Young's Special - Wells & Young's Ltd

Not Rated.
Young's SpecialYoung's Special

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BA SCORE
87
very good

33 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 33
Hads: 47
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 8.61%
Wants: 13
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wells & Young's Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-23-2002

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 33 | Hads: 47
Photo of magictrokini
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper pour with a medium white head and thick lacing. Malty aroma with a strong, bitter fuggles hop presence and bit of apple. Crisp fuggels hop with a sweeter malt back. Every now and then, a rank crystal-malt-and-vinegar bite would emerge. Some metal and a bit watery, but decent. (283 characters)

Photo of GreenCard
3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: pale brown/amber, great clarity, sudsy tan collection of bubbles, poor head retention

Aroma: hint of caramel, grainy malt, artichokey hops, strawberry blossoms

Flavor: full malty sweetness with a toasty caramel roundness, dries out fairly quickly from a vegetal hop flavor and subtle balancing bitterness, grassy/malty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, pert carbonation, soft texture

Other comments: So, your Mamma calls you "special". Does that mean the rest of the world agrees with her? Probably not. Their Mamma's said they were "special" too. Same goes for this beer. Pretty standard, really.

To be fair, seeing that a lot of people seem to quite like it from the cask, I'll give it a try again if I see it at a pub somewhere. (759 characters)

Photo of dwarbi
3.49/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful cask beer. Dark orange. Murky. Pours a thin white head that becomes a thinner white head. Smells like a typical bitter, but not too much there. Tastes nice. Like the smell, it's not too impressive. Pleasant, though. Good mouthfeel and very drinkable. (270 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
3.52/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank at a Young's Pub on Wandsworth, London, next to the Young's Brewery. Lightly hazy mid-caramel with a sparse head leaving a thin scummy ring after a few seconds. Carbonation is mild, retention and lacing are poor. Aroma is very lightly hopped, but more so than the bitter and AAA, and a distant caramel. Taste is mild, an inkling of hop flavor, mild pale and amber malts, and fruity ferment. Long, round metallic note in the finish, which is wet and mild. Another decent session brew, but the metallic note subtracts from the drinkability a smidge. (553 characters)

Photo of foles
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I struggle with the highly bitter ales, so the barman at the Dog & Bull in Croydon recommended I try the Special. It was a solid choice. It typifies the style (English Pale Ale) to my taste, without going overboard in any particular flavour category.

Looks nice (typical copper colour with minimal head) and tastes nice (fresh, malt backbone and very lightly fruity - with only a slightly bitter finish). I did notice very little smell present (maybe my nose).

It is a good session ale for me while visiting a Youngs pub. (524 characters)

Photo of surfadelic23
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Barleyhoppers. It was taking a while for my oatmeal stout to pour, so I had this while waiting!
This has a very clear Reddish/brown color that is very clear. It had a quickly diminishing head. This smells nice with maltiness up front and as the ale warms up the hops come throught. Very well balanced with a nice hop flavor that follows up every sip. This one is so easy to drink, I had two! (406 characters)

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12oz bottle.

Pours a clear copper with a creamy ivory head. Some lacing. Fruity malt in the nose along with some spicy, cutting hops.

As you sip, lightly fruity apple flavors, some pale malt and then a middling persistent hoppiness, a slow burn of hops. Lightly metallic. Crisp up front and creamy going down. Real smooth.

Better than I expected. More like a English bitter than English pale ale IMO. Solid brew. (431 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hand pulled pint in The Marquis of Anglesey, a Young's pub near Covent Garden, London.

Young's glass, a sleeve: mid-range amber body, white clinging head, typical UK looking bitter: nothing wrong, nothing outstanding.

The smell was a mix of biscuity toasted malts and the influence of Fuggles hops.

The taste was a good blend of Britsh ingrediants: Fuggles and Goldings being the hop elemnet, Maris Otter and Crystal malts the other main players.

The mouthfeel is almost smooth, but some grainy hints prevent that happening, it is after all a bitter and shouldn't be too soft on the palate.

Middle of the road beer for me, nothing 'Special' about it. (655 characters)

Photo of Shaw
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this on-tap at my local pub, the Cock & Bull.

