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Wee Heavy - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Wee HeavyWee Heavy

Educational use only; do not reuse.

989 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 989
Reviews: 565
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.85%
Wants: 78
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 989 | Reviews: 565 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheBungyo
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body is brown/amber topped by a thick 1 finger tall head. Nose is syrupy and for some reason initially smelled like a banana split. I could smell choclate, strawberry (faintly) and banana. Taste is slightly rummy, full of dark fruits and caramel. Mouth is medium. Mild in terms of alcohol content (compared to American interpretations of this style anyway) this is a nice sessioner.

Photo of SigEp
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this several times before but decided to sit down and review it.
Pours a deep brown with a 3 finger head that quickly dissipates. Little floaties-forgot this was bottle conditioned, never stopped me before so here we go.
Smell: Malty, rich, maple-syrupy.
Taste: No up front hop characteristics, can taste the bittering hops at the end of a sip; not very assertive, just there to put some balance in this otherwise sweet brew. Big and malty, very rich and smooth. Aftertaste is like brown sugar on the back of your tongue. The alcohol in this is slightly noticeable, but not so much as to detract from the other flavors. Really quite a nice, warming, beer. At 6.5% you're not going to be slugging these down, but they also don't have to be the only beer of the evening. Quite a nice brew, i will be enjoying this one for years to come.

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

Pours with a dark chestnut color smelling mildly sweet and fruity. The foam disappears quickly though. The taste is quite interesting, sort of peaty leather followed by sweet caramel and licorice, even some apple?. It's a little oily. It gives a full mouthfeel and I like the complexity of various tastes running around the mouth.

Photo of jwc215
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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

Attractive 500ml bottle. Clear dark ruby, forming an attractive whipped khaki head with good retention and lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is very nice...there is a nice touch of bourbon/whisky with tons of sticky amber malts, prunes and raisins. Hops are mellow in quantity and don't offset the gorgeous malt nose like many of it's American brethren. I'm not picking up any fusels, acetones, or isopropyls, a common error in this style when fermented too warm. The caramel is a bit much, but not overly buttery, so it's not terribly offensive. The mouthfeel initially appears thick, but thins out in the mouth nicely. Medium-dense body. The taste begins with sweet amber malt, followed by surprisingly herbaceous hops, a large smoked malt presence, leather and wood towards the end. Lingering chalks, leather, smoke and hops in the finish. Lightly dry. As it warms, the smoke and caramel become much more evident. Mild bitterness.

I've had many beers with twice the malt and hops, but this beer has so much going on that it's difficult to finish the whole bottle...it's so dang rich and the caramel/smoke combo is a bit much for me...instant palette fatigue. Still, it's recommended to try as it's a good representative of the style.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a rich dark ruby color with a half-inch of tannish foam at first. The head was still about half its size after at least a minute. There is some pretty thick lacing left on the glass some time after drinking.

Aroma: Sweet and fruity aromatics along with an assertive dark caramel component. I get a bit of fig and plum to add specifics to the fruit flavors. There is a very earthy aroma becoming noticeable as the beer warms a bit.

Taste: The flavor is much fruitier than I expected from the nose. You can get apples and dates in here so much that the aftertaste is like a pie. It is really caramelly sweet with some assertive earthy notes. The alcohol adds a bit of spiciness, and as this beer warms up, it is getting to taste much more like a dessert. The yeast and malt are adding a subtle bready character to the flavor that is adding yet more complexity as it warms. This is a beer to sipped through the transition from cold to warm to really appreciate its complexity. The balance is tipped firmly to the malt the entire time. As the beer warms even further, there is a floral note that is coming out that seems to be a by-product of all of the fruit and caramel this beer has.

Opinion: It has been some time since I have tried this beer, and after this session, I feel that is a shame. This is a really nice beer and one that is wonderfully complex. It is not for the hop-head, but has a wealth of malt complexity to keep the palate in check. This is a nice beer, and one that I will try to drink more often in the future.

Photo of nickss
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby brown with a huge 1" head that is slightly off-white in color.

Big thick caramel notes with a healthy dose of malt in the aroma. This beer just smells chewy and dark and viscous.... quite nice. Definitely a touch of chocolate in there as well.

Smoked malt flavour... almost like a tame rauchbier... very interesting. Small caramel flavour, but nearly anything else is overwhelmed by the smokiness of this brew. Would be fantastic with a pulled pork sandwich.

Big chewy mouthfeel that started out much thinner when the brew was cold, but as it warmed, the thickness of the brew manifests itself. Very nice.

Very drinkable, and very nice. Wishing I had grabbed this brew during the winter, but as its rainy and 55 outside right now, I think it works quite nicely.

Photo of Tawnos
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: practically no head, deep red, almost crimson. Very clear, no haze. Bubbles can be seen forming perfectly

Smell: wood left outside in the rain and then thrown on the fire mixed with sweetbread baking in the background. Subtle yet smoky

Taste: Amazing. It's rich, malty, slightly sweet, perfectly hopped. Only reason it didn't get a 5 was the aftertaste left a bit of a rot taste in mouth. Still a great scottish ale.

