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Belhaven Scottish Ale - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Belhaven Scottish AleBelhaven Scottish Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

850 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 850
Hads: 1,856
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 20.11%
Wants: 58
Gots: 230 | FT: 0
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.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Belhaven Scottish Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 850 | Hads: 1,856
Photo of DaveBar
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the LCBO for just over $2.00 for a 500ml can. Served at 6deg C in a draught glass

A- Opened with a mighty pow! Super head and cascade. Good Golden color

S- Pretty good malt that is for sure!!!

T- WOW that malt is back!

M- Creamy good. Not that great but good

O- Very good. Will try on tap if I find it

Food Pairing

This nice little beer went well with.... Fish and Chips


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Photo of seedyone
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

11/28/12 On tap. Nitro this time. Really smooth. Considering the low ABV, this was a very satisfying drink. My only problem is that I didn't get a "stunning ruby color in the glass". It was barely beyond blonde, but color isn't flavor, so...

June 2013 - On tap. Smart balance resulting in a very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of derryd
2.38/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this in a 22 bottle from the local liquor store. Clear bottle sitting on a shelf. Upon opening smell has skunky right away, this beer had gone bad from sitting too long and being exposed to too much light. The taste was no better than an average pilsner or lager. Reminded me of the skunky Hienken I use to drink thinking it was good beer. Live and learn.

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 6/27/2013. Pours slightly cloudy reddish copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, bread, pear, apple, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with balanced bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop notes; with decent strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, light nuttiness, light roast, herbal, grass, light pear/apple, and yeast earthiness. Slight earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, brown bread, light roast, light nuttiness, light pear/apple, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and light-moderate yeast fruitiness; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and fairly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Scottish ale. Good balance and robustness of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and light-moderate yeast fruitiness; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Wiely
5/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The first time a had this beer was on tap and the Nitro Can is just as amazing. This beer is just awesome, it is hands down one of the best beers I have ever had.

The pour is perfect, the foam is perfect, the taste is slightly creamy yet full of unique flavor that is difficult to describe. The aftertaste is clean and perfect. I am so glad they have this in the Nitro Can. Highly recommend!

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Photo of jlux21
4.69/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I really love this Beer from a can. I got a Nitro keg for home and it's even better. You can down 2 pints before you even know it, it super smooth WOW Nitro is amazing . With all that being said it's an excellent beer anyway you have it, one of my top 5. Many have explained it feel and flavor already , much better than I can . If you have the chance get it on tap if not in bottles or cans it's still darn good.

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Photo of Foyle
2.94/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 440ml can into pint glass
Appearance: pours a frothy, vigorous eggshell head which slowly settles with some delicate lacing. Color is a clear copper with little streaming carbonation.
Aroma: whole wheat bread dough, yeast, floral and earthy hops.
Mouthfeel: creamy, silky and light to medium bodied with a fairly wet finish.
Flavor: a distinct nuttiness combines with caramel, medium roasted barley, and some pleasant herbal/earthy bitterness.
Overall: very good, but the mouthfeel is a bit unusual.

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Photo of MarkoNm
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I think I found one of my new favourite beers.
Pours a clear coppery color with about a finger of two of solid just slightly off-colour head with a decent retention.
The aroma is extra nice. Some malts, some fruity smell but mostly biscuity and nutty notes, easily picked up by the nose.
The taste is likewise, amazing. Starts sweet and is followed by nice biscuity body, slight bitterness towards the end, and finishes with a nice spicy finish.
Easily drinkable, smooth, delicious. Just great.

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Photo of nicholas2121
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Belhaven Scottish Ale brewed by Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.This brew pours out dark amber color or light brown. With 3 shades of brown as the brew sits.It like this brew has 2 heads one fades away. The head is thick, creamy, and white. The smell is rich with flavor. I smell
tobacco and raisins. I'm not saying that is a bad thing. The taste is sweet- but bitter. Nothing overpowering ,but it has a bitter aftertaste. This brew is something I would get again if I was having a nice dinner. I'm giving this brew a 3.75 out of 5.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very clear deep amber color with a moderate creamy white head that settles to a layer of bubbles. Great lacing on the glass as you drink.
S: Bready, nutty, some toffee and other roasted barley sweetness. Light fruit esters as well.
T: Fresh brown bread, toffee, caramel, light esters of cherry like flavor, mild hop bitterness to keep the sweetness from totally running away. Mild earthy hop flavor as well. The finish is on the dry side and sweet.
M: Medium body with tiny crisp carbonation and a dry finish. No warming from alcohol.
O: Very clean and fresh tasting with some slight estery flavors and low on the smoky flavors with this Scottish Ale. Well done and easy to drink! I would get this again.

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Photo of barczar
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Ceramic mug, can't see. Ivory head persists. Throughout.

