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Belhaven Scottish Stout - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Belhaven Scottish StoutBelhaven Scottish Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

590 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 590
Reviews: 267
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 48
Gots: 64 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Stout |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: John_M on 02-28-2009

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 590 | Reviews: 267 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of northaustin
2.38/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

pours a thick black with minimal white head which disappears quickly and leaves almost no lacing.

smells bad. all roasted malts are overdone and it smells like nothing mixed with burnt syrup.

taste: things are lookin up but not much. very watery and bland. there is a bang of syrup and dry malts at the end though.

mouthfeel: drinks like a thick water but leaves your cheeks and throat very dry.

i usually like belhaven but this is a miss for me.

Photo of Freethyhops
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into a Hobgoblin pint

A- pours dark brown/black in color with light seeping in at the edges of the glass. a health finger of creamy cream colored head. nice head retention and decent lacing. looks right on par with a nice stout here

S- sweet caramel and roasted malts coming through on the nose. a bit bready...the roasted character is the strongest of the aromas

T- bittersweet chocolate mixes with light roasted characters up front. lingers into a dry bready almost sour finish I always associate with english/irish stouts. the chocolate and roastiness are the stars of the show and make this a tasty example of a style I'm really not a huge fan of.

M- light/medium in body, which is expected for the style. the carbonation is obviously present but stays on the subtle side. a bit of creaminess but not exceptional for the style.

D- finishing the bottle is no problem. I probably won't revisit just because it isn't my cup of tea but I could certainly drink a substantial amount of this beer with ease and there is no sign of the 7%, which is on the high side for the style


Photo of bret27
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle with about a year on it.

Bottle states, "This deluxe stout is brewed for a full roasted chocolate flavour with a hop character that complements a blend of triple malts."

Yeah I can see that.

S: Bittering hops, smoke, malt, dirt

A: Pretty black, ok head

T: There is an interesting malt blend w/their special well water probably contributing. Very unique taste, complex chocolatey/smoky w/peat. Hop bitterness as well.

M/D: Not all that thick, fairly drinkable. 7% and not claiming imperial status. works for me.

Photo of flagmantho
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: entirely black but for a nice ruby tinge when held up to a light source. Head is half a finger of dense tan foam. It's appealing.

Smell: slightly sweet, slightly acrid roasty aromas. Coffee is present but way in the background; chocolate is a little more forward but not much. Roastiness is subtle and quite nicely proportioned.

Taste: slightly sweet; some fruity flavors come through. Bitterness is quite low but there is a little hop character toward the end; a floral or vegetabley quality. Coffee is all but nonexistent at this point, but a little chocolate complements the alcoholey fruitiness. It's almost like a slightly lighter version of a Baltic porter. I like this quite a lot, indeed.

Mouthfeel: mouthfeel is silky smooth. Body is medium with relatively low carbonation, but something in there is making for a very pleasing experience.

Drinkability: I was quite pleasantly surprised when I had the Belhaven Wee Heavy recently, and I am once again so with the Scottish Stout. I don't know why I should underestimate Belhaven; they consistently blow me away with high-quality, tasty and very drinkable brews.

Photo of bump8628
3.16/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pitch black with a creamy nitro-pour light tan head.

Nitro nearly kills the aroma. All I really get is a faint chocolate note.

Taste has dominant musty roasted characted and a little nutty cocoa. Some caramel gives it a creamed (cheap) coffee feel.

This is a far cry from the bottled version. Why must perfectly good/great stouts be ruined by nitro? Sure, its fine for a Guinness, but a stout like this deserves better.

Photo of projectflam86
2.25/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- I must say that the nitro pour for this brew looks amazing. Deep black color with a huge silky cream head that leaves sheets of lacing all the way down.

S- Muted aroma of roasted malt and metal. Very dissapointing.

T- Sharp biting iron flavor with the slightest hint of roast. Some musty hops and alcohol round out the finish. The "off" flavors seemed to dominate.

M- Creamy and smooth with very little carbonation.

D- I was really unimpressed by this brew. Overall a huge letdown.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep black in color-slight ruby reddish highlights around the edges. Nice tan head. Low, somewhat sharp and metallic aroma. Some mild roasted notes. Nice smooth roasted flavor. Somewhat of a dried fruit taste. Slight "sooty" or smokey tinge. Decent enough body-could use a bit more umph for me. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Once of the better UK stouts I have had.

