Toleration Ale (Gluten Free Ale) | Hambleton Ales

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Toleration Ale (Gluten Free Ale)Toleration Ale (Gluten Free Ale)
Toleration Ale (Gluten Free Ale)Toleration Ale (Gluten Free Ale)

Brewed by:
Hambleton Ales
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Toleration is brewed using water, Challenger, Liberty and Cascade hops, top-fermenting yeast and specially prepared sugars.

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 29
Photo of Libeertarian
3.75/5  rDev +54.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes taken 07/28/17:

Fairly clear copper amber or burnt orange. There was some sediment in the bottom that I could only manage to get a little of into my glass, and that change it from crystalline to just barely cloudy. Creamy tan head, light and fluffy, but forms a thick film on both the surface of the beer’s body, and the inner walls of the glass, before even taking a sip. Later, this lace develops into a tall half-ring shaped berm, with drizzly legs slowly streaming back into the beer. As one might have surmised from the ingredients on the front of the label, it does smell quite sugary. Like some sort of syrup, but also overripe dark fruit, some alcohol, a good balance of sweeter aromas. Akin to brandy, or even certain dark rums, overall, but with less alcoholic fumes. But then, tasting it, it comes back around to beer, albeit seemingly watered down compared to other beers of this color and aroma, lacking a real grain to make it robust, and not very strong in the hop category. Still, it is clearly a beer, and an English one at that. Apart from our dark fruity sweetness and tartness, in the main, and almost as strong as in aroma, it yields some lighter toasty, leafy, woody, metallic suggestions, throughout, strongest at the onset, and yet not overpowering the sweets until the finish. And for the small amount of alcohol, it is still plenty easy to pick up on, with a longer than usual retro-olfactory presence. Light- to medium-bodied, watery, smooth, with extra fine and soft carbonation, beginning to gently prickle as it activates, before softening again and resulting in a creamy overall feel. Small amount of astringency. Compare to certain American Amber ales, for one, assuming you can find one without very many or very distinctive hops.

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Photo of VoxRationis
3.58/5  rDev +47.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Decanted from a 16.9 oz bottle into a conical pint glass; no production information.
A: Pours a crystal clear, light copper color. Nice effervescence on pour, but clears quickly leaving a quarter inch head (short term) and little more than a rim (within minutes). No lacing or legs.
S: Aromas of bread, pitted fruit and spice, but also a slight pepper and chemical (acetone) notes.
T: Thin biscuit and yeast flavors. A little aspartame-like sweetness but no bitterness.
M: Light to medium bodied; little carbonation throughout.
O: My first gluten free beer. Palatable, but does have a slight chemical taste and smell. Somewhat reminiscent of a "light" beer, but more flavorful. In fairness, this brew is working from a limited palate, so the scoring seems low if one is comparing it to similar offerings.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.36/5  rDev +38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This pours a clear copper colour, a finger of foam and good lacing.

The smell is of apple sugar and a hint of the hops that they say on the label.

Tastes better than it smells to me. Sugary, yes, but it comes across to me as similar to some malt attributes that I have noticed in other non gluten free beers. Apple taste is there and I think it contributes rather than detracts from the overall taste. Very little hint of hops but at this point, it just doesn't matter.

Decent mouthfeel for the lowish abv.

Interesting. I'm not sorry that I bought it but there's little chance of a repurchase despite my not negative review.

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Photo of metter98
2.29/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

A: The beer is crystal clear deep amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a collar consisting of large bubbles around the edge of the glass and delicate bits of lacing on the surface. There are lots of black particulates hovering in suspension near the bottom of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of apples and sugary, caramelized malts are present in the nose along with some hints of chemicals.
T: Similar to the smell, the beer tasted like a sweetened apple juice along with some notes of burnt caramel and hints of chemicals. No bitterness or hop flavors are perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a low amount of carbonation.
O: Compared to the other gluten-free beers that I've had, this beer is a lot different and doesn't have that much in the way of "off" vegetal flavors you normally get from sorghum-based beers, but the sugars do contribute some bits of chemicals to the smell and taste.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of DrDemento456
2.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Ow my I had no idea this was a "Gluten free" beer offering or I never would have bought it. It makes no note on the bottle of this but at least I only paid 1.75 for it.

