Belhaven Scottish Ale | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

BA SCORE
85
very good
2,084 Ratings
Belhaven Scottish AleBelhaven Scottish Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,084
Reviews:
905
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
13.46%
 
 
Wants:
80
Gots:
356
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,084 |  Reviews: 905
Photo of StaveHooks
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear ruby copper with a 1/2 inch white head that settles down forming a nicely formed collar.

S - Rich toffee and caramel malt, apricots, musty grain, skunky at first but dies out as it sits.

T - Starts of with sweet toasted toffee malt. Berry fruit and apricots come around and add to the rich malt. Grassy and floral hops come in and add balance to the sweetness. Finishes crisp and clean. Aftertaste is toffee malty goodness.

M - Heavy side of medium body. Rich and creamy, great carbonation.

Well I didn't expect much out of this clear bottled brew, but I quickly changed my mind after the pour. This has excellent sweet malt flavor and combination of the carbonation and hops add perfect balance. Delicious Scottish Ale!

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Photo of gh02t
4.46/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle into a pilsner glass. Also had it on tap, it is definitely not as good that way. Bottle is the way to go for this one.

A- A gorgeous ruby red, nice head that persists and leaves a lovely lacing on the glass.

S- Slightly grassy, hint of yeastiness. Smell is weakest feature.

T- Wow, smooth and complex. Don't serve too cold as the aromatics can be suppressed. Has a rich malty flavor with a hint of peat. Hints of caramel and fresh grass at the end.

M- Fizzy and hearty. Leaves behind a pleasant clean sensation.

D- This beer is best when it is lightly chilled, allowing all the flavors to come out. It's pretty hearty, so it fills you up but the flavors go well with heavy foods. I rather like it with beef stew.

This is my favorite. I've had maybe a few beers that were better (but it certainly stands amongst the best), however Belhaven Scottish is my definite top choice.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, was I wrong about this beer before! Had it fairly fresh from a bottle a couple years ago and was NOT impressed (I knew it wasn't a Wee Heavy, so my displeasure wasn't based on a false comparison).

Anyhoo, this might be the very best nitro-tap beer I've had to date - and I got it at an UNO (deep dish)! Go figure.

Looks...dull rosy-copper tone, slightly hazy, while the head poured creamy and dense and went down with the sip. Really can't ask for anything more as far as the copious bands of lace left behind (somehow, with all those trails, a solid cap remained).

The things that stick out most in my mind about this were the boldness of the malt - super flavorful with a fantastic balance/presence of subtle bready and toasty grain, a mild yet concentrated (plum?) fruitiness, and a magnificent leathery(?)/mushroom(?) earthy quality that bound it all together. Faint nuance of hops accented the flavor, flaring up gently in the aftertaste. But, my how tasty and refreshing! Bested the fish and chips I got with it.

Certainly going to go back and try this from the bottle and also from one of them fancy nitro cans. Recommended!

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was quite a nice pint. Poured a 1" head of the finest most silky kind. Hazy brownish color, almost a malted milk. Smell of sweet malt. Taste is mild and easy drinking, a little sweet, with the slightest hints of the start of stout flavors like chocolate and coffee. My drinking companion for the night was also happily pleased. Good product.

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Photo of smwesson500
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber in color

S: Kinda dull, disappointing in short.

T: Very subtle taste and even better finish.

M: Not bitter to where your throat closes up and it's a task to put it down.

D: Excellent in my opinion. The last tastes the same as the first. You could simply be testing this beer or you could be going for a marathon, it simply doesn't matter; you will like this beer.

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Photo of ksmi116
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper in color, with about a 1 finger white head that stays full for about a minute or two.

S - Smells like alcohol, slighty sour smell as well. This smell does not indicate the taste very much.

T - low malt profile, with alcohol burn and a slight bit of bitterness at the finish. Nothing outstanding

M - Surprising alcohol finish for how low it is in ABV. Carbonation was very prevalent.

D - You could drink plenty of this if you like, The problem I would have is that I just am not very impressed by this beer

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Photo of alleykatking
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a amberish coppery color. One finger beige head shows poor retention. Some light spotty lacing with gentle streaks here and there on the glass.

S- First off there is a light metallic undertone throughout the nose. Tons of toffee and caramel like malts in the front of the aroma. Some grainy like presence in the middle of the aroma that tends to have more of a metallic tone to it. Light grassy/earthy hops in the ending kind of balanced out the sweet malts in the front.

T- A nice roasted malt in the front of the beer give way to a quick carmelized malt base that is the base body for the rest of the beer. A light nutty like flavor toward the middle of the beer with a light metallic hint to it brings forth a interesting flavor to the beer. The ending was a little blend of carmelized malts, metallic overtones, and a nice earthy hop hint. The alcohol in this comes out in a light hint toward the end. The metallic flavor really masks a lot of the beer at times.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the style. Carmelized malts, and light nutty flavors left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly alcohol, metal, and carmelized malts. Flavors were balanced quite well for the style. Metallic off flavors ran amuck at times which diminished the mouthfeel half a mark. Medium alcohol drying on the palate.

