Beers, ales and lagers come in many types, styles and variations. Please choose from the styles listed to find more of the beers you like.
83An enjoyable dark golden beer from the latest recruit to the Trappist brewers' fraternity.
Adnams East Green Carbon Neutral
78A nicely balanced celebration of ecofriendly brewing from the green guys in Southwold. It's not as hoppy as other recent Adnams additions such as Explorer and Innovation, but pleasant nonetheless. The...
78Flavour-loaded, dark golden beer designed to be served chilled.
83A red-amber-coloured beer with fruit cake flavours you expect in a beer of a much greater strength.
85A mighty, limited-edition beer. ‘Serve chilled', says the label, and the flavours are so robust that you can really get away with it. The name celebrates the brewery's advances in energy-efficient p...
74A clean and quaffable, bright amber session ale, with plenty of taste for the ABV.
Alaskan Alaskan IPA
85A well-executed, profoundly hoppy, golden beer that threatens to cloy but never does.
Alcazar Bombay Castle IPA
75A fine, chunky IPA, although not as complex as others reviewed in these pages.
Alcazar Bowman's Bounty
68A full-flavoured IPA dedicated to Robin Hood. Too strong-tasting for my liking, however, and it could be a little cleaner, too.
Alcazar Gaoler's Ale
75A peculiar red beer featuring the Sheriff of Nottingham on the label, which also suggests that the beer be enjoyed as an after-dinner drink.
Anchor Liberty Ale
85A full-value, golden ale showcasing the best of American hops.
73An enjoyable if unremarkable best bitter.
Arkell's Bee's Organic Ale
80A very pleasant, unpasteurised, golden/orange beer with clean, fresh flavours.
Arkell's Swindon Pride
75A golden beer with fine summery flavours. The bitterness of the finish may daunt some drinkers.
73A big and tasty brew with a chalky finish that dries the palate completely.
Arundel Sussex Gold
75A golden ale with good, interesting flavours if you like a hop bias to your beers.
Atlas Brewery Nimibus Blonde
78A smooth and mouthfilling beer in the continental blonde style rather than following the trend for golden ales with a citrus accent. The diacetyl note (butterscotch, as it is technically known) will n...
Badger England's Gold
78A truly fruity, golden ale that will happily outlast England's less than golden performance in the World Cup. An easy-drinking showcase for the First Gold hop, with a useful bar chart on the label sh...
Badger First Gold
75Robust and surprisingly challenging.
Badger Golden Glory
73It contains peach blossom and tastes too contrived for my liking, but I know this beer does have plenty of fans. The fruitiness would make it worth mixing and match with food.
Batemans Hop Bine Bitter
75Full of flavour, as you'd expect from Batemans, with a robust, bitter finish.
Batemans Rosey Nosey
78A good value, red-amber beer that is full of character.
Batemans Summer Swallow
75A pleasant, clean, very light drinking bitter with an informative back label where a bar chart – similar to the one used by Badger – graphically displays the flavour profile of the beer.
80A robust, tasty and highly satisfying, dark golden best bitter.
Batemans Victory Ale
75A strong copper ale for lovers of estery fruit flavours.
Bath Ales Wild Hare
80An organic beer, substantial and robust despite its delicate colour, that stands up well to bottling.
Belhaven Belhaven Best
53An amber-coloured, widget beer in a can, thin, dull and lifeless. I wish I could be more positive but there's really not much to commend.
Bennett's Belgium Strong
75An easy-drinking strong ale from New Zealand. It doesn't have the idiosyncrasy or bold character of the best Belgian ales but it's well balanced and pleasant all the same.
Bockor Omer Traditional Blond
85A cracker-dry, Duvel-esque Belgian blond that would make an ideal aperitif.
Boon Brewery Geuze Mariage Parfait (2003 Vintage)
85Not as shocking to the palate as many gueuzes but challenging nonetheless. Sweet and commercial this is not, but it is perhaps just mellow enough to offer a starting point for gueuze novices.
Brakspear Organic Beer
83Full-flavoured premium ale that could, perhaps, be a touch crisper.
Brasserie Caulier Bon Secours Blonde
76A chunky, golden Belgian ale that is too woolly and alcoholic to be very enjoyable.
Brasserie Karmeliet Tripel Karmeliet
Sweet nose with hints of orange peel, vanilla, banana and spices. These flavours are also noticeable in the mouth, along with a honeyed sweetness. Complex and harmonious. Tastes very strong but still ...
BrewDog Hardcore IPA
75An intriguing and powerful golden beer echoing the American style where strength and hops both aspire to new levels. The excessive alcohol tends to spoil the balance for me but, as the label says: ‘...
BrewDog How to Disappear Completely
78A brave attempt to pack the extravagant hop character found in strong American beers into a session bitter. It's an interesting idea, and certainly showcases the wonders of hops, but without the alcoh...
BrewDog Punk IPA
75Very tasty, aggressive beer from a funky Scottish microbrewery that models itself on the US craft brewing movement. But it's so flavoursome that it may prove too demanding for some drinkers.
BrewDog The Physics
Fruity, clean, dry, citrus, pink grapefruit. Good hop nose, clean bitterness. Sulphitic notes. Balanced full palate, dry and slightly bitter aftertaste. Astringent.
