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Belhaven Best - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Belhaven BestBelhaven Best

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
74
okay

129 Ratings
THE BROS
62
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 129
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 18.35%
Wants: 1
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
2.5/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at new West 50 Pourhouse. Some dots lacing. Light colour. Off-malt taste of ginger ale. Some harsh astringent bitterness,malt and graininess.I don't expect much from the brewery, but this just arrived and its undrinkable.
Upgraded rating based on 1.5 years later on tap at Abbot On the Hill, but still poor.

Sammy, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of spycow
3/5  rDev -8.3%

spycow, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev +7%

kjkinsey, May 21, 2014
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.

Knapp85, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
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.

biboergosum, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of Jason
2.68/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is one nitro can I am not totaly fond of, way too sweet with a steely caramel aroma and flavour. The nitro seems way over forced and the flavours too processed. Hops are faded and produce just enough bitterness, the malt is odd tasting and the finish is sticky sweet.

This one is just not for me ...

Jason, Jul 09, 2003
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surprised to see this in a bar down at Bewdley while on a pub crawl. Took a half pinr purely to review:

Good amber body with a large, deep white head.

The aromas given off were few, the beer being dispensed so cold, when it warmed some dark, malty fruity smells appeared.

The taste was also on the malty side, pleasant without setting the world alight.

I little on the fizzy side, like most keg bitters, but I still enjoyed this: the only non-cask ale I had during the crawl.

BlackHaddock, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of wrightst
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

wrightst, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of Billolick
3.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

You know a beer is gonna be rated poorly when its best feature is its head and carbonation. The widget does an amazing job here, if you like LONG lasting creamy super fine bubble head and amazing creamy lacing. Otherwise this was a stinker, minimal flavor, no hops, metalic tastes etc etc. Back to the drawing board for this one.

Billolick, Apr 28, 2004
Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber colored ale with a thick off white head. The action of the bubbles from the nitro can is always fun to watch.

Smell is sweet and VERY malty with a sweet fruitiness.

Taste is fairly malty with a bit of smokiness to the flavor. Mildly fruity with a nice bitter snap in the aftertaste. Pleasant and mild but not very complex.

Mouthfeel is average once you get past the thick head.

An easy drinking beer and non-offending to the taste buds, but it is just a nice mild beer that isn't particularly outstanding.

Zorro, Jan 19, 2005
Photo of biegaman
3.14/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Sure, widgets make for an impressive pour - the first few times you see it. Unless you have the mental capacities of a child the 'oscillating sandstorm' visual quickly becomes tired and gimmicky. It's ironic too that a device meant to impart a distinguishing feature actually makes for identical looking beers; the artificially-induced foam is always the same. This amber ale looks as though it were made from a mold.

Belhaven Best also smells pretty much like every other widget beer I've had: wet cardboard drenched in corn syrup. Well, maybe "drenched" is a strong word, but this bouquet has a sweetness that I'd be surprised wasn't high-fructose fueled (think of cheap, mass-produced caramel, like the stale little squares wrapped in clear plastic).

The flavour does a better job of passing for an all-malt offering (though the impressions of stale, inferior quality grain and industrial sweetener return in the aftertaste). As is typical of British ales, there are subtle hints of dried fruit esters and chalky water minerals, both of which I suspect would be more pronounced were it not for that suffocating blob of floating nitrogen.

You might not guess it from this sample, but Belhaven makes a few beers so well-brewed and distinct that they're hailed by beer judges and journalists alike as the best examples of their respective styles (see: Belhaven Wee Heavy, Scottish Ale, St. Andrews Ale). Pick up any textbook on beer or brewing, flip to the section on British ales and you're sure to see Belhaven listed...

This offering, however, is a lesson in how to make bad beer - its maltiness is frail, the yeast muted, the hops non-existent; despite its agreeable strength (4.8%) only those with simple, undiscerning palates would contemplate ordering a second round. (Frankly, I don't even care to finish my first.) Putting cardboard through the blender would be just as stimulating to the senses.

Belhaven Best is undoubtedly Belhaven's worst. What can I say? I guess you gotta make money somehow and, for reasons that I'll never understand, the majority of beer drinkers prefer something insipid, predictable, and undistinguished. I can't blame the marketing department for being unable to pass-up the "The Cream of Scottish Beer" tagline but I certainly don't have to support it. Nevermind a repeat purchase - this is a beer I wish I never bought in the first place.

biegaman, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of DrJay
3.73/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this one at the Castle on King in Kitchener, ON. The pint was a clear amber colour with a dense, cream coloured head from the nitro tap. Head retention was great and it left lacing down the entire glass. Aromas were very mild, with some fruity esters, subdued hops, and a bit of caramel malt. Same in the flavour department, with malt and hops lingering for a short time in the finish. Low carbonation with a light body and great balance. A great session beer.