A - A rather dirty orange brown color with a bit of sediment at the base so both old and Gluten free this beer will be horrible. Just a 1/4 inch of head that fades to nothing.
S - Rather sour really but not full blown Flanders red. I can smell no hops and some sweeter malts in the base but it's so light its hard to distinguish.
T - Ah downhill from here it came off as a light pale very watery. No hops just sour and sweet malted water.
M - With a body so light I am surprised I finished it.

Overall if you can't have hops there are way better offerings than this. I wonder why these never sold marked down from 5 bucks and the reason is they are terrible. Skip it if you can.

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Photo of Beejay
3.05/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: Medium brown with a tint of rose. The head is mostly fish eyes, and dissipates quickly.

S: Sweet. There is a syrup like smell, as well as a touch of honey with some floral notes. Slightly oaky with caramel overtones. Not sure what I expected, but it smells interesting, although possible cloying.

T: Light, fairly sweet, but also a touch watery. There is almost a light spice note perhaps peppery. Light toasted nut flavor and finishes with a touch of bitterness.

M: Medium light in body, carbonation is a touch on the low side.. It definitely lacks a little on the mouth feel, it feels watery.

O: Overall it isn't bad, nor is it great. It's pretty passable as an English pale ale, but lacks the substance to make it wonderful. Perhaps a little more hop character.. Still interesting overall.

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Photo of tdm168
3.16/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - deep amber; thick brown head; little retention

S - baked apples, very faint caramel

T - apples, faint caramel

M - medium bodied, smooth, light carbonation

This is really a simple beer even for a gluten free offering. The apples notes are intense, overwhelming, and off putting. They're hard to avoid when brewing with sorghum and millet, but there is nothing here to balance it out. I won't be purchasing this again.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.91/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a one-finger cream head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Crystal clear copper color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Hints of sugary nose and flavor is sugary hops and a dry finish. Okay but needs some malt. Pricey at $8.99 for a 500ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.
FWIW there was no sediment and no blood like clots floating in it as MaryAl observed.

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Photo of Kshock
1.43/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

the things i do when im bored....

A- Not good. Little head, no lacing at all. Copper orange color.

S- Metal, sour fruit, nasty something or other.

T- Taste like a drain pour

M- Not bad, easily the best part of the beer

O- A beer i cant tolerate ;)

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Photo of Cyberkedi
2.28/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Aroma is fairly strong and crisp, like a typical lager but with a strong fruity overtone. So far, so good. It pours an inviting dark amber with an off-white head that doesn't stick around. Flavor is - well, sorta fruity with a nasty bitter undertone. Not very drinkable. Texture is smooth and only faintly tingly. A good try, Hambleton Ales, but better luck next time.

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Photo of crossovert
1.15/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

500ml bottle.

It pours with almost no head, it srtuggles to form a white head. The beer is clear copper, no lacing.

The smell is reminiscent of rotten fruit and nail polish.

The taste is sweet and like poop.

bad total waste of my money, too expensive, too sweet, shite baaaddd

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Photo of drpimento
1.97/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Got this bottle a couple of weeks ago at Sam's in Chicago. I poured it aggresively and the temperature of the beer is cool but the head was small to medium with no lace. Some head did last though along with some nasty looking coagulents on the top and in the bottom of the glass. Aroma is chemicals and sour fruit. Color is brownish amber. Flavor is like the aroma but more intense. Ditto finish. Guess if you were gluten intolerant you might be grateful. Glad I don't have to drink this tho.

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Photo of Nick3
1.81/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

OK, I don't usually hammer beers but this one I don't even think should be called a beer. The best thing about it is its appearance and that's only because it's got a nice brown color to it. Nose is a but fuity and metallic as is the taste. Just not pleasing at all. Mouthfeel is lacking carbonation. As the beer warmed, it became a train wreck. Not a fan.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
1.6/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours bunt orange with some slight ruby highlights. Initial head fades to a moderate ring. The smell is very fruity with peaches, pomegranate, grapes and berries, More cider like in the nose than like beer. Taste is very sweet with a slight chemical bitterness in the back. There is some fruit, but everything is overwhelmed by the slightly putrid sweetness and chemical harshness. Nasty. The mouthfeel is slick and light and this is basically undrinkable. Even if I were a celiac, nothing would induce me to drink this again.

