Charles Wells IPASeptember 1, 2000 Bedford, England
Charles Wells Brewery
Imported by: Regal Wine Imports
The family-run Charles Wells Brewery, Britain’s largest independent brewer, was established in 1876 north of London. This India pale ale was brewed to sell in the Canadian market. Hops include English Challenger and Goldings.
Original gravity: 1047
Charles Wells, a family owned brewery, plays ball in their home market with the big boys. For the United States, they have abbreviated their name to simply “Wells.” The ale is deep golden with amber highlights. The head of small bubbles is short lived. The nose is fresh and slightly herbal. The taste is clean, but thin, with only slight malt and hops. As traditional ale, it doesn’t cut the mustard. With hot dogs, I prefer it to most ball park lagers.
- Charles Finkel
Jewel-like copper color with a rich, dense head of foam. Robust, fruity, ale-like aroma along with a subtle hint of hops. A pale ale by American IPA standards. Not aggressively hopped in aroma nor flavor. A well-balanced, great pale ale with terrific drinkability. Malt sweetness pleasantly balanced with mild hop flavor and rich texture. An excellent full-flavored English pale ale. But where are the hops?
- Charlie Papazian
I have a few problems with this beer. It's several shades too dark to be a true IPA―I wish brewers on both sides of the Pond would grasp that "pale" means what it says and the true India pale ales were only a tad darker than a pilsner. It also comes―horror of horrors―in a can. When beer connoisseurs can't get draft, they want an attractive bottle. Pity, because this is a good beer. The aroma is a fine balance between creamy malt and a tangy, earthy hop character. There's a lot of tart, gooseberry-like fruit in the mouth, with a long and intensely bitter finish. Dump the can, Charlie, and put this in a bottle as befits a splendid, hoppy ale.
- Roger Protz
Founder of Merchant du Vin and the Pike Brewing Co., Charles Finkel is a pioneer in the marketing of craft beers in America.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.