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Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPABelhaven Twisted Thistle IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

632 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 632
Reviews: 396
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 15.14%
Wants: 9
Gots: 19 | 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)
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Ratings: 632 | Reviews: 396 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RBorsato


4.83/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted on-tap 01/10/07 at St. Andrews pub in Times Square in NY, NY.

Nice golden/copper color with a decent oof-white head. Very nice floral/herb/grassy (heather-like?) hop aroma and flavor. Seems perfectly balanced without being sweet or bitter in any way. Medium bodied and creamy smooth with a nice balanced finish.

One of the best English IPA's that I've ever had... refreshing more so probably because I had it right after the Belhaven Wee Heavy. What a contrast - 2 great but very different beers.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2007 17:56:52 | More by RBorsato
Photo of Morris729


4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy pale orange color with a foamy white head that leaves sticky webs of lace across the sides of the glass as it recedes. Nose is dry grains along with earthy and grassy hops. Taste is toasted malt along with smoky peat followed by an herbal hop bitterness. The peat is rather unique in this style of beer, but it seems to work very nicely in this particular brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2007 03:55:23 | More by Morris729
Photo of theopholis


4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden orange color with impressive but loose white head. Head is very impressive, with lots of staying power, and leaving significant lace.

Aroma: Very nice mix of malty sweetness and floral hops. Catching a lot of citrus to. It smells fairly sour for the stle.

Taste: Nice. Not as hoppy as you might expect from an IPA, but I'm used to the hop monster American versions. Very nice malt profile. Very good balance between bittering and flavoring hops and maltiness. Very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Again, a very nice mouthfeel. Not heavy and syrupy like some English IPAs. Fairly crisp.

Drinkability: Very good. Good, balanced taste, great visuals and aroma, good mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2007 08:40:54 | More by theopholis
Photo of JMD71


3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2007 22:07:57 | More by JMD71
Photo of shadow1961


3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My pub pint of Belhaven's Twisted Thistle IPA poured out a creamy
white head that quickly collapsed into lace. The brew is a hazy amber
color with a lot of happy particulate matter in suspension. Carbonation
is moderate, and the nose is of malt, herb, and citrus. Mouthfeel is brisk
and a little dry. The flavor is of malt and mellow hops. I was expecting a little
more hop bite and hop fragrence since it is called an IPA. This seems more
like a Pale Ale to me. If you're someone who expects a big hop flavor this is
not the brew for you. There's barely any aftertaste whatever. Hops aside, it's
a mellow, flavorful brew. Quite decent.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2007 06:38:18 | More by shadow1961
Photo of nvsblman


3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper in color, with a pillowy head. A little yeast in suspension too. Earthy hops in the aroma with some caramel and a slight hint of smoke. Smoky peat flavor with the earthy hops leading into a nicely bitter finish. Also noticing some orange zest. Pretty dry finish and really refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2007 23:21:29 | More by nvsblman
Photo of Stimack

New York

4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was able to give this one a try the other night on tap. The brew poured to a orange to copper color with a fair sized head that surprisingly had a good amount of retention and did leave a fair amount of lacing down the whole side of the glass. The aroma was nice, clear hop scent but it was not overpowering at all. Also was able to pick up a biscuit scent that seemed pretty strong which seemed to mute the hop aroma. For some reason this is what I have grown to expect from a English IPA, more rounded out than our American brews that seemed to be serious hopped up on hops. Either way I love both styles and am not sure that the differences are just something that I am perceiving or not? Anyway, back to this brew, the taste was very good as it has a smooth quality to it. A strong hop taste is noticeable up front but not sure if that is because I was expecting it from the scent of the brew. It did seem to break away from a dominant hop start to have a nice malt flavor in the middle. Over all this is a nice drinking brew, one that is not out of balance and one that I feel would be a great session brew.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2006 01:57:41 | More by Stimack
Photo of Conrad

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My bottle must have been a fresh one, as there were no floaties or sediment. It poured nice and clean, with an inch thick head that settled but didn't disappear, and left pretty lacing.
The colour is a rich amber on the honey-orange end of the spectrum.
Smell: Had to search through the foam, and noted pine cone, some tart hops, some fruit, and some that I couldn't identify, but were pleasing none the less.
Taste: As an IPA should, this had hops dominating some roasted malt. Some fizz, and alcohol flavour.
Mouthfeel: A creamy moderate body with a clean finish. A nice level of bitterness that says "have another slurp".
Drinkability: Yessir. This is a keeper. Goes down smooth and calls for another.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2006 19:39:44 | More by Conrad
Photo of mrmanning

Ontario (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle- Aromas of floral cascade, perfumey hops, pine, and citric rinds. Pours a deep amber,with a solid white , two finger cap, with pretty lace. Tastes pretty piney, bitter, lemon zest, bready matls towards the end, and the challenger really give the cascade a go. This could be the first UK IPA that I actually really like. The UK, and an IPA?? Who knew?

