St. Andrew's Ale | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

very good
227 Reviews
St. Andrew's AleSt. Andrew's Ale

Brewed by:
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mstyne on 08-07-2001

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Reviews: 227 | Ratings: 329
Photo of beerguy101
2.09/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Didn't like this beer that much. Don't know if it was a bad bottle or old bottle or what. Could be it was just a bad beer. Medium brown color, small head. Malty and smoky, not very hoppy. Lighter body. Mild taste and flavor. Mouthfeel is thin. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly malty

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Photo of clvand0
2.3/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this one in a 22oz bottle. Pours a light amber color with a thin head that dies off quickly. The aroma is boring as there is a little hopiness and a little malt, but not much else. The first taste is bitter with a hint of smokiness to it and there are some malts that are evident as well. There were also some caramel hints in there. It tastes too watered down. The finish is fairly dry. This is alright for a Scottish Ale, but it's not strong enough.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.66/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a creamy thick head of excellent retention. Clear copper-gold colour.

Sm: Fresh hoppy scent. Malt.

T: Cream to one-note body (malt) with clean unremarkable finish.

Mf: Very smooth, but complementary to the taste and style.

Dr: Nice, but better Belhaven offerings are available at comparable prices.

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Photo of MisterClean
2.66/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - pours a deep copper color, 2 fingers of head, good retention a little over carbonated.

S - caramel, light notes of diacetyl, and skunkiness. Beer fermented too cold and did not ship well.

T - see smell, but with light to moderate notes of Scottish esters.

M - malt dominated with some light hoppiness. Light to moderate mouthfeel.

D - do not think I could finish a pint myself. Little disappointed that this beer has sullied the good name of belhaven.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
2.73/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Whew, maybe I sliced this label-proclaimed Home of Golf Ale into the woods and got an old bottle, however this was not at my liquor mart last week, BA kids. Is Belhaven St. Andrews Ale supposed to taste like smoked salmon over a hickory spit? Maybe not. Another beer bottle that reminds me of the "should I enter a bad bottle review?" post question. I updated this review upon second tasting.

From a beefy brown 12 oz. Belhaven embossed bottle, this is really nice in the pour, crystal-clear copper hue with good bubbles, and a clingy eggshell white bubbly head that streaks down the sides. St. Andrews has a head-scratching Elmer's Glue and pumpernickel toast aroma. A dry finish follows with a Bar-B-Que smokey, Salmon on a Wheatsworth cracker flavor. The aftertaste is dark caramel and dry, almost like a SugarDaddy candy. Hmmm...what else here? Like a lager and an ale. Decent mouthfeel throughout with carbonation aplenty to the last drops. She is not highly drinkable. Did this skunk on the way over? Not sure. Sorry, but perhaps not a good sample. Last sips: Belhaven is often a solid contender, so what happened? I got out my driver and I should have used a putter on this bogey with the Home of Golf label. Stay tuned for a future review.

*** I re-reviewed this and up'ed my taste to 3.0 from 2.0. The second bottle was more mellow, less harsh. I raised the MF to 4.0. It is a decent brew with unique smokey essence. For paying about $7 for a sixer, ok. Reminds me of a less potent version of Skull Splitter. I noticed that other BA reviews also wondered if they hooked a bum-bottle. Blame the caddy.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
2.79/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sweet butterscotch sugar nose-- like candy. Also reminiscent of a Hershey chocolate bar commingled with notes of yeast.

Frothy sculptured head that clung and climbed the walls of my tasting glass. Some lacing evident.

Clear dark amber color.

This is a strange beer. Maybe the beer was old or the bottle defective. Or, that's how the beer tastes. All through the tasting I was greeted by a strange start to the flavor-- I liken it to a synthetic plastic flavor followed by a bitter hops signature on a malt foundation. Tones of butterscotch and sweet malt remain as the finish phase takes the stage on my taste buds.

Finishes with a bitter hops flavor that ends quickly.

Average mouthfeel-- seems like the beer was subdued by a vale that left little "life" on my palate.


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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.9/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark, coppery hue, thin head. Aroma: slightly metallic, coppery, some soft spices, a trifle sweet and buttery. Reminds me of Irish Red ales. Medium body. Not much fun for me here, as it lacks a lot of what I like: hops, flavor, body, bite, texture, aroma...that stuff.

Actually, I may have gotten an old 6-pack, since this was hidden away on a dusty shelf in a wine shop that does very little to sell their beer. Maybe a fresher bottle would change my opionion.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.91/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a 16.9oz slim neck bottle with engravings of "Belhaven Est. 1719" around the nape of the bottle. Labels explains "one of their finest Scotch ales is named after St Andrew- the nations patron saint, and the town known throughout the world as... (dun dun dun) The Home of Golf."

