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 AgentMunky
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Served in a half-pint glass.

A: At first nothing but head, but eventually a clear, ruby brown. Nice.

S: Hops, light citrus, and creamy beeriness.

T: Not much carbonation; wishy-washy. A sourness which might have been unpleasant adds a distinctive edge, one also found in Belhaven Best. The aftertaste is bland and 'meh'.

M: Flat and bland. Nothing here.

D: Nice enough. A good twist/improvement on Belhaven Best. Consumed in St Andrews, lending an appropriateness to its consumption.

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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.

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Photo of mbusster88
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 16.9 oz bottle.

A: Burnt orange in color with thick head of 2 fingers. Some carbonation coming off the bottom of the glass.

S: Some bread, citrus notes, malts. Some hops also linger in the nose as well.

T: Very refreshing taste, very bready, malty, some orange and dried fruit flavors.

M: Nice feel in the mouth. Very smooth, really gives that refreshing feeling.

D: Nice brew to drink by itself, however for the price probably not a session beer. Would recommend for those that like Euro styles for sure.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Orange-red body with a thin, creamy taupe head that sticks around for the whole glass and leaves thick rings of lace.

S - Caramel, toffee, some apple skin, pear, raisin, and a touch of smoke. Earthy, spicy hop aroma.

T - Sweet toffee malt and fruit. Earthy, with hints of smoke, leather, and pepper. Hop bitterness is modest - just enough to offset the malt. Nicely balanced.

M - Soft and creamy, light-medium body.

D - Easily quaffable and satisfying. Recommended.

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Photo of trevorjn06
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper color with nearly 3 fingers of head that recede moderately and leave plenty of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is grainy malt, sweet caramel (not exactly crystal malt...) , some mineral/stone notes and some mild earthy/floral hops.

Flavor is fairly sweet up front with that classic Belhaven malt profile, light caramel and a fairly smooth feel on the tongue. This moves toward a balancing hop bitterness that still allows the malt profile to dominate but provides a nicely rounded flavor. The finish is dryer than the initial sweetness would lead you to believe: there is some earthy hop flavor, mild caramel and a bit of mineral a taste.

Mouthfeel is medium with medium/low carbonation and a moderate coating feeling.

Overall this is a well balanced and fairly mellow beer that is easily sessionable. I would drink this again.

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Photo of rarbring
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer is clear brown, a tan head that leaves nearly no lacing, a few curtains.

The smell is mostly malty, cereal and flour, sweet toffee notes and green apples.

The taste is as well malt dominated, caramel and molasses, some fresh fruit acidity and a small but sharp bitterness at the end.

Little carbonation, refreshing with a small dry twist at the end.

An nice but not extra-ordinary Scottish ale.

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

Pours hazy copper with a creamy white head that hangs around and leaves sheets of sticky lacing.

Aroma is caramel malt, dried fruit, and a bit of yeasty spice.

Taste is more of the bready caramel malt and dry dark fruit quality from the nose. There is a musty, yeasty quality. A touch of peaty smoke and finishes with a woody cedar dryness and earthy English hop.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied.

A flavorful easy drinker. Very nice.

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Photo of vdread
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

St. Andrew's Ale pours a dark copper

smells of sweet malts and caramel. a very slight hop note can be found.

tastes buttery, like caramel and toffee. a strong toasty malt presence is noted. hops minimal, floral. this is a simple scottish ale, but a solid one at that.

body is medium to light. slightly sticky, enjoyable.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.44/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle with no freshness date. Love beer, love golf so why not give this one a go? Pours a very clear, light amber color with a very creamy, thick froth of cream colored head. Retention is pretty nice and there is tons of sticky lace. Good looking brew here.

Nose is sweet malts all the way with ample caramel and a touch of toast. Maybe a puff of cedar and peat as well. Not much in the way of hops or fruity esters. Maybe a bit of bready yeast, but this is definitely a malt-driven beer.

The malt profile ranges from slightly sweet to toast to even a bit of roast. There is almost an oaky wood flavor I am getting for some reason. Pretty basic beer, really. I dont get a whole lot of complexities and the mouthfeel is bordering on watery. Sessionable, but the price tag makes that unreasonable at almost 5 bucks a half liter. This is definitely one of those British beers that need to warm up before enjoying properly. It's a decent pint of ale that is better than your standard British pub taps.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another gift from my brother that has been sitting in the fridge for far too long.

Appearance: A beautiful deep brown with notes of amber and red. The pour produced an amirable finger and a haf of head, of which the half managed to retain decently. It also seems to have produced some lacing, to go with the solid carbonation in the body. Really a bit more lace and a bit more retention and we have a perfect score.

Smell: Best described as presently simple, as notes of buttery toffee and shortbread dominate the nose. Hints of soft fruits and hops can also been noticed in the background. However the entire experience is quite mild.

Taste: The experience starts with rich, perfectly toasted malt that turns to a more shortbread biscuit flavor and ends with the perfect light dusting of soft fruit and hops. There's not a lot of bells and whistles on this one, just an all around nice brew.

Mouthfeel: Beautiful transitioning while drinking and nice fruit and malt aftertaste after it is down. The carbonation for this beer also really sells this once. The only thing keeping it from a perfect score, is a slight stickiness it leaves behind.

Drinkability: Incredibly easy to get down, but fairly filling once it is down there. It is decently refreshing but I certainly wouldn't be drinking this all night. Really this strikes me as a great beer to have after a game of golf, not during.

Final Thoughts: An excellent offering if you want a simple, flavorful and easy to drink beer. As I said, this would be great after a round of golf, as it's refreshing but not at the cost of it's body and flavor. Thumbs up on this one.

