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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 227 | Ratings: 329
Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

LCBO acquisition. Pours copper body with some white foamy head that sticks to the glass on the way down. Pleasant mild hoppy aroma. The mouthfeel is a little below average, but it is also very easy drinking. A serviceable ESB. Sourish at the sediment of the bottle.

 265 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a golden color. Some floaties in there along with a fluffy white head. The smell of the beer was malty, and grainy, along with some toasted nut aromas. The taste of the beer is a little sweet upfront from the grains in it. The aftertaste has a decent bitterness to it. The mouthfeel of this beer is very drinkable and easy to have a few in a short amount of time. Overall I like this beer, I had it once and would be willing to have it again.

 466 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Even if the beer is brewed by a Scottish brewer.... it sure does taste English to me.

A hazy amber beer emits a rusy color with cloudiness. Creamy head formation creates a standard white blanket on the beer, retains well, and laces even better. Lots of sediment makes for a non-appealing look.

Earthy aromas of grain and malt blend and give a mildly dirty and peaty note that nears mild elements of smoke. Estery apples and pears give almost as much of a scent as the malts.

Flavors of apples are the dominat taste but the malty flavors of grains, dirt, and mild caramel give the impression of caramel apples that you get at the carnival. While the more complex Scottish ale characteristics are muted, the beer screams English Pale Ale.

Medium throughout, the beer's early creaminess gives way to a fleeting, lightened feel that can come across as watery. But with the minty dry finish, the beer is saved from the banal.

Definately a drinkable and enjoyable beer. But as on caught somewhere between the English Pale and Scottish Ale, the beer has characteristics of both but don't settle the score of either.

 1,113 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.51/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice burnt orange hue, with lots of thin foamy white head. The smell is very light caramel malt. The taste is sweet biscuity malt, with a small amount of fruity floral hops. The carbonation is mild, and the finish dry. This certainly is an easy drinker, and a decent session ale.

 297 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper color with a sturdy head that retains well and leaves shards of lace

Smell: Slight traces of toffee and nuts

Taste: Starts out with a toffee mouthful with a hint of diacetyl; after the swallow, there is a slight peaty flavor but, as would be expected, the malt dominates within the earthy context

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; a bit watery

Drinkability: Easy to drink but a bit lacking in the flavor department

 477 characters

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.

 371 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a copper color ale with a large foamy head with great retention and very good lacing. Aroma of medium caramel malt with light dry hoppy finish. Taste is a well rounded mix between some hoppy dry English style hops and some timid caramel malt. Body is about average with super great carbonation thought. Not bad and quite drinkable.

 346 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice sized, off white head with good lace. The body is copper colored and quite clear.

S - Malty with a good bit of caramel. No hops and otherwise clean.

T - Sweet malt with some phenolic notes. A slight hop flavor in the middle and mild bitterness in the finish to balance.

M - Smooth, moderately thick body with low carbonation and a slightly sweet finish.

D - A good, drinkable example of the style. Lots of malt character; not overly complex, but pleasant.

 468 characters

Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow really liked the earthy undertones to this beer.I love to drink a good scottish ale like this when nice and cold outside.Had some nutty qualities to it really liked this beer and will get it again.

 201 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle purchased in St. Andrews and consumed in nearby Largoward.

Great looking ale, with an exceptionally clear red-brown body. The head is not large but has durability and leaves streaks of sticky lacing.

This is hoppy for style. There's a suggestion of this in the aroma, but it becomes most apparent from mid-taste on. Good interplay of hops and malts, with the balance seeming to changes from the from to the aftertaste as well as with warming.

Medium body with crisp carbonation.

O: more stimulating than watching golf.

 543 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

St. Andrew's Ale is dark orange-bronze with a substantial, light tan head that looks both soft and sticky, as if it'll hang around a while. It doesn't so much pit on top as leave soft, rounded craters; let's call them divots. Lace is beginning to be laid down in a meandering pseudopod pattern. Enjoyable nose that's heavy on the toasted caramel malt with an underlying spiciness and a heavily toasted nuttiness. Perhaps some mild peat; no smoke.

The drive doesn't quite hit the sweet spot, but it's a well-struck power draw that easily flies the bunker at the corner of the dogleg and finally settles down in the left-center of the fairway about 270 yards out. The start is toasted caramel malty and peaty, but not overly so. There's an understated sweetness that fades into the spicy-fruity-herbal middle.

The approach shot is a full 7-iron hit one groove low (a bit thin) that soars toward the fat part of the green and backs up a few feet. The spicy-fruity middle is a balancing act between malt and hops; surprising because the hops are actually able to compete with the malt, unusual for this style. The body, while perfect for easy consumability, is lighter than it should be, or rather, than I wish it was. The carbonation is barely noticed.