BrewDog Trashy Blonde
78The bitterness in the finish is a just a little harsh but otherwise this is an impressive, golden beer with plenty of body and, as you'd expect from Brew Dog, no shortage of taste.
Brooklyn Brooklyn Local 1
80A powerful, bottle-conditioned, tripel-style, golden ale that cries out for a food accompaniment – a herbal cheese or lemon chicken would work.
Broughton Ales Angel
75It's a bit one-dimensional – it could use a little more sweetness – but it's certainly clean and dry.
Brouwerij Slaapmutske Slaapmutske Tripel
78A clean, efficient, golden tripel that is rather delicate and drinks all too easily for its strength.
Cains 2008 Culture Beer
90A full-flavoured and interesting beer that may prove a touch too sweet for some palates. Part of Cains' heavy investment in Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture in 2008.
Caledonian Golden Promise
75One of the first organic ales, although the strain of barley that gives the beer its name is no longer used in the brew. After a full malty aroma and taste, the finish is refreshingly delicate.
Caledonian Golden Promise
78A ground breaker: Britain's first ever organic beer and still on good form. A little thick in the finish, perhaps, but there's plenty of character here.
Cameron's Castle Eden Ale
63Sadly, it all goes downhill after the aroma, with oxidation obscuring all the intended flavours of what, in its cask form, is an enjoyable, malty-sweet Northern ale.
Cameron's Strong Arm
65Disappointing. Strongarm is a lovely beer on draught, with an attractive ruby complexion, but it tastes rather thin here, with wet paper oxidation notes detracting from the complex malt and hop flavou...
65Regrettably, like the other Camerons beers, ruined by oxidation. Beyond that huge distraction, one glimpses a fair example of the sweeter North-eastern style of bitter. A relic from the Whitbread empi...
Castelain Ch'ti Blonde
68A blonde French beer that is a touch too thick in the finish.
Castle Rock Elsie Mo
75A golden ale, crisp and refreshing – providing you like strong citrus flavours. The name comes from the type of malt used: Low Colour Maris Otter (LCMO).
Castle Rock Harvest Pale
75A popular beer from Nottingham, but a bit disappointing on this evidence. Butterscotch (diacetyl) flavours are dominant to the detriment of other characteristics. Full flavoured, nonetheless, with a g...
Cervecería Mexicana Red Pig
75A satisfying and tasty copperred ale, a step up from bland Mexican lagers.
Cervesera Montseny Lupulus
78The name means hop and this light-golden beer from Spain is totally devoted to that esteemed plant. Fresh, crisp and drinkable but expect only tangy, lemony bitterness.
Cervesera Montseny Malta
75A Spanish take on a pale ale. Not as richly malty as the name suggests, with hops having the greatest say.
Cerveza Patagonia Patagonia
66Lager brewers do not normally favour such a strong diacetyl note, but it may be what this Argentinian brewery is trying for. If you like toffee, then you'll be happy with this golden beer. Interesting...
Chimay Blue / Grande Réserve
80Renowned port-like beer in a vintage-dated bottle. A little less chewiness would make it even more of a treat.
Chimay Red Premiere
75A complex red ale that has bags of flavour but lacks a little refinement.
Chimay White / Cinq Cents
75Flavour-packed, but a little chewy, dark golden strong ale.
Coniston Bluebird Bitter
83An excellently constructed, fruity yet bitter copper ale.
Coopers Vintage Ale 2008
78This beer is still young, and should grow old gracefully in the next few years. At the moment, it's just too far up the solvent end for my liking.
Coors Worthington's White Shield
85Very well balanced and always interesting, this 19th century survivor of the original IPA boom is all too easy to drink for its strength. Credit to Coors for investing in this erstwhile badly-abused b...
70A red bottle-conditioned ale that drinks just a little thin for its strength.
Cotleigh Red Nose Reindeer
70A beer that used to be bottle conditioned but is now filtered. The light-porous clear glass bottle does it no favours (cabbagey notes in the aroma).
Cropton Brewery King Billy Bitter
70As is often the case with weaker bottle-conditioned beers, this golden ale is very dry and fairly gassy. Lacks the strength to condition long in the bottle, so drink it young.
Cropton Brewery Monkman's Slaughter
65Interesting red-amber ale, but a touch too sharp and tart.
74A fresh and clean tasting, pale yellow Belgian ale, but it lacks the depth to keep you interested for long.
Dado Belgian Ale
80An orange-golden beer from Brazil that drinks a lot lighter than the ABV suggests. There are no fireworks, and it's rather one-dimensional, but it's well brewed nonetheless.
Daleside Brewery Alnwick IPA
78A fine beer with the authentic IPA hopping, if not exactly the true strength of a genuine IPA. Packed with taste for its strength. Brewed for Alnwick by Daleside Brewery.
Dark Star Sunburst
75A golden beer for hopheads, but too hoppy for some palates.
Darwin Brewery Rolling Hitch
80Light and delicate for such a hoppy and strong beer. A very quaffable golden IPA from the North-East that was the winner of Asda's bottled beer competition in 2005.
Deschutes Bachelor ESB
Quince jam-like dominant in the nose along with peppery hops. Pleasant balance of malt, fruit and slightly earthy, solid final bitterness. Spicy bitter hop character. Robust and satisfying.
