Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale
Shepherd Neame Ltd

Spitfire Premium Kentish AleSpitfire Premium Kentish Ale
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From:
Shepherd Neame Ltd
 
England, United Kingdom
Style:
English Bitter
Ranked #83
ABV:
4.5%
Score:
81
Ranked #27,172
Avg:
3.58 | pDev: 15.08%
Reviews:
197
Ratings:
281
Status:
Active
Rated:
Nov 01, 2022
Added:
Feb 21, 1998
Wants:
  18
Gots:
  92
SCORE
81
Good
Spitfire Premium Kentish AleSpitfire Premium Kentish Ale
Notes: This 4.2% Kentish ale (bottle 4.5%) was first brewed in 1990 to celebrate the Battle of Britain which was fought in the skies above Kent 50 years earlier. The beer is named after the legendary Spitfire aeroplane designed by RJ Mitchell. The versatility of the aircraft and the courage of its pilots were essential to victory and were a key symbol of the spirit of that time.
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Photo of Ant777uk
Reviewed by Ant777uk from England

2.38/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25
It's a while since I had an English bitter (Surrey Hills is probably my favourite, but only when it's draft)...cooled to around 10 C...

I have never known an English bitter actually be good from a bottle...they need to be draft and ideally as local to the brewery as possible, in a jug, served with sea salt and malt vinegar crisps, in a countryside beer garden ; )

Beautiful deep copper colour, impressive head. Aroma of bready malt with quite subtle hops.

The hops create a subtle backbone that encompasses the whole beer, as opposed to a bitter aftertaste like in an IPA. Fairly easy drinking, the malt doesn't particularly stand out, but I like the bitterness from the hops. Definitely not much fruitiness, it's more of a dry malty bitterness. Mouth feel is quite light, with some complexity from the effervescent bitterness on the tongue. Definitely needs more hops! And the bottle needs a redesign, it looks kind of boring and simple ; )
Nov 01, 2022
Photo of KleinSchwein
Reviewed by KleinSchwein

3.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
Look :- Deep red-brown . Thin light brown head , some lacing . A little flat looking .

Smell :- Caramel.

Taste :- Caramel,hops,malt and a slight bitterness.

Mouth feel :- Good carbonation,a little watery .

Overall :- Not bad , a bit sweet for what I was expecting and the bitterness is really very little . Caramel taste is nice . Could use more hops .
Sep 29, 2022
 
Rated: 3.48 by burnaby391 from Canada (ON)

Jul 24, 2022
Photo of Offa
Reviewed by Offa from California

4.24/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Cask at the Cock and Woolpack, London.
Copper amber. Medium off white head soon thins to foamy ring and wisps. Foamy lace.
Aroma fruit and mineral.
Taste maltiness is lean but characterful and bright. Moderate sweetness with hints of toffee. Spicy zesty hop bitterness almost takes over but backs down. Tinge of sour fruits just starting to turn. Very nice but less complex than the best.
Jul 23, 2022
Photo of StonedTrippin
Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
tasty stuff here, i assume better on cask than in the clear bottle, although i only had it on the engine. its high shine, light amber to bronze in color, and holds a lovely cask inch of white cream on top, a glowing and radiant pint. the nose is a little muted, not real exciting, simple english malt with just a little richness to it, a toasted warmth, but also seems maybe a bit thin, classic but unexciting, less hoppy than some others, and even the yeast seems kind of tame, mellow sweetness. the flavor is more expressive than the nose, i get the minerals in the water underlying the whole thing, just a touch metallic as it warms, but it makes this feel hearty too. the malt is autumnal and warming to me, even though the beer is light, english crystal leading the way it seems, a light honey note, and then the drying bready ale yeast, simple stuff but it comes together well, and was a nice companion to some fried potatoes, seems build for that sort of food, starchy and greasy and a bit plain. very drinkable with the lighter body, excellent smoothness from the cask conditioning, and overall an easy drinker in this space, not overly distinctive but fully serviceable.
May 25, 2022
 
Rated: 3.91 by I3eer from Massachusetts

Jan 07, 2022
Photo of LanceBiggums
Reviewed by LanceBiggums from Canada (AB)

3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Crystal clear, light orange amber, with two fingers of off-white head that fades slowly and leaves foamy lacing. The main note on the nose reminds me of orange peel. There's not a whole lot else I can detect honestly; the aroma is somewhat muted. On the tongue is a suggestion of caramel malt, followed by pleasantly strong English hops bitterness, and more of that orange peel flavour. The balance is certainly towards the bitter side. The body is on the thin side of medium. Overall a decent English bitter ale, but not quite as complex or flavourful as it could be
Dec 12, 2021
 
Rated: 3.74 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

Nov 10, 2021
Photo of JamFuel
Reviewed by JamFuel from Sweden

3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a clear amber with fine head.

Smell is malty and a bit roasted with notes of caramel, citrus and some spiceiness.

Taste is malty, roasted and a bit sweet. Notes of caramel, citrus, dried fruit, toffee and some spice on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium and well carbonated.