Photo of beertunes
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a slightly translucent black with a very thick, rich, creamy light brown head that had very good retention and moderate lacing.

A strong bread yeast aroma was the scent I noticed, followed by a hint of malt sweetness. The flavors were also a blend of bread and malt with a somewhat surprising sharpness on the finish.

The body was smooth and well rounded. Drinkability was very good, this beer just glides down your throat. Overall, a very good beer, worth your time to try when you see it.

Photo of DNICE555
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Eli's on the way back from the casino. Time for a little taste of my heritage.

A - It's pretty dark in here but it looks like a dark brown with a creamy off white head. Body also appears very smooth. Almost looks like a heartier Guiness.

S - Malty, Tofee, slightly smoky, faint hops, vanilla

T - Creamy malty taste. Mostly chocolate, malt, and a minor hop presence.

M - Thin creamy mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

D - Thin body without the presence of anything too overpowering allows this to be a very drikable english style stout. Big fan of this one.

Photo of jlindros
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this on draught before at BBC and enjoyed it. Now it's time to review it and try the bottled version. It's a heavy high abv stout to be from U.K.

A: Pours a dark colored rich creamy 1 finger head. It's super pitch black with no color getting through. The creamy head slowly fades to a light covering.

N: Has a nice stout like roasted nose, with dark rich malts, some sweet dark dried fruits, some chocolate, and more of that earthy bitter stout like nose. Raisin also comes through quite a bit.

T: Starts rich and creamy, thick but not syrupy. Lots of dark malt flavors as well. It has some of that earthy bitter stout taste, but not as much as the nose. Some creamy chocolate milk is also lightly coming through. A little dark sweet fruit flavor with a bit of raisin. More chocolate, but still light. A little roast also rounds off the taste. Hints of a little sweet sugary boozy flavor that adds a little brown sugar, but very light. The roasted malt flavor seems to build the more I drink and the more the beer warms. The flavors really shine more while it warms. Recommend letting this warm up a bit before drinking.

M: Very rich and creamy, pretty thick but not syrupy. Decent carbonation but that is expected for the style.

F: Still a little on the sweet side, but not too bad. Its creamy rich goodness seems to linger the longest, with a little bit of that stouty earthy bitter flavor really shining through on the finish now that the rich creamy chocolate milk is gone. The roasty flavor comes through a bit on the finish but also fades pretty quickly as it gives way to the earthy bitter flavor. I think there's a bit of lactose sugar in it that gives it the creamy flavor, and a lingering almost milky flavor on the tongue.

Photo of albern
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice old fashioned type English stout. It pours an inky black color with a small tan head, some retention, not much lacing. The nose is indicative of the taste. There are loads of dark malts, chocolate malts, toffee flavors, caramels, and crystal malts. This is a pretty malted up brew. There is a touch of ABV in the nose as well.

The beer is quite creamy, a bit oily on the tongue, not much carbonation, and a fairly thick and full bodied affair. The caramels, toffee flavors, chocolates, dark malts, some roasted malts, and crystal malts are pretty laid on. There is a touch of leafy hop in the finish that adds a bit of bittering zest and dries things up just a tad. There is plenty of nice roasted malts that play off nicely with the hop, making this a nice thick, malty, fairly balanced stout. There is a touch of smoked peatiness in the malts that gives it some Scottish character, but the smoked flavors are pretty subtle and get balanced out with the leafy hop. There is a touch of ABV in the finish, but for a 7% beer, it is pretty well hidden. This is a nice beer that I'm glad I found. L'Chaim.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle served in a pub pint glass.

Black with a foamy tan head that thinned to a layer leaving a good amount of lacing.
Molases and butter toffee fill the aroma.
Brown sugar sweetness upfront with some toffee and hints of chocolate truffle, tasty brew.
Full bodied with a creamy smooth feel.
This brew is very drinkable.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid dark brown with faint garnet highlights and a creamy almost fluffy khaki head that leaves mad lace on the sides. Smells of chocolate and caramel up front, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee and a bit of mineral water in there as well. Taste is chocolate and coffee, followed by a some sweetness of brown sugar, toffee, and dark fruits. Finish is rather dry with a lingering roast and sweetness on the palette. Creamy almost bubbly mouthfeel, medium to high level of carbonation for the style, medium to thick body. I enjoyed this one. Its a bit sweet but I find myself really enjoying sweet stouts as of late.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500 ml bottle.

