Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

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Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPABelhaven Twisted Thistle IPA

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726 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 726
Reviews: 412
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 14.99%
Wants: 16
Gots: 65 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ADR on 09-24-2005

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 726 | Reviews: 412
Reviews by stingrayvr6:
Photo of stingrayvr6
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Grech's Millbrook Inn in Pond Eddy, NY. Pretty light golden amber color. Not much head. Smell was dry and grassy. Taste was fairly light and watery then floral hops and a very dry finish. Slight off-taste. Not bad but not great, not worth trying if you like robust IPAs.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a rich deep golden with a nice creamy white two finger head that slowly settles leaving a sheet of lace behind.Aromas are English all the way herbal "green" a little minty over top of caramel malt seems to have a hard water elemant as well.Flavors are mild compared to the American more hop driven IPA's,herbal and a touch earthy with a big caramelly sweet malt base wich is just as big as the hop character.This is as balanced an IPA I have had not bad but I want more hops in my IPA I guess.

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – The huge, stubborn, foamy head promised the traditional big yeast of the style. The body also was a deep, dark orange, alluding to the same commitment.

Smell – Ah, definitely an Englander. The hops are mild, the nuts pronounce, the yeast . . . uh . . . yeasty, and the malts light but very prominent.

Taste – Oh, man, this has a very strong smoky peat flavor that I missed at the nose. The spices are herblike and very big. The hops and malt from the nose are here but clearly overshadowed by the yeast and spicing.

Mouthfeel – This is actually a solid medium-bodied with some good carbonation (examples of the style imported here into the US are often cheap and fizzy like Alka-Seltzer). The bitterness is very easy on the tongue.

Drinkability – The herbal flavoring takes some getting used to and I didn’t see that big smoky character advertised anywhere on the bottle, but me likes it. Also, the label says that it has Cascade hops, but damned if I could find them. Why would you put Cascade hops in an English-style IPA anyway?

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my folks for this birthday present. The a.b.v. listed on the bottle is 6.1%, not 5.3%.

Twisted Thistle pour a rather dark coppery orange hue with a load of sediment suspended throuhout the body. A small off-white head disappears swiftly. Vigorous carbonation shoots up through the glass and peaks at the top of the beer; it is a tumultuous looking beverage. Not much lace is left - just little dots and clumps.

The smell is a mix of buttery malt scents and a minty, light citrus hop profile. There is also a slight caramel influence which is offset by a bit of a leafy and grassy hop smell. When swirled the leafy, citrusy hops overbalance the malt nicely.

The taste has a fine balance between buttery and caramel malt flavors and a leafy, mintry, citrus-y (mainly lime) hop bite. The two components take turns stating their cases on my palate, with the hops eventually winning out in the end and leaving a bit of an earthy, minty, grassy flavor.

Twisted Thistle has a pretty medium-bodied mouthfeel, with a creamy malt middle sandwiched between nippy citrus and leafy hops on the tip of the tongue and earthy, grassy hops drying out the sides of the palate. The carbonation is fairly high and complements the flavors nicely.

This is a nicely drinkable English IPA which would be quite sessionable. I like how the malt sweetness mingles with the hop bitterness, with the hops winning the friendly competiton between the two just at the very end. I would buy this again if I wanted a fairly mellow IPA with just enough of a hop bite.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is a honey-colored beer with thick, white sheets of lacing that stick like crazy. It gives off the aroma of honey, clover, cracked grain, and grassy hops. The mouthfeel on this beer is quite striking, chewey and grippy. The beer is a creamy blend of herbal hop, bready grain, camomile and other tea flavors, and bitterness that creeps in just at the end. In fact, the artfully subdued bitterness is the only thing that might keep this IPA down in the score for taste. I expect a little more bite.

Photo of -DF-
3.39/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

0,33 bottle (export only)
Alc. 5,6% vol.

Photo of JMD71
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ap: Deep golden orange color with thick head. Head persists. Carbonation medium.

Ar: Malty profile dominates but hops are definitely in evidence too. Milder in hop aroma than American IPA's but that was expected.

Ta: Very flavorful malty middle with nice hop finish. Well balanced without being overly bitter or not bitter enough.

Mo: Light to medium bodied. Leaves mouth feeling very crisp & clean.

Dr: Highly drinkable. Very crisp & refreshing.

Really enjoyed this English IPA. As my first UK IPA, I thought it was very flavorful without being overly hoppy or bitter as common with American IPA's.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Belhaven Twisted Thistle pours from the 1 pt, 9fl. oz bottle a deep, slightly cloudy amber orange with a half inch of bubbly white head. A bit of lacing sticks to the glass. Aromas of of citrusy Cascade hops upfront with some nice piney notes as well. A bit roasty with some caramel and maybe even a bit smokey.

