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Wee Heavy - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Wee HeavyWee Heavy

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

989 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 989
Reviews: 565
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.85%
Wants: 79
Gots: 63 | 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.
View: Beers (26) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 989 | Reviews: 565 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CharlieMopps
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep, translucent ruby in color. Around three fingers of head sprang up from a moderate pour, good retention and thick lacing.

S: Biscuity and grainy malt aroma that's quite pungent with what seems like a kick from the yeast. Perhaps a faint whiff of floral hops.

T: Bold malt profile, partly roasted but mostly mild, that produced a sweetness akin to toffee and toward the finish a brief flash of chocolate.

M: Creamy and slick, carbonation is adequate.

D: All told, I'd say this beer is quite drinkable and has enough character to keep the tongue happy. Certainly malty, as per its style, which is great for those who are big fans of anything packed with malt.

Photo of dfillius
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased by ksullnh at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA...
A: 1/2 finger of fine, lacy head. Clear, dark brown, inviting.

S: Metallic, a twinge of alcohol, very little aroma. More malt smell as it warms, giving it a caramelly nose.

T: Rich: bready and caramelly

M: Smooth, silky even

Photo of Jonte
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep-red/brown color. Creamy, off-white head. Good lacing.

Light smell of sweet malt, dark bread, dried fruit, caramel, brown sugar and nuts. Smells a little bit like a belgian ale.

The taste is sweet malt, caramel/toffee, toast, fruit, some yeast. Light bitterness and a bit smoky as well. Creamy and well balanced.

High drinkability for such a high ABV %. Tastes better if it´s not served too cold.

Photo of williamherbert
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quick hit points:

* Looks bit and thick; think of a Guinness in terms of the massive head and the cascading look.
* Deep and dark red.
* The smell is feint, but boy does that thick and milky head stick around!
* It's lke a Scottish Ale but without the bite; not harsh.
* Smooth and milky
* Major big swath of milky lace
* Taste is sweet actually; some chocolate
* The Scotch ale taste is there, but very mild; not as pungent as usual
* Has a alcohol presence, but it is subtle
* It's a balanced Scotch ale, not brutal.
* The milkyness means it doesn't burn on the way down.

Photo of rallison
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber/brown with a 1 finger white head that mostly sticks around. Smells of caramel malts with just a bit of a bite.

First taste is relatively strong given the not too high alcohol. Lots of caramel sweetness here. Some toasted flavors. Alcohol is noticeable, but enjoyable. Overall, not too shabby.

Mouthfeel is rich (especially for the abv) with an alcohol bite at the end. Drinkability is good but not great.

Recommended. A solid wee heavy.

Photo of tempest
3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Clark's Ale House

While this is a beautiful beer with a thick head and lacing to match. The aroma, however, leaves a lot to be desired. There's a faint caramel malt flavor and dust, which is never good. The flavor starts out nicely with subtle caramel malt flavors and fruit, which reminds me of apple juice. I dare say it tastes a bit like a caramel apple. Overall, very drinkable and tasty, its a shame the aroma suffers.

Photo of kajerm
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours dark brown and cloudy with a fair number of floaties. Fortunately, I like floaties. The head is thin with minimal lacing.

The aroma is largely dominated by light, toffeeish malts, with a strong (and somewhat unexpected) background of fruity yeast esters. The smell is a little Belgian, only without the phenols and Candi sugar. If this is representative (it's nothing like the McEwan's), I can see why the Belgians are so crazy about Wee Heavy.

The flavor profile opens up with sticky, very British-tasting malts that hang around through mid-palate. Yeast-derived flavors come in on the finish, along with a surprising little note of coffeish astringency from darker malts. This beer doesn't look that dark, but I guess they must be hiding there somewhere.

The mouthfeel is moderately chewy with a heavy-medium body.

It's pretty malty, but well-balanced and pretty drinkable for the style.

Overall, a solid beer, but it won't blow your doors off or leave your legs shaking.

Photo of WonderfulSam
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured an attractive deep caramel or cola brown color with two fingers of coarse offwhite head, most of which dissipated relatively quickly. A small thin head persisted throughout the course of my drinking this beer, and left a single sudsy ring at every healthy “sip” that I took.

The smell was notably malty and fruity. The taste was a bit more complex, though it more or less tasted how it smelled (malty and fruity), with the addition of subtle earthy and smoky undertones that opened up in the aftertaste. Despite the overwhelming presence of malt on the palate, this beer generally did not result in a sour aftertaste that I find with so many other highly malted beers.

Great mouthfeel with moderate carbonation and a slightly syrupy, but well-balanced texture. Overall it was a very pleasant, highly enjoyable and rather easy-to-drink beer!

