Nick Carr on September 22, 2014 9 Comments Quick Characteristics Brewery: Anheuser-Bush InBev Location: United Kingdom Style: English Pale Ale (Bitter) ABV: 4.7% IBU: ? Appearance: Beautiful Gold of Light Spun Honey with Dense, Creamy Foam Aroma: Mild overall; Malts & Caramel with a Bit of Grain & Honey Flavor: Grainy Malts with Subtle Touches of Sweetness Availability: Year Round Pairs With: Fish & Chips, Grilled Meats, Shell Fish, Lancashire Cheese, Oatmeal Cookies I know what you’re thinking… what caused me to review another conglomerate takeover? Well in a word, history. This is an old beer. First brewed by Strangeways Brewing company way back in 1778, this beer, whether changed over time or not, must have some small remnant of that long history left to it. If you’ve read some of my other reviews you already know my stance on big beer companies buying up everything they can get their grubby, over-reaching hands on, so I won’t bore you with a repeat. Suffice to say, I like the history of this brew very much right up to 1989, when it was bought by Whitebread; after, well… I respect it, but maybe like it just a little less. I am glad Boddington didn’t die. It would have been a tragic moment indeed to see something so old disappear, at the same time, how grand would it have been for such a historical brewery to live on independent of “conglomeratitis.” Yes, I do realize that, when the Whitebread buy out happened that Boddington products were in decline; and yes, multiple buyouts brought the brand to the national, and then the international scene, but… there’s always that haunting but… THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Boddingtons Pub Ale. If you’ve tasted this beer or you’re drinking one now as you read this review, please share your thoughts or tasting notes with everyone down in the comments below. The Pour and Aroma It pours gushing foam because of the draught draw system (widget) in the can. So, lots of foam, but over the next 15 to 20 seconds the liquid settled in and a nice thick, white creamy head rises two fingers above the surface. I will admit it’s a beautiful beer to look at. Hundreds of nitrogen-pushed carbonation bubbles cling to the sides of the glass in the shiny gold of light spun honey. The head is extremely dense cream, reminding me of Guinness’s signature head. Aroma is pretty mild. Malt comes through as a grainy, almost mealy quality, with ghostly notes of caramel. The sweetness is a bit of grain and a bit of honey. Though thin, the combination of mealy grain and honey form an abiding sweet grassy quality that is not displeasing. Mouthfeel and Taste Maybe it’s an unconscious leap of my mind, this beer being from England, but there’s something very “English” in the flavor. I can’t describe it any better than that. Probably because I just can’t put my finger on what exactly I’m trying to describe, but I think I’d find myself thinking of England even if I’d had no prior knowledge of its history. This beer does not preform complexities on the palate. The taste is much like the aroma. Malt comes through as pretty grainy with subtle touches of sweetness throughout. Mouthfeel is slightly metallic, very smooth, thin to low-medium and watery, with low carbonation. The low carbonation is a character of many English beers, a throwback to cask-drawn beers and it helps create some of the smooth mouthfeel of these ales. The swallow and aftertaste brings up gentle hints of some hop bitterness. These gentle hints could be exaggerated in those that are coming from American lagers and hardly noticeable to those used to other more hopped styles. This beer is classified as a bitter, and so you must remember that bitterness is should be even less pronounced then in an extra special bitter (ESB). Finishing The Impression If looking for a throwback to holidays spent in the English countryside or an easy drinking “tasteful” light ale this is your beer. Presentation sells this beer. From its clear honey colored depths to that thick-packed cream head, it is a wonder to look upon. The taste, though not complex is satisfyingly complete for what this beer is trying to be. It’s a beer with enough appeal and taste that I would still pick it over any mainstream American Lager I can think of at the moment. Boddingtons Pub Ale is absolutely worth a try. And if you have a nitro kegerator at home, this would be fantastic to have on tap. One of my bigger grips has less to do with the beer, or it’s being owned by Anheuser-Bush InBev, and more about the lack of quality information about this beer or its history on their site. This is a beer with a long and prestigious past, yet the site says nothing about it, instead relegating info to an alarmingly short paragraph. Come on, this beer is over two centuries old, pay a little homage to the past, a little respect to a legacy. Cheers!