Archer's Ale | Sherwood Forest Brewers Ltd.

Archer's AleArcher's Ale
99 Ratings
Archer's AleArcher's Ale

Brewed by:
Sherwood Forest Brewers Ltd.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.31%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UnionMade on 12-12-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 99 |  Reviews: 87
Photo of yelterdow
4.22/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at just over fridge temperature in the optimal Sam Adams Boston Lager glass, the month of September is notched on the label. Now available in the NYC area.

Appearance- Rich and deep amber, this ale supports a thick, rugged light beige head that has impressive resilience. After a few minutes, it's still complete but thin; lacing is moderate and clings in long, broken islands.

Smell- Bready, malty sweet aromas of caramel and brisk hops infiltrate the nose in abundance. There's plenty to take in, and I love the clean, balanced execution.

Taste- This is a terrific example of a domestic English style session beer that's full of character, taste, and smoothness. The bold, yet balanced ingredients come together and harmoniously dance in the mouth and continue through the swallow. Bready, malty, and sweet with a mellow hop finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Subtle and gently carbonated, this is definitely one of the easiest drinking beers I've had recently. It's a solid choice for a session beer that really delivers in the flavor department and overall balance. I would love to pair this with fish & chips with some malt vinegar for dipping.

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Photo of msolar
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

It was ok - nice balance but a bit watery although I'm not an expert on English Ales. It had a good aftertaste but you didn't get much flavor when the beer was actually in your mouth.

I'd like to try some of their other beers but I wouldn't put "Archer's Ale" on tap at home.

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Photo of smcolw
3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Solid brown color. Looks much closer to a brown ale than a pale ale. Off-white (tan) head thin ring lace on the glass.

Classic English brown ale aroma--some powdered cocoa, a little chalkiness, light hop.

What's the phrase? If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...I'm declaring this to be a decent offering in the English Brown Ale category, regardless of the label ("English Style Pale Ale"). The taste mimics the smell with a thinner body than expected. Add to this a slightly sour swallow, almost too mild to note. Easy to consume.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Archer's Ale pours a dark, opaque, copper color with a one finger light tan, creamy head on top. The foam dissolves slowly to a thick sheet on the surface of the beer. It leaves behind a line of lace around the glass.

The aroma is faint, but has sweet notes of malt, bread and a hint of ripe fruit. Each sip of this medium bodied beer has a soft fizz that covers the palate. The beer is malty, with a subtle smokyness and a flavor that reminds me of chocolate. A touch of fruit (apples) is also present. It finishes slightly sour with a metallic flavor at the very end. Once gone a mild tart, fruity flavor lingers on the palate.

The bottle says this is an English style pale ale. I guess I was expecting a light colored beer that has some fruity notes and a bit more hop presence. Still, This beer is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of TheTrevor
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark brown with a single-finger tan head. The smell is bready malt with some candied apple fruitiness. The taste starts off with a bit of malt that gives way to a sort of cider-like tartness in the finish. Not much in the way of hops. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with some fine carbonation. This is a pretty drinkable beer, not at all unpleasant just not really what I expected from an APA.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.23/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A-beige head, thins quickly,slightly cloudy, mahogany body

S-citrus, grapefruit front, grassy

T-juicy citrus front, nice smack of malt in the middle, very nut-like. significant bitter finish


D-I've been waiting to try this beer for awhile. I wish the distribution of this beer was greater. I would certainly have this in the fridge on a regular basis. Tasty brew. This was great with Mexican food but it could certainly pull double duty as a session beer as well.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with cool if kitschy label

Appearance: Dark copper brew with a soapy ivory cap with decent retention

Smell: Too light for me...there is a very simple pleasant bready sweetness here, but this is about it

Taste: Very mildly fruity English Ale flavors, with a bit of diactyl...there's really not much in the way of hops here at all

Mouthfeel: Light/medium bodied

Drinkability: Not bad

Conclusion: Cool label and concept; other than that, this is completely average.

