Wee Heavy | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

569 Reviews
Wee HeavyWee Heavy

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

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-24-1998

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Reviews: 569 | Ratings: 1,049
Photo of DanielMB
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: This poured a deep copper brown with some red notes to it, a very inviting appearance.

S: Caramel, butterscotch, some toffee, vanilla, strong malts, and something like a caramel-apple pop.

T: Very similar to the smell, so, in a word--delicious. I could barely believe I was drinking a BEER, not some sort of dessert. The overwhelming flavors are of caramel and butterscotch, then some vanilla, an almost apple-like flavor in there somewhere, with some malts and a tiny sort of alchol presence way in the back, which helps remind you that this great brew is, in fact, a beer, not a milkshake of some sort.

M: Nice and robust, not too thick but not super-light or fizzy or anything like that.

O: This is an absolutely stellar brew. I have had several other scotch ales/wee heavies since, and none of them have reached this mark.

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Photo of HomrQT
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I get this on tap regularly at a local pub here in Chicago. It took me a long time to find a brewery that consistently puts out products that I love and Belhaven is that brewery. I recommend their brews to everyone I have conversation to about beer and they deserve the attention.

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Photo of StAnthony
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This could be my perfect beer.

I previously called Guinness home, but if it weren't for this brew's hard-to-find nature, we'd definitely have a new contender.

Yes, I know this isn't a stout...now. But it's everything I ever thought a stout should be, I just didn't know that what my buds were actually craving was a strong scotch ale. Dark, super malty, rich fuller-than-full body and a refreshing dry finish. Completed by a very reasonable ABV. It's the perfect formula!

Why, oh why can't every bar have this on tap?? I found it at the Map Room (Chicago), and if it was on a standard tap and not nitro, it sure fooled me. Perfect pour with a thick creamy head and excellent retention. Here's the sad part. I finally found my soul-brew, but when I popped in to say hello a week later--it was gone! Whether it was a temporary outage or tragedy of long-term distribution schemes, I don't know. But I will find it again!

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Photo of bgkeeley
4.93/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is a seventy degree and sunny day, in the middle of spring, in the countryside.

The beer pours a beautiful reddish color is well laced and forms a nice fairly dense head.

The nose is incredible, honey, plum leather, barnyard, hay, sweet clover mingle flawlessly.

The beer has a pleasant med to med/heavy carbonation that aides the thicker nature of the beer. The resulting mouth feel is just about perfection.

Caramel plum and sweet clover and barnyard still stand out, the sugars carry the beer and give it as strong backbone allowing the symphony of tastes move across the tongue. The hops are there and round out the finish pleasantly without overwhelming the beer of the finish, but they are soft and muted.

This beer is perfect for what it is. The only word of caution is that this beer is in a clear bottle, so avoid storing it or buying it when stored in sunlight.

This is a great beer. If you want just a ton of hops this beer is not for you.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.92/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted on-tap 01/10/07 at St. Andrews pub in Times Square in NY, NY.

Dark ruby/mahogany color (seems to be darker than the average Wee Heavy) with a low tan head. Nice dark malt and dark fruit aroma and robust flavors without being sweet in any way. Full-medium bodied and smooth with a nice finish.

One of the best Wee Heavy's that I've ever had.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.91/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

really one of the best I've tried.
Bought this just because I liked the name - "Wee " heavy made me think of Groundskeeper Willie from the simpsons. OMG what a surprise:

A Khaki head settles to a thin film, leaving no lacing at all
ULtra clear when held to a light - and the color made reminds me of rosewood

S a touch of sweet caramel, and a touch of the "skunk" weed I smoked in my twenties.

T HOORAY! nicely complex caramel with a piney hops touch. LOVE this.

M solid body

D ultra fine - sip in order to fully appreciate the beauty of this GEM.

