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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 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.

Photo of hyuga
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of charlottebeerguy
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

Photo of Noxious26
1.49/5  rDev -63.2%
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.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of karst
4.13/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of DogFood11
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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