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: 654
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, surprisingly, from LCBO. Pours blackish with lots of fast disapearing brown foam. Some thick lacing. Inviting roast and malt aroma. The taste is a good roasting, well balanced between a dry stout, just short of a slight sourness in the finish, and nicely malted. Flavourful and good drinkability.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost opaque super dark ruby brown with a 2 inch khaki head that fades to an oily film. Nice latticework of lace forms around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of coffee grounds, cocoa powder, dark malt, and slight soy sauce. Taste is of dark roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and slight coffee. A slight roast bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that I have always seen on the shelf but never picked up until now. My first English stout and a very good one to start with. I will be drinking more of these for sure.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a nice deep blackish brown color with a decent tan head on top. The smell of the beer has some light chocolate aromas along with some earthy roasted aromas too. The taste of the beer is on the sweeter side, not much bitterness in here at all. The mouthfeel isn't overly heavy at all, it's probably medium bodied and has a light amount of carbonation. Overall this beer is decent. I would drink it again if I came across it.

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Photo of metter98
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: It poured very dark amber (near black) with a thin, beige head. A medium level of carbonation in the rising bubbles is barely visible near the edges of the glass. There is a good amount of head retention.
S: There aren't too many aromas radiating from the nose, but I can pick up some smells of roasted malts and a bit of sweetness.
T: The overall taste is very well balanced and is somewhat sweet. It shares a lot of similarities with the aroma.
M: It feels light-bodied and very creamy and smooth on the palate.
D: This beer goes down quite easy and is very much sessionable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Scottish specialty of a Stout: should be robust with roast character but should also showcase the earthy/peaty character of Scottish Ales, shouldn't it?

The Stout pours a very dark mohogany with crimson highlights. Not exactly black, but very dark nevertheless. Top knotch clarity gives a garnet or onyx-like appearance. A loosely knit head forms on the beer but falls apart before long leaving the beer with a sill appearance and only a slim ring of foam around the glass. No lacing or legging.

Aromas of heavy toast, medium roast coffee, and cocoa powder starts the malty scent. A follow-up of estery licorice, burnt currants and berries adds to the complexity. Still earthy with a mild smoky, peaty scent, the beer turns decidedly Scottish.

Balanced and complex flavors of strong coffee, cocoa, molasass, walnuts, charred cherries, anise, and blackberries all play into the malty/estery mix. Still, the yeasty brine of fruits with mild smoke, earthy/mossy taste and a deeply earthened brown character plays manly yet delicate on the palate. Something in the beer gives me the impression of scotch-soaked walnut brownies.

Moderately full and creamy at first, the beer ushers in a light mid palate in comparison, for a finish that is palatable and drinkable.

Scotch flavors definately play on every aspect of this beer. That smokey peaty flavor and aroma is all over this session. But so are English-like Stout flavor although the roast is moderate and the molasass flavor is robust. This is just how you'd expect a Scottish Stout to go.

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Photo of emerge077
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Duke of Perth. I'm deducing this is the "Belhaven Stout" since the list didn't mention "Scottish Stout" or "McCallum's".

Black body, it was dim in the bar, the candlelight did nothing for it. Very creamy foam, similar to a Guinness on nitro. It left a solid sheet of lacing down the opposite side I was drinking from. Compact head of foam with a creamy feel. Nose was mellow, possibly it was too cold, but didn't get much besides faint roast. The feel was light and creamy, almost a milk stout minus the sweetness. Dry unsweetened chocolate and tobacco. Thin bodied with a light creaminess. Miles ahead of Guinness, still fairly simple and sessionable.

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Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with rub highlights. It had a reddish, brown colored, two-finger head of thick foam with big bubbles.

S - It smelled of chocolate and molasses. There is a subtle floral aroma, too.

T - It tasted of sweet chocolate and molasses. It had a strong roasty quality as it warmed up.

