Belhaven Scottish Ale | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

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Belhaven Scottish AleBelhaven Scottish Ale
Very Good
2,143 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: 2,143 |  Reviews: 920
Photo of JeffSpicoli
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this Ale

it has a rose amber color with a nice beige head that was kept till the very end. Its a semi-sweet flavor that is not overpowering. Its very smooth and easy to drink. a most enjoyable Ale.

"Hey Bud Lets Party"

"Jeff Spicoli"

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Photo of NefariousR
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. glass bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a deep mahogany with a thinnish, creamy-white head. The head leaves a lacy webbing down the glass.

S - Lots of sweet malt with some dark fruit aromas, like fig or raisin. Maybe some plum as well.

T - An immediate hit of sweet, fruity flavors rounded out by a malty aftertaste. Virtually no bitterness to be detected.

M - Medium-bodied with a slightly sticky aftertaste. Carbonation is not particularly assertive.

D - A solid ale with full flavor and nice drinkability. The beer itself is not too heavy, but the fairly strong malt character may not appeal to some.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - the pour is a clear mohagany color. 3 fingers worth of head most of it disipates but half a pinkys worth hangs for the diration, quite thick too. minial lacing.

S - very malty. a little toasty, some breadiness, but very smokey, more like ashey actually. i could see how this would offend some but to me its acutally really nice.

T - the taste doesnt seem as intense as the aroma, mostly because it doesn't have the same smokeyness to it. but it is malt forward without being cloying. the flavor seems more spicy then smokey. nice but i was looking for a little more intensity there. dry finish.

M - very smooth. not much cabonation, but enough to keep it together.

D - nice beer. low in alcohol make it very easy to consume, the aroma and mouthfeel are some really strong positives for this one. good choice on a cool fall evening such as this one.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.38/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On tap at Pizza Paradiso - Georgetown.

Pours a moderately light toffee color with an off white head. Tiny bits of lacing. Nose brings forward toffee and caramel with a bit of butterscotch. Taste is overwhelmed by butterscotch and toffee without any particular amount of sweetness. I am not actually sure whether this was any amount of diacetyl, as it was not off putting in that particular manner and did not have the off buttered popcorn-type flavor. It might just be that this particular version of the style really does not suit me. Feel is light with fairly low carbonation. I just couldn't get past the taste on this.

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Photo of Plokhooy
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very smooth and drinkable beer. There is great lacing on the glass and a nice, foamy head that lasts until the last sip. The nitro helps the beer remain smooth until the end even as it wars up a bit. This beer can also be enjoyed as a session beer with its somewhat low ABV and great mouthfeel.

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Photo of Rasolante1
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a brilliant clear amber color with an amazing creamy off white head. The head stuck to the sides of the glass when stirrer, reminiscent of a milk shake. Great!

S: Sweet caramel aroma, malty and bread like. Very mild with an interesting complexity.

T: Great caramel taste balanced well with the bitterness. There were toasty malt notes at the front, with a light caramel taste in the middle. Malt flavor and bitterness seemed less balanced in the finish. There was a lingering hop bitterness that persisted after each swallow. Alcohol was evident in the taste but not at all overwhelming.

M: The mouthfeel was extremely creamy and smooth. Liquid velvet!

D: This was an extremely easy drinking beer. However, the lingering hop bitterness made me want to switch things up after a couple pints...then go back for more!

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.8/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a tan-auburn color with a decent off-white one-finger head. Little to no lacing. Mild carbonation, looks very enticing. Head dissipates to a thin but strong layer of foam on top of the brew.

Smell: Mild floral hoppiness. A substantial whiff of caramel maltiness as well. Nothing nasty, nothing overwhelming. Really good.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Gentle sweetness with a near-perfect caramel chewiness. Very light and bright hop flavoring, and maybe a touch of lavender or something? Really, really good.

Drinkability: I could easily make this a session beer. Goes down smoothly, tastes great, would go with just about anything.

I have to admit I had low expectations for this brew. However, I may have found a new favorite style! GO SCOTTISH ALES!

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Photo of Stunner97
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- reddish amber color that is very nice, with thick white foamy head, very little amount of carbonation and small bubbles slowly stream the glass

Smell- grains, slight hop and malt, faint caramel,

Taste- malts are there up front with light grainy slightly hoppy finish, just kind of a bland flavor profile, nothing really dominates neither malt or hop as being anything great, flavors inoffensive but just bland,

Mouthfeel- light smooth and easy to down but very uncomplex even in feel,

Drinkability- its easy to drink but not in a good way seems almost overly simply, tastes almost very macro american simple to me with not all that much flavor and not very much complexity, its not bad in anyone one way and certianly easy drinking but just not something you would ever be searching out for, just to bland,

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Photo of velosuds
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness dating readily apparent. Purchased at Cost Plus World Market for $3.99.

A-Pours a clear copper-amber hue with a two finger cream colored head with good retention and modest lacing. Very effervescent.

S-Subdued floral hops and some faint fruity malts like dried dates and currants. Expected more.

