1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPABelhaven Twisted Thistle IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

700 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 700
Reviews: 405
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 14.99%
Wants: 14
Gots: 48 | 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.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 700 | Reviews: 405
Photo of Conrad
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of mrmanning
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
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?

Photo of hunteraw
3.8/5  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.

Photo of xav33
3.45/5  rDev -6%
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.

Photo of TexIndy
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
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)

Photo of thagens
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
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!

Photo of grub
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of cafemondegar
4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
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.

Photo of DrJay
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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 funkengruven
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

Photo of crwills
3.85/5  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.

Photo of demcorhip
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

Photo of allergictomacros
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
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.

Photo of tatterdash
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

Photo of Derek
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
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!

Photo of semihobo
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 500ml bottle, first review in a while. Huge head, slowly melts and becomes pockmarked, turning into great lace. Color is honey, very clear. Almost no bubbling.

Smell leaves no doubt. Resiny hops, bottle says Challenger and Cascade and the nose backs it up. More piney than floral or citric. Sweet malt provides the background muzik.

Very smooth. Hops are of course the main attraction but they are not staggering. There is a definite taste of ... well it's like a scotch ale, it's very distinct, the maltiness has a herbal woodiness to it. Sweet and balanced.

Mouthfeel is very pleasant and matches the moderate taste profile, it's wet, for lack of a better word, meaning it's not dry in the way that hop-heavy beers often are. Low carbonation is appropriate.

Very nice and balanced! Everything matches, the hops, the malts, the ABV, carbonation, even the price. Would drink consistently and goes down easy.

Photo of tgbljb
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a crystal clear golden color. Voluminous white chunky head that proved to be fairly long lasting, and slowly fell to a rocky coating. Modest lacing. Smell is fairly mild with a bit of piney hop notes and some bread-like malt also present. Taste is dominated by a strong hop bitterness tempered by a light sweet fruitiness. The ending is more of the dry hoppiness and is a nice finish for this beer. Nice and drinkable, but the big bottle starts to get a bit boring.

Photo of pootz
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle:

Pours a clear amber-gold ale in my glass...wonderful 2 finger rocky cap that lasts and laces.

Aroma is Pacific NW all the way with the Cascades giving the floral grapefuit tones and the challengers with the fresh pine notes..all this over some substantial bready malt sweetness.

Chewy Maris malts meet up with juicy grapefruit -pine hops from the get go and the hops slowly gain power over the mid palate...finishes wet and lightly bittering with a metallic aftertaste that battles a malty biscuit aftertaste.

This is a good rendition of an American Pacific north west APA and fanciers of that style will like it. Ample out front NW hopping, sturdy malts and a satisfying 6.1%ABV ...very drinkable and satisfying.

Photo of mmmbeer
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle. It pours a golden amber with light carbonation and a finger of off-white head. The aroma is perfumy and vinous, with soapy, almost piney hops - very English. It also tastes quite English, with buttery malts, perfumy, spicy, almost minty hops that leave a medium bitterness, and a touch of crisp apple in the back. The body is medium and smooth, leaving a medium finish and it's overall quite nice with good usage of the hops. One that I may revisit at some point.

Photo of ThirdCoast
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: A 1pt 9 Fl. Oz bottle.

A: Nice orangeish color with a good head that seemed to linger for a while.

S: Sweet, Piney woods, light aroma.

T: Earthy, hoppy, tart.

M: Slight sting, the head makes it creamy.

D: Easy to drink, but not the first beer i would order.

Photo of stoner420
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium amber color. Aroma is sweet and hoppy. Taste is kind of crazy, a good amount of hops, then a honey mead taste, followed by a strange plastic-like aftertaste that I couldn't place. The aftertaste is the worst part, but the rest of the beer is so good that I can overlook this. Very drinkable, not too heavy and very interesting, something different for sure.

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

Appearance: Clear medium golden color, a small white head, with slight carbonation, and thick, broken lacing.

Aroma: Sweet, with mild citrus and tropical fruit aromas, pine hop notes and a slight earthiness from the peat malts.

Taste: Opens with sweet caramel malt notes, followed by light fruits, prominent earthy smoked peat malt flavors, and mild hop bitterness at the finish.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and very pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: An interesting interpretation of a familiar style. Well worth a try.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
83 out of 100 based on 700 ratings.