Monkman's Slaughter Ale | The Great Yorkshire Brewery

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Monkman's Slaughter AleMonkman's Slaughter Ale
75 Ratings
Monkman's Slaughter AleMonkman's Slaughter Ale

Brewed by:
The Great Yorkshire Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-25-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 75 |  Reviews: 70
Reviews by beerinator:
Photo of beerinator
2.97/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Cloudy, muddy brown, tannish light off-white head. Rocky peaked head with nice retention.

Aroma: Fruit and apple in the aroma. Slight bit of toasty bread, but mostly fruity sweetness in the nose.

Taste: Roasty malt flavor, with dry finish. Body isn't too thin, with little hop flavor in aftertaste or on the tongue.

Notes: Beer is ok, with little flavor. Slam, bam, thank you ma'am. Flavor is in and out and fades fast.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber/brown with a big head that settles nice and creamy,a strong cakey aroma very rich and fruity.Taste is heavaly malt tilted with a biscuity backbone with some strong fruit flavors that linger thru the finish.A very English beer heavily malted and fruity but seemed a bit heavy.A nice beer I would get again for sure.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.06/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – Brown in color and very fizzy with a gigantic foaming head that I had to control at the pour.

Smell – Man, this one turns on the sweets and sugars. The sugars are tart (like a Sweet-Tart) and borderline sour. The malt is definitely in the background and the hops are AWOL.

Taste – The bitterness comes out at the taste with a big surprise, layering over the sugary tartness. The alcohol seems bigger than it is, too, jumping into the fray along with more sugars at the finish.

Mouthfeel – The significant carbonation is atypical of the style, and this one is really lighter than medium-bodied.

Drinkability – Not an ESB and not a lambic, but something in between. This one was very different and just not for me.

Update – By 2004 I warmed up to this ale a bit. It still has gigantic carbonation and some off-setting touches of sourness, but I’m raising everything except Appearance by half a point.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So this beer came highly recommended but it didn’t really impress.

$8.00 for a one pint.9 floz bottle

No interesting scent to mention.

Completely flat. No head, touch of lacing that clang to the sides of the glass.

Bottle says bottle conditioned and warns not to pour the yeast into the glass. I didn’t notice much of any yeast in the first glass so I just poured the whole bottle in. I found that there was not enough yeast to warrant such a warning.

The taste was quite soapy and similar to German or British licorice candy. I would call I anise but it’s not pastice or Jaeger that I taste, but licorice candy. There are also plenty of heavy fruits, caramel, fresh grain husks, and mild hops.

The mouthfeel is not very bitter especially for a “bitter” beer but it does feel very nice.

I really like this beer. It’s not my style but I thin k that it does a good job. I approve.

It is very drinkable indeed.

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Photo of hijinx
4.34/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first enjoyed Cropton's finest in a British pub on Cape Cod. A month later I returned for more and they informed me they couldn't get it anymore. Thus began my quest. I searched everywhere including contacting the brewery in England. No one in Mass. or the internet could get it for me. Last September I was able to find a web site in Oregon who was able to get me six bottles (I still have 2 in the fridge) Needless to say I love this beer. Upon popping the cap you almost need to pour it over the sink since the head rushes out to greet you at top speed. Flavors are fruity, nutty and hoppy, however don't be afraid of the hops as they are mellow. Scents that come to mind.. flowers, spices, alocohol, maybe a dash of chocolate? Very strong in flavor, however not too overwhelming. If you like the bitter's this could be your perfect match. If anyone has a source for the slaughter please contact me.

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Photo of Todd
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 1pt .9oz brown bottle. No freshness date. Labeled safe for vegetarians and vegans.

Appearance: Dark brown with rich dark amber hues and a touch of cloudiness. Pours a full, tightly bubbled off-white cream head that levels to a creamy lace with great stick (to the glass). Note: pour slowly to leave the yeast sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Nice aromatic nose of fresh grain husks, toasted/caramel malt in the back, touch of sour apple/peel, floral hop leaf and soft honey-like aroma way in the back.

