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Young's Special London Ale - Wells & Young's Ltd

Not Rated.
Young's Special London AleYoung's Special London Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

412 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 412
Reviews: 324
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.39%
Wants: 32
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wells & Young's Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-14-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Young's Special London Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 412 | Reviews: 324 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TastyTaste
1.83/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Out of an undisturbed bottle, this monstrosity grew. Exposiive carbontaion at cellar temp. Body was dark orange, with flecks of yeast suspended throughout. Taste was bitter orange flavor, somewhat like tang or sunny delight. I think this might be a bad bottle, I will reevaleaute it when i get the chance.

TastyTaste, Aug 24, 2004
Photo of Beaver13
1.98/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

500ml bottle, best by 10/4/06. The bottle gushes some when opened. It pours a golden copper with a huge frothy off white head that retains well and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is grainy and corny with a little spicy alcohol and some DMS.

The flavor is grainy and metallic with some grassy hop bitterness at the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with loads of sharp carbonation that mellows into wateriness towards the end of the bottle.

Overall, this was not very good and was very much like a macro beer with a little extra zing. It's not offensive, just pretty bland with a few OK aspects and a few off-aspects.

Beaver13, Sep 11, 2006
Photo of moulefrite
2.2/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer was almost all foam! The beer shot out of the bottle like a rocket and the bottle became half foam. After the head dissapated, the beer let out its lovely aromas of sticky sweet malt and rotten bananna. In the mouth the beer felt overly fizzy. The taste was redolent of a bananna malted milkshake. A bit of hairspray flavor posing as hop was in the mix as well. A cloying malt flavor and some bitter coated the mouth as I poured the remaining inch or so of this beer down the drain. I will re-try this beer at a later date to see if I got an off bottle. For now, this was not too fun.

moulefrite, Aug 25, 2003
Photo of pin
2.5/5  rDev -36.7%

pin, May 21, 2013
Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -36.7%

chrispoint, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of heygeebee
2.53/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

No BB.

A - Pale amber, one finger coarse head.

S - Malts, bready, almost yeast.

T - English malts and caramels, tainted by sharp astringent aftertaste

M - Over carbonated as seems standard for many bottles of English styles.

O - Overall, sad example of style, tainted.

heygeebee, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of RevDru
2.58/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a light-to-medium bronze with a quarter inch of foam and fairly active carbonation.

S - Toasted malt, flowery.

T - Bready, hints of bitter chocolate, slightly astringent.

M - A touch on the sharp side. Becomes metallic feeling as time goes on.

D - While I don't mind a well-balanced bitterness to my beers, this is a touch overbearing. Not enough to toss, but I probably won't buy this again.

RevDru, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of stephendr
2.63/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

500 ml. glass bottle best before date Sept. 21, ‘07 sampled Nov. 13, ‘07- color of translucent honey, with a thick long lasting off white colored head - nose of mild hops, some sweat, and oats – taste of sharp honey, mild bitterness, light fruits, and apricots- body is medium, and sharp, and with high carbonation – aftertaste of mild hops, slightly bitter, and apricots

stephendr, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of jarmby1711
2.78/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I was disappointed with this beer.
It had all the look it required and maintained a healthy white head and sustained its carbonation however it all went downhill.
The flavour , what there was of it was pretty damn dull.It had no pleasantness or particular unpleasantness just a bland vaguely vegetative taste.
The alcohol seemed to dominate and for me this was not a good beer

jarmby1711, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of LarryKemp
2.85/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brown pint bottled bitters, poured a very clear dark copper approaching a light amber. It had a nice white head that lingered long into the drinking session. Much lace clung to the side of the glass. The aroma was pretty almost nonexistant. If I held the glass to my mouth and breathed into and out of the glass, I got a little matliness and some dirt/grass kind of sensation. The flavor is hard to describe. There is some malty sweetness but it finishes sour. There is not hops bite or taste. The mouthfeel is medium with a slight creaminess. I don't think I could recommend this beer to anyone. The Best Before date is the end of October 2003 so it is not old brew. I might try another bottle some other time to see if this was a bad bottle or just BAD beer.

LarryKemp, May 29, 2003
Photo of bark
2.93/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The colour is cloudy copper red; the thin lid of foam is pale beige.

The smell is sweet with notes of yeast, nuts and fruits (apricots? Peaches?).

The carbonation is fresh with lots of large bubbles.

The taste is fruity, sweet with some bitter almonds, diacetyl and yeast. The aftertaste is medium bitter, short and rather anonymous.

