Belhaven Scottish Stout | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

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Belhaven Scottish StoutBelhaven Scottish Stout
Very Good
664 Ratings
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: 664 |  Reviews: 286
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

 426 characters

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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Photo of COBeerBuff
2.81/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received from lackenhauser for the Black Booty 2011 BIF.

Appearance: Pours an opaque black with almost 3 fingers of mocha colored head. Lots of big bubbles dot the top, and you can hear the effervescent release of the nucleation as the head slowly (very slowly) dissipates leaving a good bit of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A rich toasted character starts it off. As expected, there are the roasted grains and the bready malts, but there's also a bit of hoppiness to the nose that is a bit unexpected, and a bit off-putting. It's doesn't smell like fresh hops, and I'm not sure I love it. Still, a solid nose, but just not what I was expecting.

Taste: Toffee, vanilla, and bready grains hit the tongue right off the bat. This is definitely a roasty stout, and that's what I'm looking for from the style. The finish is quite bitter and a little astringent, and I don't like that at all. It starts off remarkably balanced with a rich toasted flavor, but the hops on the back end are not well done at all.

Mouthfeel: It begins silky smooth, gliding over the palate with a great deal of ease. I was worried that this was going to be too heavy. And then the hops finished it off, and left me with a weird feeling in my mouth. It finishes a lot drier that I was expecting, and while that's not too uncommon for a stout, I'd like mine to finish with a bit more heft.

Drinkability: I'm not sure if it's the 7% ABV or the hop finish, but I don't think this stout is very drinkable at all. As it warmed, it did improve slightly, and I think I would order it again, at a pub with a limited beer selection, but beyond that, I probably wouldn't seek it out.

I appreciate getting the chance to try it from Steve as I've heard good things about the brewery, but I've never purchased any of their beers.

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Photo of K7online
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is good. It is neither exceptional or average, just good. The color of the body is light dark to brown (a little unexpected) and when poured in a pint the crown is not one to last. However, this beer makes up for it in taste. The smooth chocolate flavored malts really elevate it above some of its competitors. The robust flavors and velvety smoothness allow it to be very drinkable putting it in the category of an "everyday" beer. I could have this beer anytime and would recommend highly as an introductory stout.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz., .5liter clear bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown/black in color, with a moderate head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Dark, roasted malt, coffee, faint chocolate.
Taste-Roasty, black coffee, subtle dark chocolate. Creamy mouthfeel, leadint to a rather dry, astringent finish. Overall a nice English stout, though it is listed as a Scottish stout on the bottle.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep dark brown, almost black. Foamy tan head disappates to half finger. A couple rings of lacing.
S- Roasted grain, with some dark fruit notes.
T- Same as the aroma but a decent cocoa flavor as well as a noticable smoke presence.
M- Somewhat creamy initially but finishes a bit more dry. Slight alcohol presence in finish.
D- A decent beer, and an easy drinker for 7%, but it was merely solid for me. Good enough, but not great.

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

Almost black in colour with a decent beige head, leaving some good lacing behind.

Smells of brown bread, light molasses, earthy hops, slightly-toasty dark malt, caramel, cocoa, minerals. Everything you'd want to find in such a stout, though it's a bit on the weak side.

Very flavourful and well-balanced. Lightly-toasty dark malt and caramel up front followed by some great soily hops and minerals. Cocoa leaves a drying finish. Some definite similarities to Samuel Smith's oatmeal stout. The extra alcohol is noticeable but incorporated very well. I'd actually miss the taste of it here if it were to be removed. Really good stuff.

For a relatively big stout, this one holds a lively feel quite well. The minerals blend in with an active carbonation, creating an interesting mouth feel. Medium-bodied.

For a 7% stout this is extremely drinkable. The flavour is big while being kept light by the feel. I would totally pick this up again; impressive. One of the top stouts currently available here in Ontario.

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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 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 Brad007
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a color that's darker than night with a brown,one-finger head into my glass.

Roasted malt peeks through, though it's somewhat skunked (clear bottle). Just a hint of chocolate and coffee as well.

Ditto on the taste. Lots of roasted malt with a hint of coffee. Somewhat weakened by the skunkiness. Otherwise, pretty average.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering chocolate/roasted coffee notes. Not much else to greet the taste buds.

I'm not really impressed with this. A dark bottle would have been more appropriate. Light-skunked beer is always a shame.

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

Very dark snifter pour with a creamy one-finger head that is light taupe, slightly dense, and flat, which persists in the form of a light coating during drinking. The aroma is a sweet chocolate with some light toasty undertone from the malt. A very smooth and creamy mouthfeel, with some smoked mocha flavor that gives way to the sweet cocoa taste expected from the nose. The mouthfeel is not heavy, with low carbonation and an almost silky characteristic. There is a slight lingering tartness and sweetness, almost like a root beer, that dissipates over time.

