05 January 2009

John Bull Ale

After crucifying the Belgians so badly for their lack of brewing expertise, I think it is time to focus on yet another country of mediocre ale. On the heels of yesterday's Tetley's review, we have another English beer: John Bull Ale. This ale has been brewed in the "heart of England" and is flavoured with "challenger" and "East Kent goldings" hops. The label states that crushed crystal malt is also used to give it its traditional London-style flavour.

I had my reservations about this one for several reasons. First of all, English ale tends to be bland (much like their food) and exciting as a rainy day in the English countryside. Additionally, John Bull was also ne of the main companies that put out those "home brewing in a can" kits that always resulted in overly malty, undrinkable results. Lastly, when I popped the can open, there was absolutely no fizz or internal pressure escaping the can. This proved to be classic foreshadowing, as I poured the overly dark beer into my glass, very little head formed. The taste was much like Tetley's, flat, bland and unremarkable. However, it was still miles above the John Bull "homebrew in a can" kits, and much like Tetley's English Ale, you could drink this all day if you had to. However, when there are so many better choices out there, why choose this?

1 comment:

toastedsquirrelscrot said...

May I highly recommend Bishops Finger or Spitfire (Sheaperd Neame brewery). Or what about Gadds Number 3 and Number 5 are great. Brakspear do a lovely bitter there are loads of great English ales (or Scottish too etc - try Mcewans Champion it is superb!) and when I go to France and all I can get is french and belgian I am usually dissapointed. We have the best ale. I would not recommend Tetley's as a great ale or bitter because it is just mass produced crap, try some micro brewed stuff or expensive stuff in glass bottles ;)