Ale Mary | RCH Brewery

very good
65 Reviews
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Ale MaryAle Mary

Brewed by:
RCH Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 12-10-2001

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Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 77
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Love bottle conditioning.

Dark amber color with a very lively, jazzy look. Massive, rocky and clumpy...sea foam style. Big time lace.

Aroma has a very nice malted cherries effect. Light grains and wheat as well. Smells very much like a belgian-style yeast with sour fruity notes.

The feel is full and jazzy, crisp but smooth. Flavor has a mild , malty taste, wicked crisp and lightly fruity. The hops are mostly herbal, maybe a bit spicy. It's very much like a straight ale with a Belgian edge in feel and flavor. A bit of booze in a subtle wat settles well over some of the fruity effects.

A bottle conditioned English ale is new to me....I dig it.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice pour. Plenty of foam sitting on a medium gold brew. The foam ain't going anywhere soon but what's shrinking leaves lacing behind.

The smell is festive; spicy with some cinnamon, a bit of clove, and fruity ..cherry like flavour when I swish the beer in my mouth, dark fruit when I don't swish.

Medium body with lightish carbonation.

This is delicious.

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Photo of Suds
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

This is a dark golden beer, the head is enormous, tall, puffy, and white. The scent of spice is immediately notable. Ginger and clove stand out. There is a bit of malt in the back as well, but the spice is predominant. The taste is moderately sweet...some yeas, and lots of spice. Again, ginger dominates, which gives the beer a warming sensation that is more than it's ABV would provide. Full in body and reasonably satisfying. This ale is solid and good, but I think it's more of a spice-bomb than necessary.

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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy caramel in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down rather quickly, but left lacing down the sides of the glass, a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and a thin layer of bubbles with some foamy patches floating on the surface.
S: There are aromas of fruity yeast in the nose—apples seem to stand out in particular.
T: The initial taste has flavors of fruity malts while the remainder and finish is dominated by ginger with some hints of cloves.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. No alcohol warming is noticeable.
O: This beer is quite unlike any other beers in the style but it is interesting and relatively easy to drink. The bottle conditioning makes this taste similar to a cask beer.

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Photo of Zimbo
2.89/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Initially there was an encouraging fresh sugary smell when opened and it poured an appealing crystal brown colour with orangish highlights. Big one inch plus thick head. Starts out citrically fizzy and fairly sharp, almost with almosty champagnish acidity before thickening up and developing a degree of sappiness.
But then things get ugly as the beer takes on root beer/cola quality before being dominated by a cacophony of sharp spicy cinnamon and clove flavours which are just plain downright unpleasant. It may be well made but that didn't stop it from the indignity of the drain pour. Hope the fish liked it.

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Photo of FanofHefe
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Deep amber colored body, slightly hazy, with a bit of an orange tint. Big, dense, two finger light tan head that leaves some nice lacing.

The first word describing the aroma is spicy. Not an unexpected feature of a winter warmer. Starts very much like a hefeweisen/witbier with some coriander in the mix here as well. Some dark fruit lingers in the background.

Nice blend of flavors that follow the aroma. The spiciness is not overwhelming and combines with some plum and raisin on the fruity side. The coriander seems to merge with some clove and a bit of sweet maltiness.

Thin mouthfeel. This was recommended and I'm glad. Will be happy to revisit this in the winter months.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a very large, lasting head and lots of lacing.
Nose shows lots of spices, I'd take a guess at ginger, coriander, cinnamon and cloves. Underneath is lots of sweet malt and hints of brandy and raisins.
The spices transfer through stongly as flavours, but unfortunately not much of the malt does. Prominent grainy notes, alcohol and astringency detract from the experience.
Carbonation could be higher and the body feels watery.

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Photo of brentk56
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Mary's head has been more than restored atop the hazy amber liquid and it sticks and sticks

Smell: The aroma is somewhat cakey, with hints of plums, clove and cinnamon

Taste: Opens with a cakey base, on top of which is layered plum and raisin flavors, then spices (clove, cinnamon and ginger) and, finally, some earthy hops; after the swallow, all of these flavors merge together, adding an herbal element on the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A nicely constructed Winter Warmer but rather filling indeed

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Photo of OctaviusIII
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Caramel, unfiltered brown, moderate cream head that stays.
S: Sweet, floral, hints of... not sure what. Not quite caramel, not quite vanilla.
T: Smooth, sweet at front, bitter aftertaste. Sweetness is light, with a sort of like angelfood cake quality to it. Bitter is hard, mostly due to the sudden absence of the sweet. Very subtle, very easy - it doesn't assault you. There's a spice in the middle - heavy with ginger, light in others that I can't place - that belongs in a pastry.
M: Smooth. Quite smooth. It's thicker, but definitely not chewy.
D: Excellent. The bitter is it begging to be consumed quickly.

