Abbot Ale
Greene King / Morland Brewery

Abbot AleAbbot Ale
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #178
Ranked #40,964
3.68 | pDev: 14.67%
Greene King / Morland Brewery
England, United Kingdom
Abbot AleAbbot Ale
Notes: Hailed by the late beer writer Michael Jackson as ‘one of the great characters of the beer world’, Abbot Ale is brewed for quality of the highest order. Abbot is an irresistible ale with masses of fruit characters, a malty richness and superb hop balance. It is brewed longer to a unique recipe, which makes it the full-flavoured, smooth and mature beer it is today.
View: Beers
Reviews: 376 | Ratings: 707 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of InspectorHound
InspectorHound from Canada (ON)

3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Clear bright copper orange. Small 3/4 finger head. Head gives way quickly leaving some lacing.

Smell: Grassy, with a malty backbone.

Taste: Bright and malty. Hints of tea, green apples and biscuits. The caramel malts dominate.

Feel: Very bright with a light to medium body.

A decent afternoon sipper, but nothing I would go out of my way to have again. I would say this beer is unbalenced, with the sweet carmel malt taking center stage and not leaving room for much else. This earns a B-

Jun 02, 2021
Photo of James94
James94 from England

4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Dark amber colour, some lacing retains
S: Nuttiness, woodiness, dark fruits
T: Raisins, oakiness, some citrus, some herbs, bread
F: Medium-bodied, a tad overcarbonated

O: 4

Mar 08, 2021
Photo of Snowcrash000
Snowcrash000 from Germany

3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, amber coloration with a small, foamy head. Smells of bready, grainy, slightly caramelly malt and hints of floral, bitter hops. Taste follows the nose, with a decent balance of of bready, grainy slightly caramelly malt, with hints of dark fruit: fig, raisin and a very subdued hop presence of rather bitter and slightly floral hops. Finishes with a medium bitterness and some sweet malt and bitter hops lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and carbonation.

This is a rather malt-forward Bitter that is very much dominated by sweet and grainy malt, with some light dark fruit and very little in the way of hops coming through, except for some light floral notes and a good bitterness that serves to balance out the malt sweetness well enough. It's all right, but the lack of hops and with the malt primarily just being sweet and grainy, this just seems a bit dull. It's odd, Abbot Ale used to be one of favorites when I was living in London about 20 years ago and I had much better memories of it than it tastes to me now. Not sure if that's nostalgia or if the beer has changed since then, probably a bit of both. (Reviewed from bottle)

Jul 28, 2020
Photo of maddogruss
maddogruss from New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Review if from 2013. Had this in a nitro-can.
A: pours dark, amber body with small, off-white head with nice retention and lacing
S: sweet, caramel, toffee notes with some dry notes
T: light, sweet toffee taste with a subtle, earth note aftertaste
M: light and a little watery; not too impressive
D: needs a thicker mouthfeel, but still ok; decent an light

Dec 29, 2019
Photo of Maxpower086
Maxpower086 from Canada (QC)

3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice copper coloured. smell is of berries, caramel, sweet dough. tate is of smooth bitter caramel, blackberries and malty fruitcake. overall, a great beer !

Nov 04, 2019
Photo of MichaelGennings
MichaelGennings from Canada (ON)

3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Abbot Ale from Morland Brewery, Bury St Edmunds, UK. 5% alc. 500ml can.

The beer pours a thin white head and the beer is an amber colour.

Smell is sweet maltiness but somewhat faint. Aroma notes transfer to the taste. Flavour is mild.

Beer has a somewhat watery mouthfeel. Body is light to medium.

Finish is smooth with a hint of malty bitterness.

A decent offering from across the pond. Pleasant but not extraordinary. I’d love to try it on tap.

