Young's Ram Rod | Wells & Young's Ltd

very good
130 Reviews
Young's Ram RodYoung's Ram Rod

Brewed by:
Wells & Young's Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-16-2000

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Reviews: 130 | Ratings: 181
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Another copper pour, white head 3/4" deep. Cool ruby edge to it. Nose was mildly fruity, earthy malt and hops.

A light sweetness, a good amount of noble hop flavor contributions. Highly carbonated, appropriate. Caramel and wood malt flavors, tea.

Neither super strong nor bitter, this one doesn't need to be compared to its claims on the label, its decent, but the format and price per oz keep it from being a repeat purchase.

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Photo of sfprint
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

review from oct 20th, 2011, exp 3/29/12
A: Riding the line of orange and brown. Minor rising carbonation. short head, fairly transparent.
S: Apricot, but overall not very fragrant.
T: Moderate bitterness, in the direction of an IPA, mild orange. apricotish fruit, black tea/unsweetened tea. Nice
M: Very mild carbonation and dry. a hair astringent.
O: I do like this one but not very drinkable. Not outstanding.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: shiny copper body, 2 finger fluffy head, great legs

S: light malt, grain, apple, light citrus

T: sweet malt, earthy grain, hint of citrus, crisp/creamy
mild bitter finish

M: Medium body, good coating of the mouth, frothy carbonation.

O: Another mighty fine English beer.
This is one of my favorite ESBs and
will continue to buy it.


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Photo of jwhancher
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Had this one on cask from Local 44. Pours a light amberish color with nice off-white frothy, milky had about a finger width high. Looks as if it would be served from over in the U.K. Smells of delicate noble hops. Besides that, some light pale malt character. Tastes of pale malts and somewhat bready. Thought it was a little bland as I was expecting more pronounced malt character. Mouthfeel was the best thing about this beer. Creamy, cask flavored English ale. A great session beer to chat over with some friends. Overall, I was disappointed as I was expecting more from the malts & normally characterful English yeast.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper pour, eggshell white head, a little more lively colorwise, nice. Slight fruity nose.

Sweet taste, slight pinprick of hop mouthfeel to this one, I'd guess something tame like Saaz, glacier, noble. Carbonation is ample. Have no idea why this says strong ale on the label. Caramel is slight, in fact, everything is slight, this is a pretty easy drinker, english wood feel to it as it gets warmer, with tea leaves.

Didn't really taste that bitter, nor was it strong. I enjoyed it, but the label seemed to mislead me, but its probably just the traditional vs. the last 15 years digression.

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Photo of dbmcrorie
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I actually was able to grab a bottle of Ram Rod back when it was made by Young's & Co's Ram Brewery before they merged with Wells. Expiration date - May '05. So keep in mind this review is of a 4+ year old beer. I have one more bottle in the cellar that I'll pull out in a year or two to review again. 1pt .9oz/.5L bottle, poured into an imperial tulip pint glass.

Pours a dusty copper-orange body. A puffy light beige head sighs for a second before leaving with minimal lacing behind.

Ripened fruit meets earthy peat from the hops. Decent fruity bouquet of aged orange peel and vanilla, underlined with sweet notes of toffee and candied yams. Biscuity malt lays just beneath the surface, but seems to be asleep after 4 years of hibernation.

Very timid. I wonder if the presence has diminished over time? Lots of fruity sweetness upfront with notes of maple, dates, orange, and vanilla. Hops round out the palate with an earthy balance. Carbonation is light and tickles the tongue, but does little to open up the flavors. Rich viscous body at the beginning of the sip that fades away to a powdery finish. A bit of a dusty mouthfeel that reminds me of the age of this bottle. Cola/cream soda aftertaste.

Great fruity body with pleasant aroma, very little bitterness. I can tell this was a fruitier bitter in its prime, but has lost some depth over the years. I would have loved to tried this particular batch when it was fresh, and compare it to Wells & Young's version now. It'll be interesting to see what the other bottle will be like in a few years.
Great with sharp white cheddar and/or colby cheese, light game, and hickory glazes. But a great pub/session brew on its own too.


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Photo of vancurly
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought at a discount, 3 weeks after BB date.
a) Foamy, offwhite head. Orange/amber, good bubbling.
s) Tobacco leaf, ginger, lemon, cara malt
f) Slightly faded, marmalade, honeycomb, slight metal, floral
m) A touch hollow & watery, although I will allow for the age in my score.
d) Easy drinking, interesting flavours, best fresh I expect.

