There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America) - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America)There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America)

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184 Reviews
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Reviews: 184
Hads: 1,265
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 10
Gots: 85 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: raynmoon on 07-03-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For beer folks, Chico, CA, and New Glarus, WI, are must-see capitals on the U.S. brewing map, but getting between the two is no simple feat. There and Back is named for the planes, trains, and zeal needed to connect them. This classic English-style Bitter is a complex yet easy-drinking mix of toasty malt and a fruity, herbal hop flavor.

New Glarus is fiercely loyal to its home state, growing to one of the largest breweries in the U.S. without selling a single drop outside of the borders of Wisconsin. With those local tastes in mind, New Glarus has perfected traditional German styles and invented masterful versions of complex and intense fruit beers featuring Wisconsin-grown ingredients.
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Reviews: 184 | Hads: 1,265
Photo of DaverCS
3.66/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour is cloudy light amber color. 2 fluffy head. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma yields muffled smokey notes, Caramel, and toffee.

Taste is rather light. Citrus up front. Very light bodied beer. Middle of the mouth I get the pure malt flavor and some minor toffee. The finish is a small amount of hop bitterness.

Overall a rather boring beer. Doesn't do much for me, but I am drinking this beer rather old. I could see drinking this beer with sticky toffee pudding. It gets a 73/100.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a frothy head. Soft, caramel aroma. Clear burnt umber color. Starts with a slight toasted maltiness, then a slight bitterness. Finish is lingering bitterness and toasted malt with a touch of caramel.

This is kind of disappointing. It's not bad, but it's not very exciting, and it doesn't really showcase what NG can do.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beer Camp #9: Sierra Nevada/ New Glarus There and Back English-style Bitter. Alc. by Vol. 5.5%. 40 IBU.

Lightly hazed, bronze colored, slim white head.

Aroma: Malt notes hit the nose first, caramel and toffee and such. Low hops, sweet and pleasant.

Taste: In the mouth and on the palate: sweetness all the more. It's a malt-driven brew, no doubt about that. Some fruity notes appear, some nuttiness, gliding just under the hops. Very keenly balanced bitter. It's a sessioner for sure, and here's where I wish I knew more about Tolkien to make appropriate puns (for, I assume, that's where they got the name). It's a bit more malty/sweet than I think an ESB ought to be, but that's okay, they're doing their own thing.

Now, what does the label teach us? "This easy-drinking English-style bitter features nutty, toasted English malts balanced by a solid dose of zesty hops and a fruity, dry finish." I guess it is rather dry, after all. But ever-so sweet before. Wait, there's more!
"For beer folks, Chicio, CA and New Glarus, WI are bucket-list pins on the U.S. brewing map, but it's no simple feat seeing both. There and Back is named for the planes, trains, and zeal that connect them. This classic English-style bitter is a complex mix of toasty malt and fruity, herbal hops."

Okay, so no admitted connection to "The Hobbit"'s subtitle, "There And Back Again", but that doesn't mean it isn't hidden there somewhere.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Brewed with Golden Promise, Caramel malts. Bitter and Northern Brewer, finished with Willamette, Sterling.
5.6% ABV, OG=13.0P, FG=2.8P, 40 IBU's.

Pours out to a slightly hazy pale copper, forming a tall whipped yellow head with superior retention and solid lacing. Carbonation is moderate, ~2.5 carbs or so. Layer of sediment in the bottle. The nose is of fruity hops (pineapple, mango) and some subtle toast, that ruddy english yeast character like wet cardboard. Mouthfeel is light bodied, crisp, dry in the finish, and somewhat tart and metallic and oxidized. The taste is not very good. It is oxidized, lots of wet cardboard, there is a weird metallic sourness like a fermentation/sanitation problem. Medium firm herbal bitterness. Bone dry finish.

