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Bengal Lancer - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

Not Rated.
Bengal LancerBengal Lancer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

45 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 45
Hads: 119
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 19.69%
Wants: 9
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mike130 on 03-13-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (37) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 119
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just in at Beer Bistro, on-tap. A lovely understated IPA. The IBU is certainly there, you can taste citrus bitterness, but its real music on your palate, not hard garage rock. Pours an orange coloured body with a bubbly head. You can smell fruity hops.Average moutfheel, with gentle caramel buffeting the palate and offering a good drinkability. Must be great on cask, and served at the right temperature!

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Photo of biboergosum
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A pint at Three Boars Eatery, on a sweaty 30+ (right, that's not +30) Edmonton afternoon. Listed at 5.3% ABV.

This beer appears a clear medium golden amber hue, with one finger of tight creamy dirty white head, which leaves a few water spouts of lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of crisp, biscuity sourdough malt, lemon polish, and moderately bitter leafy, grassy hops. The taste is sweet bready malt, a bit of rising yeast, some well-ripened orchard fruitiness, and quite tame leafy, earthy hops.

The bubbles are rather sedate and listless, the body a sturdy medium weight, and more or less smooth. It finishes still heavy on the sweetness, malt and fruit aiding and abetting, with little push back from the other bit players.

An ok EIPA, but that allowance only goes so far - even this style suggests a more robust hop character. Without it here, the fruitiness runs amok, in a reserved British manner, of course, leaving me instead with a strong golden summer ale impression.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Before I talk about the Bengal Lancer I must state this is the first beer I've reviewed in my new 'Man Cave'. I've converted one of my garages into a bar: the first beer to launch it was 'La Chouffe', a special Red Wine was also broached before this, my first 'Cave' review.

So, to my first of many new reviews.

Brown 500ml bottle (bottle conditioned), best before 5 Oct 2012, drank and reviewed on 23 Jan 2011. The version I've reviewed is a 5.3% ABV one.

Poured into my huge 'Judas' stemmed tulip glass.

A large white, foaming, bubbley head sat on top of a clear body, the colour of which was a bright pale amber, with a terracotta look to it.

The aroma was of summer fruits, with a slight hoppy undertone, no malt smells at all.

Tasted good, not overly hopped and the malt content didn't appear too strong either. A pleasant mix of flavours with none overpowering anything else. Sweeter than most IPA's and certainly not as hoppy as most, but very drinkable.

Good carbonisation and well balanced, the alcohol hidden within the flavours. Pity the head died so quickly, otherwise a very good beer. Fuller's rarely let you down, another fine beer from their stable.

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Photo of Zorro
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Clear golden colored ale with a tall white head.

Smells mildly malty and of English Style hops. Scents of strong tea and leather with a slight tobacco aroma.

Starts out malty and a little bitter.. Butter and leather with some herbal hop. Bitterness is a little sharp.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall OK, light in flavor.

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Photo of biegaman
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beer Bistro, in Toronto.

This beer has just the sharp golden tone and glaring yellow radiance suited to something with 'Bengal' in its name. It truly does have an alluring look, one perhaps capable of inspiring the wonder, dynamism and vibrancy of a sweltering, sun-scorched place like Calcutta. Its thick, hearty foam capping is a model example for beer-heads everywhere.

I've never had Bengal Lancer on cask but I'm willing to bet that this draught version is a shadow of its live, unfiltered and unpasteurized self. The beer suffers from a familiar cardboard-y smell that, being able to vouch for the quality and credentials of the establishment, I doubt can be blamed on dirty tap-lines. It's flat and plain.

Pasteurizing and/or filtering a beer is not necessarily a negative thing, but it is in this instance. This drinks like a beer that's had its spine removed. Little of the grains' crunchy, malty flavours come through and you can forget about any secondary malt flavors (i.e., nutty, biscuity). Fortunately, the brewer did put a flock of leafy green hops in full sail.

Those perceptibly green, leafy, earthy, bitter hops give the beer a light bite to it. That slight edge dovetails completely with the naturally brisk and snippy minerals in the water. Taken together, these two elements come to dominate the beer and reign supreme on the palate. Unlike the malts, the hops are in tip-top condition and offer a range of flavours.

