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Oliver's Best Bitter - Pratt Street Ale House

Oliver's Best Bitter
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very good

32 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 32
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 7.6%

Brewed by:
Pratt Street Ale House visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A general term for what is perhaps the highest expression of the brewer's craft. Amber not filtered and true to style. A natural with fish and chips.

(Beer added by: SheepNutz on 03-12-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 | Reviews: 23 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of smakawhat


3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the cask at Meridian Pint into a shaker pint glass.

A creamy off white head with a little soapy consistency. Dull and hazy brown amber body, with good circular lacing left upon the glass.

Bouquet seems like a mild grass, with light malt somewhat closed nose on this. However after it warms up the beer seems earthy, almost manure like and buttery.

Taste is a nice soft malt body and herbal tea orange pekoe. Texture is soft hop slight bittering sensation which mixes well with the orange giving off just a hint of citrus. Also being from the cask it has that great simple cask buttery texture as well.

Overall very basic, but also very balanced on the taste and palate. good solid sessionable cask beer here.

Serving type: cask

08-12-2011 01:49:20 | More by smakawhat
Photo of BeerisfoodLLC


4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on cask at Bertha's in Baltimore:

A - Coppery/reddish in color, light head.

S - Malty sweet notes, maybe a little bread notes, light hoppy scents

T - Surprisingly bitter but well balanced with a malty backbone.

M - Smooth. Light carbonation, medium bodied.

D - Smooth, enjoyable.

Serving type: cask

12-14-2010 01:28:29 | More by BeerisfoodLLC
Photo of Thorpe429


4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. On cask at Pratt Street.

Pours a moderate orange brown with a good white head and some nice lacing. Quite a bit of lace is there, but can't bump to a 4.5 given that it doesn't overpower and it is cask. Nose brings some light caramel and toffee and some slight hops. The taste is ever-so-slightly hoppy with a base malt that is nice. Good body with slight bitterness. Very sessionable.

Serving type: cask

11-03-2010 03:15:06 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of drabmuh


3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is clear and orange. There is no head really, what little head is there manages to leave a little lacing. No real carbonation.

The aroma is malty and sweet but overall weak.

Beer is smooth, nice medium bodied with a late hop based bitterness. Its semisweet but the forward character is rather weak. Mouthfeel...there is no additional body by carbonation, overall its OK. The drinkability is pretty good.

Serving type: cask

03-18-2010 17:16:04 | More by drabmuh
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on cask at the ChurchKey in DC tonight, 3/10/10.

a - Pours an copper/amber color with about an inch of white head with nice lacing.

s - Smells of some sweet malts and a tiny bit of bitter hops. Not much here.

t - Tastes bitter with a nice mix of hops and malts. Maybe a hint of oak?

m - Pretty smooth,no carbonation, medium body.

d - Pretty solid ESB. Thought the smell was kind of weak and lacking, but the taste was great. Very smooth and easy to drink as well. Would try again.

Serving type: cask

03-11-2010 03:37:44 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Deuane


3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Hazy golden copper with a thin white head. Head reduces to a thin film that leaves spotty lace.

S-Lightly sweet caramel malts with notes of fresh biscuits and hints of light floral hops.

T-Lightly sweet caramel malts with mild toasted biscuit with a building backing of bitter floral/spicy hoppiness.

M-Medium bodied with a bready thickness and a nice soft feel.

D-Totally solid. This one goes down very easy. A near classic best bitter made right here in the USA.

Serving type: cask

03-08-2010 00:07:23 | More by Deuane
Photo of glid02


4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask at the brewpub.

Pours a light copper color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of grainy caramel malts with hints of floral hop aromas.

Tastes very good. Light caramel malts with mild toastiness up front segues into a solid bitterness midway through the sip that carries through to the ending. As the beer warms it manages to sweeten a bit.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished the first glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I have to admit that I don't have a lot of experience with this style but this is a very easy-drinking version of it. Well worth a shot.

Serving type: cask

01-07-2010 00:57:53 | More by glid02
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fogged amber with a crème head. Flavor is nice. Very smooth with slight fruit tones. Mild bitter tones stay on the palate for a long, long time. Just smooth. Feel is almost sticky, but still slick on liquid. Good carbonation. This is the definition of a session brew. Give me more please and thank you.

