Bishops Finger
Shepherd Neame Ltd

Bishops FingerBishops Finger
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Shepherd Neame Ltd
England, United Kingdom
Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #79
Ranked #25,110
3.66 | pDev: 14.48%
Nov 10, 2021
Sep 25, 2001
Bishops FingerBishops Finger
Notes: None
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Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
3.88 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota on Nov 10, 2021
4 by paulish from New York on Oct 05, 2021
4.15 by Daneve76 from Australia on May 26, 2021
Photo of crazyspicychef
4.27/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by crazyspicychef from Pennsylvania

A real classic bitter.
I don't know why this isn't imported anymore.

Nov 12, 2020
Photo of BPVandenbroek
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by BPVandenbroek from Canada (AB)

A - Bishop's Finger pours into my glass crystal clear and a deep copper color, bordering on leathery. Head is two fingers deep and creamy in color.

S - Bishop's Finger is robust in its maltiness, reminding me of an English brown ale. Dark malts with notes of bread and crackers mix quickly and seamlessly with aromas of caramel, leather, and damp earth. somewhere in there, I think maybe I'm getting a whiff of berries but can't be sure. All of this leads into a nutty finish before fading into the peppery, earthy, aroma of European hops.

T - Bishop's finger is medium bodied and smooth, its flavors held up by pinpoint carbonation. flavors are rich in their maltiness, starting off sweet up front with its flavors of caramel. Much like the nose, caramel leads into slightly dryer flavors of leather, each one complimenting the other. this is where flavors lead into the bracing bitter finish you would expect in an English bitter.

Oct 21, 2020
4 by LeximuS23 from Romania on Jun 27, 2020
Photo of Snowcrash000
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Snowcrash000 from Germany

Pours a clear, deep, dark amber amber coloration with a medium, fluffy head. Smells of biscuity, caramel, slightly grainy malt, toffee and herbal hops, with some dark fruit and red berry accents of fig, raisin and red currants as well. Taste follows the nose, with a good balance of biscuity, caramel, slightly grainy malt and herbal, hops, with some dark fruit and red berry notes of fig, raisin and red currant, as well as a distinct toffee presence and just a hint of pine. Finishes with a medium bitterness and some caramel malt, toffee and dark fruit lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and carbonation.

This is a pretty nice English Bitter with a good balance of sweet malts, bitter, herbal hops and distinct toffee and dark/red fruit notes, as well as just a hint of pine. Starts out a little sweet, but is being balanced nicely by a good bitterness in the finish. Quite an enjoyable, expressive and well-balanced brew.

Jun 25, 2020
Photo of James94
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by James94 from England

L: Chestnut brown, lasting head, good lacing
S: Toffee, malts, vanilla, bitter orange
T: Toasty malt, background of citrus
F: Somewhat complex, a bit watery

O: 4

May 25, 2020
3.73 by MMP13 on Apr 11, 2020
3.79 by Dave1999 from North Carolina on Feb 02, 2020
Photo of shambeano
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by shambeano from Australia

500ml clear bottle, couldn't see any date, poured into a tulip.
Look: A really good looking dark bronze/chestnut colour. Not too much head, slowly subsides to a thin film in the middle and around the sides of the glass. Great colour, wish it had a bit more head though.
Smell: caramel, some toasted cereally malt, something a little metallic and some slight grassy/herbal hop at the end.
Taste: a little less caramel than on the nose, some toasted malt, a little bit of dried fruit and a little more herbal/green than on the nose.
Feel: mid bodied, not super carbonated, but there's a little tingliness near the back of the palate. Bitterness comes through near the end, and I found it unexpectedly strong and with a decent length.
Overall: decent offering, but I was left a little underwhelmed.

Jan 15, 2020
Photo of InosukeHashibira
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4
by InosukeHashibira

Relatively cheap for a 5.4 ale, can normally be found for about £1.25 in supermarkets as of 2019, very light scented with a lot of hops.

Taste is actually thin with a bite in the middle of bitterness and a follow through of the hops, fades fast to a lingering slight bitterness, has a bubbliness to the taste not in carbonation it isnt that carbonated but similar to the fizz from a sour sweet such as fizzy cola bottles. A very unsweet ale tho.

Dec 23, 2019
3.3 by Baviera from Belarus on Oct 16, 2019
3.58 by 2beerdogs from California on Jul 19, 2019
3.46 by Beer_Rabbit66 from England on Mar 01, 2019
3.43 by Macamah from England on Feb 16, 2019
3.75 by Curt3 from New Jersey on Dec 24, 2018
3.33 by fisherbray from Florida on Dec 19, 2018
3.63 by Jabberwock from Russian Federation on Nov 17, 2018
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by JonnoWillsteed from England

L- Chestnut brown, pours with 5mm off-white head, that holds very well.
S- Smells lovely, and clearly for me from 20Cm away which is most unusual! Roasted grains, even a hint of smokeyness to it.
T- Toasty grains, and into a malty richer finish, with a gentle hoppy/bitter note at the finish.
F- Refreshing yet fulfilling, a great beer for a winter's night.
O- I haven't had this in a while, but used to enjoy it regularly. Another one of such beers that escaped review until today. It has a beautiful balance, everything comes together so well. I'd had this in the fridge and it shouldn't be that cold, so I'll leave it to warm by 5C+ and re-check my notes above.
I can't find a BBE anywhere on it, not the lables, glass incl bottom, can... but it was bought recently from a busy shop so should be well in-date.

