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: 1,053
Photo of Noxious26
1.49/5  rDev -63.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

500m bottle served in a pint glass at Bushwakker's.

Dark red ruby colour and clear. Thin off-white head.

Aroma is malty and smoky, but has an off scent. Smells like old stinky army socks.

Extremely smoky flavour. A little malt at the start, then campfire smoke just invades the senses. Even the aftertaste is smoky. Where the hell is the sweetness???

Medium bodied, mildly fizzy and dry.

Ack! This is terrible! Try drinking liquid smoke like you would make sausage with... that's this beer. Overwhelming smoke flavour. I might as well be smoking. One of the worst beers I've ever tried.

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Photo of maximum12
2.18/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

After a run of good wee heavy brews, excited to see this on tap when I stopped for lunch at the Bulldog Lowertown in St. Paul, MN. Give me one of those!

And...blah. This is one of the most blase' beers I've ever had. Way, way, way, way, way too creamy to the point of severe distraction, really ruining the beer for me. No scotch taste to it at all. Just malt, malt, everywhere the eye & tongue turns. One note, & not a very interesting one.

Disappointing. Wonder if this would be any different out of the bottle.

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Photo of MarkoNm
2.19/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Pours a clear, dark red/ruby color and is topped with a relatively small tan colored head.
The aroma is mild - just some malt and perhaps a little fruit and wine aroma.
The taste was a kick in the head - strong and bittery all the way through with the wine-feel to go with (not what I like).
I don't really like this one, too bad.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
2.34/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

500ml bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass.

Appearance- Very very dark red to light brown in color. Basically a sliver of off white head.

Smell- A very green bottled beer skunkyness smell.

Taste- In the front there is that skunky beer flavor and some smoke and bread malts on the backend. The feint backend has what I have come to expect from a scotch ale but the front is either skunked or not to appealing.

Mouthfeel- Medium to light with pretty high carbonation especially for a scotch ale.

Overall- While the backend of the flavor notes resembles a scotch ale the rest is just not there. I am reserving my full opinion because the possibility of a sounded beer is here.

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Photo of kimcgolf
2.54/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured to a dark brown with hints of ruby, and a thin off-white head with little lacing. Aroma was mostly chocolate and malt. Although I did not think this was a smoke beer, that is by far the most dominant flavor I got from this thin-bodied beer, along with a hint of choclate. Finish was mostly a watery, smoky after-taste. I was looking forward to this, but was quite disappointed.

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Photo of dqrull
2.78/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a brown-ish copper with a lasting stubborn head, slightly beige and quite creamy-looking.

Smells very malty, a fruity malty, and maybe some green vegetables as well, and I get some buttery ... butterscotch, that makes me think of the horrible liquid Innis & Gunn, not falttering, but it goes away as the beer gets warmer. A light alcohol that is pretty stingy shines through when I inhale strongly.

Smell is actually rather thin, starts off well with a fudgy and slightly fruity maltines s, reminiscent of apples and plums with a semisweet thing to it, and then... nothing. The taste just plummets into a big heap of nothingness, leaving a lightly bitter feel in themouth, but that's it.

Mouthfeel is okay, nothing special really.

EDIT: Just read that the Wee Heavy we get here in Sweden in stores is a pasteurised one, that's really complete bullshit, explains why the beer felt dead and soulless I guess. Maybe I should have gotten worried when I saw that it was in 355 ml CLEAR bottles (just like that appaling Innis & Gunn), but now I know!

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Photo of TerryW
2.79/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep mahogany red coloured beer, substantial off-white head, good lace. A handsome beer.

Grainy, malty nose, but not substantial. Very first swallow is full of sweet caramel, lots of malt. Gently dry, very slightly bitter finish.

Interesting, but overall came off as slightly too sugary to me. Passable, but not something I'd work to track down.

Edit Sept. 29/05 Revisited. Looks good, smells good, but an unpleasantly medicinal taste. I'm coming to think that Belhaven underwhelms me.

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Photo of btmo
2.88/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was a little dissapointed by this beer.

The flavour was ok but it was nothing special. I like the high alcohol content, as I think this helps bring out the flavour, but really, I just didn't think it was warranted in this case.

Colour was good, but the head vanished very quickly.

Worth a try if you are a fan of the style, I suppose, but it just didn't do anything for me. It is certainly drinkable, and is certainly pleasant enough - it just doesn't ring my bells.

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Photo of hotstuff
2.95/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A beer style that I truly enjoy, but unfortunately this particular Scottish Ale missed the mark with me. It poured a large sized creamy ivory head with fine-medium sized bubbles that was mostly lasting. The body was uncarbonated with a reddish-brown hue. The nose was malty, notes of caramel and butter. The flavor was slightly bitter and sour with a fore and aftertaste to it. The mouthfeel was smooth and medium bodied. This beer left a spider web like lacing.

