Thornbridge Brewery

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English Pale Ale
Ranked #2
Ranked #6,174
4.02 | pDev: 11.44%
Thornbridge Brewery
England, United Kingdom
Very Good
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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 265
Photo of Bruno74200
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I think this is the first time I try Nelson Sauvin on its own. Nice that it's in a very aromatic pale ale.

It pours a bright enough gold body with some particles looking like some gold bits. Nice white head, nice lacing all along the session.

The aroma is the most interesting part of this beer. Almost tart gooseberry, candied grapefruit, biscuit. Good balance.
The flavor follows but is more restrained. Nice grapefruit / herbal bitterness. Nice balance.
The sparkling mouthfeel is of the beer enhances its drinkability.
Overall a stellar, hop forward example of an English pale ale

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Photo of ordybill
2.31/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a 500ML bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a cloudy dark gold color with a small white head. The aroma is off-putting sameness. this beer is probably way past the "drink by date". I would not use my experience to decide if u want to try this if your bottle is new.

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Photo of CTHomer
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

A: fairly hazy; pale gold in color; 1+ finger finely pored white head that receded to a wispy cap; OK lacing;

S: grass, herbal, lemon;

T: flavor is subdued; follows the nose; mild bitterness on the finish that builds to moderate in the aftertaste;

M: light to medium bodied; moderate creamy, carbonation; moderately dry finish; very smooth;

O: very easy to drink;

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Half on cask at Cask Beer Co, Covent Garden. Pours clear straw gold with small (cask pour) head dissipates quickly and leaves only spots. Nose is quite mild with just a little tropical fruit...a lot less than expected. Flavor is has an initial fruity sweetness, but is actually drier and turns to a slightly astringent bitterness on the back of the tongue during the finish. Certainly more bitter than the nose or initial taste indicated. Overall, I'm not too excited by this one. Nose is too light and flavor is unbalanced toward an astringent bitterness.
Not sure what this is labeled an English Pale Ale. It is almost certainly an American Pale Ale.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin head on a clear straw body.
The aroma is tropical fruits, nice.
The taste is a nice dry malt, moderate bitterness with tropical fruit sweetness.
The texture is soft with low carbonation.

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Photo of Spike
3.76/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear, pale gold. Large head recedes rapidly. Some lacing. Could be mistaken for a lager if it wasn't for the low carbonation, which is present in the form of a single stream of tiny bubbles.

The label states this beer is made exclusively with Nelson Sauvin hop. Delicate (maybe too delicate?) cantaloupe and guava.

Refreshing. Very dry. Delicate once again, which is surprising given the presence of the NZ hop.

Nicely sticky mouthfeel and the hoppy dryness leaves a pleasant burn that lasts.

Did I expect more from this beer? Maybe. I read the Nelson Sauvin hop is considered overpowering by some but Kipling feels a little underpowered to me. That said, it's refreshing and easy-drinking.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

pours a bit darker than a straw yellow with a nice white head. good retentino and lacing. aroma is softly tropical fruit. taste follows suit with light tropical fruits. maybe an old bottle. and a slight bitterness on the finish. good carbonation.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%

A: Lagery straw-coloured body with a chunky off-white head.

S: Huge tropical fruits, with papaya and lychee being discernable. Also green grapes. And, as my wino dad pointed out, it has a herbal quality analogous to basil.

T: Very light mouthfeel with a dry whack of rindy tropical fruit. Liebfraumilch as well, that'll be the Nelson Sauvin. Peppery and salty but thankfully doesn't have that Alka Seltzer quality, it's not bitter enough for that. Crisp but again not bitter. My dad, who knows nothing about beer, was on the money with his basil analogy.

O: Very refreshing but one bottle is enough.

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Photo of Offa
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

This is a good, solid pale ale but a bit simple, unlike their complex Halcyon IPA.

Cloudy dark gold,faintly orange, it has a medium off-white head slowly shrinking to thin top, hint of lace.

Aroma is fresh grain, bread, wet grass, passionfruit, hint of sulphur.

Taste is juicy-zesty light bitterness that just dominates and lingers. It has light juicy sweetness, hint of mineral.

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Photo of JonnoWillsteed
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500ml bottle BB 12/6/15 into a pint glass. Bought from 'Grandstand Farmers Market', Singapore

A - Clear pale amber, thin foam head (3mm) which remained intact for 10+ minutes.
S - Lemony citrus, lychees
T - Bam, citrus! With the perfumed aroma of lychees too. Followed by hops and some dry bitter notes
M - Nice mouthfeel, neither thin nor too heavy.
O - Fresh and zesty. Like a slightly more bitter version of a spicy Paulaner weissbrau or similar Munich beer. Very pleasant drinking for out in the tropics, where something 'interesting but refreshing' is rare and appreciated.

- The label has evolved, and is quite a bit jazzier than the one shown above.

