Ruddles County | Greene King / Morland Brewery

188 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: 188 | Ratings: 270
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 kojevergas
3.21/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into Chimay goblet.

A: One finger head of little cream and decent thickness. Retains alright.

Sm: Cream, caramel, vanilla, butterscotch. Very appealing.

T: Lovely cream and butterscotch, with hints of vanilla and a bit of caramel. Bittering hops on the climax are disguised in part by the cream, which is nice. A sort of complex beer, but restrained.

Mf: Wet and coarse.

Dr: Expensive and good.

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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 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 TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-cask 3/19/2015 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI served in a tapered pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a medium dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very faint but contains caramelized malts, honey and earthy hops.

T: The taste starts out with a burst of earthy hops bitterness followed by some breadiness from a hearty but not too heavy malt character. There are some mild background flavors of caramel, honey and citrus that provide some sweetness and some balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, light carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, very mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.54/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

16.9 ounce bottle - $3.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, light tan-hued body with a tall, proud, off-white head. Pleasant-looking lacework.

Smell: Sweet-scented nose of butterscotch and dark honey, lightly bready malts, a bit of almond, a some herbaceous hops tossed with metal shavings.

Taste: Sweetish, buttery caramel maltiness, with a light nuttiness, but, right off the bat, a sharp metallic harshness swats down a potentially pleasant beer. A small splash of amaretto. Grassy, herbal hops, moderately bitter, but, ugh, that metallic quality never really leaves you, lingering well beyond the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Sorry, I simply find it hard to get around Ruddles County's metallurgic aspirations.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It never ceases to amaze me that I can pour these nitro cans/bottles very aggressively and they never threaten to overflow the glass. The head seems to expand downward instead of upward and then clears from the bottom up.

Slightly hazy orange-amber; much more orange than amber. The head is beige, creamily solid and is holding rock steady at one finger. It looks rather like thick, rich whipped cream perched atop the beer. The cap hangs around until the end and generates a thick collar of lace that follows it down the glass. The nose is muted initially since it has to fight through that dense disk of foam. Slight caramel malt aroma, but that's about it.

Enjoyable flavor, at least to my palate. Toasted grain malty, herbal-earthy hoppy (with a pleasantly bitter 'bite') with a nicely creamysmooth mouthfeel. I'm still not sure how I feel about nitro, but it's been used to great effect in this beer. It finishes unsweetened tea-like dry with a longish finish.

These English pub ales are growing on me. Ruddles County does most everything right and was a pleasure to consume. I bought this on my most recent trip to Ohio; I don't believe that I've seen it around here. If I run across it locally, I'll definitely buy it again. Good stuff.

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Photo of smcolw
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on Cask at Redlands in Somerville.

Copper colored. Clear. Nice lasting head which leaves very fine spots within inches of the rim.

The smell is of but I think it's because of poorly maintained tap lines. The beer has an earthiness I wasn't expecting.

The flavor is a step up. Very nice malt base with French bread toasty notes. The hop provides balancing flavor making this an easy to drink bitter. Thin body with diminished carbonation (probably from the cask). Very much a British pale ale.

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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 johnnnniee
2.88/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well the clear glass worries me a bit. Pours a fairly clear deep amber color with a stingy white head that dissipates quickly to a ring. The initial aroma coming out of the first pour were skunky, luckily as the glass sat it subsided. Smells of butterscotch, caramel and toffee very sweet smelling with a little earthy mineral bitterness. Taste follows the smell fairly well, but the skunk came back. Sweet and malty with an earthy mineral edge. Moderate carbonation, medium body with a sweet bubbly mineral water mouthfeel. The mercaptan killed this one for me. Not a bad brew, but probably not something I would seek out again.

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Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper/amber with a thin tan head that leaves some lacing.

The smell of strong caramel soon settles enough to give way to underlying tea-leaf and lemon.

The taste is of bitterish tea-leaf and hint of lemon with an evenly balancing caramel sweetness. Earthy, slightly cedary, with a touch of butterscotch. The dry finish has something of a bitterish bite.

It has a creamy, medium body. Very smooth.

Truly a well-balanced, easy drinking, sessionable English ale. Nice hop touch (taste more than aroma). Would love to try this one on cask.