T-Lightly toasted malt that is like bread pudding and some nuttiness. Taste is not robust enough either, although it improved as it warmed.

M-Very smooth but a tad light.

D-This was decent, but not something I will seek again, since there are so many other styles and beers I like better.

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Photo of tronester
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear copper in appearance with a super creamy tan head. Smell is of toffee. Taste is buttery sweet up front, with a toasty grain middle, and a dry earthy bitter finish. Mouthfeel is weak, terrible nitro instead of carbonation. Drinkability is decent, the nitro really doesn't do this beer justice. I think it would be a lot better with co2.

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Photo of JimbobAlonymous
4.97/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

wow. Best Ale I've ever had. I think I'm pretty much there in terms of...I don't see another ale beating this one for me.

Dark(yet somehow bright) amber color with a healthy head.

Smells like heaven.

Tastes like the ultimate beer. Perfect blend of malt and hops that keep it light, yet allow tons of flavor. By no means a dark beer, but it would be wrong to call it a "light beer."

crispy yet smooth going down...This beer could get me in trouble...I could drink it with every meal...and replace water with it in my diet...but I'm pretty sure that would end badly. must learn to limit the fantastical goodness.

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Photo of Sleestak
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Next up on my exloration of the British Isles is Belhaven Scottish Ale. Paid $9.99 for a four pack of nitro cans so I'm hoping that I get my monies worth. Beautiful golden amber with a lush creamy head. Nutty caramelish taste with a somewhat smokey finish. Well rounded and balanced. I can't see ponying up $10 on a regular basis for 4 of these but I think I can see myself getting them every now and then.

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Photo of darkmartin
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours to a dark brown, with some deep red hues. Fair sized, off-white head that leaves some minimal lacing.

Smell: Strong caramel malt with some minor citrus hops.

Taste: Very much as expected, begins with sweet caramel which gives way to some earthy malts, minor yeast. Finishes with slight citrus hops. Maybe some butter in the aftertaste?

Mouthfeel: Medium with a bit of a chew. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Truly an impressive beer. The inviting nose carries through to the taste, and does not disappoint.

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Photo of hardy008
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper color with a two finger off white head with decent retention. The aroma has caramel malt, and smells somewhat sweet.

The taste is just like the aroma. Caramel malt, and a somewhat sweet flavor. Neither the smell or the taste is very strong, but both are somewhat pleasant.

Light to medium bodied with high carbonation. I would like this better with a little less carbonation. A decent to good beer, which I would not mind having again some day.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Busker's Irish pub in Newport, RI.

A: Poured a bight, brassy copper color with good clarity and a two-finger thick head of dense, creamy white foam. Left incredible sheets of lace and looked like a pub ale ought to.

S: Some malt zest and a little metallic aroma, it has a little earthy hop resin in the smell, but mostly clean, light roasted malt.

T: A creamy, steady roasted caramel malt complex up front with hints of toffee and tea. The biscuit and grain flavor washes to a slightly floral and fruity bitterness before washing down with a smooth, mild herbal hop finish.

M: Super clean, smooth and creamy with a slight metallic hop sting in the finish.

D: A great session option for the night at the pub. The tame ABV and clean, smooth consistency of malt flavors make it a reliable option. Won;t wow you with flavors, but its as steadfast a UK option as they come.

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Photo of Shrews629
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Clear, golden amber color with a slight off white head and very nice lacing that settled to a very nice ring. Several bubbles coming up from the bottom. Red highlights make an appearance on the edges of the glass.

Smell - Getting a roasted malt at first in the nose. A hint of some sourness coming through that was not unpleasant. A bit of butter or toffee rounding out the overall smell. Very nice.

Taste - A nice roasty, nutty flavor at first with the taste. Again picking up on a bit of the "sour dough" with only the slightest teasing of bitterness at the very end. A bit of the butter flavoring hides underneath to make it a very well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel - Medium and chewy with a very nice snappy, dry finish. Coats the tongue and throat very well.

Drinkability - This is a wonderful beer. This beer reminds me of the fall season. I will definitely give this a second go round. Not too heavy and would go well on those crisp, cool Fall evenings.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 500ml brown pop top, nice label, no date

Appearance: Bright, shiny copper beer, poured into a 20oz etched Harp glass...lots of sparkling CO2, with a huge creamy ivory cap with nice retention and awesome thick lace

Smell: Light toasty notes, balanced by mild earthy hops...simple but nice

Taste: Buttery malt, with caramel notes and just the slightest suggestion of roasted coffee...this ends bittersweet with light notes of toasted bread and a mild hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium bodied

Drinkability: Medium to medium high

Conclusion: Nice Scottish Ale; my only complaint is that it's almost a bit too buttery and a tad sweet.

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Photo of SassyBootblack
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On nitro tap at Argyle's Gastropub in Cherry Creek.

Appearance: An attractive light amber, very clear. Thick, creamy head.

Smell: Soft caramel aroma.

