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Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

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Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPABelhaven Twisted Thistle IPA
840 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: 840 |  Reviews: 432
Photo of travolta
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App: Hazy golden, little floaties, fluffy head with an eggshell lacing. Retention is nice.

Nose: Malty, floral, a little pine and apple.

Taste: Nice setup, malty, bitter, lingering mouthfeel. Well balanced.

Totally worth a try. great example of an IPA.

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Photo of ByTor2112
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured to my Samuel Smith Impy Pint Glass-Gasp! Scottish ale to a Brit glass?
Great pale color with a honey orange hue coming through with the light. Puffy two-finger head flourishes and slowly reduces down to a solid crown of foam. Lacing is better than spotty, but not overly sticky.
Aroma-Floral hop bouquet, not very pungent.
Mouthfeel-medium bitterness delivers a mild palate of malt flavors. I hate to type the word balanced but this IPA is mild mannered in a good way. Malt flavors are just beneath the hops.
Very sessionable and Belhaven has never disappointed.

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

This beer pours a nice honey colour with nice carbonation that leaves a fast vanishing one finger head with only a ring a lacing,it has a nice floral,citrus,honey hop aroma to it very nice indeed,it has an above average mouthfeel with a dominant citrus,honey hop start that finishes with a nice touch of caramel maltiness and a tinge of bitterness but not that bitter by any means and alcohol is well hidden making this beer very easy to drink as a session beer.

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Photo of ludachris
4.37/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After finding out NSLC had this in stock I was very anxious to pick one up, and I'm glad I got my hands on it.

Pours a slightly hazy golden orange with a one finger off white head that leaves some nice sticky patchy lacing.

Smell of a stereotypical EIPA; herbal hops, citrus, a touch of pine and some subdued biscuity malt.

Everything fell perfectly into place; light biscuity malt, followed by a nice kick of citrus and herbal hops but nothing that makes the mouth pucker.

Mouthfeel is clean, crisp and a little bit on the creamy side for an EIPA but nothing compared to an AIPA. I rarely rate drinkability 5, but I don't know how this one could become anymore quaffable. Transition from malt to hops is perfect and nothing is too pronounced.

Overall; the best EIPA I've had to date. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the style.

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Photo of ernie
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber color, dense head. Carbonation relatively low. Very complex aroma - flowery-hoppy mixed with roasted malts and candy sugar. Carbonation below medium.
Flavor malty, with a healthy bite of hops and delightful fruitiness. Mouthfeel unique - not rounded but rolling, every second showing you a new side of this IPA. Finish rather bitter but pleasant.
Very drinkable. Recommended.

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Photo of Wheelinb
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid beer, just not outstanding. Lots of little yest colonies or possibly protein floating around in my glass. Big floral smell. Reminded my of an apple orchard in bloom. Big bitter bite at the front and settles down. The taste lingers a bit. Very hoppy which I like but the balance is off. Worthy of a sample though.

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Photo of benteach
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured amber yellow with a very thick head. Had a large amount of sediment floating in the beer. Large grains and flecks of something. I have had plenty of IPAs before and have not seen anything like this.

Beyond the appearance, everything was great. Very crisp aroma, you can already sense the strong hops flavor. Tastes great. Very rich with a great dry finish. Not too watery.

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Photo of Squelch
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: hazy straw colored. thick head.

smell: light malt aroma. Very little hop aroma

Taste: Nice british noble hops. Malt overpowers a bit. Would like a little more bitterness in here. Hops are resiny and stick in your mouth for a while.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy bodied suits the style.

Drinkability: Probably the best english IPA I've had.

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Photo of Yesac
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks jwinship83 for trading this

A- Huge amount of head that finally settles down to about a two finger size. Cloudy pale yellow/orange. Lots of debris floating around in the glass.

S- Bready aroma up front, doesn't smell like an American IPA which is what I'm used too. This brew reminds me of Belhaven's Scottish ale. There is nothing more to the aroma.. just a stale bready malt.

T- Carrying over from the aroma.. there is still a strong bready malt dominance in the taste. Slight hop presense but this brew is very un-ipa like. I guess its a Scottland thing.

M- Medium/thin bodied, coats the palate nicely. Decent amount of aftertaste.

D- meh.. this isn't an American IPA. This is a very bland and another English style malt bomb. Smooth and easy drinking however.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A nice woody-orange color with moderate head and good lacing.

S- Not so much here, unfortunately. Some citrus hops with some sweet malt. Slightly floral as well.