The first putt is a well-struck 25 foot double-breaker that takes a peek at the cup before stopping 6 inches past for an easy tap-in par. Long and not quite lingering, the finish allows the sweetish, flavorful malt to make something of a comeback and leave one with memories of a well-crafted Scottish Ale.

 1,565 characters

Photo of Jason
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz narrow necked brown bottle, no freshness date.

Appearance: Beautiful and bright clarity donning a tarnish copper hue, head retention is flawless leaving more on the glass than not.

Smell: Big rounded caramel aroma with a small side of diacetyl, hint of hop leaning towards floral.

Taste: Flexed medium body showing its malt strength, carbonation holds things together. Very light smokiness within, malt sweetness is prevalent throwing around caramel and light honey flavours. Rounded hop twang throughout, balancing bitterness with some mildly herbal flavour. Finish is on the sweet side but not without traces of residual hop and a growing graininess.

Notes: Well balanced and quite drinkable, does not rock the boat yet play well with mixing malt and hop flavours. This would pair well with a smoked turkey sandwich on sour-dough bread.

 870 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

St. Andrew's is copper in color with a short head. Aroma isn't very strong. Light malts, a little buttery smell, and some hops. Taste is different from anything I've had before. There are notable tastes of mild nuttiness with some smokiness thrown in. Hops have an herbal quality, plus there is some lingering sweetness in the finish. Complex, but a little odd to me. At first this beer was a little off-putting for me, but I've warmed up to it after half the bottle. Admittedly, Scottish ale isn't a style I have a lot of expirience with. I like this, more interesting than the other Belhaven beers I've had, but still not the one I prefer.

 641 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Interesting. Pours clear with a deep amber color. There is a lot of sediment floating around. Minimal head with some lacing sticking to the side of the glass as it retreats. The nose is slightly sweet . The flavor is outstanding. Numerous layers on top of each other revealing themselves over time. It starts smooth and sweet and then you get a heartier edge. It never deviates from itÂ’s path . Mouthfeel is smooth and sweet and the drinkability is high. If this is typical of Scottish Ales, then I am definitely keen to taste others.

 535 characters

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber with a fluffy white head that descends to a lasting patch. Some trailing lacing sticks to glass.

The smell is of caramel and earthy, floral aromas.

The taste is malty - grainy, caramelish and bready. Balanced by mildly floral hops. Buttery with a smooth crispness. Hints of butterscotch come in and out. Nicely balanced.

It has a firm, medium body that holds up well. Nice texture.

A nice, tasty Scottish "session" brew. A nice balance between sweet malt and earthy, bitter hops.

 508 characters

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.

 465 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours an amber color with a thin white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is of sweet malts and Scottish ale yeast. The taste is decent. It has a malty core of a single malt ale, but it has a smokey finish. It tastes like wood chips or something. Anyway, I'm not sure it's a good taste, but it's certainly different. The mouthfeel is fine. It's a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This beer drinks fair. The woody flavor gets annoying quick. It's one and done for me. E for effort.

 501 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is dedicated to the St. Andrew's golf course in Scotland, but I don't know dick about golf nor do I play it. I'm sure there's someone who appreacates Belhaven naming a beer after a golf course. Now is the label a photograph, or is it artwork? Fresh from Wayne's Liquor, on to the beer:

This beer pours a clear copper, creating a good sticky head that forms in my glass. The aroma coming out the beer is toasted malt and toffee. A little tea-like hop sits in the background. Seems interesting, so I shall proceed into putting this into my mouth.

Oh yes, this is a nice beer. It tastes a lot like a good Irish Red. It begins with a kick of cream flavor. As it dies, fruity esters and a faint hoppiness take over. A shade of caramel then spills in. When the liquid leaves the palate, some diacteyl and leafy hop float on it.

With it's low ABV, do you think this beer was made to drink while watching a round of golf? I'm not sure, but Belhaven hits a birdie with this beer.

 985 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a. Poured from an interesting bellhaven bottle (12 oz). Cloudy orange with a soapy white head. Odd patchy lace on the sipping side.

S. Malty and bready with some grassy/earth notes. A bit of wheat/yeast in there.

T. Very deep chocolate malt flavor with a tip of the tongue spicy hop. Roasted grains in the background. Subtle fruitiness lingers around before a crisp finish.

