1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Wee Heavy - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Wee HeavyWee Heavy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

844 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 844
Reviews: 545
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%

Brewed by:
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-24-1998)
View: Beers (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 844 | Reviews: 545 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by stevenseg:
Photo of stevenseg


3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's Christmas Eve 2010, my car is in the the shop until the 27th, and I am stuck in a freezing house with nothing but some Christmas music and a bottle of Belhaven's Wee Heavy to keep my company. This time of year I get into holiday ales. High malt, low hops, maybe some spices, and hopefully a ton of alcohol. Most holiday ales have an amber or preferably a Scottish ale base because of the inherent malty sweetness of the styles. In fact, I have a 5 gallon batch of holiday ale fermenting right now, due to be racked to secondary in a few days...another thing to keep me busy.

I knew it was going to be a long isolated holiday weekend, which is why I picked up the Wee Heavy (among others to be reviewed later). Wee Heavy is usually an ironic misnomer to describe Scottish ales that have a relatively high alcohol percentage. Belhaven's Wee Heavy comes in at 6.5% ABV, so its name is less ironic than indicative. I am expecting a lighter bodied brew with a sweet front, sweet middle, and sweet finish with explosive malt the entire way. Any notable hop flavors will kill it for me...at least with this style.

With a moderate pour, only a thin head formed, and it appears to be dissipating pretty quickly. The color is a deep transparent amber, and the body appears heavy enough for the style...not syrupy, but not thin.

I get a strong grape juice note upon sniffage. I also get a hint of metal, which is often found in mass produced lagers from Europe (Newcastle, Heineken, Carlsberg). That's not a good thing for me, but the sweet aroma is the saving grace that makes me want to take a sip.

Thankfully I am pleasantly surprised by the burst of flavor on first taste. I got a full rush of that maltiness, almost NO hops, but a huge earthy flavor at the tail end of the drink. That's a pleasant surprise indicating the malt sugars were fermented very thoroughly. I do get a little irritating twinge of tin, usually imparted by hard water or the metal fermenters used. I blame the water in the region as many beers from Northwestern Europe have that hint of metal.

This beer would benefit from being a little thicker. Heavier body would come from adding malt or other sugars like candy to increase the gravity, and subsequently the alcohol. For a Scottish ale, Belhaven's Wee Heavy has great characteristics, but if I were the Brewmaster I wouldn't feel comfortable with the Wee Heavy label. Carbonation is sufficient, and being brewed in Scotland, the carbonation profile is on the low end...just how I like it. More carbonation = more gassy, less flavor, cheap feel.

At $3.99 a pint, I wish I would have picked up a few more. Wee Heavy is not a session beer, but I could definitely put down more than one. I am not going to indulge in it, but it is definitely high quality for the area.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2010 18:39:42 | More by stevenseg
More User Reviews:
Photo of RandyPuckett


3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

04-16-2014 00:21:29 | More by RandyPuckett
Photo of ExaltedNecrosis


3.23/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle poured into Stella chalice.

A - Clear dark ruby / brown with a finger and a half of off white head.

S - The main thing I get from the aroma is skunk. A lot of it. Beneath that I can detect some sweetness and a bit of roastiness.

T - Thankfully, the beer tastes much better than it smells. There's still a bit of skunky character, but the caramel sweetness and bready malt take the forefront. It has a roasty and nutty flavor, and there is also a hint of molasses and syrup sweetness. Slightly bitter.

M - Thin-to-moderate body, slightly sticky, and low-to-moderate carbonation.

O - I'm always wary of clear bottles, and in this case it caused a fair amount of skunking. The aroma was pretty bad, but luckily it didn't taste as skunky as it smelled. A decent wee heavy, but nothing I would get again.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2014 00:08:42 | More by ExaltedNecrosis
Photo of Tenngineer

4/5  rDev -1.7%

04-15-2014 16:23:08 | More by Tenngineer
Photo of endovelico


4.34/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Taken from notes. Poured into mug. Reviewed on 14-04-2014.

Appearance: Gorgeous mahogany colour. Low perceived effervescence. Small head. Little lacing. Slight Haziness. Visible yeast floaties before pour.

Aroma: Medium to medium low strength and muted aroma. Aromatics are reminiscent of pastry, coffee, peat and caramel.

Taste: Medium to medium high intensity. Unsuspectingly complex, following on the nose with an added gorgeous butterscotch like character. No real yeastiness worth a mention. No real hop character.

Palate: Low carbonation. Low bitterness. Finishes dry-ish. Velvety ( even more so as the beer warms up. ) Alcohol well hidden.

