Belhaven Scottish Ale advertises itself as “Rich, Nutty, and Smooth” on the bottle. It also states that it is brewed with “100 percent Optic and Crystal barley malts for a nutty, biscuit character, balanced with a subtle spiciness from Challenger and Goldings hops for an all-around satisfying beer.”
The bottle is what drew me to this particular brand. The bottle itself screams Scotland and the Scots know how to drink so this must be a good beer. At least that is what I thought when I was in the store looking for something to drink.
It has an interesting aroma when first poured that hints at some nuttiness and a little spice. It isn’t overpowering but just enough to tantalize your taste buds through the olfactory senses. The deep amber color looks like it would promise an intense flavor but that isn’t what you get on first sip.
The bubbles are subtle and it is a very smooth beer. It does give you the nuttiness and has a spicy undertone that doesn’t overwhelm or overpower. The beer is smooth, almost creamy, and has a unique flavor profile but could use a little more on the bubble side to enhance the flavors. Still, this is a smooth beer that has some weight to it.
I don’t know if I could drink this beer all night. However, it is a nice beer that would go great with some winter comfort foods like meatloaf, beef stew, pot roast, or a roasted chicken. I don’t think this would pair well with many summer foods from the grill though it would go well with a gourmet-type burger.
Belhaven has produced a nice ale that will go down smooth and offer you comfort, especially on a cold winter night. If you are looking for a hoppy beer this isn’t for you. Honestly, the subtleness of the flavors is what really makes this a good beer in my book. It is distinctive, refined, and yet comforting like a favorite sweater.