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Original Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild - Beacon Hotel (Sarah Hughes Brewery)

Not Rated.
Original Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby MildOriginal Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

28 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 28
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 18.21%
Wants: 9
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Beacon Hotel (Sarah Hughes Brewery) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Dark Mild Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 08-21-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Original Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild Alström Bros
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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Todd
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First, this is a freagin' odd-ass beer. I poured and it overflowed an Imperial pint glass with only 2ozs of liquid, left with about 6ozs of drinkable liquid. Thin tan lace. Opaque, black.

Aroma is wine-like, medicinal with very grape-like fruit notes and lots of prune, and date. Taste is a tad sharp, fruity, and again wine-like with mild astringencies and grape-skin-like characters. Hard to discern any real malt or hop characters amongst the rounded vinous flavours, but you can tell that this is a beer. Touches of chocolate break thru now and again, but get immediately overwhelmed by the purple grape juice creatures that rule this beer's planet. There's also some "bacterial-like" presence in the flavour, not bacterial in a bad way, but in a Fruit Lambic kind of way, or at least the end of one.

Worth a try? Sure. I liked it, but I'm a freak -- gave it a "4" in taste for creativity. Just don't go out of your way unless you are daring for something different.

Todd, May 06, 2002
Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Slender brown vintage style 9.89 oz bottle, blurb about the beer on the back label ... no freshness date.

Appearance: Very dark and deep brownish ruby, nearly black, with a tan bubbly lace.

Smell: Baked apples with hints of lemon and grain.

Taste: Silky smooth with a sublime mouth feel, very creamy on the tounge and full bodied. Lots of malt character with undertones of earthiness and a mild tartness. Heavy handful of sweetness from the malt and fruitiness from the yeast. Traces of liquorice, toffee and carob in the mix. Just enough hops to be noticed and help balance ... a bit of grain helps also. Very slight tartness along with a decent amount of residual sweetness in the finish.

Notes: Very rounded and complex ... perfect amount of hops leaving the malt to dominate. Conditioned in the bottle very well and quite decieving for a 6% brew. Considered similar to a traditional mild of the 19th century.

Jason, Aug 21, 2000
More User Reviews:
Photo of rastaman
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I probably didn't like it as much as i should have. But i still found it quite pleasant. Malt dominated, lots of chocolate, vanilla, caramel in the flavour. Soft, round texture, very well balanced, sweetish and rich, quite nice, its actually a beer i've been trying to get my hands on for a while, and even though i was a bit dissapointed, it was a still a nice beer (Cask KentBF 03')

rastaman, Sep 22, 2003
Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drainage-ditch brown. Headless and murky.
Perfumed potently of raspberry yogurt, black cherries, molasses, aniseed.
What an oddity this is. A tapistry of caramel, laid with ruptured bundles of sour leaning dark fruits: cherries, berries, plums, and raisins. Sheared further sour with traces of vinegar and lime juice. Lactic in the middle, then this leans nearly lambic, complete with a leathery yeast presence (Brett?). Turns sharply vinic and tannic on the close, with a distinct Shiraz bend.
Flattened through the mouth, with an utterly contradictory mushy acuity.
Closer to an old ale (a la Gales) than a modern-day Mild. And nearly impossible to score meaningfully.
Weird on all accounts. I like it.

cokes, Jul 11, 2005
Photo of jackndan
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby: On cask at the Real Ale Festival. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this was a very dark maroon. Thicker head that picks up some of the color of the beer. Fairly clear for a cask conditioned beer. Fruity aroma, with hints of dried fruits (think raisons mixed with plums). The taste was a very pleasant surprise, very easy to sip, but with more alcohol than I’d have expected. The taste was initially dried fruits from the malts, with a dryish, almost red wine taste, toward the end, with a bare hint of sourness. The lads and I all thought this was terrific, and I’d recommend it to anyone who sees it on cask.

jackndan, Mar 05, 2003
Photo of oracle
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is easily the most difficult-to-rate beer so far. Being a huge fan over heavily hopped pales and IPAs, trying this beer was a somewhat new experience for me.

Beer was a dark mostly opaque with a fairly thin but bubbly head.

Smell was slight, with an emphasis on malts and wine scents.

When they say mild, they're not kidding. It may just be my taste buds are too used to being pounded by overwheling amounts of hops, but this beer just didn't have much flavor for me. Faintly sour, with almost no finish whatsoever.

To quote somebody whose name I can't recall
"There is just no THERE there."