Deschutes Hop Henge
80A fine, typically challenging US IPA, this time from Oregon. Perfect for hop heads, but too intense for drinkers with more delicate palates.
Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
83When we said ‘above 5%' we weren't quite expecting this! Dogfish Head leads the way with ‘extreme' beers, and this is as extreme as it gets.
Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA
80The balance is great but this is a formidable drink that smacks you between the eyes. A good example of the current US trend towards potent, robustly hoppy ales.
Dogfish Head Brewery 60 Minute IPA
85Packed with flavour but cleverly balanced with a refined smoothness. The first of three IPAs from this Delaware brewery that makes its living by fearlessly pushing the envelope. The names of the three...
Dogfish Head Brewery 90 Minute Imperial IPA
90You know you've had a drink with this one, but it's a class act with exemplary control of the alcohol and esters. I've scored it even more highly this time around than when previously reviewed. Wonder...
Downton Chimera Dark Delight
78A bold Wiltshire red ale with a good, lip-smacking hop character although the strongly-scented esters may not appeal to everyone.
Downton Brewery Chimera IPA
78A big, appropriately hoppy, somewhat alcoholic, golden IPA from Wiltshire.
Duchy Originals Organic Ale
78A clean and pleasantly moreish beer, thanks to an initial subtlety in the finish.
Duchy Originals Summer Ale
75No shortage of flavour but perhaps not crisp enough for a summer drink.
Duchy Originals Winter Ale
78An enjoyable chameleon beer that strangely changes its personality from stage to stage.
80A homage to Cologne's great contribution to the beer world. Like all fine Kölsch, this one has the aromatics of an ale but the crisp, clean, spritzy character of a lager. A perfect aperitif drink.
Eisenbahn Pale Ale
75An unusual pale ale. Not as crisp as most British or American versions, with a creamy texture throughout.
Eisenbahn Strong Golden Ale
85A strong ale in the Belgian style but very well balanced and not at all clumsy for the strength. The tropical fruit notes would make it great for washing down a curry, especially with chutney and popp...
Exmoor Brewery Gold
75One of the longest-established golden ales, dating back to the mid-1980s. Enjoy the rich, smooth maltiness.
Flying Dog Old Scratch
75A full-flavoured, dark amber lager from Colorado.
Flying Dog Snake Dog
85Fans of highly-hopped American beers will love this amber-orange IPA, but other drinkers will find it too unbalanced. I fall into the former camp.
Freeminer Harvest Ale
75A very clean and quaffable, copper-coloured beer with quality malt and hop characteristics.
Freeminer Brewery Co-Op Organic Premium Ale
83Rather sweet for a such a hoppy beer – the interesting ingredient is Fairtrade Demerara sugar from Malawi – but lots of good, clean fruity flavours and a moreish dry finish. The continental hop st...
78A delicate but tasty beer designed to draw lager drinkers into the ale fold, using American Liberty hops for a citrus character and Czech Saaz for soft bitterness.
Fuller's Gales HSB
74A full-flavoured, nicely balanced, deep amber-red beer, perhaps not quite as sweet as in the days when it was brewed at Gale's in Horndean.
Fuller's Gales Swing Low
78An enjoyable quaffing ale with plenty of interest for its strength and fine clean flavours. Now brewed by Fuller's at Chiswick since the closure of the Gale's brewery.
Fuller's Mr Harry
78A full-flavoured, robust beer with the distinctive Fuller's hop thumbprint. Probably good with roast beef.
Fuller's Organic Honey Dew
73An easy-drinking golden ale that is very versatile and accommodating when it comes to food pairing.
Fuller's Red Fox
80A perfectly balanced, biscuity autumnal ale. Too bitter for drinking with puddings but otherwise an interesting beer to experiment with food-wise.
Fuller's Vintage Ale 2005
83An easy-drinking (for its strength), complex bottle-conditioned ale with a lighter finish than anticipated.
Fuller's Vintage Ale 2006
80This year's model is not quite as sweet as some previous offerings (the hops this time are Fuggles and Styrians). It's very good already but needs time to mellow.
Fuller's Vintage Ale 2007
88One of the highlights of every year is the release of Fuller's Vintage Ale. This year's brew has a prominent hop character that is likely to change considerably over time.
Fuller's Vintage Ale 2008
81As classy as ever, but perhaps not the most complex of Vintage Ales for a few years. It'll be interesting to re-taste in a year or two's time.
Goose Island Honker's Ale
88A clean, ultra-fresh-tasting amber ale, loaded with flavour.
Goose Island Imperial IPA
88A stunner. A joy on a cold night when you don't fancy a malty warmer. The label suggests pairing the beer with the saltiest blue cheese you can find.
Goose Island India Pale Ale
90Astonishingly fresh tasting, outstanding pale beer. Will a UK supermarket please put it back on the shelves?
Goose Island Matilda
83A big-flavoured, fruity beer, a successful homage to the classic Belgian Trappist ale Orval and just as challenging, though not as dry. Brewed in part with wild yeasts.
Goose Island Beer Co Indian Pale Ale
88A world classic. Scored down a touch this time – perhaps the company it's keeping in this round of tasting is more challenging. Still outstanding, nonetheless.
