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 London1985
4.8/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I absolutely LOVE this IPA. Meantime is my local brewery and im lucky to have them on my doorstep after reading the price some of our cousins across the pond are paying for their products.

However ive found some Meantimes brews to be hit or miss. I wasnt particularly impressed with their London Porter, but they more than made up for it with this example of English IPA.

It looks how an IPA should look, an almost gold haze to the liquid with tinges of copper. It smells fantastic with notes of cinnamon, honey and citrus hitting the back of my throat as
well as the bitter sweet scent of the hops.

Taste is very subtle and refined compared to the wallop of hops you get when tasting an American IPA. It fills your pallate with citrus and spice and then flows smoothly down the throat leaving an undertone of bitter hops. I drink this very often and each time i drink it i fall even more in love with it.

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Photo of MowryJC
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into some tasters to share at my birthday party.

A - Pours a clear golden caramel color capped by a huge thick head that settles into a foamy thickness, leaving moderate lace behind as you drink.

S - Bready malt with a great whiff of English hops, you can really make the distinction. The fruity English yeast comes next to me, as well as a light soapy smell.

T - Caramel malt flavor balanced perfectly with soapy, spicy hops from the Fuggles and Goldings.

M - Moderate body with a little soapiness that lingers.

D - Definitely drinkable, but the soapiness would wear me down a bit. It isn't unpleasant for a glass, but I would want to move on.

This is a great example of a classic English IPA. I would definitely pull this bad boy out to show someone not familiar with the style what it is like.

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Photo of DPFRD
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Hazy copper, with a decent creamy head.

S- Malty, with a hint of spice, and some minute hop presence.

T- Caramel Malt flavors, accentuate by sweet notes, as with the nose, hops are just there to balance and aren't very pronounced.

M- Medium, good carbonation.

D- It's a good drink. True to an English IPA in all regards. Very well balanced and quite satisfying.

O- A good drink. Definitely worth a try... sweet bottle btw.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at West Lakeview in Chicago. Served in a Mikasa tulip.

A hard pour really doesn't yield much at all in the way of appearance. There are a few bubbles that eventually accumulate atop the beer, but that's about it. Very light collar for just a bit and then even that fades away. The nose is pretty fruity and full of English yeast. Along with that are some mild hops and a bit of caramel.

The taste is pretty sweet and fruity, all things considered. Some caramel in the background as well as a bit of yeasty fruit. Other than that, also some floral and herbal hops. Mouthfeel is slightly bitter and a bit cloying with all the sweetness. Medium body. Drinks pretty well and the alcohol certainly isn't all that noticeable at all.

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

Poured into a snifter. Picked this 11.2 oz bottle up at Chambers Wine and Liquor in Denver.

Pours a slightly rusty orange under a finger light off-white head. Bottle states that this is bottle conditioned, and from the slightly cloudy body I believe it. Maybe a few more days standing the bottle upright would clear it.

Smells healthily infused with English-style hops, Goldings and Fuggles come to mind. There is a bit of something citrusy underneath that is tart and pleasing, and makes me think that the flavor might have wonders in store. Sappy piny notes overlay the sweet toasty malts.

This flavor experience is singular. What you get initially lasts throughout and even forms the aftertaste. Most beers take you through a progression, but this doesn't. I don't count this as a negative point in any way, just an observation. On to the flavors. The hops flavors are less sweet and sappy but not necessarily less bitter than their American counterparts, so the tastes seems to hit in the back of the mouth, making my Americanized palate wonder for a second before the beer reaches there. I trust Meantime as a brewing company that holds to traditional recipes, and I wonder if the original IPAs tasted as this does. If so, I can see why they became popular. The malts in this beer feel and taste of higher quality and they take a supporting role to showcase the hops, which as I said are English and they are good and bitter. Not palate scorching bitter, but not sweet. A little age (in the hold of a merchant ship?) would probably sweeten this beer up a bit. As it is now it is dry and nearly tart.

The mouthfeel is prickly with carbonation, but this helps keep everything for getting bogged down. Medium bodied, not thin as I thought it might be.

