Belhaven Scottish Ale | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

very good
892 Reviews
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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Reviews: 892 | Ratings: 2,036
Photo of DrMullet
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber. The smell is toasted malt and slightly sweet.
This scottish ale is well balanced blend of malt, nut, earthy sweetness .
It is a very good example of the style.

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Photo of E-McFarden
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Amber brown in color with a coarse egg white head. Caramel, raisins, molasses, and some nutty scents come through. Deep prune and raisin flavors backed by a nutty and very slight metallic finish. This brew has medium to low carbonation and finishes wet and buttery on the palate. Overall a good brew with many complexities to offer.

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Photo of bwood06
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - creamy, nitro, white head. clear reddish amber in color. no visible carbonation. 4.25/5

S - caramel malt. no real hop aroma. 3.25/5

T - caramel malt, just like nose. cereal. grass. 3.5/5

M - very smooth and creamy. very filling. 4/5

O - great beer with food. very heavy. 3.75/5

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Photo of DragonXero
4.59/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely drinkable in a bottle. I picked up a 500ml at a local liquor store that stocks the good stuff, and for $4, this is easily worth the entry fee.

The comparisons to Newcastle Brown Ale are impossible to ignore. I was expecting something incredibly hoppy with almost no flavor otherwise, but I was very pleasantly surprised when I popped the top and smelled it, thinking "wait, this smells like Newcastle".

I'm only recommending the bottle as I've not tried the can variety, and with all the reports of nitrogenated, I'm not sure I want to. This has a *very* subtle hop taste to it, but overall it's a mildly sweet, somewhat-bubbly beer. It's actually really good for a hot day (105F here right now), and it's extremely refreshing. More-so than a light lager, in fact. It has a rich, fairly complex flavor, with some nutty notes, a carmelized malt flavor right up front, and as with Newcastle, has an almost tea-like taste to it overall.

For the price, I'd still go with the Newcastle, but this is a great brew.

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.72/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

There's just something about Nitro pours that make me giddy like a schoolboy.

Once the head settles, the pour is a deep, clear copper color with a beautiful creamy head that refuses to leave. The lacing is a thing of beauty.

The smell is fruity and nutty with some faint notes of caramel. Not overpowering and very pleasant.

The taste is sweet, malty caramel with some faint tartness on the back end. As the beer warms I definitely get a more nutty, almost almond-like flavor.

As with all nitro cans and bottles, the mouthfeel is completely flat and relatively light. By no means unpleasant as it was expected.

Overall I love this beer. This is the first Scottish Ale I've had and I'm definitely interested in trying more. I paid less than $6 for a 4 pack so you really can't beat the price either.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 440 mL nitro can into a pint glass, lovely amber brown with a creamy Guiness-like head that dissipates leaving a lasting thick layer, clear

S: heavy malt, very bready, a little caramel, slight wood

T: slightly sweet up front with huge malt flavors, toast, nutty, finish has a nice balance of spicy English style hops

M: very creamy, coats the mouth nicely

O: a very nice version of this relatively under-represented style

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Photo of Decker
2.83/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.75

Perhaps it was out of date, but it was very bland. I have never had a beer with a texture like this one though, thick and creamy like Shaq. Overall, this was an extremely disappointing Scottish ale considering its high price amongst other things.

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Photo of GerryPendry
4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle. Nice deep amber color, not much head. Aroma of cherries and candy sugar. Flavor is sweet malt, with a tiny bit of hop bitterness and a fair amount of butterscotch. Complex character, maybe just a little thin, but there's a lot going on here.

 273 characters

Photo of RABaxter
4.88/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Brilliant color. One of my favorites since getting into beer. Smooth, flavorful, complex, and just beautiful to look at in a glass. Makes me proud to be Scottish!

 165 characters

Photo of 88caprice
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

A clear and bright medium copper brew. Poured with little head that dissipated quickly. Nearly bubbleless. A pleasant caramel aroma. Taste is mildly sweet and reminiscent of caramel with the slightest tang, then it finishes with a solid biscuit-like maltiness that is almost woody. Mouthfeel is a bit sparkly, medium body. My mouth is wanting to say it's thin, but it can't decide.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.34/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What a treat. Deep amber pour with thin off-white head. Smells of toast, fresh baked bread, and caramelizing sugar. Nose translates directly to tastes. Some nutty flavor joins the caramel, but finishes so cleanly with barely a residual sweetness lingering.

 256 characters

Photo of breakingbland
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle: a deep transparent honey gold with red highlights. There was no head but instead a foam ring. The aroma was of oatmeal, bread, and sweet candy. The taste was roasty sweet -- all in all, a fairly simple profile. The body was thin to medium thin, but the carbonation had a good bite. Overall, this is a good beer, but I found the thin body to be a bit of a negative (although it may very well be within the style guidelines).

