Wee Heavy - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

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Wee HeavyWee Heavy

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

564 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

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Reviews: 564
Hads: 1,009
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 7.64%
Wants: 83
Gots: 72 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-24-1998

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 564 | Hads: 1,009
Photo of Sammy
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hoppy-like Scotch, and full rich taste, like prune and fig and carmel and chestnut brown colour. Good Autumn beer. almost like it was on-tap I think attesting to freshness. Some peatiness.
Two and a half years later, and a new bottle is still great. One of my favourites in this style. Biscuit like medium top full mouthfeel. (326 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear super dark reddish-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, grain, and caramel covered fruit. Taste is much the same with a roasty flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the aromas and flavors are quite mild. (516 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear ruby red in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down leaving a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and lacing in the center.
S: There are sweet, nutty aromas of caramel and brown sugar in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather sweet and is dominated by flavors of caramel. No traces of bitterness are detectable.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink because it's neither filling nor sticky despite all of the maltiness and sweetness. I could easily have more than one of these in a sitting. (689 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a auburn colored liquid with a modest off-white head that leaves drabs of lacing

Smell: Dark dried fruits, caramel and butterscotch; and a bit of earthiness

Taste: Starts out with a strong roasted malt tone that provides a backbone for some other developments; after about five seconds the caramel sweetness is overtaken by a deep smokey, peaty bitterness that lasts for a while and then fades as the sweet malts return to the front; after the swallow, as the alcohol warms up your throat, the taste just continues to linger

Mouthfeel: Medium/full bodied with just a tad of carbonation

Drinkability: Very nice; this one's a keeper. (653 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A pretty good brew. I expect more out of a Scottish Ale. The off-from-clear rust colored pour gives me hope. The aromas of dark fruit, caramel, bread, and yeast jump out at me. Taste the obvious caramels, barley malt, and maple syrup; provides a very sweet base that is never rounded out with English hops. Other flavors of over-ripened fruit: prunes, figs, raisons, dates, nuts, and cherries swirl around in my mouth. Body is full and round. Alcohol (rum-like) is revealed in the finish and aftertaste. The aftertaste is also sweet and cloying; no spices or hops to balance out. Slight smokiness helps, but not enough. Sticks to your teeth a little. A quality beer, but the flavors don't meld together or balance out properly. Has a lot of flavors, but not a lot of complexity. (778 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a deep amber color, the head is creamy and thick at first. The head settles and leaves a thin lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is sweet with some brown sugar and a bit of earthiness to it. The taste is full of caramel notes and some grainy malt flavors. The mouthfeel isn't complex but it still remains interesting. Overall it's not my favorite Wee Heavy but I did find it to be enjoyable. I wouldn't go out of my way to get it again though. (470 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a medium brown colored beer with a small head with little retention. Aroma is comprised of strong malts and it seems like you can almost smell the bitterness in this one. Taste is unsurprisingly bitter with a touch of roasted malt. This tasted not so unlike Fullers 1845, which is no bad thing. (309 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ruddy dark bronze with orange peel accents. With sunlight behind the glass, the jewel tones are accentuated and sparkle with an unearthly iridescence. This is beautiful beer! The fawn colored cap is impressively creamy and continues to look great as it melts, leaving chunky shards of lace all over the upper reaches of the glass.

The nose is richly malty and is bursting with personality and complexity. It's sweet and spicy with notes of dark butterscotch, bruised dark fruit and peat smoke. A classic nose and one of the best that I've run across.

A few sips are all it takes to tell me that this is outstanding beer. There's so much complexity that I can't hope to describe the flavor profile accurately. In short, my description of the nose applies on the palate as well. All elements are combined with the utmost precision, like an intricate Swiss watch. Calling this beer delicious seems inadequate somehow. Great is more like it.

Peat becomes more apparent with warming, something that, as a lover of Scotch whisky, is a definite plus. It's amazing how the level of malty sweetness is absolutely perfect; it doesn't cross the line into cloying and doesn't negatively impact drinkability. My only minor complaint is that the mouthfeel could be more substantial. There's nothing at all wrong with being on the lighter end of the wee heavy spectrum, but I'd like a little more chewiness to go along with the outstanding flavor.

Belhaven Wee Heavy is a true classic. I'd even go so far as to call it a standard bearer for the style. If you have any interest whatsoever in Scotch Ales, start here. (1,612 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle of this from the lovely selection of Scottish fare at a friend's Burns' Night wee stramash...

