Young's Special | Wells & Young's Ltd

BA SCORE
86
very good
54 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Young's SpecialYoung's Special
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Wells & Young's Ltd
England, United Kingdom
wellsandyoungs.co.uk

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-23-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
54
Reviews:
35
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
10.2%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 35
Photo of magictrokini
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper pour with a medium white head and thick lacing. Malty aroma with a strong, bitter fuggles hop presence and bit of apple. Crisp fuggels hop with a sweeter malt back. Every now and then, a rank crystal-malt-and-vinegar bite would emerge. Some metal and a bit watery, but decent.

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Photo of gford217
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at the Brick Store.

This one poured a clear golden amber with a decent head that clung on to the side of the glass and left some solid lacing. The smell was very light with a nice balance of sweet malts and mild hops. There was a also a decent fruity sweetness in the aroma as well. The taste was also dominated by the mild sweetness of the malts with a slight hop bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel was very creamy and smooth and was very drinkable overall.

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Photo of AylwinForbes
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A quintessential and traditional London bitter that I have loved for years. I had always considered it definitively bitter and quite dry. This time around though (is it me or is it the evolution of the style?) I was taken by the greater complexity and fruitiness earlier in the palate. Quite aromatic, and an array of flavours, malt, caramel, dried fruits, some bitterness in the aftertaste but not as much as I remember. High drinkability as are almost all English bitters.

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Photo of jdmorgan
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale poured a beautiful amber color into an English pint glass and had a small white head which settled into a lace.

The smell had sweet malt tones of caramel malt and a bit of hop aroma. The taste was supremely balanced with a sweeter caramel malt flavor that was blended near-perfectly with the hop flavors. The body was nice, full, and robust. The hop profile was stately and had a good smack of hop flavor and bitterness. It was measured very well though and blended nicely for a very drinkable ale. The consistency was medium/thick and the carbonation was medium.

Wow, this was a good beer. I'd call it more of an ESB in taste than simply a pale ale, but it had great features making it a good session ale and very drinkable beer. This beer is worthy of it's following and is one of my favorites.

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Photo of foles
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I struggle with the highly bitter ales, so the barman at the Dog & Bull in Croydon recommended I try the Special. It was a solid choice. It typifies the style (English Pale Ale) to my taste, without going overboard in any particular flavour category.

Looks nice (typical copper colour with minimal head) and tastes nice (fresh, malt backbone and very lightly fruity - with only a slightly bitter finish). I did notice very little smell present (maybe my nose).

It is a good session ale for me while visiting a Youngs pub.

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Photo of Daredevil
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Young's is a sure bet usually, the only problem being uninspired publicans, lacking the right touch to keep the brews in perfect condition ... Young's (and other brewers) should have an eye on this ....
back to the brew itself ... medium to full bodied ale, wonderfully malty (by avoiding any excess on sourness, sweetness nor bitterness) and pretty dry .... as I said, a sure bet ....

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Photo of jda007
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was able to enjoy this at the Young's Brewery. It has an excellent aroma - very light and sweet. The head it not very thick, but a little fuller than the normal "Bitter." The taste is wonderfully smooth and has an excellent malty taste that is balanced with just a touch of hops. Much better than the Young's Bitter - this should be their primary beer. The color is a little more amber-yellow than you would expect, but overall, very nicely done.

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Photo of Chaz
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant brass with a touch of amber - poured with no head or lace, all the way to the top of a Libby pint glass! Nose is all about the malt, tangy and fruity, with a just a trace of hop. Mouthfeel is light and slightly lactic/astringent, and while the body is on the thin side it feels appropriate for this brew. I find the taste truly exceptional: there's a slight but notable vegetal quality (think rhubarb plus celery) which emerges from behind a fruity foreground of ripe red apples and tart cherries - this is very far from a Bass! Medium dry finish, part tart part bittersweet. Easily sessionable and very, very drinkable.

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Photo of wl0307
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's been a while since I last tried Young's Special on cask, and it's about time to do so as the Young's brewery is moving house soon... This time at a Young's house in the heart of Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill, the name of which I forgot... I only remember seeing the young, posh, and pretty constituting the majority of the clientele, utterly different from most Young's pubs I've been to...

