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Wee Heavy | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

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Wee HeavyWee Heavy
1,061 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: 1,061 |  Reviews: 571
Photo of Offa
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is wonderful, rich, and well-balanced.

It's deep red-brown with a dense, fairly large, light tan head with hints of orange and very good lacing.

The aroma is fruity with caramelly toast.

The flavour is strong, slightly sweet toasty, caramel malt with fruit and a light smokiness. It is mostly sweet but with a light, spicy bitterness to offset this.
It is very smooth and drinkable, yet rich in flavour and body, with nice complexity.

 444 characters

Photo of Epicurian
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slightly chilled with aged gouda and fromage d'affinois.

The head disappears quickly.

Colour: Rhubarb

Nose: Milk Chocolate

Taste: Low carbonation, Fruity and a little oily. Well hidden alcohol.

Very nice experience. I'd love to have more of that unfortunately the 8.50 Aus dollar stops me.

 295 characters

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

Belhaven- Wee heavy

A- Deep dark brown with a thick head. Chunky lacing down the glass.
S- Dried fruits, molasses, and chocolate.
T- Chocolate cocoas powder with a huge dried fruit, raisins, black cherries, plums, hit you up front with a solid molasses malt body.
M- Sweet and thick with plenty of chewy flavors appearing.

Overall- A solid flavored Wee Heavy,another good beer from Belhaven!

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Photo of MrIncognito
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a mug.

A - Beautful tan head that is thick and fluffy, about 1-2 fingers. Stays around for quite awhile. Magnificent mahogony body that only lets a little light through. Nice lacing.

S - So many smells here. I don't think I could ever do it justice. Caramel and dark fruits with some alcohol. I want to say some prune and faint black cherry smells.

T - Great balance of caramel, dark fruit, and hops. Not bitter but has a nice bite. So friggin smooth. I'm not sure my palate is advanced enough to pull all the flavors out.

M - Silky with tickling carbonation. Very tiny carbonation bubbles that I feel on the tip of my tongue.

This is such a great beer. I mean, wow. I could literally drink this all day. It goes down nice and easy but leaves you with all kinds of great flavors in your mouth. I want more.

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Photo of joe1510
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml Bottle
Binny's Orland

Belhaven's Wee Heavy pours a handsome transparent mahogany. The pour conjured up a finger and a half eggshell head that had good staying power and left respectable lace on it's way down. A good looking wee heavy!

There's a bright yeasty fruitiness upfront reminiscent of figs and plums. Toffee and toasted brown sugar create a great complexity as they wrap around the fruitiness. Tendrils of peat smoke bring up the rear and add the finishing touches.

Flavor comes across like the nose suggested but the malt is much more pronounced and clean. The peat emerges nicely as this brew gets closer to room temperature. This is all at once fruity and malty with the perfect level of sweetness.

If there's any complaint it's that the mouthfeel could use a bit more heft. Besides that it's smooth and creamy with a little warmth on the swallow.

Great drinkability! One I could sit back and enjoy multiple pints of without a problem. There's a great balance of malt, fruit, and smoke.

Belhaven Wee Heavy is an excellent example of the style. I, unfortunately, don't see too many wee heavies around but luckily this one is always on the shelves.

 1,178 characters

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

Appearance: Deep amber colored brew with a tightly compacted, tan head.

Smell: Cinnamon toast, raisins and malt.

Taste: Strong malt character that comes through smoky and slightly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Creamy smooth.

Drinkablity: Very tasty brew. A good sipper that is far from overpowering.

 307 characters

Photo of Traquairlover
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Clear, dark reddish brown, dark off white/light tan head of about 2 finger, quite foamy, medium retention, dissipated into good film on surface and medium lacing on glass.

S = Probably the weakest point of the beer. Sweet malty, smokey scents but not as robust as I would have liked them, some amount of caramel and fresh buttered biscuits show up in the nose as well.

