Ruddles County | Greene King / Morland Brewery

189 Reviews
Ruddles CountyRuddles County

Brewed by:
Greene King / Morland Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2001

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Reviews: 189 | Ratings: 271
Reviews by BarryNL:
Photo of BarryNL
4.09/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful clear copper colour, with a tight fluffy head which lasts well and laces the glass.

S: Fairly subtle aroma of English hops, a bit overpowered by carbon dioxide - as with many bottle versions this one was probably overcarbonated for the style.

T: An archetypical English bitter flavour.Early flavours of hops and crystal malts with a long, intense bitter finish on the back of the tongue.

M: Good middleweight mouthfeel - appropriate to its mid-strength alcohol level.

D: A very drinkable beer - well balanced and refreshing. At 4.7% the bottle strength is well beyond session level, but sinking a few at home in the evening would be very pleasant.

Overall, the only real criticism is that, like many bottled bitters, its over carbonated for the style - perhaps more appropriate to an American style. Still, a bit of swirling in the glass to remove some of the CO2 does wonders. Otherwise, this is exactly what a traditional English bitter should be; cricket on the village green on a long summer evening in every bottle.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz clear glass bottle that looks like an old style milk bottle, no freshness date.

Beautiful white lace around the glass with a bubbly lace that stays around long enough. Bright copper hue has a near sparkling clarity.

Sulfur, musty, grassy, veggie, buttery, and earthy and a hint of lemony hop are what make up the aroma.

Full and luxuriant mouth feel that hold an amazing smoothness, lots of hop flavour that is layered with the bitterness. It’s almost a grassy veggie hop flavour with a lightly pungent bitterness. Shades of buttery and musty diacetyl come through as well as a fluffy malt character. Hops go a touch lemony and the malt draws closer to a biscuity grain as the dry finish pulls in.

I fell in love with the ale many many years ago and I am glad to have come back to it. The complexities are surreal and oddly it does not take away from it being a session brew either. A bit in the raw but that is the way I like my ale.

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Photo of oberon
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep orange with a very nice creamy head from the nitro can,aroma was faint and lightly metallic with a light herbal/grassy tone.Taste is pretty dry with a light biscuit flavor with a definant grassy hop backbone a light metallic flavor I also noticed.A definant easy drinker here not to complex but pretty good and easy to drink.

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Photo of beerhunter13
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A friend who's big into English beers wanted me to try this. I think I'm more of a Samuel Smith man, but this wasn't bad. It was a nice orange color with a small cream-colored head. It had a fresh, outdoors odor. The taste was mild, malty, with some hops afterwards. Fairly pleasant, quite drinkable, but it doesn't arouse any passion.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of innominat
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml clear glass bottle with a BB of Oct 2011. Described on the label as originating from Rutland - England's smallest county.

Poured into a Guinness pint glass. A clear orange-amber hue with medium carbonation. Forms a small frothy head of white foam that subsides after a minute or so. Aroma of sweet roasted malt with notes of toffee/caramel, nuttiness, buttery diacetyl and stewed hops.

Tastes of mild roasted malt with a dry bitter finish. Notes of toffee/caramel, stewed hops, nuttiness and esters, along with a subtle background hint of diacetyl. Mouthfeel is smooth, slick and tingly. Leaves the palate rather dry. Aftertaste of roasted malt and bitter cooked hops.

A decent ale with a robust malty character and dry bitterness - well-rounded and balanced. However the diacetyl comes across as a flaw, albeit not an unpleasant one. This ale also lacks the depth that live conditioning would provide. Worthy but not world-class.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well I must be somewhat obsessed with this beer, since this is the third time I have reviewed it, but I find it to be one of the more intriguing, complex and confounding beers around, with one tasting producing wildly different results from the next. But the main reason for this new review is that I was lucky enough to stumble upon a cask of this amazing beer at d.b.a. in NYC. Of all the beers I have been wishing to try on cask, this is certainly at the top of the list. Pure luck that I happened to walk into d.b.a. on the day that it was tapped. I was not disappointed but I wasn't blown away either. Cask beers score higher in the mouthfeel and drinkability department, but sometimes the live yeast can obscure the trademark flavor of a more individual beer. Knowing this beer as well as I do, I found myself unable to be sure I was drinking Ruddles going solely by the taste. It lacked character -- but certainly not quality. I drained the first pint in a matter of seconds and was back at the bar ordering a second.

Anyway, I have it in my head that this is such a fantastic beer that I am always a little let down when I taste it (maybe I am holding on too tightly to my first, wonderful memory of Ruddles). As it's available now in this country, it certainly leaves something to be desired. Those clear wide-mouth milk bottles don't do the beer any favors. And the nitro cans are a joke. An imported cask didn't rock my world either. I guess someday I will have to journey to the brewery and try it at the source. Or maybe the rumors are true and this beer has already changed and the beer I am dreaming about no longer exists.

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Photo of far333
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Don't know why I haven't tried this before, but it's a good representation of the style - reminds me of the bitters I had in London. Orangey color with a frothy white head. Aroma is hoppy and grassy, very clean. Flavor is sweet malt, with some hints of corn. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Subtle malty finish. Very good all around.

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Photo of dwren89
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rich amber with off white foamy head, excellent clarity

Aroma: rich toffee and caramel notes with slight earthy hop character

Taste: Rich but nimble bodied, toffee and caramel notes come out to play but finish with a nice earthy bitter finish. Some sweetness on the finish as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, tangy and rich in the mouth

Overall impression: A surprisingly good ale from Greene King. Not as good as Abbot Ale in my opinion but at nearly a full percent ABV less than the Abbot, Ruddles County achieves great flavor and a nimble body. Definitely a great session beer.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of rastaman
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An average English bitter, slightly perfumy hops in the aroma, generally dry, with a bitter finish, tasty, but quite thin in body, i think it would be good for session drinking, OK, but nothing insane.

