Wee Heavy | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

1,054 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: 1,054 |  Reviews: 569
Photo of popery
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice Scotch Ale with excellent balance. This beer has a complex malt flavor and minerally hop bitterness. The liquid is a dark mahogany topped by a big, sticky, foamy head that leaves excellent lacing. The aroma is a bit on the mineral hop side, but I guess it could be the water. The malt is toasty, deep caramel with some thick doughy flavors. The hops are stronger than expected, and the beer is probably considered quite balanced. I almost wish that I could age it a bit to tone down the hop flavors, but that's just me. There are some slight medicinal notes lurking in the background. The feel is rich and creamy. It's a sweet beer that avoids being sticky. The beer gets better and better as the temperature increases.

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Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. This is my first wee heavy and being absolutely naive to what "wee heavy" even means, I approached this beer with images of obese elves in my head.

Anyway, A small tan head dissipates rapidly with little to no lacing leaving a rich dark brown brew with hints or red racing through it. Beer smells really nice, sugary fruit, caramels, etc. I like it very much so.
If wee heavy means a malt-fest, then this is a wee heavy, never had this style before, but after a recent run of IPAs, I like it. Sweet, not overly sweet, but sweet. For about two seconds you feel like a load of concrete has been poured into your mouth, but this heaviness goes away rapidly, it's actually more of a medium body when it is all said and done.

I don't think I could drink a lot of these because the sweet taste would catch up with me, but one or two would do me just fine. I actually liked the beer a little bit more as it warmed up, seemed to bring out more flavors that cut the sweetness a little. Am I becoming a legit beer taster guy, or am I going crazy? Time will tell, but in either event, Wee Heavy from Bellhaven gets my stamp of approval. I will defintely seek out other Wee Heavys to try based on my time with this brew. Obese elves and I must have common tastes.

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Photo of TMB0424
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

500 ML capped bottle. Poured into pint glass.

Pours a rich, deep amber brown. When held to the light, has reddish accents resembling a ruby. Light tan head is tight, reduces kinda quickly with little to no lacing in my glass. Pretty nice looking.

Smells of candied, sugared fruits. Great aroma. Up front is the sugar accompanied by caramel, with a dash of light, crisp fruit in the background. A nice buttery smell too.. hard to describe. Smoked buttery biscuits maybe. Nice.

Heavy, heavy on the malts. Lives up to its name. Very sweet, caramelized malts followed by a smokey finish with a tiny dash of hops and alcohol. Caramel is definitely on the forefront for me. Sugared fruits keeps entering my mind. Absolutely delicious.

The mouthfeel is where this beer gets me - it's incredible. It's so refreshing it seems light, but actually it's medium bodied, and yet still has that tiny bit of alcohol warmth that balances it out. It's creamy, smooth, smokey... just great.

Overall, a very drinkable brew. I could definitely down a few pints very easily. I could see the sweetness turning some people off, however. An outstanding scotch ale and in my opinion, one should try it at least once.

As this brew warms a little, the smokiness really comes out, moreso than before, and adds yet another impressive characteristic.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Classy brown 16.9oz bottle with raised lettering. Served this one at cellar temp in a Samuel Smith's imperial pint.

Appearance: A medium pour produces a beautiful, rich dark copper brew, with steady, streaming carbonation and a thick light tan head with good retention.

Smell: Sweet, sugary candy and caramel notes backed by a mild fruitiness and wisps of smoke. The sweetness is almost a little bit overpowering. We shall see.

Taste: Big, toasty malts, a pronounced biscuit quality, slight toffee notes, mild dark fruit, and a mild, smoky, hoppy finish with just the slightest hint of alcohol. This is over all pretty darn tasty and is much more balanced than the aromas suggest.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, with decent weight.

Drinkability: 1-2 big pints of this would probably be sufficient, but it goes down pretty easy.

Conclusion: The flavors are tasty and well-defined, if a little bit delicate for the style, but this makes sense I guess, as it's a more moderate take on the style. Even so, this is a tasty brew and is a nice addition to a cold winter evening. This might even go well with a medium-sweet dessert.

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Photo of stone3187
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red copper color, smells of strong malt with a sligt earthiness coming from the hops. The taste is malt all the way through with a hop undertone that gives it balance. I am a big fan of the Wee Heavy style and this is a good representative, truly one of my favorites.

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Photo of rye726
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours as dark brown with hues of amber and a silky tan head. Really nice nose of ripe fruits, candy malts, and subtle hops. Taste not quite as impressive. It lacks the clean fruit presence found in the nose. Still a well balanced brew and good example of the style.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belhaven Wee Heavy
500 ML brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz imperial pint glass

Pours a deep dark brown with a reddish tint. An awesome head forms on top leaving excellent trails of sticky lacings all over the glassware. A really nice looking beer from the start.

