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

Not Rated.
Manchester Star AleManchester Star Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

142 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 142
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 9.82%
Wants: 13
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: yen157 on 03-17-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Manchester Star Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 142 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hAle2theWort
4/5  rDev +0.8%

hAle2theWort, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of Torontoblue
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Torontoblue, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of wrightst
3/5  rDev -24.4%

wrightst, Aug 12, 2014
Photo of KG710
4/5  rDev +0.8%

KG710, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of TheRealNick
4/5  rDev +0.8%

TheRealNick, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of zenithberwyn
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

zenithberwyn, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of jerefreakinmiah
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

jerefreakinmiah, May 04, 2014
Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a somewhat unique brew (or at least the style is). Not sweet like an English Barleywine (such as the superb J.W. Lees Harvest Ale). Not bitter like an ESB. And nothing like an English porter or stout, although it looks like a stout. It starts just a little hoppy or sweet but grows in complexity and fruity and wine characteristics as it warms. In fact it gets better and better as it goes down. Another excellent offering from a superb brewery.

Beer-A-Lot, May 04, 2014
Photo of Sludgeman
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Sludgeman, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

afsdan, Mar 28, 2014
Photo of DuffDaddy
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

DuffDaddy, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of thecheapies
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

This beer is quite dark! Has a rich dark brown/black color with some thin purple light seeping through. Sepia foam gathers with some difficulty around the surface.

British maltiness with some scotch ale notes, roastiness, spicy hops, gooey toffee, chicory coffee, dark fruits, meaty nuttiness, and some soft chocolate. Subtle alcohol. A very good nose.

Toffee malts with a browned apple backing. The hops are very mild, very aged, but with a husky spiciness. Nuances of nutty coffee and chocolate and cognac. Hints of dried fruit and black strap. Not too sweet; very balanced. Yeast has a drier, powdery finish that really sops up leftover flavors.

The body could use sturdied up, a bit. It feels a little thin. The carbonation is definitively too weak. There's room for improvement.

One of the better English Strong Ales that I have had. Worth buying.

thecheapies, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of Phishagonia
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Phishagonia, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of vinicole
4/5  rDev +0.8%

vinicole, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of ImperatorScab
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

ImperatorScab, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +0.8%

BillRoth, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of Chugs13
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Chugs13, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Aug 2013, so it's a bit out of date. Picked up from Sainsbury's last year as part of their 2012 Beer Hunt and stored in my garage. I'm hoping its strength has helped to keep it in good condition. Described on the label as a revival of an original recipe from 1884 - this beer was one of the two winners of the 2012 Beer Hunt.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A dark chestnut-brown hue that appears almost black in the glass. Produces a large head of creamy beige foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a surface layer. Aroma of rich, fruity malt with hints of prunes, dried fruit, mild molasses, fruitcake, caramel, ale yeast and faint stewed hops. Slightly sweet, with a warming whiff of booze lurking in the background. Fantastically deep and delicious - superb.

Tastes of sweet, fruity malt with a lingering finish. Notes of prunes, raisins, dried fruit, port, fruitcake, caramel, subtle molasses, ale yeast and stewed hops. Faintly sweet, with a hint of warming alcohol in the background and a restrained bitterness upon swallowing. Amazing balance. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with well-judged carbonation and good body. Mildly astringent, followed by an aftertaste of fruity malt, port wine, yeast and booze.

A first-rate effort; just what a strong ale should be. It looks lovely, while the aroma and flavour are rich, sweet and fruity. The booziness adds depth. Great balance and a smooth body. A perfect sipper for a winter's evening - the age of the bottle clearly did this no harm. A top-notch brew; don't pass it up if you see it.

jazzyjeff13, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of EmperorBevis
4/5  rDev +0.8%

EmperorBevis, Nov 01, 2013
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Acme Bar and Pizza in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark black, with a light brown slowly rising head that sticks to the glass as I gulp this beauty down.

Smells include sweet, earthy dark fruit, chocolate, and coffee.

The taste follows suit. Roasted malt, along with chocolate and some mild coffee, come to the forefront, with the dark fruit flavors coming on the back end of each sip. The fruit gives the beer a slightly sour twang. Some licorice too.

Medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Low carbonation.

One of the best English porters. Awesome.

GreesyFizeek, Sep 30, 2013
Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

PEIhop, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

beernads, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of StJamesGate
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chocolate black with a motionless clingy tan carpet of froth.
Raspberry, grilled steak, and wood on the nose.
Purple plum, liqueur-filled chocolates, sweet liqourice, then a big cream soda hit, followed by tea leaf and cedar chip hops.
Sambuca finish with undertones of port and vanilla and drying woody linger.
Medium, smooth, plenty of chew.

A tug of war between the sweetness - both fruit and chocolate - and the bitterness - both roast and hop, with the sweetness winning. I've read there's some impressive hop character in this, but with a Dec 15, '12 bottling date, that was never going to happen here. Real depth - even some old ale notes - out of a historic recipe, though, and one I'd be willing to investigate again fresh.

StJamesGate, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of kif
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

kif, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of mjryan
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First off, a porter this beer is not. Sure, it's dark and well, that's where the porter comparison needs to end. Then what the hell do we call this thing? Not sure actually. Maybe an historical English black ipa? It is pretty hoppy, has the tell tale muted, well traveled old school English hop character. A bit fruity, a bit earthy or even herbal, English is what I call it. Fairly bitter as well. Tastes a bit like chocolate (ok, score another point for porter), but it's mild, smooth, nuanced even. Not at all roasty, no acrid burntness (burntness? Maybe someday it will be a real word). It's sweet chocolate, milk chocolate lite. Hops in the flavour as well. Quite hoppy actually, or perhaps surprisingly. Bitter end, lingers. Ok, perhaps porter might be the best place to put this thing. As it warms, the roast wakes up and yawns a bit before going back to sleep. Also, I have no idea how old this shit is. Really fresh I'm sure it's easier to define, maybe. I'll sum it up here. It's very dark, pleasantly hoppy, has some nice milk chocolate notes, faint roast, bitter and sweet at the end. It's a super bloody strong, hoppy English porteresque beer! Oh, it's also very good no matter what it is.

mjryan, Aug 02, 2013
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Manchester Star Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
89 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.