Overall, a very drinkable beer, not outstanding in any way, but solid.
Nov 06, 2021
Photo of Tony787
Reviewed by Tony787 from Canada (ON)

3.69/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
I bought a can at the LCBO in Ontario 500ml at 4.2% poured a 2finger head into glass .
Overall I like this beer a little sweet and malty but very well balanced leaving a nice lace to the end .
Cheers.
Good beer from England
Oct 05, 2021
 
Rated: 3.28 by bad_poetry from England

Aug 23, 2021
Photo of Beaconheath
Reviewed by Beaconheath from South Dakota

4.97/5  rDev +38.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Bottle calls itself an Amber Ale. Poured translucent copper with pale beige head. My lot tended to lose its foam after a few minutes, had to be regenerated several times by swirling. Seamless blend of sweet, caramel malts, fruity yeast, and just enough hoppy bitterness to linger on the palate and create a thirst for another sip. Well judged proportions of flavor components. Excellent accompaniment to breaded chicken breast and potato, I can also imagine it with British fish&chips.
Aug 15, 2021
Photo of Sigmund
Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Cask conditioned this is just an excellent ale. Enough said. Rerate May 14 2002: Had this one again today from can + bottle (bottle slightly better) in Norway, not nearly as good as cask conditioned, but still a very drinkable ale. Could use a little more aromatic hops. Rerate 2: I take back what I said about can vs. bottle. I found a retailer who stores the cans cold, and they’re a helluva lot better than the frequently skunky (clear!) bottles, which are stored warm at my other retailer’s. Well kept, I just love the nutty freshness of this ale.
Mar 23, 2021
Photo of Aeryxium
Reviewed by Aeryxium from Canada (ON)

2.4/5  rDev -33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75
Medium amber with a very light head that dissipates quickly. Decent amount of carbonation with slightly larger bubbles than I’d expect. Looks very inviting overall.

Fairly complex on the nose, with malt and caramel dominating and wafts of citrus, plums and molasses in the background. Very appetizing indeed.

Wonderfully earthy as caramel and bitter hops come front-loaded, but unfortunately it dies out far too quickly with very little left by the finish and virtually no aftertaste. The start is so great it really gets one’s hopes up, only to dash them against the rocks with the plain, watery finish. Despite being crisp and balanced, it just falls short. Very disappointing.

Nice carbonation gives a very pleasant tingly feeling that really surrounds the tongue, but as with the taste, everything just dies off quickly.

This is the epitome of disappointment in a can for me. It promises so much, from look to smell to the first moment it hits your tongue…but then becomes an absolute bore far too quickly. It gets a bonus points for naming, but all-in-all, it’s just plain boring.
Mar 10, 2021
 
Rated: 3.47 by pcbnumber1 from England

Jan 25, 2021
Photo of BPVandenbroek
Reviewed by BPVandenbroek from Canada (AB)

4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Spitfire pours into my glass crystal clear and the color of copper with hints of burnt orange. The head is packed, off white and decently lasting.
On the nose, the first thing I notice is an up front mineral quality. Minerals lead quickly into notes of caramel and ripe fruit mixed with undertones of soda crackers. The finish gives me English hops in the form of fresh cut grass as well as peppercorns. Spitfire’s aroma is very much what I would expect from an English bitter. It’s all malt, fruit esters, and bitter hops in the finish. All with the subtlety and restraint I like so much in British beer.
As I take that first sip, Spitfire offers me a smooth, medium bodied ale with sweet malt flavors up front. Sweet malts taste like caramel and soda crackers. Fruit esters come out in the center tasting like ripe orchard fruits. Somehow those fruits taste somewhere between peaches and granny smith apples. These qualities combine seamlessly, leading into a crisp, assertively bitter finish. Spitfire’s bitterness is enjoyable in that it’s assertive without being too aggressive or overpowering.
It’s as smooth, balanced, and tasty a bitter as I’ve had in a long time. Every element of this beer’s flavor and aroma provide very decent character and overall balance.
Dec 20, 2020
Photo of James94
Reviewed by James94 from England

3.81/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
L: Dark amber, quite clear, little lacing
S: Hops, doughy yeast, hint of strawberry, orange and lime
T: Bread crusts, slight citrus, some mint, a bit of candy sweetness, bitter finish
F: A tad overcarbonated

O: 3.75
Nov 25, 2020
 
Rated: 4.1 by crazyspicychef from Pennsylvania

Nov 15, 2020
 
Rated: 3.88 by v3e from England

Oct 23, 2020
 
Rated: 3.58 by Catalinmunteanu from Romania

Jul 07, 2020
 
Rated: 3.71 by bylerteck from Canada (ON)

