Twisted Thistle IPA
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Twisted Thistle IPATwisted Thistle IPA
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IPA - American
Ranked #6,360
Ranked #38,576
3.71 | pDev: 14.02%
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom
Twisted Thistle IPATwisted Thistle IPA
View: Beers
Reviews: 440 | Ratings: 874 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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vernardico from Mexico

4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is similar beer has similarities with the Belhaven scottish ale. Caramel roasty malts sweetness, but with a stronger presence of hops, but not too hoppy for regular IPAs. Hops also gives a floral smell and fruity notes in the taste.

If you are expecting a good typical American IPA, you might be disapointed. If you like english bitters, or scottish ales with that nutty-toffee notes, this is by any means a nice enjoyable beer.

I like it, i will surely drink it again.

Aug 25, 2020
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Unknown vintage; drank 3/28/16 @ the Yarchives.

See-through orange/red appearance.

A rough pour yielded a small white head; strong lace.

Grapefruit, raw sugar & caramel notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Grapefruit & caramel flavors; this is an American barleywine, not an American IPA.

I'm hoping this is old??

Nov 11, 2019
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monkist from Hungary

4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’m okay with English IPAs, or at least I have nothing against them - but when it comes to what I like, I definitely vote for the West Coast one.
This one, like a real Englisg IPA is not that hop forward, although much hoppier than an English Ale. This one has quite balanced maltiness and the hops from the Old Continent complement it very well. It is good to drink it, however when it starts warming up it becomes somewhat sour (not sure what is the reason behind that...)
Apart from that it is a quite okay English IPA if you can love it for what it is and don’t expect it to be world class.

Aug 25, 2019
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eberesford from Canada (ON)

3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hazy gold colour with floral herbal hops - moderate bitterness - hop aroma modest. Malts balanced - caramelly - typically the hop signature is balanced more to bitterness than aroma - a surprise for NA drinkers.

Nov 14, 2018
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jamesroses from Argentina

3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml consumed 2 months before best by date.

Dark orange, big bubbles head.

Aroma was mostly caramel and malts. Must be cause it's a not so fresh can.

Taste was mainly caramel malts with some grapefruity background.

Medium to full bodied beer, surpringly fruity and bitter aftertaste balances it a bit.

Fresh must be better and although it may be good it's not the best IPA you can get.

Sep 30, 2018
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beersampler6 from Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decent IPA but some strange aftertaste and lingering bitterness on the tongue. Slightly hazy golden color with a little foamy head. Smells of fruity and floral hops, tastes of citrus zest hops as well as floral hops, grain, caramel and some extra honey sweetness. A little too much for me. Smooth mild mouthfeel, small amount of carbonation. May have to try others from this brewery to compare and contrast.

Jul 27, 2018
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patre_tim from Thailand

3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper filtered with no carbonation and 2 fingers of off white head.

Smells of caramel, toffee and hints of orange candy.

Decent bitter notes with loads of sweet caramel and toffee, as well as hints of orange and grapefruit bitterness.

Medium body, and medium low carbonation.

Got this in the Merry Christmas gift pack at LCBO, drinking by Lake Muskoka, Jan 7th, 2018.

Jan 08, 2018
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sasamarinkovic89 from New Hampshire

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From 0.33 l bottle. Pours yellowish to copper with nice white head, that quickly disappears. Nice smell of hops. Medium body, with some citrus aroma. Bit bitter, not too much. Kind of sweet aftertaste with notes of grapefruit. Not bad IPA.

Nov 22, 2017
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Libeertarian from Montana

3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken 05/14/17:

Rich, beautiful, semi-clear and multi-toned amber, ranging from honey to pink to tarnished copper, with a sprawling haze of both fine and occasionally coarse particulates. Cream-colored, fine, foamy, filmy head of lower-moderate retention. Smelled skunky at first, no surprise given the type of bottle, regular colorless glass. That goes away relatively quickly, bringing forth caramel and some herbal aromas. I don’t know if there is actually any thistle in this, but it actually does smell a little like one. I used to keep dried thistle heads around so I would know. Beyond that I can detect, at great pains, some citric, windy, and resinous hops. The bottle tells me they are Cascade and Challenger. Taste is completely bizarre but not bad. Sweet honey and lemons, almost lager like, mild skunk again, caramel, nuts, an almost berry-Braggot flavor at the end of the honey and lemon and before bitterness of metal, citrus-seed, pine, and soap finishes each sip. This is kind of strange whether we are categorizing it as more English (the malt and other stylistic details no doubt) or more American (the hops). Medium-bodied, smooth, softer carbonation and plenty of it.