Mouthfeel: thick, but not creamy. Carbonated just enough that you feel the bubbles but don't get overwhelmed by the fizziness.

Drinkability: I'll be getting this one again. Quaffable and enjoyable.

Photo of ProfessorHops
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- dark brown. Very handsome. I know it's against the law, but when pouring this beer I give it a huge head. Simply because it's a sight to see. Awesome head.

Smell- hoppy and surprising sweet.

Taste- robust and woody. Malted heavy.

Mouthfeel- watery and refreshing. Finishes a little more solid.

Drinkability- for a more stronger beer. The ale drinks well But a price of alcohol burn is paid in the finish when consumed fast.

A good beer to introduce one to Scottish Ale. True to strength and the robust

Photo of Drew966
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep, dark orange, being virtually opaque with thick tan head. Malty nose. The taste is predominated by malt, but then a smoked flavor kicks in, fading back into malt in the finish. I like this one, but I'm not sure I could drink a lot of it. Definitely recommended.

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

on cask in inverness. Dark burnt chestnut/oak wood with a nice swirling head of offwhite tan and caramel cappucino. Aromas of classic UK pale ales, and smoky scotch ales fuckin' each other on an outdoor patio in Thurso. Earthy malts, smoke, fire, wood, caramel, figs, and more blend together to make this more intense than a pale ale from the southland, but approachable enough as to not scare away the lager drinking masses. Taste is sweet, fruity, and than smoky, with a nice edge, although i'm quitting smoking this beer goes very well with smoke of all kinds. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a tad slick, drinkability is good. This beer will get you in the end.

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

Appearance: A beaut. Deep, clear, glowing mahogany with a tight, dense tan head.

Smell: A toffee apple. Dipped in butter. On fire.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Really like this one, a nice smoky edge sets off the caramel and fruit base. Must have a touch of diacetyl, too, slightly buttery. All blends nicely, though. Mouthfeel is OK, a bit thin and sharp for me.

Drinkability: Nice. Typically restrained entry from the UK. Not the bruiser that is Skullsplitter, but a tasty and quite drinkable example of the style. Easy to find and cheap to boot.

Photo of taez555
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear but dark brown/amber/reddish body with tan head.

A nice malty, classic hard water sort of classic english/scottish, even pale ale-ish, smell.

Medium bodied with an initial earthy, smokey, woody, hard water malt sort of taste. A tad bit metallic with a mild earthy hop and bitterness. A nice caramel, classic malt , again very earthy and smokey but all in a very mild subdued way. It ends with a nice lingering mellow malt and hints of smoked meat.

Just a classic scotch ale. Basically a big malty pale ale with touches of burnt wood and smoke. Very drinkable and although 6%, a great session scotch.

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

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a thick creamy light tan head that looks as thick as frosting. The warm deep brown body was clear with a very gentle carbonation.

S- There was a soft caramel malt note with some slight toasted aromas and a hint of dried fruit in the finish.

T- This beer has nice flavors of dark caramel malt and a note of earthiness. The finish had some notes of prunes and plumes with a soft alcohol note. I noticed more of a smoky note in the malt that was very faint but added a nice balance to the deep malt flavors.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture. No real alcohol heat in the mouthfeel.

D- This beer has nice dark sweet complex malt flavors and there were more, very subtle layers coming through as I drank.

Photo of Hautacam
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml. bottle..pours out clear, dark amber..frothy, tan head...slowly settles to a film. Good-looking stuff.
Smells mostly of malt...a little dried fruit. I'm not catching any smoke in the nose. More like a hint of phenol.
Tastes mostly of caramel malt...moderately intense overall flavor. Pretty sweet, but well balanced with malt and hints of hops and phenol. Slight roof-of mouth numbing ...alcohol or phenol ??
Medium in body..low in carbonation....slightly slick.
Very drinkable...this is a really nice ale.

Photo of hunteraw
3.08/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I recently brewed a Scotch Ale of my own, and I know it's supposed to be sweet, but this one really didn't do it for me. Not quite opaque in appearance, slight reddish tint when held up to the light. It looks good, for what that's worth! Overly sweet aroma and taste - not a bad thing in the nose, but too much for my palate, at least. For me, the malt was really overwhelmed by that sweetness. I had a hard time finishing it. The girlfriend (who enjoys darker beers) mentioned an unplesant aftertaste. I was pretty surprised to log on and see how well it's rated. My opinion, here, so don't put too much stock in it, but if you don't have much of a sweet tooth, I'd steer away from this one. If you do, maybe you'll love it as much as most reviewers seem to have. I'll be sure to give it another chance, though.

Photo of Higravity
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A Wee-Heavy at 6.5%? Ok, it is from Scotland. Well the nice red-brown body supported a white head with lots of lacing. A good smell eminated from the glass, a nutty caramilized beer with a touch of smoke and the barest hints of alcohol. Wonderfully crafted beer with lots of malty flavor and some dried fruit tones with little hop presence but a very smooth and lasting finish. Nice body bordering thick and a very drinkable beer. I thought it would be a bigger Wee-heavy but if this is how the scots do it, I guess we just Americanized the style.

