Belhaven Scottish Ale | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

very good
2,104 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,104 |  Reviews: 913
Photo of Premo88
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 3.75

16 oz. nitro can poured into tall mug

L: classic nitro look, the murky tan/brown beer mixing around until it becomes a thick, creamy beige head of foam on top of a crystal clear amber beer ... might be a bit of debris in beer, but it's still very clear; no stick or lace off head

S: buttery peach kolache, donuts ... amazing malt bomb

T: peach, bread malt, pinch of earthy something to balance ... no peat but the earthy flavor has a dirt-hop bite to it

F: nitro flat ... creamy and ale slick and flat, not overly heavy

O: tasty beer and this nitro version compares well to all of the other nitro beers I've tried; I know we're all supposed to be amazed by the attempt at mimicking a cask ale, but without carbonation, my American palate struggles to get it ... the look, aroma and flavor are great, but flat is flat, and I'm still a ways away from appreciating that aspect of the beer; I'd drink a carbonated version of this beer like water

 951 characters

Photo of Curt3
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Keepnitrl
3.37/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had it in a 14.9 can. Upon opening made unusual fizzing sounds. Upon tasting beer was flat

91 characters

Photo of Bf_89
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Trevor_martin
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CaptainHate
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at an airport pub. Incredible cascade in a Belhaven pint glass that eventually settled into a nice body and head. A little lighter and thinner than what I'm used to in the genre, but I could readily admit that this is the real shiznit.

 248 characters

Photo of Tcsox
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Darrin_Smith
4.49/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jrsqc7
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beautiful nitro cascading and decent head after it all settles down. Decent lacing and a pretty clear ruddy amber.

Flavor begins with modest bready malts which transition to fruity which become more overripe as the brew warms. Nitro is nitro smooth.

Good but not great by any means.

 289 characters

Photo of JakeScully
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I purchased this one yesterday in a supermarket around here. Poured the 33cl bottle into a Pelforth tulip. Pours a 2inches head fading quickly. Smell and taste very good. 3.60€ for a sixer is rather cheap and well worth it

 224 characters

Photo of blissfulNemo
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mmmbeer89
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

If it had a richer flavor I would've ranked it a little higher, It does have a good flavor but it's also a little watery so that takes away from the flavor. Still a really good beer though.

 189 characters

Photo of T-34-85
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of KLHBB
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not as much flavor as I had expected or hoped for. Kind of thin and watery. Maybe I have a rogue bottle, I'll try again. Jewel tone brown, smells of toast, taste is fine---just no oomph.

 193 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

14.9 oz can.

Pours deep amber in color with a cascading effect - thanks to the nitro can - that eventually gives way to a brilliantly clean body. Small, creamy off-white head that shows great retention throughout the duration of the beer. Sparse lacing on the glass.

Toasted malt aroma that is somewhat mild and subdued. Caramel, toffee, and cocoa round things out. No sign of hops to speak of. The flavor packs a ton of rich malt flavor and is heavier than the aroma would suggest. It's bready and toasty with the slightest hint of fruit, possibly from the hops, but the focus is completely on the malt.

Medium bodied, it feels a little thin for the amount of malt flavor it has to support. Finishes a little dry with almost zero carbonation and a creamy texture.

 767 characters

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

Photo of Lembeh
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of nitro can to a celebration of fine bubbles that form a thick creamy head. Smells like bready malts, baguette, cereal grains. The taste is rich malts, some tea like qualities, corn flakes, bittering hops in the end. Mouthfeel is luxurious thanks to the nitro. Very enjoyable, could drink a few of these at a bar.

 325 characters

Photo of Xanax37
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My brothers, I'm not going to give you a bull-shite review. This beer is (barely) drinkable, but you better have a damn sweet tooth. It taste so damn sweet it's nauseating to me. I keep trying to like this beer, but if I've a choice...something else gets my dime. I think these gents giving it a high rating also give peters...aka dicks...aka a penis...a high rating.

Fair notice...Guinness Stout and Sam Adams Double-Bock are my baseline standards to judge other beers.

**July 17 Update**
Just gave this ale a second shot, after having several nice stouts. Pretty damn tasty! This ale keeps a head until the end. As a result, editing my score.


 658 characters

Photo of NWHopinator
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jaisell
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of GrumpyGas
4.58/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle pours a dark amber color and floats a cream colored 1/4 in head that quickly dissipates to a slight cap. Minimal lacing behind.
Aroma is toffee, caramel, sweet malt and the flavor matches. The nutty toffee flavor and the perfectly creamy mouthfeel are well matched. Biscuit malt with vanilla, oak, and barely a whiff of alcohol.
Feel leans light, low carbonation, and a wet, but not oily finish.
Overall this is a solid, well-brewed Scottish Ale.

 461 characters

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

Poured into pint out of nitro can. This is an exceptionally balanced British pale ale/bitter with the more unusual nut brown character, which is slight compared to American nut browns. If comparing to bold flavors of American micros, this beer may seem strange. For the British and overall European ideal of balance, this is a great beer.

 338 characters

Photo of cwkash
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.83/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

With an amber color, it has flavors of syrupy toffee and biscuit and slight dried fruits. The mouthfeel and aftertaste is refreshingly light, with a finish that nicely smoky. This is probably due to the refreshing water used to brew the beer. This beer is similar to the Alley Cat from Lost Coast Brewing Company in the US, but balanced without so much hops.

 358 characters

Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
3.79 out of 5 based on 2,104 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.