Mark, I am an English beer noob. If I want to try another yeast besides WLP002 that is always available from either WYeast or White Labs which do you recommend?
PS. I made a bitter with 94% English Pale, 4% English Crystal 60, and 1% Chocolate. You recommended this on a different thread. It turned out very good. I used WLP002. I would love to try another English strain to compare, but, don't know where to start.
The Ridley's strain (WLP022) is next in rotation. It is about as British as one is going get with White Lab's standard rotation strains. WLP022 is significantly more attenuative than WLP002, so you may want try WLP005 first.
By the way, I acquired a British strain from UC Davis last year that I used to make a Cluster IPA before moving on to other new strains that I needed to evaluate. That IPA was amazing for being an all Cluster beer. I attributed the complex flavor that it possessed to the malt and hop bills. I decided to propagate a starter from the culture while performing much needed bank maintenance. I brewed an amber ale with Avangard Pilsner, MFB caramunich, and Crystal as the hop (not exactly a British-style beer). To my surprise, the beer had all of the good attributes of the the Cluster ale. Using Crystal instead of Cluster allowed the sensory profile produced by this strain to shine through the malt and hops. Holy smokes, this culture is the most strongly flavored British ale yeast that I have used to date. The ester profile is tutti frutti lollipop. It also has a unique way of emphasizing malt. This strain is almost too much for me. It's almost like what would occur if a British strain mated with a Belgian strain.
Anyway, I sent a request Dr. Boundy-Mills to see if UC Davis had any additional information for the strain. To my surprise, the scientist who deposited the strain was Jean-Xavier Guinard. If that name rings a bell, it is because Jean-Xavier wrote the book entitled "Lambic" for the Classic Beer Styles Series. Jean-Xavier could not remember where he acquired the strain because he was using it for his Ph.D. research. He was studying agglutination properties of baker's yeast, and chose this brewing strain because it was highly flocculent (agglutination is a more specific way of describing flocculation as it pertains to cells). Baker's yeast and ale yeast are the same yeast species; namely, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The only difference is the application for which a particular strain has been selected.