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Photo of Hammarby
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber. Thick 2 finger light tan head that lingers.
S: Malt. Quite a big nose. Tiny buttery aroma.
T: Malt, bitter after taste.
M: Good. Moderate carboration.

Used to be one of my favorites. Still very good. First time I tasted it I had it with a couple of stouts (Youngs Double Chocolate and others) and it really kicked the other beers' asses I thought back then. Now I'm not so sure. A very loveable beer under any circumstances.

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Photo of alex667gbg
3.86/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful amber, clear almost glowing with a white small bubbled head with nice laced foam. A real kodak moment available here. I usually prefer non clear beer, but this is just a great looking beer when poured. However, the foam was gone pretty soon.

S: Malty and a bit sweet, however not much of anything.

T: As most tasters probably mentioned - toffee. A clear and fast toffee hits you the first, with its sweet and creamy nature. A malty finish the bitter end.

D: A good beer. A not to sweet toffee tasting ale with a nice bitter bite. A real beaut in the glass, well worth a try.

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Photo of cokes
2.69/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Lighty hazy burnt orange beneath a nitro-enhanced creamed head.
Metallic gym socks on the nose. Turning more towards metal as it sits. Too often nitro hides the aroma. Oh how I wish that was the case here.
A ghost of butter-caramel begins things, then is quickly vanquished by a flour dryness. Stays powdery and flour-like for a moment just before the greasy, grassy hops enter. Dashes of wood and nuts are intermingled without any cohesion. Tea-like herbal finish.
Nitro hides the thinness, but fail to help anything
Nothing special, perhaps I'd try this again in the bottle or on draught, but never more in the nitro can.

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Photo of Sammy
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Creamy and light, and moderate bitterness. What you want in a sessionable ale. Would go nicely with lunch. Easy drinking, though not the boldest taste, and so I wouldn't seek it out on cask or in a can. Inoffensive. On tap would be the way to go. Bramling cross hops.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.63/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I was quite surprised by two things in this beer. One, that it wasn't skunked (clear bottle); and two, that it was so good! Clear. Very deep amber/copper - almost orange-brown in color. The head is a frothy light tan that holds quite well and leaves an exceptional lace throughout the pint. The aroma offers a light sulphur (not enough to be distracting), some grassy, earthy & citrusy (lemony) hops, and an odd - but interesting - mustiness. I'm not sure where the musty character might be coming from.... yeast? house character? And yet, the sulphur and mustiness that I would normally regard as defect seem interesting and exciting! The body is medium with a low level of carbonation that gives it a very smooth mouthfeel. The flavor offers an initial sweet maltiness ripe with caramel & toffee as well as a buttery note (diacetyl? - another normally considered defect that seems to work here), then revealing a good amount of grassy hop flavor and bitterness. The finish is dryish and lingering with a gentle matliness, and a hoppy bitterness that becomes quite lemony at points! (I'd love to know what hops they're using!) This is an excellent example of an English Best Bitter... rich, quite complex, and moderate in alcohol. At 4.7% this offers the opportunity to enjoy several in a night and yet it's full of flavor. It's somewhat rich, but not so much so that it becomes overwhelming. Massively enjoyable.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Rymish
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jackndan
2.38/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ruddles Country: I have to review this brew as it comes in a serving container that I've never had before. It pours from a five hundred milliliter clear bottle, but the top is very odd: it is a big mouth bottle with a tin pull, like the top of a milk bottle. Odd.

It appears that the top does not work that well either, as the beer poured very flat. Very little head. Nice ruby red color, perfectly clear, but a bigger concern is the fact that when opened I could smell a massive hit of skunk. Clear bottle, odd seal is not a good combination for a low alcohol, fairly highly hopped ale. Nice malty flavor just barley noticeable beneath the skunk, but not a very good English mild/bitter ale.

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Photo of Gardmark59
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of marcobrau
3.86/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The beginning of English beer night and a Ruddles bitter packaged in a pretty clear bottle that I purchased with some trepidation, knowing that such a well-hopped brew could be skunked. I crack open the bottle and get a whiff of skunk that dissipates as the pint is left to sit on the counter and warm up a bit; not too disappointing.
The first sip is quite smooth with a some tasty caramel malt flavors paving the way for spicy hops, followed by more (bitter) hops and a long bitter finish -- quite bitter, actually. The bottle says this ale is brewed with "mineral water" and this becomes rather obvious as the beer warms up. The minerals seem to add almost salty, slate-like flavor that seems to play nicely with the hops, adding complexity to this brew.
This remarkably clear ale looks good, too, with an off-white head that leaves some lacework. Overall, Ruddles is good bitter stuff.

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Photo of edchicma
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mmmm...a real nice session type brew. Excellent head covers a copper colored brew. Nose is light, but filled with a hoppy presence. Flavor is lightly sweet followed by a touch of citrus presence...earthy undertone. Mouthfeel is smooth and light..very nice. Drinkability is excellent..the light hop bitterness on the finish cleanses the palate very nicely. Easily drink 2-4 of these without a problem.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a clear English pint bottle ro a glass mug the color is a dark reddish copper, with good carbonation. The head is a nice 2 fingers off white and leaves some lace.

The smell is a deep earthy hops and a grainy malt.

The Taste follows well and is very good. A deep rich malt, semi sweet, backed by a nice bitter bite.

The mouthfeel is good a nice body and ok carbonation. Drinks a lot like a strong ale.

The drinkability is good, I with a fount it on cask. MK

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Ruddles County from Greene King / Morland Brewery
3.73 out of 5 based on 271 ratings.
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