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.
United Kingdom (Scotland) | website

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: 418 | Ratings: 797
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a deep golden-hued body with great clarity and topped with a frothy, white head. Some bits of lace on the descent.

Smell: Moderately malty, sweet-scented nose that yields touches of honey and golden caramel with notes of bread, orange blossoms, and spicy herbs.

Taste: Gives a sweetish taste of crisp caramel-coated grains (also some honey), a bit of breadiness. A few faint drops of apricot juice precede the hops delivering tastes of spiced bittersweet oranges, florals, and a slight grassiness. Bittersweet, orangey, sudsy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-low, subdued carbonation.

Overall: A pleasant, well-balanced ale to drink while tentatively shopping for sofas online (and giving the cat the "don't you dare ruin this one" speech -- I'm fairly certain it went IN one cat ear and OUT the other).

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Photo of stevoj
3.29/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I like the British IPAs, for me they are hopped just enough. This has just the right amount of bitterness to be enjoyable. Nice amber color with a skin of a head, peaty, malty aroma and flavor of caramel. Nice.

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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 VaterRoss
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into Red Oak becker

Pours a crystal clear amber with plenty of active carbonation. white fluffy head, very good head retention. Smell is floral and very grassy, pretty close to a pils really (First smell made me think something was off or it had gone bad). Starts off malty, English malt, in the taste with some light floral hops and finishes with a bit of astringency. Very light body (thin?), med carb.

Not a bad beer, more of an English Pale Ale in my opinion. Lightweight grassy and floral. I'm not a huge fan of the grass tones, astringency, and thin body but none of these are bad by any means. Good English I/PA substitute for hot weather.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz clear bottle with no freshness date poured into a Guinness imperial pint glass.

Orange-y amber with some slight haze. Epic sea-foam head that almost solidified before slowly receding. Spare lacing as the beer drinks down. I think if I would have drank while the head was high and still dense, the lacing would have been better. Looks near perfect. Almost a 5.0.

Great Euro-hop stank. Earthy/floral hops with some slight suggestion of orange citrus. A decently hefty malt bill smells crackery and semi-dry. Lots of grassiness from those Challenger hops. Pretty good stuff here, aromatically.

More floral hops that follow the nose with a direct hit of spice bite in the finish. The malts are a little sweeter in the taste with a wet grains profile. Wonderfully balanced. I detect some earthy pine in there, but this is a floral IPA, through and through.

Incredible mouthfeel. Insanely creamy and with some suds! An IPA that drinks best at cask temperature. This feels better and better the more it warms up. Exactly how an IPA should drink.

I loves me some Belhaven Twisted Thistle. They used to have this as a standard on nitro at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse back in the day and boy, do I miss that! Still pick up a bottle here and there, sit back, and enjoy. An excellent afternoon slugger.

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Photo of DavidST
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a pint glass, new at the local store, but not sure how fresh, don't like the clear bottle. This pours light golden color with a off white head. The smell from a distance is already a tad skunky, other smells light hops and caramel and biscuit malts. The feel is medium. The taste is better than expected, higher hops than most British ipa, caramel and biscuit malts, not skunky as expected.

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Photo of CowsCanBark
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into Samuel Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice clear copper with an eggshell two-finger head. There is a good amount of lacing.

Smell: Due to the clear bottle, the smell is a bit skunky. However, in the backbone I can smell floral hops and some light malts.

Taste: Despite the smell, the taste is freaking great. The forefront is a generous amount of biscuity malts, with the middle being a fairly strong floral hop taste. There is a general bitterness throughout, it's definitely noticeable but not overbearing. The only downside is that at the end I can slightly taste that skunkiness.

Mouthfeel: Light body and moderate carbonation, smooth and easy to go down.

Overall: An excellent English IPA, more malty than hoppy, delicious nonetheless.

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Photo of TrevorWGrover
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is not a bad beer. I saw it in the store and decided to give it a shot because I am a big fan of hoppy IPAs. The appearance was beautiful and clear. The smell was very floral which, for me was a little turn off but there was some hops coming through. The taste was good but a lot of the hoppy characteristics seamed unable to shine through and balance the sweetness. So, like i said; a little sweet for my pallet and I was expecting a little more hops from an IPA. Overall, not bad, just not what I was expecting or really in the mood for at the time.

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Photo of beergoot
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beers pours out to a golden yellow color and thin white head.

Earthy hop aroma with light, biscuit-like malt scent.

Taste is an interesting mixture of sweet malts, slight citrus and fruit with a subtle bitterness. I also taste a slight bubblegum-like aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium body with noticeable carbonation softening things.

