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Merlin's Ale - Broughton Ales Ltd

Not Rated.
Merlin's AleMerlin's Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

93 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 93
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 2
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Broughton Ales Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 08-16-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 81 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by poolemhore:
Photo of poolemhore
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

poolemhore, May 18, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice clear golden with a two finger sticky head that leaves a fair amount of lace,light aroma of caramel and like a few others have noted a soft lemony note comes thru but its faint.This is a soft and subtle ale but thats not all a bad thing a firm and lightly sweet malt stand out with just a touch herbal/spiceyness going on.Now this is a true sessions ale flavorful but light well made for what it is.one of the lighter ESB's I have come across not sure if I would put it into that category maybe just a standard UK bitter?

oberon, Dec 19, 2004
Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

chOAKbarrell, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: One pint, .9oz brown bottle with raised glass of hop vines below the neck of the bottle. Brief history about two places that may have a connection with this mythical wizard. Freshness date clearly scored.

Appearance: Tarnished gold in colour with a foamy sticky lace that makes a mess all over the glass.

Smell: An almost lemon candy like sweetness with a touch of grain and hop alike in the nose.

Taste: Smooth with a mild crispness in this light to medium bodied brew. Malty with some sweetness yet light which lets through a cleanish hop bitterness, bordering assertive, and flavour. Then goes a little fruity(pears and apples) and the finish lead to dry lemony end.

Notes: Just an amazing Scottish bitter all around ... very quaffable and a joy to the tongue. It is a shame they don't sell this one in six packs.

Jason, Apr 10, 2002
Photo of merlin48
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Merlin's pours a clear, straw yellow body with a one finger ivory head that sticks around for several minutes and leaves lots of patchy lace.
Aroma is subdued, as it should be, with light floral hops and some pale or crystal malt sweet caramel.
Mouthfeel has tingly carbonation and a light body.
Taste is nice, with crisp biscuity malt that has a hint of caramel sweetness, balanced well by floral and herbal hops. Nothing exceptional here, but a very good tasting English style bitter from the south of Scotland. Light enough to be an excellent session ale, but it's bit too expensive.

merlin48, Dec 17, 2004
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A 500ml bottle with a BB of March 2014, so it's just out of date. Hopefully still OK. Acquired a while back from a supermarket. The label states that the beer is named after the legendary wizard Merlin who lived in Caledonia.

Poured into a straight pint glass. A deep, hazy amber colour with light carbonation. Forms a large head of creamy off-white foam with good stability; this slowly reduces to a thick surface layer. Good lacing. Aroma of biscuity grain with hints of light caramel, subtle floral hops, grass/hay, fruity ale yeast and faint stewed leaves. Pleasant but a bit dull.

Tastes of grainy malt with a dry finish. Notes of mild caramel, biscuity grain, faint floral hops, grass/hay, fruity ale yeast and stewed leaves. A touch of cardboard in the background. Well-attenuated, followed by a restrained, leafy bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and dry, with soft carbonation and decent body. Somewhat astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of stewed leaves, ale yeast and faint malt.

Hmmm - OK though nothing special. Looks pretty good, while the aroma and flavour have a tired blend of grainy malt and mild, grassy hops. Body is alright. It's fine but a rather boring brew - where's the magic? No need to hunt it down.

jazzyjeff13, Apr 24, 2014
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of Shovelbum
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a frothy white head over a slightly hazy golden body. Large bubbles of carbonation make their way upward through the brew. Aromas of light caramel malt and a hint of earthy hops. Crisp and light in the mouth. Light malty sweetness combines with a more substantial mixture of citric and earthy hop flavors. The bitterness is pronounced, but not overwhelming. Lean bodied and low carbonation. Crisp in the mouth with a clean finish.

This is a fairly well rounded brew. I’m a sucker for earthy English hops, and this showcases them well. The flavor and bittering hop usage is a great study in the power of moderation, and allows the character of the hops to come through. Although, for the style the malt is a bit lost in the bitterness and could have seen a bit more of a presence to increase the balance of the brew. Overall a tasty Scottish ESB.

