India Pale Ale | Meantime Brewing Company Limited

very good
351 Reviews
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India Pale AleIndia Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Meantime Brewing Company Limited
England, United Kingdom

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2005

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Reviews: 351 | Ratings: 588
Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle obtained via trade with LuckySevens82. Thanks for the opportunity... Corked and caged. Nice that the caged top has drinking directions: "Remove cork, hold glass open end up, pour, taste, swallow." I think they left off "repeat as necessary", but maybe they ran out of room.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a frothy 1 1/4" off-white head above the clear golden amber brew. Head fades quite slowly, and light, delicate lacing is prevalent, not unlike a cask ale would produce. Aroma is balanced, yet that does not indicate boring, as hops and malt sweetness are present. Taste is also cask-like to my tastebuds, with sedate grains giving way to ample lightly fruity hoppiness, more than what the style classification would lead you to expect. Mouthfeel and drinkability are superb, would love to find this one locally, perhaps for a bit cheaper, and revisit over and over.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm gonna break down most of this review into two pours since the first pour from my 750ml bottle into a my American pint glass yielded noticeable differences in appearance, flavor, and taste than the second pour.

Appearance- First pour yielded a a sparse one finger that dissipated in about a minute. The color was an exquisite golden amber color with a little lacing. Second pour yielded the same one finger head but the color was a more cluody copper color. Darker than the first pour from gthe bottle.

Smell- First pour was a dry 70% malt, 30% hops with a anise thrown in their. Second pour was a more complex smelling malt with a bit of hops and sugar and cinnamon.

Taste- First pour was closer to a regular IPA. A dry hop and malt mix of about 60% and 40%. The secodn pour was a much more complex and dynamic flavor. The hops and malts were dancing around in my mouth beautifully. With hints of candy and toffee. Toffee, can you believe it.

Moouthfeel- First pour was in the traditional IPA vein of dry and hoppy as far as the palate was concerned. The second pour was a rich hop and malt palate that this beer went great with my corned beef hash and pickles lunch swimmingly.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL champagne bottle; poured into an imperial pint glass

Pours a super hazy orange amber with a fluffy, off-white cap that rose two+ fingers to fill this glass. Not a lot of carbonation is visible, makes me worried.

Aroma is subdued and mundane. Light citrus of orange peel with a sweet malt backbone. Rather underwhelming and made me check the best by date, which is still a good number of months away.

Very undercarbonated; really took me by surprise. If the carbonation was turned up a bit, the orange peel and sweet cookie like malt would really be accentuated. The hops come through a bit more in the flavor than in the aroma, and while it isn't as hoppy as its US brethren, it still satisfies the hop receptors.

Mouthfeel was down due to the general lack of carbonation. I wonder if this may have been a bad bottle after all. If not for the carbonation issue, this one would have been nice and chewy, with a hearty bitter finish.

Rather drinkable, alcohol is barely noticed. The flavor profile is rather enjoyable and rounds out as it reaches room temperature. Will have to revisit.

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Photo of bark
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another “historical brew” from Meantime: According to the label, this ale is supposed to taste like the IPAs of the early 19th century.

The beer is bottle conditioned. The liquid is clear; the colour is medium dark brass. The finger thick head is off white. Almost no lacing.

The smell is loaded with hops (Goldings and Fuggles according to the label). Some sour-bitter flavours, mixed dried fruits and a hint of toffee.

The taste starts off with some wooden matured notes. Fruit candy. Bananas. Apricot brandy. Not as (alpha) bitter as I had expected. Lots and lots of fruits, some sweetness. Marzipan. But where’s the alcohol? The aftertaste is bitter with notes of fruit salad and sour-bitter candy. Figs. Raisins.

The carbonation is strong; the liquid as smooth as one could expect. The beer gives an peculiar fat mouthfeel.

A highly interesting and different IPA. I suspect that it might be even better off after a few years in the cellar.

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Photo of DrJay
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one poured nearly clear, with a deep orange colour and an inch of beige foam. After it settled a bit, the cap formed a thick, clumpy collar and some chunky lacing. Nice aroma, fruity esters, caramel malts, and floral/grassy hops with notes of citrus. Good flavour too, with oranges and biscuity malts up front, grassy and herbal hops, balanced bitterness, and a bit of alcohol in the finish. More caramel appeared in the malt profile as it warmed, along with orange peel and cake. Medium bodied, seemed like the attenuation was on the low side due to a bit of a sugary mouthfeel, well integrated carbonation, light alcohol warmth and spiciness. This stuff is quite tasty and very easy to drink, plus the balance is great. Definitely something I'd grab again.