Drinking English ales outside of the UK in any manner that is not cask-conditioned can kind of be like listening to a movie soundtrack on CD: sometimes it manages to inspire the sensation and scenery of the picture but other times there's simply too much context missing for it to invigorate that same emotion and ambiance it did in the film...

I'm inclined to agree with CAMRA and over 100,000 Brits who says that 'real' ale and 'real' pubs make all the difference and that curling up with anything that wasn't poured from cask at any place that isn't the local public house is definitely an inferior experience to the real thing. That said, it ain't bad. But it could be (and I bet is) better under those circumstances.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16.9 oz. Bottle (Conditioned)
ABV 5.3%
Best Before: 19 Nov 14

Poured into a Squatters true pint glass a very nice slightly cloudy dark golden orange color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice two-finger thick creamy off-white head, and leaves some very nice thick sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, nice sweetness to it. The taste is very nice malty, sweet. Medium body, with a nice slightly bitter/dry finish. Overall a very tasty brew, even though it is an older bottle.

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Photo of Viggo
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On the handpump at Volo, w00t!

Pours a slightly hazed golden, some straw highlights in the corners, a touch of amber, very thick and creamy off white head forms, slowly settles down to a medium ring around the glass, some decent chunks of lace stick.

Smell is great, very fresh and hoppy, some citrus, orange, a bit of tangerine, floral, biscuity malt, light honey sweetness, a bit of herbal character, more citrus, reminds me a bit of Durham Hop Head.

Taste is similar, big floral up front, juicy citrus, orange and tangerine, really nice hopping, malty middle, a bit of caramel and biscuit, lightly grainy, a touch of apricot, nice herbal bitterness in the finish, with a bit of citrus rind.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation. Pretty damn easy to drink, this is a real nice English IPA. "And instead of a guard dog, they had this great bloody big Bengal tiger!"

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Photo of bark
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour is copper-amber, the liquid is almost clear. The low head is white.

The smell got some fruity notes and some flowery hoppy notes. Fresh and balanced.

The taste is fresh and crisp. Flavours of cookies and honey. There are fine integrated bitter notes and some sweetness. Some earthy and citric flavours. The bitterness is not exaggerated as it can be in other IPAs. The finish is malty.

The carbonation is medium strong, the bubbles are light. The liquid is semi-smooth.

A well crafted and integrated IPA.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

Pours a golden amber orange color, with a 2 inch tight head, and good visible carbonation and lacing.

Smells include grassy, earthy hops, some orangey citrus hops, and sweet toasty malt.

This one has some nice understated bitterness that I like, that doesn't linger on the palate. The English-style hop flavor is very pronounced, grassy and tea-like, almost, with some suggestions of citrus as well.

Light to medium bodied, crisp, well carbonated. Very drinkable.

Could easily pull a few of these back easily, really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Malty aroma has a good hoppy overtone. Pours a beautiful clear dark amber with a fairly thick pale buff head. Strongly hoppy flavor has malty and fruity notes, barely any bitterness. Smooth texture has about average body and a good amount of tingle and fizz. Nothing special, but definitely worthy of at least a try.

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Photo of FLima
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber color, made just one finger of a thin head (though had it on cask hand pulled straight from Fuller’s).
Predominant citric and fruity hop aroma.
Sweet malty taste balanced with herbal and citric hops. Dry aftertaste.
Light body with light carbonation and small bubbles.
Refreshing beer, mildly bitter and sweet, a very balanced and light IPA. That said, I was expecting more excitement out of this beer.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Bull & Castle, Dublin.

Hazy burnished gold with steady white froth that leaves ample trails. Lemon zest and barley water on the nose and a bit of melon-y fruit - is this muted from being too cold?
Rusk, caramel and apricot with orange jam and spice cookie hops. Gets fruitier as it warms.
Floral and Juicyfruit end and endless clingy bittersweet linger. Light to medium, soft, creamy with some chew.

