Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

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Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPABelhaven Twisted Thistle IPA

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ADR on 09-24-2005

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Reviews: 425 | Ratings: 816
Photo of ArrogantB
1.75/5  rDev -53%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I bought a bottle after reading some decent reviews. I poured this one into a tulip glass and it had a very nice orange-brown color. Little flecks in the beer reminded me of "floaties"; not a good start. The smell was weird and I could not quite place it. The taste was so bad, like the last reviewer said it was medicinal. It reminded me of an old shoe with the sole lit on fire and melted asphalt poured on top. One of only two beers I have ever poured down the drain. I stupidly purchased two bottles so now how do I get rid of the other?

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Photo of Cavanaghty
1.81/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from bottle into a standard beer glass.

Appearance: Clear amber in color. About four fingers of white head with heavy lacing on the glass. I was not impressed by the selections of this particular beer at the store, I got the only bottle that was "fresh" and did not have anything floating in it.

Smell: Alcohol and strong bitter hops that burned my nose when I smelled.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Medium bodied, it had a strong bitter taste throughout the beer, rather unpleasant actually. Strong alcohol taste as well.

Overall: I am a huge fan of pale ales, this one, unfortunatly, did nothing but disappoint me. The other beers in the same batch, that were dated the same, in the case at the store had what looked like orange peels floating in them. This beers was the cleanest looking of them all that day, and I wanted to try an new IPA. The bottle cap was secure like it should have been and was not a twist off. So I'm not sure if this was a bad batch or what. I also noticed that the picture displayed here shows a brown bottle, the one I had was clear. Perhaps I will revisit this brew in the future.

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Photo of NilsFrisk
1.89/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presented in a clear bottle, should have known what to expect.

Smells of raw chicken, a terrible skunkiness, overpowers everything. does not taste very well eighter, could keep drinking it, but I don't really want to. Should not have been in a clear bottle.

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Photo of Jdiddy
2.01/5  rDev -46%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I went into this beer with high hopes and was quickly shot down upon first sip. While I am a big whisky fan as well as an IPA fan, the 2 simply do not mix. The peat was just overpowering and mixed with the hops, it just was plain awful in my book. This soon ended up down the drain. Managed about 2 sips and that was all. Color was nice with a great head but appearance is about all this beer has going for it.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.01/5  rDev -46%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A- Pours a darker golden amber with the slightest bit of haze to it. A fairly small biege head and no lacing left behind.

S- A huge amount of herbal hops to it that dominanted the entire brew. An almost marijauna smell to it. I could pick up nothing else.

T- A very strong aspirin taste. Very herbal and grassy. Nothing else came through on this one.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

O- Dominanted by the herbs. A struggle to drink.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.04/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 7/22/2006 (Tap @ Kelvin at Arms, Houston, TX):

Cloudy color, orange color, small head, white, good lacing. Somewhat watery aroma, some hops, not overpowering aroma. Watery hoppy taste, bitter & unbalanced. Bitter aftertaste. Smoother as it warms up, but still not much flavor.

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Photo of hoppytaps
2.15/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

LOOK - gold colored beer, sparkling, clean-filtered

SMELL - malty toasted with some fruit

TASTE - wet cardboardy possible oxidation?, not as much hop flavor as I was suspecting and bitterness.

FEEL - smooth and a bit foamy, light-medium bodied

OVERVIEW - I didn't care for it. It was just okay. Also in a clear bottle? I found it boring. I was expecting something more exciting!! like Lakefront IPA or Singlecut IPA

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Photo of djmitche
2.2/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I have had this beer on tap at Duke of Perth in Chicago many times, and loved it -- it's a great mild IPA with a nice floral aroma.

Out of the bottle? This was massively disappointing. It was ridiculously sweet, smelling of some sort of scent extract and leaving that sticky sugary feeling you get from artificially sweetened juices.

My bottle was had in the US, and was clear glass, claiming to have been brewed in Dunbar.

