Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA

I am ready for the weekend. My parents and sister are up in Brimfield…antiquing, of course. This usually means that they bring me home beer, which always makes me happy. Most times, they will stick me on the phone with someone who works there while they read off beers that they have and I tell them whether I’ve had them or not. It’s actually quite fun. So, I have that to look forward to. This was a beer that Val picked out for me at Cranbury Buy Rite. I’ve been trying to pick up more imported beers (not successfully) since I have a lot of American beers reviewed. Let’s see how this one was.


ABV: 6.1%

Style: English India Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A stunning India Pale Ale (IPA), don’t think Belhaven’s Twisted Thistle has anything jaggy, spikey, prickly or otherwise pain-inflicting in nature. Quite the opposite. Your taste buds will tingle with pleasure after a sip or two of this golden nectar. A real treat from our master brewers in Dunbar.”

Random: I like the rebranding of Belhaven’s labels. They are very hipster-esque.

This beer poured with a two and a half white head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. It left a light crown on top of the clear, yellow body. It had high carbonation visible as well. The nose was on the herbal side of hoppy with some pine as well. The taste was equally herbal, bordering on medicinal. Pine was there with juniper notes. This was marketed on the bottle as an American-style IPA and I am not finding that at all. The body was on the thinner side with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with herbal notes. For $2.48 a bottle, this was $.21 per ounce. This beer was just missing something for me and I wouldn’t rush to have it again. It needed more hop character and not just herbal notes.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Belhaven 90/~ Wee Heavy

One of the joys of owning a house is that I get to take care of the lawn. I got my battery-powered lawnmower on Friday and left work at a decent time so I could mow it. Despite the fact that the grass was probably too high since I let the backyard get slightly overgrown, I think I did a good job. My grass seed should be coming any day now so I can plant it in the bare spots. Once it looks decent, I’ll post some pictures. Anyways, let’s see how this bad boy from Scotland was.


ABV: 7.4%

Style: Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “While 1719 may be the earliest documented evidence of the Belhaven Brewery, there may well have been beer production on the site pre-16th century as the wells and certain cellar vaults are known to date from around the time of the Reformation. Monks (noted for their brewing skills) settled in the area from the 12th century. Luckily, they had access to both fine water and top quality local barley.”

Random: I need to buy a trimmer for the areas that I can’t get to with the mower. Maybe that will be my end of quarter gift to myself.

This beer poured with less than a half a finger of off white head. It dissipated instantly with no lacing left on the glass. The body was a cloudy, dark brown with high carbonation visible. The nose was really rich and peaty with sweetness. Smoke was present too. The taste was better than the notes with more peat and smoke. There was some booze and then deep sweetness, almost like molasses. There was also some bready malt as well. It had a thick and chewy body with high carbonation. The finish was long with peat and molasses. For $2.70 a bottle (with the NJCB discount), this broke down to $.23 per ounce. This was a good beer, but was missing something that I couldn’t put my finger on. It wasn’t the best of the style that I’ve had, but was far from the worst. It’s worth a shot.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Belhaven Scottish Ale

This was the second brew that Katie got for me. I love when people buy me beer. Other than the fact that it’s free, it’s nice because they tend to get me beers that I would never purchase for myself. My father does this too, except he basically buys the beers based on the labels. Katie tends to buy me English/Scottish brews…and I have no idea why. She really only likes drinking fruity beers (she bought herself cider). So, without further ado…

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Scottish Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Malty and hoppy, we at Belhaven love the classic Scottish Ale and we’ve been brewing it longer than any of the other beers we produce. Delivering a sweet, smooth and creamy finish, Scottish Ale has a stunning ruby colour in the glass. Magic.”

Random: I saw that they also offer this beer out of a nitro can. I’d be interested in seeing the difference.

This one poured out of the bottle with a two finger, off white, seriously thick head. It dissipated slowly, yet left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, mahogany color with low carbonation. The nose was earthy hops and biscuit malt, but was a bit off kilter. The taste was more balanced than the nose. It started with the biscuit malt up front then the earthy hops came through with some grass in the back. Even though initially I wasn’t thrilled with the brew, I really enjoyed the flavors. The body was medium thickness with low carbonation. The finish was long with some hops. I didn’t know what to expect from this one, but it was pretty satisfying. It’s worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0