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Photo of pkalix
4.86/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

pours very dark but with a ruby appearance throughout; very little foam.
smell is exteremely unique to me. SKUNK! but not the green bottle skunk you usually get from one of those canadian beers, but an actual skunk kind of aroma- pleasant, ya know? (i know, i'm a little strange, but not all skunk odor is bad....).
the taste resembles the aroma but there is some awesome malts in there and the bitterness balances out at the end. i'm assuming that skunk odor came from the hops but it's still present and available on the palate. there's almost a 'carbonation' feel to the sides of the tongue which i cant determine if is the bitterness or a reaction.
as the name implies, it is a bit heavy but not thick and dark like the stouts but more like a dark newcastle (a lame comparison, indeed, as i abhor newcastle, but one i think conveys the description adequately to the masses). i suppose it may be difficult to ascertain my response to this brew with my descriptions of skunk, etc, but i absolutely love the beer. at 6.5%, it's a nice area of power and still gives a hearty BEER flavor that is appreciable and defined. it's not too fruit-y (like a lot of the stronger ones ive been drinking recently), and it's not too heavy or dark and bitter. i place this one high on my list of favorites as it's not overly rich. the feeling of the beer in my mouth is satisfying and full and while not extraordinary in looks (head, color, etc) it is just a perfect, humble brew. defeinitely a brew you should experience.... may be a straight 5 across the board, in my opinion, but i dont want to abuse the ratings. and unlike many of my higher rated brews, THIS ONE is one i can drink over and over and over....

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Photo of tjdietz
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured very nicely into a pint glass, with a small example of head forming and slowly disappearing back into the beer. Appearance is a beautiful dark red/ruby color.

Smell is of malt and malt flavors. Toffee, caramel, nuts, and bread.

Taste: very similar to the nose. Very malty beverage, sweet from start to finish with a little warmth and a lot of malty goodness backing it up.

Mouthfeel is vvverryyy creamy, especially coming from a bottle.

Overall a very drinkable beer. I could easily knock back a few more than the one pint. Very solid beer overall.

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Photo of qazelisc
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500ml bottle into a large tulip

A deep mahogany, crimson brownish color with a thick puffy head with nice retention and some patchy lacing.

Smells of sweet roasted malt, toffee, caramel, plum/raisin, roasted street vendor chestnuts...

A very complex taste explosion abounding with the aforementioned malt, toffee, caramel and plum/raisin. Crank up the pretentious adjective machine: spice, dark ripe cherry, musty scotch, woody oak, brown sugar/molasses, peat/earthiness, fresh baked apple pie and has a vinous quality to boot. A little licorice in the aftertaste too.

Creamy and full bodied, silky smooth. Mmm-hmmm. 6.5% hides well in the crimson shadows. A very warming, excellent fall and winter brew.

Big, complex, balanced flavor and so silky smooth. This is a classic, an excellent on-style WeeHeavy with even more to offer. If you can't appreciate this beer then call your doctor and verify that you have a tongue, a brain or both.

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Photo of mjurney
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep copper color, clear. Some carbonation. Small frothy head.

Malty, caramel, toasted, touch of fruit.

Lots of malt character up front. Rich caramel, toasted, just a touch of nutty and wood. Slight hint of hop bitterness towards end. Full bodied, yet very soft and smooth.

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Photo of msromberg
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sweet and malty, but not at all heavy.

Nice dark color.

Minimal head.

A very, very enjoyable beer.

Light body, clean after taste.

Just the right amount of bitterness.

The color would lead you to hink that it would be much heavier than it actually is.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Aroma is sweet fruity. Pours a deep clear caramel brown with a short dark beige head. The head does not last long at all and there is no lacing on the glass to speak of. The taste, though, is outstanding. A rich dense fruitiness like dates with an alcoholic bite only a bare hint of being hopped. Definitely a sip and savor brew!

