Belhaven Best | Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

74 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 158
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!

 771 characters

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.

 459 characters

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.

 466 characters

Photo of rowew
2.91/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 14.9 oz can with a widget. No freshness info, but it does tout the "Draughtflow system". I assume this is just the widget.

Appearance: As with most nitro beers, great head with nice retention. Leaves a nice lacing. The best part of any nitro beer is watching it settle in the glass. Clear, slight reddish color with a slight effervesence.

Smell: Aroma is malty and slightly sweet.

Taste: Dominated by the nitro - very creamy mouthfeel, but not a whole lot of taste to back it up. Mainly malt, with a very sweet flavor. Something tastes off - it may be the metallic taste, but I'm not sure if that is it.

Overall impression: Not bad .. interesting to try something different, but I won't be seeking these out again.

 740 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber colored ale with a thick off white head. The action of the bubbles from the nitro can is always fun to watch.

Smell is sweet and VERY malty with a sweet fruitiness.

Taste is fairly malty with a bit of smokiness to the flavor. Mildly fruity with a nice bitter snap in the aftertaste. Pleasant and mild but not very complex.

Mouthfeel is average once you get past the thick head.

An easy drinking beer and non-offending to the taste buds, but it is just a nice mild beer that isn't particularly outstanding.

 537 characters

Photo of Dmann
2.24/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Great looking, shitty tasting. The beer had so much potential and then it just failed to impress. It started out nice with a beautiful nitro pour with a densly packed white head and a nice clear carmel color. The smell was not good at all with a prevailing sourness that turned me off from the get go. The taste was not one that I would care to experience again with its overly woody/raw hamburger meat aftertaste. Not recommended at all.

 438 characters

Photo of crookedhalo
3.31/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale copper color with a frothy, off-white head. Subtle aromas of sweet, earthy malt, light hops and an undercurrent of fruitiness. There's a slight sweet tea-like malt twang to it, a bit of buttery diacetyl, and a slight bitterness in the finish to round it out. Overall, it's rather weak, but it's to be expected. It's a little too balanced towards the sweet side, and the metallic-like taste that shows up after the first couple of sips really takes away from what could be a good bitter.

 499 characters

Photo of necoadam
2.02/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This isn't Belhaven's Best. Down right terrible. Perhaps it was a very old 4 pack of nitro's, but this was unbearable. Poured out a an amber/brownish color with a huge head from the nitro can. The head never really did setlle down. Smell consisted of malts, caramel, and toasted aromas. It was on the sweet side mostly. Taste was almost the same. Very sweet and some metallic notes could be detected as well. Just very unpleasent and avoid this brew at all costs.

 463 characters

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.

 804 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.08/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

You know a beer is gonna be rated poorly when its best feature is its head and carbonation. The widget does an amazing job here, if you like LONG lasting creamy super fine bubble head and amazing creamy lacing. Otherwise this was a stinker, minimal flavor, no hops, metalic tastes etc etc. Back to the drawing board for this one.

 329 characters

Photo of Suds
3.28/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another “perfect” nitrogen-corrupted head on this beer. Somehow the texture of nitro beers really detracts from the brews other characteristics. Below the head is a tawny colored liquid. Aroma of caramel malt…intensely so. I really liked caramelized sweetness of the smell…underpinnings of fruitiness and maybe a tad diacetyl, but pleasingly so (I think that the nitro-texture gets in the way when looking for the slickness). Mild hopiness, moderate to high-sweetness. The hops don’t do a good job balancing the sweetness, and by the end of the brew, it becomes a little cloying. Worth a try…maybe even two or more, but not worth going out of your way to find.

 666 characters

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.

 583 characters

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.

 462 characters

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.

 401 characters

Photo of WMBierguy
2.03/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The "best" thing about this beer is its nitro-can. It gives the beer an amazing head, and is a cool looking shade of blue. Everything else about it is disappointing. THe most disappointing thing: It only contains 3.9% alcohol! That's incredible! I didn't notice that until I already had poured it, and when I tasted it I couldn't deny the beer's weakness. After the creamy head was a wierd yellow beer that had almost no taste. It didn't taste bad, and it didn't taste good. It simply had no flavor. Not surprising when you consider that it is weaker than Mic Ultra, the tapwater beer. I wouldn't buy it again. If you get a chance to try it for free, do so, just so you can tell everyone about the weakest beer ever.

 716 characters

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

 345 characters

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.

 472 characters

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
3/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another sad example of how not to package a great beer. The usual presentation for the nitro: pop the tab, dump into the glass. After the bubbles do their trick, an amber color beverage appears. First sip, watered down. I hate writing this review because you sense this is a great beer that has been destroyed by the "widget". A little hops, but I could not get by the watered down taste. Even my wife commented, "this would be a good beer after mowing the lawn." Tragedy.

 472 characters

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.

 707 characters

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.

 583 characters

Photo of Jason
2.69/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is one nitro can I am not totaly fond of, way too sweet with a steely caramel aroma and flavour. The nitro seems way over forced and the flavours too processed. Hops are faded and produce just enough bitterness, the malt is odd tasting and the finish is sticky sweet.

This one is just not for me ...

 307 characters

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.

 365 characters

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

This is the first Belhaven product I've tried. On balance, although I've been pleased with several of the imported ales available in nitro cans, I was disappointed with this one. It poured out a nice brown color but, unusual for a product in a nitro can, had a very weak-looking head. The smell and taste seemed lighter than I would have expected for a "Best" - very little hop flavor - more like a summer ale. Certainly a drinkable product but I find it hard in this case to justify paying the premium import price being charged for a 4-pack

 542 characters

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.

 464 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Belhaven Best from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
3.26 out of 5 based on 158 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.