Camerons Strongarm | Castle Eden & Camerons Brewing Company Ltd

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Camerons StrongarmCamerons Strongarm

Brewed by:
Castle Eden & Camerons Brewing Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-05-2003

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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 66
Photo of StJamesGate
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Indeed ruby red, with loose sandy honeycomb head that fades fast. Steel grain with hints of toast, red currant and burnt sugar.
Rhubarb jam on buttered toast, stewed apple in the middle, with slight wood and tea leaf hops.
Cocoa and treacle finish and butterscotch linger. Prickly, light to medium, oily.

For having 4 hops varieties (Fuggles, EKG, Target and Challenger) this has some pretty gloppy malts. That and a big diacetyl hit make this a bit of hard work. Doesn't strongarm anyone.

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Photo of rd2nowhere
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- large 2inch head is standard with this beer and it should last the length of the pint. Dark ruby in colour and clear as a.bell.
S- not much special here, but not offensive all the same.
T- lots and lots and lots of caramel, with a bit of coffee and chocolate. The hops try to balance it out but it is Scottish heavy than English bitter in truth.
M- silky, quite thick leaves a long lasting.coating to the mouth.

I'm from hartlepool so I might be biased, but if made correctly, hand pulled hard with.a.sprinkler on the tap I think this beer is extremely hard to beat and deserves greater recognition.

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Photo of ralphgant
4.16/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hand pulled, as the label says ruby red in colour, it has a very creamy lasting head that stands above the glass and leaves good lacing, a nice fruity malt aroma, fruity caramel bitter taste, it is also good in bottles.

My hometown beer, you love it or hate it, I love it.

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Photo of flexabull
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of khiasmus, thanks again!

Pours a cloudy dark amber, almost brown color, with a decent white head.

Aromas are of light tea, some chocolates, and a general earthiness.

Taste is pretty malty. A little bit tea like, (man, I've had a lot of beers lately that have a brewed tea like flavor) with some bready spices, and a hint of chocolate sweetness. Finish is crisp with an earthy hop note.

Mouthfeel is nice, light carbonation, and a general smoothness.

Drinkability is very good. Nice easy drinking and tasty ale. I love these simple sessionable British Ales. Good stuff.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As I wait for my pizza to cool off from the oven, I'll get this review started. On to the beer:

Amber, copper colored beer with hues of orange. Good sticky head on top. The aroma...diacteyl, caramel, butterscotch..the usual suspect of a bitter. And to drink... the flavor is light, that's for sure. Soft butterscotch yeast in the begining, and it seems to stick throughout the journey. Low gravity toffee, faint hops, esters. Soft in the mouth, very easy to knock back. The flavor gets stronger as it warms...gee, didn't see that one coming.

Pleasing to the taste buds and the thirst. Nothing gets in the way of the drinkability. I'd love to try this beer on cask.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 Pint, .09 fl oz bottle purchased singly from Super Saver in Somerville...
Pours a deep, dark, purple, ruby-red colored hue with a modest foamy head that soon receded and left a fair amount of lacing around the head of the glass...
Faint, subtle aroma of slight malts, bread, and butter essences...
Taste resembled the smell, with a strong suggestion of creamy, sweet malts, bread, butter, caramel, vanilla, and a powerful, nutty, sugared-flavor that was subtle yet distinct...
Average mouthfeel to say the least, a little too watered down and bland for me...
Drinkability was average... the 4%ABV was very easy to down, but there was also a lack of complexity in the taste and smell, which wasn't too appealing overall...
A light, easily drinkable session brew, but wouldn't go out of my way to seek it out or recommend this one...

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Photo of SargeC
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown-red color. Minimal head and little carbonation movement,

Smell: Sweet molasses, alcohol, roast malt.

Taste: The slight alcohol quality works well with the sweetness in this brew. The roast malt flavors counteract the sugary sweetness as well.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, medium body brew.

Drinkability: Very satisfying. The balances this brew provides between sweet and bitter increased drinkability and enjoyment.

