1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Wee Heavy - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Wee HeavyWee Heavy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

932 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 932
Reviews: 554
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 71
Gots: 44 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-24-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wee Heavy Alström Bros
Ratings: 932 | Reviews: 554 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of crwills
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a standard pint glass. This beer is a deep brown, but completely clear (transparent) and not cloudy at all.

Smell is primarily roasted grains, plus some fruits, raisins, toffee, and biscuits. Very nice.

Taste is also nice -- malt sweetness, ripe fruits (plums?), biscuits and toasted bread, honey, and burnt chocolate. Very little carbonation, and almost no hop flavours at all.

Dropped the drinkability a bit because I find this beer is very heavy, even for the 6.5% ABV. Still, a very nice Scotch ale, although I'd probably pick McEwans over this from what I can remember.

crwills, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of slitherySOB
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I first poured this beer, I poured it in a poorly lit room. Looking at it, I thought immediately of Coca Cola. Was rather upset. However, in decent light the colour is a more black/red/crimson. Very little head, and what was there disipated fast. Smells great. Woody, dark malts, earthy hops. Taste, despite having an earthy feel, is also rather fruity. Dark fruits like raisins and plums. Mouthfeel is thick and juicy. Juicy. Ya know, I think that is the first time I've ever used that word in describing a beer. Who knew it would have been positive. Drinkable? Oh yes. Very.

slitherySOB, Nov 12, 2005
Photo of daliandragon
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Attractive thick brown bottle with rampant lion design and the "Wee Heavy" moniker emblazoned across the front.
After pouring this beer I'm immidiately attached to the creamy mass of foam at the top of the brownie colored and sediment filled body. Definitely eye candy for beer nerds. Malt and smokiness are the major players in the nose, with a bit of a fruit essence, perhaps a berry of some sort.
The taste is rich and chocolaty but there is a very clear texture of smokiness as well. The flavor is complex, every sip is a little different. Several different spices also seem to be extant, although I'm not sure which.
This is an attractive, well made beer that is surpisingly tasty for how smoky it is and how high the abv is. This doesn't have session beer drinkability but I can highly recommend trying at least one.

daliandragon, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of nlmartin
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was poured from the 500 ml bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: This beer presented as a pleasing amber color with an off white perpetual head.

Smell: A nice combination of wood and malty goodness.

Taste: This was a combination of smokey malty raisins with just a hint of bitterness for character.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This was most definately a treat to drink. Just when I was sure I was lost to "Beer Crack Land" a gift from the beer Gods was dropped in my lap.

nlmartin, Oct 21, 2005
Photo of yelterdow
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a taste-off against Robert the Bruce from Three Floyds... presented in a Duvel tulip glass at cellar temperature.

Appearance- A rich, hazy dark amber that supports an inch thick, off-white head that fades gradually to a foamy rim. Bubbles of all sizes float precariously above, with terrific lacing. Very interesting how this beer is brought back to life with each swirl of the glass.

Smell- Much boozier than RTB, and notes of smoke, vanilla, and tar in addition to the obvious gigantic malts. The alcohol is more noticable here than the former, at less strength. That's odd.

Taste- Syrupy smoked malts with a backdrop of wood, peat, and eventually some hops. Delicious, full-bodied, and rich... this is a winter warmer for sure, doing me just fine on this cold, damp October evening. As the beer warms further, the line between Scotch Ale and Smoked Beer becomes blurrier.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Active but not too busy in the mouth, leading to a good, slick finish. Great flavors going on, combined with the warming effects of a slightly kicked-up ABV... all in all a damn fine brew. A terrific companion with a cigar or your favorite novel.

yelterdow, Oct 11, 2005
Photo of dwvarner77
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown with highlights of ruby and bronze with a solid frothy tan head that maintains itself for a while then falls to keep a nice eigth-inch lacing.
Nose is thick, sweet and malty, with caramel and spice.
Taste is also thick, sweet, tons of malt, some dark fruit. Slight hop finish to give balance.
Mouthfeel is full and sweet, with a hint of carbonation at the mid-back of the tongue. Very nice, a solid session brew.

dwvarner77, Oct 05, 2005
Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper red, little bit of brown as well, big off white head forms and laces well on the glass. Smell is sweet, rich and malty, caramel, some bread. Taste is rich and malty as well, some spices and caramel, some chocolate is in the finish. Mouthfeel is full, carbonation is a little bit too aggressive I think, but a nice malty ale.

Viggo, Sep 30, 2005
Photo of jayc333
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cola brown, with ruby edges, and a two-finger frothy off-white head that lasts about two minutes before reducing to a nice lace.

Smells like a sweet coffee, but just a little smoky to give it a kick.

Coffee present in taste, but not as sweet as expected. It tastes more roasted. 6.5 ABV is noticable, but oly when you are expecting it.

Thick yet smooth feel on the palate, with the right amount of carbonation.

Impressive. This being only my second beer of the Scotch Ale style, has made me want to branch out to all others of its kind. I'll definatly have another.

jayc333, Sep 24, 2005
Photo of EPseja
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a nice 500 ml bottle into a becker glass at just above fridge temperature.

