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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 994   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ToolHead (266) - København, 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
thehurt01 (262) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JAN 4, 2007
A 1 pint .9 oz bottle with a freshness date on the label. The beer poured a cloudy copper color with a three finger tan head that lasts a long time. The smell is a citrus and hops all the way. The taste starts of with a good bitterness fallowed by a malty finish. A good pick!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
chef201atc (261) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - DEC 28, 2006
Clear light copper color, ample frothy off-white head. Aroma is spicy with a bit of fruit and hops in the background. Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Taste is sort of one dimensional, typical of english style ales - maltly with a dry finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
nramsburg (259) - New York, New York, USA - OCT 19, 2007
Nicely hopped strong ale pours to a deep golden wiht a nice sized head. The effervescence is really good on this particular brew, small bubbles which never really overwhelm yet remain for quite some time. It begins with malt which quickly evens out into a smooth, lightly hopped finish. There certainly are hints of banana to be found in this one, but I didn’t notice much orange as the previous posters had suggested. Overall a fantastic beer, though slightly overpriced in this country.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
spporras (259) - FINLAND - MAY 30, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2006 (Bottle BB 18/05/07) Fruity (citrus), malty and slightly flower-like aroma. Amber colour, hazy and large, light brown, lasting head with good lacing. Malty, citrus fruity and rather bitter flavour. Softly carbonated, medium to full-bodied palate with a hint of metalness. Very good, crispy brew! 09/12/06 (original rating was 6/4/7/4/14)

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Bailz316 (256) - North Carolina, USA - JUL 27, 2007
Light brown, medium head that disappears fast. Medium bodied. Hoppy. Some malts evident. Bitter, dry finish. Not overly complex, but a solid choice.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bark (255) - Linköping, SWEDEN - JAN 22, 2005
On-tap The colour is cloudy copper red; the thin lid of foam is pale beige.

The smell is sweet with notes of yeast, nuts and fruits (apricots? Peaches?).

The carbonation is fresh with lots of large bubbles.

The taste is fruity, sweet with some bitter almonds, diacetyl and yeast. The aftertaste is medium bitter, short and rather anonymous.

An average bitter, nothing special at all.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
greig (253) - Hamilton, NEW ZEALAND - SEP 11, 2007
A great ale. I’d call this an IPA rather than an English Strong Ale, but meh, semantics! A deliciously complex pint, full of toffee like malt and marmalade and orangey hops. Has a beautiful drying finish with a tiny amount of lingering malt sweetness.

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