Serving type: cask

08-14-2008 19:30:53 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of PhillyStyle


4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass on cask.

The beer poured an awesome amber cascade when drawn, but turned into a solid amber color with a light white head that was not retained. The beer had a nice malt aroma to it but nothing else was really noticeable. The taste on the other was excellent. It had a nice blend of hops and malt and the beer was smooth, one of the smoothest beers that I have ever tried, and creamy, but I did find that it was slightly watered down, just ever so slightly. The beer finished with a slight bitter aftertaste. The beer was light-to-medium body with no real noticeable carbonation. Highly drinkable. Overall, really good beer and one that I would ask for again.

Serving type: cask

07-29-2008 21:16:54 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of jwc215


3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazed dark golden with a white head that falls to a lasting thin cover, leaving some lacing.

The smell is earthy, slightly spicy, lemony with a caramelized backing. Some yeast (Ringwood?) shows through.

The taste follows the nose, with a touch of butter. It has a bitterish, dry finish.

Light-to-medium bodied.

This dry-hopped English bitter has a true "bitter" touch that is balanced nicely. Easy to drink - try pairing with the traditional fish and chips, as I did and found to work very well.

Serving type: cask

07-24-2008 17:01:22 | More by jwc215
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the downtown brewpub, enjoyed with Todd1. A bit cheesy aroma. Grapefruit colour with a lot of white head. Clean taste, British bitterness and it is significant. Medium mouthfeel.Smooth drinker, with understated carbonation, and served at appropriate temperature despite the heat of the outside.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2008 23:56:36 | More by Sammy
Photo of jjboesen


3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I quaffed an Imperial pint during a recent trip to the Fells Point location. An always dependable brew, it starts with an inch thick head, spongy with a high retention, that settles into copper clarity. The lacing is minimal with a low clingage rate (Is "clingage" a word?)

The nose allows some fruity ester while the taste borders on sweet clove and minor hoppiness - though it is described as being dry-hopped. Hmmm?

The mouthfeel is not a complex one and is rather unbalanced and nondescript. All in all, a pleasant beer that requires nothing of your palate. In any case, I'm a regular patron of both Wharf Rats and do like their best bitter - though it is not the best bitter that I have had.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2007 00:05:17 | More by jjboesen
Photo of Phatz


4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Served a light amber copper color with a thick head and little lace

Smell: A reserved biscuity malt aroma leads with some gentle hop prickles in the nose.

Taste: The foundation of the beer is an English Malt base with toffee caramel and biscuit and then a earthy grassy hop prickles the cheeks. The fish is dry and refreshing. Simple but everything I was from an ESB.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth and soft and pillowy but dry with bitterness.

Drinkability: The epitome of session beer! A great beer to start the day of drinking and pub crawling. I could have sat on the patio and enjoyed this contently all afternoon.

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: cask

10-02-2007 04:39:17 | More by Phatz
Photo of claytri


4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer came out of the hand pump well mixed and cleared to a brilliant gold with a fine white head. The aroma was hops over a malt base. The taste is a little malt, with a dash of floral and a whole bunch of bitter. The feel was light and dry. This is a beer I have truly come to love. The fact it's cask conditioned truly adds to the experience. I would recommend to anyone in Baltimore to make your way to the Wharf Rat for an order of their wonderful Fish and Chips and this fine bitter.

Serving type: cask

09-22-2007 01:28:18 | More by claytri
Photo of nickss


4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Coppery golden color with minimal head.

Nicely subdued and balanced aroma... solid malt backbone with a light floral hop kick.

Nice, buttery smooth front end... the back-side is a bit of a mess though.... odd finish.

Perfect mouthfeel... the flavours are really helped out by the lack of carbonation.

Imminently drinkable, but certainly not anything I'd consider "special"... a nice session beer.

