RateBeer
overall
50
84
style
Brewed by Hop Back
Style: Golden Ale/Blond Ale
Salisbury, England

bottled
available

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 545   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.11   EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Cask: Regular. Also available bottle conditioned.
Terrific straw-coloured beer with a fresh, hoppy aroma and a well rounded, malty flavour with an intense bitterness which leads to an excellent long, dry finish. Winner of numerous, prestigious awards, most notably Best Strong Bitter at The Great British Beer Festival in 1992/93.
Ingredients: Optic pale malt. East Kent Goldings and Challenger hops (The bottled version uses EKG only).


2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
austinpowers (2826) - New York, New York, USA - MAY 16, 2003
From a brewery which has won over 70 awards in sixteen years, I'd have expected better beer. My bottle-conditioned sample was akin to an English Bitter, but looked like a Blond Ale due to its extremely light color. It's pleasant enough to drink, and has considerable crispness, but there's little complexity to the malt character. Ho-hum.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - MAY 12, 2003
I loved this beer, however I may be the only one on this site. This was exactly what I needed cutting lawn on this unbearably hot afternoon. My bottle had different labeling than shown on this site. This Summer Lightning is a blond Ale at first, but when you roll the remnants in the bottle and muddle up the sediment, then poor it into the glass, the beer becomes a light strawberry color. This beer is crisp, dry, and light tasting, with a fruity aroma. I will be drinking it again soon.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kmeves (1098) - Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 7, 2003
This is just a very smooth light bodied hoppy ale. Almost clear with only a hint of blond color. Zero head. Nice hoppy aroma. Very clean finish. Definitely a keeper!

2.6
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
RobBestwick (590) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - MAY 5, 2003
orangey/malty aroma, cloudy yellowish hue, hoppy and quite bitter, bitter finish, so so.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Spiesy (2338) - Sydney, Greater London, AUSTRALIA - APR 17, 2003
Pale golden colour, good head and texture, nice descent amount of hop, with light fruity malt aroma. This was built up to be a very special beer, so it was the my first pick at the Great British Beer Festival at Olympia, (it also helps that its at the front door) only to be disappointed. Revisited regularly and find its really a fine beer.

3.3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
DavefromChicago (201) - Illinois, USA - MAR 26, 2003
UPDATED: APR 4, 2003 Amazingly light beer for an English ale. Nonetheless, this straw colored, foamy brew is a good quencher, in the manner of, say, Cooper's Sparkling ale. Aroma is like grass, drying in the sun. Flavor is hop-dominated, crisp and distinctly dry with a grassy hint. I don't mind this stuff, but I think they're paying their label writer extra bucks for hyperbole. Good summer refresher. Yeasty Oberon-like flavor noted also, this is not bad.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
imdownthepub (10460) - Banbury, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - MAR 26, 2003
UPDATED: JUN 27, 2006 Cask Conditioned. How disapointing that I am marking this, one of the better pale ales, after having it at a local Wetherspoons. O.k the pub has a cask marque but that means nothing now, the Landlord that earned the award for this Macpub has long gone (the power of money I suppose!!) Anyway, it was flat and lifeless as MacP beers tend to be. How is it that a chain like this can promise great beers then serve them so badly? If I were Hop Back I would stop Wetherspoons having any of their beer (is that a pig flying past the window?) que sera.
Re Rate - Horse & Jockey, Bodicote. This is as it should be, Light body but excellent bitterness and biscuity maltiness. Good quaffing beer but with strength.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Gelada (12) - ENGLAND - MAR 26, 2003
A classic summer beer, light and refreshing but with a complex hop character.

2.9
   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Suttree (5186) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - MAR 18, 2003
Golden color, white head. Slight corn aroma, which was a tad unpleasent. There is hardly any malt profile, and seems almost "pilsnery" in nature. Very dry, crisp finish.

2.4
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - MAR 12, 2003
This won awards? Pretty, light, shining clear gold with a considerable puffy head. Not much nose to speak of. Continuing that theme, not much flavor to speak of. Just kind of boring. Very slightly nutty hints and some minor grassy notes, but all-in-all, tasted like a slightly upgraded macrobrew. Just boring, really.


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