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Blimey English-Style Pale Ale (2010-2012) | Three Heads Brewing - Tasting Room

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34 Reviews
Blimey English-Style Pale Ale (2010-2012)Blimey English-Style Pale Ale (2010-2012)

Brewed by:
Three Heads Brewing - Tasting Room
New York, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The beer English breweries would brew if they played football the right way. This Extra Special Ale takes a classic style and gives it an American twist. Enjoy the complex malt profile and layers of sublime English hops. One taste will have you saying "Blimey!"

60 IBU

Added by John on 12-05-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 53
Photo of Ladyfortuna
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Other reviews have said this beer is retired; either it has been brought back, or an old case was miraculously found and stocked at my local Wegmans (I honestly can't find a 'sell by' date so I don't know for sure, but I may try to find out from the store).

I will echo others in that this beer has an initial 'earthy' taste. I'm not even sure I've had that experience before today, but that's the first thing that hits me. It is followed by a slightly sweeter caramel impression, and I can definitely agree with the biscuit flavor. It is sweetest at the end. This bottle didn't have much at all in the way of a head, but if it is older, that could explain it. Still, I prefer IPAs over most other brews at this point, and while being sweeter than most this line is pretty tasty.

If they've brought it back, I say check it out. If I'm just lucky and they dug up one of the last cases, well, I can't say I regret trying it out.

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Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this in the back of my fridge as I was cleaning it. I hope it's still good.

Pours a light fizzy head of about 1/2 finger that fades semi slowly with a bit of lacing, over mostly clear coppery colored beer.

Nose light earthy hops, some herbal grassy and just a touch citrus and pine. Also some biscuit and caramel malts, little toasty reddish, and a hint of a fruity yeast addition.

Taste starts with bitterness, earthy hops, a bit herbal and some grassy spicy, with a touch citrus, Then malts, a bit of caramel and toffee, biscuit, chewy with a hint sweet syrupy flavor, and a little tobacco. Light fruity flavors again as well. Finish is fairly bitter, earthy herbal chewy hops, little candy flavors, fairly dry, long bitterness that almost borders astringent on the finish.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall not bad, English pale is one of my least favorite styles due to the big herbal hop flavor and grassiness, but this one had enough caramel and biscuit malt, with sweetness, bitterness, and overall flavor to be decent. Maybe the hops faded enough for me to like it more, but it wasn't bad.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep amber with about a finger and a half of off-white foam. There is a ton of lacing left on the glass as it drinks.

S: The nose is sweet malt, slight flowers, and a touch of biscuit like goodness. The malt is really pronounced, but there is a great bread quality that keeps this beer in check.

T: The initial blast is sweet malt and floral essences. I get some warm bread in the middle that shifts back into the sweet realm.

M: Medium bodied beer. Nothing outstanding about this beer. There is a bit of drying in the finish.

O: This is a good beer. The bottle I opened today is a bit past it's prime, but it is still really pretty good. I remember this beer when it was fresh as being lighter, crisper, like eating a grands buttermilk biscuit. Some of that had faded, but it's still solid. It's a real shame to see this beer be retired. I thought it was one of their better beers.

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Photo of tempest
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Retired? Picked up a bomber at Brilbeck's in Syracuse for $6. There's a sweet almost cake-like character to the malt. It's slightly caramel, with a little biscuit and blends in with the smooth, sweet-tasting-but-not-feeling yeast character. As the beer warms, the hops really come forward with smooth lemon-grapefruit that accents the candy yeast esters.

I was expecting a maltier beer, but I dig the bigger hops and esters. It's not a perfectly authentic example of an ESB, but it's well within the bounds of the style, and quite tasty. Check it out if you can.

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Photo of Gavage
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a copper color with a nice big 3" head. Moderate lace paints the glass.

Smell: bready and earthy are the most noticeable tones.

Taste: caramel, bread, some pine, a little tart citrus, and a hearty earthy flavor. Bitterness is nicely balancing and a bit stronger than expected.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout with a bit of dryness late. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: easy to drink this beer and it has enough hop presence to keep it interesting until the glass empties.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dad picked this up for me on a trip to NY. 22oz bomber.

A- Pours a very hazy amber color with a thick creamy white head that leaves great lacing.

S- Quite a bit of hop aroma in the nose with some toffee and biscuit malt.

