Brewed by Charles Wells
Style: English Strong Ale
Bedford, England


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 924   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52   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. Brand acquired solely by Charles Wells in 2011.
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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Frank (3260) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 17, 2003
Gorgeous pour. Thick creamy off-white head. Slightly hazy golden color. Spicy aroma with a hint of citrus. A bit on the tart side giving way to apple notes. Medium bodied. Low carbonation. Semi-sweet but with a dry, somewhat bitter finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
bac080 (398) - Bloomington, Illinois, USA - APR 14, 2003
I'd probably rate this better if I could actually drink a whole bottle. However, every time I have one, it finds a way to explode on me.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Uglyradio (791) - Greenville, South Carolina, USA - MAR 22, 2003
Pours a clear amber color with a medium sized white head that lingers. It has a good hoppy aroma with a nice malt backbone. Medium body with medium carbonation, the flavor is good and hoppy up front, but then the malty sweetness takes over and dominates the finish with a nice fruitiness. Very nicely balanced between the hops and sweetly fruity malts, this is one of the better English strong ales I have had and the best offering I have had from Young's. Very nice.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Hansen (7277) - Assentoft, DENMARK - APR 5, 2003
Looks great: Amber and fine lasting head. I couldn't detect any particular aroma. Exellent taste with a lot of malt.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JFGrind (1893) - Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 21, 2003
It is amazing how a change in this beer's temperature can alter the taste. At first pour the ice cold Special Ale had an almost cream ale aftertaste. After a temperature rise of ten degrees the beer took on a hardy mouthfeel. I enjoyed the hop flavor combined with the malt sweetness. This is an excellent English Strong Ale.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
dberger624 (1028) - Phila, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 28, 2003
Bottled at the Grey Lodge in Phila. Good beer was expecting a little more however. Hint of malt flavor the got bitter in the finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - APR 15, 2003
Very malty and full bodied, and that peculiar hoppiness that creates, to me, a signature Young's taste. Quite good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
dI5tIL (15) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 11, 2003
I'm rarely impressed with bottled beer that has crossed the Atlantic and this beer is no different. Bought in South London you will rarely find a bitter as inviting and satisfying with wonderful hops, malt and fruit with a wonderful mineraly aftertaste. Many stumbling nights can be traced directly back to this beer. In Vancouver, I've never purchased a representative that does not taste stale. It makes me want to cry.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jjw2000 (72) - USA - APR 16, 2003
UPDATED: APR 22, 2003 Substantial white foamy head and golden color. Light hoppy aroma. Smooth medium body. Flavor begins mildly sweet, changing to a somewhat dry and pleasantly bitter finish. Aftertaste lasts quite a while.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 18, 2003
Pours with a beautiful amber body topped by a thick lasting head with a good amount of lace left on the glass. Sweet lemony hop aroma with a good malty balance. Sweet malty flavor with a strong lemony hop background and a sweet malty finish. Medium to full bodied, relatively smooth and slightly oily.

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