Ruddles County | Greene King / Morland Brewery

187 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: 187 | Ratings: 268
Photo of ElCommodoro
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What a beauty. The colour is a beautiful transparent copper with a thick creamy looking one inch off-white head. Very impressive for a non-nitro can. I was actually expecting this one to be nitro since I heard it was available as such.
The smell is very faint. Sweet and metallic.
The taste is pretty good for a hoppy, bitter beer. It has a raw astringent character that can make it taste a bit metallic, but I'd prefer that over an overly grassy flavour. I also like the malty sweetness behind it. Although, there's nothing fresh about the flavour. It tastes a bit like stale bread. Still, I enjoyed the combination of hoppy astringency with sweet breadiness.
Still, it was a bit mediocre. Let's call it slightly above average.

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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 soju6
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep copper color with a medium head and lacing.

S: mild aroma of roasted malt with some caramel sweetness and sort of grainy.

T: nice sweetness of caramel and malts, with a good bitterness to keep it from running away. There is a nice dry finish.

F: Medium body, sooth and creamy. very well balanced.

O: Easy drinker and very sessionable beer. Better than I remember from years ago. I will have to see if I can find this from cask while back in England.

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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 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 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 Northsider
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4.0s all around on this beer. This was my first 'cask' beer.

Pours a kind of dark yellow, almost red/gold color. Small white head. Smell was fruity and malty.

Taste was good. Slightly bitter and hoppy. Perhaps a bit too complex for me to really appreciate, but really good nonetheless.

Mouthfeel was super super smooth, almost creamy.

Overall a decent beer, I'd try it again. Interesting style and drinkable.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.15/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a half-pint glass. Reviewed 15 March 2011. From notes.

A: Burnished gold. White head; clear and pretty. Nice lace until the head runs out.

S: Standard cask creaminess, but with nice fruits.

T: Thin, brief, and disappointing. Hints of fruit around the edges, but the main body is unsupported. The aftertaste is weak and not great.

M: Thin and, while not bad, not good.

O: Not particularly enjoyable or drinkable. I finished my half-pint, but wouldn't do any more. Not recommended.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber with a foamy white head. Some lace. Nice color/clarity.

Hop leaf aroma, toasted malt, some bread and buttery notes.

Bitter up front, but not so assertive that it is off-putting. Bread toast, some caramel, no fruit. Wood, some raw grain, toffee, and this is all pulled together by the bitterness. Refreshing and drinkable, with medium body and appropriate carbonation. A very solid brew. Likable and drinkable and worth trying.

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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 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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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 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 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 oglmcdgl
4.16/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pulled pint at memphis taproom. Yea!

A- the settles out to a nice two fingers of off white frothy head that holds wonderfully and leaves some spots of lace at first then an epic landslide of think foam grabs hold and slowly cascades down the glass. Bright copper orange in color the shines like a sunset when held to the light.

S- subtle nose with some light caramel and toasted bread. Faint background earthy hops with a touch of fruitiness.

T- toasted bready goodness with a light fruity caramel sweetness and earthy hop finish. So simple yet just right.

M- medium body with that perfect cask carb that just barely shows its head.

O- overall I totally dug this brew. I sucked this pint down like a boss.

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

Clear amber pour with a one finger head, decent retention, and great lacing. Very earthy malt nose with a touch of skunkiness. There's no sign of the skunkiness in the taste. It's very unique with a hard to describe kind of vegetable taste with a solid malty base. I'm also getting some tea, caramel and a touch of peppery bitter hops. A fruity sweetness adds nice balance to the bitterness of the hops. Slightly thick mouthfeel but extremely smooth and drinkable. Very unique and surprising!

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

Copper coloured with a large frothy & slightly off-white head that starts to fade to a thin lacing.

A nice blend of toffee & caramel as well as some hops & a light fruity smell mixed in too.

Tastes rather typical for the style with caramel & bread. It has a dry, bitter finish.

Smooth and light to medium bodied with a dry finish. Easy to drink too.

A pretty average ale overall. It is pleasant & very drinkable as a session ale although it has nothing to make it stand out.


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Photo of Snamnoum
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - deep copper color. Gentle pour produced 1 finger of with frothy/creamy head which had moderate retention and left a fair amount of sticky lace

Smell - citrusy hops, followed by pale malt, and some doughy yeast.