Appears a clear dark amber colour, with lots of wispy white head. The smell is bitter and floral, with some caramel malt. The taste is biscuity malt, sweet, balanced with floral hops. Carbonation is average, and the finish is off-dry, with a lingering maltiness. Any extra alcohol is perceptible as a slight warming. This is a very good cure for the bitter cold outside at this time of year, and makes the haggis a little more palatable... (551 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours out a burgandy color with a 2-finger head. Leaves some lacing.

S - It smelled very nutty.

T - A nice blend of nut and malt flavor, it also had a sweet component to it.

M - Very soft and smooth. Medium-bodied.

D - I really enjoyed this. I was quite impressed with my first Wee Heavy. (296 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice auburn/brown color with creamy head,malty,sweet,alcohol smell to it.Taste was sweet and caramelly with some earthiness coming in at the end.Something to have before goin to bed on a chilly early spring night.The alcohol content will help turn the lights out for bed. (280 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.26/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours amber/mahogany in color with a small off-white head.

S: Mild butter and skunk to the nose. Sweet malt is the primary aroma with nice toasty notes and plenty of bread and toffee. A slight peatiness and a hint of soap.

T: Sweet toffee and caramel with toast and a light roasted malt flavor. Mild hoppiness and peat, but fairly sweet overall. A hint of grass is present in the background.

M: Medium in body with a smooth, medium carbonation.

O: Okay, but I prefer a lot of the American interpretations of the style more. (539 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle - $3.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, deep garnet-hued body with a frothy, full-sized layering of light beige suds. Filmy lace on the way drop.

Smell: A decidedly sweet scent of purposefully cooked sugars, toasted and bready-scented malts wrapped up in notes of fruit juices dosed with a bit of herb.

Taste: Well caramelized sugars with a slight taste of English toffee atop toasted bread slices and biscuit tops. Splash of mid-range price point grape juice garnished with a single maraschino cherry. A touch of grain amidst the round sweetness throughout. Very light, low herbal effect before a trace of bitterness. Sweet, fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Some very slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Overall: It's a good, not perfect, but an easily approachable scotch ale, which hit the spot after some rather atrocious, embarrassing examples like the Wet Willy and BridgePort Highland Ambush I'd had recently. (1,020 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass at The Firkin.

Been meaning to try some o' Belhaven's stuff, so I figured this night at the Firkin would be as good a night as any to do just that. This stuff pours a deep sunset tawn topped by a short-ish finger of dark cream foam. The nose comprises toffee, caramel, light walnut, dank cocoa, and a touch of maple syrup. The taste brings in more of the same, with a bit of cola-esque sweetness thrown in for good measure. Still, things keep their Scottish identities (if you catch my drift), particularly with a light, vague woodiness pervading the background. The body is a lithe medium, with a nice nitrogenation and a subsequently silky feel. Overall, a very solid wee heavy, one I wouldn't mind having several of at some random pub on the outskirts of Edinburgh (or any other Scottish town, really). (836 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful clear dark mahogany body is capped by a thin lind of creamy bone-white foam. The head slowly drops to a creamy collar and whispy surface covering, leaving some nice streaks and smears of lace behind. In the nose it's malty with a bit of yeasty fruitiness and a suggestion of alcohol. In the mouth its full bodied and smooth. Dark fruit and scortched brown sugar mingle in the flavor, backed by some mild leafy/grassy hops, and thinned by a light touch of alcohol. It's solid bitterness brings it to a halt in the finish, and the malt and yeasty fruitiness fade quickly. Very nicely done! Quite drinkable. (616 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brown/chestnut with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Above average lacing & head retention

S: Loads of caramel malt

T: Toasted malt, breadyness, caramel & a touch of smokeyness up front. Dryness, plummy notes, raisins, a bit of brown sugar & leafy hop notes as this warms. Finishes dry with hints of cinnamon, jammy fruit, raisins, & a little too much leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & kind of wimpy in body when compared to it's American imitators, but a big brute compared to most 70 or 80 shilling ales

