Minnesota Special Bitter - Badger Hill Brewing Company
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Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
3.68/5 rDev +1.9%
Had a pint at Republic at Seven Corners. Appeared a clear orange-red with a thick off-white head. Interesting beer, it's got a very nutty—like walnut and almond—malt character with a sweet, candy yeast character from what I assume is an English ESB yeast strain. While the beer itself isn't thick or feel sweet, that candied herb taste probably isn't for everyone, but I was glad to raise a pint.
11-21-2012 22:51:38 | More by tempest
3.15/5 rDev -12.7%
12 oz. single picked up recently.
Pour is polished oak, on the light side, no knots, no haze, clean. Nose is a bit weak & as such my attention wanders. It might be a bit nutty, bready, bitter, or something else. All those things come in & out of the light, but it's the hop bitterness that is the mainstay.
Minnesota Special Bitter need some Mr. Clean applied. Just like my sample at the brewery, there's a rasped edge of moist dankness to this, an underlying dead-leaf note that corrupts the rest of the taste. Nice hop kick, floral & bitter, baked bread, acorns. But that undercurrent really hurts the taste & how much of it I want to drink. Not only that, it's becoming more pronounced as the beer warms.
Without the spring leaf pile, this would be a winner. As is, decent enough. I'd love Badger Hill to get this one right, because an excellent local ESB would be marvelous, but this one still needs a Brillo pad taken to it. Too dirty.
12-01-2012 01:43:49 | More by maximum12
3.05/5 rDev -15.5%
Pours an attractive pale copper color (darker than amber) with just over a finger of head that had good retention. The head settles to a thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left down the glass.
When I think ESB, this beer will not come to mind. Weird aroma. Floral but it smells almost like a cleaning agent. Anticeptic. Really have to dig to pick up the malty notes. When I do that is what saves the aroma. The malt gives some caramel, bready, and nutty notes.
Seems way hop dominate for and ESB. Drinks more like an IPA. Not well balanced despite the label claims. Quite bitter. Not a fan of the hops used here or in the execution. Get more of this anticeptic/band-aid taste and not enough of the malt. Too bad because what malt flavor I get, is very good and reminds me of British beer.
Carbonation is too low. The body feels deep enough but just undercarbonated.
My first experience with Badger Hill and I was letdown. I would try this beer on-tap sometime and I will try other styles of their beer as it becomes available, but like their brewing partners Lucid, they are on probation with me.
10-20-2012 20:19:33 | More by morimech
3.78/5 rDev +4.7%
On tap at The Valley Tap House.
Served in a pint glass. Light coppery brown color with just a trace of foam on top. No lacing really.
Earthy, grassy hops with a nutty malt scent.
The flavor is very approachable. Nutty, bready malt flavor with more of the hops coming in to play. Grassy and earthy with a noticeable bite.
Smooth and nearly crisp feeling with a light-medium body.
Overall, a very drinkable beer that has some nice flavor to it, but nothing that will knock your socks off. Fits the style profile pretty well.
08-22-2012 22:16:35 | More by jera1350
2.88/5 rDev -20.2%
Start isn't so good. I'm catching a strong vegetable quality, especially right away. It seems to diminish in time and move towards a not unpleasant crisp malt character and a very faded hop.
Couldn't pour the whole bottle into a shaker glass as the head was too big. Very clear body and a nice amber color.
Interesting hop malt mix that resembles nicely an ESB. I do catch the vegetable in the taste. Subtle, but definitely there. Nice hop flavor towards the finish and stretches into a long and good bitter finish.
Soft carbonation and moderately light feel.
I've had all three beers now from Badger Hill. Seems like a work in progress. This one isn't quite there yet, but there are qualities I like. I wish them well.
01-06-2013 22:13:28 | More by garymuchow
3.48/5 rDev -3.6%
Another newish Minnesota brewery I've been wanting to try. Tasted 23 November 2012, reviewed from notes.
Pours a medium amber, almost clear but hazy enough that I can't quite see through it. One finger of yellowish off-white head, good retention, and really nice lacing. Good-looking beer.
Smell is malty, complemented by a vegetable hop crispness. Lightly toasty, with an herbal overtone. Has a soft, lightly bitter sense that's almost chemical.
Taste is clean, malty, and mildly bitter. Nothing jumps out at me; has that same herbal sense, which, combined with the bitter, gives it the air of a bitter herbal liqueur. Not bad.
Mouthfeel is interesting - quite slick, almost oily, which feels like it's lifting off my tongue. Medium-low carbonation, and could use some more.
A decent beer, just what I'd expect for the style, but nothing more. Toasty malts, mild bitterness. Most notable characteristic is the herbs, almost like a bitter liqueur.
12-01-2012 07:00:50 | More by zeledonia
3.53/5 rDev -2.2%
Appearance: Deep amber, good head.
Smell: Yeasty, belgian style.
Taste: Dry, Belgian-IPA like. Black pepper. Mild fruitiness. Dry, citrus astringency.
Overall: Seems more like a Belgian IPA than an ESB to me. Yeast notes definitely remind me more of Belgian beers than English. It does give a shot of good bitterness, and some different flavors to make it stand out from the crowd. Worth a try.
10-28-2012 23:16:56 | More by Mdog
3.98/5 rDev +10.2%
Minnesotaryan sent this bad bay as an extra, and for that I thank him!
a: crystal clear dark amber body. finger and a half of thick creamy dirty white head slowly settles to a quarter inch cap that stays till the end. Plenty of spotty lacing is left behind.
s: bread, spice, floral notes, a touch of bananna and some earth tones.
t: has a wow factor to it. big bready body with touches of spice and flowers, guessing that's from the hops. Slight citrus twang on the finish.
m: real creamy, medium body, excellent carbonation and a bone dry finish.
o: really, really like this take on a ESB. Easy to drink and great to look at.
10-14-2012 21:46:21 | More by match1112
3.84/5 rDev +6.4%
12oz bottle with no date, into hourglass glass. there is a code on the back.
very foamy, semi hazy, medum amber tone. smell is very faint wheat. taste is bitter, leafy, off hop notes that remind me of homebrew. some sweet malt, but mostly malty in feel. waaay, way too much carbonation.
reminds me of home brew in a appearance and taste. still, tasty stuff and cheap.
05-04-2013 04:44:40 | More by jimmah120
3.7/5 rDev +2.5%
The beer had a nice yellow/golden colour, which had a nice haziness to it. The head was minimal and average. The smell had a little more hop-nose to it than I expected from an ESB. There were also notes of citrus, nuttiness, and yeast. The taste was not as bitter as expected and much more balanced. There was more of a hop taste than expected, but not intense at all. The yeast taste that comes with bitter beers was not over-the-top either. It was surprisingly balanced and not as strong as expected.
Would I get it again? Yes.
11-30-2012 06:06:06 | More by NilocRellim
Minnesota Special Bitter from Badger Hill Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.