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 #182
Ranked #41,099
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
Reviews by superspak:
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
More User Reviews:
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 RBorsato
RBorsato from Virginia

3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Light/tawny brown with a low beige head, good carbonation, and some decent lace. Spicy malt and hop aroma with a light buttery diacetyl aroma. Spicy and fruity (raisins) malt dominates but balanced nicely. Fairly strong diacetyl/butter compared side by side to their own St. Edmund English Ale and Bass. Light-medium bodied with a dry bitter finish.

Would have rated higher before tasting next to St. Edmund and Bass (which is not one of my favorites but was easier drinking).

Per club notes: Pale Crystal and Amber malts. Challenger hops (bittering) and Fuggles hops (finishing).

Per GK website: Abbot Ale is brewed with pale crystal and amber malts to give an attractive colour and rich malty taste. Challenger hops give it bitterness with a spicy overtone and to really boost the taste and aroma to the maximum it is late-hopped with Fuggles to provide the floral tones and fruity esters. 5% ABV.

Feb 01, 2005
Photo of NightINgale
NightINgale from Russian Federation

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml can poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - Copper body with a nice one finger creamy white head and some visible carbonation. Good head retention.

S - Fruity malts, with notes of apple, plum, and a bit of cherry. Also some subtle floral hops. The aroma isn't very intense, but it sure is quite appealing.

T - Starts with a pretty powerful maltness, with some breadiness, biscuit-like notes and a decent fruity presence. It opens up with notes of apple and plum, followed by a distinct pale ale bitterness. There is also a subtle floral tea-like flavour. The finish is moderately bitter and bready.

M - Light-to-medium bodied, with some crisp carbonation. Nice and smooth on the palate.

D - Good. This is a good balanced English pale ale; pretty flavourful yet not heavy.

Nov 29, 2009
Photo of MarkoNm
MarkoNm from Slovenia

3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear coppery color with a hefty and quite solid just off-white head,
The aroma is quite weak and pretty neutral, only small hopy are detectable.
The taste starts sweetish and fruity and following this after same time there is a pleasant bitter taste.
The finish is nicely bitter with that feeling staying with you for some time.
Very nice and very drinkable. Thumbs up.

Mar 22, 2014
Photo of hobbes2112
hobbes2112 from Texas

3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had one of the new design nitro cans, don't really know why they left the green can.

Pours as nitros do, lots of mixed head/beer content that rise to form the perfect inch thick layer coming right up the lip of a pint glass. I love nitro pours!

The smell is fairly tame, a little sweet malt and little else.

Taste is smooth and sweet malt with a small amount of bitter near the end. No significant aftertaste.

What I really love about this beer is the feel, I love the creamy full body and love lasting head that makes sure you get a creamy topping each time.

I first had this beer in England right near where it is brewed. It is much better fresh from the tap, but it still does well out of the can. When I am looking for an english nitro ale this is usually first on my list.

Jul 02, 2004
Photo of degerbah
degerbah from Ohio

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy reddish tan with a very small amount of head. The aroma is very bready. The taste is malty with a small hint of hoppy flavoring. After I got over the flatness characteristic to the style, the beer really started to grow on me. Each sip I enjoyed the beer more. There really isn't much aftertaste at all as I finish through the beer. I really enjoyed this and might go out of my way to try this again.

May 03, 2010
Photo of pipinmalikonj
pipinmalikonj from Croatia (Hrvatska)

2.5/5  rDev -32.1%

Nov 21, 2013
Photo of pootz
pootz from Canada (ON)

2.13/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I knew there was a reason commercial Brit ales turn me off...this is a glowing example.

Crystal clear amber color no cap to speak of... weak lacing...soft carbonation

Little aroma at all outside the lightest whiff of wet hay from the hops.

Weak body watery mouth feel, limp lacking character

hard to taste malt in this... all I get is a sort of weak "tea" decernment that seems to have been brewed with hops instead of tea leaves.

Weak and undefined taste from front to experiencing a cold glass of weak watery tea. I wouldn’t even cook with this.

Feb 01, 2007
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho from Washington

3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 500mL can into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich golden-orange hue with a thin layer of frothy ivory foam on top. Despite its low head, I rather like it.

Smell: light, sweet malt aroma. Mild in intensity, but pretty nice.

Taste: very biscuity flavor with some sweeter maltiness coming in at the end. There's a hint of grain and a very light bitterness. Not much in the way of hop flavor, here.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a low level of carbonation. Despite that, it is pretty smooth and appropriate for the style.

Overall: this is a solid session beer. It's not precisely to my taste, but it is drinkable and inoffensive.

Jul 28, 2011
Photo of DaveMiller
DaveMiller from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Apr 05, 2014
Photo of freed
freed from Oregon

4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Abbot himself watched me from the tap handle badge while I was finishing my bitter. He wasn't angered I hadn't chosen him first, he knew his time would come...

Like all nitros, the thick creamy head easily marked which beer was mine. It was a abundant, and it lasted the entire beer. Underneath the full foam cap was a rosey amber body with a mildly fruity and malty fragrance, even with a hint of an aromatic hop like a Golding. The first and subsequent sips reveal a similarly fruity and aged malt body. Subtle but still interesting variety of flavors. A lighter body, standard to a British ale, it drank nicely, and really ought to have had another.