Serving type: cask

03-31-2007 17:30:45 | More by nickss
Photo of kernalklink


4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pale gold, hazy and cascading carbonation from the hand pump. Aromas were dominated by the malts- very mild but like warm baked bread and slightly floral notes. Hops are mild also with a leafy citrus aroma. Mouthfeel is so creamy- like a milkshake and the carbonation is so light it only adds to the smoothness of the brew. Flavors are mild on malts- slightly caramalized crystal with a biscuity character. Hops are very lively and dominate the finish with flowery, citrusy goodness. Very easy to down a few pints in one sitting.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2007 14:18:37 | More by kernalklink
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a hazy copper color with a modest head that leaves some splashy lacing

Smell: Modest biscuit aroma

Taste: Biscuity up front, with an earthy bitterness after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Creamy body with low carbonation

Drinkability: Easy to consume - a great session beer

Serving type: cask

09-06-2006 00:05:21 | More by brentk56
Photo of akorsak


4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a bit of a follow-up to a growler review from June 10, 2006. This is a fresh pull of Best Bitter at The Wharf Rat.

Appearance: The ale is a nice golden color, with a bright white head that lingers for a bit but leaves no lace. The ale is crystal clear.

Smell: The hop aroma is much more apparent in the fresh version, presenting a dirty, earthy aroma that screams euro hops.

Taste: The malts provide a biscuity flavor that pairs well with the reserved hop aroma. The hops leave a earthy flavor (as opposed to citrus or pine) in the mouth. The malts are present just enough to counteract the hops, giving the ale a well-balanced finish.

Mouthfeel: I prefer this beer fresh (as opposed to a day-old growler). The hops and malts are more pronounced and pleasant.

Drinkability: I had two pints and now I want two more...

Serving type: cask

06-12-2006 20:25:47 | More by akorsak
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: clear amber orange in color with a one finger head that falls to a thick surface foam rather quickly. Decent amount of carbonation bubbles rising quickly. Some mild lacing develops.

Smell: very soft hints of caramel, brown sugar sweetness, and whiff of hop bitterness.

Taste: overall a mild beer in the flavor department with basic caramel and mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp on the tongue at the start, with a bit of smoothness at the finish. Caramels linger very briefly.

Drinkability: superbly drinkable. You can imagine being at a pub in Britain while quaffing this beer.

Serving type: cask

02-24-2006 00:29:23 | More by Gavage
Photo of cubedbee


4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a handpump at 54 degrees according to the menu, this comes out a nice clear amber with a smooth creamy off-white head, long lasting with great retention, nice thick lacing on the glass. The aroms is a mild earthy smell with some grassy floral hops. Taste is a nice smooth malt, slightly bitter, a grassy hops, a slight toffee note, very nicely balanced, simple yet nicely flavored. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth. This is a great session beer, enjoyable to drink many at a time.

Serving type: cask

11-21-2005 03:28:11 | More by cubedbee
Photo of woodychandler


3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer was involved in a great cascading action upon its arrival from the handpump. Once settled, it was a beautiful deep-yellow color that was crystal clear. It had a really fluffy white head. The nose was an interesting blend of malt sweetness overlying a grassy scent. The mouthfeel was somewhat loght, but not annoyingly so. I got the same grassy bitterness on both the tongue as well as the finish. This is definitely a good candidate for a session beer. The menu recommends it with their fish 'n' chips and I would like to second that notion.

Serving type: cask

06-20-2005 02:16:07 | More by woodychandler
Photo of goindownsouth


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was almost giddy when I saw that this masterpiece was on tap at The Wharf Rat. An amazing deep and golden coloured brew, the 54-degree liquid was placed before me in all of its glory. The aroma was fragrant, caramelly and hoppy. The head left a long-lasting lace all the while. Back notes in flavor of caramel and maybe even some english toffee. A well-worthwhile brew, and a treasure in the cask-conditioned department.

Zum wohl!

Serving type: cask

05-23-2004 12:19:24 | More by goindownsouth
Photo of SheepNutz


4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the cask poured into a pint glass. Served at a perfect 54 degrees. It pours a deep gold color with one finger of head. There is lots and lots of lacing left on the glass. The smell is fairly malty for the most part, a little bit of caramel and hops aromas. The taste is malty and sweet as well, with some caramel and toffee. The finish has a good dose of hops to it. The body is fairly heavy on the tongue, yet smooth. The drinkability is really great. A good representation of the English bitter style.

Serving type: cask

03-12-2004 00:35:03 | More by SheepNutz
Oliver's Best Bitter from Pratt Street Ale House
89 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.