Abbot Ale
Greene King / Morland Brewery

Abbot AleAbbot Ale
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Greene King / Morland Brewery
England, United Kingdom
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #83
Ranked #25,872
3.66 | pDev: 14.75%
Aug 02, 2022
Jul 07, 2001
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.
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Photo of T100Mark
Reviewed by T100Mark from California

4.29/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Cask ale pulled into a shaker pint glass on a sunny June afternoon at The George in Southwark, London.

Appearance - Reddish copper color. Great clarity. A moderately thick head. Great stickage on the inside of the glass. A very handsome ale!

Nose - Sweet. A touch spicy. A slight whiff of Licorice. Very nice.

Taste - Sweet. Malty. A touch of burnt caramel. Again, a bit of licorice. A slight hop zing on the tail end. Very tasty!

Mouth - Buttery. Smooth. Classy.

Full disclosure; the setting might have affected my review. I was on vacation and giddy with emotion. Regardless, this ale was just soooo good! We hit quite a few pubs on this trip (I'll be posting more reviews in "Places"). Many of the ales that I sampled were very good. There were also a couple disappointments. This ale was the best of our trip (just edging out the Doom Bar and the "Oh, Mister Porter").
Aug 02, 2022
Rated: 3.53 by burnaby391 from Canada (ON)

Jul 24, 2022
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Rated by mpk2020 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
From cask. Tasty brew!
Jul 23, 2022
Photo of Radome
Reviewed by Radome from Florida

4.06/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
I tasted this as a cask-conditioned real ale during a April 2022 business trip to London. It had an incredible appearance; light copper color with brilliant clarity and a great head. The flavors and aromas were good for a classic English ale, and it was one of the best cask ales I had on that trip. It is probably not fair to compare a cask-conditioned sample against the bottled versions most likely being rated on BA, which would explain why my scores are higher than average.

I was familiar with this beer in the 1990s, primarily from bottles when I lived near the brewery while on a military assignment in the UK. Back then it was one of my favorites. I can't help thinking that it is disappointingly missing some malt character and is a lower ABV than it used to be, but that is based on my memory, not research.
Jul 22, 2022
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Rated by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
From June 10th at The Woodman. Excellent beer.
Jun 17, 2022
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Reviewed by WoodBrew from Ohio

3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
I tried a pint of this beer off the cask'er at the pub at the Shrewsbury Hotel. It poured a clear amber with cask white head that left a fine lace. The scent had subtle bitter hop notes. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with sweet malt base and the typical english bitterness through the drink. The mouthfeel was medium in body but with cask condition "carbonation". Overall it was a good beer.
Jun 05, 2022
Rated: 3.84 by heerboth from Pennsylvania

Feb 27, 2022
Photo of LordEvyl
Reviewed by LordEvyl

4.21/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75
Look: Nice copperish/reddish color, looks almost like an Irish red. Nice head at first, but it dissipates quicker than I would like.

Smell: fresh cut grass with some malt and fruity notes

Taste: nice and malty (the way I like my ESBs to be honest)

Feel: Light and smooth

I'll be honest, I first had this beer four years ago and didn't really like it, but I think I might have had a bad or expired can. Recently decided to try it again after my local NLC liqort store bought it back, and my opinion on this beer has changed since I first had it. Really nice overall ESB. Not my favorite by no means (that would be the ESB from Propeller in Nova Scotia, Canada) but overall a nice English bitter. Easy drinking as well. Would certainly buy it again.
Jan 23, 2022
Rated: 4.18 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

Nov 09, 2021
Rated: 3.78 by Isaac_L95 from Canada (ON)

Aug 27, 2021
Rated: 3.35 by bad_poetry from England

Aug 15, 2021
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Reviewed by InspectorHound from Canada (ON)

3.44/5  rDev -6%
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
Rated: 3.53 by wc94wc from California

May 14, 2021
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Reviewed by James94 from England

4.06/5  rDev +10.9%
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
Rated: 5 by JanglezB19 from Canada (ON)

Nov 29, 2020
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Rated by crazyspicychef from Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
I had this decades ago.
All I remember is that it was very good. So good I've been searching for it for a very long time.
Nov 15, 2020
Rated: 2.75 by trevorpost from Pennsylvania

Oct 25, 2020
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Reviewed by Snowcrash000 from Germany

3.44/5  rDev -6%
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
Rated: 3.75 by craigbelly from Iowa

Mar 31, 2020
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Reviewed by maddogruss from New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
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
Rated: 3.55 by misteil from Ireland

Dec 08, 2019
Rated: 4 by paulish from New York

Nov 09, 2019
Photo of Maxpower086
Reviewed by Maxpower086 from Canada (QC)

3.69/5  rDev +0.8%
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
Rated: 3.16 by fisherbray from Florida

Oct 18, 2019
Rated: 4.16 by TrojanRB from Texas

Oct 17, 2019
Rated: 3.64 by jak from North Carolina

Oct 08, 2019
Photo of MichaelGennings
Reviewed by MichaelGennings from Canada (ON)

3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
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
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Reviewed by EmperorBevis from England

3.09/5  rDev -15.6%
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
Reviewed by Spike from England

4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
500ml clear glass bottle.
L: Rich, lustrous, dark copper colour with a one-finger, white head. A few streams of bubbles and lots of lacing.
S: Caramel & sweet biscuits.
T: This is all about the malt. Toffee, caramel, madeira cake & brown sugar. Hops used mainly for bittering.
F: Medium body that coats the roof of the mouth. A long & dry finish.
O: Malt. Rich & sweet & velvety.
Aug 01, 2019
Photo of jackitg
Rated by jackitg from Israel

4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Got it fresh from the tap, excellent spicy fruit and malty taste, plain but very good an balanced. Low head. Very drinkable.
Jul 18, 2019
Rated: 3.77 by cwd from Kentucky

Jun 20, 2019
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Rated by jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
on cask
Apr 17, 2019
Rated: 3.48 by Beer_Rabbit66 from England

Feb 28, 2019
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Reviewed by KooVee from Finland

3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
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
Rated: 3.75 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts

Nov 14, 2018
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Reviewed by elnachooo from Spain

3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
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
Rated: 4.05 by AGust82 from Connecticut

Oct 08, 2018
Rated: 3.73 by JonnoWillsteed from England

Oct 07, 2018
Photo of HughJarce
Reviewed by HughJarce from England

1/5  rDev -72.7%
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
Abbot Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 719 ratings