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Photo of Pencible
2.45/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: This poured a clear straw with quickly dissipating white head and chunky sediment.
S: It smelled like skunky lager yeast and faint citrus hops.
T: It tasted like watery citrus and pine hops, with some skunky later yeast. It had a somewhat dirty bitter aftertaste.
M: It was thin with lots of carbonation. Very bubbly body.
D: This was a poor brew. The scent and taste and body were all far below average. It didn't even look good. Not very easy to drink either, almost a drain pour.

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Photo of BradC
4.66/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a golden yellow with two fingers of pillowy head that eventually falls. Lots of lacing.

Great aroma, light fruity hoppy smell

Taste starts out a little sweet and then the fruity hops come in, some bready malt and then a light bitter finish.

Medium bodied and moderate carbonation makes this real easy drinking.

Overall a great session-able pale ale that's not super bitter. The Nelson Sauvin hops give it a nice fruity bitterness. Glad this was recommended to me.

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Photo of BeerDrinker01
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a goblet glass chilled from the fridge!

Pours light golden white foam head medium body with moderate carbonation, Citrus, Tropical fruits, Floral, Pine Hops, With a good bitterness, Hoppy finish. Very clean well balanced crisp refreshing beer from thornbridge!

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle at cellar temp into goblet.
Aroma light hoppiness like flowers
Head small (2 cm), white, frothy, mostly lasting
Lacing OK, making thick rings as the level drops.
Body is light yellowish orange, hazy (chill haze?)
Taste begins slightly bitter with only a trace of diacetyl, no hint of malt, slight flowery hoppiness. Ends with only astringency.
Body is light and watery with lively carbonation.

Overall, an OK ale, looks pretty good in the glass, no overwhelming malt or hops, well-balanced. Not sure what makes this a "South Pacific style pale ale".

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

16.9 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear straw color - I can immediately tell this doesn't have much malt to it. The head is a frothy two finger white shade. The retention is solid and some decent (if inconsistent) lacing is left behind. Pretty good looking.

S: This does a good job of showing off Nelson hops, and it's not even uber fresh! Notes of pine, lemon, grape skin, and some tropical fruits come through quite well. Not much of a malt backbone comes through in the nose. Some slight soapiness detracts, but otherwise this is a solid hoppy aroma.

T: Hop flavor hits the palate immediately. Tropical fruit, some grapefruit, and slight herbal qualities are the main notes provided here. The finish isn't soapy at all, with only a mild, non-intrusive sweetness; actually, it's even a little juicy. The problem here isn't the's the lack of flavor. While it is VERY pleasant and VERY balanced (I'm impressed how they hid the bitterness with such a feeble malt backbone), it's sadly too unassuming for its own good. Actually, you know what, I don't care...this just gets better and better the more I drink it. It's delicate and subtle in all the right places.

M: This is so light and crisp its unbelievable. I'm just killing this like it's nothing. The soft yet impressive carbonation is definitely helping it here - and there's just enough of a dry finish to help it even further.

O: If the flavor was 'bigger' so to speak, it would kill many 'Murican-brewed pale ales stone dead. Still, this is more-or-less everything I want from the style. What a shame it's so expensive...

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Photo of FLima
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy golden color with apparent carbonation and a thick head with good retention that leaves some laces.
Predominant aroma of fresh grapes with hints of passion fruit flowers, honey and biscuit malt.
Flavor of sweet malt balanced with fruity hops with notes of green grapes, coriander, passion fruit, ginger, guaraná, citrus and pineapple. Dry aftertaste with an elegant bitterness, a bit acid.
Medium body with adequate natural carbonation with tiny bubbles.
I was embezzled with the first Kipling I had tried a while ago. This one wasn't that fresh so it suffered a bit, especially in the aroma. Still it is a beer full of elegance, assertive, balanced to perfection, and refreshing even at room temperature, with a huge drinkability. Nelson Sauvin hops are clearly noticeable here.

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Photo of ssmack
3.59/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle.

A hazy straw brown colour. 2 inches of foamy head with a lunar landscape.

The aroma is musty yeast.

The taste of white bread. Mild malt. The hops taste is complex - oregano, citrus, lemon, grapefruit.

A light feel but a nice bite.

A refreshing, light, balanced ale but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle served in a pint glass.

Best before 14.08.2014. Brewed with Nelson Sauvin NZ hops.