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Photo of Brad007
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At $10 a bottle, I expect a quality product. I liked one other offering from Meantime so I was willing to take that risk.

Pours a light copper-amber color with a one-finger head into my pint glass. There's some lacing that lingers on the edges of the glass.

Aroma is full of grassy hops and bready malt underneath. Very standard for the style but aromatic.

Taste is full of grassy hops followed by bready malt. Somewhat "fruity" in nature and a bit interesting overall.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering grassy hops and bready malt. Carbonation seems rather high but doesn't really hurt the beer. The bitterness is well done but as it should, the malt character shines.

One needs to remember that not all IPAs must be overloaded with hops. The English cousin to the American IPA is all about showcasing the malt as they originally added tons of hops to the beer as a preservative across long ocean journeys.

It's not to say that they can't make a hoppy IPA. This is a decent version of the style that originated there and it's actually better than a few other examples that I've had.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.07/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Almost picked a bottle of this up, held off, then lo and behold, there it was at the beer festival (SDIBF). Glad I waited to try this one.

Good appearance, had that darker twinge of a beer, a little amber over yellow. Leaves a very pronounced and gaseoous head (lots of bubbles/foam). Extremely disappointing in the alleged dry hopping, should probably be rated lower based on the claims.

Taste is a lot of lemon and caramel. Maybe that's toffee in there too. It just isn't hoppy despite all the potential claims related to that factor on the bottle. Signs of sweetness, bitterness is definitely a little amped up for style, that's a good thing.

If you're gonna deviate from the style, do it all the way like Stone's anniversary selection. This beer was ok, but at $10 a bottle, I'll stick to checking it out in sample size.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear bright amber with rock solid cream-colored foam that rims as it fades to film and leaves webbed sheets. Resin, nectar and candied orange peel nose - yum!
Caramel, maderia cake, a papaya tartness, some nectarine, then big intricate perfumed wood and orange hops.
Cinnamon oil end and tingly citrus linger.
Medium, chewy, effervescent with definite chalky mineral feel.

Probably the best example of how to max on the Fuggles + EKG combo, with all the wood, oil, resin and citrus that implies. Body is both smooth and salty, and the balance is supreme - real bitterness and big fruit. Not sure why it's corked and caged, but I am happy it's in 750mls bottles.

One of the only true old school Brit IPAs.

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Photo of drpimento
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow! Great beer! Got this 750 ml cork finished bottle in Miami Beach a couple months ago. Poured with a big foamy frothy head and some lace. Hazy medium amber color. Nose was grassy, citrusy, a bit hoppy and malty. Nice and bitter on the tongue in the mouth that perfectly goes with the champagne carbonation. Great mouthfeel. Excellent beer. Nice change of pace from the amped American IPAs. A bit boozy warmth there. Good burps too. Finish leaves me smiling. Wot a beer. Wish I had more.

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Photo of dgilks
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy palish gold. Nice 2 finger head. Okay head retention.

Intense aroma. Honey sweet and floral. Some nice mandarin notes too.

The flavour disappoints a little. It is good but I expected a slightly less malt focused IPA. Generally good citrus flavours from American hops. It's tasty enough but the heavy malt focus detracts a bit for me.

Medium body and moderate carbonation lend a really good, creamy mouthfeel to this IPA.

On the whole this is a good, drinkable IPA. Unfortunately, it lacks the X-factor that makes an IPA great.

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Photo of champ103
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep golden/orange color. A huge white rocky head forms and rises to over two fingers. Chunks of lace are left down the pint glass.
S: Grassy, floral, and herbal tea like hop aromas. A light malt sweetness in the nose.
T: This is much sweeter that the nose. Pretty much cloying in that manner. A light floral hop bitterness.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A good creaminess. The heavy sweetness takes a toll on the drinkability. Though the high ABV is well hidden, but a 750 ml bottle is a bit much in one sitting.

An interesting counterpart to the overly bitter American hop bombs. This takes the style in the other direction. A bit to sweet IMO. I expect English IPA's to have a great balance between malt sweetness and hop bitterness. This does not. Though, as the history goes this is probably closer to the original IPA's made in England during the 1700's than anything else I have had.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have enjoyed all the beers I'v tried from this brewery (this, the porter, and the Scottish ale). Poured into a pint glass, the beer was an orange color with a thick, white, sticky head. Aroma of malt and hops, fruity and floral. Sweet malt taste up front, with an intensifying hops presence. Still, the beer was subtle and not at all a hop bomb. Very nice, would be a good session beer.

