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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

963 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 963
Reviews: 562
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 75
Gots: 51 | 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: 963 | Reviews: 562 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TerryW
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep mahogany red coloured beer, substantial off-white head, good lace. A handsome beer.

Grainy, malty nose, but not substantial. Very first swallow is full of sweet caramel, lots of malt. Gently dry, very slightly bitter finish.

Interesting, but overall came off as slightly too sugary to me. Passable, but not something I'd work to track down.

Edit Sept. 29/05 Revisited. Looks good, smells good, but an unpleasantly medicinal taste. I'm coming to think that Belhaven underwhelms me.

Photo of gbontrag
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color of malt syrup. This beaut's got a large, 2-fingered head. It decorates the side of the glass like lacy lingerie. You can smell the alcohol, boy. Man, I dig that malty smell! The alcohol vapors carry it around my head; I feel like I have a beer halo! Hops be damned here, this is about roasting the fruits of the earth. Sure it's sweet with malt, but the alcohol cuts the sweetness, and a little hops help to funnel this malty god down with their bittering influence. I'm left with a palate hung with dried grapes, shall I say fresh raisins. I like the spirited maltiness. It's nicely (lightly)carbonated for the style, a wee heavy afterwards--as it should be. There's a smokiness, like a dessert cigar. Earthy beer. Good for a pub session with your friends. Although I'll cut your hand off if you try to take some of the first bottle, but after that we can share. After a couple, I'll sing in public.

Photo of beerluvr
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A full light tan head over clear deep brown liquid. Slight smoky nose with a malty sweet backbone. The smoky/peaty overtones carry thru on the taste along with light phenolic plastic/band aid notes and an adequate hoppiness. Finishes with a little chocolatey touch, drying slightly.

Photo of Sammy
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hoppy-like Scotch, and full rich taste, like prune and fig and carmel and chestnut brown colour. Good Autumn beer. almost like it was on-tap I think attesting to freshness. Some peatiness.
Two and a half years later, and a new bottle is still great. One of my favourites in this style. Biscuit like medium top full mouthfeel.

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a deep, dark brown, almost black. Head is medium sized and light brown. This beer seems highly carbonated at first, but the bubbles die down quickly. Aroma is clean, not very strong, but consists of a mild, nutty malt smell. Taste is in the mid-range of nuttiness, maybe just a slight buttery taste. Hops are present mostly for stability. Sweetness finishes a sip nicely. This beer is quite easy to drink down and the 6.5% ABV is never apparent. I ended up giving this beer a very good score, but Belhaven Wee Heavy never quite knocked the ball out of the park.

Photo of Garin
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a deep rich caramel brown, with a sticky rocky head that lasts nicely.

Sweet caramel nose with malt and a slightly peaty/smokiness that reminds me of scotch. Sweet caramel and malt flavours, just enough bitterness to keep it in check. Alcoholic warmth, smooth creamy body, and a touch of carbonation.

This is a nice wee heavy.

Photo of pootz
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Came in the 500ml bottle...poures an impressive dark copper with crimson highlights.Nice creamy-sticky tan cap that lasts. Lightly carbonated. Aroma is heavenly...sweet mustiness with spicey-woody tones. Mouth feel is slick with a lovely smokey toffee and fruity tastes from the sweet malts and yeasts in a complex blend with the woody, cedar/piney hops.Finish is long and evolved as the complexity drops away to a slow drying....sweet bready after taste.
A very good Scotch ale.

Photo of shapudding
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great milkshakey, frothy eggshell of a head. Nice cola color with carbination rising up. Very vineous and grapey scents. Taste is dry, but yet it leaves your mouth moist. Nice and malty, bit of chocolate and coffee flavors, -nice flavoring. Carbination is medium, just right. Medium bodied. Slight chardonnay tastes. Maybe a bit more towards apple juice? Tiny bit of molasses, some darkness. Everything is so nicely blended in this one. Good drinkability here too.

Photo of StuFox
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There's no such thing as Scotchtoberfest?! You used me Skinner! You used me! Why does Belhaven blitz stores with the Scottish Ale when this is so clearly superior? I like this beer because it works in three stages. The first is the nose, which is chocolatey and smokey like you would expect in a Scotch Ale, then comes the taste, which is suprisingly nutty and malty. Finally, the aftertaste where peat and smoke come back for a final hurrah. Forget about the other Belhaven bews, this is the way to go.

Photo of blitheringidiot
2.95/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Imperial 500 mL embossed body & neck labeled bottle with an artsy cool dragon on the front. Also states "Est. 1719."

Dark ruddy, ruby, mahogany yet clear filtered with scant rising bubbles under a khaki sticky slick head ring into me pilsner pint that quickly jumps up after a few swirls, finally leaving a lace coating.

Malty aromas dominate this pungent nose. Molasses and smokey doughy flavors.

Peat moss malts and dark roasted malts meet smoked salmon and hickory chips.