First sip brings some nice toasted, caramel malts upfront that quickly meet up with a blast of hoppy flavors. Earthy, citric and a touch of pine are in the mix here. Finishes with a light hint of smokiness, quite dry with a nice bitter hop flavor. A tasty brew overall, maybe even a bit doughy at times.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a big, fast moving carbonation that races across the tongue with each sip. It ends up being a tad bit too bubbly for me. Drinkability is quite good. Much more outwardly hoppy than many English IPA's I have sampled, I could see myself having a few of these in a sitting with no real problem. Nicely balanced while still providing plenty of hoppy goodness.

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
2.4/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Very little hop aroma. Fairly flat with minimal bitterness.

Photo of merlin48
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy amber body with a lavishly creamy vanilla head that retains quite well. Attractive spiderweb lacing.

Aroma features sweetish toffee malt that is quickly eclipsed by a grapefruit and spicy hops profile that is Challenger and Cascades according to the label. A note of floral hops is also picked up.

Lovely mouthfeel is creamy and well carbonated on a solid medium body.

Taste is a well integrated combo of biscuity English malts and American hoppiness of citrusrind and pinecone. The zesty carbonation enlivens the flavors nicely. Spicy hop notes and a fleeting hint of pears add a nice complexity as it warms. Finishes with a light hop bitterness.

A fine session ale. Very well put together. Surprising Scottish take on an IPA.

Photo of Billolick
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9 ounce bottle, w/o any freshness/bottling information to be found. Pours clear typical amber, light tan head, some retention and then some nice fine lace left on the glass. In the sniff phase, I'm getting some fairly strong notes of malt and whiskey/grain/woody peat. This is an enjoyable fairly assertively hopped (for a Brit. offering) IPA. Nice balance between the malts and Hops. Plenty of dark wheat, malty notes and the hops are softly grainy. Long finish with more whiskey/Scotch undertones. Nice stuff, nothing amazing but certainty a worthy session candidate

Photo of badbeer
2.31/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Amber color with a white head leaving good lacing, some yeast chunks floating. Floral, little caramel background, medicinal. Cardboard and caramel with a weird hop twang and a sour aftertaste. Average carbonation and light bodied. I would probably try this again because I think I got a bad bottle, but this one was not very good.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I ventured to Carytown Wine and Beer recently, just to see what they had...and saw this "New Arrival". I'm always up for a new IPA, so the $3.49 was plunked down without thought.

Color is a clear copper, with an infusion of honey...maybe a dash of auburn for good measure. Tight, tiny-bubbled off-white head is about 1/2 finger thick. Micro-thin bubbles offer up some thin rings of lace.

This is brewed with Challenger and Cascade hops. Fresh and hoppy nose. Notes of citrus, freshly-cut grass, and peppery spice.

Flavor offers up a sharp twang of bitterness on the taste buds, followed by a rising sweetness that is quickly subdued again by a bitter and somewhat smoky finish. Quite a long aftertaste.

A strange mouthfeel sensation with this one...a very "powdery" character. It's hard to explain, but caught me off guard. Don't get me's not bad in any way. It's different. Nice level of body and the carbonation is right. Relatively low ABV. Very flavorful and one I'll purchase in the near future (if only to send to AKSmokedPorter, as I know he wants to try this one). I drool at the thought of trying this on cask.

Photo of djmitche
2.2/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I have had this beer on tap at Duke of Perth in Chicago many times, and loved it -- it's a great mild IPA with a nice floral aroma.

Out of the bottle? This was massively disappointing. It was ridiculously sweet, smelling of some sort of scent extract and leaving that sticky sugary feeling you get from artificially sweetened juices.

My bottle was had in the US, and was clear glass, claiming to have been brewed in Dunbar.

I'm heading to Scotland in a few weeks, and i will make a point of looking this beer up to see whether it's been Duke of Perth or the bottle deceiving me as to this beer's true nature. I hope Duke of Perth had it right!

Photo of Cavanaghty
1.81/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from bottle into a standard beer glass.

Appearance: Clear amber in color. About four fingers of white head with heavy lacing on the glass. I was not impressed by the selections of this particular beer at the store, I got the only bottle that was "fresh" and did not have anything floating in it.

Smell: Alcohol and strong bitter hops that burned my nose when I smelled.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Medium bodied, it had a strong bitter taste throughout the beer, rather unpleasant actually. Strong alcohol taste as well.

Overall: I am a huge fan of pale ales, this one, unfortunatly, did nothing but disappoint me. The other beers in the same batch, that were dated the same, in the case at the store had what looked like orange peels floating in them. This beers was the cleanest looking of them all that day, and I wanted to try an new IPA. The bottle cap was secure like it should have been and was not a twist off. So I'm not sure if this was a bad batch or what. I also noticed that the picture displayed here shows a brown bottle, the one I had was clear. Perhaps I will revisit this brew in the future.

Photo of Snyder18
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Hazy Pale Gold with cottony white head of about 3/4 inch quickly dissapating to a very thin opaque layer supported by a great deal of carbonation.

Smell - Fruity, grassy, floral and citrusy.

Taste - Slightly sour, Grapefruit, hint of malt sweetness. Finishes very dry with lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - High end of medium bodied. Fizzy. Lots of carbonation.

