Jennings Sneck Lifter - Jennings Brothers PLC

Not Rated.
Jennings Sneck LifterJennings Sneck Lifter

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BA SCORE
84
good

37 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 37
Hads: 55
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 6
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jennings Brothers PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 03-24-2003

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 37 | Hads: 55
Photo of biboergosum
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle - the label explains a nice bit of English pub lore - which is kind of sadly pathetic at the same time.

This beer pours a clear ruddy cola colour, with two fingers of nice thick, foamy off-white head, which leaves a consistent circumference of curtained lace as it abates. It smells of lightly roasted caramel malt, and some spicy, grassy hops. The taste is toffee malt, some mild treacle/butterscotch undertones, and floral, weedy, somewhat spicy hops. The carbonation is on the soft side, the body medium weight, smooth, and kind of sugary. It finishes with a subtle drying graininess.

The Brits are so cute with their 5.1% 'Strong Ale'. Anyways, this is a nice, drinkable, even sessionable bitter, when you want something actually not that bitter, but still agreeably tasty. (792 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into Hoegaarden pint glass in low altitude Galway, Ireland. Purchased at the Harvest off-license.

A: Pours a dark amber, non-transparent. Three finger head of delightful thickness and moderate cream. Generally appealing.

Sm: A very subtle scent, difficult to discern with my broken nose. Certainly hops, maybe some nut notes. Not pleasant, but not overwhelming.

T: Creamy open to bland body to caramelly/nutty finish. Poorly balanced - all of the flavour is in the finish. Built poorly for this style. There are middling intermediary notes none of which are significant: barley and hops and the like. Not bold, not particularly good.

Mf: Better than the taste. About as coarse as it ought to be, and adequately dry for the style.

Dr: Too expensive for its quality. At least it's relatively high ABV, albeit not for the style. (842 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml brown bottle, best before Aug 07, drank Jan 07.

Very dark for a strong bitter, deep mahogany red, held up to the light, you can see it is clear and clean as well. My head turned wispy within one sip and a half.

The beer was poured fairly cold, into a straight pint sleeve, but even as it warmed up my nose had trouble picking up any strong aromas. Sour toffee apples, caramel and burnt malts when almost at room temp.

I have visited the brewery and tasted this in its cask form both at the brewery and in a few pubs around the UK, the bottled version is not as good, but still gets a 3.5 score because it is very pleasant. Deep malty flavour, leaning towards Porters and Stouts, but with a lighter, fresher, cleaner, less creamy mouthfeel and texture.

A good bottled beer, better on cask, but worth trying if unable to take the cask conditioned version. (871 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.87/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A deep ruby tinged brown colour with an initially frothy head coloured like very finely ground milk chocolate. Head collapses to a film pretty readily. Some reasonable lacing, and pleasant static carbonation - looks like it has a very decent amount of body to it. Looks pretty decent.

Whiffy on the nose - ostensibly very malty, but it has an odd organic, slightly smoky character that smells not unlike dry cat food. Certainly at least a lot of husky, rustic grain bag to it. There's a sweetness underneath it all, but to me it smells pretty rank.

Taste is a little better, but it still has that really oddly organic grain shell character to it. The body is good though - and the sweetness here is more pronounced, making it feel like a richer and fuller beer. It does get a bit better the more I drink, but there's something so slightly off-putting about it at the start.

It feels drinkable, even though it's quite full and thick after a while. Not one of my favourite English Ales. Although it does have character, it has just too much that worries me about it. (1,067 characters)

Photo of wl0307
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB 19 JUL 07, served cool in a straight imperial-pint glass.

A: clear, dark reddish brown in colour; a loosely-foamy beige head of 1cm thickness with great retention; low carbonation.
S: pleasant malty theme with a twist of hops--the burned, bitter-sweet edge of caramel and toffee plus roasted nuts and wood dominate the nose, laced with milder notes of dark stone-fruits, raisins, and ripe apples. The sweet+roasty tinge of dark malts is particularly reminiscent of a porter to me... settled, juicy, malty, with a nice kick of spice.
T: a flow of bitter-sweet chocolate malts and toffee abounds, laced with faint traces of black cherries and bitter nuttiness... quietly the tea-leafy hop bitterness, dark chocolates' bitterness, and licorice-like dryish-sweetness join force to extend the aftertaste; pretty pleasant bitter-sweet finish and a touch dryish deep down the wings of the tongue, with abundant entry of hops manifesting on the mouthfeel, but everything is balanced nicely.
M&D: soft in carbonation and medium-bodied, this Premium Bitter is less complex and more malty than its many fruitier counterparts I'm really fond of. But the quality shown in this bottle is really impressive, and the body holds just extremely well from the first drop through to the last, resulting in a consistently satisfying palate. A solid ale by Jennings~~ (1,349 characters)

