Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPABelhaven Twisted Thistle IPA

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678 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 678
Reviews: 397
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 15.22%
Wants: 13
Gots: 34 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ADR on 09-24-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 678 | Reviews: 397 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mshallah
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark gold with clear liquid and a small head. Aromas are citrus like an American style pale ale. A good amount of spritz on the tongue with sweet malt flavor and fruity esters from the ale yeast. This is a good example of a lighter colored(compared to American IPA's which have become dark for the style)English IPA but with an American C-hops profile. Nice hybrid from our friends across the pond.

Photo of 1759Girl
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm a big fan of Belhaven, and had no idea what I was in for until I began tasting... I actually smelled it and uttered something to the effect of 'wtf?! Is this an IPA?! From Belhaven?!"

A> Hazy, with a creamy vanilla head. A bit lackluster.

S> Cloves, HOPS, herbal notes also

T> Medium complexity, v. sweet start, nice full hop punch, LONG resiny hang which develops into smokiness.

M> Nice, but pretty average.

D> yeah!

Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big fan of Belhaven..tried this on a whim.

Poured a clear amber-orange. Color is a bit lighter at the bottom. Thin white bubbly head, lasted the lifetime. Only mild lacing.

Smells of hop and mild citrus.

Taste is smooth and dry, a bit hoppy but not as strong as I thought it would be, malt presence is nice.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, medium body and near perfect balance.

Drinkability is good. Better than I thought. It's closer to a nut ale or pale ale, but thats for the better. I couldn't pair this with much but its definately a good beer.

Photo of jmbranum
4.85/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

bought at a liquor store in suburban St. Paul, MN

Beautiful amber brew with giant, very fluffy, very substantial creamy head.

Great smell that pulls you in. The taste is great. I don't know if I would call it an IPA (at least by American standards) but it is a very well-balanced Pale Ale. Great malty flavor that reminds me faintly of the taste of a copper penny. Quite dry and just absolutely perfect. Very smooth mouthfeel.

Extremely drinkable. I wish I bought more than one bottle. This is the best beer I've had in some time.

Photo of klewis
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours golden with a big, foamy head. Good sustain and lots of lacing.

S: A strong biscuity smell with light aromas of honey and vegetal hops.

T: Quite malty with flavors of biscuits and a good dose of diacetyl. Hop flavor is quite low - even for an English IPA - but a subtle bitterness provides a nice balance.

M: Medium-bodied with a soft, silky mouthfeel. The thick, creamy head gives a great texture to each sip.

D: Solid all-around and very easy to drink. I'll buy this one again.

Photo of naterock
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice orangy clear with a nice foamy head. head stays and makes a wonderful lace.

Smells like a grassy and Grapefruity hops, slightly malty in the back of the nose. smells very english.

Tastes very flavorful with the hop bitterness. spicy and crisp this is a very well balanced IPA. Very typical for an English IPA but still one that is to be enjoyed. truly a score when you aren't expecting to find it.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The drink pours a clear orange-amber with a thick creamy white cap that recedes to a ring and leaves thin lacing on the glass.

The smell is toasty and malty with a bit of herbal pine and grapefruity hops. A husky malt note provides heft.

The taste is very similar to the smell, with a touch of honey sweetness and just a touch of grapefruit bitterness.

A smooth, medium-bodied drink with a flavor profile that doesn't blot out senses and pound the palate, giving Belhaven's IPA excellent drinkability for style.

Photo of WonderfulSam
4.43/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mostly clear, light orage color with one finger of bubbly white head that hangs around a while. Smell is REALLY nice. Clean, crisp, slightly bitter, with a grape finish! Taste is nicely bitter, VERY well balanced with a mild honey malt backbone and flavors that match the aromas very well. Mouthfeel is somewhat light, definitely crisp, pleasant. So clean and balanced, I could drink this all day. A very interesting beer without being over the top or "extreme."

Photo of atsprings
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crisp orange with a nice frothy head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves great lacing. Aroma is some mild citrus hops and sweet malt. The taste a nice crisp medly of citrus hops with sweet malts right behind creating a nice balance. The beer is on the light side of medium and while there is some stickiness, it's not overbearing. This is a very enjoyable example of the style.

Photo of dsa7783
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle just copped from Gary's in Madison...
Pours a hazy, orange hue with a decent-sized foamy head that soon receded and left a copious amount of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Thick, hop-filled aroma, sweet, with honey in the nose...
Taste: Flavor, likewise, was sweet and malty with a strong touch of hops thrown into the mix along with sweet sugars, honey, vanilla, and slight caramel...
Different than the usual IPA...
Worth a try...