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2006 21:26:54 | More by mrmanning
Photo of hunteraw


3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Solid example of an English IPA

Appearance: Surprisingly large quantities of floaties, despite not being particularly disturbed.

Smell & Taste: Some citrusy hops, slight diacetyl in the aroma. Flavor is along the same lines - some earthiness I associate with English ales. Not bad, and distinctly an English version of the IPA.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Medium body, slightly slick. Good drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2006 04:53:48 | More by hunteraw
Photo of xav33


3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA
English pint bottle
Recent bottling, uprooted 11/06
Medium pour in a pint glass

Poured a hazy orange with a large fizzy somewhat lasting white head with good lacing.

Smelt of moderate peaches, apricot, perfume and flowers.

Taste was upfront moderately bitter sweet bitter pine and light peaches followed by a strong bitter grassy moderate clover honey sweetness and light roasted malt feel on an average length perfume finish. Palate was light to medium bodied, slightly dry, exaggeratedly fizzy, so much that it stings the tongue, and lightly astringent.

Overall, who would have thought the Scots could make such a nancy tasting mellow English-style fruity IPA. It's easy drinking and tasty, but the fizzy palate ruins the whole experience. Kinda reminds me of all the peppy annoying fat high school girls I knew that smelled like fruity crap. Comparable to sniffing girl's panties. Always an interesting proposition. I feel dirty. I need a rauchbier.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2006 05:55:06 | More by xav33
Photo of TexIndy


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1Pt, .9oz bottle with notches on back label that I assume are dating but cannot interpret. Nice amberish, honey color with a good couple fingers of head that slowly dissipates to a constant thin head. Good lacing throughout. Smell was hard to pin down. When first poured, I got a citrusy smell with hints of lavender but as the beer warmed the overall smell faded to a non-distinct, light malt smell. The mouthfeel was awesome - very creamy and full bodied. IPA's have not been my style in the past but have been growing into the style lately and could see this in my semi regular rotation. Highly recommend (4, HR/RR, T,Y)

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2006 02:33:49 | More by TexIndy
Photo of thagens


4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very good representation of an English IPA.

Appearance: Copper colored with an inch of head.

Aroma: Piney/citrusy hops very pleasing to the nose.

Taste: Not as bitter as an American IPA so perhaps a little easier to drink for some people.

Mouthfeel: Nice feeling. Good amount of carbonation

Drinkability: Pretty easy to drink. Not overwhelmingly bitter.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2006 23:10:51 | More by thagens
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Belhaven's Twisted Thistle pours a clear amber body with glowing golden highlights beneath a massive head of rocky white foam. The head retention is excellent, and it leaves beautiful rings of lace that are reminiscent of ripples in the sand on a pristine beach.Citrusy (orange, mild grapefruit) and gently pine-like and spicy hops greet you in the nose. It's medium-light in body, and smooth with a restrained carbonation. Bready and lightly caramelish malt acts as the base of the flavor, but it's quite fruity above that with both yeast character and hops kicking in notes of apple, orange, apricot, and both dark and light raisins. It finishes malty sweet but drying, with a dollop of lingering honey and some mild piney and spicy hop character. A beautiful, interesting and unique beer! Clean, fresh, hoppy, malty, perfectly balanced, and easy to drink!

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2006 00:39:44 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of grub

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a nice golden orange colour with a half inch of head. the head slowly drops to a layer on top and a nice ring of lace down the glass.

aroma is good. biscuity malt and a definite hop presence. slightly piney and almost medicinal. hint of grapefruit.

taste is also good. great malt backbone and a strong bitter kick. resiny hops that stick to your mouth and linger for a long time. bit of sting from the carbonation. taste feels like it's lacking something though, can't quite put my finger on it.

mouthfeel is decent. thicker than i expected, but the carbonation is a little higher than i'd like.

drinkability is good. hides its alcohol fairly well and is well balanced. very enjoyable drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2006 00:34:59 | More by grub
Photo of cafemondegar


4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer at the Don Hall's restaurante on Coventry Lane in Fort Wayne, IN. An avid IPA enthusiast, I immediately settled for the Twisted Thistle after giving the beer menu a once over- a decision I can honestly say i rejoiced.
It is a fantastic beer. It was an IPA all right, but it had that distinctive Scottish quality wherein the hoppiness is subtle but at the same time, pervasive. I am already looking forward to my next bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2006 04:34:42 | More by cafemondegar
Photo of DrJay


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear orange with a big, fluffy white head. Thick lacing and good retention. Pleasant biscuity malt aroma with lightly citrus, earthy, spicy hops. Bitterness is pronounced, but much more balanced than an American IPA - the bitterness appears mild until the finish, where it really pushes forward and lingers. Malt kicks things off but fades quickly, followed by refined citrus hops. Fine bubbles, moderate carbonation. A little dry with a medium/light body. This is pretty nice, well balanced with plenty of hop character.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2006 00:19:26 | More by DrJay
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear amber color ale with a bug white foamy head with great retention. Aroma of dry and bitter hops is dominant and enjoyable. Taste is dominated by the dry and bitter hops with some caramel malt backing. Body is about average and carbonation is quite lively. This is like a hops induced bitter and overall quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2006 17:01:15 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of merlin48


4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2006 12:53:21 | More by merlin48
Photo of funkengruven

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another selection that was currently available at the LCBO that I thought I'd give a try, and I'm glad I did.

