Whitstable Bay Organic Ale - Shepherd Neame Ltd

Not Rated.
Whitstable Bay Organic AleWhitstable Bay Organic Ale

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46 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 46
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.05
pDev: 17.7%
Wants: 0
Gots: 5 | 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: rastaman on 01-16-2003

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 26
Reviews by Stephen63:
Photo of Stephen63
3.22/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured nicely but head evaporated before my eyes. Was left with thin coloured water after a couple of minutes.

S - As with most Shepherd Neame beers the hops are very distinct. Apart from that got some flowery aromas. Once the head had gone left with a weak honey-like nose.

T - Really quite bland unlike the other beers in their range. Some sweetness with a hoppy finish. Ok but nothing special.

M - Rather thin though good carbonation.

D - Fairly easy to drink though not looking for a second.

This beer is a resounding blandness about it. Not bad but not that good. Well down the pecking order of the Shepherd Neame beers for me. Not a great advert for organic beer, though I am not sure if I have tasted a good one of those.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.53/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A 500ml clear glass bottle with a BB of July 2013. I seem to recall that this was given to me as a gift. The label state that this is certified organic by the Soil Association.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A clear orange-amber colour with good carbonation. The orange is a little too vibrant. Forms a large head of frothy white foam that disappears in under a minute. Aroma of faint malt with hints of strange fruity yeast esters, stewed leaves and cardboard. Slightly sweet and distinctly harsh.

Tastes of mild caramel malt with a very dry finish. Notes of fruity ale yeast, stewed leaves and cardboard. Horribly harsh and astringent, with weak hints of solvent and mould. A bone-dry herbal bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is light, dry and tingly, with prickly carbonation and a thin, watery body. Aftertaste of acrid stewed leaves, cardboard and vaguely fruity yeast.

Yuck. I generally hold a low opinion of Shep Neame but this really scrapes the barrel - disgusting. Looks unappetising, and the aroma/flavour are just vile. Harsh, dry and generally unpleasant. Weak body as well. There's nothing good I can say about this brew except to avoid it. Buy something good instead!

Photo of rastaman
2.06/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pretty boring, and a bit sticky and one dimensional, typical bittersweet english pale ale/bitter flavour, some tea-like stickyness, and a touch cloying at the start, but dries out towards the finish (hops perhaps?), not really a fan, but not a total drain poor, i shared half it with a friend, and got through OK, although i was bored out of my mind.

Photo of Hammarby
3.58/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Golden whith offwhite head.
S: Malt, honey, red berries.
T: Malt, bitter aftertaste (shortish), a whiff of honey, apricot.
M: Good. Light body.

Not as good as I rememberd. Still quite a nice beer. My memory says it was a great beer last time. Probably got to try it again.

Photo of alex667gbg
2.76/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Amber color with a small-bubbled head, that soon disappeared.

S - Malty, citrus and hops. All thou not very impressive.

T - A quick sharp hoppy tone that dies off quick and left is a malty undertone. The bottle promised a bit more than it delivered.

D - A average beer, and at this price range, there are A LOT of other beers to enjoy. I would not recommend this beer, but do not cry if this is the only thing left on the shelf. Its drinkable.

Photo of BlackHaddock
2.83/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear 500ml bottle,best before Mar 09, drank early Feb 09. Poured into a UK pint sleeve glass.

Very slight haze to the beer which is an orangey, light amber colour. The white head which originally sat on top soon turned into a thin crust before falling away to a collar and wisp.

The aroma wasn't anything huge, some hops and a yeasty wiff otherwise nothing.

If going organic means getting rid of flavour and taste then this beer is organic alright. What hints of beeriness I could find were OK, but I don't expect to have too hunt for flavours in a UK Bitter or Ale, they should hit you in an abundance from the start. There are suggestions of hops and malts but they are well hidden.

Doesn't taste or feel like a 4.5% beer, lacks body and depth.

Disappointed really. It is drinkable but it lacks character and any complexion.

Photo of eric5bellies
2.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank from my Traditional Conic Pint Glass.

A - Pours a pale copper colour with a large bubbled head that dies quick.

S - Quite a distinct honey like aroma.

T - Not alot going on exept some sweet malts and bread.

M - Too low in body but ok with carbonation.

D - Would not recommend

Photo of krunchie
2.09/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served in a pint glass at 47.3F (just got a really accurate, deluxe liquid thermometer, woohoo :). I hadn't heard about this beer, nor the brewery, before so I thought I'd give it a shot, I like surprises. AND the bottle looked quite interesting!

A: Looks like Corona. And pee (same sh*t, right?). Golden yellow/orange, clear liquid. Worthless yellowish head that foams up a lot when pouring and disappears quickly, like soda. Doesn't start out too well...