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Photo of WesWes
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark amber/red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice pale, crystal, and bisquit malt scent along with some noble hops and a fruity English yeast aroma. The taste is decent as well. It has a complex malt bill that goes down easy, although it's a bit thin in the finish. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an easy drinker, but not a good English pale. It tries to be a number of different things. It just doesn't work.

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Photo of Durge
3.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at the Old Corner Cafe in Naugatuck, dubbed the Old Corner Irish Ale, I'm fairly certain this was the Archer's Ale as the tap noted. Poured cold into a pint glass this "contract brew" version shows a deep mahogany color, fairly clear. There's little sign of head here, just a hint of off-white fizzle. Similar results in terms of lacing as well. The aroma is not bad, caramel and burnt brown sugar, not real strong but pleasant. The flavor is a little different, a peppery effervescence with a grassy malt hilight. Sort of a tart brown ale. I like it, easy drinking, not much body but a bit refreshing. A touch of citrus hops but the malt dominates. Not bad, worth a try.

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Photo of Darkale
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Seems to be on the dark side for a pale ale (and no allusions to Star Wars intended; it's just a bit darker than expected). Not much of a head, but as with the other Sherwood Forest beer I've tried, it's a resilient little bugger; it stops at about a quarter-inch and stays there.

Aroma is faintly sweet, like molasses from a long ways off. The beer is a bit too cold when first poured, so I shall see if warmth brings out more aroma.

Taste and mouthfeel are both thin and watery. Some malt around the edges, a faint, faint bite of hops, and a hint of the biscuit that one would expect from an English style pale ale. Aftertaste is sour, perhaps metallic.

An average beer. I'd be happy to have one at any time, but not if any of my usual beers were available. It would be a good beer to have with a hamburger or a hearty sandwich, or on the porch with friends; the ABV is not noted, but I don't think it's much above 5%.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bronzed tangerine peel with bright Sunkist borders. The pour generated a good-sized crown of putty colored foam that started out stiff and is ending up creamy. Tattered rings of lace have begun to form and I haven't even tipped the glass up yet.

Here's hoping the aroma opens up with warming. The only scents noted at the moment are a whiff of caramel and an indeterminate fruitiness that could be coming from hops or ale yeast. East Kent Goldings and Fuggles should have resulted in something much better than this.

Keeping the style in mind, Archer's Ale hits one of the outer rings of the target, but not the bull's eye. The malt-hop balance is slanted slightly in favor of the former, and the flavor isn't as clean as it could be. Otherwise, not a bad effort.

Flavors include toffee, overripe apples, tart Granny Smith apples and an odd woodiness that is most likely due to yeast esters run amok. More hops would have hid some of the flaws, but then the brewers might be satisfied with things as they are.

The mouthfeel, although no great shakes, does just enough to sneak up to an above average score. It's medium (possibly light-medium) for the style and the carbonation is within the broad range of acceptable.

Archer's Ale is of roughly the same quality as the only other Sherwood Forest Brewing beer to have entered my glass, Sheriff's IPA. Even though this is a decent English pale ale, it's one that I have no desire to drink again. Thanks TheManiacalOne.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.51/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this local craft brew on tap at a local chain restaurant. Received a decent amber pint with a 2 finger offwhite foamy head. Some lacing later, but not much. Head nearly gone after 1/2 pint drained.

I dunno. Maybe it was that I was eating at the bar, so combined food smells, etc., but I really didn't get much scent out of this one. Some malti-beeriness, but really stuck my nose in and got nothing.

A decent surprise here. Sweet maltiness, caramel notes, definitely some buttery elements, and hop bitterness trying to fight its way through. Not bad -- meaning decent. No complaints but not gushing

Mouthfeel is mouthcoating, almost oily. Beer has firm carbonation, so it gives you a bit of a stomach feeling element with a slick mouth.

Overall, I could have more than one of these. Was good with pub grub, and was definitely drinkable on its own (as I got the pint just before the plate of wings). This was on tap, so I wonder what the bottle or can is like in comparison?

