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Moonraker Ale - J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd

Not Rated.
Moonraker AleMoonraker Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

151 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 151
Reviews: 116
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 16.62%
Wants: 8
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 10-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 151 | Reviews: 116 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Nage37
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Nage37, Dec 23, 2012
Photo of hellhammermario
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

hellhammermario, Oct 04, 2013
Photo of ggaughan
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%

This beer poured a deep brownish color with a slight white head with good lacing. The beer had the smell of deep fruit and the strong alcohol content. Impressive. The taste is a nice balance of a malty sweetness but with a kick of the ABV which is refreshing and gives you a good mouthful.

ggaughan, Feb 10, 2006
Photo of sisuspeed
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%

Bottled on 8/13/09

Poured into a Foothills signature glass. Clear, dark, cherry-brown in body with a thin, off-white head on top. Light lacing left behind.

Aroma consists of cherries, sweet malts and a bit of spice. Some slight cider and grape notes as well. Overall sweet.

Sweet, bready malts wash across the tongue, mixed with a cherry cola flavor and a touch of spice bitterness on the finish. Ever so slightly tart at times, hints of banana, mostly sweet.

Mouthfeel has lots of small tiny carbonation, otherwise smooth and on the lighter side. Sweet with bitter aspects and slightly warming alcohol.

Drinkability is about average. I like the bready malts but the rest of the flavor doesn't really do much. However, this is one of the better winter warmers I have had. The spice is toned down and there is a bigger malt presence. One bottle is all you would want.

Overall, this is a decent beer. Nothing about it really stands out, but it will warm you up and has above average flavor. Not a beer I would seek out, but if you happen upon it you might as well give it a shot.

sisuspeed, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of phisig137
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours a deep brown, almost black color with ruby highlights, and a half finger head. Poor retention doesn't leave anything nice behind, just a flat looking glass of ale.

Aroma is sweet, brightly fruity, and slightly alcoholic. Malty caramel aromas are well blended with an unusually fruity yeast strain... seems almost overly fruity and out of place for a British beer.

Flavor is quite sweet, to the point of being cloying up front. Again, massive fruit flavors here.... peaches, apples, pears, and maybe plums. the finish begins to take on a dryer side, although not hoppy. Finish is lingering. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and smooth. Drinkability is pretty good for the ABV.

not a bad beer at all. I rather enjoy this one. The yeast must be the house strain over at J.W. Lee's, as you can taste some similarities to the harvest ale in this one. I wonder if this has the potential to age as well... I personally love the harvest ale, and this one pales in comparison. BUT, this was 3.99 a pint, compared to $8.49 for 9 ounces. If I'm in the mood and can't afford it, this is a decent back up.

phisig137, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of jonb5
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%

Half pint at JDW beer festival. Black, almost opaque apart from the brown edge. Tiny head, poor retention but it kept some lacing. Aroma was cork with notes of cranberry. Malty taste, stoutlike. There was some burn from the booze at the finish. Fairly smooth, texture was like thin syrup, minimal carbonation. Overall it had lots of burn from the alcohol but didn't really have the depth of character that some beers of this strength have.

jonb5, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of Atlas1
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%

Hadn't heard of the Moonraker before picking one up at my local beer store this weekend. Classified as a "Winter Warmer," I'm not sure exactly how old this bottle is.

Pours a deep dark brown, with an orange tint at the edges when held up to the light. Really weak head; big bubbles which thin out rapidly and leave nothing but a very thin rinse around the edges of the glass. Nothing special in the pour, for sure. Still, the aroma here is boisterous. Fruity scents take command, with malted tones making a presence, but with much more reserve. Apple, pear, prune. And tasty too. Sweet... some malty sweetness, but mostly this is a fruity sweetness. Not sure how they pull this off without actual fruit in the brewing process (IS there fruit in the brewing process here?) but they do a damn fine job of things. A lightly syrupy mouthfeel. Moonraker would serve as an excellent dessert beer, or after-dinner drink. Not sure I would pair this with a cheese, but definitely a fruit sorbet or plum cake (IS there such a thing as plum cake?). All in all, the Moonraker is a fine brew. Fruity and strong, like the label says.