A: dark amber, fluffy head with pretty good retention, low carbonation, great clarity, cool temp.--nice and fresh indeed!
S: sulphurous, eggy notes upfront, laced with dried grapefruit peels... the firmly Young's yeasty theme is constantly there. Traiditional smell.
T: the assertive entry of Fuggles hops sits on top of a lightly citric edge of Goldings... juicy, mildly biscuity flavour in the aftertaste as well as the surprisingly "vinous"-fruity edge~~ A minimal touch of peppery-spice stays deeply at the fringe too... The lingering finish show soothing bitter-sweetness balanced between traditionally-mixed hops and traditionally-tasted pale malts.
M&D: fresh and softly carbonated on the texture, medium-bodied, extremely well-kept. The experience this time round proves that Young's Special, when on great form with a lingering aftertaste and depth, can be a very enjoyable, quaffable session bitter. Not for somebody not into the "traditional" taste of English Bitters, though.

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Photo of bodybyadam
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in my mini pilsner sampler at The Hops On Equinox 06. The ale poured a dark golden color with ½ “ white foam head, an attractive site for any pale ale lover.
The nose let off a mild fruity hop aroma.

At first sip I taste tangerine roll off of my tongue into a hoppy bitter taste, a quality I like in pale ales.

From first sip I knew this was great. The mouthfeel was very smooth and I found a remarkably true balanced light ale.

The drinkability is right up there, enough to make me go back for another even though I wanted to try other different brews at the festival.

Elbows Up,
Adam

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Photo of surfadelic23
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Barleyhoppers. It was taking a while for my oatmeal stout to pour, so I had this while waiting!
This has a very clear Reddish/brown color that is very clear. It had a quickly diminishing head. This smells nice with maltiness up front and as the ale warms up the hops come throught. Very well balanced with a nice hop flavor that follows up every sip. This one is so easy to drink, I had two!

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Photo of JohnW
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Would echo others thoughts of this beer, which I do enjoy, though maybe not quite as drinkable as their ordinary bitter. It is always reliable where I have enjoyed it, medium dark colour, nice creamy head that stays, good aroma, mixture of hops and malt, slightly sweet on the tongue, but more hoppy and bitter in the aftertaste. A good example of a decent English bitter, but not outstanding.

Not ever tried it from can or bottle so unable to comment on how it compares in those forms.


John W
Bham UK

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12oz bottle.

Pours a clear copper with a creamy ivory head. Some lacing. Fruity malt in the nose along with some spicy, cutting hops.

As you sip, lightly fruity apple flavors, some pale malt and then a middling persistent hoppiness, a slow burn of hops. Lightly metallic. Crisp up front and creamy going down. Real smooth.

Better than I expected. More like a English bitter than English pale ale IMO. Solid brew.

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

Copper colored, with a big rocky off-white head. I suspect that on-tap it'll put on an even bigger show.
The hops are prominent in the first whiff. Not sharp and biting, but earthy and somewhat floral. Then you smell a bit of fruit and toasty malt.
The taste begins with a bitter, slightly medicinal hops flush, followed by a bright malt flavor. There are flavors of honey and bitter orange. It finishes dry and a bit herbal, which imparts an earthiness to the aftertaste. It's medium bodied but seems incredibly mouth-filling. Nice and creamy. The pleasant herbal bitterness in the finish turns a bit bittersweet as it warms. Clearly a winner and one for the long haul.

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Photo of bark
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The colour is amber, the off white foam builds a slowly dissolving two finger thick head.

The smell is soft and fruity with lots of aroma hops, some bitterness and notes of pineapples, apricots some yeast and a weak touch of metal.

The carbonation is pleasant and fresh. I have noted that this beer (at least in cans) is rather sensible to a proper pour: When poured the wrong way, the mouth feel gets too strong and sharp.

The taste is fruity and a bit bitter with notes of apricots / peaches. The full-bodied flavours include some sweet mild malt and a growing bitterness. The aftertaste is long with notes of almonds (both bitter and sweet) and some gravy.

I think this beer is good everyday ale, quite similar to another of my favourite drinks, the Shepherd Neame Spitfire Ale.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: pale brown/amber, great clarity, sudsy tan collection of bubbles, poor head retention

Aroma: hint of caramel, grainy malt, artichokey hops, strawberry blossoms

Flavor: full malty sweetness with a toasty caramel roundness, dries out fairly quickly from a vegetal hop flavor and subtle balancing bitterness, grassy/malty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, pert carbonation, soft texture

Other comments: So, your Mamma calls you "special". Does that mean the rest of the world agrees with her? Probably not. Their Mamma's said they were "special" too. Same goes for this beer. Pretty standard, really.

