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

Not Rated.
Manchester Star AleManchester Star Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

150 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 150
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 14
Gots: 7 | 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:
Beer added by: yen157 on 03-17-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 150 | Reviews: 102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
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A 500ml bottle with a BB of Aug 2013, so it's a bit out of date.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.

Photo of EmperorBevis
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of StJamesGate
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of kif
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of mjryan
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
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 BlackHaddock
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled 500ml bottle with three days to go before it's BBD: poured into an Abbot Ale glass tankard at home on 1st Aug 2013.

Looked great: lovely dark body with a huge tanned head of large bubbles, smooth foaming top to the head.

Dry but malty nose and taste: bitterness comes through from the start. Mild burnt feel to the flavour, but not overpowering. Dark chocolate and young Port came to mind mid-tasting, very nice!

Really impressed: full of interesting flavours and although my palate is on the sweet side this beer still hit the spot for me.

It is warm and sunny outside as I drink and write this: even though this is a coal fire and winter brew in my eyes, it can also be taken during the summer months.

Photo of mick_cooper
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of oxfordmini
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of sneaks2210
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of WOLFGANG
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of JVoyager
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of metter98
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is close to near black in color—reddish colors are visible near the edges of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a thin tan head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark fruits—raisins seem to stand out in particular—are present in the nose along with notes of dark malts.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has bits of sweetness along with additional flavors of dark fruits. No bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This porter is quite flavorful but really sets it apart is its drinkability.

Photo of Dope
3.77/5  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 RedneckBeerz
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of wo87810
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of chinchill
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from an undated 16.9 oz. bottle into a snifter. The beer is clear and a deep brown colo but looks essentially black in the glass. The modest light brown head has about average retention and leaves some lacing on the glass. The rich, if not strong, aroma is very appealing and mainly consists of dark (and lighter?) malts and some dark fruits (particularly raisins and dates), sweet and not smoky.

T: The taste {4+] is nicely rich and malty, with plenty of dark fruit flavor (particularly plum, dried plum, raisin and date), some caramel, a touch of spicy hops, and a hint of chocolate. Some coffee and a faint hint of smoke in the finish. Excellent sweet/bitter balance.

M: Smooth with a medium carbonation that makes it lively and crisp for style. Medium-to-heavy body.

O: Flavorful and goes down easily. Has some qualities that overlap with a Baltic Porter, including a fairly well-hidden high ABV. Readily recommended.

Photo of Manannan
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of Bix
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of hookahmaster
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of alicemcneil
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Manchester Star Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
89 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.