Norfolk Nip | Woodforde's Norfolk Ales

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Norfolk NipNorfolk Nip
12 Ratings
Norfolk NipNorfolk Nip

Brewed by:
Woodforde's Norfolk Ales
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rastaman on 10-16-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by fisherman34:
Photo of fisherman34
2.77/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled sample from Phil. Mud brown in colour with low carbonation and virtually no head. Aromas of cocoa powder, cherry pits, and earth. Flavor wise, the roasted malts are quite apparent, but all of the sharp edges have been rounded off by some mild caramel and stewed fruits. Additional flavors are of licorice and more earth. Thin bodied, but the extremely low carbonation balances it out a bit. Very sucked out, but it was a month past its expiration date.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is the 7% version from M&S. A 330ml bottle with a BB of Nov 2015. Reduced to clear so I bought a couple and squirrelled this one away in a cupboard. I hope it has aged well.

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A very deep ruby-brown hue that is almost black in the glass. Produces a smallish head of frothy off-white foam that dissipates almost immediately, leaving a collar around the surface.

S: Aroma of sweet, fruity malt with hints of raisins, prunes, dried fruit, molasses, brown sugar, brandy, ale yeast and faint stewed hops. A warming whiff of booze in the background. Rounded and rich - superb.

T: Tastes of rich, fruity malt with a lingering sweetness. Notes of raisins, dried fruit, brown sugar, molasses, subtle grain, ale yeast, mild stewed hops and a hint of brandy. A whisper of alcohol lurks in the background, followed by a very delicate bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and lightly tingly, with soft carbonation. A thick, almost creamy body envelops the palate. Aftertaste of sweet, fruity malt and ale yeast.

O: Very nice - has a timeless quality to it. Looks the part, while the aroma and flavour are a fantastic blend of sweet, fruity malt, ale yeast and booze. Nice body; perhaps only lacking a shade more texture. Seems to have held up well - a delight for the senses no matter the season. Pity M&S seem to have stopped selling it, but if you find yourself in darkest Norfolk this would be well worth seeking out.

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Photo of rastaman
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK, i had this in two places, on The Tube with Beerlimey (of and i brought a bottle back for the Sydney guys to try. I liked it both times, liked the taste of caramel/choc and acid. Flavour was almost Belgian. Nice minerally sourness, an interesting, well-made beer, really easy to enjoy.

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Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great drinking old ale, with little carbonation, much like a cask ale, best before 2008. It went down well, and was pleasantly surprisingly woody as well as the type of old ale I like not being overhopped nor too barley tasting. Very drinkable, I could nurse quite a bit of this over a period of weeks.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.11/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep slightly hazy copper color ale with a small bubbly head with no retention. Aroma is quite complex and hard to describe but I can pick up traces of vanilla and some subtle smoke. Taste is a well balance mix between some vanilla, caramel, very subtle smoke and some oak. Alcohol is well hidden and body is above average but not very full either. Carbonation is very low, almost like an old Thomas Hardy. Very interesting take on an ambiguous style (for me at least!) and I am very curious about trying some aged bottle in a couple of year since I believe age could do wonder to this beer.

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Photo of vinicole
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

M+S version - reduced to clear.
I liked the sour 'old ale' notes similar to 'Olde Suffolk'.
Rather flat for bottled conditioned.
A true British barleywine.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled and possibly bottle conditioned
I've had a 7% version from Marks & Spencer
I enjoyed this, molasses & rum in both aroma and flavour
Well bodied ale

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Photo of grub
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

got this bottle as a bonus in a recent trade with Phyl21ca. thanks phil!

pours a deep red that shows lots of ruby highlights. head is almost non-existent. the bottle says it's a 'bottle conditioned real ale', and it really does look like it was just poured from a cask.

aroma is nice. alcohol initially, then some vinous and dried fruit character. oaky-vanilla character that is reminding me of a nice single malt scotch.

taste is ok. that oak and vanilla is there, as well as a bit of alcohol. crackery malt. slightly vinous. almost non-existent hop presence. the taste seems a little one dimensional. i'd like more malt and more hops.

mouthfeel is ok. this is beyond 'real ale' to just plain flat. feels a bit thin too.

drinkability is ok. on the low end of the ABV scale for a barleywine, which makes it more drinkable, but the lack of carbonation takes away from the drinkability.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%

I've got the 7.0% Marks & Sparks version.