Shovelbum, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of dacrza1
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light grainy malt paired with grainy hops... light brownish orange body with thin off-white head in a HopDevil Nonick...indeed a bitter, as some reviews have already cleared up...lightly carbonated, medium bodied, medium dry texture...lightly bitter initially; mellow finish...pleasant and well within its genre... a smooth way to return to work after the holiday break...clean, swift finish makes this a pub fare companion, but not quite a session bear woth detailing intricately....

dacrza1, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of sschliv
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nothing overly impressive about this one.

Poured golden-amber with a small head that quickly dissipated.

Aroma was mildy sweet.

Taste started sweet with only a mild hoppy aftertaste.

Mild carbonation and low alcohol content made this a easy drinking ale.

I wouldn't go out of my way to find this one again, but wouldn't pass it up at the local pub.

sschliv, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Best before March, 2008) Consumed on 12/25/07

First off, when I first poured this, I noticed how similar it looked to the homebrew I had just opened the first bottle of...(it's a Canadian sparkling ale) It's a clear honey-yellow color with mild carbonation with an initial white-fuzzy head that looks lively but goes away quick. not much lacing.

The smell was similiar too, with a musty-banana, sour dough bread malt and slightly wheatie yeast scent underneath. The bready-scent really stands out most.

The flavor is also a big-bready malt, very doughy....not fully baked! Musty, herbal yeast is next which really makes a big impression. A simple, not complex flavor, but clean.

Light body, not crispy but clean.

This one really didn't peak my interest enough to go back for another.

GratefulBeerGuy, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of cokes
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Apricot-flecked staw hue. This is one of the palest non-wheat ales I've run across. The snowy head endures for several minutes, then dissolves into a patched film and lace.
The nose is equally pale, eking out lemon poppyseed muffins, lopped with butter and mixed fruit preserves heavy on the strawberry. It's a lovely aroma, I just wish the volume was cranked up....waaay up.
Begins modest. Lightly toasted white bread. Traces of butter and yeast-derived oranges and raspberries. Hull-like middle, then it exitis quietly with notions of lemongrass. Flavorwise, this has some pluses, but is about as compact and short as they come.
Light bodied and overly gaseous. Structure suffers. This is a perfectly drainable session beer for those with deep pockets. But the lack of body and shortness of flavor preclude this from any sort of memorability.

cokes, Sep 20, 2004
Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Malty as well as bitter, it had a malty aroma and a thin head. Scotch like mild smokiness. Fruity taste. Quite sessionable at 4.2%

Maris Otter Malt and Roast Barley. Hops used are English grown Target, Fuggles and Goldings with Czechoslovakian Styrian Goldings for aroma.

Sammy, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at cellar temperature with a rough pour. A clear amber body displays golden highlights beneath a frothy head of off-white foam that holds well and leaves short walls of sticky lace about the glass. The nose is distinctly malty & grainy, lightly sweetish, somewhat nutty and caramelish with an earthy/mineral-like hoppiness. The body is medium-light and its fine, restrained carbonation leaves it smooth and creamy across the tongue. The flavor delivers the maltiness promised in the nose, well-balanced by leafy hop flavors and a firm bitterness that leads to a dry finish. Some gentle, caramel-speckled, nutty and biscuit-like maltiness and leafy hops linger shortly in the aftertaste. At just 4.2% alcohol by volume this makes a great session ale!

NeroFiddled, Jan 01, 2004
Photo of Elemental
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured nicely with a hazy light amber/pale color to it. A little lighter than I expected but was still good for the style. A light amount of head that stuck around for the entire beer. An Ok aroma with hoppy notes and a light sweet smell. the Taste was decent, though a little sour. A good bitter taste towards the end of the drink with practically no aftertaste....it left the mouth a little dry. Overall a pretty good beer worth trying again.

Elemental, Oct 13, 2003
Photo of Southernbrew
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours orange-amber with a decent bubbly head.

Not a strong aroma, but crisp with citrus notes.

Light to medium body, good carbonation. Nice bitterness that moves to a light lemon-sweetness. Finishes with a light dryness. Leaves a pleasant crisp sweet aftertaste.

