Chester County Bitter - Sly Fox Brewing Company

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Chester County Bitter
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BA SCORE
85
very good

19 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 19
Hads: 69
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 7.09%
Wants: 0
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: corby112 on 10-14-2009

This traditional British Ale is authentic cask conditioned beer with a smooth malt profile balance by a subtle hop presence. Dry-hopping in the cask produces an enticing hop aroma in this quaffable session ale.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 19 | Hads: 69
Photo of philbe311
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On hand pump at Al's of Hampden...

A - One fingers worth of slightly off-white batter-like head with minmal retention... A rich caramel color... Still with limited carbonation... Leaves rings upon rings of lacing on the glass that stay throughout...

S - Loaded with bready malts... Caramel... Toffee... Some euro hoppiness... Textbook, but subdued for the style...

T - Wonderful assertive mix of malt and hops... The bready malts and caramel are at the forefront as expected, but there is a not so subtle hop kick on the finish that lingers slightly...

M - Light to medium bodied... Slightly creamy... Slightly thin... Goes down very easy, but seems mildly inconsistent from sip to tip...

D - Drinability is off the charts... A great tasting ESB that is sub 5% ABV... I could drink this all night long... (810 characters)

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Firkin at the Grey Lodge Public House in Philadelphia for Friday the Firkinteenth, 13 August 2010.

A. Pours amber with a thin head.

S. Peppery hops and caramel on the nose.

T. Bitter upfront with light malt.

M. Thin to medium body with low level of carbonation (firkin).

D. This is a good easy drinker that won't challenge your taste buds. Good preparation for my most anticipated firkin beer of the night: DFH's 75 min. (425 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a glass on cask at Tap and Table. I always like a good bitter, but the red color is a little dark for a bitter. The flavor is dominated by crystal malts (there's the color). Really, the beer just tasted like a lighter amber/red ale on cask. That's not all bad, there was a please citrus hop note in addition to the caramelized malt, but I'd hope for more depth. (365 characters)

Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler into a tulip pint.

Looks great--pitch perfect apple cider color. On the darker end of the range for the style, which is fine by me. Small ring of salmon roe popped up and popped out.

Smells pretty, too--stiff green apples, some minty notes, faint faint earthiness. Smells restrained and refined.

Taste proves the nose is false advertising. This is neither restrained or refined, and doesn't coax nearly enough out of the malt for my taste. There's a rough, unbalanced feel to the flavor profile, no doubt as a result of what seems like a heavy-handed hopping. The finish is just plain astringent, which I thought was because it was too cold, even though I didn't even refrigerate the growler. So I held it in my hands--I cradled this tender pint--but, sadly, it just became warmly astringent.

Mouthfeel, again, suffers from that astringency. Never quites attains that creamy buttery blanket for the juicy biscuit middle heaven that I like in bitters. Oh well.

It's ok for an American version of the style. But American craft brewers are showing they don't do subtlety real well. Right now the English are kicking our asses in the bitter category. (1,174 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cask at Cole's cask festival. A fine bitter although a sour finish. Pros were the understated bitterness, and full mouthfeel. A faint Caesar crown an apple juice colour. Is it infection? Sourness does spoil getting it spot in, still a drinkable one. (249 characters)

Photo of TeddyBrew
4.57/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I tried this on cask at Biercraft in Brooklyn. They had three fine beers on cask that evening, but this is the one I chose to take home in a growler. This beer was true to the style as an English Bitter, which can be hard to find here.

It was subtley hopped and that refreshing, almost watery, follow through that is distinctive of a fine bitter. There was plenty of nice malt and hop flavor, and a pleasing "bouquet" throughout, but all around it had an air of understatement.

Went you want a big IPA or a hoppy Pale Ale, they can be found, and that's great. However, IMHO the more brewers can produce beers in this style, the better!

I will definitely look for more from Sly Fox. (685 characters)

Photo of thatguy314
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dull copper color, slightly hazy at room temp, perhaps from dry hopping

Aroma: earthy, spicy hops dominates, some caramel malt. Peach and pear esters. Would like more malt to hop balance for style (hoppy for english style) but quite pleasant

Flavor: raisiny caramel malt and biscuit, typical for style. Resiny hop character from dry hop again a little out of style. Ditracs from rich maltiness. Would have preferred more end of boil hop addition as would have been less resiny.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, finishes dry. Rich cask mouthfeerl. Is there any other (good) way to drink a bitter?

Overall: one of the best american bitters I've had, but a little too much hop, particularly dry hopping. Turns a fabulous beer into a good beer by throwing balance off a bit. That said, darn tasty. (802 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the Brazen Head, Brooklyn.

Poured a medium copper hue with a wisp of a head.

The smell featured a lemony hop and a light malt.

The taste consisted of a smooth pale malt, a touch of crystal and a balancing dry herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty and easily sessionable ale. (324 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark hazy golden yellow with some ripe banana hues and a bit of lighter golden yellow color when held to a light source. Frothy, soapy white head with excellent retention, only slowly fading to a thick lasting cap that leaves sporadic spots of lacing in it's path.

Sweet light malt aroma with some subtle spice and light floral hops.

Clean, crisp and extremely smooth creamy body. Very drinkable with light sweet English malts, subtle spiciness and a very crisp clean floral hop flavor. The alcohol is very well balanced, considering this beer is 7% which is very high for a traditional English real ale. The fact that this beer is that high in ABV disqualifies it as a session beer but it drinks like one and is a very complex with a lot of full flavors. The hops really come through in the finish, but not in an overpowering or bitter fashion. This beer is very well balanced and an excellent American interpretation of the classic British style. I will be drinking a lot more of it soon. (1,005 characters)

Chester County Bitter from Sly Fox Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.