M - It was crisp, yet smooth with a dry finish. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice stout. The label says it's Scottish. This website says it's American. I don't really care, because it is very good.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/20/2011. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, molasses, toast, dark bread, toffee, herbal, raisin, plum, and roast/yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and light-moderate yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, toast, molasses, dark bread, herbal, raisin, plum, and roast/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roast, coffee, toast, molasses, dark bread, herbal, raisin, plum, and roast/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance, complexity, and robustness of dark/roasted malt and light-moderate yeast ester flavors; with an awesome roasted malt bitterness/sweetness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome English stout! All around great complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and light-moderate yeast ester flavors; and extremely smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of oberon
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured more of a deep brown than black,when held up to the light light it did show thru the whole glass,a thinner light mocha colored head atop.Aromas were very light wich suprised me a little,a bit of iron and chocolate mainly.The moufeel was execellent though,full and creamy almost like a marshmellow in my mind.Full on chocolate on the palate with a tinge of earth,the alcohol is well hidden,the creamy feel and well hidden alcohol makes for a very easy drinker.A very nice "bigger" stout,it lacks a little but is nice to drink.

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Photo of jlindros
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this on draught before at BBC and enjoyed it. Now it's time to review it and try the bottled version. It's a heavy high abv stout to be from U.K.

A: Pours a dark colored rich creamy 1 finger head. It's super pitch black with no color getting through. The creamy head slowly fades to a light covering.

N: Has a nice stout like roasted nose, with dark rich malts, some sweet dark dried fruits, some chocolate, and more of that earthy bitter stout like nose. Raisin also comes through quite a bit.

T: Starts rich and creamy, thick but not syrupy. Lots of dark malt flavors as well. It has some of that earthy bitter stout taste, but not as much as the nose. Some creamy chocolate milk is also lightly coming through. A little dark sweet fruit flavor with a bit of raisin. More chocolate, but still light. A little roast also rounds off the taste. Hints of a little sweet sugary boozy flavor that adds a little brown sugar, but very light. The roasted malt flavor seems to build the more I drink and the more the beer warms. The flavors really shine more while it warms. Recommend letting this warm up a bit before drinking.

M: Very rich and creamy, pretty thick but not syrupy. Decent carbonation but that is expected for the style.

F: Still a little on the sweet side, but not too bad. Its creamy rich goodness seems to linger the longest, with a little bit of that stouty earthy bitter flavor really shining through on the finish now that the rich creamy chocolate milk is gone. The roasty flavor comes through a bit on the finish but also fades pretty quickly as it gives way to the earthy bitter flavor. I think there's a bit of lactose sugar in it that gives it the creamy flavor, and a lingering almost milky flavor on the tongue.

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Photo of chinchill
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Undated 500ml clear(!) bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

A: Pours with a dark tan head over a pitch black, opaque body. The head slowly fades to a light covering and ring, leaving

Aroma: Medium and dark roasted malts with some raisins, other dark dried fruits, toffee and chocolate. Sweet and inviting.

T: Lots of dark malt flavors with a strong suggestion of chocolate and a hint of coffee. Starts sweet and is very mildly bitter by the mid-aftertaste. A little dark sweet fruit flavor with a faint touch of smoke and peat.
M: Full and somewhat thick but not syrupy; Smooth; Medium carbonation is a bit lively for the style.

O: Exceptional and highly recommended. 7% ABV is partially hidden. Don't drink this too cold.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours very dark brown to black in color with a finger tall tan head. The head reduces quickly but a quarter finger tall head is retained. There is significant lacing observed.

S: Aromas of roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, and hints of dark fruit.

T: The flavor is full of roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate. There are hints of dark fruit and smoke present as well. I really like the lingering bitterness in the finish. There is a nice amount of complexity to the flavor. Overall this is sweeter than expected but very pleasant.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very creamy.

