The latest  release from Wells & Young's  to hit  the retailers shelves....


When two becomes one you are always hoping for a a happy birth....or in this instance a happy re-birth.

When a brewery who's reputation for award winning beers merges with a brewery of a lesser ranking,  you hope the standards will rise to the level of the former rather than the latter. But  sadly it seems however,  this is not always the case.

The merger of Charles Wells  in Bedford with Young's of Wandsworth was one born out of necessity on several levels,  which incredibly was some four  years ago now.  Young's reputation for its award winning beers was global,  and regarded as one of the great breweries of the UK with an enviable range of bottled ales  both pasteurised and bottle conditioned.

Charles Wells by comparison seemed to have not only a problem with  identity in the 1980s and 90s with Wells Fargo and Bombardier going through a myriad of  label design changes,  they were producing beer of consistent,  but largely mainstream quality.

The acquisition of Young's then could only be for the good you would think,  but on tasting the most recent release to bear their name, Young's London Gold,  it would seem this is not always the result.  

Being a bottle conditioned Golden Ale you expect the beer to deliver some positive fresh clean hop notes with mouthwatering citrus flavours,  even bursting with some summer sun possibly !  But, whilst it is all solidly made and correct,  it lacks the one hallmark that stood out with Young's beers of old  - ' character.'


Perhaps it is time to look to the back catalogue to go forward,  instead of following current trends to produce something uninspiring ?   Whilst  Wells & Young's  have released a number of beers from the Young's portfolio to date in the UK  several are of the more  ' standard ' brands ( except  the Young's Special London Ale - although it too still lacks the defined flavours it once had ).  In the US curiously it seems that there is a greater variety  availabile from their range than in the UK..

Given that  Young's had such famous  and recognised brands as Special, Ram Rod  (  currently only available in 275ml  bottles within their pub estate )  Winter Warmer,  Oatmeal Stout ,  Chocolate Stout  and  Old Nick   there are plenty of options available.  Whilst some are obviously seasonal, others definitely would warrant  a  year round presence and have an established  consumer appeal based on there previous history.

If they do choose to release any in the future lets hope they maintain the philosophy of old and give  us something that is truly  'Special'  in the Young's tradition of things....

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