Going for an entire pound in Tesco in the low alcohol section at the minute, I figured that I’d give Tolly Cobbold’s Totally English Ale a go.

At only 2.8% I knew it was never going to set the world alight, but for a quid? Anyway, some of these low strength beers can be really nice, right?

Opening the bottle and pouring produced little to no aroma. There was a thin head which stayed well. Carbonation was not too over the top, which is right up my street and helped to keep the thin layer of foam on the top or the glass. Light chestnut brown in colour.

First impressions were good. It tasted like burnt caramel, a warm malty taste. I was immediately put in mind of Greene King’s standard IPA. Moments later I looked at the bottle more carefully: it is brewed by Greene King. Turns out that ¬†Tolly Cobbold, a brewery I hadn’t heard of until I saw this bottle, became part of Ridley’s in 2002 which was then bought by Greene King in 2005.There was a very dry after-taste, something on the lines of rubber, which, while not unpleasant, wasn’t exactly what I would have wanted either. It felt quite thick and viscous on the mouth, probably due to the carbonation being slightly toned down.

By about half way through the bottle all the surprises were gone.  It became harder to actually taste anything of at all. By the end it just seemed bland. Which was a shame after such a promising start.

Final verdict:

5 / 10

Good start, good value. Shame it couldn’t deliver through to the end, but for a pound a bottle I can’t complain.