Shepherd Neame 1698 Celebration Ale - Shepherd Neame Ltd

Not Rated.
Shepherd Neame 1698 Celebration AleShepherd Neame 1698 Celebration Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

67 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 67
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 15.69%
Wants: 3
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shepherd Neame Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-14-2002

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 67 | Reviews: 33
Reviews by BlackHaddock:
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very disappointed. For a stong English ale, it fell well short. Light in colour, not straw blond, but almost that light. Putting it in a see through glass bottle didn't help to excite me either.

It poured well enough, and produced a good head, which soon disappeared, I might have had the beer too cold though!

It did not have the tang of a beer at 6.5% and no real flavours came out and hit my tastebuds, the aroma was also weak.

I will try another in a month or so, if the second is better, I will edit this review. I hope the temp, I drank it at is the reason for the low scores. I normally like the beers from Sheperd Neame, although they are normally draught products.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ricke
2.38/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Golden copper color with a medium-sized white head that leaves small lacings.

S: A light smell of malts, fudge, butterscotch, leafy hops and vegetables. Very faint floral note. Not very pleasant.

T: The taste is somewhat sweet and malty with notes of butterscotch, earth, leaves, vegetables and some hops. Perhaps a fruity note or two. The finish is mildly bitter with faint notes of hops and sweetish alcohol.

M: Medium body and medium level of carbonation.

D: Boring and pointless with a rather bad composition. I can't get around the strange aromas of leaves and and vegetables.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml clear glass bottle with a BB of Dec 2011. Described on the label as a bottle-conditioned Kentish strong ale, while a blob of yeast is visible inside. Brewed to celebrate the brewery's foundation in 1698.

Poured into a Guinness pint glass. A clear coppery-amber hue with good carbonation. Produces a small head of frothy off-white foam that dissipates rapidly. Aroma of rich, sweet malt with hints of caramel, roasted grain, dried fruit, stewed hops and booze.

Tastes of sweet malt with a subtle roasted character and dry bitterness. Notes of caramel, brown sugar, dried fruit, yeast, grain, faint spice and stewed leaves/veg. A warming hint of alcohol upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and astringent. Body seems a tad thin for it's strength. Aftertaste of malt and stewed leaves.

Palatable, but no masterpiece. There's quite a range of flavours going on, however the sweetness and stewed hop character are too dominant. Would benefit from a reduction of the overcooked hops in favour of a late addition for aroma, and perhaps more distinct roasted malt flavour. I might have this again if the price is right, but there are better strong ales out there.

Photo of rastaman
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It was OK, but i guess its not my kind of beer, malty and a bit sticky, also a bit of a syruppy mouthfeel, which i didn't particularly like, quite complex though.

Photo of dwheeler
2.98/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Very elegant looking bottle, but an English ale in a clear bottle just seems wrong!

Light golden colour in my glass, nice white head with nice lace.

Aroma is light, slightly spicy, but not much there.

Taste is hard to define, it is bitter/sweet, but these sensations seem to clash some-how. Sweetness is biscuity, but the hops are a little harsh and mess up the mix. Light body with that rough bitterness aftertaste. Not a bad beer, just not my cup of tea! Left me dreaming of the Landlord PA I had just finished, mmm.

Photo of Olegophren
4.48/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Or its nostalgy for good times in Flirenze, where I have this lad for the first time, or just my alcoholism, but I found Sheoherd's neame interesting bitter fruity beer.

Photo of eric5bellies
4.12/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear copper colour with a decent White head that retains well.

S - Very pronounced Nutmeg and Spice with Toffee.

T - Up front some nice caramel flavoured malt, followed by some spice and a little tobacco. The finish is spicey and bitter.

M - Medium body with minimal carbonation

O - Really liked this one. Aromas are very pronounced and plenty on offer with the taste

Photo of beerdrifter
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear copper-amber pour with a two finger head with minimal retention and decent lacing. Love the nose on this one. RIch and malty with lots of caramel and toffee along with hints of vanilla, sweet biscuit, tea, and some subtle hoppiness. The taste is bold and flavorful with a sweet malty backbone along with hints of caramel, butterscotch, toffee, tea, tobacco, brown bread, vanilla, and hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly syrupy with a sweet, bitter finish. Overall, this is a bit on the sweet side, but just enough balance to keep it honest and drinkable.

Photo of Globetrotter
3.36/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Comes in a clear stout bottle wiht a long thin neck. The label features the year in big red letters, and not much else. Ingredients comply with the purity law. I couldn't find the freshness info.

