Abbot Ale | Greene King / Morland Brewery

357 Reviews
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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Reviews: 357 | Ratings: 655
Photo of Libationguy
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish-amber color. Fine dark cream colored thin head that remains after the beer has settled.

Nutmeg, light brown sugar, light roast coffee. Cream and a moderate malt feel in the nose.

Mild sweetness in the palate. Brown sugar, light caramel, soft smooth feel to the palate. No real bitterness in the beer.

Medium bodied with a slick mouthfeel. Just enough bitterness to hold with the sweetness, but the beer still finishes just a little on the sweet side.

Soft, but with some character. The Nitro gives the beer a very smooth and slick feel.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.22/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Thin khaki hued head on the pour, clear medium reddish in the glass, gently carbonated. Biscuity/bready nose with some yeasty fruitiness, biscuity and nutty flavors then some nice hop bitterness and fruitiness. Easy drinking due to the levels of carbonation...I'd really like it if it had a little more 'oomph' in the body department. Finishes on the dry side. Good session ale.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Greene King Abbot Ale has a very thick, creamy, cream-colored head, a clear, amber appearance, with a few tiny, rather slowly ascending bubble streams, and thick lacing (like with coffee) left behind. The aroma is of toffee, tea dregs, white bread crust, slight caramel, and a musty cellar. Taste is of cellar mold, fungus of some sort, caramel, tea, toast, sweetness, cake dough, and a touch of citrus. Mouthfeel is light to medium and a bit slick, and Greene King Abbot Ale finishes wet, weird, and fairly drinkable. Overall, this is another unusual, moldy, English ale, but I do like it.


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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.79/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

brilliant brew here, how have I missed this before? luxurious creamy off white head from the nitro tap, a dense clear maple color underneath. it smells and taste about the same, a balanced, clean, incredibly satiating blend of English pale malts and appropriate hops in greater proportion than I expected for an English brew. its got a nice crisp bitterness after the grains roll through, and even notes of pine forest and earthy must, which give this beer impressive depth. I love it on nitro, gives the body some life, and drinks like an old world classic. my first beer from green king here, and I look forward to trying more of the lineup, this is a really nice pub ale that deserves some attention. a fine all day drinker.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Effervescent; amber; medium head with good lacing

Aroma: Malty; grassy; sweet; hints of tea aroma

Taste: Juicy malt with hints of fruit on start; dry, slightly bitter finish with a nutty aftertaste; good balance overall

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm always a sucker for the British beers. I did a semester abroad in college and these brews always remind me of a certain redhead from Surbiton, UK. Ah, the 90's... .

Appearance 4.0: Poured a beautiful and deep golden color. Nice CO2 foamy head that never reached above 1/8".

Smell 4.0: That's nice. Caramel along with chlorophyl-heavy English hops are the predominant bouquets.

Taste 4.25: Front is somewhat dry and short and the middle certainly follows suit, but the middle is where more of those amazing English hops stand up and hit you with that grassy yumminess. Finish is where a delicious, yet subdued, caramel barley taste takes over. Aftertaste is long, delicious and features a strangely compelling light treacle sweetness. Makes you wanna quaff the entire pint in one gulp.

Mouthfeel: 4.0: Excellent low level of carbonation that showcases this lovely English ale.

Overall 4.25: Great example of a British pub beer. Four of five Imperials of this bad boy and the world will take on a different meaning. You'll start writing poetry and wearing shirts with lace on them. You'll start referring to football as "sport." Well, maybe not those last two things, but nonetheless, this is a great beer and you should seek it out and try it. To answer an English person's question: "Is it nice?" Yes, it is. Very much so.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served in a willibecher at Firkin.

My last beer of the day shall be a nice English cask ale. Indeed. It pours a clear sunrise amber topped by a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises lightly-sweet biscuit, mild greens, and light honey. The taste brings in more of the same, though everything is slightly milder, and there's a touch of grass in there for good measure. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a pretty nice EPA, one that seems right at home in this cask engine.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.39/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Clear copper with stronger orange leanings. A very light tan/beige head is creamy with decent retention. Drops to an almost non-existent cap in short order. Specks of lacing. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Slight sweet maltiness. Touches of caramel malt with a decidedly English water and yeast profile. Rocks with a good amount of grass, hay, and husky graininess. Some hints of apple and generic fruit skin. Light dusting of mildly earthy and herbal hops. It's very subtle and very simple, which isn't a bad thing here.

Taste: Just what the nose promises. Light, slightly sweet malt backbone. Caramel malts. Vaguely toasted. A solid building grassy/husky flavor. Lots of minerality from the yeast and water, but it's not aggressive. Bready. Hopping is subtle and light, pushing just a touch of herbal earthiness.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy with a medium body that almost feels light given how smooth it is. Moderate carbonation. Nice and clean.

Overall: Maybe a novice?

Nothing stellar, but a decent drinking beer. The can gives it a few bonus points and it's incredibly drinkable, but doesn't really hold up over the course of the 16oz can.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale amber with a motionless carpet of off-white froth (helped by can, no doubt) that clings.
Lots of butterscotch with hints of orange rind on the nose.
Buttery Maris Otter, a hit of toasty granola then tea leaf and orange rind hops.
Tobacco leaf finish and tart apple skin linger that I wish ended sooner.
Soft, round, light with only thoughts of medium.

