Wee Heavy | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

1,055 Ratings
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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Ratings: 1,055 |  Reviews: 569
Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut with a thick, light tan head that is rather rocky. Smells firm and very malty, but not like sticky sweet toffee, this is deep but dry. Buttery, slightly salty on the end. The taste as well is very firm malt that is almost woody or peaty. Some toffee-like flavors but still very dry. Firm in the mouth as well, this is a nice fall weather beer for the porch. Quite satisfying if relatively uncomplicated.

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Photo of claykeller
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Serving Type: Bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark pour with cream colored head.

Smell: Sweet malt aroma.

Taste: A dark fruity flavor like figs or subtle muscadine flavor (probably have to be from the eastern or southern US to know that flavor) Malty and no bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Rich and smooth, not much carbonation.

Drinkability: Very smooth, easily sneaks up on you and you've downed one before you realize it.

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Photo of Pauly2X
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Very dark mahogany with a full finger head.

S- Rich caramel aroma with hints of toffee.

T- Malt bomb! Sweet malt start to finish. Rich caramel and toffee with an extremly light roasted note. Finishes smooth clean and sweet with light hints of dried fruit.

M- Big and Rich (no, not the country singers)

D- The decadent richness is the only obstacle here.

Quite enjoyable, unless you're a hophead.

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Photo of davexisxrabid
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice amber brown color with lively carbonation. A one finger thick tan head sits on top of this brew with good retention and nice lacing on the glass during the drinking period.

Very sweet malty aroma, burnt brown sugar, a bit reminiscent of root beer.

Flavor of sweet caramel, carmelized sugar, no trace of hops.

Medium-full bodied, subtle sweet flavors on the palate remain after each sip. The carbonation keeps it from becoming too heavy or cloying.

Good drinkability, not too heavy on the palate and good flavor throughout. Looking forward to another!

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

500 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a dark orange-mahogany color with a one inch off-white head. Retains as a skim but doesn't leave much lacing.

Aroma is sweet with lots of caramel and toffee maltiness and a but of a nuttiness, slight butterscotch, plus something I cannot quite describe. It's kind of like pear but stranger.

Taste is very malt forward with caramel and toffee again, some dark fruit of raisins and fig. That weird pear flavor is there again, but not nearly as strong as the aroma. A bit of earthiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, nice and creamy texture, quite drinkable.

A pretty good Wee Heavy, but there are a few I can think of that I would prefer over it. Still, worth a try if you like Scottish beers.

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

Poured into a Sam Adams new style tulip/pint glass (awesome glass BTW).

Pours a nutty brown color with some amber coloring noticed. The beer has a very carbonated head that fades quickly, no lacing to speak of.

The brew smells of bananas, malts, nuts and some fruit. Very complex smell - great smell.

The brew has a sweet taste initially, floral fruity; then has a woodsy nutty backbone. Nice malt taste - very smooth with a dry finish. Very nice taste.

Wow this brew is excellent - tastes great and is very drinkable. Would highly recommend this brew to any beer lover. One of the better beers I had for a long time.

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Photo of ajr24
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle poured into an imperial style pint glass

A- it pours a deep, mahogany brown interlaced with tones of ruby. At first a creamy white head forms but then after a few sips it turns into a scant off-white layer over the beer. Some agitation to the glass raises the head back up though.

S- Mmm. It smells sweet, roasty and burnt. Lots of caramelized sugar in the nose, followed by some fruitiness and finished up with a little bit of peat.

T- tastes of a hearty bread, caramel and smoke. Reminds me of Homer Simpson's patented space age out-of-this-world moon waffle--caramel, a waffle, and some liquid smoke. Also some earthy fruits come through in the background, like figs and dates.

M- I think it lacks some heartiness and thickness for a wee heavy. However I can't judge too harshly as this is the first actual Scottish wee heavy that I've had. Overall pleasant.

