Belhaven Scottish Stout | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

very good
283 Reviews
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Belhaven Scottish StoutBelhaven Scottish Stout

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

Style: English Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by John_M on 02-28-2009

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Reviews: 283 | Ratings: 653
Photo of faroutadventure
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Super dark, espresso coffee, black, rich.

S: Espresso, dark, chocolate, mild hop aroma.

T: Dark chocolaty, full body, smooth on the tongue, smooth finish, slight coffee finish.

MF: Superb, smooth, makes you want more, rich, dark.

D: A one beer session, very rich, a beer to savor, a late night beer with chocolate cake.

This stout is by far one of a classic. The super dark chocolate notes and espresso coffee taste really shines with this winner. A+ for sure!!

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Photo of WildHighlander
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been a big fan of Belhaven Scottish Ale for a long time, when I found this on the shelf I was quite excited. I wasn't disappointed. It poured very dark garnet/black. Good off-white head and nice malty aroma. From the first sip I was impressed. Nice mouthfeel, not too chewy but nice body. The flavor was chocolate, vanilla and slight roastiness. Truly, even though the bottle says Belhaven Scottish Stout, it is a Porter, a strong porter, but still a porter. They even say so on their website. It does not have the coffee overtones associated with stouts. This one of my favorites. Slainte!

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Photo of HomrQT
4.92/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I'm a huge Guinness lover and this was like a Guinness but with more flavor. I would highly recommend this beer. Sweet, not bitter, not hoppy. Very smooth, fairly heavy drink. I'm going to start hunting around for these bad boys to have at the house.

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Photo of packetknife
4.88/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When I saw this listed as limited I grabbed up as much as I could. Something told me I was really going to like this. I had been leaning away from English Pale Ale as my favorite into this range and BSS solidified the move.

Not jet black but very black with very little light even in the brightest space. Brownish foamy head that settled into a small 1/3" dense head that laced cleanly down the glass. There was one sticky area where I think the glass might have had the slightest residue.

Nosed nice burned chocolate, coffee, bit of sweetness, sauteed caramel or something that I would think that would smell like. These was the tiniest metallic odor present which prevented me from the 5. Just as well on the tongue without the metal. VERY smooth and develops through the glass. You wouldn't be able to tell the ABV if you weren't told. At the end/back it was very slightly more burned and bitter and the pleasant tastes lingered through a great meal. It is just creamy enough and very drinkable. I'm going to have to keep a full page and try it over and over. Using the back of business cards for notes can't do this good of a beer right.

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Photo of blatherbeard
4.87/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was my first foray into Belhaven's line of beer and i have to say, it was WELL WORTH IT.

Pours a dark, almost black with very little brownish head that has no lacing and dissapears very quickly.

The smell is fantastic. A bit of hops, malt and lots of cocoa.

The taste is also fantastic. It delivers what the label says, chocolate but not overly. The malt and hops bring the chocolate flavor down a notch and add a bitterness that offsets the sweet perfectly.

I would buy this again in a heartbeat. I just wish beer this good did not only sell in singles.

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Photo of kencarman
4.73/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To clear a few things up: Bellhaven's own site lists this as 4.1%, not 7, and I believe them. To me the body wasn't "too light" but plentiful, chewy: a bit Scottish 80 like with a stout twist. Hops way in the background but with so much going on here, that's expected. Chocolate malt, dextrinous malt, roasted malt of various types and, of course, tons of pale. Mouthfeel so silky sweet, grainy and just a tad sour too.

Obsidian black with a deep tan head that holds for a moderate amount of time.

No way is this meant to be American, or English, or Irish. (An "English" would most likely vary with a Scottish take on the style.) The bottle lists it as Scottish and, once again, on the mark. A bit of peated malt, or smoked, in the background and even more so: sweet unfermentables. Even further back: just a slight hint of traditional sour like the major brewer of stout uses.

It is what it is: a Scottish version of a stout.

Have it for desert or an after meal, by the fire, luxurious quaff.

