tastingbeers.com is all about the taste. Find the beer you want to taste by searching through our comprehensive archive, and should we not have a beer you expect, just let us know and we will do our best to taste it. Just email Sophie Donovan.
Abita Brewing Co Abita Bock
A full-bodied, flavoursome golden bock from Louisiana, but unfortunately served in a rather uninspiring bottle.
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...
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.
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.
68A strong Spanish lager with plenty of hop character but a rather harsh finish.
75A dark copper lager brewed in Cordoba, Spain, home to a stunning 10th century mosque (mezquita). Rather strong for sipping in the blinding Spanish sun.
Alhambra Reserva 1925
65Quite a smooth, golden, Spanish lager but rather strong tasting. The hoppy finish is not bad but the overall impression is that this is just too strong to be enjoyable.
75An unusual offering from a Swiss brewery, with a small proportion of the profits going to support chestnut projects in the Italian-speaking region of the country. Interesting and successful.
75Hemp leaves and flowers are the unusual ingredients in this hazy golden attempt to reflect the old ways of seasoning beer. It's pleasant enough, but seems rather contrived.
73A clean golden lager with decent body, but possibly just a little too dry.
Appenzeller Swiss Mountain
75An enjoyable, but subtle golden lager with a moreish finish.
73A big and tasty brew with a chalky finish that dries the palate completely.
Arundel Old Knucker
78A ruby-coloured old ale from Sussex that stumps up plenty of flavour and would wash down a chocolate pudding a treat. I'd love to try a bottle-conditioned version, which would add a touch of lightness...
Arundel Sussex Gold
75A golden ale with good, interesting flavours if you like a hop bias to your beers.
Athenian Brewery Marathon
75Very acceptable. A sweet Greek lager that's easy to drink but not short of flavour.
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 Pumpkin Ale
75There's a degree of artificiality about these Hall & Woodhouse ales, which are flavoured with natural essences, but they're pleasant enough and seem to hit the spot for lots of people.
Bali Hai Premium
63An undemanding premium lager from Indonesia. Not horrid, but there are faults which prevent it from being enjoyable.
Batemans Dark Lord
77A deep garnet/ruby porter, named in honour of English Civil War commander Thomas Fairfax. Full-flavoured and satisfying.
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.
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.
Bennett's Wellington Lager
A well-balanced beer with plenty of flavour. This and the other Bennett's beers reviewed are contract brewed for New Zealand beer marketer Maurice Bennett, who doesn't run a brewery.
70A pale golden Italian lager that has some character but could be smoother.
76A somewhat tired and rather dull, Belgian-inspired wheat beer from the USA.
Bockor Omer Traditional Blond
85A cracker-dry, Duvel-esque Belgian blond that would make an ideal aperitif.
83Remarkably easy-drinking strong ale. The restrained finish is the key to the drinkability.
Brasserie Caulier Bon Secours Blonde
76A chunky, golden Belgian ale that is too woolly and alcoholic to be very enjoyable.
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 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.
78A black lager that drinks like a crisp, clean stout and is likely to be of more appeal to stout drinkers than lager buyers.
83An intense, deep ruby beer that pours like engine oil. It's not quite as chocolatey as the name implies but it's certainly a class act.
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.
Brouwerij Slaapmutske Slaapmutske Bruin
78Not the most complex of Belgian browns but well made and enjoyable. Fairly bitter in the finish for the style.
Brouwerij Slaapmutske Slaapmutske Tripel
78A clean, efficient, golden tripel that is rather delicate and drinks all too easily for its strength.
Browar Belgia Cobra Bite Lemongrass
68Clean and refreshing in a soft drink kind of way, but it's clearly more of an alcopop than a beer. Part of a range of fruit flavoured lagers that also include Apple, Blood Orange and Sweet Lime.
Budwesier Budvar Czech Dark Lager
88Clean, crisp and loaded with flavour. Full of character and taste yet surprisingly mellow at the same time. An excellent addition to the Budvar range.
