You may not know it, or even guessed it, but I'm a keen walker. And not just a fair weather walker who only walks in...um, fair weather. Rain, hail, sleet or snow, (and that's just the summer) there's no stopping me. I mean, let's face it, drinking and driving is a big no-no, so it's a walk to the pub for me (keeps me healthy). And you know, it's not that big a deal - it's only a ten minute walk from my house to the pub. The weird thing is that it's almost two hours from the pub to my house...go figure.
Now, if'n you're going to all the bother of walking to the pub, you might as well have a beer or three while you're there otherwise the whole episode is a pointless waste of time. I'm not a creature of habit in my beer drinking mode - I drink different beers to suit my many and varied moods. Or maybe I'm just indecisive...I'm not sure. One thing I am sure of though, is that Belhaven beers are usually pretty good. Another thing I'm sure of, is eggs is eggs.
The Belhaven brewery lies on the shores of the Firth of Forth in town of Dunbar - around 30 miles east of Edinburgh. The brewery was founded by Benedictine monks around 1415 when - after being given land here, they discovered the local water to be perfect for brewing beer.
The present brewery was built in 1719, and is one of the oldest in Britain. One family owned the brewery for more than 250 years. In the Seventies the business was sold to pub and hotel interests and was then owned by a succession of different characters until it was the subject of a management buy-out. It's now owned by Greene King.
For many years Belhaven also acted as a maltings: germinating and kilning the barley that is widely grown in East Lothian and the Borders and supplying whisky distilleries as well as its own brewery. Two malting kilns from 1719 still remain.
They brew a range of keg and cask ales, most notably 80/- and St Andrews, as well as bottled beers such as Twisted Thistle and Burns Ale. But of all the ales they brew, this is BEST...Best by name, but is it best by nature? Well let's see, shall we?
I was at the swimming pool yesterday.
I decided to have a crafty pee in the deep end.
The life guard must've seen me though - He blew his whistle so loud...
I nearly fell in.
Back to the beer...
"The pint of pints. Belhaven Best is the main man of draught ales. Best colour, best flavour, best balance - the pint for all occasions....we've named this Best for a reason."
Best pours a rich coppery colour which starts off a little cloudy but soon settles to a clear, golden amber. It's topped by a thick and creamy layer of smooth foam which lasts all the way down the glass. It's certainly a nice looking pint.
The aroma is of sweet malt - biscuit, toffee and a hint of butterscotch. There's also a bit of light fruitiness, apples maybe? But there's absolutely nothing from the hops that I could sense.
It's light bodied and the mouhfeel is, well, thin and watery. As for taste, there's a little toasted malt and some toffee and butterscotch notes but nothing that leaps out at you. There's a little bit of fruit and a tea-like dryness in the finish with a sweet lingering aftertaste.
At 3.2% ABV, you'd need to drink a few of these to get in a state you wish you hadn't, which isn't as hard as it sounds because it is extremely easydrinking. That said, it's not exactly bursting with complex flavours and nuances. Nothing wrong with that per say, if you're looking to quench a thirst and have a bit of banter in the pub without turning into a slabbering buffoon (it's been known), then this is the beer for you. Just don't expect to marvel at the brewer's art when drinking it.
Would I drink it again? - Best I probably do.
To me you can't beat a pint of Belhaven Best. I have never consumed it from a can but i have had numerous pints of it from different pubs.
*About The Beer*
This beer is brewed in Dunbar, Scotland and is owned the by Greene King. It is a fairly average/weak beer of 3.5% and can be found in a wide range of pubs north of the border. Not so sure how popular is in England though.
The website www.belhaven.co.uk describes the beer as
"The pint of pints. Belhaven Best is the main man of draught ales. Best colour, best flavour, best balance - the pint for all occasions. We Scots are often not known for blowing our own trumpets, modest souls that we are, but we've named this Best for a reason. We're sure you'll agree."
*My opinions of it*
I started drinking this beer about 2 years ago when i got sick of drinking tasteless, bloating lagers. It is very smooth and goes down a treat. As it is quite weak, i feel you can drink a good few of these with no hangover in the mornings. If you are new to drinking a real beer which is not lager i highly recommend you try it. It is very different from lager and you don;t feel so gassy afterwards.
Lovely tasting and well worth a drink!!
Belhaven Best is one of the greatest beers you can buy. It's a fine ale with a fine flavour and scent. One of my friends introduced me to it and i have drunk it ever since. It doesnt leave you feeling bloated because its not fizzy like lager or cider but it will leave you with a sweet taste in your mouth and a lust for more. It isn't very high in alcohol but it is very high in taste. I love the stuff and can't get enough. BELHAVEN BEST, BEST SERVED WITH A WHISKEY CHASER!
A beautiful balanced honey-coloured ale. Easily quaffed, this is a first class session beer in a can. Brewer: Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd. Style: Ale. Alcohol Content: 3.5%