D- This beer was interesting. ABV was low enough to drink but...the metallic off flavors really limited the beer overall. I would like to try this one again with maybe a fresh bottle. Oh well...

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes at Old Chicago (2001): Clear, copper colour with a quickly diminishing beige frothy head. Sweet toast-malty aroma with butter, caramel and lemon-fruity hops. Sweet-bitter flavour, light bodied, slightly fizzy mouthfeel. Initially toasty malty with notes of butterscotch; moderately dry and fruity finish with a pleasant and quite rounded bitterness.

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Photo of cyrock1
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber with a creamy one inch head.

Smell: Light caramel with mild roast.

Taste: Semi-sweet toffee hints on a lightly roasted background.

Mouthfeel: Creamy giving way to mild carbonation, very light hop profile.

Drinkability: Reminds me of cream soda, so yes i would like another.

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Photo of Kbogac
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a mug. Nitro is great. Wonderful creamy head. Not much smell. Kind of citrusy. Nice malty taste. Medium mouthfeel with light carbonation. Light hoppy finish. Very nice heavy. I love the nitro. Very easy to drink. Definatley a good session beer.

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Photo of dgilks
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper colour with a small off-white head. Poor head retention.

Sweet, toffee aroma with a nice nuttiness.

Silky, smooth malt with mild minerality and a nutty character. Some smoke is in the background.

Medium body with moderately-low carbonation. Good.

A nice, easy to drink malty ale with nice yeast character.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours a gentle amber hue with rose and gold highlights. Dense cap of creamy beige head crowns it. For a nitro-can, it's slightly better than average.

Smell -- Plenty of toffee sweetness, husky grain, and grassy hops; malty for certain, but balanced.There is a tinge of metallic can aroma that is unmistakably from UK 'pub ale' cans.

Taste -- Lots of roasted, well-caramelized malts, gentle nuttiness, biscuity grain. Earthy and grassy hops balance the malt sweetness and lend a quasi-menthol flavor to the finish.

Mouthfeel -- Smooth, full-bodied, nitro'd out. I will say, this is probably the best nitro-can treatment I've had to date.

Drinkability -- Overall, pretty good. Well-balanced and quite drinkable. I wouldn't go far to say that it is near the pinnacle of its style, but if you're in the mood for a nitro-can - y'know, for kicks - there are few, if any, better options than this.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.36/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

My girlfriend and I had Scottish night featuring turnips, haggis and Belhaven. Almost as good as Norway night featuring braggot, lamb and viking helmets.

Cascading nitro head eventually settles into a creamy white pool. Pillowy layer of retention leaves foamy painting down my glass. Nitro cans are like cheating in the appearance department.

Nutty and caramel combines for a sweet pecan pie like aroma. Mild spice. Taste is similarly nutty and caramel apple cider. Mouthfeel is nitro creamy.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 08/05/2010:

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a pint glass.

A: It pours an over-steeped tea red with some fizzy foam around the edges that doesn't even stay there.

S: All malts: caramel and wet bread mostly. Ho hum.

T: Caramel, wet bread, and metallic malts with some skunkiness.

M: It has a medium-light body with some creaminess and a slightly sour aftertaste.

D: This is incredibly boring. At least it beats BMC.

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Photo of Hellabeerguzzler
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite regulars. Drinkability is very, very high. First time I had one of these, a friend gave me one... just one. It was gone is 30 seconds and I wanted another. I've since had this on tap and in bottles but the cans are still my fallback which is reviewed here.

A - deep reddish amber w/ thick creamy head that lingers longer than the beer does - so keep your glass for the next one.
S - Pretty average. Nothing spectacular here. Smells malty with hint of caramel.
T - Tastes like it smells - Malty with hints of caramel, bread.
M - Good. A little sticky maybe but nothing bad.
D - Superb. Goes down really easy. Maybe TOO easy. You'll want seconds.

Nothing comes on strong in this beer except the drinkability - it's sweet, tasty, smooth, and lightly creamy. It's very easy to have 3 or 4 of these down before you realize it. Although a bit pricey, I'll keep drinking this one as long as there is some in the freezer case.

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Photo of jsprain1
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Slightly hazy reddish orange with a milky head. good retention, slight lacing.
S- Malty. It's more earth aroma than the oft-cited smoke.
T- Same as aroma. There is a slight bit of floral and tea like flavor in there. Straight forward, but tasty.
M- Creamy and smooth. Very little carbonation, but I actually appreciated this.
D- Lighter than their Wee Heavy, but an easy drinking beer. Simple and enjoyable.

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Photo of tlong421
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Belhaven produces a great Scottish Ale, period. I have tried this beer on tap probably 6-8 months ago, remembered loving it, so naturally I wanted to try it in a bottle too. It's not quite as good as on tap, but it's still pretty fantastic.

A: a nice amber color

S: definitely not as strong as I thought it would be; maybe a little caramel smell to it, but couldn't quite make it out.