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.
Cains Double Bock Beer
85A dangerously easy-drinking strong lager with clean, full flavours and excellent balance. A terrific addition to the everexpanding range of beers from Liverpool's biggest brewery.
Cains Finest Lager
73An impressive British Pilsener that would score much more highly if the oxidation issue was addressed.
Cains Organic Wheat Beer
78Although not the most complex wheat beer you'll ever discover, this is a welcome addition to the Cains range – pleasant, clean and refreshing.
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...
60This beer is brewed at a number of European breweries and the sample tasted came from the Varese brewery in Italy. Apart from the unusual ring-pull cap, there's not much happening.
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.
Cervesera Montseny Negra
78An assertive stout that's perhaps just a bit too tart for some palates.
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...
60A weird but sadly not wonderful Australian strong lager. There's also a crude and rather unnecessary crucifixion rhyme on the label that some people may find offensive.
80A clean, tasty, full-bodied Dutch bock that is lagered for at least 12 weeks.
Cobra King Cobra
78Elegantly packaged, unusual, bottle-conditioned strong lager with good, fresh flavours.
Cobra Lower Cal Lower Carb
73Totally undemanding beer for a specialist segment of the market.
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.
70A red bottle-conditioned ale that drinks just a little thin for its strength.
Cotleigh Peregrine Porter
73An enjoyable bottle-conditioned porter that, on this tasting, just lacks a little carbonation.
Cwmbran Plum Porter
75An interesting, reasonably successful marriage of fruit and dark malts from a Welsh microbrewery.
74A fresh and clean tasting, pale yellow Belgian ale, but it lacks the depth to keep you interested for long.
Daas Daas White
78A refreshing but not very complex witbier.
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.
78An interesting, hazy-yellow strong ale infused with a South American species of holly for a peculiar spicy herbal flavour.
Dark Star Espresso
75This ruby beer certainly lives up to its name. Just as an Italian espresso coffee (unsugared) is a bitter, demanding drink and a shock to the senses, so is this uncompromising, bold stout, courtesy of...
Dark Star Sunburst
75A golden beer for hopheads, but too hoppy for some palates.
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.
Duchy Originals Summer Ale
75No shortage of flavour but perhaps not crisp enough for a summer drink.
70The distinctive bottle shape reveals that this blonde lager is a close relation to the famous Duvel, but sadly it's nowhere near as good.
Eisenbahn 5 Anos
78A celebratory beer in the Vienna lager style, marking five years of the founding of this Brazilian brewery. Crisp, clean and not as sweet as expected. Dry hopped, and it shows.
85A clean-tasting, highly quaffable showcase for dark malts without the heaviness of a stout or a porter. The first of this month's excellent beers from a Brazilian microbrewery.
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.
85Brewed to be the beer equivalent of Champagne, which means foaming, noisy bubbles are a big part of the package. But beware: all this lively CO2 somewhat deflects your attention from the high alcohol ...
Eisenbahn Pale Ale
75An unusual pale ale. Not as crisp as most British or American versions, with a creamy texture throughout.
83A very fine take on the German smoked beer style, well balanced, light bodied and refreshing for the ABV.
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...
80Another fine beer from this Brazilian craft brewery. It has set its sights high with this one, with Schneider's Aventinus the top of the tree for this style, but it's a very good effort.
75Not the subtlest of weissbiers, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with it either.
Exmoor Ales Brewery Beast
78The front label describes Exmoor Beast simply as a ‘strong ale', but when you read the small print on the reverse, its origins in the porter style are made clear.
Farsons Cisk Lager
75A rather timid but refined and enjoyable Maltese lager with a good hoppy finish.
Florida Beer Company Indian River Honey Amber Rose
68The label describes this peach coloured brew from Florida as being a ‘malt beverage brewed with honey and rose hips'. I'm not sure quite what it's hoping to achieve, but it didn't do anything for me...