FourthBeer potential: VERY HIGH, as a quality stout that doesn't overwhelm you with an alcohol taste like your run-of-the-mill seven-percenter.

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Photo of tronester
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black in color with a neat creamy tan head. Smell is delicious buttery diaycytal with a hint of milk chocolate. Taste is sweet caramel up front, some coffee in the middle, an an earthy sweet finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, low nitro. Drinkability is good, though the nitro kind of dumbs things down a bit.

 308 characters

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

500ml bottle

Served in pint glass

A - It is a very dark brown with ruby highlights. Three inches mocha head sit atop it.

S - The aroma is dark chocolate.

T - The taste is a combination of dark and bitter chocolate.

M - Medium. It is thinner than it's American counterpart.

D - This is pretty good stuff. It's simpler than American stout and I enjoy the simplicity of good beer.

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

The body appears to be a nearly opaque black, but burning chestnut highlights reveal its true colour. A finger of dense and creamy tan froth sits on top and has no hurry to get down.

Chalky roasted malts mesh with cocoa powder, bakers chocolate, coffee beans, burnt sugar and a classic stout component; sour milk. Bold and inviting.

A lot sweeter in the taste than I had imagined with the chocolate being more slick and milky. The dry and roasted characters of coffee and cocoa are pasted onto the back of the palate, imparting a pronounced coffee-like bitterness that lingers with some well placed caramel to balance it out. A subtle sourness in the finish can also be picked out, also placed at the back of the palate, going very nicely with the dry and bitter notes and helping to further lengthen the finish.

Smooth, creamy, and silky at the beginning, providing a plateau where the sweet chocolate and caramel notes can shine. The sourness adds a unique feel to the dry and roasty finish that invites you to take sip after sip. Well hidden is the 7% ABV.

What a tasty English Stout. This has to be the best interpretation of the style I've had to date. Flavourful and rich with a nice body to back it up.

 1,213 characters

Photo of Mit
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a very dark colouring with only the smallest amount of light being allowed through. Nice lasting head and lacing.

s-dark roasted malts, slight coffee character and some dark chocolate smells coming through...

t-the dark malts come through...there is a slight sweet edge to it that you don't usually get with a stout beer. Def interesting.

m-probably not what I would expect a 7% beer to be...feels a little thin.

d-not bad...I could drink a few of these.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)
A- This beer has an obsidian black dense body with a creamy light tan head that last a good bit then fades to a thin ring of bubbles. It is a too dense to see any carbonation.
S- The aroma of chocolate malt and peat smoke blend together with some more roasted malt notes and diacetyl buttery hints in the finish.
T- The thin chocolate malt taste has some caramel malt notes and a peat smoke flavor underneath. There are some melanoidin chocolate nougat flavor with some cola notes in the finish.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a watery texture and a bit of a fizzy finish. There is no alcohol heat noted.
D- This beer was interesting and sounded very promising on the label. However it was a bit thin and water but the flavor that was there was nice. The melanoidin character was a bit to strong and the hops bosed about on the label didn't show up in the beer.

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Photo of woemad
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane and poured into a UK-style pintglass. Clear bottle, withg no obvious freshness date.

Inky black color that takes on no brighter hue when held up to light. Big, creamy tan head that takes its time dropping. Lots of lace, and a quarter-inch of foam remained perched at the top of the beer.

Roasty coffee notes and cocoa greet the nose. As it warms, there's a slight milk chocolate flavor discernable as well.

Roasty, coffeeish malts first hit the tastebud beachhead, but they are quickly followed by a sweet chocolaty flavor. Surprisingly enough, there's an odd, bananna-like colve flavor that hangs way in the background. It's not unpleasant or obtrusive, just unexpected. Slightly dry zap at the swallow.

Mediumm bodied, with a slightly watery mouthfeel. It's not to an unpleasant degree, just seems like it slightly lacking in substance.

A very tasty after dinner beer, but I'm not sure I'd want to session this, in light of its sweeter qualities. Still, it's pretty good, worth having again.

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Photo of paxkey
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours black with a 2 finger tan head that stays around. decent lacing.

whiskey notes. mesquite. mollases. fig and black fruit aroma.

tastes like mocha. gorgeous malts and a toasty bitter finish. malt heavy taste.

great lacing around glass. gets better as it warms up in temperature from the fridge.

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Belhaven Scottish Stout from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 664 ratings
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