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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Manchester Star AleManchester Star Ale
BA SCORE
3.99/5
Very Good
177 Ratings
Manchester Star AleManchester Star Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#5,105
Reviews:
112
Ratings:
177
pDev:
9.52%
Bros Score:
4
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
7
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 177 |  Reviews: 112
Photo of Jaisell
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HappyHourHero
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint .9 oz bottle with a short little story on the back that says the recipe was reintroduced after J.W. Lees visited Brooklyn Brewery in 2001. This is the second batch since then.

Pours a small dense light brown colored head that fades quickly to a film. Roasted malt aroma mixed with some vinuous tobaco notes. Deep black colored beer with a ruby hue when held to the light. Roasted malts, some cocoa and marshmallow, and some vinuous tobacco mix and mingle up front. Soft light body. Tons of flavor that reminds me a bit of Storm King, only a bit sweeter.

 564 characters

Photo of fx20736
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I don't remember when I bought this, probably late 2014/ early 2015. Served at cellar temp in a Duvel tulip.

Look: very dark,, almost black, thick mocha head.

Smell: very prune like with licorice also,

Taste: prunes and a light charred roast.

Feel: soft, supple, smooth

overall: a delicious, tasty sipper. So easy to drink

 328 characters

Photo of zenithberwyn
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Stimack
3.43/5  rDev -14%
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.

 772 characters

Photo of geexploitation
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours quite still, with a minimal head that dissipates very fast. The color is a coffee brown coming out of the bottle, but in the glass very little light escapes this beer. Some reddish highlights show up when this beer is held up to a direct light. The nose is quite big, especially for a porter with no head to speak of. The biggest note is burnt chocolate along with treacle. The taste is huge and sweet right off the bat, with some phenols rearing up and then ending with just a bit of roasted malt bitterness. The mouthfeel is still and silky but with a bit of a bite from some slight carbonation. High drinkability with this one, in spite of the relatively high alcohol.

I imagine this would be an excellent dessert beer. Quite sweet and sumptuous.

 768 characters

Photo of DuffDaddy
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of FanofHefe
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a pint bottle into a Duvel tulip. Very carbonated and produces a two-finger, dense dark tan head. The head has decent retention and leaves rings of lacing along the glass. The body is dark and no light gets through. Dark brown, almost black body, with just a hint of red hue along the edges.

Superb aroma. Dark, roasted malts and sweet dark fruit. Plum and raisin are prominent along with some light notes of toffee and chocolate.

The flavor is very solid overall, but just a little less than I would have expected from the aroma. Dense, dark malted flavors combine with some earthy fruitiness. No real coffee flavor, but the toffee notes are present. The rich flavors blend nicely and are even better as it warms up a bit.

Dense mouthfeel that is very smooth overall. Great brew that is one I would love to have for an after dinner drink. Would pair well with a nice mild pipe tobacco.

 902 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
3.43/5  rDev -14%
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 Jredner
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma has lots of dark fruit sweetness and some low intensity roasted malt aromas. Deep black with a quickly diminishing head that compresses to a fine dime thin line. Fore is both malty and fruity with lots of prune and raisin and a bit of molasses for good measure. The alcohol is unoticeable. Tobacco elements do come out, but only as it warms a good bit. Found it quite tasty.

 380 characters

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.3/5  rDev -17.3%
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 Euroglot
3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of ypsifly
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Undated pint bottle purchased at Merchant's in Dearborn and poured into a pint glass.

Black under an inch or so of tan that settles to a couple CMs and just sits there. Good retention with thick webs of lace.

Roasted malts and some lactic aromas that turn a bit sour. Suggestion of lightly roasted nuts and coffee. I like the complexity and aromas overall.

Roasted malts upfront that is briefly tempered by hazelnut and then balanced out by a slowly building hop flavored dryness that lingers in the finish yet doesn't block out some bitter chocolate residuals.