This poured a nice amber with a decent looking inch thick head that slowly reduced to a slight ring. Smell is sweet, some hops deep in there, quite nice overall. The flavor of this brew is quite nice, an assertive hop character with some barley malt, Pretty decent.

This is well balanced and very drinkable brew, And I'd get this one again.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2006 00:12:59 | More by funkengruven
Photo of crwills

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a few bottles of this at the LCBO -- it's part of the surprisingly good Fall release.

Poured a dull brownish copper, with gold highlights. Reminds me of iced tea. Small foamy head, with more lacing than I'd expect.

Aroma is soapy, tangerine hops, grapeskins, and mild wine notes. Flavour is surprisingly malty! Caramel, bread, and even some weak chocolate elements. Backbone is still nice and hoppy, however, with some clementine, citrus, and pine.

Mouthfeel is moderate, but good for the style. Aftertaste is a little weak and watery. Very lightly carbonated.

This would be a great session beer for me -- I might grab a few more bottles.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2006 21:35:16 | More by crwills
Photo of demcorhip

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up at the LCBO yesterday along with a few otheres they brought in for fall. Nice to see some new brews there, even if its only on a seasonal basis.

Poured a nice clear amber coloured ale. A generous two finger, off white head formed on the pour. Once the head subsided thick lacings remained in this mildly and finely carbonated brew.

Pleasant bready malty aromas and a hint of caramel. Grapefruit hop scents round out this IPA.

Not as big and bold as its cousin, the American IPA, but a very nice and flavourful brew. Very nice and clean malt flavours of biscuit, some bread, and a touch of caramel sweetness. Nicely hopped with good, bitter grapefruit flavour that lingers.

Nicely balanced IPA, with good malt and hop character. Light-medium in body, enhanced by fine carbonation, and the lingering zesty hop bitterness.

Very drinkable, pleasant, clean, and refreshingly bitter IPA. Very sessionable, and conceals its alcohol content very well. Would be a great introduction to hoppier ales, and would make decent crossover fare and serve as a great introduction to its bigger and bolder US cousin, the American IPA.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2006 22:30:48 | More by demcorhip
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear copper-gold with a stiff and copious head.

S - Big floral and fruity aromas and a slight cheesiness. Notes of roasted grain as well, but the fruit and flowers carry the day. Spicy.

T - First impression is big hops. Grassy and slightly tart-citrus/lemonyness. Indeed like a pale ale, but bigger. Bitter for sure, but the hoppiness tends more towards the aroma than flat-out bitterness.

M - Surprisingly light bodied - the hops help to lighten the maltiness, and not overly carbonated. Refreshing while being flavourful.

D - I'm enjoying the fresh hoppiness of this one. Sometimes IPAs (esp. English style) seem to come off as bitter without a aromatic hop presence, but not this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2006 02:48:29 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of tatterdash

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear amber with a bubbly off white head that laces quite well. Aroma is a blast of cascade hops and grapefruit. There is an earthy smell as well, almost like a hidden off-smell, barely there though. Taste was one that would make British troops smile in India ages ago. Plenty of grapefruity hops, some bitter-sweet chocolate, sourish malt and a huge lengthy dry hoppy finish. Sharp peppery carbonation, not over-powering and contributes to its refreshing character. The relatively high ABV is very well hidden. This is the best Belhaven beer I've had for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2006 23:56:05 | More by tatterdash
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before Dec 07.

A: Very clear with a bronze-amber hue. Slightly off-white head, some retention, excellent lace.

S: Pine, grass & a little citrus rind and floral aroma. Slight caramel & bread/biscuit in the background.

T: Plenty of hop flavour (pine, grass, grapefruit/orange citrus & rind, slight hint of metallic flavour); The hop flavour is certainly more North American than UK. Fairly assertive & crisp bitterness (balanced nicely for the style). Light caramel & hints of pale malt in the background. Strange hint of tobacco. Only a slight hint of British/bubblegum esters let you know it's an ale.

M: Body is on the heavier side of moderate, yet it's well-attenuated & relatively dry (for the style). Carbonation is on the low side of moderate. Some acidity.

D: Very drinkable.

The Scot's have always been stingy on the hops (they don't grow there, and historically they were taxed heavily)... so this is a pleasant surprise!

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2006 21:11:50 | More by Derek
Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
84 out of 100 based on 632 ratings.