Poured an attractive clear light copper hue under an off white one finger head that settled quickly to just a bit more than film. Some lace stuck to the glass. The nose was very mild and semi-sweet. The mouth is lightly carbonated and light-bodied, but definitely a bit sticky. The taste is quite mild, with a bit of sweetness at first to go with hints of malt and fruit. A mild hoppy bitterness chases all of this, leaving a fairly complex brew that somehow just doesn't deliver as promised. The aftertaste is smoothly bitter. This is a drinkable brew, but I'm not excited.

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hoppy floral but with a punch,
an unusual thing is it? An English warrior poet?

That lusty slightly sweet strong ale that can be life affirming.
Lacking in the head dept but such is the case with a second bottle fermentation.

Enough carbonation to dance on the tongue and be a beer not a soda pop

A reminder of why English bottle conditioned beer is so great


Photo of gutbucket2
4/5  rDev +12%

500ml bottle-conditioned. Pours with diminishing head, clear amber. Toffee and caramel on the nose. Taste: alcohol and orangey hop. High sweetness, moderate bitterness. Palate: medium bodied, slightly syrupy. Overall: A warming beer. Well-crafted. Orangey hop - goldings? and complimentary strong caramel and toffee malt flavours.

Photo of GreenCard
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: light brown, good clarity, medium layer of sudsy foam, good head retention, swaths of lace

Aroma: light raisiny notes, malt, bit of skunked hops

Flavor: initially quite full malty sweetness, ripe pears, a bit plummy, mild herbal hop flavor, finishes semi-dry with a somewhat soapy aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, fine carbonation, nice level of alcohol warmth

Other comments: Another clear-bottled English beer, but I grabbed one from the very back of the supermarket shelf, hoping that it had less light exposure. Not too skunky. Nice to have an actual bottle-conditioned beer from this brewery for once.

Photo of napetry
3.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a Shepherd Neame fan since my first bucket list London pub crawl in 2008. On my return to London for my second pub crawl in 2010, I happened upon the Rugby Tavern during a late morning walk. I noticed a Shepherd Neame delivery was being made so I went in to see what was on draft. The 1698 Ale was not available but I samples the available live ales. In preparation for a return to London in 2012, I noted that Shepherd Neame was promoting the 1698 Celebration Ale, so I thought I would look for it when in London. I was in London for 10 days and it wasn't until the last night there that I was finally successful in hunting down the 1698.

So was the 1698 Celebration Ale worth the effort? Absolutely! I would definitely have a few more to fully characterize this truly fine English Ale. Unfortunately, having totally enjoyed the hunt, I don't recall many characterizing details to report, except that it is a very likeable beer. Next crawl!! Fall 2013?!

I have a great photo of the 1698 which is much better than the Beer Advocate photo, however, I have not figured out how to upload a photo.

Photo of Geert
3.14/5  rDev -12%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Brown bottle (not clear as in the picture). No reference to "celebration". Shepherd Neame 1698 Bottle Conditioned Kentish Strong Ale.
No hiss when opening, no carbonation, no foam. None. I like low carbonation, but it appears something went wrong with this one. Especially when reading other reviews (with notes on carbonation).
Clear light amber colour.

S: Well, with no carbonation aroma intensity is low. Mostly toffee malt, appears to have some age (best before may 2014).

T: Caramelly maltiness, firm bitterness. Nice balance.

M: Full bodied, light alcohol warming.

Overall: Good beer, but just not where it could / should be.

Photo of kojevergas
2.44/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

500ml clear glass bottle served into an English style tankardish mug in London, England, at me friend's gaff. Reviewed live.

A: 1.5 finger head of slight cream and fair thickness. Retention is poor. Semitransparent textbook copper colour.

Sm: Cream, caramel, amber hops, and chestnut. I don't get any of the roast described on the label. A mild strength aroma.

T: The chestnut and cream is quite nice. I like that the caramel is restrained, because it might spoil the direction of the beer. It is quite simple, however, and the finish is a bit foul. It's a tad watery. Built blandly and not well balanced.

Mf: Too smooth and too wet. Doesn't really suit the flavours of the body.

Dr: Decent ABV, bland, fairly priced in England, and decently drinkable. It's worth a try for fans of the brewery, but others should leave it be.

Photo of bark
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The liquid is clear; the colour is medium amber. The finger thick pale beige head is firm, it leaves some lacing.

