Fiddler's Elbow | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

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Fiddler's ElbowFiddler's Elbow
Fiddler's ElbowFiddler's Elbow

Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 217 | Ratings: 260
Photo of Sammy
3.01/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A lagerish Syrian hopped ale. Light colour with some creaminess in the pour. A tad cheesy aroma. Some bitterness and middling mouthfeel, and a half pint is all I could drink, not the entire pint. Yes citrus and caramel, just minimally satisfying to me.

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Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good English Pale Ale. A bit heavy for the style, but full of nice flavors, aromas, and textures. A nice blend of caramel malts and fruity flavors. A mix of very-ripe to over-ripe fruits: oranges, apricots, and figs. Follow up with earthy, grassy hops for bittering and flavors. Quite sweet and bitter, remaining heavy and sweet intot the finish. Easy to drink and lots of flavors and complexity. A nice beer.

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Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a foamy, tan, two-finger head. It left some nice soapy lace.

S - It smelled of barley and malts. Also, a nice grassy hop aroma.

T - It had a smooth hop character with a toasty maliness. The hops provided a nice bitter kick.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - A very nice pale ale. A good hop taste.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml bottle - Light brown ale with a medium brew that didn't last long on top of my glass. Usual pale ale flavor of yeast and light bitterness. Body is a bit thin. Also, I don't approve of the use of a clear bottle which doesn't help a beer when it needs to travel thousand of miles to get to my place.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown bottle - thank goodness! Beautiful packaging! Great artwork.

It pours a lightly hazy copper body with hushed amber-orange highlights throughout the glass. The frothy ivory head slowly settles to a wide creamy collar. Some thin but very nice lacing is left in its wake.

The nose offers yeasty fruit, gently caramelish and wheat-like malt, and mild citrusy hops.

In the mouth it's medium bodied and delicately crisp with a very fine-bubbled, restrained carbonation.

Notes of fruit appear upfront (apricot, marmalade), followed by full-flavored wheaty and caramelish malt. Some leafy and mildy citrusy (kind of like lime leaf) hops appear at the swallow. The firm bitterness that's there provides balance, and it finishes dry with a thin thread of citrusy acidity and some mild residual mineralish malt.

Quite rounded and balanced - a nicely done and satisfying pale ale.

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Photo of oberon
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I opened the bottle I really noticed a big fruity,juicy aroma it was very nice and upfront to say the least,poured perfectly into my imperial pint glass a light golden with a thin wispy head,after pouring a bit I also picked up some iron in the aroma wch I didnt pick up when opening.Flavors are not as up front as the aromas for sure but there is a nice fruitiness and quite buttery with a faint grassiness from Stryian hops that dryes this ale a bit in the finish.A pretty quaffable ale not great but drinkable,probably the best offering from this English brewery I have had to date.

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Photo of smcolw
3.11/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Decent head (one-finger thick) that recedes quickly; good single line of lace after each sip. Very cloudy and dirty yellow color.

It smells a bit like stale vanilla ice cream.

Very thin bodied for a pale ale. Good flavor with mild pale malt taste and a stronger hop bite with a short aftertaste.

I may be a little harsh in this review--this is a beer that will quench your thirst and is not too objectionable. Still, it has flaws that detract. I believe it would place fairly low on an English Pale Ale flight.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.8/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ

Not bad, not great. Poured a clear copper color, not much of a head other than a few stray bubbles. Thin biscuity aroma, toffee and sweet malts. Mostly malty taste, caramel, some light fruits, toasted bread, and a bit of a hoppy aftertaste. A bit lacking overall in the flavor department. Quite light and a bit watery; moderately drinkable if your taste buds are meek, but probably nothing I'd want to have again.

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Photo of russpowell
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours light copper with a 2" white head. Slight haze from the bottom of the bottle is this bottled conditioned? Don't think so. Good lacing & below par head retention

Smell: Honey, fruitty, & slight critic hop twang

Taste: Crisp hops, slight grain bitterness. Fruitness and some butterscotch notes on the finish as it warms up.

MF: Stange combination of effeversence and slight chewyness

Pretty quaffable but tastes a little off style to me, was almost thinking there was a good amount wheat in this??? Try it and decide for yourself,

Postscript, just read Jason's notes & it looks like wheat was in
this in 03 when he reviewed, so I guess I'll pat my self on the back....

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark copper body with a thin, wispy, white head.

Smell: Malty nose smelling of toffee and oven-toasted biscuits with a background of spicy hops and a minor note of fruit.

Taste: Sweet-tasting, biscuity maltiness with a touch of toasted wheat and a decent dose of flaked toffee candy. Light apple fruitiness. Spicy hops with a medium bitterness. A last taste of malts before the crispy, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Not bad! A pleasant, highly drinkable brew, if unremarkable.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured cool from a brown 16.9oz bottle into a Bass trademark pint.
A - Decants a medium amber w/ a 1/2 inch of tan foam that clings as lace.