Great Divide Titan
80A chunky, dark-golden IPA with an intense hoppy finish.
Green Man Best Bitter
75A dark golden, English-style organic best bitter from New Zealand with plenty of body thanks to its chunky malt base.
Green Man Best Bitter
78A good, robust beer with a nice sweetness in the mouth and a satisfyingly bitter finish. This was first tasted here in 2006 and the flavour profile seems quite different today, and for the better.
Greene King Hop
75Greene King's Beer to Dine For repackaged. It's not particularly compelling but it's a pleasant enough, nicely balanced, shiny golden beer.
Greene King IPA Export Strength
73A pleasant enough and interesting progression from the often insipid standard Greene King IPA, but it fails to deliver what's really needed in a proper IPA – full body and a good smack of hops.
Greene King IPA Exports Strength
80Well-balanced and tasty: a cut above Greene King's standard IPA. Scores more highly this time than in an earlier tasting.
Greene King St Edmunds
75Designed for serving at a cooler temperature than most ales, and also as a mass market beer – there's certainly nothing demanding here. It's pleasant enough, but quite thin.
Greene King Suffolk Springer
78A big-flavoured, ruby beer, but perhaps the fruit cake notes are a bit over the top. According to the label, a ‘springer' is a racehorse whose odds dramatically shorten just before a race.
Haand Bryggeriet Ardenne Blond
82Fresh and quaffable, despite its strength.
50Spoiled by the rough alcoholic notes.
Hampshire Pride of Romsey
78A tasty, nicely balanced, copper coloured beer with a prominent but happily not over-stated hoppiness.
Hampshire T'ale of the Dragon
73A robust beer for hop lovers, probably not balanced enough for other drinkers.
80A very well-balanced American IPA, but rather mellow for this often aggressive style.
Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted
80A remarkably tasty, bright yellow beer that can be comfortably chilled right down for hot days. Worth trying with a fruity salad like pear and stilton.
Harviestoun Try'd & Tested
78Beer with balls', launched for the Rugby World Cup. As is typical of Harviestoun beers, hops dominate this amber-red ale from kick off to final whistle.
78A good, unfussy, hoppy British best bitter, light amber in colour: clean, interesting and, most importantly, eminently drinkable.
Het Anker Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor
83The latest extension to the Gouden Carolus range, a yellow beer with a deep, dense foam of tiny bubbles. It features four types of hops but is typically Belgian in its challenging strength, musty yeas...
High Falls Genesee Cream Ale
73One of America's longest-standing beers. Nicely balanced and not unpleasant but it needs to taste fresher to make a mark today.
Highwood Tom Wood's Jolly Ploughman
75A fairly robust, ‘old-fashioned' tawny ale with lots of flavour.
Hoegaarden Grand Cru
80A hazy yellow ‘triple', laced with coriander and bitter orange peel. Unlike the increasingly ubiquitous Hoegaarden itself, this big brother is not a wheat beer. Now a touch weaker than a year ago (w...
Hoggley's Northamptonshire Bitter
73Pleasant, if a little chewy, with a notably bitter finish. From a tiny Northamptonshire brewery.
Hoggley's Reservoir Hogs
75Full of pleasant, fruity hop flavours, if just a little thick on the palate. The roasted notes in the finish arrive a little unexpectedly.
Hogs Back O.T.T (Old Tongham Tasty)
75A ruby beer of contrasting flavours that lives up to its full name, although maybe just a touch too sweet in the mouth.
Hogs Back T.E.A (Traditional English Ale)
75A drinkable, amber-coloured best bitter that perhaps lacks a little character.
Holden's Brewery Golden Glow
75An interesting, tasty golden ale from a long-established Black Country family brewery.
Hook Norton Cotswold Lion
75A full-flavoured golden ale contributing 5p a bottle to preserve the Cotswold Area of Natural Beauty. The Cotswold Lion is a type of sheep with a long mane.
Hook Norton Haymaker
78Full flavoured, crisp, dry and nicely refreshing. One of a number of quality golden ales from this revered Oxfordshire family brewery.
Hook Norton Hooky Gold
78A good value, full-flavoured yet nicely balanced golden ale that includes American Willamette hops.
Hop Back Summer Lightning
75Easy-drinking but surprisingly bitter, bright golden strong ale.
Jacobsen Saaz Blonde
75A full-flavoured, smooth beer that drinks quite light for its strength. It's great to see a global giant experimenting.
Joseph Holt 1849
75A smooth and full-flavoured, predominantly malty bitter with excellent balance.
Joseph Holt Fifth Sense
73A powerful beer giving the impression of being just a bit too strong for its flavours to be fully appreciated.
Joseph Holt Maplemoon
75A well-balanced, tasty, dark golden ale with an enjoyable citrus prominence.
Joseph Holt Pioneer
75Gloriously hoppy in the Holt style, this bottle-conditioned beer features Pioneer hops.
Joseph Holt Thunder Holt
75A tasty, well balanced strong ale described on the label as a ‘storm in a bottle'.
Joseph Holt Touchwood
75An unusual but well-judged beer with intriguing but not overbearing flavours.
JW Lees Dragon's Fire
70Surprisingly malty for this day and age, but could taste a little fresher.
