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Wee Heavy - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Wee HeavyWee Heavy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

895 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 895
Reviews: 550
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 67
Gots: 36 | 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
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Ratings: 895 | Reviews: 550 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hobbes2112
hobbes2112

Texas

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

500mL bottle

Pours medium brown with copper edges, ample head on pour that reduces to a thin lace. Looks just fantastic!

The smell is good with standout malt and smoke. Maybe a tiny amount of diacetyl (butterscotch-like) when the beer starts to warm.

Taste is a predictable mix of smoke up front, smooth malts and moderate hops come together right after the smoke and fade together. Not often that I have that happen. No major aftertaste to speak up.

The mouthfeel is average/good. Carbonation is about right I just wish this was a tiny bit heavier to carry the taste.

Fantastic representation of the style I will buy this again, maybe next time I make Shepard's pie.

06-12-2004 06:12:05 | More by hobbes2112
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Pours a really dark clear brown brew.

Smell is very malty with lots of candy scent. Scents of vanilla, pecans, brown sugar, maple, and raisins.

Taste is smoky and sweet with a big hit of malt. Complex flavors, lots of toffee and caramel, with prune, and raisin, molasses, and others. Taste is very similar to a smoked Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Mouthfeel is good.

Excellent Drinkability, a great sipping brew.

05-29-2004 04:42:56 | More by Zorro
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

4.08/5  rDev +0.2%

500ml bottle pours a clear, garnet mahogany body with a one finger, beige head that quickly drops into some nicely woven lace.

Aroma is malty, in the Scotch tradition, with toffee and molasses up front. A fascinating note of whiskey soaked, wooden barrels is easily picked up in the background.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and is awash with prickles of many of the flavors that soon arrive, in full bloom, in the taste.

Taste: Malty caramel and toffee are prominent here. A cloud of smokiness(peat?) envelopes the strong malt essence. Herbal hop bitterness is present, but in a minor role. This is a friendly, easy sipping, Scottish ale that is worthy of sitting down with for a good spell. Consider it that old, Scottish uncle that you always wanted to sit down and chat with for an evening.

Drinkability is sublime. This is a thinking man(or woman's) beer. Sip this while dressed comfortbly, curled up with a book of Robert Burns poetry, and be sure to listen to some old Gaelic music.

05-27-2004 22:40:10 | More by merlin48
Photo of mzwolinski
mzwolinski

California

4.15/5  rDev +2%

I had this on tap at a Scottish pub in NYC, and have been seeking it out in bottle form ever since. It pours nicely, dark brown with a tinge of amber and a medium-sized, light tan head. The aroma is slightly roasty and smoky, with a nice sweet malt underlying it. Very full in the mouth with a strong, but not at all overwhelming, peated malt character. This mellows a bit as the beer warms, developing an almost chocolatey sweetness in the middle, along with some dark fruit flavors. Finishes with a nice light smoke flavor. All in all, quite good! But nothing like drinking it with a kilt-wearing, bagpipe-playing band 10 feet away. Ambiance counts!

05-10-2004 00:50:08 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of Ilacquin
Ilacquin

Indiana

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%

Poured a very deep red with a short cream colored head. Head faded rapidly.

Aroma was of malt, slightly sweet and a little smokey.

Flavor was full of malt with some smokey overtones along with peat/oak (?). High ABV cut some of the malty sweetness, leaving a pretty well balanced flavor.

Mouthfeel was a little thin but appropriate, I think, for the style.

Drinkability depends on how much flavor you can handle, and how well you can deal with the higher ABV.

Overall, a very pleasing experiance and one that I will likely repeat.

05-06-2004 19:39:32 | More by Ilacquin
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

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.

