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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1008   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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   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - APR 9, 2004
Clear amber color with big off white head. Light malty aroma and well balanced, lightly sweet taste. My favorite Fullers to date.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ToolHead (266) - Křbenhavn, DENMARK - APR 7, 2004
50 cl bottle, served in Gouden Carolus chalice. Copper colour; moderate head. Assertive and full taste w/ a pleasing, firm hop presence. Complex and layered. Long finish w/ a nice bite to it. The alcohol makes itself known without in any way being dominating. A well-balanced and quite impressive ale.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
TBone (17047) - Pori, FINLAND - APR 2, 2004
Bottle conditioned
Typical ale outlook: hazy copper brown and steady creamy white head. Fresh flowery hop aroma. Well-balanced malty body with bitter hop finish. This is the quality ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - MAR 29, 2004
Amber body under a white head. Nose has elements of caramel, banana, maybe some licorice and even brandy. Some sweetness and bitterness to the taste. A refreshing drink.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
flutetokill (523) - Fresno, California, USA - MAR 26, 2004
Golden copper color with a small white head. Mild honey and malt aroma. Lightly nutty malt flavor, with a bit of hops in the finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
jables (101) - Champaign, Illinois, USA - MAR 22, 2004
This is an ok ESB, appearance is great and the mouthfeel is nice and creamy. But the smell is plain and uninteresting, and the taste left a lot to be desired. The malt was balanced by some bitterness but not much there. The hops only served to balance with some bitterness, some raisin-like flavors were detected but nothing that I found overly interesting. It is by no means bad in fact the great mouthfeel made this quite a satisfying experience

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
maeib (8749) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - MAR 17, 2004
UPDATED: JUL 16, 2012 Bottled conditioned. Brown coloured with little head or lacing. Aroma is slighty fruity and taste is malty and slightly sweet, but also a bit chewy. Goes to show that despite this being an award winner, it is not BCs which we British do best. Score 3.2
Subsequent rating scored 3.3 Score unaltered

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
thedm (6043) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - MAR 16, 2004
This bottled brew poured a large sized head of foamy finely sized off-white colored long lasting bubbles. The body was a softly carbonated transparent amber brown color. The aroma was malty and hoppy with a smattering of caramel. The mouth feel was mildly tingly initially then strengthened in the finish and faded away. The flavor was malty and hoppy.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
hotstuff (5077) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - MAR 16, 2004
Bottle. A medium sized off-white head that was creamy and smooth along with fine-medium sized bubbles that mostly diminished. The body was carbonated and transparent with a gold-orange hue. The nose was malty, hoppy, sweet and fruity. The flavor was hoppy and slightly bitter. The mouthfeel was hoppy and this was a medium bodied beer with sparse lacing.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GREMLIN (5) - USA - MAR 6, 2004 does not count
Nice hoppy nose, good caramel color, just the right amount of corbonation. Suprisingly well ballanced for an English strong ale. Heavy hop right up front, smooth toffee like malt in the middle then long light hop finish.

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