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Photo of Larry18
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

very delicious. rich and hearty, with a good mouthfeel and pleasingly burnt aftertaste, but does leave the tongue a little flat.

Nice caramelly overtone and chocolate.

Color is deep coffee brown, with a low, foamy brown top.

This is a definite "try" if you like a hearty stout with tons of flavor and character.

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Photo of njmoons
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great, and unique beer. I really enjoyed all aspects of this stout, and would not change a thing

A - Dark Black, slightly opaque. Thin head with light lacing.

S - Fruits, Roast, Nobel Hops. Extremely complex as I took in the aroma for a long time. The balance in the smell was surprising, and the aroma hopping was not expected.

T - Balanced, complex, delicious. The taste followed the aroma balanced and complex, with a lot going on in each sip. As good as any beer I have tasted. A 5!

M - Perhaps a little thin for a stout, but still pleasant and well made.

D - The 7% ABV is surprising for an overall mild and balanced stout. I could easily drink these all night.

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Photo of samie85
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a pitch black color with two fingers of mocha foam-colored head.

S-Smells strongly of robust coffee with some caramel undertones with some fruity hop notes.

T-A bit of roasted notes, with some caramel and big chocolate notes with some crisp, cleanly bitter, fruity hop finish.

M-Thick and luxuriously creamy with low carbonation and a slick,
slightly oily mouthfeel.

D-Insanely drinkable for 7%, and just a ridiculously delicious, solid beer for a pretty low price tag.

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Photo of mintjellie
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Inky black in colour, topped by an inch of fairly well-retained mocha head that sticks to the walls of my tulip in small splotches. It smells of dried fruit, like raisins or cherries, and brown sugar; hints of chocolate and coffee also linger in the background. It has a wonderful bittersweet and tangy flavour reminiscent of sweetened black coffee. That dried fruit character is there as well, along with notes of chocolate, caramel, and a hint of smoke. That tangy taste starts to take on a life of its own as it approaches room temperature, becoming vinuous and vaguely reminiscent of madeira. The potency of this strong stout is very well hidden, the alcohol is barely noticeable to the palate.

Medium bodied with velvety carbonation, it feels smooth yet also relatively light for something so richly flavoured. A little bit more heft wouldn't hurt it, but it's pretty hard to nitpick when something tastes so damned good. This is fine just the way it is. I like it a lot just the way it is. Full flavoured yet mellow. Great beer!

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled last night on 6/21/15. Comes in a 500ml (16.9 ounce) bottle. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a "STORZ" snifter glass.

Brew pours really close to a pitch-black in color with close to a 1-finger foamy beige head. Lots of 'ring-like' lacing is seen when sipped. Aroma is of dark malts and a hint of black licorice. The taste follows the nose with a hint of chocolate also. Very tasty and goes down easy. A very minor bitter finish was noted but didn't last more than a few seconds and doesn't take anything away from this fantastic brew.

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Photo of Offa
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an excellent, characterful yet very smooth stout.

Black, it has a dark tan head slowly shrinking to a thin foamy top and leaves nice, sticky foamy lace.

Aroma is rich chocolate, prunes, toasted brown bread, light mocha coffee, currants, lightly burnt bread, barley, brown sugar.

Taste is nice and characterful. It is lightly on the sweet side up front and sweetness just dominates a light spicey-leafy-raisiny bitterness. It has rich prunes, earthy roots and leaves, hints of licorice and toast, hint of bittersweet chocolate. It has a leafy dryish finish with earth and hint of bittersweet chocolate, with the other elements lingering afterwards. The feel is nice, silky, a hint of oily fullness but not really oily and not viscous.

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Photo of shand
4.59/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a pint glass.