Overall, I'd say this beer is kind of ordinary, with not much to recommend it or reject it.

oracle, Jun 13, 2004
Photo of grittly
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

grittly, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of BlackHaddock
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am very lucky because I have only drank this beer at the Beacon Hotel (The brewery) or at CAMRA beer fests.

It obviously doesn't travel to well, according to some reports on here, which is a great shame, because kept well and drank out of a pint pot it is wonderful.

Dark Ruby Brown in colour, as its name suggests, no head should be fully formed, just a whisper or two of white froth which soon disappears as you take great gulps of the beer.

The aroma is so complexed, it fills your brain with an overload of pulses, mine being unable to unscramble them to discribe each beery one.

The taste is heavy, and again complexed and diverse in flavours, all the tastes linger, fruits, malts, hops all blended into a huge explosion of what a great British Strong Mild should be like.

Throw your bottles away and try and visit the Brewery in Sedgley.

Update Feb 2009.

Had three pints last Thursday in 'Ye Olde Robin Hood' Ironbridge, Shropshire. Still a wonderful beer in cask form, please don't let the bottle sour your view of a true classic.

BlackHaddock, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of SamMartin
4.75/5  rDev +29.1%

SamMartin, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Hopheadjeffery, Aug 14, 2013
Photo of aracauna
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not really dark ruby. Looks more black but really dark brown. Good aroma, ginger, some coffee, raisin, a little caramel. Taste is odd. It's sour. It didn't smell like it had gone bad, and it almost tasted like it was supposed to be that way. I actually checked the other ratings to make sure my experience fit before rating to make sure I didn't just get a bad bottle. Odd. Didn't have the head problem though.

aracauna, Sep 07, 2002
Photo of rabidawg
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Half Door in Hartford.

Wonderful deep ruby with a perfect creamy head. Very slight carbonation.

Fruity, fruity, fruity nose. Well-ripened purple grapes dominate, with a hint of muscadine thrown in for good measure.

Vinuous taste. This is a very wine-like brew, in a way none I've had before has been. Very smooth, but in no way creamy. This is a very sultry brew. I can't say it was what I anticipated, but it was very enjoyable nonetheless. Certainly a pleasurable break from the norm.

rabidawg, May 09, 2003
Photo of jonb5
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Half pint at the Wandworth Beer Festival. Dark ruby colour, tiny tanned head, thick. Smelled yeasty, had hints of cranberry. Fairly malty, notes of meat, slightly smokey aftertaste. Smooth mouthfull with soft carbonation. Overall nice introduction to milds even if this one is not exactly a typical example of the style.

jonb5, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of denimdemon
4/5  rDev +8.7%

denimdemon, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of Wildman
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Okay people, I pour this beer and it poured out a very dark color. But I got none of the head that has been mentioned. My fave spot just got this from their distributor last week. Don't know if it is an old bottle. Little if any head and no lace. The aroma reminded me more of a wine than of a beer. The flavor had an overiding sour taste to it. Which once again begs the question, are they trying to emulate a wine quality. I am a sucker for anything that says dark, but this beer is unusual.

Wildman, Jun 12, 2002
Photo of beerguy101
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep red color, no head. Aroma is fruity and vinous. Near wine like taste, vinous with a touch of fruitiness. Tastes more like wine than beer, Not very malty or hoppy. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter

beerguy101, Sep 21, 2003
Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Slatetank, May 24, 2013
Photo of UnionMade
2.25/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The beer pours out of it's classy little 275ml bottle a deep, deep....deep brown, highlit a ruby red, with a slight haziness, despite the fact that I tried to keep the conditioning in the bottle. A massive sandy froth forms, taking me three or four pours to finally empty the bottle. The head subsides into a thick 1/8" coating.
The aroma is very winey, my guess this beer has seen better days. A bit sour, with just a slight coffee note hinting at what the beer used to be.
The flavor is certainly mild, with a slight roasty presence. A definite cherry/grape wininess. Cardboardy in the end, this is definitely past it's prime. Certainly musty. The body's thinned out quite a bit, with a very light feel. Flattish carbonation, reminiscent of cask. I wish I could have known beforehand, rather than spending $3 on a drainpour. I had this casked a long time ago, and recall it being very good. I'll certainly revisit this and review accordingly.