Feel is slightly oily, and heavy. (DUH!) This is a rough drinker to me but Wee Heavy is not a favorite style, yet being objective as possible...

Last swigs: Like the BELHAVEN Ale, not my cup 'o tea, but glad to have tried it. 6.5% sipper. Special thanks to Shapudding for having the tasting where this was offered.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Photo of meathookjones
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out a dark mahogany color almost brown, with a light tan head that was slow to form but got up to a good size. Rings of lace were left around the glass as this was consumed and tiny bubbles that kept the head fed and alive for a good while. The aroma smelled of dark ripe fruits and a rich maltiness. The taste was similar as sweet dark fruits came first before a more subtle chocolate toffee malt flavor that lingered a bit in the aftertaste. There was a slight bit of hop detected but not much, there was enough their to keep the sweetness balanced nicely. Rich creamy mouthfeel with a medium-full body added greatly to the overall experience. Very drinkable stuff here as the alcohol was not detectable or too high to keep a few of these from going down. Great example of the style that I recommend to all.

Photo of canucklehead
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Boot polish brown with a decent head this is a big beer in all respects. Malt is the order of the day and this brew delivers front to back. This may be one of the greatest Scottish ales I have consumed and part of the reason is that it has the malt equivalent of a Double IPA. Balanced, bold and beautiful; try this beer.

Photo of PorterLambic
3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice reddsih copper color with a smallish head that dissapated to a thin film with some scattered lacing.
Smell was malty & slightly sweet.
Taste was good though not overly comlpex with a decent maltiness, fruit and a slight hoppy taste.
Mouthfeel was medium bodied, with a light effervescence all over the tongue. A reasonably drinkable beer but honestly, nothing special. I expected more but was let down.

Photo of malthead
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

No idea of how old this one is.
Nice appearance, darkest amber, but not completely solid, with a nice tan head. Smells mostly of caramel malt, with a little touch of hops, maybe a little smoke, too. Taste is just great... nicely malty, without being overpowering or too thick. Follows with a little smoke, then some nice hops, and is nicely dry on the finish. Mouthfeel is also good - very solid and coating, with little carbonation but just enough to make it work. Drinkability is absolutely wonderful, goes down so smoothly and yet always interesting...
You can argue that this isn't the most 'sophisticated' brew out there, but it works so wonderfully together... gotta love it.

Photo of Reidrover
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok last Scottish beer of this weekend..to celebrate the Portland Highland Games.
Belhaven always a fav of mine back in Scotland.
This beer is extremelly attractive ..a dark brown almost mahogany colour with a large off white creamy/frothy head..it goes down somewhat but it stays in reduced form till the bottom of the glass.
Very fresh , slightly smoky malt aroma..very nice.
apart from the expected yet well dome malt sweetness.later i detect, smoked peat, dark fruits like prunes and figs,Scottish "tablet"( a candy),a slight hint of hops and some very nice alcohol..warmth in the mid throat.
Very nice and smooth on the palte despite the array of flavours.
A very good Scotch Ale perhaps the best,,very drinkable indeed.
If only I could get this in a 12 pack my Oregon winters would be so much brighter!

Photo of Guinness4me
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My beer favorites have been broadened. This beer, like the other Scotch Ale I tried, has truly hit a home run with me. The color is that of a dark cola with aromatic hints of smoky, sweet maple. It drinks smooth with a heavy mouthfeel that's almost syrupy. The carbonation is perfect. Could Scotch Ales be my new favorite? I think I need to drink more to be absolutely sure. Ahhh, the things I do for science.

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one was a good one from the word go. It was a nice, very deep red color with a short head that dissolved rather quickly into a delicate ring of lace.

The aroma was of rich, sweet, slightly musty malt, with a touch of maple and some fruitiness. The alcohol aroma was there, but very subdued.

That was very close to the taste as well. The taste was rich and sweet, yet with a touch of roasted malt as well. It was bitter, which faded quickly to a fruity aftertaste.

Overall, an excellent example of a fine Scottish ale.

Photo of HardTarget
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma: Richly toasted malts with an edge of peat smoke and alcohol.
Appearance: Clear pale brown with yellow edges with a fast fading tan head. No lace.
Flavor: Clean taste. Malt is most evident, but not sweet. I get hints of hops deep in the brew. Touch of maple syrup and Belgian yeast noted as well. Some dark fruit tastes came out as it warmed.
Mouthfeel: Smooth medium heavy body with a small chew.
Overall Impression: A very clean well brewed beer. It has some nice Scottish points without being overdone. The alcohol is very well hidden making this a dangerously drinkable beer. I can’t imagine doing more than one in a night, but I can see coming back to this beer some late fall and winter; it would make a dandy warmer.
Recommended.

Photo of hobbes2112
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Zorro
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of merlin48
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of mzwolinski
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of Ilacquin
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of WesWes
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Shiredave
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
91 out of 100 based on 963 ratings.