Belhaven Best | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

74 Reviews
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Belhaven BestBelhaven Best

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

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by JISurfer on 05-03-2003

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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 157
Photo of knodeljr
4.94/5  rDev +51.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For the four-plus years we lived in Scotland, Belhaven Best was the beer on which I always fell back. It was so creamy and smooth -- with taste -- that I esteemed it the "Best." I also like really hearty beers, of which Belhaven Best is not; but for everyday drinking -- especially with meals -- I loved Belhaven Best. It's like the Irish Guinness when poured in a glass. Lots of gas that needs to settle out. What's left is a great, smooth, TASTY beer!

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Photo of JamesS
4.23/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice mid copper with awesome head and lacing. Nice scent with good malts and a nice light earthy bitterness. Good flavor with good malt backing, a slight toffeeness underneath, and good earthy hop aftertaste. Extremely smooth, almost cask like! Good stuff.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.13/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber, with a thick white head, as is to be expected from the nitro can. I love watching this stuff settle, I feel like I'm at the pub. Great lacing, leaving a ladder up the glass.
Aroma is very much the bitter style. Malty and slightly fruity, with a bit of hopping in the back. Strong pear aroma, with a sweet creamy malt. Solid.
Flavor is creamy and malty, with a nice nutty finish. Reminds me of that same aftertaste you get when you eat hazelnuts. No apparent metallic taste. Light earthy herbal hops, blending seamlessly with the malt. Balance like whoa. I can't tell where the malts begin and the hops end. Awesome. Damn fine beer, even in the can. I'd love to try this on tap or cask.

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Photo of wetshoes
4.12/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is widely available in Scotland, and it's a great pint to enjoy. Pours a nice dark color in the glass with a thin white foam on top. Easy to drink a lot of.

Suits my taste for a low-hopped ale, though I actually prefer Belhavens Scottish Ale, but it's not so easy to get in pubs. Not nearly so attractive in cans, even with the little nitro bomb inside.

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Photo of BeefyMee
4.09/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is the best draft can I've ever had. If someone had poured it and given it to me, I would have believed it was from a tap.

It looked great as it poured and settled. The taste is similar to Belhaven's Scottish Ale but much more creamy. All the flavors are somewhat muted but, for some reason, this works very well. There is a toasted flavor upfront and a bitterness in the after-aftertaste. This beer is oh so smooth and one I can see myself returning to.

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Photo of JISurfer
4.08/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

If this is the best stuff they got, I'd hate to see the worst. Just kidding! This stuff is awesome! It's appearance isn't that bad, but I usually do like darker beers. It did have a cool seperation effect though. The head stuck around forever too, so I liked that. The taste was a very nice creamy taste, somewhat similar to the Wexford, but a little bit deeper in taste. The finish was definately smooth and didn't leave a nasty aftertaste, like most light beers.

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Photo of dreamchaser
4.02/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Clear, light amber in colour, with a thick, rich, creamy staying head. Faint hop aroma. Taste is very light, subtle and creamy. A delicious balance of soft malts carrying faint notes of nut and caramel. Faintly carbonated, and mouthfeel is very round and smooth. A very delicate yet full-flavoured beer.

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Photo of Polidmar
4.01/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the best beers i've tasted from Scotland. Brownish in colour with dominant burnt/caramel notes [both on the nose and taste] probably due to the pasteurisation regime in goes through. Very drinkable especially in the wet/cold scottish atmosphere.

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Photo of RickB
4.01/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Scottish ale was poured from a nitro can, and the appearance was darker than a Boddington but a tad lighter than a Kilkenny. Taste was a mild bitter, not at all displeasing. Mouthfeel was very creamy as are most nitros. I only had one, but this could easily be a session beer.

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Photo of crazyc1
3.8/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

I was introduced to this very mellow beer at a relatively young age and unlike most beers which i used to drink back then, i have not been put off it.

It is a fairly weak beer but i enjoy how it doesn't leave you bloated due to it not being particularly fizzy. It leaves a sweet taste in your mouth making you lust for more, so is easily drinkable.

It is pretty popular here in Scotland, although south of the border i am not too sure, but i find it unlikely to be so widespread.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a big frothy cascading head and a fair amount of lace. The mild sweet malty aroma and faint hop smell fades fast so enjoy it while you can. Notes of Caramel blend with tea-like hops. A trace of metallic bitterness can be detected with some effort. I don't know how they do it, but this ale is a pretty fair forgery of a Scottish Mild on tap.