Taste: Big caramel flavors here.

Mouthfeel: Light and creamy.

Drinkability: The caramel flavor, nitro creaminess, and light body make for a very interesting session beer.

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Photo of SeasonalBrew
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy amber color with an inch of white head. Retention is decent and there is a good amount of sticky lacing that sticks around.

S: Nutty and buttery with layers of caramel malts

T: Very sweet upfront, with caramel and butterscotch. A very nutty finish and oaked finish, with a touch of spice.

M: Medium-bodied and surprisingly creamy. Lots of carbonation, as well.

D: Very drinkable and enjoyable. I haven't had many scottish ales, but this one definitely makes me want to try more!

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Photo of vdread
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belhaven Scottish Ale pours dark amber with ample head that sticks around a long time.

smell is strong with buttery caramel malts, with possibly a hint of earthy hops

taste is creamy, rich with robust caramel malt. the butterscotch tones are heavy. earthy, slightly floral hop note ends it.

thick, adequately chewy mouthfeel. slightly creamy as well.

= not especially exciting, but a solid beer nonetheless. something my BMC drinking friends and i can both enjoy.

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Photo of AlexCorleone
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium brown with a pronounced reddish shine when held up to the light. A creamy two finger head leaves a layer of lacing all around the beer into which multiple streams of carbonation bubbles slowly rise from the bottom.

Smell: Caramel malt mixes with a darker nutty flavor in the nose with undertones of peppery hops, smokiness and freshly-baked bread.

Taste: It begins with a bit of caramel malt that soon fills the whole mouth like biting into a thick hunk of bread slathered in honey and butterscotch; later, the malt deepens to a smoked, woody character. The hops have any bitterness at all and instead impart a somewhat peppery taste.

Mouth feel: A cunning combination of creamy and crisp. Smooth beer, with a carnival of different flavors.

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Photo of LacquerHead
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It poured a clear reddish brown. It had a light foamy head that thinned out but clung to the sides of the glass. (temp - 52 into a Sam Adams pint from a 12oz bottle)

The aroma was a flowery hops that was combined with a subtle sweet maltiness.

At first the taste reminded me of grassy, mossy, hops. Then there were hints of pine nuts. The tasted had an aged wood underlining quality - sort of like an oak barrel. There was a roasted malt in background. The flavor seemed to thin out towards the end of the glass. Dry finish.

Prickly carbonation but easy to drink.

Overall this one was okay. It started off really well, but towards the end the beer started to break down a little. A little to mellow for my taste, but otherwise a solid beer. I would not mind having this one again - it was enjoyable.

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Photo of elgiacomo
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Pours amber with a two finger off-white head that leaves nice rings of lacing and maintains a light foamy cap.

Aroma is toasted malt, bread, yeast, a bit musty, caramel, nuts, light spice, with a floral and earthy hop presence. Good strength.

Flavor is fairly sweet caramel malt, bread, toast, fair bit of hop bitterness on the finish, pretty nice.

Mouthfeel is low to medium bodied, some prickly carbonation. Easy drinkin'.

My first Scottish Ale, good stuff, shame it's $12 a sixer, but still worth checking out.

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Photo of aahynick
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

about 50 degree F into a pint glass
A- amber-red with a nice creamy head

S- mildly peaty malt aroma

T- medium peat and caramel tones

M- medium body with slight acidity

D- a fine example of the type, it's really good but I know better ones so I'd buy it in a pinch.

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Photo of jporf911
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no freshness date provided.

Appearance- 4 out of 5. This beer is a clear medium brown with a pronounced reddish tint when held up to the light. A creamy white two finger head leaves a decent layer of lacing all around the beer into which multiple streams of carbonation bubbles slowly rise from the bottom, like the gas bubbles in Scottish peat swamps of days gone by.

Smell- 4 out of 5. Semi-sweet caramel malt mixes with a darker nutty flavor in the nose with undertones of peppery hops, smokiness, and a slight smell of sulfur. It's a lot like freshly-baked beer bread.

Taste- 4 out of 5. This is the kind of beer that makes me want to shout "GET IN MY BELLY!" in a Fat Bastard voice. It begins with a bit of caramel malt that soon fills the whole mouth like biting into a thick hunk of bread slathered in honey and butterscotch (from the diacetyl compounds); later, the malt deepens to a smokey, woody character. The smokiness isn't strong; it's more like looking into the woods at dusk and seeing the smokey traces of a distant fire rising above the darkening trees. The hops hardly have any bitterness at all and instead impart a somewhat peppery taste.

Mouthfeel- 4 out of 5. A cunning combination of creamy and crisp. For all its complex flavors, it's a surprisingly smooth beer.

Drinkability- 4 out of 5. Belhaven Scottish Ale looks good, smells good, tastes good, and feels good enough to drink all night. Not much else needs to be said except "Lang may yer lum reek!" (which is apparently a Scottish phrase wishing prosperity and long life; I think it literally translates to "long may your chimney smoke).

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Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 2,143 ratings