Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Royal Oak Pale Ale | O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Royal Oak Pale AleRoyal Oak Pale Ale
Very Good
79 Ratings
Royal Oak Pale AleRoyal Oak Pale Ale

Brewed by:
O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 02-28-2004

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 79 |  Reviews: 59
Reviews by John:
Photo of John
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An exciting find for me at Beers of the World. Exciting because of the anticipation I've had waiting for this and the Thomas Hardy re-launch. After holding onto fond memories of the Eldridge Pope Brewery's Royal Oak Pale Ale, I was a bit tentative when I first opened the O'Hanlon's Brewery version. I am pleased to say that when I poured the bottle and tasted this brew, I found it at least as good as I remember the original. This classic ale reborn pours a hazy amber. A meringue-like cap adorns this fine beer. Aroma consists of floral hoppiness and an estery fruitiness. Toasted multi-grain goodness tempts. The flavor is a well calculated balance of toasted, light caramel, fruity esters and evident but reserved hops. Mouthfeel is medium translating to a satisfying brew whether it be two or twelve. A brilliant recreation of a classic. Cheers to O'Hanlon's and Phoenix for bringing this and the Thomas Hardy brews back to life.

 935 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poures a deep orange with a big blooming head that sticks like glue to the glass,wow some intermingling of aromas here some herbal/grassy hop shows itself up front with biscuity malt aroma in the background that intertwinds very well with the herbalness.Wow the complexities to this rather "small" beer hop tilted very herbal and minty up front but very firm biscuity malt backbone with a hint of brown suger in the finish.Wow this has to rank as one of the best English ales I have had and this isnt even the original Eldridge Pope stuff man I would love this on cask I see alot more in my future.

 598 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This ale was absolutely gorgeous! The body is crystal clear orange in color with shades of brown. The head was explosive and went down with utter finesse. It left huge clumps of shaving cream-like foam all around the glass.

Smell – The light fruits came out first followed closely by some nice, biscuity malt. A deep breath drew a balanced bouquet of more brownish-type of malts and some good, citrusy fruity hops.

Taste – This is a very balanced ale. The hops are fruity and play well off of the toasted biscuit malt flavor. There’s a touch of yeast to this one as well. It’s that kind of almost sour taste that you get from dough that has risen and is ready to bake.

Mouthfeel – This is a big ‘un. It’s almost full-bodied and is somewhat chewy. There’s a slight yeasty tingle in the mouth like eating raw quick-bake biscuit dough.

Drinkability – Talk about your session beer. I love American Pale Ales and IPAs but if I had to go on a drinking marathon (someone twist my arm) this would be the one.

 1,035 characters

Photo of shapudding
3.54/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1pt 5oz, bottle conditioned, dated 2/28/05. Cloudy amber with a huge amount of beige head that started to settle fairly quick, leaving only sticky lacing and a thin covering. Nice deep malty aroma, a bit vineous -red wines... bit orangey- zesty maybe, more than juice. Very juicy feel with a nice burst of tight carbination that flows over your mouth a moment after the sip. Medium body. Some white grapefruit juice flavor of hoppiness. Nice strong malts taking dominance and just a bit of sweetness during the sip, and a bit more coming out toward the end -maybe a touch of apricot nectar? Fairly clean and crisp, nicely balanced. Not an intense amount of flavor left lingering. As wet as it feels during the sip, it becomes more astringent as you finish. Nicely drinkable, good session beer, not too filling at all.

 817 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1 pint .9 oz bottle served at cellar temperature. Initially pours a clear copper body with an enormous billowy offwhite head that takes forever to fall. Body clouds up to a dirty tea color with the second pour, with some sediment in suspension. This ale is, obviously, bottle conditioned. Offwhite head is rocky and pitted, so large it could be scooped with a spoon. Large chunks of lace adhere to the glass as the contents are slowly drained.
Aroma is floral and herbal hops, with toffee and caramel malty notes underneath.
Mouthfeel is soft and satiny, with a medium body and a pleasing mineral note that I love in some of the English ales.
Taste is smooth and complex. Biscuity toffee malt, lilac water, soft herbs of rosemary and white pepper. Apple and pear skin sourness jumps into the middle. A bit of a metallic note from the water adds an interesting component, as well. Finish and aftertaste are slightly bitter with herbal hops. Very tasty.
An exquisite and classic English pale ale, one that I could enjoy any day of the year. O'Hanlon's has created an exceptional benchmark for the style with this one. Very sessionable. Extraordinary complexity and balance result in a sublime sipping experience. Very highly recommended if you enjoy this style.