T = Creamy, malt flavours, including chocolate, maple syrup, smoked grains, light peat, good flavours but they fade a little too fast for me in the finish, there is a long sweet finish, but most of the complexity found in the taste evaporates.

M = Heavy bodied, light foamy carbonation, very good mouthcoating.

D = This is definitely a drinkable wee heavy, I'd happily drink this one again. Recommended.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cola-like brown with thicker body with great carbonation. Left a very small but frothy head that died quickly but left some sheet lacings around the pint glass. Roasted malts pique the nose first, but there is a springy hop mixture with some figs and dark fruit (cherries) also in the smell (my nose was all over the place). Not only did I taste roasted malts but it seemed like there were coffee malts in this brew too. Definitely some caramel to round out the body and give it a little sweetness (tagged with some fruit, I swear). Not really smooth but just slightly smooth as there is a hop kick towards the end that gives this full-bodied beer a semi-dry finish after passing over the tongue easily. A spot-on wee heavy, and despite the higher than should be ABV I would session this, although it seems to better as a dessert beer (which is how I drank it last night).

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Photo of Shadman
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

was a little gun shy given my last wee heavy experience..aka McEwan's

certainly not as dark as my last wee....more like a cola in color and clarity with a rich tan head, zero lacing.

smell very nice, rich, sweet, if the smell is as good as the taste we have a winner

given the style...awesome...nice sweet caramel taste with a solid malty backbone....the slight/low tea-like bitterness in the aftertaste is there as well. I could have easily cut and pasted the description of a wee heavy to describe this particular brew because it's that bang one,

It's tad sweet, but then it is a sipping/after supper brew and in that vein, it's a keeper

 643 characters

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

I love Belhaven, this is another amazing beer, regardless of any review you should go out and buy one for yourself.

Appearance was a nice glowing red, not to much head but a little less than perfect.

Smell was very nice, pretty sweet and warm.

Taste was a bit sweet, wheaty, buttery.

Mouthfeel was nice. Smooth and a bit weighty, it goes great with a solid meal.

 366 characters

Photo of irish53b
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

500ml bottler no freshness / bottled on date
Poured into a pint glass

The color was a deep ruby red, at first only about a finger of foam developed but as it set a rocky frothy head developed and remained throughout

The smell is bready with a faint licorice note. The taste is nicely balanced, like semi-sweet chocolate. It finishes slightly buttery.

The mouthfeel is a strong point for this beer. It has a enough heft to complement a heavy meal. It starts creamy and finishes dry.

The beer is quite drinkable for its 6.50% ABV, the carbonation is a bit high but doesn't detract from the taste. The balanced taste and dry finish make it an excellent replacement for wine when have a meal.

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Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear reddish brown in color with a 1" head that produces some nice thick lacing.

Smell: malt sweetness leaps from the glass.

Taste: big malt profile with some earthy peat tones, bits of whiskey-like flavors, and hints of fruity sweetness. Bitterness is mild but balances this out nicely.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Heavier side of a medium bodied beer. Aftertaste is long as the flavors linger on the tongue.

Drinkability: great session beer for sitting in a bar talking to freinds.

 512 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. Euro bottle,

A: Pours a light brown, with a somewhat fizzy tan head, good retention, no lacing.

S: Nice full malty smell, freshly baked artisan bread.

T: Toffee malt, light molasses and peat add to the sweet malty flavour. Dry, brisk hop balance is in there too, but this is definitely a malt oriented beer.

M: Carbonation can be a little too fizzy for this style of beer, but overall has a solid medium-bodied mouthfeel.

D: A nice Wee Heavy, one of my favourites, good price and quality makes this one import I keep coming back to.

 546 characters

Photo of charlzm
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 01/20/08.

Pours caramel brown with small, rapidly dissipating head. Aroma of cane sugar and yeasty bread. Smooth texture with significant astringency. Flavor is full and malty with some subtle spicy yeast. The finish has a slight bitter hop tang to it. The only flaw is the tongue-puckering mouthfeel.