Taste: Incredibly smooth and creamy on the palate, body is rich and full. A rawness of grain and hop (oils and leaf) initially coats the entire palate. This breaks way to a sweet malty foundation of light caramel, hickory and toasted flavours. A course apple peel quailty interrupts, allowing a big semi-rind and floral hop bitterness to follow, with definite sour apple-like flavours. Peaks and gets slightly puckering and salty, then retreats to a raw mouthfeel (husk tannins), dry palate with a diacetyl (butter-like) flavour that lingers ...

Notes: This is probably one of the best bottle conditioned English bitters that I've had in a long time! Bitter! Reminds me of my years in England, sipping unknown bitters at small local pubs. Lovely stuff. Gold medal winner, GBBF.

From the label: "Named after Mr. Monkman who grows barley that makes the malt, and Mr. Slaughter the brewer and chemist. Unwittingly we have given the two chaps and ideal excuse: they now feel duty bound to sit at the end of the bar and check that the end product is worthy of their names!"

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Photo of Jason
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a creamy off white lace, mild chill haze on a brown on amber colour. Veggie, lemony and herbal hop with toasted grains in the aroma for a good mix of it all.

That rich bottle conditioned smoothness is there. Bitter is one word to use about the hops, veggie and herbal flavours run a muck. Malt character is there, with a toasted husk flavour and a side of crystal malt. The hops further in really pull on the bitterness and take over the taste buds.

Perhaps one of the bitterest beers I have had from England, the malt really struggles to get through in this ale.

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Photo of merlin48
3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased this bottle at the Liquor Barn, in Lexington, Ky., on 02/19/05. Bottle was quite dusty and I had some initial concerns that this might be an old bottle, but it was just fine. Pours a cloudy chestnust body with a large, creamy, offwhite head that retains well and leaves some nice patchy lace on the glass. Extraordinary amount of bubbly carbonation is viewed in the glass. Aroma is buttery toffee, herbal hops, and spicy peppery yeast notes. High carbonation characterizes the mouthfeel, bordering on effervescence, and the body is a solid medium. The taste begins with a distracting note of overcarbonation which eventually settles down as it warms to room temperature. Toffee and caramel front a bready maltiness that is well matched with a smoothly bitter floral hoppiness. Some sour fruity notes of apple and pear emerge midway through. Finish and aftertaste are bitter in a lemonzest and herbal character. Very likeable ESB that I could enjoy on a regular basis. Best enjoyed near room temperature after the yeast has been swirled into the glass. Pairs nicely with smoked almonds.

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Photo of ADR
3.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lightly hazed dark brown/copper color, lets light through pretty easily. You can literally throw this beer in a glass and a good head won't form, big bubbles linger at the top that quickly go away, but that's all there is to that. Laces in distinct crowns. Decent aroma, a bit of vanilla and fruit in syrup, some cinnamon. Mouthfeel is less than medium overall with lower carbonation, which is surprising, because the flavor features lots of molasses, ginger, allspice, and associated fruit cake reminders typical of a bigger beer. Hops are apparent, leafy and slightly greenish. Fade toward the finish, to me, flavor impression starts well but the finish is not quite up to it.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gotta admit, I picked this up partly because the name is so great. But I also like ESBs. So...

The head is gorgeous, a fluffy, creamy, rocky monster formed of tight, small bubbles. Color is a toasty, caramelized (very) dark brown. And millions of bubbles. And big swaths of sticky lace. It's a pleasure to have this in my glass, and I haven't even tasted it yet.

Aroma is vinous, but also with a porter-like chocolate wave, and only the mildest trace of hops.

Wow...this is sour. Not as in bad-beer sour, it seems like it's supposed to be that way, with toffee-like malts coming through as well. The slightest bit of grassy hops ride over the tongue in the finish, but this is mostly about the bitter, tangy, earthy flavor at the forefront. Could almost be a Belgian sour ale. The longer I sit and sip, the more I wonder about the sourness, the more I think "is this really an ESB?". It's definitely enjoyable, but only to the degree that you'll tolerate sour in your bitter.

