Belhaven Scottish Stout | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

very good
655 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 655 |  Reviews: 284
Photo of StJamesGate
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with muddy brown-red highlights and a lumpy tan head that fades to film and trails. Crystalized brown sugar, smoke, cafe au lait and meat juice nose.
Malted milk ball malts, a slight lactic center with root beer hops. Caramel finish and a cough drop linger.
Medium, some chew, no burn, smooth.

Soft and chocolatey. Understated for 7%. Great body, but too sweet with milk stout characteristics; it could really use some roast or hops for balance.

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

Pours a nice amber color, with big tan head. leave very little lacing behind.

Smells almost like a red wine, with hints of chocolate

Mouth feel was very smooth, very little carbonation to it.

It has a mild bitter taste at first but leaves behind a sweet chocolaty after taste.

I'm giving this beer a B+ its good. but not the best stout I've had.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured absolutely pitch black from a clear 500 mL bottle, with ABV on the label.
Massive tan colored head from a mildly aggressive pour that dissipates very slowly and leaves behind some really nice lacing.
Visually this stout is very appealing.
Aroma is oh so malty and pleasing. Caramel, cocoa, roasted coffee and some milk chocolate in the nose.
Medium bodied stout that is very dry with a mild astringent finish.
Roasted malts are evident upfront with a hint of sweetness towards the finish, just before the dry, astringent finish takes over. Surprisingly easy to drink in spite of the relatively high ABV.
This is a very good stout, and definitely worth trying. I would go as far as saying that it is a 'must-try' for every stout lover.

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

Appearance: Black body shows a bit of clarity at the edges when back lit. Holds a finger of tight tan head that leaves thick lace.

Smell: First whiff: skunk. That quickly gave way to a smoky peat and roasted barley.

Taste: Mild peat in a classic stout, a bit of Guinness sour in the sweetish malt.

Mouthfeel: Oily with a lingering finish. Medium heavy body with a moderate carbonation level.

Overall: Easy drinking. Full flavors don't go overboard, has that Scottish peat in a sweet malt base. Nice stuff.

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Photo of bnes09
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Raven black brew with a huge, light bronze colored head that will not give up. Leaves rich, creamy lacing all over the glass.

Robust, roasted aroma tickles the olfactory receptors. Also a fairly assertive hop aroma. Hint of skunk.

Rich roasted malt flavor yet not overpowering. Mild coffee, wheat toast and licorice come to mind. Smooth molasses in the middle provides a mellow sweetness along with black currants and prunes. Robust herbal hop bite provides a nice level of bitterness to compliment the roasted character. Finishes dry overall with all of those wonderful roasted flavors lingering into the aftertaste.

Smooth and creamy medium bodied brew. Moderate carbonation keeps things interesting while allowing for a high drinkability.

Wow! This is why I love stouts. Such rich and complex flavors that satisfy like no other beer will. Bellhaven delivers and then some with this exceptional offering.

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Photo of EnJeiBee
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - It poured a deep, dark chocolate brown with a nice tan head that dissipated quickly leaving little lacing behind.

S - Sweet deep chocolate and coffee notes as expected.

T - Similar to the nose, but slightly more complex. The chocolate and coffee notes certainly take the lead with a slight bitterness upon finish.

M - A little too thin for my preference, but enjoyable none-the-less.

O - A solid middle of the road stout that gave me what I expected to get. There wasn't anything overly complex or different about it, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.

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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 JayQue
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first English Stout. I can't tell the difference from an American Stout, but that's o.k....still a good solid beer. Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a pint glass. Big dark tan head, good retention and patchy rings of lacing. Dense body, light comes through only at the bottom of the glass.

Mild malty and coffee aroma..nothing spectacular

Taste is pretty good. Roasted malts and coffee predominate. A little chocolate in there too. There is a slight bitterness at the end that I don't find in most American stouts.

Mouthfeel is about right for a stout that is not a Double or RIS. Rich enough, smooth and the bitterness at the end is nice.

Overall this is a good stout, well worth trying again.

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Photo of notchucknorris
2.91/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Black with a dark tan head.

S: Skunk! My first skunked stout. Smells an awful lot like a Heineken with a touch of coffee in the background.