This is a light ruby-colored pale ale, very much in the British style of pale ales, rather than our American pale ales that have a golden color.

It has a light aroma of hops, which is surprising for an English ale in my opinion. Most of their ales are very non-agressive. The taste is good. Howie, the Cock & Bull's owner, said this ale is dry-hopped. It tastes like it, although much milder dry-hopping than American ales. This ale is a notch above the other exported English ales I've had in the USA, which says nothing to their character in their homeland. The beers I remember having in England were excellent. (676 characters)

Photo of sleazo
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A_Nice clear copper with a foamy off white head. No lace whatsoever which is the only fault I had.

S_Freshly baked bread aroma with slight hints of ginger.

T_While the aroma speaks to the malt the flavor leans to the hops. Nicely bitter throughout with mown grass dominating the front. Aftertaste is a nice bitter herbal mess

M_On the lighter side of medium with an upfront tight carbonation. Quickly fades to a nice dryness at the end

O_A good refreshing beer for a rainy afternoon. (491 characters)

Photo of cypressbob
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle

Pours with a light amber body. Head forms but soon disappates with very little retention

Smell, aromas of dry malt, little hop bitterness coming through, slight hint of clove also

Taste, malty body, fairly heady thick body, slight bitterness in the finish, not a great deal however

A pretty tasty ale, would make a good session ale (356 characters)

Photo of Trizzle
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear Amber in body with small fading head. Fades to a rim of bubbles.

Earthern soil like roasted malt dominates the nose. Hints of dark cherries and saltanas in the mix too...

Raw rush of roasted grains up front. Some subtle sweeter sugars, sultanas and dry sherry follow, then a whop of very dry english hops. Fuggles? Not an aromatic hop hit, but very dry with an astringency like strong black tea. Not bad at all.

A light bodied malt, a touch too astringent to be smooth, but hardly offensive.

Good drinkability. I'd be happy to do half a dozen pints.

Not in the same calibre as it's younger (excuse the pun) brother, the Bitter, but what is??

An enjoyable drop just the same. (691 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark clear copper hued pour that looks like an over brewed iced tea. A thin coating of a head with zero carbonation (could be the bar?) and zero lace (Same?)

Clean mixed fresh, ale fruit scents.

Perfect balance of hops upfront & malts. Fairly complex flavors continued to unravel. Reminded me of many other Pale Ales. Hmmm. Lingering yummy Kraft Caramel Squares aftertaste, leading to cidery Earthy notes.

Thin yet present feel.

To be on the generous side, this isn't a huge all nighter due to bitter malts which are more revealed as the temperature warms.

Last swigs: Fairly complex ale with hops and malts tango that leads to a cloying apples undertone. Interesting beer. YOUNG delivers.

Beer is good. Happy beering. (737 characters)

Photo of JohnW
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Would echo others thoughts of this beer, which I do enjoy, though maybe not quite as drinkable as their ordinary bitter. It is always reliable where I have enjoyed it, medium dark colour, nice creamy head that stays, good aroma, mixture of hops and malt, slightly sweet on the tongue, but more hoppy and bitter in the aftertaste. A good example of a decent English bitter, but not outstanding.

Not ever tried it from can or bottle so unable to comment on how it compares in those forms.


John W
Bham UK (510 characters)

Photo of horndecker
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (672 characters)

Photo of gford217
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at the Brick Store.

This one poured a clear golden amber with a decent head that clung on to the side of the glass and left some solid lacing. The smell was very light with a nice balance of sweet malts and mild hops. There was a also a decent fruity sweetness in the aroma as well. The taste was also dominated by the mild sweetness of the malts with a slight hop bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel was very creamy and smooth and was very drinkable overall. (465 characters)

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (517 characters)

Photo of bodybyadam
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Elbows Up,
Adam (612 characters)

Photo of DaveHS
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

D-Very nice. (337 characters)

Photo of jda007
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (448 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (1,398 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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). (470 characters)

Photo of Daredevil
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 .... (386 characters)

Photo of saltydog
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (282 characters)

Photo of Chaz
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

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. (638 characters)

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Young's Special from Wells & Young's Ltd
87 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.