Beer: Belhaven Scottish Stout
Brewery: Belhaven Brewery (Dunbar, Scotland)
Type: English Stout
A quick visit to the Belhaven website alerted me to the fact that their 'Scottish Stout' is only available for export (i.e., us and the U.S.), and has also received some high accolades from the brewing community. That, and it happens to be cold out and the brew in question happens to be sitting pretty at 7% alcohol, so let's start drinking already!
Poured into a nonic glass. Nearly-black, with only the faintest hints of chocolate brown when held to the light. Solid mocha head, recedes into a sturdy ring. Packets of lacing grace the glass throughout the tasting session. Looks about right.
Nose is cream, roasted grain, coffee, chocolate, figs, cherry, spice. Very delectable, smells about right for the style.
A fairly tasty stout, lots going on here. Coffee and roasted grain at the forefront, overlain with a creamy, dark fruit palate. Finishes with a slightly sour bite, but this is challenged with a long chocolate-caramel finish. Unfortunately, the flavor gets somewhat weaker as the beer is allowed to sit and ponder its own diminishing existence. This is a bit surprising, as many brews benefit from a period of air and warm temperature exposure, but Belhaven seemingly does so. Nevertheless, this is a sweet, flavorful stout.
Mouthfeel is thin for a stout, with decent carbonation at first, but things flatten considerably over time. Somewhat gritty near the finish.
Despite any detractions I might have said about the mouthfeel and such, I'm very much enjoying Belhaven Scottish Stout. There's so much flavor here that, even after things weaken after a while, there's still enough going on to satisfy the discerning beer palate. To avoid this problem in the future, I might have to drink this one faster next time. Fine by me.
Worth a pickup. Good addition by the LCBO. (Grade: B)