Belhaven Scottish Ale | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

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Belhaven Scottish AleBelhaven Scottish Ale
Very Good
2,127 Ratings
Belhaven Scottish AleBelhaven Scottish Ale

Brewed by:
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by Mitchster on 08-07-2001

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Ratings: 2,127 |  Reviews: 917
Photo of cbutova
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear 12oz bottle.

A- Pours into my pint glass with a brown body. A frothy tan head forms and has pretty good retention. Nice webs of lace around the glass.

S- Aromas of fruit, nutty brown malt and caramel are pretty much all I get. Good strength overall.

T- Once again a nice fruit presence of slightly tart apple, raisin and white grape. Malt feels like a brown ale, toasty, caramel heavy and nutty. Some hops lending a grassy and citrus feel.

MF- Foamy light body with a somewhat watery feel, would like to try the nitro version for sure. Finishes a tad bitter and sweet.

A Scottish ale with a nice fruity presence. Well balanced with a nice array of flavors. Has a slight metallic presence but not bad.

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Photo of HumanParaquat
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On nitro-tap at MacNiven's in Indianapolis.

Deep copper brown with some ruby highlights peeking in when held up to the light. Thick and creamy off-white head from the nitro. Lacing sticks all over like it should.

Aroma is mild...lightly sweet, malty and nutty. Faint metallic notes in the nose.

Tastes of carmel malts up front and finishes with a light hop bitterness. The flavors are fairly reserved, but nicely balanced. Some fruity notes are detectable, along with some hints of iron. You can tell they use well water in the brewing process.

Mouthfeel is great...very luscious. The nitro makes it super creamy and smooth.

Overall, a very nice beer. Great drinkability. I can see having more than a few of these.

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Photo of awmiller
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From Scotland’s oldest brewery (since 1719) that is still in operation today, this is one heck of an enjoyable ale!! This ale sports a deep, dark walnut color and a somewhat thick (slightly heavy) rich malty, nutty flavor. Depending on how you pour it, the head can froth up from 1 finger to 3 fingers and stick with you through the entire drink! The warm fermentation process yields very subtle fruity flavors that are in no way overbearing but rather just a slight aftertaste that coincides with its very smooth and creamy finish. Enjoy some today!!

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Photo of NWer
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nitro-pour from can explodes full of tiny bubbles in the glass gradually frothing to the top with a thick foamy head. Head holds for a very long time in the glass never completely dissipating.
Taste was smooth, malty, creamy, sweet typical of a Scotch Ale but with another taste added - caramel?
Smooth aftertaste, low ABV make this a perfect session beer.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a four finger white head that fades quickly, leaving some lace. Nice crystal clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Grainy malty nose and flavor is smooth malt and light caramel. $3.50 for a 500ml bottle from Market Basket Concord, NH.

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Photo of Buggies
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this from a Giant Eagle. What a nice find!

Aromas of chocolate and roasted grains. A little fruitiness hiding in there. Also some nice earthy aromas from the hops.

The taste follows the nose. The chocolate, roasted grains, slightly fruity/citrus flavors, and a slight bitter bite from the hops and the roasted grains.

This beer was just good. Well balance I thought with nothing really competing against each other. Highly drinkable too... it's a shame I only have one of these.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pretty, clear dark caramel. Nice off white head leaves to disk fairly quick. Medium amount of cling lace.

S - Toasty sweet malt, some graininess and bitterness.

T - Nice example of Scots ale. Rich creamy maltiness reined in by adequate bitterness.

M - Medium body, good carb and great balance.

D - Easy to drink, not tiring and low ABV.

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Photo of Mario61Aler
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a wonderful rich reddish brown into a tulip, that produced a very nice head of about 1 1/2", then took its time fading away but laced well and was sticking to the sides of the glass after the beer waas gone.

The smell was complex but simple at the same time. I could detect the Malts and some Hops but there was something else going on in the aroma that I can't put my finger (nose) on.

Taste was very good, a complex mixture on the malts and hops, very little bitterness, but not sweet, smooth and creamy , with a crisp ending. Need to read some other reviews to see what that "extra" aroma/taste is.

Overall this is a very good beer that drinks well, with a low ABV. Could have several of these and be okay. I will definately return to this one as the summer progresses.

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Photo of robbrandes
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle poured into a tulip.

deep amber/copper color, really nice foamy head, ridiculous lacing on the sides of the glass. smell is good, but lacking a bit of depth.
nice malt mixture, a bit more caramelization and smokiness. great mouthfeel, almost fluffy. eminently drinkable, and will gladly grab again.

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Photo of JayQue
3.29/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Refreshing but very mild tasting. I'm sure the nitro can added to the overall effect.

Pours a clear light copper color with a medium size thick, creamy nitro can head. Head retention is excellent. Lacing is thick clumpy patches on the sides and especially the bottom of the glass.

