Scottish Ale
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Scottish AleScottish Ale
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Style:
Scottish Ale
Ranked #14
ABV:
5.2%
Score:
86
Ranked #21,687
Avg:
3.84 | pDev: 13.28%
Reviews:
954
Ratings:
2,254
From:
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
 
Scotland, United Kingdom
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  87
Gots
  425
SCORE
86
Very Good
Scottish AleScottish Ale
Notes: Our signature Scottish Ale is the beer we've brewed the longest and is our best-selling bottle world-wide. We brew it from 100% Scottish Optic and Crystal barley malts for a nutty, biscuit character, balanced with a subtle spiciness from Challenger and Goldings hops for an all-around satisfying beer.

George Howell - Master Brewer, Belhaven
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Reviews: 954 | Ratings: 2,254 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BJB13
BJB13 from Maryland

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500 ml clear bottle poured into a nonic style pint glass.

My first glass of Scottish Ale. From what I could gather this seemed to be a good example to start with, not that I had many options available. It looks well enough in the glass, light brown and mostly clear with caramel highlights and a two finger off-white head. A straight forward but nice nose consisted mainly of caramel and some cola-like sweetness. Tasting was more interesting, starting with a nutty, almost almond-like malt flavor followed by a rising mild herbal bitterness before finishing malty and sweeter than it started, with caramel, cola and a light, candy-like sweetness that approaches butterscotch. The light-medium body is soft and frothy with moderate carbonation, this drinks fairly easy.

This was an enjoyable, drinkable beer with "English" character. The sweet finish was a standout, although by the end the bottle the overall sweetness became a little more than I would have liked.

Jul 06, 2020
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PathofChaos from Maryland

3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
Pours a rich, butterscotch brown with a cap of ultrafine, beige bubbles. It doesn’t lace far but its retention is eternal and has such serene, motionless geometry, a passerby might mistake it for a nitro. It sits stock-still like a layer of snow on a lake. Below, a crystalline lattice of glittering diamond dust gathers at the walls of the glass.

Bouquet:
Chestnuts tossed with roasted malts and bathed in floral, lager-like sweetness.

Feel:
Light. Ye gods, light! A quaffable puff of quenching air whose carbonation is altogether impalpable.

Taste:
A buttery, airy, chestnut cream with a pinch of smokey peat that dashes by like it doesn’t wish to be noticed. Lackadaisically caramel malts lounge in a distant armchair with no intention of getting up to greet you.

Jun 26, 2020
Photo of gary928
gary928 from Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer!Some reviews say it is bland,But I say let’s just balanced.It has a soft feeling in your mouth and then that follows with just the right amount of Malt forward taste

Jun 18, 2020
Photo of KRug
KRug from Massachusetts

3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.25

Best by 12/31/20

Well I'm pretty sure this is my first beer from Scotland, and a first of the style. Ironic that it's my first beer of what is dubbed "American Craft Beer Week", but we owe so much to other countries beer-wise so it's only fitting that we start with an import

From the nitro can, it pours a dark amber with a deep ruby glow, a finger of infinite white head, no lacing

Aromas of caramel and crystal malts, peppery spice, and a bit of yeasty. Bready, warm, and nutty, this has a welcoming aroma

Sadly, the taste is really bland compared to the nose, and it's tied directly to the feel but we'll get to that. Not awful, but subdued notes of malt on the front of the palate before finishing with spice and slight fruity esters

Honestly man, fuck nitro cans. They made the beer look incredible, but this is extremely watery. I was expecting something with a full body, but with no carbonation and no body, it goes down like malty water. I'd pass on it because of the feel alone, but the taste isn't outstanding either

I do suppose it goes down easy and smells pretty good, but I don't think I'd be throwing these down if I wasn't already drunk. I wanted to like this, but maybe the style isn't my thing

May 12, 2020
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PaulyMcPauly from Australia

3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lovely copper colour, poured into a Headmaster glass from a 330ml brown bottle. Small head with no lace. Delicious thirst-quenching ale with a memorable dry, nutty flavour. Oddly perfect as a refresher on a hot and muggy Brisbane February afternoon. Enjoyed with some Jarlsberg slices and almonds. A favourite for sure!

Feb 16, 2020
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sjrider from California

3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle - bright clear copper/caramel color with short off-white bubbly head leaving a bit of foamy lacing. Nose is mostly mild nutty malt with a hint of spice. Taste follows more or less. Not a whole lot going on ,rather bland and inoffensive.