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Photo of LarryV
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on draft in a restaurant and really enjoyed it so I decided to pick up a sixer. Pours a clear deep amber color with a decent head. Smell is malty with a bit of hops peeking through. Taste is big malt with an ample spattering of hops to lend a nice balance. The problem I had with it, and it may just be this batch is that the diacetyl seems out of control and lends an overpowering butterscotch flavor to the beer that lingers on the palate. This was definitely not present in the one I had on draft. If it weren't for the butterscotch flavor, I'd enjoy this a lot more.

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Photo of Bobdope
3.91/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was great snapping cold. I enjoy the rich color and taste. It has a very mellow, smooth mouthfeel. I find even not very experienced beer drinkers enjoy the Archer Ale. One thing this ale does have for it is drinkablilty. Refreshing and Delicious.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another one I received as an extra recently and decided to crack open last night and give it a try. I had another from them recently and it was ok, so I was hoping that they would step it up a little bit here to be honest, but we shall see. The 12oz bottle was poured into a pint glass straight out of the fridge. The crystal clear, orange tinted, amber color was evident from the first drops to hit the glass. Nice head of off white foam last a few seconds before trailing off into nothing, but it did leave some nice side glass in its wake, with a good carbonation profile, this one was looking fairly decent.

The aroma was heavy on the malts, which for a pale was al little shocking, but that's alright. Very earthy characteristic to it, with some caramel hints and a lot of grassy and grain like flavors in it as well. However, it was very light. The flavor came off to me a bit bland if I am being honest, there was just nothing to really push it through and make it come across as something I would want to get again. Decent malt profile, with a touch of bittering hops, but to be honest just nothing special here. The finish was a touch oily with a lingering taste of musty bread. Weird Mouthfeel, was a bit slick and at the same time decently carbonated, odd, but not bad. It was fairly session able, just do not know if I would want to based on the lack of depth in it.

Overall it was ok, but was just a little to bland for me. I think I will probably pass on having another one. This one was enough for me, maybe its better on tap.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber body with a bubbly white head.

Smell: Simple aroma of pale and caramel malts with some notes of herbs and spice.

Taste: Pale malts with a slight caramel hint. Herb, spicy hop flavors with a mild cleansing bitterness. A grassy herbaceousness lingers into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, easy-drinking English-esque Pale Ale in a can.

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Photo of deepsouth
3.27/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this beer poured a clear light brown color with a wonderful head. my biggest question is, WHO STOLE THE SMELL IN THIS BEER? it's actually non-existant. perhaps it smells like a loaf of store bought white bread with the crust cut off, nothing there... otherwise, this is a pretty good beer. taste is nice and balanced and it goes down easy.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.39/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a fairly clear brown beer with a decent head - light lacing. There is a faint smell of malt, but it isn't strong. The taste is malty, but there is enough hops for a good balance. The flavors work well. The mouthfeel is medium and fall in line with the taste. I think this would be an excellent session brew.

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Photo of erosier
4.2/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice amber color from the bottle with a thick and lacy off-white head. It had an aroma of some nice roasted malts and a definitive hoppy aroma that wasn't too strong, but it was certainly there. The taste was good. It has a nice malty base followed by a hoppy kick that is just right followed by a sweet finish. The mouthfeel was good and it was a very drinkable beer as I could have easiy had a few of these. Well worth the try but it is somewhat hard to find in my area.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle, no dating of any kind, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear orange-amber color, carbonation rising inside. the head formed small and faded into some lacing.

Aroma: Biscuity malts, light hoppiness, not too strong but pleasant.

Taste: Light biscuit flavors up front. Some citrus and mediney hops come through in the middle, and blend with the malts in the finish, with the citrus hops winning out and lingering nicely.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, fairly smooth and crisp. The carbonation balanced nicely as well.

Overall: I'm proud to say this is brewed in my hometown of Marlborough, MA (or maybe was, I think they're contract brewed now). Still, very enjoyable American Pale Ale.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce longneck into a Harpoon UFO pilsner glass:

A: Poured a clean and clear looking light amber-orange with a creamy half-finger head of white foam. The lacing was about average.

S: There was a nice shot of sweet, caramel malts in the nose right away, leading way to some biscuity malts and a faint hop twinge.

