Brewed by Wells & Youngs
Style: English Strong Ale
Bedford, England


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 888   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   EST. CALORIES: 192   ABV: 6.4%
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Bottle Conditioned. Occasionally available in the cask.
Production moved from Youngs to Wells & Youngs in 2007.
Ingredients: Maris Otter and Crystal malt; Fuggle and Goldings hops. Dry hopped with Golding and Target hops. Re-pitched with fresh yeast and wort in the bottle.
Young’s Special London Ale is the UK’s No.1 bottle conditioned ale. It is an unpasteurised, living beer, matured in the bottle for a fuller, more complex, multi-dimensional, fresher taste. Without artificial carbonation, the only fizz is the natural effervescence created by fermentation.
“A wonderfully balanced, deep-golden strong bottled ale, brewed from pure malt and a phenomenal amount of hops. A lively, fruity character with suggestions of banana and orange zest.”
CAMRA Champion Bottled Beer of Britain - 1999.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Aurelius (4034) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - FEB 21, 2003
The aroma was very faint and disappointing. Cidery, biscuity with a tangy hop finish. Citrus notes. Aftertaste gets buttery and the hop builds. Good soft water ale, and the finish builds. I don't like Young's as good as Fullers or Sam Smiths, but this is pretty solid. Good appearance, good homebrew bottle, good beer.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DavefromChicago (201) - Illinois, USA - FEB 17, 2003
Although curiously lacking in aroma - I detected rusty iron and some grassiness, nonetheless, the flavor is rich, malty and has elements of honey and citrus. The color is a beautiful amber, head negligible, carbonation smooth and almost draught-like...nice mouthfeel. The best thing of all though is how this ale fills your mouth with spicy, herbal hoppiness English-style, the hops are present from start to finish but are elegant and well-integrated into the overall character of the beer. Heavy-handed NW U.S. brewers could learn a few things about sublety from this brew, IMHO, at least when they are trying to make an English style ale. Yeast adds a fruitiness and fullness as well. This is a fine English ale.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
WabashMan (1009) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - FEB 11, 2003
I really expected more from this, because I enjoyed the double chococalte stout from young's so much. This one is good, but it's missing a lot of body and a fullness of flavor that the best ales have in quantity.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dolemike1 (1288) - Jeannette, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 3, 2003
Excellent nutty/caramel flavored maltiness with a well balanced citrus hop finish. Quite good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
redlem (1301) - Ohio, USA - JAN 31, 2003
Dark golden color with a white head. Aroma is fresh with fruit overtones. Taste is very refreshing, clean. Slightly dry with some bitterness at end, no lingering aftertaste. A very drinkable beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ungstrup (29081) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - JAN 29, 2003
A light nutbrown/dark amber beer with a fine head. It has a nice sweet fruity aroma with notes of alcohol. The flavor is strong of a good malt blend - with a nice medium sweetness and a really nice bitterness, that lingers.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Zach Diesel (906) - Sisters, Oregon, USA - JAN 28, 2003
yeasty aroma, medium bodied, a tad sticky, metallic and toffee maltiness, seems more weak than strong after drinking so many American Strong ales

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GermanBrews76 (678) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JAN 25, 2003
Clean, faint nose. Metallic hints prevail over the subdues floral hints. The bottle claims "A phenomenal amount of hops" I however, disagree whole-heartedly. Then again, we're not talking about the west coast of America here, anyways, definite fuggle hoppiness. An almost root beery/licorice/ sassafrass root taste. good malt presence though. Just not what I Expected.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
RobBestwick (583) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - JAN 22, 2003
Malty nose, strong alcohol content, malty with hints of caramel

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
nigos (631) - Ipswich, Suffolk, ENGLAND - JAN 12, 2003
UPDATED: NOV 21, 2003 Very good, very, very good. Not hard to see why this is an award winner. Great hoppy aroma, with bags of flavour and sweet hints of toffee. A very well balanced and delightful beer. Re-rate...(aged for 1 year. Colour and appearance has not changed from the fresh example. However the nose has increased in intensity. Unaged is a little harsh but the aged bottle has developed a vanilla and toffee complex that is very pleasant. The change in taste is fantastic, making a good ale a great ale. Complexity has increased. It is warmer with toffee and raisin flavours. The development in flavour has made it more rounded and the difference between the two samples is surprisingly noticeable.

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