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 cwalter
3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Med-dark brown with a thick head that dissapates quickly. An odd puckering quality at the end of each sip that leaves the mouth dry. Malty taste with other funky notes too complex for me to identify

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Photo of John_M
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap on nitro at highland stillhouse pub.

The beer pours a fairly dark, reddish amber color, with excellent head retention and lots of sticky lacing all around. The nose is attractive enough, as I pick up light sweet malt, cereal, and a hint of vinegar. On the palate... does a scotch ale get much better than this? On the nitro, this beer is incredibly silky and smooth. It only enhances the lovely sweet malty flavor coupled with a hint of bitterness, smoke, sherry and nutty butterscotch. The finish is long and smooth, and the relatively low alcohol enhances the beer's drinkability. So delicious and easy to drink... this one is highly recommended of course. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of Buck89
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On nitro tap in a pint glass. Dark reddish copper color with a faint tan head. Pleasant malty aromas-caramel, cherry, plum, toffee. Rich taste. Loads of caramel mixed with stone fruit.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: it appears to be a murky medium brown, but when held up to the light, it's pretty transparent; with a fairly aggressive pour, <1 finger off white head that receded quickly to a thin collar; very little lacing;

S: dark fruit, caramel, a little vanilla;

T: tobacco is predominant from start to finish with dark fruit, molasses and strawberry behind it; mild bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: a little too much tobacco character for my taste;

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Photo of GrumpyGas
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16 oz pint pour from nitro tap.
The dark maroon body floats a light tan head of 1/2 inch and it has legs.
The aroma is floral with a hint of alcohol.
the flavor is more subtle. Someone said 'piney': I can taste that, but it's not dominant and there is a late burn aftertaste which seems odd with such a relatively low abv. Not bad, just a reminder.

Nitro makes it nice and velvety with little carbonation.

Deep color. Rich mouthfeel. A nice dessert.

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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 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 bassboneman
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L= dark red/tea color, minimal head - spotty lacing
S = certainly a funky aroma floating about - but just adds to the mystique of the beer
T= whisky-ish sweetness - and a lot of it! Very mild bitter finish - especially as it warms.
carmel/dried fruit
F= mildly carbonated
O= this is my first wee heavy anything...so -
This beer is quite good - due to the sweet flavor present this might almost qualify as a dessert beer :o)

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Photo of hreb
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

50cL clear glass bottle served in craft pub glass. Beer is rich, red in color, and translucent. Aroma is mild with just a whiff of skunk. Flavor is much better. Thin on the palate, but hits the notes of caramel, butterscotch. Neither sweet nor bitter. Very well balanced, in a decided Scotch Ale kind of way, as opposed to an English Ale kind of way. There is undoubtedly some diacetyl content here.

I like this but it's not my favorite. Too strong to session, but too simple / flat to really savor. I think it's just too "clean" for me. Still, it's a great execution of its style, and it does have its place.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark ruby color. The head is a finger high, and off-white in shade. Not as creamy as other wee heavies in texture, nor as well retaining, it makes up slightly by having a certain consistency. Not much lacing is left behind. (3.25)

Smell: Wow, it has an intensely jammy nose right from the get-go. After opening up, the massive dark fruits and caramel will give way to some slight smoke (peat?) and tea leaves. While it's fairly standard by scotch ale standards on the nose, it's also very well executed, with well-defined notes. (3.75)

Taste: It follows the nose rather well, opening up with a strong caramel sweetness. The smokiness (more ham-like than woodsy) quickly follows suit on the mid-taste, but remains subtle throughout. I even get gentle notes of chocolate, brown sugar, and vanilla on the back end. While it's a sweet beer, it's also very well balanced - somewhat complex, too. (4)

Mouthfeel: In one aspect, it's creamy and full-bodied. And yet, in another aspect, it slides down the palate rather effortlessly, even dryly. It doesn't even rely on hefty carbonation, either - it's just naturally dry. As a result, this is a luxurious beer that's also very easy to drink. (4.5)

Overall: I am a total sucker for a good example of this style, which is exactly what this is. No wait, it's a GREAT example of the style. It doesn't rewrite the book by any means, but its execution is spectacular. The feel is particularly wonderful. Yes, I'll definitely seek this out in the future... (4)

3.96/5: It's a dessert beer you can chug! How can you not love that? Wait, don't answer...