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Photo of AndoBrew
2.96/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

*did not like would not buy*

app: ugly. dirty water!

smell: yummy! nice chewy malts .. some butter (I love butter!) small small amount of floral hops. real nice and thick smelling though.

taste: so odd in contrast to the smell.. toasted malts, strange.. to sweet. I wish with this butter richness that it had more toast to support it. oh well.

mf: dont care.. to sweet and lite.

drinkable?? kinda. not for me.. maybe a new new castle for some though.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Imperial 500 mL embossed body & neck labeled bottle with an artsy cool dragon on the front. Also states "Est. 1719."

Dark ruddy, ruby, mahogany yet clear filtered with scant rising bubbles under a khaki sticky slick head ring into me pilsner pint that quickly jumps up after a few swirls, finally leaving a lace coating.

Malty aromas dominate this pungent nose. Molasses and smokey doughy flavors.

Peat moss malts and dark roasted malts meet smoked salmon and hickory chips.

Feel is slightly oily, and heavy. (DUH!) This is a rough drinker to me but Wee Heavy is not a favorite style, yet being objective as possible...

Last swigs: Like the BELHAVEN Ale, not my cup 'o tea, but glad to have tried it. 6.5% sipper. Special thanks to Shapudding for having the tasting where this was offered.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of beeroclock
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I poured this from the bottle into a pint glass, poured a deep brownish red, in the light you could see the reds come out. Decent off white head that lasted some time. Smelled sweet with some alcohol tones. Tasted of raisins and sugars that stayed with the aftertaste. Very heavy drink. I have never been a huge scottish ale fan and this one is not any different in that fact, however it is much better than some of the others out there. The heaviness wouldn't allow for many of these in one sitting.

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Photo of hunteraw
3.08/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I recently brewed a Scotch Ale of my own, and I know it's supposed to be sweet, but this one really didn't do it for me. Not quite opaque in appearance, slight reddish tint when held up to the light. It looks good, for what that's worth! Overly sweet aroma and taste - not a bad thing in the nose, but too much for my palate, at least. For me, the malt was really overwhelmed by that sweetness. I had a hard time finishing it. The girlfriend (who enjoys darker beers) mentioned an unplesant aftertaste. I was pretty surprised to log on and see how well it's rated. My opinion, here, so don't put too much stock in it, but if you don't have much of a sweet tooth, I'd steer away from this one. If you do, maybe you'll love it as much as most reviewers seem to have. I'll be sure to give it another chance, though.

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Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
3.17/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle poured into Stella chalice.

A - Clear dark ruby / brown with a finger and a half of off white head.

S - The main thing I get from the aroma is skunk. A lot of it. Beneath that I can detect some sweetness and a bit of roastiness.

T - Thankfully, the beer tastes much better than it smells. There's still a bit of skunky character, but the caramel sweetness and bready malt take the forefront. It has a roasty and nutty flavor, and there is also a hint of molasses and syrup sweetness. Slightly bitter.

M - Thin-to-moderate body, slightly sticky, and low-to-moderate carbonation.

O - I'm always wary of clear bottles, and in this case it caused a fair amount of skunking. The aroma was pretty bad, but luckily it didn't taste as skunky as it smelled. A decent wee heavy, but nothing I would get again.

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Photo of avylover
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured aggresively, this has a huge firm white head. It is a dark ruby color with rising bubbles throughout. Aroma is sort of creamy with a good malty whiff and a fair dose of hops suprisingly. This beer actually starts off with a smoked taste to it, then settles into a sweet maltiness and a somewhat overwhelming buttery flavor that lasts well into the aftertaste. There is a good amount of taste going on here, not just a malt monster. I think this beer may be a good example of "Diacetyl." It just seems too buttery, with some off flavors. The smoked taste is unwelcome here. Mouthfeel is decent, nothing special. The odd taste makes this beer not too drinkable. Interesting for sure, but not great.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a ruby red/chestnut brown color with an inch off-white head. Lacing and head retention are both decent enough. Aroma is toasted and caramel malt, peat, toffee and some skunk. Not a fan of the clear bottles... Luckily, the taste is a bit nicer than the aroma. The brew tastes like caramel and toasted malt, toffee, and some butterscotch and peat. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and it's well carbonated, a little too carbonated for my liking. I think it's an OK brew, but for the style there are plenty of other beers I'd choose before this one. I've liked the Belhaven brews I've tried in the past, but I'm not a fan of this one. I still think it's worth a try, it's not bad.

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Photo of ProfessorHops
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- dark brown. Very handsome. I know it's against the law, but when pouring this beer I give it a huge head. Simply because it's a sight to see. Awesome head.

Smell- hoppy and surprising sweet.

Taste- robust and woody. Malted heavy.

Mouthfeel- watery and refreshing. Finishes a little more solid.

Drinkability- for a more stronger beer. The ale drinks well But a price of alcohol burn is paid in the finish when consumed fast.

