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
83
good

47 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.26%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 29
Photo of warmstorage
1.7/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Had on tap at the brewery in Chico last night. Quite disappointing: thin, light, pours a medium straw color. Minimal aroma, likely because it was poured at about 43 degrees. Slight aroma later, appropriate to style, but still limited. If I didn't have so much respect for Sierra Nevada's history and some of their other brews, I would have been pissed to bother driving all the way to Chico. (Other reviews forthcoming: the beer was almost uniformly disappointing, thin, and bland.)

Thin start, fairly high carbonation. Weak, thin, limited hop presence, and body is thin and bright. Only balanced in the sense that there is no significant hop or malt presence, so it's a balanced blandness. Mouthfeel is crisp and bright, notably carbonated. Finish has distinct hints of cheap grain/cheap adjuncts, like an American style lager.

I echo GreenWBush's sentiments in a prior review of this beer, to the extent that many of SN's brews seem to all be on the same base, and just have minimally varying flavors added. This beer varied MINIMALLY from the Blonde, the Pilsner, the Wheat, the Crystal Wheat, and the Extra Special Pale Ale.

I definitely wouldn't bother again, and barely finished this pint, even though I got it for free! (I ordered the Extra Special Pale Ale, and the bartender accidentally poured 3/4 of a pint of this, so when I asked if it would just go to waste anyway, she laughed/grimaced and gave it to me.)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: Sampled on draft at Lucky Baldwin’s, Pasadena, CA on Saturday 18th September during the Sierra Nevada Beer Festival and a mini-BA Gathering. Served in a Sierra Nevada Pint Glass, $3 for the Pint.

Generic Sierra Nevada Tap Handle that is Dark Blue and has the words ‘Best Bitter’ in White text, nicely accompanied by a Union Jack which hints at the style.

Appearance: Golden color with a few coppery hints at times, though in the darkness of Lucky Baldwin’s it was difficult at times to work out what the exact color was, this one didn’t last too long to examine it either. Nice white head on this one from the off-set, and it lasted. Excellent conditioning.

Nose: Some grain, light toasted malts, fresh hops, and a delicate herbal spicy character at the back end with some lemon essence. Bitterness and hops start to shine through in the latter third. Decent nose, average strength but interesting.

Taste: Average malt background, light hoppy middle, dry bitter finish. Lemony with some fresh zest from the smooth carbonation that dissolutes nicely on the tongue allowing the flavors to reveal themselves. Not a big beer by any stretch of the imagination. What it does have, it uses extremely well and to full potential.

Mouthfeel: Slightly above average feel, but perfect for the style, at least for me. Solid carbonation really helped to bolster the creamy feel and smooth texture that this exhibited. A great body that is just right for the style and allows the flavors to escape in all the right proportions and at the right times.

Drinkability: I was pointed towards this one by drewbage, and may I say right here and now this was one of my favorites, probably the least complex aside from the Blonde Ale, but it had perfect balance and a *seriously* inviting quaffability that would make this an excellent Session brew for me. I could manage a Gallon (UK that is) very, very easily - too easily!!

Overall: Not the biggest, boldest, rarest, strangest or most complex of the Sierra Nevada Fleet on offer at Lucky Baldwin’s this weekend, which just goes to show that a great Beer can often be the simplest. Superb balance and a damn tasty libation. A solid effort from Sierra Nevada, so why the hell don’t they make this one more widely available!? Definitely one of my favorites from the portfolio on offer during the LB's Sierra Nevada Festival.

Recommended!

Photo of GreenWBush
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

As I pointed out in one of my numerous Sierra Nevada reviews, this company has gotten all of its beers to seem like frighteningly similar shades of the brand's rainbow. I would love to line up Sierra Nevada's beers from light to dark and see if by the end they all just ended up tasting like differently booze-and-hop spiked versions of one another. Maybe I worry about these things too much.

I found it rather funny when I ordered the "ESB" and the waiter looked at me like I was crazy. Maybe SN does do a ESB also, but the confusion seemed a bit funny in my way-past-perfectly sober point at the brewery that afternoon.

This beer, I have to say, would be the perfect wedding beer. It has more in common with Harp and Fuller's than it does Celebration. Its noble-hop quotient is obviously higher than most somewhat-similar styles but overall its light, delicate, and schwillable. Something your father in law could love. Something to let you dry out a bit from all that Celebration.

This beer most likely hits a slight niche of SN drinkers, making sense that its most likely only found at the brewery. But nice to see that the brewery can differ from the formula from time to time.

Photo of watermelonman
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was poured with a good pale brown color with plenty of head. It left a great looking lace as it went down.

It's got a good subdued bitter flavor. It's very well balanced; no single aspect of the flavor is dominating. Each sip begs for more, and I could drink gallons of this stuff.

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Sierra Nevada Best Bitter Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.