Abbot Ale | Greene King / Morland Brewery

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Abbot AleAbbot Ale
687 Ratings
Abbot AleAbbot Ale

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

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-07-2001

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Ratings: 687 |  Reviews: 367
Reviews by RedBaron:
Photo of RedBaron
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A nice bronze color, with a very creamy, off-white head. Nice carbonation throughout.
Smell: About as typical as you can find for an English ale. Nothing really jumping out except some understated malty tones.
Taste: Biscuity up front, a fairly hoppy finish. A nice hint of grapefruit in the finish too. Creamy and smooth throughout.
Mouthfeel: A fairly full-bodied, hearty ale.
Drinkability: Nice. It's a very good example of an English bitter. Reminds me of some nights spent sampling good bitters in London.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this outta the bottle over a year ago and really liked so I tried it on the nitro-tap,poured a great creamy copper with a very sticky head,aroma is malty and more malty.Had that very disctintive Englisg hop taste with a malt backbone and a very dry finish.I was glad to try this on tap I really enjoy this beer.

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Photo of davemarc87
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of RoyalT
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one is a thin but very dark orange in color. It’s almost a light brown, really. The head came up moderately but did not show much retention.

Smell – The bitter English-style aroma is here along with the very lightest sense of sweetness. The leafy bitterness smells dirty, like fresh soil in a damp cave. There’s a hefty dose of malts here, too.

Taste – The leafy character comes out at the taste and picks up more sweetness at the tongue. The sweets are like RC Cola. There’s a strange spicing here that I can’t quite make out and had me scratching my head. What is it, and why is it here?

Mouthfeel – This one is in between light and medium-bodied with some stiff bitterness throughout. It’ is lightly carbonated and exceptionally smooth.

Drinkability – The smooth, session-like quality of this ale helped it along nicely, although the flavors were very different and at times even a bit funky.

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Photo of cam477
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of JonnoWillsteed
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Rijtjeshuis
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look (3.5/5) ~ coppery gold in colour with brilliant clarity. A moderate head on the pour: about one finger on decent pour, reduces quickly without any lacing. Very good carbonation inside the glass.
Aroma (4/5) ~ very good, though overall I wouldn’t say it was an intense aromatic experience. Malt character was somewhat bready with caramel and some apricot-like aromas (though that may also have been the yeast). Some light hop character that is fruity and earthy, I’d be guessing your usual suspects for this style: Kent Golding and Fuggles. Some nice fruity aromas: as noted, some apricot-like notes, but also some plums, and a floral hint. A bit of butteriness, sulfur and carbonate round out the finish. I may get a very faint smokiness.
Taste (4/5) ~ very well balanced. I get similar malt character: a lot of bread and biscuit notes with some nuttiness are the dominant force with some straight-up caramel adding sweetness. Hopping was very good: some of the earthier varieties with a bit of floral, and only a hint of that metallic character that these sometimes get; bitterness was overall moderate and balanced the grist nicely. The finish introduces a touch of fruitiness, probably from the yeast and some malts, that leans a bit sweet and toward darker pitted fruits (this is a bit stronger than the nose). Finish with some sulfur and carbonate helps dry this out.
Feel (3.5/5) ~ pretty much what I’d expect from an ESB. The carbonation was overall pretty gentle (note the weak head). Body was in the moderate range, with some residual sweetness and syrupiness, but not as much as others of this style.

I’ve recently become much more acquainted with the PA/ESB family of beers (having brewed some and drank a lot of commercial examples). I have to say that Abbot Ale is probably the first or second brew I think of when I do this style (I’m also huge fan of the obvious choice, which is Fuller’s ESB)).

I think that this one represents the median of what an ESB should be (although I do love some of the outliers like Wells Bombardier), and shows the overall ‘drinkability’ and exceptional balance of this style remarkably well. This is what I aim for when I brew these.

can to nonic pint glass.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #33 (Oct 2009):

Bright amber, shiny clarity and a thick creamy lacing resting on top. A little bit buttery and a little bit of caramel; a subtle but pleasing aroma. Smooth and light carbonation somewhat feigns an almost cask-like mouthfeel. Very malty with a kiss of orange and herbal hop. First caramel, then topped with a buttery yeast tone, then some toasted grain. Baked apple and golden raisins within the small fruity ester. Finishes a little sweet with a long linger of malt.

A reminiscing beer, one to put back a few as the night draws on. Delicious.

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Photo of Todd
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1pint "Draught Pub Ale" can (widget beer). No freshness date.

Appearance: Rich toffee/amber in colour. Pours a magnificent cascading head that rests with a finger thick pure white and tight creamy head, that leaves its tracks on the glass as you drink.

Smell: Delicate aroma of sweet grains and a mild bubble gum-like hop floral nose.

Taste: Silky smooth and creamy, with a robust full body. Rich sweet toasted malts are followed by a raw hop leaf feel on the palate with floral flavours, some earth. Bitterness is more to balance, and it does just that. An alcohol presence can be detected hidden within the mildly fruity flavours -- tastes strong. Finishes with just a touch of dryness and light metallic flavours.