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Photo of Kromes
4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A cloudy brownish gold color with a thick off-white colored head. Could see sediment floating in the beer.

S: A strong aroma of crisp noble hops and sweet honey malts.

T: The taste is initially of brown sugar and caramel sweetness that has a honey-like quality. It finishes very sweet with a slight herbal hop flavor and very slight bitterness.

M: The beer is thick and there is little carbonation. This beer is pure velvet. Very soft and smooth.

D: The low alcohol and great flavor and low carbonation make this one as drinkable as they come.

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Photo of Rayek
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a thistle.

A: Tarnished copper with nice clarity and little visible carbonation. A dense cream cap doesn't stick long. It retreats to a ring at the beer's edge fairly quickly. Leaves bits of lace.

S: Caramel and toffee dominate. Aromas of earth, tobacco and leather round things out.

T: Very malty. Heavily caramelized sugars dominate. Bitterness is mild and has an earthy bite that has a bit of a black tea acidity to it. The flavor of bittersweet toffee returns for the finish.

M: The medium body is slightly dry and has a bit too much fizz for my tastes.

D: This is a nice Scottish overall. I'm very glad I picked it up. The low ABV allows it to go down easy.

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Photo of Briken
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

St. Andrews is a light red amber with an interesting white sandy looking head. There are aromas of honey, tea and malt, very pleasant. A very thin initially light ale taste quickly rounds out with a nice hop bite. High carbonation inhibits the taste at first making it very foamy. The overall lightness stays throughout the whole experience but the tastes that come along are superb. A wildflower honey balance directed toward a floral hops are backed up with a sweet caramel malt.

Overall, this is an easy drinking scotch ale with wonderful flavors. On the light side, I think it's what a scotch ale named for a golf course should be. It's light with waves of floral and honey and I have no idea how they got the sandy look to the head but it certainly looks like a St. Andrews sand trap!

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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.

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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.

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Photo of seanyfo
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint served by handpump in imperial pint glass in the 4 Mary's Pub, Linlithgow

A- Copper rubby mahogany body with 1 finger white creamy head. Producing good lacing

S- Faint malty biscuits, mild hop profile

T- A biscuity malt base that transforms gently to a mild hoppy dryness in the finish. Biscuit note linger on.

M- Low carbonation, medium body

D- A standard 80 shilling type ale, a good malt backbone, not overly tasty but certainly wouldnt refuse one. Solid drinkabiliy with an inoffensive flavour profile.

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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.

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Photo of muffel
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 500ml. Pours a copper-golden color with a big fluffy white head. Leaves nice lacing, too. Medium body. Aroma of caramel, some fruits, a little hops but overall very malty. A little sweet and with a spicy aftertaste. Very smooth and drinkable, especially due to the very low carbonation which also makes it appear a bit watery. I've tried this a few times now and would drink it again, really fits my taste.

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Photo of bob3701
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass. Poured a clear copper/amber color with a small off-white head that quickly goes to a thin film with minor lacing. I've seen others mention a buttery aroma in their reviews and up till now I have not found that scent in a beer. I get a light buttery toffee aroma, very pleasant. A light toffee sweetness and citrusy flavors. Finishes clean. I really enjoy this ale, would love to find it on tap.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a glass beer mug.

Clear amber color with a fluffy off-white head that left a good coating of lace.
Smell is like a caramel cream candy, very good.
The taste is buttery caramel malt with a medium body and creamy mouthfeel.
Drinkability is very good for this is a tasty ale.

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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 Minotaur
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Hazy amber-chestnut in color with an initially vigorous head. Very little lacing and the head melts down to a thin skim.

The aroma is not particularly impressive but not unpleasant by any means. A bit of oatsy malt and only a slight floral hops scent.

The taste is deep, earthy and nutty. It is initially sweet with a bit of toasted grains, then becomes a tiny bit bitter at the end. There is a slight sharpness of hops, adding significant balance an a roundness to the taste.

It is an exceptionally drinkable and smooth beer, with a full mouthfeel despite the fact it is not particularly heavy, dark or complex.

An excellent standard in drinking Ale.

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

finally got to try some new belhaven beers after enjoying twisted thistle so much!

copperish orange hue with a nice cream white head that has nice lacing as you drink it.

sweet aroma with a bit of malt and crisp scent that reminds me of a golf course none the less hahah

light body with a nice cream aspect overall, very crisp and slight dryness when it goes down with a nice warming effect in the throat and mid chest areas. the abv doesn't linger and isnt very high to begin with tho.

solid across the board beer with neither hop/malt notes being the "main" component of the flavor. solid purchase and very sessionable!

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Photo of becktone
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes 10-30-09

Eye: Color of this one is orange copper and is very hazy. Looks as if this one was bottle conditioned, particulate matter is floating round in the glass. Head formation was great but retention wasn't all that good. I've got a thick creamy blanket of foam sitting atop the beer, when it receded it left some thick legs of lace.

Nose: Big malt presence right upfront. Light bready notes-like whole grain bread. Caramel notes as well, toasted aromas too. Not really getting any peaty smokiness.

Tongue: Nice caramel flavor mixed with those bready notes some toastiness and dark fruits. Caramel and dark fruits-prune?-take the foreground here though. Overall rich malty flavor. Alcohol is detectable but adds some balance to the brew. Very nice.

Feel and Drinkability: This one is medium bodied with delicate and light carbonation. Due to lighter carbonation this one feels smoother and creamier on the palate. Easy enough to drink, but I think I'd have to be in the mood for this beer to go ahead and drink a couple of these in one sitting. This is one rich beer and I'll definitely enjoy the rest of the glass. Nothing to rush out and get but definitely worth a try.

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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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