S: Pretty decent. Smells a lot like a light european lager, like Staropramen or Heineken. Not very interesting, but not devastatingly bad either.

T: Unpleasant bitterness, but initially pretty OK. Reminds me of Heineken or Corona. But then - more bad bitterness. Taste of cheap adjunct lager. I'm NOT impressed, nor am I pleased.

M: Light body and quite poor carbonation.

D: Goes down almost like a lager, but not entirely. The taste makes it harder to drink.

Conclusion: This is a no-go. I don't recommend it. Too bad

Photo of rec
3.86/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Being an English Ale, the colour is unsuprisingly a crystal amber. The head seen during pour is close to two-finger, off-white, and soapy. Initially it looks rather impressive, but it rapidly dies down and dissapeares entirely without lacing.

The aroma is relatively up-beat with a distinct sweet farmyard-like honey aroma, and some zestiness about it too.

Flavour wise, it's far from complex but provides enough to keep you interested, however many may find it too sweet. Look for sweet malt and some tangy light fruits such as apricot.

The mouthfeel is almost champangne like due to the sparklig carbonation. I'm going to go ahead and call it harsh, but without that energy the sweetness in the flavour would come across as sickly-sweet.

This would make a great session beer, esspecially if you're a fan of the organic style and typical characteristics.

Photo of joecast
2.01/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

going against my better judgement, i picked up one of these.
no dating + clear bottle = ???
500ml. 4.5%abv.

shows off an attractive bright amber color in the glass. medium carbonation, but the tiny bubbles dont manage to form much of a head and leave only slight lacing on the surface.

aroma is a bit tangy and sweet, with some slight floral tones. kind of like your generic epa i think. nothing out of the ordinary. gets a bit of candy sweetness to it after a while.

taste is weighted heavily towards the malty sweet. quite a bit too much for my liking. unbalanced. where some strong beers struggle to hide the abv, this one struggles to hide the sweetness.

so if not for the slim pickings of new intersting beers, i would have let this one pass. i wouldnt have been missing anything.

Photo of Sigmund
3.48/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sample from 500 ml bottle, Shepherd Neame Whitstable Bay Organic Ale, ABV 4.5%. Courtesy of Cardinal, Stavanger. Beautiful deep amber colour, low head (the bottle had been open a while, though). Malty aroma with toffee and caramel notes. Mouthfeel has a bit too much carbonation for my taste. Flavour has fairly bitter hops throughout, which dominate whatever maltiness there might be. Fairly dry and "dusty" finish.

Photo of rarbring
3.32/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear orange-copper-light-amber beer, a very small off-white head leaving no lacing.

The smell is somewhat sweet and spicy, like white bread with dill sauce.

The taste has sweetness, like syrup on hard bread, a fruitiness, pears and apples, and a long bitterness.

Medium carbonation, rather refreshing - on the verge of watery, a nice dry finish.

This beer has good bitterness, but is a bit bland.

Photo of WGO
3.71/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Apperence is golden amber with long lasting fine bubble trails. Thin creamy white head.
Aroma of freshly chopped wood, apples, citrus zest and typical sweet baked bread.
Taste is light with butterscotch, quite dry edgy finish.
Mouthfeel is balanced and refreshing.
Overall a fine summer pale ale.

Photo of Doiv
2.94/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

After the likes of Spitfire and Bishop's Finger, one would expect this to be of a similar quality. Very light and summery, with a small off-white head and golden colour.
Nose is slightly hoppy but unexciting. Vague aroma of citrus fruits, and possibly dough, but very slight.
Taste is also very nondescript - malty and summery, but nothing to write home about. This was an average beer.

Photo of bark
2.26/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The colour is medium copper; the finger thick off white head is compact. It makes a fizzing sound while poured.

The smell is a bit sour with bitter spicy notes, brewers yeast, bakers yeast, marzipan and a light touch of butter; it is somewhat unbalanced and I don’t really like it.

The taste is as unbalanced. Sour notes of dough and wet cloth are mixed with flavours of yeast, hay, cardboard and a hint of wax. The aftertaste is rather bitter with some mild spicy pumpernickel-like flavours that probable come from the Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops. And that might have been OK in a Pils, but not in pale ale. There is some bitterness too.

The mouth feel is creamy with light carbonation and small fresh bubbles: Very similar to real ale. I like!

I don’t know... This one tastes more like a cheap eurolager than English pale ale. It might be so due to shortage of more suitable English-type hops?

Photo of cypressbob
3.56/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle

Pours with an impressive amber body, nice tight white head, good retention

Smell, whiffy of strong biscuity malt, some slightly skunkiness although very slight

Taste, biscuity malty body, strong malt presence, very little hop bitterness on finish but some on the initial tasting

Fairly average, drinkable and a fair effort

Photo of Radome
3.78/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pint bottle

A – The color is deep copper or light amber, with a distinct orange tint. It is very clear. The head is thin, pure white and made of tiny bubbles. Lots of lacing on the glass.

