Tetley's Smoothflow - Carlsberg-Tetley Brewing Ltd

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Tetley's SmoothflowTetley's Smoothflow

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BA SCORE
75
okay

108 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.21
pDev: 17.13%
Wants: 3
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carlsberg-Tetley Brewing Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  3.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SteveP on 10-31-2004

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 51
Photo of mynie
2.15/5  rDev -33%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Being a smooth operator, I figured this beer would be right up my alley. Golly, was I ever wrong!

It tastes like nitrogen and water. There is no expiry date, but I'm not familiar with any beer or beer-like ingredients that completely vanish after a beer expires. As it warms up, the tiniest bit of hop bitterness is present near the end, along with the big old woosh of nitrogen.

This is one of the least flavorful beers I've ever had, right up there with Coors light. This review is therefore sparse, as I just don't have all much to say. It's not awful, certainly, as being awful would require some flavor of some sort. It's just hardly even there.

Photo of GreenCard
2.26/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: light brown, good clarity, one finger of off-white creamy foam, great head retention

Aroma: crackers, biscuity sweetness, hint of butterscotch, herbally hops

Flavor: dry malt backbone, fair amount of tanginess, a bit "extracty" in the hop flavor and bitterness, finishes dryish with a tangy aftertaste and some caramel

Mouthfeel: medium-light body, creamy texture, low carbonation

Other comments: What can I say? It's a nitro-can. I hope no CAMRA members spot the fact that I drank a nitro-can and revoke my membership!

Photo of SteveP
2.33/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Drunk from a nitro-keg at The Hope Pole - Somewhere in the hop fields of Kent. Walnut and vanilla flavour. Mild hop bitterness.

Drunk again from a nitro-keg at a Sports Bar in Portsmouth during the match with Man Utd. Portsmouth winning 2 - 0!

This is really a gently drinkable beer of very little character. The nitro softens everything to a gentle almost tasteless foam. All in all it's a laid back beer with a pleasant enough vanilla caramel flavour. Not a quality drink, but nothing revolting about it.

Photo of fullsweep
2.65/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

440 mL nitro-can (no widget) poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear, chestnut-brown ale below a thick, creamy head

S: Metallic, malts, nothing too overpowering

T: Not horrible, but nothing standing out. For a bitter, this is certainly on the mild side of things, palate-wise. It's a very mellow, mass-produced type of English bitter.

M: Very smooth, similar to a John Smith's Extra Smooth or a Marston's.

D: Goes down easy, there's just not much there selling me on this beer.

Photo of kojevergas
2.66/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

3.60% ABV confirmed. Can acquired in Ibiza, Spain and served into a Guinness pint glass. Reviewed from notes taken April 2011.

A: Pours a two finger head of lovely cream lacing with a nice bubble show, though not as good as the one seen when I reviewed this beer on draught. Head is of decent thickness and retention. Colour is a gold-copper.

Sm: Very light scent of cream and barley.

T: Creamy open. Cream and butterscotch body with lingering effects as the barley drives the finish. Balanced well for what it is but relatively simple. The finish is quite lovely, actually. Built somewhat atypically, but nicely. No alcohol or yeast comes through. I actually prefer this to the draught version.

Mf: Creamy, extremely smooth, and wet. It ought to be more dry to coax out the flavours, but that's the least of its problems.

Dr: It's marketed in Ibiza as an Irish beer, but this only serves to piss off those of us who live in Ireland. Serve cold; elsewise it suffers. It's expensive by Spanish standards, but it's alright. Very low ABV for the price and quality.

C-

Photo of soju6
2.71/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Smootflow Widget can.

A: Pours a dark copper color with a thick creamy head th at fades very slowly with ample lacing.

S: Aroma is on the mild side with s ome caramel sweetness and bit of roasted malt.

T: Taste follows the aroma being a bit bland with some caramel sweetness and bit of roasted malt. Mild bitterness with a fairly clean finish.

F: Fairly light body, smooth and creamy. Decent balance but on the bland side.

O: Decent beer for the style and quite sessionable.

Photo of mactrail
2.72/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This is not much of an English Bitter. The widget can is a fun gimmick, but otherwise it's pretty dismal stuff. Big nitro foam that dies down rapidly, but leaves a nice little cap.

Faint beery aroma. A touch of rusty water with a hint of malt. Tea water with a faint hoppy hint. Oddly astringent. From the 440 ml can.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.74/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 440ml can with a BB of June 2012. The guff on the side tells me to 'listen to the surge'....