T- Bready and sweet initially with some caramel and toasted bread. The finish is a hoppy bitterness followed by a slightly diacetyl aftertaste. A touch of smoked malt that reminds me of peat?

M- Medium bodied with a very creamy feel. Relatively low carbonation, on par for the english style.

O- Overall a decent beer that I'm glad I got the chance to try.

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Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a rich copper with a sticky one finger white head,multiple rings of broken lace left behind as it settled into a thin layer atop.Leafy hops with biscuit malt aromas,I also pick up a little roasted nut and sherry in there wich was different.Dryer on the palate with a decent shot of herbal hops,the English hop flavors are quite big,crisp lightly sweet cracker malt flavors.Not a bad beer,its a little different than most ESB's I have had,I think it might be more of a amped up English pale.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for sending this one, Trevor.

A: The beer pours a dark amber color with a small off-white head.

S: Starts off with sweet malt, as you might expect from an English ale. Tons of toffee with a little bit of bread. Light floral hop notes with a touch of chocolate. A little more sweetness of caramel.

T: As with the aroma, there is a fair bit of sweet toffee, caramel, and bread. A nice bit of toasted malt, too. There is a bit of grass and floral hop character, but overall, the flavor is sort of bland (though not bad).

M: The body and carbonation are both medium.

O: Not a bad aroma to this (pretty good, actually), but the flavor wasn't quite there.

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Photo of jzeilinger
2.83/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a hazy copper red color, minimal level of carbonation, light thin lacing around the top of the glass, hardly any head at all.

S - Light pine and citrus with toasted caramel/toffee. Not much going on in the nose, all the aroma is faint and distant.

T - Toasted caramel/toffee, light citrus bitterness on the back side with some chocolate notes. Several moments after the sip, the citrus bitterness finally kicks in mixed with mild traces of roasted chocolate.

M - Thin body, watery.

O - This has to be an old bottle because I'm not getting any of the nuances others described. It's definitely balanced which is what I expected but the flavors all seem like a bland, dead mixture of hops and malt - incredibly boring. I would love to revisit another bottle of this and change my review because I'm sure it's far better than what's sitting in my glass right now.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber body with a one-finger white head. Light spotty lacing, but nothing too impressive.

S: More malty then expected (toffee), but balanced with citrus and pine notes. Also getting some toasted bread crust notes.

T: Follows the nose very well. A nice toasted caramel malt flavor balanced with some spicy hoppy bitterness; kind of herbal and fruity. The bready flavor from the nose plays a smaller part in palate like crackers. Nice balance flavor that finishes slightly dry.

M: Medium body; medium-high carbonation; smooth texture.

O: Good beer and I would get this for a friend, but I don't see myself rushing out and getting more. Glad a tried it though.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #50 (March 2011):

Big, hoppy English ales are hard to come by—6 percent and 60 IBUs could be considered staggering in size! Gleaming, dark brassy color with a perfect clarity, and the lacing leaves a ring is left after each chug. Hops in the nose range from faint citric to mint, to wood/earth ... some ripe fruit and toasty graininess rounds out the aroma. Flexed medium body with a lush smoothness; easy to quaff. That 60 IBUs and a boatload of hop flavor kicks in right away—stogy wood and leafy hop flavor, that is. Some fruity esters show a slight alcoholic warmth. Caramel maltiness is blanketed by a more aggressive toasty sweetness. Semidry finish with a long linger of English hops. To be short, this is one delicious ale. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Blimey has a fairly clear, reddish-brown body. A tan head is very small, but manages some OK retention. Maybe a spot or two of lacing.

The aroma has a ton of malt in it, with caramel, toffee, some sweetness and a lightly toasted scent. The hops aren't quite as powerful, but there is a good blend of pineapple, apricot and other fruit. A slight earthy hint also.

I think I like the aroma more than taste, because although the malt backbone is still pretty good, I don't like the hop profile very much. The malt kicks things off, and it made like this beer quite a bit to begin with: there is a layer of caramel and toffee along with a little bit of fruit. The malt profile is rounded out with a little bit of a toasted malt flavor. The hops don't bring any fruit flavors that I would like from my English IPA, but rather there is a pretty powerful bitterness that mounts and becomes more powerful the more I drink. The only flavor is a bit of grass, but without the pleasant, grassy-hop flavor that you might find in some kind of fresh hop beer.