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Photo of Tone
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, red/amber color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of pale hops, slight malt, yeast, and some grain. Fits the style of an English Bitter. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale hops, yeast, grain, and slight sweet malt. Overall, a rather average English Bitter - nothing really stands out.

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Photo of stevoj
2.88/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This tastes a little flat to me. Almost has metallic tinge to it (and it’s from a bottle). Color is copper with small beige head. Aroma is faint, taste is of watery bitter. I tried this many years ago, and it was one of my favorites. Sad to see it go down hill under Greene King...

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Photo of WesWes
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an amber color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It has all the English ale qualities. It's bitter and creamy with a mild aroma hopping. The taste is not bad. It is bitter and creamy with a malty flavor. It finishes watery; a product I think is from the clear bottle. The mouthfeel is above average. It is a medium bodied beer with below average carbonation. This is a good drinking English ale. It has some faults, but not enough to keep me away.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one comes in a clear bottle- which I'm not a fan of due to quick light damage, but luckily the particular beer I'm drinking is quite fresh tasting. Pours a nice chestnut color with a finely beaded head that leaves some lacing, but fades a little too quickly. Nice earthy hop smell with gentle, creamy malt and some butteriness. The taste is similar, but with somewhat more resonant hops, with a nice lingering grassy and earthy bitterness. A little bit of nuttiness on the finish, and a very smooth creamy mouthfeel. There is a trace of copper lurking there in the background as well. More complex than it seems at first flush, this ale hangs together very well. I thoroughly enjoyed this- now do something about the glass bottle.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.41/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask at the Memphis Taproom in Philly. Thanks for the perfect pour Brenden.

Ruddles in the pint glass looks kinda like heaven. It was poured expertly and the liquid is a light shade of gold mixed in with some yellow. The head is an inch and is foamy looking and perfect. Smell is fairly common for the style, malts are up front and pale with a small citrus twist that is LIGHT. A simple nose for a simple style. On first sips or gulps rather I can tell this one is a winner and refreshing. I hope Memphis has this one come back. Taste of pale malts accented with a fairly light hopping giving off slight citrus and earthy flavor. English malts bring this back to perspective and reminds me that this is in fact English all the way. Feel is smooth and light and entirely too easy to drink. I could drinka gallon willingly. Probably my favorite bitter so far, in a style not favored by me. Excellent!!

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Photo of flagmantho
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 500mL clear bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: rich amber-orange hue with a completely haze-free body and a moderate effervescence. Head poured a thin finger of frothy ivory foam, but didn't have much retention. Still, not a bad looking beer.

Smell: malty concoction with a definite caramel character and nice, earthy hops. Mild, but well-composed.

Taste: light malty flavor with caramel, breadiness and a moderate bitterness. Not bad, but very middle-of-the-road; nothing really stands out.

Mouthfeel: lightish body with a decent carbonation and effervescent prickliness.

Overall: a decent, if not outstanding beer, I'm going to give this one a few bonus points for its great quaffability. A bit mild for greatness, but wonderful for a session.

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Photo of biegaman
1.94/5  rDev -48%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours from can, slight head. A golden brown ('honey' brown) in colour. Lots of bubbles, considerable clarity. Not much aroma, certainly no hops. Some bready malt is about it. A very unique, albeit odd, taste. Some Belgian like character yeast, over coating a toffee malt body. Fair bit of English hops in the flavour, Fuggles mostly. The flavours evolved as it warmed to something reminiscent of a bad, cheap red wine. Awful. An off putting texture -watery, not quite creamy, not quite crisp - just uneven. Also leaves a stale, cardboardy aftertaste.

HOW does this have a shelf life of 18 months???

Of all the many styles of the world I'm sure these kind of English beers are absolutely among the worst affected by being put in cans. WHY? It kills the body, nulls the flavours and counters all the quintessentials of the style. The can does NO good for these kind of beers, and this is one of many I've tried lately that I could see being quite nice if it were alive, if it were fresh, if it were hand pumped from the source... but as it is here in front of me, this is nothing but sub-par. Very sub-par. A sad case.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper colored ale with a good light tan head that sticks around a while.

Smell is mildly sweet and tons of fuggles hops. Slightly spicy smelling with prominent tobacco and leather aromas. Slight fruitiness but it is really buried by the hops.

Taste is very neutral flavor malt wise and good tobacco flavor from the hops. Bitterness is good and in proportion to the malt level. Slightly fruity but this one is all about the fuggles.