Poured into a tulip pint glass. An orange-amber colour with minimal carbonation. Yields a thick head of creamy off-white foam with excellent stability; it forms a decent surface layer that refuses to budge. Aroma of mild caramel malt with a hint of fruitiness from the yeast. Not much going on.

Tastes of weak caramel malt with a dry finish. A hint of fruity ale yeast and faint stewed hops, along with cardboard and a slight staleness. Slightly sweet, with virtually no bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and full-bodied, but has an artificial quality that detracts from it. Slight aftertaste of fruity malt.

Not very good - doesn't live up to it's description as an English bitter. The mild aroma and flavour are bland and characterless. Looks the part and the mouthfeel is OK, but overall this is just dull. Another macro ale with a nitrogen gimick. Give it a miss.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.82/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

440ml nitro-can - $2.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber-tan body with a tall, dense, creamy, off-white head.

Smell: This one smells like cold tea with a barley backing and lightly sweetened with table sugar.

Taste: Incredibly mild hint of gently toasted barley grain. Scantly nutty. Low sweetness. Herbal, earthy hops with very light, understated bitterness. Dry, soft finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Low carbonation, though a smooth body.

Overall: Tetley's Smoothflow tastes alot like chilled Tetley tea.

Photo of StonedTrippin
2.87/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

something of an oddity here, from the nitro can. pours at first like a disgusting milkshake, but makes a comeback into a bronze liquid littered with tiny yeast bits and a dense as anything nitro head just off white and unwavering. the nose is bitter and dry English malts, with some finishing hops and some metallic notes. the flavor is about the same, real bitter on the back end, and a really minerally finish, not particularly pleasant, but not downright brutal either. the longer I sit without taking another sip, the less and less I like the aftertaste, just not quite right. the feel is weird too, with the head being thick like taffy, and the body of the beer itself being much thinner, and way under carbonated after all the nitro juice is gone. this really was a let down, as I thought itd be like a boddingtons cream or something, but this is way inferior to those. in the end, I can get through a can okay, but this just isn't as good as it could be. the 3.6% abv is curious as well, not sure if its a pro or a con here, but that's inconsequential at this point. so-so at best.

Photo of BlackHaddock
2.96/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Two half-pints in Blackfriers Theatre (Boston, Lincolnshire) before and at half-time during 'Sleeping Beauty' by The Vienna Festival Ballet on 31 Mar 2013.

Dark amber body with a full creamy head that stayed the distance on both halves. It looked pretty good to be honest.

Too cold to have an aroma at first, as it warmed a malty molasses and mixed dark fruits smell began to appear.

The taste took its time to arrive because of the coldness, but it turns out the beer is slightly malty and semi-sweet throughout. Fairly smooth in texture as the name suggests, although I think smoothbland rather than smoothflow would suit it more.

Photo of hoegaardenhero
2.99/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: i love nitrous cans; pours great thick white head with dark slightly murky brown body leaves a solid white sheet of lace covering the glass

s: pretty sharp sweet malt overtone with toffee; slightest hint of hoppy bitterness; not a particularly strong scent

t: a strong menthol-like flavor with hints of malty sweetness

m: creamy and thick with very little carbonation; very english

d: the menthol flavor is quite weird but on a hot day it could be a pretty quenching ale; i suppose you could say it is the newport of beers

Photo of biegaman
3.01/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tetley's Smooth Flow pours with both sound effects and spectacle. The nitro-can sounds a loud, cracking siren and then gears up for what appears a magic trick: thousands of tiny bubbles synchronized into dance, looping and dipping, swarming up the glass like a flock of starlings under attack. In biology this phenomena is known as 'allelomimesis'; in layperson terms it's called 'cool'. And it results in a bed of head that could literally serve as a bed!

The brilliantly copper beer looks maltier than it smells. It's slim-pickings for the olfactory bulb. Maybe it's that thick sponge atop that's preventing any aromas from leaking out, or maybe the people brewing this just don't want to shell out for decent ingredients, but whatever the case this aroma is lackluster, to put it politely. Aside from the water minerals and a hint of honeycomb toffee, it ain't got much going on.

Tastes of biscuits and toffee are frustratingly vague. It seems oxidized. There is a teaspoon of the most pasteurized, mass-produced honey on the market, but it fails to result in any kind of redeeming sweetness. The minerals are easily the most noted component; it tastes (somewhat distastefully) as if the last thing to pass over the tongue is a handful of old pennies.

If you need rain, plan a parade and then invite liquid nitrogen. In my experience, the silly little 'widget' is responsible for ruining everything from aroma to flavour to texture. This particular offering suffers foremost from a deterioration of texture; the mouthfeel is dry and stale like cardboard and leaves a soapy remnant. Both bitterness and sweetness alike are nullified.

