John Martin's Pale Ale | John Martin's (John Martin SA)

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John Martin's Pale AleJohn Martin's Pale Ale

Brewed by:
John Martin's (John Martin SA)

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 01-06-2005

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Ratings: 50 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of desint
2.75/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Golden, straw-colored; medium head, long lasting

Aroma: Sweet; grassy; malty; floral hops; hint of fruit, maybe raspberry

Taste: Nice and creamy on start; sweet mid to hoppy finish; pretty well balanced overall, but mostly sweet; pretty drinkable

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

 335 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.52/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Why am I going to an English style in Belgium? Chalk it up to curiosity, as I've heard this brand before. The bartender even suggested that I choose something else. On-tap at Antwerp's Gollem, on to the beer:

This pale ale is amber orange colored with hues of yellow and red. The head retention on top is fine, and leaves a little soapy lace. It doesn't smell Belgian, an indeed takes on the English characteristics of butter and butterscotch. The taste brings a big blast of yeast and diacetyl to start. Butterscotch and a little fruitiness with minerals swim around the big yeast flavor. It's medium bodied with low carbonation.

Compared with the style, it's not bad. Compared with Belgians on the market, it's near the trailing end of the middle pack. But if you're looking for something to break away from Belgian ales, this English imitation is a decent choice.

 868 characters

Photo of supermeniscus
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of RS3Sport
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of BigCheese
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of BlackHaddock
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anthony Martin and Willem Van Herreweghen to Everards in the UK to brew a special 5.0% ABV cask version for a Wetherspoons beer festival (March 2012): this is a review of that beer.

Hand pulled pint in my local Spoons 14th March. The beer is a good amber colour with an off-white head which stays through the drink.

A sweet aroma of caramel and toffee apples, the taste is more hoppy, but there is a sweetness to it also, very 'more-ish' and extremely drinkable: just like the regular stronger bottled version I'm used to.

Very nice beer.

 541 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.34/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very malty profile for this Belgian/English brew. Sourish malt aroma, amber body with nice frothy beige head. Malt and hops also in the flavor, with slight lingering aftertaste. Half belgian/ half English....interesting.

 220 characters

Photo of samEBC
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of rekel
4/5  rDev +18%

Photo of eric5bellies
3.82/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drankf from my Duvel Tulip

A - Nice clear copper colour, with a head that dies very quickly.

S - Plenty of malt and slightly sweet

T - Malty flavours up front with a little toffee. Very nice malteser like flavours in the middle that give way toa little sweetness on the finish.

M - Light to medium body with inmal carbonation

D - This is a decent BPA and I would try it again, shame about the head.

 403 characters

Photo of benfons
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

33cl ABV 5.8

A: Pale amber colour, big head that manages to stay

S: hops, caramel, a hint of raspberry

T: some citrus, peach, malts and again caramel, pretty sweet in fact

M: Carbonation bit thin, lacks a bit of alcohol

D: While sipping the sweetness is overpowering what you taste at first, which makes it less of a drinker

 330 characters

Photo of mmahut
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark gold lager with tiny head.

S: Strong malt smell with hidden caramel.

T: Crispy malt taste with sub-tone of hops.

M: Medium to light body, felling quite bitter.

D: Average pale ale beer for Belgium, I would not get one myself but also would not refuse another.

 271 characters

Photo of ThaCreep
2.43/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Nose very grass that is at once think of grass and spices. The first mouth is sweet but it soon gives way to a strange bitterness, probably due to the presence of maize. The flavor is hard to locate. The finish is also slightly herbal but persistent and uninteresting.

 268 characters

Photo of malmquna
4.07/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark gold to amber in color, nice thick off-white head. The head eventually settles, but leaves a smooth covering over the liquid. Smells of sweet hops, very green with a hint of citrus and perhaps melon. Very inviting.