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1pt, 0.9 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Clear copper, amber color. Good head on the pour with medium bubbles, reduces itself to a small head with small bubbles leaving good lacing. Small and large bubbles mix in the healthy carbonation.

S = Good balance of hops bitterness and malt sweetness of toasted grains and apples. Smell could be more forceful though: it is a little too understated.

T = Good sweet malt on the tip of the tongue modulating to a good bitter kick at the back of the mouth which hangs on for a very tart, good long finish.

M = Medium body, good coating of the mouth, frothy carbonation.

D = A very drinkable beer.

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Photo of vanrassel
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Despite having two of these and taking notes, I can't say there's a lot about this beer that stood out to me. However, there is still something to be said for quiet competence, and this is a decent enough beer — though not one I'd necessarily seek out.

It poured from a 500 mL bottle copper with a small white head that quickly dwindled to a ring. Caramel malts mingled with some fruity esters, mainly apple and pear. Most of the malt taste has a caramel quality to it, with a slight roasted and/or burnt quality. It sat in good balance with the bitter hops, and the smooth medium body seemed right for the style.

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Photo of HoustonTX
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ram Rod pours ruby/orange in color. Average head, with average retention.
Smell is loaded with fruit esters, laid on top of a bready malt background. Taste is mellow and mouthfeel is vibrant and smooth. Lots of fruity yeast notes. Just a load of variety in the flavor. Fruit in nature and that's all you need to say. Maltiness and hoppiness are low, and in my opinion are only there to provide balance.

This is an easy drinking ESB, and the perfect beer to introduce the style to some one. I can recommend this one.

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Photo of BigBry
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown Young's bottle with a ram embossed on the shoulder (same picture as above). 1pt 0.9oz (500ml) bottle, with BB date clipped into back label.
Pours a clear golden copper color, with an off-white head. Large bubbles that dissipate to a thin cap floating on top. No real lacing to speak of. Smell is a bit sweet with some hops noticeable. There is a full malt flavor with the hops coming through at the end. I found this quite mild (as per an ESB), but well balanced.
I would call this one medium-bodied. There is a good level of carbonation. All around a good mouthfeel. This beer has a very nice balance of flavors. Nothing is overpowering, and easy to drink.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Young's Ram Rod
16.9 oz brown bottle
Best before Feb 05 (eeekks, I didn't realize this beforehand)
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a light brown with burnt orange highlights.

Fruity and malty with a sweet nose.

Sweet, juicy punch with a vinous quality. Nicely drinkable wiith a hoppy punch. A hint of citrus, cane sugar & nice malts provide the character of this beer.

A good old-fashioned English ESP with a distinct flair. This is how a picture a steady, session style English brew. I like it and pretty good considering how old this beer is. I'll have to try a fresher sample soon.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours bright orange/amber with a head that descends to a thin, lasting cover.

The smell is of caramel, earthy with a floral/fruity undertone.

The taste is of caramel, tea leaf with floral/fruity notes. Honey-like sweetness in the finish. Well-balanced.

It has a smooth, medium body.

Overall, Otter Maris pale malt stays only slightly ahead of the East Kent Golding hops. Tasty and easy-to-drink. I have only found in singles, but this one should be in 12 oz. 6-packs, as it makes for a nice "sessionable" beer.

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Photo of Byeast
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: poured with a fair amount of carbonation sticking to the glass , rusty copper tone , with basicially no head , just some larger offwhite bubbles.

Smell: A honeyish malt aroma with a bit of light fruitiness and a bit of herbal hop.

Taste: Nice bisquity / bready malt with honey , some diacetyl , very light fruity tastes , the balancing bitter hop is herbal and tea-like , the taste is very well balanced and mellow.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied

Drinkability: An extremely drinkable brew , i could quaff this baby all night long. The flavors are very pleasant , yet mellow ; begging for another BIG sip.

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Photo of wl0307
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at a Young's pub, at "4 for 5 quid" take-away deal. Ironically, I first tried this beer when I was a totally newbie to English ales many years ago living in Brighton, and now my second time to encounter this beer should coincide with the Young's goodbye to its hundreds-year history based in Wandsworth, London... Coming in a small, 275ml brown bottle, BB 12/03/07, served cool in a broad rimmed goblet.