The unpleasant bitterness doesn't help, and I would say there could be a little more carbonation.

I could see this beer being much better with a few tweaks. The malt is solid, but there could be less bitterness, and the hops should bring a bit more to the table than muting other characteristics.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes: Thanks goes out to Marc for sharing this bottle.

appearance: dark brown with a reddish hue and a off white head

smell: malts, caramel, hops,

taste: toffee, caramel, malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: not quite an esb. it's cross between a pale and esb. but still a very drinkable beer. love trying new breweries. so thanks again Marc for the bottle share.


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Photo of generallee
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an Imperial pint glass. The label has a brief description of the beer, its abv (6%) and IBUs (60).

Appearance: The body has a medium reddish amber color with a light haze. This is topped off with a small, very light tan head. The head quickly settles to a thin film with a light ring clinging to the sides of the glass. This makes a little slick lacing at the top of the glass.

Smell: It has a nice leafy and somewhat herbal hop character with plenty of bready and sweet malty notes to back up the hops.

Taste/Palate: There is a solid bready malt base with nice mellow sweetness and some soft caramel notes. Moving on to the finish and it brings pleasant hop bitterness and spicy leafy hop flavor. The feel and carbonation is well balanced and extremely drinkable.

Notes: Overall it has great balance in both flavor and body. This is a beer drinkers beer.

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Photo of Kendo
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the bomber into a pint glass. Body is reddish-amber with a 1-finger off-white head that settles fast. Leaves some lace behind.

S: Slightly musty - brown bread with a metallic finish.

T: Toffee and caramel malt up front, but finishes with a metallic/minerally bitterness that lingers a bit, especially on the back of the mouth. Leafy, herbal, tea-like finish. Decent balance between the hops and malt.

M: Carbonation is fine, call it light-to-medium in heft.

O: OK. Not great, not bad. Bottle describes this one as an Americanized English Pale Ale (I'm paraphrasing), not an ESB. I could see either description being accurate in some ways, though I think the Pale moniker is a tad bit more accurate given the bitterness at the end.

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Photo of Sammy
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

English pale not an ESB, and an odd one at that. One of the few times I can say a beer was better cold. Served too cold, and got the hops. Vegetative as it warmed. Warmer still, Taste dry hopped, not yet fully cooked vegatable soup with some mint.A little reddish colour wth three-eighths of an inch head, lacey. Faint hop aroma.
On tap at the Blue Monk.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Three Heads Blimey is a slightly hazy red ale with a creamy, bubbly, light khaki head that leaves outstanding lacing. There is spice, resin and wood in the aroma, with a note of toffee. It's pretty light bodied and very smooth and soft with a clean, dry finish. It has a nice toffee flavor and it's not sweet. A little bitterness at the finish is medicinal herbal and wooden. It tastes really fresh and the hop flavor lingers. This is made to consume in mass quantities. It just goes right down.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.39/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served to us in a nonic glass at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY, this serving arrived a deep amber color, bordering on maroon. There was no trace of a head, other than a thin white ring around the edges of the glass. No lacing or sediment was noted, and the carbonation appeared minimal. The brew was fairly transparent, hindered only by the deep colors within. The aroma was dominated by salty malts above all. There was the faintest flash of hop extract drifting around the top of the nose, with sweet cooking vinegar mixing finely with the darkened malts. An unexpected sweetness of fruit was also noted, with apricot and blueberry being the primary culprits. As we sipped, the first thing noted was black licorice, and a mouthy plastic, conjuring up thoughts of spray paint. Once the flavors settled a bit, fusel alcohols and a strong, yet further bittering, hop freshness was palpated. Through the middle this washed with dark malts. As this cleansed the palate, a sourness arose, with a likeness to mineral-laden well water. The flavoring finishes abruptly, with the cleanest malts of the tasting, which here appear on the roasty side. The black licorice comes back in to finalize the sip, taking us in a full circle. The aftertaste breathes of the finish, with licorice and bitterness sitting right behind the two front teeth. The body was medium to thick, and the carbonation was on the higher side. There was little sipability, and no creaminess to each sip. The palate is left immediately dried, which eventually gives way to a salty satiation. The abv is within normal limits, and some of the flavors make this a slow drinker.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the nice hop aromas, and corresponding flavoring. What was most surprising was how clean the finish was, despite the beer being so bitter, hoppy, and arguably “dark”. While the bitterness certainly acted to fit this guy into the style, at times it became overbearing. If we had to sum this up it would be a “bitter, black licorice-IPA”.