Not very good. Definitely the weakest of the beer camp series so far. If this were homebrew I would give it away to non-particular friends or dump it.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"For beer folks, Chico, CA and New Glarus, WI, are bucket-list pins on the U.S. brewing map, but it's no simple feat seeing both. There and Back is named for the planes, trains, and zeal that connect them. This classic English-style bitter is a complex mix of toasty malt and fruity, herbal hops." Brewed in the style of an English Bitter. Available in 12 oz. bottles within the Beer Camp Across America 2015 variety pack and on limited draft. This is a collaboration ale between Sierra Nevada and New Glarus Brewing.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a Sierra Nevada snifter glass. Served above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy crisp head of a buttery cream color over a mildly hazy orange amber with light, lively carbonation. Retention is good and lacing is light and spotty. 3.75

(Smell) Bready English malts with a modest nuttiness, light toffee sweetness and moderate cleanliness is paired with a mildly bitter fruit hop note. The aroma is fairly mild overall, but there are several nods to the expected characteristics of the style. Potency is mild. 3.5

(Taste) A soft bread malt leads the way, finishing on a note of fruity hops and soft butter toffee with a mild graininess. There's a bit more diacetyl in the flavor over the aroma, although the nuttiness of the aroma is more reserved, and the beer drinks even cleaner and lighter than expected. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) The texture is lightly syrupy, mildly chewy, medium dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a light frothiness and a medium+ crispness on the finish. Body is medium for the style, light/medium overall. Balance is very slightly bitter over sweet although the flavors are collectively mild at their most vocal. Alcohol presence is very low and there are no off characters noted. 3.5

(Overall) Sierra Nevada and New Glarus team up on a style that isn't commonly brewed stateside. The flavor profile of English Bitters are fairly mild, even on the malt front, which has the potential to impress with flavor diversity, but this beer keeps fairly simple on the malt front, with only some mild toffee and bread malt building the aroma, not quite as much depth and flavor as may be expected per the style. Perhaps my first underwhelming experience in the Beer Camp Across America variety pack thus far, There and Back nonetheless makes for a highly drinkable ale with a delicate nod to the style's English roots. 3.5

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s
There And Back English-Style Bitter (With New Glarus Brewing Co.)

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Photo of woodychandler
3.99/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I had picked up most of this series as singles at The Friendly Greek and then put them in my reefer awaiting review. The backlog at Chez Woody is phenomenal and so I am now getting around to them.

From the bottle: "This easy-drinking English-style bitter features nutty, toasted English malts balanced by a solid dose of zesty hops and a fruity, dry finish."; "Brewed in Collaboration with New Glarus Brewing Co."; "For beer folks, Chico, CA, and New Glarus, WI, are bucket-list pins on the U.S. brewing map, but it's no simple feat seeing both. There and Back is named for the planes, trains, and zeal that connect them. This classic English-style Bitter is a complex mix of toasty malt and a fruity, herbal hops."; "We brew in Chico, CA, and Mills River, NC, to bring you the finest quality beer."

I Pop!ped the cap and commenced a gentle pour so as not to rouse the lees that had collected in the punt. This meant no head until I used the bartender's trick and stirred it in the glass. I got a brief two fingers of tawny head that fell rather quickly. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a biscuity, nutty maltiness that I have encountered in other English bitters along with a dried, dark fruitiness. Mmm. Mouthfeel was medium, but quite effervescent. Taste was at once nutty and fruity and I was put in mmind of fruitcake. I am one of those rare birds who actually will eat fruitcake, albeit in limited quantities, hence I know from whence I speak. Finish was semi-dry, so the yeast may have continued to do something to it while in the bottle, if people felt it sweet originally. 40 IBUs, so not wildly hopped, strengthening my case for bottle aging, even inadvertently. Next, the lees pour: Waste not, want not has long been my motto. Now, I did get a little bit of head initially. Color was Copper, but man, it was murky and muddy. The nose seemed to have a more pronounced maltiness. The taste was not markedly different, but it did seem slightly more bitter.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber/gold in color, with a nice fluffy head of off-white foam
Aroma-Subtle toasted malt
Taste-Tosated malt, nice dose of fruity/herbal hops. Well-balanced and tasty. Session-worthy.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Consumed 1/8/15, with apologies for apparently abandoning most of the Beer Camp beers in the back of my fridge