Pours a medium black to super thick brownie mix brown hue. Nice mild nrown head o one finger that eventually dissipated away to the angels of froth. The aroma was a dry yet sweet brownie mix of chocolate, powdered milk, and coffee thats been on the hot plate just a little too long. Still very enticing to any black coffee and stout lover. The taste is a rich roasted and sweet malted barley that make you think of baked chocolate in any various incantation. Smooth, just the right amount of dryness, and the well incorporated abv. makes this a great offering from this well known Scottish brewery. Highly recommended to any stout lover out there!!!

Photo of puboflyons
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 500 ml. bottle. Sampled on January 16, 2010. The pour is a thick dark brown with about an inch of silky, frothy tan head that remains resilient for most of the sampling. There is a nice dose of roasted chocolate malts in the aroma but the aroma overall is rather subtle and unopposing. Not much in the way of hops but to me that is the way it should be for a stout. Tastewise there is a wonderful bitterness along with a background of chocolate malts. This is incredibly smooth and relaxing to drink. This is a topnotch stout.

Photo of plaid75
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at The Atlantic Chip Shop, Brooklyn, New York.

Poured a deep brown hue with amber highlights and a one and a half finger frothy off white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured balmy chocolate malts, earthy smoke and some lactose.

The taste consisted of a full chocolate malt, peat smoke, milk sugar and roasted malts.

The mouthfeel was full and smooth.

Overall a very good stout.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On nitro at The Beer Hunter in a 16 ounce shaker. On to the beer:

As expected, the body is black. The creamy, lightly tanned head on top does no surprise given it is served on niro. Head retention is a little worse for a nitro-beer; the head doesn't last all the way until the end. Its aroma is sweet, almost milky. Almost like a sweet stout.

For someone growing up on American-made stouts and stouts from Ireland, the profile fo a stout from the UK takes some time getting used to. Molasses and a touch of charred flavor start things up. More molasses. Caramel added to it all. Roasted. It's a smooth liquid, but not a very creamy one as I've come to expect from beers on nitro. Lightly astringent in the aftertaste.

A bit on the sweet side for me. Somewhat enjoyable in the end, but a smaller serving size would be better for me.

Photo of oberon
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured more of a deep brown than black,when held up to the light light it did show thru the whole glass,a thinner light mocha colored head atop.Aromas were very light wich suprised me a little,a bit of iron and chocolate mainly.The moufeel was execellent though,full and creamy almost like a marshmellow in my mind.Full on chocolate on the palate with a tinge of earth,the alcohol is well hidden,the creamy feel and well hidden alcohol makes for a very easy drinker.A very nice "bigger" stout,it lacks a little but is nice to drink.

Photo of sprucetip
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Just started seeing this everywhere a couple months ago, and am glad to have become acquainted with it.

Pours almost black, very active, with thick persistent head that leaves patchy lacing.

SMELL complex and rich maltiness leads and lingers. Low key booze and roasty notes add depth. Really rich and fairly complex. I like it alot.

TASTE Richly sweet and malty with chocolate, booze, and medium roast. It is smooth and balanced, with mild bitterness. Nicely done.

FEEL medium fully body, viscous, alc warming, clean finish.

OVERALL Delicious, smooth, rich, and bold. I'd never noticed this until recently and look forward to more of it. Should be savored, but drinks pretty easy for the size.

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer pours dark brown, almost black, with a large even brown rich head that leaves nice lacings after it dissipates.

S: This smells both of roasted malt with a smoky touch as well as of smoked ham. Some floral hops and lots of dark dried fruit. Some chocolate and coffee at the end of the smell.

T: Smoke and bitter hops. Rich light roasted malt. Very complex, almost flowery.

M: Long bitter, dry after-taste in this full-bodied light carbonated beer.

D: A very nice beer. A bit less "heavy" than other american doubles I've tried, but not in a bad way. I could buy a whole case of this beer.

Photo of EPseja
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 500ml bottle in an Imperial Pint glass at just below cellar temperature. Thanks, BA yelterdow!

Odd that this is classified as an American Double Stout since it's brewed in Scotland. Just sent off a note to the bros to get it moved into the proper English Stout style. This is the style for which I am reviewing this beer.

A - Pours a dark brown with off-coppery highlights when the stream is viewed against the light. Nice, thick, creamy sand colored head rises and simply sits still. Lacing is webby, and even sheeting at times, but the real beauty lies in the head which slowly diminishes as expected but never thins out enough to reveal the surface of the beer.