Lighter than expected, but a great all-arounder. Real hop depth - not just the standard EKG + Fuggles combo - and very juicy.

Top 3 English IPA.

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Photo of woosterbill
2.9/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Handpump halfpint at the Jack Horner, a Fuller's tied house.

A: Clear pale amber body under a 1/2" of persistent eggshell head. Nice lace, too. Excellent.

S: Ummm... Cantaloupe, overripe apricot, prune, and floral hops. Smells like a decent beer in a bad cask, but I'd expect a tied house to respect their titular beer, so maybe it's supposed to be like this. Not good, in any case.

T: A little better here, as some biscuity malt at least shows up alongside the overripe fruit, and the hops deliver a solid kick on the finish. Still, pretty darn weak.

M: Lighter than medium-bodied, with similar carbonation. Perfectly fine.

O: Disappointing; perhaps I'll try this again somewhere else, but I'm certainly in no hurry. Even if the rotten fruit notes were absent, I didn't get the impression that the malt and hops would deliver anything all that remarkable.


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Photo of ADZA
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a orange,honey hue with average carbonation that leaves behind a two finger head that recedes to islands of froth and an outer rim of lacing,the smell is bittersweet with aromas of orange zest,marmalade,honey and medicinal herbal hops,it has a above light bodied mouthfeel which is perfectly carbonated and suits the style and the first taste i encounter is grapefruit followed by some,navel oranges,a light tinge of honey coated toffee and i mean light as fast as you notice it it dissapears quickly due to a light piney,citrus hop finish and overall i have to admit i was expecting more i mean its easy enough to drink and i know ill easily remember this brew as i did like its front label and it definately caught my eye on the shelf but apart from that i dont think ill be revisiting this anytime soon but would not knock back if offered and if you want a EIPA that is quite light bodied and not a hopbomb then this would be right up your alley cheers.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light copper with a medium white head. Decent retention and lacing.

Smell is quite weak. Grassy hops and some caramel malt, s bit toasted.

Flavourwise, the beer is surprisingly balanced for an IPA, English or otherwise. Grassy hops and toasted caramel malt are in pretty equal proportion. Mildly bitter finish.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Slightly oily.

Overall, decent but not exciting. Certainly not one of my favourite beers from Fullers.

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Photo of kwjd
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Volo in Toronto. They don't have this in too often, so I'm glad to finally catch up with this beer. Pours an amber-copper colour with a finger of thick white head. Nice rings of lacing after each sip. Smells of earthy and floral hops with the biscuit malt, quite English smelling. Mild bitterness in the flavour, about par for an English IPA. I'm surprised how much I like this one on tap as this style typically lends itself to cask.

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Photo of Zach136
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Crystal clear yellow. Nice light beige head. Excellent lacing.

S/T - Slightly hop forward with floral and grassy notes, but the sweet malt bill is definitely discernible. Slight acetyldhyde/fruity yeast ester.

M - Medium bodied, well carbonated. Definitely stickier than some of their other options.

O - Probably one of my more preferred English IPAs, not that it's a style I particularly gravitate towards.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Nov 2012. ABV is stated as 5.3%. Named after an old Indian cavalry regiment.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. Bottle-conditioned. A hazy golden-amber hue with good carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam that remains for several minutes before subsiding. Aroma of biscuity caramel malt with notes of citrus, floral hops, dry yeast and a hint of bittering hops.

Tastes of caramel malt with a yeasty, hoppy character and a spicy bitter finish. Notes of citrus, floral hops, biscuity malt and earthy yeast. A distinctive hoppy bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and spicy, with good body. Rather astringent - dries the palate. Aftertaste of malt and bitter aromatic hops.

Good stuff - a solid English IPA. A nice malt backbone and a big dose of aromatic citrus, followed by a restrained bitterness (compared to an American IPA). The dry yeast flavour is typical of the style and adds depth. All told, a great example of a traditional IPA. Well worth sampling.

