62 / 100
Bottle given to me by Jez; last of my Christmas gift beers.
Pours a reasonably dark brown colour; standard stout colour really. Head is beige, nice texture and pretty good retention with some nice trails of lace clinging to the glass. Looks good, but expected.
Smells a little strong; bit of chemical aroma with some boozey darkness but also an odd apple and apricot fruity character that contributes to the booziness because it feels a bit spiritous and needs a sweeter or roasty grounding character. Again standard, but a little flawed.
Taste gives the impression it might be a little old because there's a slightly yeasty character to it. Has some of that dark fruit character as well towards the mid, then develops some chocolate roastiness late which is a much better flavour than the rest of it and just feels more impy stout. The rest of the palate moves between fruity, dry and slightly spiritous and feels a little old and yeah, slimmed down. The finish is def the highlight and well balanced.
Decent texture; good weighty malt character with a smooth feel but a bit hot and dry on the back.
Drinks alright; could be a bit old but for the size and the style it feels a little thin and unbalanced because I feel this style shouldn't be affected so obviously by age.
57 / 100
Pours a deep English gold with billowing head of white, webs a bit at the top, lacing is attracted to the edge but a bit thin, no carbs. Looks like an impressive English ale.
Again very English, lots of hops, very grassy, reminds one of a verdant English pasture. Hints of lemony citrus add a tartness, malt is not really there. Quite nice though.
Malt is definitely there on the palate, thick and sticky with a biscuity kind of sweetness, thick and full mouthfeel. Hops are there in their earthy, tart goodness but finish is grainy, like cereal, with a brown sugar kind of flavour to it that somehow manages to re-emerge after the hops have done their lingering magic. Hence very, very back of the palate is somehow quite sweet, although for the most part a slight lemongrass bitterness is prevalent. Not a bad English ale, apart from that lingering sweetness there's nothing unusual about it. Taste is a bit plain overall. Could well be used as a cleanser though.
Pours a brownish yellow with a very thin film of head. Clear appearance, with a lot of very thick lacing around the edge. Quite nice, good English ale.
Subdued nose, as a result of being too cold methinks. A slightly herbal bitterness on it when warmed up a bit, and hints of honey. Typical ale nose, nothing particularly special. Still subdued when at a decent temp.
A lot of floral hops come gushing through the palate, blended with a rich, sticky maltiness. Very bitter finish to an otherwise short, sweet palate. Almost an IPA bitterness really, although it's more of a lingering than an upfront hit. Very bittersweet flavour, a bit lacking in complexity but otherwise quite nice. The hops and malt are actually very nicely balanced to make this a competent and drinkable English ale. Mouthfeel is a bit sharp but that's the only real issue.
57 / 100
Golden yellow, with a nice fluffy white head that leaves some great lacing. Filmy after a while, which is a shame. Otherwise very nice looking.
Light grain organics on the nose, with a pleasant grassy freshness. Even a light hint of smooth sweetness, perhaps vanilla, which is odd, but not unpleasant. Not huge, but not bad.
Pretty tame palate, with some fluctuating hops bitterness that never reaches a crescendo. Some malty grain notes, but not huge. The end is a little yeasty which leaves a gritty finish in the mouth. Otherwise, it's a decent, if uninteresting flavour profile.
Hey, it's a drinkable beer. I just wonder if this is simply a "plonk some branding on the beer" beer. Relatively light, and while not terrible exciting, it goes down well enough.
56 / 100
Pours a light, bronze-amber colour, with a slightly filmy off-white head. Some light carbonation.
There's an almost medicinal sweetness on the nose, that initially assaults you. Also the obvious brashness of English hop varieties - they lack the fragrance I love in a pale ale. Overall, it's not very strong, but not bad.
Menthol-hop characters on the palate. Quite strong but quite one-dimensional, it's just one long gum-sucking flavour. There's a very light sweetness at the start, but then it's just the biting hop character and a rather dry finish. Mouthfeel is quite smooth.
It's not a bad drop, but it doesn't have a huge amount of complexity to it. Drinkable enough, in its way, but there are English Pales I like a whole lot more.