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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

139 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 139
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 11
Gots: 2 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 139 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DuffDaddy
DuffDaddy

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

03-16-2014 04:16:50 | More by DuffDaddy
Photo of xav33
xav33

Michigan

3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

J.W. Lees Manchester Star Ale
English Pint bottle
Unknown bottling, savoured 08/06.
Medium pour in an English pint.

Poured black with a slight dark brown rim, with a mostly lasting fizzy 1 inch mocha head.

Smelt of roasted grain and molasses, a hint of fruit.

Taste was smokey and raisiny upfront, with a sweet and sour and bitter body, like a slightly creamy dark coffee roast. Finish was above average length, with the bitterness holding on tight, a hint of fruit and tobacco, and the alcohol showing through. Mouthfeel was creamy and lively.

Overall, a great sweet porter that is bold and complex, whose only flaw may be that the different flavors that are thrown at the drinker are unbalanced and haphazard.

Notes: This could be cellared for a 1/2 year to a year.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2006 03:48:16 | More by xav33
Photo of Beer-A-Lot
Beer-A-Lot

Virginia

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2014 19:28:19 | More by Beer-A-Lot
Photo of wo87810
wo87810

Florida

4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

02-20-2013 00:33:09 | More by wo87810
Photo of Toddv29424
Toddv29424

District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark, dark brown color with little to no head. The smell is roasty and robust, with distinctive notes of chocolate and a hint of yeast. Like most english porters this beer does not develop any real definition until about half way through the mouth, and as it warms up to room temperature you notice many nuances. The first noticeable taste is alcohol, followed by very smooth dark malts. There is zero sweetness as this beer goes down, and it seems as though the sweet malts dominate the whole tongue.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2007 01:17:04 | More by Toddv29424
Photo of ianjsullivan
ianjsullivan

Maryland

3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 18:16:03 | More by ianjsullivan
Photo of gueuzeonhigh
gueuzeonhigh

Maine

4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has the look of a Porter.
It pours Bible black.
Produces a frothy head that lasts a long time and laced the glass.
The nose is slight with hints of toasted malt and a bit alcohol.
Blindfolded and tasting this beer I declare it a porter or perhaps some sort of an ale-- although the signature of a porter is dominant over that of a strong ale.
While the bitterness of hops is unmistakeable the toasted malt shows through with a hair of sweetness as an undercurrent. I might venture to say I tasted some caramel as well.
The finish is long with a bitter hops note yet tempered by a porter's signature.
Mouthfeel was good but I wish there was more to the flavor body- I suppose that porters are not supposed to be particularly robust or dense.. as a stout should be.
Drinkability was fine-- the alcohol was not overwhelming and the entire presentation was interesting enough to motivate me to look for another bottle of this porter.
Next time I'm at my fave packie-- I'll very likely buy a bottle or two-- unfortunately the price of this import dampens my enthusiasm for stocking my stash with too much of the same brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2008 05:10:18 | More by gueuzeonhigh
Photo of zillo043068
zillo043068

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +0.5%

12-07-2011 22:50:11 | More by zillo043068
Photo of CharlieMopps
CharlieMopps

Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2007 20:24:04 | More by CharlieMopps
Photo of ImperatorScab
ImperatorScab

Tennessee

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

01-19-2014 01:47:38 | More by ImperatorScab
Photo of EvilKeith
EvilKeith

Alabama

3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours from the bottle a dark brown, nearly black in color. The head is a creamy mocha color that falls to a cap.
Smell is rich caamel, and more caramel, ripened dark fruits, roasted, and a bit of smokiness.
Taste is sugary sweet, chewy malts, caramel, dark fruit, prunes, and hints of ethyl alcohol. Faint hop bittering in the finish.
Medium-heave body. Mild carbonation. Fruit juice-like mouthfeel.
I could probably sip a couple of pints before the fruit juice-like sweetness got to be too much for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2006 10:39:53 | More by EvilKeith
Photo of FriedGold2112
FriedGold2112


4/5  rDev +0.5%

04-24-2012 04:49:06 | More by FriedGold2112
Photo of KG710
KG710

Georgia

4/5  rDev +0.5%

07-18-2014 05:39:52 | More by KG710
Photo of Manosbeeroffate
Manosbeeroffate

Maine

4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was not what I was expecting, seeing it says ale on the bottle. Poured pitch black, very sweet burnt malt/caramel smell. Tastes like sweet malt, dried fruit, raisins and a little bit of cocoa. Overall pretty good. Again I was a bit surprised since I was not expecting a porter, but it's good stuff. Seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2006 23:29:20 | More by Manosbeeroffate
Photo of ByTor2112
ByTor2112

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with some reddish hues coming with the light. No significant head formation except for a thin film of carbonation that pools in the middle atop the ale. A ring of beige bubbles hang around the edge.
Big aroma of dried fruit and caramel? No, check that, it is molasses or brown sugar. Not really bready but there are some great sweet malt aromas that smell like a fresh baked muffin!