Taste - begins mellow with some initial malty sweetness and bread-like yeast but transitions into a delightful hoppy bitter finish which is smoothed out by copious amounts of buttery diacetyl. Extremely well balance and complex. This epitomizes english brewing at its finest. I can only imagine what this would be like from the cast.

Mouthfeel - light/medium bodied with very low carbonation which I think contributes to its outrageously creamy feel.

Drinkability - a low abv style and a low abv beer so this beer is made for drinking in quantity. A truly lovely brew. Its one of those beers that when you open and have your first sip, you sink a little deeper in your chair and instantly feel at home.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - golden yellow, with big flowing big head, solid lacing.

S - mild floral blended with hint of piney/earth, sweet grain.

T - nice sweet grain in front, with hint of bitterness in the finish.

M - med/light body, nice carbonation to flavor balance. smooth tasting.

D - Great session beer, give this one a try. Fine intro to ales for your BMC friends, before you give them a Bells HopSlam, lol. This is a standard English beer.


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Photo of Aguirre
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this on cask at Fountainhead in Chicago. It had a strong toffee & caramel taste and smell, with hops deep in the background to provide some bitterness on the finish. Drinkability was off the charts, I could have put these back all day. English bitters remain some of my favorite beers, especially when they're on cask, and this one did not disappoint. Smooth, rich, buttery goodness.

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Photo of decimator
3.06/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml can poured into a pint glass.

A - Poured a clear copper colour with a 1cm dense foamy head. The head isn't big but it seems to last forever. Only a little lacing is produced.

S - Light caramel with earth and floral aromas from the hops.

T - Light sweetness, caramel, butter, a hint of fruity sourness, and a decent lasting hop finish.

M - Low carbonation. Smooth with a slick finish.

D - It's not a bad beer but I just don't enjoy it that much.

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Photo of taverncast
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The nose was mild - hoppy and floral with crisp, outdoorsy notes reminiscent to a body of water and cool air.

Mouthfeel is very medium bodied and drinkable - easy to drink many of these.

Taste is malty, sweet - not overly hopped, and only mildly bitter. It is more malty than any other bitter we've sampled. Overall the flavor is very mild and an excellent "after work" beer that can be enjoyed with many kinds of food pairings - we enjoyed it with cheddar bacon fries. Ruddles County is a hallmark example of the bitter style. Out of the bitters we tried, Ruddles County was our favorite, with the 1st show's Arcadia ESB being a close second.

Enjoy a full audio review of this beer on our show, On Tap:

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Photo of matjack85
2.59/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought this single 5OOml clear glass bottle at Sal's in Addison, IL for $3.99. There was no freshness date on the bottle and their website is useless for finding out anything about the beer.

The beer poured a clear copper color with a 1½ finger off-white head that lasted awhile and left lots of nice lacing behind. The beer turns a bright new penny copper color
when held to light.

The smell certainly is unique, but I can't say I particularly enjoyed it. Heavy doses of butterscotch and toffee mixed with earthy smells and bittering hops.

Hard to say what the dominant flavor is. The sweet toffee and butterscotch maltiness competes equally with the grassy and bitter herbal hops. Certainly an interesting mix of flavors, but I'm not crazy about the way they taste together. I like pizza and I like chocolate, but I would never pour chocolate on my pizza. That's how I feel about this beer. I love toffee, I love butterscotch, and I love bitter hops. but I'm not so crazy about bitter toffee and bitter butterscotch. Most reviewers seem to like it though, so be your own judge.

This is a medium bodied beer with only moderate carbonation. Bitter aftertaste lingers on for awhile.

I couldn't drink more than one of these, nor would I waanr ro go back and pick up some more.

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Photo of dolzan
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good bitter, with a crystal clear appearance and almost without a noticable head.

Smooth and almost buttery, with a hint of brown sugar in the aftertaste. The hops are not very noticable, so while being a bitter, it packs no real punch. Very drinkable beer, I quite like it.

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Photo of slitherySOB
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decent English bitter. Served at a barbeque with the standard fare. Burgers, steaks, chicken wrapped bacon, ribs, etc. Served a bit warmer than most beers served at a barbeque. Fine by me.
Pours out a copper colour with a nice, thick head that lasted throughout. Very roasted smell with some butterscotch and toffee. Some bittering hops as well. Tasted decent and sweet. Some caramel and butterscotch ruled, with a bit of bittering grassy hops in the foreground. Great session beer at 4.7%, and highly drinkable.

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Ruddles County from Greene King / Morland Brewery
3.73 out of 5 based on 268 ratings.
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