T- Good stuff, not too much bite not too much sweetness. This is a fine IPA. Sweet sourdough-y malt with some nice citrus hops (orange, lemon zest). Well-balanced.

M- Very creamy and smooth. I loved it.

D- The balance, ABV, flavor, and MF makes this tremendous. A great session beer for a night out at a pub.

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Photo of nighthawk
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle with best before on shoulder poured into pint glass.

Pours a light, coppery orange, clear enough to see some bubbles streaming up. Head is about one finger when poured, white and bubbly, diminishing quickly to a haze with some lacing left here and there as I consume.

Nose is a bit subdued, but there seems to be some butterscotch, floral hops and a bit of tropical fruit.

Taste is a lovely blend of sweet citrus, peach, some butterscotch, light grains and floral hops that give just a touch of bitterness before the smooth finish.

Mouthfeel is medium body, smooth and creamy with very light carbonation. Nearly clean finish, but with a slight lingering sweetness.

This is a delicious, refreshing brew. Very nice on this warm summer evening.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours a translucent orange, with a finger of white head, solid lace.

S: Grassy, earthy hops with sweet malt - cookies and toffee.

T: Quite light toasty malt, a rather hop dominated brew for an English-style IPA. Hops bring flavours of orange (American hop presence) and hay. The beer also has a charming mineral presence.

M: Medium-bodied, crisp, lightly resiny but with a long hoppy finish.

D: A real nice English IPA, this one was quite fresh and very flavourful, another fantastic beer from Belhaven.

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Photo of NClifestyle
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours orange amber and slightly hazed in color, large white head of creamy foam, all coming from a bottle adorned with a lovely purple thistle flower.
The Belhaven website says they employ cascade and challenger hops, hence the piney, citrus hop scents one would expect from a west coast ale. Just as potent is a caramel malt aroma that keeps right up with the hops.
The beer has a medium body, with below average carbonation. Honey bread greets the tongue, but is quickly overtaken by the orange/grapefruit flavors of the aforementioned hops. Good stuff, and expected. But somewhere near mid glass, the unexpected hits, although it should not have been a surprise - a touch of smoke, earth, peat creeps in. Wow, very original, a Scottish IPA. The beer finishes creamy, smooth and quickly. A great mix for a unique beer.


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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Noticed this as the local NSLC and thought I would try it out.

Pouring into a mugs results in a light amber ale with plenty of thick frothy white head. Head takes its own merry time, never quite evaporating, and leaving thick lacing down the glass.

Smell is almost non-existent. Maybe a hint of hops.

The flavor is more impressive than the smell. Definitely hoppy, but not overly so. Hoppiness is, however, the only flavor I can detect.

Not a whole lot of an aftertaste, not much bitterness, not much carbonation. A smooth beer to be sure, and easily drinkable.

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Photo of bmwats
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 50 cl bottle into an imperial nonic.

A: Dark golden, light amber. Low carbonation. Pours into a half finger, foamy, white head. Settles pretty quickly, but leaves a thin blanket of bubbly carbonation on the surface. A little beer ring lacing remains as you drink.

S: A little wheat, a lot of hops. Nice baked wheat bread nose.

T: Really hoppy. A bit of a wheaty, malty flavor. But the hops carry the day.

M: Sharp and bitter. Hops really shock the palette to life and linger for the aftertaste. A bit steely, but not too much. Also, I detected an indistinguishable touch of sweetness in the finish.

D: Very good, slow sippin' brew.

Really solid atmosphere. Good lookin' brew, and a simple nose that you'd expect from this style. Hoppy flavor, but a little nice malt to balance it out. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of eat
2.91/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light amber colour with a thin blanket of head. Not a whole lot of visible carbonation. Not really any lacing. Looks like beer.

Mostly hard-water minerals come out in the smell, along with some honey-roasted malt, a bit of yeast and some stinky-feet funkiness. Not really any hops.

Quite watery, some sweet honey flavour as found in the smell. More hops in the flavour but not nearly as much as I like to find in an IPA. 6% is not noticable. Very little aftertaste. Tastes more like just a PA; where's the I? This is a weakly-flavoured beer; I feel like I'm drinking beer-flavoured mineral water.

Light-bodied, pretty watery, low carbonation.

I think this could be the first Scottish beer I've tried. I'm not impressed. This is borderline-drinkable for my taste, just way too bland. There's nothing interesting about it; it actually doesn't really have anything going for it. Goes down smoothly enough, just not that great. How is this averaging a B+?

