Belhaven Scottish Ale | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

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Belhaven Scottish AleBelhaven Scottish Ale
Very Good
2,155 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: 2,155 |  Reviews: 924
Photo of withliterature
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer and am only now getting around to reviewing it.

Pours a thick, deep brown with a reddish tint and very high carbonation that cascades in the glass, presumably due to the can's widget; the head rises out of the can as soon as you crack it. A thick creamy beige head that barely reduces as you drink. Milky and delicious and gives you a moustache.

The flavour is fairly mild: a little bitter but with warm buttery hints and the almost milkshake consistency of a thick stout. Not overpowering but also not bland. I've had it with food and it works. Definitely bready and dense.

The mouthfeel is probably my favorite thing about Belhaven Scottish. I know I'm overusing "thick" here, but it's a thick beer and it coats your tongue in a good way.

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

Poured this guy into a pint glass. The body is a transparent mahogany brown with a finger of thick snow cap white head that doesn't reduce at all. Looks real sharp if I may say so. Slightly sour in the nose with rum and butterscotch aroma. The blend kind of reminds me of cough syrup, but the really sweet kind you give to kids. Cherries and bready malts round out the aroma. The taste is overall pretty bland. Similar to the aroma but pretty toned down. Rum soaked cherries and bready malts take the stage on the pallet. Not bad, but I wish it was a bit more. The mouthfeel is what you would expect from a nitro can. Creamy, low carbonation and kind of light bodied. Solid brew here, I'd be interested to try it from another serving type.

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Photo of Sachsenfreude
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

appearance; clear and tawny colored, white head that reduces quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass. Some lacing and a little chunky. A rough pour will produce a much more quality head and leave better lacing.

smell; sharp sourness at first that then turns to bready malts.

taste; upfront sour and yeasty but smoothing out to a nutty and somewhat malty finish. At the same time a woody slight smokey character stays in the backround. Very slight bitter hop bite follows but then a mild nuttyness takes control again and stays in the aftertaste. A bit tart from start to finish as well. Pretty good brew!

mouthfeel; very loose and watery with tight carbonation at the beginning. Goes down smooth with a semi-crisp. A light bodied ale for sure, perhaps too light, Considering the flavor of this beer a thicker body might better suit it and help bring the complexities out better.

drinkability; could not be better here, delicious and smooth, what is there to stop one from grabbing another...cost perhaps, but really the perfect session beer.

Note; Maybe it's just me but I love how the clear bottle and off white label work with the color of this beer. It remains me of scotch whiskey, credit to the brewer for that!

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Photo of emmasdad
2.13/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Tried some of this one last night at Fresh Craft, and was thoroughly unimpressed. Poured a clear copper color, with a decent white head on top. Aromas of toffee, nuts and sweet malt. On the palate, this one was thin and watery, and really lacking in any distinctive flavor. The ABV listed on the menu was 3.9%, so I am left wondering if the draft version is watered down for the Guinness crowd. Not good.

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

Belhaven Scottish Ale has an amber colour with a decent head and lacing. The smell is sweet and malty with some hints of honey. The taste is similarly malty and I tasted the same hints of honey. It has a nice toasty finish too. This beer is well carbonated and foamy, so it feels quite thick in your mouth.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
2.8/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle poured into a Stella challis

A - Creamy, foamy 2-finger head. Cloudy, dark-apricot orange. Rings of foam stay on the glass as the glass is drunk.

S - Subtle lightly-toasted malt with just a touch of caramel that I really had to search for. Some butterscotch as it warms in the glass.

T - Toasted, almost smoked malt and a nutty-butter sweetness on the tongue with just enough hops on the finish to clean the palate. Reminds me of a light-roast Guinness.

M - Creamy and smooth with full-carbonation. Thin, watery structure lacks body.