Toffee, butterscotch, peat, caramel, and nutty, toasted malt are accented by floral hops and grain. Smoky, peaty malt is the star.

Flavor reveals more smoky, peaty dominance at the base, becoming floral, and finishing bitter and dry. There's substantial toasted, nutty malt presence.

Body is fairly light, considering the malt dominant and complexity. Smooth, with carbonation a touch low, and slight harshness at the finish.

Good toasted malt backbone, excellent specialty characters of smoke. The nuttiness matches the slight sweetness well, and the finish is dry enough to be refreshing, albeit a touch too bitter for my liking.

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Photo of Dsimenson
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint pilsner. A bubbly 3/4" head quickly reduces to very nice lacing. The color is a brilliant crystal clear orange-red. I'm having a hard time describing the aroma, but it is mild, and malty. The flavor is malt, nutty, and a bit of hops at the finish. Mouthfeel is tingly with carbonation, and a little creamy, but not much. Overall this is a style I'm not familiar with, but it is at least a very good ale.

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Photo of fourstringer
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a pint can with a widget into a Sam Smith pint glass. Moderate hand. No identifiable date.

A: Copper colored body with good clarity. 2 fingers of creamy, off-white head with impressive retention. Moderate to heavy lacing.

S: Light overall. Suspect the dense, nitro-fueled head is blocking some of the aroma. Traces of malt and faint nuttiness. Honey. Diacetyl. Some soapy, musty off-scents.

T: Sweet, nutty malt with a slow, gradual transition to an almost desiccating English-hop bitterness. Finish is quite dry and mineral. No alcohol. Toast notes with some lingering tang. Some light peat, earth.

M: Thick and rich head yields a nice opening. Body is a bit underwhelming with low carbonation and a light feel.

O: Smooth, dry and nicely hopped. Relatively subdued malt, which I found surprising. Good brew that looks great in the glass, but IMO lacks standout qualities.


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Photo of cyclonece09
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours red amber with a small white head. Smells of dark malt very inviting. Tastes of roasted malt with slight caramel, not overly sweet but still quite tasty. Beer is carbonated a tad heavily but light bodied very drinkable. Overall a very good beer.

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Photo of biegaman
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Belhaven Scottish Ale is a clear, burnt caramel popcorn colour. Its head looks like a floating bloc of white-painted concrete; it has a stoic stillness, the seemingly immovable and imperishable impressions of a large rock and a lacing so ornate it rivals that of an ancient Corinthian pillar.

The aroma dresses a rather conventional, plain maltiness with dainty hints of spring flowers, orchard fruit esters and low levels of buttery diacetyl. They're too delicate to be either readily or greatly appreciated but these subtle garnishes set this ale apart from British bitters or pale ales.

Another faint but distinguishing characteristic is the beer's peaty notes. While it's easy to miss, especially without its usual accompaniment of campfire smoke, that distinctly earthy, 'sea brine and iodine' flavour is present, as is that other representative Scottish flavour: heather.

The soft heather and lavender-like hints of spring flowers are a compliment to the beer's surprisingly soft water profile, white peach-like esters and the restrained sweetness of grains that have been lightly caramelized in the brew kettle (as opposed to on the malting floor). The result is a normal strength beer that drinks like one half its actual size.

Belhaven Scottish Ale is a very plain but pleasant ale that I imagine would be a dream on cask. It is a lavender- and peat-accented, definitively Scottish ale that is very understated, but enjoyable. It is exactly the kind of offering (from one of the breweries) that first turned me off of commercial beer and onto better quality, more engaging craft offerings.

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Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Amber color. Clear. 4.5
S: Honey. Baked apples. Caramel. Surprisingly fruity. 4
T: Strong butterscotch. Honey. A bit of acidity. Reminiscent of apple juice. Clean finish. No bitterness. 4
M: Low carb. Medium body. 4
O: Complex mix of fruity and caramel flavors. Drnk this one pretty warm (maybe 55F). 4

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scottish ale pours a clear brown color with a big lacing head. There is a rotten and earthy aroma. The taste is earthy, with a good full malty based, lots of mellow peaty flavors. Good mellow flavors, everything blends well. Overall a very well built and complete beer.

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Photo of scottford
4.29/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Found this before I flew out of London. If I could have this over in Germany, it'd be a staple in my fridge.

A) nut brown, clear with an off white head about 1-1.5 fingers thick
S) I smell wood and bread. Good stuff!
T) chocolate hints right at the beginning, followed up by a nice smooth bready/malty taste at the end.
M) velvety, similar to melted ice cream.
O) great beer! A must try

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Photo of Radome
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 12 oz. bottle into a goblet.

A - Dark amber with lots of red. Crystal clear. Head is off-white and very fluffy and deep. It is made of tiny bubbles and fades to a solid but thin layer with great lacing.