75A golden ale, hoppy by name and nature, but too strong for its own good. 8.5% ABV says the label and it tastes every bit of it.
Les Brasseurs De Gayant La Biere du Demon
72A strong-tasting, golden beer that has plenty of punch but doesn't really deliver in character. The palate dries rather quickly, preventing a true roundness of flavour.
Les Brasseurs De Gayant La Goudale
78On this evidence, an enjoyable but not particularly complex beer. It's basically sweet and then gets more bitter, but my earlier tastings of this strong, golden French ale have shown up more of an app...
Lovibonds Henley Amber
70Henley has a great brewing heritage. This new beer comes from a microbrewery named after one of the town's long-gone breweries.
Marston's Old Empire
75A nicely-balanced golden ale with a good hop presence. Very quaffable for its strength, but could taste a bit fresher (the sample tasted was approaching its best before date).
79A successful bottled recreation of a classic draught ale. It lacks the fullness of body of the cask original but it's a pleasant drink.
Marston's Pedigree Six
83A limited edition, pumped-up version of Pedigree to herald the start of Marston's sponsorship of English cricket. After an unpromising aroma, this is a big, thoroughly enjoyable, sumptuous ale.
Mauldons Silver Adder
80Mauldons' 25th anniversary beer: a satisfying, tasty, fruity and hoppy best bitter, not to be confused with the brewery's celebrated dark beer, Black Adder.
Meantime Indian Pale Ale
88Another beer that justly earned rave reviews on these pages previously. Retasted here, it again scores very highly.
90An impressive beer from first sight – in its corked Champagne-like bottle – right through to the lasting finish. A must for anyone who loves the taste of fresh hops. Bottle conditioned.
Meantime London Pale Ale
80With its hedgerow-grassy character, this golden ale seems to offer more of a taste of the countryside than of the capital city, but it's an interesting, full flavoured beer with lots of character.
Moorhouse Blond Witch
75A pleasant and suppable golden ale that trades under the name of Blond Bitch in the United States.
Morland Hen's Tooth
73A deep amber, strong ale that is not as subtle or delicate as when first brewed at Morland in Abingdon.
Morrisons The Best
85Excellent value, strong, amber bitter, an ‘own label' beer produced by the Freeminer Brewery in Gloucestershire.
Nottingham Brewery Extra Pale Ale
78A surprisingly robust and hoppy golden ale, not dominated, as so many beers of this type are, by citrus fruit.
73The label suggests this celebratory beer will chill well, and the body and hoppiness will probably ensure it does. Brewed to mark 100 years of the TT races on the Isle of Man, effectively packing all ...
Orkney Brewery Northern Light
75A pleasant, full-flavoured session ale with an informative back label.
90A bit of a wild child. A bone dry amber beer partially fermented with a yeast that creates an acidic sourness. Totally refreshing and complex.
75A full-flavoured golden ale from Yorkshire with American Cascade hops in evidence but kept nicely in check.
Ossett Old Gurners
80A very tasty, well-made golden beer, subtle in some respects and bold in others. Clean and satisfying. There's an explanation of the art of gurning (face pulling) on the label.
75A full-flavoured, bronze quaffing beer.
Oud Beersel Bersalis
78The strength is a bit too obvious, making it less subtle and seductive than other tripels but this rich, golden, Belgian beer certainly doesn't stint on flavour or power.
Palm Brewery Palm
80What the Belgians call a mass market ale, now available in the UK via Coors. It's a fine beer, well balanced and packing plenty of interest.
Peak Ales Bakewell Best Bitter
75A robust and characterful, orange-golden bitter from Derbyshire that tastes stronger than the ABV suggests.
Peak Ales Gardener's Tap
78A strikingly tasty yet light textured, amber-red beer brewed on and for the Chatsworth Estate. The label carries a story of how the Chatsworth gardeners used to secretly tap into a pipe carrying beer ...
Port Brewing The Lost Abbey Devotion
85The inspiration is clearly Belgian but there is more than a suggestion of American-style IPA in this welcome arrival. Whatever it's meant to be, it's very good and is presented – like 10 Commandment...
Purity Farmer's Harvest
75A dark golden ale brewed to mark the centenary of the National Farmers' Union. It claims to be the first beer to carry the ‘red tractor' logo, authenticating the provenance of the ingredients.
Purity Mad Goose
79This bright golden ale is a clean showcase for American hops, with both Cascade and Willamette used for aroma. Good, fun, modern packaging, too.
Purity Pure Gold
78A fine, tasty, golden ale with a good citrus-hop character.
78A novel, copper-coloured brew the dryness and hoppiness of which would make it a good aperitif beer.
73An interesting golden ale that could, perhaps, be just a touch cleaner.
RCH Ale Mary
75An acquired taste but a competent enhancement of RCH's citrussy Firebox ale through the addition of a selection of seasonal spices.
RCH Double Header
75A robust amber beer that will score more highly with hopheads.
75A beer true to its name in appearance, with a wonderful aroma and lots of interesting flavours.
75A refreshing, bitter, golden ale featuring Fuggles and First Gold hops.
73A lighter-drinking beer than its strength would suggest.
Ringwood Old Thumper
75A famous copper ale with a rather subtle finish for a beer of its strength.