04-27-2004 01:29:59 | More by WesWes
Photo of Shiredave
Shiredave

New York

3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

Pours a rosey brown but glows a bright, blazing garnet when back-lit, sparkling w/ slow streams of carbonation. A sheet of tan lace slopes onto a gooey 1/4 inch cap of foam.
Aroma is cherrys and apples dripping with toffee.
Flavor up front is smooth fruit filled caramel candy. Nice nutty grain depth and distinctive notes of smoked malt.
Medium bodied but somehow tastes like it should be more.
Finish is abrupt - mild bittering hits the back of the throat along with a lingering honey and cream aftertaste.
Rich and complex brew. Cellar temps allow the full scope of flavor to come thru.

03-18-2004 03:52:57 | More by Shiredave
Photo of pmowen
pmowen

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours out of the bottle a burnt amber color with nice creamy two finger head which dissapates fast leaving minimal lace. A strong aroma of what I somehow connected with plain yogurt could be smelled from a few feet away. Tastes of toasted malt dominated along with a hint of syrup and a bit of a metallic aftertaste. As for drinkability, I wish I would have picked up more than just one.

02-27-2004 01:30:45 | More by pmowen
Photo of claytri
claytri

Maryland

4.03/5  rDev -1%

The Wee Heavy poured out a slightly cloudy brown with a bit of tan head that quickly became a lace. It had an aroma of toasted malt with some hints of fruit and spice. The taste was purely a sharp toasty malt with a nice sort of musty aftertaste. Medium bodied and oily in the mouth. This was a mellow malt drink and I found it to be much more drinkable than others of this type.

02-15-2004 01:54:17 | More by claytri
Photo of necoadam
necoadam

Connecticut

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%

Poured out a nice dark amber color with a nice amount of carbonation. Smell consists of some malt, a little smoky smell. Taste is pretty nice. It has a nice thick and rich body to it. Finishes kinda dry and a little bitter. Very nice. Good solid malt backbone to this beer as well. There's also some earthiness to the taste. It comes out more when you start sipping it every now and then. Overall a nice beer. I would recommend it. "A beer to be sipped, savoured and fully respected." Amen.

02-02-2004 00:05:37 | More by necoadam
Photo of ElGuapo
ElGuapo

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1.7%

Dark brown pour topped in a mid-sized covering of off-white foam with good retention. Nice malty aroma with a good deal of smoke in there as well.

This one is a nice big-bodied scotch ale that really is a poster beer for what I think the style is. It has a lot of flavor. Malts are huge from start to finish. The smoky flavor is a bit underneath what I would like. I like to have big hints of single malt with lots of smoke and lots of woody flavors in there. It had both of them, but it wasn't loaded. It is very smooth, and the drinkability is also good. Very well done.

01-26-2004 02:59:58 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of avylover
avylover

Virginia

3.23/5  rDev -20.6%

Poured aggresively, this has a huge firm white head. It is a dark ruby color with rising bubbles throughout. Aroma is sort of creamy with a good malty whiff and a fair dose of hops suprisingly. This beer actually starts off with a smoked taste to it, then settles into a sweet maltiness and a somewhat overwhelming buttery flavor that lasts well into the aftertaste. There is a good amount of taste going on here, not just a malt monster. I think this beer may be a good example of "Diacetyl." It just seems too buttery, with some off flavors. The smoked taste is unwelcome here. Mouthfeel is decent, nothing special. The odd taste makes this beer not too drinkable. Interesting for sure, but not great.

01-23-2004 21:28:38 | More by avylover
Photo of BeefyMee
BeefyMee

Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

This is a very good beer that is not far off from greatness. The sweet, buttery maltiness in the taste just needs a little more of a counterbalance. I love malt, and the flavor of this beer is great. It just gets to be a little too much after a while. Overall, though, the taste is superb, which is why I think a bit more balance would be effective and not a toning down of the maltiness.

01-03-2004 19:01:47 | More by BeefyMee
Photo of ManekiNeko
ManekiNeko

Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

.5L bottle served lightly chilled in a Raftsman tulip/thistle.

Appearance: Dark ruby brown topped by a huge and thick offwhite head (almost peachy). Dissipates to a film and a big ring. Leaves healthy blobs of lace on the glass.