S - A mild malt odor w/ a tinge of ale fruitiness.

M - A dry lighter medium body w/ mild carbonation and a clean finish.

T - Gentle malt and English ale fruitiness. The taste is creamy, but not earth shattering. The hops become noticeable as it warms w/ subtle earthiness. Tea and herbal qualities w/ a hint of lemon zest and stone fruit - very interesting taste as I take the final sips.

D - A decent, but mild ale. Easy to drink since it isn't too sweet, but a bit bland even by English standards if you have two or three. I suppose it is just above average to me.

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Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml / 16.9oz clear bowling pin style bottle with raised logos and the brewery name. No freshness date to be found.

Creamy off white lace sits on top of a clear amber brew. Sticky with shimmering rings of lace left on the glass.

Mild citric and grassy twang from the hops with a faint buttery yeasty nose. Smells of fresh hop with each whiff.

Smooth with a pleasing malt crispness slick oily hop flavour that leaves a lingering and tingling bitterness. The hop flavour is big with coarse leaf and pungent floral flavours. Malt is clearly shows the crispness from the wheat and a bready flavour from the barley. In the end is a buttery yeasty mix with a bit of residual sweetness and leafy hop flavour to boot.

Flavourful to say the least ... the wheat adds to the drinkability and the hops are done just right and pack with flavour. Another import I wish would come in six-packs.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sunshine bright tangerine peel orange with sweet corn yellow trim. The lovely looking cap of pale orange-tinted ivory is as tight-bubbled as they come. Thick sheets of lace are beginning to be laid down and display uncountable thousands of pin pricks where the underlying glass is made visible. This is a dandy looking English pale ale, yesiree.

The nose doesn't give me much to work with. Repeated deep inhales aren't sufficient for me to get a handle on the aroma. Vague impressions of minimally fruity, musty hops and... that's it. Styrian Goldings are one of my favorite English hops, but this Styrian-only brew doesn't do them justice. The Fiddler has just played his first wrong note. Let's hope it's also his last.

The flavor is odd. I'm pretty certain this is how the brewers intended it to taste since I bought one of the new dark glass bottles. I'm not sure how much of the malt bill is wheat, but all that has been accomplished is an offputting sourness that isn't overly appealing. The other thing that's keeping my enthusiasm in check is diacetyl. It tastes like Ringwood yeast is in the house (I doubt it though).

I can appreciate a modestly sweet fruitiness coupled with a finishing bitterness that is the result of a fairly significant hop load. However, I still don't believe that this particular hop has been allowed to show what it can do. All in all, it's a mishmash of flavors that don't impress individually and therefore have no chance to impress in combination. Maybe clear bottles weren't all that was wrong with Wychwood beer.

It could be the smoothness provided by the wheat, but the body/mouthfeel is probably the highlight of this whole experience (other than the appearance). It's medium for a pale ale and is creamier than most. It's also well-bubbled, stopping well short of fizzy. I've just noticed that the nose has opened up with warming and will give it a deserved bump in score. It's still no great shakes.

Even though this is only my third beer from this brewery, I'm beginning to think that, were I to drink the entire Wychwood line, I wouldn't find an impressive specimen in the bunch. The dark bottles are an improvement (and long overdue), but wholesale recipe changes are in order if the beer has any hope of ever matching the shelf appeal of the bottles and labels.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.61/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

5/13/05- Purchased at Beverages and More in Redwood City, CA

Presentation- 500ml bottle with a code stamped on the top of the clear glass bottle. Poured into my Ayinger weizen glass.

Appearance- A darker golden pour, slightly cloudy. A very creamy white head forms for about an inch. Lacing is above average.

Smell- Grassy, hoppy and fruity. Don't notice any skunkyness.

Taste- A tad metallic in the beginning. Definite wheat background with a decent amount of bitter hop action. Maybe a bit of fruit tastes as well.

Mouthfeel- A tad below average carbonation, pretty velvety smooth.

Drinkability- Seeing how this was a clear bottle and the fact that I got it in a close out basket for $1.99, I was preparing for a skunkfest. But, it turned out to be OK and to be a pretty decent beer. The bitter english hops work good with the malt. Plus it's a pretty easy drinking brew.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazed caramel amber hue with a big off white khaki head forms thick with a nice evenly strung layer of lacing around my imperial pint willi style glass. Aroma has a nice caramel malt presence with earthy and citric coated hops. A very funky English yeast edge brings a pleasing nut quality to the table as well within this mildly fruity and floral English style pale ale. Dry but sharply fruity in flavor, not overly sweet but nice prickly sweet red apple notes. Hops bring out a citrus finish with an earthy muddled bitterness blended with characteristic yeast that this brewer uses. Not much poetry or cohesion going on but a flavorful English style pale, that's been on most of us craft beer drinkers early inspiration lists. Mouthfeel is pretty light to medium light in the spectrum of beer carbonation is soft and some what creamy a nice sessionability comes my way with this brew. Easy going with some very English appeal if that's your thing, I'm down to try other brews from Wychwood, it's been awhile. I also picked up a 12 oz Hobgoblin...this one happened to a 16 ouncer.