 1,265 characters

Photo of ADR
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out as a hazy bottle-conditioned copper color with a nice head of about 1/2 an inch in height. Nice laces, loads of comma-like marks on the glass. Aroma of hops, citrusy with some cantelope fruit tones. Somewhat less than medium body with pretty nice carbonation when it gets a chance to sit (initially, its a little too bubbly). Malt is well-composed, a little too much molasses for me, giving a slightly overpowering finish and swallow (almost eggy). Hops are not hidden or subtle on this one, lend a juicy bittering. Finishes a bit thin to my mind in mouthfeel, but with an interesting yeastiness. Pretty good, a good sense of balance but with a definite personality.

 676 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Royal Oak Pale Ale

Appearance- Cloudy/ hazy orange with a thick heavy lacing head.
Smell- Strong dried fruits and malt.
Taste- Immediate dried fruits. Prune, raisin, maybe a little cherry and apple. Light bready malt with mild wood flavored hop hints.
Mouthfeel- Slighty dry and bitter up front but building up to a flavorful and slighty sweet fruity beer. Alcohol seems noticable at 5%?!

Overall- A nice evening sipping beer or a good 1 to drink during a meal.

 470 characters

Photo of cokes
4.97/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Murky burnt sienna topped with a thick stack of whipped vanilla cream.
Frangrant of roses, vanilla nougat, honeyed pears, and clementines, followed through with a orange rind hoppiness with steely herbal pangs.
Enters with a dry maltiness that whispers sweeter things. Like an English muffin sprinkled with hard toffee. Turns nuttier and more persuasively caramelly as it warms. The yeast here is amazing, and carries a variety of estery phantoms, candied pears, peach muffins, plantains, kiwis, and strawberries. Splashes of mineral-laden well water. The hops are aggressive up front, full of lemon- and orange- rind oily, pithy bombast, but eventually quell towards a floral, rosewater bittersweetness, accented by quinine.
Medium bodied, with a melted textural impression that is about as close to a true cask feel as any bottled brew I've tried.
A session is only limited by one's wallet.
It's so dizzyingly complex, and so compulsively drinkable. Expansive in scope, yet balanced in full.
I feel guilty for not scoring it absolutely perfect.

 1,057 characters

Photo of woodchip
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of silver0rlead
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clody orangish-amber hue with a large, frothy white head, a nice looking pale to say the least. The aroma is a light floral hop smell with a sweet candied apple smell in the background, well balanced smell. The taste, begins with a slightly sweet malt profile and the sweetness is similar to caramel apples maybe? Then you get a really light hops bitterness that fades quickly and you get a good taste of those fruity british yeast esters, with tastes of apples, oranges and strawberries. The finish is dries out and leaves little aftertaste. Really a superb english pale, probably one of my favorites, beating out sam smith's easy...quite an excellent brew.

 666 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Okay I saw on the bottle now that I've already opened it BBD of 02/28/05!!?! So I was just gonna drink it & forego the review, nope this still acquit itself well (bottle conditioning helped, I'm sure!)

Pours tea colored with a fluffy of white head exceeding 4 fingers. Very good head retention & lacing

Smell: Fruitiness, brown sugar & honey

Taste: fruity, dry &slight floral/bitter hops taste. Finishes dry & fruitty

Slight syruppy feel, good carbonation, maybe skews a little dry to me...

Pretty drinkable, not ponderous, but flavorful. Would love to try a fresher bottle. As I recall this was very tasty on cask in devon & other parts of england (was made by a different brewer as I recall)

 698 characters

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass....

A- Amber/brown liquid with a nice creamy/texturized head. Sediment floating around the glass but no lacing.

S- Smell was mildly hoppy with a touch of berry and caramel.

