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.
very good

1,598 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,598
Reviews: 811
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.61%
Wants: 34
Gots: 94 | 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: 1,598 | Reviews: 811 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of far333
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper colored with an off-white small-bubbled head that flattens out right away. Fine lacing clings to the glass. Aroma is of sweet malt and light brown sugar. Flavor is light, sweet malt, with bits of candy and syrup. Mouthfeel is smooth, but carbonation is on the low side. Clean aftertaste, with the tiniest bit of hop tingle, and a bit of a smokey aftertaste.

far333, Aug 07, 2003
Photo of TheDM
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This brew poured a medium head of creamy light brown bubbles and a transparent dark amber colored body. It has a mild malt hop aroma and an initially fizzy flavor that finishes with noted of spice and roasted caramel. This is a very drinkable and nice brew.

TheDM, Jul 22, 2003
Photo of barleypop
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ale started with the nice nitro cascading action. Once settled it had a nice thick head on it. The body is a beautiful mahogany color.

The ale hits your tongue with a malty,roated, sweet flavour. Not overly sweet mind you. It hits the back of your throat with a smooth un-hoppy finish. Delicious!

If you are looking for strong flavour in an easy drinking ale. This one's for you.

barleypop, Jul 18, 2003
Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice rocky light tan head which dissipated quickly. Light brown color is very clear. Aroma is a bit sweet with maltiness and a light floral hint of noble hops. Flavor is very clean and malty with a nice nuttiness. The carbonation allows the hops to finish a bit stronger than the aroma lets on. For my first actual Scottish Ale this is nice but i thought it would be maltier with less sweetness.

RenoZymurgist, Jul 06, 2003
Photo of beergeek279
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 12 oz. bottle. The appearance was a darker amber, with good head retention. The smell was fairly malty............almost like a single malt scotch. There was little taste in the mouth, but there was a definite malty aftertaste to it. The mouthfeel was slightly heavy with carbonation. Drinkability-wise, it was certainly one that I would have another of.

This was the first imported Scottish Ale that I've had, and although it was a bit mild, I was surprised to see just how low the ABV was. Still, a decent ale, and if I was trying to session, one I'd give another try to in the future.

beergeek279, Jul 01, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
2.9/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium brown color, medium head. A medium bodied ale. Malty, somewhat nutty taste. There is a smoky undertone. Good hop/malt balance. Mouthfeel is a little thin, slight off taste (undefined). Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

beerguy101, Jun 27, 2003
Photo of hotstuff
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Scottish Ale poured a medium tan long-lasting creamy head. The lacing with this brew was sparse on the sides of my glass. It had a nutty aroma to it in my opinion and an amber body hue. The taste was smooth, but there was some bittereness noticed.

hotstuff, Jun 19, 2003
Photo of budgood1
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a nice and slow gentle pour produces a quite dark and amberish coloured brew with the usual huge and creamy nitro-incuced head. looks damn pleasing in my favorite beer glass. it throws off quite an aroma...roasted nuts and and fresh toasted malts come to mind. a light roasted malt taste follows...backed up with some balancing hops. a very different light sour finish. a pretty smooth mouthfeel lets it roll right down my throat. not a bad nitro, actually quite pleasing. light and refreshing.

budgood1, Jun 14, 2003
Photo of WesWes
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I rather enjoyed tasting this beer. It poured a pretty copper color with a low white head. It's aroma is very seductive; a caramel/malty scent that makes you want to throw it down the hatch quickly, but savor it along the way. I did find however that the taste is quite plain. There is a watery feeling about it. The malt aroma that was so prominant, was not so prominant in the taste. It drank very smooth. The body is very lite. The abv. I was discouraged to find out is less than 4. Am I drinking lite beer or what? Oh well, like I said it was a very drinkable and enjoyable beer. A Scottish Ale from the heart of Scotland.

