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Bishops Finger - Shepherd Neame Ltd

Not Rated.
Bishops FingerBishops Finger

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

226 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 226
Reviews: 104
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 9
Gots: 30 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shepherd Neame Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-25-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (57) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 226 | Reviews: 104
Reviews by gjh:
Photo of gjh
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks very docile in the bottle. Pours a a nice, clear, dark amber color with a nice frothy white head which disapates somewhat quickly. While I did not get te same smell noted in other reviews, it was not overly very impressive and inviting as other beers. Very dry taste with a hint of chocolate. Overall, a mild bitter worth a taste, but not much more. I must admit, the name of the beer is more intriguing than the beer itself. I just hope it was not a Catholic Bishop.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From Englands oldest brewery poured a bownish color with minimal head,kind of a funky smell almost skunked and a little musty.Taste is slightly fruity with some dryness in the finish,pretty drinkable but nothing spectacular.It's still nice to find ales from the island across the pond.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 500ml clear glass bottle with a BB of Jan 2011. This is ale with a pedigree - the label proclaims Shepherd Neame as Britain's oldest brewer (from 1698).

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A deep ruby-brown colour with good carbonation. A thick, creamy off-white head tops the liquid and remains for 5 minutes or so before dissipating to a surface film. A rich aroma of roasted malt and caramel, with notes of hops and a hint of burning. A whiff of alcohol.

A strong malty flavour with good bitterness. Slightly sweet with caramel notes, but mostly a distinctive roasted flavour tempered by hops as you swallow. A warming hint of alcohol on the palate. Mouthfeel is somewhat carbonated and mildly astringent, leaving a dry sensation. Aftertaste of bitter hops and malt.

Highly drinkable. This is probably my favourite ale from Shepherd Neame, and is the beer that springs to mind when someone mentions strong English ale. A good flavour makes it an drink for all seasons. Worth seeking out.

Photo of rastaman
2.78/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I think its Ok, but its a bit smelly. The body is thin, but theres some nice flavours of citrus, roasty chocolate in there, i think its OK, but theres better stuff from the mother country.

Photo of sloejams
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on cask at Heathrow Airport in London. The Wetherspoon Restaurant in Terminal 4 has 4-5 beers on cask and proudly hangs the Cask Marque at the entrance. Pours a turbid amber color topped with a few bubbles. The flavor is textbook English Bitter – toasty malts, low hop presence. I enjoyed.

I wish LAX had places like this to grab a pint.

Photo of Sammy
3.34/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Golding hops, great hoppy aroma. Some barley initially. Pale copper colour with lace and aestheticly pleasant transparent bottle (keep out of sunshine!) Drying, tad metallic. Understated carbonation. Drinkable but a 500 ml. for 3 is more than enough.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The nun's delight! Clear, bright amber with a reddish tint and a creamy head. (The aroma is slightly skunky). The body is moderately light with a gentle carbonation. The flavor is assertive with a strong malt presence and an assault of hops. The hops win out in the finish, leaving it dry and long lasting. Though it's not a very complex ale, it is full of bold malt and hop. An excellent beer to pair with English cheeses.

Photo of surfadelic23
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on cask at a pub in Bath. It was a solid ale but a little on the uninspired side. It had a dark reddish color with an off-white head. It's smell packed way more of a wallop that the taste as it was rather full-bodied. Overall, the is a good bitter and very easy to drink. If I ever see it on cask in America, I'll definitely have this again!

Photo of Bierschenker
4.64/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Brought this along from Ireland.

This beer was consumed in a Pint glass.
The colour is a beautiful copper brown.
On top a nice creamy head with mediate bubbles.
The scent is very pleasant, hop and malt. Sometimes the most basic elements form the greatest dish. No carbonation present.
The taste is as superb in simplicity as the scent. Malt, hops and slight yeast.
The mouthfeel is watery and creamy at the same time.
The aftertaste gives more hop bitterness and some lemonpeel.

I am convinced!

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A great gift from a new friend from across the pond----THANKS IAN!