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Photo of deanhead
2.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Appearance -Nice deep burgundy color, with virtually no head. I noticed small globules of darker matter floating about in my glass. Possibly proteins? It was reminiscent of a Rodenbach Grand Cru I dank once that had several floaties in it.

Smell- Sweet and sour, hints of alcohol.

Taste- Molasses like, cloyingly sweet taste, with sour notes. The beer seemed to get sweeter as it warmed up in my glass. The taste was not even reminiscent of beer.

Mouthfeel- Very thin, almost watery. Very light body, It tasted more like a malternative beverage then a beer. It was adequately carbonated, with almost champagne like qualities with out the head.

Drinkability- This beer got increasingly difficult to drink as it warmed up. I hate wasting beer, and unfortunately I was unable to finish this beer. I would go without rather then drink this Gluten Free beer again.

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2.32/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

You get a slight light tan from a vigorous pour. This quickly fades to just a skim and some lace. Body is a chocolate water, dark root beer kind of color. Nose has a distinct sour sweetness almost like fresh on the vine grapes. You really get the tart character in the smell. A sharp sour twang attacks the tongue but quickly yeilds to a slight murkey sweet hue on the mouth. There is lack of backbone that is left due to it being gluten free. Almost like flat root beer or old cola. Almost oiley on the mouth feel with slight sour hue also. Fruit could have been more pronounced to back up lack of malt.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
1.22/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer had a somewhat bourbon-y character, yet despite the fact I like bourbon (it is my favorite spirit), I thought this beer was utterly undrinkable. I've had non-hoppy barleywines that have a character similar to this beer, and I similarly did not care for them.

Appearance is a deep hazy red. Not bad.

Aroma is difficult to bring into your feels like it will burn your nostrils, much as if you stuck your schnozz too close to your bourbon and sniffed in too deeply. Flavor burns the back of my through and offers so much malt sweetness that I no longer even perceive it as sweet, but as punishment. Mouthfeel is hard to discern, as I'm so distracted by how much I dislike this beer!

Truly awful. This liquid has none of the characteristics I usually associate with beer...and what characteristics it did have I found highly unpleasant.

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Photo of sullysbeer
3.8/5  rDev +56.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Huge citrus hop nose, sweet with fruity esters of strawberry. Sherry-like.

Appearance: Very clear copper hue with an off greyish-white head retention that spider webs the surface.

Flavor: Very unique sweetness followed by a flavor resembling a watered down glass of Hennesssy. A sharp bitterness lingers a bit on the back of the sides of the tongue and is balanced more towards the sweetness. Has a winey flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied. Perfect carbonation.

Overall Impression: Wow! Nothing that I have ever tasted and would have never thought this is what a Gluten Free beer would taste like. I personally didn't care for it as it's not what I'm use to in a beer. To me it tasted like a hoppy wine cooler. That's a perfect way to describe it. Gluten Free beers are next to impossible to brew, but since I have never tasted one before, Nick Stafford did an excellent job!!

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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
1.75/5  rDev -28%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

There's been a lot of talk of gluten free beers, so when I found this one, I had to try. Pours like watery looking cola. Smells too sweet. Taste? Tastes like a weird ass mix of cola, cream soda and diet lemon lime soda, not beer at all, there really is no resemblence to beer in this beverage. Fuzzy mouthfeel like soda. Overall drinkability? Well it's not good but it's not a drainpour. Until they master beermaking with sorgum, if I was celiac I would stick with vodka or tequila. This simply does not taste like beer. I think it's actually a joke and somebody put soda in here.

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Photo of Sammy
2.88/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Unusual, very sugary beverage that resembles beer. There is C hop there and it is drinkable. Medium mouthfeel.There is some graininess, obviously not glutten, added for taste. A bit of herbal magic in there. Better than expected but not great, try it once as dessert.