A good beer to introduce one to Scottish Ale. True to strength and the robust

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured a deep mahogany reddish brown, decent lacing on the head, aroma was of dark stone fruits, a tinge of smoke, burnt caramel, some light floral notes, tasted a lot of malt up front, a slight whisky taste almost, flavors in the bouqet present in the initial taste, just barely enough hops to give it some balance on the back end, slightly sweet aftertaste on the finish, mouthfeel was medium/full with warming alcohol present and noticeable, drinkability suffers for me due to the style of this beer, i am sure this would be rated much higher were my palate geared to a wee heavy, just doesn't have the balance, big hops, bright flavors i tend to favor, this could have been worsened buy the fact that i gorged on greasy pizza earlier and should have had an ipa instead. this beer would have been much better with a maduro cigar, minimally seasoned beef stew, smoked meats, or even dark dessert. again, the pizza beforehand killed this beer for me, though.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice reddsih copper color with a smallish head that dissapated to a thin film with some scattered lacing.
Smell was malty & slightly sweet.
Taste was good though not overly comlpex with a decent maltiness, fruit and a slight hoppy taste.
Mouthfeel was medium bodied, with a light effervescence all over the tongue. A reasonably drinkable beer but honestly, nothing special. I expected more but was let down.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Large tan head a top a garnet brown body. Mild carbonation is visible through the clear brew. Broken ring of lacing clings to the side with each sip.

S - A very malty, but not tremendously sweet, caramel aroma, a hint of smoke and grasses.

T - A light caramel sweetness through with a very faint smoky hay flavor perhaps like a malt that have been smoked with grasses. Aftertaste is a lingering dark sweet malt (circa 150 lovibond or so), with a lingering grassy flavor.

M - Smooth, thick, a little refreshing at first, but a tiny bit gummy.

D - Easy, I coasted through this pint. A nice wee heavy, not terribly bizarre like the American takes on the style. Sessionable even at such a high abv. I might have again.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.26/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours amber/mahogany in color with a small off-white head.

S: Mild butter and skunk to the nose. Sweet malt is the primary aroma with nice toasty notes and plenty of bread and toffee. A slight peatiness and a hint of soap.

T: Sweet toffee and caramel with toast and a light roasted malt flavor. Mild hoppiness and peat, but fairly sweet overall. A hint of grass is present in the background.

M: Medium in body with a smooth, medium carbonation.

O: Okay, but I prefer a lot of the American interpretations of the style more.

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Photo of TeeCee
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Quick review - medium thick in the mouth, mildly hoppy tasting and smelling, smoothing to a richer malt taste, bitter for about half of the beer.

I poured it in a standard American pint glass as that's the type I keep in rotation. The color was red/dark brown like a Salvator with a thick head that dissipated quickly with some lacing.

Prior to this Wee Heavy, the only Wee Heavy I had was Real Ale's Real Heavy (very good beer by the way, but unfortunately a seemingly a one-off).

It smelled slightly hoppy with some rich maltiness underneeth. It almost smelled like a doppel bock.

The taste was slightly hoppy, slightly bitter, with a nice fullness. As the beer warmed, it developed a fuller, maltier character.

The mouthfeel was medium thick with no fizzy feel to it, thickening as it warms.

I love doppel bocks and the Real Ale Real Heavy reminded me of a doppel bock, which is why I was interested in this beer. I could have a few during an evening, drinking slowly, and enjoy them. I could not sit down and kill a six pack.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear brown rum apperance. Very big beige head tops it nicely. It’s fairly mild on the nostrils, but has pretty much everything I expect from a scotch ale. It’s caramelic, butterscotchey, faintly smokey with traces of berries or melon. Leather notes on the palate, refreshing from a moderately small malt acidity. Slight vegetal oil touch. It’s well done for a beer that is mostly about caramel malt interplays. Just lighter than I expected and the thin-medium body could be fuller, especially with that rather high carbonation. Good

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a medium brown colored beer with a small head with little retention. Aroma is comprised of strong malts and it seems like you can almost smell the bitterness in this one. Taste is unsurprisingly bitter with a touch of roasted malt. This tasted not so unlike Fullers 1845, which is no bad thing.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.31/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Pours a rustic red copper with an off-white half finger head. Sub-par retention results in a near barren surface, scant a few isolated patches of suds. Virtually no lacing to speak on.

Smell - Caramel, earth and faint smokiness.

Taste - Follows the nose. Moderate notes of caramel and earth to start before a peaty smokiness makes up the bulk of the flavor in the finish. Hops are basically nowhere to be found.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with low, near lifeless carbonation.

Overall - With no best by or bottled on date in sight, it's hard to say how old my test subject is, but based on the weak head, complete lack of hop presence and others' reviews, I'd say this one is well past it's prime. A shame; I was looking forward to it. As it is, a fair brew, though I strongly suspect a fresher bottle would result in a much higher rating. Problem is, how do I know if it's fresh without a bottling date?

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Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
4.05 out of 5 based on 1,053 ratings.
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