Burnt rust color in appearance with a minimal head that dissipates rather quickly leaving a tiny bit of lace along the side of the glass.

Smell was a bit watery. Definitely pick up the malts in the aroma. Also a bit of skunk smell is present. It isnt the predominate smell by any means, but it is there. Tiniest bit of caramel. Needs lots more of everything.

Taste is a bit watered down. Earthy and malty. No hops. Pretty average tasting.

An average beer. I was expecting more from the birthplace of golf. But I guess if you master golf, you cant master beers too. Or can you...

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Photo of Shiloh
2.92/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A dak amber ale with a short creamy head. The body is full and the carbonation is light.
The nose is a mixture of molasses, butterscotch and nut.
The taste has a heavy sweetness to it even with a nutty back that stays with you for a long time.
Not a summer backyard beer, not a thirst quencher, not impressed

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Photo of woemad
3.06/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml (hey, the UK is metric these days) bottle, with no freshness date. Purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $3.29.

Poured a copper/amber color with pretty good clarity. 1 1/2 white head that dropped after a couple of minutes, leaving streaks of lace.

Malty smelling, mostly a sweet caramel scent, with a tiny whisp of peatiness that was only detectable when I sniffed almost hard enough to draw the beer up into my nostrils. In other words, pretty one dimensional.

The taste was pretty similar to the smell. It's caramel-sweet, a little too sweet, as there's not really anything balancing it except for a minor dryness at the swallow.

A little too heavy in the mouthfeel. Seems a little flat. WIth a little higher carbonation, perhaps this would be a little lighter.

Not a terrible beer, but not terribly interesting, and too sweet and heavy for more than one bottle. I doubt I'll go back for this.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.09/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Amber colored pour, off white 1/3" head. Aroma was grain and not much else.

Taste was pretty damn mild, easiest drinking scotch ale around (not necessarily a good thing). Just mild and earthy, tobacco, dirt, brown malt.

Not cheap either. Pass again.

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Photo of BeerAngel
3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a tea color with a very small head. The smell is great with notes of roasted caramel sweetness. The taste is a malted roast with an aftertaste of musty socks?!?! Taste almost nothing like the smell has you thinking it will. Kind of like talking to someone on the phone and then meeting them later...they never look like what you thought. This a light-bodied beer, kind of watery. After smelling with high expectations, I was actually disappointed in this one. Sorry to be the wrench in the gears. Cheers!

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Photo of pootz
3.12/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Updating my rating of this now I've tried the bottled version . On tap this is a mellow rounded ESB with a fair body and bready finish. The bottle version is weaker in character and has a few sharp edges to it. I'll buy it on tap but never as a bottled import. Not worth the price. Downgraded 1.3 on the bolled version

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Photo of beergeek279
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color was amber, with some white head. The smell was a light amber malt. The taste was lemony and bitterness that seemed a bit off, and a very slight malt, with a lingering bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel was average. As for drinkability, don't really know that I'd have another.

Well, not a great beer in my opinion. Just didn't seem right, and far too bitter for a Scottish ale, especially one that's not a Wee Heavy. I gave it a try because I like golf (though I'll never have the single-digit handicap to actually play St. Andrews!), but just don't think I'd have this one again.

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Photo of palma
3.16/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber body with a tan head that has good retention and sticks to the sides of the glass nicely. Smell is of dark malts and burn caramel with a strong leafy aroma. Fruit is also detected in the smell along with a pungent smokiness that can not be missed. Taste is of grains, caramel malt, with dark roasted notes throughout. A hearty earthy flavor as well which I do not particularly care for. Sight buttery aftertaste. Light carbonation, smooth, and easy-to-drink with the low ABV, however this brew is noticeably thin mouthfeel wise.

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Photo of longpondbeerman
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was not very impressed with this rather one-dimensional pale ale. It poured nicely enough--though a bit musty--and the white fluffy head was inviting. The aroma was tart and lemony, but clearly lurking in there was the smokiness I have come to anticipate from the Scots. Well, that smoked peat flavor came through in the taste, overwhelming just about everything else but the lemons, and I did not find the combination all that compatible or complementary. The more the ale lingered in my taste buds, the stronger the peat. Also, it was very thin.

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Photo of koolk
3.21/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice look, with a strong-amber colour with a thick white head that persists and laces well. low carbonation.

