I was excited. The bottle design is unique, William Worthington started brewing in 1744, and the label indicated that this cask-style beer is “our finest India Pale Ale for true IPA connoisseurs”. This must be a fantastic pint.
On first pour, I have to admit, the smell had the soft notes of a cask beer. I ensured that the directions were followed: for best results allow to settle for 12 hours and serve at 11-13 Celsius. Everything was set – I was ready for a taste sensation.
Sadly however, the reward was somewhat less impressive. “Ahh, I see”, I thought to myself. “This is an IPA in the sense that Alexander Keith’s is an IPA. The difference being that this IPA has some flavour unlike the aforementioned rival”.
I suppose this is why I started journaling my experience with pints and pubs; so that I would have a record of what works and what misses.
This is not a bad beer. It’s just not a hoppy, flavour-packed, fun-filled rollercoaster that the bottle seems to indicate. The taste is not at all close to a cask beer, the carbonation is just wrong. Again, not that it’s bad, but it is certainly not as advertised.
I think I know what the problem is. This appears to be a beer now owned by Molson Coors. Perhaps at one time this was a great beer with all of the fantastic flavours that I see described on several websites, but these two lines from ratebeer.com sums up the quality perfectly:
“Production moved from White Shield brewery to William Worthington’s brewery in December 2010. Production moved to the main Coors brewery in Burton in 2012 to keep up with increasing demand.” – Ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/worthingtons-white-shield/286/
It appears that demand increased, brewing was moved, and quality suffered. I’m not alone in rating this beer rather poorly, as others have been duped by the promises of a unique IPA as well. Upon reading reviews by others, one thing becomes very clear: this beer is mediocre at best.
Will I buy this again? No.
I’m actually so saddened by this beer that I don’t feel it’s worth reporting the details on any further. You can see more on the Molson Coors website, but really, why bother.