T: Smoke, ash, roasted coffee and skunk. I'd be interested in trying this one again if I knew it wasn't going to be skunked.

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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 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 kashmoney
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown with a tan, 2 finger width head

S: mix of coffee and dark chocolate...about middle of the road for the amount of aroma i expect -

T: true to the smell with bitterness at thend

M: thin to medium body. Different than what I expected when seeing it in the glass.

D: Good brew but not memorable.

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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 fountainofyouth
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nitro-tap at Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown with dark ruby streaks toward the side of the glass. A foamy, finger-thick head lines the top.

Smell: Subdued, typical of a nitro-stout. Light hints of toasty malt coupled with some booziness. Faint hops.

Taste: Too much booze, but the milky flavor is evident up front. Some bittersweet coffee -- not as charred-black as a dry stout. I'm not sure if I detect hops. Sweeter than other milk stouts I've tried, but it's balanced by alcohol and the toasty flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation and a good creamy head. It's fairly heavy and filling.

Overall: Pretty good balance with some kick, but not sour. A pretty solid sweet stout.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.27/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from nitro-tap into a pint glass

A: Black and frothy with a thick, chewy, off-white head, very similar to what a layman would see in a Guinness, but with an even thicker head.

S: Smells bitter and boozy, surprising from something with only 7% ABV. I’ve had my Guinness spiked with whiskey before and this has a similar aroma, maybe someone is trying to bring out the dark side in me.

T/M: Taste is bitter and malty. There’s a lot of coffee that comes through and a small but acute tangy finish that is distracting. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s like figs or maybe raisins. Fortunately, it doesn’t taste as boozy as it smells.

Nitrogen is great for certain types of beers because it adds a smooth, almost creamy texture with a very light amount of carbonation. Something like Belhaven Scottish Stout almost suffers because of it. There are some very potent aromas and flavors here that don’t mesh with the nitro texture. It’s pretty good, but I wish I would have gone with the bottle now.

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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 Fenris244
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the saucer

Thick and creamy 1.5 finger head, got that stout retention, cool cascading effect in the glass.

Coffee and chocolate, something I don't quite recognize and bits of toffee.

Super thick dark chocolate flavor, light coffee flavors, good coffee bitterness near the finish

Super creamy, heavier in body, extremely smooth and hopefully I've mentioned the creaminess

Overall, I love this stout, give me more

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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 SeussMD
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint, served at The Half Door, Hartford, Conn. (Try the "cobblestones" and the steak frites. Wow.)

Appearance: Came to me finishing its settle. Lovely burgundy-black hue with a light tan head, about 1/8 inch. Didn't see it poured and I see others who've reviewed this brew had bigger heads from their own pours.

Aroma: Coffee, chocolate, fruit (plum? cherry?). It's a 7 ABV but I don't catch the alcohol here.

Taste: A lovely stout roller coaster. Starts with coffee and sweet chocolate; mellows into loads of roasted malt; soft hops and a smokey/spicy note on the back end, with just enough hop dryness to make you want more. A lot more.

Mouthfeel: Creamy but not syrupy.

Overall: Wow, is this good. Doesn't seem like a typical English stout; there's a lot more interesting things going on here than your typical Guinness -- the sweetness, maltiness and dryness are all there, but they hit different notes. Sort of like a song you've heard a thousand times, but reworked to bring out something new and interesting. Very drinkable. I've never seen this in a store, so until I do, I guess I'll be visiting The Half Door more often ...

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Photo of baldben
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a decent caramel colored head that dissipates quickly. No lacing to speak of.

Smells absolutely wonderful. Freshly roasted coffee beans, toffee and smoke. The nose on this bottle is very strong--it hits on every sip.

The taste is coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malt with a very brief hop appearance in the middle and a long aftertaste of chocolate and smoke.

Medium-heavy body with average carbonation, it's somewhat creamy but a bit sticky in the finish.

In all, a very enjoyable stout, though perhaps too heavy to have more than 1 or 2.

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Photo of Naugros
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I watched the beer pour into the glass and noted its transparency and weakly-brewed coffee color so I figured I'd be panning its appearance a bit in this review, but in the glass it's as opaque and dark as any stout from the United Kingdom. Yes, it does have a ruddy glow to it and it remains transparent at the edges, but so do some of the others. The head is small and short-lived and the resulting film only covers half of the top of the beer.

