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: 1,052
Photo of Fatehunter
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A finger of head on a dark amber colored body.
The aroma is barnyard, earthy and grainy with a mild lemon note.
The taste has a solid malt sweetness throughout, a mild bitter, finishes sweet.
A crisp, but a bit sticky texture. Moderate carbonation and medium body.
Enjoyable, if not sweet, but that's normal for this style.

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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 kvnstfrd
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a clear 500 ml bottle into a 16 oz. glass goblet.
Deep reddish-brown color with a small but fluffy, tan head. Smells of spicy hops, caramel, brown sugar and ripe fruit. Taste is sweet, but not overly so. Caramel malts, a woody, earthy flavor and just a slight hint of smoke is present. Really nice, zesty hops, but not overpowering. Nice balance. Mouth-feel is a little thin, carbonation is about right. Pleasant. I’ve only been able to locate a few authentic Wee Heavies, but I’m really liking this style and this is the best one so far.

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Photo of tvv375ia
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 500ml bottle into pint glass

A-dark amber with a 1 finger hea that fades to a ring without much lacing

S-lots of malt and maybe some dark fruit like plums

T-bready malt with some fruit on the finish

M-good carbonation and a nice fruity finish

O-no problems with this one, well done and easy to drink

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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 BlurryVisi0n
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a wellington beer glass.

Appearance: A very dark brownish amber light light bubbles but still apparent, has an off white head rises to maybe a 1/4".

Smell: Maple scent, smells lightly sweet if that makes sense to you.

Taste:: Complex, has caramel taste that has a black tea feel. So much going on here. I am really liking it.

Mouth: Medium carbonation, stick y feel

Overall: Very good beer, something slightly different than the norm. Not every day you get to have wee heavy's and this one just hit the nail in the coffin. Salud!

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Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear, deep garnet-hued color with a frothy, full-sized layering of light beige suds that leaves filmy lacing as it recedes.

Aromas begin with a decidedly sweet scent of caramelized sugars, toasted and bready-scented malts. As it warms you get some stone fruit juices dosed with a bit of earthy English hops.

The tastes begin with caramelized sugars with notes of toffee and toasted bread/biscuits. As it warms you get a little grape or under-ripe plum and maraschino cherry. Very light, low herbal effect before a trace of bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium to medium high in body with medium carbonation. Finish is slightly sweet, sticky and fruity.

Overall it is a good, not perfect, but easily approachable scotch ale. Much less brash and much more traditional than many American interpretations which causes me to prefer this over overly boozy/higher ABV offerings.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 5/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a nice dark red amber. Slight off-white head with slight lacing. Caramel malt with a touch of roasted malt aroma. Nice, strong caramel malt and dark fruit, malty middle, a bit of molasses in the finish. Medium bodied with good carbonation. A very nice wee heavy.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Light, clear garnet color. Medium sized, foamy, airy, sticky, white head. Average retention leaving very little lace.

S - Sweet, sugary aroma with a bready and toasted caramel aroma. Somewhat fruity with dark fruit, cherry, and a touch of orchard fruit. Not much spice.

T - Plenty of toasted caramel and toffee. A bit of a sweet bready flavor as well. Plenty of sweet marchino cherry and apple. Touches of raisin and date. Hints of spice and peat but it's mostly a sweet, malty beer.

M - Medium to light body. Low carbonation level and pretty slick and oily.

D - Nice beer to sip on for a dessert. Sweet and malty but not cloying. Goes down easy and enough there to have me going back for more.

Notes: Nice Scotch Ale. Not as spiced or peaty as some. Wonderful caramel/toffee flavors though. Coats the mouth and leaves a nice sweet residue. Well done although nothing outstanding or unexpected.

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Photo of dansmcd
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice dark ruby colour, under a finger of soapy eggshell head with sticky lacing.

S - Very aromatic for a Brit, sweet caramel and honey, touch of raspberry, and just a hint of grass and smoke.

T - Slightly roasty, slightly sweet, caramelised fruit, tea with sugar, strawberries, maple syrup and peat.

M - Medium bodied ale with medium carbonation, lacking in some texture I feel.

O - Probably a really good example of the style, not that I've had too many, but it feels excellent to me. Pity about the clear bottle.

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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 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 Smoulton
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I hadn't tried Belhavens Ales before..saw this Ale and had to try it as I have Scottish heritage and have had other Scottish spirits before and The Scots really know how to make Their spirits.I was truly impressed with this ale.It was smooth and has a great aroma and taste.Truly a Great ale.Will definately imbibe in it again,as well as try their other ales.

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Photo of stevoj
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Musty, peaty aroma and taste, burnt wood.... Nice dark brown color. Smooth, rich, mellow flavor, mouth feel just right. Hints of whiskey... Scotland in a bottle.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unexpected surprise finding this at the package store on the base I'm stationed at here in Germany. Beautiful mahogany pour with two finger off-white head with decent retention and nice lacing. The nose has an initial subtle skunkiness that dies off quickly and yields to a wonderful toasty and malty aroma with hints of caramel, dark fruit, and maple syrup. The taste follows suit with earthy and nutty, yet slightly sweet hints of toffee, caramel, brown sugar, maple, and just a wee bit of peat, pardon the pun. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy but extremely smooth. And everything about this beer improves as it warms. Haven't had much exposure to the style, but this is one damn fine beer!

