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Belhaven Best | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

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Belhaven BestBelhaven Best
168 Ratings
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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Ratings: 168 |  Reviews: 75
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3/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Sam-VW
2/5  rDev -38.8%

Photo of dipso123
2/5  rDev -38.8%

Photo of Iaido
3.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of biegaman
3.14/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Sure, widgets make for an impressive pour - the first few times you see it. Unless you have the mental capacities of a child the 'oscillating sandstorm' visual quickly becomes tired and gimmicky. It's ironic too that a device meant to impart a distinguishing feature actually makes for identical looking beers; the artificially-induced foam is always the same. This amber ale looks as though it were made from a mold.

Belhaven Best also smells pretty much like every other widget beer I've had: wet cardboard drenched in corn syrup. Well, maybe "drenched" is a strong word, but this bouquet has a sweetness that I'd be surprised wasn't high-fructose fueled (think of cheap, mass-produced caramel, like the stale little squares wrapped in clear plastic).

The flavour does a better job of passing for an all-malt offering (though the impressions of stale, inferior quality grain and industrial sweetener return in the aftertaste). As is typical of British ales, there are subtle hints of dried fruit esters and chalky water minerals, both of which I suspect would be more pronounced were it not for that suffocating blob of floating nitrogen.

You might not guess it from this sample, but Belhaven makes a few beers so well-brewed and distinct that they're hailed by beer judges and journalists alike as the best examples of their respective styles (see: Belhaven Wee Heavy, Scottish Ale, St. Andrews Ale). Pick up any textbook on beer or brewing, flip to the section on British ales and you're sure to see Belhaven listed...

This offering, however, is a lesson in how to make bad beer - its maltiness is frail, the yeast muted, the hops non-existent; despite its agreeable strength (4.8%) only those with simple, undiscerning palates would contemplate ordering a second round. (Frankly, I don't even care to finish my first.) Putting cardboard through the blender would be just as stimulating to the senses.

Belhaven Best is undoubtedly Belhaven's worst. What can I say? I guess you gotta make money somehow and, for reasons that I'll never understand, the majority of beer drinkers prefer something insipid, predictable, and undistinguished. I can't blame the marketing department for being unable to pass-up the "The Cream of Scottish Beer" tagline but I certainly don't have to support it. Nevermind a repeat purchase - this is a beer I wish I never bought in the first place.

 2,386 characters

Photo of Vanz
3/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of HATS4BATS
2/5  rDev -38.8%

Photo of Hoppy_McGee
3.5/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Chemister
3/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Subliminal64
3.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of knodeljr
4.94/5  rDev +51.1%
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!

 453 characters

Photo of RevCraig
3.5/5  rDev +7%

Photo of DamageCase76
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of Lee_Hancock
1.75/5  rDev -46.5%

Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

440 ml can purchased from LCBO for $1.95 CDN. Served cold into a pint glass. Advertised as 4.8% ABV

Appearance - Dark copper color with a bit more than 1 finger of frothy white head. Very dense looking. the beer is crystal clear and has sparse bubbles floating to the top. the head lingers for a very long time thanks to the nitro-can.

Smell - A few sweet aromas and quite floral wild a mild alcohol undertone.

Taste - Sweetish and quite mild. Virtually no hope presence and the bitterness is very low for a bitter. Flavors while full do not linger nor are they particularly strong.

Mouthfeel - Wet finish, with creamy mouthfeel. Body is thinner but compensated by the remains of the head.

Overall - Not a bad beer to me a bit of a cross with English Pale Ales. While decent there's nothing spectacular about this either. Worth a try.

 839 characters

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4.5/5  rDev +37.6%

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3.5/5  rDev +7%

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3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

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3/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of dreamchaser
4.02/5  rDev +22.9%
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.

 303 characters

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4/5  rDev +22.3%

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3/5  rDev -8.3%

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2.75/5  rDev -15.9%

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3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

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3.5/5  rDev +7%

Belhaven Best from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.27 out of 5 with 168 ratings
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