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

Belhaven Scottish Stout - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Belhaven Scottish StoutBelhaven Scottish Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

594 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 594
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 51
Gots: 71 | FT: 1
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.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 594 | Reviews: 268
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.

Photo of Gmann
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep brown color with a tight light brown head that settles into a nice puffy cap. The aroma is a touch fruity; I am picking up some dark fruit notes as well as a woody oak aroma. A bit of a chocolatey roasted malt as well. The taste is big on the chocolatey malt, some coffee, an underlying tart fruit perhaps lemon, copper, not much hops. Has a fairly dry like tea flavor. The feel is a bit chewy with very soft carbonation; malty sweet but finishes dry and lightly bitter. A very solid and flavorful stout, though nothing extreme. Everything is kept in check which makes this quite drinkable.

Photo of JVEyck309
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml dark brown glass bottle poured into glass tulip
pours black with dark beige one finger head, held to the light shows blood red, pretty brutal. smell is weak, or maybe I'm congested, smokey and a light chocolate powder.. can't detect much more. taste is huge with caramel and chocolate, slightly smoked and a fair amount of hops to balance a delightful brew.. I dig this one a lot, it's right up my alley. Viscous, chocolaty, thick delicious stout and I love it, moderate carbonation, just the right amount. Creamy nectar of the scottish gods. cheers.

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Attractive, raised-letter 16.9oz brown pop top with classy label; no best-by date that I can see

Appearance: Dark brown/black beer with a large dark tan head with good retention and some brilliant ruby highlights when held up to the light. A nice bit of lacing as well.

Smell: Big on juicy dark fruit and melted chocolate; sweet and inviting, with just a little smoky wildness as well; overall, quite nice

Taste: Juicy dark fruit, burnt caramel, sweet roasted grain, bittersweet chocolate, and a fairly clean, dry roasty and mildly bitter finish. So damn good.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth, but has just a hint of the 7% abv

Drinkability: High

Conclusion: Took a shot in the dark with this one and was pleasantly surprised. The wife and I both loved this; complex, deep, roasty, warming stout that doesn't try to overawe or rely on barrel-aging, etc. for complexity. $4-5 bucks for a pint is a bit pricey, but this would make a nice "special occasion" treat and an awesome paring with a flourless chocolate cake with fresh raspberries.

Photo of MasterSki
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the local store - served in a Pisgah pint glass.

A - Pours with three fingers of medium tan foam that dissipates quite slowly and leaves a good amount of glass-coating lacing and a thick cap. Very dark brown body that reveals some reddish glow and transparency when held to the light.

S - Smoke, peat, and dirt over top of a malted milk chocolate, raisin, and caramel backdrop. There's a touch of floral hops. It gets a little bit better as it warms up, but the dirtiness is kind of off-putting.

T - Taste is pretty similar, caramel, roasted malts, milk chocolate, and some light smoke character. Thankfully the dirtiness in the nose seems to have dissipated. There's some mild bitterness in the finish the seems to come from the smokiness, rather than the light hopping. It's definitely different from typical "American" Imperial Stouts, and has more in common with the Harviestoun old ales in some ways.

M - Chewy, medium body. Appropriate for a 7% brew, but a little lighter than I'd want from an actual American Imperial Stout. Smooth, mild carbonation tingle, and some solid residual stickiness. Not much heat at all.

D - The 500ml bottle was fine, but it's not something I'd rush out and get again. Maybe I'd do it on-tap at an authentic UK-themed pub.

Photo of srandycarter
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice big tan creamy head. Dark. Very dark. Some, but not much, lace.

S - Smokey, somewhat peaty and chocolaty.

T - Creamy chocolate up front, but thins out pretty bad towards finish.

M - Balance ok, but very thin for a stout and loses its initial appeal.

D - Even for the ABV, easy to drink and an average tasting stout.

Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with rub highlights. It had a reddish, brown colored, two-finger head of thick foam with big bubbles.

S - It smelled of chocolate and molasses. There is a subtle floral aroma, too.

T - It tasted of sweet chocolate and molasses. It had a strong roasty quality as it warmed up.

M - It was crisp, yet smooth with a dry finish. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice stout. The label says it's Scottish. This website says it's American. I don't really care, because it is very good.

