Young’s Special London Ale

Young's Special London AleIf I do another "50 beers before you die" series, Young’s Special London Ale will definitely be on it. This beer is bottled conditioned, which Young’s claims gives a "fuller, fresher flavour." It works. This beer is nearly perfect.

Appearance: Looks like what a beer should look like. The color of a dark honey—gold orange. Nice thick creamy almost-white head.

Smell: Clean, sweet, caramel, honey, and a bit—just a bit—fruity. Mature hops.

Taste: Bitter but not harsh; malty but not sweet. Very nice. Whole grain. Slightly bready—biscuit. Dough. Hops are smooth and clean and not at all astringent. Almost a creamy character.

Mouthfeel: Very good—medium-bodied, a buttery hop twang (bitterness) that bites the sides of your tongue.

Overall, this is an excellent beer, almost perfect. I’d go so far as to say that this is what a beer should be. In fact, when I just hold the (generic) concept of "beer" in my head, this is the beer that I’m imagining. It’s that good.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores 87 out of 100, with 98% approval. On RateBeer, it scores 3.54 out of 5 and is in their 86th percentile.


  1. Based on your post, I picked some of this up and had it last night.

    Yes, it’s very good. I very much agree with your "biscuit" assessment, too.

    I don’t know if I’d consider it perfect, but it is pretty darn good.

  2. i’ve got a bottle in my fridge right now.. it’s only 9am but i’m sick.. i think i’ll drink it and go to bed. Oh, and, so we’re clear, this is a phenomenal beer.

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