A - Pours a clear, ruby-mahogany color with a fluffy, light tan head that immediately sticks to the sides of the glass and leaves its trail all the way down without ever revealing even a glimpse of the beer beneath it.

S - Rich, toasted caramel malts with notes of peat and distant autumn smoke. Some dark breads and dark fruits in the background, but no real hoppiness to speak of.

T - Awesome smoked peat and righteous malty sweetness up front, carrying well into the middle of the sip. In the middle, some of the dark fruitiness comes through, rounding the taste into a wonderfully enitcing mouthful that you don't want to swallow! The finish brings a subtle alcohol warmth as the embers of smouldering peat and malt linger. Absolutely delicious.

M - Creamy, chewy and satisfying with just enough carbonation to tickle to tongue, but not enough to make your stomach feel full of suds.

D - This is one seriously delicious beer that fits the bill for any cool (to freezing) cold evening. Well crafted, well rounded, complex, interesting, and just plain tasty.

EPseja, Sep 21, 2005
Photo of Derek
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Ruby-brown, nice head, but poor retention & lacing.

S: Very malty, with a hint of peat-smoke. Not even a hint of hops.

T: Raisin-bread, caramel, spice, nut and peat-smoked flavours. The smokeyness comes forward with some cellaring.

M: Moderate body (well-attenuated for its weight), low-to-moderate carbonation.

D: Smooth, approachable, but flavourful.

Derek, Sep 20, 2005
Photo of Gaisgeil
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a serious wee heavy, one many others are based off of, and for good reason!

Pours a silky dark brown in color with a fair bit of haziness with a light tan head that left a slight crown throughout the pint. Smell is a little smoky with a great maltiness, it even smells a wee bit heavy. Taste is velvety, thick rich malts with an undercurrent of peat and smoke. Very satisfying and warming. Mouthfeel is a little thin honestly, but with everything else going on, it doesn't really become an issue. Very creamy and biscuity overall. Carbonation is spot on.

Slàinte!

Gaisgeil, Sep 19, 2005
Photo of GnomeKing
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

'Tho only 6.5% ABV, the alcohol comes through strongly in the smell and taste. This is a hearty brew, one that I can imagine craving in the depth of winter. It's not an easy-going or well-balanced beer--it hits you hard, even sucker-punches you. Still, it's good and has its place. Rich tasting, with a full, slightly creamy mouthfeel, Belhaven Wee Heavy is, indeed, heavy, at least a wee bit. Rock 'em Sock 'em robots, brother. This is a serious beer for serious drinkers. Give it a shot, especially if you're reading this when the outside thermometer is dipping low.

GnomeKing, Sep 16, 2005
Photo of hyuga
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful mahogany brew with a perfect-sized tannish head that has excellent staying power.

Big fruity aroma, lots of dried fruit; plum, raisin, and muscat grapes. Big molasses character too. Tiny bit smoky.

Smokier on the palate and not as sweet. A few dark fruits here and there. Some bitterness shows up in the middle, a bit leafy. The aroma suggested a bigger body than this... This is rather light for a Scotch ale. The flavors are very good though. I like the bitterness, but it needs to be chewy.

Very creamy mouthfeel. Great carbonation. Needs more body to round it out though.

This is a bit lacking in body for a Scotch ale. Maybe this could be a session Scotch ale? It's very tasty though. I could enjoy a few more. I think it would be better fresher though. I'll get another bottle at a different store to see if I notice any difference, and I'll re-review it then.

hyuga, Sep 16, 2005
Photo of charlottebeerguy
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served out of a 500ml brown bottle into a chalice

This beer pours a beautiful ruby color deep, deep ruby. A 1/2 inch off white head forms and settles.

Smells of sweet malts and caramel, fruits stick out a little.

Taste is semi sweet bitter and fresh a great mouth feel and a very smooth finish. This is a beer I can see myself drinking again for sure. Great lacing on this beer. I can see a line from every sip. A great balance of everything involved.

charlottebeerguy, Aug 30, 2005
Photo of Noxious26
1.43/5  rDev -64.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

500m bottle served in a pint glass at Bushwakker's.

Dark red ruby colour and clear. Thin off-white head.

Aroma is malty and smoky, but has an off scent. Smells like old stinky army socks.

Extremely smoky flavour. A little malt at the start, then campfire smoke just invades the senses. Even the aftertaste is smoky. Where the hell is the sweetness???

Medium bodied, mildly fizzy and dry.

Ack! This is terrible! Try drinking liquid smoke like you would make sausage with... that's this beer. Overwhelming smoke flavour. I might as well be smoking. One of the worst beers I've ever tried.

Noxious26, Aug 28, 2005
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.