A: Clear, medium amber with burnt orange highlights - medium size, off-white head, fades to a wispy cap and an average collar, leaves some streaks of lacing

S: The aroma doesn't scream "English Bitter" but I like it - lightly hoppy with some citrus, grassy, floral, and herbal notes - nice malt profile with some pale and caramel grain, light bread, toasted biscuits, and slight hints of caramelized sugar - clean and lightly sweet - touch of minerality as it warms up

T: Well-balanced toasty grains and hints of citrus - light citrus flesh and zest, with some pine, herbal, and grassy flavors - slightly earthy, but mostly clean - great malt flavor with pale and caramel malts, toasted white bread, toasted multigrain bread, bread crust, biscuits, and some caramel sweetness

M: Light to medium body, extremely smooth and drinkable

O: Another Beer Camp beer I would drink again

This is further proof that I utterly failed in my strategy to drink this 12-pack. This is probably the best I've had so far. This, like the Torpedo Pils, I would probably buy again if it ever saw the light of day.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.01/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottle picked up as one of the Beer Camp 2014 series. Bottled on date of 5.22.14

L - Amber red with some clarity, not much lace or head.

S - Malt sweetness and sugar. Smells very good.

T - Grains and sugar. Slight sweetness and well balanced throughout. Slight citrus hop in the background. Very tasty.

F - Well carbonated and light bodied. Well balanced throughout as well.

O - Disclosure that the ESB's are not on my favorite beer list. That being said, this is one of the better ones I have ever had. I would buy this one again, and that says a lot!

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Photo of KTCamm
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12/1....BCAA 10/12...bright copper with fst fizzy white foam. Light lager remains. Musty malt nose, soft citrus. Tasty chewy malt body with a buzzed hop bitter. Firm carbonation. Toasty and smooth.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am sampling a cellar temp 12 oz bottle poured into a mug. The beer pours a slightly hazy copper hue with fizzy eggshell white head of 1 cm that fades to a sturdy surface layer. The aroma is some caramel and nutty malt with a bit of earthy hops. Aroma is mild but pleasant and appealing.
First sip reveals an average body with fine and slightly spacious carbonation. Texture is very smooth and makes it easy to drink.
Flavor is sweet and malty up front with some toffee that then rolls to some nutty notes just like the nose, but finishes with a bit of drying hops. The flavor is a little bitter but also a little earthy and herbal almost like the finish on a cup of tea.
The beer is very easy to drink and Im almost done with the bottle before I finish this review.
A nice sessionable beer that I enjoy and am glad to have tried. Not a huge robust brew, but I think that is true to style and enjoy this one.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a wine glass and a straggler from the Beer Camp mix-o-case so has a few months on it. Pours a deep golden/orange with a finger of just off white soapy foam with good retention. Nicely carbonated and perhaps a bit robust for the style and mostly clear.

Aroma of noble hops and a bit of expected dated malts. Touch bready and with a light apple fruit note. Taste follows with a hint of lemon and a notable but balanced bitterness. Finish is fairly dry with a subtle hint of lemon sweetness and a balanced bitterness on the finish. Rather nicely done and finish is crisp and balanced for the style. Coarse and lightly bready on the finish yet expected given a relatively robust take on the style.

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Photo of BrewUSA
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look 8/10
Smell 17/20
Taste 32/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 16/20

Overall 81/100

Overall an ok toasty bitter, lacks body and is very light and watery. Nothing special will forget it in no time~

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Photo of timontheroad
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark orange and hazy with a short head that faded pretty quickly. Aroma was sweet, bready malt, with some slight fruity notes. Taste was pretty malty up front, but lots of fruity orangish flavors as well. As it warmed, more citrus and fruity flavors came forward. This one is a little old, but has held its own over time.

