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Young's Christmas Ale | Young & Co Brewery PLC

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Young's Christmas AleYoung's Christmas Ale

Brewed by:
Young & Co Brewery PLC
United Kingdom (England)

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Seasonal bottled ale - 2006 release in gift tin is now available in some UK supermarkets. Note, strength amended as 2006 release is 5.0% ABV

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-30-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 4 | Ratings: 5
Photo of wl0307
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I spotted this 4.5%abv. ale on cask at a JDW pub in Sheffield, the Swim Inn, on Boxing Day 2007. There was no proper pump clip, apart from a temporary one with hand writing: "Wells&Young's Christmas Ale"... so I presume this is Young's old product produced now in Bedford? Tasted by a half-pint, served by a sparkler-fitted hand pump.

A: copper-ish in colour, clear, coming with an off-white creamy froth and pretty low carbonation.
S: a light whiff of hops comes forward upfront, decorated by a touch of dried fruits and caramelised sliced apples; a closer sniff reveals more dried fruits and an almost Mild-like, brown-sugary plus roasty malt base.
T: full of dried fruits, oat-meal bread, burnt sugar, longan-fruits, and roast nuts... very mild applely-fruity hops and amber malts develop slowly, with a lingering but mild bitterness in the end, as in dried tea-leaves as well as in roast malts & nuts. Slightly dry and soothing in the finish.
M&D: I tried the bottled version a while ago and couldn't remember how it tasted apart from being a fruity, autumny bitter. But this cask version, despite remaining a fruity and moderately-hoppy bitter, is not more memorable. For, the body falls a bit too light for the flavour, and the texture shows the sparkler-forced silkness glossing over a rather flat platform, only in vain in the end. Furthermore, it definitely drinks more like a Wells' ale now than Young's, Wansworth brewed, ale, as the unique yeasty edge from the old London brewery is conspicuous by its absence~~ That said, I'm sure Mark (the first reviewer of this ale) would be delighted to know that this ale survives the moving of the old Ram brewery.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: light goldy-brown, great clarity, huge laer of bubbly tan froth, good head retention

Aroma: unripe green pears, luscious caramelly malt, hint of toast, woody hops

Flavor: dry malt backbone with a burnt toast edge; pine sappy hop flavor and bitterness; kir royale; finishes as dry as it starts with a lingering hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium body, mild carbonation, crisp

Other comments: Generally, you'd expect xmas beers to be a lot fuller and sweeter to sort of fit in with the season, but when you think about it, you're better off with a crisp, but flavorful, beer like this as a counterpoint to all the rich food you're usual faced with over the holidays. Pretty good stuff.

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Photo of Daredevil
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Lighter than the London Special Ale from the same brewery and not nearly as sirupy as expected (for that try the X-Mas Pudding Ale). A firm head, light elegant smell and a very decent taste of dark wood, cashew, butter and barley ...
A nice ale, really ...

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Photo of Mark
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Granted I'm a Young's man but it shows the difference between bottled and cask. The previous review slams this brew, well we all have our opinions but cask is where it's at mates! I had this ale at the "shrine" Young's brewery tap tasting pub and visitor center. The body was a standard amber and was topped by a thin white head that left rings of decorative lace. Aroma was earthy, fresh, and slightly herbal. Taste profile was a solid malt base with raisin and plum flavors. Smooth, rounded, complex and wonderful. Suzanne loved it too. Thanks Young's.

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Young's Christmas Ale from Young & Co Brewery PLC
4.06 out of 5 based on 5 ratings.
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