Bottled Ale Reviews

Welcome to our bottled ale reviews section. In this section you will find reviews of the best (and worst) bottled ale from the UK and around the world.

If you’ve recently tried a bottled ale that you’d like to share with the rest of the community we would love to read your review. All you need to do is sign up for a free account and submit your ale review here. The more obscure the ale the better!

Batemans Mocha

Batemans Mocha is a strong stout from the traditional family brewers Batemans who were founded in 1874. Their company slogan is “Good Honest Ales” and a strong stout that has chocolate and coffee as the predominant flavours ticks all the boxes as far as I’m concerned so I have high hopes for this one. Mocha pours a darkish mahogany colour as opposed to the more traditional jet black stout and no matter how it was poured from the bottle it was impossible to retain any head for longer than 30…

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Bad King John by Ridgeway Brewing

There is an old style tapestry design on the front of the bottle portraying two knights jousting and on the back there appears to be a medieval wench being hanged. Charming. Nice olde English design though – very apt given the name of the brew. The beer has quite a sweet, malty nose and it pours very dark. Not quite a jet black standard stout colour but not far off. For a bottle conditioned ale I expected Bad King John to retain a nice head but within a minute or…

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Marble Brewery Ginger 1888 Stout

I’ve long been a fan of beers with a hint of ginger about them and so I was keen to try this one. Until this point, most of these beers with ginger (I’m deliberately avoiding referring to them as ginger beers to avoid any confusion) have been paler entities along the lines of Marble’s own Ginger Marble and the somewhat stronger Ginger 6, or the rather lovely Hardknott Cool Fusion, and I can’t remember having ever sampled a ginger stout before. These paler beers leave a lovely fresh lingering ginger…

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Hook Norton Double Stout

Hook Norton is an old English brewery that has been in operation for many years and they have produced an appealing looking bottle design with strong classy branding for their Double Stout with a nice tag line of “Handcrafted in the Cotswold Hills since 1849”. How many other stouts currently on the market have a brewing history of over 150 years? The stout ours jet black with an off cream head that seems to dissipate to a couple of millimetres of head within a few minutes of drinking and as…

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Williams Bros Brewing Co March of the Penguins

March of the Penguins is from a brewing company from which I have never had the pleasure of drinking any of their brews before so I have been looking forward to sampling the quality. The bottle itself is branded very nicely. It has a modern, slick design which the brewers have clearly given some time and effort towards. Understandably for a stout it pours jet black and is slightly above average carbonation for a stout. It has quite a frothy off-cream coloured head upon pouring which is retained through drinking….

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Marston’s Oyster Stout Review

Marston’s Oyster Stout is a traditional stout offered by a mainstay of British brewing. Perhaps this can explain the “traditional” labelling on the bottle which in my mind is quite old fashioned and lacking in precision. The notes on the bottle label suggest it is best to drink with oysters, other shellfish or just on its own. I haven’t personally contemplated a combination of eating oysters or any other shellfish along with a stout, but perhaps that’s just me being unadventurous. Anyway, about the brew itself. It pours jet black…

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Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout

Taking its name from a peculiar species of tusked Arctic whale that survives the pitch-black depths of upto (or rather down to) 1500 metres, Narwhal Imperial Stout from California’s Sierra Nevada Brewing Co is a deliciously dark, tremendously rich and unbelievably complex Russian Imperial Stout. Pouring into the suggested ‘snifter’ glass a thick, viscous oil-slick black with a head reminiscent of a perfect espresso coffee shot, this is a beer that grabbed my attention from the outset – it actually looked like it was going to be well worth drinking…

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Buxton Axe Edge

Axe Edge from the Buxton brewery is one of the flagship beers that they currently produce (along with Wild Boar) and is a strong double IPA at 6.8% ABV. It is available on cask or in bottles (our review is of the bottle conditioned variety) and it takes a not too subtle inspiration from some of the big hoppy American IPA’s that are thankfully hitting our shores from the West coast US. It is very heavily hopped, using Amarillo, Citra and Nelson Sauvin but there is also an element of…

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