Drinkability is quite good, and gets better as it warms. This whole beer gets more inviting as it warms up, and thus this score is good as well.

Conclusion: In my opinion this is a very good example of this style. Hopped up with English style hops and malty enough to keep things from going off the hop deep end. Complex for this style.

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Photo of scorched
1.52/5  rDev -61.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I'm not sure if I got a bad batch or what, but my first indication of a bad beer was on the POP. There was none. Popped the cork, and nothing. There was no head or carbonation when poured into a tulip glass. The smell was foul. Like malted mold. The taste was absolutely awful. Slick and musty. I had to pour it out. I'm assuming, since everyone else rated it so well, I got a bad one. Won't try it again.

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Photo of IPA4LIFE
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Thick slightly off-white head rises to two fingers and quickly settles again. Color is light copper / deep gold. Very clear. Good looking beer.

S- Slightly sweet, with a subtle earth hint. A little floral. Not all that impressive honestly.

T- Initially bitter. Tastes of piney hops. Slowly gives way to solid malt flavor and some alcohol with a bit of a soapy hop aftertaste.

M- Light and smooth.

D- Solid choice for extended drinking. I had a 750ml bottle, and could have easily had another if I had it on hand.

Although this beer is not as aggressive with its hops flavor as an American IPA, it is a very solid offering. The taste is balanced with a decent malt profile to work with the hops.

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Photo of phantomwyse
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very light, unfiltered honey wheat tone. Soapy off white head rises to about a finger and then condenses.

S: The scale initially seems balanced - sweet and bready malts with hot sugar blending with subdued pine and understated citrus. There's a bit of alcohol coming through.

T: Starts off with woody pine and light citrus, moving on to warm breads, toast, simple syrup that's heated up.

M: Medium bodied, silky in the middle, dry on the leave.

D: Overall, this is a finely balanced IPA. The flavors are developed without any one being domineering. Very reserved, yet satisfying.

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Photo of tewaris
2.44/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

750 ml bottle with no freshness date poured into a Maredsous glass on December 08, 2010.

Appearance 3.5/5
Amber to light orange hued, with poor clarity, medium off white head, and medium head retention and lacing.

Aroma 2/5
Most faint spicy-earthy hop aroma riding on an equally faint malty sweetness and that's about it. Thoroughly unimpressive.

Taste 2.5/5
Medium malty sweetness, some spicy hop flavor, very low bitterness, and some alcohol. Could've been called average had it not been for the horrible aftertaste.

Mouthfeel 3.5/5
Not too terrible on the body with low carbonation that seems fitting.

Drinkability 2/5
I don't see the appeal of this beer except for its fancy bottle and cool label. I've never had a true English IPA (except this one!) but I am sure there exist much better representations of the style. This one was a complete waste of liver and dollar alike. One of my friends that I shared the bottle with went as far as calling it a vile beverage. While I might not have such an extreme sentiment, I am not buying this again, and perhaps avoiding it for free too, unless it smells of something remotely hoppy, in which case I would chalk my experience up to a bad/old bottle.

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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 drabmuh
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured into a Sam Adam's perfect pint glass. Beer is amber and hazy with a big off white head of small and medium bubbles. Lots of lacing, moderate carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is minerally and mildly hoppy but earthy, not piny or fruity. There is some malt there too.

Beer is pretty full bodied and has this spicy / bitter finish to it that is pretty nice. Overall its a good beer. The forward malt sweetness is well balanced with the carbonation level and the midpalate flavors of mild spice and earthiness. The bitterness at the end is mild but appropriate with the levels of everything else. It's quite a good beer, one of the better English IPAs I've had.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours and looks like so many quality IPAs that I've tasted.
The exuberant head blossomed with a coarse bubble composition and then as quickly as it appeared collapsed into the glass leaving a thin covering over the beer and some lacing on the glass.

Slight nose with hints of sweet malt that was a precursor of the flavor.

The flavor isn't as up front and powerful as some IPAs I've tasted. There's no question of this beer's brew style, but it's more of a reserved character.