I especially like the mouthfeel as it works very well with the flavors despite the low carbonation. A very enjoyable English Porter that I will be sure to revisit.

 738 characters

Photo of walleye
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from the bottle. poured black with mahogany tint to it with a tan head. aroma a slight sourness comes out, than roasted malts, bitter chocolate, brown sugar as it warms the alcohol pops out along with some dark fruits. flavor, plums, and orange, molasses, some smoke, port wine. chocolate, nutty. a nice dry finish enjoyed this one

 331 characters

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black and hazy with a very creamy and rocky head.

S – Malty and caramel – quite inviting.

T – Sweet, with caramel flavors noticeable. The alcohol is also perceptible.

M – full, but could be a bit thicker to carry the flavors.

D – Delicious beer that has great flavor and goes down very smooth.

 314 characters

Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up as im a manchester native....this is a great beer.looks very dark, stout like but smells of christmas pudding, sherry and dark fruits....tastes just like it smells with great mouthfeel. excellent. "Oh Manchester! Is Wonderful! Its full of tits, fanny and United,oh Manchester is wonderful!"

 305 characters

Photo of silver0rlead
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a descent tan head that doesnt retain well. The aroma is mostly composed of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee, with some dark fruits, floral hops, and minerally burtonized water. The taste starts off with expresso and milk chocolate notes, as well as dark fruit (plum, fig, raisin), burnt bread, and some minerals and metallic water. I was dissapointed initially, but this is supposed to be a traditional porter that the english would have drank in the late 19th centruy. This beer feels very authentic, the mouthfeel is lighter than expected and the drinkability is good. A very nice interpretation of a late 19th century english porter.

 667 characters

Photo of ImperatorScab
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Spike
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jerefreakinmiah
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of allforbetterbeer
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. No date on bottle. I bought this at Wilbur's in Ft. Collins, CO for ~$6.

This beer produces a soft-looking and compact finger of tan head (looks the color of latte foam) over a pure black body that shows very slight ruby highlights when held to strong light. Tiny streams of very small bubbles can be seen rising around the edges of the beer.

Smells of soft roasted malts and small helpings of dark fruit. A whiff of hops rises with a swirl, but otherwise the above aromas make up the nose. Smells very English and very pleasing.

The flavor is well rounded and feels soft from the overall low level of bitterness. As in the nose, non-acrid roasted malts, a touch of hops, and dark fruit take center stage. I find this quite like a Baltic porter, expect the hop levels are far lower, and there are no notes of coffee or smoke in this flavor. Not quite like anything I have had before, and tasty.

The mouthfeel is medium with lower residual sugar, but not thin or weak. It seems that there is something slightly lacking, but maybe this is part of what the style is meant to feel like (not being a stout).

Conclusion: This is an excellent English porter, and I believe it is the strongest example of the style I have tasted to date. I like it is actually different from conventional porters and stouts, and tastes like the original style is described.

 1,377 characters

Photo of Tumble
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of sporklift87
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%

A: Almost completely black with a quickly dissipating light beige head.
S: Port-like fruit, soy sauce, and some smokiness? Not a particularly strong nose though.
T: Ooer. It’s port-like, smokey, silky smooth and yet snappy on the tongue. Nice and sweet for the strength. There’s even a hint of ginger beer in there, and some earthiness. Quite a bitter aftertaste. Gets sweeter as it warms, and less bitter, and the liquorice appears.
O: Old Peculier is the closest thing I’ve had to this, although this is slightly better. The interesting thing is that it's almost as flavourful when chilled as when it's warmed up.

 621 characters

Photo of pentathlete
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark near opaque brown. Small head, the fell to nothing after a minute or two. Smell is smoky, smoky chocolate and smoky malts. Taste is sweet smoky molasses with some carbonic bite. Mouthfeel is unexpectedly thin, but the flavors provide some body to make up for it. Like many smoky ales, one is plenty to drink. Tasty but one is plenty.

 346 characters

Manchester Star Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 177 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.