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Worthington's White Shield - Museum Brewing Company / White Shield Brewery

Not Rated.
Worthington's White ShieldWorthington's White Shield

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

108 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 108
Hads: 245
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 19.58%
Wants: 22
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Museum Brewing Company / White Shield Brewery
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 01-26-2004

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 108 | Hads: 245
Photo of Dennis-King
4.44/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I have drank this beer over many years. As a home brewer for many years I would buy a 2 bottles of white shield to capture the yeast, it is bottle conditioned, to use in my brewing. Unfortunately they don't use the primary yeast these days so don't bother. It is still a damned fine beer full of character. It has been said this is the only surviving original IPA. but don't expect a hop monster. The definition of an IPA is a lot different now.

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Photo of GerryPendry
4.6/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal-clear amber, most of the thick, creamy head dissipates quickly but a little lingers throughout. Bready/fruity (orange?) aroma is mirrored by the taste, which is perfectly offset by an earthy, slightly spicy and herbal hop bitterness. Nice medium mouthfeel with a somewhat dry finish. An excellent Britsh IPA, I'm glad Coors is leaving this alone. Will be appreciated by those who know a classsic IPA doesn't have to hit you over head with a hop hammer. The two beers are certainly different, but White Shield reminds me of what Bass was like a few decades ago when I discovered British ales. Highly recommended.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Brilliant dark amber with a frothy, sudsy 3” cream colored persistent, clingy foam collar.
S: Biscuit and earthy hops, earthy aromas
T: Biscuit, nuts, crisp and dry, fruit, earthy hop finish
F: Very creamy, medium body, medium low carbonation.
O: A very good, refreshing IPA.

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Photo of Charmaine
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I expected more from this beer with the accolades/approval of CAMRA on the bottle but still found it enjoyable. Tasted better the next day. May not have been completely settled on the first pour.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.19/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny particles of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is of toasted malt, earth, and slight herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, earth, and slight herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is drinkable, but the hops in this one are definitely overpowered by earth and malt qualities.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of ludachris
2.99/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

There's a slight haze to its copper amber hued body. A low level of carbonation is visible when the glass is held to the light. Two fingers of rocky cream coloured head leaves sheets of lace as it recedes.

Underwhelming at first. Quite malt forward with sweet apple, tart apple skin and some caramel sweetness coming through most prominently. A touch of lemon plays off its subtle tartness. A little leafy and a little earthy.

Its level of bitterness takes me by surprise. It comes across as more of a raw grainy, metallic bitterness as opposed to a hop driven one. The more I think metallic the more pronounced it becomes. As it nears the finish it turns more leafy with a bit of pine.

The body sits between light and medium. Its low level of carbonation and streak of creaminess makes it more palatable. The finish is quick and dry.

As much as I do enjoy English IPA's, this wasn't for me. I found its hop character underwhelming and almost off putting. With the best before date April 16th, I don't think freshness is an issue. Perhaps I set the bar in my mind too high with the CAMRA award on the label. I wouldn't pick this up again but to each their own.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. Strange that the label indicates that the license for this brew in Canada is held by the Six Pints Specialty Brew Company, of Toronto, Ontario, which is in all actuality the so-called craft brewing arm of MolsonCoors.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, and slightly creamy ecru head, which leaves some chunky and sudsy splattered lace around the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells of grainy, crackery pale malt, edgy apple and pear skin fruitiness, a mild hard water flintiness, and tame earthy, leafy, and grassy hops. The taste is gritty, somewhat sour grainy and bready malt, overripe drupe fruit, a touch of tart lemon and orange citrus, more flinty, stoney notes, and weak leafy, weedy, and dead grassy hops.

The carbonation is rather pervasive in its tightly rendered frothiness, with the odd fizzy flareup, the body a bit on the light side of medium weight, and so-so in the ways of the smoothness, as either the hard water or the not so hard hops takes an unshowered dip in this pool. It finishes just a tad off-dry, the waning bready malt flailing, while those recent interlopers from the mouthfeel start to run rampant (but in a respectful English manner, right?)

While this may lay claim to original IPA sin, which very well could be true, it matters little, when so many others have passed them on by in the time since. Yeah, the hoppiness here is more acrid and disjointed, instead of integrated and tantalizingly bitter, so I'm hardly emboldened to seek this out on cask, or any other format, really.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
4/5  rDev +5.8%

A: Dull copper with a thick off-white head. Strings of bubbles emanating from the bottom.

S: Gingery and a bit metallic.

