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Belhaven Best - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Belhaven BestBelhaven Best

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

115 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 115
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 17.43%

Brewed by:
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  3.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: JISurfer on 05-03-2003)
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Ratings: 115 | Reviews: 72 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

440 ml can purchased from LCBO for $1.95 CDN. Served cold into a pint glass. Advertised as 4.8% ABV

Appearance - Dark copper color with a bit more than 1 finger of frothy white head. Very dense looking. the beer is crystal clear and has sparse bubbles floating to the top. the head lingers for a very long time thanks to the nitro-can.

Smell - A few sweet aromas and quite floral wild a mild alcohol undertone.

Taste - Sweetish and quite mild. Virtually no hope presence and the bitterness is very low for a bitter. Flavors while full do not linger nor are they particularly strong.

Mouthfeel - Wet finish, with creamy mouthfeel. Body is thinner but compensated by the remains of the head.

Overall - Not a bad beer to me a bit of a cross with English Pale Ales. While decent there's nothing spectacular about this either. Worth a try.

Serving type: nitro-can

12-05-2013 14:22:16 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of dreamchaser

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Clear, light amber in colour, with a thick, rich, creamy staying head. Faint hop aroma. Taste is very light, subtle and creamy. A delicious balance of soft malts carrying faint notes of nut and caramel. Faintly carbonated, and mouthfeel is very round and smooth. A very delicate yet full-flavoured beer.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-05-2013 19:20:08 | More by dreamchaser
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At only about $2 a tall can this is a decent bitter with the creamy mouthfeel of a nitro can. The beer is certainly not too complex but I enjoyed the toffee notes and the smooth finish. As Fall approaches this is the kind of easy drinking beer that replaces the wheat and light lagers from the summer. I prefer the Courage Directors Ale in cans for the same price but I will buy some more of this brew.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-09-2012 00:25:46 | More by canucklehead
Photo of thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

440 mL can from the LCBO, listed at 4.8%; best before July 2012. This is a new one for me - I haven't had a nitro ale in a while, probably because I'm usually not all that impressed with them. But I'll try anything once.

Pours an attractive amber-honey colour, cloudy at first, but translucent once the layers have separated out. On the surface sits one finger of smooth, creamy head that sticks around for quite a while. The aroma is sweet with lots of biscuity malts; toffee, honey and (most particularly) butterscotch are rather prominent. Fairly enticing, and definitely more robust than a lot of the nitro ales I've had.

Fairly enjoyable taste, but no real complexity about it. Biscuity malts and toasted bread provide some backbone, with sweet toffee and butterscotch dominating the profile. Rather buttery, with light hints of orchard fruit with only some slight, tea-like dryness late in the sip. The aftertaste is sweet and malty. Silky smooth mouthfeel like most nitro cans, due to the very mild carbonation. Light-bodied and kind of watery, but drinkable as all hell.

I found this highly enjoyable for a nitro can. Obviously the mouthfeel of these nitro brews is an acquired preference - one I have certainly never claimed to possess - but from an objective standpoint, this is a serviceable brew that I don't have a lot of complaints about. That being said - it's not one of the better bitters I've had in recent memory. The balance is rather poor, and there isn't a lot of bitterness, although it does finish cleanly.

Final Grade: 3.33, an acceptable B minus grade. Good stuff, and as a bonus for any frugal UK ale fans, it's quite cheap in these parts as well. Hopefully the LCBO keeps bringing in Belham's Best, because it's easily the best nitro beer I've picked up from there in years. Simple, yet solid. Worth a try, but not something to move mountains in search of.

Serving type: nitro-can

06-19-2012 05:54:03 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of slitherySOB

Ontario (Canada)

2.58/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I was a bit surprised with the nitro can. I'm used to nitro widgets only being in Guinness. Anyways, this bitter pours out an amber colour with a thick, white, creamy head. It goes downhill from there. The smell has some light butterscotch, grassy hops, tea like aroma, honey, and an odd smell that I can't quite described. Something kind of, gassy. Tastes sweet with toffee and malts, with a hint of brown sugar. Some grassy and citrus hops cleans the palate afterwards. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Overall, a rather disappointing English style bitter.