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Photo of Gusler
3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beer pours a clear ruby red to brown with a chubby reddish pink creamy head that settle quickly leaving the lace to cover the glass. Nose is that of over ripe cherries, caramel and with the malt present a cotton candy like sweetness, fresh and appetizing. Front has the pleasant malt sweetness, with the cherry like taste also present, light to medium in feel. Finish has a light to medium hop spiciness, sweet to the end with the acidity stunning, quite dry, a drinkable beer.

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Photo of zeff80
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a burgandy/brown color with a foamy, tan, three-finger head. It left big rings of lace.

S - It smelled of gasses/hops and some malt.

T - It tasted of grassy hops and caramel malts. It had a slight bitterness.

M - It was crisp and relatively smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - Not bad. Like all English Bitters it is not very bitter, but is still a good drinking beer.

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Photo of biggmike
2.9/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Amber color. No real overwhelming characteristic. Average. Wouldnt go out my way to get again. Not much head, not much lacing, not much taste. Kind of disappointing, most English bitters that I've had, I have really enjoyed but this was pretty much just standard fare. Nothing offensive, just a little bland for my tastes.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a nonic glass from a long brown bottle with a stubby neck crimped on cap

Hazy ruby red color with a brownish hue. 1" light tan head quickly dissapating to a thin layer of foam.

Clean aromas, vinious with dark fruityness,nutty with burnt carmell, a good strong malty nose.

Very good complex tastes nutty, with dark fruits raisins/figs some toffee, slighty roasty some slight alcohol twang and some syrupyness. Finishes with a good,sharp,tart,fruity taste. Nice Engish style taste.

Light to medium mouthfeel,tangy with some cloyingness. A good pleasing light feel,goes down very easy,could drink quite a few of these. If you like English style beers give this one a try.

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Photo of acrawf6
2.95/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a dark slightly cloudy brownish red with a small bubbly tan head that fizzes out rather quickly.

Smell. Fruity and yeasty, has a heavier aroma than i would have guessed. fruits are cut red apples mostly.

Taste. Seems to be a little off here. It is not bad, but has a watered down flavor to me. Very mild fruit flavor and a touch of the yeast that i got in the aroma. aftertaste is just slightly spiced.

Mouthfeel. This one seems to have a low level of carbonation. Initially body seems a little slick and empty, but seems to fill up a touch as it warms more in my mouth.

Overall, i've had this before, but dont remember it being like this. Perhaps i got an old bottle or something, but there just isnt an off-taste to it to go assuming that. I want to try this again to check my test-retest reliability on this beer.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pretty cloudy burnt caramel color with a small 1/4" head of tan bubbles that faded within about 30 seconds.

Aroma: Lots of sweet fruity british hops accenting the toasty notes of the British malts. This is a very aromatic beer, but I would say that the hops are in charge of the aroma overall. As the beer warms, the caramel sweetness is becoming more apparent.

Taste: The toasty sweet British malts are a huge player in the flavor, but the hops are no slouch. There seems to be a reversal of roles here as I believe that the malt is the dominant player in the flavor. There are some minerals that are obvious in the flavor as mouthfeel...leaving a chalky feeling to linger on the back of the throat. There is a bit of oxidation in this beer as well, so this may be why the hops are more muted in the flavor.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer. I am nort a huge fan of the British styles for the most part, and this beer is no exception. I like a beer with lighter water, and this one sits on my palate pretty heavy. I would drink it again, but it will not be one that I seek out.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Thin light tan head on a very light cloudy ruby red ale.
S- Light toffee malts. Hints of caramel also. Light dry grass hops.
T- Malts flood the palate. Caramel and toffee malts come through the most. Very light hint of coffee too. Light amount of dry hops to help balance it out just a bit. Kind of grassy. Leaves a light bitterness on the tongue.
M- Medium body with low to medium carbonation.
D- It is alright. Nothing special. Wouldn't get one of these for myself. Is easy to drink though

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 500ml brown glass bottle sealed with a black crown cap that has the red lion on it. The old style Strongarm “Arm and Hammer” label has long gone to be replaced with a rather tame leaping red lion. No strength or freshness date.

Appearance: Dark ruby mahogany chestnut body with an off-white cream colored head which has a decent half-life. Below average carbonation yet the overall appearance is of a feisty brew that puts out the looks.

