Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

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Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPABelhaven Twisted Thistle IPA
841 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 841 |  Reviews: 433
Photo of TCHopCraver
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my folks for this birthday present. The a.b.v. listed on the bottle is 6.1%, not 5.3%.

Twisted Thistle pour a rather dark coppery orange hue with a load of sediment suspended throuhout the body. A small off-white head disappears swiftly. Vigorous carbonation shoots up through the glass and peaks at the top of the beer; it is a tumultuous looking beverage. Not much lace is left - just little dots and clumps.

The smell is a mix of buttery malt scents and a minty, light citrus hop profile. There is also a slight caramel influence which is offset by a bit of a leafy and grassy hop smell. When swirled the leafy, citrusy hops overbalance the malt nicely.

The taste has a fine balance between buttery and caramel malt flavors and a leafy, mintry, citrus-y (mainly lime) hop bite. The two components take turns stating their cases on my palate, with the hops eventually winning out in the end and leaving a bit of an earthy, minty, grassy flavor.

Twisted Thistle has a pretty medium-bodied mouthfeel, with a creamy malt middle sandwiched between nippy citrus and leafy hops on the tip of the tongue and earthy, grassy hops drying out the sides of the palate. The carbonation is fairly high and complements the flavors nicely.

This is a nicely drinkable English IPA which would be quite sessionable. I like how the malt sweetness mingles with the hop bitterness, with the hops winning the friendly competiton between the two just at the very end. I would buy this again if I wanted a fairly mellow IPA with just enough of a hop bite.

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Photo of JK4Stout
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into wheat was clean. Don't judge

A: Not too shabby. I mean honestly a little light in color for an IPA. Hoping that is just the thisle lightening it up. I do like that head though. medium thick and bubbly.

S: In the words of my old soccer coach, "It smells like good soccer or bad sex." My response then was "I think it's both." Now my response is I think its weak hops and too long on a shelf. I wont let the age part play a factor though.

T: Not too shabby honestly. Kind of a light floral, honey flavor on the back end. The initial taste is a little off putting, but gets better with each sip. Honestly, much better than the smell leads me to believe.

M: Light body, and bit too light. Could have a little more thickness on it. A good beer is like a full meal, and this one leaves me hungry. Carbonation is A-OK though.

D: "I'd tap that" --Also my old soccer coach, but inreference to the girl's soccer coach.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy orange/copper color; lots of floaters. Poured a 2 finger off-white head that dissipated to a big dollop. Lacing washed down the glass.

S: Biscuity malt. Sweet tropical fruit. Some spices well in the background..

T: Like the nose except the fruit is up front; lots of esters. Wet grain and dry earth. Mild bitterness in the finish with a little resiny linger.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Starts sweet, but finishes slightly dry.

D: OK, but nothing great. Good malt character and balance.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass at Fountainhead.

Appearance: This arrives with a cloudy golden orange color with a modest eggshell head. The head quickly fades to a ring and leaves just a few dabs of lace on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is hop-forward. Peaches, tangerine, apricot, grapefruit, and some caramel notes are all present. Biscuity malt is also present in the nose, although not quite as strong as the hop aroma.

Taste: The flavor starts with the bready malt and some light toffee sweetness. Balanced tangerine, peach, and apricot flavors blend with the grapefruit citrus and spicy notes. The finish is bitter, with a light lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Grainy, with crisp carbonation and a somewhat smooth, medium body. Hop resin remains after each sip.

Drinkability: A solid English IPA.

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Photo of crossovert
3.04/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. These idiots put it in a clear bottle for export. Luckily I noticed they changed labels and got it fresh. I also pulled it form the back of the shelf.

It pours a decent orangeish gold with a big foamy white head that leaves rings of nice lacing.

The smell is a bit disappointing despite being fresh. It has a bit of limey hops, and a bit of earthiness. It also has some noticeable buttery diacetyl

The flavor is a bit better, still too buttery though. It is a bit tangy with some light citrus and some grassy herbal hoppiness. It isn't bitter at all with a smooth caramally malt backing.

The packiaging looks "cool" but that is not what beer should be about.

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Photo of riored4v
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 1/21/11

Poured in to a pint glass. Hazy, copper colored body. White, 1 finger head that faded fast.

Aroma was slightly earthy, spicey and floral. Mellow maltiness. Very light metallic aroma as well that was slightly off-putting.

Taste was very fruity. Some ester flavor and a slight earthiness. Grainy, malt flavor. Hints of caramel. Somewhat of a yeasty flavor. Light bitterness.

Mouthfeel was a medium body with a medium carbonation. Slightly dry.