Crushed biscuits, bread and grains are the dominate aromas with no outstanding hop related aroma.

Initial wet cardboard taste leads to a short palate that completley drops off leaving a very strange, yet intresting, peaty aftertaste. Some bitterness on th palate that balances well, but that smoky/smokestack-peaty taste overrules.

Not a bad drop, intresting none-the-less.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A good ol' copper lookin' beer. Aroma is muted.

Taste, a milder Scottish ale than most. Different aspects come across, like melba bread and faint apple notes. Hop quality is mild. Malt is enough to be noticed.

Mouthfeel, I dunno, kind of bland for my tastes. Drinkable enough if the cost wasn't so high.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light orange and gold highlights make this copper brew seem lighter. Decent head on draught, good longevity on the lacing.

Caramel malts with a seaside, floral fullness form the aroma. Decent strength.

Easygoing flavor on the tap, a little creamier than I remembered. Sugary malts and garden fresh low alpha hops, just as I remembered.

Not bad, lightly flavored but quaffable bitter-style ale.

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Photo of PeatReek
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Nice deep amber body; color veers a little more towards brown than red. Very clear. Head is just slightly off-white, starts thick and rocky and appears to be resolving quickly.

Aroma: very faint. What's there is sweet and fruity, a touch metallic. Maybe a whiff of mandarin orange? At any rate, barely a whisper of anything.

Taste & Mouthfeel: fruity flavors really ruling the day up front. More of that mandarin orange feel, tangerine, a little cherry. Slightly floral as well. The center of the sip is round and sweet, barely any carbonation to balance it all. Not overly heavy body, however; it's substantial but not overwhelming. An interesting taste overall, hard to really articulate all the flavors that are coming through here.

Drinkability: While the first few sips are very complex and keep me interested, the cumulative effect of all the fruit is actually kind of metallic; by the bottom of the glass it's coming off more as Orange Crush than anything. Next!

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Photo of stcules
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep red color, white foam, compact, thick, and with an average duration.
Smell of hps, flowers. Grass and musk.. Quite light and delicate. Waving the beer, some roasted notes rise up, and even coffe, and peated notes. Maybe vanilla?
In the mouth it is creamy and wrapping, more interesting than the smell itself. "Sweet" hop, grass, and spices.
Average body.
In the aftertaste, it is more sharp the toasted, with even liquorice, and hops.
Very interesting.

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Photo of froghop
3.29/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a dark amber with a medium foamy off-white head that goes away quickly, and a little lacing.

smell of roasted malt, toffee, a touch of spice, and earth.

taste is a little watery, peat, caramel, a touch of sour malt, nuts, a little bit of spice, and earth in the back, end is a little on the bitter side.

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Photo of Grundle20
3.29/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is brown in color with a fair amount of sediment in suspension. There's plenty of eggshell white head to the beer that has some decent retention but not much in the way of lacing.

Earthy tones like potting soil almost build up the underbelly of the scent. There's a tart cider like edge to the nose only a little more solvent like. Buried deep within there's a little bit of rye spiciness and a tinge or caramel sweetness.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
For such an interesting scent, the taste is somewhat of a let down. The beer drinks dry with some earthy sweetness. There's an oily green taste towards the finish but I can't tell if it's depleted hop flavor or if it's something else like heather. The finish is clean with just a lingering sweetness.

The beer goes down easy enough but it's just kind of boring for me. I guess it's more of a personal knock against this beer, so if you're in to rich flavors in low ABV beer then you'll probably dig this.

Bottom Line:
I guess I'm just becoming a jaded American, I just couldn't get in to this beer.

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Photo of likethetaste
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I got this in a variety beer pack at World Market. Poured an amber color with a lasting head. I personally did not like the taste and feel of this beer. Maybe I got a bad bottle but the aftertaste was not good at all. I will have to try another bottle sometime to see if I will like it better next time.

I did try this again and I liked it much better. Still not great but not bad either. I wonder if the first bottle I tried was just bad. I liked this.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - this Scottish ale pours a dark orange, coppery hue, with a half inch of tan head that disappears quickly, with moderate carbonation rising swiftly

S - a sweet aroma hits first, a dark sweet, almost caramel aroma, reminiscient of an Old Ale almost, mixed in as a sweet fresh unsweetened iced tea aroma

T - first a sharp acidic hoppy taste, that transforms into a sweet iced tea flavor, this would be great on a warm day on the back porch, with slight citrine flavors as well

M&D - a little too acrid at first, but an overall nice beer, would make a great session beer

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St. Andrew's Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
3.84 out of 5 based on 329 ratings.
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