Spitfire (Premium Ale Export) - Shepherd Neame Ltd

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

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365 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 365
Reviews: 171
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 15.13%
Wants: 11
Gots: 43 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-21-1998

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (57) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 365 | Reviews: 171
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.99/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +19%

Spitfire has a big British malt nose with some biscuit, earthiness, treacle and a hint of ripe fruit.
It pours brilliant copper brown under a rich, softly bubbled 1" foam cap that produces thick lace.
British malts also shine on the palate with creamy dryish biscuit, a hint of chocolate, light fruit, becoming slightly sweet in the middle with light fruit proceeding to a mild bitter and fruit on the finish.
Medium body, medium low carbonation

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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

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.

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.

Photo of Daniell
2.44/5  rDev -31.7%
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.

Photo of Sammy
2.95/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

Photo of CanuckRover
3.54/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of tempest
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the Speaker in London. I had a half pint with the lunch crowd and a bad of "pork shavings." It appeared clear orange, filled to the brim. The ale has a big nutty, walnuts and cashews along with sugar cookies and digestive biscuits. A bitter British hops aftertaste with dry toast finish close out this tasty beer.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pumped at the bar at the Inn in Denford, The liquid is a dark rusty amber with light carbonation. The head tried but could not work up a full pinky of big, light bubbles.

The smell was nice, caramely malt and mild yet solidly bitter hops.

The taste was good, a solid English ale tipical of the region. Caramel malt, wheat breat. and a nuttiness in the base. The hop finish well rounded the brew.

The mouthfeel was ok, medium body, could use a bit better carbonation.


Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a tannish/brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of light hops, a bit of malts, kind of mild. Taste is well balanced malts and hops, some bitterness, a bit of breadyness to it. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

Photo of Samp01
3.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep clear amber with a medium off white head. Aroma and Taste is sweet toasted caramel malt and grains, mild fruity notes and light bitterness. Palate is a medium crisp body with good carbonation. Finishes with toasted caramel malt, grains, and a mild hops bitterness. Overall a good easy drinking session brew.

Photo of ChrisCage
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a rich rusty color with ample ample amounts of big burly carbonation rising to the top, and it's very persistent. The head is textured like sponge toffee at first, but then gets really dense and cloud like, and is slightly off white in coloration....it retains very well! The lacing is wonderful, as an English Bitter should be!

S- There is wonderful aromas of citrus fruit flesh, and rich malt sweetness, that contains toffee/caramel. On the finish, I notice fresh, yet not overpowering hop flowers....very well rounded, if not a little mild, but very typically English!

T- The flavors follow the aromas very closely, and the delivery is simply awesome! There is some malt toffee/caramel sweetness right up front, with a spicy citrus fruit and nutty softness in the middle. The finish is reasonably bitter, with more fresh Kent hops puckering the back of my tongue. I only put in that they're Kent hops b/c I know that's what they used ;) The aftertaste gets a little sticky sweet with a bit of caramilk chocolate bar coming to mind

M- Once the carbonation settles down, this becomes a very frothy, creamy drink! It's clean on the palate, finishing in a quenching manner, leaving me craving the next swig of fine liquid! The body I find is solidly medium...not too thick, but definitely not watery!

O- This one ranks among the best EPA's that I've tried to date! I love this style and the smooth, creamy, full flavored character of this one puts it right up there with the best in my opinion! Perfectly balanced, from sweet beginning to bitter end, this one has it all! Highly recommended!!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a nut brown colored ale with a nice off-white foamy head with average retention. Aroma is comprised of lightly roasted malt and bitter hops. Taste is better then your average bitter with some lightly sweet malt mix with biter hops leaving a clean dry taste at the end. Overall, an above the pack English bitter.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany with a creamy tan head with enormous sheets of lace.
Aroma of caramel, wheat, oats and floral hops.
Flavor of caramel, bread and butter, some grain and a strong, flowery and perfumey hops note.
Mouthfeel is slightly sweet upfront with a grainy and slightly roasted middle and a very strongly bittered hop finish. Very Kent-like.
Drinkability is high. Nice beer, recommended. Very distinctive hop bittering.

Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

50cL can, BB Aug 31, 2010

A-Pours a clear copper amber w/decent head retention, bits of tracing.

S-Great hoppy aroma w/herbs and flowers, light toasted malt, light butter.

T&M-Good malty backbone, bit grainy/husky midway, dry hoppy finish with a somewhat metallic aftertaste on the back of the tongue. Balance is there, carbonation is moderate.

D-Probably the hoppiest beer I've had for awhile living over here...it was a welcome change of pace, and if I can remember where I bought this I'll get more.

Photo of irishkyle21
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a creamy white head that holds up well. The lacing attacks the entire glass and doesn't let got. Has a clear copper color.

I wish brown bottles were mandatory. The nose is skunky ( I have had 3 bottles and all were the same), sweet malt and a touch of earthiness.

The taste is lightly skunky but not as noticeable as the nose. Has a nice balance of malt and hops. Not something I would get again unless the bottles were changed to brown or I had the opportunity to have it on cask.

Photo of evlu1441
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a medium-dark reddish amber colour with a solid finger of fluffy head.

The aroma has a nice hoppy profile with some slight toffee notes coming through in the background. There is some nice biscuity malt aroma rounding things out.

The flavour is sweet, with oily hops dancing across my tongue to start. More sweetness comes through as the biscuity malt flavours develop. It finished with a bit of oily hoppy flavour and slight bitterness.

Overall, this is a nice sessionable ale!

Photo of mfnmbvp
2.83/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 fl oz. bottle, with JUN 14 printed on the bottleneck, so whatever that means. Acquired this oddity as part of a mixed six pack at the local beer store. My bottle lists this beer as Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale. My first encounter with a beer from this brewery, Shepherd Neame Ltd.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours just over a finger of fluffy soapy doughy tan head on top of a burnt coppery orange colored body with excellent clarity. Nice fat cavernous lacing. Fairly average to look at, but appealing.

S - Smell is fairly simplistic also, but pleasant enough. Clean grainy English malt, caramel / bread malt, corn, musty yeast, herbal grassy notes, and some indistinct peppery /vegetal qualities.

T - This is some pretty blahhh stuff. Extremely dry papery grains permeate the taste. Wet paper, grains, bready malt, and some mineral well water.

M - Feel is extremely dry, bready, and coarse. Medium bodied with appropriate carbonation.

Overall, I found this to be a pretty poor beer, with bad intensity and duration of flavor, and somewhat imbalanced. Not what I would call undrinkable, but it definitely didn't live up to my expectations, which were pretty poor to begin with. Not something I would have again.

Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale ---3/5.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
2.8/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a .5L bottle into an appropriately sized full pint glass.

The body is a mostly clear reddish brown amber. The head rises up to about 1 finger before sitting there for a while. Sticky and resilient, it forms rings of lace that are connected by delicate spiderwebs, one ring for each sip. The glass is a beautiful thing to behold.

The aroma brings with it notes of caramel and toffee in the foreground. Accompanying these malty characteristics are fruity esters and some earthy notes from the yeast and some grassy hop aromas with a touch of bitterness. The taste, unfortunately, falls considerably short of the bar set by the nose. Generally harsh on my palate, I find that the unpolished malt profile overpowers the desirable fruity esters and even the grassy hops that should combine to be focal points of this beer.

While the body and carbonation of this Spitfire Ale are pretty much on point, the harsh feeling and flavors that I find make the drinking experience generally unpleasant. Unfortunate, because I was really excited after the aroma and appearance were so damn good.

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Spitfire (Premium Ale Export) from Shepherd Neame Ltd
81 out of 100 based on 365 ratings.