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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 988   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.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
eraserhd10 (226) - new haven, Connecticut, USA - JUN 2, 2005
Upon opening this bottle-conditioned ale, the first whiff reminds me of a smoky, musty British pub. I’m thinking, "G’day Guvn’r" A definite toffee taste. Full, rich ale with perfectly balanced Goldings hops. Decent alcohol, but not overpowering. Sweet, pasty finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
I_LUV_BEER (175) - - 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 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
erling1000 (569) - - JUL 14, 2016
An english, amber English Strong Ale with white head. Aroma is malt, caramel, raisin. Taste is bitter sweet. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
jstu9 (402) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 4, 2001
Hoppy, but to me, right on the verge of being too hoppy, but being just right. A very nice beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Richard73 (37) - St Albans, ENGLAND - SEP 26, 2001
Superb Ale, excellent stuff, the best bitter i’ve ever tasted :)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
legion242 (2344) - Richardson, Texas, USA - SEP 28, 2001
A very nice bottle-conditioned ale. Chewy from the get-go and warming throughout. This is a filling beer with more hops then usual for the style like the other raters stated. Let it warm up a bit before you sink in.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Pablo McStouthead (69) - L.A, California, USA - DEC 29, 2001
This beer makes me happy, untill the bottle is empty. Then I am sad.

   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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
mkobes (2142) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - OCT 7, 2003
Very good ale. Golden in color. It has a perfect blend of english hops which are well balanced with the malt. It has a pleasant fruit aroma.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Embrouille (2835) - SWITZERLAND - NOV 27, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 17, 2009 It’s one of my favourite beers. This ale has a very complex, fruity flavour of pear and wild strawberries. Excellent aroma. Peaches, caramel and grapefruit in the taste. Some wild strawberries show up both in the nose and flavor. A strong hop presence with an extraordinary enjoyable strong bitter finish. Best served not to cool, almost at room temperature. Highly recommended! I love the form of the bottle and the design of the label too. It’ s a real pitty this ale has been retired. Later sampled versions didn’ t quite match the complexity and taste this beer used to have. Rerate: An outstanding ginger characteristic to the taste which I haven’t noticed before. Rerate 2: A sublime beer with hints of pumpkin, candied fruits, pepper, licorice and wild strawberries. Rerate 3: This beer really tastes of hops. Sublime hop profile. Outstanding. Extremely pleasant. Rerate 4: (after dozens of samplings) Definetely one of the best beers I have had so far. A lot of vanilla notes. Sublime. Rerate 5: Definetely a mindblowingly good beer with a striking mandarin component. Excellent.

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