Smell: Incredibly malty nose. Caramel and toffee (natch) malts dominate. Fruits I can't quite put my finger on, melon I think. Grassy and peaty aromas. Smoky notes.

Taste: Sweet, slightly sour caramel malt that gives way to some nice woody and smoky flavors. Reminiscent of a rauchbier.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, quite so, actually. Lingering aftertastes of smoke and sweetness.

Drinkability: I've heard that Scots classify things as "wee," "not so wee," and "friggin' huge." This beer falls in between the latter two in this scale. I really liked the rauchbier overtones and had to stop myself from running to the 7-11 for the jerky. I want more of this.

12-18-2003 04:30:18 | More by ManekiNeko
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
ViveLaChouffe

Georgia

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

Pours a dark cherrywood color with a nice lacy ivory head. The smell is spicy and malty. Kind of coppery smells as well.

Taste is not a big as I expected and I was a bit disappointed but as it warms and you tune in there are some nice things happening here. There is a nice smoky and spicy flavors in this beer, almost like smoked pork if you can believe that. It is a bit thin but still malty and a bit sweet. The smoky, sticky aftertaste lingers forever on the back of your tongue.

This is far from my favorite scotch ale (or wee heavy for that matter) but a nice smoky/malty beer to sip during a card game or to have a smoke with.

12-08-2003 04:32:28 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of bewley
bewley

Oregon

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

500ml Bottle that has a red tiger-griffin-like thing on the label.

Tastes a bit like molasses, barley and caramel. Smells a bit like an old shoe which has been cooked in rolled oats.

It has just the power to get you where you want to be in a relative quick manner.

I like it. I like it a lot.

On the back label it is written that this is "a beer to be sipped, savoured and fully respected." [sic] That, in short, about sums it up. I think I'll have another.

12-07-2003 22:27:45 | More by bewley
Photo of crookedhalo
crookedhalo

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -3.4%

Translucent copper colored with a foamy off-white head. Earthy, bready aromas and sweet malt dominate the nose. Biscuity and sweet malt taste accompanied with a nutty-like finish that is earthy, too. I've tried bigger wee heavies, but this one's enjoyable in regards to it's simplicity. Excellent accompaniment to a fine cigar.

12-02-2003 09:45:48 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of DagFishHead
DagFishHead

New York

4.28/5  rDev +5.2%

Appearance: Deep ruby-bronze pour with a lush, frothy tan head that leaves creamy lace on everything it touches. Pretty.
Smell: Warm, carmelly, and toasty mega-malt. Earthy, a little musty (in a nice way), peat/whiskey notes.
Taste: Sweet creamy malt start, middle is medium bitter, finishes with a lingering semi-dry malt sweetness and peat/earth bitterness. ABV hangs way back waiting to ambush you later.
Mouthfeel: Slightly thin, but not totally distracting. Light, tight carbonation is supportive and appropriate.
Drinkability: I usually find this style overwhelming in sweetness and alcohol. This is quite drinkable... at least until the inevitable ambush.

11-30-2003 02:47:34 | More by DagFishHead
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev -1%

Appearance – Very dark brown body with a foaming head that I controlled at the pour.

Smell – Nice, smoked scotch aroma similar to Bowmore if you’ve ever had it. There’s also a deeply complex malt nose to this one.

Taste – This is like a strong/old ale with a hint of smoky scotch. The malt flavors are very complex. I can pick up the standard toasted-malt flavors, then there’s another more sweetened style. Lastly, there’s a slight hint of bread.

The sweet flavors are oriented towards maple, although there’s some table sugar in there as well. Overall, a very complex and enjoyable flavor.

Mouthfeel – This is a real heavy hitter. Full in the mouth and decently carbonated, this one is all about the malt. No hoppy dryness to speak of.

Drinkability – I don’t think that this style is for everyone, and in fact it’s the first that I’ve tasted. But, if you’re into big, heavy ales and are looking for something a little different than the standard grocery store fare, give this one a try. It’s inexpensive, not too alcoholic (6.5 ABV), and if you like scotch it’s fun to drink.

