Wee Heavy | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

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Wee HeavyWee Heavy
1,069 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: 1,069 |  Reviews: 571
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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, doesn’t linger very much. A very drinkable brew. This is my first experience with a wee heavy and I found it immensely enjoyable.

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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.

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

This ale smelled very sweet, with apples other sweet fruits. It tasted sort-of candyish, with a fruity, sugary taste. Wee Heavy had a very thin mouth-feel as it went down. Overall, it was enjoyable and am looking forward to ordering it again very soon. I haven't had too many scotch ales, but am growing very fond of them due in part to beers like this.

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

This was my first time trying the Belhaven Wee Heavy....and it will certainly not be my last.

The nose of this beer was amazing. It had a strong malty, chocolate smell.

The taste was incredible with loads of toffee and rich malty flavors. From the first sip to the last drop, it was a perfectly balanced beer. The finish was very nice and left a great lingering chocolate flavor.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer looked like pepsi with lots of carbonation under the head. In fact when you drank it there was a funny bubbly feeling. It was odd. The jead was nice and tall with heavy duty lacing. The alcohol burn on this beer was a bit tight, the taste was slightly sweet and very complex I thought. So much so that I and another friend could not really nail down a description. Possibly a little nutty. I'm really hung up with this one. I really did not care for ot very much at first but by the end of the glass I was not so sure. I think YOU should try it for yourself, I do not think I will though. One other thinh I want to say is that Bellhaven is a great brewery and I like some of their other offerings a lot.

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

Sorry but this following comment is in french :

Bière (50 cl) de fermentation haute
Appearance : robe foncée,
Smell : nez fruité, noisetée
Taste and mouthfeel : fruitée avec des notes de pain grillé
Drinkability : bonne bière d'hiver dans le style Scottish ale ou Wee heavy

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Photo of Tilley4
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one beautiful brew. Wonderful dark brown, almost ruby color to this with a nice head and absolutely the best lacing ever. It just clings to the side of the glass.

Very malty smell to this, kinda sweet.

This tastes very similar to a doppelbock here. Very sweet with some caramel notes to this.

This is a nice beer. As this warms, it almost tastes like a chocolate milk. I'm actually liking this better as it warms.

Man, I can't get over how much this tastes like a doppelbock.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came in a 500 ml brown bottle, best before stamped Jan 09.

Pours out a rich transluscent mahogany, although far more dense and opaque when not held to light. It's crowned by a spongy beige head that eventually recedes to a creamy cap.

The nose is sharp, yet dry, almost has champagne-like notes to it. Red currants and indistinct apple, with the slightest lacing of brown sugar.

The flavour rounds out nicely however, smooth poundcake malt and dried fruits, brown sugar and molasses, with a crisp golden delicious apple finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and light, very quaffable for the style and the abv%.

One of the most drinkable wee heavy scotch ales I've come across yet, contained yet flavourful, not heavy or cloyingly sweet. Nice work on this one.

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Photo of elricorico
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very deep amber with a thick, creamy two finger head. Slowly receding, the head leaves a lot of lacing.

An earthy scotch-wiskey aroma noted first, not as sharp as a scotch would smell but certainly reminds me of one. Grape juice and molasses are in there as well.

Sweet caramel and brown sugar in front, with dark fruit flavours in the middle. The finish is a mix of diluted scotch and herbal hops. Something chocolatey appears in the mix as it warms.

Carbonation is a little prickly, and this isn't the fullest wee-heavy I've had, but overall the body is better than average.

No problems getting through a pint of this brew, and it finishes just dry enough to make you want another. Pretty good beer.

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

Nice reddish-burnt orange color, good head. smells of licorice,raisins, roasted prunes, dark bread. Taste..mmm. Dark malts, cocoa, malty, slight lavender? finish. nice smooth mouthfeel, very palate-filling without being over wheming. I really enjoyed the drinkabiliy of this brew, not to heavy,ut fine to sip on and enjoy. will buy again.

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Photo of Squelch
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Reddish brown with an off white thick creamy head.

S: Smells of rich caramel and toffee. No hop aroma.

T: Sweet Sweet malt flavor with some toasted notes. Mostly toffee and caramel sweetness. Lots of unfermentables in here mask the alcohol (no hotness). No hop flavor or bitterness evident (at least for me)

M: Heavy beer. Fits style.