Solid English malts and understated-but-there hops in just the way you'd expect for an English bitter. At the same time, too thin for the strength and there is something aggressive, tannic and unpleasant in the aftertaste. More MOR from GK.

Not hesitating to put half of this in a chorizo and bean stew.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark honey orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, fruits, and a mild hop aromas. Taste is much the same with fruit and caramel flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is light and easy to drink.

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Photo of ghisty
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

pours a light gold, darkens as it draws out in the pint, to an orange with honey sides.
color deepens near the center. carb is cresty at the start..thins to a good ale level.
thin silky head, the lacing is smooth and leaves a slick layer on the edge of the glass similar to the darker side of the english ale style.
very clear. no fogginess what so ever. impressed with the color.

oats. with a good range of other grains, the hops are barely present in the nose,
pretty short. something a bit citrus like distant woodsmoke. nice overall nose.
unsmoked tobacco.and i think its the malt coming thru.

malt hits first. a carmely flavor very familiar in ales.
this ale doesnt overstate the hints of citrus or extra bitter hops that alot of other ales choose to exaggerate , or really any of its charectaristics really ..its not overly got any serious taste other than a bready malt and a nice flat finish with some minimal hop action. its taste is great. but its not overstated.i enjoy the finish, nice 30 seconds or so of flavour range after the swallow.

like an ale should be, not overly thick, or creamy, or watery, but a good balance of starting sharp and ending flat. which makes it enjoyable and makes you want to drink more of it. it does that well.

my first time having this was after a long work stretch, in a terrible ghetto hotel and i was over tired and didnt have any other method but to drink straight from the can,
as ghetto hotels have no beer mugs available. I recalled being impressed by it's quality at the time, and seeing it again I was in the mood for an ale or 5. so...
seeing it poured properly corrected my initial judgement on this ale.
it's alot better than I had remembered served properly, and I will be including it
on my list of go-to's . dont let the slightly lower price fool you, this ale is great.

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Photo of PorterPro125
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Drifting from the usual menu of various Stouts and Porters, I decided to pick up a few Ales. I picked this one up due to references from some of my buddys.

A- This Ale looks stunning in the glass with an exceptional foamy white head that dissipates fairly quickly but never quite goes away. What Beautiful deep caramel color.

S- The smell is pretty average for a Pale Ale; a nice hoppy scent that is common among good quality Ales.

T- This is the best tasting Ale I have had in many years. A great hop presence with interesting malty flavours with notes of bread and such. Hints of caramel provide a good amount of sweetness. This Ale has a pretty good balance of flavours although the caramel notes are quite a bit more dominant than the others.

M- Nothing too special here. Feels fairly thin in the mouth; quite water-like. Carbonation is just right on this brew.

Overall- A great brew it is for sure. If the body was a bit better and the individual tasting notes were a bit more balanced, this would be a 5/5. The drinkability is superior to most and with that comes a recommendation to anyone who has not tried it! I will definitely be picking this one up again.


As I stated in my initial review, I did pick up this brew again. I must say I was utterly shocked when I took the first sip; It was not the beautiful Ale I remembered from months before. In fact, it was so horrid that I was compelled to pour it down the drain; a move that I rarely make. Moral of the story? If you don't like it the first time I encourage you to pick it up again. If you get a good batch you will be pleasantly surprised with an Ale that is one of the best that I have tried.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a mostly transparent caramel color with a fair amount of frothy off-white foam that never quite goes away. Aroma smells of caramel and a vague fruitiness. The barest trace of hops lends a crisp, clean character to the aroma. Flavor tastes primarily of caramel malt at first blush, but there is also a nutty component that adds some depth. A yeasty character manifests as the beer warms, lending a bit of texture that I quite enjoy. Some apple and pear begin to appear as well. Meager hops manifest in the finish, which is drier than I would have expected considering the big sweetness in the middle. This is pretty much a necessity to prevent the sweetness from becoming cloying. The mouthfeel is a little loose for my tastes, but it's not bad. I'd just like more of the creaminess that's characteristic of the better representations of the style.

I have to say, with a bit more body and tempered sweetness, this could be an outstanding beer. As is, the caramel sweetness tends to overwhelm the other flavors, and, aside from the front end, the body comes off a little watery. A solid and drinkable English ale, but less than it could have been.

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Photo of Rijtjeshuis
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
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 Kremlock
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper colour, clear, no head. It has this little white tinny fuzzy head in the center of the beer.

S: Yeasty, bread, sweet malt, hints of hops,

T: Hints of bread with yeast flavours. There is some grassy hops that balance with sweet malt.

M: Thin, slick on the tongue, low carbonation, bitter finish that drys the palate.

O: Good English pale ale. Has the characteristics of sweet malt with a hop bitter backbone to balance it. Low on aroma and flavour hops, carbonation is on spot.