DrJay, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev +7%

harpus, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of GraduatedCashew
4/5  rDev +22.3%

GraduatedCashew, Aug 28, 2013
Photo of spinrsx
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.

spinrsx, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of champ103
3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear orange/copper color. A two finger white head forms with good retention and lace. All nitro look good to me.
S: Sweet malt, grain, and a light lingering bitterness. Not much is here.
T: Sweet caramel malt, toasted grain with light hops.
M/D: A light body that is thin and watery. Not hard to drink at all. Something to session if nothing else is around.

This is not a bad bitter. Just a bit boring. The nitro does not help in that regard. I would like to try this on cask, but as is you can do a lot worse.

champ103, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of BGsWo22
2.25/5  rDev -31.2%

BGsWo22, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of dcmchew
3/5  rDev -8.3%

dcmchew, Sunday at 08:14 AM
Photo of canucklehead
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.

canucklehead, Sep 09, 2012
Photo of Suds
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another “perfect” nitrogen-corrupted head on this beer. Somehow the texture of nitro beers really detracts from the brews other characteristics. Below the head is a tawny colored liquid. Aroma of caramel malt…intensely so. I really liked caramelized sweetness of the smell…underpinnings of fruitiness and maybe a tad diacetyl, but pleasingly so (I think that the nitro-texture gets in the way when looking for the slickness). Mild hopiness, moderate to high-sweetness. The hops don’t do a good job balancing the sweetness, and by the end of the brew, it becomes a little cloying. Worth a try…maybe even two or more, but not worth going out of your way to find.

Suds, Feb 01, 2004
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.

AgentMunky, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of Reidrover
3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap in a pub somewhers in Ketih, Scotland. This is on nitro..i think. After the cascadeing effect has finished. Its a nice enough looking pint brown with hints of garnet. Lovelly tan creamy head . Not much aroma to this.But it doesnt stink. Nice actually, caramel/toffeeish hints in the flavours. Malts are slightly roasty. Nice on the palate, very smooth. Overall drinkable yet uninspiring. This seems to be taking over in my old neck of the woods ( NE Scotland).

Reidrover, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured bubbly and creamy due to the nitro widget. Once the cascade of bubbles stopped the beer was clear golden light amber with a just barely off white head that was creamy and coated the glass.

The aroma was malty with a caramel impression.

The flavor was malty with caramel and toffee. The beer had just enough bitterness to keep the caramel and toffee in check.

The finish was just dry with a little bitterness starting to show up long into the aftertaste. The body was light and the creamy head made it seem even lighter. You could drink a ton of this.

A pleasing beer, nothing to write home about, but tasty without having a huge body or alcohol content.

14.9 ounce nitro can (oddly enough it made no mention of the widget on the can) - $1.60 a can at Asheville Wine Market.

GCBrewingCo, Jul 01, 2004
Photo of kwjd
3.13/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this on tap (assuming it was nitro) at Twisted Kilt in Toronto. Pours a copper orange colour with a finger or 2 of creamy white head. Head doesn't dissipate at all, with some lacing all the way down the glass. Smells very mild, some floral hops and biscuit malt. Flavour is just mild bitterness, a bit of sweetness. Creamy mouthfeel, I'm pretty sure this is on nitro. An ok beer, nothing too great though.

kwjd, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of IronDjinn
2.3/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From a 440 ml blue can, abv. listed at 3.5%. Pours out a slightly hazed rustic copper hue, with a tall tight creamy off-white head that retains.

Sweet bready malt and honey on the nose, light leafy, grassy hops. Some dry grain in the background.

Flavour starts out sweet, almost cloyingly so, akin to a honey cake, while mild spicy, herbal hops finish things out on the back end. Seems watered down and thin in general.

Mouthfeel is light and thin, somewhat creamy texture from the nitro can, low carbonation.

Doesn't make that great of an impression, I would imagine this is the type of light mediocre domestic fare that folks in the U.K. chug down without thinking twice about. Glad I managed to just pick up a single of this stuff.

IronDjinn, Apr 03, 2012
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Belhaven Best from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
74 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.