Good mouthfeel.

Super drinkable and the best beer out of a can I have tried from England yet. Mild and honest to god tasty. Superior to Boddingtons in every way. Far better than I expected, not just another mediocre English Bitter in a can.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured from 1 pt. 09.oz clear bottle with a marking of GK992791. It is mostly orange-copper in tone with a decent foamy beige head. I immediately catch a wafting aroma of malts, hops, and something slightly fruity. It is bold and full bodied on the tongue and the fine bitterness takes over the flavor. The hops are noticeable and not overzealous like in an IPA. I was impressed with this sampling.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

When I was a tidler, I used to love this beer on draught, brewed in the tiny county of Rutland. "Get puddled on Ruddles" was my moto whenever I came across it.

Times move on, now I am a big fish and the brewery I talk of has been flushed away. This beer is now made in Suffolk by the bad boys of English brewing, Greed King, not that the labelling would let you know that.

This clear 500ml bottle was drank in May 2007.

Poured into a pint sleeve glass a large slighty off white head sat on top of a clear terracotta orange body which had bubbles roaring up to join the head.

Hops, toffee and caramel, a sweet aroma for an English bitter.

The taste wasn't so sweet, but as the beer warms it sweetens, some toffee remained from the aroma, the caramel tasted burnt and a dryness adds to the proper bitter flavours you would expect from such a style.

A metalic tone appears after the fluid has left, which I didn't like.

Pity about the mouthfeel, it ruined the drink for me, I will not be having a bottle again, but will try a cask pint if I see one on my travels.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.01/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Looks good, moderate carbonation, definitely has character, and they use only the four basic ingredients of beer but it is complex tasting anyway. But the brewer uses too many hops that just keep on going.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From cask to shaker glass at RFD in DC on 5/28/11
*From notes

A: Dark ruby-amber. There's no head and merely some bubbles around the edges of the brew due to the cask conditioning.

S: Medium charred wood and some hints of creamy malt and vinegar.

T: A smokey wood bomb. The beer seems to be nothing more then a delivery device for the tannic acid imparted by the cask. A good bit of melted butter and heavy cream round out the profile of the brew.

M: Little to no carbonation. Oily. I know the cask conditioning will affect the mouthfeel and it certainly has. Not a fan of how this one drinks.

O: Ruddles County ESB is a reasonably good example of a traditional British cask conditioned Bitter. You could certainly do better, and when presented with the opportunity, look elsewhere. In a pinch though, this will get the job done.

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Photo of wl0307
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coming in a 500ml bottle with a BBE date of ??/10/05... I'm glad to see this beer is now bottled in brown rather than clear glass bottles.

Appearance: in a goblet it pours a dark orange or dark amber colour, with a fast-disappearing head and minimum carbonation; looking just normal, a bit lack of character for a bottled ale.
Smell: light honeyish, tangerine to buttery orange-cake like hops dominates the nose... simple, fruity... it seems the rare Bramling Cross hop works its way well into the texture.
Taste: on palate a mouthful of lively, mouthwateringly sweetish and butter-biscuity pale malts arrive first; soft, fruity hops sustain well in the background as a solid platform, paving the way for a rich feel of floral, tea-like lingering and dry bitterness in the throat.
Mouthfeel & Drinkability: with good depth and nice flavour but not over the top, this beer is a medium-bodied brew full of pleasant elements of a well-balanced English premium bitter. Very quaffable and mellow...

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Photo of akorsak
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I used to regularly buy 500 mL clear bottles of this at the Decanter on Columbia, MD. Never had it on tap (or cask) until now. At the General Sutter.

A: The bitter is tan-hued and clear, no traces of any imperfections. I was not expecting the thin head to deliver any lace, but lo and behold it did.

S: The aromas are malty, chewy with toffee and caramel. Yeast aromas add sweetness and creaminess.

T: Toffee flavors rule the ale, with a creamy butter aspect following in short order. Very chewy, the breads stand out even with all of the butter. Hops are earthy, just enough to register. I'll tell you, my memories are fonder; I wasn't as fond of the ale on cask.

M: The mouthfeel is very creamy, malty with a vengeance. A good start, but there were other offerings that I liked better.

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Ruddles County from Greene King / Morland Brewery
3.73 out of 5 based on 270 ratings.
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