Brewed by McMullen
Style: English Strong Ale
Hertford, England


on tap


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RATINGS: 40   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.39   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
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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 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Fin (7915) - 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Scopey (7877) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - NOV 25, 2011
Bottle from Sainsbury’s Purley Way. It pours deep mahogany brown, with a bubbly beige head. The nose is varnish, chocolate, wood and dark fruit. The taste is wood, resin, varnish, fruit cake, raisin, medicinal, chocolate and warming alcohol, with a long bitter-dry finish. Full body, fine-moderate carbonation and foamy mouth-feel. Surprisingly good stuff!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
chriso (7475) - 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DruncanVeasey (7349) - NUNEATON, CONF N, Warwickshire, ENGLAND - SEP 14, 2011
Bottle. Pale mahogany swirled with beige. Aroma of sticky dried grape, malt loaf, banana- a bit Highgate. Fine flavour, if a bit boozy with Allsorts, banana and muscovado notes lightly dusted with roast. Marzipan hints; some alcohol showing. Somewhat flimsy in the mouth with an added sugar, as opposed to loafy malt thickness. Emaciated dopplebock stirred with banana?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
downender (6576) - Bristol, Gloucestershire, ENGLAND - OCT 11, 2011
Bottle from Sainsburys. Mahogany coloured with a decent, off-white head. sweet aroma of dried fruit, figs, dough and liquorice. Rich, molasses, spice and marzipan flavours, with more bready malts and a slightly spicy, drying finish. Very good.

   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 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
SilkTork (5321) - Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Kent, 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]

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BlackHaddock (4388) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - AUG 4, 2013
500ml Bottle: BBD end of Aug 2013, poured into an Abbot Ale glass tankard on 4th Aug 2013, at home. Ruddy brown body with a good, full head of tan coloured foam. The nose is of dark fruits and malty molasses. The taste is moist fruit cake and extra sweet malts with a mild liquorice undertone. Rich and heavy in the body, hides the alcohol nicely: this is an armchair and coal fire sort of brew, a Winter Warmer!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
johndoughty (4133) - cheslyn hay, West Midlands, ENGLAND - MAR 23, 2014
Bottle. Dark brown with a medium head. Sweet and powerful and left lots of lacing. Distinctive and one that hits you.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Bullit (4029) - Burgos, SPAIN - SEP 28, 2011
Bottle from Sainsburys. Amber colour, off-white head. Nose is malty, nutty, bit of brown sugar and molasses. Flavour is malty and nutty, slightly alcoholic. Slightly sweet and fruity strong ale. Medium bodied and alcoholic finish. I can see why people like this, but it’s not really to my liking.

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