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Merlin's Ale - Broughton Ales Ltd

Merlin's AleMerlin's Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

88 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 88
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 11.81%

Brewed by:
Broughton Ales Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 08-16-2001)
View: Beers (15) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 88 | Reviews: 78 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by chOAKbarrell:
Photo of chOAKbarrell


3.13/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was hoping for this to be a tasty Scottish ale, but got an esb instead. Possibly the most interesting aspect of this beer is the sweet honey scent. The flavor is slightly bitter with a touch of cardboard, but I'm probably drinking a slightly oxidized bottle. Mild and British and not a lot to say.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2006 22:55:16 | More by chOAKbarrell
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3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

04-01-2014 21:58:54 | More by Jerseyislandbeer
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3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

10-30-2013 20:09:37 | More by Sunnanek
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New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +3%

09-29-2013 18:35:28 | More by Bandi
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New York

3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation along with hints of amber hues. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving some lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of fruity yeast are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the overall taste is quite fruity and also has some hints of pale malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer goes down easily and is quite sessionable. I enjoyed the fruity yeast flavors in the smell and taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 18:30:18 | More by metter98
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4.48/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 16.9 ounce bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip pint glass.

a: A clear amber formed an inch high white head which receded to a surface foam film and lacing.,

s: Moderately malty. Nice!

t: Reminds of drinking British Real Ale in English pubs. Malty and full of body, with a fairly dry malt finish. This despite the "Best By" date of 11/12, (or perhaps because of it?) Probably why it was on sale for $2.

m: Surprisingly and pleasingly hefty considering its clarity.

o: This is a traditional style English/Scottish brew, which is generally unpopular in the US these days, but which I really enjoy, perhaps partly because it brings back fond memories of touring the UK in the 80s and 90s. There are many much better summer refreshers, but if you want a tasty malty pint, this will definitely satisfy!

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2013 01:22:20 | More by scotorum
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3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

03-27-2013 14:00:21 | More by harpus
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3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

11-09-2012 23:12:54 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of zeff80


3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared with my brother-in-law, who also likes wizards and also likes beer.

A - Poured out a hazy, amber color with a one finger, khaki head of bubbly foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of sweet malts, bread crust, caramel and a light notes of toffee.

T - It had a warming malty presence with caramel, toffee and sweet bread. Slightly bitter with a touch of grassiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a nice English Ale, but like most I'm sure it is much better closer to the source.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2012 21:13:55 | More by zeff80
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3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter glass.

This beer is copper orange with a one finger white head. The smell is quite malty, lot of caramel and toffee and some bitter hops. Taste is the same, fairly bitter, some fruitness to it. A good bit of caramel, toffee and irish cream. Mouthfeel is smooth and drinkable but the beer itself is rather light for my taste. Overall, its pretty decent, I wish it were bigger.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2012 21:55:08 | More by TwelveOunces
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3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A gold color with a slight chill haze and a thin line of white bubbles on top.

S: A nice toasted grainy malt and yeast aroma with a touch of hop and cherries in the background.

T: The toasted malt flavor provides a great base to this beer and lets the fruity esters and hop really come through. The beer is not very sweet nor is it bitter. The finish is somewhat dry and has a cherry flavor that lingers.

M:Light and refreshing. Finish is dry.

O: I wasn't expecting much here, so I was pleasantly surprised. This would make a good porch beer in the summer.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2012 13:33:39 | More by Kromes
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4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

05-08-2012 00:56:49 | More by seyton
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3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear golden-orange with a 3 finger off-white head that leaves decent lacing.

The aroma is of toasted grain, lemony hops and sweet honey.

The taste seems more subdued than the aroma. I'ts lightly sweet with more toasted grain, and some light bitter hops and more lemon in the end.

Rather light in body and a bit drying, but somewhoat oily as well.

This brew is a very easy drinker. As light and tasty as it is, it seems to beg for a hot summer night.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2012 02:34:10 | More by obywan59
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3.75/5  rDev +3%

03-27-2012 22:17:07 | More by szmnnl99
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North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

02-18-2012 23:11:00 | More by AlexU360
Photo of mrfrancis


4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a relatively clear golden orange with a thin white mousse that laces much deeper into the glass than one would expect.

S: Aromas of lemon candy, caramel, toffee, and earthy, tobacco-tinged hops are present on the nose. Very subtle and refined.

T: Notes of caramel, toffee, minerals, lemon candy, brown butter, leather, tobacco, and earthy, almost mossy ale hops. The finish is clipped and refreshing with rounded notes of earthy hops, leather, and toffee.

M: Medium-bodied, firm, and dry. Carbonation is active and crisp. Very quaffable.