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.
70This is Foster's spiked with lemon and lime juices, which marry with the beer well, but it's not a drink for beer purists.
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...
Full Sail Session Black
75A garnet-brown lager with enjoyable flavours on the whole and decent balance, but it would be a lot better if it were a little fresher.
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 Prize Old Ale
85This is the last batch of Prize Old Ale brewed at Gale's, now packaged at Fuller's in a bigger bottle than before and with a conventional cap rather than a cork. It much more lively and acidic than pr...
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 Jack Frost
78Beer with blackberries, but still very much a beer and not a gimmicky drink. Clever use of the fruit – to enhance the natural beer flavours rather than dominate them.
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.
Fuller's Vintage Ale 2009
82A bit sticky and sweet at this early stage in its long life, but already a beer to seek out. It will dry and improve in time.
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 Dark Mild
75A mild that delivers on taste even if it seems a touch too bitter for the style. The first of four beers from an environmentally-conscious New Zealand brewery.
Green Man Lager
73On the whole a decent organic lager from New Zealand with a good, satisfying finish. The malt base is lush and deep but it's a shame the hops aren't a bit cleaner.
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 Old Crafty Hen
81A variation on a theme. This beer takes the oak-aged Old 5X that Greene King normally blends with a young beer to create Strong Suffolk and marries it with Old Speckled Hen.
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.
83An easy-drinking Dutch weissbierstyle brew with mellow fruit flavours. Served in Grolsch's trademark swing-stopper bottle and very refreshing.
Haand Bryggeriet Ardenne Blond
82Fresh and quaffable, despite its strength.
Haand Bryggeriet Norwegian Wood
82Described as a ‘traditional Norwegian smoked ale with juniper berries'. I get the smoke – which thankfully is well kept in check – but the juniper passes me by completely. An impressive beer.
Haand Bryggeriet Odin's Tipple
69A potent, near-black beer from an enterprising Norwegian microbrewery, with enough warmth to keep out a polar winter.
60The letters stand for Gluten Free Lager. This very pale brew has been created with coeliac disease sufferers in mind. It certainly fulfils a useful role, but it's an acquired taste. Obviously the suga...
50Spoiled by the rough alcoholic notes.
80A well-balanced and interesting mild, combining sweet and roasted flavours very nicely.
Hampshire T'ale of the Dragon
73A robust beer for hop lovers, probably not balanced enough for other drinkers.
Harbin Brewery Harbin Lager
75A clean and pleasant Chinese lager from the Anheuser-Busch stable. Well brewed even if it's not bursting with flavour.
80A very well-balanced American IPA, but rather mellow for this often aggressive style.
Harpoon UFO Raspberry
80An unfiltered wheat beer, laced with raspberries. Very nicely balanced, clean and refreshing.
Harvey's Quatercentenary Ale
80An explosive ale to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot.
Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 Years Old
82Dark malt flavours are prominent in this first of three versions of Ola Dubh (‘black oil').
Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40 Years Old
83The dark ale and whisky features combine really well, with both aspects discernible but complementary. More complex than the Ola Dubh 18.
Harviestoun Old Dubh 18
81Another great offering from the Ola Dubh range. Harviestoun's Old Engine Oil has been aged this time in 18-year-old whisky casks.
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.
Hawkshead Lakeland Lager
75There's not much to criticise or praise here. It's just an okay British lager, but at least with a good finish.
Hawkshead Organic Stout
81A smooth, tasty, easy-drinking, bottle-conditioned stout.
Hepworth Hakhamanesh Organic
78Regally-wrapped in black and gold tissue paper, this is described as a ‘boutique beer' and, despite the emphasis on style, has some substance, too. It's a very mellow beer overall.
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.
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.
Hoggley's Solstice Stout
76A full-bodied stout with plenty of good roasted grain flavours but, on this occasion, not quite enough carbonation.
