Sierra Nevada Best Bitter Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Best Bitter AleSierra Nevada Best Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

29 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 29
Hads: 55
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-20-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 29 | Hads: 55
Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a clear amber, with a small head, and a small amount of lacing.

This smells like toasty malts, grass hops, and earthy tea.

This definitely isn't the boldest beer I've ever had, but it is only 4.6%. I think cask delivery could help this one, give it a fuller body and flavor, possibly, but as it is now, it's super drinkable- the glass was gone befor eI even knew it. There's a muted hop flavor, at least in comparison to the typical Sierra Nevada beer. The hop flavor that's there is really nice though, a bit of citrus, some grassiness, and herbal tea. The malts are toasty and nice, and stand up just as strongly as the hop flavor.

This is medium bodied, with a crisp and crackery mouthfeel, and a moderate level of carbonation.

This was tasty. (810 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room

A: Pours golden yellow with a frothy white head that settles and laces well.

S: Floral, some fruity notes, and light malt.

T: Floral hops, some lemon, a bit grassy, a little fruitiness, and light cracker malt.

M: Light body, moderate carbonation.

O: Crisp and drinkable, quite nice on a warm day. (340 characters)

Photo of seedyone
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

11/03/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Very smooth, almost buttery mouth feel. Very little on the bitter side. At 4+% I'll be coming back again & again. (151 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwins Trappiste in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a murky light orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and some tea-like aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink. (494 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Clear orange amber, two finger head, not much carbonation

S-Malt, some floral hops, not much else

T-Too much malt, floral notes are good, not much bitterness either.

M-Light, a little on the flat side, crisp though.

O-A little too much on the malt side, could have used some more bitterness. (297 characters)

Photo of Kendo
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Blue Tusk in Syracuse on 6/28/11; served in a mug.

A: Body is light golden in color with a small white head on top. Carbonation is visibly low. Good rings of lacing left behind.

S: Faint fruitiness and bread-doughy malt.

T: First impression: "light." A light malt foundation, reminds me of a pilsner malt, actually (though the color may be responsible for that impression, due to the power of suggesstion). Touch of bread or toast-like malt and some fruity sweetness underneath. Balanced somewhat by a touch earthy, herbal hops.

M: Carbonation is low, as expected given the lack of visible bubbles. Call it light-to-medium in heft, shading towards the light side.

O: If this were the older "Drinkability" category, I'd give it a 4.5, since this one was an easy drinker. However, as an "Overall" category, I'm only giving it a 4. Decent beer, lighter than expected and sweeter than expected, but I could have a few. (930 characters)

Photo of nezelrac
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap into a shaker pint

A - pale orange; one finger of fine beaded white foam; moderate retention; little lacing

S - clean malt and hop nose; straw, grass, grain, faint bread, hint of nuttiness; simple and appealing

T - follows nose; lightly toasty and faintly nutty; rather four square; very enjoyable; would like to see a little more depth

M - firm CO2, not too high, but a little high for the style; light weight, but good body

O - very good example of American bitter; quite sessionable; the whole is greater than its parts (534 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at Churchkey.

Pours a dark gold to light copper color with a nice white head and a bit of lacing. Nose is light bread and some floral, herbal hops. Light bitterness and bread in the taste with a bit of hop flavor. Fairly light but nice bitterness levels and quite drinkable. (303 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A dark golden color, fluffy head. Didn't really pick much up aroma wise.

Taste, not as bitter as I was expecting, this was definitely more traditional than was hoping. Pretty light but ample bitterness and light low alpha acid hop quotient to it. At times had the feel of a pale wheat. Light, but woody.