So, if I was in any doubt about the sourness, I could check bottling date and figure out if it was intentional or a flaw. Another call for clear and uncomplicated bottling date info please! Is it too much to ask of brewers? Nevertheless, I like it just the way it is. A treat, and something a little different from the typical ESB profile.

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Photo of cokes
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Rusty dark amber under a rapidly rising spire of beige, that eventually retreats and endures as a coating.
Jammy, raspberry- and apple-drenched nose with husky malts and medicinals. Plenty hoppy too.
Begins light roasty, with a pronounced burnt toast sensation. Turns fruitier via blackberry syrup. Plums and raisins and tart green apples. Woody oak hues. Cuttingly bitter later, via metallics and herbals and vegetables. Medicinal traits noted again as well. Alcohol stands out in the end. Occasional smoky, meaty qualities.
Full bodied with low carbonation. Bountiful yeast pour softens things a bit, turning it into dark fruit laden bread pudding.
This is full-flavored and complicated. Perhaps overly so. I couldn't see drinking a whole lot of this. Too many off flavors for that. The last several ounces are getting to be a chore.
Could have been an old bottle, I guess. Regardless, it is not high on my list to retry.

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Photo of Sammy
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not an ESB to me lips, maybe a strong. Sourish, perhaps it was spoilt, but it wasn't skunked and I subsequently confirmed this experience unless the whole shipment to the USA was spoilt. bought at Oliver's in Albany. Pours attractive enough creme yellow. Aroma was fainter hoppy, not a sign of what's to come. Unfinishable, perhaps suited to your Cantillon sour beer pucker-uppers.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy dark brown with deep copper highlights. Pours a huge, fluffy, light tan head that holds extremely well and leaves some good lace. The aroma of sweet dark crystal maltiness jumps out at you during the pour. Upon closer inspection a some dark fruitiness and earthy hops are revealed. The body is medium and the carbonation is somewhat high for an English ale, giving a light tingle on the tongue. The flavor is quite interesting, and complex. The fruitiness noted in the aroma is compounded in the flavor offering lots of raisins, prunes, maybe figs, red-wine and molasses notes with a tart quality that ties everything together. A well balanced bitterness keeps the sweet malt and fruitiness from becoming something other than a "bitter". A really interesting and enjoyable beer. Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of Brandt
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this beer poured out a trange brown color with pretty profuse head, it fizzed up and even overflowed. it settled out to a rocky egshell colored head

the smell was mostly a dry type aroma with a firm betterness and a metalic tone.

this tasted almost sour (not in the good way though) but had some good malt still. the hops tasted sour as well

the finish of this med-light bodied beer was pretty neutral with nothing really taking over. it is possible that this bottle was bad but i don't think that this one should have tasted the way it did, i'd have to try another to know.

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Photo of bditty187
2.71/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Lightly hazy, brownish-bronze in hue with some gold and dark amber in the mix; the liquid is attractive. It is darker then I was expecting. The head didn’t form very well; I had to pour it fairly hard before I got a half-finger of bubbles. Lame. Head retention wasn’t very good, it quickly turned soapy and then to a thin collar. There was tons of subsequent lacing; it was very webby and well-organized. I do like how this beer looks.

The nose is airy. There are hints of molasses, caramel, crab apples, a blend of dark fruits, and some earthiness. It is clearly an Ale and English in nature but beyond that I am lost. The hops are absent. I am disappointed in the nose, I could detect some nice smells but they were so weak. Plus the aroma lacked heart. Sure, it is inviting but it lacks depth. I am willing to take a sip but I don’t *want* to take a sip. Yawn…

First sip… nothing. Second sip… nothing, again. Third sip… oh, I got something this time! Oh wait; it was just some odd sweetness with some veggie notes… thin and empty. The maltiness is so freaking weak. What a joke. Tea-like at best. There is a spread of dark fruits, mild and misplaced. Toast at the back but I also found more veggies. Funky aftertaste… sweet, tea-like, earthy. Yuck. What is going on with this beer? ESB = Extremely Shitty Beverage.