Initially subtle, with a medium-roast malt character, fairly sweet with maybe a hint of candi sugar or a good dose of cara pils. The label says: "water, barley malt, sugar, maize, roasted barley, hops, antioxidant." Then the hops come up immediately after and stay strong through the finish. The malt and hops are well balanced, with fresh bitter hops riding on a good foundation of toasted, fairly sweet malt.

The finish is both bitter and sweet, but not altogether clean. Nonetheless, I could sit down and have several of these. This is a very unexpected, hoppy delight that I will be purchasing more of in the near future. It is the closest I have come to a more "West Coast" US style pale ale on the continent. But I continue to search....

 965 characters

Photo of dbalsock
2.32/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

App: Pours a copper gold with a thin whispy head that dissipates quickly. No lacing to speak of and altogether not very attractive.

Smell: Floral hop bouquet above a sweet body that seems like it was fermented with a belgian yeast strain.

Tasate: The malt component reminds me of a very poor fat tire, while the very present hop taste is strong but very blunted and dull without the usual kick that a hoppy beer tends to bring for flavor. Not just a little boring, but not very appetizing or refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy without the balancing components of a range of spicey and sharp hops. Almost like a pilsner fermented with belgian yeasts and left to sit for days, but with too strong a hop character for it to be old.

Drinkability: This was very hard to drink just a glass of and I would not go back for more. It made me miss my homebrew like no beer has before.

 882 characters

Photo of atis
3.36/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear and darkish amber/copper with large foamy head and nice patchy lacing. Aroma is syrupy sweet malts, caramel. Taste is sweetish caramel malt, some bitterness, ripe fruit, with long lasting sweetish aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium with very slight alcohol warming.

I can not say the beer is excellent, but very drinkable.

 332 characters

Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I tasted this 330 ml bottle, just after it's "best by" date on 21.09.2008. ABV stated as 5.8%.
It poured a clear amber body topped with a decent white foam. Plenty of bubbles rising to the surface. Aroma was an immediate grassy "pilsner" type hops.

The taste was again of a supercharged pilsner, though with a cloying syrupy sweetness to it. Pretty one dimensional brew.
Overall; pretty disappointing experience; I didn't actually finish the bottle. Maybe it deteriorated drastically after it over-ran its "best by" date. I'm not sure it could improve that much, though.

 571 characters

Photo of mdagnew
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle bought from Redmonds, Dublin...

Poured a dark copper colour. White head poured very big and foamy with a meringue like topping. Loads of carbonation bubbles rush to the surface maintaining a good covering throughout... lots of clingy lacing...

Aroma - Sugary, malty sweetness mixed with grassy and salty notes, strong hints of talc, quite floral, lightly spiced fruits (limes, lemons, sweet apples), sherbet dip notes, hints of Mountain Dew, faint biscuit / cookie notes, some bready and yeasty traces..

Taste - Light caramel malts, quite a lot of metallic notes, strong (slightly sickly) vegetal / rotten fruit notes, quite bready, overripe fruits (apples, pears), nutty sweetness, very buttery, some light pepper spiciness, faint cloves..

Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy and maybe a little cloying... medium bodied... a bit sickly to make me want to go back for another...

Overall - A slightly strange pale ale - a bit too sweet for my liking... possibly worth a try once...

 995 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of Belgian malt with dry English hops with some light fruity ester. Taste is also a well balance mix between some lightly sweet Belgian style malt with some notes of dry hops with some fruity ester. Medium body with some good carbonation. Definitely better then expected with a nice refreshing factor.

 407 characters

Photo of thierrynantes
3.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (33cl.), tasted in 2002.

Appearance : clear amber color, with white foam head, short persistence.
Smell : caramel notes
Taste and mouthfeel : malty with a sweet nature. The bitterness comes back on the final, giving a more dry.
Drinkability: a good beer in the style English pale ale.

Review translated from french 5-27-2008.