Dec 29, 2019
Photo of Lucular
Lucular from Maryland

4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5 oz nitro pour. Looks gorgeous, and it's nice to see a copper/brown colored ale getting nitro treatment. Nice colors from white to brown. Aroma and flavor are full-flavored for just 5.2% abv and mainly offer sweet malt with some vanilla and a hint of earthy hops. Mouthfeel is super smooth. Solid.

Nov 25, 2019
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barnzy78 from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL nitro can, date stamped AUG 31 2019. Deep caramel colored ale with a smooth & foamy nitro beige head. Sweet & malty aroma of toffee, nutty grain, caramel, and mild spicy hops. Well balanced flavors consisting of nutty caramelized grain, toffee, spicy & earthy hops, and some modest peat. Exceptionally smooth nitro body, balanced with a dry finish. I have seen this one so many times and for some reason never pulled the trigger on it.

Nov 16, 2019
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chitoryu12 from Florida

3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Look: Clear, dark orange. Distinctive off-white nitro head.

Smell: Very mild caramel malt. Not much else.

Taste: Mild, sweet caramel malt and that’s about it.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, with almost no carbonation.

Overall: Easy to drink at the cost of extreme blandness.

Oct 11, 2019
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Amendm from Rhode Island

3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An average pour from a 330-ml. bottle creates a finger of soft creamy beige froth with long retention and no lasting lace. Clear slightly tarnished penny color (copper-amber) with fine rising bubbles.

Smells like scotch whisky, a little boozy with sweet caramel malt and baking bread.

Big round malty taste, semi-sweet and low on bitterness that comes from lightly roasted malt instead of hops. Light pop-corn butter, roasted mixed nuts, faint smokey peat and baked stone fruits add to the taste. Caramel malty and bready like the smell, the alcohol backs off quite a bit. The finish is long yet the aftertaste is mild and lingers only briefly.

Medium body, soft and above averagely carbonated. Malty smooth and easy going down, true to style and just plane enjoyable.

Some may consider this beer to be an export style due to the higher ABV (5.2%).
Definitely not a Wee Heavy.

Sep 08, 2019
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Beer_Right_Back from Arizona

2.43/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Super sweet and malty flavor initially pairs with a dry finish. It tastes like most other Scottish style ales we've tasted before, but this one lacks any real originality, character, or craftsmanship.

Jul 15, 2019
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Bluecrow from New York

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear mahogany can pour with a very thin foam ring and a sweet caramel aroma. The flavor is toasted malt, a bit of molasses and a hint of smoke. The hop presence is minimal. The mouthfeel is clean.

Jun 02, 2019
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Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bought a single 14.9 oz can $4.85 Posh Liquors
Amber-brown color with cascading bubble typical of nitro beers
Medium-light mouthfeel
After initial pour carbonation becomes flat
Flavor reminds me of watered down scotch, which gives it a characteristic. Sweet malts.
Overall not bad, but I paid too much to try it.

Apr 24, 2019
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mintzmeet from Washington

3.19/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

“nutty, biscuit character, balanced with a subtle spiciness” from the hops. Scottish hops. Amber color. Nice head. There is a sweetness to it. Strong maltiness. A little cloying after a while.

Feb 22, 2019
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wmscottsimpsonjr from Missouri

3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark reddish amber or copper with one finger head. Almost appley-sweet aroma with slightly nutty malt. The flavor is toasty and somewhat biscuity with a moderate sweetness. Slight hop spiciness. Medium to light bodied actually, easy drinking.

Jan 13, 2019
Photo of sungregmoon
sungregmoon from Arkansas

3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Great balance of malt and caramel-toffee. No bitterness whatsoever. The finish is a bit like sweet pecans, very unusual but pleasant. As it warms a little I get a little hints of coffee. Not sure if the sweetness is taste or aroma but will do more research.

Jan 01, 2019
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rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Crystal clear, dark amber color. Quickly fading, off-white head with minimal retention.

S---Malty as hell. Caramel, toffee & dark fruit. There's also something that is very prominent that I can't identify. I like it a lot, but I just can't figure out what it is (maybe fig??).

T---Rich & malty. I'm not usually a fan of malt bombs, but this one is great. Nutty, caramel/toffee. Dark fruit. This is full of goodness.

F---Heavy, but not as heavy as I'd expect from the nose & taste. Goes down pretty easy.

O---For all of the goodness in this one, I'd have guessed a whole lot higher ABV. Genuinely good stuff.