Update – I first rated this in 2003 so thought I’d do a re-review with an ’04 bottle. It just looks magnificent on an easy pour. It’s definitely “wee heavy” with a big belt of scotch flavor.

11-03-2003 03:48:20 | More by RoyalT
Photo of hotstuff
hotstuff

Indiana

2.93/5  rDev -28%

A beer style that I truly enjoy, but unfortunately this particular Scottish Ale missed the mark with me. It poured a large sized creamy ivory head with fine-medium sized bubbles that was mostly lasting. The body was uncarbonated with a reddish-brown hue. The nose was malty, notes of caramel and butter. The flavor was slightly bitter and sour with a fore and aftertaste to it. The mouthfeel was smooth and medium bodied. This beer left a spider web like lacing.

10-26-2003 23:13:17 | More by hotstuff
Photo of byrd
byrd

Virginia

3.83/5  rDev -5.9%

The aroma is the first this that is noticeable upon the pour. Very little - almost no - head. What little head there is dissipates quickly to a very small lace. The color is a deep clear ruby-copper. Lots of malt on the nose with some slight alcohol. Quite smooth and slick in the mouthfeel with only a small amount of carbonation. Malt is of caramel with some slight dark fruit notes. Small amount of hop bite on the finish that lingers into the aftertaste with some remaining maltiness. There’s also a hint of roasted bitterness in the aftertaste. Rich flavor, but not very full bodied. I thought that the alcohol would be noticeable, but it was very well hidden. This was a good brew, but I’d probably only want to drink one (or two at the very most) of these at a time.

10-24-2003 16:30:42 | More by byrd
Photo of SeanChouffe
SeanChouffe

New Mexico

3.58/5  rDev -12%

Pours a transparent ruby red with a tan head. The head diminished rather quickly, but nice layer remained as well as a patchy, slippery lace. The aroma was primarily of malt, (not strong) with some roasted background. The flavor is malty, smokey, of roasted malt with a very slight bite at the finish.. The mouth feel is? somewhat creamy, but not very full, almost watery, and a slightly dry.
IMHO: I was really excited about trying this beer, and a little disappointed.

10-15-2003 02:33:45 | More by SeanChouffe
Photo of BeerResearcher
BeerResearcher

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

This is one beautiful ale. It pours a ruby-tinged teak. A solid beige head sits on top and takes its sweet time fading. Lots of webs of lace mark your progress as you drink. The sweet malty aroma is fairly potent. A mild hop aroma enters after some coaxing, but disappears. The doughy malt is full, rich and creamy. Flavors of honey and toffee stay throughout. Tea-like and mild citrus bitterness advance forward and a light metallic edge keep things sharp, despite the rounded, and almost oily malt body. As with most Scottish ales, the word peaty, smoky and Scotch-like needs to be mentioned.

09-29-2003 23:04:51 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of vitesse
vitesse

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

served in a big-ass brown bottle. cool red label, too, btw.
a true malt-lover's ale. whoa. maybe the perfect, rich, strong, malty, scottish ale. i love this one. very carmelly malt flavor dominates. slight yeastiness doesn't get in the way. nice carbonation with big head and lots of lace on the glass. an awesome beer. a damn chuggable big beer.

09-23-2003 02:25:31 | More by vitesse
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

This beer is a deep, clear ruby red color with some burgandy accents. A nice looking cream colored head sits on top. It's duration is admirable. The lacing, not so admirable. Aroma of figs, rum soaked raisins, deep malt, alcohol and prunes. Very nice. The flavors are deep and hearty. Big malt, smoke, a little peat, raisins, dates, bread and yeast, alcohol...oh yeah. Nice combo. Mouthfeel is pretty carbonated. Moreso than I was expecting, but it's effective nonetheless. Body is damn near full. Overall, a very enjoyabe Wee Heavy.

A big and hearty thanks to marc77 for this sample.

09-20-2003 03:29:06 | More by Bighuge
Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
91 out of 100 based on 895 ratings.