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


on tap

Broad Distribution

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 973   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   EST. CALORIES: 192   ABV: 6.4%
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.

DavefromChicago's rating

   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
I_LUV_BEER (50) - - APR 29, 2016
Served in a snifter from a 500ml bottle. Pours slightly hazy golden colour with a thick head leaving lots of lacing behind. Aroma is a complex combination of malt, caramel, bread, yeast, citrus hops. Taste is malts, caramel and citrus hops. Medium body with creamy texture. Absolutely wonderful stuff!!!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Niller (1238) - Hammel, DENMARK - APR 27, 2016
Bottle from Bilka. Pours golden with an off-white head. Aroma and taste is malt, hint of caramel, fruits, spice. Medium body. Soft carbonation. Bittersweet finish.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
AVLarsen (85) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - APR 23, 2016
Bottle. Both malty and hoppy. A bit heavy on alcohol taste. A very nice beer for lunch.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Echon (259) - Århus, DENMARK - APR 9, 2016
A golden medium-bodied ale, with almost no aroma, but it has a very good spicy hop flavour. Malty taste, with light sweetness and medium bitterness. Tasty and drinkable.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ken1 (1597) - DENMARK - APR 1, 2016
Aroma: fruity sweet with malt. Flavour: fruity sweetness with caramel and a dry bitter finish. Colour: brown amber with an offwhite head. From: Bilka Tilst Apr. 2016

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Xavalias (280) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - MAR 24, 2016
Bottle from supermarket. Pours orange-amber with little head. The aroma is fruity, malty, with hints of caramel. Some hops in the finish. The taste is light to medium sweet with a nice bitter finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
sinte (475) - Udine, ITALY - MAR 17, 2016
Bottle 0.5L. Clear amber body with average, frothy, off-white head, mostly lasting with some nice lacing. Moderate malty (caramel) and hoppy (some citrus) aroma with light notes of spices. Moderate sweet flavour with light-to-moderate bitterness more evident in the finish. Medium body with oily texture; soft carbonation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Stew41 (1885) - Phuket, THAILAND - MAR 15, 2016
Solid as ever. Drinks a little under its 6.4% but the slightly heavy malts drive some weight with toffee and baked fruits. Nice mineral and talcum powder streak running through the mid palate. Even at $7 a bottle I reckon these are very good value.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
evannell (489) - - MAR 12, 2016
Wszystko, co powinien mieć w sobie typowy, nieamerykański Ale. Słodowa podbudowa, niemal kremowa. I mnóstwo nieagresywnego chmielu. naprawdę klasyk.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
kamwitsta (511) - POLAND - MAR 11, 2016
Aroma: a bit faint and not very specific; some malts, some hops, a whiff of alcohol; a little bit like a German lager. Appearance: golden brown; clear; head large and stable. Taste: bittersweet, just a bit sour. Palate: body medium or below; carbonation average; mouth feel spicy; finish faintly bitter, a little spicy. Overall: nice enough, nothing special.

We Want To Hear From You

Join us! RateBeer is made by beer enthusiasts for the craft beer community. Your basic membership is free and allows you to read all beer ratings. Click here to create your account... and give your opinion!

Join Us »

Page    1  2 3 4 » 98

Tick this beer for your profile
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Copyright © 2000-2016,
RateBeer LLC. All rights
about us
About RateBeer
New Beers
Advanced Search
Add A Beer
Add A Brewer
Add A Place
Log In
Edit Personal Info
Buy Premium Membership
Your Messages
the best
RateBeer Best
100 Beer Club
The Top 50