Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale
Shepherd Neame Ltd

Spitfire Premium Kentish AleSpitfire Premium Kentish Ale
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Bitter - English
Ranked #139
ABV:
4.5%
Score:
82
Ranked #44,033
Avg:
3.62 | pDev: 14.92%
Reviews:
189
Ratings:
466
From:
Shepherd Neame Ltd
 
England, United Kingdom
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  18
Gots
  91
SCORE
82
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.
View: Beers
Reviews: 189 | Ratings: 466 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by bark:
Photo of bark
bark from Sweden

4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The colour is medium copper; the three finger pale beige head is firm with a very nice crater. Some lacing. Liquid is clear.

The smell is malty with some light metallic bitter flavours. I found notes of apricots and some gravy.

The taste is malty with some sweet notes of wheat bread and rye crisp bread. Some butter/cream diacetyl, as some herbs (not that usual in English ales) and a very mild hint of yeast. The bitterness is low, almost as in a Mild, but there are some flowery and spicy hoppy flavours and a touch of burned toast that I haven’t found elsewhere. Medium body. The aftertaste is dryer with some more spicy bitterness and a balancing malty sweetness.

The carbonation is quite strong; very small bubbles. The liquid is a little watery.

A surprisingly stubborn beer, considering that it is one of the most common English ales available in Swedish pubs. One of my favourites.

Jul 31, 2007
More User Reviews:
Photo of endovelico
endovelico from Portugal

3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into nonic. Reviewed under medium high intensity light.

Appearance: No noticeable effervescence. Pours a copper brew with thick white head that holds. Good lacing. Typical EPA appearance.

Aroma: Resinous, moss hop aroma. Reminds me of Northern brewer. I take another sniff... Musty, Pungent hops like Target with the a slight floral, piney profile of EKG.

Taste: Buttery, pungent, lawn, ashtray astringency. Medium high intensity. Seems like Target + EKG on the taste.

Palate: Harsh bitterness, low carbonation, long lasting pungent bitterness, medium low body.

Jun 10, 2009
Photo of Abad
Abad from Spain

2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

May 31, 2015
Photo of Macca
Macca from Australia

3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a dark amber colour with a generous off white head. Retention seems poor.

The nose is a sweet caramel with some oakiness. Some hops and a bit of malt.

Lots more caramel on the palate. Some toffee and maybe some citrus hiding in there as well. Very nice. Great length as well.

A very good drop.

May 21, 2009
Photo of killcore
killcore from Russian Federation

3.44/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mar 13, 2016
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo from Netherlands

2.86/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at the LCBO

From a bottle into a pint glass

APPEARANCE: Big fluffy 3+ finger thinner looking off-white head mounds out of the glass. Russet in color, perfectly clear with lower end carbonation. Only a ring of foam remains until the end but manages to leave some minor lacing down the sides of the glass. Decent looking for the style.

SMELL: A grainy nose. There's some toasted malt and caramel notes. Not much here at all. Certainly weaker and less impressive than what I'd expect.

TASTE: The taste is certainly mild as well. Toasted malt, some caramel malt and notes of wood in there as well. Some floral hops round it off. Mild aftertaste has a touch of bitterness there too. Nice, but just not quite bold enough to really make a statement.

PALATE: Medium-thin body and slightly airy. A little light on the palate and not quite creamy enough. Goes down fine and finishes with an appropriate amount of dryness on the palate. A little lacking here in my view.

OVERALL: Not a bad brew just not all that impressive. There are more interesting choices out there, though this one is certainly worth a whirl if you're a fan of the style. In my view, this one needs a bit of a kick in the arse to get it moving.

Sep 03, 2009
Photo of OneTuffPony
OneTuffPony from Canada (ON)

3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nov 09, 2015
Photo of dirtydisk
dirtydisk from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

Sep 05, 2014
Photo of MuthaDuckie
MuthaDuckie

3.84/5  rDev +6.1%

Sep 06, 2014
Photo of snogglethorpe
snogglethorpe from Japan

3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Makes a good first impression with a nice deep caramel color, and a head which while short, is super creamy, and lasts for pretty much the entire glass (this head just Wouldn't Die). The smell is not huge, but a little bit nice fruitiness.

The initial taste was of a nice clean maltiness and slightly roasted flavor, with a pleasant fruitiness and slightly creamy sensation from the head. There's a distinct and rather pleasant mineral taste (perhaps from the water?). Towards the end of a mouthful, often the taste switches to a hoppy bitterness, not huge, but clear. These various flavors mix and meld for the entire pint (there's no "weak finish").

Like a lot of British pale ales, the flavor is not bold or aggressive, but unlike many others, it didn't seem weak or watery, just subtle and understated. Very, very, drinkable and pleasant.

