London Tavern Ale | Valley Brewing Company

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Very Good
20 Ratings

Brewed by:
Valley Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerBeing on 10-19-2007

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by 1759Girl:
Photo of 1759Girl
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance> Just like an English ale. Warm brown, creamy head, not too lively. Good lacing. Dead-on. It's a ringer.

Smell> alcohol, metal.

Taste> Very malty, not too complex. Very good representation.

Mouf> Pretty true to the style. Small bubbles, not offensive. Just average

Drinkability> The smell was a bit off-putting for me, but my parents, who were with me, have found a new favorite beer, so I'm going with "just above average"

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More User Reviews:
Photo of commando673
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of berkey
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle reviewed from a tulip glass 09/19/10.

Pours a dark reddish tinted brown. Medium sized head forms and promptly settles. Minimal lacing also fades quickly.

Aroma includes some ripe yellow apples and light caramel and toast along with very mild bittering hops. Style appropriate enough to have me excited to taste it.

Flavor follows the path that the aroma suggests. Subtle caramel and faint backing fruitiness is joined by an unexpected roasted malt astringency in the aftertaste. Carbonation a little higher than I expect in the style but still manages to be exceptionally drinkable.

An enjoyable English style Ale from California? In a bottle? Damn straight. Recommended.

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Photo of vacax
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

3.5% ABV per label. The differing ABV in previous reviews, plus my own observations on color/carbonation leads me to believe that this beer has had some variation or evolution over the course of brewing it. This bottle was picked up at the brewery restaurant on 2/6/2010.

Pours close to black, though brown around the sides, khaki head with fine bubbles, good retention and moderate levels of lacing. The aroma is malty with chocolate, toasty dry roastiness, and touches of licorice. The flavor is as malty as the nose suggests,with roast, chocolate, and some raisin to it. Nicely balanced between sweet and dry. Finish is dry, bready, and mildly roasty. Medium to full in body, feels thick for something 3.5%, complemented by creamy light to medium carbonation. This tastes quite delicious, better than many porters I have had, but easy drinking and nicely textured, plus the low ABV just makes this one extremely quaffable. This blew away my expectations, this is quite delectable and I hope to get more of this one some time. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Murchmac
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Now that Valley Brewing is in Limbo i'm trying all the beers of theirs I haven't had.

This one pours with a nice thick creamy tan head with much lacing around the pint. Dark brown color with reddish cherry highlights. Beautiful woody looking beer.

Mild roasty smell. Not a lot.

Great taste. Big mouthfeel, some caramel/toffee, toasty bready. very good.

Great beer. Hope it sticks around.

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Photo of flexabull
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color, clear, and with a huge white head. Obviously too much carbonation going on here.

Aromas are light, but pleasant. Some spice, creamy malts, tea, and some bread and doughy notes.

Taste is light, but very malt forward. Generally dry, with light spice flavors, some bread, dough, and tea as well. Finish has a slight crispness, with just a touch of mineral hops.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, maybe a touch too carbonated though.

Drinkability is solid. This is a nice drinkable English Style Ale. Maybe a little flawed, but still solid, worth trying, and a beer I'll enjoy finishing.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the brewery.

A: Cloudy woody color beneath a thin film of a head. Served in a chilled pint glass.
S: Light on the nose but what it there is woody, clean, spice and a bit vinous with notes of grapes and raisins.
T: Definitely mild, with flavors of raisins, caramel, wood, red grapes, and a straightforward malt profile.
M: Medium-light body, clean and easy mouthfeel that is fairly crisp, and tingly carbonation made up of small bubbles.
O: Very easy to drink and a great light flavored malt-forward beer.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On the label it says "Valley Brewing Company, London Tavern Style Ale, Central Valley Mild", so who knows what it should be called. I'd have guessed "Central Valley Mild". In any case, it is always nice to see a mild made by a brewery. Very underrepresented style and always a nice tasty low abv alternative. My bottle says that the abv is 3.5%. Pours a dark chestnut with a thick pancake head that collapses aroundthe rim of the glass 1st. Smells of the mild, creamy maltiness that is the hallmark of the style, and with a light, nutty finish. The taste is also true to style with mild, creamy, nutty, slightly sweet malt, and a gtentle earthy bitterness. Very tasty. The mouthfeel is nice- fairly full bodied for the low abv, but a little bit metallic right at the very end. For me, this could be just a tad creamier and just a tad sweeter and it would be spot on. As is, I applaud the decision to make this beer- now tofind it on-tap, or even better, on cask.

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Photo of harpus
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tony223366
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a slight amber in the light. Thin, one finger tan head. Quickly turns to a small layer. Lots of carbonation on the edge of the glass. Actually really nice lacing.

S: Very clean, that's what first hits me. Then I get mostly raisins and a forward malt. That's about all I can pull.

T: First I get a light roasted malt flavor. Nice hints of chocolate. In my opinion the fruits (raisin) plays second fiddle and I'm ok with that.

M: Nice medium body, good carbonation.

