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: 15
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 Sammy
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. (287 characters)

Photo of brentk56
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 (639 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.23/5  rDev -10%
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. (922 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (463 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.11/5  rDev -13.4%
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. (1,088 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +17%
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. (1,682 characters)

Photo of oberon
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. (330 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.32/5  rDev -7.5%
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. (1,031 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (1,918 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.02/5  rDev +12%
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. (918 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.89/5  rDev +8.4%
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 (747 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 feloniousmonk
3/5  rDev -16.4%
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... (752 characters)

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. (591 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 Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (739 characters)

Photo of wl0307
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
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! (1,519 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
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! (615 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 jdhilt
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. (322 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
2.45/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

19 oz bottle picked up sometime last week at the Coop (Don't remember the price).. poured into my Sam Adams shaped glass.

2 finger head is pillowy and sticky.. quite a bit of carbonation.. brew is polished amber copper... took more than a minute to get a pour that didn't want to pour over the rim.. too much carbonation for sure.

Aroma is big grassy/earthy hops.. a little sour and metallic. pale malts play second fiddle or maybe third.

Flavor is waaaay off base for an EIPA.. Big bitter out of the gate comes crashing through a funky and sour/metallic mid palate that lingers and screws everything up. Almost no sweetness or maltiness.. Sorta a sour green apple/under ripe peach essence. Body is lite/medium with too much carbonation to even remotely be pleasant. Pineapple and fresh penny copper are very evident as it warms. Burpy in an unpleasant way.

I don't believe this is an "off" beer.. I just think it is the way the brewer made it. Really nothing I would ever consider buying again unless I had a certified letter from the brewer saying my money would be well spent this time around. (1,100 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 Gusler
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer after its release from the 500ml brown bottle sets in the glass a turbid orange-amber color, the head miniscule in size, bubbly in texture and the color a light tan and it vanishes in the wink of eye, the lace forms a very thin sheet that somewhat obscures the glass. Nose has a bit of yeast, lightly sweet, musty would be a good description; the start is lightly sweet, fair malt presence with the top cadaverous. Finish is light in carbonation the hops light weight in their spiciness, aftertaste is desert bone dry with a bit of bitterness from the 7.5 percent ABV, can’t say it pleases me much, sampled it twice as I thought the first bottle bad, sure the hell different from most English Ales. (708 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 avalon07
4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, bright white, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Aroma of hops, fruit (citrus especially) and some malt. Very subtle, but nice.

T: Tasted of hops, though not overwhelmingly, citrus (grapefruit, I think), and malt in the finish. Very well rounded and surprisingly vibrant for an English IPA.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: Although I'm not the biggest fan of English IPAs, this one is excellent. Drinkable. (578 characters)

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