BEERchitect, Aug 18, 2005
Photo of karst
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy garnet with quick falling head and lace. Rich sweet toffee caramel malt aroma. Mouthfeel medium light and smooth with carbonation low. Body is a bit thin. The rich malt profile is comprised of caramel malt sweetness, but a bit of dry and bitter roasted barley Hop bitterness is minimal with no hop flavor and it finishes slightly sweet with only roasted unmalted barley for bitterness. Faint peatiness becomes a little more apparent with warming, sweetness is 'just enough' to show off the complex malts.

Scotch Ales traditionally go through a long boil in the kettle for a caramelization of the wort. Compared to Scottish Ales, they are sweeter and fuller-bodied, and of course higher in alcohol, with a much more pronounced malty caramel and roasted malt flavor.

Belhaven Wee Heavy is brewed very close to Scotch ale style. Tasty with alcohol well hidden but a little wanting in body and mouthfeel.

karst, Jul 28, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really Really enjoyed this fine brew from scotland.

500ml bottle or 16.9oz

has some stout characteristics, a coffe taste comes through albeit faint but enough to let you know there is some serious roasted/toasted malt. I think this beer hides the alcohol nicely. Pretty easy drinking beer. Tasted some prune/raisin/grape. Couldn't figure out which one or it could be a mix. This was a nice end of the day brew. Walk in the door crack one of these babies and let it roll.

DogFood11, Jul 23, 2005
Photo of Jacobob10
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out very dark brown with a nice head. Good retention and lacing as well. Great aroma. Roasted malts jump out at you first followed by sweet caramel overtones. When tasted, the roasted malts come across as almost coffee-like. Some slight bitterness from the hops can be detected during the finish. Medium to full bodied, this beer was a tough drinker, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

Jacobob10, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had a hard time finding this bottle, but luckily a new store here in Bloomington, Sahara Mart, has vastly increased their beer selection. I think they're the only store in town that carries it. Lucky me.

A nice looking beer. A very deep ruby, garnet red when held to the light. Throws off some beautiful burnt orange colors and just barley translucent when sitting on the table out of direct light. A perfectly bright beer with what looks like the appropriate amount of carbonation. A very thin but persistant cap of tan foam hangs on to the top of the beer.

Definately a very nice nose on this beer. Rich and full malt dominates. It's a fairly complex nose that I'm having trouble teasing apart. Maybe a touch of smoke in there?

A very nice tasting beer, but I'm looking for a little something more full flavored from a Wee Heavy. Very nice up front malt flavors, very rich and robust with just a little less sweetness than I'd prefer, but it's still there for sure, definately sweet up front. Unfortunately, this beer finishes just a little dry for my tastes, and maybe a touch smokey. I suppose that's right for the style, don't know if it's from smoked malts or from the yeast, I think it's probably from the yeast because it's not very strong at all, but I would like a bit more sweet malty goodness to hang out under that hint of smoke. Instead, this beer is just a touch too dry and clean in the finish.

Again, apparently a very nice mouth feel in the front end, but by the finish it really seems to have thinned out. Definately just my perception though, I mean, it's the same body through and through!

A very drinkable beer for 6.5% abv. I could have several more half liters!

cerevisiaephilus, Jun 27, 2005
Photo of Vancer
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty good little ‘eavy, here. Nice start, deep and clear amber chestnut brown brew with foamy tan head – good lacing. Aroma of caramel and malts. Chocolate malt balanced well with the hops, not to sweet, not to sour. Rich and chewy, felt a little alcohol presence, thought it would be around 9%, but see it’s only 6.5% A satisflying brew, although a tad harsh as it warms - but this is only nitpicking.

Vancer, Jun 14, 2005
Photo of DrSend
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first wee heavy. Pours a nice clear, dark amber with a quickly dissipating head. Smells strongly of roasted malt, and tastes similarly burnt, slightly ashy with a bit of a bitter aftertaste. Very pleasant full, soft mouthfeel that's slightly tangy at the end. Not bad.

DrSend, Apr 26, 2005
Photo of beertastegood
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a really nice looking dark amber color with a large tan meringue-like head; very rocky and solid. Smells of dark raisins, plums and brown sugar. Aromas indicate a very malty brew. Has a slight smoke flavor, nice and spicy, which permeates throughout the entire sip. Fruity tones, sweet caramel malt and a tangy, bready finish make this a very complex beer. My first heavy scotch ale, and this was a treat indeed. Love the creamy mouthfeel.

beertastegood, Apr 14, 2005
Photo of dungaree
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours as a dark brown, nice color. Presents a thin head. Smells of roasted malts, hint of caramel. Doesn't seem to give off as much smell as other similar brews.

Tastes of roasted malt flavor, slight hops, and notes of caramel. Finishes with more hoppiness, dryness, and astringency. Very drinkable brew.

dungaree, Apr 04, 2005
Photo of mschofield
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep rich mahogany with red at the edges, topped with a two finger tan head, did not lace well.
Fruity, herb, alcohol aroma, floral, smoky.
Malty taste, toast, bready aftertaste, dark bread, smoky.
Medium bodied, seems very close to a doppelbock to me.

mschofield, Mar 29, 2005
Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
89 out of 100 based on 932 ratings.