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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

157 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 157
Reviews: 132
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 17.83%
Wants: 13
Gots: 2 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 132 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had the head of an IPA and the body of a pale.Grapefruit taste, nicely bitter, not overly.Smooth creamy.Very well done English
Nice aftertaste,some malts.Not very complex, couldn’t drink a whole bottle.Aggressive carbonation and alcohol presence, otherwise I applaud the craftsmanship.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2005 04:32:39 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I read somewhere that Empire India Pale Ale uses the original IPA recipe, or as close to it as modern day brewers can come. If that's true, I'm anxious to see what those Brits drank way back when.

Orange-accented amber with a slight haze. The head is massive and filled almost the entire pint glass before any beer was visible at the bottom. It's light cream in color, impressively stiff, and craggy as it falls. Foamy rings of lace appear eventually.

The beer smells, strangely enough, like a cross between an IPA and a Belgian ale. It has that earthy, sour, funky aroma that I associate with Belgian yeast. The funkiness is also evident on the palate. Who added Orval to my IPA?

Also present is too much unmasked alcohol. Although there's a decent quantity of hops, their flavor contribution is less than wonderful. BBEIPA tastes somewhat woody as well. The body/mouthfeel is fine, though it is a little too carbonated.

If Burton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale is what the original IPAs tasted like, then I'm glad that American craft brewers came up with their own take on the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2004 19:07:47 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy orange body with a frothy white head that settles down to a ring and islands while leaving good lacing

Smell: Lemony and sulfuric - so this is what that famous Burton water does to an ale

Taste: Starts out with a sturdy malt backbone that gives way to some bitter lemon and green apple flavors; the finish is rather astringent, with a harsh, mineral tone

Mouthfeel: Moderately thick bodied and well-carbonated

Drinkability: While I recognize the distinctness and historical aspects of the style, I cannot say this is a beer I intend to try again - its just too lemony and sulfuric to satisfy my palate

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2006 22:30:08 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a medium cloudy yellow/beige color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of english dry hops with a floral component is dominating and quite enjoyable. Taste is a mix between some malt that is quite dry as well as a hoppy finish with a dry aftertaste. Body is above average with low filtration and low carbonation. I have really been digging the English hops lately and this was very rewarding.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2007 19:28:45 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmmm, a lot going on in this brew. It's a gusher straight from the bottle. After cleaning up the counter, the floor, and my dog, the beer poured a well headed, creamy looking, orange / copper hue with a weizen-type haze. Obviously bottle conditioned, evident with the sprinkles of yeast and hops swirling around. The aromas are a highly phenolic and estery scent with bold earthy hops and a firm malt base. The flavors are a forced fruitiness (peaches, pineapples, pears, and appricots) along with a strong alcohol, plastic flavor. the hop flavors are present and offset the heavy malts well, but never really round out the flavors properly. The feel is a firm weightedness from the malts, along with a prickle from the carbonation and alcohols. Finishes with strong hops, plastics, and malts. Just seems that the beer was fermented at way too high of temperature. Not a bad beer, but one that I will not likely try again.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2007 18:37:01 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of jaydoc


3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

11-03-2013 16:05:51 | More by jaydoc
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pours a deep orange with a huge sticky orange tinted head,aroma is of orange rind and slightly geranium like.I got a hint of orange and mineral right off the bat with this with a dryish finish this a kick in the ass IPA for sure.Why the low ratings on this beer I think it is a very well made beer,I guess Iam just different.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2003 20:55:18 | More by oberon
Photo of emerge077


4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First of all, this is the furthest thing from an American IPA as you can get. Once expectations are out of the way, this ale presents many unique qualities.

Definitely Brett in this one. This is my second pint in 2 days, and i'm really enjoying this stuff. It pours a hazy, tawny orange into a goblet-style glass. About 1/2 inch of foam fizzles up and settles to nothing, no lacing even. Looks like a cask ale in fact, and lo and behold, the label states it was cask aged 6 months before bottling.

Aroma is fantastic. Musty citrus, wet hay, barnyard funk more akin to Gueuze, but nowhere near as sharp or sour. Orval may find a distant cousin in this unique English IPA. There's also a mildly cheesy, aged hop presence.

Flavors of apricot, almond, and citrus rind. Toffee like malt, but only in texture and not sweetness. Dry and bitter finish. Fruitiness is very unique, in that it has a certain fullness and distinct apricot/persimmon taste. A mild underlying spice from the hops. Brett adds another distinctive facet of restrained wildness. Must be some funky casks that are used for aging!

