Fiddler's Elbow - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.
Fiddler's ElbowFiddler's Elbow

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BA SCORE
82
good

257 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 257
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 14.36%
Wants: 9
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-22-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 257 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlexJ
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hooray for Wychwood's new brown bottles which actually yield non-skunked beers. This one pours out the color of clover honey and sets forth a thick, creamy head of eggshell froth which retains and laces beautifully. Looks just great in my nonic pint glass.

Aroma is biscuity malts, soft minerality, and herbal/floral hops.

Flavor stands out more than the nose with it's fresh biscuit and cereal malts, touched by soft floral and spicey English hops. It has hints of harvest fruit and honey, with a notion of soft minerality that fits right in. Finish is pleasantly more bitter than anticipated. Overall, a well balanced and easy to drink beer.

Body just above light, with a soft and creamy mouthfeel supported by a neverending stream of micro-bubbles.

So much better than it was in clear bottles.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a BROWN 1pt .9oz bottle. I cant believe Wychwood actually put something in a brown bottle. I was hoping they would do that eventually. Maybe now I can actually taste the beer instead of the skunky, light poison usually in a Wychwood bottle. A decent looking beer. Nice head, about 1 one finger thick. Looks a bit creamy which is good as well. A chill hazed, dark straw/ amber color emerges. Lots of nice lacing down the side of my pint glass.

Smells quite sweet. Caramel and sweet apple aromas. A bit of a plum smell as well. Not really any hops in the aroma. Overall, a very sweet (not Cartman sweet) smelling beer. I cant seem to determine the word or phrase I am looking for here. Arrrgghh!

Taste is pleasant compared to other Wychwood, clear bottle offerings. Again, a bit of an apple taste. Quite fruity and pleasant. Nice maltiness involved. Low on the hops. Sweet tasting. Not overly cloying. Earthy. A bit of hop bitterness in the end adds a little astringency.

Mouthfeel is sticky. Nice carbonation cuts through the stickiness a bit and makes for an above average beer. Not quite a solid session beer, but I would have another.

Photo of counselor
2.83/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a ruddy brown with a wee little head. There are some spice and apple cider aromas. Murky mouthfeel, neither crisp, nor smooth. The flavors are muddled malt, whaet, apple, pear and other summer fruit flavors. Not a beer I'd buy again, unimpressive and a mixed bag of no real outstanding or even stand up, flavors.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sunshine bright tangerine peel orange with sweet corn yellow trim. The lovely looking cap of pale orange-tinted ivory is as tight-bubbled as they come. Thick sheets of lace are beginning to be laid down and display uncountable thousands of pin pricks where the underlying glass is made visible. This is a dandy looking English pale ale, yesiree.

The nose doesn't give me much to work with. Repeated deep inhales aren't sufficient for me to get a handle on the aroma. Vague impressions of minimally fruity, musty hops and... that's it. Styrian Goldings are one of my favorite English hops, but this Styrian-only brew doesn't do them justice. The Fiddler has just played his first wrong note. Let's hope it's also his last.

The flavor is odd. I'm pretty certain this is how the brewers intended it to taste since I bought one of the new dark glass bottles. I'm not sure how much of the malt bill is wheat, but all that has been accomplished is an offputting sourness that isn't overly appealing. The other thing that's keeping my enthusiasm in check is diacetyl. It tastes like Ringwood yeast is in the house (I doubt it though).

I can appreciate a modestly sweet fruitiness coupled with a finishing bitterness that is the result of a fairly significant hop load. However, I still don't believe that this particular hop has been allowed to show what it can do. All in all, it's a mishmash of flavors that don't impress individually and therefore have no chance to impress in combination. Maybe clear bottles weren't all that was wrong with Wychwood beer.

It could be the smoothness provided by the wheat, but the body/mouthfeel is probably the highlight of this whole experience (other than the appearance). It's medium for a pale ale and is creamier than most. It's also well-bubbled, stopping well short of fizzy. I've just noticed that the nose has opened up with warming and will give it a deserved bump in score. It's still no great shakes.