Notes: Abbot Ale is Greene King's flagship ale, and a damn fine English Ale. I'd love to try this brew on cask, but the widget can will do just fine in the meantime.

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Photo of sponberg
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Man of Kent tavern.

Medium dark amber, with a thin persistent head that was still hanging around at the end of the pint. A very buttery malt, earthy hop nose - very much keeping in style.

A very round, soft malt character defines this beer, along with a very firm, earthy, spicy (Goldings? Fuggles?) hop character and bitterness. After every sip I found myself thinking "What a fine session beer this is." And then it was gone, confirming the fact.

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Photo of R_Kole
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of generallee
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a 1 pint .9oz or 500ml can into an imperial pint glass. The can lists its abv at 5%. The can reads "English Pub Ale" Full Flavoured, Smooth & Mature" and Brewed longer for a distinctive full flavor".

Appearance: It has a rich amber color with a small creamy off white head. It has slick lacing which coats the glass but slides right down as I sip. This head doesn't last to long as it fades out buy about the mid way point down the glass.

Smell: The nose has a soft malty buttered dinner roll like character. There is a slight suggestion of fruit and hops way off in the background.

Taste/Palate: It has a light to medium body with the same mellow bready and buttery character detected in the aroma with just a hint of toffee sweetness. There is also a very slight earthiness like white button mushrooms in there. It has some light, somewhat distant herbal hop notes on the back end which reminds me of black tea with lemon. The hops still add a good balance to the mellow malt sweetness. It has light carbonation on the palate giving it a smooth creamy texture that slides down with ease.

Notes: I was looking for a little more definition from both the malt and the hops but overall it was still enjoyable and easy to drink.

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Photo of Jason
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mild chill haze which means that this brew must have not been sterile filtered, still a bright orange amber colour with a thick two fingered nitro head shows something about this ale. Fruity aroma with a light caramel and floral hoppy company. Yum … nitro smooth, this is pseudo cask at its best. Creamy smooth, forced at that but it certainly adds to the drinkability for sure. Flavours are thrown around like junk in a cluttered house, clean but just in a scattered mess. Flavours of steeped hop tea, fruity with leafy hop all over. A drop of caramel and bready malt but the soft hop flavour keeps on coming back. Nitro starts to wear off a bit and then things seem to go thin and flat other than the hop flavour of course. One of the better non-stouts in a nitro can, something I’d go back to over the others.

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Photo of merlin48
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a clear, orange/red body with a one finger, offwhite head. Minimal head retention leaves some attractive patch lace on the glass.

Aroma is nice, with caramel malt balanced by floral hops.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied.

The taste features a sweet caramel flavor that is balanced quite well by hops bittering. The hops are herbal or floral, and lend a dryness to this ale. Crisp and refreshing, with some fruity pear and apple undertones.

Good drinkability. Not very complex, but extremely well balanced. Certainly, a different approach for a pale ale, as this one is a departure from most British and British style American pale ales I've sampled.

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Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Red (new graphics) Nitro can with widget, that produces the frothy super thick head and creamy mouthfeel of this brew. Tons of lacing, and tons of sheets of lace all over this quaffer. Notes of maple, caramel, vanilla up front, smooth and satisfying. The mouthfeel is what this brew is all about. Finish is long, creamy and, suprise, smooth. Decent, if somewhat bland, sessioner.

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Photo of henryclay_
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of olradetbalder
2.5/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favourite go-to beers; there's usually at least one in my fridge at any given time.

Pours a clear copper-ruby, with a thin white head that remains as a significant ring throughout. Looks like an EPA should.

The smell is great: apple, bread, a bit of cherry, lots of maltiness. Great stuff.

The taste is on line with the nose: sweet maltiness up front, sour apple and grapefruit on the finish. Lots of spiciness as well. Not terribly complex, but balanced.

Mouthfeel is decent, medium carbonation.

One of my favourite widely-available English pales. Would love to try this one on draught!

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Photo of vinivini
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of andrewdanks
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of bsp77
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from non-nitro can into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Clear amber with a thin but sustained off-white head.

Smell: Cherry, dry tea-like malts, and floral English hops.

Taste: Semi-sweet caramel and tea malt mixture that I expect from an English Pale Ale or Bitter. Some cherry as well. Light floral and metallic bitterness at the end.

Feel: Low carbonation, medium firm and smooth body, semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Everything I expect from a good everyday English Ale. This deserves more attention in the US (I think it sells a lot in England on draft).

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Photo of innominat
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of rsquared59
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of wjimson
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served a bit too cold as the beer was slightly frozen. Drank it as it warmed up. Even at warmer temperatures the beer had little smell, and the head dissapeared too quickly, leaving no lace. In other words, it looked like ice tea after the beer sat for a while.

The taste was a different story. Subtle by wholesome malt taste, leaving no sourness in aftertaste whatsoever. A nice hoppy and bitter finish. No noticeable unwanted and metallic tastes. Maltiness becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

A very drinkable treat. Just like ice tea or pale ales.

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Photo of fionn13
3.25/5  rDev -11%

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Abbot Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 687 ratings