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 Double Stout
83A fine, dry, deep ruby-coloured stout, fresh, crisp and clean. Now available bottle conditioned.
Hook Norton Hooky Gold
78A good value, full-flavoured yet nicely balanced golden ale that includes American Willamette hops.
Innis & Gunn Cask Strength
80Beautifully presented, unusual beer, aged for 77 days. Not as chewy as might be feared.
Innis & Gunn Limited Edition 2005
85Slightly darker than the Cask Strength version (featured below), this beer is aged for 154 days and only 50,000 bottles have been produced. Fascinating, as always, from oak-agers Innis & Gunn.
Innis & Gunn Rum Cask Oak Aged Beer
80The latest variation on the Innis & Gunn oak-ageing theme, this time using old rum casks. The sweetness marks it out as an ideal pudding beer. Only 84,000 bottles have been produced.
Islay Ales Single Malt Ale
78A full-value, chunky beer loaded with tangy hops – a terrific partner for a ripe stilton or an extra mature cheddar.
Jacobsen Bramley Wit
73A new take on the Belgian wit bier style with apples added for a twist. Refreshing and quaffable but a little tarnished by oxidation wet paper notes. A beer to sup with roast pork?
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 Humdinger
73A quaffing beer that, thankfully, is not too much in thrall to its honey content.
Joseph Holt Manchester
75Full flavoured for the strength, but perhaps a touch too astringent in the finish. A Lowry scene features on the label.
Joseph Holt Maplemoon
75A well-balanced, tasty, dark golden ale with an enjoyable citrus prominence.
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.
JW Lees Harvest Ale
88A world classic barley wine that could easily be served in sherry schooners. It's brewed each autumn from the latest crops of barley and hops, and, though sweet, is exceptionally moreish – beware!
Lefebvre Blanche de Bruxelles
75An easy-drinking, hazy yellow beer with fairly subtle flavours. Nicely balanced.
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.
Left Hand Juju Ginger
78A subtle and successful ginger brew.
Les Brasseurs De Gayant Gayanttequieros
60This French beer, spiked with tequila, has a Jekyll and Hyde personality: one moment it is sugary sweet, the next uncompromisingly bitter. More of an alcopop than a serious beer.
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...
76A pleasant if rather commercial, bright red beer that will not be challenging enough for most beer drinkers.
72A crisp and tasty, organic lager that is only brewed on nights with a full moon.
71A sweet and rather mellow Polish beer that is not particularly complex but is suppable nonetheless.
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.
Lovibonds Henley Gold
78An Anglo-US take on a weissbier (the co-owner of this small brewery in Henley-on-Thames is American Jeff Rosenmeier). Rich, full-tasting, and happily not too cloying thanks to the pleasant tart notes....
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 May Bee
75The honey flavours are nicely restrained, leaving the stage to lots of bitter hops.
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.
85Like Young's more famous Double Chocolate Stout, this porter includes a little chocolate to enhance the dark malt flavours. A real treat with a chocolate brownie.
85A garnet-coloured porter enhanced by the use of fresh coffee (note: contains caffeine). Cleverly done and rapidly becoming a classic.
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.
Meantime London Porter
90An exceptionally good, authentic, deep-ruby porter, bottle conditioned to be light, fresh and easy to drink. Not to be missed.
Meantime London Stout
83An excellent stout, clean, fresh and packed with flavour for its relatively modest strength. Perhaps a little light on the swallow, but it finishes well.
83This beer was tasted anonymously alongside the German pilsners featured later in this section and the score reveals that it more than held its own. A fine beer with bags of taste, packed with hop char...
Meantime Winter Time
80A new, bottle-conditioned creation not far removed from the same brewery's Chocolate and Coffee beers (see porters section). Flavour packed but perhaps just a touch cloying in places.
20Brewed in Belgium under contract for a company that specialises in beers with exotic ingredients. This one, hazy yellow in colour, contains not just coconut but also quinua, a South American cereal. B...