Even though this is only my third beer from this brewery, I'm beginning to think that, were I to drink the entire Wychwood line, I wouldn't find an impressive specimen in the bunch. The dark bottles are an improvement (and long overdue), but wholesale recipe changes are in order if the beer has any hope of ever matching the shelf appeal of the bottles and labels.

Photo of dgallina
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16.9 oz brown bottle without freshness date.

Extremely clear light copper with decent, but small head and medium lacing. Smells of light biscuit malts with faintly bitter and floral hop background. A bit over-light in the mouth; slightly prickly with moderate carbonation. Sweet but somewhat watery up front, finishing rather quickly with slightly tinny hop bitterness.

Significantly more pleasant (and less flawed) than other Wychwood beers I've sampled. Hardly better than average when compared to better brews, however.

Photo of wl0307
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Coming in a new, pint-size brown bottle, at a new alcohol strength (4.5%abv) as well. Can't remember anything important from my previous experience of this beer in clear bottle and at stronger abv., so here comes brand new experience~~ BB date is 16 June 06.

A: in Fuller's ESB goblet it pours a copper-ish amber colour, coming with an off-white beer head dissipating rather fast. the carbonation is pretty low for a bottled beer.
S: semi-sweetish malts and wheats dominate the main theme, against the backdrop of light aroma of honey-drink, mild orange-peel note, fruit esters, and a faintly sharp, spicy note of something...--overall quite softly aromatic and pleasantly fruity.
T: a remotely tart and slightly dryish taste arrive at the palate--the mouthfeel is interestingly clean and thin, unlike a beer with its fruity and slightly sweet grainy aroma~~ (although I can't say if it's the wheat added which makes the difference); mildly floral and a slightly zesty hop flavour to trace at the back, leaving not much aftertaste apart from a little bit of slightly corn-like grainy flavour deep down the tongue.
M&D: with very clean mouthfeel and lively-enough texture, this beer is not flavoursome enough to be really enjoyable or quaffable. The hidden subtleness (which I can't quite grasp) perhaps is its strength, but I personally think it's too timid in terms of taste, esp. when compared with its aroma. O.K. beer to try once in a life-time.

Photo of nach0king
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This pale ale's wheat flavours are quite subdued, which I found disappointing on a personal level, but I can't mark it down for that as the bottle promises earthy hops and juicy malts. In this respect, it doesn't disappoint; but a couple of other factors need mentioning before the flavour.

Firstly, the smell. The spicy aroma is overpowering and does not give a good initial impression. The wafting hit of the hops instantly marked this beer down as a "challenging" brew. Not a session beer by any means, at least not from this initial impression. Holding the glass back a bit redeemed it slightly, as the ale (darker than I would have anticipated) settled into a nicely mottled head, almost like a Scottish heavy.

On to the flavour. After the shock of the initial smell, the beer won back some respect with the initial taste. It was not as strong as the aroma suggested, but with an excellent crisp finish. As such, the drinkability level goes up, but only slightly. The crispness of the finish is really the selling point of this beer, at least in my opinion; the wheat and hops really come through at the end with some lingering fruit notes (starfruit, surprisingly, was what I picked up from this.)

The mouthfeel is a real winner. It's a tickly, very lightly bubbled brew that compliments the tanginess nicely, but is substantial enough to provide a "filling" sensation in the mouth. This helps it go down a bit more easily than it otherwise might.

In short, then, this beer starts off quite badly but soon redeems itself. Not my personal favourite, but I may give it a second chance in future.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper color with a compact head and some lace streaks. The aroma is of dry fruity english ale yeast, wheat malt and spicy hop flowers. The taste is spicy with a very English hop profile. Theres quite a bit of sweetness (maybe from the wheat malt?) that shows up in the middle. A somewhat cidery and misplaced yeast flavor becomes apparent towards the finish.

The finish is moderately bitter with plenty of grain husk. The mouthfeel is very carbonated and slightly coating. I sense a glutonous character to this beer thats hard to describe. It might have something to do with the wheat, though Im sure only a small amount was used.

Overall this is a decent beer, Though its not fantastic. A good fallback choice in a sparsely stocked LCBO.

Photo of allergictomacros
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml clear glass bottle.

Appearance: Clear amber with a big solid head that falls quickly.

