Pretty Things Once Upon a Time, November 22nd, 1838, X Ale

RATINGS: 86   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.37/5   EST. CALORIES: 222   ABV: 7.4%
Mild was a hugely popular style for more than a century (1800-1900s). Here, we have released two mild ales side-by-side.: two beers from opposite ends of that period, brewed by the same brewery. If you drink both, you will drink the same brand from the same brewery separated by 107 years. Over those years, Mild changed considerably: something these beers amply demonstrate. Though bearing the same name, X Ale, in character they could hardly be more dissimilar. The 1830s saw the beginning of a boom in Mild ale brewing, which in 30 years became Englands favourite beer. This beer, 1838 X Ale is a typical London Mild of the era: bigger and more robustly hopped than modern versions. Brewed from 100% pale malt and Kent hops, this is a straightforward, uncomplicated beer, much like the working classes who first drank it. The colour is also much paler than you might expect. From this original form, Mild was to undergo many transformations, culminating in the second beer in this series, February 22nd, 1945. Drink them side-by-side to compare how this beer style evolved.

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   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Papsoe (25063) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - SEP 10, 2012
Bottle 65 cl. Pours a cloudy yellow with a lacing white head. Sweet fruity nose and what appears like British hops. Medium body, fruity and yeasty with a rather bitter finish. A pale, strong Mild - very unusual and interesting. 100912

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
meerbier (1474) - Pijnacker, NETHERLANDS - SEP 1, 2012
[email protected] Hoppy friuty aroma. Hazy, yellow, white head, good lace. Light sweet, light malty, light bready, pretty bitter, hoppy. Medium body, light dry.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
argo0 (14022) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 23, 2012
22oz bottle. Cloudy apple cider body, medium off-white head. Aroma is medium sweet, golden raisin, grapefruit, some honey, herbal, orange, light herb. Taste is moderately sweet, herbal, some orange/grapefruit, apple/raisin. Medium body, light chalk. I wouldnt list this as a Mild -- its fine that this is what a Mild used to be, but as the description acknowledges, this isnt what a Mild is today.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jcr (2684) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - AUG 15, 2012
Bottle. Hazy light golden body with a frothy, white head. Esters dominate the aroma, but it doesnt lack of some earthiness and floral and grassy hops. Citrus, apricot, tangerine. The flavor is moderately sweet and lightly bitter. It finishes lightly to moderately sweet and lightly to moderately bitter, the bitterness lingering. Medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation. Theres a slight taste of wood and ashiness, but not enough to overpower the malts and earth notes.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Leighton (20596) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 15, 2012
Bottle shared with cousins on Marthas Vineyard, MA. Pours clear, vibrant gold with a small, white foam head. Lots of sugary, white bread malts in the nose. Medium to big sweet flavor with toasty white bread, some husky malts, dry hay. Medium to full bodied with fine carbonation. Lightly warming on the finish with more grain husks, a bit of white bread, some alcohol, lasting bitter straw and hay. Its decent stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JoeMcPhee (9426) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 10, 2012
Slightly hazy yellow-golden pour with a thick white head. Sticky lacing. The nose is quite malty actually. A lot of pale malt sweetness with a backbone of solid UK spicy hoppiness. Moderately estery with distinct notes of apricot and some almost grapey fruitiness. Clean malts. The bitterness has a touch of herbal spiciness but its quite muted. Fairly sticky malt profile with a little bit of lingering sweetness. Its interesting but I feel like the bottle Ive got has aged the hops out of it. Theres something there, but its quite malt and yeast dominated. As it warms the bitterness seems to intensify, but the overall impression is still that of malty sweetness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - AUG 5, 2012
Bomber from Capones, Norristown. I always enjoy this brewery, as they never fail to deliver something thats not only well done but also genuinely idiosyncratic. This beer certainly fits the bill. Glowing deep orange pour with a silken head. Complex nose, initially with tons of Golding and/or Fuggles in the nose, with understated tea-like notes and hints of some complex malts underneath. Mouthfeel just a trace too heavy in places, but elegant and perky in others. Complex malting does indeed come through, along with hints of white pepper, leaf tea, and saison yeast. Very interesting and would love to try again.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 23, 2012
Bottle from Indianapolis. Drunk side by side with the other version. Pours a brilliant orangey copper, slightly hazed, fluffy offwhite head that falls. Nose is quite fruity, noted orange rind/orange blossom and grassy. Some toasty malt and faint caramel notes as well. On tasting, decidely hopping and grassy. Some more toasty malts. Pretty clean overall with a fruity ester thing going on. Pretty interesting and better than the other version, however it still has some sugary notes to it as well. Decent.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerguy101 (5360) - Newark, California, USA - JUL 21, 2012
Sampled on 6/29/2012. This English mild pours a medium orange gold color from a 22oz bottle. Small to medium sized white foamy head. The aroma is fruity and sweet, with a touch of floral hops. A medium bodied English Mild. The malts are fruity and sweet. The hops are floral. Nice carbonation. A fairly simple beer. Easy to drink and hides the alcohol well. If this very your typical English Mild I would be drinking a whole lot more of them, This 1838 version of a mild is fruity, higher in alcohol and, wow, you can taste the hops. The 1945 version is loaded with biscuit malts and ice tea. It is very interesting that you can trace the evolution of the English Mild in these two beers. I am not sure I liked where the English Mild went. From these two examples it seems that the Mild became a much less clean beer. The malts are not as simple and the flavors became muted. This is a great concept and I will have to try and seek out the other beers in this series. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
wlajwl (6602) - Quad Cities, Iowa, USA - JUL 17, 2012
Aroma is malts, fruit and an undercurrent of hops, similar to a bitter. The flavor is fruit, malts, hops/citrus and a very dry and, oddly, a medium but deep bitter finish. Definitely interesting, cant really say Im an expert on milds but this was definitely different than others Ive had, possibly due to the historical style version this was made after.

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