A sweet, malty nose and caramel, bronze colour. Smooth and well balanced. If this had more alcohol, it'd be a five-star beer.
POST SCRIPT: We inadvertently retasted this. The only explanation we can offer for the two tastings resulting in such widely differing scores and comments is that the “retasting” bottle must have been stored very poorly. Or perhaps it's just a bad batch? Or maybe the beer is wildly variable?
Best-before 11/06. Traditional pale ale colour: deep copper. "Brewed to the same family recipe since 1868," claims the label. This sounds implausible, if possible (OK, so it was late in the night when we tasted this one). We reckon it must have been a pretty basic recipe, as we think that this beer is "a bit light on", thin and lacking maltiness.