An OK beer, but there are many better ESB's out there.

Southernbrew, Apr 12, 2004
Photo of russpowell
2.8/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

found the bbd on the neck, talk about going outta your way to Hide the date! Jan 06, so this about 3 weeks past its suggested date of enjoyment

Pours Clear bronze & bubbly with a decent white head that settles in a 1/4". Very good head retention and lacing

Smell: Malt & butterscotch, uhoh

Taste: Diatachetyl and some fruitiness. Slight hoppiness and graininess. Dryness and butterscoth in the finish.

MF: Thin but good carbonation

Light and quinching if you can get past the taste, I can't.

For this bottle to taste this off after less than a month is not cool. The store I bought this from usually turns their stock pretty good. If this were a little older I'd not review it, but come on 3 weeks! I will chalk this up to experience & now know where to find the hidden age date. I will try this again if i can find fresher product. I've had other broughton ales on cask before & they were outstanding.

russpowell, Feb 25, 2006
Photo of dgallina
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml brown bottle dated best before April 2007.

Pours pale copper & straw with very small thin head, little lace. Smells gently fruity with green apples and pears, a bit of fresh grass and sugary caramel. Flavor is weak and rather different from the aroma; lightly toasted biscuit malts over raw grain. Short hard water and vaguely leafy hop finish. Very thin and watery body; overly gassy with carbonation. An average bitter at best.

dgallina, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of bum732
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

bum732, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of beerthulhu
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a pale straw-orange color with a thin sudsy white head leaving little or no lacing behind.

S: a faint fruity aroma of apples, and honey malting with some light fresh citrus notes.

T: The flavor was clean and crisp with a light grassiness for hopping with a light malt sweetness rounding things out for the finish.

M: smooth and nicely carbonated providing a light tingling sensation.

D: Labeled as a bitter but the hops seem very subdued and light per style. A lightly hopped ESB drinking more like a lager. Moderately good.

beerthulhu, May 06, 2008
Photo of Padron4KM
2.73/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

16.9 oz bottle, best before Jan. 06. Hazy sunset orangy yellow.

Sweet fruity aroma.

Flavor is just above bland. Lightly sweet, caramel maybe fruit, with a tingly, lightly lemon drop candy finish.

It is boring, but not terrible. Due to the low abv you could probably drink several of these in a night. If given several I would, but I wouldn’t go spending any money on it.

Padron4KM, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of mikesgroove
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a Pint glass

A - Poured a dull honey colored amber with a smallish maybe one finger high head of white foamy and sticky lace. There was alot of carbonation visible streaming up from the bottom of the glass to replenish what little head there was. It actually did poured the second glass much nice so I bumped it up a bit. Decent side glass lace as well.

S - Aroma was almost non existant. I really had to search for this one to be able to find any hint of anything really. It just came off way to light. When I was able to find an aroma it was most very light grain and wheat with a slight hint of earthy grass. But in all seriousness there was really none at all to speak of.

T - This was your average ESB. And I mean average. The flavor was rather bland and non descript with really no defining characteristic to it. Some light cereal grain, and a touch of earthy grass again, but nothing really sticking out in any way. Almost forgotten as soon as it was sipped.

M - Not bad here actually. It was a nice light bodied ale with a decent finish Not very dry, but a clean finish none the less. It had a very nice amount of carbonation which was the only thing really keeping my intrest at that point.

D - Pretty darn good. I mean it is only 4.2% ABV so it was a very easy drinker and something that was really fast to go down. This was probably the most redeeming quality of it.

Overall this will be easily forgotten and I would not seek it out again. It was just way too average for me with nothing really sticking out or being different in any way. Needs to be more original to really make a differnce.

mikesgroove, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of metter98
3.84/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

metter98, Sep 29, 2013
Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Jerseyislandbeer, Apr 01, 2014
Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very true to type. Sweet and slightly dried-fruity with mild hops. Good flavor, but it seemed like it should have a little more punch.

Brent, Aug 17, 2001
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Merlin's Ale from Broughton Ales Ltd
82 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.