Belhaven Scottish Ale | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

very good
901 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: 901 | Ratings: 2,059
Photo of JetFeather22
5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There are two differant versions of this beer, One is a normal carbonated version that comes only in bottles, And a Nitro version that comes only in cans.. There both 5 star beers but i feel like there should be separate ratings for both, some people are reviewing the nitro version and some the carbonated.. Personal i like the Nitro caned version more, Both very sweet caramel malt forward..

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Photo of mrcharlie
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My favorite thing about this one is the appearance, just beautiful. Very drinkable and I can see this one working it's way into my fridge regularly. Great balance overall, nothing really overpowering anything else.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: crystal clear; amber colored; 1 finger off white head that receded quickly to a thin collar; no lacing;

S: a touch of smoke; earthy; a little malt sweetness;

T: malt sweetness for a moment, then smoky and pumpernickel bread; moderate bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate to high carbonation; dry finish;

O: really enjoyed this;

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Red-brown in color with great clarity. Off-white head settles into a thin crown after a time. Thin and wispy lacing.

S: Caramel and molasses, nutty, hard caramel candy. Light whiffs of stewed plums. Some grassy/earthy hop character.

T: Brown molasses and caramel, nutty, cocoa powder. Some candied sweetness. Stewed plums. Earthy and grassy hops pull up middle to end and play a balancing role. Toasty grainy and molasses finish.

M: Medium-thick body. Ultra creamy and smooth. Gently tingling carbonation.

O: One of the prototypical Scottish ales in my mind. Malt forward, sweet, decadent and smooth body, and easily drinkable. The nitro version is quite good too.

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Photo of Dualscar
4.49/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had from their nitro can. Has a beautiful cascade and rich creamy look and feel about it. Lovely colour especially in a nicely chilled glass. Creamy, a good feel of malt and sweetness all about it and a faint taste of caramel to the body. Really would suggest having it with the widget as without it seems to lose a lot of the great body and mouthfeel. Overall super drinkable, easy to down a few without realizing where they went.

Pair it with some Corn beef and cabbage for a great treat!

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I will admit that this particular bottle that I'm having seems a bit skunky. I can't find any sort of date on it, but it reeks. Fortunately, it's mostly just affecting the aroma, as the flavor seems pretty normal. It has a nice nutiness, and a little bit of malt. It's pretty decent, but not great. I'm most definitely willing to give it another shot some time later, though, as I'm sure it's better than this under more better situations.

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Photo of Wobbly
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Excellent Scottish ale, and a real delight on tap in a real pub. I had it often in Britain but rarely see it on tap in the States. Not quite as special out of the can but still very tasty.

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Photo of sjccmd
4.63/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich nutty aroma. Burnt sugar, Slightly steely mineral character. Toast, biscuits, a tad bit of cinnamon. Slightest hint of raisiny dark fruits, giving the impression of oatmeal raisin cookies. No real hop aroma.

Pours beautiful dark copper amber. Medium sized off white/tan head that recedes quickly but leaves a solid ring around the glass. Not much head retention.

Big rich flavor without being heavy on the palate. Dark caramel, toffee, rich pumpernickel bread. Some dark fruits, somewhat pruney. Big mineral character, steely and earthy. Complex and full flavor.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation. A bit high carbonation for the style. Nice lingering mineral character.

Very rich and pleasant. Lots of flavor without being heavy.

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Photo of Act25
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bargain at my beer bodega at 38 + 2nd Av on way to ferry. $2.5 for pint. best deal!

A: Pours a very murky brown w amber highlights, super muddy, with an abundant foamy head w great retention all the way down as a stout should, but no Guiness. Good lacing.

S: Lovely nose. The best part. The malts are first with an earthy aroma. Hay, peat, charcoal, toasted bread crust in a Scottish candy shop.

T: Very malty with with nice balance of sweet and bitter, then the flavors offer an earthy, smoky flavor.

F: I experienced this as light (as stouts are) and not thick. Prefer more density. The finish offers just the right amount of bitter linger.

D: Complex flavors match the smokey peat of other 'Scottish Ales'. An earthy flavor and texture that certainly makes authentically Scotland. Good; recommended, best buy!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
3.79 out of 5 based on 2,059 ratings.
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