Brewed by Fuller’s
Style: Premium Bitter/ESB
London, England
Serve in English pint


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 196   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.21   EST. CALORIES: 144   ABV: 4.8%
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Cask; Regular. Also available bottle conditioned (mainly for export). Canned version is pasteurised and listed separately.
History : Horndean Special Bitter (HSB) was first brewed in 1959 to meet a growing demand for a higher strength bitter. Sales growth was slow throughout the sixties when BBB and the cask milds were the predominant Gales beers. However, following the creation of CAMRA and the greater public interest in cask conditioned beer, HSB sales grew throughout the seventies and eighties and became Gales major brand. Production moved to Fullers in early 2006.

sm89walt's rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
sm89walt (1777) - Sydney, - AUG 12, 2009
Cask - Dark chestnut brown with hues of red and a fine, creamy off-white head. Nutty, malty and roasty aromas with light hints of red fruits. Rich, sweet and chocolatey flavours. Good mouthfeel, predominantly malty ESB with a dry, peppery finish, low carbonation and nice palate texture. No complaints with this one.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
coletie (1) - ENGLAND - OCT 31, 2014 does not count
This was a fantastic beer in a good pub in Portsmouth. The favourite by miles for all my mates. Was memorable, clear and distinctive. London Pride was not as good then. We travelled between London and Hampshire. Adnams was a good close second choice to HSB. However it is rather different now and not the same. I have marked it as I use to know it and assume perhaps the bottle beer that I now find occasionally in the north is not as good as the hand pulled versions down south.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
MisoW (1702) - Bratislava, SLOVAK REPUBLIC - SEP 16, 2014
Bottle from McTapps, thanks Sabine. Pours deep amber color, white head. Aroma of caramel, malty, bit hoppy. Taste is medium bitter, medium sweet, caramel, floral hops.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jjsint (894) - Ely, Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - SEP 12, 2014
Cask @ the Garibaldi, St Albans. Mid-brown, clear with a white head and lots & lots of lacing. Biscuit-heavy aroma with hints of cinnamon, sulphur, raisins and wood shavings. Sweet/sulphurous taste, medium bitter finish. Classic but unsubtle. Ok it its own way but ultimately unremarkable. Never cared for this beer & it doesn’t seem to have improved under Fuller’s stewardship.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Bootlegger007 (44) - AUSTRALIA - SEP 10, 2014
Ruby red ale, aroma fruity mild hops, mildly sweet with a light bitter aftertaste, soft carbonation, easy drinking good average ale.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
MichaelAwesome (4463) - Wanne-Eickel, North Rhine-Westphalia, GERMANY - AUG 12, 2014
On tap at the Union Inn in Cowes. Some hops upfront with malt, bread and some leaves. Drinkable but a bit boring, dull and tasteless. Slightly hoppy and bitter in the end. Average.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
McTapps (4467) - Ruhrcity, North Rhine-Westphalia, GERMANY - AUG 12, 2014
On cask at The Union Inn in Cowes. Pours out in a deep amber colour with low ehad and flat body. Aroma of barley and wheat with some malty hints. Taste of mild hops, barley, amlt, wheat, bread and nuts. Mild and malty finish. Nice one.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
danielyabu (1219) - União da Vitória, BRAZIL - JUL 29, 2014
average frothy offwhite head. good lacing. mostly diminishing. clear thick orangeish-brown body. aroma: wood, caramel, metal and moderate malt. if: moderate sweet light acidic. ff: light sweet moderate bitter; long duration. palate: light medium body, watery/oily texture, medium carbonation, chalky finish. Saboroso dulçor maltado permeado por leve acidez (lembrando ameixa fresca). Amargor gredoso escalante (com toques de cinza e um pouco de madeira também) que aparece no final me desagradou, não balanceando o sabor muito bem, nem sendo muito prazeroso. Abaixo do padrão Fuller’s.30 s

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jamesie1857 (1458) - Sheffield, South Yorkshire, ENGLAND - APR 24, 2014
On cask Red Lion, Kegworth - Dark red/brown body with an off-white head. Aromas are toffee malts with chocolate and earthy, spicy hops. Flavours are sweet malts, chocolate and earthy hops. Quite light in flavour but tasty nonetheless.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MissPxx (467) - - APR 19, 2014
Lovely chocolate aroma. Nice dark appearance. Very drinkable. Hardly any head. Deep taste. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
AdiBeer (1434) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - APR 13, 2014
Aroma: caramel and bread malts, light floral and fruity hops. Appearance: dark brown, hardly any head. Taste: light to medium sweet. Palate: rich malty notes, bread and caramel, notes of flowers and hay. Overall: great ESB. Pint at The Dove, Hammersmith.

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