Nov 28, 2018
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beersampler6 from Michigan

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Quite a decent Scottish ale - nice deep rich brown color with a little mild head and scant lingering lacing. Smells mainly of malt and some roastiness. Tastes similarly, along with some caramel, biscuit and vanilla. The mild metallic hard water mineral taste faded quickly as the beer warmed slightly. Smooth mild mouthfeel, just the tiniest bit creamy. Good carbonation.

Nov 07, 2018
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eberesford from Canada

3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

In fairness this bottle had traveled a long way! Part of the Christmas taster pack. Pours a beautiful deep amber / ruddy brown. The head was thin and pretty quicly collapsed to a thin film. Lacing is modest. Aroma: slight metalic tang at first. As it warmed up indistinct malt sweetness. Flavour: very little hop presence- just balance to the makts which present as toffee, pecans, some toast. Body wuite heavy as expected.

Nov 05, 2018
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Ceddd99 from Michigan

2.5/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Ver disappointing. I picked this up the moment I saw it on the shelf having never tried a Scottish ale before and being a huge fan of English ales. Now I'm not sure if Just don't like the style or if I am just not a fan of this beer. At 3.75$ for a 14.9 oz can, it's a bad bargain.

The taste is roasty and malty and the mouthfeel thin. There is an unpleasant coffee-esque flavor to it and it's just boring and unimpressive tasting to me. I prefer American brown ales over this. I actually felt kinda nauseas after drinking this beer and it left a bad taste in my mouth. Not something I would recommend or buy again.

Oct 11, 2018
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gandres from Philippines

3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Monday, October 01, 2018 10:00 PM
500 mL bottle from the poured to tulip glass
Sight: Brown/ver dark amber, appears clear, medium light tan foam that dissipates slowly
Smell: fragrant, malty
Taste: Medium bitterness
Feel: low/medium carbonation, sticky, bitter aftertaste
Overall: Very good beer for the style, ok to repeat and look for

Oct 02, 2018
Photo of Gajo74
Gajo74 from New York

4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a nitro can, a huge layer of creamy foam rises to the top followed by a secondary layer that settles in. Great retention, creamy thick film and lacing, clear copper and amber color; good looking brew.
Rich toffee and caramel malt aroma hints at sweetness to come. Nutty, toasty and biscuity, with hints of vanilla and fruity malts.
The taste truly mirrors the aroma in its malt richness. Caramel/toffee up front with a nutty middle palate that is bright, fruity and has a minimal touch of hops bitterness. The finish is smooth, caramel like and with a Tony hint of smoke.
Medium bodied, smooth and ultra creamy. The low carbonation further enhances the softness of the mouthfeel.
Enjoyable beer representing a style I wish I had more frequent opportunities to sample.

Sep 10, 2018
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MoreBeer4me from New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very nice and pleasing tasting Scottish ale. Not too sweet nor too strong. Goes down easy, very smooth, creamy and somewhat nutty in taste. I would buy this every so often years ago but stopped and recently found 14.9 ounce cans the other day. I think its better than years ago and I'll be picking up a few more 4 packs.

Aug 24, 2018
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bobv from Vermont

4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 14.9 oz. "Draft Flow System" can.
Followed directions on can:
"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."
Well, I had the can in the fridge overnight.
Pour yields a huge head (3/4 of glass!) so I waited a few minutes for the widget's magic to do its thing resulting in a one inch eggshell white head over a clear brown body with some sticky lacing. Nose of malt, nuts, some hops, and a bit of spice. Taste mirrors nose perfectly with the nuttiness and maltiness in the forefront finishing with a bit of hop bitterness and slight spice. Nice feel which thins out a tad over time, but still better than good. Overall, a highly enjoyable experience and the best Scottish Ale I've had. Cheers!

Jul 29, 2018
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Funyard from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This is a staple beer. Poured in a snifter, immediately showing great frothy head and visible yeast sediment within it. A warm brown color. One of the first beers I tried as I initially stepped out of the mass marketed phony beers. Upon revisiting this beer, I found myself going back for more.

Smell: skunk (I love that) and toasty malt

Flavor: Nutty like a pecan and balanced with hops. There is a flavor drop off, but it keeps you sipping for more.

I really love this beer. I have had some American Imperial Brown Ales and they are so complex and delicious, but I have to say the simplicity of Belhaven Scottish Ale is more alluring. I recommend buying this one in the large bottle, pouring in a snifter and relishing the classic flavor it brings. I could probably drink a whole six pack, but slowly enjoying this beer is quite enjoyable.

Jun 30, 2018
Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 2254 ratings