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Photo of JLSIV
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 20oz tavern glass, had to pour aggressive to get a two finger head of medium bubbles which dissipated to a frothy layer. Lots of foam clinging to glass. Color is a beautiful reddish copper when held up to the light.

Aroma is mostly sweet and malty, with some toffee and brown sugar. By attribute, this is the least strongest trait of this particular ale.

Taste is toasty malt, with a little caramel, noticeably sweeter than I expected. I enjoy brown ales, so this one hit the spot for me personally.

Mouthfeel is medium, very slightly syrupy. Light carbonation was surprising, but seems to be correct for the style.

Overall, I enjoyed this ale very much, I would like to try it again on tap, and may try my hand at brewing one using a kit. Glad that I tried this style. The name really doesn't make sense from an AMerican point of view.

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Photo of philbe311
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Less than a finger's worth of fairly textbook khaki colored audibly fizzy froth that quickly recedes... The lacing that is left is slightly splotchy and carbonation bubbles can be seen bursting through the surface... The color is a warm inviting caramel brown... Some carbonation bubbles cling to the glass, the remainder powers through at a rapid pace... The nose is rather subdued, but all the usual suspects are present... Caramel... Toffee... Peat... Toasted malts... Light brown sugar... On the palate, the peat is dialed up in intensity and much of the expected malty goodness is buried deep in the background... There is a very subtle booziness which lingers on the finish... There is a greater than expected hop bite even though it is still relatively minor... Medium bodied... Sturdy... Limited carbonation... A bit chalky throughout.. Some syrupy characteristics as well... Overall, this one is a rather pedestrian Scotch Ale... As a lover of the style I can't help but be a bit let down by this offering which has proved somewhat elusive for me...

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Photo of smakawhat
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the clear bottle into a medium sized snifter glass.

A deep caramel red, almost ruby colored in appearance with some good clarity. Head is barely one finger and fleeting tan in color, leaving a whispy swirling top and creamy collar.

Straight forward aroma. Hints of toffee and thick caramel, but with a good amount of herbal and spice notes to match. Clove, sweet brown sugar and a bit of honey as well round out nicely, almost tea aromatic to an extent. More importantly we have dodged the skunk monster.

Palate hits nicely, and takes it down perfectly without sacrificing flavor. Thick liquid toffee in the glass, creamy but light bodied caramel coating everywhere in the palate. Washing light almost crisp bitter like quality, but with real coating feel.

Overall a great benchmark easy drinking wee heavy that doesn't go for the throat. Could drink lots of this

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Photo of MisterGone
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

The clear bottle had me a bit nervous, so I took one from the way-back of the shelf. Poured a deep brown with some coppery red hints. Tall, dissipating head of khaki. The aroma was certainly of butterscotch and caramel, not much in the way of hops to describe. The flavor was a direct hit from the aroma, really what you smelled was what you tasted. Really smooth butterscotch and caramel maltiness, balanced by a good bubbly carbonation and hops so subtle I can't describe a profile - but enough to cut the sweetness and make it a very enjoyable brew. No real alcohol on the finish, even at the early cold sips.Solid offering, will definitely put this in the stable for when in the mood for malty brews.

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Photo of Jaysauras
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

L: Pours a deep dark brown with hints of red. It was topped by a very thin creamy head with the thickness of about a quarter. Tons of lace and the head tends to hang on the glass quite heavily.

S: Sweet. Right up front. Very sweet with a malty caramel scent. Tiny bit of booze scent to it as well.

T: The taste is in the smell. The sweetness of caramel hits right up front with a bit of malty butteriness afterwards. It also had a bit of a dry, metallic finish to it which is commonly seen with a heavier carbonation. Very solid flavors right up front though, and it's that simplistic scotch ale taste that makes the style great.

