Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Unexpected - Or Was It?

Don't you love it when you buy a mixed case of beer, and one totally surprises you? Maybe one that you would have normally passed up, in other circumstances? This happened to me last night, with Young's Special London Ale.
As I drunk this nectar, it occured to me that maybe I shouldn't be surprised. After all, the last three bottled offerings I had tasted from Young's had also been brilliant - Double Chocolate Stout (A classic), Kew Gold & Waggledance - so why not this?
Special London Ale reminded me of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - don't scoff; hear me out. A gorgeous copper colour, and a fruity, peppery hop presence in the nose. The malts were nicely balanced, all candied sweets and caramel. I also thought that for all its sweetness, Special London Ale had a surprisingly long bitterness - closer to an IPA in those terms. For a beer sitting at over 6% abv, it was surprisingly easy to drink; so I drunk it. And I will go buy more.

Anyone know where I can get this gem on draught?


Mark said...

I get the likeness to SNPA now you mention it! It's all in the peppery hops and the body feel and sweetness.

I'd love to try this on tap too. I have a habit of poking my head in the door of Young's pubs now to see what they have on - I want cask Double Chocolate and this.

Leigh said...

thanks mark - drop me a line if you find it, i'm in london at the beginning of August for some business.

Knut Albert said...

I must admit I haven't tried this since they closed doen the brewery, so I'll have to check it out.
But it's never available on tap, and the Young's cask ales you can find now are mere shadows of what they used to be.

Bailey said...

This beer is much improved on the last couple of years. Nothing daft about your US pale ale/IPA comparison -- distinctly similar. Lovely cold.

Paul Garrard said...

I never cared for their beer much when they were brewing in London but I now like this bottled ale and their cask seems okay now they've teamed up with Charlie