WesWes, Jun 04, 2003
Photo of dwarbi
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fine, creamy head. The beer is a rich amber color. Not much to the aroma, good or bad. Some hints of vanilla. Tastes clean, creamy, and light. Again, nothing spectacular. Feels very good in the mouth. "Soft" is probably the best word. This makes it pretty drinkable, too.

dwarbi, Apr 27, 2003
Photo of scottum
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a red amber with a big offwhite head. Nowhere near as good bottled as it is on the nitro. Still quite smooth and easy to drink. Nice mildly smokey malts. A nice beer to drink outside under the sun. Goes down so easy. I won't buy this again in bottled form. Perhaps nitrocans if I can find them.

scottum, Apr 27, 2003
Photo of jreitman
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color with a white head that disappeared quickly. Sweet, grainy smell was quite nice. Biscuity, grain flavors were most prevalent with a nice caramelly sweetness. Towards the back of the mouth there was a detectable, but small, smoky flavor. Dry, low bitterness and light-medium bodied.

jreitman, Apr 24, 2003
Photo of 86MonteSS
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

If ever there was a beer with a "charred" flavor to it, this is it. Like a can of coffee thrown in the fire, Belhaven is very robust. It was much lighter-colored than I had anticipated, but the taste is characteristic of a much darker beer. A very proud head atop a beautiful amber body sets it a world above its Irish counterparts.

86MonteSS, Apr 22, 2003
Photo of Darkale
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Small, cream-colored, short-lived head. True copper color, and very clear. Light nut and hops aroma. Mouthfeel is very thin and clean, with a slightly sour and bitter aftertaste. Flavor is an interesting mix of nuts, coffee, hops -- and even a bit of chocolate, or so it seemed to me.

A brisk beer, which makes it refreshing. Better than average.

Darkale, Apr 21, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a reddish copper, somewhat light and clear, nice fluffy off-white head about two fingers high and wonderful lacing and staying power. Smell is faintly roasted malt and earthy somewhat musky, wet dirt or wet soil sense. Taste is a bit smokey sweet malt with burnt or heavily roasted malt and deep caramel flavors that are not overpowering. Its very gentle and moderate in the bitterness and sweetness that follows through to a slight drying finish. Feel is a touch silky smooth and sweet with a light-medium body thats pretty darn easy to drink.

tavernjef, Apr 14, 2003
Photo of Loki
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have only found any of the belhaven line in nitro cans. The nitro of course give this scottish ale a great head when poored correctly. The head lasted almost the entire glass whether it was the first which was consumed quickly or the last which sat a little more as the evening wound down. The color is a rich copper with a white to off-white head. The aroma was a sweet malt with mild peat undertones. I also picked up a hint of caramel. The taste is nutty with faint smokey tones and again hints of caramel. The mouth feel is very creamy and smooth with a slighty dry finish. Very clean after taste. I drink this regularly, buy it by the case, and always have some either in the fridge or in the pantry.

Loki, Apr 12, 2003
Photo of dmarch
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this in a bottle, but I'm curious to try it in the nitro can. It's very light in body for a scottish ale and only 3.9% by volume. This makes it easily drinkable. Sweet malt and some peat in the aroma and taste. Not exactly what I look for in a Scottish Ale, but I'll call it what it is, a great session beer.

dmarch, Apr 09, 2003
Photo of Scooter77
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It poured a dark copper color topped off with a thick off-white head, which faded away quickly leaving a thin lace splattered on the glass. The aroma is mildly sweet and malty with nutty undertones. There is a full bite of hops upon the initial taste balanced with a fair amount of malt. A bit of nuttiness was also detected. The finish was very dry, with a moderately bitter aftertaste. This was a fairly light-bodied and easy to drink beer. This is the first Scottish ale that I’ve tried and I’ll have to say that it was an enjoyable one.

