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RATINGS: 363   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.23/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 204   ABV: 6.8%
Prelude Special Ale is full-bodied in the true English Style. It’s a rich and nutty ale with a hoppy finish and an inviting deep amber hue. Available November-December.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Boutip (5357) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 17, 2008
Bottle: Poured a clear medium copper color ale with a huge foamy head with some good retention and some good lacing. Aromas of huge caramel malt are totally dominating with a nice light hoppy touch. Taste is also dominated by that huge medium-sweet caramel malt with a light hoppy finish. Full body with great carbonation and no alcohol detectable. I really like the balance between the medium sweet caramel malt light hoppy notes, really refreshing and easily drinkable.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
beerguy101 (5340) - Newark, California, USA - DEC 9, 2007
2007 bottling, best before Oct 08. This English Strong Ale pours a dark amber brown color from a 12oz bottle. Small to medium sized white foamy head. Aroma is caramel malts and some spices. A medium bodied English Strong Ale. The malts are caramel and semi sweet. The hops are earthy and “dirty”. The spices don’t seem to do much more than dirty up this beer. It’s a touch cardboardy and vegetative, and need to be a little sweeter to balance things out. Mellows a little as it warms, but still there is something seriously wrong with this beer. Thinks it’s more of a recipe thing than a bad-brewing thing but still, something ain’t right. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly biter and spicy.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
EithCubes (5306) - New Jersey, USA - JUL 2, 2009
Bottle, not exactly fresh, but not ancient, either. Dusty, musty, nutty nose reminds of a lightly-hopped Nut Brown. Deep clear mahogany body with a hint of ruby, light brown huge rocky head. Bittersweet taste, sticky-sweet malt with light red berry, caramel, toast, nut, lightly tart grapefruit/orange/cherry. Milk chocolate and seeming lactose. Feels like citrus-heavy American hops late in the boil and English hops during fermentation. There’s some resin in there, too, which surprises. Spices are a little indistinct but nicely earthy. Star anise? Touch of diacetyl. Lightish medium body, soft and creamy, alcohol there but not boozy. A ton of fun to break down, but a chore after five or six ounces.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 7/20
jgb9348 (5231) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - DEC 23, 2008
Deep strong amber body with brown highlights and a thinnish tan head - nice! Aroma of roasted malt, a bit of spice, strong pit fruits and a bit of hops tucked in. Medium to Full-bodied; Super strong pungent and bitter maltiness coupled with metal and bitter malt - not too pleasant. Aftertaste shows some more malt, cardboard, metal, nuts and a tiny amount of pit fruits. Overall, this one is a bit too strong and astringent, showing some metallic flavours and off-tastes much more than another of this style. I sampled this twelve ounce bottle purchased from Olivers Beverage in Albany, New York on 22-December-2008, sampled a day later.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Beershine (5218) - The Sunshine State, Florida, USA - JAN 25, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2008 Pours deep amber color with small short-lasting head but really cool lace. Aroma is weakly spiced with some soured notes. Flavors are nuanced, with a lingering hop finish that welcomes the next sip. Spices detectable include mainly cinnamon and nutmeg. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated but soft and creamy. Were it not for the off-notes in the smell I’d really like this. 5-3-7-4-13
(re-rate from Hallandale beer fest, also bottle) Hazy purplish-brown. Smell is middle of the road mild malt. Not bad flavors: clean, malty but dry, a touch of salt, hoppy afterbit and a little alcohol in the finish. A little too fizzy.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
heemer77 (5210) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - DEC 22, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 12, 2009 I tried again recently, the popcorn character was more pronounced in the nose. The finish had lots of burnt popcorn. Dark, burnt orange body with a light khaki head. The aroma has strong notes of caramel and pancakes. There is buttered popcorn, but it is subtle. There is also a little bit of cinnamon behind that. The taste has burnt bread crust with some pear core and cinnamon spice. The light body is sticky, but this is easy drinking. Decent.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
JPDIPSO (5133) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 4, 2002
Copper colored with a tall tan head. Sharp biting/malty aroma. Flavors of malt with a sharp bitterness almost tending to sourness. Definite butterscotch and hazelnut flavors, but then again there is that lactic/sour/bitter taste that distracts to much.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
ben4321 (5076) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - MAY 13, 2009
November 2008 Beer of the Month Club
(Rating is from 12/19/08)

Overall Impression: Kind of smokey and bitter, bit of a scotchy flavor to it, dark color.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Dickinsonbeer (5075) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - JAN 18, 2003
First of all- this is 6.8%alcohol- it says so on thier website. Very deep amber almost brownish color with a beige head. Nice and sweet and creamy ale with lots of kick to it. Nothing all too special. I was looking for more english hops but malt predominates this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 5/20
AirForceHops (5022) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 16, 2010
12 oz. bottle. Poured a clear, dark ruby color, light khaki head that mostly diminished. The aroma was moderate to heavy nutty malt; less caramel malt; moderate to heavy herbal hops; light spicy hops; butterscotch, buttered pecan and slight alcohol. I got to say the color and nose is the only thing it got going for it. I didn’t like the after taste or anything before it. Shipyard has a few brews I like.... this isn’t one of them. I will never buy again.

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