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Photo of musicforairports
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Ruck in Troy. Glad to see a new Upstate New York beer on draft.

Dark amber in color, some head lacing but nothing crazy.

Smell is of toffee, biscuit malt and some European hops in the background.

Taste is full of biscuit, caramel and toffee flavors, with some English hops there the whole way. A bit surprised to see this classified as an ESB, as I drink it at the bar with an English Pale Ale in mind. It's either a less rich and less hoppy ESB or a flavorful EPA.

Mouthfeel is smooth and a bit creamy but nothing out of the ordinary. A very drinkable British beer here.

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Photo of DaveHS
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to trxxpaxxs for this one.

A-Pours clear copper/red with 1 inch of fluffy off white head. Reduces slowly, leaving chunky strings of lace.

S-Light biscuity malt, mild sweetness, earthy/grassy hops.

T/M-Pale/caramel malts don't quite hold up to the harshly bitter dryness of the hop profile. There's a brief grainy sweetness mid-palate, but it is soon overwhelmed by a rush of bitterness that hijacks the finish. Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

O-Too aggressively bitter for the style, which ultimately affects drinkability.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to aerozeppl for the hookup. Served in a Bruery tulip.

A - Surprisingly low carbonation. There's a thin white foam that settles to a thick collar, and a patchy film of bubbles on top, but minimal lacing. Transparent ruby-brown body.

S - Nutty malt character, some light toffee and treacle, a hint of butter, and some pleasant floral, grassy, and leafy English hops.

T - The taste is quite nice as well. Bread, toffee, light nuts and berries. There's a bitterness that is evocative of greens and dandelions in that it has a slightly sour character. At first it's pleasant, but it becomes off-putting fairly quickly.

M - Smooth medium body, lower English-style carbonation, dry finish, with some resinous residual oils.

D - The unpleasant finish gets tiring, which keeps this from being a success on the session front. Otherwise it's a pretty good representation of the style. I liked it quite a bit more than Mike did.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Shared with MasterSki at our ESB showdown.

A - Clear reddish brown beer that that yellows on the edges. Decent spotting on the sides.

S - Caramel malts with some english hops and a bit of a nutty character. Blimey!

T - Started out really good, great flavor for an ESB. Earth tones, nuts, english hop profile, and some caramel. I actually thought this was very solid at first. It ended up having some sort of horrible, green leafy bitterness that gets worse and worse the more you drink.

M - Lighter side of medium with moderate carbonation.

D - Actually hard to drink due to the bad bitter finish. Where's the Keystone when you need it?!

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Photo of russwbeck
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bubbly, active pour with a one finger white head. Very nice lacing by what head sticks around.

S: I found the smell to be hop forward, citrusy, with a nice malt complexity.

T: Caramel maltiness with a slight bitter finish. The hops are really mute and hit the palate up front.

MF: Nicely carbonated and light.

D: Very high, alcohol is masked nicely, bitter finish keeps you coming back, and the carbonation leaves a nice tingle.

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Photo of smcolw
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good starting head that leaves lots of ring lace. Recedes with foamy peaks. The beer is clear with a dirty copper color.

Earthy and malty aroma. Mild hop in the background.

This is a dry malted beer. The hop is dark and biting. The overall earthiness is present. The body is appropriate for the style as is the carbonation (maybe it tilts to the high side).

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Photo of mjforres
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into two Perfect Pint glasses.

A - poured a clear, dark amber with light effervescence and modest head. An inviting appearance.

S - light citrus and pine hoppiness but not a strong nose

T - seemed a bit thin on the first taste but there was a nice, lingering bitter aftertaste

M - light and pleasant mouthfeel but seemed a touch thin

D - this is a very drinkable beer and at 6% I can see have several over the course of a session.

This was our first Three Heads beer and it was very enjoyable. I'll be trying more of their beers and expect to be picking this one up again. It paired nicely with a beef and barley soup lunch.

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Blimey English-Style Pale Ale (2010-2012) from Three Heads Brewing - Tasting Room
3.74 out of 5 based on 53 ratings.
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