Brew Review

Beer Review – Belhaven Scottish Ale

Bellhaven Scottish Ale 2

I was in NYC for a series of business meetings and found myself with a long break between meetings. I decided that I probably had time for lunch and a pint before the next meeting but one question loomed: Where should I go? Well, the office is not too far from 46th Street, and G-LO has raved about St. Andrew’s Restaurant & Bar several times. Truth be told, I had the good fortune to have lunch (great shrimp club but sadly with no pint) there in June and was looking forward to spending a little more time there. During my last trip, I sat near two older gentlemen meeting up for a casual lunch and watched enviously as they put away a number of Belhaven Scottish Ales. Naturally, as I sat at the bar, I was leaning toward the same. My opinion was furthered when the man entering to my left ordered a Belhaven before he even sat down. So, I thought that the beer couldn’t be all that bad, if the bar favors it and three different patrons have ordered it in my presence.

Belhaven Brewery dates itself to 1719 and by the beginning of the 21st century; they had become the largest independent brewer in Scotland. This attracted the eye of Greene King Brewery who engineered a successful takeover in 2005. After the purchase, Greene King has allowed the brewer to remain much of its independence and beer is still brewed in Belhaven.

Here is what Belhaven has to say about their Scottish Ale:

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.

I found the Scottish Ale to be…

  • Appearance: Deep copper with a healthy tan foam.
  • Aroma: Strong malt, doughy and a little grassy.
  • Taste: Very light on the carbonation with a creamy texture and a good bit of sweetness.
  • ABV: 5.2%

The Scottish Ale was a very good complement to my lunch (asparagus and mushroom soup and a grilled chicken sandwich). I would add that this is a good lunch beer. Not too boozy, hop heavy or overpowering; just a nice beer. My only regret was that I hadn’t enough time for a second beer (or an opportunity to try any of the wonderful Scotches).

22 replies »

  1. Heinous acts of food selection depravity no no bounds! You are a vapid asparagusser of ill repute! I’ll bet you arrived in a faded lime green AMC Pacer with a canted passenger window that has to be rolled up while being pressed upwards resulting in unsightly window smudges. Shame.

    So St. Andrews is a pretty nice bar. What I really like about it is its proximity to Virgil’s BBQ. That place rocks – especially when they have burnt end sandwiches on the menu. Belhaven’s Scottish is one of my favorite geographically legitimate Scottish Ales. Caramelly and smooth but still crisp and reasonably dry. My all time Scottish “style” Ale is still Three Floyds Robert The Bruce but until they build that Hyperloop transport bank tube pod canister coast-to-coast thingy I don’t think I’ll be getting my hands on any of it – oh, and the Hyperpod tube will also have to stop in Muncie, Indiana on its way to Los Angeles (which I’m sure is already planned).

    And now for a slightly less relevant Peaches & Herb reference.



      • That is a coaster and not a label, you nitwit! And, yes, it really does like me. We are planning a trip to New England to see the leaves change.


    • What’s wrong with a grilled chicken sandwich? There was no cheese! And, what is with the tube pod canister coast-to-coast thingy? I expect far more technical reference to be inter-spliced with your nearly incoherent ramblings. Shape up, man!


  2. Good ale, great pub. They have a fantastic selection of other Scottish beers as well as single malt, and lovely bar staff. One of the only reasons to go to midtown if you don’t have to!


  3. So happy to hear that you enjoyed St. Andrews! Definitely an oasis of fine food and drink among what amounts to an overall block in Midtown Manhattan. We should put that place on our itinerary during our next NYC Boozin Adventure!

    And this beer sounds pretty tasty too!


    • After my first trip (sans beer) when I saw two gents enjoying their meal and several Belhaven’s, I knew just what I had to have if I had the chance to get back there. And, I wasn’t disappointed. Well, actually, I was a little disappointed as I had to cut myself off at one and never got to sample the whisky. Stupid work; ruins everything. Well, there is always next time!


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