Aug 21, 2010
Photo of Luiscorreia
Luiscorreia

2.36/5  rDev -34.8%

Aug 28, 2014
Photo of benclimbs
benclimbs from California

3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a clear bottle into a pint glass pours light tan with a small head and a bit of lacing

smell is pretty non-existent except for a small amount of some vanilla and a hint of plastic and some caramel malts, lacks the nasty astringent skunk smell that many clear bottled beers have.

taste is very smooth, then off sweet vanilla, then bitter dry hoppy on the finish...aftertaste is a bit of butterscotch and bread.

mouthfeel is good, quite light and airey

overall its a drinkable brew, with some interesting sweet notes about it - not too shabby, a smooth, sessionable beer, with only the smell as a real draw back

Apr 08, 2010
Photo of BobAshton
BobAshton from Canada (AB)

4/5  rDev +10.5%

Sep 17, 2014
Photo of ludachris
ludachris from Canada (ON)

3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice coppery honey brown. I got a one finger white chunky head that doesnt last all that long. Coppery like smell with notes of caramel. Decent carbonation, taste is similar to the smell with a nice bitterness to it. The bitterness is well balanced and isnt overwhelming, making it pretty easy to drink. Overall, I thought it was a decent beer but not too sure if I would buy another.

Nov 21, 2008
Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
BeerDrinkersWorldTour from Northern Ireland

4.65/5  rDev +28.5%

Drank in two servings from a Half pint glass in Northern Ireland (UK). Poured from a 500ml bottle at 8*C.

Appearance – Dark amber with minimal carbon activity in the glass. A single finger of cream head that dies fairly quickly to a lace cover and leaves web lacing down the sides of the glass.

Smell – Heavy musty and bitter hop aroma similar to coffee filters is the first and most dominant aroma. This is followed by oak and pine wood.

Taste – There is a clear burnt toffee like taste that combined with the bitter coffee element makes this beer taste rather like a coffee cake however in this beer there is a final bitter folourish that is really quite special. At the back there is a final phenolic smokey spice that, to continue the metaphor, is just icing on an already well make cake.

Mouthfeel – Reasonably full in the mouth and rather creamy! This beer has long lived linger and a lovely pinch that tingles in the gums and back of the throat for ages. A cracking overall sensation.

Overall – This Ale is really special. It is very like a bridge between a standard Ale and a good Bitter. This beer pleases, excites and satisfies in equal measures. I can best describe this by saying it is a great ambassador for British brewing.

Oct 12, 2014
Photo of ecoastman
ecoastman from Canada (ON)

4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drinkability - A good beer that is easily drinkable. It's not my personal preference to go with an earthy hop flavoured beer but this one's worth a try.

Appearance - a clear dark copper with a good thick head to start and recedes to a medium layer with great lacing.

Smell - clean hops slightly dominate over a lightly sweet caramel malt.

Taste - light malt in the start that transitions to a pleasing level of earthy hop flavours. Mild bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - smooth and refreshing. Slightly creamy and no coursness. A good medium level of carbonation

Sep 10, 2009
Photo of katiatanner
katiatanner from Brazil

3/5  rDev -17.1%

Sep 11, 2014
Photo of Jotora
Jotora from Canada (ON)

2.75/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Apr 05, 2019
Photo of fullsweep
fullsweep from England

2.86/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

300 mL bottle poured into a glass.

Nice 2-finger head that dissipates over the course of 2-3 minutes. Light lacing.

Smell has a faint sweetness, and a mild bitter smell. Both scents are a foretaste of what's to come.

Taste is light, refreshing and a mild citrus-sweetness, with some bitterness as well.

Light carbonation makes for a refreshing drink, but this isn't necessarily what I want from an ale, personally. A lighter mouthfeel might be nice for a post-exercise lager, but leaves a little wanting for an ale.

Overall a decent drink, just not my favorite, especially for an English ale. Nice for something new though.

Jul 18, 2009
Photo of AuntBea
AuntBea from Illinois

4.06/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 30, 2016
Photo of DoctorStrangiato
DoctorStrangiato from Canada (AB)

4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 500-ml bottle into a pub ale draught glass.

Appearance - amber-coloured ale with cream-coloured head. 1-inch head lowered and laced gorgeously between the pour and first taste 5 min later.

Smell - there's a woody oak aroma together with spiced malt.

Taste - honey-flavours with woody malt. Long, bitter finish. Amazing.

Mouthfeel - refreshing but a little sour-ish on the tongue. Makes up for it in the taste, however.

Drinkability - this is very flavourful. I wouldn't pound too many back in a row - it would trivialize it.

Feb 16, 2009
Photo of MaSaiani
MaSaiani from Brazil

3/5  rDev -17.1%

Oct 30, 2014
Photo of jmtpi
jmtpi from France

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Nov 19, 2013
Photo of Tomrot
Tomrot

3.68/5  rDev +1.7%

Nov 01, 2014
Photo of ruckus232
ruckus232 from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Jun 13, 2014
Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale from Shepherd Neame Ltd
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 466 ratings