T: Dry and prickly with lemonade and ginger beer in the aftertaste. Reasonably bitter. Let's wait for it to wam up a bit. Generally gets more fudge like as it warms.

M: Very crisp. Would be interesting to have on cask.

O: A very plain but enjoyable English IPA.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Worthington's White Shield
16.9 oz. brown bottle, dated "Best Before End 06 MAR 14 066"; sampled on 15 JULY 2014
$3.99 @ Wine Legend, Cherry Hill, NJ (and past BEST BY date)

Appearance: Hazy deep amber body beneath a very full, big-bubbled head of frothy off-white. Streams of average-sized bubbles can be seen racing towards the surface. It's unfiltered, or at least partially-unfiltered, and sediment can be seen in the bottom of the bottle. The head retention is quite good and small mountains and hills of lace rise up along the side of the glass beneath a sky of tiny spots and craggy streaks of clouds.

Aroma: Grassy, leafy, floral, and spicy hops. Tangerine and apple. Mineralish and darkly caramelish malt lies beneath.

Taste: Solidly bitter. Darkish-caramel malt that's perhaps more like burnt sugar than caramel. Grassy, and spicy. These flavors pass very quickly, and don't fade, but lead into fruitiness. The tangerine found in the nose comes through, but where is it coming from, hops or yeast? Apple remains as well, and there's also a bit of papaya, and maybe some melon. The hop flavors and bitterness return at the swallow, accompanied by residual malt notes, and it all comes back together. This is one of those beers where the lingering finish is where you really taste the beer. Dry, spicy, grassy, floral, malty, fruity, mineralish, and even a touch woody and leafy.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body. Quite crisp at first until it's gassed-off a bit.

Overall: Agressive, full-flavored English IPA. Rich and satisfying. It's just 5.6% abv but there's so much character here that it seems like it could be from a beer that's much stronger. Impressive. For fans of English ales this one has to be in the top ten or so to try.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.16/5  rDev +10.1%

I enjoyed this pale in a snifter chilled

The color is deep amber with almost copper hue w/ 3 fingers of ecru head w/ very fine bead. Thick lace clings with very good retention -nice beer to appreciate appearance-wise. There is a spicy scent with slight pine and peppery hop scent with plum-like fruity and earthy yeast aroma with slight floral ester and subtle caramel odor from the malt. The texture is excellent with nice hop in the mouthfeel with spicy effect and moderate carbonation level with mild sweet middle with mild alcohol and semi-dry finish.

The taste is very fruity with spicy and almost cinnamon-like taste like mulled cider with woody and fruity flavor in the hops with mild toasted grain and light caramel tinge from the malt with yeast providing a deep stone fruit essence and almost black cherry taste. All the ingredients are cohesive as a unit with deep complexity into a warming and mostly dry spicy finish. Ovearall this is one of the best English IPA's I have tasted -it has an authentic English yeast taste with great complexity and very drinkable strength-wise with 5.6%. There is not a ton of hop flavor yet it is still flavorful iwth balance of bitterness and malt iwth nice fruitiness from the yeast.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured an amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of dry English style hops is dominant with some dry caramel malt notes also perceptible. Taste is also dominated by some dry English style hops with light floral undertones some white pepper notes and some dry caramel malt. Body is about average with good carbonation. Quite enjoyable and nice to enjoy a non-American style IPA once in a while.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Purchased at the LCBO for around $4.00 for a 500ml bottle. Served at 5deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well pours nice white heady goodness. Head stays for a while. Dark golden almost amber color.

S- Score is going down here. Not much there at all. What is there is sickly sweet

T- Score to drop further.... It's a pale ale yes but not a very good one though. Bit bland and empty

M- Ok at best

O- Not so good. Will not buy again. Nothing special and where there is so much out there to enjoy, pass this one by. On tap I bet it is much better buy I only have access to a bottle

Food Pairing

This ok pale ale goes well with anything you would typically eat with a pale ale like... Chicken wings.


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Photo of BGDrock
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: fizzy like a soft drink on the pour, big suds the colour of almond flesh; hazy, date coloured body

Aroma: butterscotch, toffee, banana, all malty sweetness; going back to have a sniff after a few minutes drinking, it seems like the aroma is almost gone - what happened? feels flat

Taste & Mouthfeel: immediately feels like a letdown - where has all the warm, rich malt aromas gone? this taste of bread, grain, and is faintly metallic, leading to a not great dry and tinny finish; it is clean, nicely carbonated, and the sharp finish could make it a sessionable beer; it's just lacking depth which may have been magnified after getting excited about the initial scent; it does get better after warming up closer to room temp, bringing forth some sweet malt flavour, but not enough to make it great

Overall: definitely needs to be served at a less cool temperature to have a chance, but it's really not that interesting - not bad, and better than your mass produced beers

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Photo of spinrsx
3.47/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $4

Appearance - Brown/copper colour with an averagel size off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel, grains

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and hops. There is also a pear/fruity like sweetness and a rusty graininess.

