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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

909 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 909
Reviews: 551
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 66
Gots: 39 | 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: 909 | Reviews: 551 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of avylover
3.23/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

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.

avylover, Jan 23, 2004
Photo of BeefyMee
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

BeefyMee, Jan 03, 2004
Photo of ManekiNeko
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

ManekiNeko, Dec 18, 2003
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

ViveLaChouffe, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of bewley
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

bewley, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of crookedhalo
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

crookedhalo, Dec 02, 2003
Photo of DagFishHead
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

DagFishHead, Nov 30, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

RoyalT, Nov 03, 2003
Photo of hotstuff
2.93/5  rDev -28%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

hotstuff, Oct 26, 2003
Photo of byrd
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

byrd, Oct 24, 2003
Photo of SeanChouffe
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

SeanChouffe, Oct 15, 2003
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

BeerResearcher, Sep 30, 2003
Photo of vitesse
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

vitesse, Sep 23, 2003
Photo of Bighuge
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Bighuge, Sep 20, 2003
Photo of Darkale
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tremendous head, root beer colored body. Nutty aroma with a hint of chocolate.

Slightly chewy, tastes of peat and earth, faint pale ale sweetness, and a layer of malt.

Taste is thick and sweet with some hops in the background. Slick and chewy, a little bit of charcoal taste in there, too. Aftertaste is slick, fruity and bitter.

A wonderful sipping beer. May be my favorite Scotch Ale.

Darkale, Aug 20, 2003
Photo of beergeek279
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 16.9 oz. bottle. The color was a dark brown, with a good head. The smell was heavily roasted malt. The taste was a very roasted malt, almost like a stout; there wasn't really the Scotch whiskey taste to it like most of the Scotch ales. Mouthfeel was fairly creamy and somewhat heavy. As for drinkability, could definitely have more of these.

Although the regular Belhaven Ale is probably a bit mild for my tastes, the Wee Heavy is a great brew. Thank you much to WVbeergeek for the suggestion, as well as the company!

beergeek279, Aug 18, 2003
Photo of SheepNutz
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Half a liter bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep reddish-brown color with two fingers of head. There is good head retention and fair lacing. The smell is sweet and pleasant. Lots of caramel, toffee, and spice to the aroma. The taste is very malty, with molasses and caramel coming through. There is just a tiny bit of hops at the end. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, a lot smoother than I thought it would be. At 6.5%, the drinkability is fairly good. Very nice for my first Scotch Ale.

SheepNutz, Aug 08, 2003
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a plum red with a thin creamy head, about a finger's worth. Reduces to a solid collar, lots of suspended particles.

Aroma is of sweet raisins, plums, and molasses. Very full nose, smells wonderful. If I didn't know better, I'd think this has a lot more kick to it than 6.5% based on smell.

Taste is raisiny, molasses and licorice at first. Turns very grassy, sweet and clovy after a few seconds. Fig flavors, too. Aftertaste turns slightly sour, but no hop bitterness, I think. Some alcohol vapors coming through as well, more so as it warms.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, a good coating which is impressive given its high carbonation in the mouth.

This is definitely more 'session-able' than Orkney Skullsplitter. Lower abv, yet the taste is every bit as developed and complex as Orkney, in fact it may surpass (I'll have to try the Orkney again to compare and review). A very nice Scottish Ale.

brewdlyhooked13, Jul 28, 2003
Photo of ngandhi
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A lovely ale. Body and appearance are close to perfect. Deliciously creamy medium-full mouthfeel. Pours a gorgeous amber reminiscent of a nice tawny port. A good two inches of head that mellow out into soft peaks above and down the sides of the glass.

Lovely malts dominate this ale -- subdued caramel and, most notably, cassis (currant/raisin). Open up a couple bottles for you and your friends and watch your guests start sniffing like dogs at the air as the aroma begins to overtake the room.

I must object to those who claim there is no hop element to this beer. The "alcoholic" taste that some note are the hops. But I do agree with the spirit of the "no hop" description; that is, this beer is so wonderfully balanced, one can't necessarily note a particular sweetness or dryness.

If you have a chance to try this, you must. A high-class every day beer.

Relax, relax.
ng

ngandhi, Jul 22, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber brown with a healthy sized tan head forming a collar of lace and with each sip leaves uneven rings of lacing very full. Slightly musty or smokey fruit tones which include pear and plum in there loads of malt sweetness nothing too much great session balance is here. Taste cream covered ripened fruit palate leaving only faint trails of bitterness hops are almost unnoticeable here. Roasted malt very nice not overbearing at all works well with all of the flavors. Mouthfeel slightly sharp carbonation leaves a coating on the tongue medium body almost milky texture. Drinkability not exactly a summer sipper more towards a winter warmer, but I could find myself enjoying this one in a big comfy chair in front of the fireplace.

WVbeergeek, Jul 22, 2003
Photo of Loki
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 1pt 9 oz. bottle

Poured a deep reddish brown with a thick, bubbly head that left peaks, ranges, and monoliths of lacing on the glass.

Aromas of malt, toasted barley, with hints of earth and peat.

Tastes of sweet malt, caramel, and roasted grains with hints of alcohol. Great mouthfeel, thick and smooth. It feels like it is highly carbonated, but it is not. This Wee Heavy effervesces on your tongue making it tingle while gliding smoothly down your throat. It makes your entire mouth feel alive. It finishes very mooth with a bit of an alcohol finish.

Wonderful beer the best Belhaven I've had to date.

Loki, Jul 09, 2003
Photo of far333
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper color with a beige frothy head that lingers long. Very low aroma of light malt and hop. Flavor is rich, thick sweet malt with hints of fig and raisin, also some cocoa and caramel. A bit of an alcoholic finish. No hop flavor to speak of. Lovely thick lace and rings of foam encircle the inside of the glass. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, perhaps a bit low carbonation. Very enjoyable.

far333, Jul 06, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
3.38/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark brown color, with a medium head. A medium bodied Scottish ale. Very malty, slightly smoky. Nicely hopped. Good balance. Full flavor, complex taste. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. All that and it still a fairly average beer.

beerguy101, Jun 27, 2003
Photo of BierReise
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown with thick foamy head that clings well. First smell was alcohol as I opened the bottle then malt. This Ale is super malty and full bodied. Flavor is sweet and malty, I hardly notice any hops and is only slightly bitter if at all. Nice Scottish Ale with every classic attribute of the style.

BierReise, May 20, 2003
Photo of Pegasus
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Garnet-colored and crystal clear with a large cloud top tan head, which retains superbly. Well carbonated with streams of fine bubbles and thick, glass-coating lace.

Aroma: Aroma consists of dark fruits, particularly raisins, molasses, coffee, earthy notes, and a sweet alcohol character reminiscent of brandy.

Taste: Begins with a rich and earthy roasted malt note, followed by dark fruits, caramel, then coffee, strong and very warming alcohol, bitter chocolate and woody notes. Ends dry with a flourish of peppery notes and a lingering mild bitterness.

Mouth feel: Smooth, creamy and very rich, superb.

Drinkability/notes: A spectacular beer, both potent and full of character. I would certainly buy this again.

Pegasus, May 09, 2003
Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
91 out of 100 based on 909 ratings.