UnionMade, Apr 26, 2004
Photo of tavernjef
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a couple bottles on clearance, small 9oz brown bottle.
After reading some of the other reviews I was hoping I didn't get old, bad stuff, but with this stuff it's hard to tell, quite a weird concoction. Pours a brownish red, carbonation seems heavy, recieved a fuzzy, fizzy head that disappeared so fast it was nearly unseen. Smell is pretty sharp of bright fruits like a wine or cider with white and green grapes and raisin and apricot notes. Taste is quite tart, mild enough for swallowing, but not as easy as I was hoping it would be from what the smell was warning. It seems to me to be more of a cider and even closer to wine, super sweet tartness of grapes, fresh and sharp, taste is earthly pleasing once past the actual tartness. Feel is hard to figure cuz its just all carbonated fizzy tartness with some drying quailities. I find it seems to feel much like a lambic, or much like the New Glarus Belgian Red, but much more potent in its tartness, to sour. It also reminded me alot of the La Folie I had recently in its sour capabilities. So to rate this seems impossible, it doesn't seem to fit what I thought, is the bottle bad or what, so.....
I think if I see it again I'll just pass it up, to risky, even for it being on clearance.

tavernjef, May 15, 2003
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am rating this because I don't expect to get another chance to try it, and because it turned out really tasty despite the infection (oh well I am not rating to style right).

My first reaction was, this is not a good sign, my chilled bottle gushed a bit upon opening. The aroma is sour and lactic. Doesn't smell bad. Just not how it should. It is a dark brown color with a brown head. It is quite sour, like a Flemish Brown. Such a dead ringer for a sour brown that it almost seems like the lactic character is on purpose (is it?). This would be how the old ales of centuries gone past would taste. I really like this. There are notes of burnt raisin and roast malt here as well. It is very well carbonated, as is expected from this deliciously infected bottle. Quite light bodied, has a bit of molasses as well.

Gueuzedude, Nov 06, 2003
Photo of PartyBear
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Actually managed to get to the Beacon Hotel to try this on cask. Great pub, if you're in the Midlands you should really seek it out, especially for the Sarah Hughes beers. Anyway, the beer...

Appearance: Ruby red in colour, with a good fluffy off-white head.

Aroma: There is a clear fruitiness in the aroma, definitely blackcurrants, and other berries. An underlying roasted maltiness is present, along with slightly sweet toffee-like scent.

Taste: Blackberries, and other dark fruits are very prominent at the start. There is a sweet maltiness after the fruits, which provide a mild biscuitiness. The finish is ever so slightly bitter, with a very noticeable taste of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium in the body, with no carbonation. Quite sweet and tart feel.

Drinkability: This is a beer that I have been wanting to try for a long time and I wasn't disappointed when I finally got chance to. At 6% ABV, this is strong for a mild but it works well. It's very drinkable, and it is easy to see how it has gained such a good reputation.

PartyBear, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of proc
2.25/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is one weird beer. First it overflowed the glass I poured it into...no, it exploded like a volcano while overflowing. Lots of bubble with this one. Light fruit smell. Taste starts off decent, with a taste of plums and raisins, then falls apart. There is a sour taste on the finish like wine gone bad. Not again for this guy.

proc, Feb 05, 2003
Photo of ark57
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is a cloudy, chocolatety-brown color with little carbonation. There is sweet prunes and raisins in the nose as well as a grape tinge. The body is malty and syruppy yet slight thin. It tatses of some caramel and fruit with a metallic tinge and some winey sourness. Not something I am used to, but I enjoyed.

ark57, Mar 23, 2004
Photo of soulgrowl
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strikingly long-lasting creme brulee-colored head in contrast to a no less striking black cherry-red body. Visually it reminds me of a red velvet cupcake, and the smell isn't that far off either. Marshmallows, sweet sherry, molasses and a bit of licorice come through, plus subtle chocolate and peanuts, lots of figs and raisins and just a drop of maple syrup. Dark, deep, and tempting. The flavor is dominated by massive nut flavors: roasted peanuts and pecans dominate, though they are neatly wedded to a dark fruity character of raisins, figs, cherries, and dates. The combination reminds me, in a way, of peanut butter and jelly. There are also lovely coffee, chocolate, and sherry notes in the background, plus somewhat nondescript bitter hops to fence everything in. Suitably lush and smooth, with a surprisingly dry finish of burnt hops. This is a wonderfully sweet-yet-balanced strong ale. Probably very versatile with food, especially curries, cheese, and chocolate.

soulgrowl, May 03, 2009
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 27, 2011
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Original Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild from Beacon Hotel (Sarah Hughes Brewery)
84 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.