Scooter77, Apr 07, 2003
Photo of aaronh
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A light copper colored brew with amber highlights topped by dense, creamy tan head. The aroma was a peaty, sweet malt aroma. The taste had a very enticing smoky peat component atop a solid malt background. I think there might have been a bit of hops, but I'm not sure. There was just a tinge of bitterness on the finish. The full mouthfeel contributed to the good drinkability. A nice, solid brew.

aaronh, Apr 06, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.05/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a really great looking dark honey amber with a nice fluffy off-white head that lasted for the whole glass and laced in a stellar fashion. The nose to me was of whiskey. I had this brew with a strong spicey dish and this beer was too light for it. It has a wonderfully creamy and smooth mouthfeel that tended to soothe the spice edge of my meal, but the taste was just not in sync with the look of this beer. The start seemd creamy sweet, but finished a bit cloying. I finally decided that the taste that I was getting was of a sour malt, which is consistent with the whiskey smell I sensed.

This beer is beautifully bottled and labeled. I just wish it tasted as good as it looked.

AtLagerHeads, Mar 30, 2003
Photo of fattyre
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear golden/red color with a creamy white head. The mouthfeel is rather silky because of the nitrogen and is better in a bottle. The smell is somewhat smoky and peaty. The taste is round maltiness with smoky peat flavors. A fairly tasty scottish ale that is much better in the bottle.

fattyre, Mar 27, 2003
Photo of BeerBuilder
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’ve tried this one in the nitro can and wasn’t overly impressed, so I figured I would give the bottle version a whirl. It poured copper in color with a orange hue. It formed a thick head with a good amount of lacing. The aroma was faint smoky, nutty, almost bread-like. The flavor has the same characteristics as the aroma; it was bready, nutty and faintly smoky. This is a very smooth, light-bodied beer; lighter than I expected. It is definitely an easy drinking brew.

BeerBuilder, Mar 26, 2003
Photo of taez555
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured the beer into a 16oz pint glass. Like all nitro can beers, it gave the classic casscading effect that eventually would settle into a clear body and creamy head. This examble was a nice light brown/amber with classic white cappucino-esque head.
The nose was nice and subtle, with scents of earth, wood, malt and a very very subtle peat smokey aroma.
Tasting this beer was deffinatly an experience. At first the beer almost appeared to have no taste. The classic watery, foam, lack of carbonation hit that most guinness drinkers are very familiar with. This beer though had a very nice follow through which brought on a really nice malty roasted flavor with lots of great peat malt. Then it was followed by a perfectly balanced bitterness. Then just died down in a very mellow ending.

What really is most amazing about this beer is how subtle and yet complex this beer is. Like listening to an amazing record album or CD, but at a very very low volume. If you're not paying close attention you'll miss it. Which is really a great commentary also on the differences between the in your face styles of the US or Belgium vs the very subtle beers of England, Scotland and Ireland.

I really enjoyed this beer and would deffinatly pick this over most of the nitro beers out there. As for the scotch ale style, again I really like the subtleness. American scotch ales, if you find them, are very in your face smoke and malt. This is a nice reserved examble of a great beer.

taez555, Mar 24, 2003
Photo of shirfan
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours crystal clear and copper-orange, with a sudsy soft tan head that retreats to a fair layer of lace.

Smell is soft, peaty, with just a hint of chocolate, mild hops, and smoke.

Tastes like it was designed for session drinking. Starts just a little sharp, moves to mild-mannered malt, with a peat/smoke flavor and a soft, earthy feel. Finishes a little toasty, with an understated hops bitterness. Goes a tad sour in the aftertaste, a little diacetyl?

Not watery in the least for such a small ABV, this would be right at home in a pub with good friends. Doesn't really strike me as a food-pairing beer, more of something to enjoy over the course of an evening.

shirfan, Mar 22, 2003
Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On nitro at many establishments around Boston.

The same rich and creamy head you would expect from anything on nitro, bright brassy colour shines in the light. Sweetish malty aroma with a faintness of hop.

There is that creamy nitro body again, thicker than it actually is. Malty sweet with a light metallic caramel malt note, some hop bitterness to balance and a cleaner finish than I expected.

This is one nitro-tap that I opt for over Guinness if they don’t have Murphy’s. I gladly quaffed many pints of this Monday, March 17th 2003.

Jason, Mar 21, 2003
Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 1,598 ratings.