Nose: Rich caramel, dark berries, nutty caramel and a light dark chocolate hint. The nose tends to accelerate with freshly brewed and baked odors that bolster the depth of the aromas.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Just as I thought it was, malty with NorthEast tones that induce a mild bitterness. Ruby tinged dark fruits, some bonfire toffee and a texture that can be grainy at times. A Man’s beer that takes some acclimatization, as a Student “boy” drinker it took me a while to get to grips with this one. Find the feet here and this is like traveling on an escalator rather than taking the stairs.

Drinkability: You know this one slips down quite neatly, I expected a faded shadow of a once-loved brew and found a rather solid effort that actually reminded me of how “good” this once was. A surprisingly lovable brew.

Overall: Wow!!! This one brings back many memories. Before I even cracked this brew, I knew that my Beer Review would be a lengthy trip down memory lane. The label still says “The Lion Brewery” and that has changed hands many times, now it is the ownership of Castle Eden, but the the original "Arm & Hammer" Strongarm label has long gone. I first sampled this hardy NorthEast brew from Camerons on a regular basis at the Pig & Whistle, Leeds City Centre in the 1987 whilst I was an Engineering UnderGraduate at the (real) University of Leeds. At that time the pub was situated in the depths of the Merrion Centre, owned and operated by Camerons, and sold both the Strongarm (4.0%) and Strongarm Premium (4.5%) on Cask, and I frequently enjoyed them both along with the regular Lion Bitter. This latest bottle of Strongarm (from neighbors and one time competitors Castle Eden) seems very much tilted towards the original Strongarm from what I can tell and recall. I also had the greatest pleasure to visit the Camerons Lion Brewery many, many years ago on a local Branch CAMRA trip, including lunch in the Board Room – oh heck, those were the days!! Afterwards we hit up the local Camerons pub just around the corner from the Brewery (the Stanton Arms is now the Brewery Visitors Centre); it wasn’t uncommon to get a massive cone-shaped Ice-Cream head on a pint of Strongarm in those days….even as a Yorkshireman used to thick heads I laughed at the monstrous Mount Everest pyramid that arrived on my Pint when I took possession of it and jokingly asked if I would get a flake and a wafer with it… which the 250lb Landlords quick riposte was “Eeeaatsszzz foook-yeeen Stronn arm Man”, I think he was going to beat me up then kill me for disrespect, but he had another Customer to serve and he wanted Walkers Cheese & Onion Crisps too. Ah, happy memories of the North East, I wonder if they still hang Monkeys as French Spies!?!

“Eeeaatsszzz foook-yeeen Stronn arm Man”

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Photo of Citadel82
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at New World Beverage in NYC. 500 ml. bottle.

Pours a hazy brown with an off-white two-fingered head that fades to a collar of foam on the brew. Some lacing evident though it is short-lived. Clear at first but bottles are heavily sedimented so a careful pour is in order for a clearer brew.

Aroma is malty. Ripe apples and molasses in the nose, no hops evident.

Taste is mildly bitter. Refreshing. Some fruity notes but overwhelmingly hoppy with a short spicy hop finish. Must be UK hops as no citrus evident.

Mouthfeel was light almost watery.

This is a drinkable brew. Might be a nice session ale were it not for the higher ABV.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep chestnut color with modest off-white head. Smell is mainly of fruity malt with no hop character noted. Taste is also mainly malty with a bit too sweet fruity taste. Finishes with more sweetness and this sweetness begins to get a bit tiring. With no hop presence to balance the malt this is a very one-dimensional beer. Drinkable, but nothing great.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a very pretty beer -- a nice hue of red. It has a small white head, and leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass. The smell is very nice -- almost smells like a rich red wine. The taste is bitter, but smooth. However, towards the end of the beer...the bitterness is a little overwhelming. Good to have one, but I wouldn't have more than that in one sitting.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a standard two fimger head with an awesome thick foamy film retention throughout the whole beer. Add to this a lovley deep amber and a constant stream of bubbling, and the best lacing I'v seen on any English Pale ale.

Smell- a decent mix of pale and amber malts with some undescribable bitterness at the end. Different, put not good for a pale ale.