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Photo of jwc215
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazed orange/amber with a thin, lasting, swirling patch as a head.

The smell is earthy, grainy, lemony citric with a touch of caramel.

The taste is of sweet fruitiness with earthy and bready notes. Tart orange and lemon along with bitterness balance out the sweetness well. A well-balanced ale.

Smooth and full-bodied for the style. It has a clean, refreshing, zesty feel.

Very easy to drink - a nice Engish "session" ale. This was from a 500 ml bottle - will look to see if it comes in 12 oz. 6-packs.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
2.73/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a mug. The beer pours with little to no head, and presents as a muddled copper-gold color. The beer has aromas of malt and the lightest hints of hops. The tastes are muddled, but there is a spicy undertone to it that is very intruiging. Unfortunately, there aren't the main flavors to back it up. Mostly a bland bit of malt again. The beer is light in mouth, leaving a bit of an unpleasant film behind. Not the easiest beer to drink, that is for sure.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Such an up and down brewery, this, the only beer that really exceeded my espectations was Hobgoblin. This one, at least came in a brown bottle, nicely shaped vessel, too, classy label, nice artwork...but, who cares, it's what's inside that matters, so crack, and pour and away we go!
Clear, deep amber hue, looking every bit the part for an English pale ale, slim, swiftly disappearing head...aroma is sweet and hoppy, plenty of juicy fruit in the nose, peach and apricot, the like, plus a good deal of malt in their too...I like it just fine...
Taste, though, is underwhelming, though that could be part of the plan...does nothing on the palate, just slides in and swims around, darts about and departs without leaving much of a trace in the mouth. Tasty to a point, eventually kind of dull...clean and crisp, but not memorable at all in the flavor...kind of a dud, but drinkable, despite.
Once more, I have to repeat a phrase i hate to use, but there's too many apt occasions: "Not bad, just not much."

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Photo of plaid75
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a hazy medium copper hue with a half finger creamy white head. There was decent retention and good sticky lacing.

The smell featured an upfront grassy hop with slight hints of pepper. There was a light caramel sweetnes as well.

The taste consisted of grassy hop and husky grain. But alas, the diacetyl and green apple ruined the flavor.

The mouthfeel was average with an astringent finish.

Overall a decent EPA.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.22/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 500ml brown bottle(room temp) a a medium gold with a lare head of foam that dissipated slowl.

The smell is a sweet and spicy mix of hops and malt that's not subtle at all and that is a good thing.

The taste repeats the smell. Yummy sweet malty goodness up front with an ample background of lemony hops gives this ale such great balance and drinkablility that I find this one to be my favourite of the Wychwood brews!

Bottom line: This is a great sessionable English Pale Ale that I have no qualms about visiting again and again.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +38.1%

Photo of WesWes
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy golden color with a lacey head. The nose is faint. There is a small amount of malt and hop aroma mixed with a fruity yeast smell. The taste is quite dull. There is a low bitterness and bland malt flavor. It really isn't that bad of a beer. The mouthfeel is good. It's a low bodied beer and is very drinkable.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've let my 500 ml bottle stand at room temperature for 15 minutes, so now it's time to open. On to the beer:

Into my imperial pint glass it goes, this beer has a pale orange olor to it with faded yellow hues. The head on top forms an inch thick, then settles to a thin, creamy lace. I'm liking the aroma. Fruity yeast esters, buttery toffee, and butterscotch. Classic.

Soft ale yeast does its work to provide much of the flavor. Butterscotch comes to mind, a little husky grain, a light touch of fruity esters. It's not a huge flavor, but a relaxed one. I have a feeling like there's more flavor hiding underneath, though I'm not getting it all. There's a dry toffee flavor and husk that sits around in the aftertaste. As for the mouthfeel, it's light, maybe a littel gritty on the palate. Light carbonation helps though.

Fiddler's Elbow is a solid example of the style. Like many English ales, let this one warm up to get the most....okay, maybe a fresh cask would get you the most out of this beer.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a clear sunset orange color with a bready white head.

S: faint caramel dry lemons, and a nice citrusy hopping.

T: sour oranges and a good spiciness from hops that gives an strong bittering notes with some floral notes. The palate was biscuity.

M: clean with dry oranges and citrus.

D: Definitly an English pale with dry bitterness and a nicely different flavor. Good drinkability.

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Fiddler's Elbow from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 260 ratings