A decent beer for an English IPA. My personal prejudice is for more hopped American versions, but this one is worth trying if you're looking for a more traditional old-world styled IPA.

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Photo of dansmcd
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Moon and Sixpence in Perth.

A - Slightly cloudy shade of apricot amber under a small white creamy head that quickly fades to a film with a ring and sloppy lacing.

S - Served a bit too cold so not much at first, but as it warms the caramel, toffee and bread characters come out. Sweet malt dominant. Very English.

T - Follows the nose with sweet caramel, honey and toffee accompanied by some dry hop flavour and late mild bitterness.

M - Smooth and easy drinking medium body, low carbonation.

O - A nice example of the English style IPA. Very sessionable with a full and tasty yet not overly complex flavour.

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Photo of chilly460
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy copper color with a 1/4 inch of white head that recedes qiuckly. Lacing coats the glass to the bottom.

S: Nose is dominated by sweet caramel malts with some toffee and a bit of breadiness. Floral hop character finishes it off, subtle.

T: Taste starts with caramel then moves to a bread and yeastiness. Finishes with a strong floral hop note, minor citrus twinge in there too.

M: Medium to light body with medium to high carbonation.

O: Nice drinkable IPA, embodies the "english" style for sure. Solid brew.

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Photo of matt20102
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in goblet from bottle at refrigerator temperature. From the appearance, one might suspect a heavily-malted British style. The aroma is very subtle and typical- herbal, hoppy. Could benefit from a bigger aroma.

The malt flavor is heavy but not overly or cloyingly sweet and is well-balanced by the hop flavor. The flavor is initially of malt followed closely by bitter hops and then a residual resiny hop flavor. The sensation which remains is the hoppy resin. There is also the possibility of there being thistle in the beer but I can't immediately confirm or deny this. Were I to be told that there is, I'd certainly believe it.

There is a a lot of yeast here; make sure that the bottle is well-settled.

For the style, this is pretty much exactly on the mark. It is nothing out of the ordinary but doesn't need to be for a straightforward, successful brew.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours burnished gold - no crystal malt at all - with a dense white head that fades to film with decent sheets. Nose is skunk (with the clear glass, can you be surprised?) sour grain and a metallic tang - more like a lager than an IPA of any sort.
Cream cracker malts and maybe faint pear with slight citrus and wood.
Mineral ending and saltwater taffy linger. Thin, salty, limp.

I've had lagers with more hop character and body, never mind a pale ale of any variety. Challenger and Cascade weren't even in the building, never mind the brew kettle. Belhaven do a decent stout, so I don't understand how this misses so badly, unless it's just a session ale with an IPA tag (e.g. Greene King IPA) but given the strength, I doubt that.

Poor effort, keep away.

Note: Other reviews are so different, I wonder if they're drinking the 6.1% export version I've heard about...

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Photo of Raven3464
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a golden/copper color with lots of carbonation. The retention is decent.

Smell: Grains and hops dominate early. If you're really trying it's possible to note a flowery aroma as well. The smell is not as "hoppy" as many IPAs.

Taste: Sweet malts dominate early. Then the hops kick in with a dry, slightly bitter aftertaste. There are no fruits or "flowery" hints apparent. The beer reminds me more of an English Pale Ale than an IPA. There is nothing offense about the taste but it's not as complex as the smell.

Mouth feel: Medium bodied but the carbonation is refreshing.

Overall: This is well balanced beer but not as "hoppy" or complex as many IPAs. I would have it again but it really should not be labeled an IPA.

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Photo of Noxious26
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml clear bottle with pry-off cap poured in a pint glass. Bottle says best before Jun 12

Hazy, apricot in colour. Off-white head is 1/4 inch on the pour but quickly recedes to a thin ring around the edge. Little lines of lace here and there.

Citrus hops and noble hops. A little skunky, I hope this isn't off. Light caramel and malt sweetness.

Interesting combination of noble hops with citrus hops. Nicely balanced off the start and smoothly transitions into a hoppy bitter finish.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A little oily from the hops.

A really intriguing brew. The blend of hops, with the inclusion of noble hops, is something I haven't had before which makes this strangely inviting. It's not bang on style but I really rather enjoyed this. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of evlu1441
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy copper/apricot colour with a nice foamy head. There is a decent amount of carbonation. Looks like a nice English ale.

The aroma is distinctly hoppy. There are some nice citrus notes with kind of herbal quality. There is a nice caramel backbone too.

The hops are very strong in the taste. Slightly tart, and very aromatic, it develops a bit of toffee character in the background. This, however, takes a back seat to the hops.