Ringwood Seventy Eight
75An old-fashioned, orange-amber beer brewed to celebrate 30 years of brewing at Ringwood. It's not nearly as fruity as most of Ringwood's beers, and it's not bottle conditioned either, which takes away...
80An old-fashioned style red amber beer, given an American twist with the inclusion of Cascade hops. Some of the proceeds go to charity.
Rogue Brutal Bitter
78A robust, chunky beer featuring just one hop – Crystal. A little less alcohol would work to its benefit.
Rogue Dry Hopped Red
Lovely russet colour... Resiny hops dominating, citrus and red fruit, underlying apricot notes... Overpowering earthy hops... A brave beer, intense and rich in hop nuances... Resin and a hint of grape...
Rogue Santa's Private Reserve
80Big flavours – as always at this Oregon brewery – with hops taking over what is initially a malty beer. If you like bland beers, stay away.
Rogue Younger's Special Bitter
85The bottle describes this as ‘a classic English special bitter,' but there aren't so many British beers as bold and hoppy as this these days.
Sainsbury's So Organic Blonde Ale
73An interesting golden ale with a surprisingly estery character for its strength. Brewed by Wychwood for Sainsbury's.
Saltaire Cascade Pale Ale
78A hop feast that also includes the Centennial hop alongside the one celebrated in the beer's name.
Saltaire Fuggles Bitter
75A nicely balanced and tasty, if very dry, bitter showcasing the Fuggle hop. The clear, informative labels of this and the Goldings Ale below set a new benchmark for bottling brewers.
Saltaire Goldings Ale
An unpasteurised brew, based on the Golding hop: for those who like dry, bitter, hoppy ales.
Samuel Adams White Ale
Great aroma of coriander, wheat and butter. Typical phenolic nose with complex aniseedy notes, dry palate reflecting closely the nose with a touch of citrus and spices added.
81Despite the unpromising aroma, this is a very refreshing, golden beer, especially for the strength. The tartness is an excellent foil for the sweetness of the malt.
Sharp's Chalky's Bark
81A well-balanced and rather subtle ginger beer, with the spice most evident in the glow it leaves in the finish. Smooth and quaffable.
Sharp's Chalky's Bite
83A very effective, carefully created, Belgian-style ale that includes a subtle dose of wild fennel seeds. Produced in conjunction with seafood chef Rick Stein, whose Jack Russell terrier lends its name...
Sharp's Doom Bar
73Nicely balanced but firmly malt-accented amber Cornish bitter.
Sharp's Gentle Jane
81A Belgium-inspired ‘Cornish sour ale', brewed with mixed yeast cultures. Blonde an effervescent, with nods towards Orval, it makes a welcome change from the typical British golden ale. A great aperi...
Sharp's Single Brew Reserve 2008
83Pleasant and clean, with various levels of flavour, but it's a bit thin and understated overall.
Sharp's Single Brew Reserve 2010
78Although a little light-bodied and delicate for its strength, this is an interesting, one-off, dark amber beer, matured at the brewery for a month before being bottle conditioned.
83In contrast to some of the pasteurised beers in this tasting, the lightness of texture and the ‘wildness' of taste of this bottle conditioned amber ale are rather exciting. Full, fresh and satisfyin...
Shepherd Neame 1698 Bottle Conditioned Ale
78A full-bodied, complex ale, perhaps too bold for some drinkers.
Shepherd Neame Bishops Finger
73A famous amber-red Kentish ale with a pronounced bitter aftertaste.
Shepherd Neame Christmas Ale 2005
75An enjoyable, amber-coloured seasonal offering, presented in an attractive gift box.
Shepherd Neame Whitstable Bay
75This well-established organic ale seems a bit fruitier than when last tasted for this magazine.
Shepherd Neame Whitstable Bay Organic Ale
75A rather delicate, low-key, Kentish amber ale that would certainly be more impressive on draught, but pleasant and quaffable all the same. Its name suggests a pairing with oysters, but that's not been...
Shongweni Robson's Durban Pale Ale
78Unfortunately, this South African beer was rather lively on opening, which meant that the sediment lifted and the beer became thicker and chewier than intended. The flavours remained good, however.
Shongweni Robson's East Coast Ale
78An intriguing, bottle-conditioned golden ale with almost weissbier flavours.
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
78A bold, fresh-tasting, deep amber ale, although the intense hoppiness is rather demanding and will challenge a lot of drinkers.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
85A copper-coloured beer for hop lovers but with appeal to a far wider audience because of the excellent balance. An American classic.
Spectrum Capt. Scarlet
75A sturdy, red-coloured bitter with a good, complex malty background. Not quite FAB, as they used to say in the puppet series from which it takes its name, but decent enough.
Spectrum Light Fantastic
73Like most bottle-conditioned beers around this modest strength, this golden bitter struggles a bit to avoid being too dry, but it drinks okay. The first of several beers here from an East Anglian micr...
Spectrum Old Stoatwobbler
78I'm not keen on the chalky dryness but otherwise this is a very pleasant strong, garnet-coloured beer that drinks a lot lighter than its ABV would suggest.
Spectrum Trip Hazard
75A full-bodied red-amber beer for a cold winter's night.
75A burnished copper-coloured strong ale with big flavours.