This classic ESB pours a beautiful brownish red from the clear bottle with a nice off white head of foam that lasts long with great lacing. Nose of caramel malts, dark berries notes of raspberries and some strawberry, and a good dose of floral hops. Flavors exceed the nose with caramel malts dancing about raspberry tartness and beautiful floral hops. Nice carbonation makes for an easy refreshing brew. Finish is long and moderately bitter with a touch of tartness. An excellent example of a quality ESB.

Photo of Graphirus
4.21/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours deep copper with a small off.white head that don not stay longer. Small lacing

S - Moderate maltiness, some hops notes and fruity esters.

T - Medium bitterness that stays for long. Maltiness is evident with some notes of caramel.

M - In the mouth feels medium-bodied, Medium carbonation

O - A very good Strong Bitter with the right amount of bitterness to make it easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear red/brown color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention which is quite a surprise since all my previous bitter had no head really. Aroma of floral malt with some nut. Taste is quite enjoyable and refreshing with some robust malt, floral hops and some nice nutty and subtle bitterness at the end. Overall, this is an above average bitter.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.81/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very suprised to find I hadn't reviewed this beer on here, thst oversight is now rectified!

Clear 500ml bottle, poured into vase shaped pint glass (Old Speckled Hen, badged).

Bright and clear body, a lovelly deep amber brown colour (the label says chestnut brown), with cream coloured foaming head. Plenty of bubbles could be observed rising through the body, in short, it looked great! The head produced somegood laceing as the beer was consumed.

The smell was of brown toast, light toffee and some floral hints I couldn't tie down.

The beer has a bitterness from the hops that hit you first off, then those toffee notes I found in the aroma come to the fore, this is not a sweet tasting beer though, far from it, because the bitterness re-appears in the aftertaste.

A good solid beer, wish it was bottled in a brown or coloured glass though, it might help to keep it in good nick longer.

Photo of 3Vandoo
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice beige head that is very creamy. Her color a very dark amber.

Her smells is of Kent's hops, caramel flavours, malts and hops. Some notes of yeast are present that finishes with an alcohol flavor.

Her taste is very alcoholic, roasted malt flavours, shy bitter, hoppy, malt is dominant in this beer and the finish is very dry. Some floral notes are present from the hops, but the malt take much more of the taste. A Piney taste is present and very oily brew.

Photo of eric5bellies
4.38/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Bobardier Conical Pint Glass.

A - Pours a rich redish copper colour with an off white head that retains well and laces.

S - Aromas are well defined malts, burnt caramel and grains.

T - Some very nis flavours of toffee and carmel malts. The finish is long and flavoursome.

M - So smooth with medium body and minimal carbonation.

D - This is a top ranking English ale of the highest order, it has everything that you could need.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Light amber bronze color. Decent off-white foamy head. Decent retention with a little lacing left.

S - Toasted grain and malt, with a good amount of caramel and toffee. Some nuts and earthy hops.

T - Balance between the hops and the malt and grain. Hops are tea-like, earthy, and floral. There is a toasted malt/grain taste. Gives it a slightly bready and sweet taste. The hops are more prominent than the malt.

M - Medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Fizzy and slightly smooth.

D - Good drinkability between the balanced flavors and the good body. The body and flavor are a little too watery for me really to enjoy, but it is good.

Notes: Lots of tea, floral, herbal flavors. Very balanced flavors. Nothing overpowers and it is a little thin for me, but a good all around everyday beer.

Photo of AylwinForbes
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shepherd and Neame a long-time champion of English beer. A pleasant surprise to find it represented in that least likely of venues, Heathrow Airport, amidst the overpriced chique boutiques and fast food. From the cask, a slightly turbid amber, moderate head fairly sudsy. Reasonable malty, fruity aroma. On the palate, mild dry bitterness, with good body - the higher alcohol shows - some malty, fruity flavours provide some complexity and interest.

An excellent parting shot.