Overall, this is a nice and unusually hoppy English IPA. I'd get it again if I felt in the mood.

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Photo of SFC21
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass

A - Pours a very cloudy, dark straw color with some sediment floating about. Looks very enticing.

S - Sweet, malty nose with strong notes of molasses. Only detecting the faintest hint of hops. Smelling this blind I would not have guessed IPA.

T - Malt forward with a subtle dry hops finish. The first part of the taste reminds me of the maltiness I would get on a DIPA that would be followed up by a bitter hop wallop, only the bitter hop wallop never comes here, which is fine by me. However, a little more hops bitterness to balance off the malts would be welcomed.

M - Full bodied and creamy.

O - Not exactly what I was expecting for a beer labeled an IPA but it was very tasty. It could use a little more hops balance but overall I did enjoy it and could have several of these in one sitting.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear orange apricot, small near white head, creamy. Slow to leave. Lots of lace.

S - Grain, sweet malt and a hint of hop.

T - Nice light sweet core with a thin hop blanket.

M - Very nicely balanced.

D - Easy going, tasty beer. A good session!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.14/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a golden orange color with a thin, white, low profile frothy head that clings to any part of the glass it touches. Nose is floral, with a heavy dose of grapefruit, and a good supply of light, fresh hops. Smells delicious. Flavor gets a lot more of the floral character, with a mouthful of aromatic and pungent fern, blended with a good dose of hops, and the citrus is barely shining through, mostly overpowered. There is a slightly roasty/toasty character, also. The beer is mid-bodied, and very crisp. The aftertaste is roasted, with a little citrus sweet and a wierd semisweet tang. The finish is a bit sweet and sour, with a bit of pucker and drying bitterness, too. This is a decent beer, but the smell definitely had me hoping for more.

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Photo of mullenite
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice medium gold color with very little white head that could have been the result of the pour. I didn't get to see it poured though so I can't say for sure. Not a whole lot of lacing to speak of.

Aroma is resinous with lots of orange and tangerine. There is also a decent amount of floral aromas which are to be expected but they are sort of non-distinct. The only thing I think I could pick out was jasmine but that may be because that is what I have the most experience with so who knows. It smells good but is not very inviting to me.

Taste is much better, lots of that same citrus flavor with just a touch of bitterness. The floral flavors come in at the back of the tongue with a very distinct separation between them, although I still couldn't pick them out of a lineup. Very bright.

Body was a little on the thin side, I would have liked it to coat my mouth a little more. Carbonation was good for the style.

Overall, a decent beer. I won't try it again simply because it is not for me but I could see how some would really like this.

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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 metter98
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that quickly died down and left lacing on the surface along with a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of floral and pine resin hops in the nose along with some notes of caramel malts.
T: The initial taste is quite malty and has some notes of sweetness and flavors of caramel; the hops contribute earthy flavors and a slight amount of bitterness towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and is quite sessionable. I would have no problem drinking several of these in succession.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours out as a dark orange color, The head was a little soapy looking and left a little lacing at first. The smell had some earthy hop aromas in it with a decent malt character as well. The taste was malty upfront and had a nice hop bite on the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was smooth, almost a little flat. Overall it's not my favorite IPA out there but its worthy looking into.

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Photo of Matt1516
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours up cloudy-orange with fluffy head and lacing down the glass. Smells at first quite grainy with meadow notes.

Tastes of lemon zest, some rice grain, floral notes and light malts. As it's an English IPA the hops are somewhat subdued, I found that as it warmed up they came more to the fore but they were subtle at first. The ABV for the American version is higher than 5.3%.

Doable as a session ale, subtle complexities come through as you finish the bottle.

Pair with fish & chips, soul food.

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

A- 3.5 Pours a hazy, rust-like orange with a small whitish head. The head dwindles away and there's fairly smooth, sticky lacing. The yeast is visible throughout; maybe I poured it too quickly.

S- 3.5 This is malty with a bit of candied fruit, perhaps from the hops. Werthers butterscotch candy comes to mind. OK, but the blend is a little one-dimensional.

T- 4 There's more of a hop presence in the taste than I got from the aroma, and that is much welcomed! It is still a sweet brew, but not overly so. There's a little citrus and yeast as well. A pretty good balance.

M- 4 Medium light body with good carbonation. Crisp. The finish is a little dry.

D- 4 I like the flavor of this one and it is certainly sessionable. It is a little sweeter than ideal and light on any knock-your-socks-off flavors, but it is easy to drink and packs a decent punch. Worth a try at least once. Before this bottle I'd only had it on tap and remember liking it even more, for what it's worth.

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Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
84 out of 100 based on 418 ratings.
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