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Photo of peensteen
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Volo

Pours a pale orange colour, thick white head that dissipates quickly, some lace spots on the glass. Smell is quite malty, lemony citrus, faint grapefruit and a very light pine. Taste is malty up front but then has a nice bitter hop presence, citrus comes back with a long finish with some biscuity malt. Mouthfeel is thin to medium, very satisfying, light carbonation. Really good IPA, this is one English IPA that could hold its own against some Americans, cask well maintained, solid all around.

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Photo of bobsy
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint at the Monk's Table - cheers Adam!

Slightly hazy light amber with a finger of off-white foam that leaves a few lace spots on the way down. The aroma is understated in that classically British way. Tropical fruit, citrus, pepper, flowers and biscuit malt all mix together without getting to hot and heavy. Decent flavour - the malt is more pronounced (as it should be), providing a nice grainy biscuit backdrop for floral hopping and a splash of citrus. Caramel and honey add some depth to the malt component, while a touch of pepper and tea come through in the hopping. Not too shabby at all! Medium body with a smooth carbonation.

I don't think I'll ever fall in love with English IPAs, but this is a great beer, and one I could happily drink several pints of. A prime candidate for a cask!

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Photo of mdagnew
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from Sainsbury's...

Poured a nice clear orange colour... Slightly off white head poured quite thick then faded to light ring around the edge... Very sparse carbonation. Very light patchy lacing...

Aroma - Nice juicy fruits (oranges, pears, apples and some grapefruit), light caramel malts, toasted bread notes, light spicy hops, earthy / grassy hints, some honey, light saltiness...

Taste - Decent spicy hop bitterness, toasted notes, nice biscuity maltiness, juicy / zesty fruits (definite grapefruits, lemons, bitter oranges, apples coming through), grassiness, slight nutty / caramel sweetness.... flavours all very well balanced...

Feel - Pretty sharp and dry... Light / medium body... Very quaffable and refreshing - an excellent session beer...

Overall - A pretty good example of an IPA and yet another good brew from Fuller's... recommended...

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received a medium orange pint with a slight off-white head. No retention, no lace.

Some toasted malt, light fruit, and floral notes.

Smooth and well balanced flavors. Toasted malt, some mild fruit (pear?), a little caramel. The malt dries out a touch, perhaps a bit of biscuit. But it is the interwoven bitterness that makes this one work. Terrific balance in this department. The sweet and medium bitter play off each other well, and as the palate clears, the bitter becomes more dominant. The bitterness is clean, not overpowering, leads the charge in the finish.

Medium body, a little soft.

Very easy drinking beer. Had about half the glass before the meal came, and it was great both ways. Not spectacular or over-the-top in "punch-point" flavors, but a well balanced brew.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Medium, clear orange color with a average sized, puffy, light, frothy, white head. Nice retention leaving a decent ring of lace.

S - Spicy, herbal, earthy hops and buiscuty malt with hints of caramel/toffee. Some orchard fruit, particularly pear. Smells English and has an enticing sweet and bitter aspect.

T - Similar to the nose only a bit more pear and orchard fruit. A great mix of fruity, floral, and herbal/spicy hops. Fairly bitter but a good amount of sweet malt. A very bold English IPA.

M - Medium body with slightly above average carbonation. A touch on the thin side but not bad.

D - Goes down very easy. Nice bitterness but also a sweet malt and fruity flavor too. Easy to drink and overall it just works well.

Notes: An interesting English IPA with a good amount of fruity hops (mostly orchard fruit but some citrus as well). It just all works well although nothing really stands out. Quite pleased with this one.

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Photo of TerryW
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An understated brew, but really nicely put together making it real easy drinking.

Short head on a clear orange beer, very fine lacing. Fruity hops in the nose, citrus, and grainy malt - very appetizing. Nice full mouthfeel, medium bodied. Well balanced flavours. Just a real pleasure to drink. Well done.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On cask in the Mad Bishop and Bear, Paddington Station. Served in a straight pint glass.

Pours a light orange colour, with a decent looking white head.

Smells of good old English hops: lots of fruit, mango etc.

Tastes quite nicely balanced between the tangy, fruity hops, and the mid-light caramel-like malts.

Overall a very nice beer, happily had a few with lunch.

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Bengal Lancer from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
86 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.