Photo of EvilKeith
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into the glass a clear dark amber to cola color. A firm tan head with sticky, fine lace.

Smells of roasted malt, raisins, dates with an earthy, herbal undertone.

Taste is of caramelled dark fruits with a wine-like mouthfeel that I enjoyed.

This has a low ABV so I would say it has good drinkability, sessionable.

Photo of OStrungT
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear ruby red color. The head is tan. It fades fast, leaving very few laces.

This beer has a good malty aroma. I detect a nutty aroma. Caramel is present also. It has a slight woody scent to it. The aroma is a little hard to sort out.

This beer tastes sweet. It is malty. Slightly nutty. Caramel flavor is slightly present. There is not much hop flavor.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a malty sweet aftertaste. This beer is slightly thin. It is carbonated well.

I think this beer would be a good session beer. It is not high in alcohol, so that wouldnt be a problem. Also, the flavor is not overly aggressive. I dont know how much I care for this beer. The flavor is sort of boring. It is worth a try though.

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

An exellent brew for all you malties out there, not bad for a hophead like myself either.
A dark tea like colour with a full two fingered head with exellent retention, very lively carbonation.
The body itself is a medium/full.
The nose is to the grains, somewhat smokey and roasted nuts.
The taste is well balanced to the malts, moderate to the hops and a clean crisp finish....hints of caramel, grassy and roasted nuts.
Well done.

Photo of StAnthony
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This could be my perfect beer.

I previously called Guinness home, but if it weren't for this brew's hard-to-find nature, we'd definitely have a new contender.

Yes, I know this isn't a stout...now. But it's everything I ever thought a stout should be, I just didn't know that what my buds were actually craving was a strong scotch ale. Dark, super malty, rich fuller-than-full body and a refreshing dry finish. Completed by a very reasonable ABV. It's the perfect formula!

Why, oh why can't every bar have this on tap?? I found it at the Map Room (Chicago), and if it was on a standard tap and not nitro, it sure fooled me. Perfect pour with a thick creamy head and excellent retention. Here's the sad part. I finally found my soul-brew, but when I popped in to say hello a week later--it was gone! Whether it was a temporary outage or tragedy of long-term distribution schemes, I don't know. But I will find it again!

Photo of Dithyramb
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Served on nitro tap at Frisco's in Columbia

Appearance: Chestnut brown, awesome retention and lacing.

Nose: Mostly fruity and tangy with some wood in the background.

Everything Else: A malt lovers dream. Dark fruits, malts, sugars, without any cloying nature. Goes down smooth and silky. I could drink this all day.

Photo of Hagbard
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belhaven is the quintessential Scotch Ale, a malt-head's dream. It pours a deep dark ruby red with a medium sized head that fades fairly quickly. The aroma is very malty and sweet with a boozy quality to it. The taste showcases an unbelievably complex malt bill. Slightly sweet with a nice bready toasty element that holds everything together. It is sweet, but never becomes cloying, something I find offensive in many lesser Scotch ales. It finishes with a nice alcoholic kick that warms you as it goes down. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy, buoyed by a mild amount of carbonation. Drinkability remains good because the sweetness is always kept in check by the bready, biscuity element. This is great Scotch ale that remains one of the pinnacles of the style. It's also a beer I find easy to disregard in the beer store as "been there done that," much to my detriment.

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass the beer was a dark brown boardering on mohaganny color. It had one-finger of slightly off-white creamy head that was quick to fade, but left a thick sheet of lacing.

The smell was sweet malt, alcohol, toffee, caramel, and a slight bit of nut as well.

The innitial taste was a semi-sweet maltiness with a rather distinct nutty finish. Slightly dry in the finish but warming and robust as well. Alcohol is present, but not overly detectable. Some carmel and mollasses flavors come thru as the beer warms slightly.

Medium body with a surprisingly high amount of carbonation.

Very enjoyable and drinkable. Moderate in strength and body so as to allow for several in one sitting. That said, it did lack the chewy sweetness and dominant malt character so common in many wee heavy. Nonetheless, a solid beer.

Photo of Goldorak
3.42/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Expiry date on this one was Nov2005, I've had it sitting in my cellar for about a year I'd say.

Appearance: Dark cranberry reddish, with a ton of susprended floaties, it was like a scratched ruby, or a botched batch of jello. Proper amount of off-white head on top.

Smell: Interesting yeasty madeirization, that gives it a nice woody, worked in feel, like a piece of furniture at your grandma's place. Notes of cinnamon spicyness as well.

Taste: Smooth feel, with a bit of roasted malt, but the yeast seems to have taken this Beer over a little too much. Aftertaste is caramel sweetbut with a bitter side that was more yeasty than hoppy. It wasn't what I expected, but fascinating nonetheless!

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