Birds & Bees
Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Birds & BeesBirds & Bees
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English Pale Ale
Ranked #50
Ranked #28,496
3.77 | pDev: 10.34%
Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom
Birds & BeesBirds & Bees
Notes: Brewed for the summer evenings when we down tools for the day and retire to the beer garden; this bright, golden ale is a blend of pale malt, cascade and bobek hops with a late infusion of fresh elderflowers and lemon zest. Fruity, aromatic and deliciously refreshing.
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Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 41
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
2.87/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

L- Pale gold, clear, looks like a lager, but has a 1Cm slightly pillowy fine white head that's holding very well.
S- Faint floral notes and fruits.
T- Quite bitter, floral notes, then the bitterness develops quite a lot more. ... Now that I've read the lable I see that it is brewed with a late addition of elderflowers.
M- The hops-forward profile perhaps tricks the palate into perceiving this as higher than 4.3%. Some richness fights through the hops and comes through at the finish.
O- I suppose the clue when most appropriate to drink it is in it's labelled Style 'Summer Ale'. If you aren't mad keen on exotic/modern hop varieties that bring fruit aspects, then perhaps save it for a hot summer's day when it might prove more appropriate. If you're into contemporary hipster beers this should work for you as a somewhat lighter iteration.
500ml bottle. BB 09/2020

This beer isn't an English Bitter as listed in the headers^. It is labelled a Golden Summer Ale. Digging around it seems the style came into being after the torridly hot summer of 1995, when people en masse abandoned the likes of 'warm' real-ales for lagers. Ref: Elsewhere via Google I see the style described as a 'Mild Ale', ie. a lower ABV% variant of pale ale.
ps. I just noticed the headers^ also describe it as 5.0% ABV. Whereas the bottle in front of me lists it as 4.3%

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Photo of Dentist666
4.24/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden ale in 0,5l bottle.
Pours pale golden beer with compact 1-finger white head. Williams bros. beer is known for its very aromatic beers. This one smells good - resin, grapefruit, elderflowers, herbal hops. Flavour is also floral with excellent bitter finish. Good carbonation, very refreshing beer.

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Photo of charlatan
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From bottle with freshness date five months away: bottle has abv as 4.3% rather than the 5% shown here. Straw to gold colour with slightly greenish hue, very slightly cloudy with a decent white head. It has a hoppy nose, piney but slightly doughy. This has a tart, almost stewed rhubarb type flavour (not dissimilar to the same brewer's Prodigal Sun) combined with an increasingly apparent metallic flavour after a rather buttery start.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (50 cl.) purchased from 20/20 La Chapelle/Erdre, and tasted in 2014.

Appearance : golden color with white foamy head.
Smell : malty and fruity aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : herbal and grassy flavors, leading to a lightly bitter finish.
Overall : an average beer in the style blond Ale.

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Photo of mick303
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - a bright yellow gold with creamy white lacing and head, some initial carbonation then fades.
S - clean tropical fruity hops, elderflower notes come through, light toffee sweetness.
T - taste is light and floral to start with some elderflower dry sweet herbal notes, light mango, kiwi, grass and slight caramel, a herbal dry finish that has some malty character that sticks around.
M - feel is light, floral sweetness and crisp finish, refreshing with some maltiness.
Nice refreshing session pale, floral and tropical character, very easy drinking, with good balance, interesting done fairly well, but not overly inspiring.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden color with white head. Aroma is really floral, with earthy hops and some sweet malt. Taste is also on the sweet side, hoppy and floral with a slightly bitter finish. Light body with medium effervescence. Overall it's a really nice, easy drinking, fresh summer beer.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Oct 2013. ABV is stated as 4.3%. Picked up from Booths some time back. Described on the label as a golden summer ale hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Amarillo, and infused with elderflowers.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. Bottle conditioned. A hazy pale-gold hue with some chunky sediment and decent carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Aroma of grainy malt with hints of mild grapefruit, citrus, floral notes, grass, earthy yeast and faint stewed hops. Slightly sweet and rather nice.

Tastes of light malt with a floral character and a dry finish. Notes of subtle grain, grapefruit, zesty citrus, floral aromatics, grass, earthy yeast and stewed hops. Possesses a mild fruity tartness. Well-attenuated, with a delicate bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, dry and tingly, with pleasant carbonation and good body for the style. Somewhat astringent, with an aftertaste of floral aroma hops, mild stewed leaves and earthy yeast.

Pretty good - goes down nicely. Looks the part, and the aroma and flavour have a rounded floral/citrus quality that is well-judged. The elderflower makes itself known but doesn't dominate the character. Nice body. A solid summer brew - I could certainly see myself drinking this again in warmer weather. Worth sampling if you chance across it.