S – The aroma is mainly of earthy and fruity hops. I detect traditional English hops, unsurprising in a beer from Kent. There is a bit of bready malt behind the hops. No yeast or alcohol notes are apparent. Overall fresh and crisp impression.

T – The taste is dominated by the English hops, more flowery than earthy. The bitterness seems accentuated by hard brewing water and the result is almost soap-like and a bit harsh. Very clean and well-brewed, but a bit one-dimensional. Not many other flavors get past the hop bitterness.

M – Light to medium body. Low carbonation. Dry finish. No alcohol burn.

O – A clean, well-made and traditional English ale. For me it is a bit harsh and one-dimensional in its hops bitterness to be given truly high marks.

Photo of Angusatkinson
2.64/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dull taste, nothing too special

Photo of jspruit
3.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought this from the local off-license for 3 euro for a 500ml bottle. I was attracted to the unusual bottle and fact that it was an organic brew. Whitstable bay is supposedly Britain's oldest brewery.

a = Nice amber color with little head and some carbonation.
s = sort of sweet and honeyish
t = a bit too sweet for me and not enough hops
m = smooth with some carbonation
d = I could drink more, but the sweetness might get to me eventually

Photo of Daredevil
3.3/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

tried this in a pub close to Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square after a pint of Spitfire ... should have been the other way round though, as this one is far lighter .... to be honest I was a bit disappointed at first, as in general I have a high regard for most of Shepheard Neame brews (Spitfire, Bishop's Finger), but at the time I didn't know this being 'organic' .... so I would say an average ale, however an way above average organic ale .... (btw: why does 'organic' in beer just not taste???)

Photo of Patg72
3.33/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another pick up from the off license in Ireland. The color was deep golden slightly orange yellow. Aroma was of grass and some malt. This beer was hoppier than I expected, which made it quite nice. The finish was quick but a little hop flavor lingered in my mouth. A good beer to have with carbonnara.

Photo of Evil_Pidde
1.96/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Organic Ale, the label looks pale and boring.

A: Golden amber - nothing special.

S: Hops, bit of a funky smell. A faint smell of flowers.

T: Hops! Dry. Malty.

M: Plain.

D: It feels like this beer misses somehting. I would have liked a little more bite to it - it tastes almost like american adjunct lager with extra hops. This one I wont by again.

Photo of charlatan
3.27/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light orange colour with very thin rim for a head. There is a bit of raisin and maybe bran in the nose along with just a herbal hint of hops.

Cereal flavour gives way to a very brief dried fruit tang before reasserting itself and eventually allowing the hops to finish things off in a rather mild pilsner fashion. A little incongruous as the choice of hops may be they don't detract from the beverage.

Photo of fullsweep
3.2/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

Although this beer was fine, I had the feeling I'd had it before. I know I had never tried it, but it just seems like a dozen other pale ales. There's nothing distinct about it--except the fact that it's organic, and that counts for something.

A: orangeish in color, small head upon pour

S: fine enough, but nothing distinct

T: same as above--bitter/sweet mix is balanced well

M: moderately carbonated, goes down smooth

D: nice drinkable beer, certainly wouldn't turn it down, but I wouldn't seek it out either. Gets a 1/2 point bonus b/c it's organic.

Photo of wl0307
3.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasted on cask at the Bloomsbury Tavern, Central London. The pump clip states that the abv. is 4.1%, slightly lower than the bottled version. And this is the very first time that I ever see it served on cask! I just have to give it a try.

A: pale golden in colour, coming with a fluffy white head that settles fast, on top of a very lightly carbonated body.
S: the mild hints of honeyish malts come with slightly salty yet intense floral hops (suddenly I thought of Styrian Goldings, don't know why?), and a very faint note of citrus-peels. The formula is simple, but smooth.
T: bitter-sweet+ slightly savoury-bicuity pale malts (a bit like McVitis~~) abound, laced with a light touch of sulphur and more hop's bitterness at the back. The flavour profile is not quite evolving as far as the simplistic structure is concerned. As I drink it alongside Master Brew (that my GF orders), I can't help feeling that this ale is way too mild in terms of hop contents, but its considerable malt entry lends more weight of course.
M&D: very smooth on the texture with a properly light body to match the equally restrained flavour. Alas the aftertaste is way too short to be outstanding. I also think it could've been more cheerful if served slightly more chilled than it is, but it's nice all the same to have bumped into the rare, cask-conditioned version of this ale.

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Whitstable Bay Organic Ale from Shepherd Neame Ltd
73 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.