F: Considering how sweet the beer is, it has a surprisingly dry finish to it. Dry, sharp, and thin.

O: Exceptional. A great testament to the style. It's not a complex drink by any stretch of the imagination, but it does all it needs to do and does it well. It maintains that sweet, but light sharpness, without becoming watery, over-carbonated, or too syrupy sweet. It's an easy style to mess up, but Belhaven have come through on this one. Easily drinkability to boot.

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Photo of JMS1512
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sight- Deep, deep brown body. Red highlights. Pours a beige head that reduces to a small floating island the size of a poker chip. Lacing hangs dainty on one side, thick and bandy on the other side of the glass. Is my glass not “beer clean?”

Smell- Subtle toasted caramel, sugar, roasted malt. Hops are not noticeable.

Taste- Mimics the initial aroma quite closely. Great caramel-ly malt, a bit of… butter? Again, hops are Spartan. It has that stereotypical Scotch Ale taste, one I enjoy. At 6.5%, no feeling of alcohol- much appreciated, though I have sought out boozier brews.

Mouthfeel- Gently coats my tongue, a bit oily. Maybe a Medium-minus? Tiny bubbles ceaselessly rise to the surface.

Overall- A nice offering by Belhaven, one I like as much as their regular Scottish Ale.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Nose of caramels and brown sugar with bits of toffee and butterscotch supported by moderately toasted malts and a touch of ABV. Taste is rich caramels on a foundation of toasted malts that lasts through the finish. Body is a tad on the light side for a wee heavy. Beer is a solid, classic presentation of the style.

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Photo of BrewQuest
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

I tried this again recently after not having it for quite a few years and it just didn't seem to have the same "wow" affect that it did then. Still a good beer, but it seemed to be malt heavy this time. Hopefully it was just this particular brew. Still a pleasure though!

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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 mnredsoxfan69
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%

Nitrogen tap: A beautiful pour, clear, dark amber with a one finger, almost immortal, creamy, antique ivory head that left a sticky coating on the glass. The aroma is malty with a little alcohol and very light, spicy, English hops. The flavor is malty, rich and bready but not overly sweet, with the hops making their presence known without being overpowering. As for mouthfeel, creamy and rich with moderate carbonation tickling the tongue.

A fine example of a good Wee Heavy, certainly in the upper tier of the style. Excellent.

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Photo of ToriBug13
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: lovely brown with glimmers of amber through my glass. Poured with wonderful, fluffy head which dissapated quickly. Cream colored, tiny bubbled lacing clings to the glass elegantly.

Smell: leaves something to be desired. Very faint hints of caramel are covered by a standard "beer" smell. Not many hints of what is to come.

Taste&Mouthfeel: oh my, does not disappoint! Super luxerious in caramel and roasted malt flavors. They meld beautifully into one spectacular brew. Medium to even full bodied. Creamy, thick. The beer glides over the tongue and lingers, leaving rich coffee tannin and soft sugars in a wild balance. Mild to medium carbonation, but I must say. There are few beers I think don't need carbonation, this is one that struck the right cord.

Overall: very pleased with this purchse. High recomendation, exceptionally well made for the style. Rated highly and deservedly so. Absolute must try!

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Photo of SamKetchum
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As the name suggests this beer is a wee bit heavy. It is definitely a sipping beer, a great sip of beer regardless. It pours a deep colour and smells lovely. The hops are very slight, which don't over power the ale. It leaves the drinker with a tinge of almond aftertaste. The beer is also surprisingly sweet which is slightly surprising given its initial heavy belt.

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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 superspak
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 4/25/2013. Pours fairly crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, brown bread, brown sugar, herbal, light smoke, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, biscuit, brown sugar, brown bread, herbal, light smoke, and yeast earthiness. Slight earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, herbal, light smoke, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; with great robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Low-medium carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome scotch ale. All around great complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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