Not a home run, but a solid triple.

 350 characters

Photo of dsa7783
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ML bottle copped for $3.25 from Gary's in Madison...
Pours a deep, dark, ruby-red colored hue with minimal frothy and foamy head that left a gregarious amount of lacing around the glass...
Smell was replete with malts, scotch whiskey, caramel, sugars, esters, and slight vanilla...
Taste strongly complemented the aroma with noticeable malt, whiskey, and caramel nuances along with a crisp, clear, refreshing flavor that burst through with plenty of quality and character... Certainly one of the better Scotch Ales out there on the market, for sure...
Great thick, rich, and creamy mouthfeel filled with sweet sugars, caramels, and obvious malts...
Drinkability was good due to the thick conglomeration of ultra-rich flavors...
Recommended as a great depiction of the style...

 780 characters

Photo of misterdmac
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From a 500ml bottle:

This one pours a dark brown, with some reddish hues. Almost characteristic of a brown ale. Staunch off-white head sticks around pretty well and leaves a finely laced artwork on your glass.

Aroma is largely of fruits, very sweet overall. A light roasted quality as well.

Boy, this one is delicious. Sweet fruit carries over strongly to taste, along with something like roasted, nutty malt flavor. I'd liken the sugary taste to a brown sugar, so to me it's earthy...a further source of satisfaction knowing the beer's Scottish heritage. The finish is the faintest bit tart, dry even.

It's very refreshing to the mouth (do I say that about all the beers I review?), with small, present carbonation and what I'm finding to be a lighter body than I expected from a wee heavy.

By virtue of this lighter than expected body, however, this is an extremely drinkable beer. Far more flavorful than the body might let on.

So, though not what I expected, this was a great deviation from the usually heavier Wee. Honestly, this one gets better with every sip (and 6.5 abv doesn't hurt). Awesome.

 1,110 characters

Photo of ablaze
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark and hazy ruby-brown. Lasting, creamy off white head, strong thick lacing. Clarity is average, but not bad looking.

Malt is strong and apparent, even from a couple feet away. Smoky, sweet, red apples and sandalwood with a leafy underline.

Medium to full body, and sticky with weak carbonation. Flavour is quite robust and jam packed with smoked malt and earthy tones with a very sweet edge. Dark rye bread, wild berries...somewhat cloying with light hops in the finish.

Very tasty, solid brew. It is quite rich, but satisfying. Pairs up wonderfully with brie and toast. This is the second time I've had it, and I'll see it again.

 644 characters

Photo of theformula
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer #26 in my 366 Days of Beer Quest. Had on tap at The Bier Garden in Portsmouth, VA. First time having this classic.

A: Garnet body w/ great clarity into a tulip glass. A large khaki head retains better than expected. Patchy, micro webs of lacing cling to half of the glass. Active carbonation is visible.

S: Really fruity, pleasing aroma. Overall it's soft and complex. Slightly tart and sweet cherries are the biggest notes here, not incredibly different than a Flemish Red. Roasted grains, raisins and brown sugar add to the soft mix.

M: Light-med. body, med. carbonation. Firm body, slick & smooth; a little viscous. A little light for a Wee Heavy

T: Big flavor profile that isn't hinted at in the soft aroma. Rich & malty like a proper scotch ale should be. Initially richly sweet w/ black cherry, molassess, prune & dark fruits, followed by a bitter grain character w/ some beefy malts, slightly earthy & peat-like. No alcohol is noticeable.

D: A classic wee heavy, great stuff. Balanced & very rich, yet the body is a little thin IMO. Light in body but really bold & full in flavor. Recommended for sure. Nice session beer.

 1,140 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown 500ml bottle, best before April 2009, drank in feb 2008.

Poured into a Gordon Xmas thistle shaped glass (twice).

Lovely red mahogany colour, clear and clean looking, with an off white foaming head.

