Wee Heavy | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,057 Ratings
Wee HeavyWee Heavy
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom
belhaven.co.uk

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,057
Reviews:
570
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
11.85%
 
 
Wants:
117
Gots:
100
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 1,057 |  Reviews: 570
Photo of WonderfulSam
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured an attractive deep caramel or cola brown color with two fingers of coarse offwhite head, most of which dissipated relatively quickly. A small thin head persisted throughout the course of my drinking this beer, and left a single sudsy ring at every healthy “sip” that I took.

The smell was notably malty and fruity. The taste was a bit more complex, though it more or less tasted how it smelled (malty and fruity), with the addition of subtle earthy and smoky undertones that opened up in the aftertaste. Despite the overwhelming presence of malt on the palate, this beer generally did not result in a sour aftertaste that I find with so many other highly malted beers.

Great mouthfeel with moderate carbonation and a slightly syrupy, but well-balanced texture. Overall it was a very pleasant, highly enjoyable and rather easy-to-drink beer!

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Photo of brendan13
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark copper colour with red tinges when held up to light. A small head forms but falls away quickly.
S - Sweet caramel maltiness combines wonderfully well with dark fruit esters.
T - Along the same lines as the smell but with quite a noticeable smokey flavour.
M - Smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel. Low carbonation.
D - Tasty yet not too heavy bodied or high in alcohol. I can see this becoming a regular.

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Photo of Taipans
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Darker rich brown, light tan head
S- Sweet malty aroma, couldnt pick much else out but it smells good
T- Very malty sweet with nice touch of caramel and molasses
M- Fairy heavy, syrupy, but pleasent
D- At 6.5 ABV and with his heavy malt character it might be hard to put these back as a session beer. But overall its honestly one of the best beers I have had and it was 104' the day I drank it.

I picked up two bottles over the weekend and absolutely loved it!

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

Poured a 500 mL bottle into a pint glass.

A: medium brown color, clear, tan thick head that dissipates and laces.

S: bready, caramel aroma

T: starts with a caramel, molasses malty flavor, with some estery dried fruit flavor in the middle; finishes with a slight hop bitterness. Balance is heavily toward the malt flavor with only enough hoppiness to keep it from being overly sweet. Not highly complicated; but its simplicity is elegant.

M: slightly heavy on the density side; a little sticky. Average/appropriate carbonation.

D: A very drinkable beer, particularly for those who enjoy it on the malty side.

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Photo of walshclimb
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear chestnut color with thick tan head that dissipates slowly to 1/4" thick with variable bubble size. Leaves a slight lace up the glass. The smell is of bready malt with a hint of wood. The taste is sweet malt with caramel and molasses initial flavor that has a medium-lived slightly acidic finish that also retains its sweetness. It is medium bodied with lively carbonation and slightly creamy texture. This is a tasty and easily drinkable beer. Not terribly complex, but I would definitely purchase again. Good with food, like bread and cheese.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with an almost three-finger thick, tan colored head that sits atop an absolutely, brilliantly clear, amber-red colored beer. The aroma smells of herbal hops, toffee, toasted grain, biscuit malt and deeply caramelized sugars. There is a soft fruitiness to the aroma that reminds me of concentrated pears and sweet plums.

Quite sweet, and simply so, meaning it is not sweet from dark, complex sugars, but more from the simpler malt sugars. This sweetness also might be accentuated by the fairly light body of this brew, though it does have some heft to it. The sweetness accentuates a note of raisin juice, not sure if that makes sense, but I mean the flavor I would associate with raisins that were hydrated enough to make juice, it is certainly distinct from a grape character. touches of toffee around the edges as well as wisps of toasted malt & biscuits are noticeable at times through the malt sweetness.

This is a bit sweeter than I would like, it it was a more complex, Maillard driven sweetness I wouldn’t mind it so much. This is a drinkable brew, I would just like to be able to tweak it here and there to round out the flavors a bit more. This is another beer, that if I had to guess, I would say has been filtered a bit too much; even if it isn't it is lack some malt complexity & character that is needed to make this a great beer.

