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Burton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale - Burton Bridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Burton Bridge Empire India Pale AleBurton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

134 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 134
Hads: 166
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 15.88%
Wants: 16
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Burton Bridge Brewery
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 134 | Hads: 166
Photo of importedfromdet
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Holy foam batman! I opened this from my cold fridge and an explosion of foam.

Poured into lager glass. Looks like a great IPA. Semi-opaque dark orange. Very foamy head, about 1/4 foam. Tons of carbonation bubbles, almost like champagne.

Smell is very interesting for a pale ale, very fruity, lots of floral notes as well. Very unique smell.

With this interesting smell and marketing as the old school authentic IPA, taste was not too entirely different from a basic IPA upon first going down, but suddenly the crisp hos give way into something more darker and woody, it is quite pleasant. Cask aging I take it, and tastes great. Notes of alcohol come in as well, which add to the taste. Tastes old school, fo sho!

Mouth feel is of an IPA but the wood is left in your mouth with a little bit of hops bite. Wouldn't say it is unpleasant, but very unique. Dry. Longer after the drink the more dry your mouth is, eek.

That carbonation and ABV hit you quick and you feel like you are sipping some history. I dig it but not at the price. Would definitely have again. (1,067 characters)

Photo of sporklift87
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured half a finger off-white head, low retention forms into a thin film, little wet lacing. Orange and amber, with some particulate matter floating around, somewhat cloudy. Sweet and malty on nose, with straw-like grassiness. Tastes straw-like too, with oak, lemon, and a spicy earthiness. Bitterness shows good balance against malt sweetness, some thick resin notes. Moderate carbonation seems to foam somewhat in mouth. Medium body, and has an oily feel, with astringent finish. Overall, I like it. It is not like a traditional American IPA, but probably more like what an IPA originally was. Fun to compare against an American hop-bomb. (641 characters)

Photo of Foyle
2.63/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: billowy 3" off white head settles very slowly with much lacing. Cloudy golden appearance.
Aroma: Floral and earthy hops, toasted grain
Mouthfeel: medium and a bit sticky with a semi-dry finish
Flavor: spicy hop presence with a sweet malt backbone. Somewhat astringent and a bit of a cough syrup flavor.
Overall: good but not great. Glad I tried this but I doubt I would buy it again at $6 for one bottle. (420 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear burnt orange in color with minimal amounts of gentle visible carbonation and some faint golden yellow + amber highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall foamy beige head that reduces to a medium patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of citrus/lemon hops and a lightly sulfuric aroma. There are some very light aromas of sweet caramel malts in the background.

T: Upfront there is a light flavors of slightly sweet caramel malts which is followed by moderate to strong flavors of citrus/lemon hops. Light notes of minerals and a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy.

O: I kind of enjoy the really lemony hop aromas and flavors to this beer - it is easy to drink and hides the relatively moderate to high levels of alcohol well. I would get this again and I imagine it would be really nice served as a proper pint at the pub. (1,051 characters)

Photo of kvnstfrd
1.76/5  rDev -51%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a 16 oz. goblet.
Pours a vey cloudy golden-amber color with a one-finger off-white head.
Smells of fresh cut hay with some cherry and orange aromas. A slightly sour smell.
Taste is strong with hops right from the start with a very sour flavor while on the tongue.
The aftertaste yields some fruity malt flavors, but still dominated by an awful, grapefruit-like sourness. Hop bitterness is not backed up with enough malt to balance. As the beer warms, I'm picking up more yeast flavors, but still horribly sour and bitter. Not a good bitter. It's starting to taste like Alka Seltzer. Mouthfeel is harsh, astringent and dry with too much carbonation.
Overall, too much like a grapefruity, American IPA and a total waste of $7. Barely able to finish this one. (768 characters)

Photo of JLapadura
2.07/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I know it's where it all started but English IPA's are awful. Not just this one but all.
Immediately upon first sip there is something wrong. No hops actually you fall in debt to the hop municipal credit union...negative acceptable amounts of hops despite hops being the foundation of IPA. Sweet flower no bitter despite the decent 7.5 abv you wouldn't know. Don't buy despite one of the coolest bottles ever. (409 characters)

Photo of Durtdiggler
4.53/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from pint sized bottle into a tulip glass. Cloudy amber. I could not wait to Let the sediment settle. White head settles quickly and leaves a lot of lacing.