S - Malty and sweet with just a touch of roasted cocoa. Irish soda bread and grainy cakes. A refreshing hop crispness is also noted -- very nice.

T - Deep, roasted malt sweetness with shaved semi-sweet chocolate, plus light notes of dark fruit and coffee. The sweetness eases up in the middle, and dries out in the finish with a very well meted touch of hops. The finish reveals some interesting earthy tones and a touch of spent coffee grounds. This beer has balance like Philippe Petit.

M - Passive and medium bodied on the way in, slowly rising and churning into a lush, creamy delight. Swallow is voluminous without being gassy.

D - This is one delicious beer. Aside from the subdued nose (which actually makes the taste an even more welcome surprise), this one's got pretty much everything going for it.

Photo of bruachan
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

it's quite predictably dark but the head took some effort on my part. ultimately to no avail

the first thing i smell is hops, which isn't necessarily typical of contemporary versions of the style. a complex spectrum of malt roastings finds its way to my nose as well. touch of molasses (even, perhaps, a little sulfur)

ooh, it's sweet. i was expecting more hops and a roasting edginess. it's clearly a UK brew: no kick-to-the-face chocolate, no firey barrel-bourbon, no paint-peeling bitterness. it's all civil and quaffable, and indeed doesn't seem too far from a robust brown ale...no joke...if this is style-accurate my tastes have been severely skewed

the moughfeel is refreshingly manageable, and i don't mean that in the literal sense. i wouldn't necessarily drink this during a heat wave: "refreshingly" = "novelly". not viscous and wonderfully so

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours very dark black with a small head of small, thick tan bubbles. Though small, the head looks like it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. When I was tilting the glass during the pour, you could see that the beer was really a clear dark garnet color. There is some pretty thick lacing left on the glass after drinking the beer.

Aroma: My first impression was of Chocolate with a hint of coffee and some evident toasty notes that seem like British malts to me...I guess that would make sense. Even after I have made it about half-way through the beer, the aroma is pretty much the same. The malt are in charge pretty much the whole time with some of the more elegant properties of the dark malts being showcased.

Taste: The flavor is really smooth and clean. There is a strong nutty flavor that I didn't pick up in the aroma. Overall the beer is well balanced, and it has an interplay between the bittering from the dark malts and hops. There actually is some bittering hops in this beer, which one would consider "uncharacteristic" of a Scottish beer, but there you have it. I imagine that they can get hops in Scotland now too. I would say that the finish is balanced slightly toward the malt, but it is very subtle to me.

Opinion: I am really liking this beer. It has a nice balance, and nothing stands out...no flaws at all. I wouldn't put it in the "Imperial Stout" category as it is not intended to be that bold. It is more like a big dry-stout as much as any other style. You may be able to "pigeon hole" it into a Foreign Extra style, but it really doesn't fit there either. Either way, it is a good beer, and I am glad that I am drinking it. I would drink this beer again...in fact a lot, if the opportunity presented itself. Actually it is a style that I would like to try and copy for homebrew and have on tap once a year or so.

Photo of coldmeat23
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

This pours black, like I'd expect it to, but unlike it's nitro-tap counterpart. It has a two-finger head of medium-brown colored foam. The retention is decent and the lacing is very good.

The nose doesn't have a whole lot going on. It's fairly subdued. I get some peat notes and smoke hints. Mild hints of sweet chocolates and dark fruits, mostly raisins.

The flavor is much better than the nose. It has a very nice level of deep, rich, chocolate flavor. Mostly sweet and milky, but a mild hint of dark and bold is here, as well. Nice hints of peat smokiness and a touch of oak. Light traces of raisins and caramel.

The body is on the lower end of medium. It has a mild-to-medium level of carbonation. It is smooth enough to enjoy, for sure, but I like my stouts to be bigger and bolder than this one.

If I were wanting a nice dark ale, this would do the trick. If I want a stout though, I'd reach for something else, more often then not.
It's very enjoyable, just incorrectly classified, in my opinion.

Photo of jdhilt
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Will pour a five+ finger light tan head that fades quickly to a thin layer, leaving some lace. Black color no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Light chocolate nose. Flavor is roasted chocolate, somewhat sweet. Dry finish. $4.99 for a 500ml bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT.

Belhaven Scottish Stout from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
88 out of 100 based on 590 ratings.