Brewed at Hepworth

Style: English Strong Ale
Reading, England


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 350   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 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 (1821) - 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.

   AROMA 2/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
Mads Langtved (2245) - Copenhagen K, DENMARK - DEC 29, 2004
Bad beer. Soap flavor. Very artificial. Very alcoholc finish in spite of the low alcohol percentage.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - DEC 22, 2004
Draft glass at The Map Room in Chicago. Very clear bronze with a bit of head...deep malty/woody nose with perhaps a hint of banana...hugely malty, caramel-sweet with a touch of mint...light fruit-juicy mouthfeel, intense flavors, hints of vanilla and pineapple late; rather like a doppelbock with less heft. Looks like I’m the odd one out here, but it also seems that the better ratings are from draft samples. More for me!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
larsniclas (5700) - Billdal, SWEDEN - DEC 20, 2004
Bottled. Amber. Fruity citrus-aroma. Fresh and frutiy flavour with some late bitterness.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - DEC 19, 2004
Dark copper and mostly clear, very short head, some lacing. Malts are sweet caramel and fruity - I tasted maybe cherries or apricots. Fuggle hops control a good amount of the flavor - rounded and slightly woody. Body is on the thin side, slightly watery.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 5/20
BT (123) - Westchester, Illinois, USA - DEC 17, 2004
Dark amber color, small head; relatively long lasting lace. Some caramel aroma. Very simple

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Rockinout (966) - Kent, Ohio, USA - DEC 15, 2004
Golden color, mild floral hop nose, head had a few large bubbles in it. Starts out smooth then turns to an earthy spiced hop flavor. Lingering spice finish.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Cornfield (5512) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - DEC 12, 2004
From the bottle, this pours an orange/amber color with a thin white head that soon halos the glass. The aroma is caramel and light floral hopping. Smooth in the mouth, this has a decent balance between caramel and fruity flavors with hop bitterness. Not bad, but nothing exciting. They should look for the 1794 recipe.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
rickgordon (3845) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - DEC 12, 2004
Bottled. Copper colour, poor head. Caramel and tobacco aroma. Fruity in flavour, roasty sugary and poorly hopped. Unpleasant alco finish. Medium bodied.

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