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Notes on beers in the style

English Strong Ale

Tynt Meadow

Additional notes 05/31/23 pictured You can see from the note below that I didn't particularly care for this a year ago, and I got plenty of pelters for that. Not to worry, I'm used to that! Anyway, as is usually the case I'm prepared to give most beers a second try and here we go again. This pour seemed to look a bit better than that first bottle, but it's hardly art in glass. I still get what for me seems like an over-hopped, more bitter beer than I should be experiencing. This second bottle...

Wizard’s Winter Ale

12 oz single. Murky. mid-brown/orange pour that creates some head but not much lace. Nose offers a malty fruit base that adds a little bitterness that is reminiscent of grapefruit, but to be honest it's not a grapefruit taste that one normally associates with a high hop profile. Similar things happen in the taste, where the slightly bitter grapefruit sits on the fruity end of the spectrum rather than the hop end of the scale. As the paragraphs above would suggest, the beer is really quite...

Geary’s Hampshire Special Ale

12 oz bottle courtesy of finewinemike as part of my 2010 Secret Santa package. This beer was on my Wants list for a long time, and I must admit I'm a bit confused by that - I *think* that's because BA used to have this categorized as an ESB, and a such I was interested in in. I have the feeling that this haas been re-categorized iin the BA db. A very hazy, mid-orange pour that yields some frothy, "dirty" head and comes with some yeast sediment from the bottle. Some sticky lace. Very strong...

February 27th, 1832 Mild Ale

22 oz presentation. Massive thanks go out to Gregg for the opportunity to try this one. The pour into the Terrapin snifter and gives quite a still body with a light, copper color with obviously no head or lace. Ultimately it looks like a brandy in the glass. The nose has some alcohol but there is a feeling that the light solvent effect is mainly in the nostrils rather than the taste. A little acidic apple in the nose as it warms. The taste is extraordinary in as much as the alcohol is...

Samuel Smith
Yorkshire Stingo

Additional note 02/03/23 (pictured) A cloudier, more brownish/orange color than the red garnet noted in 2009 below. Head is excellent this time around too, with good retention and some fantastic lace. All in alll it looks quite different to what it did 14 years ago. Updated label of course as well. Chewy and substantial in the mouth, with the drier element this time around, and bettered retention, the beer feels substantial even though this is listed at 8.0% rather than the original 9.0%. Not...

Reindeer’s Revolt

Additional notes: 09/29/2022 (Pictured). Another beer where the nots from 14 years ago match the current experience almost perfectly. It's hard to find any discrepancy at all. Great sticky lace, biscuity moreishness, and great English Pale Ale (yes, I know how this is classified) character. Utterly delicious, utterly tremendous. Original notes: 12/07/2008 500 mL bottle from Tower on Piedmont, Atlanta, GA, USA. First time I've seen this in GA. $4.99 for the bottle. Complete clarity on the pour...

Double Century

500 mL bottle from Greens on Buford, Atlanta, GA, USA. Part of the new wave of Thwaites available here in the USA. Here is an excerpt from my review of another of this range (Wainwright) which also applies here; "The presentation looks good and some thought has gone into this. They seem to be retailing for $4.99 across the board. I am worried about a couple of things about the range in general. These beers tend not to travel well, and in any case they are simply beers that are infinitely...

Green’s Discovery

Thanks go out to Silentsabre for the chance to try this one. 500 mL bottle, different to the picture in the BA db (maybe that is an English version and this is the American version?). Product of Belgium? An English Strong Ale? No Barley? I wonder... Cloudy amber pour with a small amount of carbonation. Head is frothy and light but has a nice formation. Broken lace forms on the glass. Aroma is dent with a touch of alcohol and some malty fruit. Tastes a bit wine like. Alcohol seems MUCH higher...