A: bright, dark amber hue with strong reddish hints; the beer head comes restrained, leaving just a thin carpet on the top; very gentle carbonation.
S: typically Young's... the juicy, complex fruit+malt mix (sweet citric Goldings, peach, caramel, malt candy, dried dates, boiled chestnuts, a touch of raisins) is buttressed by overwhelming rich earthy hoppyness of Fuggles and intense flowery aroma. Overall the aroma reminds me big time of Young's Special London Ale, albeit less colourful and more settled.
T: effervescent textured caramely maltiness and sweet tangerines prevail upfront, featuring especially the unsweet edge of dried fruits (raisins, black dates, etc.), while the whole palate is fast engulfed in earthy and roast tea-leafy hoppyness... turning dryish at the root of the tongue with lovely bitter-sweetness of dried leafy hops as well as lingering nuttiness... the mild citric-zesty bitterness lingers particularly well, rendering a refreshing and tangy finishing touch eagerly awaiting each next sip.
M&D: to me the texture is more fizzy than necessary, making this med.-full flavoured ale slightly off-balance on the palate. It reminds me of plenty of Young's ales, all well-crafted, sharing the fruity yeastiness and solid, flavoursome hop-mix using nothing but Fuggles, Sussex Goldings, and Styrian Goldings. A solid premium ale this is, I wish it won't be discontinued with the Ram's moving north...

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Photo of dblinkhorn
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 1pt 0.9oz bottle into tulip glass.

Appearance - The head pours a medium off-white that is slightly rocky (consisting mostly of larger bubbles). It very quickly dissipates to a thin cap floating on the brew. About three minutes after the pour, there remains only small patches of head here and there, and a small ring around the edge of the glass. The color is a golden copper and it is perfectly clear, with no haze whatsoever. There is little visual carbonation activity.

Smell - At first it's sweet, with notes of ripe fruits. The hops are fairly mild in scent, but are present. There are also hints of oats and grains, other than the malt flavor, which is of medium richness and also a background flavor. The alcohol comes in at the finish and is very mild. This beer has excellent balance, but is lacking (as per the style) in strong flavors.

Mouthfeel - The brew itself is light- to medium-bodied. There is a moderate carbonation bite when you first take a sip, but this quickly settles down to a nice level of carbonation in your mouth. Good mouthfeel.

Drinkability - Like I said earlier, this beer has an excellent balance of flavors. Nothing is overpowering, and nothing really is an obvious standout flavor from any of the others. It has a fairly light body and a nice level of carbonation. This brew is very easy to drink.

Overall, this is a good ESB. It's best strength is definitely its balance. Recommended.

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Photo of InDreams
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very clear orange/copper color, with an off-white head about a half finger thick that leaves a bit of lacing and a nice crown.

Smell: The label says it's a mix of pale ale malts and Golding's hops and I think the smell reflects that. It's mildly malty with hints of the hops, with the "perfect equilibrium" touted in the label finished off with an extremely pleasant fruitiness and some floral notes.

Taste: Malty sweet with a slightly hoppy bitterness and some elements of a nutty brown ale. I also pick up on the fruitiness that I smelled earlier. Perhaps like an apple or an orange. Very, very tasty. I'd call it mellow or something, not aggressive and with enough taste to be very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Lighter body, somewhat dry and with little kick from the hops or the carbonation. Smooth and easy to down.

Drinkability: I could definitely commit myself to a night of these. Very pleasant taste, nice mouthfeel, and it's not too filling. In fact, after having one, I want a second right now...

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Photo of tavernjef
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Creamy orange. Big capping of yellowed foam. Fades slow to a solid skim and laces in long inky strings.

Aroma is faint of floral hops and tiny grainyness. A slight raw husk-like sweetness surfaces as it warms, but it never quite gets very nosey overall. Quite.

Taste is decent though; a simple yet giving malt profile thats semi bready and sweet with a small hint to apple and pear-like fruitness makes up the mainstay for this ESB. Very light hops dry off the finish with some floral noting and Pils-like dryness. A slight piney bitterness flaunts at the end as it begins to warm up, adding some extra depth to the finish.

Feel is slow and thin with a weakened mediumish/light body. Slow, drying finish with a slight chalkyness taking away from the bitterness.