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Photo of Gusler
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The after it's de-corking for the 750ml brown bottle resides in the glass a beclouded amber with a prestigious creamy light tan head, the lace forms a tight skirt around the glass. Nose is rich in hops, sweet malt, and a citrus-like crispness that makes the mouth water, start is sweet with a pleasing grain profile, the top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is nicely hopped, mildly acidic and the aftertaste desert bone dry, a nice IPA, that hits the "B" spot after a long day of toil and trouble, worth a sample.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a wine glass. Best before 08 July 2013.

A: A medium pour nets a huge head, pick, frothy, and moiling. The beer itself is fraught with carbonation, but surprisingly light and clear. Golden, with a light haze. Sketches of lacing.

S: Hops -- slightly astringent with a touch of pine -- and sweeter malts. Citrus?

T: Oh, yes, that's nice. Quite tart. Lots of citrus dominates upfront along with strong hops. The mouthfeel is smooth and round, but malts are all drowned out. The aftertaste is bitter, drying and lightly sour. Too lopsided to be great, but fun enough to be good.

M: Mediocre.

D: A good beer, but one of the best. I am a bit full -- perhaps I'd enjoy this beer more on a emptier stomach? No, probably not. If you want an English IPA, Meanwhile's a solid pick, but I wouldn't go out of my way to pick one up.

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Photo of ccrida
4.83/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For such an elegant presentation with the 750ml champagne bottle, I choose my old John Smith's flared flute glass from the Brussels Exhibition.
The meantime IPA, an 1820s style recipe, is a pale burnt orange with slight chill haze and a large, fluffy white head, in spite of the pathetic lack of pop when I removed the cork. The head is fairly slow to recede, and leaves heavy lace and chunks of foam. Perfect!

The aroma is very enjoyable, medium strength. Sweet malt and a dry mineral essence not unlike a saison, with nice floral, citrus hop punch. Saison is my favorite style of beer, and I also love the floral hop aromas, so this really speaks to me. A bit more umph, and I'd give it a 5.

The taste also very enjoyable. Living in the NW, I haven't had an English IPA in quite some time (London 7 years ago??), and I'm really appreciating the subtly. The malt, while still fairly sweet, is not as dominant as in the nose, and is balanced by a firm bitter backbone, with more citrus and floral hops as well. The finish is very clean and dry.

The mouthfeel is moderately creamy, with a light body that still has a satisfying fullness, without the oiliness that most IPAs possess.

This is a fantastic IPA, incredibly well made. Truly world class, it's super tasty and easy drinking, and goes down with zero indication of it's ABV, which is formidable, especially for an English Ale. Luckily, it's elegance encourages one to savor the nuances and really enjoy the brew. As they say on the bottle tag, "Drink the beer and savor the good things in life!"

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Photo of mynie
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big, excellently packaged champagne bottle replete with one of those little wire cage things around the cork.

I've only had a handful of British IPA's (which I guess are the proper IPA's, right, since they invented them? At the very least they're the traditional ones). So, although I might not know to what standards, exactly, I should review this beer, I will nonetheless try not to judge it against its American cousins.

Really pretty pour. Notching on the bottle says it's best before January 1st 2010, and whenever you get a boast like that it's always hard to tell how old a beer really is. Still, it's by no means overcarbonated, and it sits in my chalice like a very finely crafted belgian--amber IPA coloring with a thick, rocky white head that will not die.

Smells of pungent citrus hops, downright Americanish, along with lighter nodes of spicy European hops and a very distinct, very syrupy malt that is more like one you'd find in an American double IPA than an American single.

Tastes--ahh, I'm going to have to punish this beer a bit for the hubris of its Best Before date, because it tastes a little aged (and not in a good way). The hops are an interesting blend of citrus and spice, but they're far more subdued in the flavor than they are in the smell. A fruity, lightly stale malt (not fresh but not unpleasant by any means) backs them up pretty well, but the effect is far from the brilliance that the aroma suggested this beer had to offer at one point.

Good. If I ever get to sample a fresher batch I will re-review.

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Photo of Pencible
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a slightly hazy, dark gold color with good white head. It smelled much sweeter than expected, like lots of caramel malt with some prunes and citrus hops. It tasted very mellow and balanced, like roasted malt and caramel with some sweet citrus hops. It was thick with no carbonation, and had a lasting sugary aftertaste. Overall this was a very sweet and malty beer - hardly what I consider an IPA. But it still had very clean flavor and great body.