Drinkability: Just a great, balanced and inviting brew. Everything you can ask of a 'Wee heavy' without breaking guidelines.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2014 22:53:03 | More by endovelico
Photo of MarkoNm


2.14/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Pours a clear, dark red/ruby color and is topped with a relatively small tan colored head.
The aroma is mild - just some malt and perhaps a little fruit and wine aroma.
The taste was a kick in the head - strong and bittery all the way through with the wine-feel to go with (not what I like).
I don't really like this one, too bad.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2014 18:48:54 | More by MarkoNm
Photo of Dave_Treat


3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

04-11-2014 16:56:47 | More by Dave_Treat
Photo of Xzfgiimtsath


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

04-11-2014 05:47:27 | More by Xzfgiimtsath
Photo of jschitt


4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

04-09-2014 19:24:13 | More by jschitt
Photo of Bstrickler


4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

04-01-2014 21:32:34 | More by Bstrickler
Photo of ESimmons


4/5  rDev -1.7%

03-30-2014 19:43:56 | More by ESimmons
Photo of afsdan


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

03-28-2014 02:09:20 | More by afsdan
Photo of benjaminkhlaw

Hong Kong

4/5  rDev -1.7%

03-27-2014 12:55:09 | More by benjaminkhlaw
Photo of ZCW

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1.7%

03-23-2014 17:28:30 | More by ZCW
Photo of Fabiand


4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

03-20-2014 00:29:06 | More by Fabiand
Photo of Zekenyce

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

03-19-2014 03:03:34 | More by Zekenyce
Photo of CDAtkinson


4.59/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a coppery amber color with a creamy two finger head, which diminished leaving behind significant amount of lacing from the hop oils.
S: Malty and bready with hints of peat.
T: It begins with a sharp sweetness with resolves to a toasty, smoky, bready taste.
M: Quite smooth and creamy while being remarkably light bodied.
O: This will be a go-to as far as Wee Heavys are concerned. An Excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 23:25:38 | More by CDAtkinson
Photo of VTBrewHound


4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

03-18-2014 01:40:47 | More by VTBrewHound
Photo of Troy_P


4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this with a really burger. This is a full bodied, very satisfying beer. Currently, one of my favorites.

Appearance is just what you are looking for in a Scottish Ale. Really nice head. Good lacing with a chilled glass.

This is a solid, filling beer. Taste is complex and nuanced. Really nice finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 00:04:52 | More by Troy_P
Photo of Fettpopps


3.5/5  rDev -14%

03-16-2014 01:42:41 | More by Fettpopps
Photo of zenithberwyn


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

03-07-2014 07:25:10 | More by zenithberwyn
Photo of LarryMyers


4/5  rDev -1.7%

03-06-2014 18:55:24 | More by LarryMyers
Photo of SRS2Photo

New York

5/5  rDev +22.9%

03-03-2014 02:24:30 | More by SRS2Photo
Photo of crzepilot


4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The appearance of this beer is what one would think of when drinking a scottish ale a beautfiul reddish brown hue that was brilliantly clear. One can smell the strength of the malt a slight alcohol smell. Taste of sweet smooth buttery and malty with a hint of sweetness towards the end of the sip. Overall a tasty beverage that one can come back to for enjoyment over again. I really enjoy this one for the strong malt flavor that one would expect to find in a wee Heavy but not overly sweet.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 20:50:58 | More by crzepilot
Photo of dacrza1

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

DATE TASTED: February 20, 2014... GLASSWARE: Victory Nonick... OCCASION: a beer much sought after... APPEARANCE: dark brown body that displays HUGE chunks of sediment--been sitting too long? thick, chunky off-white head offers formidable lacing... AROMA: brilliant buttery, big malt aroma with dampened caramel and candy sugars; somewhat earthy, grainy but difficult to lay a nostril to...PALATE: smooth, thin and mellow--the mouth is refreshed as much as it's engaged; slightly warming as the glass drains...TASTE: sweet and malty; a brown ale's subtlety with fleeting fervor--a bit of barleywine funk at the end; low to no hop impression... OVERALL: the initial shock of floating substance (something I had not dealt with since the "claw" incident in Heavy Seas' Saison art the shore a decade ago) still makes this review tainted; I have little doubt this rates better than I afforded it, but to rate authentically, I cannot be betray the experience itself...I may have to find another distributor to ascertain the true quality of this beer...

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 16:12:23 | More by dacrza1
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
91 out of 100 based on 844 ratings.