Mouthfeel- Low to medium carbonation gives it a smooth texture. Malty sweet with the dried fruit-figs and raisins coming through in the taste as well. A froth on the palate barely reveals some earthy hop bitterness. Flavors remain the same with some of the alcohol giving a mild warmth on the finish. When I poured it I thought it looked like a Porter and apparently it is! Does not mention Porter on the bottle that I recall. With sub zero temps outside this is a great winter warmer, perfect at 7.3% abv. I would also enjoy this as a robust cold quaffer. Not sessionable but I could do one or two at a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 18:43:15 | More by ByTor2112
Photo of dprophet
dprophet

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +0.5%

01-22-2012 09:59:36 | More by dprophet
Photo of cmannes
cmannes

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +0.5%

08-29-2012 23:19:08 | More by cmannes
Photo of donmonkey1
donmonkey1

Tennessee

3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with a frothy tan head that takes a few minutes to dissipate. There was almost no smell, yet there was a hint of sweetness. There was a dominant, almost total taste of strong molasses/raisins. Although I could see thousands of super tiny bubbles in the black ale, I couldn't feel any carbonation on my tongue.

I would enjoy one or two of these at a time. This is a quality product that many people love. Having said that, it's a little too much like drinking molasses water for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2009 18:43:16 | More by donmonkey1
Photo of waldoiverson
waldoiverson

Texas

3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bottle into nonic

A: Dark brown, almost black in the glass, dark creme head with tiny bubbles which held up for a minute then broke down rapidly

S: The smell of dark porto, cream and a bit of alcohol,

T: somewhat of a leathery star with a bit of the dark fruit flavors and a nice bitterness,

M: Smooth but with serious carbonation bite

D: an interesting beer with a robust presence and could be food in another time and place, a bit carbonated and heavy for a daily drinker, but worth a shot at something tasty and reasonably unique.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 23:11:12 | More by waldoiverson
Photo of mjryan
mjryan

Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 22:26:25 | More by mjryan
Photo of Bix
Bix

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +0.5%

01-27-2013 15:07:41 | More by Bix
Photo of kif
kif

Illinois

5/5  rDev +25.6%

08-13-2013 20:17:59 | More by kif
Photo of MCDuhamel
MCDuhamel

Ohio

3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 1 pint, 9 oz bottle into a British pub glass, at chilled temperature.

A: Poured aggressively into a pint glass, it formed a large head that filled a third of the glass; it quickly collapsed to a thin film evenly distributed across the surface. The beer is almost black, but held against light it is barely translucent with a very deep ruby glow.

S: Very noticeable aroma of molasses, some alchohol on the nose. Not particularly refined.

T: Molasses, brown sugar and sweet malt predominate. No noticeable hop presence at all. Quite sweet, almost cloying. No roasted notes whatsoever. Finishes on a sour note. Seems more like a sweet stout than a porter.

M: Pretty full-bodied for a porter. Leaves a slight residue on the tongue.

D: Because of its surprising sweetness, coupled with its alcohol content, this is certainly not a session beer. One will be plenty.

Overall: An interesting beer, and I'd be likely to drink it again. That said, it does not fall into the style of what most of us would now consider to be a porter; it really does present itself as a sweet and strong stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2007 23:08:00 | More by MCDuhamel
Photo of oxfordmini
oxfordmini

Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

07-11-2013 11:08:08 | More by oxfordmini
Photo of kellyst
kellyst

Ohio

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black and opaque. Surprisingly just a little tan head.

S: Roasted grain and coffee aromas.

T: Not very nuanced, but lots of stuff going on. Dark roasted coffee, chocolate, grainy. Nice hop balance. Medium bodied. Very flavorful.

D: Pretty high for a porter. I could definately have a couple in a session.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2007 20:24:10 | More by kellyst
Manchester Star Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
89 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.