The Nitro Element
A Review of Belhaven Scottish Ale by Belhaven Brewery
Posted on 8/9/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
I've often argued that one of the best treats in the better beer world is having the chance to try nitro versions of different beers. They are not always the easiest offerings to find, but with a bit of searching those creamy gems can be some of the most rewarding and enjoyable beverages you can get in your glass. Recently I was able to visit a local establishment that regularly keeps a couple of nitro taps on rotation, which ended up giving me the opportunity to try a nitro version of the Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery.

As a disclaimer I should preface things by admitting that I have had the regular version of it before, so I was very interested in seeing what kind of difference the nitro twist might make on what I would consider a decent to good interpretation of a Scottish Ale in it's standard form. And let me tell you, once again, the nitro did not disappoint.

From the minute it was sat in front of me, I was mesmerized by the cascading bubbles on the inside of the glass. I know this is a typical result from a nitro pour, but that still doesn't stop it from getting my mouth watering like a Pavlovian dog every time. I took a few moments to let it all sink in, as well as to observe its copper coloration and creamy, light tan head. When I finally allowed myself to smell it, just as my experience with other nitro versions of brews has taught me, the expectation of muted but still detectable aromas was fully met. Truthfully, other than some rich caramel and peppery, herbal hops, I couldn't find much more to grab on to.

So without any further hesitation, I decided to dive right in. It should come as no surprise that the first thing you notice after the first sip of it is the amazingly creamy and velvety mouthfeel. You almost find yourself wanting to chew on it before you swallow. And with nothing more than that same rich caramel and some herbal hops playing with your taste buds, I say go right ahead if the feeling strikes you. I might even go a far as to say that the nitro could have almost brought the flavor train down to a simplistic level, but it still remained enjoyable.

So once again, the nitro experiment gets a passing grade from me. The Belhaven Scottish Ale would normally fall into the ''Take it for a spin if you see it, but don't seek it out as a must try'' category, but when you toss in the nitro aspect, it clearly climbs a few rungs on the ladder. All levels of drinkers can approach it with no reservations if they see it on tap. Belhaven Brewery can be proud of this one. It drinks amazingly well for the style, and though the flavors are small in numbers, they more than make up for it in overall experience. And as always, trust me when I say the nitro won't let you down.

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Belhaven Scottish Ale by Belhaven Brewery
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