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

St. Andrew's AleSt. Andrew's Ale
332 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 332 |  Reviews: 228
Photo of dauss
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Sparkling clear, deep amber color with a small tan head resting neatly on top. Low-moderate retention, no lacing.

Smell: Tons of malt, heavy toffee and caramel aromas. A very light peaty smokiness lies in the background.

Taste: Malt sweetness dominates in the beginning. The medium body starts off and as the taste progresses, it thins out and finishes dry. A peaty smokiness and very light hop bitterness finishes this beer off along with a light tartness.

Mouthfeel: good mouthfeel, would have liked it to be a little bit fuller

Drinkability: very good session beer, low alcohol, and tasty.

Notes: Pretty good scotch ale, good malt sweetness. Overall has a good balance, but it just leaves you wanting something more.

 746 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one presented a beautiful, foamy, lacing head atop a nice dark orange body.

Smell – Bready undertones compliment the lightly-toasted malt. The scotch fragrance is there as well, along with table sugar and a balancing citrus hop.

Taste – This is nice. The scotch flavor comes out significantly, and the hops are bigger at the tongue. The lightly-toasted malts are refreshing due to the hop balance, and the sugars give this ale a lot of different flavors.

Mouthfeel – Almost no carbonation and a refreshing pallet gives this light-bodied ale a nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability – This is a nice ale that went down well.

 648 characters

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

The beer dispenses the 500ml brown bottle a clear deep brown with a modest sized semi-creamy light tan head that dissolves rather quickly leaving a fine coating of lace upon the glass. Nose is sweet malt with light hints of peat, fresh and delightful to the senses, start is somewhat sweet with a light malt presence and a fair to middling top. Finish is pleasantly acidic and the hops delicate in their spiciness, quite dry and somewhat tart aftertaste, a nice session beer in my humble opinion.

 496 characters

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

Dark gold colour, bordering on ruby with a thin white head. Smell is of malts, but a tinge sour.

Tastes like a weaker version of their Scottish ale. Malty, but with a sour hint to it. Not nearly as peaty as their Scottish ale or Wee Heavy.

Overall, a good drink but it leaves a bit to be desired compared to some of their other brews.

 340 characters

Photo of JISurfer
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the better Scottish Ales I have enjoyed. Very nice appearance with the light amber color and an off white head. The head started out quite pillowy, later layed down to a laceing. Smell was of a nutty origin, with a malty backbone. Not much in the hops area in this one. It seemed like it was going to be a "lighter" tasteing brew, but ended up being good and malty. Very clean taste with a crisp mouthfeel. Definately one of the better Scottish Ales in my eyes.

 468 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 TheLongBeachBum
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 500ml [16.9 fl.oz] sturdy brown glass bottle that has raised quadra-placed embossed lettering on the bottles shoulder “Belhaven Est. 1719”. Neck label is a dark green with a thin gold lined border, as indeed is the main label which proudly states that the beer is Imported from Scotland. Labeled as Belhaven St. Andrew’s Ale. No strength listed on the label, but it is listed in the 2005 CAMRA Good Beer Guide as 4.9% ABV I note.

Appearance: Streamer laden and creamy when first poured, as it settles it reveals a well-carbonated dark woody chestnut body. Creamy dirty white head looks fantastic in my handled Mug. Solid appearance throughout and some great lacing.

Nose: Roasted malts with some smoky aspects. Lots of dark fruits and earthy tones with some oak in the nose. All kinds of Malty aroma’s.

Taste: Malty beginnings. Dark fruits and some toffee with a bitter middle. Smoked-peat character mixes with Caramel in the back end. Smooth flavors short lingering but tasty finish. Tasty brew, this is a fresh sample and it really needs to drunk fresh to get the best from it.

Mouthfeel: Lovely and smooth well attenuated conditioning throughout. This has a big bold body; large roasted malts help support this one. Finishes with a lovely velvet feel on the tongue.

Drinkability: Starts as a big malty roasted brew which had me go easy with this one at first. However, after a short while I found myself gulping this one down. Very tasty and highly quaffable for a malty brew.

Overall: Named after the patron Saint of Scotland and the unofficial home of Golf, this is a lovely creation. Had it on cask many times but this was the first time from the bottle, it did not disappoint - well worth trying.

 1,740 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Reddish-brown color, small white head with excellent lacing.

Aroma: Quite malty: slightly sweet, with the smell of toasty, crusty bread.

Flavor: Malt is the predominant flavor, though not as big as the aroma suggests. There's a mild smokiness, or at least smoke-like malt. Slightly nutty, too. Finish is reasonably clean.

Body: Seem a bit watery. Medium carbonation.