D- better drank as a sipper. More flavors jump out as it warms up.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Sam Adams Shaped Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Pours a very nice, ruby tinted, copper color. Almost two-finger head of light tan colored foam sits on top. Retention is great, leaving an 1/8 inch foam layer, all the way down. Lacing is full and fairly sticky.

The nose is mostly just rich, sweet maltiness. Light notes of caramel and vanilla. Very faint traces of butterscotch and bananas.

Delicious malty presence. Hints of toast and caramel. A nice, mild, spice presence. Mild dark fruit sweetness. Very subtle smoke notes, which brings about a mild taste of whiskey.
This is a very smoothly balanced brew and an excellent representation of the style.

While it is smooth, the body is a touch weak and thin, I think. The carbonation is a little much and this one could stand to be creamier.

Super-easy drinking, here. 6.5%ABV isn't too big to consume several of these in a sitting, either.
Rich and smooth, sweet, but not cloying, this one is a winner.

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Photo of gory4d
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy reddish brown, with a tan, two-finger head that deflates to a thin skein of foam on the top. Not much lacing. The smell is sublime, rich caramely malts with some tangy mineral notes. The taste comes on with a sharp tang, then some very simple sweetness, moving through some almost chalky notes into a heavy hit of malt, then finishing with some dull bitterness; it's much more pleasant and complex than it sounds, and really wakes up the taste buds. It's perhaps overly carbonated, but thin enough that it's easy to take a mouthful. Not an easy drinker, but a good one.

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

When poured into a pint glass, there is a dark brown color with a rich ruby accent. Light passes through easily, but the beer is dark enough that you cannot clearly see through it. It appears to be clear, with no floating bits in it at all. An inch thick tan head formed. It was made of mostly tiny bubbles with the occasionally larger bubbles mixed throughout. There was some nice lacing on the side of the glass.

The scent is a subtle combination of Butterscotch, roasted malts, prunes, raisons with a slight brown sugar scent. The scent reminds me of Glogg (a traditional Scandinavian winter drink). The taste is a complex mixtures of roasted malts, dark fruit and peat smokiness often associated with Scotch Ales. The flavor opens up more as the beer warms toward room temperature. The aftertaste is mild and pleasant

It is a medium bodied beer. There is a decent level or carbonation.

This is an excellent Scottish Ale. A delightful combination of scents and flavors that makes it a pleasure to drink. The 6.5% ABV isn't noticeable in the taste, but one should be aware of it. I could see myself sitting down with friends on a cool summer night and drinking a bottle or two with them.

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Photo of LauraAlberts
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Brownish Red - decent head retention

Smell: Smells like a lambic - sour, pear, tons of malt, banana

Taste: Banana's foster, pear, cherry, tobacco, scotch, milky mocha, creamy, toast, vanilla innuendo

Mouthfeel: dry - full bodied - smooth tannins.

Drinkability: nice sipper. refreshing and desserty. A nice close to an evening.

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Photo of farrago
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cream brown colored head, good finger's thickness, mainly small bubble foam, lacing glides off the glass. The nose is a pleasant medley of caramel/toffee, peat moss, fallen forest wood, raisins, figs and cherries, white bread dough, nuts and flower water, quite smooth and without a trace of any rough or bitter qualities. Medium-bodied with a fluffy, soft texture which expands in the mouth, offering more square inch coverage than weight. The carbonation is steady and full, few pinpricks, contributes to the expansive feel. The raisin, date, fig, cherry, apricot, apple fruit a fine mix of dried and fresh fruit characters, pairs well with the chocolate, caramel, nutmeg flavors. The breadiness not a major player, if there more cake than out-and-out bread. Corn and flowers appear more as it warms some. Never too sweet nor dense, the final sip as fresh as the first.

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Photo of champ103
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark mahogany/brown color. The typical creamy nitro-head forms and leaves some lace.
S: Not much here. Some malty sweetness and caramel.
T: Malty and sweet. Caramel and toffee flavors. A light dark fruit flavor. A lingering hop bitterness.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Watered down for my tastes though. Easy and smooth to drink. Something I could session.