A: Pours a crystal clear pale yellow color forming a huge, solid, creamy, thin bubbled, fizzy white head. Good retention and lots of soapy lacings formed and left in the glass

S: Excellent bouquet of hops in the nose. Very herby and piny hops. Notes of pale sweet malts. A bit earthy yeasts. A bit fruity too with notes of tropical fruits released by the hops

T: Slightly sweet upfront. Sweet pale malts. Classic British Maris Otter crispy malts mixed with the very tropical fruity profile of Nelson Sauvin. A winner combination. Well, in overall, a dry and crispy beer. Good balanced hops bitterness

M: Light yo medium body. Smooth. Good carbonation and a Maris Otter mixed witb herby snd grassy hops aftertaste

O: Excellent drinkability. Great British Ale with a strong American profile

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Photo of flyingpig
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml Bottle from Utobbeer, Borough Market, London (£3.49):
Light golden colour with a two-fingers sized head that is a foamy white and holds very well.

Strong pine & slightly floral hops with a very juicy aroma that also features some citrus and grapefruit.

Bitter pine and grapefruit hops with citrus and a juicy, almost tropical fruit taste that is backed up with some mango and passion fruit. Very juicy and refreshing with some lemon & a very slight touch of malts.

Refreshing & bitter as expected with a juicy, wet taste that is full of citrus giving the beer a nice tang on the tongue. The beer is medium on the palate and the carbonation is about the same.

An excellent beer & great example of an American pale ale that is quite refreshing and goes down a treat with a solid bitter flavour and plenty of pine hops shining through. A great beer and one that I'd have again given the chance.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne. Drank with @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a brilliantly clear yellow colour, with a reasonably frothy head of pure white. This settles down to a film, taking on a slightly greyish tone as it does so. Lacing is tight. Looks very good. Love the clarity in the body.

Nose is also very good indeed. Big fresh, sweet, slightly tropical hop characters, which give off pineapple, papaya and guava, with a slightly crisper, greener tone as well—perhaps fresh squeezed lime. Under it is a grainy substrate, a fairly neutral but also fairly bland underpinning. But the hops win here.

On the palate is where the bland basis makes more of an impact. Light clean entry gives a pleasant echo of fruitiness, before the back empties out. This isn't entirely bad: it's light and crisp and exceptionally quaffable as a result. But there's certainly less flavour than there could have been, in the aftertaste are reminiscences of fruitiness, a slight candy tingle slightly fragrant with a vacant acidity. It's quite pleasant.

Feel is light and crisp: very well suited indeed to the beer as a whole.

Despite some choices made in its construction, this is a very good beer, and even a very enjoyable and interesting one. If I complain about it having less flavour than it should, then it's almost certainly just a reflection on me rather than the beer. This is expertly made, extremely well crafted, and just drinkable as hell. Good stuff.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.62/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours gold with a fading head.
Nose shows passion-fruit, lychee, cookie dough-like malt, some grassy and spicy hops.
Very hoppy flavours, spicy and grassy notes along with a hint of pine. Not much malt underneath although there is a biscuity character.
Body feels a bit watery.

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Photo of dwren89
2.64/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: great clarity, pale gold color, frothy white head,

Aroma: Exploding citrus aroma of grapefruit, orange, and a tinge of kiwi, white wine like dry/citrus aroma (Nelson Sauvin hop), soft almost undetectable pilsner malt biscuitiness

Taste: Definite bitter finish and citrusy twinge of the grapefruit/orange/kiwi aroma, no real malt flavor comes through

Mouthfeel: light, crisp, moderately low carbonation, light body
Overall Impression: A nice beer to kick back and drink in the sun on a hot day, as it does quench thirst fairly well, but definitely lacking in body and overall “umph.” I was disappointed by the lack of taste after such a fantastic nose. Advertised as having “initial sweetness” and “medium body”, but I find it to be definitively lacking in both of those areas. It drinks very watery.

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Photo of heygeebee
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

From Slowbeer. BB 02/14.

A- clear straw/gold, two finger head.

S - tropical, passionfruit, mango, and some earthy hops.

T - integrated English meets New World pale ale with tropical notes, citrus, lychee, earthy hop bite.

M - a little over-carbonated

O- Great beer, well made, and despite not being an extreme beer, you could drink all night. As usual with Thornbrisdge, unsure whther to drink at English temp, or New World temp. Went for middle ground, seemed to work.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- pours a cloudy colour of apricot, very small head of foam, doesn't leave much lacing.

S- aromas of tropical fruit, some sweetness and citrus.

T- tarts with tropical fruitiness and sweet malt and bread, gets a bitter mid palate and in the finish with some lemon and grapefruit. Pretty balanced and flavourful..yeah, I'm a fan of Nelson Suavin hops, and Thornbridge did a good job with them here.

M- medium bodied, rather light with the carbonation, good mouthfeel.

O- a tasty 5.2% abv brew that's easy drinking and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Discovered on tap at The Little Pub in Ridgefield CT.

Pours yellow, dark and cloudy. Fluffy white foam that is clingy. Fruity passion fruit nose. Malty too. Quite peppy. Smooth full tasty fruit tones, firm hop. Smooth throughout. Leaves a pleasant follow through taste. Surprisingly really good,.

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Kipling from Thornbridge Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 265 ratings