Serving type: nitro-can

06-15-2012 20:37:02 | More by slitherySOB
Photo of TheHammer

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm having this on the recommendation of my brother, and low and behold this is actually a nitro-can.

Appearance: It took a while for the carbonation to settle, even for a nitro but it produced a finger and a half of head that sustained and laced like crazy. The body is amber with a tan coloured creamy head.

Smell: An almost butterscotch like arroma (although more on the scotch side of things) with a tea and honey note. It took a bit of warming to come out, but when it did it was quite nice. However, I think I'm also getting an odd smell that I'm not used to and it's probably coming from the nitro.

Taste: A malt explosion as toffee like malt hits you at the start of the beer, then gives way to a creamy mild smokey scotch taste that the nitro seems to reign in quite a bit and then ending with another hit of malt and honey taste. It's different that is for sure.

Mouthfeel: I'm honestly a bit conflicted on this one. I mean it's creamy, offers a sweet malt aftertaste that quickly departs and doesn't overstay it's welcome, doesn't cling and transitions well, but part of me gets the feeling that maybe the nitro isn't needed. I dunno if that sound crazy or not.

Drinkability: Normally I find that nitro enhanced beers tend to be heavy offerings that sit in your stomach like caulking. This is the exact opposite as if not for the massive amount of malt, would come across as almost too light. I had not problems getting it down and it seems to sit down quite well.

Final Thoughts: I touched base on it on the mouthfeel, but I honestly wouldn't mind trying this beer without the nitro. I will say this though, this is probably the first beer I've had where I actually wanted to see a bit more bitterness involved. Still I'd recommend it regardless, but that being said I can't stand IPAs so take from that what you will.

Serving type: nitro-can

01-18-2012 06:19:07 | More by TheHammer
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nitro-opaque clears to amber liquid and thick tan foam.

S - Nose is a bit musty but bland, hint of fruitiness. Overall, low in aroma-quotient though.

T - Some light lemony hop, some nuttiness and husky grain. A bit on the tart side. Hints of molasses and dark sugar.

M - Smooth, creamy feel for obvious reasons. Light body.

D - Easy drinking, moderately flavoured brew. A true sessioner.

Serving type: nitro-can

12-31-2011 02:11:50 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

2.88/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale amber orange colour, nearly 2 fingers of dense white head, some lace left behind. Smell is biscuity malt and caramel, graham crackers, faint traces of honey and at points some floral notes. Taste is pretty biscuity and malty, oddly metallic, light fruity and floral points in aftertaste, light underlying bitterness throughout. Mouthfeel is light and fairly watery though the medium body makes this fairly creamy on the tongue, minimal carbonation. This was juts OK, nothing overly interesting and if that metallic taste wasn't there that would help its case quite a bit.

Serving type: nitro-can

10-28-2011 18:15:28 | More by peensteen
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

440ml Can

Appearance – Clear amber/copper colour with an above average size frothy off-white/beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation visible and there is an amazing amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 10 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel, pears, tea

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a below average amount of carbonation and and it feels very creamy on the tongue. I can taste malts, caramel, and quite a bit of a roasted nut flavour. There is also some notes of tea and a bit of a pear juice sweetness. It finishes with a malty roasted slightly sweet aftertaste.

Overall – This is a very drinkable beer that has just enough flavour to keep it interesting and sessionable. The appearance is fantastic in the glass and it was priced fairly reasonably. I'd buy it again.

Serving type: nitro-can

10-04-2011 14:22:54 | More by spinrsx
Photo of Kartoffeln

Ontario (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a somewhat dark russet-y copper with some visible carbonation that's strangely static (i.e. just clinging to the glass - I don't think one bubble has moved for minutes now) and a typical nitro-can head: a dense, modestly-sized layer of creamy beige foam with retention for days.

S: Toffee and biscuit malts with a sweet yet raw grain aroma. Hints of honey and grassy hops round out the rather weak nose.

T: Sweet caramel malts and a pleasant note of grain towards the finish, along with faint floral hops and a very vague hint of roastiness.

