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Wee Heavy - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Wee HeavyWee Heavy

Educational use only; do not reuse.

995 Ratings

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Ratings: 995
Reviews: 566
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.85%
Wants: 84
Gots: 64 | 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 (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 995 | Reviews: 566
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!

Photo of kmo1030
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

awesome deep rich ruby brown with a thick tan head that stays the course.
peaty, smokey aroma with a little dark fruit and malty caramel.
this is one tasty-ass wee heavy. caramel maltiness, followed by smokey peat (sound like a kid in knew in high school), backed up with just the right amount of dark fruit. finishes with that mellow peat flavor into the aftertaste.
the body is medium with and odd peppery carbonation. a little thin for the style, but we're not gonna split hairs here.
i don't come back to beers very often, but everytime i come back to this i never regret it. it almost seems to get better. they should call this one belhaven's best not that other one.

Photo of Chadbrew
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown and clear with good carbonation and pretty decent lacing. Very sweet and malty aroma. The alcohol is very present in the nose however it is hardly distinguishable on the palate. Nice rich, thick flavors that remind me of a double bock but with a really clean finish.
I was expecting something heavier and quite frankly am pleasantly surprised at how much flavor that is in this while keeping the body, finish, and feel of the beer on the lighter side.
A highly drinkable beer.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper color with a very nice, stiff head that leaves nice lacing down the glass. Dispensed into a La Chouffe tulip style glass.

Smell is big and malty. Lots of caramel as well. I also detect notes of yeasties. That seems a bit weird.

Caramel tasting with a touch of alcohol flavor. At 6.5% I would expect to not taste the alcohol at all but I actually do a bit in this one.

Medium to full body with a nice mouthfeel. Sticky and sweet. Finish is actually crisp. I think Founders's Dirty Bastard is a better tasting scotch alebut this was a pretty good offering.

Photo of SteveO1231
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark as hell maroon with little ruby red highlights. Massive off-white highlights. Great lacing.

Malty smell of roasted caramel, chocolate and butterscotch.

Big malty sweetness of caramel, chocolate malts and a hint of butterscotch . Light bitter hop finsh and a smokey dryness that sticks to the palate.

Full bodied, syrupy mouthfeel.

Very balanced and drinkable as hell. My favorite for this style.


Photo of xoqx
3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - This beer pours brown with an offwhite, minimal head exhibiting light retention and light lacing.

Smell – There’s a lot in the nose including dark citrus, spices, honey, and deep malty scents.

Taste – Man, the smell really indicated there would be a strong taste, but this is way less flavorful than expected. The tastes that are present are bready, caramelly, fruity, and nutty, with a long smoky finish.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is chewy, creamy, and sticky.

Drinkability - This tastes very off for the Scottish style. There were metallic sour hints and they detracted from the general enjoyability of this beer. I will not seek this out again.

Photo of carln26
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was on tap at the Scottish Arms. It poured a deep ruby color, clear with a thin off white head. Thick toffee/caramel aroma. Taste is toffee and fig, very sweet. Lot of caramel. Light slick mouth feel, decent drinkability. This is a decent beer, but it really reminded me of and ESB on steroids. Nothing wrong with that, I just was expecting more depth from a wee heavy.

Photo of shbobdb
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well, I'd just finished two-fingers of Ardbeg when I drank this beer, so my tastebuds were totally destroyed, but I liked it. I don't normally dig scotch beers, in fact, Founder's has produced the only one I'd liked so-far (and I've been told it's not to style at all), but I liked this beer!
A pleasant, creamy head with a nice, syrupy mouthfeel. Good stuff. Good good stuff. The taste wasn't bad, sweet, but not overpoweringly so. Couldn't make out a scent other than malts, but the scottish usually boil the hell out of their hops, so that's expected.

I didn't hate this beer. In fact, I think I'd order it again. And again. Wow, there may be something to this style.

Photo of crwills
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of slitherySOB
4.09/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of daliandragon
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of nlmartin
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of yelterdow
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of dwvarner77
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of jayc333
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of EPseja
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of Derek
4.17/5  rDev +3%
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.

Photo of Gaisgeil
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
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.


Photo of GnomeKing
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
91 out of 100 based on 995 ratings.