Oct 25, 2017
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Hanglow from Scotland

3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

can, this is the euro [email protected]%

Pours amber gold, small head, bright.

Mild aroma, floral,mild citrus

Similar taste, meddium bitterness. It gets dominated by the jaffa cake I eat.

It's ok, just too mild really

Sep 18, 2017
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OzmanBey from Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Normally I am not an IPA person, I don't know why but I just don't like them, they taste too burnt. having said that when I saw this IPA on the shelf I was instantly interested because I really like the taste of Thistle, so even though I wasn't happy it was an IPA I figured I'd give it a go. What I liked about this is the Thistle seemed to balance out the burnt taste of most IPA's. The flavors actually complemented one another in a way I wasn't expecting. Good feeling on the tongue as well. This is one that I would def drink again.

Sep 13, 2017
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djura from Serbia

3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Found it here in Serbia, bottle 0,33 l

A - Pale to red color, thin white foam, medium carbonation.
S - Beautiful aroma. Elderflower all over.
T/M - Drinkable, highly, nit so bitter, some sweetness. Some herbal notes.

O - Almost perfect.

Jun 04, 2017
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MJSFS from Florida

3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bubbly sugary urine water. I'm confused how anyone would consider this an IPA. I'm regretting purchasing this bottle, regretting pouring it, and without a doubt regretting putting it into my body. Two sips and down the drain.

Jun 03, 2017
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VoxRationis from New York

4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decanted from an 11.2 oz (330 ml) bottle into a conical pint glass; no production information evident.
A: Pours an slightly hazy, amber to light copper color with a less than quarter inch, off white head, little retention, and some soapy lacing.
S: Aromas of honey, caramel and molasses.
T: Flavor follows nose. Sweet with malt much more in evidence than the bitterness.
M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Tingling on palate.
O: Reminds me more of a Scottish Ale than an IPA, even an English one. Enjoyable and servable.

Mar 24, 2017
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Buck89 from Tennessee

3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a tap into a pint glass. A clear amber-orange color with a frothy off-white head. Typical citrus IPA aromas, but paired with fruity estery notes and also a nutty-sweet malt presence. The taste was similar with orange, bitter grapefruit, floral notes, lemons, and a slightly sweet malt presence. An interesting English IPA, but a bit too malty for my taste.

Feb 25, 2017
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Czequershuus from Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer pours pale amber with an average head. The aroma features caramel malts, pine, and lemon peel. The flavor starts with mild pine, then lemon and orange peel, caramel and toffee malts - overall drier than I expected. The mouthfeel is semi-light, and nicely fizzy. Overall this is a very pleasant and drinkable beer with a piney-lemony heart.

Jan 11, 2017
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Gardendk from Denmark

3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Clear amber. White medium head

S: Malty with hints of fruit

T: On the bitter side. More fruity than the smell. Well balanced

M: Great mouthfeel. Smoth with some sirupy stickiness

O: Fruity IPA with a twist. It works, but nothing I would look for

Dec 28, 2016
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the bigger bottle in a snifter. This nice IPA pours a nice lightly
chill hazed orange tinged amber with a light head of white foam that settles to
a thick ring, thin pool, and light lacing. Nose of floral elements akin to flowers
with touches of light pine and herbal hops touched by honey sweet malts. Flavors
hit the right notes for the style with honey and light breaded malts touched by
subtle citrus and a touch of light ginger laced caramel. Nice mouth feel well within
the English mold; smooth, medium low carbonation, and a sweet lightly herbal hop finish.
Overall a classic from a solid brewery.


Dec 21, 2016
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thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330 mL bottle from the LCBO, included in their "Merry Craftmas" sampler pack and listed at 5.6%. Best before Sept 2017 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a clear, medium gold colour with a twinge of amber; one finger of soapy white froth floats upon the surface initially, but largely dissipates within the span of a minute or two. A generous collar of foam survives afterwards, alongside a patchy cap and a modest swath of lace. Looks like a pale ale is supposed to, I guess. Doughy pale malt sweetness on the nose, accompanied by a decent-sized dose of floral, leafy hops, with a few suggestions of lemon, golden pear and caramelized sugars. Smells more like an English IPA than an American.