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.44/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with quickly fading head. Nose is rich and sweet, lots of figs, treacle, port, golden syrup and a little roasted malt. Similarly rich flavours but loads less sweet malt and more roasted character. Carbonation is a bit high, there's a pretty dry finish already. (277 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chestnut amber with tight taupe head that leaves webs of lace. Flinty grain, red pear, light cinnamon and maple leaf - very autumnal.
Raisin scone, tea brack, toffee and a touch of whiskey going into leaf and ginger bread spice with the slightest hint of cocoa.
Red Hots and honeyed apricot leave and drying tart apple linger. Medium, chewy, a bit of stick.

Cumbria is up near Scotland and that explains a lot: malts a bit more like Scottish ale off this one. Well constructed and spice more than leafy hops cut the sweetness at the end. A tasty big cold weather English ale. (578 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.32/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought a few bottles back from London.

From a bottle into a pint glass.

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1 finger medium tan head. Colour is a deep burgundy reddish brown with no carbonation evident. Relatively clear. Head fades to a thin film cap, and eventually only a bit of film remains around the edges. Leaves a bit of splotchy lace bits down the glass.

SMELL: Caramel malt and some toffee as well. A slight touch of vanilla with a hint of dark fruit as well. Mild, but very enticing nose for sure.

TASTE: Caramel malt, toffee, and a touch of sweet candy. A hint of dark fruit as well, much like the nose, with some bitter hop notes at the end. A mild sweet malt and bitter hop aftertaste is long lasting and nicely balanced. Tasty brew for sure.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium prickly carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth, no bite, and finishes with a touch of dryness on the palate. A real pleasure.

OVERALL: This is a gem of a brew. Very enjoyable and super drinkable. I'd make this my session brew of choice, even if it is slightly above the ABV requirement. Recommended.

Note: I first discovered this at a pub just outside the IMAX in London. The cask version blew me out of the water; one of the best beers I've ever had. Easily an A rating. I was lucky enough to find it in bottles at the grocery store near my hotel, so I brought four back home with me. Though not up to the cask version, the bottled version is certainly a treat in its own right. If you're in London, try to find this on cask somewhere. For me, I'll just cross my fingers that De Bierkoning in Amsterdam gets bottles in every now and then. (1,644 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Oct 2011. The explanation of sneck lifter on the label is interesting.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A deep brown colour with a ruby hue when held to the light. Good carbonation; produces a creamy off-white head that lasts for several minutes. Aroma of rich malt with some caramel and roasted notes. Also slightly sweet and has overtones of solvent and alcohol.

A flavour of sweet dark malt with distinctive bitterness. Some roasted/burnt notes as well as caramel. No obvious hoppy flavours, but quite bitter as you swallow. As with the aroma strong hints of solvent/ethanol, particularly when swallowing. The body is unusual - it has the mouthfeel you normally associate with spirits, light and astringent with a sensation of alcohol on the palate.

This is a pretty good ale - it has decent taste and bitterness. The only let-down is the evidence of ethanol in the background, which seems to unbalance the flavour and mouthfeel. I'll have it again though if I come across it. (1,015 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jim at Sherbrooke for the sample. From a 500 ml brown bottle. Pours out a transparent rustic amber hue, tall frothy off-white head that slowly settles in rocky chunks. Thick spongy lacing as well.

Toasted malt with some smooth caramel on the nose, bready toffee malt builds over time, with some hop spiciness. Malt dominates.

Malt profile is a bit closer to that of a Winter Warmer than an ESB, however the latter is reiterated by a sturdy herbal hop finish and lingering aftertaste. Chewy toffee and toasted malt, some cherries in the middle, with a dry herbal hop finish, that lingers fairly long into the aftertaste.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, low carbonation, slick and thin texture.

An ESB with a bit of a twist, fairly average all around otherwise, it doesn't really stand out in the crowd. (808 characters)

Photo of mdagnew
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from Grape Expectations, Ballyclare... I've had the cask version of this before so was interested to try the bottled version...