Nov 13, 2018
4.22 by JonnyCastle from Massachusetts on Aug 20, 2018
3.9 by Neilos from England on Jul 24, 2018
3.61 by mistahmojoryan from Canada (SK) on Jul 10, 2018
3.94 by travelguy from Ohio on Jun 05, 2018
Photo of biboergosum
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

500ml bottle - seems like it's been a long while since we saw any new English brews 'round these parts.

This beer pours a clear, medium bronzed amber colour, with four fingers of puffy, rocky, and somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves some decent chunky splattered lace around the glass as it very slowly sinks out of sight.

It smells of grainy and crackery caramel malt, a hint of biscuity toffee, some oily nuttiness, indistinct dark fruity notes, a stoney flintiness, and some plain earthy, musty, and leafy noble hop bitters. The taste is gritty and grainy cereal malt, stale bar-top nuts, some ethereal cocoa powder, a still rather muddled black stone fruitiness, some damp minerality, and more understated leafy, herbal, and grassy green hoppiness.

The carbonation is average in its palate-pinging frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight, and mostly smooth, with maybe a bit of hop astringency not playing all that well with the other children here. It finishes off-dry, just, as the malt starts a slow, winding spiral into oblivion.

Overall - this comes across as a pleasant enough version of the style, with perhaps a minor lacking on the anticipated robust malt front. At any rate, quite quaffable, in that 'I guess I will have another pint of this after all, girl dear!' manner. Or something.

May 29, 2018
3.72 by GregSemenza from Connecticut on May 08, 2018
3.71 by JTuomi from Finland on Apr 20, 2018
Photo of hebdomeros
3.42/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by hebdomeros from Wales

Hard pour from the bottle into a straight pint glass produces a tall, frothy, creamy head that promises more than the beer eventually delivered. Colour is a clear dark amber or honey, with light carbonation.

Smell and taste essentially treacle toffee with some bitterness in the aftertaste. The taste opens up and the bitterness recedes somewhat as the beer warms. It's not unpleasant, but one-dimensional. The 5.4% alcohol doesn't announce itself in the taste, but there's enough to make one aware in due course that this is beer.

Overall: nothing special, but a safe choice in the absence of anything more inspiring. The second pint is probably better than the first.

Dec 24, 2017
3.03 by TheCrowsEye from California on Dec 17, 2017
3 by TwiggyCZ from Czech Republic on Nov 16, 2017
3.78 by dandy14 from Brazil on Nov 08, 2017
3.69 by mangeke from Ukraine on Oct 23, 2017
Photo of Spike
3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by Spike from England

From a 500ml bottle.
L: Perfectly clear, chestnut colour. Looks fantastic when back lit with a ruby core and copper edging. The thin off-white head quickly reduces to a smear.
S: Lightly smokey treacle with spiced red fruits. Wish it was a little stronger.
T: Fruity, rich malts with a light, bitter finish. Not too earthy.
F: Medium body with light carbonation. Some alcohol. Dry, rich mouthfeel.
O: Haven't drunk Bishops Finger in maybe 20 years. A very pleasant surprise. A lovely smokey, rich but still quaffable brew.

Oct 17, 2017
Photo of josanguapo
4.58/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
by josanguapo from Spain

From estucerveza. In Ikea's pint glass. Playing The Secret Monster Society. Ultra drinkable. Caramel with perfectly adjusted english earthy hoppyness. Not watery at all, unlike other kentish ales

Sep 21, 2017
Photo of Tsotsi
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
by Tsotsi from England

Smoothe taste with a good firm head.

Sep 19, 2017
3.5 by Fettpopps from Massachusetts on Sep 01, 2017
4.23 by bmaggot from Lithuania on Aug 10, 2017
Photo of Dentist666
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Dentist666 from Russian Federation

Clear copper beer with thick golden head, excellent retention.
Smell - caramel, toasted malts, some fruitiness.
Taste - caramel, fruity, pleasant earthy bitterness.
Light, soft carbonation, quaffable.

Aug 09, 2017
Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

500 ml bottle served reasonably cold into a pint glass. Purchased while on vacation in the UK.

Appearance - a clear dark golden, slight amber beer with a finger and a half of white head that lasts for a bit.

Smell - clean with some grainy and lots of dark fruit flavors. A wonderful mix of berries and currents and plums all together.

Taste - like the nose but even more intense. The fruity characteristics make this very tasty and easy to drink.

Mouthfeel - smooth, fairly light, modest carbonation and an easy drinking way about it.

Overall - a very good ESB, one of my faves. Certainly worth a try for anyone with access to it. Enjoying this while on vacation in the UK.

Jul 29, 2017
3.73 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia on Jun 26, 2017
Bishops Finger from Shepherd Neame Ltd
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 312 ratings