Taste- Starts out with a good mix of English hop bitterness and the amber and plae mlats that quickly change to a more malt character in the back of the tongue. The finish is a slightly rye like bitterness in the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel- A little dry, but mostly bready and lightly sweetened. Has a good lingering, bittered malt flavor.

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Photo of RedHaze
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark red/brown with a thick one inch head that settles to a thin ring and leaves a tattered bit of lacing.

Smell; lots of caramel malts, a bit spicy and has a kind of smokey oak barrel quality.

Taste; that smokiness follows over in the taste, as well as a strong caramel maltiness. There's some nutty flavors and a touch of a spicy hop bitterness in the finish. The flavors definitely get better, and more pronounced as this warms. Reminds me of a bitter I had while in a pub in Gibraltar that I've long since forgotten the name of. Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side for me, but the drinkablility is good.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Slightly murky reddish-brown in color, with a small off-white head, which retains well. The lacing is fairly thick, and rings the glass nicely.

Aroma: Profound aroma of malt and dark caramel, a decent hop presence, and a slight spice note.

Taste: Opens with a burnt caramel note, which defines the taste from start to finish. Towards the end of the taste, an astringent bitter note appears. Finishes with mild, but persistent herbal and medicinal hop bitterness.

Mouth feel: A bit light, soft on the palate.

Drinkability/notes: An average example of the style, not bad, but there are much better bitters that can be had.

Presentation: Packaged in a brown glass Euro-style longneck with a pop-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Photo of wl0307
3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasted this beer by a pint recently at my local Wetherspoon's pub in East End London.

Appearance: it pours a clear, dark-ruby to caramel colour, a thin beerhead with reasonable retention, with low-medium carbonation and at just about right temp.
Aroma: the nose has brown-sugar and crystal/dark malts as the most noticeable elements, with residual, lightly floral hops at the back. Nothing too special or exciting.
Taste: on the palate it's mainly lightly-caramelised-sugary, plus lightly sour, dark-malts and toffeeish flavour--the malts are so chewy that they actually surround the mouth with full flavour... At the back there comes a soft mouthfeel of nutty and moderate bitterness, combined with floral hoppyness towards the finish. The aftertaste has a bit sour taste of malts and some unwelcomed watery mouthfeel, thus bringing down the overall score of taste.
Mouthfeel & Drinkability: the mouthfeel overall is quite smooth and the body is in my opinion balanced, but this beer lacks somewhat exceptional elements to make it stand out as a really tasty pale ale or bitter. A very easy-drinking malty ale, but it can be boring after the first pint.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: Best by 30/9/04. I’m 10 months past the best by, but no stale or off flavors noted.

Aroma: Strong malt smell with a hop back.

Appearance: Red hazy glass with a thin cover that left thick lace and heavy tidemarks.

Flavor: Tea flavors, with a touch of paper (ok, a minor age flaw- no points taken off). It’s a nice mild red, enjoyable with a light cola taste and a leafy hop note.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low carbonation and a creamy texture.

Overall Impression: Light tasting beer, a touch bitter, I could see this being a great session beer!

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Photo of RBorsato
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Auburn brown with a decent tan head, decent carbonation, and sporadic lace. All malt toffee and brown sugar aroma and flavor. A bit on the sweet side but not overly so. Some earthy hop balance. Medium balance and smooth with a dry malty finish.

Per bottle: Est. 1865

Per Cameron's website: 4% ABV

Per B.O.M. notes: 4.5% ABV, Gold Medal (92 pts) English Brown Ale @ World Beer Championships.

Best Before: 05/20/05
Tasted: 07/03/05

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Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

sampled this one on Nitro tap at the Brazen head in Brooklyn, NY, Arrives rudy/red/dark amber/cloudy with tiny bubbles clinging to the glass. Super fine, creamy head, loads of lacing left behind. Minimal nose picked up. This one is all about the mega creamy mouthfeel and the light subtle, drinkable approach taken towards this very British ale. Fine sessioner, could drink this stuff all night

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Camerons Strongarm from Castle Eden & Camerons Brewing Company Ltd
3.71 out of 5 based on 66 ratings.
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