Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Black Scottish Stout - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Black Scottish StoutBlack Scottish Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

42 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 42
Hads: 168
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 26.72%
Wants: 2
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Stout |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: EmperorBevis on 05-25-2012

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 42 | Hads: 168
Photo of Savan
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Starting on my second one... decided to rate ( that went down WAY to easy ) .

Pours a decadent midnight black with slight bronze swirls and a B E A U T I F U L creamy head atop (not near as much as a good tap guinness mind you, but noteworthy). A VERY subtle coffee scent is present . The taste is a lovely smooth milk chocolate and subtle ... very subtle hint of cream. Based on how quick the first one went down... feel is Grrreight! ;)

Overall, I am a Guinness man! But this is a different kind of stout, Reminded me of one Rogue makes... but with better overall appearance and overall feel about it. I am quite pleased with this indeed, on can is going into the stash pile for sures!

 689 characters

Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

I think I got a bad can. Metallic taste is overpowering the flavour, which seems kind of mild to me. I love the creaminess of the head, though, and this looks as good as any dark beer. I'll re-review after another try.

 221 characters

Photo of Grogsky
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I've had this beer a few times. Always loved it, and then recommended it to friends, who had it and said it wasn't that good and had a strange taste. I came across a can that had a metallic taste to it, could be a bad batch. Other than that, it's in my top 5 stouts, especially when not considering craft.

 305 characters

Photo of PorterPro125
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type: 500 mL Nitro Can

A- Pours a dense black colour topped by a 2 1/2 finger creamy, light tan head with excellent retention. Thick lacing.

S- Faint aroma of roasty, smokey grains, coffee, and dark chocolate.

T- Identical to taste with a bit of dank English hops on the finish.

M- Thin, light body. Low carbonation.

O- The easiest way to describe this brew would be to call it Guinness Draught with a bit of smokiness added. Decent enough, but certainly nothing worth fussing over.

 500 characters

Photo of Cheeseboo
4.88/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This was one of the first I tried during my "stout challenge" and I still remember it fondly. Great looking head on the pour, wonderfully smooth and delicious. I'll be buying this one regularly.

 196 characters

Photo of ARoman
3.24/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, poured into a wide flute. The aroma is floral with notes of lemon, muffin, lime soda, clove, and pepper. The beer is clear and brilliant with a pale gold hue and white, light foam head that has a light retention and no lace. The taste is a medium high bitter and medium light sweet with a light sour. The thin texture is fuzzy with a medium light body and flavors of lemon with a coriander zest, some floral and herbaceous notes, a pepper zest, and some toast. The finish is pepper and lime with bread crust. It has a near burnt quality that leads to an aftertaste that’s cloying and lightly astringent with flavors of wood, spicy pepper (clove late), and muffin

 672 characters

Photo of bonesTdog
2.4/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

Beautiful black color, fine creamy head and a thick creamy body are the high points. Unfortunately for me that's where the high points stopped. the flavor was very thin and uninspiring. A touch of malt and coffee but you have to look hard.

 239 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap in Elie, Fife.
Thick creamy head looks like a nitro tap. .
Aroma: Dominated by dank and earthy English hops. Disappointing.

The flavor is quite fine. Somehow the hops fade to the background, excepting the mild-moderate bitterness. Solid dark malt flavor with just faint hints of coffee.

 295 characters

Photo of CHickman
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%

Nitro can poured into a pint glass, it’s pitch black color with cascading bubbles racing up to a creamy 1 finger cream colored head that faded extremely slowly and didn’t budge for well over a minute; then it left good spotty lacing and a creamy layer on top.

Smells light coffee grinds, roasted grains, charcoal, light cream, cocoa powder and some smoky notes mixed with a slight metallic whiff like a penny. Nose is very faint overall, especially for a stout, but what is there smells good.

Taste is just as timid as the nose, but has some decent flavors including roasted grains, charcoal, cold espresso, cocoa powder, coffee, and like the nose has smoky notes mixed with a slight metallic hints. After the swallow the bitterness washes away with a milky sweetness coming through along with a light leafy presence that seems like floral hops or tea leaf. Even with the late leafy addition the flavor is very basic and almost dull.