M: Despite the creamy texture, it's made watery by the thin body and lack of carbonation - combine that with the fairly clean finish and you've got an extremely drinkable ale, just not for entirely good reasons.

D: To be blunt, the beauty of a nitro-can can't make up for the blandness. If you need something light-flavoured and easy-as-water to drink, it's a fine choice, but otherwise not really worthwhile and not much of a bitter at all.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-04-2011 22:15:16 | More by Kartoffeln
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nitro-can from the LCBO. Poured into a Kilkenny nonic.

A tempest of light-amber foam courtesy of the nitro-widget eventually settles into a clear, bright amber brew, with a thick creamy head that, like all other nitros, remains steady for the entire pintsworth.

Nose is pretty faint - malty, a bit of hops, caramel, and that unmistakeable "nitro" metallic odor.

Smooth brew, fairly tasty, with a touch of grain and smoke to distinguish it from other BPAs I've encountered along these lines. A bit of fruit, caramel, slightly bitter finish.

Thin and watery, yet creamy. I'm not a fan of the nitro-can system, as I feel the brews tend to feel flat and watery, so its hard for me to be objective. I'll say this: it goes down very smoothly.

If canned pub ale's what your after, I wouldn't put this at the top of my list, but nor would it be near the bottom. It tastes fine, inoffensive, and the low ABV is a plus if sessioning's the thing. It's cheap in Ontario so I might get it again.

Serving type: nitro-can

08-30-2011 02:28:14 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

440ml Draught Flow can, 3.5% ABV.

This beer pours a clear medium copper hue, with a top-heavy rising bubble menagerie, and two fingers of creamy, milky, eggshell-white head, which leaves a Swiss cheese sheen of painted lace around the glass as it very slowly sinks away. It smells of sweet, mildly toasted cereal grain, with a tinge of earthy honey. The taste is soft bready malt, a bit of caramel, and a light, late-rising earthy, leafy hoppiness. The carbonation, as expected, is quite, quite low, the body medium weight, smooth, and oh so creamy. It finishes still fairly sweet, the cereal malt not getting any guff from any latent bitterness.

A lovely beer, in the tactile sense, this goes down so smoothly, the nitro puck really doing its thing. However, for a bitter, there just isn't enough, well, bitterness - and that's not doing its thing. As enjoyable as this seems to be, and even with the senses-preserving ABV, this fundamental lack would prove tiring, and somewhat cloying, whilst considering a night's iterative rounds.

Serving type: nitro-can

08-24-2011 23:24:48 | More by biboergosum
Photo of bryehn

Ontario (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Completely different can than pictured and listed as 4.8% ABV. BB June 2012. Another old favourite I'm revisiting for BA review.

Pours a slightly rusty, honey-amber colour with a smooth and frothy white head. Takes a good two minutes to settle, giving a nice cascade effect as it does.

The aroma is very, very mild and takes a few minutes to be noticable. Smells of sweetened scotch, similar to oak or rum barrel aged beers like Innis & Gunn. I also get dark, toasted malts and a slight graininess.

Tastes of wood with a slight smokey hint to it. Chocolate comes through after that. The finish is more sour than bitter and slightly cloying.

The mouthfeel is quite creamy and smooth; there is little to no carbonation aside from the long-lasting head. One the sourness of the taste's finish wears off, I find a crisp and clean aftertaste.

It certainly isn't bad, but just not as smooth going as I remember. The smoky notes in the taste and sourness in the finish are a bit off-putting for my current palate, but it goes down quite easy after a pint or two.

Serving type: nitro-can

08-18-2011 20:59:55 | More by bryehn
Photo of Knapp85


3.53/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out has a nice looking deep copper color. The head was creamy looking and white. The smell of the beer is malty and has some nice sweet grainy aromas coming off of it. The taste of the beer has a subtle sweetness upfront that fades into a dry bitterness in the end. The mouthfeel is light but remains creamy. Overall I enjoyed the beer, I like most of what I've had from Belhaven thus far. Not a bad brew to try.