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Photo of fx20736
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bought in the Beer Camp 12 pack, Fall 2014. Poured into a nonic at fridge temp.

Look: Hazy apricot bronze. Head disappears completely.

Smell: fruity, Jolly Rancher candies

Taste: fruity with a nice balance of earthy hops

Feel: solid. Modest carbonation welcoming and fitting to style.

Overall: Good but not exceptional/ Lack of lacing a drawback.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%

Pours a finger of head on a clear straw colored body.
The aroma is mild lemon, dried apricot, and wet grains.
The taste is fruity sweet upfront, lemon bitter follows. Nice balance, tends sweet overall.
The texture is sticky.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Hazy orange with a one-finger head
S: Malt, caramel and toffee
T: Like the nose, the malt/caramel really stands out here. A touch of sweet fruit and a light bitterness
M: Medium-bodied with a hint of sweetness
O: Not too impressed given the two breweries involved. Certainly no flaws just not as complex as I would have expected and overall I found it a touch too sweet with not quite enough bitterness

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Manzanita pint glass
From: Albertsons in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $25.99 for the variety Beer Camp Across America 12-pack
Purchased: Oct. 17, 2014
Consumed: Oct. 17, 2014
Misc.: Collaboration with New Glarus Brewing Company; Packaged May 22, 2014 at 10:32 a.m.

Poured a caramel, auburn, clear color with 4-to-5 fingers of rocky, off-white head. A great deal of bubbles coming up from the bottom, a bit like a snow globe. Sporadic spots of foamy lacing along the sides of the glass. Great retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 4.25)

Smelled roasty malts, roasted nuts, toffee, caramel, toast, grassy hops, dark pilsner notes, light menthol, light lemon zesty hops, other Citra hops and light peppery spices. (Smell - 3.63)

Taste was similar to the nose, but maybe a tad better. Got roasty nuts, toasty malts, caramel, toffee, grassy hops, toast, Honey Nut Cheerios, corn, faint butterscotch, light lemon menthol cough drops and rusty rye hops. (Taste - 3.63)

Medium-to-light body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average-to-lively carbonation. Abrupt, bitter finish. (Feel - 3.50)

Was my first beer of the Beer Across America variety 12-pack. Not too bad, but nothing exceptional. (Overall - 3.63)

3.69 | 83 | B

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Photo of macher0
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%

A: Rich copper color with a frothy egg shell head. Good clarity, sticky laces.

S: Very malty aroma combined with a sterile-domestic yeast. Smells like your typical macro-craft beer. Deep notes of buttery biscuits and corn flakes.

T: As with the nose, very malty and starchy. Notes of orange, bread, lemon peel, and grain.

M: Moderately smooth, medium body, and high carbonation.

O: A decent session beer for a carnival. Nothing subtle but well rounded for a beer that could appeal to the masses. No crazy flavors or notes, but it gets the job done.

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Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the tap into a standard sixteen-ounce glass at the University of Chicago Pub, I was of course excited to see anything with New Glarus involvement in an Illinois bar.

The first thing that hit me was how fruity this ale is for an ESB; certainly the bitterness is one of the least pronounced components of the beer. The malt heart of the bitter is nice—though I'm sure the exact malting outlay contribute to the predominant fruitiness—and it shines through most in the nose; the yeast-bill is also a heavy contributor to both the odor and the flavor, which likewise seems pretty unusual for the professed style.

The second thing that asserts itself is a bit of wineyness, which persists through both the smell and taste. As one drinks, it takes over as the dominant element, transmuting the fruitiness into a discernibly fermented product. It's an odd detail.

Finally, the expected rich, malty bitterness arrives, about eight ounces through the pint. It's a very weird progression, and I have little clue if it's (laudably) what they were going for, or (lamentably) a failed experimentation.

Overall, considering the reliable—and, in the case of New Glarus, reliably awesome—names behind this bitter (one of my favorite styles, no less), it's an underwhelming offering: it's interesting, but not necessarily very pleasing. I'm glad to have tried it—and went back for seconds, to clarify my impressions—but I don't believe I could call it a success.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with good clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Toasted and pale malts followed by fruity and herbal hops.

