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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

148 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 148
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 14
Gots: 4 | 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
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Ratings: 148 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WesWes
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a 1/4" tan head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich malty scent that boasts of crystal and roasted malts. It has a some sweet chocolate malt scents as well. The taste is good. It has a very sweet and malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes a bit earthy and warm. It has some residual sweetness from the use of many crystal malts. It has a roaste malt feel as well as some chocolate hints. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tastey beer. It has an excellent malt bill that adds complexity and great flavor to this English Porter. It's sweet with a warm finish; a good drinker.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 16.9 fluid ounce, Half Litre bottle. Wide body with a tall thin neck sealed with a simple black crown cap. Label looks like that shown in the BA Database. Listed at 7.3% and first brewed in 1884, the recipe was resurrected after the Head Brewer visited Brooklyn Brewery in 2001. It was brewed again in 2004 to celebrate the Head Brewer being awarded the title of ‘Brewer of the Year’ from a bunch of drunken overpaid out of touch windbag old farts….oh I’m sorry, I really meant to say the Parliamentary Beer Club. Here, here…here…. Order…Order…….

Appearance: Very dark ebonyous mahogany body looks sultry and moody. Light colored tan head rises and falls quickly but never disappears completely. Large bubbles form the head and plaster the glass walls with some smattered lacing. The broken head on the surface has a Lunar appearance.

Nose: Lots of molasses in the aromas, slightly sweet at the back of the nostrils. Dark fruits, figs, prunes and hints of Camp® coffee. Gentle Rauch like finish.

Taste: Bovril dissolves the coffee covered malts. Molasses remain from the nose and they fight with a dark chewy bonfire toffee in the middle. Soil laden malts lend a very rustic feel, which balances with the powdery sweetness, bitter coffee and Bourneville dark chocolate. Strange, I can’t help getting a “farmyard feel” from this one…though I’m sure it’s psychological as I think of the English Countryside whilst drinking this one.

Mouthfeel: Low key conditioning, almost cask-like. Soft sweetness with a mild bitterness. Gentle chewy toffee texture. Attractive.

Drinkability: The sweetness is right on the edge of what I can tolerate, even so, I still find this offering to be a rather enjoyable brew. As easy going as a game of Crown Green Bowls on a quiet sunny Sunday afternoon.

Overall: Interesting one this, a rather unique offering, the sweetness is higher than expected. As I have never seen this one before I just had to give it a whirl when I did. So glad that I took the risk, but at $5.99 for the bottle, it is not one I would stock the fridge with. However, if you fancy treating yourself or want to sample something different for a special occasion then go ahead and do so, you will not be disappointed.

Raising this Old School English Porter high tonight to the England Cricket Team and their magnificent series win to regain the Ashes, fantastic stuff!

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an Imperial pint glass)

A-The body is a deep dark brown almost black with a nice bubbly tan head and a good carbonation with tiny bubbles.

S- Nice toasted malt aroma with a hint of roasted malt. Almost a sweet malt hint aswell.

T- Nice sweet toasted maltyness with a hint of black malt and a faint hint of hop flavor. Not hop bitterness just very smooth malt flavors.

M-nice medium mouthfeel with no alcohol warmth and no astringency

D-Wow this is a nice smooth beer. It has wonderful malts that blend together but are not overly complex. A good solid porter that has a nice quality but shows its uniqueness from brown ales and stouts.

Photo of Brent
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer reminded me of what was available several years ago when old-style porters really started coming back onto the scene, before brewers started pumping them up with lots of chocolate and coffee notes. The beer has a pretty substantial malt backbone, with vague coffee and unsweetened cocoa notes in teh background. Finish is firm, with a good balance of malt sweetness and bittering.

Photo of pentathlete
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark near opaque brown. Small head, the fell to nothing after a minute or two. Smell is smoky, smoky chocolate and smoky malts. Taste is sweet smoky molasses with some carbonic bite. Mouthfeel is unexpectedly thin, but the flavors provide some body to make up for it. Like many smoky ales, one is plenty to drink. Tasty but one is plenty.

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes, June '08.

Pours dark black with a dense tan head.

Aroma is roasty malt, coffee with some dark fruit.

Taste is interesting -- dark, roasted malt up front, almost sweet with coffee and cocoa both showing up, that moves to dark fruit with a faint note of hoppy citrus and licorice on moderately dry finish.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily, but with a moderately crisp carbonation.

Quite a complex take on the style, well done, drinkable beer, though not one to pound all night in my opinion.

Photo of thecheapies
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass a translucent blackish brown with a white and low head which retreated quickly to the edges of the surface but tried to lace the glass without any luck.

The aroma was lightly fruity with a slightly vinous character. Some slight caramel maltiness exisited in the aroma along with a very very slight roastiness and very slight chocolate.

The flavor was wowee, much more interesting than the aroma. The flavor was nicely malty with an interesting vinous charcter like that of an old ale. The flavor contained a sweet cherry fruit complement and a light chocolate flavor that added to that complexity. The hop flavor and bittering was just high enough to balance and keep the beer from becoming overly sweet.

The finish was just dry with lasting cherry fruit flavors and maltiness long into the aftertaste and becoming very dry in the finality of the flavor. The body was medium and the carbonation level was low. Almost a Baltic Porter with nice flavor complexity and a sleeper aromatic.

16.9 ounce bottle. Original recipe from 1884.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ST: 1 pint 9oz poured into a pint glass. The bottle lists ABV but does not list DBD.