Springhead Roaring Meg
73A full-flavoured blonde ale named after a cannon that was used by Roundheads to destroy Goodrich Castle, near Monmouth, in the Civil War. The overall impression is that it's a touch too bitter and cou...
St Austell Admiral's Ale
80An innovative beer using an especially created type of dark malt and no pale malt. American hops provide a delightfully fruity contrast.
St Austell Proper Job
78A surprisingly golden-coloured, bottle-conditioned IPA, drawing inspiration from the American craft-brewed model rather than the maltier Burton-on-Trent school.
St Austell Smugglers Vintage Ale
80A blend of a dark ale and an oak-aged barley wine, with coriander thrown in for good measure. The finish is perhaps a bit too oaky and dry, and a little more sweetness throughout would probably be of ...
St Austell Tribute
75A pleasant quaffing ale with an American accent. Not that new in bottle, but recently repackaged.
St Austell Brewery Proper Job
83A refreshing, dark golden beer inspired by various American IPAs and hence loaded with citrus flavours. Cornish malt is successfully employed to even up both the taste and the trans-atlantic balance. ...
St Peter's Golden Ale
75A tasty, pleasant golden ale with an unusual hop character.
St Peter's Indian Pale Ale
73A demandingly hoppy drink that grabs you by the tastebuds. A little more malt wouldn't go amiss.
St Peter's Organic Ale
75A robust and strongly-flavoured, golden best bitter.
St Peter's Summer Ale
75Surprisingly strong for a summer ale, but there's plenty of taste and body.
St Peter's Winter Ale
78A full-bodied, smooth, ruby beer with the character of an aged ale.
Stonehenge Ales Rudolph
68A bronze beer that would be better if the chocolate flavours could fight their way through the dominant esters and bitterness.
Swan Lake Amber Swan Ale
Reddish amber in colour and slightly hazy... the nose pulsates with a hum of hops... Slightly creamy but in the midst a massive blast of ripe citrus hoppiness, a backbone of stern grainy malt upon whi...
Teme Valley Hearth Warmer
75Appealing deep red beer with a neat, frothy white collar, but more bitter than expected.
Theakston Paradise Ale
73A nicely dry, delicate beer featuring American Cascade hops. Perhaps too delicate to be pasteurised for the bottle and sure to be even better on draught.
80A very successful golden IPA that has turned many heads since it arrived on the scene last year. The beer is available in both filtered and bottle-conditioned versions. The above notes are based on th...
Thornbridge Jaipur IPA
80The very pale golden colour belies the depth of flavour in this robust IPA. It's almost a meal in a glass.
80Described as a ‘South Pacific pale ale', thanks to the inclusion of rare Nelson Sauvin hops. Another first-class beer from Thornbridge, although perhaps a bit too intensely flavoured for some.
Thwaites Double Century Celebration Ale
No shrinking violet – a veritable potpourri of flowery, fruity flavours from the blend of Golding and Fuggles hops, with Bramling Cross added late for maximum, perfumed impact. A little too sweet in...
41A quaffable golden ale in memory of the Lakeland rambler-writer Alfred Wainwright.
Traditional Scottish Ales Albannach
77A good, flavoursome, dark golden beer that could easily have become cloying in the finish but didn't.
Traditional Scottish Ales Albannach Scottish Blonde Beer
73A bright golden, tasty, organic beer, brewed like the other Albannach beers featured here by Traditional Scottish Ales in Stirling.
Traditional Scottish Ales Ben Nevis 80/-Ale
78A full-flavoured 80/- that does the business. Traditional Scottish Ales is an amalgamation of three Scottish microbreweries: City of Stirling, Trossachs Craft and Bridge of Allan.
Traditional Scottish Ales Lade Inn Ladeback
78A good, tasty, deep-amber coloured beer with clean, fresh flavours.
Traditional Scottish Ales Lade Inn Ladeout
78An attractive red ale, with good, full flavours, all nicely balanced, but slightly too gassy perhaps?
Traditional Scottish Ales Lade Inn Waylade
78A very agreeable, substantial, golden session beer. Just a touch overcarbonated. All three of the Lade Inn beers featured in this issue are brewed at Traditional Scottish Ales.
Traditional Scottish Ales Lomond Gold
78An attractive, shiny-golden beer in a strikingly labelled bottle. Perhaps the alcohol shows through a little too obviously, but it's a good beer, substantial and enjoyable.
Traditional Scottish Ales William Wallace
78It's unusual to find such a malty beer that's so refreshing. A beer worthy of the name of arguably Scotland's greatest freedom fighter.
Trappistes Rochefort 10
95Outstanding ruby ale with an abundance of taste.
Trappistes Rochefort 6
95A red-amber beer that is notably thinner than its stablemate above (and the Rochefort 8 that falls between the two), but carrying similar flavours. Benefits hugely from a delicate finish.
Tui Brewery East India Pale Ale
75Dark amber in colour and unusually sweet for a beer that bears the name IPA. An interesting but quite thin beer from a long-established New Zealand brewery.
Uncle Stuart's Excelsior
70An amber-red bitter, one of a range of bottle-conditioned beers from a tiny Norfolk brewery. The taste and finish sadly fail to do justice to what is a rather appealing aroma.