Tetley's was once the embodiment of real ale. Now, it is nothing more than a damaging testimony to the state of beer in England. The fact that an ale so insipid and uninspired can be a top-ten selling brand does not speak highly of British palates. However, I will concede that, insofar as mass-produced beers go, one could do much worse. That is in no way an endorsement, but it is about the most positive thing I can say.

Photo of doktorhops
3.01/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Ahhh, Tetley's Smoothflow, the beer named after its own can. Tetley's is one of those modest English chaps, more interested breaking the Enigma code at Bletchley Park than piloting a Spitfire off the coast of Dover and shooting Jerries down. Let's face it every bally one of them played their part in winning the Battle of Britain - just as the IPA is boisterous and boastful so too does this smooth English Bitter have its place in the Battle for my Taste-buds [end analogy here].

Poured from a 440ml nitro-can into a nonic pint.

A: Presents with a clear copper body and a tight 1.5cm creamy cream-coloured head, as with all the classic nitro-can ales (Guinness, Murphy's, Cafferey's, Kilkenny, Boddingtons, etc...) the presentation is perfect - it's hard to go wrong with a nitro-can.

S: Sweet caramel malts give way to some light fruity hops and metal from the can, it is mild-mannered and laid-back here, like those cyber-breaking Bletchley boys.

T: Again sweet caramel malts with light fruity hops and that metallic hint, if this brew was a bit more flavoursome it might have covered up the metal note, but it's not so deal with it taste-buds. Also noted is a dry finish, odd for an English Bitter to take on more of a dry-than-bitter aspect but my belief is that this beer is styled in the Irish-Cream-Ale vein.

M: Mid to light bodied, a little watery with an English pub tack flat carbonation.

D: This and Boddington's are both basically the same beer with different marketing/labels, does that mean it's crap? By all means no... it is however light, predictable and a tad boring... there are bigger and better beers vying for my attention, even in the "session ale" category, QED: Ruddles County.

Food match: Don't go overboard with flavours on this brew otherwise what's the point? I'm picturing potato and leek soup with crusty bread, or a minestrone, or cream of mushroom, or winter vegetable, or... you get the idea - soup.

Photo of dansmcd
3.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - One finger of tight dense creamy white head, perfectly cut, crowning the clear amber below. Great sheet lacing.

S - Very light notes of caramel, toffee malt.

T - As with the aroma, ridiculously faint flavours.

M - Creamy head with a water thin body below, low carbonation.

O - Mild English Bitter taken too far.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Typical nitro pour and head.
Nose shows honey and caramel, that’s about it. Very faint.
Similarly plain flavours, caramel and toffee, very little bitterness.
Watery body, needs much more carbonation.
Incredibly easy to drink, but pretty boring stuff!

Photo of wordemupg
3.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

440ml can poured into pint glass 26/2/13

A beautiful cascading head that ends up two fingers deep and stayed there for a while and leaves lots of lace deep down the glass, pretty much just one continuous ring of lace 5 inches wide. I know they cheated to make it look this good but hey what can I say it looks great

S caramels a little bread and cream with just a little fruit, pretty basic smells faint

T more of the same really, more biscuit and bread with heaps of caramel, again there's not really a whole lot going on

M medium bodied but it feels completely flat, the caramels linger on the finish

O pretty uneventful but drinkable, basic beer that I'd get board of way before I caught a buzz

looks great but I'm sure its all nitrogen, pretty tame without a whole lot of flavor and the feels a little lame, basic beer I wouldn't go looking for

Photo of cichief
3.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can with a widget into an Imperial Pint glass.

A- Poured a deep amber with nice cascading, the head was very creamy, tan in color.

S- Some subtle malt, a little toastiness, but very muted.

T- The taste was also muted from what I've tasted on tap, a little toasted malt coming through, little hops on the tongue.

M- Very smooth, and creamy, thanks to the nitrogen, medium body.

D- Very drinkable, but better on tap.

Photo of Macca
3.19/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

What a great looking beer. The solid white head rests over a dark amber body. Some solid lacing is left on the half pint glass as the beer quickly disappears. Very creamy texture. Some floral hop notes on the nose. A chalky dryness on the palate. I really enjoyed the half but I wonder whether I could do to many.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy amber brown with a thick, frothy, tan head with good retention and a bit of lacing left over.

S - Roasted malts are dominating. Fairly sweet smelling, with caramel and toffee, but there is a hint of hops that cuts that a bit.

T - Similar to the nose, very malty with some caramel and toffee like taste. Has a good amount of a grainy taste. Slightly bitter bite at the end.

