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Spitfire (Premium Ale Export) - Shepherd Neame Ltd

Not Rated.
Spitfire (Premium Ale Export)Spitfire (Premium Ale Export)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

306 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 306
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 15.97%
Wants: 9
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shepherd Neame Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-21-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 306 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheHammer:
Photo of TheHammer
2.58/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Came in a uniquely shaped bottle with comments on how it was brewed in honor of the battle of Britain. Pours with a solid thumb and half finger of head that looks slightly creamy. The head itself laces like crazy and retains quite well. The beer itself is a crystal clear brown however the carbonation looks to be a little be excessive. Still, impressive thus far.

Smell: Everyone's favorite four legged mammal returns, because this stuff is skunked. I am catching some dry hop scent with a touch of barley and caramel, but it is mostly buried by the skunk sadly.

Taste: The beer starts of with a mild fruity taste with a touch of caramel, it then turns to a bitter bland malt and fruit flavor which is then instantly taken over by dry and bitter hops that leave the beer tasting like hay mixed with dried fruit. It's one of those beers that isn't average to taste, but has cons that balance out the pros.

Mouthfeel: It leaves the mouth fairly dry and while the aftertaste is not that strong, it does overstay it's welcome. Also this beer has way too much carbonation going on. I also find that the beer transitions between flavors poorly.

Drinkability: This stuff isn't very refreshing because it is so dry. Not only that, but the excessive carbonation makes this beer very gassy. It doesn't go down that smoothly and doesn't sit well. I wouldn't be able to drink more then one, and frankly at the half way point I don't want to keep drinking this stuff.

Final Thoughts: I though after seeing this beer pour, this was going to be a winner. However, as the skunk took over and the carbonation leaved me belching every couple of minutes I was disappointed. I dunno, I wouldn't recommend this beer to anyone, unless they really enjoyed a dry taste.

TheHammer, Apr 15, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.79/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Found this one at Cork'n Ale back home in Saginaw,Mi,poured a nice copper color with medium head,has a hoppy aroma.Pretty dry ,appetizing taste with some nice bitterness.Very nice medium body,very drinkable,should have gotten more than one,I will be looking for more ales from this brewery for sure.

oberon, Mar 30, 2003
Photo of cam477
3/5  rDev -16%

cam477, Oct 01, 2013
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz. clear bottle (wide w/thin neck) with a sharp looking label and foil sheaf.

Appearance: A crystal clear golden-red with a frothy, healthy head.

Smell: Hints of fresh malt and hops.

Taste: Lots of bold and traditional pale malt flavours. Clean and hoppy with high carbonation fizz. Slight sulfur flavour, as a Pils or Lager.

Notes: A classic Pale Ale and now, affordable. Most of Shepherd Neame's brews have dropped in price in order to compete with the wide varieties of U.S. beers, one would assume.

BeerAdvocate, Feb 21, 1998
Photo of MuthaDuckie
3.84/5  rDev +7.6%

MuthaDuckie, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of TTripp725
3.5/5  rDev -2%

TTripp725, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear bottle pours a chill hazed dark amber body with an offwhite head that stays at one inch in height. Patchy lace adorns the English pint glass.

Aroma is biscuity malts, soft floral hops, a hint of toffee, and some ripe pear.

Mouthfeel is light medium in body, having a smooth carbonation and a slight mineral water texture that I prefer in many English ales.

Taste has a prevailing dryness characterized by a floral and spicy bitterness. Biscuity malt has some toffee sweetness and balances well. Finishes with a mild floral hop aftertaste.

An enjoyable and sessionable English ale. Wish I could find this one locally.

merlin48, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: amber in color, 1/4 inch head, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: pale malt and meadow smell

Taste: sweet caramel, fresh meadow, toasted malt

Mouthfeel: medium-light bodied, medium carbonation, sweet start with a slightly dry bitter end

Overall: A solid, dry, and easy to drink English Pale Ale. I would get this again, but would not go out of my way for it.

tigg924, Feb 20, 2014
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic glass. Medium amber colour, about an inch of thick head that dissolved into a think layer. A few flecks of lacing.

Incredible nose to it, so much going on here. At once malty and caramel, the next is rye bread and tea leaves. Smells terrific.

The taste didn't quite live up to the promising nose, but it was still quite tasty. Hoppy and bitter throughout, a good finish of herbal hops and tea, with an ephemeral malt and caramel flavour at the beginning. A solid pale ale.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin, but well carbonated.

Not a bad little English ale, almost leaning towards the bitter end of the spectrum. Not nearly as complex as the nose indicates, but still highly drinkable. Would be good for a football watching night.