The flavor has plenty of bitter hops but along with that I taste the malt, citrus, some pepper and even a little clove.

Produces a hops bitter and spice but clean and linear finish.

Mouthfeel thanks to the flavor and finish is a very smooth and cordial experience.

Drinkability is such that I could put down several bottles of this nice IPA.

My gripe is why can't they bottle this stuff in at least a 12 oz bottle? What's with these short 11.2oz bottles? It doesn't even fill a small glass! Reminds me of so many things we find in the supermarket where the price stays the same but the contents continually shrink.

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Photo of jonB
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I knew this IPA would be different than the American ones I'm used to, but I was still shocked by how different. The beer pours a deep gold, much lighter than most IPAs and has a good level of carbonation.The smell does not reveal much hops. The first sip was surprisingly malty and even had a strong presence of alcohol. The finish is dry as expected, but not the powerful taste I am used to. The lack of strong hop presence leaves the beer unbalanced in my mind.

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Photo of Bigfatbino
2.67/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A = Golden amber in the glass, slightly translucent, with a thinner head, but plentiful lacing in the glass.

S = aroma on the whole is slightly sweet and malty, but little else comes from the aroma. It is near odorless of hops, which I find puzzling.

T = medium bitterness but well balanced by the honey-like sweetness and very light citrus notes that kicks in very quickly. A fair amount of dark chocolate in the finish, though it does not linger long on the palate.. But where are the hops that it advertises? There are barely any that I could detect. Here I was disappointed. The tag said that they crammed as many hops as they physically could into the copper, but I did not detect much

M = Thinner than I would expect, but not to the point of being watery. There is still some resinous feel on the tongue, and the bubbles are subtle.

D = Overall, this brew is subtle in nature, but lacks character with only having sweetness and a surprising finish. However, it is the transition from sweetness to this finish that offers a pleasant surprise. This is its greatest strength, but also is the greatest weakness of the brew. Overall, I was not impressed with this brew being representative of the IPA style, even by English standards of putting less hops than the American counterparts. . It was far too sweet and grossly under-hopped.

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Photo of gabeerfan
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A little concerned when the cork didn't "pop" when opening the bottle. But, everything was OK when poured. Poured a hazy, amber-orange with a fluffy white head.
Nice hop aroma. With Fuggles and EKG the hop aromas are grassy and earthy. Bare hint of citrus and honey, toasted bread and surprisingly a little bit of cinnamon.
Flavors are similar, but the hops turn into a black tea flavor. Lots of honey, toasted bread and some orange juice.
Carbonation was good but as in many English beers, the level is lower than might be expected. None of the hop stickiness typical of American IPAs. Nice change of pace.
Flavors are good enough to drink a lot of this, but at 7.5%, a 750ml bottle should be shared or plan on a DD or just staying home.
I've been passing by the beer for a while and glad I finally picked up a bottle. I will revisit this again.

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Photo of Chaney
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

According the BA, this one ranks #2 in style class behind my favorite English IPA: FFF's "Blackheart":

A: Oops! I may have poured this tool aggressively. No matter. It is pretty much a bright, cloudy orange color, with a huge head. Generous carbonation.

S: It has kind of a rotten orange and medicinal smell that I'm not digging.

T: Hop-wise, this is VERY restrained. Fairly sweet, with a nice malt backbone, and not much bitterness at all. This is one of the more port-like IPAs I've tasted in a while. Is this unfiltered?

M: Solid, with a mild alcohol snip that is hidden well and blends into the sugar. I love the champagne-like foaminess on top of the brew.

D: 7.5% ABV isn't too bad, especially for a small batch beer. Tasty stuff!