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Photo of prosper
3.77/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is typical of a nitro beer. About the same as a kilkenny, maybe, a touch lighter.

Smells of sweet grains, and some light fruityness. Actally smells pretty dang appealing right now.

Taste is so-so. There's that same yeasty fruitiness, soft breads, and then some toasty grains. Not as sweet as the smell would lead you to suspect. Just a touch of a dark toffee or caramel there, too, but overall the impression is more toasty biscuity than caramelly.

Mouthfeel is on par with a nitro beer. Satisfying, though a touch on the thin side I think.

Overall - decent, but not somethign I'd seek out.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.76/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

really nice looking beer, with a thick super creamy head that lasts to the bottom of the glass, with lacing all the way down. mild nutty slightly smokey smell. nice and mild malts nuttyness with a liottle bit of that smoke in there, real mild hops that aren't very distinctive, but present. mouthfeel is the very thinner side of medium, but well suited i think. the drinkability here is very high, it looks great has a good taste, and is low on the alcohol, i feel like i could put 6 of these away and not even notice. i would like to see a little more power behing the taste though.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.76/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured bubbly and creamy due to the nitro widget. Once the cascade of bubbles stopped the beer was clear golden light amber with a just barely off white head that was creamy and coated the glass.

The aroma was malty with a caramel impression.

The flavor was malty with caramel and toffee. The beer had just enough bitterness to keep the caramel and toffee in check.

The finish was just dry with a little bitterness starting to show up long into the aftertaste. The body was light and the creamy head made it seem even lighter. You could drink a ton of this.

A pleasing beer, nothing to write home about, but tasty without having a huge body or alcohol content.

14.9 ounce nitro can (oddly enough it made no mention of the widget on the can) - $1.60 a can at Asheville Wine Market.

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.76/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber. For such little head it has a nice bit of lace to go w/ it. Not to much of a smell to it. it has a light, semi-sweet flavor it it. Has a hint of smoke mixed with the malty. Dry, finish, but definately not crisp, more of a nice creamy feel.Blanaced through and through. Easy drinking through and through, nice easy going beer

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Photo of DrJay
3.73/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this one at the Castle on King in Kitchener, ON. The pint was a clear amber colour with a dense, cream coloured head from the nitro tap. Head retention was great and it left lacing down the entire glass. Aromas were very mild, with some fruity esters, subdued hops, and a bit of caramel malt. Same in the flavour department, with malt and hops lingering for a short time in the finish. Low carbonation with a light body and great balance. A great session beer.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surprised to see this in a bar down at Bewdley while on a pub crawl. Took a half pinr purely to review:

Good amber body with a large, deep white head.

The aromas given off were few, the beer being dispensed so cold, when it warmed some dark, malty fruity smells appeared.

The taste was also on the malty side, pleasant without setting the world alight.

I little on the fizzy side, like most keg bitters, but I still enjoyed this: the only non-cask ale I had during the crawl.

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Photo of jarmby1711
3.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring from a nitro can , for me means it is always going to look ok.A fluctuating mass of foam and bubbles that settles down to leave a densely packed head on a medium to darkish pool of ale.
Tasting smooth and faintly mineral tinged the drink was pleasantly blended ,offering no surprises , but no great delights.
It was an average English Boitter, but to me that is more than adequate.An obviously quaffable beer , but not one I would actively seek out.

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Photo of evlu1441
3.68/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm excited about this beer, if only because it will be my first nitro-can review. I haven't had a nitro-can in years.

I'm quite impressed! The nitro-can have a nice cascade of fine carbonation as expected, though not as interesting as a Guinness. The beer is a darkish copper colour and completely clear. There is a nice centimeter head that is extremely creamy. This looks like a draught beer!

The aroma is very faint, but it is almost entirely malt... And a very sweet roasty malt at that. There are some hints of honey and maybe even vanilla in there.

The flavour is not what I was expecting! It has an incredibly smooth mouthfeel, probably due to the low carbonation. The flavour is kind of subdues by this, and also by the low alcohol content, but it is a pretty decent beer! The malt flavour dominate the pallate. It is slightly sweet, but never too much. There is also some light hop flavour towards the end.

The drinkability of this beer is very high. I could totally sit in a pub and down several pints of this. I might even buy this again if I was in the mood for a light beer with some flavour.

