Worthington’s White Shield (5.6%)

As every beer drinker in the world will know, Worthington’s is a trademark of Coors.
But does that make this a bad beer?
Absolutely not, this is a terrific English IPA.
It pours a lovely deep amber with a head that stays with you and grips your glass.
The smell is proper beery goodness, biscuity, fruity, and with a background yeast meatiness.
Taking a mouthful you get a really satisfying bran heavy baked biscuit malt along with a slightly Christmassy spice which is really delightful.
You’re also given a terrific hit of toffee and a finish that’s absolutely full of orange rind and cloves, lemon juice, elderflower dryness and a delicious bitter end.
Yet more proof, if more proof were needed, that an enormous industrial brewer can make a fabulous beer if they really want to.

About Simon Williams

Founder of CAMRGB. Member of The British Guild Of Beer Writers. Leftist bigmouth. Old and grumpy.
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10 Responses to Worthington’s White Shield (5.6%)

  1. steve says:

    not sure what you mean by the first sentence…you could say of punk ipa “brewdog is no more than a trademark of james watt and martin dickie”. There’s a brewery with head brewer and autonomy in the design and brew of new beers. Its neither here nor there who the brewery is ultimately owened by on how the beer tastes.

  2. Ant says:

    I’ve never been able to get into this. Too fizzy, getting in the way of whatever flavours might be there.

    Cask is a bit better. The other Worthington cask offerings are very good – in particular the 21st century cask version of “E”…. but it’s rarer thank rockinghorse shit, it would appear. They made beautiful branding for all these Worthington ales, but I’ve yet to see them anywhere other than the Worthington bar at GBBF.

  3. Ant says:

    PS I do remember there being smaller bottles of this in the early 90s, which I remember enjoying more than I do the current ones. Or am I hallucinating?

  4. Will S says:

    Sadly I think Coors have ruined this beer. I used to love it back in the day, but I recently bought a bottle that lists the ingredients in a number of languages except English. And it turns out that it now contains sugar, caramel colouring, and hop extract instead of real hops. And I swear that the flavour is dreadful compared to how it used to be. Gutted.

    • Adrian B says:

      Totally agree, It tastes awful now and I was amazed when I checked the ingredients too. It used to be the only haven for real ale drinkers in the days of keg only in many pubs and very good it was too. There are so many other good bottled ales around it hardly matters I suppose but a shame that such a famous brew has been ruined.

  5. David Mills says:

    It is not how I remember it from back in the 1960s at The Turk’s Head in Exeter but it’s still essentially the same beer. In those days one was also able (from time to time) to find an occasional bottle of Bass Red Triangle which demanded equally careful pouring.
    I once kept a bottle of White shiel for about ten years (completely by accident). Deep, bitter, hoppy and dark as I remember. I wonder how the modern product would stand up?
    In the absense of any other traditional beer I will drink this.
    There was a phase when the beer was brewed in Sussex…. a disaster in my opinion (as was the brewing of Bluebird Bitter in Sussex) but now it’s back in Burton…where it belongs.
    stay on track Coors!

  6. Allen Williams says:

    “White Shield” was indeed only available in half-pint bottles during the ’70s and ’80s, after which it seems to have suddenly disappeared, having until about 1984 been a fixture in the many Bass pubs in my area (Huddersfield). Indeed, until the mid-70s there was a Bass-owned off-licence in Holmfirth which I frequented that sold it, and from which I bought it by the crate. Even my local (Meltham) bowling club sold it! Anecdotally, it had once been available in pints, and was the rival of “Red Bass”, which had been discontinued in the ’60s, and had inherited a faithful following, being the only bottled-conditioned beer still widely available.

    So, having stamped out a popular, excellent, and traditional beer, is the multinational’s revived version a faithful reproductioon of the old? In short, no. The clue
    is, that the sediment in the bottle is far from the same. There isn’t enough of it: there isn’t enough conditioning. Either the storage is insufficient, or there isn’t enough active yeast (or the wrong strain, perhaps) acting in the bottle.

    The same basic characteristics are there: the conditioning is wrong. I once upon a time a time made a few batches of home-brew using the yeasty sediment from a bottle of White
    Shield: a friend had told me this was impossible as it “was only bottling yeast”. In fact I got the most vigorous fermentations I had ever achieved: not just “bottling yeast” – whatever that might be!

  7. Graham Hall says:

    Tastes nothing like the original. It was very gassy which made it difficult to pour because the yeast was disturbed very easily and you ended up with a very frothy glass full if you were not very careful. The taste was very nutty and full bodied but it wasn’t dark. That’s as much as I can remember cause I have drunk a few! It was one of my favourites but always quite expensive and not readily available in many places. The new version is good but in my opinion does not resemble in any way the classic brew of the original.

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