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Spitfire (Premium Ale Export) | Shepherd Neame Ltd

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Spitfire (Premium Ale Export)Spitfire (Premium Ale Export)
431 Ratings
Spitfire (Premium Ale Export)Spitfire (Premium Ale Export)

Brewed by:
Shepherd Neame Ltd
England, United Kingdom

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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 431 |  Reviews: 177
Photo of ChicagoNick
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of atrocity
2.75/5  rDev -23.2%

Photo of JohnK17
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of fuzzcherry
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of tem3175
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of dryndantheman
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of rderedin
2.25/5  rDev -37.2%

Photo of doctorb
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of erialbill
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of TTripp725
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of OriolesFan1008
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of veryseldon
4/5  rDev +11.7%

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 tencents
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of JKV96
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of woolihoo
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of TooGood
1/5  rDev -72.1%

Photo of Act25
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Real English Ale - From England. Very malty without being sweet.

A: Lovely dark orange, mahogany stain color. Very smallish, khaki colored head, but fast fade and no lace for my tulip glass.

S: Its nose is a bit musty, with the massive and original malt that along with herbal, fruity English hops. A bit of varnished wood and cedar. Smells of a pub.

T: Tastes good, the firm, dry, toasted malt base reminds me of England as I remember it in the late 70s, of pubs, smoke and toasted whole grain bread. Also overripe apples, cedar, varnish, cinnamon and hints of tobacco.

MF is clean and lasting. Balanced. A bit of weight. Will make a lovely black and tan. Very original way of lasting... will be great with pub food or cheese.

"Spunky. I had a good time with this one." as an ace reviewer wrote - I agree.

 816 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of biegaman
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's no wonder Spitfire is sold in clear bottles - if I had a such a tanned, sexy blood orange body I'd want to show it off too (well, that's kind of a lie, I'd probably go see a doctor). It's an appearance that takes the tone of the marmalade and toffee notes of its aroma. It's an ESB with a lovely colour, gummy head and lace, and a clear, glistening complexion.

I'll just come out and say it: Spitfire will be boring to some. It's not its fault, it's just the style. North American ales are often distinguished by their aggressive hopping - magically enchanting notes of pine resins, tropical fruits, and alpha acids so sharp you can cut your finger on them - but British ales gain their distinction by more subtle means and are far more understated by nature.

The noteworthy features of this one are, as in so many others, not especially noteworthy at all: stiff water minerals, an unembellished maltiness, and the odd yeast ester. The result is a beer that drinks like a seltzer water infused with toffee and dried fruits. There's not a ton of character beyond the customary toffee-ish malts, marmalade sweetness, the odd raisin-like nuance, and...

the three varieties of distinctly spicy and pungent Kent hops! This might not pack the IBUs or flamboyant fruitiness of an American IPA, but its hoppiness is no more easy to miss. The mouthfeel has a vegetal kind of bitterness - like the center of a raw cabbage - that almost simulates chewing on an actual hop (something I don't recommend). It's very herbal.

It's only befitting that a beer released to commemorate the Battle of Britain - brewed by Britain's oldest brewery - be so quintessentially British. There's no mistaking this as an ale from any other part of the world; its hard water profile, biscuity malts, dried fruit esters, spicy hops, and mild, approachable manner are the very things that define the proud English brewing tradition.

 1,910 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a copper color with a one finger of tan colored head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite heavy of a lightly toasted smell as well as a big aroma of toffee and a grainy smell. Along with these aromas are some lighter fruit smells as well as a bit of a more earthy and herbal hop aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a lighter toasted malt and bready flavor mixed with a light caramel and toffee flavor that procures an overall crisp taste. Along with these flavors are some lighter hop tastes of a more earthy nature. The sweeter flavors of caramel and toffee begin fading producing a very crisp taste overall. With a bit more of a herbal and earthy hop coming to the tongue at the very end, one is left with a pleasant and crisp, lightly toasted malt and moderately bitter flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is quite light with a carbonation level that is on the higher side. Both are fantastic for the moderate flavors of the brew and for the crisper feel making for one very refreshing beer.

Overall – A refreshing and easy drinking, crisp brew. While not a flavor powerhouse it is quite easy drinking and enjoyable. A great session style brew.

 1,379 characters

Photo of cavemanlawyer1999
2.75/5  rDev -23.2%

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: amber in color, 1/4 inch head, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: pale malt and meadow smell

Taste: sweet caramel, fresh meadow, toasted malt

Mouthfeel: medium-light bodied, medium carbonation, sweet start with a slightly dry bitter end

Overall: A solid, dry, and easy to drink English Pale Ale. I would get this again, but would not go out of my way for it.

 377 characters

Photo of steveh
3.94/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've seen this around forever, probably even tried it in the past, but I was in the mood for something a little more different than my usual, so I grabbed up a sixpack.

"Pale Ale" or "ESB" makes no difference other than the method of pour, so here's to it.

Supposed to be a Best-before date on the neck of the 11.2 ounce brown bottle, but I can't find it.

A -- Clear, bright copper color with a creamy, light tan head that holds up well and leaves good lacing.

S -- Good balance of earthy, herbal hops and lightly sweet Marris Otter malt. Some light toffee from the malts.

T -- Very well-balanced blend of earthy hops and biscuit malt with the spicy-bitter hops taking control in the finish and aftertaste, but the malts keep up the backbone. Mellow, but luscious fruit esters start to mingle with the malt character after more warming. There's also a mellow mineral character balancing with the spicy hop character in the aftertaste.

M -- Smooth and soft mouthfeel, that finishes moderately dry, with a medium body.

O -- The malt & hops play very well together in this beer and give the drinker a good example of an English Ale that doesn't allow hop characters to run rampant. Alos terrific in its sessionable ABV.

 1,223 characters

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