Belhaven Scottish Stout | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

very good
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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: 659 |  Reviews: 286
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown, almost black, with a fizzy tan head skim that does not last. Some lace crawling up the glass, but not much.

Nice dark roasted malt aromas with some definite chocolate aromas. Some sweetness, molasses-like, but not to the point of domination. Nice balance here.

Chocolate and some lightly bitter malt to start. Some creaminess and sweetness, but as the palate clears the pleasant bitter maltiness lingers and lingers. A little smokiness as well. A little tacky in the mouth, but just enough to coat the palate. Very good.

Fuller bodied, but not so rich and thick that you'd have a hard time drinking. This is not the typical motor-oil pour.

I found his very easy to drink. Nice flavors and mouthfeel make this a good one to session. You don't notice the 7% at all.

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Photo of bobsy
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pitch black pour with an incredible mocha head that stays around forever and laces in sheets. I really can't fault the appearance, and it even fooled me into thinking it came in a dark bottle until I poured it. Intense chocolate nose mixing with caramel, jammy fruits and light roast. Incredibly full flavour, again with milk chocolate coming to the fore and mixing with moderate coffee notes. Just about enough bitterness and acidity from the roast to balance out this brew's sweetness. Alcohol is well-hidden. Smooth as velvet going down.

I'm surprised by this one. I really didn't expect to find much, but this beer excels on a number of levels.

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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 biegaman
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

You wouldn't necessarily know the bottle was made of clear glass - given the beer's opaque, ebony tone you'd probably just assume the glass was brown. That sooty dark liquid, with its slivers of brown highlighting, looks like a massive chunk of chocolate. But its frothy head, rudely sculpted and tinted an almost marble gray, assures us it isn't.

The aroma is an eye-opener; literally, I felt my eye balls bulge slightly out of their sockets. British stouts are lovely, but they're typically mild and predictable. This one, however, has so much gooey, melted, chocolaty Hershey's syrup in the nose that I'm tempted to open my own all-you-can-eat ice cream sundae bar and feature it as an exclusive topping.

Supposedly this recipe dates back to the 1800s - why change a good thing? They knew their flavour back then, I'll tell ya! To say that bittersweet chocolate and roasty malts predominate isn't quite accurate, although those were the flavours I picked up on earliest; slow-brewed espresso and remnants of black currant were noted soon after.

Come to think of it, Belhaven Scottish Stout tastes like the best damn Americano espresso I've tried. It has all the richness of a fatty cream and broadcasts not even a murmur of its (surprisingly, uncommonly) high alcohol. (If anything, this is too rich and too quaffable for its strength.) And I love that it finishes on a note of oxidized red wine (or is it peaty whiskey?) and that distinctly British, harsh, clipping, mineral character.

I don't have actual proof that drinking stout is good for you, but really, how can it not be? If not for your health then for your happiness! The brewery has encouraged me to 'drink, savor and enjoy' which is precisely what I did. This is a fantastic stout that encompasses all the rich, flavourful nature of higher gravity offerings without compromising the illimitable quaffability of traditional versions. Highly recommended.

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Photo of shamus
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A new one at the LCBO, which i guess is why I am now reviewing it. Pours with a thick luscious head. It has a deep dark dank body and looks oh, so promising in my goblet. It smells of chocolate, melted wax (?)! and smoke. I know that 'melted wax' doesn't sound very appetizing, however it works somehow with this beer. That's not a jab.

It's smooth with a flavourful wash at the end. It's a lot sweeter than I would have liked but it's texture is like a velvet toothbrush sweeping your tongue.

it's quite nice. Good. great but for the slightly cloying sweetness. If you like sweet things however you are in luck.

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

500ml bottle from Capital Market,Salem typical stout in appareance, though this one does show hints of mahogany around the edges..and a lovelly bubbly tan head. Subdues sort of aroma but pleasing bready,nutty,slightly toasted oat aromas waft upwards Gorgeous rich Scottish malty taste, some peat/smoke go with the dark smooth chocolate,semi sweet stout.some Italian coffees Gorgeous rich luxuriant palate on this..i am used to Scottish beers being a tad thin..this defies them all. Overall and excellent beer..maybe im being picky but this seems more like a strong porter rather than a stout.

