Brewed by Shepherd Neame
Style: Golden Ale/Blond Ale
Faversham, England


on tap

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RATINGS: 28   MEAN: 3.13/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.06   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 168   ABV: 5.6%
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Bottle unpasteurised 5.6%, cask conditioned 4.0%; Special
There is a legend at Shepherd Neame that Brilliant Ale was inspired by the vision of the bright early morning sun sending its golden shafts of light through the brewhouse window and onto the oak mash tun, inspiring the brewing team to brew a beer that echoed these hues. Historically this recipe was formulated with 100% pale malt and was bittered by the brewery’s signature East Kent Goldings hops, resulting in a golden, brilliantly bright, hoppy ale which has risen Phoenix-like from the ashes of time for the modern drinker to enjoy. Says head brewer Richard Frost, “According to brewery records, Brilliant Ale was first brewed sometime between 1825 and 1855, making it our oldest Classic Collection beer to date. Although we’ve rejuvenated it by using the modern hop variety Cascade, we’re staying true to the spirit of this great pale ale, which was hugely popular in its day.

c0fein's rating

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
c0fein (111) - - OCT 25, 2013
500ml bottle @ home. Bought from Tallinn. Nice foam but disappears fast, golden and light appearance, malty and fuggy aroma. Despite the nice text above this is overall pretty boring beer and not my thing..

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
AndrewC (317) - Canterbury, Kent, ENGLAND - MAR 21, 2014
This was quite good. Golden beer with good grapefruit flavours going on. Still had that Shep’s taste to it.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
rauchbier (3559) - Isle Of Beer, Lincolnshire, ENGLAND - MAR 11, 2014
Bottle, from Waitrose, Willerby. Gold, fluffy and sustained white head, moderate condition. Vaguely honeyed floral sweetness initially in the nose with some peppery hop notes developing, before a low but disjointed chicken farmyard funkiness becomes apparent. Full bodied in the mouth with a pleasant grain sweetness tempered by a solid hop bitterness that has hints of spice and a citrusy fruitiness that has suggestions of pineapple, thankfully the chickens have flown the coop and the funkiness from the nose has not carried over to the mouth. The finish is slightly fruity and sweet before mellowing to a low peppery hop bitter end.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
berkshirejohn (4206) - Bracknell, Berkshire, ENGLAND - MAR 8, 2014
50cl bottle from Waitrose, Bracknell. Pale gold with a ring of white head; spicy aroma; typical Shep taste - peppery, biscuity body, Kentish hops; then a warming, but rather metallic finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
joe19612 (1747) - camberley, Surrey, ENGLAND - MAR 8, 2014
Bottle. Pours a dark gold colour with a thin white head, mild malty aroma, the taste is light and sweet with fruit at first then becomes bitter, with a dry finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Zarkam (341) - Helsinki, FINLAND - MAR 7, 2014
500ml bottle from Tallinn. Clear pale golden colour, medium frothy mostly vanishing white head, excellent lacing. Aroma of lemon, peach, grains with a hint of pepper and hay. Taste is initially moderately acidic and quite bitter, turning into a bitter moderately long finish with a moderately astringent feel. Full body, oily texture, lively carbonation. An ale as refreshing as a lager and with way more character, still not very complex but should be awesome in the Summer.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
tania_nexust (27) - Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 23, 2014
A pleasant enough, if fairly middle-of-the-road beer. Nothing specifically stands out flavour-wise - just a straight up bitter golden ale.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
guzgorog (169) - FRANCE - FEB 8, 2014
Bière jaune dorée très pale, peu de mousse. Nez de malt et légèrement fruité (raisin). L’amertume est assez présente, peu de corps, plutôt maltée mais pas tellement de goût. Assez agréable néanmoins du fait de l’amertume.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
DruncanVeasey (6950) - NUNEATON, Top 24, Warwickshire, ENGLAND - FEB 6, 2014
Bottle from Arden Wines. Brilliant indeed with a climbing white foam. Nose buttery orange cordial, soapy pine, mandarin, Fairy Liquid, JHB. Soft and limey with hints of almond, minerals and tinned oranges. Brusque hop bitter pilsener-ish finish with lime and paper. Like most Shep’s stuff it’s decent enough, a little bit hoppy, dulled by bottling and doesn’t excite.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
Pdubyah (276) - Auckland, NEW ZEALAND - DEC 18, 2013
It’s hard to like this as beer. There isn’t anything special about it, except it’s brilliance of colour, and the surprising bitterness which is all up front. It’s a little thin in carry and doesn’t really have much body. However, give me this over a Heiniken et al any time because this is a little more honest. I think. Not a beer for the ages.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
ComradeK (922) - The Vale of Dundas, AUSTRALIA - DEC 7, 2013
500ml bottle. Pours a clear medium gold, with a moderate white head, lasts reasonably well and leaves a little lacing. Floral and sweet citrus hops, banana and white bread malt make up the aroma. Orange peel and floral hops up front lead through a touch of banana into a fairly light body, with mild white bread malt. There is a little floral hops flavour to finish. This is a passable beer - not terribly interesting, but at least refreshing. Calling it "Brilliant Ale", however, may have been overselling it.

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