Aroma is most unique ever. Kind of a Belgian funk but with strong fruits like banana, citrus, some clove, coriander and orange. It must be the yeast. Earthy hops, very non West Coast IPA. Incredible. Just all hits you in the face.

Taste hits with immediate big bitter hop that's intense in a earthy, herbal way but smooth not sharp then fades into nice ester malt, slightly sweet with some caramel. Malty backbone as well but the cask carbonation mellows. The hops last thought the taste. A bit boozy.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, almost barley wine like.

I've read about Burton on Trent IPA and the recipe and this beer is far from what the US would think about IPA. It's almost Belgian like but not a fair comparison since the profile is so unique to anything I've had. It's very earthy, natural with a lot of different things going on in the aroma and taste. The yeast seems to be huge impact on this beer. (1,081 characters)

Photo of doopydoogle
4.19/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Cloudy pale with orange and amber hues. Vibrant had with staying power that gives way to large, foamy suds without descending.

S - Slightly sour smell, akin to a lambic. Granny smith apple, fig, coriander, bubblegum, and fresh yeast rolls.

T - Very tart, tight beginning with a subtle malt that is revealed beneath the sour astringency. Then a subtle bitter gives way to a strong bite that coats the back of your tongue on the finish. A little musty and funky, with an almost blue cheese like quality. Sweet pastries and wine follow with a nice bready malt at the end with the bitter. Overall, quite interesting and unique. Makes me wonder if this bottle might be bad? Not that its bad, just nothing like any US IPA.

M - Explosive carbonation and a good, present mouthfeel. I could really see this going well with any foods because of the acid and the bittering qualities.

O - A unique beer, somewhere between a berlinerwiesse, a lambic, and an APA. Worth a try for sure. British beers are fun! (1,004 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Large bubbled head from the pour. There is a small amount of fine bubbles that rise from the bottom of the glass, but this just creates a thin layer on top.

Smells like soured milk. Nearly no hop nor malt aroma. Not appealing.

The flavor reminds me of a Homebrew IPA, with lots of yeast flavor. Much better malt and hop presence, but I think it still falls short of my expectations. Sour swallow and aftertaste mimics the soured milk smell. The body is rich and the carbonation is low which I like. (502 characters)

Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.23/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice clear amber colour with a stick-around head and decent lacing.

Smells quite fresh and sweet. Not as much alcohol as I would have guessed.

Tastes very palatable, warming but subtle alcoholic undertones accompany quite a sweet malt taste, well balanced by fresh grassy and fruity hops, the hops creeping over towards the end providing a lip smacking and thirst quenching bitterness.

Overall quite a lovely beer, fairly unique compared to other stuff i've had. Definitely getting more of this when I can. (566 characters)

Photo of crossovert
2.94/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle. Bought for its label which is reminiscent of a homebrew.

It pours a slightly hazy amberish brown with a big foamy but creamy white head.

I am not a huge fan of the scent. It has a spiciness of like anise or something. There is some sourdough, golden raisin, and alcohol.

The flavor is boozy and astringent at first. The mouthfeel is prickly and highly carbonated. The flavor has ripe apple, booze, a mild bitterness, and some liqueur-like caramel. It is decent the longer you sip, it reminds me of an amber ale that has sat for a bit, but the hotness makes me think it isn't that old. It is a pretty decent one in the flavor.

Kind of a wonky one. (664 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a cloudy golden/orange color with about an inch off-white head that stays around a while. Not much lacing. Aroma is bready malt, grassy and citrusy hops (lemon peel, oranges), and a bit of apples. The brew tastes mostly like the aroma, with toasted and bready malt, wood, citrusy hops (lemon and orange peel), minerals, and apple flavors all noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and has a good amount of carbonation. I thought this was a pretty decent brew, the more I drank it, the more I liked it. I'd buy it again. $5.49 a bottle. (605 characters)

Photo of mrfrancis
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bottle into a stemmed glass. Displays a hazy golden hue with subtle orange highlights beneath an imposing white head that laces deep into the glass.

S: Aromas of biscuits, lemon zest, orange, pine sap, and subtle woody spices are present on the nose. Much more assertive than many English IPAs.

T: A fruity, tart entry gives way to notes of biscuits, lemon, orange, minerals, pine, spruce, kumquat, and woody spices. Finishes with a resinous punch of pine, citrus, and warming alcohol on a relatively long fade.

