Brewed at Hepworth

Style: English Strong Ale
Reading, England


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 348   WEIGHTED AVG: 3   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 225   ABV: 7.5%
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"Is it just my imagination," queried old Santa, surveying the scene, "or is my Elf only getting worse and worse every year? What’s next? Seriously Bad Elf, I’ll wager. Mark my words."

This Very Bad Elf is one fine ale - rich, hardy, and flavorful, brewed to an original 1795 Thames Valley recipe, with a very special pale amber malt that is rarely used nowadays, and balanced by a modest addition of English Fuggle aroma hops. ’Ere’s to your elf!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - NOV 2, 2005
Poured a copper color with a white head. Aroma of sweet fruity malt. Mostly apple with a little spice and flower. Flavor is predominantly sweet malt with a light bitter finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
fluids (364) - Massachusetts, USA - OCT 14, 2005
Reminded me of some of TIJ’s offerings. So there is a banana nose with a slight bitterness in the taste with a slight cheesiness. The bitterness is slightly more bitter than it’s Dutch counterparts.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - JUL 14, 2005
Amber. Small, bubbly, white head. Malt, hops, dried fruit, and an unidentifiable sweetness in the nose. Similar to a belgian style. Same flavor as the nose. Excellent malt/hop balance. Roasty aftertaste. Medium/full body. Much better than the 2.98 average.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
BBB63 (6087) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - APR 9, 2005
Bottle: Nice depper amber hue with an initial big frothy somewhat off-white head which settles to a small ring and better than average lace. The aroma has hints of berry, apple and plum layering a malting and mild phenolic base. Very floral and aromatic with just a note of cardboard. The taste starts slightly malty and end slightly bitter, but in between it falls flat on it’s face. How can a "special ale" and something with 7.5 ABV be soooooo boring? Not bad per say but just so blah. Damn it all anyway. I’ll just stop now.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
thedm (4948) - Fort Wayne, USA - MAR 29, 2005
This bottled brew poured a medium sized light brown colored head of mostly diminishing fine to medium sized bubbles that left behind a softly carbonated transparent light orange brown colored body and a good lacing. The aroma contained notes of nutmeg mild hops and caramel malt. The mouth feel was tingly malty hoppy and had a mild caramel note to it with a good balance of flavors. It was very tasty with a nice malt hop bite at the end.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
hotstuff (4142) - Indiana, USA - MAR 9, 2005
Bottle. Small ivory head that was mostly lasting, fine-large sized bubbles, fair lacing, carbonated, transparent, and an orange hue. Aroma was malty, sweet, hoppy, some caramel, and fruity. Flavor was sweet, hoppy, malty, and slightly bitter. Tingly mouthfeel. Light-medium body. Easy drinking brew.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
npdempse (934) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - MAR 9, 2005
Clear red/amber with a crackling tan head. Nose is sweet with apples, banana, and metallic notes. Watery, quite bitter, with touches of hazel, apples, banana, metallic tinges.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DragonStout (1408) - Pickerington, Ohio, USA - FEB 23, 2005
Pours orangish copper with a small head.Flavors of hops and a little bit of fruits and nuts.it was a smooth easy drinking beer.It was not warming like how i like my winter ales.Finish was a bit clingy.Overall this was fair.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 7/20
Hopgeek (90) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 2, 2005
Has a hefe/tripple sort of nose with banana and cloves in the background, but a sulfery ester comes out up front. The sulfer seems to mellow over time, but it is still unpleasant. Its a solid copper color and there’s very little head. Very thin bodied. Pronounced alcohol flavor with some sweetness, caramel, light citrus. Very unbalanced flavors. I could not finish this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
JMerritt (1814) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - DEC 29, 2004
Bottled, purchased at Binny’s in Chicago. Copper in color. Very large white head formed of loosely packed bubbles is mostly (99%) diminishing. Fruity aroma of bananas (glad I wasn’t the only one to detect this), apricots, and balsa wood. More banana yeastiness in the flavor, with some caramel malts and ginger. Thin body, though it has a good carbonation level. Finish has detectible alcohol and some nuttiness. I feel dirty drinking and rating these Christmas beers after Christmas Day, but I fear that most of them won’t last an entire year until the next holiday season.

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