Belhaven Scottish Ale

This beer is from the Belhaven Brewery Company in Dunbar, Scotland. I got it at a beer/liquor store off-base, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

Belhaven Scottish Ale

It pours a thick, cloudy coppery-orange color with a creamy off-white head.  The head fizzles out rather quickly, but it does leave a bit of residue on the glass.  It smells very strongly of caramel, with malt bringing up a close second.  There are hints of nut and fruit as well.

Like the smell, this beer tastes of caramel and malt…not much hops to be found, although there is a noticeable hint in the aftertaste.  It also has a nutty, slightly fruity flavor that I would compare to Fat Tire if they weren’t so different in every other aspect.  When it first hits your mouth, it feels thick, creamy, and heavy.  You will wonder “Oh dear, what have I gotten in to?” but you’ll notice, as it sits in your mouth, that it isn’t quite as heavy as it seems.  The darker flavors lighten up as you swallow and you are left puzzled by the complexity and balance of the many flavors you tasted, but couldn’t place, and you will immediately have another sip.  By this point, my bottle is nearly empty for this exact reason.

I would heartily recommend this beer to anyone who likes real beer.  It’s easy to drink, complex in flavor, and not too heavy on the alcohol.  It is kind of thick so that it will fill you up…but not after one or two.  It would be a great intro to the real beer world for a friend who sticks to Bud Light and Corona.  If you have it with a meal, I would recommend meat on the lighter side, but not spicy.  Maybe chicken or turkey with a red wine or tomato sauce.  Beef or spicy sauces would probably not fit well.

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