Double Red Strong Ale

English Strong Ale Simonds Farsons Cisk Plc.


Double Red Strong Ale, an English-style Strong Ale by Simonds Farsons Cisk Plc.

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Double Red Strong Ale is an English-style Strong Ale brewed by Simonds Farsons Cisk Plc., and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a tumbler from a bottle.


The ale pours a crystal-clear ruby red and is topped by a finger-thick cap of dense-cream colored foam that shows modest retention. A thin film of residue coats the sides of the glass above the collar.


The aroma offers a scent of toasty bread with hints of cocoa and caramel.


Floral hops lead the palate and are quickly mellowed by a taste of toasted bread. A bite of peppery hops follows and then finishes with tart berry and sweet caramel. A base of toasted bread and nut tie the palate together.


The feel has a smooth draw and is chewy on the back end. Its medium-full body has a somewhat prickly sensation from its medium-high carbonation.


Its appearance is fine but its feel doesn’t quite meet the expectations of the style with its ample carbonation and lack of warmth. Its aroma and palate are also appropriate but aren’t the most interesting. However, on an island such as Malta, where there the options for local brews are limited, the Double Red Strong Ale is one of the better choices.

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About the English Strong Ale

The English Strong Ale is traditionally bottled-conditioned and cellared. Most are rich in malt with late hops for bitterness, fruity esters, and warmth from moderate to high alcohol. Medium to full body with a chewy feel. Its color ranges from deep gold to dark brown with most being darker. Its malty backbone has flavors of caramel, toffee, and nut. Occasionally, a touch of chocolate. Esters provide dried and dark fruit flavors. The English Strong Ale sits in the space Strong Bitters, Brown Ales, and Porters but not as strong as the Barleywine.