T- Taste was similar to the nose but with the hops being slightly more pronounced. Mild hops followed up by a metallic bite and fruit finish.

M- Creamy and smooth mouthfeel.

D- This is a nice English session ale. I'm usually not a fan of these types of brews but this one was good.

 484 characters

Photo of marcobrau
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Yikes! This bottle of Royal Oak was very carbonated; even a gentle pour yielded an entire pint glass of foam. As the foam settles, an enormous rocky head forms, which eventually falls apart leaving a sticky layer foam down the sides of my glass. Wow. The aroma is massively sherry-like aroma, accented by a just a hint sulphur. Chunks of yeasty material occasionally float up; most parts sit on the bottom. As the label says, this is a true bottle-conditioned ale. As a homebrewer, I can certainly appreciate that.
The carbonation tingles the tongue. The taste of this beer is first a fizzy fruitiness, followed by a character reminiscent of blanched almonds that then dissolves into bitter hops that provide a long finish full hop bitterness and champagne-like dryness.
The intense carbonation provided for a spectacular appearance, but I didn't like the fizzy character of this beer, hence a low score for mouthfeel.

 920 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a nice burnt orange color off tan head.

S: some dried fruit and a dry british floral hopping.

T: The flavor had a huge malty backbone that coats and smoothers the tongue with a nice lacing. There was some dry honey toast and light toffee notes as well. Some dried fruit (apples, pears) along with a dry floral hopping really make this beer a stand out per style before finishing dry with warm bread and some alcohol notes. The malty character of this beer clearly define its uniqueness.

M: heavy and full with chewy bread and a good carbonation presence.

D: A big malty british pale that is very drinkability per style and enjoyable. A tasty treat to say the least that will fill you up.

 705 characters

Photo of Padron4KM
3.1/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz bottle. Best before 07/18/06.

Cloudy amber with a fluffy tan head.

Despite careful pour I still ended up with yeast floaties in the glass.
Head disapates slowly leaving small patches of lace.

Aroma is mostly caramel, with some light woodieness.

Flavor is lightly caramel with a citrus zest finish.

 319 characters

Photo of oxmasterscream
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Haven't been a fan of English ales anytime lately but this beer is something special. Poured a cloudy amber with a one finger, tan head, which left an incredibly thick lacing as I drank. The aroma was outstanding... very floral and spicy with some citrus and apples. A really wonderful balance. I couldn't stop sniffing the glass. Taste was very hoppy up front, big citrus, floral and spice, then some nice fruit and sweet caramel flavors followed by a medium bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the solid carbonation makes for a smooth drink. This is a really well-balanced, amazing pale ale, which easily rivals the best the U.S. has to offer in the same category. Flavors and aromas are huge like higher alcohol IPAs but the alcohol is low so it's extremely drinkable. This stuff is top-notch.

 806 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice, slightly hazy pale brown with a beautiful off-white head that builds into a large merangue that wouldn't even consider flowing down the side of the glass- now that's a head! And it keeps coming; as I refill the glass with the rest of the bottle, the head builds right back up!

Aroma is a nice, British hop but mellowed nicely by toffee, nuts, and a dark loaf of multi-grain bread. Flavor is, well, all I can say is that this is really nice- quite complex. The more I drink, the more I find. Dry, weed-like vegetation notes (you know, the rabbit food in "greens" salads). Woody. Black pepper. It's hoppier than expected, and the dryness/astringency at the end of the swallow is pronounced.

Mouthfeel is almost perfect- if the hops were a tad less harsh and slightly more creamy, I could drink it all day. Drinkability on this is quite good.

Overall, I like this and want to try it again, because I know that I am just scratching the surface of this complex brew. I think my store has a couple bottles left. Excuse me, I have an errand to run.

EDIT: I just noted, on 10/5/05, that this bottle is Best Before: 2/28/05. Well, I haven't had it when it was at it's best, I guess, but it is still quite good. Maybe I can get some more at a discount then!

