Fuller's really hypes its strong beer ESB. It call itself a Champion Ale and it has won the best beer in Britain award 5 times. With that pedigree and my previous enjoyment of Fuller products, I was looking forward to trying this beer.
This first thing I noticed was the nice pale brown colour as I filled the glass. A thick head formed without any problem. In fact, I had to watch my pour so the head wouldn't get out of control. I thought, maybe I made too large of a head, but it quickly settled down and formed a nice film on the side of the glass as I drank it down.
ESB has a nice bitter Ale flavour, which reminded me of an India Pale Ale. That's what Carolyn didn't like about this beer. The strong bitter finish. I on the other hand quite enjoyed the bitterness.
Is this a Champion Ale as the Fuller marketing department suggests? I would have to say no. I was surprised that it was voted the best beer in Britain five times. I've had many English beers better than this one. Having said that, if you enjoy a full flavoured Ale with a nice bitter finish, then I suggest you give Fuller's ESB a try.
I give this Ale three burps. There are better ales out there in my opinion.
I was excited to try Samuel Smith's India Ale when I pulled it out of my fridge. I really enjoy English beer and I figured this would be the case with Mr. Smiths IPA. I certanily wasn't disappointed with this beer, but it didn't grab me by the collar and make shout "outstanding".
My personal highlight of this beer was its refreshing bitterness. I really noticed it at the beginning of each mouthful but it quickly dissipates as you rest between swallows. India Ale also had the strong hop finish which is typical of IPA.
Other highlights of this beer was it's beautiful pale copper colour. and the consistent frothy film that clung to the side of the glass as I drunk it down. I like that. It helps the beer look and taste like it was poured from a tap.
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery in North Yorkshire, England has been brewing beer since the 1780's. The original well was sunk in 1785 and its water is still be used to make beer today. Kinda impressive.
I only gave this beer 3 burps. It's good, but I expected more from it. Maybe the problem is with me and not the beer. I wish I could have given it more burps, but it just didn't stand up to the English 4 burp beers I've rated.
Let me know what you think.
Nowadays, many brands describe themselves in glowing terms like "premium". That's why I was skeptical when I read "Outstanding Premium Ale" on Fuller's London Pride. I've heard it all before. However, these chaps from Chiswick, London have definitely put their money where their mouth is. I really liked this beer!
The first indicator that this was going to be a good beer was the nice foamy head that formed when poured. The head dissipated into a thin layer that remained for the length of the glass. I really found that the head kept the beer fresh tasting, like it was poured from a tap.
London Pride is a beautiful golden brown colour with a mild fruity aroma and a slight fruity taste. The finish was mild. You could barely taste the hops. It was a very smooth beer. Carolyn actually said that she liked it because it wasn't bitter.
Family owned Griffen Brewery has been making beer in London, England since the 1860's. London pride has been produced since the 1950's and is considered London's beer (at least according to the brewer).
This Outstanding Premium Ale easily got 4 big burps. It almost got five. I highly recommend you search this out and try it. You won't regret it.
Black Sheep Ale from North Yorkshire, England looked promising from the bottle. Five generations of brewers, Northern English ale, and a kick ass name to boot.
I was looking forward to trying the Black Sheep. I love English beer and their ales in particular. That's why, I left this one in the back of my fridge until it was the last beer. I wanted to build up the anticipation of what a great drinking experience it will be.
Black Sheep Ale certainly met my expectations. It had the distinctive color of many English ales that I love, browny-orange that was slightly cloudy. A nice frothy head formed when I poured it, and the residual head stayed for the length of the glass, leaving a nice film along the glass's inner surface.
It has a nice crisp, fresh taste that leaves a hoppy bitterness which lingers in the back of the mouth as you work through the glass.
If you have the opportunity, I strongly encourage you to try this ale! It's a deliciously classic English ale that makes you think you're in the pub even when your sitting in front of the TV at home. I give this 4 big burps!!
I bought Old Speckled Hen purely on it's name. As soon as I saw this English beer at the beer store, I had to have it. With a name like that it had to be good.
I really liked the creamy head that came with this beer. It wasn't creamy like a Guiness, but it was still pretty damn good! I also enjoyed the nice malty bite. I would love to try this beer on tap, and when I get to the UK, I'll search it out.
What really surprised me about Old Speckled Hen was how much Carolyn liked it. Normally, she is leery about drinking any beer that is darker in colour. Her attitude is usually "too much flavour for me". I'm confident that if she was at a pub in England, she would be able to get through a pint or two.
Morland Brewing has been making beer since 1711, so they know what they're doing. The brewer describes Old Speckled Hen as having a full, smooth flavour and is very easy to drink. Its rich amber colour and superb fruity aromas are complemented by a delicious blend of malty tastes. Toffee and malt combine with bitterness on the back of the tongue to give a balanced sweetness.
If you're looking to try an English beer, I highly recommend Old Speckled Hen. It's not too strong, and it's reflective of the English style.
Let me know what you think.
Drinking the world.
One beer at a time.