This brew pours a nice black color with two fingers of head that fairly quickly recede. Aroma is of rich roasted coffee, chocolate, peat, and toasty malts. A seriously exceptional smelling stout. The taste is also very good. It has a nice, smooth flavor of cocoa, peated malts, espresso coffee, toffee, and roasted nuts. Everything good you want out of a stout, without anything unnecessary. Just a great stout. The mouthfeel is great, it's very creamy, full-bodied, and goes down easily. The drinkability is just great. All things taken, this is a great, drinkable stout that I'm glad I picked up.

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Photo of atis
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours beautiful black with thin brownish creamy head with excellent retention and dense lacing, simply beautiful. Aroma is slightly subtle, but complex smoked wood, roasted malt, dark fruit.

Taste is dominated by smoke, bits of nuts, caramel, later bitterness comes up, reminds of coffee and bitter chocolate. Mouthfeel is smooth medium with light carbonation.

I had not had Stouts in a while and this immediately made me want to go back to Ireland. This one is somewhat strong though, but perfect for a relaxing evening after the work.

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Photo of lou50rp
4.56/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Color is black with a tan head
Strong smell of sweet strong coffee
Taste is strong, sweet malt, with a touch of charred malt. Touch of hops at the end.
Mouthfeel is heavy, almost syrupy.
Very good brew for a midwinter drink. A good sipping beer. Reminds me of a Russian Imperial Stout.

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Photo of warnecj
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a fantastic beer. Very easy to drink; even session-able. This stout surprised me in its light body and SMOOTH easiness to drink. It is roasty and chocolately in the taste and it was more than I was expecting. The main characteristic that I keep thinking about is the smooth, soft, easy drinkability. Dangerously easy to drink. Also, it showed a super-thick pale creamy head through the whole glass.

I had started the night on other drinks and tried this on a whim actually but I wish I'd started the night on this one. A few would have made me really happy. ;-)

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Photo of gfreed
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Deep ruby red with black edges and an oaky-colored head that bubbled heavily and never really went away. Loads of smoke in the aroma; peaches, leather and moss as well. A bit salty in the taste but very dry all around, with smoke and some light bitterness at the end. The label says 7% ABV but it felt more like something under 6%. Does that mean I can have two?

Well worth hunting this one down; buy three and store two for later. An excellent stout, nearly at the level of a Sam Smith porter.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dull black in the glass and very opaque as no light penetrates its darkness. Moonscaped and rocky topping of light cocoa colored foam poofs up quickly and settles slowly to a firm bubbly skim and collar always present. Lacing patterns out in inticate thick webbings and inky blobs.

Aroma is dry of cocoa, slighty burnt husks, chocolate creamed coffee, and very tender and delicate chocolate cookie sweetness underneath. Quite nice. Not big and booming like a top notch RIS, but its very appetizing.

Flavors are just as nice with great subtlity and brings a incredibly delicate, smooth, soft, developing character of choco/chocolatey tones. Takes on a chocolate muffin or cookie likeness with slight burnt edges way off in the back notes as are super tender little notes of dryness along with a nutty sweetness. It grows slowly with a smoother dryness as it empties with very complexing cocoa stuff and creamed coffee. Bitterness is rounded and easy to handle within semi roasted tender chocolate and light burntness. Very solid taster with a great texture, character, and taste.

Body is well established within a nice medium tone with a smooth, soft, tender texture, semi creamy, dry, and sweet with a complexing as hell finish that leaves a lasting impression of chocolate bitterings and light burnt crispness.

Very solid and quite impressively yummy! And @ $4.50 for the 500ml bottle its well worth grabbing a few. I know I'm gonna stock up on more next time I see it...

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Photo of TheJollyHop
4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Aroma of baker's yeast, cocoa, pears and peaches, freshly baked brioche. As beer warms, aroma of burnt sugar becomes more noticeable. Pours an opaque black with a small amount of head with faint lacing.

Slightly fruity flavor (peaches) followed by nuttiness and bittersweet chocolate, ending with a touch of caramel, bread, and some a tinge of bitterness.

Tongue coating with a sweet grain finish, medium bodied and medium carbonated. A very pleasant light mouthfeel and very drinkable; leaves a longing for another taste.