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Photo of Zimbo
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No brewery in Scotland is as underrated as Williams Brothers. None. They brew reasonably retained complex beer of real depth which is neither flashy nor full its own self importance.

The nose is all go here. So much going on. Ruby grapefruit, ginger, honey and a bit of rhubarab thrown in. Nice big snow white rocky head which gives a decent storm of beading in the yellow almost ginger ale like medium weight body. Decent grip in the mouth with some straw and depth with a finish which is dry and supports and develop all that fruit inhaled while drinking.
Very refreshing and perfect for the summer.

Top notch.

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

Golden straw colour with a thumb sized, bubbly white head at the top of the glass. The retention is good with some lacing.

Light and summery on the nose with a good fruity aroma and a touch of lager like hops as well as some malts and a citrus aroma towards the end.

Light and fruity taste to the beer along with the hops mentioned in the nose. The malts are hidden but the lemon zest and a floral like flavour make an appearance.

Light and quite smooth with an almost watery feel to it but not quite. The palate feel good and there is minimal bitterness to this one which makes it rather refreshing.

Quite nice, light and refreshing beer than would good down well sitting in the sun. The flavours were well balanced and it was easy to drink. I would have this one again depending on the price of a bottle.

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Photo of ADZA
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a see through very light golden yelloow hue with a one finger head and some lacing here and there,the smell is floral hops,yeasty bread and frshly cut grass,the mouthfeel is just under medium bodied and has tastes of floral hops,candy sugar,a touch of grassiness,fruit salad and finished with a rockmelon semi bitterness and easy enough to drink but wouldnt revisit anytime soon.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright pale lager gold with loose white froth that lumps. Light honey and husk nose.
Floral nectar and golden syrup up front with slight toast, spicy white grape and orange oil.
Papaya end, sweet linger. Crisp, fizzy, some stick.

Nelson Sauvin and Amarillo hops, along with elderflower, says the label.

Lots of flowery sweetness and some interesting hop zing. Yet I'm not sure it's balanced so much as extremes counterbalancing. Flavorful, but cloys too much (in spite of the carbonation) to be summery.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 500ml bottle, best before Dec 2010, drank and reviewed mid Nov 2010, claims to be a 'Golden Summer Ale', should have had it earlier in the year then!

Poured into my current favourite tasting glass for pints: an Abbot Ale tankard. Golden it is, with a full off-white head proudly sitting on top. Plenty of carbonisation, as you could clearly see the bubbles rising up to the head.

Zesty, yeasty aroma, definate summery smells from the garden, a true floral feel to it.

Sharp and crisp in the mouthfeel, the taste being of green hops and citrus fruits, yet not being overly bitter or sour. Refreshing would be a good term to use and it certainly would have been nicer if I'd been sat in the sun drinking this on a warm afternoon instead of the damp and windy day I can see out the window as I write this with the beer before me.

The beer tasted fresh and well balanced, the alcohol hidden nicely within the flavours. Not a beer I'd actively seek out, but one I'd gladly try again.

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Photo of wl0307
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the Sainsbury's supermarket, this ale seems to be a new product by the Williams Bros. Coming in a 500ml brown bottle, filtered; BB NOV 2010, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass. NOTE: The ingredients include Belgian pale malt, Cascade and Bobek hops, and (the late infusion of) fresh elderflowers & lemon zests.

A: pours a dark golden hue, nearly 100% clear, coming with moderate carbonation and a proportionally thick off-white frothy head with pretty good retention.
S: the aroma is rather nectar-ish upfront, quite settled as well, but the clean and intense note of Belgian pale malts still manages to come through; a swirl gives rise to a mixed citric fruitiness (maybe due to the addition of lemon zest?) and a little touch of other tropic fruits, while elderflower elements are pretty non-existent.
T: the foretaste, difficult to describe, seems to feature the mixed fruity edge with an addition of powdery pale malts, then all's settled for a short while until an underlying flow as of honey, elderflower, crushed grains, lightly salty-sweet wheat malts, and faintly bitter citric hops develops gently in the aftertaste. The finish is only lightly bitter and the aroma of Belgian malts also lingers, leaving very little trace of hop flavour, though.
M&D: quite smooth on the carbonation and light-bodied, the flavour profile is at most "understated" as the back label's description has heightened my expectation a bit too much. It seems the "late infusion of fresh elderflowers and lemon zest" hasn't delivered the same successful effect as other unusual elements do to the sister product "Good Times", while the remotely aromatic edge as of lemon zest does ring a bell. Not a bad beer, but somehow it fails to stand out from other Golden Bitters with either more characters or a great balance.

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Birds & Bees from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 41 ratings