D - Decent ale, but missing good, pronounced caramels to balance the toasted malts. I look for Scotch ales that are better defined - this one's too subtle and light. Easy to drink more than one if this is a style/taste you like.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this in a bottle. Not a big fan of the cans with a wigget inside.
A rich amber brew with rubby high lights a desent size head with good carbonation.
Smells of butterscotch malt, low hop bouquet thats earthy smelling.
Sweeter tasting malts with a very sutle hint of grains and biscuit maybe even a tad nutty.
Has a dry finish.
Soft tasting and smooth some cloying that coats the tongue a liitle.
Very drinkable, good for a long session.
Fantastic fall colored beer with a good foam head through out the session with lacing all the to the bottom.
Worthy of a case.
Drink well my friends.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i definitely prefer the bottled version over the nitro can.

A- pours a clear rusty brown with orange highlights. excellent looking head is rocky and pitted like craters on the moon and leaves an insane amount of bubble shaped lace as the foam settles. sippin' rings are a given. head retention is decent and although it settles kinda fast, it holds firm at a thick disk once it recedes.

S- light peat smoke aromas hit the nose first, earthy and husky, woodsy, grainy, with the slightest touch of red fruit. then there's some toffee and peanut butter.

T- woodsy, earthy and nutty, soil, stone, mineral water, peanut butter, nice grainy and earthy hop bitterness is the perfect balance to mild caramel and toffee sweetness with some diacetyl. finishes moderately dry, kinda sweet but not cloying, with a hint of melon, and a tartan tam o'shanter.

MF- nice medium carbonation, medium body, grainy husky feel, dry and crisp.

D- flavorful and not too potent, for me it's the earthy hop bitternes that makes this one thirst queching and entirely drinkable. it's an understated bitterness and it's totally mild but does alot to tame the caramelized malt flavors. as stated above, i enjoy this version much more than the nitro can i had, mainly because the flavors and aroma are much more pronounced.

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Photo of fallopia
2.91/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

The beer has a light brown color, but has a deep appearance that makes it difficult to see through without being cloudy. The head is over an inch thick and has a creamy, inviting appearance.

The hops and fruit aromas predominate the nose.

Unfortunately, the taste is fairly plain. Not nearly as much flavor as I would expect from the aromas.

A clean, crisp mouthfeel that seems lighter than expected for an ale. There is very little afterfinish.

Overall a pleasing beer, but is different from type for your typical ale.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Glass - Snifter

A - Amber/coppery color with a 1-finger head that died down rather fast. Almost no C02 bubbles can be seen and it left some nice splotches all over my glass.

S - Buttery notes with hints of toffee and nuts. A bit bready with a muted herbal hop aroma. Very balanced aroma overall with pronounced butter notes. At some points it smells a little acidic.

T - Herbal hop flavors are definitely present along with soft bread, toffee, nuts and lots of smooth tasting buttery notes. I get toasted malts towards the end and it finishes with an acidic bite and muted bitterness that lingers just a bit.

M - Lite bodied with lite-medium crispness. Almost a little syrupy.

D - I think this is a nice beer to sit back and have a few or more with some pub grub. It's such an easy drinking brew one can easily get carried away on a six pack of it. Not bad and worth a try if your into the style. Cheers!

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Photo of JosiahS
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

glass: Snifter

Great dark amber color, head is pretty thin, only a ring is left. The body is close to transparent but not totally filtered. Splashy lacing ..though the head is thin, swirling easily revives it momentarily.

Big doughy/caramel malt aroma that dominates. There's a touch of grape and apple juice, maybe a hint of chocolate. Only a light citrus hop presence when swirled.

The above almost translates completely into the taste. It's just a little dry in the mouth. Very easy drinking with a light-medium mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Full of malt, mostly on the pale/caramel side with just a hint of chocolate. Lots of grape and apple, no date or fig though.

Great beer, tasty and very session-able. I would not mind trying this on tap over some pub grub.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16 oz can pours a clear copper color with a nitro-rich, creamy white head. Retention is expectedly good and lacing is ring-worthy.

Nose is fruity and earthy with some burnt sugar and plums.

Taste is incredibly fruity as well, everything from green apples to rum soaked raisins to mangoes. Yeasty bread dough and a touch of darkly sweet caramelized malts. It's ok, but a little too fruity for me and I am not a big fan of what the nitrogen does for it, seems to emphasize the fruit and take the rich malts to the back.

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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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Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 2,155 ratings