Drinks pretty easy; could drink a few of these before developing wanderlust (611 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber brown with a healthy sized tan head forming a collar of lace and with each sip leaves uneven rings of lacing very full. Slightly musty or smokey fruit tones which include pear and plum in there loads of malt sweetness nothing too much great session balance is here. Taste cream covered ripened fruit palate leaving only faint trails of bitterness hops are almost unnoticeable here. Roasted malt very nice not overbearing at all works well with all of the flavors. Mouthfeel slightly sharp carbonation leaves a coating on the tongue medium body almost milky texture. Drinkability not exactly a summer sipper more towards a winter warmer, but I could find myself enjoying this one in a big comfy chair in front of the fireplace. (745 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is a dark garnet, head is full, frothy, cream-colored. Aroma: a potent blend of fruits and spices. And is that a hint of juniper I detect? I'm getting cherries, grapes, an explosion of flavor floods the palate. Full carbonation, moderate hoppiness, with a dissappointingly thin texture. Reminds me of a milder version of an old favorite, Young's Old Nick.
Mellow, mild, and flavorful. And extra points for the cool lion on the label. (441 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear bottles, really? WTF? Weak and dumb. Get your shit together NOW! I won't buy another British beer in a clear bottle. This is why Americans think British beer sucks btw.

Beer served in an imperial pint glass. Beer is brown and mostly clear. Forms an offwhite head of medium and small bubbles that falls away quickly and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low. Looks fine.

Aroma is mildly malty.

Beer is malty, big bodied, a little sulfur. It has a bitterness to the whole thing. Its OK, drink is fine. no carb in mouth. I think I want to find this on cask. (595 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark, deep brown with a thick off-white head that is well-retained.
It had hints of aromas of nuts and fruits with some caramel and a touch of alcohol.
The taste was complex and rich. It had flavors of caramel, toasted almonds with a fruits. It was the perfect maltiness for this style. The was an alcohol finish that was comforting, especially for cool or damp weather.
The mouthfeel was creamy and oily. The complex flavors give it a good mouthfeel, but there was a very slight metalic aftertaste.
It was very good for sipping. Not a session brew, it was very good for sipping. A friend of mine and I each had one and sipped it for over an hour and enjoyed every sip of it. I highly recommend this rich, complex Scotch ale. (738 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 4/25/2013. Pours fairly crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, brown bread, brown sugar, herbal, light smoke, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, biscuit, brown sugar, brown bread, herbal, light smoke, and yeast earthiness. Slight earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, herbal, light smoke, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; with great robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Low-medium carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome scotch ale. All around great complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,363 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thick frothy off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich malty scent with a dry creamy aroma. The taste is good. It has an intense malty core with a dry creamy finish. It goes down easy with a bit of warmth. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium/full bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This is a good Scottish ale. I love the malty flavor and aroma; very nice. This drinks quite well. (472 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with an almost three-finger thick, tan colored head that sits atop an absolutely, brilliantly clear, amber-red colored beer. The aroma smells of herbal hops, toffee, toasted grain, biscuit malt and deeply caramelized sugars. There is a soft fruitiness to the aroma that reminds me of concentrated pears and sweet plums.

Quite sweet, and simply so, meaning it is not sweet from dark, complex sugars, but more from the simpler malt sugars. This sweetness also might be accentuated by the fairly light body of this brew, though it does have some heft to it. The sweetness accentuates a note of raisin juice, not sure if that makes sense, but I mean the flavor I would associate with raisins that were hydrated enough to make juice, it is certainly distinct from a grape character. touches of toffee around the edges as well as wisps of toasted malt & biscuits are noticeable at times through the malt sweetness.

This is a bit sweeter than I would like, it it was a more complex, Maillard driven sweetness I wouldn’t mind it so much. This is a drinkable brew, I would just like to be able to tweak it here and there to round out the flavors a bit more. This is another beer, that if I had to guess, I would say has been filtered a bit too much; even if it isn't it is lack some malt complexity & character that is needed to make this a great beer. (1,356 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear reddish brown in color with a 1" head that produces some nice thick lacing.

Smell: malt sweetness leaps from the glass.

Taste: big malt profile with some earthy peat tones, bits of whiskey-like flavors, and hints of fruity sweetness. Bitterness is mild but balances this out nicely.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Heavier side of a medium bodied beer. Aftertaste is long as the flavors linger on the tongue.

Drinkability: great session beer for sitting in a bar talking to freinds. (512 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. Euro bottle,

A: Pours a light brown, with a somewhat fizzy tan head, good retention, no lacing.

S: Nice full malty smell, freshly baked artisan bread.

T: Toffee malt, light molasses and peat add to the sweet malty flavour. Dry, brisk hop balance is in there too, but this is definitely a malt oriented beer.

M: Carbonation can be a little too fizzy for this style of beer, but overall has a solid medium-bodied mouthfeel.

D: A nice Wee Heavy, one of my favourites, good price and quality makes this one import I keep coming back to. (546 characters)

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Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
91 out of 100 based on 564 ratings.