Atlas1, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of cvfish
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%

A - This beer poured a reddish brown color that produced a white foamy head that had decent retention and left a good lace on the side of the glass

S - The aromas produced by this beer were some caramel and malts, some fruitiness and toffee

T - The taste of this beer was a good bit of caramel malts, a bit molasses and toffee, and a bit of hops on the finish

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body that was smooth, and had a moderate amount of carbonation

D - This was a good beer, very drinkable, this was another good example of a beer from JW Lees

cvfish, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of dgallina
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%

500ml brown bottle with no freshness dating.

Pours deep red-brown with zero head or lace, weak carbonation. Smells syrupy sweet; perhaps medicinal cherries candied in caramel. Sticky sweet fruit up front, works through some astringent sourness in the center, but leads to a drier leafy and lightly nutty finish. Flavor is better-balanced than you might hope from the aroma. Medium oily body with bigger carbonation than expected.

Not very well integrated or especially appealing.

dgallina, Jun 13, 2006
Photo of magnusdave
4/5  rDev +9%

magnusdave, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of Samp01
4.33/5  rDev +18%

Pours a slightly viscous cloudy brown with a medium lasting tan head. Aroma toasted caramel malt, dark fruits, plums, figs, and some liquorice notes. Taste is toasted caramel malt, dark fruits of plums, dates, black figs with some mild bitterness. A full bodied brew with a slightly viscous and sticky mouthfeel with some moderate carbonation on the palate. Finish is sweet toasted caramel malt, dark fruits, plums, dates, black figs followed by some sweet alcohol esters and some mild bitterness ending. Flavor and aroma of liquorice, dates and figs becomes more evident as it warms up. Overall an excellent, flavorful nicely balanced, and delicious brew, very enjoyable.

Samp01, May 17, 2012
Photo of Jeeb
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Jeeb, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of MystikCelt
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

MystikCelt, May 28, 2013
Photo of fx20736
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%

Poured from a bomber into a goblet, served at 63f.

Lovely tawny port brown with an offwhite head.

Aroma: baking in the oven molasses-gingerbread cookies and faint suggestions of toffee, earthy Fuggles hoppiness, caramel and diacetyl.

mouthfeel: silky and smooth

taste: bready malt, molasses sweetness, with a slightly sour twang and a finish that is Treacly sweet with just a kiss of prunes.

Notes: Is this a Barleywine, a Strong Ale as the bottle suggests or a Winter Warmer as BA calls it? I guess it doesn't matter, this is another malty, sweet beer like a Wee Heavy but without the peatiness or a Belgian Strong Dark Ale but without the spices. The sweetness of this beer and 7.5% abv make this a sipper. Don't drink this if you're in a hurry, it's a beer to lay down and avoid a bit, then a sip and then another laydown. Good stuff.

fx20736, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of sacfly
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%

500mL, no date. $5.99
Pours a reddish brown. On the dark side. What little head there was is quickly gone. Smell is fruity. Raisins and a bit of toasted malt. A little sherry. First sip is a bit syrupy and slick. Over ripe fruit. Figs. Almost reminds me of a watered down JW Lees Harvest ale. Aftertaste is sticky and sweet. No hops to speak of.

Again, this seems like a little cousin to the Harvest Ale, which I find far superior. This is not bad by any means, but I would never choose this over the Harvest. Especially with the $5.99 price tag.

sacfly, Jul 27, 2006
Photo of Zimbo
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%

In the bottle the nose is deep with some appetising fruit. In the glass it is more cola like. There is a contant head on top of this reddish brown beer and body is slightly carbonic and quite thin for a 7.5% ABV beer. Slight banana quality to the tasty but not much else of interest. Decent complex lacing. Eventually coats mouth with a slight sappiness. There is development over time in the glass as it opens up. At least I didn't serve it chilled.