Smell and taste are very mild. A slight malty presence and a little bitterness at the end..thats it.Pleasant enough

Mouthfeel is pretty good. The nitro can provides for a creamy smooth overall feel.

Overall this is a pretty average thirst quencher. Not bad for a session beer on a warm day.

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Photo of burnheartsMKE
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was fun to pour. I love the pop & hiss of a nitro-can. That dramatic unveiling as the head finds control and a near-draft style poured beer emerges from the depths of the glass.

Big scottish ale malt, carmel nose.

Taste is light, toasty, creamy, with hints of carmel and that
characteristically mineral/metallic British flavor.

I admit, something in that limey water brings me back to my poverty-stricken days in Camden Town. Nights of warm pints in old bars, bowls of olives and stale bread. It’s comforting, but at the same time it urges me forward. Time to forget, or at the very least, reassess.

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Photo of Kooz
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this as my last selection at my local Fairway--Christian, the apparent "guy in charge" recommended it as his favorite.

Poured from a nitro bottle into a Sam Adams glass. After a satisfying "pop," the widget brought forth a heady, cloudy concoction that settled into a nice, nut-brown body with a light tan head. The head left a sticky lacing on the glass, and lasted for the whole beer.

Smelled okay--some nuttiness, but faint.

Tastes good--slightly sour, sweetish aftertaste, and a just a hint of bitterness at first sip. Very well-balanced, with a burnt caramel finish.

Exceptional mouthfeel. Creamy and rich, smooth and light, yet full. Nothing negative at all.

Overall (whatever happened to drinkability?), this is a very drinkable beer--both for parties and dinners...

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Photo of philbe311
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - A beautiful cascading nitro induced pour... Three fingers worth of light airy virgin white froth... A caramel hued amber color... Completely translucent... Minimal carbonation... Thick sheets of white foam clings to every inch of the glass...

S - Overall, quite subdued... A nice blend of faint malt and European hops... Hints of caramel and toffee...

T - Again, nothing to awe inspiring here... Very similar to Belhaven out of a bottle... Toasted malts... Light caramel... A bit of nuttiness....

M - Perfection... Everything a nitro induced beer should be... Smooth... Creamy... Lush... Light to medium bodied... Just the lightest carbonation... Could easily go down in one gulp...

D - This beer was made for a nitro-tap... It adds so much to this otherwise slightly above average brew... Insanely quaffable... I could drink this all night long... The ABV of just above 5% also aids to the drinkability...

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Photo of Knapp85
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a golden color with really nice nitro charged head on it. The lacing is quite good on this beer. The smell is a bit mild, smells fresh and kind of creamy there are some grains on the nose that are pleasant. The taste is light but had a pretty good malt base with a pretty good bitter finish. The mouthfeel was creamy and light. Definitely a nice brew to try.

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Photo of Daktyls
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear amber color with a nice two finger head made up of miniscule bubbles common to beers that come from a nitro can. The foamy head definitely stays put without plans to go anywhere anytime soon.

S: A lot of caramel and toasted malts in the nose. That's pretty much it.

T: Very smooth with a nice creamy malt character followed by the same caramel and toasted malt notes found in the nose.

M: Again, very smooth and creamy on the mouthfeel. Definitely not a heavy beer in any sense of the word, but very enjoyable as an incredibly smooth a creamy beer.

O: Tried this one after repeated recommendations from a friend and I can see what he is raving about after all this time. Certainly not my most favorite beer, but this is definitely on the buy again list.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear and amber/orange in color with a nice smooth, creamy, lasting head, good lacing, and the nitro cascade.

Smelled and tasted heavily of caramel malt, with some woody notes, and a sweet stickyness.

Feel was a bit thinner than I expected, kind of watery really.

Overall I'm not that impressed, but it was drinkable.

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Photo of righthereisay
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a single bottle at Brew Bros in Mt Lebanon, PA.

NOT impressed by the small. It smelled like cheap beer. Nothing very noticable..

HOWEVER, this tasted nice. Not complex, but not a nice flavor. Very nice body and very smooth, I could see a bunch of Scottish guys throwing these down like water. I am pleased.

This is a beer for an entire night, or maybe with dinner. It is not a treat, as it is pretty simple, and not too flavorful.

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Photo of Illtryit
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours perfect copper color. Nitro induced cream colored head. 2 inches of foam. Foams coats my glass throughout the beer.

Not a whole lot of aroma. A little malt is all.

Taste is sweet and cream. Vanilla, roasted barley, a little burnt toast taste too.

Because of the nitro can, the feel is VERY smooth and creamy. Soft carbonation. Hearty.

Overall, this is a very good brew. Great as an after dinner drink.