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Photo of kwjd
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown colour with thick tan head. Nice head retention with some mild lacing down the glass. Smells of chocolate and deep roasted malt. Flavour has a lot of sweet chocolate, but the bitter roast comes through as well. I didn't realize this was 7% abv until I went to review it, so it hides the alcohol incredibly well. I just assumed it was 4-5% range.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml clear glass bottle into a tulip. pours strikingly near-black in the glass with crimson and garnet highlights glistening from the depths of hades around the edges. A robust two-finger roanish mocha head lingers with ample spongy lacing.

dark roasted malt in the aroma. bittersweet cocoa, blackstrap molasses. pepper. a hint of clove. chocolate. lactose. Oaky and earthy. Peat and scotch barrels? I think so. maybe it's just the scottish moniker. Either way, it's a potent and complex aroma.

plum. figs. sweet. bitter cocoa tartness. almost like a strong milk stout. Port and a bit of earthy, almost metallic bitterness. Dare I say, Iron and Wine? A hint overpowering, almost unbalanced. Hoppy, smoky and peaty. One sip I love, the next is almost too much. maybe that's a good thing.

Mouth is creamy and full. Exactly what I'd hope for from a good english stout, although not what I've come to expect. Ample, almost overzealous carbonation keeps the flavors in check and helps me forget I'm drinking a 7% stout.

Powerful. Pungent. Formidable. And insanely drinkable. One of the best stouts I've had in a while. Complex and delicious... and frighteningly drinkable.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - The liquid is extremely dark yet clear and the head is a dark brown that leaves a nice film.

Smell - The nose is light and finely roasted with some sweetened coffee.

Taste - The sugars come out more at the taste. It's now like an overly-sweetened cup of coffee with maybe even some rich cream added.

Mouthfeel - This is medium-bodied with little bitterness. It is very rich and creamy in the mouth.

Drinkability - This is a great one to break a newbie into the style. It's not big and harsh like some others can be and is almost like a milk stout in its body and feel.

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Photo of mrnobody
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

500 ml bottle poured into an oversized tulip.

A: Pours a reddish black with 3 fingers of fluffy tan head which leaves some nice sticky lacing.

S: Smells of molasses, licorice; sweet and treacle-y.

T: The usual suspects: chocolate, coffee. Very well balanced, neither too sweet nor too bitter and the alcohol is nowhere to be found.

M: Seems a little thin (just the light side of medium) but the carbonation is spot on.

D: Excellent, a delicious stout.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another late addition to the LCBO's fall (winter?) lineup. Picked up at the Uptown Waterloo LCBO.

Poured into a nonic glass. Nearly-black, with only the faintest hints of chocolate brown when held to the light. Solid mocha head, recedes into a sturdy ring. Packets of lacing grace the glass throughout the tasting session.

Nose is cream, roasted grain, coffee, chocolate, figs, cherry, spice. Very delectable.

A fairly tasty stout, lots going on here. Coffee and roasted malts at the forefront. Finishes with a slightly sour bite, but this is challenged with a long chocolate-caramel finish. Admittedly, the flavor gets somewhat weaker as the beer is allowed to sit and ponder its own diminishing existence. Slightly watery, in fact. Nevertheless, this is a sweet, flavorful stout.

Mouthfeel is thin for a stout, decent carbonation at first, but things flatten considerably over time. Somewhat gritty near the finish.

Despite any detractions I might have said about the mouthfeel and such, I'm very much enjoying Belhaven Scottish Stout. There's so much flavor here that, even after things weaken after a while, there's still enough going on to satisfy the discerning beer palate. To avoid this problem in the future, I might have to drink this one faster next time. Fine by me.

Worth a pickup. Good addition by the LCBO.

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Photo of MattyV
3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Jet black, almost opaque, just allowing some light brown highlights around the edges when held up to the light. Dense creamy khaki head laces well, and a thin creamy cap lasts throughout the drink.

The nose is slightly muted and sour, with hints of stale coffee and burnt malt.

There is a toffee sweetness up front, followed by chocolate and roasted malt which provide some bitterness, but not enough to fully quell the initial sweetness, which tends to linger through the lightly sour and chocolatey finish.

I'd say this is about medium-bodied, but for some reason I kept wishing it was a bit heavier, it seemed a tad watery and undercarbonated to me.

To be honest, I was a bit let down by this one. All of the flavours were there, but everything just seemed a bit thin, and the bit of sourness was distracting.

