Brewed by McMullen
Style: English Strong Ale
Hertford, England


on tap


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RATINGS: 40   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.39/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
Cask; Seasonal - Christmas. Also available bottled.
Specially brewed from the finest malted East Anglian barley and whole leaf English hops, CAMRA chose McMUllen Stronghart as thir first ’Best Festive Ale’ award, describing it as "Liquid Christmas Pudding. A beer that is rich, dark and exceptionally smooth, demonstrating the very special skills of Hertfordshire’s Independent Family Brewers".

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
evergreen0199 (3030) - Northwood, Greater London, ENGLAND - SEP 11, 2011
Bottle from Sainsburys in Pinner. A dark brown/ruby red coloured pour with a small beige head on top. Sweet, caramel aroma. Tastes of caramel, quite sweet, dark fruit, malty. Rich and warming and ideal for Christmas. There is a touch of the Rocheforts about this one. Surprisingly good. Must stock up on this, currently 3 bottles for a fiver.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
tommann (3389) - Dudley, West Midlands, ENGLAND - SEP 10, 2011
500ml bottle. Pours very dark brown with a small head. Aroma is fruitcake spice and raisin. Taste is all fruitcake. Warming alcohol on the aftertaste. Good winter warmer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
harrisoni (17351) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - SEP 9, 2011
500ml bottle from the Sainsburys beer competition 2011. Wish I’d been at St Albans BF in 2004 when most of the ratings for this came from. What a great group of people were there. Clear deep russet colour with thick lasting mid beige head. Syrupy malty aroma. Touch of nuttiness and likeable malty fruit on aroma too. Mmmmm. Yes a full thick tasty English Strong Ale. Just like it should be. Now that is a beer. Yes it has a cake quality to it. Just the malts are just so wonderful. Yep, good beer. After a couple of not great things, and not being a huge fan of McMullens, this is stunning. Just perfect blend of malts. With a slight dry edge to the finish so the sweetness never gets out of control. Pretty special.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Fin (9684) - Merton, Oxfordshire, England, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - SEP 7, 2011
Bottle from the Sainsburys Beer Challenge range, Sainsburys Kidlington, 2011 purchased & consumed 07.09.11 Pours dark brown with a very good clarity and a light beige rim of bubbles. Very malty beer, this is tasty the alcohol showing some warmth otherwise very well hidden. Soft in the mouth and smooth as it slips down, sweetness showing with a little chestnut honey type bitterness, great beer, loved it. A7 A5 T8 P4 Ov16 4.0

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
kook (2033) - Perth, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA - NOV 4, 2004
Light oak & caramel in aroma. Brown w/ tan head. Sweet toffee dominates with some fruity notes and a dry finish. Smooth medium-full. Nice stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - OCT 24, 2004
Cask@St Albans BF. Pretty nice. Strong woody character. Caramel/toffee and quite rasiny, on the sticky side, but theres a nice dryness towards the end, this was really tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
chriso (7513) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - OCT 15, 2004
Beers from this small brewer in Hertford are rarely seen outside their own estate and neither of their London pubs seem to serve their occasional/seasonal brews. I had always found their beers to be solid, but unexciting. This beer was something of a revelation. The colour is a deep brown with a reddish hue. Plenty of fruit and sweet hops in the aroma - almost Belgian in feel. Rich mouthfeel, with dried fruit (mainly raisins), candied bitter orange, plums, burnt malt and a woody edge. Not too sweet. Excellent, warming, stuff. Cask (gravity dispense), St Albans Beer festival.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
maeib (8749) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - OCT 4, 2004
UPDATED: SEP 20, 2013 Cask conditioned - gravity dispense - St Albans Beer Festival. A very dark brown beer with aroma of spicy raisins and Christmas cake. Tons of fruit and malt in the taste. Very good indeed. Score 3.7
Subsequent rating scored 3.8 Score unaltered

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Joeh (2049) - Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - OCT 2, 2004
Cask Conditioned @ the Saturday session, St Albans Beer Festival 2004. Beer #37. This one popped up towards the end of the day. It was really nice, decent malt character, sweet, not too many hops and chocolate.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
SilkTork (5567) - Southampton, United Kingdom, Hampshire, ENGLAND - DEC 23, 2002
UPDATED: SEP 19, 2011 Dec, 2002 Cask @ McMullen’s Millstream, Herts Liquid Christmas pudding! Dark. Thick. Sweet. Tembling Joy. Orgasmic. The oral sex of ale! Christmas beers are what makes Christmas special. [5]
Dec, 2003 Cask @ McMullen’s Millstream, Herts. Seductive darkest scarlet black appearance. Plummy aroma with orange peel, port, alcohol, opal fruits, etc. Lovely soft fulsome mouthfeel - washing around the mouth in a satisfactory yet stimulating manner. Perfect. Flavour remains gorgeous throughout. This is the perfect Winter Warmer. Licorice, opal fruits, sweet and bitter in harmony. Quality throughout. It hits the mouth and explodes out, spreading, warming, lingering. Wonderful. An absolutely stunning ale. [4.8]
Sept, 2011 500ml bottle - filtered. Sainsbury’s Beer Challenge. I love this beer on the cask. And I always had a pint when taking my eldest daughter and her family for a pub lunch at Christmas. I’ve not done that for a while, and have missed this beer, as it’s generally only available in pubs close to the McMullen brewery. It was available at the St. Albans festival in 2004. I was there, but for some reason didn’t have it at the time. Probably too busy chasing after scoops! Good to see it now available in bottle, albeit in filtered format. It doesn’t do well filtered, but it’s still a dream of a beer. Plenty of deent chewy malt, and not too much of the hop flavouring - just enough to add balance and seasoning. The joy is in the magic way the yeast treats the malt. And because in this filtered version, the active yeast has been removed, there is, inevitably, something missing. It’s flatter, duller, and far less interesting. Still damn lovely though! [4.4]

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