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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 29, 2004
Clear auburn with a thin, off-white head. The aroma is fairly sweet with lots of caramel, spicy alcohol, soft, subtle hops giving earthy and slightly citric elements. The body is od moderate thickness and not full enough to support the higher alcohol. The flavor is fairly nice with a decent balance and interplay of sweet malt and bitter hops. The alcohol can be biting at times. Not all that bad, but also not that exciting. The bigger beer idea is cool from GB, but they also need to add a bigger body and more flavorful hops to really grab my attention. Otherwise, it seems like a warm, burning bitter.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - NOV 29, 2004
Light copper color with a thin head. The aroma rather simple, malty. The flavor is all about a sweet fruity begenning where the bitterness first gets you. Notes of banana and cherry at first, then it goes back to a more full bodied malt flavor.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Ernest (6231) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 28, 2004
Head is initially small, fizzy, off-white, fully diminishing. Body is medium amber. Aroma is lightly malty (caramel, cookie), lightly hoppy (flowers, apricot, grapefruit). Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter. Light to medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation. Bland, bland, boring, boring. Sigh.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
AlchemistZ (493) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - NOV 25, 2004
Brownish orange color with a very thin, white head. Aroma of warm hops (sweet), green peas, and toasty biscuits (sounds complex but I had to sniff at it for 5 minutes to get some separation of components). Pretty big malt and hop flavor though nothing distinguisable. Winey palate. Very thin, creamy body and slightly hot from the unbalanced alcohol. Uninspiring and $4.99.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Hopistotle420 (1178) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 21, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 22, 2004 Orange copper hue. Fluffy beige head. Pleannty of lace. Faintly sweet, faintly hop nose. Plain caramel malts, medium bodied, pleasantly satisfying ale. Very drinkable, full of English flavor, and quite a lovely brew. A Holiday session brew, no doubt!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Metalhead (628) - Lake Zurich, Illinois, USA - NOV 21, 2004
Poured an orangey copper with no head tho decent carbonation. Not much in the nose,mild caramel with some kind of sweetness,probably from the fuggles. I also detect some faint sweetness/honey in the taste. At about $5 a pint this stuff is way over priced. Drop it to $3 and change and I’d buy this pretty regularly this time of year for it’s very easy drinkablility.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
sloth (2493) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - NOV 14, 2004
Medium sized tan head, good retention and a nice lace. Brilliantly clear, amber colored brew. Fruity, spicey nose. Med/light body, lightly creamy mouthfeel. Fruity , notes of honey and some grapefruit, caramel malt and a touch of alcohol showing as it warms. Finish is dry, fruity. A decent enough quaff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
Quetzalcoatl (153) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - NOV 2, 2004
Pours a clear light copper body with no head at all, even with a vigorous pour. Nose is full of caramel, no aroma of alcohol. The flavor is rather thin and mellow, with a sweet malt presence followed by a mildly bitter finish. Light bodied. Very mild overall for a 7.5 abv winter special; to the point of seeming uninspired and tame. A little more backbone and it’s a winner.

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