155. Belhaven St. Andrews Ale

It’s Day Two in Edinburgh, and I’m rather enjoying revisiting the city that used to be my home, and learning what a great beer scene it has these days.

Threehundredbeers may not be firing on all cylinders today, though, since that Ayinger Celebrator at the Bow Bar last night led on to BrewDog Edinburgh—downstairs from a flat in which I briefly lived—and the utterly magnificent new Hanging Bat.

After a nostalgic stroll around George Square and The Meadows, I reckon I could manage a half of Belhaven St. Andrews Ale in The Albanach up on the Royal Mile.

Belhaven St. Andrews Ale at the Albanach, Edinburgh

The plan for today had actually been to hop on a train out to Dunbar and visit the Belhaven brewery, but the tour was cancelled since only one person (me) had booked a place. Apparently running this ridiculous blog does not yet carry the weight of beer-related influence I so clearly deserve.

So to make up for that, we’ll at least visit a Belhaven pub. In my day The Albanach was a swanky café bar named “EH1” or something similar, but it has staged a bit of a recovery and is now a decent, slightly localsy, boozer. I believe this is also the pub in whose cellar the skeletons were found in Ian Rankin’s Fleshmarket Close.

And conveniently enough, it has the St. Andrews Ale front and centre on the bar.

Belhaven St. Andrews Ale is a lovely looking beer, deep amber in colour and unfortunately more head than beer due to a somewhat hasty pour. It’s in good condition here though, and welcome enough after the climb up to the Royal Mile.

It’s Scottish alright: sweet and malty and lacking in any kind of hop character. Instead there’s caramel and Werther’s Originals and maybe a little bitterness at the end, unless I imagined it.

I’m initially quite pleased I stuck to a half, but whilst not enormously exciting, this one has enough going for it that I’m soon ordering another, before shambling back to my Travelodge with a chipsteak supper and a couple of nice finds from The Beerhive.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Belhaven, Dunbar, Scotland
Style: Scottish Ales
Strength: 4.9% ABV
Found at: The Albanach, High Street, Edinburgh
Serving: Cask, half pint

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