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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1004   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
theSlipperyPen (280) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 10, 2010
Pours with the traditional darkened amber of an English bitter - though a haze gives sign of the bottle conditioning. It wears one finger of soapy white head which leaves a foam of lacing. First to the nose is blue cheese and cellar damp. With time given to breathe this subsides but is picked up again in the mouth. Toffee and marmalade aromas rise up with a buttery smell of toast and ginger snaps. Bitter sweet taste with more of the marmalade and the first signs of earthen hops. Mouth feel is slick with a medium to thin body and fine carbonation. Finish is a tapering of the malts with a hint of warm lemon grass. It’s a standard London bitter; no frills but an enjoyable drink down the pub.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Xavalias (280) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - MAR 24, 2016
Bottle from supermarket. Pours orange-amber with little head. The aroma is fruity, malty, with hints of caramel. Some hops in the finish. The taste is light to medium sweet with a nice bitter finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mwesth (279) - Skovlunde, DENMARK - SEP 6, 2003
Dark golden brown and a thick white head. Good lacework. Very full bodied, the alcohol is well balanced. Reminds me of good biere de garde, finally an english beer with "balls"

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
morri (277) - NORWAY - OCT 26, 2013
500ml bottle from Vinmonopolet. Tiny white head. Hazy amber body. Aroma of caramel and malt, slightly smoky. Sweet on the tongue, and actually becomes nauseating after a while.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
KarmanGhia (276) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - FEB 12, 2005
UPDATED: JUL 13, 2005 This poars a pleasant and thick ruby with a nice offwhite and somewhat lasting head. The nose is pleasant and caramel malty. The taste is initially sweet and bready, but it rounds out with a nice bitterness. There’s a bit of a cherry pie or apple flavor in there, and perhaps some brown sugar and spiciness. Overall, this is a relatively complex and grand ale. Perhaps it is a bit overbearing on the sweetness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
antisnobJP (275) - St. Michael, Minnesota, USA - JUL 20, 2006
Bottle. Brilliant orange-amber color with a thin creamy head that fades to a persistent ring. Aromas of fruity hops, a little perfumey, with a slight yeasty breadlike aroma in the background. Very promising. Initial hop bite gives way to some sweet fruity maltiness, all the while being balanced out by the delicious fruity and citrusy hops. Alcohol presence not obtrusive, actually adding to the flavor profile. A little earthy quality in the flavor as it warms. More carbonation than most English ales I’ve had. Good easy drinking ale that will sneak up on you if you are not careful.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
noelcb (271) - Toledo, Ohio, USA - MAY 9, 2005
Poured dark brass, huge solid brown head which fell gradually to textbook-definition lacing. Aromas of chocolate, treacle, brown sugar, maple syrup, with lots of balanced hoppy herbalness, toasty malt and yeast. Flavor was wonderfully complex with everything from apple and lime to roast turkey! I could taste molasses, dark chocolate, pumpkin pie, earth, mushrooms among the egalitarian mixture of roast malt, hop bitterness and yeast. The bottle is quite attractive as befits a true treasure of an ale. Well done, Young & Co.

   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 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
biermonk (265) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - OCT 24, 2004
On tap at Summits Wayside Tavern...Nice nose of bready malts...Amber color with a good head...Creamy malt flavors are balanced by a hop bite towards the finish overall a great bitter

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TC2642 (265) - Worcester, Worcestershire, ENGLAND - FEB 5, 2004
Quite a zesty orangy tasting beer. Nice aroma with a medium mouthfeel to it. Bottle conditioning does help, but I still feel there was something missing here.

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