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Photo of Fenris244
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the flying saucer

Totally caught of guard by the stout like creaminess of the head, clear amber in color after the head made it's way to the top, creamy stuff

Very clean in the nose, to the point that I hardly smell a thing

Clean in flavor too, slight hops and slight malt, I quite like it though, bit of a metallic taste on the finish

Creamy but light in body, winning combination

Overall, I'm a fan, refreshing yet creamy, light in flavor but a great beer for me and summer time in texas

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Photo of damndirtyape
2.62/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear 12oz bottle (no date) poured into a shaker pint glass:

Appearance: Clear dark coppery orange color with an off-white head. Initial 1/2" foam died down to a thin skin across the top and a good ring. Good strands and islands of lacing noted.

Smell: Hmm....I wonder if this bottle had been out too long. Smell is predominantly skunked hops with a very faint hint of malt in the background. No, not good.

Taste: Skunked hops up front and at the end, with a malty middle. I can tell there is some sweetness and scotch ale trying to get out, but it's overwhelmed by the skunk flavor. It's not bad, but damn, it's not a good scotch ale either.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation but still spicy on the tongue. Beer really clings to the teeth. Thickness under the carbonation is slick and smooth though, but the skunked hop flavor smell I think is throwing off the mouthfeel also.

Overall / drinkability: This is now 2 for 2 in the past 3 months that I have been unable to get a good bottle of this beer that I had many years ago and loved. Either this stuff does not keep fresh or the clear glass is ruining it. I suspect it's the clear glass is ruining the beer in the store while it sits on the shelf. If I can find a bottle I know is really really fresh I'll buy it again and review again, but otherwise I think I'm going to skip this one.

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Photo of MinnesotaRIS
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours with med-low body with a white, slightly rocky head that goes down at an average rate. Dark copper brown and brilliantly clear.

S - malt and very low hopping. Cara aroma. Rich, full nose that is kind of lagery. Slight raisiny and sweet.

T - tastes of very slight roasty malt; well balanced across its base. Maybe a slight hop but again it is lagery. Caramel taste. Low bitterness.

M - smooth yet a touch sharp. Very round. Pleasant beer.

I recommend it. Great Scotch ale example.

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Photo of CHickman
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish copper color with a creamy/foamy 1 finger tan head that fades slowly, leaving a nice creamy ring around the top; decent lacing that slides down the glass fast.

Smells of sweet malt, roasted grains, caramel, light floral hops, wet bread, yeast or wheat and other components of bread, soft fruit and an oaky note like it was aged; this was a mellow nose, and not as strong as I thought it would be, which was just fine with me as I thought that it was nice.

Tastes of sweet malt, roasted grains, caramel, light floral hops, wet bread, yeast, wheat, light sour apple, oak barrel or a red wine-like residue, butter, grass, light burnt wood or a smoked grain hint, and herbs that trail off sweet and on the dry side. This was pretty complex, yet simple and tasty at the same time.

Mouthfeel was creamy and smooth, with low carbonation, a buttery and almost velvety feel on the tongue and a light to medium body. If you like malty beers then this is a highly drinkable brew; I enjoyed it and could make it a session beer if I was in the malt for a malt dominant beer with just the right amount of sweetness.

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Photo of Pandawa
4.76/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle Design: One of my absolute favorites. great design on the front and informative on the back.

Pours a deep ruby/amber with not too big of a head, making it one of the easier ones to pour. Contributes to a lack of aroma, one of the only things its missing. Head dies down, great lacing.

Taste: Smootest ale on the market, light enough to drink a few but not taste like flavored water. Tastes like a bottled Scottish pasture, earthy, vibrant, and lively. Sweeter rather than bitter.

An excellent Scottish Ale, and one of my all time favorites (even though I tend to like heavy beers like Russian Imperials and the like). Goes excellent with Junmai (dry) sake.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Buying this beer was really a shot in the dark. I've never even seen it before, let alone heard anything about it. But, hey, got to live a little, right? Here it goes:

A: A deep dark orange body. It's thick, as is the white head that accompanies it. Numerous areas of lacing on the glass.

S: A very medicinal/phenolic nose. It's quite different from any ales I've ever come into contact with. Some herbal aromas, tart fruits, and oak hues make an appearance as well. It's big and strong - not bad at all.

T: I'm not sure about this one. At first, there's strong roasted coffee, pepper, and some relatively weak hops. There's a unique (not necessarily pleasant) earthiness, and a warming spicy yeast that blends with a touch of whiskey and plum. To be honest, it's a bit bland. It's not mellow in a good way, just sort of lifeless.

M: Low carb, with a slight watery texture. Definitely not as heavy as it looks.

O: This was a unique beer, to say the least. There are a lot of ales out there, and I'm always up to trying new things. I regret to say, though, that I won't be having this again. I'll still be keeping my eye out for more Scottish imports in the future - I'm always in the market for redemption.

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Photo of AdamMY
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is quite nice a decent maple syrup color with a nice white head that faded fast but left lots of lacing.

The aroma is certainly unique but it had some sort of odd funk that I was not that fond of. The taste is quite nice hints of cocoa and malt, and cream.

The mouthfeel is a bit weak, but over all it is quite nice.

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Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 2,127 ratings
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