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

Solid beer. Pours adark brown with a hint of orange-tan head with medium carbonation. Sweet malt and no hops in the aroma. Taste is malty sweet with little hoppiness either in the initial taste or the finish. Mouthfeel is moderate and drinkability good.

I picked one of these up since it has been many years since I last tasted one-It will not be many years before I try another bottle.

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

Appearance is dark mohogany in color with a healthy off white head. Smell is sweet with malts and dark fruits. Taste is rich in dark fruits, nutty with slight smoke flavor and having a creamy medium mouthfeel. I like the complexity it has, but I don't know how it compares to other wee heavy's, but it's a good starting point.

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Photo of akorsak
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 50 cL bottle.

A: The ale is a dark brown color, caramel almost with some dark red highlights. The head was not too large, maybe 1 finger in size, but does leave lacing in the glass.

S: The ale gives off a bit of smoky malt aroma, not too heavy, just a wee bit (thank you, I'll be here all week!)..

T: The ale has a deliciously thick smoky body. The smokiness is has a nice peaty element to it, almost like the burn of a good scotch. Underlying the smokiness is a toffee and biscuit malt body that provides a bit of sweetness that further accentuates the smoke. This is a beer that you could eat as a meal.

M: The smokiness is nicely paired with the sweeter grain and malt body. The aftertaste lingers on the malt and provides an alefruit finish.

D: The moderate abv is well hidden behind the smoked malt body, this is a robust ale that represents itself well.

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Photo of dgallina
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9 ounce brown bottle with no freshness dating.

Pours murky brown with small head, but good lace. Smells quite malty; toasty sweet caramel laced with a bit of fresh herbal and leafy hop. Flavor follows logically from the aroma. Mellow toasted malt is in the foreground, with a bit of leafy hop and hard water bringing up the rear. Not a lot happening, but pleasant and well-balanced nonetheless. The medium body is lively with carbonation, becoming a bit creamy as the beer warms. Wish the beer were a bit more complex. The "regular" Belhaven scotch ale has a nice smokiness that is missing from the wee heavy.

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

In the snifter, the color is dark caramel with a ruby tint. Head is a dirty white, soapy and fairly thin, but it retains well. Diminishing head leaves thin strands of lace.

Aroma is...mmm...malty. Caramel, toffee, and a nuttiness that recalls a robust brown ale. Juicy dark fruit in the background.

The flavors are many, and they spread throughout the mouth each sip, offering quite a few taste impressions. First is a grape-like sweetness, which gives way to a mildly toasted maltiness, while toffee and other dark fruits swirl across the tongue at one point or another. There's even a lactic flavor here, more reminiscent of soft-serve ice cream than anything. The finish brings bitter grains, and even some saltiness, as if I've just eaten a crisp pretzel.

Carbonation is between medium and high, while the body is light and buoyant, spreading across the tongue with a gentle sizzle.

This one does everything right. It's complex and delicious, scoring highest in flavor, where it counts most. My first time with this one, and I'll gladly return soon.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.51/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one didn't live up to my expectations, although it wasn't bad by any means. Poured a light mahogany with ruby highlights and a nice, creamy head. Not much to speak of in when it comes to smell, somewhat watered down and minimal. Some toffee, caramel, and other faint malts come through but it seems a little soft. Once this beer warms up a little the taste isn't far from being good. I couldn't quite give it a 4 because like the smell, it seemed a little light and watery. The closer it got to room temperature, the more the flavors intensified and showed their true colors. Mouthfeel was up to par, very clean and smooth. The best part about this beer, although it's not something that I'll seek out in the future, is the drinkability. Very easy going down and very easy to take on more than one bottle in a sitting. Again, this isn't my favorite by any means, but it's worth a try for sure.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Thick tan head on a clear deep amber/ruby body.
S- Bunch of different malts. Have some toffee, dark fruits, sweet caramel, ect. Big earthy notes and some grass notes too.
T- Malts come out. Dark fruits are up there with some raisin flavor and leave the mouth pretty dry. Big earthy tones come through with some light grass hops leaving a light bitterness. Sweet toffee notes come through too.
M- Medium body with low carbonation.
D- It is very tasty and I would buy it again. Good deal for the price too. I think there are better wee heavies out there but this is a good one.