JohnnyBarman, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of Marius
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Marius, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of innominat
3.5/5  rDev -2%

innominat, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of fionn13
3.5/5  rDev -2%

fionn13, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 500ml clear glass bottle with a BB of June 2012. Brewed to commemorate the battle of Britain and the plane that won it.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A clear reddish-amber hue with good carbonation. Produces a large head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a surface layer. Aroma of roasted malt with burnt notes, hints of caramel, butter, stewed hops, citrus and grass. A pleasing combination.

Tastes of roasted malt with a dry bitter finish. Notes of roasted grain, caramel, and stewed hops with a hint of citrus. The bitterness is slightly harsh and has a leafy character. A buttery diacetyl note lurks in the background. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and rather astringent. Aftertaste of bitter roasted malt.

A classic British ale. It might not be the best beer in the world but it's a fine example of an English bitter. A good depth of flavour with subtle bitterness, even if the aroma is better than the taste. One of Shepherd Neame's more worthy offerings. I would be happy to sink a few of these - definitely one to try if you have the chance.

jazzyjeff13, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of BGDrock
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, red copper colur; minimal head fades fast

Aroma: sweet toffee malt; hint of spice, peach; mild hops in the background

Taste & Mouthfeel: burnt caramel; full flavour for a light bodied beer; getting some peach/nectarine flavour; very clean; just enough bitterness to balance out the sweetness and leave a lasting finish

Overall: a surprisingly interesting beer that would be great for a session

BGDrock, May 07, 2012
Photo of Keegan
4.25/5  rDev +19%

Keegan, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of Dave18576
4/5  rDev +12%

Dave18576, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of rastaman
3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hoppy, sticky, slightly syruppy, and bland in the end, its OK, but lacked something, nice and drinkable though, give it a go.

rastaman, Apr 04, 2002
Photo of acurtis
2.75/5  rDev -23%

acurtis, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of Siddhartharora
1.5/5  rDev -58%

Siddhartharora, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml, clear bottle, nice Spitfire bulls-eye cap. An ode to the Battle of Britain, with that so English of constructs, the pun: hence, the 'Bottle of Britain'...

This beer pours a clear medium golden amber hue, with one finger of foamy, somewhat creamy ecru head, which leaves a random drooping tree canopy of lace around the glass in its retreat to the Tube. It smells of bready biscuit malt, and bitter grassy, floral, dusty hops. The taste is more of that same bitterness up front, the slight mustiness tinging the grassy and earth character. Underneath, and not lagging by much, is a sturdy cereal/biscuit graininess, one which tugs nicely at the palate. The carbonation is present, but pleasant enough, the body medium-light in weight, and adequately smooth. It finishes fairly dry, the crisp grain and hops riding out in splendid unison.

Well, the see-through bottle had me feeling a wee bit trepidatious, but that was soon dispelled - this is a well-balanced, yet still decently flavourful EPA - not a lot of that makes it to my 'hood.

biboergosum, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of Daniell
2.45/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: attractive copper colour with good lacing although not much head. 3.5

S: I think this might be skunked but I get some flowery, earthy and spicy notes in there. 2

T: Has a very earthy taste to it. Also substantially bitter, more so than is expected for a British beer, almost like an IPA. 2.5

M: not bad. 3.5

D: I'm really finding it hard to drink this (didn't end up finishing the bottle or even getting close). 2

I reviewed anyway because if the beer is skunked it's because of the bottle. Punk IPA also had similar earthy hops but was sooo much better than this and cheaper.

Daniell, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of Sammy
2.88/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aggressive carbonation and lots of hops and dry bitterness. Brown but big hop bubbles are nice. My son liked it, it was Ok for lunch, but only a so-so. Some citrus, a little carmel and malt, nuttiness and grainiess. Metallic on mid sip. Medium mouthfeel.

Sammy, Mar 06, 2005
Photo of CanuckRover
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber. Decent enough head settles down quickly to a film on the edges. No lacings.

Orange fruit on the nose. Hops give off a bit of spiciness. Strong english malt character with obvious Kentish hops.

Orange comes out again on the tongue. Hops are peppery providing a decent amount of bittering and some good citrus freshness. Sulfur comes through as it should in a Kentish Ale.

A decent, if not extraordinary ale, wouldn't be my first choice.

CanuckRover, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of traumaqueen
3.25/5  rDev -9%

traumaqueen, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of Ciocanelu
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Ciocanelu, May 24, 2013
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Spitfire (Premium Ale Export) from Shepherd Neame Ltd
81 out of 100 based on 306 ratings.