Light/medium-light in body, low carbonation, flat actually, the mouthfeel is watery and boring. It needs way more beefy. Yawn.

Wow, this beer is not very good. Monkman’s Slaughter is relatively new to Omaha. It could have stayed away. For $5 a bottle I will NOT buy anymore. There is no freshness dating but this beer has not been in Omaha for that long, it has been in my DBF for a couple months. I don’t think this beer is damaged or old, I just think it sucks. Save your money and buy something else. Skip it.

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Photo of studentofbeer
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

cute name (the barley grower and brewer of the beer, respectively). advertised as a strong bitter-style bottle conditioned ale.

i poured it a bit too fast into a imperial pint glass, huge cinammon-tinged color of foamy head that subsided to a nice glaze over the beer after a couple of minutes that lasted the whole pint down. the head was delicious, very smooth and frosty.

color is a very hazy rust. got a nice dash of sediment upon pouring the last remaining bits of the beer (hey, i dont mind).

aroma was very toasty with a preserves-like fruit undertone. earthy in a way as well.

medium to thick mouthfeel, hearty bready bitter taste, very well balanced malt and hop profile. the sweet tangyness and bitterness hit all at once, with an almost banana taste at the back of the throat, a spicy alcohol note, and then a long soothing hop-bitter aftertaste that lingers all the way until your next sip.

the beer is maybe a bit rough around the edges, but fits the style and is overall well balanced and pleasant. if you like bitters and want to kick it up a notch, i find this pretty tasty.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 1 pt. .9 fl. oz. bottle with no lot number or expiration date available. Sampled on April 10, 2009. It pours a very dark brown tone with hints of ruby-red, slow moving carbonation and a whole lot of foamy beige head with the texture of shaving cream. Lacing is evident everywhere. The aroma is a balance of sweet malts, licorice, and something that I akin to Kahlua liquor. The mouthfeel is thick. The taste is bold in malts and a touch of alcohol but not overpowering. There is a kind of raisiny aftertaste but it works well. This was smooth and well done.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in Sept. 2006 at LaBodega in Riverside, CA. for $5.49 (0.5 liter bottle). Bottle conditioned.

Pours a deep mahogany/brown with light red highlights and a small tan head. Quite pretty.

Aroma is quite weak but it's sweet malts and s slight fruity hoppiness.

Flavor is, well, for lack of a better word, kind of strange. Mostly sharp English hops, grassy and weedy with a sharp lime/grapefruit sourness without the citrus fruitiness. Malts are slightly smoky. This one gets better as it warms.

This one is OK, but it's kind of hard to get my arms around it. I guess I'm just not too keen on it.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good thing the label reminded me to pour slowly to prevent decanting the yeast in the bottom, or the beer would have foamed out of the glass. Very aggressive carbonation - one-quarter of the first glass produced a full glass of head. Settled after a while, leaving two-fingers worth that pretty much lasted the glass. Flavor was a bit rough around the edges, perhaps due to the higher 6% abv, but not enough to be a problem. A touch of clover honey sweetness with some huskyness to the malt. A "stolid" ESB.

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Photo of Gusler
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another real big foamy head producer looks like light chocolate meringue setting on top a transpicuous brown body, and the lace huge chunks clinging to the glass. Wonderful cotton candy malt sweet nose, caramel, yeast, fresh and clean with the start malt sweet, and the top skimpy, but the lambic tartness hits almost immediately after the sweetness dies away. Astringent, bordering on caustic, the hops apropos to the style, droughty aftertaste. I’m not sure what to make of this beer, I like it, but I’m not quite sure why?