 1,273 characters

Photo of BogAl
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of livingregret
2.62/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type: 1 Pint .9fl oz Bottle

Appearance: Poured a cloudy amber colour w/ a finger head that had some lacing

Smell: All that I get is hops and malt. A touch of sweetness...not much here. A bit woody

Taste: The taste is a bit better than the smell(which isn't saying a whole lot) I get a sweet hops taste mixed in malt. A touch of citrus

Mouthfeel: Pretty medium feel drink....lingers some in the mouth and leaves a slighty dry feeling in the throat

Drinkability: This isn't a bad drink, but I feel that there are better English Pale Ales out there.

 559 characters

Photo of Traquairlover
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pint, 0.9 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Medium oak brown, slight haze from a sloppy pour, very firm bone white head of about one finger that has absolutely incredible retention, looks almost like meringue, leaves medium to medium-heavy lacing.

S = Maple syrup, light earthy hints of hops, some light spices such as white pepper and dried lemon and orange zest.

T = Fresh muffins, lightly covered with three fruit marmalade, nice tartness that shows up at midpalate and remains throughout for a great finish.

M = Light to medium-light body, great mouthcoating for the body, very smooth level of carbonation.

D = This one is a great easy drinker that I could happily pound several of in a sitting and can envision coming back to again.

 750 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer emerges from the 500ml brown bottle a bemused rusty orange color with a mount Everest sized frothy light tan head and a bazillion tons of sediment, well maybe only the size of K-2 and just a ton or two of goodies floating in suspension, with the left over lace a thick blanket to cover the glass. Nose has an unmistakable woody aroma, fresh malts, a bit soapy, fresh and clean, the start is nicely malted and lightly sweet with a light to medium feel at the top. Finish is pesky in its acidity, the hops ever so spicy and pleasant, very dry and long lasting aftertaste, what better treat after a long day of drudgery and the ride home in this 106-degree heat amongst some of the worst drivers on God’s green earth.

 724 characters

Photo of djcira
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of rkinsella
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic glass.

Appearance - Bit of a cascade effect when poured. Produces a beautiful off white rocky head. Color is copper orange with perhaps a slight haze. Lacing the whole way down the glass.

Smell - A bit sour, tangy fruit, fresh water...I probably served it a bit too cold...as it warmed a little more...WOW, here came all the wonderful carmel and toasted bread smells. Really nice!

Taste - Biscuit/crackers, touch of grapefruit, very balanced with a fruit rind bitterness to finish it.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, silky, lower carbonation...in a word...perfect.

Drinkability - So smooth and tasty, they would go down easy.

My first experience with a bottle conditioned English "Real" Ale.
I now see what everyone is talking about. This is a BEER!!!

 784 characters

Photo of Zorro
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A clear reddish orange colored ale with a tan head.

Smell is sweet and grainy with spicy hop scent and notable fruitiness. Faint citrus scents and some maltiness.

Taste is malty and chewy from the beginning. Nice bitter snap in the finish. Fruity and a bit woody and a little astringent, there are herbal flavors in the hops. Faint flavors of vanilla and burnt sugar in the background

Mouthfeel is good, creamy sensation to this.

Nice drinkable ale here mild and flavorful and well executed.

 503 characters

Photo of daliandragon
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, as I pour this beer in preparation for the review I am shocked at how damned impressive it looks..opaque caramel color with unbelieveable whale of chunky, tannish head that refuses to retreat..it's taken me fifteen minutes to fill the glass even two thirds full..quite appetizing.. The title jumped out at me at the distributor today..it's a common pub name in England, including a terrific, ancient pub across the street from the Minster in York where I spent a memorable evening a few years ago. The nose is spicy and malty and almost as enticing as its looks. There's hints of hops and alcohol as well. I didn't love my last O' Hanlon's effort (Rye) but I'm sure ready for this one.
A very strong taste hits the lips..the first discernable flavor is orange peel, then hops and roasted malt. Next some smooth sweetness and a bitter finish. Mouthfeel is classic English pub style..low on carbonation and round as a basketball..flavor lasts for minutes after the swallow too.
I'm almost speechless, this is really, really good, surpassing even my lofty expectations after reading the unanimously glowing reviews. Guess there's something to this bottle conditioning, huh? Can't wait to try this on tap next time I'm in Devon..

 1,235 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Royal Oak Pale Ale from O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 79 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.