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Photo of cbl2
1.51/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

4/9/2007 $3.29 1 pint 0.9 oz 4.40% No best by date.


Pours a nice deep brown with some hints of crimson that is fairly crystal clear. Topped by a very very thin head of wispy white head that vanishes instantly.


Odd, gutturally sweet and pungent with overripe grapes and some strange sour rotten aroma.


Thank God I'm not allergic to wheat!!! This is some vile horse piss sweetened with gallons of syrup. Loads of off flavor overripe dark fruit. I can barely stomach to swallow this vile filth. Down the drain you go. Please if you have any decency and like beer, avoid this like the plague.

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Photo of atsprings
1.7/5  rDev -30%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a glass with almost no head whatsoever. The beer just looked lifeless. The aroma was not impressive either, just some acid malt and carbon dioxide. The taste was quite off from what I expect in a beer. It was almost like strong almost rancid ginger ale. The aftertaste was almost like having just used an asthma inhaler. The beer was mildly carbonated and the bad taste made it way heavy on the palate. This beer might be drinkable if already drunk but this one went down the drain.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.23/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had to try it. Just to see what a beer would taste like if it didn't have beer ingredients in it. Ends up, very cola like--surprisingly so. The sugars give a definate sweetness with only a hint of a syrupy aroma. Looks like cola as well with less fizziness, but lacks firmness and viscocity even at sight. Flavors are very one-dimensional, picking up on candy sugars and little of anything else. If hops are added, then they never offset the sweetness or contribute any flavor, aroma, or balance. Finishes sweet, sticky so, and thin. The beer falls apart very quickly, leaving no real character or interest. Not a particularly good beer.

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Photo of Jwaks
2.99/5  rDev +23%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I picked up this gluten free beer out of pure curiosity and wonder...what might a beer taste like without malts?

A - This brew pours easily, creating a respectable but quickly dissapating off-white head. Small patches of tiny off-white bubbles are left clinging inside the glass as the head hastily descends. Holding this brew up to the light reveals a transparent, ice tea brown color.

S - The sweet smell of sugar, white grapes and golden raisins are clearly discernable on the nose as well as a slight astringent aroma.

T - Sweet and well focused, quite pleasant on the palate, boasting flavors of figs, ripe green grapes, mild sugars and raisins. It may be an acceptable gluten free beer though it does not have anywhere near the complexity, hoppiness, acidity and finish to be a mediocre beer. This beer is not suited for pairing with food, it lacks the body and structure to hold it's own if paired with moderate to hearty cuisine.

M - Water thin, easy going down the hatch.

D - After the first sip it becomes a bit uninteresting, it doesn't have the complexity and body of a well crafted brew to keep you coming back for more.

Overall it was a pleasant first experience with a gluten free beer though it is a simple brew with a simple goal. It will never hold its own next to comparable English Ale or Bitter Ale made with real malt and barely. Of curiosity value only, unless your diet requires gluten free foods. My Final reccomendation : give it a try but don't expect to find an everyday drinking beer nor some thing that will change the way you think about beer.

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Photo of geexploitation
2.83/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is Hambleton Ale's Gluten Free Ale, known now as Toleration Ale in the USA. The front label proclaims "beer made from sugars" and "does not contain any barley, rye or wheat malt."

Pours crystal clear, the color of dark iced tea, with jewel-like ruby highlights and a minimal, scruffy head. The aroma is pretty subdued, mostly a slight, dusty hop aroma backed by a sweet apple malt character. On the palate, this beer is kind of like a cross between a pear cider and an iced tea. Initial pin pricks of bitterness up front, then apples and pears with a tea-like bitterness in the middle. The finish is a bit watery, with the tea thing continuing. Mouthfeel is fairly flat with a dextrine-like smoothness.

Overall, this doesn't really work as a beer. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of experience with gluten-free beers, so I can't say how this compares to others in that genre, but even though it doesn't make a good beer, it is drinkable enough that I would think it would work as a stand-in for beers for those with allergies and whatnot.

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Toleration Ale (Gluten Free Ale) from Hambleton Ales
Beer rating: 2.43 out of 5 with 29 ratings