Photo of jnezda
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried this beer since it was one of the only singles I had not tried at the local beer store. Poured from a 500ml bottle into an imperial pint glass. Poured dark brown/black with full tan head. The head left good lacing all the way down and stuck around to the finish. Smells of malt and a touch of yeast and chocolate. Smooth drinking stout with no bite at all. Tastes of malt and chocolate with a touch of coffee and little no no roast. Subtle but perceptible alcohol tone at the finish after the light carbonation fades from your tongue. Overall this was a good stout that I will try again soon. Would be a great pairing beer for a meal rather than just a night cap.

Photo of drpimento
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

got this bottle a couple of months ago at Surdyk's in Minneapolis. Poured with a big, foamy, fine frothy, tan head that lasted a while and a little lace. Color is an opaque brownish black. Aroma is chocolate, malty, and sweet, but not much roastiness. Flavor is very similar. Not a lot of depth. Mouth is very soft with good carbonatioin. A little alcohol in the finish. Easy drinking beer. Little too sweet for me though

Photo of Rayek
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Thistle, because it's Scottish.

A: Pitch black with dark walnut highlights. A rocky tan head has very nice retention and leaves a fair amount of lace.

S: Smells heavily of dark chocolate coated currents and raisins. There's a slight smokiness, plus a hint of oak.

T: Dark chocolate dominates. The dried fruits from the nose are there, but subdued. A mild roasted wood flavor adds extra complexity. There's a hint of smoke, plus a touch of lemon in the background.

M: The medium heavy body is slightly syrupy. The carbonation felt on the high side to me.

D: I thoroughly enjoyed this. A little less carbonation is the only change I would make. A very nice pickup.

Photo of aubuc1
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured in to a snifter.

Pours black with a thick tan head.

Smell is lightly roasty with rich malt base.

Taste is a smooth milk chocolate. Different than what I expected but very good.

The slightly sweet taste is very drinkable.

I was glad to find this today.

Photo of atis
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours beautiful black with thin brownish creamy head with excellent retention and dense lacing, simply beautiful. Aroma is slightly subtle, but complex smoked wood, roasted malt, dark fruit.

Taste is dominated by smoke, bits of nuts, caramel, later bitterness comes up, reminds of coffee and bitter chocolate. Mouthfeel is smooth medium with light carbonation.

I had not had Stouts in a while and this immediately made me want to go back to Ireland. This one is somewhat strong though, but perfect for a relaxing evening after the work.

Photo of ralree
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours beautifully into a pitch black substance with a dark tan head of 2+ fingers. Head is fluffy, small bubbles, lots of retention and perfect lacing.

S: Lighter smell than most stouts, caramel, spices, barley, chocolate. Very interesting malt.

T: Smokey malt flavor - lots of barley kick but with a high-sugar background to deaden the bitterness. Chocolate detectable and good. Aftertaste is sweet and light, like the smell. A good stout if you're not looking for a flavor explosion.

M: Thick and creamy, pretty oily, good carbonation. Non-astringent.

D: Drinks well, but will fill you up fast. Don't drink it if you're not hungry!

Photo of blatherbeard
4.87/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was my first foray into Belhaven's line of beer and i have to say, it was WELL WORTH IT.

Pours a dark, almost black with very little brownish head that has no lacing and dissapears very quickly.

The smell is fantastic. A bit of hops, malt and lots of cocoa.

The taste is also fantastic. It delivers what the label says, chocolate but not overly. The malt and hops bring the chocolate flavor down a notch and add a bitterness that offsets the sweet perfectly.

I would buy this again in a heartbeat. I just wish beer this good did not only sell in singles.

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

Poured from the 500ml bottle into a pint glass. Body is a midnight black topped by a nice, thick tan head that holds for a minute or two before receding to a thinner, wispy crown. Aroma of roasted malt, a hint of chocolate, and just a touch of prune.
Palate is mildly sweet roasted malt up front, with notes of chocolate, toffee, and maybe some lactose. A somewhat fruity character comes through on the finish, with prune or maybe Turkish apricot peeking through. Body is thick, creamy, and luxurious, highly enjoyable. Goes down very well for a big, thick stout, and pairs quite well with dark chocolate. Well done.