This stout was very flavorful and very well balanced with a bitterness that kept the malt profile in check, but didn't overtake it. Alcohol heat is not even noticeable and this brew is dangerously drinkable. A great dessert pairing due to the supporting hops role. Highly recommended. I had to restrain myself from gulping this beer!

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Photo of russpowell
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent chestnut-tinged mahogany with a rocky finger of mocha head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Plummy & figgy notes merge with oakyness & a whisper of vanilla, the strength of this beer is the aroma, plus much peattyness

T: Follows the nose along with brown sugar & molasses, plus iron & leafy hops. Figgyness & Baker's chocolate & more leafy hops as this warms, plus dryness & charred grains & a kiss boozey warmth& peaty smokeyness. Finishes dry, smokey & fruitty with nice charred grain notes

MF: Fairly smooth, medium bodied, starts to become almost prickly as this warms, but also becomes a bit sticky

Nice drinkability, easily one of the best bottled beers I've had out of Britain in the last 12-18 months & a top flight example of this style on the upper edge of ABV, yum

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Photo of Daredevil
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

pours a clean dark liquid, with a brownish not very firm foam

nose: peaty, banana-bread, some hops

palate: generous toffee like sweetness, strawberries, light bitterness in the aftertaste

despite the sweetness a nicely balanced brew - well worth a try

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a pint glass at Fountainhead.

Appearance: The appearance on this stout is awesome. It comes out with a perfectly elegant tan cap that made me question whether it was a nitro tap. It looks as creamy as Guinness (nitro) without anything synthetic added. The color is dark brown all the way through.

Smell: Smooth, roasted malt, mild roasted brewed coffee, and dark chocolate.

Taste: The roast in the malt builds to a bitterness, eventually revealing a coffee flavor. Milky cocoa, and lightly bitter spicy hops blend well with the coffee flavors.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth; I should have been able to guess just from the appearance. The carbonation contributes to this ultimate creaminess. Medium to full body to wrap everything up.

Drinkability: This is most likely the most drinkable English Stout I have ever had. Very smooth, amazing looking, and with a very pleasant taste. This is a great 7% sipper.

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Photo of jmbranum
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super smooth stout but with some substance (unlike Guiness Draught from the can)

Gorgeous dark brown brew with a huge light tan head. Great toasty aroma. Flavor is chocolaty, maybe a little bit of dr pepper (not kidding you) but with a nice bitter toasty backbone.

On the negative, this stout isn't as complex as many of my favorites. And besides the smoothness, there wasn't a dominant characterization. It almost is like this stout is too balanced.

The bottle says it is 7% alcohol but you don't feel it. Very drinkable.

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Photo of hu5om
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

split in Sam Smith glasses with newk340 and e11a627

a-dark brown/black, off white ring and spotty layer of foam.

s-mild english dark malts, oatmeal, fairly subdued

t-rich english malts, milk/dark chocolate mix, oats, sweet enough but not too sweet, exquisite sweet/bitter balance. sugar roasted nuts

m-round, very very light tingle, doesn't linger too long, but leaves a very pleasing chocolate oat taste in the mouth without being overbearing. medium carbonation

d-an excellent stout. can't touch the best imperials but damn it's good. one of the best stouts, i've ever had. good pick nick.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On nitro-tap at Brewskis in Fayetteville, AR. Served in a nonic.

The nitro does wonders and this is no exception. Eggshell khaki head on ruby tinted at the extreme edges but otherwise opaque black bodied beer.

The distinctive metallic nitro smell and immense red berry and vinous red wine make this a nose with presence. Twig and berries. Leathery, quite smokey with some alcohol.

Dry stout with cherry and rich wine soaked fruit. Smokey and satisfying and way better than Guinness draft (of course, not the same style).

If you don't already know the nitro stout mouthfeel, get acquainted.

A good, nay great nitro or normal stout if you're in the mood.

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Belhaven Scottish Stout from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
3.92 out of 5 based on 653 ratings.
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