Ruddles County

500 mL bottle from Peace Street Market, Raleigh, NC, USA. $4.99.
I’ve been drinking Ruddles County (and Ruddles Best with the blue logo) for about 25 years, but not so much in the last ten since I’ve been marooned in the USA. My past experience has largely been on draft and in cans, but this is one of the clear glass, imported bottles.
Pour is resplendent. It gives a beautiful, light copper body and a fantastic, frothy, large bubbled, sustained head and great sticky lace.
HUGE, light biscuity malts and delicate hops fill the nostrils even before the pour. Cracking the cap gives a whiff and then the pour releases the full force.
Tastes are a gentle assault. Wave after wave of light biscuit malts, simple hop bitterness and smooth sweet ending. The aftertaste lingers forever!
There’s a whole bunch of things that I want to say about this beer. It reminds me of some of my earliest drinking days as a teenager between the ages of about 15 and 19 (and beyond). At the time, the beer seemed impossibly hoppy, and to be honest, in the context of English Beers of this ilk it really is quite dry and bitter, but of course in the light of contemporary American brewing it seems somewhat tame. Of course, that tame nature is really classy and subtle in a manner that the higher hopped and higher ABV American beers could NEVER begin to understand, but that’s a different story.
There’s also a degree of nostalgia attached to this beer (in fact a HUGE amount), but even considering that I am conscious of this, it’s still a STUNNING beer to me. it reminds me of my Dad.
Finally many will argue that Greene King has corrupted this beer over time, and to be honest I think that there is some truth to that, but even 25 years after I first drank it the beer brings a tear to my eye for more than one reason.
God Bless this beer.

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08/08/2009
Format:
bottle
ABV: 4.7 %
Appearance: 5
Taste: 5
Mouthfeel: 4.5
Smell: 5
Overall: 5
Total: 4.95
Series Name:
Year:

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