Whiffs of malts, buttery sweetness and a hint of smoked wood.

Flavors of caramel malt, brown sugar. creamy butterscotch and prunes with a peat malt smoke quality. Super smooth to drink and heavy on the malts. A great representation of this style of beer and quite enjoyable overall.

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Photo of droomyster
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Pours a dark clear copper with tan head that sputters into some cool lacing.

Smell: Massively malty, with brown sugar and cherries. Quite a blast of aroma at first but you get used to it.

Taste: Dense on the malts ranging from biscuity to carmelized; pleasant sweetness. I feel a touch of alcohol before the earthy hops wipe it away.

Feel: Heavy at first and then the carbonation breaks it up. It's pretty cool actually.

Drink: I'll have a pint anytime but one of these is enough.

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Photo of mcsquint
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 500ml bottle into dimpled mug.
A - Dark brown with ruby red highlights. 1 finger, persistent off-white head. Excellent lacing.
S - This is a maltfest. Caramel,roasted and chocolate with a notes of dried dark fruit.
T - Pretty much what the name implies. Heavy on the malt with the dark fruit being more prevalent than in the aroma. Sweet, but not overly so. The balance of malt amd hops definitely leaning to the malt side.
M - Full mouthfeel. Slick. Goes down well. Carbonation is on the low side, but that's a good thing.
D - Very drinkable; like an irish ale or strong ale with less hops. The higher ABV(6.5%)doesn't hurt! This style is not as popular as some other UK styles; try this one for a taste of the real deal.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark caramel color with some amber highlights around the edges. Not much head developed after the initial pour, but what did materialize stuck around. The aroma on this beer is rich and deep with sweet malt, earthy hops, leather, and dark fruit. The beer has a solid medium-bodied consistency. Deep malt flavor characteristics with some sugary dark fruit. Finishes quickly with a little earthy hops for balance. All said, A well put together brew. This beer is the standard for the Wee Heavy style in my mind.

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Photo of mntlover
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich mahogany color with nice two fingered light tan colored head, big and fluffy, falls slow to cap that leaves some decent lacing.

Aroma is nice sweet malt toasted caramel apples noted off the bat dies down some. Raisins, plums mixed with light peat and some smoke hints.

Taste is like nose nice malt base mingled with dark fruits earthy peat light smoke and lots of caramel. Flavor is good rich simple but complex and enjoyable. Nice finish that has light earthy, grassy hops to the mix its very tasty nice. Very right on style, very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is big medium nice body good carbonation maybe but seems lighter then big medium at times big but easy drinking too.

Drinkability is good hell great representation of the style, a must try sorry it took me so long to get to it.

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark murky copper with a white sticky head that hangs around awhile.

Aroma is sweet, bready caramel malt. dark fruit, brown sugar, and alcohol.

Taste is toasted caramel malt. Woody, earthy, with a mild smoke character. Plenty of rum soaked dark fruit. Sweetness gives way to a musty, dry finish.

Mouthfeel is slick and smooth.

A pretty tasty session brew. Plenty of subtle complexity to keep things interesting. Flavor is bold, but not overpowering.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Hazy brown-red like caramel/apple-skin. Nice 2-finger head with good retention.

S- Sweet caramel malt and crisp apple hopping

T- Caramel apple no doubt.

M- Medium body and great carbonation

D- Very drinkable but a bit too sweet

Goes great with beef

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Photo of BigJim5021
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice oaken brown with a good white head that settles into quite a bit 'o lacing.

Smells like caramel malts with a touch of fruitiness. Just a tiny bit, though.

Flavor is similar (unsurprisingly) to FFF's Robert the Bruce, which I happen to love. It's not as good as RtB, but it's definitely tasty. Malty and slightly sweet. A teensy (wee, if you will) taste of raisins pokes through. I personally don't like raisins on most occasions, but it works here, seeing as it's just on the finish.

Mouthfeel is too thin, but not enough to spoil the party. I like my beer to finish dry, and Belhaven's Wee doesn't disappoint there.

Overall, we're looking at a very drinkable beer. It's not the greatest thing in the world, and not even my favorite brew done in a Scottish style; but I (aye?) do like it.

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Photo of bashiba
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice dark Clear Mahogany color with a thick and fluffy off white head.

The smell was very light and had a light bit of grain and a hint of dark fruit.

Had a big full malty flavor with nice hints of oak, peat, and a big smoky taste. Light bit of dark fruits seep through as it warms. Just enough hops balance it out nicely.

The mouthfeel is full with a long dry finish.

Nice and drinkable, spot on for this style, I though the Smell was a bit lacking, but otherwise really good across the board.