A: Very dark brown with a small off-white head disappears almost immediately. Loads of small bubbes. Looks very fizzy.
S: Bad breath, sweaty t-shirts and rum.
T: Like rum and coke. Plenty of chocolate in there too. Medium dry and not very bitter. Some nice cakey tones and a bit of red wine. Getting liquorice towards the bottom.
Very fine fizziness but otherwise silky.
O: Started off pretty boring but got better with every sip.

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Photo of Naerhu
3.29/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Nice brown opaque body with hints of amber, and crema colored head.

Red wine and pungetn molasses aroma

Huge sweet maltyness. Earthyness. Alcohol is apparnt on the palate. Hops show well (though a bit chewy) even though they did not show on the nose. Quite bitter.

Micro bubbles on a vinous body.

This beer just does not come together for me, it is simply burnt pungent malt, no hop aromatics, bitter, and vinous body. I'll pass.

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Photo of wl0307
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At only 8%abv., BB Jan. 10, served cool in a large tulip-shaped wine glass.

A: very dark brown in colour with pretty mild carbonation, coming with a light tan froth settling fast to a soapy thin head to last.
S: aromatic yeasty and fruity, full of cherry-flavoured chocolates and mild licorice, on top of prune-ish and oxidised-pear-like sour tinge. A light tinge of vinous cherry adds to the complexity; while it's quite rich in the fruity department, the raisiny sourness and deeply chocolatey malty elements reach a compromise somewhere. Not as richly malty as my last encounter, anyway.
T: a rather quiet and flat-textured swallow of dark stone-fruits, smoked raisins, lightly toasted malts, licorice-like bitter-sweet herbal touch and sour pear-ish yeast sediments... the aftertaste remains more or less the same, featuring mainly the stale-ale-like lactic edge, but the undertones of lightly roasted malts gradually take over the palate from the overripe fruitiness, rendering a delicately aromatic finish, which is also slightly chewy, sour-woody, and earthy (maybe due to the hops) with just a touch of bitterness.
M&D: the texture, soft as it is, could benefit from a fresher palate, but not too bad for an old ale like this. The balance is slightly interrupted by the yeast sediments, as the sour edge comes a bit OTT to cloud the overall performance. Otherwise, the cherry-chocolatey elements would've been more pronounced. A pretty unusual old ale this is.

* Tasting Date: 04/03/06
Got this at the Real Ale beer shop in Richmond, London. It comes in a 330ml brown bottle, bottle-conditioned. The label states that it uses a recipe from 1929 until 1960s, and is matured in casks before being bottled--sounds quite special. BBE Oct. 08, served cool in a broad-rimmed goblet.
4 A: dark ruby colour with brownish hues, coming with absolutely flat and no head is observed, quite in line with the statement that it was matured in casks for a while...
3.5 S: sweet, mixed spicy and herbal note with the dominance from licorice, and a mixed nutty+caramelly+burnt malts with a mild but pleasant suggestion of chocolates; slightly syrupy maltiness develops after swirling the glass, but overall the nose stays very settled, even like an old ale I must say.
4 T&4 M: fortified wine-like flavour upfront, reminiscent of medium-sweet sherry plus medium madeira with old woody hints; buttressed by a deep but indirect semi-vinous cherry-wine undertone, and mild inputs of dryish hops; surprisingly clean on the palate at the back, with a slightly root-herb aftertaste along with the mildest herbal bitterness I've ever encountered. The mouthfeel is so mellow and light, while the alc. feel is very restrained that it's hard to believe it's a 8.0%abv. ale... only radiating its real power after several foolishly large sips.
3.5 D: pretty light-bodied old ale, it's not particularly delicious or complex but shows a good depth and the kind of "understated-ness" hard for the general public to appreciate nowadays. Worth trying once in one's life time, but don't expect to "wow" over this beer. That said, it's still amazing to me how a BEER could be this settled and quiet...

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
3.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Also the 7% Mark's and Spencer version

Appearance - A pretty deep and dark cherry cola like body, plenty of bubbly CO2 activity and a finger of beige foam head that has low retention.

Smell - Coffee and cola and charcoal. This beer has a Lapsang Souchong element to the nose. There is some sweet treacle in the back end of the inhale and a tiny bitter presence but mostly this one is malty.

Taste - Boozy and sweet but the booze is not over powering and the whole drink manages to stay balanced. In many ways it is like a mild Chimay Blue with dark fruits. This beer is very much a malty number relying this over the bitter elements.

Mouth feel - A little thin for my liking but it is reasonably smooth the finish is neither drying nor cloying and the linger is almost nil.

Overall - I like this one but it is not even a patch on others I have had in the style. I will prob not buy it again but did enjoy it enough to recommend it to others

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Norfolk Nip from Woodforde's Norfolk Ales
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 12 ratings