I have a hard time finding exactly what I don't like about this beer, but I find it the least interesting of the beers sold by Belhaven in the US.

 537 characters

Photo of merlin48
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper body with active carbonation and a small, offwhite head that retains through the finish. Nice sheet lacing.
Aroma has caramel and toffee, with plenty of earthy and floral hops.
Mouthfeel has a light medium body and tingly carbonation.
Taste has a caramel and toffee malt sweetness that is balanced nicely with an assertive, floral and herbal hops bitterness.
Not very complex, but a solid and very drinkable Scotch ale. Not much of a malt profile for a Scottish ale, but very likeable.

 510 characters

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.

 462 characters

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

 311 characters

Photo of Sigmund
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(500 ml bottle, now available in Norway). Colour is yellowish brown, good thick head. Aroma has first some fruity hops, then dusty malts. Flavour is malty with hints of caramel and dust. There is too much carbonation for my taste. OKish beer, but not remarkable.

 262 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 canucklehead
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the lighter and less malty of the Belhaven's I have tried. The hops really come through on the finish and I would be hard pressed to name this as a Scottish ale in a blind taste test. I detect south of the border Pale Ale tendencies in the profile. This is a full bodied beer that belies its low Alcohol. After a round of golf this would hit the proverbial spot.

 377 characters

Photo of tjd25
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The head is lasting and nicely refined on a dark orange purple color body. The smell is malty, with caramel notes, and grassy; but disappointing, too weak. The taste shows a nice malty character with caramel and enjoyable notes of chocolate. Quite earthy too. The thickness of the hops, combined with some dark chocolate bitterness, circles the mouth, but not aggressively. The mouthfeel gets better as the brew warms, a warming chocolate aspect with hints of coffee. Enjoyable, but not exceptional.

 499 characters

Photo of kbub6f
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This clear, dark, red-amber beer sports an inch and a half of almost white, meringue head. Long, thin arcs of lacing. Nose is a little fishy and tangy. Front is smoky, peaty, tangy. Middle brings up some caramel malt. It's thick and sweet with some butter. The peaty tanginess (or is it tangy peatiness) gets an encore in the sourish, almost astringent finish. Interesting, tasty, I like it.

 391 characters

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.

 491 characters

Photo of Reidrover
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Second Belhaven tonight thank goodness for Liquid Solutions getting this stuff nowadays.
came in the 500ml old style brown bottle..with a pic of th "Old Course" with the famous stone brig.
Appearance is pretty nice..not as dark brown as the Scottish ale..more a burnt amber..good sized off white head..again excellent lace.
ZThe aroma though is rather subdued I pick very little up..some malts slight hint of peat but nowere as nice as the Scottish Ale.
The taste however is much better than the aroma, nice strong ,smooth malts to start then a touch of bitterness..followed by a rather surprising smoky aftertaste..quite complex.
Nice on the tongue, smooth and relaxed.
very drinkable..nice beer.

 703 characters

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

There’s something remarkably elegant about the simple country ales of England and Scotland. Without any baroque artistry or powerhouse flavors, they manage to provide a comfortable refinement that makes them such a pleasure to drink – and drink again. They are the relaxed, everyday ales of a people who have valued the routine pleasures of good drink for centuries. They are sociable, informal, and profound beverages. The best of them are genuine treasures.

Belhaven’s St. Andrews is one such ale. It is essentially a pale ale and features a crisp bitter aroma with lager-like properties, a clear copper color, and a tall head of eggshell white froth. The body has gentle contours, nice balance, and the finish is classically bitter. St. Andrews is remarkably easy to drink. It has superb lace and an abundance of character. Everything about this ale is suggestive of sustained reacquaintances.

 903 characters

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

Poured this beer from a nice looking bottle. Amber colored liquid with a light brown head. Smell is sweet malt with a hint of hops. The taste makes this one a winner. Its caramel sweet malt is accompanied by roasted graininess. The hop aroma really boosts the flavor in my opinion. This reminds me of Boston Lager in a way but with a more mellow and refined, slightly sweet taste. It might be dry hopped, I don't know but it is very refreshing and tasty.

 454 characters

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.

 616 characters

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.

 1,649 characters

Photo of HappyHourHero
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light aroma, a little roasted barley and some caramel. Foamy, yellowish tan head with a bunch of pock marks that holds up pretty well and looks like it wants to cling to the glass (I need to rinse better). Transparent, golden amber color, very fine bubbles floating to the top. Light, clean beer, easy drinking, something in it reminds me of a good lager. The flavor is pale, a bit of caramel, finishes with a pinch of sweet hops. Thanks to my brother for giving me a few from his beers of the month 6er.

 504 characters

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.

 534 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

St. Andrew's Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 332 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.