Mouthfeel is very thin and watery, with a light body and almost no carbonation. This is a light, easy drinking session stout with limited flavor but high drinkability. It was alright overall, with its looks being the most impressive part of this brew.

 1,195 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

14.9 oz can coded L3207 03:31 at 40 degrees into shaker
Aroma of roasted malt and some chocolate
Head small (< 2 cm), light brown, creamy, very slowly diminishing to 3 mm layer
Lacing excellent - wide complete rings of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor basically slightly sweet with weak roasted malt overtones. Ends slightly bitter. No hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, soft carbonation (or more accurately, nitrogenation)

Appearance 4.5, Aroma 4, Flavor 3.75, Palate 3.75, Overall 4
A disappointingly weak stout, too sessionable.

 579 characters

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

Sampling right now on 10/28/14 after bowling. Comes in a 440ml (14.9 ounce) can that was in the discount bin for $2.00 even. Can chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a 0.5l 'Warsteiner' handled glass stein.

Pours a solid pitch black in color with a good 1/2 finger creamy off-white head that actually lasts the whole drink. Pours like a Guinness, in layers from the nitro cap that is in the bottom of the can (does not move around though). A good amount of lacing is seen when sipped that sticks to the sides of the glass. The aroma is of dark roasted malts and black coffee. Bit more going on with the taste with a hint of dark chocolate in the mix as well. Finished with the roasted malts BUT isn't strong nor harsh at all. Very smooth finish actually as I wasn't sure of how this brew would end up. Lighter+ bodied with perfect carbonation. Overall, I really liked this brew.

 906 characters

Photo of barczar
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Think this is much better on draft than canned. Rich roasty malt, dark chocolate notes, becoming fairly bitter and lightly charred at the finish. Nutty malt forms the backbone, and that nitro mouthfeel is rich and velvety. Only detracting quality is a lightly metallic finish.

 276 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%

14.9 oz nitro-can into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark ruby color. The head is a finger high, and mocha in shade. Typical of nitro-can beers, both the texture and retention are fantastic. A good amount of lacing is left behind, as well. (4.5)

Smell: Typical dry stout in a nitro-can: muted roasted malts with touches of coffee and chocolate. What makes this a bit different than, say, Guinness, is the smokiness I'm picking up - it's both woodsy, and slightly peaty as well. Even better, it doesn't have the hilariously bad mildness most nitro beers feature. (3.25)

Taste: Roasted notes are fairly defined, even more so than in Guinness or Murphy's. The smoky touches appear initially, ever-so-briefly transitioning into dark chocolate before roasted malt takes over the finish. There's definitely more to savor here than the usual dry stout suspects, even if it isn't quite as bold as a typical American stout. Still, it's quite good, especially for 4.2%. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: It's super light on the palate. With the subdued carbonation from its serving, it relies solely on its near-parching dryness to cleanse the palate. And it's successful. I can't help but shake the fact that it feels a bit more substantial than Guinness...oh wait, that's a good thing. Carrying on... (3.75)

Overall: Up there with Left Hand's Nitro Milk Stout as far as nitro'd beer goes. While not endlessly complex, it's deep enough to make Guinness look like the shallow wading pool it is. Yeah, I'd gladly kick back a few of these in a sitting. (3.5)

3.53/5: Semi-impressive session stout, easy to drink and easy to like

 1,615 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.36/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

440 mL nitro-can from a 4-pack picked up at TBS; best before June 30 2015.

An aggressive pour reveals an opaque, brownish-black brew, topped with a half-finger of soapy, tan-coloured froth. The aroma is a marked improvement over that of most nitro beers, which I typically find to be very muted. There's nothing that interesting here, but the roasted malts, light coffee, and hint of chocolate are at least appropriate for the style.