Overall - Didn't taste as good as I thought it would based on the high review score. It's an okay beer, but with fuller's products on the shelf close by, no reason to get this one again. It's very drinkable but unremarkable.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a bright copper with a lot of tiny, meandering streams of micro bubbles. The rocky ivory head is gigantic and has decent retention, draping the glass in foam on the way down. A very tiny amount of sediment clings to the bottom of the bottle. Lemony, woody English hops take the lead in the aroma, mixed with toffee and fresh baked bread. The taste is well balanced with a herbal hoppiness mixing with bready, cookie dough and an earthy, fruity English yeast character. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation – very smooth and cask like. The finish is lightly bitter with lots of herbal hop flavor.

This is an excellent English IPA. Very restrained by American (or modern English) standards, but an extremely quaffable benchmark and classic of the style. Must try in my books.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO, best before April 27 2015.

Pours an attractive, hazy orange-amber colour, topped with two fingers of frothy, soapy, off-white head. It sticks around for at least a few minutes, leaving behind some messy lace and, eventually, a thin, creamy cap and collar. The aroma is clean and appropriate for the style, with some leafy English hops, floral notes, citrusy elements and a mild, pale grain malt backbone - or maybe meek is the more appropriate term.

Right off the bat, this beer's flavour reminds me of a few other imported English IPAs, dominated by those unmistakable English hop tropes - floral, grassy, almost tea-leafy. The malt backbone still doesn't have enough kick for me, offering only some light grainy sweetness which fails to provide much of a counterpoint to the (to its credit) tasty hop bill. It finishes with some orange peel and herbal bitterness that lingers into a dry aftertaste. On the lighter side of medium-bodied, with just the right amount of carbonation, and a satisfying feel in the mouth. This is not an especially remarkable beer, but I can understand why it has been consumed in such large quantities for so long.

Final Grade: 3.62, a B. I don't think I'd count Worthington's White Shield amongst my favourite English IPAs, but it's still a respectable, traditional example of the style that I can easily enjoy for what it is. The price and overall ho-hummed-ness of this prevents it from being something that would enter my UK ale rotation, but it's not every day a new CAMRA-approved ale gets imported by our benevolent government liquor monolith, so I appreciate the option anyway.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

500 ml bottle purchased from the LCBO for something under $5 CDN. Served fairly cool into glassware. This was something new brought into stores for the spring season, son I had some interest in trying it.

Appearance - Fairly clear, copper colored beer, with a sticky looking white head that leaves copious amounts of lacing around the glass as the head dissolves. Few bubbles rise to the surface of this beer.

Smell - Some faint floral notes with a sticky smelling malt backbone. I get something else akin to sticky bread pudding. The nose retains the character as it warms, just becoming even more pungent. All in all, a bit different from other EIPA's.

Taste - Slightly bitter with a smooth ale taste. Mild levels of malt throughout. Well blended and drinkable. To me there was a mellowness that sometimes occurs from being aged (obviously not the case in this instance but still...) Alcohol is noticeable, but well blended. There's also a certain earthy dankness here.

Mouthfeel - Well rounded and very smooth, medium body and low-medium carbonation.

Overall - Very fine and well executed EIPA, with good hops and malts balance and clean finish. If the price was a bit better, a definite repeat purchase.

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Photo of biegaman
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

White Shield is a deep copper beer that, despite a virtually impenetrable haze, hasn't lost all of its resplendence; to the light it becomes ablaze in a warm kumquat orange colour. The "white shield" part of it must be the surface, which is protected by a compact guard of chalky foam.

The aroma has both the sweet and citric qualities of a tangerine but isn't exactly what I'd call fruity, especially not for an IPA. It also lacks the typical earthy and floral qualities of the style. What I do get is spice and toasted cereal grain but these are almost entirely eclipsed by the stiff minerals of that famously hard Burton-Upon-Trent water.

For most North American consumers, you'd need a pretty smart team of lawyers to convince them that White Shield is an IPA. This lacks the in-your-face hoppiness of American-style examples but also fails to delivery the intensely herbal, grassy qualities characteristic of English varieties. Heck, it doesn't even the recognizable caramel and toffee maltiness of the style.