M: Fairly dry compared to many American IPAs with a substantial, crisp feel to it. I would have liked a little more heft though.

O: This is quite a bit better than most English India Pale Ales. It is also a nice change of pace from the American hop bombs. Very good for the style. (815 characters)

Photo of BDTyre
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice orangey colour with a really big, fluffy white head that takes awhile to settle down.

Citrusy, malt scent with this weird, grape-y that takes over. It smells rather sour.

Soury hops, weak malts. Lots of yeast. That wierd grape-y scent makes its presence known in the taste too. It seems almost like a wierd mixture of an IPA and a tripel...but not well balanced.

Decent carbonation, but the wierd scent and taste forces me to sip this. (443 characters)

Photo of beerdrifter
2.58/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up at the biggest beer store in the UK, Beers of Europe Ltd. Hazy orange-yellow pour with a huge three finger soapy head with decent retention and lacing. Really sour, cider-like nose that is like no other British IPA I've ever had. The taste follows suit with lots of grassy, bitter, acidic qualities that had me thinking I was drinking a cider. There's a subtle malt sweetness that bleeds through ever so slightly, but the sour brett overpowers all else. I wasn't sure if this was intentional or if maybe I just got a bad bottle, but several other BA's had the same experience. If this was a blind review, I would bet my life I was drinking a Belgian Sour. This is the strangest IPA I've ever had... (713 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer pours a hazy orange body with a thick beige butter cream head that rises above the glass. A few small bubbles pop of the base.

S- The cidery floral aroma during the pour takes on a wood quality with a growing brett note. The finish has a pine sawdust note to it.

T- The alcohol fusel bite is strong and takes on a cidery quality with a faint toasted malt hint in the background. There is a dandelion hop bitterness that turns into more of a brett character and hangs in the throat after each sip.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a scrubbing fizz that fills the mouth and an alcohol bite that finishes the beer.

O- This is a bit of an odd beer that is a bit too cidery and the alcohol is pretty hot with only the faintest of malt flavors. The hops are only really bitterness with no other character but the brett does shine through especially as the beer warms. There are more Flanders red characters that IPA qualities in this beer. (976 characters)

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy orange with a huge cream colored head. Some light floaters at the end of the bottle.

Big floral and fermented fruit nose. Pineapple. Spicy and different.

Very different for an EIPA. Toasted malt and fruit, with clean bitterness. Lots of age, some woodiness as well, like something soaked into a wooden keg. Good lingering bitter finish.

Medium to fuller bodied.

Very different and tasty. Loved this one, and worth finding. Very non-traditional, or at least based upon what we've been conditioned to drink as IPA. (527 characters)

Photo of Shaken9
2.19/5  rDev -39%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Paid $6.99 for a 500ml bottle.

Was expecting an English IPA, got a hoppy, sour mess that smelled of apples and pears.

Poured into a 22oz Pilsner glass, hazy golden amber color. Not unexpected for a bottle conditioned beer. Huge foamy head that persisted throughout.

Smelled EXACTLY like young cider, then after it had warmed a bit, like very citrusy hops (Sorachi Ace comes to mind) very lemony with apple and pear notes in the finish, some Brett sourness, funky sour aroma.

The flavor of this beer was... harsh with a side of sour bitterness. I LOVE sour beers and I love bitter hop bombs, but this was medicinal, bitter and sour at the same time. There is some funkiness, which I can only assume is Brettanomyces given the dirt, barnyard funky sourness to it. The malt hardly enters into the taste given the amount of hops and sourness.

Mouthfeel is a tiny bit thin for an IPA, even an English IPA, but the carbonation was good.

I can *KIND OF* understand what they were going for here, old English beers were supposed to have a little funk over time, but this is really not balanced and the sour and bitter really fought against each other. I was expecting an English IPA with lots of East Kent Goldings, Fuggles and Challenger hoppiness but got a big, bitter, lemony Sorachi Ace type flavor. Was not pleasant, even when I tried to consider it a Belgian sour or saison. Just unbalanced, I'm not interested in trying this beer again. (1,442 characters)

Photo of nicnut45
3.42/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a gusher. Couldnt pour it all at once. A slighlty hazy yellow orange color. The smell is a perfect mix of vanilla malt shake and green olives with some blue cheese as well. The taste is interesting to say the least. There is some nice vanilla whiskey like notes, no doubt from the oak. Bitterness seems to come more from the alcohol then the hops. This actually reminds me of a bourbon. more then likely because of the woody/oak like notes. Has a strange green olive like taste as well. Mouthfeel is light and highly carbonated. A strange beer, but the taste is intriguing and I find myself taking more sips. Not because it is good, just interesting. All in all im glad this style today isnt reminiscent of the past. (732 characters)

