Wee Heavy | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Wee HeavyWee Heavy
1,059 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 1,059 |  Reviews: 570
Photo of roscoehnj
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
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 -9.9%
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 -11.8%
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 +3.4%
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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Photo of ChrisCage
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- Now this is the way beer should always look! Sturdy bottle with an old school lion on the label. Pours a rich red/amber color, clear and with loads of thick, creamy, off-white foam that retains fairly well. The lacing is there as well, sticking to the glass well with a good viscous look.

S- Lots of roasted malt aromas, along with rich earthy notes. Dark fruits are detectable, like stewed plums or sultanas. There is also a slight woody note, like it spent time in a barrel for a time. Hops are not really detectable.

T- Rich! A smoked flavor emerges right away, followed by toasty malts. Toffee and caramel flavors also come through. The finish provides a slightly bitter tinge...not too much but enough for a person to notice and a rich aftertaste sticks around....kind of like how the flavor of a butter tart with raisins stays on the palate for awhile.

M- The carbonation is very fine and soft. leaving the smooth creamy nature of this brew to really coat the palate well, and allowing time to reflect. Really does remind me of a rich tart filling....very nice!

D- While not a real refreshing beer, this has lots of flavor and is definitely worth purchasing. This would be a perfect beer to enjoy good conversation over or to watch a movie with....a real comforting beer to drink. Also, the alcohol is well hidden. I don't think this would be a beer to have more than 2 of in an evening though....a bit too rich for that. I recommend this to everyone!

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 8/11/2008 (bottle):

Pours a strong brown body, clear. Good sized head, off-white & creamy. Okay lacing. Flowery aroma, but not like the sweetness of a Belgian. Almost dusty-like, with some kind of spice. Some nuttiness. That same dusty spice. Some clove, maybe almost banana. Enjoyable, very drinkable. The flavor makes me want more. Banana & spice on the finish.

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Photo of TubaManJack
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 500ml bottle --> One lucky mug

Appearance- Very deep amber color, almost opaque. A slight head that quickly, I am going to blame it on my pour after reading the reviews.

Smell- Malt - Like a scone, slightly buttery and scents of grain. Wee bit of flowery hops.

Taste- Toasted malt with light hops notes. Off note and occasional points of extreme bitterness during the taste. Bubbling Carbonation on the tongue. Moderate dry finish with a grain note surviving each sip.

Mouthfeel- Light due to the slight carbonation and flowery hops and sweeter malt.

Very Drinkable- a very expensive session beer but worth it for those cooler crisp nights.

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Photo of Rayek
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep copper with a faint chill haze and quite active carbonation. A big rocky and soapy cap tops things off. Head retention is good and a fair amount of lace is left behind.

S: A strong dose of toffee and raw earth, with a touch of peat moss and smoke.

T: Starts off simple, but gets more complex as things progress. Lots of bittersweet toffee up front is balanced quickly with a pepper bitterness. Underneath the main flavors is where the complexity lies. Black tea, peat moss and light smoke all make themselves known if you seek them out. Finishes with a mild bittersweet flavor.

M: Medium body is both dry and slick. Carbonation level feels a touch on the high side.

D: This was nice shift from the beers I've been drinking lately. It's a very drinkable creation that has quite a bit of underlying complexity. I'm really glad I picked it up.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: A dark amber / reddish color with a finger of tan head. Some lacing down the glass as I drink.

S: Sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, and roasted malt. No major hop aroma detected.

T: Following the nose, it is a sweet initial taste with caramel malts and brown sugar laying the groundwork. A little bit of roast rounds out the mid-palate. The finish brings in a little bit of smoke, which remains through to the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with a smooth finish. Good carbonation.

D: Good flavor, although a bit too sweet. It's almost a one-dimensional flavor, and that makes it hard to want another.

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Photo of sentomaster
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Large off-white rocky head with good retention. Caramel colored with deep amber hues.

S- Big sweet caramel malt smells in the nose with a hint of brown sugar. Really nice soft fruit aromas of peaches and pears.