Aug 09, 2003
Photo of MeisterBurger
MeisterBurger from Canada (ON)

3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, rich caramelly amber with a respectable, frothy head. Good clarity.

The aroma is pears and sweet caramel.

Tastes nice, very English, with a sweet biscuity caramel and an earthy, chalky, somewhat floral bitterness in the finish. Clean flavors. Slightly buttery. Well balanced, very even.

Medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Drinkability is high on this one, with enough character to keep you interested but not so much that you'd burn out on it. In theory. I'm only having the one tonight. Bugger.

Sep 25, 2009
Photo of AndrewC
AndrewC from Canada ()

3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jun 09, 2016
Photo of maccroz
maccroz from Cambodia

4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Upon first pour this looks like a frothy white cloud as the nitrogen settles. It's rather fun to watch acutally. As it settles, it reveals a golden-brown, almost like a Bass or a Newcastle with a white Guinness like head.

It tastes very creamy and sweet. It's a really good English Style ale as it does not have the "funk" that is present in some others. It's similar to Boddingtons in taste.

Oct 24, 2004
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium from North Dakota

3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: cask at Yards Brewing Co., Philly, PA, for their 5th annual Real Ale Festival 2012

Beer list proclaimed a 6.5%ABV on this one.

Poured a darker amber color with a small soapy head. Light aroma, caramel and light fruits. Taste of sweet caramel and wort, lighter notes of toffee and dried apricot. Pretty nice, but not amazing. Light-medium body, and pretty smooth going down. Not something I'd get again, but definitely not bad.

Mar 28, 2012
Photo of barryjg
barryjg from Texas

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

Dec 27, 2015
Photo of Admiraldinty
Admiraldinty from Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah the Nitro. Pours a huge cascading tan-off-white head. Beer itself has a deep orange. Nose is very yeasty (breadlike) and somewhat metallic (due to the can). Soft hops, herbs, and some fruityness. There is also a bit of maltiness as well. This stuff is super smooth, and fun to drink. I'd say it's slightly better than other nitro can English pub ales. All in all not bad, but I'd really love to try it on tap. England here I come!

Feb 17, 2003
Photo of fx20736
fx20736 from New York

3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a Nitro Can into a British Pint glass.

Coppery orange, solidly carbonated with a 1 finger creamy almond colored head that leaves it's quota of lacing.

Aroma is a delightful, rich, fragrant mixture of great Pale Malts and Jolly Rancher fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: fake creamy, like a Nitro can beer is.

Taste: Dry fruitiness on a bed of pale Malt going down with a slight hop sting and a creamy finish.

Notes: Clean tasting, dry and mildly fruity this is a good English Pale Ale.too bad it is Nitro

Nov 03, 2011
Photo of atrocity
atrocity from Virginia

3/5  rDev -18.5%

Apr 29, 2014
Photo of slitherySOB
slitherySOB from Canada (ON)

4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lovely toffee and red colour, with a thick two finger head that lasts. Some lacing to the glass, as well as a settled ring after every sip. Slight smell of malts, fruits, flowers and tea. Smooth flavour, with plenty of rich malts and a bit of alcohol. Their is a raw hop presence at the finish. Enough to balance the grains. Mouthfeel is smooth, with a slight dry finish. An excellent beer.

Jan 28, 2007
Photo of MattyV
MattyV from Canada (ON)

3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL can poured into a plain old nonic pint glass

Appearance - Pours a nice amber orange, lots of golden/ruby highlights, great colour, about a 2 finger head that leaves lots of lacing as it slowly recedes

Smell - not a whole lot, bit of grassiness, bread, maltiness

Taste - tastes like many English Pale Ale's... some grassy herbal hops balanced with caramel malt, a tiny bit of toffee sneaked in there, a bit of a buttery finish

Mouthfeel - low carbonation like most English offerings, which lends a silkiness, that could be much thicker

Drinkability - quite high, the lower carbonation can = a good session offering, quite a bit of flavour here without feeling too heavy.. could go for a few of these if needed

Dec 14, 2009
Photo of Derek69
Derek69 from Canada (ON)

4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I still can't honestly believe that this beer is so cheap here in Ontario, Canada. It was $2.10 for a tall boy when i first saw it months ago, it's increased since however.

Pours a dark copper colour with a decent amount of head. Doesn't seem to give off a lot of aroma, but the taste is truly great. Feels like a cask ale, not overly carbonated. Lots of flavour, hints of caramel, maybe some raisins, hard to describe. You will not be disappointed though!

To me, it's a fruity, dark-ish beer with lots of character, at a great price. Seems like a winning combination.

Jun 12, 2014
Photo of daledeee
daledeee from Iowa

3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recommended by the local beer crew at John's. I should remember I am not that fond of most English ales. Nice pour with a good head and lace thereafter. The nose is malty with an english flair.

Taste is very traditional English. This is not a bad beer; I am just not that fond of this taste. Fairly dry and a little hoppy finish.

Recommended if you like English beer.

Jun 08, 2004
Photo of TheNightwatchman
TheNightwatchman from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Mar 30, 2012
Abbot Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 707 ratings