Bishops Finger
Shepherd Neame Ltd

Bishops FingerBishops Finger
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Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #156
Ranked #39,459
3.7 | pDev: 14.59%
Shepherd Neame Ltd
England, United Kingdom
Bishops FingerBishops Finger
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Reviews: 123 | Ratings: 310 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by aorloski:
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aorloski from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +8.1%

Jan 21, 2014
More User Reviews:
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Radome from Florida

2.99/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500 ml bottle bought in England.

A - Deep copper color, orange highlights. Brilliant clarity. Bone colored head piles 1 inch high and is fluffy, then fades to thick sheet with serious lacing.

S - Aroma is full of earthy English hops, but somehow they don't come across as fresh. Nothing else makes it through.

T - Taste is a mix of light bready malt and earthy hops. Not overly complex. The hops only provide light to moderate bitterness, yet somehow they seem a bit harsh. There is a metallic note that detracts at first, then disappears.

M - Medium body. Smooth, creamy carbonation. Low hops bitterness. No alcohol presence.

O - A forgettable beer. Other than appearance, I don't think anything about it stands out from the crowd.

Mar 28, 2013
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Dave1999 from North Carolina

3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Feb 02, 2020
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PartyBear from England

3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours as a deep red colour with a thick creamy white head and good carbonation. There is a quite sharp nose to it, with a hint of sugary sweet toffee beneath, and a noticeable yeast aroma. The flavours are quite fruity upfront, lots of sour berries. There is lots of bitterness in the flavours, a dry hoppiness and a carbonic texture. Nothing special, very average, and slightly underwhelming beer.

Dec 26, 2009
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rarbring from Sweden

3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear amber beer, an off-white head that leaves good lacing.

A good bready malt aroma, a bit of sweetness and a god measure of hops. A faint metallic taint at the end.

The hops are predominant in the taste, with nice bitter notes. But some sweet tones from cookie crumbs. Good balance.

Medium carbonation and a smooth feeling.

A good solid typical English brew.

Feb 02, 2010
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exonthebottle from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Oct 12, 2013
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nathanmiller from New York

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 21, 2015
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hreb from Washington

3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

500mL clear glass bottle, 5.4% abv version. Served in a small tumbler. Beer is mild in aroma, toasty and slightly yeasty, with a hint of sourness. Nice color -- crystal clear, of course -- dark red amber. Flavor is just dry and leaves a pleasant bittering, as ESB should. Years of drinking American ales leads me to find the hop flavor here rather dull. The real highlight is the thin unsweet toffee flavor, layered over a heavy, biscuity malt base. Mild carbonation lends a very enjoyable, if wet, mouthfeel. I'm not sure how excited I can get about ESB these days but I'm happy enough to drink this one.

May 22, 2016
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FreshHawk from Illinois

3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Light amber bronze color. Decent off-white foamy head. Decent retention with a little lacing left.

S - Toasted grain and malt, with a good amount of caramel and toffee. Some nuts and earthy hops.

T - Balance between the hops and the malt and grain. Hops are tea-like, earthy, and floral. There is a toasted malt/grain taste. Gives it a slightly bready and sweet taste. The hops are more prominent than the malt.

M - Medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Fizzy and slightly smooth.

D - Good drinkability between the balanced flavors and the good body. The body and flavor are a little too watery for me really to enjoy, but it is good.

Notes: Lots of tea, floral, herbal flavors. Very balanced flavors. Nothing overpowers and it is a little thin for me, but a good all around everyday beer.

Mar 01, 2010
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Mattias from Sweden

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jul 01, 2016
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Dentist666 from Russian Federation

3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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 george42
george42 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +8.1%

Oct 31, 2012
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crazyspicychef from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Nov 12, 2020
Photo of fisherbray
fisherbray from Florida

3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dec 19, 2018
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paulozanello from Brazil

3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cristal clear copper amber color with a tan one finger head that persists for a short while. Retention is good and above average. Lots of carbonation coming from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is bready, toasty malts, caramel and toffee. Not overly complex but still good.

Taste begins malty with toasted grain, caramel and toffee. A slight roasted character contributes a little to add bitterness but towards the end the earthy hops really kick in bringing way more bitterness and good balance to the toffee-like malt notes.

Body is medium leaning towards low. Carbonation is high, maybe a bit too high. Finishes dry due to hop bitterness/astringency with a boost from the carbonation.

Overall a nice ESB with a fairly simple but well done malt bill balanced by the right amount of hops. It does lack more depth in the malt department and the carbonation could be lower to enhance the other flavors.

Dec 08, 2011
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tzunoi from Romania

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Sep 18, 2013
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hopley from Massachusetts

4.16/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dec 28, 2015
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NefariousR from Texas

4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz. glass bottle into a pint glass at Panteli's in Canterbury, UK.

A - Pours a reddish-orange with a foamy off-white head.

S - Citrus aromas -- particularly grapefruit -- are very evident, rounded out by hops. Malt can be sensed in the distance.

T - Strong hop profile with some sweetness in the background.

M - Medium-bodied and slight sticky, with a moderate level of carbonation.

D - A solid ale that goes well with English food. Try it if you're in the area.

Oct 23, 2010
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jonb5 from England

3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Half litre bottle, poured into pint glass.

A: Brown, small off white head, clear.

S: The malt used for this really reminded me of the malt used in some beers from Bamberg, had a real malty sharpness. There were also notes of slightly sour fruits.

T: Burnt caramel which was balanced out by some bitterness, had hints of wheat and dark chocolate. Possibly some Fuggles hop.

M: Medium body, smooth, moderate carbonation.

O: Fairly wintery, not a bad ESB but not the best.

May 20, 2013
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Imaster from Sweden

3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jun 15, 2013
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kjkinsey from Texas

3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dec 28, 2016
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napetry from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Jan 06, 2013
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Jugs_McGhee from Oklahoma

1.41/5  rDev -61.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into an pub (nonreal) pint glass in low altitude Galway, Ireland, on October 10th, 2010. Pours a strange cherry-gold and looks overcarbonated. Head of moderate thickness retains two fingers decently. A clear bottle? This brewery should know better.

Smell: A light scent of esters; berries. Not getting the toffee or roast the label describes. Unappealing.

Taste: A note of stale bread with a nasty finish. If I'd brewed this, I'd have thought I'd done something seriously wrong. Truly awful.

Mouthfeel: Far too coarse and a bit too wet. This beer feels stale on all fronts. The beginning is too dry; the head does nothing creamy or worthwhile.

Drinkability: I wouldn't buy this again or have another. I'll be lucky to finish this glass.

Stay away from this one, regardless of what beer style you like. This is best reserved for Altar Boys, because they're known for enjoying Bishops Fingers - if you know what I mean.

Oct 10, 2010
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rapayn01 from Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I split half of a 500 ml bottle at a holiday party. It was a smooth bitter, relatively balanced and low abv. This is the kind of beer I often enjoy when I'm in the UK.

Jan 18, 2016
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diverite from Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Mar 05, 2014
Bishops Finger from Shepherd Neame Ltd
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 310 ratings