O: Not my favorite of the different styles of stout but this is avery nice example of the style and a very enjoyable beer. Hides the alcohol very well and I could easily sip of these all afternoon while watching some soccer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle - $3.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours near black body with a rather tall, excitable, tan-colored head. Light dabs of lace on the descent.

Smell: Fairly sweet-scented nose with some scents of roasty coffee grinds, sweet chocolate, and caramel coming together to provide an aroma of a generously-topped ice cream sundae.

Taste: Sweet toothsome residual sugars leisurely resting atop the roasty malts yielding tones of well-sweetened coffee, dulce de leche, and a tangy-esque taste of Hershey's chocolate. Maybe a hint of vanilla pod as well. Faint touch of dark fruit. Low hop character and bitterness, with a bit of grain astringency helping to provide some earthy hints. Sweet, creamyish, lightly roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-light carbonation. Smooth, slightly silken mouthfeel.

Overall: A fairly sweet Scottish stout with a great mouthfeel. A nice surprise, as I wasn't really expecting too much out of this one. I'm Belhaving a hoot over here!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Potting soil darkest brown with meager red clay highlights along the edges. An expansive and lightly creamy chunk of brown sugar colored foam is beginning to grace the glass with shredded sheets of suds that stick.

The nose needs to have more roasted maltiness. It's midway between brown and black in olfactory hue, is earthy and is somewhat phenolic. More overall power would be good as well. There's some work to be done on the taste buds if this is going to be a enjoyable version of the style.

Scottish Stout tastes Scottish. English, at the very least. An American brew would be bolder and darker and more chocolate-like, without the range of flavors present here. However, more flavors does not always equal a better flavor profile.

This brew almost tastes like a 50:50 mixture of English stout and Scottish ale... which is fine as far as it goes. Specifics include well-toasted brown bread, steely caramel, cocoa powder, tea leaves, and an earthiness that isn't quite smoked peat-like. Looks like I've decided to reward complexity and uniqueness after all.

Keeping style and ABV in mind, the mouthfeel would never pass muster in the U.S. It's thinnish and the bubbles are a little too laid back. Nevertheless, it fits pretty well with what else the beer is attempting to do.

Belhaven Scottish Stout has won multiple awards for excellence around the globe. My relative lack of enthusiasm probably has more to do with my preference for American-style stouts than with any shortcomings of this ale per se. Since it's too expensive for regular consumption, the choice is even easier.

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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 mdfb79
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ML bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark black color with light carbonation and one finger of tan head with nice lacing.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, and a little bit of sweetness.

t - Tastes of coffee, roasted malts, chocolate, and maybe a hint of vanilla?

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation.

d - A pretty good stout. Nothing really jumped out at me about this stout, but it had a very nice chocolate and roasted smell and flavor. Would try again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

Served from tap in a shaker pint glass at Duke of Perth.

Bachelor Party-Palooza 2014 (Part 1) concludes, still believing that when in a Scottish-style pub, do as the Scots do and drink up some Belhaven, especially the Stout. This stuff pours a slightly murky midnight sienna topped by a finger of sandstone foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, dark cocoa powder, light treacle, and a hint of vanilla. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a bit of mild charcoal smoke and a healthy amount of straight-up toffee. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly creamy feel. Overall, a nice, enjoyable stout, a fitting punctuation mark on this delightful meal and visit.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The appearance is similar to that of cola, with the liquid being of a dark brown, near black color and teeming with effervescence. The beige head is nearly an inch thick, and recedes to but a thin, wispy layer within a mere two minutes, leaving a few traces of lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is rather subdued, with subtle scents of roast and toasted malt.

T: The beer is simple and tasty. I like the bread and biscuit characters of the malt. The roasted malt aspect is light, but done well. The beer is quite simple and straightforward. there's not a lot going on, in terms of complexity, but what's there is done well.

M: Relatively thin in body, with a moderate level of carbonation present. Alcohol presence is hardly noticeable, and doesn't really factor in.