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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 StephenRich
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Since 1719 the Belhaven Brewery has been brewing artisan beers the Scottish way. Their lineup of traditional ales honor the classic beer styles of Scottland and are prized throughout the world where they are enjoyed. And lucky us, we just got probably the best one in at the LCBO. As far as I know this is only a seasonal release for Ontario, so I would go grab a few bottles if I were you. The Scottish Stout is 7% abv, comes in a clear 500ml bottle, and sells for $3.40. Right now, as usual there is a limited selection of stouts available to us at the LCBO, so I would jump on this one while it is here... As I have.

So the day after buying several bottles I had to open one up. It is so tempting sitting there calmly in a pitch black, and unadulterated bottle. The clear rather than brown glass gives you a hint at the beer's presence and texture; both of which excite me. But what is a Scottish Stout? Stouts are creamy and smooth with soft roast and cocoa flavors often enhanced by coffee and vanilla notes. Scottish ales are big and malty with a thick palate and usually significant caramelized malt sweetness. I'm liking the possible combination here.

I was also liking the 7% abv on the label. I'm not trying to say that higher alcohol beers are better, or that I'm some sort of lush, but flavor and alcohol come hand in hand. The brewing process and its chemical reactions pair alcohol content and flavor in a symbiotic relationship. When you add more real sugars to the wort (the liquid that will be fermented to make beer) you increase the potential flavors - but you also increase the potential alcohol. So flavor and alcohol percentage have a roughly perfect positive correlation. So when I see a stout at 7 rather than 5%, it just means bigger flavors to me.

I opened the Scottish Stout up at cellar temperature around 14C (57F) and poured it gently into a snifter. The beer fell smoothly out of the bottle in a slick and silky manner building a creamy tan head that rumbled within the black beer. The 2 inch head that was eventually created was a dense and tightly packed khaki brown with a creamy mokah cap. The black beer lying underneath was dark and ominous showing no signs of color until held into the light. Even then, only a soft ray of golden brown shone in the edges with a hint of ruby gleaming in the center. So far a very pretty beer with great potential.

The nose was soft but full showing a long and smooth array of creamy flavors that came together very well. Gentle roast and sweet caramel easily play on my nose with gooey fruits and Scottish peat. Very nice aroma right away, and I only began to enjoy it more and time went on. Figs, raisins, plums and vanilla are all in the depths of the beer, but cocoa and roasted coffee beans emerge above and bring a gentle hop freshness akin' of whisky and oak. The nose is wide and round but not very powerful - the aromas come easily, but show up softly and with a very calm demeanor.

My first sips quickly turned into gulps. This 7% stout shows an immaculate silky texture, loaded with smooth flavors and a somehow perfect refreshing quality that makes it dangerously easy to drink. The smoothness of roast and cocoa flavors blended with iced coffee makes an easy drinking treat, then as vanilla and plums come forward and start to show a hint of spice and complexity the beer steps up a big notch and commands your attention.

Across my cheeks comes the malty sweet sensations I am familiar with in Scotch Ales. Round caramel malts go back and forth with roast and fruit bringing raisins in, along with a gentle spice that hints at cinnamon and cleans past the back of your mouth finishing in your throat. Vanilla and oak are smooth and add to a malty sweet flavor, but fade gently into the back of the beer as the main players are definitely sweet roast and gentle cocoa.

The bittersweet chocolate flavors in the beer are delicious, and perfectly balanced off my a lightly sweet peat like hoppiness that is fresh and earthy. It is only lightly bitter as the roast and coffee already bring some with them. The overall balance in the beer is sublime, and the finish is perfectly clean with a hint of roasty cocoa. The smooth and silky mouthfeel helps keep everything on track, and at no point shows an alcoholic bite. This is a smooth and wonderful beer that was delightful on its own, but would work wonders with roasted meats, soft or creamy cheeses, and pretty much any chocolate or fruit based dessert.

Pics at:

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle from the LCBO, pours a nice dark dark brown with hints of mahogany around the edges. A couple fingers of head recede to leave splotches of creamy lacing down the glass.

Nose reveals rich blackstrap molasses, dates, plums, cocoa, brown sugar, a hint of roast and a hint of sweet tobacco.

This is an excellent representation of the style, not a big roasty American stout but more of a creamy sweet English one. Light coffee, roasted malts, large fruity presence, dates, molasses, light bitterness in the finish. Creamy mouthfeel, a little thinner than its American brothers but to style, feels immensely quaffable as the ABV is hidden well, but it's still 7%! Sweet and creamy without feeling heavy, this is a really fantastic classic take on the style.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass

This beer pours a nice super dark brown topped by a beige foam that has really beautiful lacing. The smell is a bit off, perhaps the hops are a bit skunked. Beneath that aroma there is a beautiful bouquet of caramel roasted malts. The problem is that the stink is too potent to get it. There is a nice mild roast flavor to the beer, a bit of a sour taste that you would find in a Guinness. Fairly smooth on the palate and it is an easy drinking beer. But still there's something off making it not as good as it could be.