An OK sessionable ESB. Could be worse, but could be alot better.

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Photo of surfadelic23
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was exposed to this ale in England. I bought it b/c I liked the name and this was before my "off the beaten path" brew adventure started. Wow, what a pretty coppery color. It looked just like the shiney 2 pence piece I received in change. I wish I had noted that but my sis did! Initially, it a had a BIG offwhite head that went away kind of quicky and settled into one of those ones that leaves a white webby thing on the inside of the glass I picked up a big caramelly/malt smell from this one. No hop scent at all. I wonder how different this is on cask??
I really liked this from the first sip the initial sweet flavor is VERY gradually replaced by a little hop bitterness but not overpowering. This one is more subtle...which makes it pretty easy drinking, really. All in all I liked it. Would I buy it again? Only after I try it on cask... if they even it put it on cask anywhere...

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Photo of beertaster13
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice english bitter. Pours a bronzed copper with an off white head that is a pleasure to look at. Smell is of buttery toffee and light caramel malts, a nice floral hop nose. The taste is smooth and delightful, a creamy taste of milk and caramel with a buttered toast, hops are light but pleasant. Enjoyable.

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Photo of ghostwalker
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint bottle serving. Best before May 05. Oops, I should read these in the store more often.

Coppery color, 1 finger of white head.

Mild malt nose, some slight hops aroma, too.

Biscuity malt up front. Tastes a little similar to Fuller's ESB with that apple bite in the hop finish. It's tasty, but a little sharper/stronger flavor would be good too.

Mouthfeel is oily but crisp bitters with a lingering creaminess.

Drinkability is high. I like this style a lot for a session beer. As with other ESBs, if they were more available/cheaper here in the US, I would drink them more. As it is, I find it hard to come back from the beer store without at least one.

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Photo of grindcore666
2.59/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A finger-width of buttery milk-white foam atop a bronze amber body. A milky galaxy remains after the head dies.

Aroma was hard to sniff out. Very airy with like an oily brown smell. Smells like a brown ale.

Taste is buttery and nutty. I taste a pinch of hops and some brown toast. Has that English trademark.

Mouthfeel is silky, sweet, and delicate for the most part.

After being somewhat turned off by this beer, I looked at the best before date...and I'm drinking this 5 months too late. I don't know the magnitude of the change in taste, but I'll give this one another chance later.

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Photo of radshoesbro
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a deep amber with a big head. there wasn't much lacing and it wasn't highly carbonated.

s - smells of faint hops, couldn't pick much else up on the nose.

t - sweet with mild hop bitterness, luckily though it's not so sweet that it turns me off. has hints of honey.

m - light/medium bodied with a killer finish.

d - i would have a hot young ram rod any day...uhhhh...i mean...YA DOOD I LOVE BEEAHS AND CHICKS GUY!!!

note: this makes me think of super troopers. why? well asifr from the quote, they're both awesome!

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Photo of cubedbee
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle best by August 2005. Poured into an imperial pint glass, this is a crystal clear copper with a big head that billows up slightly over the top of the glass, nice retention, moderate amount of lacing. Smell is a little musty, with some light floral notes and an underlying malt with a slight apple fruitiness. Taste is very mellow--a slightly buttery malt, a gentle leafy hoppiness, and an underlying apple/tropical fruit presence. Everything's nicely melded togather--lingering finish is slightly bitter, slightly caramelly. Medium bodied with a gentle carbonation and a silky smooth feel. This is a real solid ESB, easily a sessionable beer.

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Photo of LordChesterfield
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When poured, this beer had a beautiful maltya aroma to it. The pour ended in a medium sized head that lasted for quite a while. The color was a coppery orange. At first there was a metallic aftertaste, but that disappeared as the ale warmed up. Has a very smooth mouthfeel and the suds coat the glass as the beer level drops.

The taste can be described as a slightly above average taste, and has a definite fruity tone. One interesting characteristic I noticed is that after about 10 seconds you get a taste on your palate that feels and tastes kind of like mango. WACK! It should be noted that the date on the bottle says "best before March 05." I'm going to review this one again when I get a fresher bottle, though I don't think this one tasted old. Recommended.

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Young's Ram Rod from Wells & Young's Ltd
3.87 out of 5 based on 181 ratings.
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