Drinkability - Highly drinkable for an IPA. Not as hoppy as the american versions so your tongue and taste buds wont fatigue as quickly.

Photo of magictrokini
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

As much at their flagship Scottish Ale sucked, this one is quite impressive. Pours clear gold with a decent white head. Sharp, peppery hops that actually smell like a thistle. Astringent hop taste, more on the English IPA spectrum (duh, its from Scotland), with a decent amount of orange citrus flavors, and a sweeter, honey-malt finish. A pleasant surprise.

Photo of far333
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear orangey copper with a full inch-high head of white lumpy meringue. Bits of lace dot the sides and slide quickly down the glass.

Aroma of biscuity malt, grassy notes and muted citrus.

Flavor is initially sharp and rugged, full caramel malt accentuated with a tannic, almost smokey flavor. Hops are very understated, tastes almost like a fall seasonal with hop undertones.

Full and rich mouthfeel, very satisfying. Not what I expected at all for the style, but tasty in its own way.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a good ipa, very clear, an orange and yellow mix. Nothing noteworthy aromawise.

Taste is unique, a light fruity smack with a small hop infusion. Very nice. Mouthfeel keeps remaining light. Hides the alcohol very well. Very drinkable, nice price for what it is. One of my favorite English IPAs, right up there with Fuller's.

Photo of ADR
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium amber, orangey, and essentially transparent. Tight white foam at over 1/4 of an inch. Sudsy complicated laces, nice-looking. Aroma of fresh hops (Cascade and Challenger), almost citric with grass elements. Lighter body and medium carbonation. Malts are not really identifiable, give way to hops early in the profile. Bitterness builds, senses of rind and the teeth chattering pith (even approaching a too harsh graphite character). A little unidimensional and even "North American" but no signs of oxidation or papery fade (but there is a slightly off cheap cologne impression in later sips). To its credit, the flavor is stubborn and holds on well. A pretty decent rendition, just not a standout to my mind. Nice looking brew though.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paired with some Piper's Pub...Shepard's Pie...appears a clear copper light off white head leaves fine even lace with thick bands of evenly coated lace. Aroma contains mild funky character with a UK tone doughy malts and an air of piney and floral hop aromatics with a must filled earthy dankness...I likes. Flavor biscuit and toasted crackers mild ripened fruit note hops scream English to me but there's also a layer of citrus in there who knows? Anyway the UK IPA brings a funky tart bitterness full of more piney, earthy, and floral hops onto the ol palate. Mouthfeel has a smooth carbonation easy going light - medium bodied IPA. Drinkability...well, what's not to lake when downing this beauty with some of the best Shepard's Pie on the map flows easily down the gullet you may just have two pints of this one.

Photo of ByTor2112
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured to my Samuel Smith Impy Pint Glass-Gasp! Scottish ale to a Brit glass?
Great pale color with a honey orange hue coming through with the light. Puffy two-finger head flourishes and slowly reduces down to a solid crown of foam. Lacing is better than spotty, but not overly sticky.
Aroma-Floral hop bouquet, not very pungent.
Mouthfeel-medium bitterness delivers a mild palate of malt flavors. I hate to type the word balanced but this IPA is mild mannered in a good way. Malt flavors are just beneath the hops.
Very sessionable and Belhaven has never disappointed.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a faintly hazy golden orange body with a thin white lacy head. There was very little carbonation but a few slow bubbles gliding to the surface.

S- The soft faint hops note has a citrus note but the citrus is more with the lightly toasted malt notes than with the hops.

T- The pale malt has a hint of dry crystal malt flavor that is a bit earthy. There is a slight soft band-aid taste that might be an off flavor or might be a smoky peat flavor. There is a nice hop bitterness in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight creamy texture.

D- I’m not sure about this beer. I can't tell if there was supposed to be that unique band-aid flavor, which was not nearly as strong as some homebrews with infections, or if it was another flavor of malt that I wasn't expecting in an IPA.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden orange with a thin fluffy head that is gone before I can throw the bottle in the recycle bin. The liquid isn't cloudy but it isn't 100% clear either. Looks like there is some nice carbonation as fine stalks of tiny bubbles rise in the somewhat hazy beer.

Smell is of very faint hops and slightly sweet malts. Nothing profound to describe here as the scent doesn't have anything grandiose to it.

The taste is also anticlimactic. The best way to describe it is mild mannered. There are some citrus flavors there but they don't last long and fade into a thin malt flavor with a weak hop characteristic.

Its nice in the mouth because its so mild. To me this is a beer you could drink on a while because it doesn't get boring, however it never got exciting. This beer is the pussy cat of IPAs

Photo of brewQ
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Classic light copper color,
medium head that's not highly charged.

Lightly fruity and floral aroma- not overly hoppy.

Hops on the tongue but quickly cleansed away.
An earthy/grain finish that is slightly warming and sweet.

Seems to be constructed mostly for drinkability.

Decent brew but I'd hoped for more.

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Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
83 out of 100 based on 726 ratings.