This is a pretty straightforward pub stout. Roasted malts are (unsurprisingly) the dominant facet of the flavour profile, with minor accents of mocha coffee and a faint hint of cocoa toward the finish. The finish is mildly bitter, with vanilla vibes and some slight metallicity. Dry aftertaste, with no real lingering flavour. This is a medium-bodied beer, with a velvety-smooth mouthfeel from the nitro process/lack of carbonation. Say what you will about this beer... it is extraordinarily easy to session, and does not taste as bland as some of its competitors.

Final Grade: 3.36, a B-. Belhaven Black Scottish Stout is not an especially memorable beer, but as far as nitro stouts go it's nothing to shy away from. It has a nicely balanced flavour, and anyone who has had a nitro beer before will already know if they'll like the smooth mouthfeel of this one (or not). This sells for slightly less than a 4-pack of Guinness (in this market), and I'd certainly recommend it to any fans of that brew seeking out something similar.

 1,470 characters

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Pours a creamy, persistent, 1/2-finger light tan head. Virtually black body. Some lacing forms, leaving a solid film on the glass. Aroma includes dried fruit, rich caramel, subtle milk chocolate. Flavor is fairly weak; medium-roast coffee, bread crust, a moderate grainy bite that lingers into the finish along with a slight musty quality; low bitterness but not very sweet. Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy but verging on watery; low carbonation; washes away quickly.

Overall, while the aroma and appearance were both appealing, the roasted malt and associated flavors that I expected were anticlimactic. Not bad though; wouldn't mind having it again.

 651 characters

Photo of Sofakingdrunk
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From an x-mas Belhaven mixed pack bought from the lcbo.

Looks pitch black, with very little head or carbonation. Actually looks almost identical to a glass of coke.

The nose is of black coffee, some malty sweetness, deep roasted malt and a touch of a metallic smell.

The taste is more dark coffee, cocoa powder,bittersweet chocolate. A bit of almost citrus-like acidity. This is not nearly as heavy as it looks, light to medium bodied and actually really refreshing.

Overall quite a decent brew, easy drinking and refreshing. I remember having this on tap in Scotland and it being a little heavier and richer.

 613 characters

Photo of seedyone
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

04/05/13 On tap (nitro). Usual smoothness from most nitro pours. Extremely light body but not watery. Aroma is subtle & indicative of the shy flavor profile. Nice balance of sweet & bitter. No hint of the contemporary adds of vanilla/coffee/chocolate, etc. Listings show conflicting ABV but this tastes shy so I'll assume it's @ 4.5%. If that's the case I could see this as a pleasant session companion.

 403 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 16oz nitro-can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin short very dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains roasted malts, chocolate, some honey and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a little bit of smokiness that is quickly followed by a hearty but not too heavy roasted malt character. Then some flavors of chocolate, coffee, honey and dark fruit come in. The hops presence is very mild but complementary and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp but a bit watery, medium body, light carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, very mild kick, good representation of style, this is a good beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

 889 characters

Photo of schoolboy
4.11/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Where have you been all my life, Belhaven? This is an extremely refreshing, tasty stout. It opens and pours like certain other major brands, but I think it looks better, with a perfect little head (after the huge nitro induced foam dies down).

The aroma is mild but still has a bit of that hoppy dark stout smell. The taste has just a hint of its Scottish heritage. It is mostly just an easy drinking stout but there is a little extra bite, maybe from the types of hops, malts, and WATER the Scots use.

The aftertaste is lovely and pleasant. I think could drink a few of these (especially since it isn't very strong), and although I waited 57 years to have one a Belhave, the next ones will come soon and frequent.

 717 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Nitro can poured into an IPA style glass. Maybe could have chosen better glassware but I wasn't home so I did what I had to do...

Great looking with a creamy, dense head that didn't overflow or overpower, but didn't go away either, quite black in color too.

Aroma and flavor: malty, dark roast and toasty, a touch of burnt, tinges of dark fruit, maybe just a faint hint of anise, coffee and chocolate in very pleasant proportions.

Body is about as perfect as I've had from a nitro-can, and compliments this beer style extremely well.

Canning this beer was a smart move, as who knows how long it took to get here by ship. I generally tend to buy local first, but sometimes I like to try stuff from abroad as well. This one was a very good choice. The sessionability of the low ABV is a big plus for such a flavorful, enjoyable beer.