Serving type: nitro-can

07-19-2011 19:16:46 | More by Knapp85
Photo of evlu1441

Alberta (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm excited about this beer, if only because it will be my first nitro-can review. I haven't had a nitro-can in years.

I'm quite impressed! The nitro-can have a nice cascade of fine carbonation as expected, though not as interesting as a Guinness. The beer is a darkish copper colour and completely clear. There is a nice centimeter head that is extremely creamy. This looks like a draught beer!

The aroma is very faint, but it is almost entirely malt... And a very sweet roasty malt at that. There are some hints of honey and maybe even vanilla in there.

The flavour is not what I was expecting! It has an incredibly smooth mouthfeel, probably due to the low carbonation. The flavour is kind of subdues by this, and also by the low alcohol content, but it is a pretty decent beer! The malt flavour dominate the pallate. It is slightly sweet, but never too much. There is also some light hop flavour towards the end.

The drinkability of this beer is very high. I could totally sit in a pub and down several pints of this. I might even buy this again if I was in the mood for a light beer with some flavour.

Serving type: nitro-can

06-22-2011 19:32:52 | More by evlu1441
Photo of AgentMunky


2.48/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 440mL nitro-can into a Blackthorn pint glass. Best before 11 November (hopefully 2011). 3.5%.

A: The can exploded (mostly into the glass) with creamy head and produced the beautiful downward drifting bubbles that makes nitro-things look so interesting. Two fingers of tight, creamy head. The beer is burnished copper and quite clear. No visible bubbles once the head settled. Some lacing.

S: Rather nice-smelling for a canned beer (prejudice, I know -- I've had some bad experiences). A nice bitter scent, which is only partially attributable to hops. What smells like roasted, or at least toasty, malts.

T: Thin and almost tasteless except for a vague sour maltiness. The creamy head is odd-tasting, but mostly neutral. It reminds me vaguely of weak, transparent Guinness, but I suppose that's the nitro. Aftertaste is thin and unpleasant. Not impressed.

M: A thick creamy head on top of a watery excuse for a beer. Ugh.

O: I liked this one a lot better on cask. Starting out less than terrible, but as the head got consumed, quality plummeted. Not bad enough to pour out, but I won't be having any more Belhaven from a can. Stuff like this is why people think they don't like beer. Needless to say, not recommended.

Serving type: nitro-can

04-17-2011 23:21:58 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of Reinheitsgebot71

Ontario (Canada)

3.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at a walk in beer store location.

A Thick creamy off white head with the usual cascading effect of a nitro can shoots through the clear amber body leaving caul fat like lace.

Smells of roast malt and light caramel balance a light hoppy aroma and a hint of sulphur. Some nitro smells prevalent.

Light malty notes are the main flavours here with some backing roasted flavour. A strange sensation of sour cream and a slight nuttiness present themselves submissively. Hopping can be detected int he latter half of the sip, light but adding some balance.
The body overall is watery though mouth coating with medium low carbonation. This provides a smooth refreshing quality.

Not a bad beer it would be good with standard pub fare.

Serving type: nitro-can

11-26-2010 23:49:25 | More by Reinheitsgebot71
Photo of RickB

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Scottish ale was poured from a nitro can, and the appearance was darker than a Boddington but a tad lighter than a Kilkenny. Taste was a mild bitter, not at all displeasing. Mouthfeel was very creamy as are most nitros. I only had one, but this could easily be a session beer.

Serving type: nitro-can

10-26-2010 20:10:02 | More by RickB
Photo of Dentist666

Russian Federation

3.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

ABV 3.5 nitro-can

Excellent honey in color, but with thin off-white head, lingering for a long time. Sweet bready malts in aroma. Smooth caramel, almost neutral, slight hop ensues. Dry and strict in character ale, I would spend my money on something else, more spectacular.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-03-2010 18:16:38 | More by Dentist666
Photo of ludachris

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazed golden honey hue with one and a half fingers of creamy, frothy egg white head that refuses to go away, leaving thick patches of lace down the glass.

For the style, the nose is well rounded and decently pronounced with toffee, wheat, bready malts, and honey all thrown into the mix. It leaves a bit to be desired but is inviting none the less.