T: very smooth malty flavor

M: again, smooth, very easy on the palate, very easy going down

D: Amazing. Very smooth,e asy beer to drink. I would gladly choose this at any bar or pick it up in any store.

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Photo of Fatbagpiper
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A Scottish staple at all bars this beer is really nothing special. It is in he same field as McEwans, Tennants, Carlsberg and the like. Some people rave about it, and while the mouthfeel of this beer is akin to sex, the taste is nothing special and the overall experience is generally lacking.

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Photo of soju6
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark copper color with a decent head that fades to lasting lacing.

S: Aroma is quite mild with mostly a malt aroma with some caramel and a hint of sweetness mixed in.

T: Has a nice malty flavor, with a trace of hops and sweetness mixed in. Finish is very clean.

F: Medium body, with a velvety smooth and creamy texture. Very well balanced.

D: Excellent drinker. Definitely would like to have this on tap to experience the real character of this beer.

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Photo of nickadams2
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours a dark amber color with a thick creamy off white head. Lacing smothers the glass. As with most nitros this looks amazing.

S_Smell is of light toasted grain,sweet malt.

T_Taste is very malt forward. Toasted grain,very bready, smooth malt,caramel and a nutty finish. Nice full flavor.

M_Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a rather light body. Feels like a thick beer but goes down very easy.

D_Super easy drinking delicious Scottish ale.

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Photo of Phelps
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed during a tasting of Scottish ales, this one was poured from the bottle into a tasting glass.

Shines deep, tawny copper, mostly clear and topped with a half inch head of very light khaki. The foam becomes a broad-bubbled ring, leaving not much lace.

From the smell, I posit that this may be a bit oxidized. Butter, walnut, lightly toasted bread, saltine crackers and apricot. Rather sweet.

In the falvor: apricot mixed with honey, apples, walnut and raisins. It's almost mead-like, though with
nuttiness, caramel, and a light toasted character. Sweet throughout, but a crisp, drying finish.

Moderate tickly carb amidst a smooth body just a bit under medium in fullness. Fizzles up slightly as it moves about. Nice clean finish.

This was a favorite among several people at the tasting, likely due to the crisp flavors and clean finish that added to its drinkability. A very approachable Scottish Ale.

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Photo of Brenden
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of the first craft beers I enjoyed on my own after breaking in with some other gateway stuff. I'll really just be adding to my early review with the obvious differences from the nitro can.

look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

This beer possesses great clarity, brown with a deep red hue. The head is just under one finger high but thick and rich enough to sustain itself and leave some pretty nice lacing behind.
There are some really bread-like malts in the nose, almost "doughy," with a peat-like note as well. There's a nice balance from a soft but sturdy earthy hops presence.
The taste is strongly malty, with smoky, earthy and woody tones and hints of caramel balanced nicely by an herbal, earthy hops flavor. This isn't a huge kick-in-the-face brew, but I really like that it doesn't need to be huge to be flavorful. I also like wee heavy styled scotch ales, but I like that I can turn to something softer, and this is a great one.
The nitro really pulls through in the mouthfeel. This brew is medium-bodied with an extremely creamy smooth flow to it. This is about as smooth as it gets.
Given a low ABV, smoothness, and ease with which it goes down, this is as drinkable as it gets.

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Photo of Sudsy89
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, chilled.

Pours a reddish-brown color, has a high level of carbonation, nice foamy head that leaves lots of lacing on the glass. Looks similar in appearance to an Irish red ale. Aroma I smelled was malty, perhaps biscuit-like. Nice medium-bodied mouthfeel that is a bit creamy, but not very thick either. Malty, sweet taste with a slight hop bitterness, I didn't notice the "smokiness" other reviews have mentioned.

Highly drinkable; I'd like to try this beer on nitro-tap, which would probably be better than the bottled version. This is one of the better import ales I've had, it's worth a try.

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Photo of MuddyMcGinny
4.55/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sixer o' bottles on Snowy Football Sunday w/ easy pour into English nonic pint.

BIG fan o' this brew. Earthy, amber brown with a light, fluffy finger and a half froth. Malt, light toffee at first sip and then some vanilla in the middle. Roasted barley with a very faint hint of hops, smooth like silk going down the hatch.

Very crisp, clean all around. Perfect blend o' malts, some spice and grains. One of my all-time favorites it makes the year round rotation. Always sure to have a few on hand.

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Photo of NODAK
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma, while somewhat faint, is of some earthy notes and a pretty distinct nuttiness.

Pours an amber color with a pretty tight but small head. Not surprising from the nitro-can.

Carbonation is extremely low, to almost flat. Perhaps low even by nitro standards. Flavor in general isn't very strong. What is present on the taste is maltiness and a good bit of nuttiness that I would say is the biggest taste here. It's also a bit tangy on the finish during the swallow. Really not much, if any, hop presence to report. Pretty clean. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin.

Very drinkable, if not that exciting beer. I'd have liked the flavors to come out more, as it seems thin to me. What's there, however, is pretty tasty.

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Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
3.79 out of 5 based on 2,084 ratings.
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