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

pours a slight hazed copper color with a great head and lacing..smell was toffee and malts and floral noble hops and some roasted malt/caramel notes..taste was great it was sweet floral hops with roasted malts the hops lingered and went from floral and grassy to a nice light bitter finish,it was delicious..mouth feel was medium with nice carbonation,it was sweet and crisp and had slight biting finish..drinkability was good its a solid ipa..really enjoyed this 1

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Photo of GBalbin
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous IPA.Color: amber / orange. White/Beige head, high formation. Aroma of hops, malt, citrus and something fruity. Flavor well balanced between malt and hops, bitter far right. Good balance between body and carbonation. I really love IPA┬┤s like this!

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Papillon, NYC.

Poured a hazy medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light burnt caramel with a slight grassy hop.

The taste consisted of a sweet toasted grainy malt with a lingering honey element. There was a mild grassy hop cutting the malt ever so slightly.

The mouthfeel was a bit full for the style with a coating sweetness.

Overall a good EIPA. Advertised on the tap handle as an IPA in big block letters. It was a fine a fine beer, but American drinkers should take heed of the fact that this is an authentic English design and not a hop bomb.

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Photo of Stigs
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle shared, served in standard pint glasses

A - slightly hazy, dark gold colored beer...nice fluffy slightly off-white colored foam caps it off. sticky lacing covers the glass.

S - lightly sweet and floral Brit hops...dominating soap. had to check my glass to make sure it was clean, confirmed.

T - brief piney hops with a very sharp and lingering biscuity malt bed. again, a big soapiness kind of takes control and doesnt give up.

M - nice, medium bodied with tight playful carbonation...creamy but finishes very clean.

D - not feeling it...overwhelming soap and malts even for an Enligh IPA (a stlye I can appreciate). finding it hard to polish off the bottle and move on.

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Photo of scoobybrew
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - slightly hazy (bottle conditioned) golden/orange color with a thick head that is very well retained

S - earthy and floral European hop aroma with sweet malt underneath

T - sweet caramel and pale malts initially, but very briefly followed by herbal and earthy European hop flavors, moderate bitterness on finish, some yeasty esters present but restrained to a point

M - medium body, moderately high carbonation

D - This is an excellent English IPA. It seems very true to what I would expect some of the orignial versions might have been like. It's very impressive and well done. I'll be looking for this one in the future.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Transcribed from undated notes.

A careful pour so as not to stir up the lees resulted in a finger of off-tan head with low retention. Color was a slightly hazy orangish-amber. Nose was faint and light with a malty/sugary presence. Mouthfeel was medium with a very malty-sweet taste on the tongue. Finish had a mostly sweet taste with a slight tang of hops on the extreme finish. It was a really mellow experience, like drinking hops tea. This would make a great entree into IPAs for those who may not yet be committed hopheads.

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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 iuhophead87
3.09/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A- pours a dirty copper orange with a light fluffy head. This beer looks very light and inviting.

S- Fresh baked bread with a little toffee is the main aroma. It almost has a sour smell and I hope that it not infected. I would like to smell more of the English hops.

T- I trying to taste the hops, but I can't find them. It tastes just like an English ale to me. I know I am a hop head and have been tainted by the American hop bombs, but I can't see how this is an IPA. It does have a good flavor but not exactly what I was looking for. That being said the beer is fairly malty with both a toffee and lemon flavor.

MF- Average carbonation and very light.

D- A decent ale that is both light and refreshing. I don't think I would by this beer again but would not turn it down if it were offered to me.

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Photo of peacebone116
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into over-sized wine glass. Cloudy gold 1.5-cm head that recedes quickly to nothing but delicate and fine lacing around the rim of the glass.

N: Light nose. Hop forward--slight pine spice, with malt secondary; reminiscent of ripe plum--but all this is extremely subtle. The scent is somewhat disappointing for an IPA, even a British-style IPA.

T/M: Very dry, mustard-like taste from the pleasant balance of the hop notes and the medium malt backbone. Alcohol burn quickly pushes forward. Hopping is more evident in the taste (light, initial pine notes) than in the nose. Overall, I would describe the beer as dry and bitter-sweet.

This beer is a great example of the traditional English IPA. If you are looking for a West-Coast American-style IPA, you may be disappointed with this brew. However, this does allow the drinker to experience where the Western IPA brewers derive inspiration.

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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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