This is my first English stout so the smell to me was quite surprising. I got the usual roasted coffee bean and chocolate smells, but there were also hop characteristics in the nose as well. These came off floral and transformed some of the scents into sour cherry or red wine.

The taste was also different for me. There were two types of bitterness vying for dominance. On one hand the roasted coffee and chocolate gave off the bitterness I'm used to in other types of stouts. On the other hand, the floral/herbal hops gave off their distinct type of bitterness and hit the back of the throat. Still, the chocolate flavor took the forefront and the hoppy notes supported it rather nicely if not entirely in concert.

Too thin to me for a proper stout, but that personal preference and not a knock on it's comparison to the standard for the style. Still, if you drink RIPs and think Guinness to be thin, then you'll find this one downright watery. Even so there's a feeling of mild grittiness on the tongue found in some stronger coffee stouts.

This one is so interesting and complex with many flavors and tongue senses. The lighter-than-usual-for-a-stout body really assists in knocking this one back quickly.

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Photo of Shrews629
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This beer has a very dark brown, almost black appearance with some small traces of ruby around the bottom. The head was of a light tan variety. Nice size with some nice retention and lacing. It looks smooth and creamy.

Smell - A substantial amount of dark fruit is resent in the nose. Some dark grape, prune and raisin. A slight hint of booze. Chocolate is present also, but not coming through like I had hoped. I almost get a hint of some oats or something.

Taste - The taste was a mixture of the dark fruit and the chocolate. Much like the aroma, the chocolate is not as robust as I had anticipated. Not picking up any alcohol in the flavor either. That's quite alright. A nice, satisfying creamy taste also. Not much bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Smooth. Slick and mostly creamy. Didn't leave a tremendous amount on the palate, but did leave a little bit. Not dry, but not watery either. It sits right in the middle.

Drinkability - This is a pretty good brew. Not the best Stout, but well made and it made for an enjoyable drink. Easily drinkable. No real presence of alcohol in the flavor or mouthfeel to distract. This could almost be a session beer. Wouldn't be a bad choice if you happen to see it.

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

I poured a 16.9 oz bottle into a glass mug...

The beer is a very dark brown, almost black, with reddish highlights on the edge of the glass. The head was very light brown, towering and foamy. It smells of roasted coffee, creamy milk chocolate and licorice. The taste is nice and earthy, I tasted molasses, lots of toasted malt, there is a slight smokiness to it and some herbal hops in the background. The beer is thick and sticky with a slightly dry finish. This smooth stout hides the alcohol very well and it has a rich flavor, making it highly drinkable for the ABV.

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Photo of steveh
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Funny that the bottle clearly says Scottish Stout, but this is listed under English Stout... even funnier since I don't think there is either designation to the style, so I'm going to "judge"for myself.

A -- Deep & dark black with ruby highlights and a firm, tan colored head.

Whoa -- the bottle proves clear after the beer has been poured! No skunkiness to speak of.

S -- Sweet and roasted malt with coffee & cream character and mild licorice notes back.

T -- Creamy sweetness up front that folds into roasted malt character with big coffee notes and finishing with that light licorice flavor. Aftertaste tends toward a balanced bitterness of roasted malt & earthy hops.

M -- Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a light carbonation bite and is full-bodied.

D -- the 7% ABV is well hidden in this smooth Stout. It goes down quite well and lives up to the label's promise of a Stout inside. I'd call this a Sweet Stout, but it's a bit strong to style -- more along the lines of a Foreign, but that makes no nevermind -- try this one!

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

500ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a black/brown colour with a very large frothy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some very nice lacing running in stages down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - lots of chocolate, breads/grains, malts, a smokiness

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation and it feels slightly creamy on the tongue. I can taste lots of chocolate mixed with breads/grains and a light smokiness. There are also some malts and the beer finishes with a smoky chocolate aftertaste.

Drink - The beer is very drinkable and it was gone before I knew it. Definitely a solid beer that is worth checking out.

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Belhaven Scottish Stout from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
3.92 out of 5 based on 655 ratings.
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