An average bitter, nothing special at all.

bark, Jan 22, 2005
Photo of kimcgolf
2.95/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle. This beer was very ho-hum. Aroma and appearance were okay, but left a short, dry, almost flat finish. Did not have a lot of taste. Ales are my favorite beers, and I expected a lot more from the name of this beer than I receieved, as unfortunately, this left a lot to be desired.

kimcgolf, Jul 01, 2006
Photo of auntfloyd
2.98/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from a 500 ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

Pours a hazy, bright amber color, with a large off-white head. The smell is sweet malt, slightly biscuity. The flavor is similar, sweet at first, followed by more hops bitterness, and finally ending on a slightly metallic-tasting tea note. The mouthfeel is smooth, and the drinkability is ok, though I wouldn't really want more than one glass of this.

Overall, kind of disappointing, I've liked the other beers I've tried from Young's. I wouldn't buy it again.

auntfloyd, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of WoodBrew
3/5  rDev -24.1%

WoodBrew, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of GregaR
3/5  rDev -24.1%

GregaR, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -24.1%

JAHMUR, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -24.1%

djrn2, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of brheuer
3/5  rDev -24.1%

brheuer, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of rugger
3.03/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not one of my favorite styles, but this beer poured a coppery/amber color with a nice cream colored head that lasted. Aroma is very light and malty with a very sharp malty bite with hints of rasins and cloves. Mouthfeel is light and I wouldn't really drink another unless that was all that was availble. Not bad but not great.

rugger, Oct 21, 2004
Photo of rastaman
3.1/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

i don't know what it is about youngs beers, but they all tend to have a sticky (akmost sweet) characteristic, but they all have decent hop character, but this was to sticky to be good, but its drinkable.

rastaman, Apr 03, 2002
Photo of ScarletLady
3.1/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Although I tried this from the tap, it had been poured in to a pitcher then passed around - so i won't comment about the head or lacing as it really wouldn't be fair. Nice color, a light to medium copper. The nose was my favorite part with apricot and a sour hoppiness. Mouthful was 'medium' and the taste a little sour but good. Overall nicely carbonated with a light finish. I would try it again I think that it could really grow on me . I'm interested to try it from a bottle

ScarletLady, Feb 13, 2006
Photo of elricorico
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy amber with a thin white head. The smell is a mix of hop and alcohol warmth. Mildly grassy aroma as well.

Taste is mild, toffee and citrus with a bit of a hoppy finish and some alcohol warmth. There is a flavour in there that reminds me of a strong macro lager(in case you can't guess, it's not good.) If not for that poor bit, it would be a pleasant taste overall.

Having a peak at the bottle shows that this one was marked best before February 2005. Guess I should have looked before buying. It isn't bad, but I'd have to guess that a lot has been lost over that time. I'll leave this review for now and hope for a fresh bottle someday soon.

elricorico, Aug 23, 2005
Photo of zebedee
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ok, this'll be my first review, so please forgive my amateurish palate and large nose.

Noted the silver medallist thingy around the neck of the bottle, so I thought it'd be a good beer to review.

A - Poured into an old dimpled pint pot. 2cm head, which dissipated to a thin layer within 5 minutes. Coppery/orange hue. light carbonation.

S - Apples, grapefruit, pears, and toffee. Some maltiness coming through aswell. A hint of almonds too I'd say, but overall sweet smelling.

T - Sweet apples, toffee. The taste I'd say matched the smell, that is, extremely sweet and a bit malty. There was no noticable bitterness in the finish, which dissapointed me somewhat.

M - Mildly carbonated, which i prefer. Nice, chewy, full bodied texture.

D - Could sink a couple of these, but no more.

This ale will appeal to some, and it certainly isn't a bad ale, but I just find it far too sweet. If there was any bitterness in the aftertaste I'd rate it higher. Alas, this shall not be the case.

zebedee, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of tbeckett
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from a grocery store in Warsaw. From notes.

A - Poured a hazy dark gold with a thin white cap of head. Lot's of visible carbonation and good retention but no lacing.

S - Good juicy hop with some spicy hops too. Bready malt. Fairly standard.

T - Malts with a nice hop kick. Otherwise fairly plain and bland.

M - Medium tingly carbonation and a medium body.

O/D - Meh. Fairly run of the mill. Didn't jump out at me and I was happy to move onto something else.

tbeckett, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of theopholis
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Very Clear, amber, nice creamy frothy off-white head. Very little staying power with no lace.

Aroma-Very well blended mixture of malt sweetness, citrus, some fruiteness (not to much), hops and a touch of breadiness. Not as hoppy as the style calls for tho.

Taste-Nice blend of bittering hops and malt. Fair amount of bitterness on back of toungue. Just enough spiciness to make it interesting.

Mouthfeel-medium body with a pleasant hop finish. Clings to mouth nicely. Nice acid bite on the tip of the toungue, but creamy on the lips.

Drinkability-Pretty good. No aspect (taste, mouthfeel, aroma) is outstanding, but the overall experience is quite nice.

theopholis, Jan 10, 2007
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Young's Special London Ale from Wells & Young's Ltd
88 out of 100 based on 412 ratings.