T- Wow, this is what a scotch ale should be. Fantastic hit of sweet malty flavors- toasted grains, nuts, caramel, and a hint of brown sugar and even a bit of chocolate. Follows with a nice yeasty, light fruit flavor like pears and a bit of floral hoppiness. A very slight spicy alcohol finish with a lingering maltiness.

M- Medium bodied on the full side. Velvety smooth and creamy, caresses the palate. A good carbonation.

D- Goes down super smooth. Good depth to this beer. I could easily drink 2 or 3 of them.

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Photo of nickynick
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bellhaven Wee Heavy poured a nice dark Amber with a full tan head. The smell was full of fruit, dark berries. THe taste was full of many flavors. Brown sugar, dark berries, and hints of nuts. Mouthfeel was good. Drinkability was nice for a 6.5 ABV beer. Overall this is a wonderful beer, that never lets me down every time I drink one.

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Photo of beeragent
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A - Poured a dark amber, forming a 1 inch tan head. Light lacing on the glass.

S - Sweet malt along with a light caramel background, with a hint of alcohol.

T - Sweet malt hit up front, followed by a light caramel and hint of fruit, then ending with a slight alcoholic finish.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth finish.

D - Good flavor along with a not too high alcohol level, I could see having two or three.

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Photo of ralree
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Red with a white-tan head. Nice 2-finger head with good retention and wonderful lacing. Couldn't ask for better.

S: A bit of light fruit, brown sugar, caramel malt. Not bad. Would have preferred more hops.

T: Rich bold flavor with a great yeasty backing. Tastes how an ale should. Nice burnt aftertaste like ashes from a fireplace. Light fruit taste is in the background, but adds some nice depth to this one.

M: Very light and refreshing - not syrupy at all. Carbonation is high, but good for this style. Completely non-astringent. Very dry on the tongue.

D: Goes down super-easily. Would be great with various foods. A real winner in this style.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle of this from the lovely selection of Scottish fare at a friend's Burns' Night wee stramash...

Appears a clear dark amber colour, with lots of wispy white head. The smell is bitter and floral, with some caramel malt. The taste is biscuity malt, sweet, balanced with floral hops. Carbonation is average, and the finish is off-dry, with a lingering maltiness. Any extra alcohol is perceptible as a slight warming. This is a very good cure for the bitter cold outside at this time of year, and makes the haggis a little more palatable...

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Photo of CanuckRover
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice dark orange-red, clear. Big eggshell head with great retention. Thick web of lacings.

Malty aroma, loads of brown sugar.

It's all about the malt. Nice straightforward dark malt with caramel and brown sugar flavours. Slight dark fruitiness.

Exceptionally smooth with a nice level of carbonation.

What a Wee Heavy should be. Focus on strong malt flavours. Warming and deeply satisfying.

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Photo of Poser
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown, reddish appearance. Malty aroma - like caramelized brown sugar. Lacks a little presence in the nose. Taste and mouth are very bready with some spices. Leafy hop texture and medium carbonation. This is an easy-to-drink sipping beverage.

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Photo of bfields4
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very dark brownish red hue. the head comes up nicely and leaves a good lace.

Smells incredibly of malts very earthy tones to it the caramel comes through nicely.

The tastes hits great on this guy. Nice malty caramel earthy up front to complement the smell maybe some dark fruits. Follows with a smoky oak aftertaste.

This is a creamy smooth Scottish Ale. Goes down very smooth. My first actually from Scotland. Glad to have covered my bases and tried an authentic. Very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of CMW
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Wee Heavy was a brown color with a reddish tint. It was also surprisingly clear. I was not within eyeshot of the bartender when the beer was poured but by the time it arrived at my table there was roughly a ½ inch of off-white head that left a small amount of lacing around the glass. There was a medium amount of carbonation.

The nose on Wee Heavy is heavenly. At first, I get strong caramel nodes as well as heavy malt. To me, this is a very earthy smelling brew with additional nutty and woodsy nodes. There appears to be a hint of brown sugar as well that adds a slight bit of sweetness.