Smell: Subdued hop aroma. Very faint notes of fruit. A little lackluster.

Taste: Not much of anything to start with. A little bit of malt kicks in soon, but is quickly obliterated by the hops. Bitterness lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy, good balance of carbonation and smoothness.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, but nothing spectacular. Nothing to write home about, but I wouldn't spit it out either.

Photo of Suds
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First of all, this brew didn’t seem light-struck, like I’d half expected. So, I was off to a good start. The beer pours a clear orange-amber color with a thin, unremarkable white head. Little lace. The aroma is a nice mix of malt and fruit. The fruit really comes out in this one…pear, apple, ripe peaches…very nice. There’s caramel and a little (restrained) floral hoppiness in the smell as well. This brew is quite well balanced, with a mild, satisfying flavor. The front has a very slight sweetness, coupled with just a little butterscotch. The brew, however, is a little more slick and oily than necessary, and I found that quality a little distracting. Still, this is a decent, smooth, easy to drink beer.

Photo of shark262
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slight head upon pouring that quickly dissapates. Orange-copper in color with slight carbonation.

Malty, nutty aroma with slight peach-like overtones. Mouthfeel is pleasant, lightly carbonated.

Citric, slightly astringent taste with a medium body and clean finish.

This is a good example of an English ale which is moderately hopped. Although nothing extraordinary stands out in this ale, it is still a pleasing session brew.

Photo of Higravity
2.68/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Probably the best pale ale by the Wychwood brewery, but that is not saying much. Clear amber color with a ok head. Presents a smell of light caramel malt laced with delicate hops. The taste is much the same and again everything is covered in salt. It has a decent body to it and I wasn't wishing for death as I finished it.

Photo of Backer2004
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Interesting choice tonight, paid $4.50 for a 16.9 oz. bottle at a local Pizza place. Best part about this one was the bottle itself. Very cool engravings of the witch logo around the top with an interesting drawing of, what else, but a fiddler. Nothing exciting about this pale ale, especially in comparison to so many other great ones out there. Not too hoppy, average lacing, and carbonation. Pretty easy to finish, but nothing that got me excited to try another.

Photo of Viggo
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber orange, small head and no lace. Smell is pretty malty, some spicy hops are present. Taste begins sweet, moves to a rich malty middle then finishes with some pleasant hoppy bitterness. Mouth is smooth, medium bodied, refreshing and a good session ale.

Photo of Ahhdball
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up on a whim and a "prayer". I rarely buy a new brew without consulting BA first so I hoped my gut wouldn't fool me.
A nice clear amythest color with a large head crowning the top leaving sudsy (almost soapy like) residue.
Floral and huge bitter hops exploded into the air - consistent with most EPA's I've tried.
Taste was very bitter. Some fruit (citrus) and wheat. Left a bitter sting in the mouth but I really liked it.
Mouthfeel was smooth and creamy. No residue completely left my mouth with no memories.
Very good, I'd like to have this again. $3.49 can convince me. My gut was right...nice call.

Photo of Litterbean
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer, but not a good one either. Somewhat attractive, with a bit of a head atop an amber body. Grassy hop smell, with a hint of sweetness behind it. The taste is pleasant, with a buttery sweetness to it and some grassy hop notes that were present in the smell. A bit of a chewy mouthfeel, but overall this is a drinkable brew. Not bad.

Photo of GClarkage
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

5/13/05- Purchased at Beverages and More in Redwood City, CA

Presentation- 500ml bottle with a code stamped on the top of the clear glass bottle. Poured into my Ayinger weizen glass.

Appearance- A darker golden pour, slightly cloudy. A very creamy white head forms for about an inch. Lacing is above average.

Smell- Grassy, hoppy and fruity. Don't notice any skunkyness.

Taste- A tad metallic in the beginning. Definite wheat background with a decent amount of bitter hop action. Maybe a bit of fruit tastes as well.

Mouthfeel- A tad below average carbonation, pretty velvety smooth.

Drinkability- Seeing how this was a clear bottle and the fact that I got it in a close out basket for $1.99, I was preparing for a skunkfest. But, it turned out to be OK and to be a pretty decent beer. The bitter english hops work good with the malt. Plus it's a pretty easy drinking brew.

Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I opened the bottle I really noticed a big fruity,juicy aroma it was very nice and upfront to say the least,poured perfectly into my imperial pint glass a light golden with a thin wispy head,after pouring a bit I also picked up some iron in the aroma wch I didnt pick up when opening.Flavors are not as up front as the aromas for sure but there is a nice fruitiness and quite buttery with a faint grassiness from Stryian hops that dryes this ale a bit in the finish.A pretty quaffable ale not great but drinkable,probably the best offering from this English brewery I have had to date.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy iced-tea brown with a decent off-white head from a moderate pour. The head gently settles to a thin cover of the beer.

Aroma- while the head is still losing its size, the beer gives off a very strong, almost sour aroma- hoppy and grassy that is almost over the top. Whew. Scary.

Once the head settles, the aroma is much more mellow and gentle- hops are still there, but a much better balance with graininess.

First flavor is of a malty, wheaty presence, so I guess I mean grainy. But then, as is slides down the throat, the hops first noticed in the aroma come around to say hello. Hello back. Sharper, bitter, not balanced and not the most pleasant hoppy flavors. However, I was surprised to note that it works actually ok with the beer as a whole. The whole is more than the sum of its parts, in this case.

Mouthfeel started a bit thin and watery at first, but on to second and third sip, it filled out more.

Overall, I could have this now and again.

Photo of Stubbie1
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy orange with a thick white head. The head fades and leaves a stubborn lace till the bottom of the glass

Aroma is hops, grass and yeast. Reminds me of my Dads Ballentine back in the day.

Taste is smooth for so many hops on the nose. Clean and crisp, a bit refreshing, makes me want to sit and enjoy this beer more. A slight sweet malt flavor near the end is quickly taken out buy the hops.

Overall this is a decent brew. There is nothing that stands out and says “Drink me” but it is enjoyable. Pick it up if you see it, it is worth the try.

Photo of babydoc
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle hand carried from England as a gift. Bottle now brown, not the clear one pictured at time of this review. Pours crystal-clear dark amber, with an ecru fluffy head that is generous but begins to fade too soon... does leave some lacing. Nose is what I expect in an English ale. Taste surprised me. Nice sweet malt, but hoppier than I expected. Are these fuggle hops? A bit of citrus, a bit of grapefruit offsetting the malts. Had only one to sample, but I'd say this is drinkable all night.

Photo of DESTRO
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a nice somewhat light amber. smells a touch skunky with a nice mellow fruity hop/malt sweetness being the overall picture. very english PA like. pretty flavorfull, doughy and a bit buttery with a mild caramel sweetness. balanced with a decent hop nod. medium bodied but leaning more towards the full spectrum. a most satisfying english ale, tastey and balanced.

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out to a dark golden brown colour with a short lived white / brown head. Strong scent of hops and mild fruit. A slight bite upon initial mouthfeel, but nonetheless, smooth and easy. Flavors of hops and grain, with a very prominent bitter aftertaste. Slightly dry. Worth a try, but I prefer Hobgoblin.

Photo of shippos
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

creamy white fluffy head on a light amber colored body.
creamy smooth and balanced aroma, subtle aroma of malt and hops.
creamy texture folowwed by a well carbonated mouthfee and some subtle malt character, very mild in taste and nicely balanced very drinkable

Photo of GreenCard
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: light brown/amber, great clarity, medium layer of tan foam on a hard pour, head dissipates to a thin creamy layer

Aroma: malty, hint of marcipan, angle foodcake, slight butterscotch, wisp of hops and wheat

Flavor: very subdued malt sweetness, slight tanginess, hint of wheat, edge of roasted grain, mild hop flavor, finishes dry with an aftertaste of vegetal hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium body, light carbonation, slightly astringent feeling on the teeth

Other comments: The label carries the somewhat cryptic phrase "Wheat Brewed". Of course, you can assume that this means there is wheat included in the malt bill, but "Wheat Brewed" seems to suggest the wheat is taking some kind of active role in the brewing process (stirring the mash? firing up the kettle? weighing out the hops? designing the recipe?).

Fiddler's Elbow from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
82 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.