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Photo of stingrayvr6
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Grech's Millbrook Inn in Pond Eddy, NY. Pretty light golden amber color. Not much head. Smell was dry and grassy. Taste was fairly light and watery then floral hops and a very dry finish. Slight off-taste. Not bad but not great, not worth trying if you like robust IPAs.

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Photo of jushoppy2beer
2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is an unusual IPA. At least the draft version I had at an Irish pub in Kentucky was unusual. The color is dark straw with a meager head, but the nose is a nice slightly floral. Refreshing mouthfeel and carbonation in the draw, but on the palate this one is pretty tart. The tartness persists through the finish, but does leave a slight lingering bitterness.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Being a long time fan of Belhaven beer, I eagerly awaited the opporunity to try this one. It pours out a massive lathery head that hovers atop a body of amber. Lacing exists in the form of heavy clots slathering along the glass side. (I've included "lather" and "slather" and am happy in this regard.) The nose, while somewhat average, is subtle in that there is some notes of pear. One would expect thistles, at least. In any case, it was not overwhelming. The palate detects some lemon hint backed by a pliant hoppiness that makes for a smooth body. Add to this some minor maltiness and one has a decent mouthfeel. A nice balance.

This is not the greatest IPA out there, but it is Belhaven, a brewery that has always gotten my respect. This said, I would still drink it and am now eagerly anticipating it on tap.

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Photo of bum732
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt orange, nice creamy head leaving great lacing. Smells of floral hops, some grapefruit, tad of smoke maybe. Tastes of mild fruity sweetness followed by a bisquity bready malt backbone. Not much bitterness, some grapefruit near the end. Finishes very dry. Very creamy mouthfeel, different from most "cascade" IPAs. Carbonation is fairly low.

An ok beer, i would love to try this fresh. A very moderate IPA, English i suppose is the excuse, was very surprised to see cascade hops in this. The only interesting thing was how smooth this beer was, interesting texture for an IPA. Other than that, very average.

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Photo of stockingcpl
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This selection pours as a hazy honey color. Head is moderately thin but with good sustain. Nothing special here.

Smell: Aroma is very malty for an IPA. The interesting thing is an apricot presence. Kind of neat. This is definitely NOT an American version of an IPA. This brew apparently uses traditional British supplies for manufacture.

Taste: Wow...hops were missing in the aroma, but they are present during flavor onset. The flavor curve is conservative in both strength and duration. There is a creamy presence during onset. This tapers into a malt flavor but then flips into a hop bitterness for the sustain. This interesting brew almost has an inverted flavor profile. Very very interesting.

Mouthfeel: The creamy onset dominates this brew. This is a "different" experience for American drinkers. Hop presence is subdued to the palate does not feel too crowded. The overall character of this brew is striking. The experienced drinker will appreciate how this selection differs from most beers. I rate this high.

Drinkability: This IPA is subdues by American standards, and this leads to a rather "light" (for IPA standards) feel. This is an interesting brew that I recomment to other drinkers if nothing else than to experience the inverted flavor curve.


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Photo of ZorPrime
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this one at SAQ and my tasting note say I first tasted this in october 2008.

Appearance is so nice, Red-Amber color, this is very good beer color. The smell is hops but very light and the same can be said about the taste. I had no head everytime I tried this one. Next, I'll pour aggressively so I get one!

Everytime I drink this one, I search the hops. There is some, but it is so light. I guess I'm more used to American IPA which have more hops.

Overall, not a bad beer but for those who like very hoppy beer, this one is not for you.

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Photo of philipquarles
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear gold with a billowing off white head that hold together nicely. Smells strongly of herbal/floral hops (cannabis), tropical fruit, and sweet malt. Tastes strongly hoppy without being terribly bitter; lots of nice earthy herbal notes that go well with the bready malt and an interesting smokiness. Light-medium bodied--this is really the weakest point. Really flavorful, pleasant, and easy to drink.

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Photo of froghop
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a cloudy amber-orange with a small off-white head, and okay lacing.

smell is of slight grapefruit, some caramel, and a touch floral.

taste is creamy, citrus, some caramel, few malts, some wood, and hops in the back, ends bitter and a little dry.

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Photo of bloberglawp
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid cooper pale ale with a short live head and a lively carbonation, no lacing. Aroma of dryhops hops with a hint of cat pee and oxidation. Flavor of bread crubs, caramel malt and a firm dry-hop bitterness and floral flavor note.

Quite a easy to drink beer. Worth a try!

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Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 840 ratings
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