The taste is a layered one. The first thing I noticed was that caramel malt along with some toffee nodes. There is also some smoked earthy flavor up front, which is somewhat surprising for a Scotch Ale. This beer has a small amount of sweetness, possibly from brown sugar, as well.

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Photo of bum732
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark crimson red. Bubbling head leaving behind thick lacing. Smells of caramel, cocoa, cinnamon bread with some noble hops mixed in. Tastes of smoky chocolate malt, very rich. Hints of vanilla and molasses. Finishes smoky and sweet. Low carbonation that is perfect for the huge malt character.

Great scotch ale, beautiful malt character. Definitely wee heavy, perfect with something sweet.

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Photo of thespaceman
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Copperish brown in color, poured a decent head with soapy like lacing.

Smell: Dark fruit tinges can be spotted immediatley, a bit of some caramel/toffee like maltiness is also here. Some plum, and a bit of roasted maltiness is huge in the nose as well.

Taste: Again, some plum is very relevant, a roasty maltiness leaves a nice tinge of esters and a mild fruit note. Caramel, and bready like properties show themselves well in the finish, this one isn't overbarring by any means as far as maltiness and ABV go. It's warming, and robust, without being too complicating with an overly large malt profile or alcohol notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a nice richness to this one, not too thick yet stays in tact on the tongue.

Drinkability: I overly enjoyed this one, probably because it's not overexemplified like alot of other Wee Heavy's out there. It's light, almost refreshing in a way, and uses it's ingredients to create a perfect landscape of roasted malts and sweetness. A nice brew to have to start your night with,

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Photo of dawgontap
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer, but not necessarily perfect in terms of meeting a strict definition of the style. If I went completely with my personal taste, it would be a 5.0 straight up and down the line.

What I love about the beer is that is so well balanced with it's malty caramel sweetness and a background of not overly bitter hops. This makes the beer incredibly drinkable, at least to my taste.

Although it has a 6.5% rate on abv, I can enjoy a nice cool glass of this beer on the hottest of days. It doesn't have the super sweet and heat that others that make this style steer the beer toward.

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Photo of IRONRakkasan
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was most pleasantly surprised at this brew. I was expecting something strong in both smell, and a somewhat overpowering taste.

However, it was much sweeter then I expected with generous hints of caramel and brown sugar.

It went down smooth and was very easy to drink. Had I more on hand, I wouldn't have planned going anywhere.

This was my first "wee heavy", but certainly not my last. Recommended.

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Photo of ccrida
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into my Samuel Smith imperial pint, the Wee Heavy is rusty, ruddy orange, with a creamy, light sand head that leaves thick, creamy lace.

Smell is rich, fruity and sweet, but with a sharp, vegetable like nuttiness that I at first don't really like. Improves as it breaths however, a more pleasant sugary spritz.

Taste is nice and rich as well, but sweeter, cleaner fruitiness, a bit tropical, caramel, brown sugar. No real bitterness and very clean, it could use more depth, but gets a bit earthier as it warms.

Mouthfeel i very smooth and light-bodied.

Drinkability is damn good, I really found myself enjoying this pint. Rich and satisfying but digestible and dangerously sessionable. I was a little turned off by the nose at first, but quickly found myself gulping it down, great beer.

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Photo of gdfan47
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice dark brown with a good white head
S- brown sugar, malt, honey
T- Brown sugar, some faint spice smells, some malt and finishes with a nice hop kick
M- really refreshing, good carbonation
D- pushing high abv status, but I think this one could get dangerous if you dont pay attention to it...

Ive slept and passed on beers of this style in the pass, but this one made me want to explore the category more

ps of course this beer is awesome.. its from Scotland...

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Rattle N' Hum, NYC.

Poured a murky deep amber hue with a half finger white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light cereal malt with a touch of smoke and earthy hops.

The taste consisted of a sweet earthy malt, cereal grains, smoke and a subtle hop. Good nuttiness at the finish.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty and smooth ale.

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Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 1,059 ratings
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