Young's Special - Wells & Young's Ltd
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
4.88/5 rDev +22.6%
I am a sucker for cask bitters and when I went to England last autumn I realised pretty quickly that this was one of my favorite examples. It is widely available throughout the Thames valley and is the dry hopped bigger brother of Young's Bitter, which is even more widely available and delicious in its own right.
I was looking through my collection of beer notes when I realised I never entered this beer into BA, so here goes...
On cask at the King's Arms in Oxford. This beer is a nice rusty orange color. The head is foamy with the typical wispy cask bitter head. Lacing is very thick and virtually drapes the glass. The aroma is of fresh grassy hops and a bit of doughy malt. The taste is very hoppy for an English bitter and incredibly crisp on cask. Malt is less prevelant than the earthy fresh hop flavors. The mouthfeel is thick and grassy with lots of fine bubbles. The finish is very bitter and dry, managing to linger for a long time. This sample was very fresh.
I highly recommend this to anyone in Southern England. Its hoppy enough but also very light and refreshing.
01-03-2005 04:48:09 | More by CAMRAhardliner
4.55/5 rDev +14.3%
Though I almost always opted for the incredible ordinary bitter, this was a fine cask conditioned ale. It had a slighty deeper color and a bit more alcohol by volume. I found the finishing taste very nice but a cut below Young's ordinary. A very drinkable top shelf brew overall. One interesting note, I liked to observe others in the pub and what they ordered. It seems like I wasn't alone, this beer was not requested near as much as the ordinary
06-23-2002 11:07:34 | More by Mark
4.5/5 rDev +13.1%
A beautiful coppery red with a nice head crowning the glass. A sweet fragrance drifts up. The fruity, appley malt is perfectly balanced by subtle crisp hops. Yummy. It's so nice to see such a well-known beer is so good. I'm ready for another.
05-01-2004 15:15:01 | More by gentlebubbles
4.45/5 rDev +11.8%
Young's special as sampled at the Lamb in London, UK. This brew is wonderful on cask. The dark amber beer has a nice white head. The aromas are very bready, malty, and nice. The taste is similar to the aroma. There are background hops, but this brew is all about the malts. The malt profile is wonderful and the mouthfeel is thick, but light at the same time. The drinkability is just wonderful as well. Mmmm....Special!
11-04-2003 05:49:25 | More by francisweizen
4.45/5 rDev +11.8%
This ale poured a beautiful amber color into an English pint glass and had a small white head which settled into a lace.
The smell had sweet malt tones of caramel malt and a bit of hop aroma. The taste was supremely balanced with a sweeter caramel malt flavor that was blended near-perfectly with the hop flavors. The body was nice, full, and robust. The hop profile was stately and had a good smack of hop flavor and bitterness. It was measured very well though and blended nicely for a very drinkable ale. The consistency was medium/thick and the carbonation was medium.
Wow, this was a good beer. I'd call it more of an ESB in taste than simply a pale ale, but it had great features making it a good session ale and very drinkable beer. This beer is worthy of it's following and is one of my favorites.
02-10-2008 04:19:13 | More by jdmorgan
4.4/5 rDev +10.6%
The colour is amber, the off white foam builds a slowly dissolving two finger thick head.
The smell is soft and fruity with lots of aroma hops, some bitterness and notes of pineapples, apricots some yeast and a weak touch of metal.
The carbonation is pleasant and fresh. I have noted that this beer (at least in cans) is rather sensible to a proper pour: When poured the wrong way, the mouth feel gets too strong and sharp.
The taste is fruity and a bit bitter with notes of apricots / peaches. The full-bodied flavours include some sweet mild malt and a growing bitterness. The aftertaste is long with notes of almonds (both bitter and sweet) and some gravy.
I think this beer is good everyday ale, quite similar to another of my favourite drinks, the Shepherd Neame Spitfire Ale.
04-04-2005 10:33:15 | More by bark
4.38/5 rDev +10.1%
A quintessential and traditional London bitter that I have loved for years. I had always considered it definitively bitter and quite dry. This time around though (is it me or is it the evolution of the style?) I was taken by the greater complexity and fruitiness earlier in the palate. Quite aromatic, and an array of flavours, malt, caramel, dried fruits, some bitterness in the aftertaste but not as much as I remember. High drinkability as are almost all English bitters.
03-03-2008 22:19:07 | More by AylwinForbes
4.35/5 rDev +9.3%
This smooth, and spicy ale was tasted at Nerax. I was impressed with everything from its deep and hazy golden color, sweet malt nose to the clean and bitter finish. It was medium bodied, and an excellent choice. I hope that casks of this ale find their way to Boston more often.
05-02-2004 11:57:18 | More by AllThingsNinja
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
Pours a brilliant brass with a touch of amber - poured with no head or lace, all the way to the top of a Libby pint glass! Nose is all about the malt, tangy and fruity, with a just a trace of hop. Mouthfeel is light and slightly lactic/astringent, and while the body is on the thin side it feels appropriate for this brew. I find the taste truly exceptional: there's a slight but notable vegetal quality (think rhubarb plus celery) which emerges from behind a fruity foreground of ripe red apples and tart cherries - this is very far from a Bass! Medium dry finish, part tart part bittersweet. Easily sessionable and very, very drinkable.
