Bottled Beer

Last Updated: 2nd January 2015

This is a page that I've resurrected from a site that I had back in the 1990s so much of the information dates back to then. In a nutshell it's a list of bottled beers, that I've tried, mostly bought from supermarkets, and what I thought of them.

My scoring system works like this:

44More please
33Mmm I like this
22This will do
11What else do you have?
00No thanks, I'll have water

Another way of looking at that would be to assume I was planning to drink three bottles and that in the normal scheme of things I would try two different ones and my third would be another of whichever of the two previous ones I'd preferred. The scoring system, as applied to the first bottle would then mean:

44Forget my usual strategy I'm going to have another 2 of this.
33I'll try something else for my 2nd but I don't expect that it will be as nice as this so I'll probably come back to this for my 3rd.
22I'll try something else which will hopefully be better, but if not, I wouldn't mind coming back to this.
11I'll try something else which will hopefully be better. If not then my third will be another new choice.
00There is no way I'm going to drink another bottle of this even if it means I have to drink cola instead.

There isn't anything on the list that scores zero. I've walked out of pubs that served draught that I rated zero, and I've left cans (at parties) that I rated zero, but everything below is bottled and I haven't yet had one that's been truly awful.

1845 (Fuller, Smith & Turner)

26.3 ABV, reviewed on 24/01/1997
Unfortunately the after-taste on this has a bit of a raw edge to it.

Banana Bread Beer (Wells)

25.2 ABV, reviewed on 22/10/2009
Obviously a novelty flavoured beer but unlike most, this is something I would happily drink all night. This stuff is delicious and has an after-taste that lasts for ages.

Bishops Finger (Shepherd Neame)

25.4 ABV, reviewed on 16/02/1997
I can't fault this one, but there was nothing special either.

Black Douglas (Broughton Ales)

25.2 ABV, reviewed on 26/01/1997
Pleasant enough flavour but not very strong tasting. Nothing special in terms of after taste.

Black Sheep (Black Sheep)

24.4 ABV, reviewed on 27/12/1999
Not really smooth enough for my liking but certainly drinkable.

Bombardier (Charles Wells)

24.3 ABV, reviewed on 19/01/1997
This is one of those where the taste in your mouth develops after you've swallowed it and you just have to have some more.

Brewers Droop (Merrimans)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 21/02/1997
A 'different' flavour that I liked. Not a very strong taste and no after-taste, but worth having another.

Chocolate Ale (Cains)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 15/04/1998
Although it smells like chocolate it doesn't really taste like much of anything.

Christmas Ale (Cains)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 03/01/1998
The 'hint of cinnamon' was rather interesting and I'd certainly have another one although mainly for the novelty value.
Update: I had another one in Jan 99 and it will be on my Christmas list for next year too.

Christmas Ale (Shepherd Neame)

26.7 ABV, reviewed in January 1999
As with the Cains Christmas Ale above, this is a really nice 'novelty' beer. I think that next year I'll have to get half a dozen bottles of each so I can do a thorough comparison ;-)

Christmas Beer (Marston, Thompson & Evershed)

24.8 ABV, reviewed on 02/01/1998
Pleasant enough.

Cupid's Ale (Cains)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 20/02/1999
This was okay, but only just. I might have had tried a second (if that was all there was) but I think that after that I'd call it a day.

Deakin's White Rabbit (Mansfield)

24.3 ABV, reviewed on 09/05/1998
Pleasant taste. If it had been a little stronger tasting and with an after-taste it would have been really good.

Dragon Heart (Cains)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 19/10/1997
Tastier and a little more pleasant than average. Another... Why not?

ESB (Fullers)

25.9 ABV, reviewed on 03/12/1999
Nice stuff this although there's a bit of an edge without which I'd have given it my top score.

Export Ale (Badger)

24.8 ABV, reviewed on 18/07/1997
Ok. Nothing special.

Fargo (Charles Wells)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 19/01/1997
Liked this one.

Fiddler's Elbow (Wychwood)

25.2 ABV, reviewed on 02/02/2000
Usually I go for stronger tasting stuff but this is very nice.

Formidable Ale (Cains)

2 5.0 ABV, reviewed on 11/07/1997
Ok. Nothing special.