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Photo of kegerator
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a deep, deep brown almost mahogany/black when held to the light with a nice 1/2 inch creamy white head. beautiful to look at.
Smell was of malt, caramel, and alcohol was noteable but all of the aromas were very background, nothing major up front so it seemed very mild.
Taste was sweet and caramel up front then a warm plum flavor comes through. The sweetness was there but not overly sweet and the plum flavor came through perfectly and a lsight warming of alcohol as you swallow. Very nice indeed. The alcohol became a little more apparent as this one warmed but still maintained itsefl very well.
Mouthfell was very smooth and delicate, nothing chewy or thick. A little on the thinner side but still very nice. Very drinkable beer.
I thouroughly enjoyed this one and would definitely buy it again. For only 2.99 you can't really beat it.

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Photo of Methodd
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Very clean dark copper. Puffy tan head that slowly settles down and leaves a decent amount of webbed lacing.

Smell: Sweet and soft. Bonfire toffee, currants, roasted malts and molasses. Tobacco and Leather are less prominent, but there none the less.

Taste: Lots of those roasted malts with the toffee being less prominent than it was in the smell. Earthy fruits and black cherries. There is also some dark vanilla and scotch at the end that gives it kind of a warm and boozy feeling.

Mouthfeel: Spot on. Very complex. All the flavors come together and co-exist beautifully. Carbonation suits the flavors perfectly; which is to say it is moderate and not overbearing.

Drinkability: What an absolutely fantastic example of a Scottish ale. Scottish ales are definitely my favorite and this one is at the top of that list. Certainly a nectar of the gods. Truly the brew master has something to be very proud of.

If I were from the UK the word "lovely" would have been used in excess in explaining this ale.

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Photo of WhiteOak
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Dark tea ruby brown/copper color with a small dark tan head.

S- A touch of skunkiness blows right off revealing rich aromas of caramel malt, toasted oak barrel, and roasted nuts. Faint but inoffensive metallic/copper note.

T- The delicious sweet caramel and oak vanillin flavors of the Belhaven Wee Heavy are so pure and so rich. The round, sweet, lingering finish begins with toffee nut brittle and fades with sweet Medjool dates. Neither a hint of bitterness nor a sharp edge to be found here.

M- Medium bodied, with the feel of a melting Storck Butterscotch candy in your mouth. Ideal carbonation for the level of sweetness - there is no abrasive tingling, and there is no cloying stickiness. Perfect. A great example of true balance.

D- Very, very drinkable. As in dangerously drinkable - but the sweetness will likely moderate the overall quantity. ABV imperceptible.

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Photo of Luigi
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a rich clear dark garnet color with a massive off white head that sticks all around the glass.

The aroma is sweet and smokey. Toasted malts, and sweet and sour fruits.

The taste is full of sweet, sour, and smokey flavors. Hints of raisin, caramel, smokey toasted malt. There is a good amount of diacetyl , giving a nice butterscotch flavor. Hop bitterness is kept to a minimal.

The body is medium and slick on the palate. Finishes with lingering toasted and smokey malt. Just easy sipping beer.

I have nothing more to say than it is a pleasure to drink an ale from my Scottish heritage. And Belhaven has never disappointed.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Rich malt aromas, fresh baked bread crust,
Brilliant dark chestnut, 2” off-white head with fine bubbles, dissipates to ¼”. Very lacy.
Palate: Rich British malt spice, a dark sugary malt flavor, no roast, whole wheat bread.
Chewy, creamy, medium low soft carbonation.

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

Big brown 16 oz bottle. Cool label, Maroon background with gold letters and a the Scottish Lion. Est. 1719, they were making this 57 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed. I got a feeling they know what they're doing.
Another deep burgundy to brown color. Ruby reddish hues. Creamy biege head, bubbly and full. Clings to the glass and covers the body.
Aromas mostly of wood, earthy, and hints of scotch whisky. Taste is what they style is suppossed to be, IMO. Spot on with toasted malt, rich earthy smoked wood flavors. Rum soaked plums and raisans, then roasted over a campfire. Subtle hot peppery peat finish, with just a hint of belly warming alcohol. Subtle flavors are perfectly balanced and refined. Surprisingly rich flavors.
Creamy supersmooth feel to it. Eases over the tongue, then disappears, not a touch watery, nor is it slick or syrupy. Just perfect. Medium to full bodied, and easy going down. I could savor this one all the time.
When I fulfill one of my dreams of playing the Old Course at St. Andrew's, this will be my after round beer.
How do they ship it so far, sell it so cheap and make it taste so good ? I will never know. This one earns my highest compliment.....
Magic---in a glass !