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

I warn readers that this is my first review and that I'm feeling totally optimistic - I've never been especially fond of Scotch Ales, but this Belhaven Wee Heavy has definitely won me over. /// I'm drinking a pint bottle from a Guinness pint glass.

The pour created an even 1-1/4 head with lots of sparkle around the edge of the glass - I didn't get the entire bottle emptied at first - then the outer ring subsided, leaving a creamy knoll. Two sips, and I emptied the rest of the bottle.

Appearance: Rich ruddy color with slight haze, light maze colored head. Thick pour.

Smell: Pointed honey-carmel malt aroma, feight hop backround.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Rich, even, clover-round beginning that evenly coats mouth as carbonation electrifies the top of tounge, with earthy Islay(peaty/iodine) finish.

Drinkability: Would have another over fish and chips with friends (and a decent cigar) - for sure.

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

This one pours from a 500ml. brown bottle, into my 13.5oz. taster tulip, a dark mahogany with a finger of fluffy beige head. With good carbonation the head holds steady for some time, then eventually settles to an 1/8" and leaves some dabs of lace clinging.

The smell is sweet, toasty and nutty with some grassy hop notes in the background. A wee bit of alcohol creeps in as the brew warms up.

Taste is sweet of toasty, nutty malt and a hint of smoke and chocolate on the tongue that quickly turns astringently bitter by the hops. Fairly tasty and well balanced for the most part with a medium to heavy body that fits the style about right.

The drinkability is alright, but there are other Wee Heavy's out there that I'd prefer...still worth a try for the style.

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Photo of AndoBrew
2.96/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

*did not like would not buy*

app: ugly. dirty water!

smell: yummy! nice chewy malts .. some butter (I love butter!) small small amount of floral hops. real nice and thick smelling though.

taste: so odd in contrast to the smell.. toasted malts, strange.. to sweet. I wish with this butter richness that it had more toast to support it. oh well.

mf: dont care.. to sweet and lite.

drinkable?? kinda. not for me.. maybe a new new castle for some though.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark red. Head goes away fast, but returns with a swirl. Bits of lace.

Smells like malt: straight up malt (i.e., Grape Nuts), toast, honey, toffee, nuts. Some mango and prune.

Tastes malty - toast, honey, nuts, some well balanced toffeelike sweetness. Some tropical and dark fruit. A glimpse of herbacious hops in the background, quietly doing their job. Alcohol, but barely noticeable. Dry finish, Grape Nuts maltiness with a bare hint of tealike astringency.

Smooth medium bodied mouthfeel. Quite drinkable.

Tasty and well balanced. Good stuff.

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

500ml bottle in a pint glass

Pours a very dark brown with a nice creamy head. The head disappears quickly leaving a very thin lace on the glass.

The malts come though in the smell but are a little muted.

You taste a hint of smoke among the heavy malts. From what I have read, the Scottish do not smoke their grains for beer but, it sure tastes like it.

The mouthfeel is creamy and rich but not thick.

I don't know how this compares to other Wee Heavies but, I like this one a lot. This is a great alternative to a stout or porter, just different enough to be fun to drink and not overly alcoholic (6.5%). I have had this before and will have it again.

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Photo of beeroclock
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I poured this from the bottle into a pint glass, poured a deep brownish red, in the light you could see the reds come out. Decent off white head that lasted some time. Smelled sweet with some alcohol tones. Tasted of raisins and sugars that stayed with the aftertaste. Very heavy drink. I have never been a huge scottish ale fan and this one is not any different in that fact, however it is much better than some of the others out there. The heaviness wouldn't allow for many of these in one sitting.

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

500ml bottle into pint glass (time to buy a thistle!)

Pours clear mahogany brown with a silky creamy light tan head. Some webby lacing evident.