Photo of pwsoldier
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a Belhaven pint glass.

A - Pours a clear amber with a decent rocky white head that sticks around for a while. Plenty of lacing.

S - Floral hop aromas mixed with buttered bread and a hint of citrus.

T - Whoa! This is a very different IPA compared to what I'm used to. I like it though. It's a tad off-balance in favor of the malts, but I like what the added sweetness does to this beer. And the hops are definately present. The dominant flavor is a mix of red apple and citrus with something else there that I can't quite put my finger on.

M - Medium-Bodied, slightly wet finish. The carbonation does a good job of offsetting the sweetness. The malts leave a subtle sweet aftertaste of candied apple.

D - I love this one! It's very smooth and enjoyable. Some die-hard hopheads may be disappointed, but I can definately see myself drinking more of this in the future. A great beer from a great brewery.

Photo of nasty15108
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 1pt. .9oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Poured copper with a nice head of white foam. Decent carbonation and lacing.

S - Herbal and earthy with slight hints of citrus.

T - Slightly medicinal and soapy with hints of citrus. Finishes off bitter and dry. As it warmed up a bit, it got a little sweeter and a little more of a caramel malt flavor was detected.

MF&D - Over all I was very impressed by this IPA, I guess I expected more after drinking Belhaven Scotch Ale. Not horrible, but I wouldn'd buy it again.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a clear copper color, nice sticky and clumpy lacing from a pure white moderate head, the lacing is also sticky and hangs around nicely.

The scent is very herbal with complex healing herbs and spices. Wet barn yard smell, mossy, earthy with allspice. This one is not at all fruity or floral.

The taste is also very herbal but spicey too and a rich malt with a tangy veggie edge. The malt is mildly smokey. Not much depth, but very interesting.

Light to medium feel, crisp carboantion over a soft body feel.

A rather strange and unique IPA.

Photo of GoreStorm
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is and IPA i can actually drink. there is a good malt balance here that makes it better than most IPAs that just taste like i'm swallowing hairspray.

the color and appearance are both good, makes a nice pretty pint. smell is of course hoppy but with a malty sweetness present.

this is a solid beer, nothing spectacular, but it's worth checking out.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice 2 finger head with a good retention that last s for a nice while. Color is orange and clear. The intial head was awesome, but it doesn't stick around as long as I would like (about half way through the glass).

Smell is of buttery and caramel malts. Hops are also there but the malts dominate over the citrusy hops. There is a honey grape undertone as well that adds a little bit to the smell.

Taste has a caramel malt sweetness that provides a nice moderate sweetness. This is balanced by cascade and challenger hops which provide a nice citrusy hoppy bitterness to balance. Again there is a honey grape undertone to the beer which rounds it out.

Mouthfeel is slightly creamy and moderately carbonated. I'd like it to have more carboantion and a little less malt sweetness. However, judging by the style, everything is fairly decent.

This is a good english IPA. I'd like a little more hop bite and a little less malt sweetness. But then again, my preference is for American IPAs over English IPAs. That said, I could session this beer.

Photo of Ben4881
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twisted Thistle IPA
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

The Twisted Thistle is a transparent pale golden color with touches of amber. A frothy billowing slightly off white head erupts from this brew. This beer has great head retention and very nice, unbelievable lacing is left behind as the head slowly retreats to a half inch above the surface. The almost all encompassing lacing persists throughout the drinking experience.

This IPA does not have a very strong scent. What little aroma is present is well balanced between yeast, malt, and hops. No single fragrance takes over. Barely any fragrance is detectable.

Dry, bitter hops take center stage right up front. An excellent caramel malt backbone picks up the slack and eases the bitterness. Then the malt flavor exits for the clean, crisp, and dry hop finish. The bitterness creeps back in the aftertaste, which can be detected in the back of the throat, roof of the mouth, and the back of the tongue. This beer has a great balance.

The Thistle has a light to medium body with a healthy dose of carbonation. The carbonation does not completely take over, but it is definitely noticeable. It is a pretty good feel for the style.

The balanced flavor and light body make this IPA very drinkable. With only 6.1% ABV, this is an excellent session beer.

Photo of deciding39
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A: Pours a copper color with golden hues when held up to the light. A small head dissipates over the course of a minute, leaving a ring that clings to the edge of the glass, lacing a little with each sip.