Photo of claspada
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aromas of bready/biscuity malts and earthy/herbal hops; something is adding a slight sour characteristic.
The taste follows the nose pretty much exactly. Begins with full flavor bready maltiness and transitions to the bitterness characterized by orange marmalade and earthy/slightly floral notes. Still something sour, maybe infection or oxidation, can't be sure.
Mouthfeel is lightly spritzy and carbonation is appropriate. Overall a decent beer, probably amazing on cask in England but average here and now because the freshness is clearly a factor. (552 characters)

Photo of nickd717
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle from K&L.

Pours a slightly hazed reddish-amber color with a huge, lasting, foamy white head.

The aroma is...brett? Really? Didn't expect that. Besides that, there are floral hop notes and sweet hints of malt.

The flavor is definitely bretty and funky, slightly sour. Not sure whether that was intended or not. Besides that, there is caramel malt and a considerable hop bite that is herbal and ESB-like with some floral and grapefruit notes. Alcohol is a little more assertive than it probably should be at 7.5%. The finish is earthy and ever so slightly metallic.

Medium-bodied with some acidity on the palate and high carbonation from the infection and/or intentional addition of brett.

This is a decent brett IPA overall, although I'm not sure whether they were intending it to be one or not. I think I'm going to file this one in the "WTF" file for now. I'm not going to lie though - it kept me drinking it. (928 characters)

Photo of biga7346
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Thin copper to metallic orange hue, very thick, rich creamy head that rises to the rim and takes a while to dissipate while leaving creamy lacing on the side of the glass. Reminds me of a Sam Smiths pour, and I'm guessing creamy full heads are helped by Burton-On-Trent mineral rich water.

N: Fresh, tart peaches, red wine and some lambic mustiness, moss. A spritzy and alive smell coupled with musty hop aroma - very nice and enticing.

D/M: A velvety and firm mouthfeel gets you up front with notes of grapefruit, kiwi, red wine and a smattering of floral hops in the finish. This is a great example of hoppy English session beers although the ABV has risen over the years to a stout 7.5 percent. I would enjoy this with corned beef and tart English cheddar.

Very drinkable, look forward to coming back for more, however, reading some of the low reviews it seems like this beer has a storage and travel problem as the bad reviews almost certainly had an outdated bottle from what they are describing. Definitely a beer that I believe would be amazing really fresh I'm pretty sure I got a good bottle from one of my local haunts although I did not see a date or batch number anywhere. (1,192 characters)

Photo of theghost3
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, deep copper with a 3-finger, yellow frothy head.

The smell is cloves and floral, slightly citrus hops. The taste is cloves, floral and slight grapefruit hops with an aftertaste somewhere between medicinal and peppery. The mouthfeel is rather carbonated at first, champagne-like, but it settles into a crisp, medium-bodied feel.

This is OK in the drinkability area, but the taste is all over the place--I did not expect the strong clove and herbal flavors. (475 characters)

Photo of Manxguy
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer at 10C to a Pint (20oz) Glass, noting that it is bottle conditioned and contains yeast (I left a few drops in the bottom to avoid pouring the yeast into the glass).

A - Bright deep gold, good level of carbonation for an ale.Good lacey head.

S - strong hop aroma, slightly floral with a good citrus note.

T - Nice amount of malt and hops initialy, with a slight citrusy hop zing and a clean finish - not overly bitter for the style.

M - Very drinkable, not too heavy not too light.

A very drinkable beer, but too strong for a session ale. Two or three bottles are plenty!

A good beer that I would buy again. Of the few I've tried now, I'd say it s better served at around 8-12C
Remember if you like your beer bright, pour carefully leaving the yeast in the bottle! (791 characters)

Photo of DerBayer
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ich bin sehr impressed Herr von Burton. This much fruitier and way less herbal/edicinal than most IPAs.

I cannot really pin down the fruit - it s grapefruit and is it peach? - nay! orange? nay! whatever it is very pleasant! There is also a wheaty graininess... The whole thing is really more akin of a Weizen plus X.

The body is full drinkability is high - what can I say? (374 characters)

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Burton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale from Burton Bridge Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.