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...

Old Speckled Hen

I first drank this way back in 1990/91 in various pubs around High Wycombe (Mac, Ian, Lea, Jim, Auks I hope you are all well, I miss you all very much). Amazing that I am reviewing this now after all these years so far away from the source. Odd how things sometimes work out. 500 mL bottle (clear bottle haters get your panties out of a wad), approx. $4.00 Taco Mac, East West Connector, Austell, GA, USA. Lovely burned orange color with a super head (small) with wave after wave of clinging lace....

Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale

$4.95 Green's on Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. Pretty dark pour with real ruby highlights. Dark wood seems to be present in terms of color, aroma and taste. Nice tan head but not much lacing, however there remains a spotty presence on the surface of the body. Nose is all malts with some port like alcohol fruit sweetness - very, very nice. Taste is a little more bitter than I was expecting. Some metallic hops against the expected rich malt backbone. A very interesting beer indeed. The oak is present...

Hop

Rather odd. (Originally reviewed when the beer was called, "The Beer to Dine For" in the 750 mL capped bottles). Purchased at Roller's on HHI, SC, USA. Presentation and name are obviously an attempt to make people think about their beer in the same way they think about their wine - that is, as a drink to pair with food. Now, although that is a noble goal in itself, the name and the bottle (it's a clear one) are just too contrived to take very seriously, and frankly make the beer look a bit...

Hen’s Tooth

This, my BA friends, is one very, very interesting beer. It captures all the characteristics of a really nice English Pale Ale, adds a little cask or "Real Ale" character and pumps up the ABV for both of those styles at the same time. All of this in a bottle as well! Typical pale orange pour, typical lack of sustainable head (cask characteristic) and typical organic grassiness in the nose. All coming together to complement one another, this is reminiscent of a Home Counties pub in more than...

Abbot Ale

Another example of a super keg beer being completely neutralized by putting in a nitro-can. The stuff in the can is virtually unrecognizable in experience to the original, which in this case is a step back. OK - what can you say about these nitro brews? They all pour to give beautiful, perfectly formed pints, they are all super-smooth and they are all really drinkable (like milkshakes), but so what? All the character of the Abbot is lost in this commercialization process. Shame. There is still...

Wexford Irish Cream Ale

The points for appearance, mouthfeel and drinkability (all 4.0) for this brew are almost always the same for these "creamy" nitro-can ales. Unfortunately they are becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between, and are becomingly increasingly bland - Wexford Cream Ale was no exception. It pours a slightly cloudy pale orange color, but soon clears to give the typical nitro-can, creamy topped, appetizing look. The smoothness of these beers in general makes them highly drinkable (in terms...