I did not decoct till late in the process as this beer produces an enormous amount of head as in I opened the bottle and the head was pushing its way out of the bottle? Also the hops do seem to awaken after the beer sets for several minutes, still ferine in its acidity, serving temperature 12% Celsius, 54% Fahrenheit, as it sets now like 68% Fahrenheit 20% Celsius, and its developing nicely. “Very interesting”!

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Photo of SurlyDuff
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the darkest esb's that ive encountered. It's authentic, from the land of ESB's, so I won't complain. In fact, its quite a treat.

An interesting name too.

Beige lace that hugs the side of my glass. Dark brown and a bit cloudy. Red highlights when holding up to the light.

Smooth malt presence in the nose with a cumin and spicy twang. Vegetable hops, good traditional herbal qualities. Slight sourness adds to the complexity. A real good brew. I'm glad this is available here across the pond.

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Photo of mjc410
3.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a La Moneuse Belgian tulip, to amplify aroma.

The beer raises a nice, slow fading one finger head, composed of mostly very tiny bubbles, colored light tan. The body is a very murky brown, only translucent, and dark garnet when backlit. Nose is of rich and biscuity malts from the glass, although the first whiff from the bottled yielded a pungent kick of seemingly American hops, big and citrusy. I also pick up a slightly roasty, sweet, caramel note. The first sip, while still far too cold, is dominated by lovely, lemony hops, which gives ground very slowly to a malt finish, midly acidic...actually, vinous character grows with every passing sip. Actual hop bitterness is quite low.The taste is sweet throughout. Feels a bit overcarbonated for the style, but the bosy still manages to be nice and smooth, with a medium body. Overall, I feel that I could use more bitterness, less hop character, more malty goodness, and a bit less carbonation. I am enjoying this, though.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mahogany brown with a pretty tenacious tan head. A pretty good looking beer, indeed.
Smell is hard to pin down. Quite complex and Belgian-like if I had to categorize it. I think I smell prune or grape, or something like that. And some alcohol. Not a whole lot of dominant sweet malt smell. Smells pretty interesting and unique. In a good way.
Taste is slightly astringent, for lack of a better word. It's not a huge taste. Sweet up front, with that strange back-of-the-tongue sourness that confirms what your nose smelled. Alcohol is not really noticable.
Mouthfeel is quite a bit thinner than I expected, and maybe a thicker mouthfeel would compliment the taste better. Drinkability is not this beer's strong point, in my opinion.

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Photo of jwc215
2.7/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with a creamy tan head that stays, leaving plenty of lacing.

The smell is sour - green appleish with a touch of vinegar. After the sour subsides, bready caramel and herbal notes come through, but sourness still overpowering, to me. I don't care for this smell - Doesn't smell like an ESB to me.

The taste is sour and appleish with dried fruits (mainly apricot comes to mind). Butterscotch quite prominent. As it progresses, toffeeish/caramelish maltiness comes through balanced by an underlying herbal bitterness. Improves, but not to the point of my liking. Sourness and odd fruitiness just threw this out of whack for me. Bitterness shows through, but not in a way I particularly care for.

It has a medium body, mild to moderate carbonation - pretty creamy, oily and buttery.

For not being a fan, I was able to finish it quickly, helped by smoothness and a bit of potential that never overcame the detractors of sour and overly buttery characteristics. Was able to drink it, but wouldn't get it again. An odd ESB.

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Photo of Reidrover
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml with "CAMRA says this is real ale" on the side. Appearance, darkish brown strong carbonation "strings" lush coffee and creme coloured head. Very intresting aroma, the usual English malts done to a tee, plus odd sour sweetness that is very pleasing.Pipe tobacco and sherry. I love the way good English beer smell and this is no exception. Wow this has a rather tart flavour to it even sour. I like it underneath is the malts and English hop( a little). Nice bubble refreshing mouthfeel to it. This has to be the oddest "ESB " ever. But i like it a lot and for $2.49 a bottle a great deal.

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Monkman's Slaughter Ale from The Great Yorkshire Brewery
Beer rating: 3.52 out of 5 with 75 ratings