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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

927 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 927
Reviews: 553
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 70
Gots: 43 | 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: 927 | Reviews: 553 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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 -27.8%
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 -5.7%
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 -11.8%
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 -0.2%
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 +10.8%
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 +6.7%
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 +5.9%
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 +9.1%
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 +5.4%
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 +1.7%
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 +3%
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%
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 +14.5%
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%
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 -16.7%
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 +1%
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 +3.9%
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
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How about "wee malty"? Nice Scottish ale, better than McEwans IMO. Nice carmel-malt flavor, sweet but not overly so. Seems to be ideally balanced for the style, with enough complexity to keep it interesting. As nice of a malt profile as I've tasted. reminds me in a way of a good doppelbock (like Salvator or Moretti). Fans of either of those beers (or McEwans) should try this one.

JohnnyDuvel, Apr 28, 2003
Photo of BeerBuilder
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ruby red in color with a creamy tan head that leaves excellent lacing. The aroma is toasty, nutty, and it has a sweet fruitiness. The flavor is again toasty and nutty, almost a smoky flavor to it. There is also a bit of fruitiness in the flavor. It is medium-full in body with an oily texture; it finishes dry. This is a very good brew I will definitely sample again. This was actually my second time with this beer. The first was at the MN BA gathering. It was my last beer in the daylong session that ended at feloniousmonk’s Blue Nile.

BeerBuilder, Apr 25, 2003
Photo of jreitman
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma had a nice alcohol spiciness and some fruit sweetness. Dark fruit really starts to come through as the beer warms up. Ruby almost cherry wood in color. Head was a nice light brown color with some nice laciness. Raisins, plums, and other dark fruits were really noticeable in the front of the mouth. Alcohol zestiness came across on the back of the tongue in the finish. Earthy graininess comes out as it warms. Medium bodied and well carbonated with a slight oily sensation in the finish. Very nice malt character.

jreitman, Apr 24, 2003
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice auburn/brown color with creamy head,malty,sweet,alcohol smell to it.Taste was sweet and caramelly with some earthiness coming in at the end.Something to have before goin to bed on a chilly early spring night.The alcohol content will help turn the lights out for bed.

oberon, Apr 19, 2003
Photo of nomad
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a splendent very deep red color, with an almost mocha colored head that stayed well. Had phenomenal lace, stolid and coating, with nice supporting carbonation and a widespread stain. Altogether, very inviting appearance

Nose was malty malt scented, a very earthy scent like mud and grass on a wet day, and also some other notes that were reminiscent of corn and wheat. Sweetness was the background scent. Tasted of a great malt medium roasted. Twas sweet, chewable, and a slight bitter came through as it opened; a very earthy kind of bitter – quite different and tasty. Loved how it slid from sweet and wet to bitter and dry. The longer it sat the stronger and better tasting the hops finish became: imagine a typical Kent Goldings or Fuggles taste, but roasted. All supported so well by the calm and steady malt body.

Very soft on the tongue, this beer wraps you up, as it was lightly dry on my mouthroof, and had a moderate length finish. Simple but very effective, it felt rustic, especially the nose. A very attractive beer for the style, and a perfect example of an underappreciated style. But, its so potent in scent and flavor that it needs to be drunk only one or two at a time. Great in a Duvel glass!

nomad, Apr 18, 2003
Photo of worldsbeer
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a deep amber reddish brown color with a nice initial head that fades a bit quick. Nice malt carmel smell w/ notes of brandy. Has a very nice maltly flavor w/ min. hop notes typical for the Scots. Hits of Peat Malt in the Mash. Lingering brandy malt flavor and raisen like esters...all in all a great Wee Heavy Ale.

worldsbeer, Apr 15, 2003
Photo of ZAP
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mahogany in color with a tan head...smells sweet dark fruits...bourbon...oak....body is a little thinner than I expected....very drinkable...almost too much so for this style...great tasting beer...flavors of sweet dark fruits dominate..but also some underlying caramel like maltiness....finishes with a hint of woodiness or earthy texture....

Overall, I really like this Wee Heavy...I think McEwens is thicker and richer but this is definitely a tasty treat...wish it had a bit more malt and thickness...still a very good beer...

ZAP, Apr 14, 2003
Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
91 out of 100 based on 927 ratings.