Namibian Brewery Windhoek Lager
70The finish of this Namibian lager is a bit lightweight, but this would be an enjoyable, refreshing beer if it wasn't for the oxidation.
Nethergate Brewery Umbel Magna
78Some might find the coriander just a touch too heavy as a flavouring for this rich, malty, bottle-conditioned porter, but it's a very pleasant creation.
Nils Oscar GOD
75A fresh-tasting, well balanced Swedish lager with a good finish. The name means ‘good' rather than suggesting a divine presence.
78A Russian lager with unusual flavours that don't quite come together.
Ochakovo Premium Black
77A deep ruby, Russian lager that is mellow and easy to drink. There are no striking flavours but instead a good mix of dark malt notes.
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.
Ossett Treacle Stout
78Dark and bitter without being too demanding. Good balance of complementary flavours.
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 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 10 Commandments
85Brave and bold, calls for an experienced beer palate. Brettanomyces yeast is added – the yeast that makes lambic beers musty and earthy – and will surely work its magic with time in the bottle.
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.
75A fairly bitter mild, thin in body, as expected for the style, but not lacking taste.
78A novel, copper-coloured brew the dryness and hoppiness of which would make it a good aperitif beer.
73A dark ruby stout with a tart fruitiness that, rather than enhancing the beer, destabilises it a little.
73An interesting golden ale that could, perhaps, be just a touch cleaner.
75A beer true to its name in appearance, with a wonderful aroma and lots of interesting flavours.
75A pleasant and quaffable, English version of a witbier.
Riegele Aechtes Dunkel
70A rust-coloured, German dark lager with a pleasant nutty character. It doesn't quite come off in the bottle, however, but would be well worth trying fresh, on draught.
75A refreshing, bitter, golden ale featuring Fuggles and First Gold hops.
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...
Riva Dentergems Witbier
78A good starter for an evening in a Brussels bar, but fairly thin for its strength.
Robinson's Old Ginger Tom
75Old Tom blended with Fentiman's Ginger Beer, producing an interesting drink with quite a kick. I suspect, however, that most of us would prefer the original Old Tom on its own.
Roman Adriaen Brouwer Dark Gold
77An easy-drinking, tasty, Belgian ruby ale, in which the generous natural condition makes all the difference to the drinkability.
Russell BC Lions Lager
59A straw-coloured, canned lager, ‘the official beer of the BC Lions', a American football team in Vancouver. Unfortunately, it's all a bit clumsy and dominated by butterscotch (diacetyl) from the fer...
Sainsbury's Franconian Style Dark Lager
80A full value, tasty beer with clean flavours and good balance. Franconia is the northern part of Bavaria.
Sainsbury's Munich Style Oktoberfest Bier
80A bold yet well-balanced, strong, nutty lager that happily takes the chill off an autumn evening.
Sainsbury's So Organic Blonde Ale
73An interesting golden ale with a surprisingly estery character for its strength. Brewed by Wychwood for Sainsbury's.
Saku Brewery Kuld
75A classily presented pale golden lager from Estonia's oldest brewery, but it has to be one of the strangest beers I've tasted for a while. Was my sample typical? It's not unpleasant, just very odd.
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.
Saltaire Hazelnut Coffee Porter
79This bright amber-red beer is loaded with flavour for its strength, but seems a bit too contrived and artificial. Saltaire's beers are terrific but this is not one of their best.
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 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 Honey Spice
80A clean and enjoyable, inventive beer that includes cinnamon, coriander and mixed peel. Plenty of condition makes it a lively drink.
Sharp's Honey Spice Triple
80Interestingly creative beer, marrying spices and honey with the hops and strength of a tripel. A touch too perfumed for my liking, but others may love it.
Sharp's Massive Ale
80Not the most complex of barley wines but deftly done.
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 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.
Shongweni Robson's Wheat Beer
75There's no shortage of taste in this wheat beer and you'll be happy if you like coriander, which is rather prominent.