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

Poured into a pint glass. Dark mahogany that turns ruby red with a strong backlight. Light tan two-finger head that leaves decent lacing.

Aromas of English cookies and toffee, only a touch of smoky peatiness.

Taste is rich dark malts with a little peat influence. Excellent balance; not too sweet and not too smokey.

Perfect carbonation, medium body. Just a really solid beer. Not a huge beer like many of the American examples of the style, but a solid, drinkable, tasty beer.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Half-liter bottle consumed with dinner and poured into a chalice. On to the beer:

Attractive bronzish-like color on the pour, but more of a mix of ruby red and brown. The head is ample on top. Solid aroma to be found, some plums, sweet malt, and a kick of booze. Upon tasting it, I was caught by surprise. Big whisky barrel flavor with sharp alcohol poking through. It's the most dominant flavor in the beer. Hint of figs. Toffee emerges as the beer warms, but remains subtle. The body is nothing to get excited about, thin enough to create problems...such as the somewhat messy booze in the taste.

How odd....this is one of the lightest Wee Heavy's I've had, and it turns out to be the booziest in flavor. It's still a solid beer, try it out if you're into the style.

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Photo of WHROO
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Ruby Red, 1 finger head, no head retention or lacing...although good carbonation
S: Sweet malts, toffee, caramel, biscuit & bread.
T: Same although throw in some butter & a touch bitter to finish - nice balance.
M: Quite light for a 6%...little palate stickyness though (buttery)...I think this is quite usual with UK scotch ales yeah? (Diacetyl thingy)
D: not a prob...although after a few would probably turn to a clean lager to cleanse the palate.

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Photo of scottg
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500 ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark granet color with a one finger white head with great retention and thick lacing all the way down the glass. Aromas of caramel, sour cherry, fruity yeast and slight smoke. Medium carbonation, medium high body has a creamy mouthfeel with a slight pucker. Sweet chocolate malt, sour cherry, bitter lemon rind with subtle smoke are extremely well balanced creating a delicious brew that satisfies the whole palate. Fantastic beer all the way around!

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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 Bigjay1584
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was one of those beers that I have heard good things about but never got around to trying and wow am I glad I tried it. It's a delicious, extremely drinkable beer that I would put as a staple in my own home bar (if I had one). It just begs you to sit there, stare at the glass, sip, and remember why we drink quality beer.

A- Beautifully enchanting deep red with a healthy lingering off white head

S- Wonderful fully rounded malted barley aroma. As my grandma would say: "just awful good"

T- Echoes the smell.. beautifully rounded.. so nicely filled out. the malted barley lingers on the tongue and makes you more thirsty.. mmm

M- Oh man.. its so hard to achieve such a perfect balance between "too busy" and "water" but I'd say it is a few notches waterier than say.. Sam adams double bock. (which is a tremendous compliment in fact) Not a particularly creamy carbonation but just perfect for the style.. Outstanding

D- I have to be honest.. it is incredibly hard to rate such a delicious tasting beer so high on the drinkability scale but you know what.. this one is literally off the charts.. Kudos Belhaven. It makes me proud to have Scottish blood..

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Photo of PatronWizard
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle for a trial, didn't have any idea what to expect, here goes...

Pretty enough on the appearance. Deep ruby browned hued darkness. Respectable head.

Nice malted scent, pleasing.

Taste has much fuller flavor than anticipated. Actually well done.

Thick, creamy, rich texture.

Overall: pleasant surprise, worth a try.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.62/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured from a large odd shaped bottle into a 18oz. beer mug. Dark brown with a small off white head that disappeared quickly.

S. Caramel malts, roasted malt. Peat.

T. A very odd malty flavor that took some getting used to. No real hop bite to speak of, only a moment of earthiness gave me a clue hops were present. A bit of alcohal is noted, but nothing overpowering.

M. Full bodied and filling.

D. One of these can put you in a good place. Not my favorite Wee Heavy, but its still quaff worthy.

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

Presentation: Pint glass in a dark empty bar. The pour was done almost exactly like a Guinness.

Appearance: Dark red with a head reminiscent of a stout.

Smell: Almost overwhelming malt aroma. Was unable to decipher any other particular scents.

Taste: Very smokey. Almost cream-like texture, with mild bitter fruit in the back.

Notes: I had never had a Scottish ale before and was very surprised. Not a session beer, but a good treat I could drink a lot.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A clear brown pour with a cream colored head which faded after a minute or two.

S: Malt aroma is strong with this beer. Caramel and a slight smokiness are also noticeable.

T: Malt and caramel is the predominant flavors with a a hint of smoke.

M: The mouthfeel is full and there is a tinge from the alcohol.

D: Excellent malty brew. I could drink this all day long.

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Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
4.05 out of 5 based on 1,054 ratings.
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