It takes awhile before I can get a firm grasp on any solid malt or hop derived flavour, and even then the notions of grapefruit or buttery biscuit are nothing more than momentary; the beer drinks like a muddled mess of half-flavours. I don't know in what world the contents of this bottle would be good for another 400 something days - the brewery must be crazy.

Worthington's White Shield is indeed, as it's advertised, "for true IPA connoisseurs" - aside from its history, there's very little about it that stands out and no other reason to seek it out. This may be the "longest surviving India Pale Ale" but it's nowhere near the best, or even very good. *This* is one of the UK's most heavily decorated ales? I guess you have to be there to get it.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 500 ml bottle to a pint glass.

Pours a nice amber gold in color with a fluffy white three finger head that has good retention. As the beer is consumed, there is good lacing and rings that appear. There is little on the nose but malts and caramel. Faint hops on the tail end. The taste is very similar to English session ales. There is a bit more hops bitterness, but the malts are all there. The feel is sticky with full carbonation. Bitter finish.

Not bad, but not something I would revisit. If I am looking for an English session ale, I think there are better choices.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a large off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains honey, citrus, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with some sweet flavors of citrus, honey and caramel. Then a hearty but not too heavy malt character comes in. The hops presence is on the weak side for the style but brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, not the best representation of style, it’s a decent beer but there are better choices in the style.

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Photo of Offa
4.88/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is a wonderful English IPA, bottle conditioned, bright and complex.

Pale copper, it has a huge pale tan head slowly shrinking to a thin rocky top, rich frothy lace.

Aroma is spicy herbs, caramelised barely, mineral, dough, wood (cedary).

Taste is light and lively but slightly oily feel, strong hop character - woody (cedar, eucalyptus), herbal, mightly medicinal and almost minty, all with gently dominant and engaging zesty bitterness balanced with light sweetness of caremlised bread crust underneath, light mineral and sulphur. The character and feel are complex, engaging, bright.

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Photo of bmwats
3.01/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 50 cl bottle into a DH IPA glass.

A: Deep golden hue. Pours a giant, cascading, foamy, white head. Settles very slowly. Continually rising effervescence. Spider web lacing

S: Hops, lemon citrus.

T: Hops, dish soap.

M: Bitter, light, soapy finish lingers on the palate.

D: Bitter sipper.

Atmosphere is okay. Deep hue, giant head, persistent lacing. Nose is hops and lemon citrus. Hoppy and soapy, not much else. Overall, this is a decent quaff.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours an orange amber, slight haze and only a few bubbles wafting to the top. The head is tan, orange tinted, thick and creamy. meringue like and does not want to fall. Nose is subdued and very very shy. Some citrus but very faint. Nose favors the malt with a light caramel and a bit of bread. Grassy herbal and some spice from hops. It has a small dank quality that I would also call pungent. The taste follows the nose all the way except it has an almost nutty taste that I find strangely out of place. It has no pine or resin but it does leave a bit of stickiness in a pungent and dry finish with plenty of spice and only a hint of the caramel sweetness. The bitter is moderate but it accumulates in the drink. The mouthfeel is soft and creamy.

Different. But the floral grows on the nose as it warms.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - typical color of an ipa, soft amber color with about two fingers' worth of off-white colored foam that dissipates very slowly.

Smell - aroma is more typical of an English IPA. The hops are more subdued and the malts seem to have a little more presence. Smells more like a pale ale in general.

Taste - the taste does have some bitterness and hop presence, but is like the aroma in that it is not quite as "in-your-face" as the American version. Stronger, darker malts are noticeable, and with just a touch of bitterness toward the end of the taste.

Mouthfeel - the feel is moderate, but leans a little more on the creamier side. It almost feels like a light porter.

Overall - interesting brew. Nothing wild or crazy about it, but still a good beer and good representation of a style.

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Photo of utfiero
3.37/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Color- cloudy honey. Full head.

Aroma- malty, fresh bread, and gentle hops.

Taste- Not an IPA for a hophead. This is a very malty English brew. This is a gentle giant! Starts malt forward with rich bread and butter notes fading into a mild hoppy finish with a slight lingering dryness. We estimate about 40 IBUs, and at least one homebrewing site claims 41 IBUs.

Poured from 500 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Purchased locally in Austin, Texas.

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Worthington's White Shield from Museum Brewing Company / White Shield Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.