Overall, I enjoy this beer. It's a well-balanced example of its type. I recommend.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance- cloudy and murky orange red color and thick thick white head that dissipates slowly, looks like alot going on here on this one just from the looks

Smell- spice and alot of citrus, and what i describe as the belgian style yeast, smell reminds me of swedish fish lol, but really a very citrusy sweet smell

Taste- definite orange and citrus flavor on this this one, more yeast and belgian dominated then i expected, a slight clove and spice, nothing over whelming but definitely easy drinking

Mouthfeel- light crisp refreshing with a moderate carbonation

Drinkability- overall very drinkable, very light and refreshing, almost would make a very nice summer ale as it seems to be very light and thirst quenching, A beer worth giving a shot considering I got mine for a good deal and it may not be the freshest its still pretty refreshing, those this beer was nothing like i would have guessed it was a good beer worth trying

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Photo of Lexluthor33
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange with a bubbly lace and a small head.
The aroma of spices,cloves with citrus hints and fruit tones. Some alcohol was also picked up,but it was mild.

The taste started with a cinnamon/spices taste that followed by very light malts and subtle hops. A cask ale taste. Ginger,coriander and some fruits were also a part of this beer's taste. It was a little tart.

The feel was light body,low carbonation with mild bitterness.A spicy feel and a watery feel to the finish that had sour notes.

Notes: This was really different and interesting. It got better as it warmed up and had the cask ale vibe to it. Good for winter and a good choice for early spring too.

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Photo of ABOWMan
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a huge head of fine lacy bubbles. Lots of lacing on the glass. The color is light amber with pleanty of deep hue.

The aroma is a nice mild malt with no roasted notes.

The flavor is a nice blend of mild malt sweetness with some hop bitterness. It's certainly not heavy, but rather a very drinkable ale with pleanty of flavor for glass after glass enjoyment.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass for a dull orange, hazy brownish color with a two-finger white head that slowly disipated and left some lace. A tart smell mostly, with apples, pears, apple cider even dominating but mixed with some lighter fruit and some sweet malt like caramel. A lighter-bodied beer but still packs a punch. Great smoothness as the beer as that tart fruit taste but evenly mixed with sweet malts (maybe bread - beer is tad chewey) so you have both a sweet and sour taste, and it is perked up, especially on the backbite, with nice spicing (clove, cinnamon, pepper). The low ABV along with the spices give it that nice Winter Warmer pick-up on the end, but this is a mild and great tasting beer as it goes over the tongue.

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Photo of Gmann
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden brown color with a pillowy off-white head that left a wall of lacing as it dissipated. The aroma is sweet and tart, light coriander and ginger goes along with a floral/tropical fruit. The taste is of a sweet bready malt, some honey and brown sugar, and a kick of grassy/spicy hops. There is a light spicy sweetness, probably the coriander and ginger. The brew has a moderate body with soft carbonation which gives a smooth feel, finishes well balanced between sweet and bitter with just a subtle spice. A nice subtle winter warmer. Main focus is the bready malt with hints of hops and spice.

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Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a yellowish color and a cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, long-lasting head and very good lacing.

S: A very subtle smell of roasted malt, hops, maybe a little spice.

T: Tasted of roasted malt up front and bitter (but not too bitter) hops going down. Slightly spiced. A solid taste.

M: Nice amount of carbonation and a very dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole this is one of the more drinkable winter warmers I've tried in awhile. A well made beer.

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Photo of russpowell
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent amber with 3+ fingers of cream colored head. Hazes a bit at the bottom of the bottle, good head retention & lacing

S: Oakyness & some dark fruit as this warmed

T: Oakyness, slight grapefruit hops, plums & leafy hops up front. Herbal hops & brown sugar as this warms, along with dates & a touch of cinnamon. Finishes with dark fruits & leafy hops & slight warming booze

MF: Medium bodied with minimal carbonation & good balance

Drinks easy, an alright take on the style

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Photo of tgbljb
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy medium amber color with modest off-white creamy head.

Smell is very odd, with some strange sour fruit notes.

Taste is enjoyable. Starts out swwet but a firm bitterness quickly takes over. Some spiciness also noted.

Strong taste retention with a long lingering bitterness at the end.

Easy to drink. Very different from other winter warmers, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of etenbus
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Raised Catholic, I couldn't pass up an ale named Ale Mary. Bought this at Royal Beers in Overland Park, KS. Served in my favorite Fuller's Imperial Pint glass at around 45 degrees.

The ale pours a reddish-orange with substantial head, which reduced down to 1/4 inch after a few minutes.

The first whiff was all ginger. After that I get some black pepper, cinnamon, and some fruit, mainly apples and dark fruits.

The taste has the hallmarks of a true ginger beer, but with more complexity. The other spices shine on the taste like a good winter warmer ale should. There is not much of a hop footprint here at all; only on the follow through does the bitterness peak through the spicy haze.

The mouthfeel is well done. It's slightly fluffy, alive like a cask ale would be. The carbonation is soft, not harsh, which allows the variety of flavors to come out and play.