T: Taste is sweet, clean malts, with a slight buttery biscuit flavor and an above average representation of hops for the style. I was surprised by the pronounced hop flavor, and was pleased by how it balanced the initial sweet maltiness.

M: It's a light bodied ale that satisfies in the taste department, and leaves a bit of oily, piney hop residue.

D: It's not overwhelming in taste, but it's above average in the right departments: taste and drinkability. It's a nice session brew and a great find on-tap, I'm sure.

A slightly above average, but well overdone representation for the style overall. A nice beer to have on hand for people who would normally reach for a Sam Adams, but might expect something similar from a different brewer.

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Photo of albern
3.89/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is starting to grow on me a bit, and insinuate itself into my good graces. I was expecting more of a British bitter, and that it is not. An APA is much more like it, so I have no qualms with the designation offered by BA. The pour is copper and amber, with no real head, and what there is fizzled out quickly and left a slight ring around the glass. The lacing is non existent as well. The smell is caramel, malts, some metallic notes, and some buttery aromas. This is a fairly light to medium bodied beer with some carbonation and a mouthfeel that is more creamy than watery. The taste is interesting in that you begin with sweet malts, some tea flavors, some caramel and this segues in a more dryish hoppy ale, with a touch of spice. The after taste is mild and although the ABV isn't listed, I would venture to say somewhere in the vicinity of a 5%. The more I drink of this stuff, the more I'm appreciating it. You can drink quite of few of these, and it's worth seeking out, so long as you approach it with no misconceptions. As one reviewer mentioned, this is an unknown MA brew and I haven't heard anything about this brewery. It's worth investigating though. L'Chaim.

Update December 2008: I'm adding a some points to the beer. I'm appreciating the complementary bready malts, the buttery diacetyl, the traditional slightly bittering hop, the nice smooth caramel taste, and what I think is ringwood yeast.

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Photo of MisterDeeds
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I read the label and saw Sherwood Forest Brewing Company. This led me to believe I was trying an English Ale. (You know, Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood, King of England, all that.) Halfway through the beer, and upon further inspection, I was shocked to find out that it is brewed in my own state. I was both excited, and upset that I had no idea about this.

Back to the beer. Good looking pour, somewhere between amber and copper. Very light head, but strong enough to leave a lacing on the glass throughout the whole beer. This is one of the best ales I've had in a while. Not too overpowering or bitter, but enough taste to leave most other ales in the dust. I wish more bars carried this, because most of the ales I have had on tap lately, don't compare.

I am still embarassed to learn that it is brewed in Mass. and I had never heard of it, but I will be looking into any other styles they brew, and asking my trusted "Beer Man" what he knows about them.

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Photo of BDIMike
4.21/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I met the owner of Sherwood Forest Brewering the other day and was very impressed. He was very passionate about his beer and the story about how he got started and how his beer grew into what it is today. I owed it to the man to try this beer and greatly enjoyed it myself. It pours a great color with a head that stays throughout the beer. There is not a lack of smell, but a great strong taste. Not many pale ales have such a strong taste and I greatly enjoyed this. The mouthfeel was perfect and I could drink these all day. Even though this beer falls under the American Pale Ale category, the beer is made with ingredients from England and tastes more like an English Pale Ale. Given my druthers, I would drink one of these over a Bass any day!

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Photo of geexploitation
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a perfect amber hue with good clarity and a creamy, long-lasting head. Aromas are of grainy, medium-toast malts with an orange marmalade element, alongside some metallic hop notes and a pleasant creaminess. On the palate, huge carbonation and a front that comes up bitter at first with little in the way of a malt backing. Some astringency to the malt, especially in the watery finish. Bitterness throughout is less rounded than anticipated. Mouthfeel is overcarbonated and thin on the malt side, with some slight, watery hop feel. Overall, this beer is a disappointment once it hits the mouth. The aroma is quite good, but nothing works together on the palate, what with the thin malts and anemic hops. Oh well, it was a nice start.

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Archer's Ale from Sherwood Forest Brewers Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.49 out of 5 with 99 ratings
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