Brewed by Charles Wells (Marston's)
Style: English Strong Ale
Bedford, England


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1007   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52/5   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.

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JonMoore (2067) - Loughborough, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - AUG 24, 2004
UPDATED: APR 8, 2015 Bottle. Amber coloured. Hoppy and floral aroma. Well balanced, malt and hops flavour. Full bodied, with a long floral/bitter aftertaste. Very drinkable . Good beer.

mjg74 (3199) - La Mesa, California, USA - AUG 10, 2004
Pours amber in color, with a medium off-white head. Aroma is a little bit of hoppiness a little sweet as well. Good sweet hoppy flavor. Little bit of an orange type flavor as well. Quite fruity and sweet.

Aubrey (3516) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - AUG 9, 2004
Huge, lasting rocky head with lingering lace; very clear and bright amber. Soft and creamy texture; medium body. Mild malt flavors, with notes of toffee and caramel. Grassy, herbal hops with quite a bit of bitterness, especially in the aftertaste. Had a distracting off-flavor ... metallic / bottle cap.

HumuloneRed (765) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 7, 2004
Bottle. Pour clear copper/orange hue. Nice head and lacing. Yeasty, almost earthy and grassy notes in the nose. Earthy bitterness that speads to the side of the tongue then turns into a slighty sweet malt flavor. Nice bitter finish. Very drinkable beer.

Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - AUG 7, 2004
Pours hazy brown...smells hoppy and malty with sweet undertones...tastes a little malty at first, but then just sweetly hoppy...a fine fine brew...

beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - AUG 3, 2004
On tap: Rusty orange-brown, a bit tarnished, thin creamy off-white cap, light lacing capabilities. Aroma is all malts, a large display of toffee tang and subdued dark caramel with some richer honey and butterscotch candy notes. Taste is a wholey large malt base. Smooth and rich display of toffee and darker caramel, darker and bolder tang found here then with some. Subdued and rounded malts, eager though with a barely there hop of wet grass. Ensued chewy aspects in its body and feel, smooth and creamy with a large malt proflie. Somewhat bready as well and a great full and malt laden rich body feel. Not as bitter as one would think an ESB would be, but as it stands, its a very interestingly nice beer on-tap. Glad to have tried it and will probably again.

Rastacouere (6177) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 29, 2004
Orange-amber, clear body. A thin white ring barely manages to survive when pouring the beer straight. Aroma is mostly hoppy, golding-like with perfume, floral and soapy aspects. On the tongue, I find similarities to orange zest. Finish is long and floral. Big airy body, thick yet light if I may say so. Soft carbonation, not particularly interesting to me, but this is very honest.

matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JUL 28, 2004
I think this is a slightly new arrival to Florida… I haven’t seen it in the stores until just recently.

Pours a majestic amber body and a large and foamy tan hued head. The aroma that the beer emits is ripe with cameral, watermelon, cantaloupe, and grapefruit. Thee seem to be loads of sweet fruits and even some tastiness of brown sugar. The flavor brings a sweet and exceptionally syrupy resemblance. Large suggestions of oak chips and pine tree sap are up front and they seem to be drenched in molasses. This Ale has a bit of an earthy yeasty flavor and a note of ripe citrus and grilled red bell peppers in the finish… The palate as described above is sticky and syrupy… The aroma and flavor are not really in conjunction but I certainly enjoyed this brew!

MadMan (495) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JUL 25, 2004
Pours a copper color with an initially large tan head that remains throughout as a thin layer with sticky lace. Aroma is malty caramel with definite wet cardboard smell. Flavor is nice if a little sweet. The best part about it is the tasty hoppy finish. Overall a tasty experience.

mikeben (355) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - JUL 13, 2004
Not bitter and not mouth puckering hoppy. It does have a fruit nose and is slightly spicey but rather bland. A good drink overall but nothing special. Your average thicher English version of an ale, it beats your everyday USA beer by a large margin but not as exciteing as some other Young products

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