Photo of Globetrotter
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, this review should probably be taken in the context of the three pretty horrible Russian beers I had before finally cracking this open. My, what a refreshing change! Even the clear glass bottle didn't seem to effect the situation as I poured this beautiful clear copper liquid into my pint glass. A nice off-white contoured head built to just a bit more than a finger before settling at about one centimeter, which deposited some nice lace rings as the liquid descended. There's a nice strong malty nose with an enticing touch of flowery hops. The mouth is prickly and heavy. There's a good crisp malty opening, followed by a full hoppy bitterness that leaves a nice fresh aftertaste. Thanks, I needed that!

Photo of MillRat
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an English bitter with some attitude and unconventional hopping. This clear coppery ale maintains a white head that leaves lace behind. The hops are rather interesting, going beyond the usual Fuggles and Goldings into some more mineral-like notes. The yeast has a decided fruity flavor to it that carries into the aroma as well. The taste is quite heavy with biscuity malt and hop flavors. For only 5+% ABV, it is quite full-bodied. A second or third bottle would be most welcome, but it does not fall into the realm of the truly sessionable.

Photo of Absumaster
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an brown, dark amber color with a creamy head which sticks to the glass. Very low visible carbonation.

Smell is slightly metallic, fruity like a good english beer, some caramel malt. Quite hoppy actually, but this comes out a little later. A malt smell is in the back.

Taste of caramel and slightly bitter, yet hoppy. A nice yeasty fruitness and perfect maltiness. There is a slight husky taste, but this really adds to the beer. A dry and thin mouthfeel, which match the beer.

For me an average bitter, just decent stuff.

Photo of jwc215
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had at Hoop & Grapes (London):

Pours copper amber with a bubbly head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel with a pleasant, herbal spicing.

The taste is of light caramel, a bit herbal (slightly soapy?). It has a tea-like, dry finish.

The body is light - a bit watery. It has a well-covered abv, but it is slightly higher, pushing it into ESB, yet there are bitters with more of a body. Still, some bitterness lingers.

Thin, mild, but pleasant.

Photo of Shiloh
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first impression of this brew was not good...but that quickly changed.
Colour was a deep orange/amber.
Carbonation was limited.
Head was light, glass cling high, lace full but thin, and a full bubbled ring.
Nose was lightly of caramel. Body medium/full.
Taste was first a caramel sweetness...caramel stayed, sweetness left, replaced by a nice hoppy bitterness still with a caramel lead.
Impressive.

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Let me level with you

I'm not a huge fan of Bishops finger, not drank it in years.
Bottle was on offer thought I'd give it another chance.

Very brandy looking shade for the body big brash white frothy head.

Rich aroma heavy on the hops with hints of figs and sweaty dockers.

Quite a bitter peppery taste, starts very dry malt then goes right into a bitter harsh aftertaste too soon, I think on cask it would deliver a little more depth.

Okay mouthfeel and good carbonation makes an easy drinking beer that's easy to find though a little dull but decent.

Photo of Mark
4.01/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer at my reliable Lord Moon pub in London. bishops Finger is a clear deep amber topped by a dense off white head that leaves excellent patterns of lace. Aroma is very mild but inviting. Very very smooth on the palate with subtle hopping over a solid malt base. touch of fruit typical of the brewer is present. Easy drinking and enjoyable.

Photo of safaricook
4.11/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Got this at a visit to my first Irish pub in years at the Moynihans on Madeira.
It was served in the Bishops finger Pint glass and drunk on the breezy terrace with the ocean in view.

Offwhite creamy head that left substatial lacing and reduced slowly to a rim. Body is a clear amber with not much bubbles to mention.
Nose is a flowery English hop, caramel and sweet cherries. Nice!
Taste follows nose with the hops being more resinous and piney. And this addictive caramel flavor.
Body is medium and a bit flat but suits the style though not being English, I miss my bubbles.
Overall a really good example of the style that differs from the Fuller's ESB by the flowery hops. It seems I love this style.

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Bishops Finger from Shepherd Neame Ltd
83 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.