A: A fingernail of off-white slight brown head sits on top of a dark, almost black, color with red tints at the bottom of the glass. Within thirty seconds the head settles down to a thin, but fully covering, line.

S: Very nutty with milk, malt, smoke, and toffee.

T: Starts out sweet and nutty; the malt really shines. Some coffee bean bitterness joins in the middle. A little bit of bitterness from hops rounds out the finish with some smoke.

M: Surprisingly light and not as creamy as the aroma indicated.

O: Manchester Star is a very pleasant and drinkable beer. It is easy to see why porter was popular with the workers of Industrial Revolution England. This particular porter blends its 7.3%ALC very well, while still offering nice and mild flavor. Its nutty slightly smokey and meaty flavor would do well with most food. A small negative is that the body of this beer could be a wee heavier.

Photo of Tone
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. Two inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, oatmeal, slight dry hop, alcohol, hint of syrup, and hint of yeast. Fits the style of an English Porter. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, slight grain, alcohol, slight dry hop, and a hint of syrup. Overall, good appearance, mouth feel, and blend.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a deep dark brown color with a very light ruby hue, but ruby nontheless. A small ring of head sits atop, but no real head formed on the pour. The nose is a light figgy and chocolate, with a light burnt character, but everything is very light. Not a lot of aroma. The flavor is also a little light. There is a slight soy-sauce character, with a slightly dark roasted, to burnt. Most of what I though is a molases flavor. Not too sweet, but very full in flavor. The feel is light moderate, with a light carbonation. Overall, a very enjoyable beer. I would like a touch more aroma, but the flavor is nice and complex. Tasty brew.

Photo of Dope
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottling date that I can see. Probably around a year old.

A: Pours a dark brown with a very light brown head. Head is quite light and fluffy. Head fades somewhat quickly, leaving zero lacing behind. Decent retention at least.

S: Mild roasted malt with a little bit of smoke in there. A little bit of umami.

T: Again with the mild roasted malt. Touches of smoke, char, umami and even a little chocolate. Flavors turn a little drying and bitter in the finish, more of an acrid smoke along with bitter cocoa powder. Lingering chocolate between sips along with an odd metallic taste. Might be due to age?

M: Medium bodied, smooth.

O: Not a bad english porter. Flavors are mild but well integrated and balanced. Smooth and drinkable.

Photo of ImperatorScab
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of beerthulhu
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark opaque coffee color with a thin sudsy beige head.

S: On the nose was black coffee with dry dairy creamer.

T: There was a nice coffee bitterness for initial flavor with a light touch of lactic milk sweetness to finish. There is rich dark chocolate, cocoa and a moderate sweetness per style. The beer finishes with a fresh dunkin donought coffee flavor with a dry coffee mate lacing and fade along with dry bitter chocolate notes. drinks very smoothly.

M: The mouthful is moderate with a soothing roasted malt palate and bitter hoppiness.

D: A great English style body with a great drinkability factor.

Photo of Chugs13
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of jerefreakinmiah
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16.9oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color with a thin light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of toasted malts, coffee, caramel, chocolate and some dark fruits.

T: The taste is very malty with flavors of coffee, chocolate and dark fruit. There’s a mild hops presence that comes in, but fades quickly and still gives a good balance. The after-taste is sweet and a little smoky.

M: Very smooth with a little crispness, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good strong kick, there are a lot of qualities of this beer that seem to border on the Baltic Porter & RIS styles. It’s a nice beer to relax with sip slowly, but I couldn’t really see myself drinking a lot of this beer in one night.

Photo of alicemcneil
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of CharlieMopps
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep, opaque blackish brown hue that's topped by a about a finger of head that recedes fairly quickly to about a centimeter.

S: Toasted malt aroma, bit of biscuity scent with an underlying hint of caramel.

T: Big taste of toffee, fairly sweet, but the intro is all roasted malt. A hop bitterness in the finish that leaves some residue on the palate.

M: Carbonation is limited. Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy in the middle, and has kind of a thin quality to it, but the texture remains smooth throughout.

D: A pretty easygoing beer, nothing too spectacular about it, but still solid nonetheless. I'm not sure this is good enough to warrant another one, but it definitely has its time and place.

Photo of mjryan
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of Crosling
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears black in the glass, with a small, poorly developed light tan cream. Very light malt aroma, with a hint of espresso (with cream), roast and chocolate along with a touch of charred raisins and a hint of leather. Flavor is really rich and malty, quite unique in its composition. Hints of chocolate covered plums, salty cashews and a light hint of coffee. Light in body, but with a fitting texture and a moderate hop finish. Very tasty porter, but lacking aromatically. Still though, to be drinking this in 1884...

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a light black color ale with a big foamy head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of black chocolate is very enticing with some nice English malt also noticeable. Taste of lightly sweet chocolate malt is very good and dominated the taste spectrum. Body was slightly watery with some medium carbonation. This was a very good beer but it is lacking a little something to be truly great.

Photo of FLBeerGuy
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a creamy light brown head.

Nose is roasted malts, caramel and a hint of chocolate.

Taste is roasted malts, caramel, hint of chocolate, a little sourness and some slight hop bitterness to finish. Had something in the finish too that I couldn't put my finger on, that took away some from the overall enjoyment.

Creamy mouthfeel with low carbonation.

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with off-whit generous head. Licorice and malty aroma. Above average mouthfeel. Good representation of English porter, most drinkable black licorice mostly, some chocolate malts. Not very sweet, understated roast and that bit of tabacco that remains on the palate.

Manchester Star Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
89 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.