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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
mkel07 (3996) - Brisbane, AUSTRALIA - JUL 25, 2009
500ml bottle. Deep orange in colour with a wispy side order of faom floating on top. Aromas of bubblegum and banana lollies with a lively zing in the mouth and a bitter aftertaste. Smooth and drinkable with a spicy hop finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
mojoharper (32) - SOUTH AFRICA - DEC 4, 2010
Very fruity, almost tart nose. Taste is initially quite floral, but turns into something sweet and fruity. Finish is cloves and herbs. Nice but strong ale. I think it is somewhat too fruity, but it can be quite moreish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
heavy (2265) - Split, CROATIA - DEC 14, 2010
03/10 0.5 l bottle from Vrutak store in Zagreb. It poured golden to amber body with medium sized head that lives for quite long time. Nice toast and biscuit aroma, little bit of caramel. Flavor wasn’t bad either, slightly sweet, but also somewhat harshly bitter in very strange way. Herbal possibly in combination with alcohol. Oily on palate, medium bodied with pleasant longer finish. Fine enough, despite the fact it seems totally mainstream and macro-ish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
gunnar (6127) - Sandnes, NORWAY - JUL 8, 2011
Bottle. Pours amber/orange with a big creamy white head. Aroma of malts,caramel,toffee and fruity hops.Medium bodied. Taste is malt oriented with dominating caramel and toffee, some fruity hops towards the end as well.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
mikkellund42 (624) - DENMARK - SEP 8, 2011
Bottle. Pours clear dark amber with small white head. Aroma is sour green appels and fruity hops. Taste is dominated by bitterness from the hops, but these is also some sweetness. Palate is medium filling with good carbonation. Finish is long lasting with strong dry bitterness but also some sweet notes of caramel.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Mezcalmannen (395) - Oslo, NORWAY - OCT 15, 2011
Fruity sweetness to the aroma and taste, but the finish is quite bitter. Amber colour.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Meilby (8651) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - NOV 17, 2011
Bottle 500ml @ home
Pours clear deep golden with a off-white head. Aroma has notes of malt, peach and grassy hops. Taste is medium sweet and light bitter. Body is medium, texture is oily, carbonation is soft.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
sftan (22) - - DEC 15, 2011
floral, orange zest, banana, amber, cloudy, white foam, medium bitterness, orange marmalade flavours, medium body, creamy, average carbonation, slight bitter finish,

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
tfredvik (1300) - Oslo, NORWAY - APR 23, 2012
The label tells me to pour the bottle carefully to avoid sediments in my glass, and since I’m a good boy I do what I’m told, and I end up with a crystal clear light amber to copper body with an off-white creamy head. Good head retention and lacing. The aroma is pleasant but a bit faint. Caramel and fruits, especially citric notes, also a spicy touch. When taking the first sip a crisp citric and floral bitterness is there straight away. It starts out quite light and ends up in a very pleasant moderate bitter finish. The flavours are not that strong, but nice.Medium body, soft carbonation. A fine beer with a lovely smooth mouthfeel, but with too faint aroma and I would have liked a bit stronger flavours.
[50 cl bottle, from Vinmonopolet Storo, Oslo]

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
thirstyrabbit (1320) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - JUL 5, 2012
Bottle. Cloudy golden amber body, small to medium head. Hoppy aroma with some orange. Dry hoppy taste (mostly orange peel type) dominates the malts. Too thin and dry for the style, I like more caramelly and maltier strong ales.

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