O: Big switch from last night's Abt 12! Actually a really nice flavor profile. Fairly rich, yet light. I enjoyed it. It goes without saying that this is a very sessionable beer. Good job Valley Brewing

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Photo of drummstikk
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark raisin red with a good lasting head despite low carbonation.

Rich dark caramel malts give the impression of raisins with a hint of chocolate malt. Lightly carbonated and above average body. Mild floral English hops, really not very bitter. Some oakiness and dark estery flavors that may be yeast-derived.

Great! Like an English Wee Heavy

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Photo of armock
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a mahogany color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of some roasted malt and toffee

T - Just like it smells roasted malt and toffee

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - For a very small beer it has a decent taste I'd like a little stronger flavor but its a drinkable beer thats worth a shot sometime

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is extremely over carbonated from a traditional English Mild perspective as a standard pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a four-finger thick, lightly browned, dark tan colored head. The head is quite dense and leaves lots of lace as it slowly subsides. The beer is a dark brown color that shows an almost brilliantly clear amber-brown hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of carbonic acid, fruit and dark malt. Some vigorous swirling helps to release the excess carbon dioxide and leaves me with a deeply toasted, slightly roasted dark malt character, a touch of raisin and sweet plum, a faint chocolate component, some green apple, some spiciness that reminds me a bit of cinnamon and molasses and a solid browned whole grain cracker component in the finish.

This is light bodied, but has a nice sweetness to it up front. The sweetness accentuates some raisin notes as well as a touch of red table grapes. The finish is pretty dry with a touch of roasted malt character as well as a toasted whole grain component that ultimately cleans the sweetness from the palate. This beer is extremely quaffable (which if of course totally expected from a beer of this style). A touch of browned toffee and toasted caramel are found here as well as a nice biscuit like maltiness. The beer seems to be a touch too young as there is some green apple notes that mix with the caramelized malt to form more of a red apple flavor; this is fairly light over all though.

Not a bad beer, I must admit that I was expecting great things from this so am a little bit disappointing. The beer is definitely over carbonated and would seem like it could benefit from a touch more conditioning; bottle conditioning would certainly help the latter.

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Photo of mjl21
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Taps. Poured into a pint glass. Listed as 3.8%.

A-Pours a dark brown with a really nice two finger off white head. The head has great retention and leaves huge waves of lace.

S-Nothing huge going on. There is a touch of sweet malt and roast malt. There is some lactic notes along with some coffee.

T-It has a subtle brown ale flavor with notes of sweet malt and roast malt. It is a very easy drinking beer,

M-It is super smooth and creamy.

D-It is a super sessionable beer due to it being low in the abv department. It has a cask like texture.

I enjoyed this beer. It is a style that I typically don't order. It was the perfect beer to compliment watching a football game as it wasn't overly filling and wasn't going to get me hammered.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Lothore
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a clear copper color with a small, off white head.

S- Smell is faint, slightly bready, roasted malt, caramel, a bit perfumey.

T- Roasted malt, light hops, bready, very light caramel backbone.

M- Thin with medium carbonation.

D- I could drink this one all day. Insanely drinkable.

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Photo of swungomonkey
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of popery
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really like good British-style ales, and there aren't nearly enough available in my area. It's great to see Valley Brewing on store shelves. This beer pours a deep, rich walnut brown with a thick, creamy head. The aroma is nutty and lightly sweet. The flavor is rich and complex, particularly for the low abv. There's a light but rich roasted malt flavor, like a delicious light roasted coffee. It's mildly vinous, slightly sour, nutty and lightly caramel. The feel is quite smooth for a bottled beer. It's very drinkable.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-brown body with a small-sized, whitish, though thin head.

Smell: Toasted malts with lesser, lighter notes of brown sugar and dark caramel. Some anemic fruit tones. Background earthiness.

Taste: Toasty, bready maltiness with small sweet touches of brown sugar and caramel. Faint dark fruitiness. Presents a bit more nuttiness upon warming. Herbal, earthy hops with a subtle bitterness. Finishes smooth, dry and with a final hint of earthiness.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A fairly decent mild ale that was certainly easy to drink. It's always good to see brewers giving this style a go.

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Photo of Offa
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I don't spend much time in Stockton so never had heard of this brewery before I had this on tap at Toad in the Hole in Santa Rosa. This is a good, gentle, but flavourful, easy-to-drink mild, a type very hard to find in this part of the world.

Deep red brown, it has a smallish but lasting, rich, creamy head, pale tan, very slowly shrinking and leaving rich foam around the rim and nice, even lace down the glass.

The aroma is subdued but with clear, firm malty character, toasty, with light earthiness.

The taste is toasty grain with a faint sweet-sour fruitiness (mostly plum), hint of root beer character without th sweetness, a hint of raw apple juice, and underneath a light leafy-nutty-earthy base lending a slight hint of earthy bitterness. It's fairly dry and very well-balanced. TYhe character holds up extremely well, remaining flavourful and interesting the whole way, while being very easy to drink.

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London Tavern Ale from Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 20 ratings