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Photo of charlzm
2.97/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Consumed October 12th, 2010 at Tony's Darts Away, Burbank, CA.

The color of this brew splits the difference between mahogany and black. Minimal head.

Sweet caramel and toffee candy aromas.

Flavor is sweet and reminds me of a Heath bar - toffee and chocolate. Finish so clean it's like you didn't even have a sip of beer. Very odd for a stout; tastes more like a Scotch ale.

Mouthfeel is average for the style.

Odd brew, this one. Didn't particularly enjoy it.

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Photo of taigor
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into traditional Belhaven glass.

A - Poured black non-transparent color with medium head that slowly dissipated leaving lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Malts, dark fruits, slight coffee and chocolate scents.

T - Slightly sweet malts to start with followed by chocolate, coffee, figs, raisins and a slightly dry finish.

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Very well balanced and enjoyable stout. Would definitely recommend it.

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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 readbaron
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - a bit thin, but as dark as you'd expect with a nice tan creamy head.

Smells malty - rather subtle, not as potent as I expected

Taste - more complex than I expected from the smell. Deliciously malty and creamy with a hints of chocolate coffee and dark fruit. Finishes smooth.

M - A bit thin, but nicely carbonated.

D - Superb, I could drink this all night.

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Photo of YouSkeete
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Closer to brown than black, bubbly, not much of a head, moderate lacing

S: Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and dark fruits. figs and plums especially. Doesn't smell very boozy, doesn't smell very strong, but a well balanced aroma nonetheless.

T: Full of flavor. This all threw me off at first: dark fruits are the first taste, followed by the roasted coffee and malts, and finishes with a milky/chocolaty aftertaste.

M: Not as thick as i'd like, almost feels watered down. The carbonation, the alcohol and the initial flavor balance eachother out well.

D: Easy drinker, goes down smooth. The flavor is light and the body is light. In my opinion, this deserves a pint glass, not a snifter.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an oversized pint glass at Duke of Devon pub.

A: Pitch black pour, two solid fingers of vanilla hued head, Spectacular retention, thick lace rings left behind

S: sweet dark fruits, light coffee and dark chocolate, the nose is mild as usual with the style

T: rather complex flavor, sweet dark fruit, coffee, cocoa, light bitterness finishes with each sip

M: smooth medium to full body, very light carbonation

D: overall very nice English stout. Easy drinker for sure.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - bubbly beer, a deep ruby hue. Three fingers of light mocha, thick and cakey. Slow to recede, leaving a few stray legs behind.

Aroma - roasty, doughy, a light soy impression.

Taste - sweet, slightly chewy malts. Smokiness is light to moderate, complementing nicely. The swallow brings on more roastiness and some light abv. Finishes warm and toasty, with some occasional chocolate.

Mouthfeel - smooth feeling, medium carbonation, proper smothness.

Drinkability - a great fireside Scottish stout.

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

A - Pours almost black with a ruby tint when held up to light. An one finger, mocha head has very good retention and sticks around through the whole drink. There is some decent lacing that clings to the side of my pint glass.

S - Not as much of a nose that I had envisioned. There are defiantly some dark fruits, fig, raisin, maybe a hint of plum. There is also a little bit of chocolate with a very slight touch of espresso and alcohol. A complex, balanced, nose. It's just not very strong.

T - A very rich tasting brew. Dark fruits upfront with notes coinciding with the smell along with heavy roasted malts. This is followed by a creamy chocolate after taste. Nice.

M - Very smooth. My only complaint is that I would like the body to be a wee bit heavier.

D - This stout goes down sweet and smooth. Considering the ABV, I could have a few of these with ease.

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

500ml bottle poured in a chalice

Lovely classic Stout.

A: Beautiful bottle art. Pours a deep black color with a big tan head. Good retention and nice lacings left
S: Good perfume of roasted malts. Brown bread. A bit sweet. Coffee and some yeasts
T: Delicious taste of roasted malts. Smoky. Reminds coffee and dark chocolate. No alcohol. Excellent bitterness
M: Medium body and carbonation
D: High. For the lovers of "black beers", this is a must!

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Belhaven Scottish Stout from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
3.92 out of 5 based on 659 ratings.
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