D: Very easy to drink. Overall, a solid beer.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid dark brown with faint garnet highlights and a creamy almost fluffy khaki head that leaves mad lace on the sides. Smells of chocolate and caramel up front, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee and a bit of mineral water in there as well. Taste is chocolate and coffee, followed by a some sweetness of brown sugar, toffee, and dark fruits. Finish is rather dry with a lingering roast and sweetness on the palette. Creamy almost bubbly mouthfeel, medium to high level of carbonation for the style, medium to thick body. I enjoyed this one. Its a bit sweet but I find myself really enjoying sweet stouts as of late.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark, dusky hue, big, creamy, cocoa head holds court on top.

Sweet, creamy, lightly roasty aroma, toffee, caramel, some nuttiness, ending dry. Hints of cola. Nice.

In the mouth:tasty and smooth, sweet then dry...dark fruits mingled with cocoa and caramel...raisins, dates...figgy...but overall, a malty delight here, Tasty on taste, yum on yum.

Is this the first stout I've had from Scotland?
Maybe ...but not the first thoroughly satisfying Belhaven brew. Mmmm, mmm, I'm just likin'this...Great stuff.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the local store - served in a Pisgah pint glass.

A - Pours with three fingers of medium tan foam that dissipates quite slowly and leaves a good amount of glass-coating lacing and a thick cap. Very dark brown body that reveals some reddish glow and transparency when held to the light.

S - Smoke, peat, and dirt over top of a malted milk chocolate, raisin, and caramel backdrop. There's a touch of floral hops. It gets a little bit better as it warms up, but the dirtiness is kind of off-putting.

T - Taste is pretty similar, caramel, roasted malts, milk chocolate, and some light smoke character. Thankfully the dirtiness in the nose seems to have dissipated. There's some mild bitterness in the finish the seems to come from the smokiness, rather than the light hopping. It's definitely different from typical "American" Imperial Stouts, and has more in common with the Harviestoun old ales in some ways.

M - Chewy, medium body. Appropriate for a 7% brew, but a little lighter than I'd want from an actual American Imperial Stout. Smooth, mild carbonation tingle, and some solid residual stickiness. Not much heat at all.

D - The 500ml bottle was fine, but it's not something I'd rush out and get again. Maybe I'd do it on-tap at an authentic UK-themed pub.

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Photo of aasher
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer style 101/104. This one pours a light to medium in body Coca Cola brown that turns to black when it fills my glass. It has a beautiful and sudsy beige, two finger head that sits atop the beer for sometime. The head looks really nice. The aromas featured are smooth dark roasted malts, soft chocolate, and a sharp hop like bitterness. After awhile the subtle chocolaty aromas prevail, and in almost a milky manner. It is initially sweet and bitter, milky, chocolaty with a nice light, light roast finish. The flavors blend well together and make for a nice, light drinking stout. The body is pretty light for a stout but it drinks very smoothly. I'm a fan. Overall this is a fine beer and worth the $4.50 or so per bottle.

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Photo of stevoj
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Head is foamy, unlike the famous Irish brew, but the body, aroma and taste are full on stout. Strong roast grain flavor with nice lingering aftertaste. Burnt toast, molasses, coffee and chocolate all come to mind. delicious....

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 5/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours dark, dark brown with a thin tan head with light lacing. Aroma of sweet and toasted malt. Flavor is dark roasted malts and a hint of chocolate. Dry malty middle and abrupt finish with slight hops and malt. Moderately creamy. A pleasant, low key English stout.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a $5 half liter at Best Yet. Cool beer, poured black with brown highlights. I might call this a foreign export stout for the lighter body. There are sweet caramel cocoa notes up front, then a dry smoky and roasted finish cleans out the beer. There are hints of toffee and cola mixed in for an unusual (and delicious) stout. Give this a stout.

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Belhaven Scottish Stout from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
3.92 out of 5 based on 654 ratings.
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