Photo of brendan13
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark copper colour with red tinges when held up to light. A small head forms but falls away quickly.
S - Sweet caramel maltiness combines wonderfully well with dark fruit esters.
T - Along the same lines as the smell but with quite a noticeable smokey flavour.
M - Smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel. Low carbonation.
D - Tasty yet not too heavy bodied or high in alcohol. I can see this becoming a regular.

Photo of Taipans
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Darker rich brown, light tan head
S- Sweet malty aroma, couldnt pick much else out but it smells good
T- Very malty sweet with nice touch of caramel and molasses
M- Fairy heavy, syrupy, but pleasent
D- At 6.5 ABV and with his heavy malt character it might be hard to put these back as a session beer. But overall its honestly one of the best beers I have had and it was 104' the day I drank it.

I picked up two bottles over the weekend and absolutely loved it!

Photo of joeysmokedporter
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 500 mL bottle into a pint glass.

A: medium brown color, clear, tan thick head that dissipates and laces.

S: bready, caramel aroma

T: starts with a caramel, molasses malty flavor, with some estery dried fruit flavor in the middle; finishes with a slight hop bitterness. Balance is heavily toward the malt flavor with only enough hoppiness to keep it from being overly sweet. Not highly complicated; but its simplicity is elegant.

M: slightly heavy on the density side; a little sticky. Average/appropriate carbonation.

D: A very drinkable beer, particularly for those who enjoy it on the malty side.

Photo of walshclimb
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear chestnut color with thick tan head that dissipates slowly to 1/4" thick with variable bubble size. Leaves a slight lace up the glass. The smell is of bready malt with a hint of wood. The taste is sweet malt with caramel and molasses initial flavor that has a medium-lived slightly acidic finish that also retains its sweetness. It is medium bodied with lively carbonation and slightly creamy texture. This is a tasty and easily drinkable beer. Not terribly complex, but I would definitely purchase again. Good with food, like bread and cheese.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

Photo of bradybeer
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid beer. Pours adark brown with a hint of orange-tan head with medium carbonation. Sweet malt and no hops in the aroma. Taste is malty sweet with little hoppiness either in the initial taste or the finish. Mouthfeel is moderate and drinkability good.

I picked one of these up since it has been many years since I last tasted one-It will not be many years before I try another bottle.

Photo of Bookseeb
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark mohogany in color with a healthy off white head. Smell is sweet with malts and dark fruits. Taste is rich in dark fruits, nutty with slight smoke flavor and having a creamy medium mouthfeel. I like the complexity it has, but I don't know how it compares to other wee heavy's, but it's a good starting point.

Photo of akorsak
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 50 cL bottle.

A: The ale is a dark brown color, caramel almost with some dark red highlights. The head was not too large, maybe 1 finger in size, but does leave lacing in the glass.

S: The ale gives off a bit of smoky malt aroma, not too heavy, just a wee bit (thank you, I'll be here all week!)..

T: The ale has a deliciously thick smoky body. The smokiness is has a nice peaty element to it, almost like the burn of a good scotch. Underlying the smokiness is a toffee and biscuit malt body that provides a bit of sweetness that further accentuates the smoke. This is a beer that you could eat as a meal.

M: The smokiness is nicely paired with the sweeter grain and malt body. The aftertaste lingers on the malt and provides an alefruit finish.

D: The moderate abv is well hidden behind the smoked malt body, this is a robust ale that represents itself well.

Photo of dgallina
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9 ounce brown bottle with no freshness dating.

Pours murky brown with small head, but good lace. Smells quite malty; toasty sweet caramel laced with a bit of fresh herbal and leafy hop. Flavor follows logically from the aroma. Mellow toasted malt is in the foreground, with a bit of leafy hop and hard water bringing up the rear. Not a lot happening, but pleasant and well-balanced nonetheless. The medium body is lively with carbonation, becoming a bit creamy as the beer warms. Wish the beer were a bit more complex. The "regular" Belhaven scotch ale has a nice smokiness that is missing from the wee heavy.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In the snifter, the color is dark caramel with a ruby tint. Head is a dirty white, soapy and fairly thin, but it retains well. Diminishing head leaves thin strands of lace.

Aroma is...mmm...malty. Caramel, toffee, and a nuttiness that recalls a robust brown ale. Juicy dark fruit in the background.

The flavors are many, and they spread throughout the mouth each sip, offering quite a few taste impressions. First is a grape-like sweetness, which gives way to a mildly toasted maltiness, while toffee and other dark fruits swirl across the tongue at one point or another. There's even a lactic flavor here, more reminiscent of soft-serve ice cream than anything. The finish brings bitter grains, and even some saltiness, as if I've just eaten a crisp pretzel.

Carbonation is between medium and high, while the body is light and buoyant, spreading across the tongue with a gentle sizzle.