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Photo of neenerzig
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Having a 20 oz of this beer on nitro draft at a bar called The Pub inside of Cleveland Hopkins Airport as I have plenty of time to kill before my flight. Served to me in an imperial pint glass. This beer draws a clear dark amber color with a nice frothy, creamy, slightly tan head about an inch thick when first serves to me. Settles to a good solid 1/3 inch and has excellent lacing. Aromas of roasted malty caramel sweetness with a hint of butterscotch. The taste pretty much follows suit, a. I've smoked, roasted caramel malt sweetness and hints of butterscotch that are rounded out with hints of citrus hops. Has a slightly crisp, and mainly smooth and frothy medium to full bodied mouthfeel with light carbonation. Easy to drink in a good way. A pretty solid beer here.


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Photo of smakawhat
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Crystal clear and brown to copper shimmering body. A bit large on some cola sized carbonation but sparse, and some small pinhead carbonation manages to peek up in the mix. Head is barely a finger, and virtually no retention and very soapy. Faint if to be seen, but goes to a thin 2 millimeter collar and rests there easily.

Fantastic bouquet. Wonderful aromas of maple sugar, crackling brown toast and fresh honey baked bread. Slight hints of butter, maybe just a faint diacetyl hint? But hardly noticeable. Super inviting hints of richness, large toast aromas, and controlled sweetness.

Palate goes for a much simpler note. Light bodied honey malts and a touch of caramel. Almost crisp finish with waffer toffee notes of caramel and some pleasant nutty quality. Light bodied but plenty of malt richness to carry the palate throughout and let the flavors hold. Much of the hinting dry biscuit is even touched by thicker toffee angles but manages a real light nice crispness too.

Overall just a great easy drinking Scottish ale. Beer tastes much bigger than it seems.

 1,129 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Nitro can from Bert's
Deep auburn color with a proper off white nitro head. A bit heavy on the butterscotch flavor and aroma. Dry pitted fruits a hint of mineral water. Decent enough ale, but not my style.

 205 characters

Photo of duncanranger
5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite ale of all time. Very smooth and nutty with a hint of banana bread and just the right amount of carbonation and alcohol. Good with a cheeseburger and good for refreshment any time of the year warm or cold!

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Photo of fx20736
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Medium dark amber with offwhite head, decent lacing. Very rich, fruity caramel aroma with touch of hops. Taste is similar with butterscotch/ caramel with just a touch of bitterness. Mouthfeel is a little thin.Overall this is a great ale.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: [4.00] Really nice reddish-brown color. Looks really inviting in the glass. It forms only a tiny head that is gone right away. Still the beer looks good. The bottle lists the ABV (5.2%). I cannot find any dating on the bottle.

S: [3.25] I get a woody smell, with apples and caramel.

T: [3.75] There is a brown sugar flavor that is really nice in the front. The finish has a nut and malt flavor.

M: [3.50] The body is nice but the carbonation is a bit too tingly for my liking.

O: [3.75] Somehow this one is better than the sum of its parts. I feel like it is just average on each rating but the overall seems to be above average. I don't think I'd seek it out but I enjoyed this beer and would drink it again if it was in front of me.

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Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a bottle in a sniffer L:reddish orange tiny head that dissipates to a thin ring no lacing
S: banana bread carmel cashews
T: carmel nutty goodness F: light crips carbonated O: this is good will buy again

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

Beautiful amber/orange color. Excellent clarity. Complex, sweet bready, toasty aromas and flavors with subtle fruity esters and caramel notes. Balanced nicely with a incredibly dry finish. Very easy drinking.

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Photo of RobbieAshmore
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

A – Deep amber to copper and very high clarity. Slight head.

S – Homemade biscuits, with some caramel.. Low hop aroma, earthy.

T – Malty-grainy-sweet, rich light caramel and a touch of toffee. Hops are low.

M – Full-bodied, with little impression of dryness. Not overly sweet, and almost no bitterness.

O – Very easy to drink, definitely a good example of the style. Malty-sweet, a well-made beer. I really like this beer.

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Photo of rjplumer
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nutty caramel aroma. Crisp clear brown body with a mild head to start but fades fairly quick. Caramel and nut noticeable in flavor too. Mild bitterness. Has a smooth texture and has a fairly clean finish.

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Photo of Rachael_K_Monday
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Good smooth taste, I was a little let down on feel, but due to where I got it from. If you like Yuengling with a Scottish ale twist, I definitely recommend.

 156 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.64/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 01/29/15 notes. Picked up a 6er of this in Florida for ~$10. 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep reddish brown color with moderate carbonation evident and one inch of off white head. Nuts, caramel malts, roasted malts, bready malts, lightly sour in taste to me for some reason. Medium body and low to moderate carbonation.

Overall i thought this was ok, though there was something about the taste that seemed a little different/off. Not bad/infected, just a bit weird. Probably wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper with a rather short, off -white head of foam.
Aroma-Faint toasted malt
Taste-Biscuit, toasted malt, spicy herbal hop note. This brew kind of grew on me with each sip. A nice session beer.

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Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
3.79 out of 5 based on 2,036 ratings.
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