This is one of my favorite beers, in a bottle. Not on nitro-tap however. The subtle flavors of smoke and dried dark fruits are almost gone. I highly recommend this beer out of a bottle, not like this though.

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Photo of MattChaos
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

*Served from bottle into goblet. Please note: This review was written about a particular serving of this beer, after it had been aged for slightly over 2 years. The aged yeast may and probably has affected this particular serving...for the better!*

A: Beautiful appearance. A slow pour leaves an inch-head with a .5-1 inch lace on the side. The head subsides into a chestnut hue. The thick amber color almost leaves it looking like a dark red wine! Appearance is exceptional.

S: Fruity and unique. Floral, but not woody. And upper-nostril massage!

T: A back-end beer. Streams over the tongue and into the throat smoothly without a lingering aftertaste. Yeasty and bold without being overbearing. Extremely pleasing to the palette. A solid example of a Scottish ale. In fact, will go so far as to say one of the best Scottish ales on the market today.

M: Superb. A sipping-beer, best served in a wide-mouthed glass. Leaves the mouth feeling loose and grateful!

D: Again, a sipping-beer. Any more than one Wee Heavy per serving is over-doing it. The velvety feel of this ale helps the drinker appreciate the craft that went into the brewing process. Easily an after-dinner beer. Absolutely incredible.

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Photo of Shaw
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After having an American Wee Heavy, I wanted to try a Scottish version.

This is a nice glowing amber in color with a rich tan head.

It smells of bread, toast and caramel, with a slight tannin twang.

The taste is excellent. It's rich and malty, with some light smoky and peaty notes similar to Scotch whisky. I also note flavors of dried fruit like raisins, figs and prunes.

The body is creamy and slick.

Overall this is an excellent beer and well worth seeking out. It's a nice sipper.

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Photo of julian1117
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Visual Appeal: like shades amidst the woods, a will o the wisp light barely visible

Smell: rich alcoholic malt, too bad they don't make incense smells like this

Flavor: strong alcoholic joy, malted barley everywhere, hint of hops and earth; this is the only "5" rating I've given so far on this website!

Mouthfeel: wonderfully smooth and creamy but not as much as something like Guiness; carbonation not any more present than it should be for an ale

Drinkability: could be enjoyed either way, sipped or quaffed, although the 6.5% is a little high for a thirst-quencher

This, honestly, has been one of the best ales I've ever tasted. Brings back so many memories of my first trip to Oxford and London, where ales are king. For my barometer, it's malts all the way, and this, my first Scotch Ale, is highly recommended. A superior European ale.

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Photo of birdyone
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After reading about Belhaven for so long, I was afraid I would be let down. . . it lived up to my expectations.

It pours a nice dark amber. You need to put your eye right up to it to see through it; the world always looks better through a dark beer. . . Nice webbing left on the glass.

Smells great. period.

The taste is out of this world. It's strong without being over powering. It is dark and powerful tasting, but approachable to non dark beer enthusiasts; my girlfriend isn't really a beer person and she likes the taste.

Mouthfeel; lets just say it feels like it belongs in your mouth. . .

Drinkabilaty is great; it's tasty and strong, but doesn't leave you feeling full. I wish I had more right now I can tell you that much.


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Photo of robbyc1
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear chestnut amber color with red highlights, a nice heavy looking head, off white, a bit clear for me but good.

Good nose of malt, some wood notes, a bit of smoke, old whiskey barrels, very nice for this style. Has some complexity I'm thinking will be good in the taste.

Good rich malt flavor, deep nuttiness, figs, finishes dry. Lacks the complexity I expected from the nose, just a straight forward take on this style. I'll take Old Chub or Lake Louie's version over this one, trust your "local" brewers on this relatively simple style.

Medium body, just ok, needs a bit more heft, but well made, nice lace and carbonation makes this a winner, good with dinner too.

