Profiled by Ken Carman for PGA
I love these dueling reviews: it helps sharpen the reviewing skills.
Pillow head that seems to last forever with a lot of cream to it. About 1/3 of an inch and Guinness like: due to widget. Slight chill haze and particulate matter: could be yeast. On the srm scale this is about a 3. Despite particulate the clarity is good otherwise.
The aroma is musty with a sweet sense that I pretty much guarantee is yeast: probably proprietary to this specific brew that’s been around so long. No hops in nose. However that yeast nose is also similar to another Brit brew: Scarecrow. Earthy, herbal sort of a mix between cardamom and basil. More the first.
There’s a thinness to the mouthfeel, almost watery. I do get what some may call “metallic.” The “metallic” can actually be explained by the water profile used for this style of beer, often Burton on Trent-ish: highly sulfate which is not quite the same as sulfur. Very light with a sweetness that seems to fill in where the thinness of body leaves me wanting. Carbonation: almost none in mouthfeel but a Brit pub draft often can be that.
Here is the usual water chemistry: 352/24/320/820/44/16 That’s calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, then so4 (-2)/na+2/cl-1/. High in calcium too: some of the highest mineralized water used for brewing. With the thinness so apparent to Boddingtons it’s not surprising some might mistake it for “metallic.” Again: not quite the same, but for obvious reasons similar. Compare the same numbers for Pilsen: 10, 3, 3, 4,3, 4: used for Pilseners
There is a white bread sense to the taste and toasted only to that extent: which is almost not at all. A simple quaff that would normally be called “lawnmower” in the states. Very slightish bitter way in the background that is hardly worth mentioning. But as it warms that bitter asserts itself a little more. To be honest I am guessing all reviewers here reviewed it too cold. Brit beer can go almost into the 60s. There’s also a very slight hint of burnt butter, which is sort of OK for style. Not as much the “burnt.”
For the style it’s right, but just right. Nothing special that makes it all that interesting, to be honest. If I were to go to a Brit pub and ask for an ordinary bitter I wouldn’t be disappointed, for that is what it is. But interesting? Eh, not that much. But my lack of interest can’t be used to score it poorly. I’ll give it a 3.9, only because I think they could liven up the old gal a tad due to the fact even in England craft beer is adding to the complexity of brews. This, in my opinion, is not all that complex, but at least new owners InBev doesn’t seem to have screwed with the recipe all that much, if at all.
28 and 23 ON Rate Beer. 74-54 Beer Advocate.
Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”