Smooth with low carbonation, mellow with mild bitterness in the finish. Easy to finish the bottle, but it must be savored. Cheers...

EDIT 2008: 2 bottles I purchased in Madison weren't similar at all to my first review. Hoping they were just old, and that the funky spice shows up in future bottles. Edit #2: Hit or miss with this one, i've had one tasty one, and two so-so bottles from the same place, same purchase. Seems there's alot of variability with this, but i'll continue to drink it, because when it's good, it's a really captivating beer...pretty similar to Wild Devil.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2007 02:15:35 | More by emerge077
Photo of JAHMUR


4/5  rDev +11.4%

11-15-2011 00:55:06 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16.9oz. bottle into an imperial tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of citrus (grapefruit & lemon) along with caramel, honey, some spice and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is sweet up front with flavors of caramel, citrus, honey and spices. Then there's a pale hops presence that comes in next, but doesn't offset the sweetness like you normally see in the style. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and the alcohol is a touch more detectable than most in the style. Overall, there doesn't seem to be a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, not the best representation of style, there's a bit more strength in this one than most EIPA's but there are definitely many others that I would pick over this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 02:49:25 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Jason


4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 16.9 oz brown bottle, no freshness date though being bottle conditioned and boasting 7.5% abv it has a longer shelf life than a normal brew.

Appearance: Deep amber colour with a healthy white lace.

Smell: Very fruity with hints of apples and other mixed fruit ... hints of wood also in the nose.

Taste: Crisp and chewy with an aged alcohol feel and flavour, very fruity with an even woody character. Estery from the higher alcohols nearly take over semi assertive hops and a grainy malt taste peek in and out. Fruit tapers off a little towards the end leaving more grain and hop.

Notes: Is this what an IPA used to be? One would think so and so do we ... a powerful brew that could withstand any voyage. This brew is bottled after six months in the cask which adds to the rustic raw character. This beer goes over the top with its pushy fruity esters, not your run of the mill modern day IPA.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2002 11:29:55 | More by Jason
Photo of feloniousmonk


2.93/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hazy, peachy color, full, creamy froth atop...
Fresh, fruity aroma, yeasty and smooth...becomes creamier and mellow...grapefruit and pineapple sticks out a bit, and it appears stickily sweet...I enflamed my nose to conisder the last time I encountered anything like this...I think it was DogfishHead 120...So far, looks good, smells good,...
but the taste? It don't carry over so well...too much sourness on the palate, too much green apple...Now it's reminding me of that other big, overpriced bottle from these guys, Olde Expensive Ale. Don't know why IPAs from England disappoint me so often.
Taste flattens out, becomes tinny, plasticine...not pleasant at all.
My experiences with this company continue to be one-time affairs, sorry to say...

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2003 04:40:39 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of russpowell


3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at goebbels in Wichita. Happy to find something from one of my very favorite breweries when I lived in England ( most cask offering were amazing )

Pours apricot/amber with 4+ fingers of rocky sand colored head. Hazes a bit as the bottle is emptied. Crazy lacing & head retention

S: Leafy hops, not much else

T: Leafy hops, biscuitty malt & some sulphuric notes, plus a bit of citrus hops up front. More leafy hops, a touch of pears, & apricots, plus dryness as this warms. Finishes fruity, dry, a bit chalky even & with leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & nice balance

Drinks easy for the abv, wished the hops & or malt stuck out a bit more, but a solid effort, this is probably much better on cask, I'm betting

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2008 04:04:44 | More by russpowell
Photo of Slatetank


4/5  rDev +11.4%

05-23-2013 16:52:18 | More by Slatetank
Photo of jlindros


3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A huge rising 4 finger head that takes up 50% of my SA pint glass rises up quickly and fades almost as fast, imploding on itself as the big bubbles pop. It has a hazy bright pale orange color.

N: A little disappointing at first. It has some British hops, but not much. Some pale aromas, a little spicy hop quality, that strange pungent fruit hop aroma you get from UK hops. Some creamy malt aromas round it off. It also has a little of that fresh wort aroma like the beer had just finished brewing and hadn't fermented yet. Some light woody esthers.

T: Pretty similar to the aroma. Some floral, grassy, herbal hop qualities. It does get pretty pale, similar to an English bitter but more bitter. This is pale bitterness, pretty distinct English Bitter type. A little creamy flavor, light malts, and just that overall pungent fruity hop flavor. Hides the 7.5% very well. A little bit of fresh raw woody esthers as well. It started off a little watery and unpleasant bitterness, but as it warmed and the more I drank it started to open and taste much better. Then I noticed this was pulled from a cask and should be drunk at about room temperature. Too cold just ruins this beer. It is a perfect beer for Real Ale cask type.

