A lighter pale ale at 4.1%, it is named after an regular at one of Young's pubs in London which is 260 years old this year. The regular attended the establishment in the 1700s and his smelliness has been remembered through the centuries - Nathaniel Bentley was his name (which leads to a number of questions we need not pursue.) Here is the tale from a pub locator web site:
Nathaniel Bentley was an ironmonger who had a shop in Leadenhall Street. On the eve of his wedding, tragedy struck. His bride-to-be died. So distraught was Nathaniel that he locked up the room in which he had prepared the wedding feast, never to enter it again. A broken man, he neither washed or changed his clothes. When his cats died he just left them. The English love an eccentric and his notoriety meant his business flourished. When Nathaniel retired in 1804, the landlord of the Old Port Wine Shop in Bishopsgate bought the contents lock, stock and dead cats. He put them on display at his pub and renamed it "Dirty Dick's". In 1870 the pub was rebuilt from ground level, the wine vaults are part of the original building. The "dirty" contents were carefully relocated in the new pub. Sadly it was decided in the mid nineteen-eighties that a clean up was in order and the dirty artifacts were cleared away. Today's cleaned-up pub is pleasant with bare floor boards and an abundance of timber beams. The upstairs bar forms a gallery and the vaulted cellar houses the restaurant.Sure - blame the 80s for that, too.
But enough of the dirty man. The ale is nice but nothing to not wash over. Lace leaving off-white over orangey-amber. Not a lot of hop on the nose and in the mouth it is more about edge with a bit of twig. The malt is sweetish giving a little more body than the strength might make you expect. It is grainy, grapy juicey with some autumn apple - better malt than this has. A perfectly fine if unflowery pale ale. Some BAers say it's a session ale but I really don't see spending an evening with this. Others are calling it a mild when it is a run of the mill lower hopped best bitter or even a light ale...though Young's Light Ale runs at 3.2%. Whatever it is...it's a wee bit dull for me. Oddly, it is not listed on Young's site as one of their brands and they have new labels.