Photo of philipquarles
3.05/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On nitrogen (the 4.5%, pasteurized version). Pours clear red-brown with a typical off-white nitro head. Kind of underwhelming. Smells heavily sweet, with strong honey and caramel and only the slightest bit of roastiness. Tastes similarly sweet, but with heavy, heavy tobacco. Honey here as well, with hints of dark roasted malt. Medium body. This is one sweet stout; so much so that it's hard to drink.

Photo of fropones
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Please bear with me as this is my first review.

A - Poured black with a 1 finger amber head.

S - Smelled of dark chocolate and roasted malts

T - Hints of chocolate and caramel and coffee. Leaves a bit of an acrid note on the tongue, like stale coffee.

M - Light and creamy. Somewhat bubbly.

D - Goes down very nicely. Could easily drink a couple more.

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At only 7% ABV, I wouln't exactly call this a double or imperial stout, but ok... This beer is almost black in color, as no light shines through. After settling, the head retained is about four millimeters thick and is cream-colored. Carbonation is subtle. The smell consists of roasted malt, chocolate, and a bit of coffee. There are almost no hops present on the nose. Flavors are similar, but much more profound. Espresso, chocolate, and toast dominate the palate, and the finish is slightly dry. A well-balanced brew. Mouthfeel is creamy, with a viscosity that would make other stouts seem thin. This beer is very easy to drink, and is very easy to put down more than one of in a session.

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

I split this bottle with my friend Pete.

Poured at room temp into a pint glass the beer pours a cola brown with a tan creamy head of 2 cm foaming up and fading gradually to a soft surface layer.
Aroma is chocolate and caramel and hits of roasted malt. No hops to detect anywhere. The first sip is creamy in texture and fine carbonation.
Flavor is sweet malt that the nose advertised with caramel and chocolate again no hops to be found. Almost like a sweet hard candy. Very easy and tasty to drink no hint of the 7.0% abv.
Definitely a malt lovers beer!

Photo of erz316
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

1pt .9floz bottle into guinness tulip pint glass

A - looks good. dark brown body, two finger brown head, lots of lacing. the body could be a bit darker, not to say it is diaphanous in anyway, it could just be a bit more black, though this is no detriment really, just aesthetics. the head eventually goes down to about a 1cm layer. some ruby (actually) tinges come through at the bottom of the glass.

S - a good roasted, creamy nose. malty chocolate and toffee, coupled with notes of nuttiness. not very potent, which is something I have come to expect from this style.

A - initial taste are of the malty backbone and some slight chocolaty bitterness; if the flavour is pushed through the nose by rolling the beer to the back of the throat the chocolate presence becomes coupled with a caramel note that includes some vanilla. the finish is almost clean except for some chocolate bitterness which comes and goes very quickly into the aftertaste. the aftertaste is of lingering slightly sweet malt, and maybe a smidgen of the once potent coffee. all in all this beer is a definite keeper and a nice, strong selection from belhaven; but it lacks the overwhelming punch that other stouts have.

MF&D - the feel sis completey smooth and silky; carbonation wraps around the tongue and the beer coats the mouth entirely. goes down easy and is a real easy drinker, but I would have liked the carbonation to be less of the body's build up and instead have the brew be thicker.

Photo of popery
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A good sweet stout. I guess this beer is supposed to be a cross between a scotch ale and a stout. It's a tad sweet but still very good. The beer pours dark brown with nice, off-white lacing. The malt flavor is a bit nutty with a good caramelized flavor. The aroma is a bit weak and generally less interesting than the flavor. The roasted malt character is light but very good. I wouldn't necessarily want one every night, but it's an interesting take on a stout.

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A nice dark black with chocolate milk colored head. Good retention and lacing.

S- A little lacking, some dark fruit and roasted malt. Some coffee.

T- Not too bad, but not tremendous, IMO. Roasted malt, coffee, some sweeter notes (like black cherries?), slightly boozy even at 7%. It's not bad individually, but the flavors don't blend that well to me. Each one sticks out--no synthesis here.

M- A little thin, but smooth and creamy.

D- The flavor conflicts are somewhat off-putting. A good brew, but I preferred Twisted Thistle.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Belhaven Scottish Stout from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
88 out of 100 based on 594 ratings.