Certianly is Moonraker. Too bad I was expecting From Russia With Love.

Zimbo, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of mjc410
2.4/5  rDev -34.6%

Poured into a La Moneuse tulip...

As I'm pouring, I notice that the beer is pouring with nary a bubble in sight. So, I up-end the bottle, and I am able to coax a very slight head out of this, which quickly fades to a light tan ring. Held up to a window, the beer is on the lowest edge of transparent, showing a ruby world. Smells slightly sour, but not in a spoiled way. Light notes of sour cherries, sugar. Not much else on the nose. Tastes of slight caramel, although this hides behind the sweet and sour berry flavor. End very sweet, with no hop bitterness whatsoever. Seems to pass on a sweet cherry note to the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is on the thin side, and carbonation is almost nonexistent. This beer gets cloying pretty quickly, and I don't see myself reaching for it again.

mjc410, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%

This is a dark beer-- pours with a black walnut brown color and a foamy but short lived head.
There was a small aroma of fruit and hints of malt in the nose.

The flavor was predominantly sweet malt with very little underpinning-- giving the flavor profile a thin "appearance". The flavor is also rather sedate-- other than the sweet malt I am at a loss to coin any other discerning features.

The finish is mild with the sweet malt tinging and slowly fading. Like the flavor start- the finish had a one dimensional characteristic-- that of predominantly sweet flavor.

The mouthfeel was cordial-- in part due to the sweet malty character.

The drinkability was "good"-- this beer is a very mild mannered character. Although I think that the sweetness would prove tiring after a pint. I don't think I'd reach for another.

gueuzeonhigh, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of adrian21
4/5  rDev +9%

adrian21, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of seedyone
2.2/5  rDev -40.1%

09/08/11 at RnH, NYC. Not sure who thought this was a good idea. Not to my liking at all. Way too sour. Thought there was peppermint in the aroma but didn't find it elsewhere. Other references claim it was a CAMRA winter beer of Britain winner. Remind me never to go to Britain in the winter.

seedyone, Jul 30, 2014
Photo of Ahhdball
3.23/5  rDev -12%

Has a nice deep brown color with hints of red. No head to see but left a tiny lacing along the sides which says "resin" to me. Alcohol, dates and maybe some sugary nose. Tasting this made me feel as though I had a cold. Definitely some sort of cough syrup feel and taste. A lot of alcohol followed by a syrup character with yeast and some molasses. Perhaps this is a bad bottle but I really don't agree with the other reviews on this. I've had much better.

Ahhdball, Aug 01, 2004
Photo of EvilKeith
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%

Poured into the glass a murky deep dark perfect brown with a batter-like tan head. The head fell off to a wispy cap and a halo of small bubbles along the glass. Yeast sediment is evident in the bottle. The lacing was impressively thick and sticky.

Overall the smell was sweet. Caramel, malts, faint dark fruit notes, and buttery toffee. The alcohol was well hidden.

The taste was faintly chocolate, sweet rich malts, coffee beans, somehow earthy and a bit woody. The hops and alcohol add a nice spicy, bittering dry finish.

Creamy mouthfeel. Lightly carbonated. Medium bodied.

From the sweet smell I was expecting this to be perhaps too sweet. The brewer did a great job using the hops and alcohol to hold the sweetness in check. Well balanced and very damn drinkable.

EvilKeith, Jul 29, 2006
Photo of Dylanjf
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Dylanjf, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of slyke
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

A nice winter warmer, not the best I've had, but far from the worst. Aroma is fruity, with citrus most noticable to my olfactory. Spicing is on the mild side with a dry finish. A deep garnet color with a creamy white head that starts about 3/4 of an inch, then fades to 1/8 inch. Decent lacing. Perhaps the true test of a beer is "would I buy it again?" Yep.

slyke, Feb 14, 2005
Photo of NeutroMan
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

NeutroMan, Jul 02, 2012
Moonraker Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
83 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.