 339 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.25/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

John Martin is a curious brewery. Most production and distribution is their line of 'Gordon' beers, high octane canned lagers that I noticed were very popular with the (shall we say,) 'lesser productive members of society' who are most often found drinking in parks. Martin's may be most notable, however, for their contract brewed Guinness Foreign Stout that is an exclusive to the Belgian market. As good (and even more so reputable) as that beer may be, I was taken with their Pale Ale - a beer that even in the company of funky lambics and spiced quads certainly makes a place for itself as being one of Belgium's most unique and atypical beers - only for the reason that it really isn't all that Belgian at all!

For one, it certainly couldn't be considered "pale" in the way the style has come to be marketed today. Rather, it is "pale" in a more traditional sense: glowing clarity but a deep, dark chestnut coloured body. Tawny highlights and a well sustained peachy-white head.

The aroma is almost reprehensibly full of hops, a level that must be gluttonous for the Belgians. The malt bill comes through very cleanly but is saturated - literally drenched - in hop resin. Very sweet, sweet floral and expressive notes of hops. Smells quite a bit like an English barley-wine.

Despite their large presence in both the taste and smell, the hops impart only a minute bitterness. There really isn't much texture at all to report (that is, other than the sticky hop resin which drenches the palate). I believe this was bottle conditioned and for that reason was a little heartier than what the brewer might have aimed for. Still, as per Belgian guidelines, this beer was incredibly digestible. Drinks quite a bit like an English barley-wine.

The flavour overflows with two things primarily: resiny hops and caramel-like malts. It is also chocolaty with notes of brandy, making this a perfect dessert beer. Caramel and candy are also tasted. A lot of exotic fruit in the taste as well - no doubt result of those wonderful hops! It actually taste (surprise, surprise) quite a bit like an English barley-wine.

My impressions of the beer followed this sequence: at first - amazed! Shortly thereafter simply very impressed. Soon after I came to only be enjoying it. But then... with only a third or so left... I notice marked a best before date of 16/06/05! Incredible, like a ghost story... where did this beer come from? The date was 15/08/07. That would place this 5.8% pale ale at (an estimated) 3+ years old! And it held up (and drank) wonderfully!

Too funny. In short - the beer blew me away. Granted Belgium has the worlds greatest beer, but to a North American boy the market lacks one essential thing: hop bombs. Perhaps it was my withdraw of hops that led me to enjoy this so much... but I doubt it. Especially now looking back, that was one interesting offering. For a beer to drink so well, be so tasty and rich and decadent, and so digestible... I'd recommend it.

 2,981 characters

Photo of Sigmund
3.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

33 cl bottle, simply called "Martin’s Pale Ale", now available in Norway. ABV is 5.8%. Website Deep golden nearly orange colour. Large head. Aroma of sweet malts, molasses and rotting fruits, hints of spices and leather. Flavour is well hopped, but unfortunately there is an everpresent molasses and dark syrup sweetness in the background, making the beer too cloying to be something I’ll buy again when I have finished my 4 bottles.

 456 characters

Photo of stcules
2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber red, aiming to orange. Compact head, light beige. Good adhesion.
The smell presents strong malt notes, with some ripe fruit (peach, apple). Toffee and biscuit notes, also. Points of citric.
It's not exceptional, but pleasant.
At the taste is quite bodied, biscuit, malty. Points of apricot, green tea. A good full malt, and persistent.
Quite good body.
A good malt in the aftertaste too, and then some hops. Peach, and candy raisins.

 444 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Belgian Beer Paradise in Rio.
It pours cloudy gold color with a foamy off-white head and some trailing and patchy lacing.
It has a smell of crumpled crackers, with a mild whiff of citrus and hint of cloves.
The malt has a dry biscuity taste with just a touch of sweetness. A light taste of limes and mild tea make up most of the hop flavors. A mild taste of cloves and peppery spices are noticeable at first, then fade. This brew finishes clean.

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John Martin's Pale Ale from John Martin's (John Martin SA)
3.39 out of 5 based on 50 ratings.
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