Founders Strong Ale (Ushers of Trowbridge)

24.5 ABV, reviewed on 18/10/1997
This tastes like honey! Not so sweet of course but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they make it with honey. Went straight to my head too! More please.

Frederics (Frederic Robinson Ltd)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 28/01/2000
A pleasant taste though a little gassy. Quite drinkable but nothing special.

Fuggles (The Castle Eden Brewery)

25.5 ABV, reviewed on 18/02/1997
Pleasant, smooth taste. The bottles have a draft flow mechanism. There's even a pleasant after-taste but it's not very strong in flavour so you have to concentrate. It's worth the effort though.

Gentleman Jack (Shepherd Neame)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 17/04/1998
Quite strong tasting but not a flavour that I particularly liked.

Golden Glory (Badger)

24.5 ABV, reviewed on 02/11/02
A pleasant, smooth taste but it's probably the aroma of peaches that caused me to score it 3 as instead of 2.

Golden Promise (Caledonian)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 06/02/2000
Pleasant stuff. Quite light. The kind of stuff that would go down nicely while sitting around on a summers day.

Golden Summer Ale (Cains)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 01/11/1997
Refreshing taste. Quite weak flavour but you wouldn't want it strong. A bit of a contradiction because at 5% it's not something to knock back as a refresher!

Greenmantle (Broughton Ales)

2 3.9 ABV, reviewed on 17/01/1997
Pleasant enough. Nothing spectacular though.

Guardsman (Windsor & Eton)

2 4.2 ABV, reviewed on 10/09/2014
Dark and delicious. Had it not been a warm summer evening I might have rated this as a 4.

Hen's Tooth (Morland)

26.5 ABV, reviewed on 29/01/2000
Bottle conditioned (so watch out for the sediment) but this is nice stuff. It has a kind of 'raw edge' but is still very drinkable.

Hobgoblin (Wychwood)

2 5.5 ABV, reviewed on 18/01/1997
Not the best I've had, but I wouldn't say no to another.

Judge Huffcap (Vaux)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 04/02/2000
After the first couple of mouthfuls I was inclined to think that it was just 'okay', but it has a taste which lingers and makes you want more. By the end of the bottle I REALLY was fancying another. I couldn't decide whether to rate is as a 2 or a 4 so in the end I plumped for 3. Definitely worth further investigation.

Lancashire Strong Brown Ale (Daniel Thwaites)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 29/01/1997
Very pleasant and drinkable despite not developing any special after taste.

Landlord (Timothy Taylor)

24.1 ABV, reviewed on 21/01/1997
Quite enjoyed this but nothing special taste-wise.

London Pride (Fuller's)

24.7 ABV, reviewed on 05/02/2000
Very pleasant, not too strongly flavoured stuff that I have often drunk in draught form while out and about. The kind of stuff that I could, and have, enjoy several pints of.

Moonraker (Lees)

27.5 ABV, reviewed on 01/03/1998
This is by no means the first bottle of Moonraker that I've had and it certainly wont be the last. This stuff is gorgeous!

Nelson's Blood Bitter (Fox)

25.1 ABV, reviewed on 18/10/2009
Novelty flavours (rum & spices) make for a novelty taste. Interesting enough, but not something I'd drink all evening.

Normans Conquest (Cottage Brewing Co)

27.0 ABV, reviewed on 16/02/1997
This is a what I'd call a sipping beer. Very nice.

Oak Aged beer (Innis & Gunn)

26.6 ABV, reviewed on 12/08/2009
You can really taste the oak and it's delicious. In the weeks prior to writing this I've probably had about a dozen bottles. I have two more in stock and will probably pick up another couple each time I shop at Tesco. My favourite beer at the moment.

Old Fart (Merrimans)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 01/02/1997
A different and pleasant flavour.

Old Hooky (Hook Norton)

24.6 ABV, reviewed on 11/09/2014
Dark taste. Would be great on a winter evening.

Old Jock (Broughton Ales)

2 6.7 ABV, reviewed on 17/02/1997
If there was a stronger after-taste it might well be perfect.

