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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 904   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Maria (10176) - Thisted, DENMARK - APR 1, 2007
Red amber with a nice, golden head, that leaves a nice lace. The aroma is fruity, hoppy and malty and the mouthfeel is smooth. The flavour is big with a lot of notes: roasted malt, toffee, some licorice, fermented apple, other fruits, hops, sweetness, a hint of port wine and a nice bitterness in the long and slightly burnt finish. Nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Bov (9799) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - OCT 23, 2000
amber colour, deep bitter, orange and nut aroma, complex flavor, great bitterness

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
FatPhil (9616) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - FEB 27, 2010
500ml bottle (London Pub, Helsinki) (7-4-7-4-15=3.7)
Lovely fruity hoppy aroma, peach and mango in abundance, sweetish malts and light caramel backdrop too. Crisp carbonation - has BC’d quite well. Lovely malty palate, roast is gentle and a touch caramelly. Damn, those fruity hops are everywhere, not as citrussy as new world ones, but stickier fleshier ones. And the bitterness is lovely too, leaving a lovely tasty finish. Covers 6.4% brilliantly, I could session this. Rerate of: 500ml bottle (Kings Arms, Oxford - as 400th Anniversary Ale specially for the pub)
Anna - where’s my rating?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
hopscotch (9549) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUN 12, 2003
Lake Tahoe clear, deep amber brew with a light orange tint. Small, frothy, enamel-colored head. Quickly diminishes and leaves no lacework. The nose is malty and sweet with notes of English toffee, alcohol and yeast. The flavor is laden with fuzzy fruit (peach and apricot), caramel and alcohol up front. Nice, well-bittered hop presence on the backside. Moderately astringent as well. Full-bodied with an oily mouthfeel and fizzy carbonation. Lengthy, moderately bitter and alcoholic finish. I enjoyed this brew! Not what I would consider a world-class effort, but very good nonetheless!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DJMonarch (9160) - Northwich, Cheshire, ENGLAND - NOV 30, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 6, 2006 1. Bottle 09/08/2004 Golden coloured with some sour fruit and hop aromas. Slightly bitter lasting dry malt finish. 2. Cask Handpump in the outside marquee at the Prince Of Wales, Foxfield 26/11/2005 Amber coloured beer with plenty of fruit aroma. There’s also a spicy taste which I found to be more prominent than when I last tried this beer in the bottle format. Some dryness, bitterness and malt in the finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
pivnizub (9012) - Bochum, Porúří, GERMANY - MAR 22, 2007
Bottle: Slightly hazy, bronze coloured, mid-sized white head, sticking to the glass; malty and orangey hop aroma; dry moderate bitter flavour, mellow MF; dry, long lasting orangey, again, and bitter aromatic finish. Very well done.......

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
jtclockwork (8941) - , New Jersey, USA - MAY 14, 2010
Pours a cloudy orange in the glass. Nose and taste of bitter hops, sugar and caramel. Rated 11/3/2000

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Sammy (8938) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 6, 2005
refreshing ale. Not that bitter. Seems to be offset by substantial malt, as noticed in aroma of head along with fragrant forest of hops, although less so in the drink itself. Features of a nutbrown in an amber colour. Bitterness and nuttiness and malt in aftertaste.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
maeib (8750) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - MAR 17, 2004
UPDATED: JUL 16, 2012 Bottled conditioned. Brown coloured with little head or lacing. Aroma is slighty fruity and taste is malty and slightly sweet, but also a bit chewy. Goes to show that despite this being an award winner, it is not BCs which we British do best. Score 3.2
Subsequent rating scored 3.3 Score unaltered

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JoeMcPhee (8565) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 3, 2004
Rocky pale yellow head, fast fading over a golden coloured beer. Spicy estery nose with a grassy hop freshness. Some faint citrus is also obvious. Flavour is very well balanced, sweet malt and a spicy and floral hoppiness. Nice lasting bitterness.

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