M. Full bodied and full flavored.

D. Sometimes I wish I grew up a young Scottsman...Outstanding brew here.

 485 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

St. Andrews Ale doesn't look like the kind of beer you'd want to be seen with on the golf course; something this dark, with this much colour, with this much personality, definitely does not conform to what's popular with the others in the club house. This brownish amber tone implies the beer also has way more flavour than mainstream beers.

The aroma is underwhelming (as seems to be standard for most all British bitters). Although unembellished, it isn't entirely dull: a spatter of dried fruits, a trace of heather and hints of wood bark line the customary coffer of butterscotch and dry biscuits. Warming is teasing out more and more subtleties, enough to bump that aroma score above average.

The flavours aren't so numerous that I'll loose count of them, but there are a good many. It's got about as much biscuity malt as the Middle East does sand and it's all drowned in caramelly toffee like bacon is drowned in grease. Little floral spurts and tiny streams of something fruity squirt out like watermelon seeds pressed between the lips.

This would definitely make a nice pint after a long round of golf (playing it; watching it would require something a hell of a lot stronger!) It is only briefly bitter, with just enough of it to bite down and clamp itself to the tongue, and its honeyish malts and fruity clamors keep the taste brisk and sprightly. I find this more relaxing than a day on the links.

St. Andrews is believed to be where the first game of golf was played - the beer that bears its name is not the be all and end all of ales but, like the course itself, is the sum of hundreds of years of tried and tested development, nurturing and tradition. I don't know that this ale would be every beer drinker's dream but it's definitely above (err, below) par.

 1,783 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich amber-brown hue with a crystal clear body. Head is one finger of compact ivory foam. It looks quite good.

Smell: aroma is both malty and grainy, but I find it rather soothing and refreshing. I like it.

Taste: rich malt flavor with lots of caramel and biscuit characteristics. Hop flavor is way in the background but is discernable. I'm not a huge fan, personally, of the biscuity flavor, but it's relatively balanced in the mix so I can't fault it too much. Overall, pretty good.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a relatively high dose of carbonation which make this quite creamy; moreso than I ever expected from this style of beer. Capital!

Drinkability: I enjoy this beer as well-crafted and refreshing. There are a few characteristics of which I just don't happen to be a fan, but that doesn't mean this is a bad beer by any means.

 896 characters

Photo of Zorro
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear deep golden color.

Very good smelling brew! Lots of malt and a strong floral smell. Very mild citrus hops smell in the background.

Tastes slightly smoky with a mild bitterness and sweetness. There is also maltiness here. This tastes like an extra mild Scottish Ale.

Mouthfeel is very good.

Very drinkable, yes I will have another one of these!

 369 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml Brown bottle best before Dec 2010, reviewed and drank on 03 Nov 2010. Poured into an 'Abbot Ale' glass tankard.

Looks the bussiness, lovely dark amber, clear body, with a white foaming crown on top.

The beer gives off a malty, peaty smell, rich and on the sweet side.

The taste is of a rich, semi-sweet, malty flavoured ale, it hits my idea of a Scottish Ale to a tee.

The body is full, wholesome and smooth in the mouthfeel, some might prefer a hop presence, but to me this is a very drinkable beer. I actually bought this in St Andrews, I'm glad I did.

 564 characters

Photo of Derek
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Albion Hotel/Pub in Bayfield Ontario.

A: The copper hue looked at home on the tarnished copper table. Not a lot of head, but mystical lacing continued to appear.

S: Typical Scottish ale. Fruity & malty.

T: Lots of malt (considering it's strength & body), slightly fruity, with a hint of peat/smoke. Similar to a Scotch whiskey through the middle, overcome by a slight tang in the aftertaste. The hops certainly take a back seat, as they should in a Scotch ale. Quite complex for a light-weight, but very well rounded (nothing overbearing).

M: Light to moderate body, very mild carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, excellent session beer!

 672 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my mug and got a one-finger, frothy head that quelled somewhat; some head stayed with beer. Left a few lace patches to complement a brownish-auburn body that is somewhat seethru. A nice, spicy smell for some reason, not much malt but floral hops abound, and I picked up faint notes of citrus and even berries. I also picked up something like butterscotch, so maybe my nose is out of whack (I swear there's a butteriness in the smell, though). A very hoppy ale, but it is complemented by chocolate and toffee malts and rounded out by caramel. Overall, a well-balanced ale that goes down smooth but has a quasi-dry backbite. This is one of those beers that is not going to be very sought-after, but for how cheap it is and for how good it is (and the fact that I couldn't keep my glass down), this is a must-try and a session beer.

 841 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
St. Andrew's Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
3.84 out of 5 based on 329 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.