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Spitfire (Premium Ale Export) | Shepherd Neame Ltd

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Spitfire (Premium Ale Export)Spitfire (Premium Ale Export)
BA SCORE
3.58/5
Good
431 Ratings
Spitfire (Premium Ale Export)Spitfire (Premium Ale Export)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Shepherd Neame Ltd
England, United Kingdom
shepherd-neame.co.uk

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-21-1998

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#38,279
Reviews:
177
Ratings:
431
pDev:
15.36%
Bros Score:
3.95
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
85
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 431 |  Reviews: 177
Photo of Sammy
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aggressive carbonation and lots of hops and dry bitterness. Brown but big hop bubbles are nice. My son liked it, it was Ok for lunch, but only a so-so. Some citrus, a little carmel and malt, nuttiness and grainiess. Metallic on mid sip. Medium mouthfeel.

 254 characters

Photo of acurtis
2.75/5  rDev -23.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of djrn2
2.75/5  rDev -23.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml, clear bottle, nice Spitfire bulls-eye cap. An ode to the Battle of Britain, with that so English of constructs, the pun: hence, the 'Bottle of Britain'...

This beer pours a clear medium golden amber hue, with one finger of foamy, somewhat creamy ecru head, which leaves a random drooping tree canopy of lace around the glass in its retreat to the Tube. It smells of bready biscuit malt, and bitter grassy, floral, dusty hops. The taste is more of that same bitterness up front, the slight mustiness tinging the grassy and earth character. Underneath, and not lagging by much, is a sturdy cereal/biscuit graininess, one which tugs nicely at the palate. The carbonation is present, but pleasant enough, the body medium-light in weight, and adequately smooth. It finishes fairly dry, the crisp grain and hops riding out in splendid unison.

Well, the see-through bottle had me feeling a wee bit trepidatious, but that was soon dispelled - this is a well-balanced, yet still decently flavourful EPA - not a lot of that makes it to my 'hood.

 1,044 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.13/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served from a bottle into a Guinness pint glass in low altitude Galway, Ireland.

A: Clear gold colour. A bit overcarbonated. Three finger, creamy head of excellent retention.

Sm: Fresh creamy scent, barley, hops. The toffee scent advertised is missing.

T: Hops, hops, more hops, and barley. Horrible finish. I can't place it - but I know it's awful. Terribly built. I guess the awful finish is balanced against the body well (at least they match!).

Mf: Almost dusty. Certainly musty. Sandyish. The finish (at least in texture) gets a bit softer.

Dr: A damned disappointment, especially coming from Shepherd Neame, a brewery I've enjoyed in the past. What happened?

 674 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a nut brown colored ale with a nice off-white foamy head with average retention. Aroma is comprised of lightly roasted malt and bitter hops. Taste is better then your average bitter with some lightly sweet malt mix with biter hops leaving a clean dry taste at the end. Overall, an above the pack English bitter.

 326 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.09/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, honey, some citrus and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of grain and a hearty malt character. Then some mildly sweet flavors of caramel and some honey come in. The hops presence is mild and there isn’t as much balance as you look for in the style. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, there are definitely several other choices in the style that are better.

 802 characters

Photo of oberon
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Found this one at Cork'n Ale back home in Saginaw,Mi,poured a nice copper color with medium head,has a hoppy aroma.Pretty dry ,appetizing taste with some nice bitterness.Very nice medium body,very drinkable,should have gotten more than one,I will be looking for more ales from this brewery for sure.

 299 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of dcmchew
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of atrocity
2.75/5  rDev -23.2%

Photo of smcolw
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Modest head with some spots for lace. Gold color and nearly clear.

Creamy caramel malt start. Little hop nose.

This is quintessential mass produced pale ale from the UK. Low carbonation with a rich body, this beer leans to the malty side. I do catch a modicum of hop flavor in the swallow but it doesn't last long.

 318 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
2.25/5  rDev -37.2%

Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am now committed to reducing, if not eradicating, my backlog of bottles. This one was part of a local, in-person trade with tone77.

From the bottle: "The Bottle of Britain"; "This 4.5% Kentish Ale was first brewed in 1990 to celebrate the Battle of Britain which was fought in the skies above Kent 50 years earlier."

One wag told me that its unofficial motto is "Spitfire - downed all across England!" Ha! If it is only "Kentish", what might a full-on Kent beer be like?

It was a small, 11.2-fl. oz. bottle, so I thought that I could invert it until the pseudo-cascade began and foam began approaching the top of my glass at an alarming rate. It settled into two puffy fingers of tawny head with good retention. Color was a solid amber (SRM = 13) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a soft, buttery quality, undoubtedly from using hard water in its production. Biscuit malts were also present and I watched the head slowly fall, leaving some nice lacing in its wake as I anticipated that first sip. Mouthfeel was medium and the flavor was bready, biscuity, buttery and slightly sweet. I am guessing East Kent Goldings hops for a mild grassiness. In keeping with the style, this was much more restrained than its American counterparts and as such, was a nice change of pace for yours truly. I rarely truck in either imports or bottles and so this was a rare treat. Its relative mellowness was like a cup of tea after that coffee porter. Warming, the taste took on a nice nuttiness that only enhanced its mellow flavors. Finish was semi-dry and quite refreshing. Well done, lads!

 1,581 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Limpid dark orange with orange juicy highlights. The smallish, khaki colored cap is dense, has a wonderfully bubbly surface and leaves gobs of sticky lace. A nice look.

I'm still waiting for the day when I pop the cap on a clear glass bottle of beer and don't smell skunk. It usually fades to a considerable degree and sometimes even fades completely by the time I'm ready to assess the nose, but it'd still be nice to not have to experience it at all. Obvious solution: stop using clear glass! Tradition be damned, it's idiotic.

The nose smells a trifle musty, and even a little musky, but no skunk remains. The focal points are toffeeish malt and hugely herbal, overripe fruity English hops. There's plenty of power to be had, but the somewhat stale mustiness keeps me from being overly impressed.

Spitfire (Export) is a flavorful little sucker, I'll give it that. The firm, dry, heavily toasted malt base reminds me of toasted whole grain bread. Caramel and toffee comparisons apply to some extent, but the sweetness that goes along with those flavors (at least in my mind) is virtually absent. Accessory flavors include overripe apples, cinnamon and faint hints of tobacco.

The flavor declines abruptly on the swallow, but doesn't completely vanish. What remains is a lingering dry bitterness, coupled with a tangy tartness that keeps the good impressions flowing. The mouthfeel struggles to be medium for the style and actually fits the clean nature of the flavor profile fairly well.

"Originally produced in 1990 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain". Spitfire is a spunky little English pale ale with loads of personality and an abundance of classic EPA flavor. I had a good time with this one.

 1,740 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of rolltide8425
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of JAHMUR
2/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a tannish/brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of light hops, a bit of malts, kind of mild. Taste is well balanced malts and hops, some bitterness, a bit of breadyness to it. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

 289 characters

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Spitfire (Premium Ale Export) from Shepherd Neame Ltd
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 431 ratings
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