The mild smell is bitter with some dried fruits, minerals, and yeast, wheat flour.

The taste is sweet with an interesting note of roasted root-crops, apricot jam, chalk and cookies. The aftertaste is a bit bitter and balanced with notes of caramel sauce, sour candy and dark bread.

The liquid is smooth; the light carbonation is made of small bubbles.

I found this beer easy to gulp, but at the same time, it becomes a bit tedious.

Photo of cypressbob
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle

Pours with a rich amber body, some smooth carbonation, creamy off white head sits atop, great rentention

Smell, musky and quite sweet, some buttery diacetyl present

Taste, smooth and not overly carbonated, malty body with a lingering buttery mouthfeel, some hint of caramel, some slight hop bitterness on the finish. Slight hint of alcohol also

A suprising ale, I havent been impressed by anything shepard neame has put it out, but this is pretty good, well worth a look at. A tasty, robust ale. One of those very malty english ales

Photo of LeathChuinn
3.94/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pils glass and served at room temperature. (Bottle conditioned)

A: Pours a very clear amber colour capped with a thin white head lasting until the final sip. Not much lacing. Yeast sediment can be seen in the bottle through the clear glass but with the right pour none ended up in my glass.

S: Aroma is sweet, malty with a touch of vanilla and hops.

T: Cream, caramel, sweet soda bread, sweet malts and sugar. Finish is alcohol and mild bitterness.

MF: Smooth and slightly oily with a warm finish from the alcohol.

O: I like beers with a malty character, and this is one of them.

Photo of stoutman
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium amber clear with smallish medium lasting yellow head. Medium body with smooth lowly carb mouth filling palate. Loads of character honey, nutty, caramel malt and lighter bitter flavors. Dry and with a mild sweet, more bitter, finish and aftertaste.

Photo of Hoppsbabo
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a nice prickly ginger quality. Bitter sweet with a soft fruity confectionary flavour, like strawberry chews. Very nice.

Photo of Lukie
3.71/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orange amber, with glints of bright amber in the light. Head is minimal as with most english ales in Australia (as they aren't fresh). Small thin lacing which rings around the side.

Quite a zesty smell. Some green apple peel, slight citrus, almost citrus ice if that even makes sense. Some malty characters, but nothing overly impressive.

Slight malty caramel overtones, and some biscuity qualities flow off into quite a big hop hit. Some floral hoppy grassy tones, with some green apple, and citrus. Pretty damn good compared to some of the more average shepherd neame stuff.

The body is quite thin, which is a surprise. There doesn't seem to be a thick malt background like some english ales can get to. Quite easy drinking, and for the added percentage, there is very little hint of extra alcohol.

Photo of vancurly
3.27/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear, amber, off-white head that runs away.

S: Flinty/metallic hop aroma. Fleshy/stinky note, some lemon/ginger/allspice. Caught a faint whiff of pickled onion.

F: Floral hop, dried ginger powder. Pungeant note, which reminds me of pinot noir... gamey, forest floor.... Slight toffee note, some pistachio nut, leather, dried fruit.

M: Quite light.... there is a slight alcohol heat that thins out the mouthfeel. Wine-like, in many respects.

D: An interesting combination... Seems strangely chaotic....could only really drink one I think.

Photo of Brabander
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer a few months ago from my very dear Beerbuddy Zimbo. Thanks for this one Craig, i loved it!

Poured in my Struise glass the beer looks very nice. Teacolour with a two finger head and a nice carbonation.

Roasted malts and a light bitterness. When you drink this beer you get some of carbonation in your mouth. Lacing is nice.

When you look at the beer when it is in the bottle it does not look very inviting but when you drink it you will love it. Goood beer.

Photo of thierrynantes
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (50cl), tasted in 2007.
Appearance : brown color (chestnut), white foam head,with little bubbles
Smell : Nose is sweet, malty
Taste ans mouthfeel : In the mouth it's bittersweet, with lots of fruits flavors.
Drinkability : a good beer is the style Extra Strong Bitter (ESB).

Photo of flyingpig
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

500ml bottle from Tesco supermarket, Glasgow (£2.19):
Definitely one of the better Shepherd Neame beers I've tried, this one is likely the pick of the eight I've now tried. The beer was quite sweet with a good combination of caramel, toffee and sugars without seemingly sickeningly sweet. It's by no means a classic beer but it was a nice one to sip away at on a cold winters night.

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Shepherd Neame 1698 Celebration Ale from Shepherd Neame Ltd
81 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.