Scent is a toasted malt sweetness, peat smoke and raisins, possibly figs.

Taste is rich with the perfect level of sweetness. Raisins, dark fruits and a nice toasted malt flavor with a slightly sour (yeasty) smoky peat finish.

Mouthfeel is a velvety medium.

Drinkability is very good.

This is absolutely a delicious beer. Subtle, well balanced, and easy to drink but with a decent amount of complexity to dig into. Probably my favorite Wee Heavy. At $2.95 I need to stock up!

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - A mahogany color with a beige thick head with medium carbonation.

Smell - Major notes of barley. Minor notes of raisins and prunes.

Taste - The barley and some caramel provide the base with the raisins and prunes.

Mouthfeel - Heavy but smooth on the tongue.

Drinkability - Highly drinkable.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured a deep mahogany reddish brown, decent lacing on the head, aroma was of dark stone fruits, a tinge of smoke, burnt caramel, some light floral notes, tasted a lot of malt up front, a slight whisky taste almost, flavors in the bouqet present in the initial taste, just barely enough hops to give it some balance on the back end, slightly sweet aftertaste on the finish, mouthfeel was medium/full with warming alcohol present and noticeable, drinkability suffers for me due to the style of this beer, i am sure this would be rated much higher were my palate geared to a wee heavy, just doesn't have the balance, big hops, bright flavors i tend to favor, this could have been worsened buy the fact that i gorged on greasy pizza earlier and should have had an ipa instead. this beer would have been much better with a maduro cigar, minimally seasoned beef stew, smoked meats, or even dark dessert. again, the pizza beforehand killed this beer for me, though.

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Photo of McLeod
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 500mL bottle into a coca-cola glass (shaped like a squished down Weizen glass).

A. Dark amber translucent color with a thick 1in. fine-bubbled caramel head. Looks so appealing!

S. Malty, roasty smell with fruity almost pumpkin 'aftersmell'. Kind of floral.

T. Perfect balance of sweet and roasty malts with a slight hoppy bite to balance. Nice alcoholic warmth but not overdone. Slight nutty taste follows with an almost floral breath.

M. Very smooth and pretty creamy due to perfect carb. not too thin and not too big or syrupy. Excellent balance for its higher-medium body.

D. I can drink this all day. It has the perfect balance of alcohol and sweetness, of body, and of bitterness. I wish i had more!

I drank this beer the last (hopefully) day of a cold, so I couldn't smell as well as normal, but hopefully I got it right. The thing only cost 3.50, well worth every penny. I was actually quite surprised how great it was!

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

Pours a dark reddish brown color with nice caramel head the leaves a thin lace behind.

Smells nice. Rich and sweet maybe.

Tastes very nice. Better the warmer it gets. Roasty, malty and maybe caramel with a slight bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy with a nice balance of carbonation.

I like this beer. Have tried it a few times and am finally reviewing. Will definitely go back for more.

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

I must say that I’m becoming a big fan of the wee heavy/Scotch ale style. This one only pushes me further down the slope toward the old peat bog.

From a 500ml bottle with no freshness date, into a pint glass. A nice dark reddish-brown color with medium carbonation and a fair bit of fine sediment evident. Thick brown-tan head fades fairly quickly to a thin cap and solid ring along with good, scattered sticky lacing. Nose of semi-sweet, bold malt along with a kind of smoky, musty scent. Taste delivers big on the malt, a kind of semi-sweet, toasted malt that I greatly prefer over the sweeter English ales. This sweetness is punctuated by a keen smoky, peat flavor toward the end, culminated in a nice dry bitter finish. This is what a wee heavy is all about, IMO. Mouth is chewy and creamy with no detectable carbonation but a full, smooth feel. Drinkability is excellent overall; this is a great smooth and satisfying brew, though the 6.5% ABV tends to temper the experience to more slow enjoyment rather than chug-a-lug.

Overall: An excellent example of the Scotch ale/wee heavy style in my somewhat limited experience. Heartily recommended.

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Wee Heavy from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
4.05 out of 5 based on 1,057 ratings.
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