Jun 17, 2020
 
Rated: 3.63 by smi69 from New York

May 25, 2020
 
Rated: 3.48 by MMP13

Apr 11, 2020
 
Rated: 3.74 by arzt from Germany

Mar 05, 2020
Photo of shambeano
Reviewed by shambeano from Australia

3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
500ml bottle. I couldn't find any dates on it. Poured into a tulip glass.
Look: Pours a dark coppery brown/amber colour, with about 1.5 cm of bubbly head that quickly subsides into a thin film. Nice colour, but disappointed with the head.
Smell: Malty, a little bit of a barley grain smell, caramel, a little earthy hop at the end. Pleasant but reserved.
Taste: Malty again, a little more caramel, some slightly burnt toffee, some grassiness and earthiness. More bitter than I had expected.
Feel: mid-bodied, mouth filling. A little bit of carbonation to lighten it up, but not too much. Has a decent length of flavour.
Overall: Tasty, but a little plain.
Mar 01, 2020
Photo of KooVee
Reviewed by KooVee from Finland

2.76/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75
500ml bottle, no bb I could discern.

Very clear coppery amber colour, initially hefty head that vanishes rapidly, leaving only small floats of bubbles.

Nose is very timid. A bit of malt, a bit of telltale metallic tang indicating significant sugar, just a bit of spicy hops lumbering about.

Taste is insipid and hollow. A bit of fruit, a dash of grain, too much carbonation for the limp body, making it soda like. The aftertaste does have a bit of caramel and hops in the classic manner. Once the beer warms up.

A sorry affair, this. I am puzzled by the fact that just three days ago I had excellent Spitfire on tap. I was so surprised at how good that version was. Having had the notion the bottled version is subpar. Well, it is.
Feb 09, 2020
 
Rated: 3.75 by paulish from New York

Jan 11, 2020
 
Rated: 3.21 by Baviera from Belarus

Oct 16, 2019
 
Rated: 3.2 by SportsGuy33 from Canada (ON)

Sep 03, 2019
Photo of misteil
Reviewed by misteil from Ireland

3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Look: very clear, copper brown , not much of a head going on , few tiny bubbles on top.

Smell: Smells great , hoppy , malty , little bit of roasted coffee , a caramel sweetness to it too.

Taste: Bit of a hoppy tang , slight sweetness , bitterness , buiscuity , quite a metallic finish but it doesn't detract too much from the overall taste , which is quite good alright.

Feel: Heavily carbonated , sticky but goes down well enough , as beer like this , which is gauged to be sessionable , should.

Overall: Pleasently surprised by this beer , could easily see my self knocking back a few of these on a night out. Not out of this world , but definitely drinkable.
Jun 19, 2019
 
Rated: 2.75 by Jotora from Canada (ON)

Apr 05, 2019
Photo of Snowcrash000
Reviewed by Snowcrash000 from Germany

3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Pours a clear, medium amber, coppery coloration with a small, creamy head. Smell is dominated by toasted, grainy, bready malt, with just a hint of floral/earthy hops. Taste follows the nose, being dominated by foremost toasted, grainy and slightly bready malt and some quite herbal/earthy and slightly floral hops, with just a hint of toffee coming through as well. Finishes quite crisp, with a medium bitterness and some toasted/grainy malts and herbal/earthy hops lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a light/medium body and medium carbonation.

A nice bitter with a focus on toasted/grainy malts and herbal/earthy hops that give this quite a crisp and bitter quality. A little light-bodied, unfortunatly, but quite drinkable.
Mar 26, 2019
Photo of EzkatonL
Rated by EzkatonL from Mexico

3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Literally burnt beer lmao.
Feb 02, 2019
 
Rated: 2 by GingerFinn from Canada (ON)

Dec 24, 2018
 
Rated: 3.5 by RMW66 from Australia

Dec 23, 2018
 
Rated: 3.77 by Oleg85 from Russian Federation

Dec 01, 2018
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
Reviewed by JonnoWillsteed from England

3.81/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
L- Chestnut. No messing, fat white 2 finger head, slowly reducing
S- No more kiddy hop-bombs, a grown up beer. Hops in balance, Some malts, ah the joy.
T- Toasty. More than expected. It's good but that's a pretty solid dimension I get.
F- Crisp, dry, refreshing.
O- Very nice if on for a hoppy/full-on ale
Aug 26, 2018
 
Rated: 3.84 by Neilos from England

Jul 24, 2018
 
Rated: 3.8 by mistahmojoryan from Canada (SK)

Jul 02, 2018
Photo of leaddog
Reviewed by leaddog from Canada (AB)

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured from can at ABV of 4.2%

Appearance - Pours a deep amber with two fingers of bubbly off-white head.

Smell - grassy, leafy, herbal hops, grassy and biscuity malts, caramel, hint of dark fruits, earthy yeast.

Taste - Starts off with the grassy, leafy, and herbal hops. The grassy and biscuity malts come through next followed by the caramel. The hint of dark fruits and earthy yeast finish off the brew.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Finishes a tad sticky with the hops and the sweetness from the malts lingering.

Overall - An easy drinking brew that has a pleasant hop bitterness.
Jul 02, 2018
Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale from Shepherd Neame Ltd
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 478 ratings