D: Great sipping beer but not a real drinkable one (as in quantity or as a house beer)

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Photo of iceball585
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark reddish brown color, semi-transparent, thin lacy head that lowered to a thin ring around the glass

S- Scotch, dark fruits, caramel, dark malts, biscuits

T- Scotch, caramel malts, dark fruits, brown sugar, hint of hops, slight kick of alcohol

M- Medium body, medium weight, very smooth, clean, warming of alcohol near the end

D- Great all around beer

This is definatly one of my top favorite scotch ales. Good smell and even better flavors. No one aspect of the beer is overpowering making it a great well rounded beer.

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

poured in to a duvel glass. the amber colored beer has a beige head that is about a half inch thick and the head feel in about 10 minutes of the pour.
the aroma is malty, caramelized malt, hint of smoke.
the flavor is very rich, malty, mineraly, caramelized malt, little sweetness, slightly bitter, nice mouth feel, beer has viscosity.

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass
A- Pours a dark brown hue with ruby red highlights that shine through the glass, head is off-white, craggy, and very lively with carbonation, lacing is thin and watery
S- Nose is of moderate caramel malts, some dark fruit, toffee, and smoke, sweet berries (cranberry?) underlie the whole experience
T- Initial taste is tart sweetness, followed by caramel, molasses, and brown sugar, finishes with slight sweetness and a touch of bittering hops
M- Medium/full beer, oily to creamy texture coats the tongue, nice carbonation
D- Rich and sweet Wee Heavy with minimal alcohol presence, nicely balanced, this is a nice evening treat, but I probably would not drink in excess due to the dominating sweetness
Buy again? Undecided
Personal score- 81/100

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

Pours a deep brown color with an average tan head that dissipated into a ring around the glass. A faint roasted malt smell with a hint of smokiness and carob. This brew has a woody malt presense, slightly roasted. A bit smokey and has a brown sugar type sweetness. Almost has cola characteristics. Not bitter at all from the malt, definitely sways on the sweet side. The feel is fairly light and fizzy, finishes a bit slick. A tasty sweet brew that drinks very easy.

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

Pours a brown/chestnut with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Above average lacing & head retention

S: Loads of caramel malt

T: Toasted malt, breadyness, caramel & a touch of smokeyness up front. Dryness, plummy notes, raisins, a bit of brown sugar & leafy hop notes as this warms. Finishes dry with hints of cinnamon, jammy fruit, raisins, & a little too much leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & kind of wimpy in body when compared to it's American imitators, but a big brute compared to most 70 or 80 shilling ales

Drinks pretty easy; could drink a few of these before developing wanderlust

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Photo of neobassman
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium-dark red-honey color with modest, slightly sticky head. Slightly cloudy. Odor is pleasant but not noteworthy. Taste is full and malty, with minor bitterness. Much of the fullness of stout but without the salty, smokiness. strong mid-tongue sensation and a bit of honey and very butterscotch-y, especially late in the taste. Mouthfeel is moderately creamy, a bit buttery, maybe even a bit of glycerine-like persistence. This one stays in the mouth for awhile after the swallow. Very pleasurable and not as divisive as stout. Do not drink this one too cold. Perhaps not quite impressive enough for my favorites list, but this will definitely go on my recommended list.

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

Having just brewed a Scottish Ale, when I spotted this I thought I would see what I was shooting for.

A - brown with golden red highlights and a quickly dissipating off-white head.
S - Earthy leaps to mind. Caramel and bread in the aroma.
T - Starts on the front of my tongue, CO2 tingling, and finishes on the back of my tongue with a carmelly sweetness. I know Scottish Ales aren't made with smoked malt, but there is a faint hint of smoke in the finish.
M - A bit thin
D - Very drinkable beer. Doesn't finish so sweet that another is out of the question.

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

I was rearranging my fridge last night when I found this gem in the back. Poured a mahogany hue with a small frothy off white head that stuck around for the session. The scent of sweet caramel is upfront, followed by a pleasant nutty and dry plum aroma that ended with a subtle bourbon scent. Wee, offered a pleasant medium to full body, sweet malty and oily feel upfront with toffee, plum and almond like middle, ending with a lighty alcoholic bourbon and fruity tartness from the hops. Overall, this brew is solid. Very easy to drink, clean with very complex aroma and flavors. Enjoy.

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Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 1,069 ratings