12-14-2006 21:45:35 | More by Chaz
4.25/5 rDev +6.8%
Tasted on cask at Brewer's Arm in Lewes. Appearnce: Red/orange/brown. Crystal clear, light head. Aroma: nicely balanced between malt and hops. Flavor; Good Malt character. Crispness from hops. Again, well-balanced. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Nice crisp hop finish aides drinkability.
11-03-2003 21:57:15 | More by saltydog
4.22/5 rDev +6%
A very smooth, well-balanced beer, like all of Youngs Beers. It is malty, with a highly fruity nose and initial taste. Hoppy with a lingering bitter finish.
It is almost strange that at nearly 1% stronger than the "Ordinary Bitter" - it appears to have less taste, mouthfeel and body. Less popular and not as widely available as the Ordinary. A good beer, but not "Special", and simply outclassed by its weaker, but more refined younger brother (if you pardon the pun).
09-16-2002 22:00:07 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.22/5 rDev +6%
Young's is a sure bet usually, the only problem being uninspired publicans, lacking the right touch to keep the brews in perfect condition ... Young's (and other brewers) should have an eye on this ....
back to the brew itself ... medium to full bodied ale, wonderfully malty (by avoiding any excess on sourness, sweetness nor bitterness) and pretty dry .... as I said, a sure bet ....
08-03-2007 21:53:21 | More by Daredevil
United Kingdom (England)
4.05/5 rDev +1.8%
It's been a while since I last tried Young's Special on cask, and it's about time to do so as the Young's brewery is moving house soon... This time at a Young's house in the heart of Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill, the name of which I forgot... I only remember seeing the young, posh, and pretty constituting the majority of the clientele, utterly different from most Young's pubs I've been to...
A: dark amber, fluffy head with pretty good retention, low carbonation, great clarity, cool temp.--nice and fresh indeed!
S: sulphurous, eggy notes upfront, laced with dried grapefruit peels... the firmly Young's yeasty theme is constantly there. Traiditional smell.
T: the assertive entry of Fuggles hops sits on top of a lightly citric edge of Goldings... juicy, mildly biscuity flavour in the aftertaste as well as the surprisingly "vinous"-fruity edge~~ A minimal touch of peppery-spice stays deeply at the fringe too... The lingering finish show soothing bitter-sweetness balanced between traditionally-mixed hops and traditionally-tasted pale malts.
M&D: fresh and softly carbonated on the texture, medium-bodied, extremely well-kept. The experience this time round proves that Young's Special, when on great form with a lingering aftertaste and depth, can be a very enjoyable, quaffable session bitter. Not for somebody not into the "traditional" taste of English Bitters, though.
09-16-2006 15:11:51 | More by wl0307
3.98/5 rDev 0%
On cask at The Lamb (Young's Ale House) near Russell Square, London.
A-Pours chestnut amber with a short, thin eggshell white head.
S-Biscuity malts, pale malts, mellow sweetness.
T/M-Thin, soft mouthfeel. Grassy hops come in first, followed by light biscuity malts. The dry hoppy finish lingers for a few brief moments.
01-11-2011 13:14:14 | More by DaveHS
3.98/5 rDev 0%
I was able to enjoy this at the Young's Brewery. It has an excellent aroma - very light and sweet. The head it not very thick, but a little fuller than the normal "Bitter." The taste is wonderfully smooth and has an excellent malty taste that is balanced with just a touch of hops. Much better than the Young's Bitter - this should be their primary beer. The color is a little more amber-yellow than you would expect, but overall, very nicely done.
04-11-2007 05:02:22 | More by jda007
3.93/5 rDev -1.3%
Served in my mini pilsner sampler at The Hops On Equinox 06. The ale poured a dark golden color with ½ white foam head, an attractive site for any pale ale lover.
The nose let off a mild fruity hop aroma.
At first sip I taste tangerine roll off of my tongue into a hoppy bitter taste, a quality I like in pale ales.
From first sip I knew this was great. The mouthfeel was very smooth and I found a remarkably true balanced light ale.
The drinkability is right up there, enough to make me go back for another even though I wanted to try other different brews at the festival.
05-02-2006 05:33:55 | More by bodybyadam
3.9/5 rDev -2%
Sampled from a keg on a hand-pump (but not a true cask).
This ale poured a clear, red amber color with white foam that settled and clung to the glass, leaving lace. The smell was lightly malty with a touch of hop bitterness. The taste was malty with a touch of butter with some hop bitterness in the finish. There was a tanginess and a slightly fruity sweetness with a touch of caramel. The mouthfeel was creamy and smooth with medium body and low carbonation. It was relatively clean. This was a good session ale.
05-23-2004 09:45:53 | More by UncleJimbo
3.88/5 rDev -2.5%
Copper colored, with a big rocky off-white head. I suspect that on-tap it'll put on an even bigger show.
The hops are prominent in the first whiff. Not sharp and biting, but earthy and somewhat floral. Then you smell a bit of fruit and toasty malt.
The taste begins with a bitter, slightly medicinal hops flush, followed by a bright malt flavor. There are flavors of honey and bitter orange. It finishes dry and a bit herbal, which imparts an earthiness to the aftertaste. It's medium bodied but seems incredibly mouth-filling. Nice and creamy. The pleasant herbal bitterness in the finish turns a bit bittersweet as it warms. Clearly a winner and one for the long haul.
04-29-2005 17:46:24 | More by horndecker
Young's Special from Wells & Young's Ltd
88 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.