Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Young's Special London Ale (England)
Young's Special London Ale
Wells and Youngs Breweries
One of the survivors from the merger of Youngs brewery with Charles Wells. This strong ale has been around since the late 1990's. Starting out as an experiment by brewer Derek Price, he took a scientific approach to the research and development by experimenting with live yeast in the brewing. The brew uses Maris Otter and Crystal malt in the mash tun and then once fermented (and prior to bottling) spends three weeks over a bed of whole Target and Golding hops emphasising the hop characters. The final product utilises the live yeast and continues to live in the bottle. The carbonation that is present is the natural fizz produced during fermentation.
This beer has notched up several acolades since it's launch including CAMRA Champion Bottled Beer of Britain, achieving Gold Medal Winner status in 1999 and winning Silver Medals in 2004 and 2005, In 2008, Special London Ale received the Grand Gold Monde Selection and CAMRA Champion Bottled Beer of Britain Bronze Awards and In 2006 it was named as one of the World’s Top 50 Beers in the International Beer Challenge.
The beer itself is amber in colour holding up a cloudy white head. A zesty orange aroma is then noticeable with slight banana notes alongside a floral fragrance, all characteristics of the Golding hops used in the brew. On the tongue there is perhaps too much hoppy orange flavours (almost marmalade) with some bitterness. The beer has a medium body along with an average amount of carbonation.
On the whole a little too sweet upfront to score top marks there is some good bitterness on the back but just not enough other flavour going on in between.