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We pour a deep, iced tea-colored brew. It holds a one finger head of huge, milky off-white bubbles. This dissipates at a faster pace, but leaves a nice aggregation and sheet across the top of the glass. Lacing is patterned and spotty. Carbonation appears active, and no sediment is noted. The nose predominates with bright barley and a dash of skunky adjuncts. There is apple wine vinegar and lactic sourness at the top. This softens up with buttered bread malts, faint ginger, earthy figs, and soft caramel. With warmth the malts become deeper and have a chocolatey vibe, but this is not nearly as robust as the steely barley throughout. As we sip, chalky, dry malts hit first, with an instant wash of caramel and toffee sugars. There is also a tannin-like quality, bringing up thoughts of herbal tea. A steel and rust bring us to the middle, where a buttery boldness and white sugar sweetness smooth things over. The mouth is wet, and becomes somewhat salty and watery. This supports the malts, making them fuller and more complex at the base. The finish shows a revival of the sweetness, with white sugars, toffee, and a borderline chocolate flavoring. There is a lemony twang as the final hints of browned, roasty malts leave the palate. With warmth the alcohol finally comes through, giving its own warming quality. The aftertaste breathes of sugary tea, chalky chocolate, charcoal smoke, must, and moss. The body is light to medium, and the carbonation is average. The mouth is left exquisitely dried with a tannin quality, but remains full and satiated, without too much puckering. There is nice slurp and froth, with a clean bubbly pop to each sip. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks fantastically.

Overall, the best thing about this brew was how flavorful it was. After the nose, which was relatively mild and adjuncty, the flavoring came forward with boldness. The first sips are sweet, intensely drying, and malty. With time, however, what develops is a deeply complex flavoring, which ultimately encompasses the spirit of the style expertly. Everything else seems to fall into place, and this beer keeps you wanting more with every sip.

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Photo of obywan59
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Wee Heavy poured a crystal clear orange-amber to near mahogany color depending on the light, topped by a 2 1/2 finger light tan head that left a bit of lacing.

At first it seemed skunked and had a metallic aroma, but the off aromas soon dissipated and some nice toasted malt and grassy-citric hops appeared. The aroma enriched even more with light coffee and aome faint smokey, woodsy notes.

The flavor of richly sweet dried dark fruits and a certain smokiness taste of alcohol, reminded me of more expensive bourbon barrel aged beers. The malt flavors are complemented by some tart citrus.

Medium-thick, and a rich, but not overly sticky mouthfeel with nice alcohol burn in the throat, and some pepper on the tongue.

A very elegant beer, rich in flavor, feel, and even aroma, once you get past the initial skunkiness.

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Photo of Mumps
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a chalice type glass.

This beer poured a very dark copper color (although the light of the pub might have been a factor). Had a very nice two finger head, with a fair disappation. Smelled was a balance of malt and hops, and instantly grabbed my attenion.

Taste was best described as an experience. A definite taste of dark malty goodness, with fruity backing. My instant impression was of a good port. Nice thick mouth feel. Definitely lets you know its there. By the end of the bottle, I declared this my new favorite brew, and thats saying something.

Excellent beer, everything I expect from the boys at Belhaven.

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Photo of SoonerNY
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a chalice.

A: This pours like a refreshing iced tea with a two finger head and good lacing.

S: As expected, it smells of delicious carmelly malts.

T: Taste is in line with the smell... malty, sweet and buttery with just enough hops to lighten the malt strength.

M: The texture is pleasantly viscous with adequate carbonation.

O: It all adds up,with this brew. It's a great example of the style and will be one that I add to my inventory since it will fit many different occasions.

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Photo of TheTrevor
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured copper with a fluffy two-finger tan head. The smell is some sweet bready malt. The taste starts off with some dark fruit that gives way to toffee and caramel and then a bit of hops on the end to provide a very good balance. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with average carbonation. A great example of a great style.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.47/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 1.9 pint bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- One finger white head. Good retention and lacing. Ruby red color. Decent carbonation. Looks quite wonderful.

S- Roast malts, but the over-encompassing smell is definitely skunky. Smells like some potent weed, unfortunately. Maybe I just got a bad bottle?

T- Blew my mind how differently it tasted in comparison to the smell. Lighter malts and fruits. Buttery flavor as well. Complex flavor that totally surpasses the lacking smell.

M- Medium bodied with a chewy sort of carbonation. Lingers.

O- The smell is off-putting, but the taste is lovely and it looks phenomenal.

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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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Photo of LebronJeremy
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Don't let the average rating fool you; this is a great beer. I've had 3 bottles of this, and every one smells completely skunked, though. I was so disappointed when I opened the first one, fearing that I wasted my money.

The pour was pretty decent--2 inches of head in a pint, but it reduced itself about half way through the brew.

The taste was frankly amazing. Perfectly malty with just enough bitterness to keep it from being too rich. Slightly watery overall, but good water. Almost like fresh spring water.

Overall, it was among the most well-balanced brews I've ever had. Not quite as flavorful as some other wee heavys, but then again, it's not as rich as them either.

Definitely worth getting again.

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Photo of mustang70
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a Guinness pint glass.

A. pours a 1medium finger head that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing. has a deep reddish brown color.

S. smells of sweet malts, some caramel.

T. is very sweet right up front; very malty.

M. it is not too heavy, medium carbonation. it is pretty easy to drink.

O. I enjoyed drinking this beer. it was a little to sweet for my liking. I like Scottish ales and this one was good just a little to sweet.

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

Pours a cream, three-finger head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Crystal clear mahogany color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose and flavor is a bready caramel. Clean finish. ABV is on the low side but this is a good SA. $4.99 for a clear 500ml bottle from Market Basket Concord, NH.

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Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
4.05 out of 5 based on 1,052 ratings.
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