Manchester Star Ale | J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd

very good
111 Reviews
Manchester Star AleManchester Star Ale

Brewed by:
J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by yen157 on 03-17-2005

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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 176
Photo of donmonkey1
3.44/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with a frothy tan head that takes a few minutes to dissipate. There was almost no smell, yet there was a hint of sweetness. There was a dominant, almost total taste of strong molasses/raisins. Although I could see thousands of super tiny bubbles in the black ale, I couldn't feel any carbonation on my tongue.

I would enjoy one or two of these at a time. This is a quality product that many people love. Having said that, it's a little too much like drinking molasses water for me.

 495 characters

Photo of brystmar
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cask version tapped at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn.

A: black / opaque with zero head. Some lace I guess.

S: really hard to pick anything up. All I can come up with is bready and, thanks to my brother, faintly reminiscent of grape jelly.

T: hello barrel aging! Smooth roasty malts, aged oak, finishes dry and slightly bitter.

M: possibly the most unique mouthfeel I've ever experienced with a beer. Full-bodied and creamy, but still exceptionally thin-feeling and absolutely anti-viscous. Oily for sure. Truly unique.

D: surprisingly easy to drink for a cask ale. Not sure I'd order it again, but it's easy to drink and I'm glad I ordered this glass.

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Photo of Stimack
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this brew on tap last night, first time I have seen it. Brew was poured to a dark black color with a tan head. The aroma was of chocolate, molasses and dark fruit like cherries, which seem to give of a sour like flavor. Ok, not sure if this brew might be going bad but I had noticed a strong sour taste (kind of like a Flanders) mixed in with nice Chocolate and charcoal like flavors up front. It was a little surprising but not bad, I actually did not mind it too much. Over all this was a pretty good brew, do think it may have run its course and the ratings here will show that. I will have to get a bottle of it to compare, but it is a brew I would get again as even though it had a sour smell and taste it was quite complex with the other attributes of this brew.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
It pours an impenetrable roofing tar color with a beige/tannish head of various sized bubbles.
The aroma is hard to detect. Just a weak hint of roasted malt and perhaps brown bread.
The malt has an unmistakable taste of dark roasted coffee with cream and 2 sugars. A light taste of toffee and hint of vanilla follow.
The hop profile is pretty much buried in the sweet malt body.
A little bit fruity with a taste of dark tea vies for attention, but falls a bit shy.
The alcohol is well hidden.
After having somewhat high expectations for this brew, I’m left a little disappointed.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep brown to black with a light & frothy cream-colored head. As the head subsides there is very little lacing to speak of floating atop the beer.

The primary aromas are bread and malt. Not sure if I'm getting everything here, also smells a bit acidic or perhaps sour.

The taste is far from what I expected thus far. Chocolate and coffee standout as well as some roasted flavors and some sweet fruit in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel and flavor are definitely the highlights of this Porter for me. The beer has a nice body, almost milk shake like, yet easy to enjoy. Little carbonation and pleasantly thick, I'm constantly seeking another sip.

This is a beer I will be trying again. I think I'm missing something in the aroma, but this would be an excellent beer for a hearty winter dinner.

 803 characters

Photo of EvilKeith
3.37/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours from the bottle a dark brown, nearly black in color. The head is a creamy mocha color that falls to a cap.
Smell is rich caamel, and more caramel, ripened dark fruits, roasted, and a bit of smokiness.
Taste is sugary sweet, chewy malts, caramel, dark fruit, prunes, and hints of ethyl alcohol. Faint hop bittering in the finish.
Medium-heave body. Mild carbonation. Fruit juice-like mouthfeel.
I could probably sip a couple of pints before the fruit juice-like sweetness got to be too much for me.

 510 characters

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an eighth inch of mocha head which vanished fast. The body is a clear burnt umber brown almost as dark as coffee. It smells very mildly of roasted malt and I'm not picking up the menagerie of other smells others like to point out. The taste mirrors the smell and I'd have to say this is the absolute mildest porter I've ever had. It's best attribute is the body which is smooth and creamy and a nice mouthfeel. In the finish a very sublime English hop bitterness sneaks in.

 480 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.27/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear brown colored beer with next to no head.

Smell is sweet with a lot of molasses aroma in the scent. Patent malt, coconut and faint butter. Caramel and chocolate with a faint fruit aroma.

Starts out mildly sweet with mild flavors of vanilla and molasses. Like most British beers the tastes are subtle and not strong. Leather and some tobacco flavors. Still this needs more taste.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall it smells better than it tastes. Doesn't taste bad it is just under flavored

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.12/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hard to saay how old this bottle is. No freshnesss date on the bottle, but it was pretty dusty when I bought it. Only indication is the back that says this was brewed again in 2004. Don't know if has been brewed since or not. Definitely some sherry aromas as I open the beer, so likely it is a little older. Pours black, but wwith almost no head even with a hard pour. Smell starts out sherried, but quickly opens up to notes of cocoa, vanilla, and sweet malt as well. Taste is somewhat similar. Definite cocoa and vanilla notes, and quite sweet. There is a touch of sherry and a touch of earthy hops, and a low level of carbonation. Slightly sticky in the mouth. Too sweet for me for a traditional porter, and not very lively. I'll go somewhere else for my porter fix. I'd more call this an old ale. Even then, I'd like a little more bite and a little less sweetness.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.08/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a deep black-brown with a tan head that immediately shrank to nothing and left no head or lacing. Aroma was a sweet, chocolate-toffee-malt and the mouthfeel was thick and syrupy. Taste was more of the malt chocolate, infused with some licorice and a hint of smoky wood. Finish was thick and unpleasant.

Not a fan of this one.

 336 characters

Photo of n2185
2.01/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours black with no head and no lacing--not atypical for a cask beer, but I've had pretty pours from casks as well

S: Light aromas of dark fruit and wood--really not much going on.

T: This beer tastes like a watered down red wine. Bland with just a touch of dark fruit and woody flavors in there. Light alcohol burn on the finish.

M: Thin and watery

O: Maybe the bottled version is better, but the cask version is bland and watery. I wouldn't spend money on this beer again.

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Manchester Star Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
3.98 out of 5 based on 176 ratings.
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