O: This is a very nice Scottish bitter. As with just about every one of Broughton's ales, the flavor profile is subtle, complex, and intriguing. If you consider yourself a fan of English and/or Scottish ales, this one is a must try.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 16:44:40 | More by mrfrancis
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4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-02-2011 01:46:13 | More by OzmanBey
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New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +9.9%

11-28-2011 20:01:10 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of ummswimmin

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a contribution from a friend to my fridge. It was nice to get something different from the norm.

The beer looks like apple juice in color. Now that I mention it... a minimal head and carbonation reasserts my comment; this looks kind of like apple juice.

Off the top I pick up peatyness and a sweetness in this beer. It smells like a refined english style.

This tastes like a good example of an ESB. I pick up the bitterness of the english hopping in this beer.

I'm glad I got to try this beer. It was a good experience.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 00:18:41 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of LeeryLeprechaun


3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This magical ale poured a nice copper color that was accompanied by a wonderful head that hung to the glass till the last drop.
Merlin's aroma was fruity and malty put also like old lipton tea.
Flavor was malty with some fruit flavors and a fairly light body.
Merlin was a very sessionable beer. However, I am not sure that I would like to explore its flavor on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2011 03:21:29 | More by LeeryLeprechaun
Photo of bum732


4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S: Very rich and malty, very grassy. Somewhat floral with some lavender.

L: Slightly hazy golden yellow, white head with decent lacing that dissipates.

T: Clean semi-sweet bread crust like malt. Medium grassy bitterness. Touch of herbal tea-like notes in the background. Finishes with a touch of sweetness and clean like spring water.

M: Medium carbonation, medium-bodied. Very clean.

A solid beer, not sure i would call it an ESB. Very clean maltiness, i'm sure it's much better fresh.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 02:57:07 | More by bum732
Photo of Bouleboubier


3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With a vigorous pour, a sudsy, white, moderately diffuse head pops up atop this ale, collapsing weakly but leaving some lasting foamy swirls and light splotches of lacing. It sports a nice reddish-amber color and sits quite clear. Distinctly British big strong estery aroma - some unidentifiable fruit - with some ultra-light hops wafting on the perimeter. But, really, fruitiness is the name of the game with the smell and the taste. Some mild bitterness shows up front, lingers a little through the fruity wash immediately following. Real juicy and not much else. The malt feels a little suppressed in the middle of the flavor, though some light biscuit and bitter show in the finish as it warms. While it rolls soft and smooth across the tongue to the middle, after that it abruptly extinguishes like a snuffed match, dropping off kind of dry. Carbonation throughout is light and tickles just the edges of the palate. While it leaves wanting much more depth to the taste, I can't deny it drinks well - ideal for sessioning - as it leaves no footprints.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 01:38:25 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper color, looks impressive. Aroma was almost macroesque corn or wheat?

Taste, can't believe this is an ESB, tastes more like a mild. Very muted, can't see what the fuss is about this. Just very watery. Everything is lesser than expected, the bitterness, alcohol, hops, caramel, just everything. Expensive for the lack of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2010 17:22:19 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass, it poured a hazy amber/orange with two fingers of white, good carbonation, and good retention and lacing. The aroma included apple, tea, toffee, and malt. The taste began on a heather woodsy note, progressed to a malty/fruity blend midpalate, and finished on a soft tea-like flavor. Some fruitiness lingered afterwards. Smooth, medium-bodied, and spritzy. Great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 17:59:14 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of damndirtyape


4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Single bottle (best by March 2011) poured into a Nonic glass.

Appearance: Clear orange-yellow copper color. Poured a 1/4" off white foamy head, which died down to a thin film of foam across the top. No lacing noted.

Smell: When cold and first poured - yeast, grapes, and hints of apples. As it warmed up, the yeast was replaced a stronger toasted malt smell and grapes/apples were diminished.

Taste: Toasted malts with a mild bitter finish with grape and sweet apple aftertaste. The more it warmed up (towards the bottom of the glass), the bitterness got stronger, but never extreme, and toasted malts are much more forward in flavor.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, juicy, and refreshing with each sip or large slug.

Drinkability: VERY drinkable. A definite session beer and I imagine it would be wonderful in a pub pulled from a cask. For how I got it in a bottle, it went fantastic with a meal (porkchops and tarragon beans). I really liked this beer and I wish this beer were available in 6 packs so I could have another right now. I find this beer notable for being very drinkable in both cold and warm forms - and each beer temperature has its own character. I will be picking up a bottle of this again next chance I get.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 23:50:02 | More by damndirtyape
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Merlin's Ale from Broughton Ales Ltd
82 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.