M: Lighter body at first, then gets a little thicker as it warms, with decent carbonation.

F: Pretty bitter, a very slight diacetyl, some creamy and woody esthers, a slight unpleasant bitterness on the finish that gets better as it warms. Semi dry as well. At first I wasn't a big fan of this beer, in fact I was pretty disappointed. But the more I drank this and the more it warmed from fridge temps, the more I enjoyed it and the more it opened up. This is really a Real Ale like beer that needs to be more warm and open up, and is a cask beer. It should even be poured from the cask, not bottle, but that's the only way I can get it. I'll look forward to trying this at NERAX sometime.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2010 02:27:23 | More by jlindros
Photo of jwc215


3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle

Pours hazy golden with a huge, rocky, frothy head. I like a good head on my beer, but it's at a nuisance point with this one.

The smell is spicy. Peppery, orange peel, floral.

The taste is of orange peel, leafy and peppery. A mixture of tropical fruits.with malt way in the back, though it peeks through once in awhile. Agressive alcohol. Very bitter and drying.

Sprtizy feel with lingering drying hop bitterness.

An IPA in the raw. Can't say I'm crazy about it, but worth trying for historical reasons and to try a beer that is different than most modern IPA's.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2007 21:57:20 | More by jwc215
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +11.4%

11-27-2011 14:59:14 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of smcolw


3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 22:45:09 | More by smcolw
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coming in a long-neck 500ml brown bottle, BB NOV 08, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a translucent (a roughly-filtered beer!!) dark amber hue, topped with a rather fluffy and dirty white head which settles slowly to a thin carpet, while the semi-lively carbonation is fine and constant.
S: the aroma is like a strong ale with that specific touch of very ripe melons and banana-oil, some sour-sweet peary touch of fruity malts, and blurred orangey hoppy aroma. Overall, quite pleasant and easily approachable, but lacking a structure or some layers for an IPA.
T: a rich but never imposing flavour of overripe fruits (pear-ish & apple-ly) and salty-sweet yeasts rests on a solid backdrop of pale malts, leading towards more fruity and herbal hops in the aftertaste, which are not so much aromatic in the equation but rather express themselves in the form of an underlying stream of chewy, bitter-sweet root-herbal bitterness... At the remote corner inside the mouth, the banana-oil-like fruit-ester lingers along with faint hints of sweet black tea as well as an undertone of melted toffee...
M&D: the texture is so smooth but never short of decent and healthy dose of soft carbonation, rendering a rich but quiet malty body balanced by generous amounts of English hops. Very little trace of alcohol is detected on the palate, making this strong ale even quaffable. I'm not familiar with the really traditional type of English IPA, but this balanced and gentle interpretation is surely inviting!

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2008 20:26:20 | More by wl0307
Photo of Billolick

New York

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

Medium sized bottle, w/o freshness dating. Very surprised by the low ratings for this brew. It pours very cloudy dull orangey amber, with a long lasting loose off white head, leaving loads of thick sticky lacing. The aroma is mildly of hops, glorious hops. This is a full flavor, quite hoppy brew. Nice to see a British brewery makes a beer with more then a delicate amount of hoppy character. This one has character and complexity. Perhaps the low ratings have to do with folks not getting a fresh bottle and shelf life issues with what appears to be an authentic cask/bottle conditioned ale. At any rate, I truly enjoyed the bottle I sampled. Get a fresh one and enjoy a bold and hoppy brew with better then average flavor and character.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2005 22:23:25 | More by Billolick
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 21:52:08 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 00:32:15 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a five-fingered cream head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Cloudy amber color. Piney hop nose. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Starts more sweet than hoppy but the hops kick in, finish doesn't linger too long. Not the usual intense IPA. $4.99 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2005 23:49:36 | More by jdhilt
Photo of BillRoth


3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

12-07-2013 20:26:34 | More by BillRoth
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured with good head, clouded amber in colour. British water gives a lot away very quickly. A rotting wheat, off honey aroma. Smelt more odd than description sounds. Weird bready staleness in mouthfeel, with alcohol all too present. A great aftertaste with surprinsgly clean finish but with a very harsh mineralness. A little distasteful to me. Bad malt profile, no aroma. Weird and off centered, lacking in balance. I seem to dislike everything I could find in this beer, but I'd consider the thought that maybe there is more to it I am missing... will probably revist a Burton again. Thanks Harry for the sample!

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2006 13:42:32 | More by biegaman
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Burton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale from Burton Bridge Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.