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

A: Poured a dark, ruby red copper color with an inch of thick white head atop that sticks around for a few minutes before turning into a small pile of foam. Some lacing was left around the edges of the glass.

S: Smells very sweet and fruity; almost like apple cider. I expected it to be a bit more smokey. The smell is not at all unpleasant, just not quite what I expected. Raisins, malts, apple, caramel, and maybe a slight amount of molasses detected. The alcohol is there, but masked pretty well.

T: Unlike the aroma, the flavor hinges more on the caramelized malts. Apples and raisins are definitely still very present, with some butterscotch toffee in the background. Starting to get a little bit of the smokey, roasted flavor, but it is rather weak. The hops, likewise, are very masked. Slight alcohol tinge on the back end, but it is hardly noticeable. When given the chance to warm, it opens up nicely, which lends it a bit more complexity. Pretty sweet taste all-around, but very enjoyable.

M: Although it sits pretty light on the tongue, this beer does pack some complexity and is a bit syrupy. A good, smooth medium-bodied beer, just as it should be. Feels nice in the mouth and goes down easy.

D: Very drinkable. It is fairly light on the stomach and tastes great, though it is a wee bit sweet which may stop me from consuming more than a few. Overall very decent and a wonderful first "Wee Heavy" style beer for me.

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Photo of Voonder
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark clear brown color with nice size off-white head. Smell - somewhat sweet, malty, a bit of honey, some spices. Taste - huge caramel hits upfront, malty, nutty, somewhat raisiny, very bready. Great balanced taste, good carbonation, alcohol hidden well. Very drinkable! What a great beer!

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Photo of Spidey13
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belhaven Wee Heavy pours a beautiful, deep ruby color when held to the light. A small white head sits on top. The nose is full of sweet malty notes. Maples syrup, raisins, and smoke show up.

The taste follows up with the malty flavors, with raisin, caramel, and nutty flavors. There is a mild bitterness on the back and the alcohol plays a background role. The mouthfeel is a bit thin with medium carbonation.

Overall, a very drinkable, yummy beer.

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

Pours a dark brown with a nice billowy tan head which fades but leaves decent lacing.

I'm having trouble getting much at all on the nose. A little sweet fruit maybe but not the peaty smokiness I look for in a wee heavy.

Tastes better happily. Some smoke but not enough for me, and a lot of caramelly malt. No hops to be found. A little dark fruit and some complexity going on as well. Tasty as far as it goes.

Nice medium to full mouthfeel with a long finish.
All in all a good introduction to the style.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice reddish brown with a cream colored head with some ok lacing.

Expected a stronger scent, but this one is there - toasted maltiness, some dark fruit.

Bunch going on here. Good deep malt flavors, sweet and toasted, with lots of dark dried fruit sweetness as well. Some toffee, and bittersweet elements, and the hop bitterness and and alcohol assert themselves in the mix, but not enough to be the defining presence. Real nice.

Mouth coating, but some light carbonation on the tongue. A chewy one.

Overall, not something I would session, but very good once in a while. Probably would drink this more in the cold weather, but only as a one-and-done.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured up a crystal clear medium brown. Looked like tea, actually, with a beige coloured head that faded away in about 40 seconds. Smell was dominated by sweet malts, as it should have been, but I really couldn't pick out anything specific. It was all rather muted, it seemed. Flavour was very mild with, again, dampened sweet malty flavours and that lovely, modest, earthy hop bitterness one finds in so many ales from the U.K. I enjoyed this one, but honestly, I could find nothing *really* special about it, save for it's modesty made for a highly drinkable Wee Heavy.

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

Poured from a half liter brown bottle into a pint glass.

Big cream colored head sitting on top of a reddish brown body. Big caramel malty sweetness in the aroma. More caramel and toffee in the taste. Flowery hops, and only the slightest bit of a bitter finish.

If malty beers are your thing, than check this out.

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Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
4.05 out of 5 based on 1,055 ratings.
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