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Photo of napier51
4.74/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This was love at first sight! I loved the appearance with its amber, caramel look. Was taken back a bit by a clear bottle. It poured as well as any beer I have ever seen and left a nice lace on the glass. The taste was a caramel, buttery flavor with a nice aftertaste that let me know it was an ale. It is stock in my refrigerator. I treat myself to at least one a week. After all, it is a bit "Wee Heavy!"

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Photo of lou50rp
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Color is deep amber, almost brown with good carbonation
Sweet malty smell, very inviting
Sweet malty, with a hint of molasses and a wee bit of bitterness at the end
Mouthfeel is bit heavy with great carbonation
Overall a great brew for a long Scottish winter night

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Photo of mlockman
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Perfectly balanced malt-forward flavor profile. The only drawbacks were little to no head and a slightly prickly feel on the tongue that I could have done without. The prickly sensation was by far overshadowed by the intensely rich flavor, however.

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Photo of MrIncognito
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a mug.

A - Beautful tan head that is thick and fluffy, about 1-2 fingers. Stays around for quite awhile. Magnificent mahogony body that only lets a little light through. Nice lacing.

S - So many smells here. I don't think I could ever do it justice. Caramel and dark fruits with some alcohol. I want to say some prune and faint black cherry smells.

T - Great balance of caramel, dark fruit, and hops. Not bitter but has a nice bite. So friggin smooth. I'm not sure my palate is advanced enough to pull all the flavors out.

M - Silky with tickling carbonation. Very tiny carbonation bubbles that I feel on the tip of my tongue.

This is such a great beer. I mean, wow. I could literally drink this all day. It goes down nice and easy but leaves you with all kinds of great flavors in your mouth. I want more.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok last Scottish beer of this weekend..to celebrate the Portland Highland Games.
Belhaven always a fav of mine back in Scotland.
This beer is extremelly attractive ..a dark brown almost mahogany colour with a large off white creamy/frothy head..it goes down somewhat but it stays in reduced form till the bottom of the glass.
Very fresh , slightly smoky malt aroma..very nice.
apart from the expected yet well dome malt sweetness.later i detect, smoked peat, dark fruits like prunes and figs,Scottish "tablet"( a candy),a slight hint of hops and some very nice alcohol..warmth in the mid throat.
Very nice and smooth on the palte despite the array of flavours.
A very good Scotch Ale perhaps the best,,very drinkable indeed.
If only I could get this in a 12 pack my Oregon winters would be so much brighter!

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Photo of iceball585
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark reddish brown color, semi-transparent, thin lacy head that lowered to a thin ring around the glass

S- Scotch, dark fruits, caramel, dark malts, biscuits

T- Scotch, caramel malts, dark fruits, brown sugar, hint of hops, slight kick of alcohol

M- Medium body, medium weight, very smooth, clean, warming of alcohol near the end

D- Great all around beer

This is definatly one of my top favorite scotch ales. Good smell and even better flavors. No one aspect of the beer is overpowering making it a great well rounded beer.

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Photo of beergoot
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rich, copper red body with a lively effervescence that creates a thick, creamy off-white head.

Rich malt notes with toffee and caramel greet your nose. The taste reinforces the toffee and caramel and introduces burnt sugar flavors. Malt sweetness dominates with little hop bitterness noted. Mouthfeel is rich, smooth and velvety.

This is an outstanding beverage. If warm, rich and inviting malt flavors are what you're looking for, this should be somewhere on the top of your list.

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Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
4.05 out of 5 based on 1,049 ratings.
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