Grade: B+

Oct 04, 2019
Photo of EmperorBevis
EmperorBevis from England

3.09/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Bottle and part of a Greene King head brewers choice that I received as a gift
Pours a light brown body with decent enough white head
Sweet dark bread dough aroma
Boiled sweet taste

Aug 19, 2019
Photo of Spike
Spike from England

4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500ml bottle.
L: Rich, lustrous, dark copper colour with a one-finger, white head. Few streams of bubbles and lots of lacing.
S: Caramel & sweet biscuits.
T: This is all about the malt. Toffee, caramel, fruitcake, lightly toasted malt & brown sugar. Hops appear to be for bittering only.
F: Medium body, coats the roof of the mouth, long & dry finish.
O: Malt, malt, malt. Rich & sweet & velvety.

Aug 01, 2019
Photo of KooVee
KooVee from Finland

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Lighter shade of amber, quickly dissipating foam.

Aroma is dark fruit and sugar, classic British hops, but only there in the background, a bit of bread.

Taste is very smooth, easy drinking. Again, dark sugar flavours and a bit of bitterness. No caramel to my taste buds and seeing clone recipes I doubt there'd be amber either, as there is no roastedness. What comes to my mind is the trad. pure pale malt with dark sugar and maybe caramel for the colour. A bit of bitterness in the aftertaste to cut the fruit from the sugar. Mouthfeel is medium, low carbonation, easy to drink.

Probably would be better on draft so the flavours and aroma of pale malt and fresh hops would be more prominent.

Dec 23, 2018
Photo of elnachooo
elnachooo from Spain

3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

De carbonatación media. Cerveza de aroma a caramelo, pan y cereales. En boca es una cerveza de cuerpo medio, amarga y seca. En su final se siente el caramelo y la malta.

Nov 07, 2018
Photo of HughJarce
HughJarce from England

1/5  rDev -72.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Drank 8 cans of this stuff last night at home (500 ml cans, 5% ABV).
Wow this beer is garbage. Tastes horribe and is way too bitter.
Can't score it for look because I drank it out of cans, but the look is irrelevant imo if the beer tastes bad.
Not entirely sure what "feel" means when it comes to beer (it felt wet in my mouth if that's what that means, probably not), but I'll never be buying this stuff again.
Cost me the best part of £10 for 8 cans. I feel completely ripped off.
I bought it on a whim but won't be buying it again.
How does anyone like this stuff? It has nothing going for it as far as I can tell.

Aug 30, 2018
Photo of Stoven5
Stoven5 from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is beer at its its best, maybe years ago was better but still great today. Hard to find in the USA where I live but never mind, Ontario and LCBO's are only 200 miles away and they sell it in 500ml cans about 17ozs. For many beer lovers not enough hops or even any , well fine but for me this is good beer. I did grow up in the UK so may sound one sided but also lived in Germany 2 years ,Australia 10 years, two so called beer drinking nations.

May 19, 2018
Photo of polloenfuego
polloenfuego from Canada (NB)

3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Malty...very malty. You decide if that's good or bad. For me it's alright, I like the malts.

Carbonation from the can is almost like a proper draught.

Nov 10, 2017
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at The Man of Kent in Hoosick, NY.

This one pours a clear light amber, with a small wispy head, and not much lacing.

This smells mainly bready, with caramel and tea like hops.

This is fairly boring. It's muddled and a bit watery, with neither the malt nor hop character really impressing much.

This is watery and thin, with nevertheless a high level of drinkability.

This is drinkable enough but very boring.

Oct 15, 2017
Photo of tekstr1der
tekstr1der from New Hampshire

3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Copper pour with lasting finger of off white foam (4.0). Aroma is bready malt and a touch of caramel (4.0). Flavor is similar with a slight sweetness (3.75). Smooth and balanced throughout (3.75), finishes ever so slightly dry. (3.75)

Sep 19, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.17/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The appearance was a clear malty copper colored body with a film of a head just sitting on the top of the body, barely any lacing. The smell had sweet English malts, "soapiness" more or less to some drinkers. The taste was sweet through the malts, that English malty aftertaste, sticky sweet finish. On the palate, it sat a light to medium in body and was fairly sessionable. Carbonation is standard for the style leading to a decent smooth sort of coating of the mouth and tongue Overall, this is a good beer for the style, and good beer to me, now where’s my fish and chips.