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 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 Peter's G-Free
75A gluten-free beer that tastes a bit odd, as these beers tend to do, but otherwise delivers rather well. It's really very acceptable and will make coeliacs jump for joy.
St Peter's Summer Ale
75Surprisingly strong for a summer ale, but there's plenty of taste and body.
St Peter's Wheat Beer
75More akin to a Belgian wit than a Bavarian weissbier. The label says it's unfiltered, but it pours clear. A pleasant, dark golden drink.
Tesco Finest French Wheat Beer
78A quaffable, interesting take on the blanche/witbier style, served in a large corked bottle that opens with a healthy pop.
The Cayman Islands Brewery Caybrew
68This may be pleasant under the baking Cayman Islands sun, especially as it does have an enjoyable herbal hop note, but the lack of real character means it doesn't quite work this far from home in the ...
84This near-black beer is a meal in a glass, but you need to like honey to really enjoy it.
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.
78A vanilla stout, flavour-packed and interesting, as we've come to expect from Thornbridge Brewery.
Thornbridge Saint Petersburg
78A full-bodied, full-flavoured recreation of the imperial Russian stout style, but with a tropical fruit note and a rather intense, bitter finish.
Thwaites Bombay Pilsner
55A curry beer with plenty of taste but without much to commend it otherwise.
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 Albannach Whisky Beer
80A rich orange-amber beer, aged in whisky casks. The finish is surprisingly dry.
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.
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.
78An enjoyable golden German beer with plenty of taste. Clean and refreshing.
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.
75A ‘keep out the cold lager' from Poland, a bit sweet and syrupy yet not too in your face.
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...
Weltenburger Kloster Asam Bock
80A full-on, sweet bock that at first seems to lack subtlety. In time, however, the pruney fruitiness brings everything back into balance.
Weltenburger Kloster brewed by Bischofshof Barock Hell
85A treat. A high-quality German hell lager, as clean as a whistle and packed with character. One of the best bottled lagers I've tasted for some time. Unlike the other two Weltenburger beers tasted in ...
West St. Mungo
80A really impressive golden, Scottish lager. Naturally carbonated and packed with flavour.
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.
Williams Brothers 80/-
79A well-rounded, ruby ale, a welcomingly autumnal beer in both colour and taste.
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 Ceilidh
80Tasty, if rather nutty, straw-coloured Scottish lager, thankfully resisting the urge to go citrus.
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.
Williams Brothers Midnight Sun
75A strange porter, laced with root ginger. Don't expect fiery gingery flavours: it's more of a cool, almost minty, effect. For me, it doesn't really work, but this is a Tesco award winner, so I must be...
Windsor Castle Sadler's Mud City Stout
76A West Midlands beer incorporating raw cocoa powder and vanilla, delivering interesting flavours and a great texture.
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...
Wolf Grandma's Rich Porter
75A porter from Norfolk, infused with cloves, which are not particularly noticeable. It develops into a good, bitter drink with a dryness that draws you back for more.
Wolf Lavender Honey
73With plenty of taste for its strength, this is an unusual, fresh-tasting floral beer that won't suit all palates but will work well for others.
75A light-bodied stout with a pronounced roasted aftertaste.
Wolf Straw Dog
73The label describes it as a weissbier in the German style but there's none of the expected banana and clove flavours. A touch too tart for my taste.
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.
78A full-flavoured and thankfully not-too-sweet, dark golden ale, produced in Oxfordshire with Fair trade honey and sugar.
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.
75Attractively packaged, flavour-packed beer that may be a touch too overpowering to be consumed in quantity.
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...
Wye Valley The Best 4x4
78An easy-drinking beer that doesn't, however, lack character. Brewed to celebrate 60 years of Land Rover production.
Wye Valley Two Swans
75A refreshingly malty alternative to the current wave of golden, hoppy ales. Brewed to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, whose ‘two swans' logo was designed ...
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