M - Light that may near medium body (probably more so due to the creaminess) and adequate (but not great) carbonation. Smooth and extremely creamy.

D - Very smooth and creamy without being heavy helps the drinkability. The flavor isn't great but not really offensive. Good if you want to sit around with some people and just have something to drink.

Notes: What really is distinguishable about this is the mouthfeel. Pretty light but extremely creamy, interesting beer that's worth a try, seems to fall in the category of a good transitional beer.

Photo of akokandy
3.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I think this is the right beer. The can looked different, but listed at 3.6% abv.

A- Nitro-can poured into a 20oz tulip pint. Cool cascade effect. Medium brown beer with classic white nitro head. Obscene amount of lacing.

S- Some grassy hops with bready malts detectable.

T- Much the same as the smell. Dry flavor, a little flavor of biscuit and bread. Grassy hop flavor on the finish. Not impressive.

M- Above average mouthfeel, but standard for a beer on nitro.

D- Very low abv and mild flavor make this a decent session choice. Not really a top choice in my book though. Availability was the main factor driving this purchase. It was the best available at the quick stop, and they were sold out of Guinness.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.23/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

440 mL can picked up at The Beer Store; best before Oct. 4 2014.

Pours a clear copper-amber colour, topped with the usual nifty cascading, creamy white head typical of nitro beers. It's about one finger thick at first, with good retention as it takes quite a while to thin out. A beautiful-looking beer, really - too bad I can't say anything nearly as positive about the aroma. Leafy notes come through, with some sponge toffee sweetness and not much else besides mineral water. I guess aromas don't get much cleaner than this, but for the most part it's just empty.

While I'm at it, the flavour is similarly weak and uninspired - although I'll append to that statement, that it tastes at the very least, agreeable. Sponge toffee and red apples make up the bulk of the flavour, with some honey sweetness and a vaguely leafy, bittersweet finish that has a touch of metallicity. Light-bodied, with a flat, watery mouthfeel - while I do appreciate the silky smooth feel on the palate, when combined with the weak flavour it just gives me the impression of a lazy, forgettable English ale.

Final Grade: 3.23, a C+. Tetley's Smoothflow isn't the worst nitro beer I've ever had, but it's definitely not the best, either. This is a mediocre English bitter/pale ale, with no real strong points to counter the typical weak points of this style of beer (weak aroma, mild flavour and flat mouthfeel). At $2.50 a can (and only available in four packs), this isn't something I anticipate I'll be returning to at any point in the near future - it reminds me a little of Boddington's, in that both are proof-positive that imported ales can be every bit as dull and lifeless as North American pale lagers.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Serving type: 440 ml can. Printed on the bottom is “14/09/12 23:09,” which I assume was the canning date and time. There is no widget, thankfully.

Appearance: Poured into an imperial pint glass. The can opened with an angry gurgle and the beer poured like a light-colored nitro stout. The color is similar to sun tea. One finger cap of very dense and creamy head refused to dissipate. More power to it!

Smell: Like an English pale ale, though the aroma is on the lighter side. Grassy and earthy hops, pale malts, honey, sweet caramel, and lemon.

Taste: Smooth (of course) and creamy, but unspectacular. It mostly mirrors the smell, but the flavors are fairly diluted. It does, however, have a nice, earthy hop bite.

Drinkability: It is canned British ale. Tasty and decent, but nothing special. Enough said.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.29/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a one inch off white head that lasts all the way down. Fair amount of lacings. Smell is grains and malt. Taste is malty with a fair amount of bitter hops. Mouthfeel is quite good. Creamy with minimal carbonation. Fair imitation of a pub pull. Drinkability is awesome. At 3.6%abv this is the original session pub ale.

Photo of shambeano
3.3/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a nitro can into a pint glass.

A- Pours a clear amber with about 1cm of thick creamy head that stays for the entire beer.

S- a little bit of sweetish malt, followed by some peppery hops. pretty basic, but pleasant.

T- again there is some nice malts in there, on the sweeter side, but only just. hop wise, there is less going on in there than on the nose, the bitterness pretty much just rounds out the beer. not too bad.

M- creamy, not too much carbonation, which goes with the style, however it is a touch watery. the bitterness doesnt last for too long, but the dryness continues for a tad longer. not too bad.

O- There is not a whole lot going on in there, but there isn't anything unpleasant. an easy beer to sit on and have a few through the evening, especially with the lower ABV. Its not a great beer, but its better than average, and by the end of it i wanted (and had) another.

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Tetley's Smoothflow from Carlsberg-Tetley Brewing Ltd
75 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.