I'm heading to Scotland in a few weeks, and i will make a point of looking this beer up to see whether it's been Duke of Perth or the bottle deceiving me as to this beer's true nature. I hope Duke of Perth had it right!

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Photo of sacfly
2.24/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours an orange/yellow color with particles in suspension. Very light on the carbonation. Thin head of off white bubbles. Aroma is earthy with a touch of citrus and grass.

Taste… uh… taste is astringent and reminiscent of socks. Stinky, dirty, sweaty, socks. Simply awful. I am so overwhelmed and distracted by this awful sock flavor that I can’t pick up much else. Can’t wait to get the taste out of my mouth.

500ml is way to much of this tragedy. Oh the humanity.

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Photo of badbeer
2.31/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Amber color with a white head leaving good lacing, some yeast chunks floating. Floral, little caramel background, medicinal. Cardboard and caramel with a weird hop twang and a sour aftertaste. Average carbonation and light bodied. I would probably try this again because I think I got a bad bottle, but this one was not very good.

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Photo of TechMyst
2.35/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My bottle read 6.1% (European standard I guess.) Sampled on 9/4/07 from 500ml bottle into a tumbler (all I had available.) Slightly hazy yellow. Aroma speaks highly of a malt profile. Taste also left me wondering about the hops. Left me with a gummy palate (first ever to do that.) Tons of floaties! Undertones of blueberry/raspberry with slight bitterness. Not much to say about head or lacing. Drinkablilty is seriously dampened by the conditioning, way too much bloating effect for me. To me this is a niche brew; I will not try again.

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Photo of MiScusi
2.49/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Ye Old Ship in Fullerton.
Dark orange in color, served in a nonic pint glass. The hoppiness was just weird. It was a floral malty scent I've gotten out of IPA's sometimes that just isn't appetizing. Even if I weren't judging it against the much better West Coast American-style IPA's, it'd still be a poor beer in my opinion with weird flavors.

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Photo of BellsFan
2.51/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a clear bottle and it shows. It's a bit skunkey in aroma and in taste. The taste is also astringent with band-aids. So it does not fair too well in my book. Head was nonexistent. I won't buy it again however I'm glad I tried it; I'm always looking to try something new.

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Photo of alysmith4
2.58/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this beer on-tap at a new British restaurant in DC. It wasn't all that good, but it was on happy-hour special so I ended up having two. It was a tad sweet for my taste, and had some kind of sour-y/sweet sugar thing that I couldn't quite put my finger on. It was like "prickly" or something. I suppose it's name is fitting!

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Photo of BoljaBoy52
2.59/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It's just not good. Not sure why it's rated so high. It's skunky, light tainted due to a clear bottle, old tasting, off balance and tastes like a steel reserve

 159 characters

Photo of mwa423
2.59/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured with two fingers of head that died down to a small lacing that stuck throughout the glass

S - Strange slightly yeasty and skunky smell. Very little hops to speak of.

T - Very little hoppy bitterness, but lots of yeast, malt and floral flavors. Tastes more like an English pub ale then an IPA

M - A bit of a bite, goes down relatively smooth

D - The pub ale flavor would get overwhelming, not overly impressed.

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Photo of Beerstorian
2.62/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Came from a clear bottle. Smelled skunky, tasted bad. I'd usually review a beer more thoroughly, but there's not really much else to say here. The clear bottle lets in light, and even the fluorescents in the market kill the beer.

It poured well, and looked fine--no problems there. And I fell bad for dunning the brewery, but if they're going to package in clear glass, they have to be prepared for what that does to their product. I'd try it on cask at some point to see the difference, but the bottled version ought to be avoided.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
2.68/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Exp Feb. 09. Dark golden, auburn, orange hilights. Two finger head is beige or off-white. Slow moving bubbles, excellent lacing. The smell is hoppy, floral. Taste is all hops, a bit heavy with an alcohol mouthfeel. Bitterness is there but with a sour / tart lingering dry finish, hoppy astringency. All in all, I found this beer pleasantly hopped but a little too heavy, a certain lead quality to the taste and mouthfeel and that took away from the drinkability quotient. It sure looks like a great IPA but just didn't do it for me, this is one beer I'd like to try on tap sometime or again in the bottle with a bit more aging.