Drinkabiliy was pretty good. Some slight off-flavors but light bitterness made it drinkable.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bright disco purple bottle label. Not sure who Belhaven is targeting with that one. Hazy orange color with a few floaties that found their way in from the bottle conditioning. Marrow yellowed white head is big and bubbly. Fair retention and lace.

Aroma is tobacco leaf herbal hop spice and rich, dark soil. It's earthy. I like it. Buttery biscuit malt and black pepper melange as well. Earthy as all get out.

Taste features more tobacco leaf herbal spice and and an odd orange citrus marmalade sweetness. Buttery as all get out. Body is soft and fluffy.

I do love me an earthy beer but the butter gets to be a bit much by the end of the bottle.

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Photo of flipper2gv
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice light amber color, tiny bit cloudy. Creme white head with correct retention and ok lacing.

S: Most definitely biscuit malts are in this. A lot like butter biscuits. Definitely more on the english side (challenger I suppose) of hops than american (Cascade). I get red apple smell, honey, pineapple and very light grapefruit. A tiny bit flowery and peppery.

T: This is really good. Pretty sweet too. Again, malts are quite dominant here with strong biscuit malts, butter and honey. More bitter than expected in the smell. Some piny hops are there with light grapefruit. Pineapple and apple are still in there as well as the flowers and peppers.

M: Medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Fits the beer well. Really typical English creamy mouthfeel.

D: Balanced brew, nothing is aggressive really. Easy to drink for sure, and even more during the hot days of summer.

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Photo of Brad007
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden-yellow color with a one-finger head into my glass. Good presentation.

Aroma is slightly skunked with a mild hop/malt presence upfront. Not much else beyond that.

A good dollop of hop bitterness greets the taste buds, followed by lightly buttered malt. Bitterness fills the mouth in a decent manner.

Buttery malt and mild hop bitterness stick around in the back of the throat.

I would probably not use a clear bottle. Regardless, this is a middle-of-the-road take on an english IPA.

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Photo of SebD
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a golden/copper like colour with a nice white head and also has a bit of lace on the glass.

Smell: The aromas give out hints of caramel, toffee and citrucy fruit.

Taste: Like the aromas, it's very malty with flavours of caramel and toffee at the beginning but ends on more of a hoppy/cirtucy note. It also ends with a certain bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It's a good smooth medium boddied beer with medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a nice drinkable beer accompanied with good flavours.

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Photo of rjochman
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Claddagh Irish Pub in Pittsburgh, PA

A: Pours a gold color with white foam and a good amount of lacing down the glass.

S: Main smell includes caramel hops and sweet citrus.

T: A lot of hops to start with and has a good balance between the bitter and citrus flavors.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Really smooth feel

D: An easy beer to drink. Can easily have a few of these and enjoy them.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-This beer pours a honey color with a white head that dissipates very quickly.

S-Floral in that classic English Ale way and balanced out with plenty of malts.

T-Very balanced between hops and malts. It has a nice caramel/toffee flavor. Not very complex.

M-Pretty thick for the style.

D-Very drinkable beer given its abv. and balanced flavor.

Overall, very drinkable and refreshing beer. However, it is not for hopheads because it barely has any more hops than the average English Pale Ale.

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Photo of Jayli
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 12/8/10 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in an imperial pint glass.

A: This beer pours a hazy copper color with a 1/4 inch of white head that recedes qiuckly. Lacing coats the glass.

S: Nose is dominated by hearty, sweet, caramel malts, toffee and a bit of breadiness, a very minor floral hop character.

T: Taste starts big and malty. Caramel through and through. The middle is nothing but a bread and yeast. Finish has a strong floral hop presence, minor citrus bite mingled with a bit more caramel sweetness.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, thick oily feeling to this one - just coats the tongue.

D: Goes down easily, somewhat tasty, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 12/8/10 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, floral hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts with a decent burst of hops bitterness that is quickly followed by mildly sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice solid beer worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of BeerdedEric
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gold body that's decently carbonated. White head. Nothing too impressive as far as looks, maybe it will look better after a few.

As I opened the bottle a skunkish metallic smell rushed into my nose, leaving me to believe this is going to be gross. While in the glass spicy hops, slight citrus hops and a maltiness thrown in. It smells so much more pleasant in the glass.

Very smooth, lightly carbonated. Nothing biting my tongue. Feels nice.

I thought this was going to taste like piss from the smell but it actually has a nice taste. Citrus hops, barley, maybe lemon and honey. It tastes sweet almost refreshing like an iced tea, then a slight crisp bitterness comes in at the end. Very interesting taste from other IPA's I have tried.