To be fair, seeing that a lot of people seem to quite like it from the cask, I'll give it a try again if I see it at a pub somewhere.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am a sucker for cask bitters and when I went to England last autumn I realised pretty quickly that this was one of my favorite examples. It is widely available throughout the Thames valley and is the dry hopped bigger brother of Young's Bitter, which is even more widely available and delicious in its own right.

I was looking through my collection of beer notes when I realised I never entered this beer into BA, so here goes...

On cask at the King's Arms in Oxford. This beer is a nice rusty orange color. The head is foamy with the typical wispy cask bitter head. Lacing is very thick and virtually drapes the glass. The aroma is of fresh grassy hops and a bit of doughy malt. The taste is very hoppy for an English bitter and incredibly crisp on cask. Malt is less prevelant than the earthy fresh hop flavors. The mouthfeel is thick and grassy with lots of fine bubbles. The finish is very bitter and dry, managing to linger for a long time. This sample was very fresh.

I highly recommend this to anyone in Southern England. Its hoppy enough but also very light and refreshing.

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Photo of cypressbob
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle

Pours with a light amber body. Head forms but soon disappates with very little retention

Smell, aromas of dry malt, little hop bitterness coming through, slight hint of clove also

Taste, malty body, fairly heady thick body, slight bitterness in the finish, not a great deal however

A pretty tasty ale, would make a good session ale

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark clear copper hued pour that looks like an over brewed iced tea. A thin coating of a head with zero carbonation (could be the bar?) and zero lace (Same?)

Clean mixed fresh, ale fruit scents.

Perfect balance of hops upfront & malts. Fairly complex flavors continued to unravel. Reminded me of many other Pale Ales. Hmmm. Lingering yummy Kraft Caramel Squares aftertaste, leading to cidery Earthy notes.

Thin yet present feel.

To be on the generous side, this isn't a huge all nighter due to bitter malts which are more revealed as the temperature warms.

Last swigs: Fairly complex ale with hops and malts tango that leads to a cloying apples undertone. Interesting beer. YOUNG delivers.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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

Sampled from a keg on a hand-pump (but not a true cask).

This ale poured a clear, red amber color with white foam that settled and clung to the glass, leaving lace. The smell was lightly malty with a touch of hop bitterness. The taste was malty with a touch of butter with some hop bitterness in the finish. There was a tanginess and a slightly fruity sweetness with a touch of caramel. The mouthfeel was creamy and smooth with medium body and low carbonation. It was relatively clean. This was a good session ale.

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This smooth, and spicy ale was tasted at Nerax. I was impressed with everything from its deep and hazy golden color, sweet malt nose to the clean and bitter finish. It was medium bodied, and an excellent choice. I hope that casks of this ale find their way to Boston more often.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

NERAX 04

A beautiful coppery red with a nice head crowning the glass. A sweet fragrance drifts up. The fruity, appley malt is perfectly balanced by subtle crisp hops. Yummy. It's so nice to see such a well-known beer is so good. I'm ready for another.

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Photo of Shaw
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this on-tap at my local pub, the Cock & Bull.

This is a light ruby-colored pale ale, very much in the British style of pale ales, rather than our American pale ales that have a golden color.

It has a light aroma of hops, which is surprising for an English ale in my opinion. Most of their ales are very non-agressive. The taste is good. Howie, the Cock & Bull's owner, said this ale is dry-hopped. It tastes like it, although much milder dry-hopping than American ales. This ale is a notch above the other exported English ales I've had in the USA, which says nothing to their character in their homeland. The beers I remember having in England were excellent.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Young's special as sampled at the Lamb in London, UK. This brew is wonderful on cask. The dark amber beer has a nice white head. The aromas are very bready, malty, and nice. The taste is similar to the aroma. There are background hops, but this brew is all about the malts. The malt profile is wonderful and the mouthfeel is thick, but light at the same time. The drinkability is just wonderful as well. Mmmm....Special!

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

Tasted on cask at Brewer's Arm in Lewes. Appearnce: Red/orange/brown. Crystal clear, light head. Aroma: nicely balanced between malt and hops. Flavor; Good Malt character. Crispness from hops. Again, well-balanced. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Nice crisp hop finish aides drinkability.

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Young's Special from Wells & Young's Ltd
3.92 out of 5 based on 54 ratings.
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