Off white head that rises quickly and slowly reconciles to leave to a finger thick crispy covering. Average carbonation with smattered lacing.

Nose: Striking nose, soft peats, damp woods and sterilized soil. Funky, dirty yet clean. Warm and inviting.

Taste: Smoky malts, peat like entrance with some light hazelnut tints. There is that lingering taste though ……it’s a little annoying…….sort of a mix between smoky bacon, peat and TCP Antiseptic. Nice enough though.

Mouthfeel: Reasonably large body, the smoky peat builds well. Soft carbonation is resilient and the feel is fulfilling.

Drinkability: Easily quaffed, it feels like a middling offering between an 80/- and a 70/-; sort of a 75/- in effect, the best of both worlds.

Overall: Aaah, a great brew from a traditional Scottish Brewery, as the reverse label states “Belhaven is Scotland’s oldest surviving independent brewery, dating back to 1719”…..or at least, it was……the Romans never got to screw with Scotland but the English did, Sassenachs have taken this one…..I wonder what the new owners Greene King will do with Belhaven….I’m not holding my breath that they leave them alone, so I recommend you pick up those bottles of Belhaven that you never tried as soon as you can.

A good bottled Scottish Ale…for now…at least.

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

(Served in an imperial pint glass)

A-This beer pours a warm dark copper color with a nice light tan whipped-cream head. The nitro makes a nice bubbly layer in the middle that quickly rises to the top and there is zero carbonation after that.

S- Nice sweet malty flavors with some caramel notes. A faint smoky peat smell is in the background.

T- This beer has a nice subtle malty flavor with a good smoky peat flavor coming through. There is also some earthy flavors followed by a dry finish with notes of raw grain. No real hop flavor in aroma or bittering.

M- This beer has a full creamy mouthfeel when the head and beer are mixed but when the head is gone the beer is light and a bit watery in mouthfeel.

D- This beer could use a bit more malt backbone to stand up to the smoky peat flavors. I think with normal carbonation this beer would give a much different impression.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear red color witha large creamy white head. The aroma is matly, but faint. The taste is nice and matly, with some nutty tones at the end of the sip. The aftertaste has a relaxing sweetness to it. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty good brew. Nothing about it says, "Wow." But it is nowhere near bad.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of neonbrown82
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

Photo of hyuga
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

Photo of beertastegood
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of thechaacster
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of Citadel82
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Photo of DogFood11
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of tgbljb
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of packetknife
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
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).

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
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!

Photo of silver0rlead
3/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

Photo of jimbotrost
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of OatherS
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of Litterbean
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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