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Photo of GimpyCane
2.71/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

appearance: Poured a light copper with a fluffy and cloudy two finger off white head that had a slight yellow hue to it.

smell: very subtle perfume scent upfront from the hops. Somewhere in the middle I get hint of toffee and bread with a soapy end.

taste and mouthfeel: Medium body accompanied by a slightly sweet malt and oily start. I was overwhelmed by its long astringent ending that took away from its balance.

drinkability; A tab tough for me. I love hoppy bitter but not astringent or soap flavor.

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Photo of AlesALot
2.71/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours an orange copper color with an off white head that laces slightly. Crystal clear with light floaties.

Smells sweet and herbal with some biscuit. Not what I want in an IPA.

Tastes herbal and sweet with diacetyl, floral hops, and some hop bitterness with moderate dryness in the finish. Kind of watery for a 6% beer. I'm not getting this one at all. It tastes too much like St. Andrews Ale for me to see the IPA style here.

It feels thick and heavy, but the taste is thin. It is weird.

I don't find it drinkable. I'll por the rest in the sink now and pour an IPA home brew.

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Photo of Sammy
2.73/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked up this pint in New Jersey. Pours a big creamy head on yellow. Lace in glass. Aroma is metallic, as if it was poured from a can. Taste is thin, creaminess and burnt. There is a moderate bitterness and a ignificant maltness overtaken by the burntness. This was not finishable.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.74/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Belhaven- Twisted Thistle IPA

Appearance- dark mahogany brown with a huge thick head. The head was like whipped cream.
Smell- smoky hops. B-B-Q sauce and molasses/ syrup.
Taste- heavy flavor of smoked hops with a touch of caramel/ molasses malt.
Mouthfeel- Liquid cigarette smoke.

Overall- what is with the Scots and their smoke flavored beers? I enjoyed all the other characteristics of the Ale except the smoked hops!

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Photo of Erdinger2003
2.74/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The head is soapy white and lacing sticks slightly and head stays when swirled. The color is copper brown and clear.

Smell is hoppy almost chloring like with some strong malt smell. The smell also has plum and raisan dark fruit in it.

The taste is dark fruity and very malty, leaves a dank hoppiness in the nose with a slight dark roastedness.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy smooth.

I would like a newer bottle of this Scottish Import before giving it a bad name.

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Photo of vdread
2.74/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Belhaven TwistedThistle IPA

yellow/orange and hazy with a thick foamy head that leaves a few specks behind. smells of grape juice and some light hops. wait.i have to stop and smell this for a minute to be sure of what i'm smelling.


yep. that smells just like grape juice.

tastes strongly of bready malt, biscuits, and, grape juice (that grape juice taste is horrible!) it's sweet and has a buttery astringent taste that reminds me of a newcastle. the hops, on the other hand, bring citrus fruit and pine to the table. slightly bitter, well balanced. well carbonated, easy to drink, but i won't be buying this again.

there's something off-putting about the grape juice smell/taste. the rest of the beer's good qualities can't redeem it.

this is a really weird beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
2.83/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance of a orange/yellowish color, slightly opaque. No head whatsoever but still manages to leave a concentric ring of white bubbles along the edge down to the last drop. No lacing whatsoever.

Smell is very closed. A bare whiff of Mcintosh like tart apple and some orange.

Taste is weak, watery, some lemon and almost vegetative zucchini like, with at least a decent hop finish.

Drinkability pretty simple, but I don't want another thanks.

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Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
3.72 out of 5 based on 816 ratings.
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