Van Steenberge Leute Bokbier
78The grassy note is an unwelcome distraction but this chestnut-coloured ale from Belgium still grows on you.
Wadworth St George & The Dragon
45An enjoyable, bright-amber coloured ale that was also bottled recently under the name of DW60, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Devizes to Westminster canoe race.
Wadworth The Bishop's Tipple
75Multi-faceted strong beer that is surprisingly crisp for its ABV.
Wells & Youngs Bombardier Burning Gold
75Along with a stout called Satanic Mills, this is the latest extension of the Bombardier brand, a golden ale featuring Fuggles and Golding hops.
Wells & Youngs Champion Live Beer
80A clean, refreshing, enjoyable golden beer with a summer accent.
Wells & Youngs Christmas Pudding
75It doesn't taste like Christmas pudding but it's great if you like coconut.
Wells & Youngs Ruby Star
80Unusual – a darkish beer with a pronounced hop accent. The perfumed hops will surprise many drinkers. A recent Tesco Beer Challenge winner and the first new bottle-conditioned beer to emerge from We...
Wells & Youngs Special London Ale
83Deservedly popular bronze ale that is easier to drink than its strength would suggest.
Wells & Youngs Winter Warmer
75A somewhat frustrating red beer that keeps promising an explosion of rich, malty flavours but never quite delivers. Very pleasant all the same.
Westerham Brewery Little Scotney Pale Ale
75A robust, full-flavoured but very dry bitter featuring Target hops from the National Trust's Scotney Castle farm in Kent.
Westerham Brewery William Wilberforce Freedom Ale
75A full-flavoured, bottle conditioned ale to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the UK and extolling the virtues of today's Fairtrade produce.
75A pleasant bright ruby coloured ale that could use more depth of character.
73The dryness and complexity are impressive but this golden ale – widely recognised as the benchmark for the tripel style – is too obviously alcoholic.
Williams Brothers Birds & Bees
80A tasty deviation from the citrus golden ale theme: this one is honeyed and moreish, even though elderflowers and lemon zest are added.
Williams Brothers Gold
80A good-value, refreshing Scottish bitter using seven types of malt. Lots of clean flavours for its modest strength.
Williams Brothers Good Times
75A tasty, hoppy, light amber bitter augmented by the inclusion of elder flower and meadowsweet (a fragrant herb).
Williams Brothers Harvest Sun
80A pure and simple, zesty beer that hits the spot for anyone looking for a dry, hoppy and crisp session ale with plenty of body.
Williams Brothers IPA
79A very decent IPA served in a smart, tempting bottle.
Williams Brothers Joker
78A well-balanced, tasty golden ale from Scotland with a full finish. Good summer drinking.
Windsor Castle Sadler's Thin Ice
74A refreshing and tasty, pale golden beer from Worcestershire.
Windsor Castle SADLER'S WORCESTER SORCERER
60I tried this golden beer a few months ago and the flavours were quite different, with more of a deeper malt character and a floral freshness. Hope this was just a rogue sample.
Wold Top Wold's Way
78A very refreshing, gluggable bitter, highlighting the fruity notes of Cascade and Golding hops – proof, once again, that beer does not have to be strong to be tasty. Inspired by the Wolds Way footpa...
Woodforde's Head Cracker
70A dark golden, bottle-conditioned beer that needed more carbonation this time.
The essence of summer in a bottle: like walking through a colourful English garden. Nevertheless, it's very much a true bitter when it comes to the finish.
Worthington's White Shield
83A classy, wonderfully balanced copper ale that continues to be at the head of the field of bottle-conditioned beers.
Wychwood Bah Humbug
78A nicely balanced spiced ale that still comes over as a beer rather than simply a festive confection.
Wychwood Duchy Originals Ale
78A hearty, satisfying, deep amber blend of assorted malt flavours and hops.
Wychwood Duchy Originals Select Ale
78A complex and successful, dark amber beer that belies its strength a little. Formerly known as Duchy Originals Winter Ale.
73An ‘English blonde beer', exclusive to Sainsbury's. Tasty, but perhaps a touch too dry. A little more sweetness would help, especially in the finish.
73A tasty red-brown beer, just a little thick in the finish.
Wychwood Oxford Gold
80Formerly known as Brakspear Organic Beer. A crisp and rewarding, bottle-conditioned beer with an excellent track record in what – because of the unpredictable quality of the ingredients – is a dif...
45An unusual beer described on the label as a ‘rich ruby ale' but appearing more amber in colour in the glass.
75Attractively packaged, flavour-packed beer that may be a touch too overpowering to be consumed in quantity.
Wye Valley Butty Bach
65At its best, a soft and easy drinking, fruity, dark golden ale.
Wye Valley Dorothy Goodbody's Christmas Ale
75A full-flavoured red beer that is surprisingly bitter for its strength.
Wye Valley Dorothy Goodbody's Golden Ale
78A clean and refreshing pale beer.
Wye Valley Mighty Morgan
70A tasty golden beer (the label says ‘chestnut') named after the Morgan sports car company.
Wye Valley Morgan Centenary Ale
75A straight down the middle, bottle-conditioned beer, with no real highlight features yet an excellent balance throughout. The freshness and fullness of flavour make it very enjoyable. Brewed to mark t...
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