 838 characters

Photo of lechap
5/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Obviously I like this stuff. From hearing the widget releasing its contents to watching the head build in the 18 oz glass it is a wonderful and beautiful experience. Regarding taste it is much the same as similar products from Guinness and Murphy's, typical good quality Irish style dry stout that just taste wonderful from start to finish. Everytime I open one I say to myself on the last drink, "Damn I'm gonna miss this brew." It may be my imagination but I think Belhaven Black pours with more action and the head and lacing holds up till the last drop.

 557 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The Scottish evidently brew a stout every bit as handsome as the Irish - and do so without the cheap trick of nitrogen dispensing widgets. There's no mistaking Belhaven Black for anything but a classic English stout: coal black body, glints of brown and ruby along the edges, creamy head.

The aroma showcases moderately roasted malts as well as distinguishing hints of dark fruit and black licorice. It's not without elements of coffee or fudge but they're no more present than the former two flavours. True to its strength (4.2%), this smells light and approachable.

The stout is very mild, especially on the roast front. The impression of coffee is far more that of the oils than the roasted beans. There's no threat of astringency here. Mind you, it isn't very rich or bittersweet either; the only semblance of chocolate comes via a dusting of cocoa powder. There is, however, a definite sensation of vanilla.

American-styled stouts - which typically double up the malt and brim with hops - no doubt offer a more forward and forceful flavour profile but simpler, more traditional stouts such as these can be a refreshing change of pace. Belhaven Black provides an insight to beer's most fundamental ingredients; one can appreciate beer at its most basic.

When it comes to the stouts of the British Isles, Ireland still wins my vote. That being said, I would certainly take Belhaven Black 'Scottish Stout' over that most famous (but awfully overrated) export, Guinness. This offering is far more flavourful and a much better option for a night of continuous pints - the Scottish can drink as well as the Irish after all.

 1,628 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nearly opaque black body which lets only a hint of light through the ruby hues when held up to a light. The abundant, creamy tan head is slow to dissolve and leaves a dense, sticky lacing grabbing the glass.

The aroma features hints of semi sweet chocolate accompanying the lightly roasted malt which is really more toasted than anything.

The flavor again features lightly roasted malt and just a touch of baked chocolate. It is also a touch bread like, perhaps pumpernickel.

Very smooth, velvety and clean as one would expect for the style with a soft yet palate coating finish.

Overall a pretty nice dry, English Stout. Perhaps lacking the more charred malt aspect of some of its counterparts but very nice.

 721 characters

Photo of jjboesen
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The initial pour results in a glass filled with beige foam; relax, it quickly settles into a tar black body, dark and foreboding and impervious to light. The body is capped by an inch of vanilla froth; there is little lacing.

To be honest, the nose is not the strong point here; however, if one were to cup their hands tightly around the glass rim, there is a subtle whiff of cocoa. Tis all there is laddie. The palate is pinched by a toasty mote, but there is little aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is the main focus here: it is light, sweet and creamy; in fact, it is rather addictive should you get the chance and find one. I am a big fan of Belhaven; be it there Wee Heavy or Wee Whatever, this is a great brewery and anything from there aresenal that can be found will not be a beer to regret.

 794 characters

Photo of jhawth
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured into a nonic. Pours a solid, impenetrable black with the usual cascading foamy business, settles down to an incredibly creamy looking off-white finger-and-a-half head. Beautiful, thick lacing.

Aroma: Roasted, kilned grain notes but also a great deal of perceptible sweetness. No noticeable hop notes. Roastiness is a bit sharp, has an astringent quality that mellows as the beer warms.

Taste: Roasty malt notes, slightly bitter and astringent at first, finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel: For a beer that looks incredibly creamy, I felt that the body was lacking. This is not to say that the beer wasn't smooth and creamy, just that I was surprised by how thin it was.

Overall: A solid stout in a nitro can. Not bad, but not particularly exciting. I personally would have enjoyed a slightly heavier, more viscous body.

 832 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Black Scottish Stout from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
82 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.