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English Style Special Ale | Sand Creek Brewing Company

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English Style Special AleEnglish Style Special Ale

Brewed by:
Sand Creek Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A robust traditional English ale with a fine roasty-toasty flavor, handcrafted from select roasted barleys that impart its red-brown hue.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-18-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 114
Reviews by Johncnh:
Photo of Johncnh
3.5/5  rDev 0%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Turbo
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bsp77
2.73/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Almost as bad as their Pale Ale. Odd cherry and butter aroma and taste. Not even sure what style was being attempted here. Does not have the mouthfeel of anything properly English.

 180 characters

Photo of pat61
3.84/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Hazy amber under a 1” cream colored foam collar that quicky fades leaving splotchy lace.
S: Not a big nose – some graham cracker, nuits, grain spice.
T: Light fruit, traces of cola, treacle, grain, nuts, biscuit.
F: Creamy, medium body and carbonation.
O: there is no bottle date so I can’t tell how old it is but itt tastes a little oxidized.

 356 characters

Photo of valkyre65
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of richkrull
2.78/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up in a mixed 12-pack because my wife is a big fan of Sand Creek Brewing.

Poured a brownish amber color with some beige head on it. Smell is caramel malt with some bread notes coming through. Taste is sweet caramel malt. Decent tasting beer, but not great. I wasn't a big fan of it. Tasted a bit off to me. Didn't go down very smooth, especially for a light bodied beer. It was OK but I wouldn't try it again.

 423 characters

Photo of TimADrake
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of cokes
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper with beige foam.
The nose is of dry toffee and damp dead flowers.
Earthy beginning, touched with burnt caramel. It progresses towards peanut brittle, all full of nuts and toffee. Vacates towards the close, with only a nod of floral-tilted bitterness. Lingering vanilla-infuse tea afterwards.
Light-to-medium bodied, low carbonation. This seems a solid session ale at the intersection of a Brown Ale and Best Bitter. I like it. Subdued and attractive.

 462 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz single, Steve's-University...probably filler to get that 10% discount

appearance: pours a clear burnt copper, slight beige foam that dissipates and leaves some slight lacing - mostly around the rim

smell: pretty potent nuttiness, well toasted malts, sweet caramel, grassy english hops, sweet toffee, roasted peanut, apple, bready

taste: gently toasted malt, traced with sweet caramel covered apple...biscuit-esque, peanut, grassy english hops balance this one out nicely, slightly buttery, nutty. For an english brown, i'd venture to say this is pretty tasty

mouthfeel: low point, finishes a little dry, a little on the thin side

drinkability: pretty drinkable

 680 characters

Photo of tempest
3.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up in a sampler 6-pack in Hudson, WI.

Pours a nice, deep orange with white head that fades to nothing and doesn't leave lacing. The aroma is a very smooth caramel which is matched in the flavor by a roasted cocoa edge, sweet cream, and a touch of grassy hops. A nice and very sessionable beer, just make sure to let it warm up.

 335 characters

Photo of jheezee
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of bashiba
3.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy dark red color with amber highlights. Had a nice light tan head that quickly disappaited into a thin soap ring.

Smell had a nice bit of nuts, buiscuity malt, and sweet grain.

Flavor was sweet and malty with a bit of nuttiness, toasted malts and grains coming through nicely. Very light in the hops department.

Mouthfeel has a light body with a decent bit of carbonation, a bit thin.

An easy to drink light malty beer, I could see this being a good starter beer with its sweet nutty flavor.

 515 characters

Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pure amber, retaining tan head; bready and toasted malt aroma. Sweet, astringent hops coupled with a more sweet malty based overtone. Medium bodied, yet a bit young in flavorings; sweet nuts and toffee, some caramel to be noted. Somewhat thin and lacking in body, ehhh.

 269 characters

Photo of morimech
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with two inches of tan head that has good retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass surface.

Has a roasted malt aroma with some grassy hops in the background.

Rather non complex flavor. Roasted malt flavor is about all I get. Bitterness is low and it comes from the malt.

Light body with low carbonation. Has a nice creamy texture that I like in darker beers.

Rather simple beer but it tastes good and has a low ABV of 5.5%. I could see myself drinking a few of these.

 551 characters

Photo of Kunstman
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Jredner
3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sweet marzipan-like smell reminds me of candied cake bread. No head at all atob the dark amber body. No lacing either. Sweet, malty, nutty taste in the fore. Strangely there is more alcohol in the tatse than I would have anticipated, but it doesn’t detract from the flavor (which is good because it isn't that flavorful) because sweet malts seem to handle that just fine I just didn't expect to taste much alcohol fromt his style.

 431 characters

Photo of WhitmansNiece
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial Pint. No date.

A - Candy-apple caramel red color that's dulled a bit by both chill haze (very possible) and teeny bits of sediment. The head retention is low. After a mere moments the creamy tan head went down to a rind. Acceptable due to low carbonation.

S - A rambunctious pour releases toasty bread aromas with toffee and caramel followed by dry wheat and wet grass. Rich malty caramel backbone with a moderate hop presence in the end. The light pine and grassy hop aroma fades with the dead and is overshadowed by malt.

T - Grassy and light pine from the hops flood the mouth instantly followed by a caramel and toasted malts that round out the body. The problem with the beer I see is a slight astringency on the finish that's a bit mouth-puckering.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth, it has a light bitter after taste from the hops but a bit more so from the astringency.

D - I'm not sure if it's just a bad bottle, but I see real potential in this beer. I'd love to get another fresh bottle from a different location and see how it is. It has the possibility of greatness.

 1,116 characters

Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is slightly hazy brownish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured wth a quarter finger high light beige head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge of the glass, and some lacing down the sides.
S: Moderate flavors of nutty malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of nutty malts along with hints of toasted malts. The nuttiness lingers into the finish, which also has some bits of earthiness. Light amounts of bitterness are perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has an interesting mix of malty aromas and flavors but has a good balance with the underlying hops because it doesn't taste sweet or overly heavy on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

 827 characters

Photo of CWhite
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of Stoffel
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Giggy
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Dovers
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of marc77
3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lightly hazed copper. Lean, light tan collar yields sparse lace. Woody hop along with hints of sweet biscuit upfront in aroma. Bubblegum ester and phenol hints. Tame, yet slightly rough aromawise. In flavor, incipient is a burnt caramel sweetness, which yields to mellower notes of toffee and butterscotch. Moderate bitterness and a spicy, almost sandalwood like hop presence arises mid palate. Seems thin at first, but becomes appreciably more viscous as it warms. Suitably low in carbonation. Hints of roasted praline surface late. Finishes lightly buttery, also with lingering woody, barky hop hints. A unique brew intermediate in character between an ESB and brown. A touch rough, but not glaringly so. Respectable.

 719 characters

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English Style Special Ale from Sand Creek Brewing Company
3.5 out of 5 based on 114 ratings.
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