I could have another one of these. It's refreshing, smooth and easy to go down.

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Photo of Dentist666
4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours orange, slightly turbid beer with close decent golden head.
Smell - citruses & resiny hops, quite good & crisp.
Taste - well-balanced, malty body, accomplished by mighty hop accord, lingering for a long time, low carbonation, highly recommended specimen of the Scottish Brewing!

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Photo of kwjd
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale orange colour with nice white head and rings of lacing after each sip. Big floral and earthy hops with bicuit and caramel malt backbone. Defintely an English IPA, but it seems to be more hop forward than most. Great balance of bitterness and malt. It would easy to down several pints of this.

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Photo of imbibehour
2.83/5  rDev -22.9%
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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Photo of spinrsx
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear golden yellow colour with a fair size frothy and foamy white head. There is a very low amount of carbonation showing, and there is a little bit of lacing. The head stuck around for a few minutes before it dissipated.

Smell - hops, caramel, malts

Taste & Mouth - The carbonation level is a little below average, but the beer still has a nice light feel to it. It has a nice balance of malts and hops. Almost as if it is trying to be a beer to appeal to everyone, no matter what their preference is. There is also some citrus zest flavour and some caramel. It finishes with a bittersweet after taste.

Drink - Definitely a beer worth trying. It's nothing spectacular, but it hits the spot nicely.

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Photo of FourQuarters
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from an attractive 500 ml bottle into a British nonic glass.

Appearance - Opaque golden-orange with a large off-white head and lively carbonation.

Aroma- Very light, crisp and clean with a mild citrusy hopiness and faint malt notes.

Taste - Begins very mild and opens up intoa big hoppy middle. Ends with a mild, lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Sharp carbonaton with a light body.

Drinkability - I enjoyed this well enough, but not something I'd drink all the time. I think it would drink better with food.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - slightly hazed golden color with a fluffy white head that thinned out some but still left pretty thick lacing.

S - earthy and floral aroma.

T - very good tasting beer, sweet malt and hoppy bitterness are well balanced with the bitterness winning out on the finish.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - good drinkability.

This just might be my favorite English IPA.

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Photo of BevMoAndrew
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belhaven Twisted Thistle pours a clear golden straw color in the glass with a thick white froth, pretty lacing, & really good retention. A very attractive beer. The nose is obvious, yet not overwhelming. Perfuming from the glass are aromas of piney hop resin, green tea, orange peel, lemon zest, toffee, & subtle honey glazed cornbread biscuits. However, there is a noticeable skunkiness to the beer that I just can't get past. (Unfortunately, bringing down the score slightly) Medium bodied, the beer has a smooth dryness , yet noticeable hop bitterness & an almost creamy carbonation. The beer balances the flavors found on the nose & finishes with a crisp green apple & asian pear. Overall, the Twisted Thistle is an amazing example of the English style IPAs & definitely recommended.

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Photo of jkrich
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky, honey-gold with a slowly receding white head; very little lacing. There are lots of suspended particulates visible. The bottle has no freshness date.

The aroma is quite intense with earthy malt and alcohol like aroma. I can almost detect a sherry-like odor. The bottle states cascade and challenger hops were used, but I could not readily detect it.

The initial flavor is a slight candy sweetness and vanilla which is followed by a faint bitterness from the hops. A hint of sourness is noticed in the aftertaste.

The carbonation is quite restrained with a light to medium body. It does leave a nice, subtle bittersweet flavor on the palate.

This is a pleasant, quaffable english style IPA. It is very refreshing for a late summer evening. I suspect it would be even more so if the ale were fresher; right from the source, this would be superb.

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Photo of mjurney
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber-golden color, very clear. Lots of nice bubbles. Foamy head, lacing kinda stick on the glass.

Aroma is very mild. Sweet caramel malts, fruity, slight hint of green apples.

Malty up front, biscuity, slight caramel, touch of honey. Hop character is very mild, slight lemony-herbal. Fruitiness in the middle, peaches with slight hint of dry green apple. Finish off very smooth with sweet-dry aftertaste. Creamy mouthfeel, carbonation feels nice.

Very drinkable. Very mild IPA, yet very complex in flavor. Very nice.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Crisp, golden amber colour, thick white head

smell - floral bouquet with citrus undertones (grapefruit, lemons), tea leaves

taste - bitter hops upfront, semi-sweet citrus notes (grapefruit), green tea

mouthfeel - bitter upfront, medium bodied, nice carbonation, bitter/dry finish

drinkability - nothing too exciting here, i'm glad I tried this though

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Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 841 ratings
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