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Photo of FLima
3.42/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had it hand pulled from cask.
Amber color. Produced no head, just a thin ring.
Yeasty and malty aroma.
Predominant sweet taste of caramel malts, biscuits, and bready yeast with hints of floral hops.
Aftertaste is mildly dry.
Medium body with light carbonation and small bubbles.
Sweet and mild beer, quite bready and yeasty. Although it is average in several aspects, it has its own personality, but far from extraordinary.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 500 ml can. There is a batch code printed on the bottom but no freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into an imperial pint glass. There was a short but messy spray of beer after I cracked it open (grr!). The color is pale amber with honey tones. A finger of semi-dense eggshell-colored head left a thin cap and ring around the edge.

Smell: It smells like an English pale ale. Light malts, sweet caramel, toffee, honey, a touch of lemon, and some earthy hops. It is very clean.

Taste: It has a relatively full-bodied mouthfeel but the flavor is a tad lacking. It mostly mirrors the smell: light malts, sweet caramel, toffee, honey, lemon zest, and earthy hops. What is most enjoyable is the way the flavors slowly parade across the palate. At first it is sweet, then the lemon zest emerges, and then the bitter aftertaste follows at the end.

Drinkability: This is a decent (canned) British import. I bet it is much better from a cask, though.

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Photo of Juanca
4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Here in Peru there are not many places where you can sample beers from other countries, so when he had me between a place where European beers were selling did not think twice. The first beer I tried was this and go which was a surprise. It's a beer with a strong taste, excellent aroma and rich flavor, one of my favorites ever since.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

21st September 2012 and a hand-pulled pint of this beer was poured for me in the excellent ‘White Hart’ in Shifnal, Shropshire.

Can’t believe I’ve not reviewed the cask version before: I’m putting that right at last. The glass was full of a clear amber/copper coloured body with an off-white head of foam which hung around and left some heavy lacing as the beer level fell away.

The nose was of semi-sweet malty molasses with fruitiness from the hops: the taste wasn’t far away from that either. This is a pleasant, good quality bitter and although I’m not a huge Greene King fan you can’t knock this brew.

I’m sure it had more flavour years ago, but my memory is fading, so it might not have changed at all?

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Photo of jjanega08
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

No freshness dating on the can. Bottom of the can reads L1118GH00- 19:06

A= Pours a nice translucent amber color with a nice little bit of a cap on the top of the beer that has tiny bubbles and holds steady retention and lacing.

S= Smells sort of basic beery. It actually has a bit of a biscuity sort of aroma. It isn't an abbey style beer from the smell which was a suprise to me.

T= The taste is actually lighter than the smell which I don't usually find to be the case with beers. The flavor is light grassy hops and malt with a little biscuity sweetness and a light finish.

M= The mouth is quite creamy and nice. Tiny bubbles in it. Almost resembles a cask.

O= This isn't a bad beer. Not what I was expecting. I was thinking it would be like a dubbel or something. Eh jokes on me. Tastes good and I may buy it again.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the Abbot Ale poured into a pint/nonic glass.

A - It poured out a clear, caramel reddish-brown color with about an inch of fluffy off-white foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - On the nose I do get the caramel malt, with some citrusy hop notes.

T - An earthy caramel maltiness is the main flavor on the palate, which leaves a lightly sweet finish. A very malt forward ale.

M - Medium-bodied, crisp, clean, and smooth.

O - Abbot Ale is a very formidable ale. It brings forth all that is good in caramel malts with just enough hops to balance out the sweetness.

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Photo of zeff80
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly burgundy color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled floral and grassy with some strong maltiness.

T - A malt-forward pale with with some nuttiness. There is an earthy bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a nice canned English ale. Greene King is a solid brewery that imports to the U.S.

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Photo of ericj551
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Green King Abbot Ale pours a orange red with almost no head. The aroma is malty and oddly smokey. The flavor is
Sweet with some fruity malt and a hint of herbal hops. The smokey character pops up in the finish with almost an astringent quality. The carbonation is almost non existent, but it suits the beer well.

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Photo of rangerred
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml can into a nonic.

Pours a crystal clear medium to dark copper with a half finger creamy white head. Really good head retention with just a little bit of lacing.

The aroma is full of toffee and caramel along with a little bit of citrus. The fruit reminds me of plums and dark cherries. Also a touch of pipe tobacco.

All of these aromas really come alive in the flavor with tons of caramel, wood, and tobacco. The fruit is not quite as prominent as in the nose and there is some subtle English hop character. Mouthfeel is medium and smooth with light carbonation. A light bitterness creeps in about midway through and lingers long after the finish.

Overall, this is really a good example of an English Pale Ale. I'm glad it is not on nitro as is doesn't seem quite as harsh. A great beer that I will be sure to come back to again.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From their can into a pint glass.

A- minimal headthat remains a thin film. A bit of lacing. Amber brown, clean and clear.

S- honey-biscuit nose, a touch of roasted malt.

T- fruit and a honey/buttery taste similar to Samuel Smith's Pure Brewed Lager.

M-some hop bite and good carbonation. Medium body and dry finish.

O- Not bad.

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Abbot Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
3.66 out of 5 based on 655 ratings.
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