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The Royal Oak (Freehouse)

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Beer (sort)Average Score (sort)No. Samples (sort)
Larkins - PorterExceptional2
Dark Star - Hophead (some has also been brewed by Fuller's)Exceptional4
Dark Star - FestivalExcellent1
Dark Star - Smoked PorterExcellent1
Dark Star - Hylder BlondeExcellent2
Dark Star - OktoberfestExcellent1
Royal Tunbridge Wells - Royal Best BitterExcellent1
Larkins - TraditionalGood1
Dark Star - Winter SolsticeAcceptable1
Wychwood - Dirty TacklePoor1
Harvey's - Sussex Best BitterNot Tried0
Cottage - Hurricane AleNot Tried0
Caledonian - Deuchars IPANot Tried0
Adnams - BroadsideNot Tried0

Visits Details

08 Dec 2010 (thebrewingman)
A cheery welcome (even though we do not visit regularly). Food was again good and my wife really enjoyed the ice cream fritters. Beer was, as always, excellent and, where possible, served in the appropriate branded glasses. Makes all the difference.
BeerABVScoreNotes
Dark Star - Hylder Blonde4.20ExcellentI'm not a great lover of golden beers but this one hit the spot.
Royal Tunbridge Wells - Royal Best Bitter4.10ExcellentA bitter that tastes like bitter used to taste.
Adnams - Broadside4.70Not Tried
Harvey's - Sussex Best Bitter4.00Not Tried
06 Nov 2010 (Alenomore)
Late afternoon visit and the second pub stop on our vintage bus trip today. Our final stop and I think most of our party enjoyed this pub too. And a bonus, with a new ale found as well.
BeerABVScoreNotes
Dark Star - Hylder Blonde4.20ExcellentNew to me, and went down really well.
Dark Star - Oktoberfest5.20ExcellentIn excellent condition here.
Harvey's - Sussex Best Bitter4.00Not Tried
Caledonian - Deuchars IPA3.80Not Tried
20 Sep 2010 (BF)
Early afternoon visit, so really quiet.
BeerABVScoreNotes
Dark Star - Smoked Porter5.40ExcellentExcellent condition, although was somewhat unimpressed by the beer itself. I expected much more from this collaborative brew, especially bearing in mind the reputation of 2 of my most favourite breweries.
Larkins - Traditional3.40Not Tried
Harvey's - Sussex Best Bitter4.00Not Tried
Cottage - Hurricane Ale4.70Not Tried
28 Apr 2010 (thebrewingman)
Called in today for a couple of pints and lunch. The food is very good value and homemade (ie it is made on the premises and does not come out of a packet from the freezer that says homemade on it). As usual the beer was in excellent condition.
BeerABVScoreNotes
Dark Star - Hophead (some has also been brewed by Fuller's)3.80ExceptionalUp to its normal standard - excellent.
Dark Star - Festival5.00ExcellentA nice pint with a bit more body and a proper bitter colour.
15 Jan 2010 (Ian)
This was the reason I came to Tunbridge Wells was that I saw that the Larkins Porter was on. I missed it by about an hour. Still, glad I came as I haven't been to the town for some time and this pub is glorious. Lots of dark wood panelling, good landlord, lots of space to sit. I had a chat with one of the regulars about cycling. I will be back
BeerABVScoreNotes
Dark Star - Hophead (some has also been brewed by Fuller's)3.80ExceptionalBrilliant hop. My favourite beer in the world.
Larkins - Traditional3.40GoodAlways surprised how good this is. Great bitter, with lovely finishing satsuma hops. Good bitterness for a 3.4% beer.
Dark Star - Winter Solstice4.20AcceptableGreat condition, really well served, but too much dry mixed spice for me.
Harvey's - Sussex Best Bitter4.00Not Tried
13 Jan 2010 (thebrewingman)
This was my first visit so I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the pub.
BeerABVScoreNotes
Larkins - Porter5.20ExceptionalIn excellent condition. It just slipped down. A shame I was driving or else I would have had another one.
Dark Star - Hophead (some has also been brewed by Fuller's)3.80ExcellentAs good as I've tasted. Deep and intensive hoppy flavour.
Larkins - Traditional3.40Not Tried
Harvey's - Sussex Best Bitter4.00Not Tried
14 Feb 2009 (JeffnJo)
Larkins Porter sold out for the season
BeerABVScoreNotes
Dark Star - Hophead (some has also been brewed by Fuller's)3.80ExcellentProving very popular - it was the fave tipple of West Kent CAMRA group who happened to be on a tour.
Wychwood - Dirty Tackle4.00PoorNot sure the ABV is correct. Jo hated the aroma on this beer and decided not to drink it. I didn't suffer so much in the nasal dept but didn't like it too much either. It was clearly named to coincide with the 6 Nations rugby. Why do some brewers become so commercially minded? All that effort (branding, marketing etc) for basically a beer no better than their others?
Larkins - Traditional3.40Not Tried
Harvey's - Sussex Best Bitter4.00Not Tried
10 Feb 2009 (JeffnJo)
Welcoming, warm, carpeted throughout. Central bar. Beers on were Harveys Sussex, Larkins Trad and Larkins Porter. They also have Wychwood beers and Dark Star Hophead settling in the cellar. They clearly have a commitment to ales, singing the praises of Larkins and pondering the array of Dark Star beers for the future (we gave them a few pointers). This may be chinese whispers but the barman stated that the DStar deliveryman said DStar are "under the wing of Harveys". Is this how they are providing the currently popular and expanding Hophead market??
BeerABVScoreNotes
Larkins - Porter5.20ExceptionalWell served, smooth, creamy, tasteful as ever.
Larkins - Traditional3.40Not Tried
Harvey's - Sussex Best Bitter4.00Not Tried

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About The Royal Oak

The pub sign. The Royal Oak, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Summary of Beer Scores

 Total
Exceptional6
Excellent29
Good7
Acceptable1
Poor1

The pub is found in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 4SY.

Just outside the town centre in Prospect Road, this is not the typical Tunbridge Wells pub in that it has some good ales! Carpeted throughout with warm feel it has an active darts team, book swap, quiz on Thursdays and jazz on Sunday lunchtimes. Friendly welcome and a keen interest in real beers and likely to be in future Good Beer Guides. 6 handpumps.

We have visited this pub 18 times, seen 38 different beers and tried 32 of them.

Map location

Postcode: TN2 4SY