Black Scottish Stout - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

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Black Scottish StoutBlack Scottish Stout

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156 Ratings
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Ratings: 156
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 13.02%
Wants: 1
Gots: 12 | 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.
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Ratings: 156 | Reviews: 40
Reviews by Pensfan0782:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.21/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Guiness pint glass jet black with a creamy nitro cascading light beige head atop.Aromas are light with chocolate mocha notes and a bit of tin.Although the nitro pour gave off a creaminess in the head it was really thin,even for the the style.Flavors of dark roast coffee,bitter chocolate and earth,mild flavors with a thin feel is not the best thing in the world.I was expecting better from a pretty good brewery but this just okay.

Photo of chinchill
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of DiUr
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Awesome looking and no actual flaws, it still falls short as other say. The bigger brother looks promising though.

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 14.9 oz. nitro can. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is dominated by coffee. Taste is of coffee and roasted malts, smooth and refreshing. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is not overly flavorful for a stout, but a pretty good beer nonetheless.

Photo of wedge
3.49/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in color with an attractive cascading waterfall effect leading to a permanent slab of a head, just as it should. Mild nutty and toasted malt aromas with hints of sweet bread and fudge. A little prune and tobacco as it warms. Coffee bean, cocoa, and black malt flavors...all very, very mellow...a little watery even, though there is an expected creaminess at the same time. All in all, it does come across as thin, but it's still certainly enjoyable. Drinkable to the max too.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.27/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Belhaven Black Scottish Stout has a roiling foam at the pour, which sets up as a medium, creamy, cream-colored head, and it has a very dark and black appearance, but this is actually a brilliant ruby red, under direct sunlight. There is quite a bit of thick, whipped cream-like lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet, deep-roasted barley and a touch of coffee. Taste is of sweet, astringent, coffee-like barley, background charcoal, chocolate powder, and just the slightest hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and velvety, and Belhaven Black Scottish Stout finishes mostly dry, sweet, and rich. Overall, this is really enjoyable, and I score it most excellent.


Photo of BlackHaddock
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Keg pint in The Memorial Club, Shifnal on 21 Sep 2012.

Black by name, black by nature (I blame the chocolate malts): this is one dark beer.

The nose was of chocolate malts and coffee esters: it was poured so cold it took a while for any aromas to arrive.

The taste followed the smells, with liquorice added for good measure. Mellowed as it warmed; a bit harsher when first poured, but it turned into a fine beer in the end.

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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well they don't call it back for nothing, pitch black body with tanned thick head.

The smell is basic but good, imagine if you could if you made a cup of coffee with milk and sugar
made it in an empty but not cleaned coal scuttle.

Taste like coffee flavoured porridge, creamy and oat hints and a good measure of burn't buttered toast but something is missing somehow, some kind of depth isnae there.

It is a little thin to be honest but it is just right on the carbonation.

Not the world's greatest stout but enjoyable and worth trying.

Would it be a heresy to say it had more of a dunkel feel to it than a stout :S

Photo of thehyperduck
3.36/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
3.5/5  rDev -3%

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.

Photo of Sofakingdrunk
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of woodychandler
3.86/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I found this in the reefer at The Fridge and I had put it aside for New Beer Sunday, only to have my phone go on the fritz unbeknownced to me until I had finished my original review and hit "Send". When I realized that I had lost my phone and wireless Internet service, I called to have it repaired, only to be told that there is only a skeleton crew on Sundays and that it owuld have to wait. I will be switching my service in the next couple of days.

From the CAN: "Smooth Deep Distinctive"; "Brewers of Distinction Since 1719"; "Imported from Scotland"; "Draught Serve Chilled"; "Draught Flow System"; "This CAN contains a special fixed widget which allows you to enjoy the smooth full bodied flavour of this unique Scottish Stout": "1. Chill for 3 hours; 2. Carefully open CAN; 3. Wait for the head to rise; 4. Pour into a glass; 5. Relax, savour and enjoy"; "Warning: Do not tamper even when empty."

The Crack allowed for an initial offgassing of N2, which I suppose was Step 3 in the procedure. The Glug evidenced some wonderful cascading action, resulting in two fingers of dense, light-tan head with great retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown allowing light penetration only at the edges. Nose had a rich, dark chocolatiness, much like a Hershey's Special Dark bar. Mouthfeel was thick, full and creamy, undoubtedly the result of the N2. The taste was very chocolaty with a smoky roastiness on the tongue. Finish was semi-dry with the chocolaty flavor lingering well after the swallow.

For me it was something of a novelty as there are not that many nitro-CANned beers out there, bit CANversely, I am a hophead, so something like this is really not my cup of tea. Not bad, but for me, a once and done.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.04/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

LOOK: Pint sized nitro can. Pours a very dark, clear brown with the trade mark cascading nitrogen effect. An inch of soapy foam forms and is not going anywhere.
SMELL: Light aroma of roasted malts and some coffee and dark breads. There is just a touch of pungent, herbal hops as well.
TASTE: Once again, some heavily roasted malts are really all that is here. A bit of molasses, dark chocolate and coffee flavors are met by a grassy, tea like hopping. Heavily bitter and dangerously smooth as it crosses the palate.
FEEL: Light to medium bodied, with a very pleasing soft mouthfeel from the nitro. Smooth as can be, drinking a pint was almost accomplished before this sentence.
OVERALL: A well made nitro stout, which has enough genuine flavor to stand up to its competitors.

Photo of lechap
5/5  rDev +38.5%
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.

Photo of Donkster46
2.71/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Not coffee, not chocolate, not really anything.

Photo of micromaniac129
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

As always, an exciting cascading foam effect forming a super dense mocha beige head over a jet black body. Nice contrast.
The aroma was lean and almost non exsistent.
But the taste, the taste on first slurp was heavy on roasted malts and peet. An unexpected roastedness that was very good compliment to the taste. Malty with hints of chocolate too.
As it's from a nitro can drinks flat.
But this is good and I can definitely see buying a case. Well done.

Photo of homebrew311
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pitch black with creamy nitro head. Smell is of roasted malts, cream, and chocolate. Taste is heavy on roasted barley and chocolate malt with mellow caramel sweetness around the edges. Mouthfeel is smooth, dense, and velvety. Overall, easy drinking with decent presence of flavor.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a foamy khaki head that settles to a dense cap on top of the beer. A curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and coffee ground aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder and coffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some nice aromas but more subtle flavors in my opinion.

Photo of ARoman
3.24/5  rDev -10.2%
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

Photo of schoolboy
4.11/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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.

Photo of thezach
3.12/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Overall, I'd say this beer is a step above Guinness "Draught." This could be a result of the year or so between having the former and the Belhaven, but the Belhaven seems to have a bit more chocolate, roast, and coffee aroma.

A: Rich dense 1-finger head that lasts all the way down. Streaky lacing. Black on first appearance, but more of a deep ruby/rust-red when held up to the light.

S: Choc, roast, coffee. Light and minerally.

T & M: Slightly watery, good bitterness and balance, very creamy, mostly get roast and light coffee on the palate.

O: I would drink it, but I prefer my stouts to be a little more rich, even if under 5%. Not a bad start for someone who is new to the style.

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Black Scottish Stout from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
82 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.