On The Dessert Menu

Brewery and Country of Origin: Wells & Young's Limited of The Brewery, Haverlock Street, Bedford, MK40 4LU, England, United Kingdom

Date Reviewed: 1-29-16

While us Americans use the word "pudding" to denote specifically a cream and egg based, custard-like, gelatinous, sweet dessert, our friends in the Isles of Wonder use the term a bit more loosely. Though usually used in the context of the word "dessert", a pudding can be a savory dish, such as the Yorkshire pudding, made of beef, vegetables, and gravy. Still, a pudding on a British menu, is mainly a dessert, though not always a creamy mousse like substance. The famous Sticky Toffee Pudding is actually a full dessert which can contain a pudding in the American sense, as well as, being a whole dish, a pudding in the British sense. Sticky Toffee Pudding is mostly made up of a moist date-sponge cake covered in a rich toffee/caramel sauce and served with ice cream, or if you wanted to go for the whole "pudding" inception thing, vanilla custard. The origin of the dessert in some form was first conceived when a basic muffin dessert recipe was brought over to the UK from Canada by two air force officers. They were staying at a hotel in England during World War II. The woman who ran the hotel, Patricia Martin published the recipe of using a sweet bread like substance covered in sauce in a compilation recipe book later. The first official conception of Sticky Toffee Pudding was developed by a Lake District hotelier named Francis Coulson, who finalized teh recipe by using the signature toffee sauce and serving the dish with ice cream. The dessert is fairly easy to make, with total prep and cook time rounding out to about an hour. Though the dessert has only been around in its modern form since the 1970s, it has managed to capture the hearts of millions around the world, with many famous chefs creating their own interpretation of the dish. The dessert even has a beer which attempts to imitate the desserts sweet, toffee, almost, roasted caramel malt like tastes and sensations. While we can't enjoy this beer with a fork, we can say that it makes a pretty good dessert on its own.
Date Sampled: 11-26-15 At: 5 East 76th Street, North Bergen, NJ, USA
Beer Style: English Brown Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 5.00%
Serving Type: 330 ml Bottle, 16 oz Can Tumbler Glass
Rating: 3.39


This beer pours smoothly with a very low amount of carbonation action, producing only a thin, eighth inch tall foam head with a tan color, a medium low density, and a low retention rate. This is a clear and filtered beer with no visible sediment, no settling, and a small amount of effervescent effect displayed. This beer has a rich dark red/copper colored shine in light with a medium brightness off of the glow, and there is a moderate amount of lacing on the glass.


As you'd expect, this beer features an overly sweet toffee caramel influenced aroma which features a nutty secondary and a biscuity undertone. This beer's aroma is sweet overall with no real presence of hops and no discernable fruity notes. There is also no detectable alcohol smell or metallic tinge. This is a medium high strength aroma overall which definitely enhances the beer's overall sweet toffee like characteristics.


This is a medium bodied beer with a below average weight, an average viscosity, and a below average amount of carbonation, all combining to make this a casual sipping, yet easy going beverage. This is a smooth beer with very little texture. This beer finishes dry with a slightly cool and crisp refreshing feeling towards the close. There is no alcohol bite or warming with this beer, which is suitable for all seasons, even though it is currently sold as a fall seasonal offering.


Indicated by this beer's aroma, this is a sweet and smooth experience. The aroma of this beer may actually be stronger to the senses than the taste, but taht only serves to increase the palatability of it. This beer's aroma is reflective of strong toffee and caramel notes, a presence of artificial like candy corn flavor, and a caramel cookie towards the finish. This beer starts off immediately strong with a candy sweetness with vanilla, and mellows out towards the end. This is an unbalanced, overly malty beer with no bitter hoppy flavor or fruity notes to speak of. The dry finish does include a slightly burnt bitter malt aftertaste with no alcohol present. This beer is fairly good at replicating the initial taste of sticky toffee pudding without the actual sensation of eating dessert.

Our Take

This seasonal beer is only available during the fall, so it's unlikely you'll be running into any more of it anytime soon. Still, when next autumn rolls around, you should definitely pick up a pack for you and your friends. This may be a nearly overpoweringly sweet beer, but this is a novelty brew that should be experienced, especially if you've ever been able to enjoy sticky toffee pudding in the past. Hop heads will detest this beer's lack of balance, and those looking for more traditional flavors in an English beer will want to keep searching. But as this is a beer which serves to replicate the experience of an otherwise tooth decaying, sugar pumping treat, we'd have to say it accomplishes its goal with ease. In the future, we'd like to make a beer float out of this with vanilla bean ice cream, because of course, the thing that's missing from this beer is more dessert like qualities. Because this is an overly sweet brew, we'd only recommend having this with dessert or, if you're feeling a bit daring, Samoas Girl Scout Cookies.