Anything drank at the bar there in Chico is always drinkable, cheap, just perfect ambiance. (398 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at churchkey

A clear, burnished copper with a dense white head with good retention and lacing, this looks great. The nose is decent. A moderate, earthy, leafy hop character is immediately noticeable, along with a light toast and toffee character. For a bitter, it's a little lacking. The palate opens with a nice bitterness, with the english hop character pleasant, along with a mineral character. Not really fruity. Malt character is not particularly true to style either, with insufficent depth, there's not enough nut, toffee , just some toast. The carbonation, while typical for a tap beer, is more than i like for a bitter. Light in body with a bitter, drying finish, this is decent. (696 characters)

Photo of gory4d
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange color; three-finger head made up of large bubbles; a good bit of lacing, and a thin cap all the way down. The smell is faint but nice: straw, dandelion, maybe some oatmeal. The taste is rich grain with salt, a twang of violet leaves, savory notes like blood sausage, mild sweetness that bleeds into a mellow dandelion finish. It's well carbonated without being fizzy, light in body. A very good session beer. It's certainly an American take, but manages to be true to style nonetheless. (507 characters)

Photo of donniecuffs
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sampling glass. Dark copper/caramel color, with no carbonation and very little head, which wasn't surprising given the style. The smell revealed very little in the way of typical bitter aromas like caramel, toffee, and biscuit, but did reveal more of these as the glass warmed towards room temperature. The flavor though was immediately more identifiable than the aroma, with some oakiness and vanilla in it as well. Thin-bodied and no carbonation as expected. This beer did reveal more nuances as the temperature went up, but I'd like it to be more evident at the getgo, if I'm going to session it. (613 characters)

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this on-tap at the brewery tonight.

Served in a 20oz. imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Came out with a very loose, one-finger, off-white head that deteriorated rapidly. After only a minute it was nothing more than a mere film. Body was hazy and caramel-colored, and displayed a loose column of carbonation in the middle. Head was very clean; drug no lace.

Smell: I had to let this warm to room temperature before I really got anything out of it. (It'd be nice if this one was a regular cask offering.) Once it had warmed, I detected caramel malt, fermented grains, and Cascade-like hops.

Taste: Toasted grains, caramel malt, and woody hops. Simple, but very well done; the flavors worked together very well.

Mouthfeel: Malty, slightly chewy, and clean. Carbonation was low, as expected. Light-bodied with a pleasant malty aftertaste.

Drinkability: This was a very easy drink that I would happily order again, especially if it's on cask. This was a very easy-going ale. (982 characters)

Photo of dudecandle
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On tap into pint glass:

A: Nice, modestly light brown color. One-finger's head, modest retention, minimal lacing.

S/T: Hoppy primarily, banana bread, lightly toasted. Malts are a bit more present on the taste.

M: A little thin.

D: Very well-rounded, as a bitter should be. It really needs to sit a bit so it can warm up and open up, but once it does, it's rather worth it. If the body would have been just a little bit fuller, this would be great. (451 characters)

Photo of washburnkid
2.96/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery. About 5.00%ABV

A: Clear golden and amber with a small white head that retains as a ring.
S: Nothing really overwhelming on the nose. It smelled like the rest of the brewery (a little yeasty and grainy). It had a mild cooked aroma, but it wasn't unpleasant.
T/M: Crisp and light, dry finish of bitter hops. Some honey sweetness somewhat discernible amongst the drab malts and hops. I really wish there were something more to this beer, though maybe it's meant to be very neutral!
D: This was okay. I wouldn't have another because there are so many solid SN brews to choose from. (601 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark and clear gold color, with a smaller white head.

Aromas are of light hops, an easy pine light aroma, along with some easy brewed teas.

Taste is flavorful, but not at all heavy or overpowering. Nice malt flavors, light biscuit, easy sweetness, cream, and brewed tea. Finish has a touch of hops, mostly some mineral bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good. Nice carbonation, and an easy full and not overly heavy feel.

Drinkability is quite good. This is one of my favorable sessionable Sierra brews. I'd love to have a keg of this at a party. Very tasty, but not heavy, and is very easy to drink. (602 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 9/3/08. On tap at BT. Pours a clear orange with a small white head. Aroma of sweet malt, flowery hops. Flavor is bitter initial with lots of wheat. Some flowery hops but quite bitter. Blandish. I'd pass on this next time.
6/3/6/3/13 (3.1/5) (252 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at The Blind Tiger.

Poured a light copper hue with a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured light grainy malt and a flowery hop.