This one does everything right. It's complex and delicious, scoring highest in flavor, where it counts most. My first time with this one, and I'll gladly return soon.

Photo of ncvbc
3.51/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one didn't live up to my expectations, although it wasn't bad by any means. Poured a light mahogany with ruby highlights and a nice, creamy head. Not much to speak of in when it comes to smell, somewhat watered down and minimal. Some toffee, caramel, and other faint malts come through but it seems a little soft. Once this beer warms up a little the taste isn't far from being good. I couldn't quite give it a 4 because like the smell, it seemed a little light and watery. The closer it got to room temperature, the more the flavors intensified and showed their true colors. Mouthfeel was up to par, very clean and smooth. The best part about this beer, although it's not something that I'll seek out in the future, is the drinkability. Very easy going down and very easy to take on more than one bottle in a sitting. Again, this isn't my favorite by any means, but it's worth a try for sure.

Photo of BlindPig
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Thick tan head on a clear deep amber/ruby body.
S- Bunch of different malts. Have some toffee, dark fruits, sweet caramel, ect. Big earthy notes and some grass notes too.
T- Malts come out. Dark fruits are up there with some raisin flavor and leave the mouth pretty dry. Big earthy tones come through with some light grass hops leaving a light bitterness. Sweet toffee notes come through too.
M- Medium body with low carbonation.
D- It is very tasty and I would buy it again. Good deal for the price too. I think there are better wee heavies out there but this is a good one.

Photo of carlos
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I warn readers that this is my first review and that I'm feeling totally optimistic - I've never been especially fond of Scotch Ales, but this Belhaven Wee Heavy has definitely won me over. /// I'm drinking a pint bottle from a Guinness pint glass.

The pour created an even 1-1/4 head with lots of sparkle around the edge of the glass - I didn't get the entire bottle emptied at first - then the outer ring subsided, leaving a creamy knoll. Two sips, and I emptied the rest of the bottle.

Appearance: Rich ruddy color with slight haze, light maze colored head. Thick pour.

Smell: Pointed honey-carmel malt aroma, feight hop backround.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Rich, even, clover-round beginning that evenly coats mouth as carbonation electrifies the top of tounge, with earthy Islay(peaty/iodine) finish.

Drinkability: Would have another over fish and chips with friends (and a decent cigar) - for sure.

Photo of scottoale
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one pours from a 500ml. brown bottle, into my 13.5oz. taster tulip, a dark mahogany with a finger of fluffy beige head. With good carbonation the head holds steady for some time, then eventually settles to an 1/8" and leaves some dabs of lace clinging.

The smell is sweet, toasty and nutty with some grassy hop notes in the background. A wee bit of alcohol creeps in as the brew warms up.

Taste is sweet of toasty, nutty malt and a hint of smoke and chocolate on the tongue that quickly turns astringently bitter by the hops. Fairly tasty and well balanced for the most part with a medium to heavy body that fits the style about right.

The drinkability is alright, but there are other Wee Heavy's out there that I'd prefer...still worth a try for the style.

Photo of AndoBrew
2.96/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

*did not like would not buy*

app: ugly. dirty water!

smell: yummy! nice chewy malts .. some butter (I love butter!) small small amount of floral hops. real nice and thick smelling though.

taste: so odd in contrast to the smell.. toasted malts, strange.. to sweet. I wish with this butter richness that it had more toast to support it. oh well.

mf: dont care.. to sweet and lite.

drinkable?? kinda. not for me.. maybe a new new castle for some though.

Photo of Beerzebub
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark red. Head goes away fast, but returns with a swirl. Bits of lace.

Smells like malt: straight up malt (i.e., Grape Nuts), toast, honey, toffee, nuts. Some mango and prune.

Tastes malty - toast, honey, nuts, some well balanced toffeelike sweetness. Some tropical and dark fruit. A glimpse of herbacious hops in the background, quietly doing their job. Alcohol, but barely noticeable. Dry finish, Grape Nuts maltiness with a bare hint of tealike astringency.

Smooth medium bodied mouthfeel. Quite drinkable.

Tasty and well balanced. Good stuff.

Photo of wspscott
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle in a pint glass

Pours a very dark brown with a nice creamy head. The head disappears quickly leaving a very thin lace on the glass.

The malts come though in the smell but are a little muted.

You taste a hint of smoke among the heavy malts. From what I have read, the Scottish do not smoke their grains for beer but, it sure tastes like it.

The mouthfeel is creamy and rich but not thick.

I don't know how this compares to other Wee Heavies but, I like this one a lot. This is a great alternative to a stout or porter, just different enough to be fun to drink and not overly alcoholic (6.5%). I have had this before and will have it again.

Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
91 out of 100 based on 989 ratings.