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

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Blimey English-Style Pale Ale (2010-2012)Blimey English-Style Pale Ale (2010-2012)
53 Ratings
Blimey English-Style Pale Ale (2010-2012)Blimey English-Style Pale Ale (2010-2012)

Brewed by:
Three Heads Brewing
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 34
Reviews by TheBrewo:
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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More User Reviews:
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 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 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 mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +7%

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 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 MarkJBurch
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4/5  rDev +7%

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 BvilleBrewGuy
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of PBoegel
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a shake pint. No freshness date on the bottle, but this is pretty recent delivery as of January 2011.

Watching the pour it is a dark copper to amber beer, it shows up in the glass extremely bright and clear forming a very nice cream colored dense head. The body is just very dark for a pale, and even for and ESB. Suspicious. Great lacing all the way down, even with the color being off this beer looks fantastic.

Aromas are wafts of toasted white and wheat bread, some flaky buttery pastry, herbal minty orangey hops then heavier caramel, tootsie roll, sweet sugar twang. No alcohol, fairly clean, would like to pick up more fruity esters.

The flavor profile gets overwhelmed on my palate wit the sweet twang. Their is a heavy influence of crystal malts in this beer. The base shows signs of being wonderful, with which like the nose toasted bread, fresh pastry and some good earthy hops and especially a nice firm bitterness (though for a pale meh, but ESB this is what I want). The caramel character just presents as a heavy repetitive twang that is hard to shake. The yeast character needs to shine more in the beer than specialty malt.

Mouthfeel wise this beer is where it should be, a slight bit chewy and thick from the heavy handed crystal, but overall well attenuated with a moderately dry finish.

The base beer is fantastic, I'd just like to see less of a specialty malt profile and more yeast to shine through. I want to spend some time with some fresh Fuller's among a couple of other English beers and see if my palate is just cramped. Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is a bad beer, and I wouldn't be shy to drink it again, it just seems to need some tweaking.

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

Pours nice orange amber color with slight head and mild carbonation

Not lots of aroma- malt,hops,caramel

Taste as it smells with much bitterness. This is not a favorite style of mine, but as previously stated, I would choose this over most others of this style.

Feels good going down- not too heavy with refreshing carbonation

I would enjoy this with food- and I did with a nice cheese steak pizza, but would not drink too many without food.

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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 kevman527
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - reddish-brown, decent lacing, little head but that was due to an excellent bar pour.

S - the very first thing I noticed which I thought was weird for the style was a good amount of cocoa in the aroma. Strong at first, but became more subtle as it breathed.

T- earthy, grassy and a rich cocoa/coffee combo in the taste profile. The bitterness of the hops appears on the back end.

M - pretty smooth with a light amount of carbonation.

D - easy drinking, wouldn't consider it a session beer but definitely one or two.

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Photo of josefnewsong
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - pours a deep orange color with a thin layer of head that retains itself well and leaves a good amount of lace
S - a nice hop presence but not so much as to block out the hints of bready malt
T - awesome...this isn't my favorite style of beer but within the style I can't think of anything superior at the moment. Great hop character, some grassiness for sure, bready/biscuity malts - but not too sweet...overall a very tasty brew, a bit on the bitter side of the spectrum for the style
M - medium bodied, slightly sticky, nice amount of carbonation
D - could drink many of these. I also feel like you could drink this beer with almost any type of food. very enjoyable

I'm happy to see such great beer coming out of Rochester. Keep'em comin 3 Heads

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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 outoffocus
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

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 nh2032
4/5  rDev +7%

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 Shawnspl
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

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 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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Blimey English-Style Pale Ale (2010-2012) from Three Heads Brewing
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 53 ratings
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