Old Legover (Daleside)

24.1 ABV, reviewed on 17/07/1998
Subtle, bordering weak tasting which is probably just as well as I wasn't too keen on what I could taste.

Old Peculiar (Theaksons)

25.6 ABV, reviewed on 31/01/1997
Not top league, but better than average.

Old Speckled Hen (Morland)

25.2 ABV, reviewed on 18/01/1997
This was actually a bit better than average in terms of both strength and taste, but not sufficiently so to reach the next level of scoring.

Oyster Stout (Marston, Thompson & Evershed)

24.5 ABV, reviewed on 07/07/1997
When I drank this I was in the mood for stout. This is as dark as they come. It hit the spot!

Pedigree (Marston, Thompson & Evershed)

24.5 ABV, reviewed on 15/01/1998
Although the date that this bottle was added to my collection is January 1998, I have enjoyed this beer on several previous occasions (and will again).

Pete's Wicked Strawberry Blonde (Pete's Brewing Co)

25.1 ABV, reviewed on 22/05/1998
This has a lovely strawberry colour and there' a hint of strawberry in the smell too. Unfortunately it doesn't really taste of anything."

Pete's Wicked Summer Brew (Pete's Brewing Co)

24.9 ABV, reviewed on 28/06/1998
I wasn't at all impressed by the first mouthful but then it kind of grew on me. I wouldn't go out of my way for it but I wouldn't turn one away either.

Red Admiral (Mansfield)

24.4 ABV, reviewed on 20/10/1997
Pleasant though weak tasting. Okay, no more, no less.

Riggwelter (Black Sheep)

25.7 ABV, reviewed on 05/02/2000
Strong, dark stuff that I'd be happy to sip a couple of pints of.

Ruddles County (Green King)

24.7 ABV, reviewed on 17/10/2009
Dark and delicious.

Rusty Rivet Brown Ale (Shepherd Neame)

24.7 ABV, reviewed on 06/06/1999
There's a bit of an 'edge' to the after-taste that made me wonder if I'd want another but as the time passes after drinking it, the after-taste mellows and within 2 or 3 minutes I'd concluded that I DID want another.

Rutland Independence (Ruddles)

26.5 ABV, reviewed on 19/02/1997
Okay, nothing more nothing less.

Sneck Lifter (Jennings)

25.1 ABV, reviewed on 07/08/1999
Very dark with a strong taste that reminded me of liquorice and which I couldn't quite decide whether I liked or not. The bottom line was that I'd rather be drinking something else.

Solar Eclipse (Wychwood)

24.2 ABV, reviewed on 11/08/1999
Brewed specially to celebrate the eclipse (I drank it while the eclipse took place), this was a very pleasant and refreshing light beer. Ideal for drinking in the outdoors on a summer day.)

Spitfire (Shepherd Neame)

24.7 ABV, reviewed on 02/02/1997
This is probably just a bit above average in terms of flavour.

Spring Fever (Ushers of Trowbridge)

24.0 ABV, reviewed on 05/03/1998
Maybe it was because of the brightly coloured label on the bottle that I wasn't expecting much from this... so it was quite a shock! This is lovely stuff.

Stevenson's Rocket (Wylam)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 02/01/2015
Dark, rounded and smooth.

Tangle Foot (Hall & Woodhouse)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 01/02/1997
A different and rather pleasant although not very strong taste. I'll have to try another of these.

The Ghillie (Broughton Ales)

24.5 ABV, reviewed on 21/02/1997
Okay. Perhaps a little stronger tasting than average.

Waggle Dance (Vaux)

25.0 ABV, reviewed on 11/07/1997
Ok. Nothing special.

Wandle (Sambrook's)

24.2 ABV, reviewed on 11/09/2014
Dark malty taste.

And finally I leave you with a prayer:

Our beer
Which art in bottles,
Hallowed be thy drink,
Thy will be drunk,
I will be drunk,
At home as it is in the local.
Forgive us this day our daily spillage
As we forgive those who spillest against us.
And lead us not into the practice of poncey wine tasting,
And deliver us from alco-pops,
For mine is the bitter,
The ale and the lager,
Forever and ever,
BARMEN