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Wee Heavy - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Wee HeavyWee Heavy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

949 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 949
Reviews: 558
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 74
Gots: 49 | 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: 949 | Reviews: 558 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reidrover
4.72/5  rDev +16%
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!

Reidrover, Jul 19, 2004
Photo of Guinness4me
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Guinness4me, Jul 11, 2004
Photo of connecticutpoet
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

connecticutpoet, Jun 26, 2004
Photo of HardTarget
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

HardTarget, Jun 25, 2004
Photo of hobbes2112
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

hobbes2112, Jun 12, 2004
Photo of Zorro
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Zorro, May 29, 2004
Photo of merlin48
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

merlin48, May 27, 2004
Photo of mzwolinski
4.15/5  rDev +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!

mzwolinski, May 10, 2004
Photo of Ilacquin
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Ilacquin, May 06, 2004
Photo of WesWes
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

WesWes, Apr 27, 2004
Photo of Shiredave
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Shiredave, Mar 18, 2004
Photo of pmowen
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out of the bottle a burnt amber color with nice creamy two finger head which dissapates fast leaving minimal lace. A strong aroma of what I somehow connected with plain yogurt could be smelled from a few feet away. Tastes of toasted malt dominated along with a hint of syrup and a bit of a metallic aftertaste. As for drinkability, I wish I would have picked up more than just one.

pmowen, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of claytri
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Wee Heavy poured out a slightly cloudy brown with a bit of tan head that quickly became a lace. It had an aroma of toasted malt with some hints of fruit and spice. The taste was purely a sharp toasty malt with a nice sort of musty aftertaste. Medium bodied and oily in the mouth. This was a mellow malt drink and I found it to be much more drinkable than others of this type.

claytri, Feb 15, 2004
Photo of necoadam
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a nice dark amber color with a nice amount of carbonation. Smell consists of some malt, a little smoky smell. Taste is pretty nice. It has a nice thick and rich body to it. Finishes kinda dry and a little bitter. Very nice. Good solid malt backbone to this beer as well. There's also some earthiness to the taste. It comes out more when you start sipping it every now and then. Overall a nice beer. I would recommend it. "A beer to be sipped, savoured and fully respected." Amen.

necoadam, Feb 02, 2004
Photo of ElGuapo
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour topped in a mid-sized covering of off-white foam with good retention. Nice malty aroma with a good deal of smoke in there as well.

This one is a nice big-bodied scotch ale that really is a poster beer for what I think the style is. It has a lot of flavor. Malts are huge from start to finish. The smoky flavor is a bit underneath what I would like. I like to have big hints of single malt with lots of smoke and lots of woody flavors in there. It had both of them, but it wasn't loaded. It is very smooth, and the drinkability is also good. Very well done.

ElGuapo, Jan 26, 2004
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
Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
91 out of 100 based on 949 ratings.