Taste: Definitely malt got ward like the style should be with hops that are noticeable, but not too crazy. Nice mild bitterness in the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, a little chewy, low to medium carbonation, and slight bitterness.

Overall: ESB's don't seem to get much love. Maybe because they are simple and east to drink. What's wrong with that? At a time when Harpoon made an ESB, it was one of my favorites to only see it disappear years later.

It was good to see Sierra and New Glarus collaborate on this traditional style of beer. Make more please and get other breweries to make this style of beer every once in a while too.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.02/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We crack a bottle, pouring into our Great Lakes pint glasses. It shows a solid golden-amber coloring and holds a fluffy two finger head of cakey, French vanilla colored foam. This retains well, leaving etched craters of lacing around our glasses. No haze or sediment is noted, but carbonation appears to be highly active. The aroma gives bright notes of pear, cherry, and prune fruitiness, licorice bite, English pale malts and ruddy amber malt sugars, black pepper spice, board chalk, crumbly Graham cracker sweetness, light but warming buttery diacetyls, hand lotion emollients, tin, moldy books, lightly piney and herbal hoppiness, wet cardboard, and ink. The flavor involves a blend of sweet and biscuity brown, amber, and crisply chalky pale malts, chemical phenolic bite, garbage bag plastics, steely metallics, creamed corn adjuncts, baked blueberry pie crust, wood lacquer, mineral water, leafy and sappy hop greenness, burnt molasses, honeysuckle floral pollens, tea tree oil freshness, lemon balm bitters, aloe vera, and shaved ice coolness. The body is medium, and the carbonation is moderate. The lip meets hearty cream, froth, slurp, and smack, with nice and crisp pop to the back, and glug on the pull. The mouth is cooled and coated, but this drips into a metallic sheen of tannic dryness that creeps all the way down to the belly. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks nicely.

Overall, this beer is drunk on the day of our style-quest, where we attempt to round out the remaining styles we need to rate on BA. We’ve been excited to sample each of the Beer Camp offerings, so we figured that here we could kill two birds with one stone. “There and Back” served both of these purposes nicely. This is an expectedly mild beer, with a bit more sweetness than hoppiness for the style. The bitterness of it tends to come on the back, and as you allow for each sip to settle. We found this to be a refreshing presentation and introduction of that aspect of the beer, rather than being killed off the top with forced flavoring. The malts are allowed to build to their dark, biscuity center; enough to cushion the bitterness of yeast, booze, and toast. This will be easy to enjoy for most beer lovers.

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Photo of BWED
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a craft tumbler

A- Bronze in color. Beautiful dense head is light tan, and retains well.

S- Nutty toasty malt. Nice fruity ester. Dark fruits. Some caramel.

T- Very great flavor. Some fruity sweetness. Toasty malt. Caramel notes.

M- Very wet in the drink. Sweet and smooth. Carbonation is light, finishes dry.

O- Very impressed with this one. Lots of great toasty and sweet qualities. Too bad this was only brewed once. This would be a go-to drinker for me.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz.

Pours a clear copper golden with an off-white fine film for a head. Retains indefinitely.

Smells of dry biscuit and cracker malts with hints of caramel.

Tastes of crackers and biscuit with a coppery undertone and a mellow dry hop finish.

Medium body with tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A tasty and thirst-quenching beer, some nice simple tastes and aromas. It's solid and easy to drink. Since it's a one-off, this is your only chance to try it, so I'd say it's worth picking up if you run across it. You're not going to be heartbroken if you miss out on it, though.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.89/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass

A: Pours hazy amber with off white head that settles quickly.

S: A little stone fruit, peach and plum, some white grape, and toasted malt sweetness.

T: Floral and fruity hop notes, a little pine and grassy bitterness, backed with sweet bready and caramel malt.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation

O: I have a soft spot for ESBs and this one hits the spot. I dig it.

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There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.