The taste is more subdued than the nose would lead you to believe. All of the flavours that reveal themselves in the nose are still there but are taken away from by the slippery, water-like mouthfeel.

This one goes down very easy, but it seems like the smoothness and quaffability of the beer took precedence over the actual flavour of it. Maybe that's why it became "Scotland's number one pub ale"?

Overall, I'd say this beer, like nearly all beers, has its time and its place. It's a good interpretation of the style and I think it's been amped up a bit since it was first put into this system, jumping a percent higher in ABV. Pints of this can easily be crushed, but on most days I still prefer a full flavoured, savoury beer over a quaffer frothing froth quaffer like this.

Serving type: nitro-can

08-24-2010 02:21:03 | More by ludachris
Photo of PEIBeerGuy

Prince Edward Island (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I like the way beer cans with widgets pour. Lots of nice head & bubbles "cascading up". Nice dark honey-brown colour.

Didn't smell like much.

Taste was OK. Nothing too exceptional or noteworthy. A little caramel / toffee... maybe, I guess.

As much as I like the cans with nitro / widgets, I don't like how they feel. They feel very flat in the mouth. Creamy and pretty smooth, yes, but flat. I miss my fizz.

Overall, still a drinkable beer.

Serving type: nitro-can

07-29-2010 01:15:19 | More by PEIBeerGuy
Photo of salvo


2.17/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sweet. Out of the can pours orange into a plastic cup with little head. The smell is metallic tang and stale leaves, like dry leaves in fall. No head.

The taste backs up the smell: sweet. Malty sweet, little alcohol. Insipid: I'm happy English has that word because it fits. Amazing that this ... liquid comes from the same folks who brew Belhaven IPA. Order something else: life's too short for this.

Luckily the company was good on the train from Aberdeen to Inverness.

Tasting notes October 2009

Serving type: nitro-can

07-07-2010 01:19:14 | More by salvo
Photo of Seanstoppable

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper with plenty of creamy white head. Eventually clears up to a darker copper, with a finger of solid white head. Tons of lacing left on the glass.

You can smell the diacytl.

Creamy, smooth with some light butterscotch flavor. Maybe a bit of bread and honey. Fairly straightforward. The creamy taste lasts in your mouth for a while.

Fairly average bitter. Very easy to drink.

Serving type: nitro-can

06-27-2010 22:38:29 | More by Seanstoppable
Photo of BretSikkink


3.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unfortunately, consumed out of the can. Fortunately, provided for free by The Glen golf course in North Berwick, Scotland. The box by the ninth tee said "Free beer. Take one." I had one for me, and one for my underage cousin!

I'm repeating my appearance score for the Best from my draught and cask reviews. The aroma, while muted by the can, still showed caramel maltiness with the creamy head.

Flavors are creamy and smooth, the body is perhaps a touch thin but out of the can remains delightfully creamy. Dark fruits, ripe but not overly, come in and out of the flavor; otherwise a tasty mild bitter.

It's definitely a mass market brew, but tastes good enough to do in a pinch. My marks might be adjusted downward to account for the fact that it was 1. on the golf course, and 2. free. Very nice!

Serving type: nitro-can

06-11-2007 06:27:13 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of scottoale


3.58/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I popped the top on the 440 ml. can (un-aware it was nitro charged) and was pleasently suprised by the typical atomic upwelling of nitrogen bubbles, pushing from the depths, forming a lushiously thick, frothy off-white head. The ale is a darkish copper, with some good sized chunks of sediment, floating around in it.

Smells of toasty, nutty malt, lightly sweet and kind of earthy rich. The flavor is grainy malt, again with a faintly sweet, roasted nuttyness, then swings smooth and balanced with a nice hop finish.

Smooth and creamy in the mouth, good body and superb nitro-carbonation, make this tasty brew a pleasure to enjoy. I was very suprised by this one, had never heard of nor tried it before. I recommend it and will drink it again in the future. Cheers!

Serving type: nitro-can

04-28-2006 03:46:22 | More by scottoale
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Belhaven Best from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
76 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.