Poured a dark mahogany red colour... Creamy tan head poured quite thick then faded to thin layer... some light patchy lacing...

Aroma - Nice caramel maltiness, strong biscuity notes, light nutmeg, nutty hints, light spicy hops, some pepperiness, fruitcake notes, figs and dates, light treacle sweetness...

Taste – Nice drying hop bitterness, light toffee maltiness, spicy, slight mustiness, oaky notes, very light nutty sweetness, definite biscuity traces...

Feel - Quite smooth with slight sharpness underneath. Medium bodied. Very drinkable - would make a pretty good session beer...

Overall - A pretty good beer... not as good as the cask version but still pretty good... (838 characters)

Photo of bditty187
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Faintly hazy, brown-copper in hue with ruby highlights; I like the color. Beige foam, at the apex the head was a healthy three fingers tall. Head retention was impressive; the bubbles were slow to fade to a tight cap. Subsequent lacing was fairly widespread. A small cap lasted the entire consumption. This is a terrific looking beer!

Unexpected nose! I smell coffee grinds, burnt toast, old paper, wood, dried earth, and stale (dark) fruit biscuits. The aromas are very well rounded. Caramel notes in the background, maybe some nutmeg… fruitcake? Moderate-high potency, chatty… I really enjoy the bouquet. It is quite complex without being overly hoppy, malty, or alcoholic. A bouquet like this is very uncommon in the US. I love it!

The palate has a tad more bitterness then the nose explained (which is nice). On the other hand, the maltiness is a bit firmer then expected (which I’m indifferent too). There is terrific balance; burnt toast, coffee grinds upfront, tea-like hops, earthy bitterness in the middle, then some dark fruit notes, hints of figs and nutmeg, with a finish that is toasty and vaguely sweet. Dry aftertaste… it leaves me wanting more. Complex. Like I said about the nose, a palate like this is very uncommon in the US. Tasty!

Medium/medium-light in body, low carbonation, I wish the mouthfeel was a tad fuller and the carbonation was just tickle livelier but these are small complaints. The mouthfeel works well enough.

It takes a beer like this to force me to reflect on all the complaining I do about English beers. Sure, I love Fullers, Meantime, JW Lees, Landlord but so many of the English beers we get in the US are crap like Wychwood and St. Peter’s. I never heard of this beer until I received it as a Christmas gift from my girlfriend’s family visiting from England. I was happy to try it. Now that I have, this has been a rambling way to say this beer is freaking awesome and very damn tasty! I’d kill to try this on cask. Easy to drink… enjoyable! Thank you, Hanna, Holly, Hope, Rose, Dave, and Kathy. My 500ml bottle was not nearly enough! (2,101 characters)

Photo of rastaman
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells like raisins and maple syrup, burnt raisin and coffee on the palate, some nice drying resiny hops towards the finish, tastes exactly of its ingredients, which is a good thing, solid, mildly complex, tasty brew. Nothing too much wrong with it, perhaps a bit to much sweetness, quite tasty. (295 characters)

Photo of brendan13
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark ruby copper colour with a 2cm off white head that falls to a thin whisp.
S - Nutty with light toffee notes. Some vague earthy hop character.
T - Also very nutty in the taste with the light toffee notes. Like the smell, mild earthy hop flavours.
M - Medium bodied, low to moderate carbonation, a pleasent lingering bitterness.
O - A decent ESB that certainly does focus on the bittering addition rather than late hops. (434 characters)

Photo of eric5bellies
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice Mahogany colour with a tinge of red and an Ivory coloured head that stays around.

S - Nice biscuit bread and roast aromas.

T - Nice nutty flavours up front with some caramel and vanilla and roasted malt in the middle and a bitter finish.

M - Medium body and carbonation that makes a smooth drop.

D - Another decent ESB from the old country. (361 characters)

Photo of GreenCard
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Best before 09.2005...

Appearance: mahogany, great clarity, fluffy/creamy layer of tan head, lace

Aroma: coffee grinds, burnt toast, old books, malt, soy sauce, licorice

Flavor: roasty and toasty, dry malt backbone, slight acidity, finishes as dry as it starts with a roasty, rooty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, mild carbonation, a bit astringent on the teeth (376 characters)

Photo of damndirtyape
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hand pumped into a Nonic glass at the Cock and Hoop in Nottingham.