Jun 20, 2017
Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a dark amber hue with a thick, dense, head that stays put. The nose is of honey and toffee. The taste is fairly sweet upfront followed by a lingering bitterness. This is a very typical British ale. It could be easily identified as a UK beer in a blind tasting, in my opinion.

Jun 14, 2017
Photo of superspak
superspak from Ohio

3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml can into imperial pint glass, no can dating. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy medium orange/amber color with a small dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lasts the whole glass. Nice soapy lacing clings down the glass. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of honey, cracker, biscuit, herbal, floral, and grass; with lighter notes of caramel, toast, pepper, peach, pear, apricot, apple, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt and light-moderate earthy hop/fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of honey, cracker, biscuit, herbal, floral, and grass; with lighter notes of caramel, toast, pepper, peach, pear, apricot, apple, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal/grassy/spicy bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of honey, cracker, biscuit, herbal, floral, grass, pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice robustness and balance of pale malt and light-moderate earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from bitterness, lightly increasing through the glass. Light carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, and lightly sticky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 5%. Overall this is a nice English pale ale. All around nice robustness and balance of pale malt and light-moderate earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; very smooth, clean, and pretty refreshing to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering, and well made style example.

May 20, 2017
Photo of damndirtyape
damndirtyape from Ohio

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500mL can (date stamp L4323 05:49) served in a tulip stout glass.

Appearance: Bright amber with an initial 1/2" thick off white head that eventually died down to a thin 1/16" but persistent foam all the way across the top. An occasional island of lacing noted.

Smell: Faint herbal hop aroma, with a bit of metallic note and hint of butter.

Taste: Biscuity malt with some additional sweetness complimented by leafy bittering hops. A hint of butter as well. Some metallic note at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Spot on for style - light carbonation, a tiny bit sticky.

Overall / Drinkability: Very drinkable, and I think this would pair better with food rather than having it by itself as I did. One pint is enough, but I would not mind at all having it again, and I wonder what it would be like fresh out of a cask. A classic English Pale Ale from start to finish and a great looking beer.

Jul 25, 2016
Photo of hreb
hreb from Washington

3.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500mL clear glass bottle served in a short tumbler. Beer has a crisp, even lagery aroma. Color is crystal clear and of an orange amber hue. No bubbles and only minimal head formation. Flavor is dominantly biscuity and bready, with a buttery richness in the background, which also forms the aftertaste. No surprises here: a malt-forward English ale. Malt aftertaste throws the whole thing a bit out of balance and keeps this out of great beer territory, though it is most enjoyable and successfully conveys what English Ale is about.

May 24, 2016
Photo of PlutonowyManiek
PlutonowyManiek from Belgium

2.51/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Amber color, clear. The head is the strong point of this beer, ecru, compact, very dense, long.
The aroma is a strong foundation malty, slightly caramel, with subtle notes of fruit.
Taste: here definitely much more caramel maybe even too much, again delicate fruitiness well and it would be enough.
Gentian delicate, soap. Low saturation.

Apr 15, 2016
Photo of JPNesker
JPNesker from Canada (ON)

4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

It's got one trick but does it very well. Color suggests a very heavy body but in reality its pleasantly light and crisp. Still a malt bomb but pleasant hop/caramel notes on the finish. Superb!

Mar 05, 2016
Photo of WillieThreebiers
WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cask ale pumped a rich golden amber with a 1/2 inch of creamy tan head that recedes to a solid cap. Aroma of caramel and candy...trace toffee. Taste of creamy caramel...sweet full bodied.

Feb 19, 2016
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nice smooth bitter here(.5l bottle). Taste of toffee, aroma of butterscotch and caramel. Nice copper color with small creamy head. Mouthfeel hits the spot for this style. Imagine the tap variety would be a little creamier, but good effort here...

Jan 17, 2016
Photo of rolltide8425
rolltide8425 from Pennsylvania

4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic example of an English Pale. Had on cask at a restaurant in Philly but it made me feel like I was at a pub in London. Earthy, bready, creamy and delicious.

Dec 23, 2015
Abbot Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 707 ratings