S: Sweet caramel malt with notes of apple, butterscotch and faint alcohol. There is a mild floral hop note, quite subdued given the style.

T: Caramel sweetness up front that gives way to an assertive hop flavor and bitterness with notes of citrus, cedar and pine. Finishes dry with a pleasant afterbitter that lingers for quite some time.

M & D: Medium-full body with appropriate carbonation. The alcohol content limits its drinkability just slightly, but the complex and well-balanced favor warrants at least a few pints. A very interesting brew - An English-style IPA, brewed by Scots using American hops!

Photo of WillClark
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of 16.9oz bottle into your run of the mill pint glass. Nice amber color with a quickly dissipating head that released nice, light floral tones and slight honey. Nice, balanced mouthfeel- good deal of hop but not overloading. Fantastic finish! Nice bitterness with no residual mouth hang. Great, clean IPA.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a medium copper-orange with a moderate size frothy white head.

S: soft with some light citrus (oranges, lemons) with light hints of fruit and floral hopping.

T: The flavor was lightly hopped against a light palate of british grains. There was some light caramel sweetness that sneaks through before finishing with only a slight and moderate dry floral fade.

M: light, crisp, but watery as well.

D: Moderate drinkability per style, sparingly hopped and watery palate disappoints.

Photo of gmfessen
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's been a while since I've had a good IPA and I saw this one, thought I'd try it out. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a clear, copper-golden color with a thick, foamy head. Smell is milder than I expected; slight malty undertones and a vauge earthy hop pressence. The taste is outwardly malty, I'm not getting much in the way of hops other than bitterness for balance. Again, maybe just a touch of earthy hops. The mouthfeel is pretty light with a foamy carbonation. Overall a good beer, but not what I was expecting from an IPA but maybe that's the difference between an AIPA and an EIPA.

Photo of KeefD
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color with 2 inches worth of foam and lovely lacing down the glass. A nice thick cap settles in a stays put the entire way down. Aroma of nice piney hops and floral sweetness in the nose. Taste is somewhat hoppy but not over the top. Good use of piney hops, with hints of grapefruit and lemon peel, followed up by a good dose of caramel malts. Very bitter and dry on the finish. Full bodied, thick in the mouth and good carbonation that tingles the tongue. A nice English IPA.

Photo of daliandragon
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I remember having this on tap at Hannah Flanagan's in Asheville last year and loving it so when I saw it at Cary Whole Foods last week I figured it was time to get it in writing. Pours a huge, fluffy white head that scuttles to a creamy cap in about seven minutes. Leftover lacing is impressive. Color is a light orange, less copper or reddish than most American IPAs. Hopping in the nose is mild with floral and herbal notes and good, overall balance.

The taste is well layered, with a nice base of toasted malt and a solid overlapping of broad, flavorful hops and light citrus. Not withering or overpowering, but for me quite tasty. The mouthfeel is a little thin but okay for a less alcohol doused IPA than I'm used to and matched by a lower level of carbonation. For me, this is a textbook example of the style and extremely sessionable. Not for those expecting a hop bomb but will certainly have its admirers.

Photo of AlesALot
2.68/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours an orange copper color with an off white head that laces slightly. Crystal clear with light floaties.

Smells sweet and herbal with some biscuit. Not what I want in an IPA.

Tastes herbal and sweet with diacetyl, floral hops, and some hop bitterness with moderate dryness in the finish. Kind of watery for a 6% beer. I'm not getting this one at all. It tastes too much like St. Andrews Ale for me to see the IPA style here.

It feels thick and heavy, but the taste is thin. It is weird.

I don't find it drinkable. I'll por the rest in the sink now and pour an IPA home brew.

Photo of plaid75
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium copper hue with no head.

The smell featured the slightest hop character with some caramel.

The taste was rather bland with a touch of diacytl. Maybe some hop spice, but not much.

The mouthfeel was average for the style.

Overall an uneventful event.

Photo of elniko
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich golden hue, very little head that dissipated quickly. This beer had been in the fridge for a little while so it might have lost a little freshness.

S: Nose fairly weak, a little flowery. Mild hop scent as well.

T & M: Very pleasant taste, good example of English/Scottish style IPA. Hops are definitely there but do not overwhelm either. Dry finish, mouthfeel pleasant.

D: Definitely drinkable, I could definitely drink this beer again. My favorite English style IPA that I've had thus far. Definitely recommended.

Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
83 out of 100 based on 678 ratings.