Appearance: Dark brown with thick white foam across the top. The foam goes away but leaves thick white lacing along the walls of the glass.

Smell: Hints of coffee along with strong roasted malts and a hint of burnt sugar.

Taste: Coffee hints, smooth malt, and a hint of a bitter finish. For an ESB I found the bitterness surprisingly mild.

Mouthfeel: Barest hint of carbonation right after pouring, but later settles down to a just thin of creamy texture. Quite smooth.

Drinkability: Very nice - I could easily have another pint or a half pint all by itself. (632 characters)

Photo of Dentist666
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into english pint.
Pours clear copper beer with nice beige rocky head, excellent retention. Aroma - not intense, toffee, caramel, nutty. Taste - toasted malts, marmalade, nice hop bitterness in the finish. Medium body & carbonation.
Pros - adequately balanced, unexpectedly bitter.
Contras - weak smell, consider ABV is a bit low. Having a heavy dissonance whether it is an ESB, english strong ale or an old ale. (420 characters)

Photo of Shadman
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Told a bud from Burnley, UK. about this beer. Apparently nicknamed the 'shirt lifter' ( sanitized nickname no doubt) lol.

Pours like a good ale should. Dark brown, bright red highlights when held up to light.
Do not do vigorous pour as head forms up quckly.

Mild pale malts with a slight earthiness.

Nice balance in the front end. Malts come through like sweetened coffee. Hops are quite sharp, like dandelion. Very strong tea like bitterness tends to dominate the middle and finish.

Feel is medium-light. Maybe a tad overcarbonated.

Difinitely has the bitter part down pat. A nice ale, not in the same league as Fuller's, but still worth sampling. (654 characters)

Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle 5,1% Abv.
Served chilled in an over sized wine glass.
BB 31 August 2012

Appearance: Deep copper-red body topped by a large, creamy, beige head that lasts really well and leaves some great lacing as is slowly recedes.

Smell: Sweet dark fruit (raisins and plums), toffee, light burned currents, nutty malts and lightly spicy/earthy hops.

Taste: Similar to the nose, sweet dark fruits, toffee, light burned notes, distinct orange peel, spicy hops and a great bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is light-medium (too light for the flavours) and the carbonation is a tad high - I prefer low carbonation in English style ales.

Overall: An enjoyable beer but not something I will seek out. If they consider this a "Strong Ale" in the UK; no wonder Brewdog's Tokyo* was frowned upon! (797 characters)

Photo of Andrewharemza
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium brown, single finger tan coloured head. Very clear. Aroma of toasty malts, caramel, toffee. Taste of caramel, toffee, toasted malts, some spice...very nice! (169 characters)

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Dark chestnut; frothy beige, medium-sized head

Aroma: bready; coffee notes; peppery hops

Taste: Bitter, juicy malt on start; bittter, dry, nutty finish; roasted grain notes like a stout

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores (273 characters)

Photo of zerk
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My wife brought this one back foer me when she went to London.

Pours chestnut with a thick tan head. Aroma has a touch of a metallic presence to it, with some notes of caramel and herbs. Flavor is quite nice... with subdued caramel, bread, a touch of chocolate, and some balancing light bitterness. It's medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Quite a refreshing beer. (377 characters)

Photo of juju7
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very cola-like in appearance. A rocky head, consistent sexy lacing all the way down. A little surprised by how coffee heavy the nose is. Some chicory and espresso bean, smoky roast action happening. Hate coffee but for some reason don't mind it in beer. Lightly carbonated and quite smooth again with the coffee-like bitterness. A long persistent finish. Good beer but just not necessarily the kind of beer I'd come back to often. But it IS good, really. (454 characters)

Photo of spdyfire83
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

71st Review
Bottle to mouth
Best Before: 30 November 2012

Thanks Chris for this bottle upon our arrival in London. Enjoyed while walking from the tube to their place - you can do that in the UK...it is socially acceptable and totally legal.

A: Deep copper. Not sure on head as it went straight down the pipe.

S: Sweet caramel, roasted biscuit malt, nutty, and bold, rustic hops.

T: Sweet up front with a nice balance of roasty malt and hops. Balanced, smooth bitterness at end.

M: Medium-full bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Very enjoyable for the style. Something that I would definitely seek out again. Good job Jennings Bros! (638 characters)

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Jennings Sneck Lifter from Jennings Brothers PLC
84 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.