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Photo of FLima
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color, a bit cloudy. Poured 3 fingers of consistent head with an extended retention.
Aroma slightly roasted malts with a hint of fruity hops, maybe plums. I could feel its freshness, I had it directly in the brewery. Medium body and carbonation with small bubbles (no CO2 addition).
Sweet malt taste combined with a resin hop flavor. Dryness and bitterness continues in the aftertaste but also with a fruity finish. Although it is a 7.4% ABV (ps. Meantime brought down from the original 7.5% given the tax brackets in UK), alcohol was well hidden.
Well balanced beer considering the style and it has a very good drinkability. Traditional English IPA, with less character in comparison to the US counterparties, though still above average.

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Photo of Durge
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this on tap at M'Coul's in Greensboro, NC sporting a dark hazy amber color with a whispy white cap and very little lace. The aroma offers firmly malty pine hops, with the accent on caramel malt. Nice. The taste brings much of the same with sweet malt and tangy pine hops. There's a malt liquor subtlety and root beer touch with a hint of dry clove. It's medium bodied with a bright clean somewhat aqueous feel with minimal carbonation. Toffee and nut noted in a very drinkable Enlish IPA. Not bad.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a hazy red color with bright orange hues. The head is mammoth, billowy, and white. The aroma is floral with a hint of citrus, and a slight, pleasant metalic notes at the end. The taste is like the aroma with a moderate bitterness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than medium bodied. Carbonation is adequate. Overall, this is a very refreshing IPA with a subtle and complex flavor profile. I will certainly drink this again.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber with a small head.
Sweet aroma of heavy malt with bold bready notes. Also resinous and earthy hops alongside some orange marmalade.
Extremely malty flavours too, a bit like malt extract. Some earthy and resinous hops and more orange marmalade. A bit too sweet.
Could use more carbonation.

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Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This IPA is a thick amber color, on top of which forms a pure white head one finger tall. Retention is good and there's a good amount of patchy lacing.
What this beer offers is an earthiness particular to English hops varietals. There's a bit of fruity sweetness underlying as well. A touch of something like candied rind, both bitter and sweet, comes out too. Malts add enough balance to let the hops take the show without being too malty. Just a hint of alcohol sneaks through without an overly fusel edge. This beer is a good example of the style; the give and take here is that this beer is subtler than American IPAs but more refined.
Crisp and smooth mingle well in this beer. It flows well and has a good carbonation to keep things moving. The body is medium.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a murky, hazy amber with a creamy, pillowy off-white head. Head retention is good and lacing is moderate.

S: Aromas of black tea, leather, white pepper, caramel, biscuits, toffee, tobacco, orange marmalade, lemon, honey, herbs, and cream fill the nose.

T: Notes of black tea, leather, caramel, biscuits, toffee, crackers, white pepper, tobacco, oak, cedar, orange, lemon, lime, honey, grass, herbs, and heavy cream wash across the palate. The finish is intense and punchy with notes of herbs, caramel, toffee, tea, pepper, biscuits, honey, and mild citrus undercut by a sharp alcohol burn.

M: Medium-in-body and dryish, but notably stickier and heavier than most English IPAs. Carbonation is delicate. Alcohol presence is detectable from the start, but intensifies immediately after the entry, lasting through the finish. This is definitely a sipping beer best suited for warm evenings.

O: I have long admired Meantime's desire to both innovate and faithfully recreate the styles of the past, but that being said, their actual beers are normally hit or miss for me. This IPA is not bad, but it is somewhat harsh, overly brash, and aggressive. It is definitely not the most drinkable example of the style. It does, however, display a commendable complexity and is solidly crafted. I would recommend this ale to fans of stronger British ales, especially those who fancy themselves EIPA connoisseurs.

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Photo of morimech
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Carefully decanted from a 11.2 Oz. bottle. Pours a clear golden color with a large cream colored head that had excellant retention. The head settles to a thick cap with heavy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is not what I want it to be. Weak hop elements of citrus and bready malt. Smells like a weak APA. But this beer redeems itself in flavor. Nicely balanced between citrus, floral, and herbal hop elements and soothing bready malt. Bitterness is appropriate for the style. Finishes with a little herbal aftertaste. Nice body but I would like to see a little more substance especially when the ABV is at 7.5%. Nicely carbonated. Too expensive to be a regular in my lineup. Also has more alcohol than most other English IPAs.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange-ish to yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, earthy, grassy, and some pine hops. In the taste, gingerbread malt with earthy and grassy hops, with just a touch of lemon citrus. A mellow hop bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a lightly dry and mellow hop in the aftertaste. A nice English IPA, quite enjoyable.

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India Pale Ale from Meantime Brewing Company Limited
3.92 out of 5 based on 588 ratings.
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