No huge aroma, some caramel sweetness and banana toffee smells. Yeast is also present along with toasted malts.

If you've never had a Scotch Ale before this will hit you fairly hard. Rich roasted peat, loads of heavily malted barley give it an interstingly different taste to most other beers from the UK.

Well crafted and just enough body to allow the flavours to linger in the mouth. I would have liked a litle more alcohol if possible, but without it taking over completely.

Very, very drinkable and a beer I wholehartedly recommend for the first time Scotch Ale drinker. If only the nose had been better.

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Photo of phishgator
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass. The head is a nice large tight foamy white. The color is a dark amber, filtered, and mild carbonation. The aroma is of malt. Could be smoked slightly, but that sweet malt aroma comes through. The taste does not disappoint. There is that sweetness of the malt and thickness likened to pumpernickel bread. The body is full and it makes you sip the glass down. This is a brew that I love coming back to when my tongue is burnt out on hops.

 462 characters

Photo of pittvkyle7
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Brown with reddish hints with light behind. Off white head that fades to a ring with just a tad of lacing

S- The smell is sweet, slightly nutty. There is metalic scent too.

T- Almost all malts in the taste. Carmalized sugars, bready, nutty, dark fruits, metalic taste sneeks in there. I can't detect any hop flavour or bitterness. There is some bitterness but it seems to be from the tosted malts.

M- meadium body. good crabonation.

D- Good drinkability. The sweetness could become cloying after a while since it is unbalanced, but acceptable for the scotish style.

 572 characters

Photo of markaberrant
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - reddish brown, very clear. Pours a thick creamy head, the recedes quickly to a splotchy cap and ring. Leaves some lacing down the glass.

S - dense caramel

T - layers of sweet candy caramel malts, not much in the way of toffee, dark fruit or roast. There is a barely detectable hop presence, but it is there, along with a hint of drying smoke in the finish.

M - full bodied, medium carbonation, gentle alcohol warmth

D - a great interpretation of the style, light enough to enjoy a whole pint, but still warming enough to comfort

I'm sure everyone is going to start getting on the malt craze, and that is fine by me. I had previously given Traquair House Ale a poor review, saying I probably don't care for the style. However, I recently had another tasting of Traquair and loved it. The Belhaven is a different take on the Wee Heavy style, but I am enjoying it as well. A standard that everyone should try at least once.

 929 characters

Photo of beersabound
4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I could walk around all night with a glass of this near my nose. The toastiness, slight caramel and hops with a whisp of smoke and a handful of alcohol are captivating. It poured a a tight off white head that stuck around for a bit. It amber colored and brilliant. The aroma comes through in the flavor but the hops are more prevalent in the flavor and finish. The finish has just enough hop bitterness to dry the mouth but leaving the corners full of toasty, nutty sweetness and tongue lined with the mildest alcohol sting. It round and smooth on the palate. I'd LOVE to have this on a nitro-tap. Yikes would that be special. It sips well and is not for gulping.

I had this with a KC Red Sauce on Brisket and it was excellent.

 729 characters

Photo of hwwty4
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 500 ml bottle into a Smokestack goblet. Poured a reddish amber with a slight head (I think it was to cold originally) that left no lacing on the glass. Aroma is of raisins, figs and caramel apples. Taste is sweet but not overpowering. Toffee and caramel with an apple sweetness finishing. Really good. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit dry, doesnÂ’t linger very much. A very drinkable brew. This is my first experience with a wee heavy and I found it immensely enjoyable.

 483 characters

Photo of beerking1
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brilliantly clear, dark mahogany brown, with a good sized dense tan head of very fine bead. Leaves a nice lace most of the way down the glass. Aroma is malty, with dark fruits (figs, dates) and apples. Flavor is big, juicy malt upfront, with roasty and toasty notes. No diacetyl. Tail is sweet but mildly so. Body is very creamy and smooth. A wonderful Wee Heavy, and a true classic of the style.

 402 characters

Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 1,061 ratings
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