Overall, one of the better and more unique winter beers I've tried. And it's not an Imperial anything and is only 6%, so I can drink this without worrying about the harsh alcohol smack of the strong beers that everyone is now cranking out. An honourable beer to a queen who lost her mind in a difficult time.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very reddish amber color -- so red that it's almost red-gold instead of -amber -- with a lacy off-white head. The nose is sumptuous and rich, with huge ginger and coriander notes that scream juicy fruits. No hop or malt aroma, it's all spice. On the palate, spicy coriander and ginger comes up first, before the cloves assert themselves. Things smooth out a bit for the mid-palate, with some orangey esters at the forefront, before morphing into a spicy-bitter finish. Mouthfeel is rich but light with those juicy flavors. Very full carbonation contributes to the full feeling. Overall, this is an excellent beer, but not all that malty or warming. It might actually be best in a transitional season between summer and colder weather, as it's actually pretty light and the coriander reminds of a witbier. Regardless, it's a tasty beverage.

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Photo of matylight
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: pours a light reddish orange; cloudy; frothy 1/4" white head
S: hints of clove. slightly perfumy and floral. i can definately pick up some sour notes but it's not as robust as a flanders.
T: clove washes over the tongue. apples, bananas, and light citrus notes can be detected in the background somewhere. alcohol isn't very noticable. occasionally it seems as if i come across a faint smokiness behind everything but my mind could be playing tricks on me with that one. the bitterness is restrained...the hops seem mostly grassy and are placed well behind the clove.
M: light to medium in body with low carbonation.
D: the cloves are so stand out i can't see myself enjoying more than one of these in a night but it certainly is a very interesting beer. perhaps a little more conditioning time might make all these flavors come together better.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Billed as the CAMRA 2001 Gold Medal Winner. The beer certainly proves to be characterful, flavorful, clean, and a well formed recipe. Starts off with a deep golden / copper color with off-white head retention that stayed with me throughout; modestly carbonated for a creamy feel. Aromas are very malty / fruity sweet and heavily spiced. Follows up with decent earthy, grassy notes and a malty fermented note. (Actually smells a lot like Dr. Pepper) Tastes very sharp and sweet up front with deep, ripe fruits (red apples, appricots, plumbs, grapes, and figs) along with a rich, bready / biscuity maltiness and a medium caramel sweetness. Earthy, grassy hops add flavor and bitterness. Added spices combine well with the hops for depth and pepperyness. The flavors fade mid-way through, allowing for terrific ease in drinking, although taking on a mild baking-soda flavor. Feels full, but not rich; thins out and simplifies late, without watering. Finishes with a fruit sweetness, hop lingering bitterness and a hint of nutmeg and ginger. Quite a tasty beer-- done the English way.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sort of weird drinking a Winter Warmer on the day before Summer Solstice.

Cloudy orange appearance with a very thin head. Sort of a burnt-sienna colour.

Smell is reminiscent of a Christmas pudding. Ginger, cloves, allspice and brown sugar. There is a slight burnt hint to it that is distracting a little bit.

Rich, malty taste. Hints of raisin, fruity and spice. Slightly sour, but still very pleasant. Complex, sweet-sour flavour. This is more of a winter warmer than Sam Smiths...whereas the sourness in Sam Smith's gives it a skunky profile, the sourness in this only adds to the flavour.

Slick, low-carbonated body. Fitting to the style. Sessionable for those used to strong beers, and fitting for a winter night.

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Photo of Naerhu
2.24/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to RobBeer for bringing this out all the way to Japan.

A - The absolutely no head is kind of creepy, other than that it has an opaque orangish brown body.
S - Mild nice aroma of pastries and carmel.
T - watery, thin, the small amount of bitterness is a bit harsh, no sweetness, not much maltiness.
M - Flat no carbontation limp body.
D - I do not know why this beer was made. Kind of weak.

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Photo of oelergud
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange translucent cloudy body. Tan head with good range of bubbles from tiny to medium. Good retention and lace.
Butter, mild spice, brown sugar and grass in the nose.
Somewhat harsh taste of pine hops and torn malt. Aftertaste is an almost sour hop sensation.
Mouthfeel is full with good coating but still quite dry.
An interesting tasting beer and different from most.


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Photo of Sigmund
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml brown bottle, courtesy of Cardinal pub, Stavanger. "Hand brewed" by RCH Brewery, but bottle conditioned by Branded Drinks. ABV is 6.0%. Contains coriander seed oil. Deep amber colour, just a slight haziness, low head. Enticing and very special aroma - coriander, cloves and ginger, rum-drenched raisins, fortified sweet wines and herbal shampoo. Flavour is very spicy - one of the spiciest beers I’ve had so far, initially sweet and vinous, but with a ferocious attack of coriander, dry ginger and bittering hops in the finish. Dry aftertaste. I’d say they could with advantage have gone a little easier on the spices here, and we’d have a softer and more drinkable beer. The ale "base" seems decent enough. As it is, this is an INTERESTING beer, to say the least. Not for people who hate coriander and ginger.

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Ale Mary from RCH Brewery
3.85 out of 5 based on 77 ratings.
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