S - Great clean malt aroma. It smells sweet and brown-sugary, with some plum and raising. Some gentle earthy hops add depth, but it is not very complex.

T - Nutty, bready, graham cracker malt; very clean. Some brown sugar, raisins and plums again. There are enough hops taste and bitterness to keep it from being cloying. The hops are earthy and slightly floral, obviously British. A hint of butterscotch that blends well and also the tiniest bit of smoke. Slightly sweet finish with a hint of alcohol.

M - Medium body. Creamy sensation despite very low carbonation. Low bitterness.

O - An excellent example of the style. Clean, malty and well-made.

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Photo of belhaven11
4.36/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belhaven is hard to beat on tap, if drinking from the bottle I have found it is best poured into a frosty pint glass. I'm sure the draught can is fantastic but I haven't been able to find it on the shelf yet. The best Scottish Ale I have tried so far.

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Photo of mjurney
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep amber color, clear. Lots of carbonation rising up. Frothy, eggshell color head.

Malty, bready, toffee, butterscotch.

Very rich, bready, toasted malts, toffee, butterscotch. Hop bitterness is mild-medium, herbal-spicy. Finish is bitter, semi-crisp. Body is medium, creamy, smooth, a little dryness, nice carbonation.

An outstanding beer.

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Photo of ScottJ
3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Disappointed after drinking Belgian trappiste ales! This does not compare. Had it on tap and it seemed to taste a lot better. Was expecting better quality what a let down. I was expecting better beer after I had it on tap a few years ago. It was not bad but could be better.

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Photo of BethanyB
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: An airy off-white head that settles into a small fluff of a cloud is typical for the style. But what isn't is the medium gold color (light for an SA), as well as the slight haziness.

Smell: Round maltiness with touches of smoke, citrus fruit, and grassy hops. Expected more caramel. Did get some diacetyl, which is fine in this case, and actually brings some balance to the harsher scents.

Taste: Moderate hop bitterness dominates, being accentuated by uncharacteristically high carbonation. A nice roasted nuttiness adds complexity. Malt is clean, and the bitterness, while not particularly harsh, lingers into the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with surprisingly high carbonation

Overall Impression: A fine beer, although it seems to diverge from the Scottish Ale style. Seems to be more of a Northern English Brown to me, but a good one at that! Would have liked to have tasted more evidence of kettle caramelization, and less hop bitterness so that some of the other flavors could come out a bit more.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Like most beers in draught cans, this is a gusher with a nice pale beige rush that ends with about about two fingers' worth of head. Lots of retention from the creamy off white head which has hints of beige. The body is a dark amber with some brown which glows a medium amber with glints of orange when held up to the light. Lacing is left behind in sheets. The body is a little muddy.

Nose- The main component of the nose are sweet, roasted malts which have sour and sweet (almost) vinous notes. These notes suggest burnt bread or burnt toast. Some fruity esters which seem to replace the initial roasted notes. The was a rush of a nitro/burnt toast aroma when I first popped open the can.

Taste- Wow, the vinous notes of the nose really come out. Some of the sour of the nose comes out as well but the dominant aspects of this beer are fruity esters (white to almost red grape) and caramel. Brown sugar and some molasses. Roasted notes on the finish that seem a little burnt. Slight nuttiness but the vinous aspects are hard to escape and really diminish my ability to appreciate this beer. Some citrus notes appear. I don't get any of the floral or herbal hop notes that the style description suggests.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, smooth, medium bodied but wine-like as well. Faint carbonation. This is my favorite part of this beer. Second favorite part: its appearance.

Drinkability- If you ignore the taste, this is a very easy drinking beer. But it low alcohol content and lackluster flavor profile makes this beer's 5 dollar price too high. Will not buy again.

Overall- Not a bad beer but not a particularly good one either. Some of its aspects are off the charts- appearance and mouthfeel- while the others are pretty average.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a clear golden color with ruby highlights and with a 2 finger off-white head. Good retention, resulting in a firm layer of microbubbles across the top. Spotty lacing with good stick.

Smell - Aroma hits on buttery toffee, bits of caramel and very mild coffee notes.

Taste - Follows the nose. Buttery toffee is the most noticeable flavor, along with light notes of caramel and butterscotch, then a mild coffee flavor hits near the finish. Not much in the way of hops, but what's there does provide a touch of bitterness to keep this beer from being too malt-driven. Slightly acidic and sour in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with lively carbonation. Near creamy in the mouth, with a crisp, semi-dry finish.

Overall - I really enjoyed this beer. While it's certainly malt forward, I found great balance in the flavor and mouthfeel. Wasn't too aggressive, hitting in all the right spots. Will I buy this beer again? Hell yes.

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Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
85 out of 100 based on 850 ratings.