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Photo of StevieW
3.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A staple on my recent Scotland trip. It has a black or brown plastic bubble tap sign. The extra cold version of the same beer has a blue bubble tap sign. Medium copper color, Orange looking at times, rust or brown at times depending on the light. Bubbly thin tan head. Toasted smells seem to dominate. Taste was smooth and sufficiently bitter, nice hop presence. Always a somewhat metallic taste to finish. Hard water ? Not sure, but it happened more than once. Nice nitro creaminess to it, but it seemed to get a little watery at times. Overall an easy to find, pleasing experience.

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Photo of edchicma
3.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I knew this was a low abv, so my review reflects that. Typical nice nitro head and decent caramel color. Smell was lightly malty with a bit of a smoky quality. Taste was smoky in a nice mild way...a definite session brew, Mouthfeel, as expected was light but pleasing enough. Extremely easy to drink...kind of like a light beer, but with a lot more flavor. Good for what it is, a low abv session beer.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.61/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

440ml Can

Appearance – Clear amber/copper colour with an above average size frothy off-white/beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation visible and there is an amazing amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 10 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel, pears, tea

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a below average amount of carbonation and and it feels very creamy on the tongue. I can taste malts, caramel, and quite a bit of a roasted nut flavour. There is also some notes of tea and a bit of a pear juice sweetness. It finishes with a malty roasted slightly sweet aftertaste.

Overall – This is a very drinkable beer that has just enough flavour to keep it interesting and sessionable. The appearance is fantastic in the glass and it was priced fairly reasonably. I'd buy it again.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.61/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm having this on the recommendation of my brother, and low and behold this is actually a nitro-can.

Appearance: It took a while for the carbonation to settle, even for a nitro but it produced a finger and a half of head that sustained and laced like crazy. The body is amber with a tan coloured creamy head.

Smell: An almost butterscotch like arroma (although more on the scotch side of things) with a tea and honey note. It took a bit of warming to come out, but when it did it was quite nice. However, I think I'm also getting an odd smell that I'm not used to and it's probably coming from the nitro.

Taste: A malt explosion as toffee like malt hits you at the start of the beer, then gives way to a creamy mild smokey scotch taste that the nitro seems to reign in quite a bit and then ending with another hit of malt and honey taste. It's different that is for sure.

Mouthfeel: I'm honestly a bit conflicted on this one. I mean it's creamy, offers a sweet malt aftertaste that quickly departs and doesn't overstay it's welcome, doesn't cling and transitions well, but part of me gets the feeling that maybe the nitro isn't needed. I dunno if that sound crazy or not.

Drinkability: Normally I find that nitro enhanced beers tend to be heavy offerings that sit in your stomach like caulking. This is the exact opposite as if not for the massive amount of malt, would come across as almost too light. I had not problems getting it down and it seems to sit down quite well.

Final Thoughts: I touched base on it on the mouthfeel, but I honestly wouldn't mind trying this beer without the nitro. I will say this though, this is probably the first beer I've had where I actually wanted to see a bit more bitterness involved. Still I'd recommend it regardless, but that being said I can't stand IPAs so take from that what you will.

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Photo of scottoale
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I popped the top on the 440 ml. can (un-aware it was nitro charged) and was pleasently suprised by the typical atomic upwelling of nitrogen bubbles, pushing from the depths, forming a lushiously thick, frothy off-white head. The ale is a darkish copper, with some good sized chunks of sediment, floating around in it.

Smells of toasty, nutty malt, lightly sweet and kind of earthy rich. The flavor is grainy malt, again with a faintly sweet, roasted nuttyness, then swings smooth and balanced with a nice hop finish.

Smooth and creamy in the mouth, good body and superb nitro-carbonation, make this tasty brew a pleasure to enjoy. I was very suprised by this one, had never heard of nor tried it before. I recommend it and will drink it again in the future. Cheers!

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Photo of PZuke
3.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pop the top and let the Nitro can do its thing. This beer pours a nice amber color after some separation and leaves behind a nice thick creamy white head that keeps its form. Smells of malts and the taste could be described as very subtle. Some may even consider this brew as being watery. Once you can get by this you notice a very nicely balance beer that has a nice malty/smokeyness to it. This beer is very drinkable and I would not pass it by if it was offered to me.

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Belhaven Best from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
3.26 out of 5 based on 157 ratings.
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