Seriously Bad Elf

Additional notes: 10/04/2022 Possibly a 2021 vintage (L21 254) and considering when I purchased it, but it does have the Shelton Bros moniker so ... Same presentation, ABV etc. as years gone by which suggests this still sells well at home I suppose. A lot of chill-haze on this pour with a modest head but some good, sticky lace. Estery - meaning fruity still - but also too much solvent alcohol dominating for me (noted below) that also gives a mildly oxidized or diacetyl butter note. Could be...

Insanely Bad Elf

$4.99 for the 12oz bottle. Delighted to find this at Green's on Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. WOW! Best beer I've had in some time. Pour is a BEAUTIFUL, honey amber body with amazing clarity, a fantastic head and some nice lace. Carbonation is mild, but good. Nose is alcohol based, but not too harsh. I'm not sure about the BA "English Strong Ale" categorization, or indeed the "Imperial Red Ale" on the bottle label, this seems to me to be a simple, classic English Barleywine - sweet and VERY high...

Twelve Days

Both amazed and delighted to find a Hook Norton product at Green's on Buford, Atlanta, GA, USA. $4.95 for the 500 mL bottle. One of the best English brewers in days gone by, I'm about to catch up with one of their newer products. Tall and slim bottle, heavy brown glass with an elaborate tree motif embossed toward the bottom of the botlle. Very nice presentation. Pours very much like a Brown Ale. Disappointing lack of head, retention and lace UNLESS the pour is aggressive. When the pour is more...

Country Life Country Bumpkin

Beer with a great deal of potential but a little rough around the edges. Had it on a couple of different visits to Devon, but this was in Great Torrington just down the road from the brewery. Darkish pour with a distinct lack of head. Carbonation was absent but there were some decent reddish hues. Strong certainly, without much subtlety, this beer speaks bitterness and alcohol. Despite this rough approach I really felt as though there were malts fighting to get out and perhaps in another batch...

Otter Head

500 mL bottle, Smyrna Beverage Warehouse, Smyrna, GA, USA. Typical English Pale Ale (a little stronger in the ABV stakes), dark orange pour with a bubbly but not dense head - some sticky lacing. A lot of malt sweetness in the nose, very tempting. All the usual, US imported, bottled English Ale (bitter) characteristics are present. Biscuit malts are in abundance, with some dry hops and acidity in the taste. Fruity and complex, this beer has all the attributes would should expect from a classy...

Ripon Jewel Ale

Typical and delicious. Amber orange pour with an initially large head, but this fades quickly. Some spotty head is left behind with a little lacing, but not much. Aroma and tastes are exactly as expected. All sweet, biscuity malts with the only hint of hop character being in the short finish. Rounded and balanced and super smooth. Now pacakaged in a brown 500 mL bottle rather than the clear one pictured. Amazingly smooth and highly drinkable. Maybe a little too much alcohol to be considered...

Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale

Rather unattractive beer, with a dirty brown appearance, some head and a tiny bit of lace. The color of the body is really not very nice, it looks like muddy pond water. Very soft and creamy mouthfeel that is surely this beers best feature. Lovely smoothness and some extremely small bubbles make a very slick carbonation - really nice. Aroma and tastes are both rather bland apart fom the general mild maltiness. This is not an unpleasant beer, just a rather non-descript ale with a creamy...

Fuller’s 1845

Beers as good as 1845 remain few and far between. I think of this as a classic English bitter. It's a dark beer, with loads and loads of taste and complexity, but above all else it has SUBTLETY! Beers like this aren't brewed much in the USA, where the liking is still for beers of this nature to be either enormously hopped or have massive ABV's. The aroma starts the experience. It reminds me of Celebrator Dopplebock, with layer after layer of fruity alcohol. The first tastes are all encomposing...

Adnams Broadside Strong Original

$2.99 500 mL, Green's Beverage, Ponce de Leon, Atlanta, GA. Without question one of the best beers that I have tasted in a long time. Great appearance, with a truly dark red, classic English Bitter look, a hearty, rocky head that has very good retention and lacing. A fruity, full bodied malty aroma and taste in perfect balance with the bitter finish. Everything is just right! Velvety smooth, large mouthfeel completes the experience. This beer isn't going to please hopheads because it is a...