The taste consisted of clean and full cereal malts and a balancing flowery hop. There was some light sweetness toward the finish.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a seemingly authentic and very tasty ale. (409 characters)

Photo of Nickls
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Golden brown hue with a clearly white head that held fairly well

S - Faint maltiness and aromas of fresh baked bread

T - Malty and a bit yeasty, but lacking hop assertiveness

M - Smooth and lightly creamy

D - Has all the trapping of a well-balanced bitter, and more complex than more traditional takes on the brew. Easy-drinking here

Overall, this was a pretty nice beer and nothing in particular stuck out as bad or great. Very balanced and pleasant. Would recommend (491 characters)

Photo of Floydster
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1/2 pint at the Sierra Nevada Taproom for two dollars, consumed 8/11/08, reviewed from notes

A-Color was a mix between copper and medium brown, 1/2 inch foamy white head, some retention, nice lacing
S-English malt, lemons, grassy accents, strong hops, citrus, and roastiness
T-Hops are pretty powerful in this one, in other words the hoppiness outdoes the malt for once, bitter all the way through with some dried citrus in the finish, does not change much as it warms up other than becoming more subtle, liked the dryness in this one
M-Could use some more carbonation, bitter and dry mouthfeel, medium bodied, taste lingers a little bit
D-ABV seemed low and it was light on the stomach, went down easy and refreshing at times, taste is not complex enough to keep coming back to though

I enjoy English Bitters once in a while and this one did not measure up to the last one I drank, being the Surly brew, might drink again if I was at the brewery and in the mood for something along these lines, worth trying (1,011 characters)

Photo of sleazo
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Mugs Ale house in Brooklyn

A-Copper brown with a rich medium frothy head. Dissipates quickly but leaves nice lace.

S-A clean barley smell with a drop of sierra hops.

T- is nice. More hopped than most bitters which I like. Slightly roasted flavour compliments the Sierra cascade(I think or chinook) hops. Very well balanced.

M-is rich as can be expected from cask. Carbonation is low as well.

D-Very drinkable. This is a fantastic bitter, maybe too hoppy for some but I loved it. This is a treat on cask. This was especially refreshing after biking over the Brooklyn Bridge. If I didnt have to bike back I would have turned this into a session. Sierra Nevada manages to do it again. Some of their more obscure styles are done very well. (763 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber with a small white head.
Aroma of malts and light hops with a tiny bit of citrus.
Taste is light on the malt and a little heavier on the hops with a bit of citrus drying on the backside.
Mouthfeel is comfortable due to the carbonation.
Aftertaste of hops and drying makes you want another sip...
..and another.
Very good take on a british bitter (363 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer sits a beautiful, full, clear, copper color in my pint glass, it is topped by a finger thick pale tan colored head. Ah the aroma is magnificent; a mix of bergamot, peach, apricot and a bit of an underlying herbal character (all of which is from the hops of course). The taste is pretty dry and quaffable, yet it has a biting bitterness in the finish which is in line with, or perhaps a bit dominating of, the quaffable malt character. With the dry finish the fruity hop notes in the nose are down played to allow the herbal hop notes to dominate in the flavor. I get notes of fresh cut herbs, and some slight menthol in this beer that is served a bit too cold.

The malt character is subsidiary to the hops, it is here but plays second fiddle / supporting role. I get hints of caramel, toasted malt, biscuits and a dry grain character. This beer hits the light, easy drinking character of a traditional best bitter, though it is perhaps a bit too hoppy and bitter (which of course I enjoy quite a bit). (1,015 characters)

Photo of bigbelcher
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Fathers Office. I am really surprised at Sierra Nevada for making this beer. While most breweries are coming out with big hoppy beers, Sierra Nevada has turned back the clock and made an English Style Bitter. The beer goes well with a Fathers Office burger but by itself it wasn't much to speak about. It was good for the style I guess but in this day and age I feel that bigger is better.

The beer had a nice light gold color with a white head. A light hoppiness was there but you had to dig a little for it. This would be a good begginers beer for those wanting to ween themselves off of Bud and Coors. (628 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on draft at the Blind Tiger ale house in NYC, Poured light amber, clear and low head/carbonation noted. This is Sierra Nevada's take on the classic and under appreciated Bitter style. Malty nose, mellow and mild. Malty base, very smooth and subtle. Understated, reserved and smooth. Fine sessioner. Give it a try if it makes it to your local. (350 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Sierra Nevada Best Bitter Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.