So, given how closely the senses of smell and taste are related, it shouldn't be a surprise that I think it kind of tastes that way, too. Clean flavours of bready, doughy pale malts and light caramel sweetness are just detectable behind the curtain, allowing the trio of Challenger, Hersbrucker and (especially) Cascade hops to dominate the stage. Very floral, with hints of citrusy orange and lemon zest mixed in with fruity notes of pear and apple. Resiny pine and more floral bitterness are what characterise the tail end of the sip, though they quickly fade upon reaching the aftertaste, which I'd call off-dry. Not quite light-bodied, but sort of leaning to that side; the bubbles are fiercely persistent in their capacity for agitation, which gives this IPA a crisp, lively mouthfeel that is much lighter and more refreshing than most others.

Final Grade: 3.74, a B grade. Belhaven's Twisted Thistle IPA outperformed my expectations, but not by all that much. Truthfully, if you are looking for an American-style IPA, I don't think this is a beer that I'd recommend, though it's not exactly a bad interpretation of the style. Sort of in that grey area between the English and American (sub)-styles, though the resiny, citrusy impact of the Cascade hops does sort of nudge it toward the latter - but not enough to allow it to compete with the heavyweights. As a simple, hop-forward pale ale it's actually pretty well-constructed - I'd drink this again if it happened to be there, but I wouldn't seek it out again intentionally.

Nov 03, 2016
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle served cold into a chalice. Bottle #4 of #6 of the Merry Craftmas holiday pack. Advertised as 5.6% ABV.

Appearance - A bright, pale golden color with not a lot of bubbles but a fine half finger of short lasting head. Curtains of lace around the edges of the glass.

Smell - Pine is the dominant factor here with some lemon citrus adding to the concoction. A certain earthly characteristic about the aroma too.

Taste - Plenty bitter but lots of malt too. Well balanced. The pine and earthiness come together with some lemon and some tangerine to make a nice sipping experience.

Mouthfeel - Body is light and on the thin side, carbonation is on the low end of moderate, Easy to drink.

Overall - A decent IPA, but lacking intensity especially compared with American IPA's. Worth a try, but don't expect to be blown away.

Oct 30, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I'm a fan of the appearance, his those orange color notes that is often indicative of a solid ipa. 1/4" white head. Aroma hit those usual English ipa where are the hops notes?

Taste is lightly hopped, almost lager yeast feel to it. Light bodied, not as much caramel malt heft as the appearance indicated. Its decent and easy to drink. Traditional I guess, absent the toffee being lacking (thankfully?). Bitterness is there.

Its pretty close to traditional, I don't like the format though, you pay a price per oz luxury tax on these compared to ipas that come in 12oz bottles/6 pack format.

Oct 13, 2016
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vfgccp from New York

4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle at restaurant in Portsmouth UK. Looks like the bottle and recipe were recently updated. Would classify it as an English IPA, and reviewed it as such.

Jun 27, 2016
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Roguer from Georgia

3.64/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Minor head; transparent golden ale.

A touch soapy on the aroma.

Very bitter and grainy. Very much an old school IPA: green, piney, and aggressively bitter. Plenty of barley presence. A refreshing change of pace.

Jun 08, 2016
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kitschiguy from Hong Kong

4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle given to me by a supplier into 350ml beer glass.

Nice light brown but not much head.

Nose is nive maltiness and some tropical fruit coming through. Nice .

Palate is good with lots of malt flavour and a little fruit. I expected more bitterness but I was pleasantly surprised by the good balance.

Mouth is really good.

Overall - very good. Well balanced lots of flavour. Great example of the style.

Jun 07, 2016
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PlutonowyManiek from Belgium

3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber color, clear. White head.
Aroma: fruity malt with red and dark fruit, citrus in the background.
Taste: decent, fruit, caramel malt, which gets a little bland.
Gentian dry stone, it is impressively high, but quite long. Saturation medium can be.

May 07, 2016
Twisted Thistle IPA from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 874 ratings