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Belhaven Best - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Belhaven BestBelhaven Best

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134 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 134
Reviews: 73
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 18.04%
Wants: 1
Gots: 10 | 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:
Beer added by: JISurfer on 05-03-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 73 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of peensteen
2.91/5  rDev -11%
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.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.71/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of spinrsx
3.61/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of flyingpig
3.01/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reddish amber with a creamy white head that stays for about five minutes before being reduced to a thickish lacing.

Smell wasn't the strongest really. It has some caramel, very light summer fruits that could have been stronger and some malts too.

Could have been a lot stronger. It also has some caramel & malts with the background summer fruits but none of these dominate & a watery taste is apparent when drank.

Light to medium bodied with low carbonation & a very smooth texture that goes down easy due to the watery taste probably.

Average really & not at all what I was expecting; it was nice for a change from the pale lagers that where the only other beers on offer in the pub but not a beer I’d be inclined to get all that often.

1001 Beers Blog:

Photo of Kartoffeln
3.11/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.26/5  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.

Photo of biboergosum
3.43/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of bryehn
3.31/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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.

Photo of evlu1441
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.

Photo of AgentMunky
2.56/5  rDev -21.7%
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.

Photo of JamesS
4.23/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice mid copper with awesome head and lacing. Nice scent with good malts and a nice light earthy bitterness. Good flavor with good malt backing, a slight toffeeness underneath, and good earthy hop aftertaste. Extremely smooth, almost cask like! Good stuff.

Photo of crazyc1
3.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

I was introduced to this very mellow beer at a relatively young age and unlike most beers which i used to drink back then, i have not been put off it.

It is a fairly weak beer but i enjoy how it doesn't leave you bloated due to it not being particularly fizzy. It leaves a sweet taste in your mouth making you lust for more, so is easily drinkable.

It is pretty popular here in Scotland, although south of the border i am not too sure, but i find it unlikely to be so widespread.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: dark yellow, pale brown. head disappears within a minute of pouring. a few webs of lacing.

S: mild sweet notes with hint of earthiness, but you really need to sniff a lot to enjoy this one.

T: grain with hint of hops on the finish, might be a little stale, had slightly odd aftertaste.

M: watery, light/medium body, little much carbonation for a bitter.

D: Easy to down a few of these over a meal and not bat an eye, too weak for my taste. There are other better bitters, move along.

Photo of kwjd
3.14/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
3.06/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of RickB
4.01/5  rDev +22.6%
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.

Photo of Zimbo
1.73/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Had this again the other night just to finally seal my impressions. Emm...
Doesn't look horrendous but that uniform foamy head was a sign of things to come. Almost devoid of odour this tasted slightly tinny at best. Body was fat and bloated letting very little resembling flavour escape. Like an over inflated tire about to burst to be honest. Considering the brewing legacy here this is not a beer which inhances Belhaven's reputation.

Photo of Dentist666
3.46/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of ludachris
3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of newk340
3.33/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap following a round of golf in St. Andrews.

A: pours a dark amber with a decent head that leaves behind loads of lacing.

S: sweet malts and wheats are about the only discernable aromas that can be found.

T: rather bland, easy to overlook the malts and wheats that are evident.

MF/D: easily drinkable as a session beer as there is not much flavor. almost flat, but very light would be the obvious conclusion.

Photo of PEIBeerGuy
3.11/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of salvo
2.2/5  rDev -32.7%
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

Photo of wetshoes
4.12/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is widely available in Scotland, and it's a great pint to enjoy. Pours a nice dark color in the glass with a thin white foam on top. Easy to drink a lot of.

Suits my taste for a low-hopped ale, though I actually prefer Belhavens Scottish Ale, but it's not so easy to get in pubs. Not nearly so attractive in cans, even with the little nitro bomb inside.

Photo of Seanstoppable
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.

Belhaven Best from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
76 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.