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Fosters Special Bitter - Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.

Fosters Special BitterFosters Special Bitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

42 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 42
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 2.7
pDev: 24.07%

Brewed by:
Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jarmby1711 on 09-06-2005)
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 31 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of brewerburgundy


3.7/5  rDev +37%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

25.4oz can, Sam Adams glass, I was lax in checking this can's date, and therefore it looks like it was made in '05.

I was not shocked, but was surprised to see that this is just another American Adjunct Lager and not actually an ale at all. It is more of an amber, marzen, or Oktoberfest in color. The head was more ale than lager-like, with better retention that usual along with some nice lace and more depth of color that flat white.

The nose is lager-like. This is clean, with saltine, pils malt, and green leafy hop.

This is definitely more full flavored than any other macro lager I can recall. A tiny bit of caramel mixes with dry pils malt and leafy hop with a small bit of noble spice for a beer that is good for an adjunct lager.

The mouthfeel is average in its fizz and lighter heft, but isn't that what lighter lagers are supposed to be?

If I could find in every grocery store, I'd but this for parties and easy summer drinking sometimes.

Serving type: can

06-11-2010 05:06:51 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of prodgerm


3.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear light yellow with a head that fades. Good hop smell and hint of malt. You buy this beer for the refreshing strong hop taste. Think of it as a poor-man's IPA. Has a light body mouth feel and a good thirst quencher - another of my "Lawn mowing" beers. Not easy to find in Central PA. Since a good light lager is hard to home Brew this is one of the few adjunct beers I drink.

Serving type: can

03-01-2009 19:58:54 | More by prodgerm
Photo of Spikester


2.95/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 24 ounce "oil can". Label says brewed in Ft. Worth, Texas or Athens, Georgia. Also states "Ale with caramel color added."
Pours amber with a one finger white head. Some lacings too.
Smell is slightly corny, some malts. Taste is similar to one of the better macro malt liquors with some added bitterness (hops?)
Mouthfeel was alright, a bit too much carbonation. For an American adjunct lager it is better than average.

Serving type: can

01-24-2009 08:11:00 | More by Spikester
Photo of generallee

New York

2.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: It was poured from a big 25.4oz or 750ml "Oil Can" into an Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: It has a very clear and bright golden color with a tall foamy head. The head slowly fades down to a very thin layer that just hangs on until the last sip and makes only some spotty and slick lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is semi-sweet and grainy with a slightly floral hops in the background.

Taste/Mouth feel: Its flavor has a somewhat sweet with husky and grainy alcoholic malt and very mild hops that add more bitterness than flavor. Its finish is quick and grainy The texture is slightly thick and smooth with average carbonation and a medium body.

Notes: Overall it was very simple and loaded with cheap adjunct flavor.

Serving type: can

12-17-2008 22:40:14 | More by generallee
Photo of changeup45


3.2/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Here's a case where I think the overall appearance of the beer made it a little more enjoyable to drink. A nice copper color and with the jumbo can, pouring a very thick head. I had to wait a little while for it to settle down. Much smoother and better than I had expected. Not really all that bitter, but there is a bitter, malty mix that's pretty good, just not that overpowering.

Serving type: nitro-can

08-24-2008 19:51:18 | More by changeup45
Photo of youngleo


2.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured to a good head that lasted for the whole glass. (16 oz.) Also had some decent lacing. Was brownish gold in color. Head was slightly off white. Smelled of corn, a hint of alcohol, and a little skunky. Had a bitter aftertaste that lasted a little while. I had two of the oil cans, one was drank from the can, the other one poured in the glass. I have to admit, releasing the carbontation in the glass actually helped bring out some flavor. Felt ok in the mouth. Carbonation was about right. Felt on the light side in the mouth. I think this would be a ok beer to have on occasion, but certainly not a session beer. Im not a fan of the big mouth cans. Seems like the cans are always dripping when pouring in the glass.

Serving type: can

08-02-2008 17:38:46 | More by youngleo
Photo of Auroraboy


2.1/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Picked up a few of these "oil cans" at a local liquor mart. This is the only place I've seen them.

I like the regular Fosters occasionally, and have fond memories of it from various parties and times in life. Poured into a pint glass from the freezer, it had a sizeable head, which quickly calmed down to almost nothing. After looking at the color, noticed that the can said "caramel coloring added," so nothing real to go by there. I liked this, I guess, but the drinkablility was hampered by a fakey sort of bitterness that didn't hold a candle to the Fuller's and Young's of the world. Kind of caught in my throat.

I wouldn't get this again. I pick up the regular if it's on special, but for a real bitter, this ain't it.

Serving type: can

07-05-2008 23:33:38 | More by Auroraboy
Photo of gpogo


2.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark goldish brown with sparse thin white head that quickly dissipates.

A- Not much in the aroma department, kindof an old vegetables smell. Whatever it is "not pleasant" can easily describe it. Though I found the aroma hard to find unless smelling right after puring when it still has a head.

T- Taste was much better than the aroma. More of a malty sweetness than most "american macros" though. Very slight bitteness, not very pleasant like ESBs though.

M- Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

D- I've had several military friends rave about this beer calling it VB, if you are into VB you will love this. I probably won't buy any more of this. The price is right, but the taste makes me feel gross inside.

Serving type: can

06-24-2008 01:31:18 | More by gpogo
Photo of junkman203


1.93/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This ale came in a large 25.4oz can, like regular Fosters. Appearence is a dark gold/brown, with a thick head. I thought it smelled bad until after I started drinking it, then it did not bother me as much. Taste is o.k., a little bitter (thus the name, I imagine) and weak. Mouthfeel is thin and kind of watery for an ale of this color, and you can hardly tell it's carbonated. It has a strange, sour aftertaste. Overall, not worth the money.

Serving type: can

04-19-2008 00:20:02 | More by junkman203
Photo of theragu40


1.38/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Regular Foster's is by no means my favorite beer, but I'll drink it if it's a choice between that and a standard macrobrew like Miller Lite or Bud Lite. That being the case, I was kind of excited to give this a try. I've often found that the lesser known brews from larger brewers are a little better quality and decided to pick a can of this up to try.

Wrong choice.

Upon opening the can, the first thing I noticed was the terrible smell. I knew it was going to be awful the second the seal broke. My fears were confirmed on the first sip. It's bitter (not in a good way), strong smelling (not in a good way), feels gunky and slimey in your mouth, and is an all around unpleasant experience. Admittedly I didn't bother to pour it from the can into a glass in order to improve the experience, but I really don't think that would have helped much.

If you are stuck drinking this for some reason (I pity you!), drink it with a block of sharp cheddar cheese. That by no means made it good - but it made it drinkable. On its own, this is an awful, skunky, nigh undrinkable brew. Avoid.

Serving type: can

03-13-2008 17:47:56 | More by theragu40
Photo of SetarconeX


1.98/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Normal Fosters is actually one of my favorite macro-lagers. I'm actually looking a bit forward to trying this one.

Looks an awful lot like normal Fosters, honestly. Dark side of golden in color. Bubbles on top have a shiny, syrupy look to them. Smells...

Oh God it smells. Rotting corn husk, mildew...this is bad.

Taste? It doesn't. There's no taste at all here. Slightly acidic water with a hint of grain on the aftertaste. Considering the smell, this is a blessing.

This is a straight up terrible beer. Try to avoid drinking it.

Serving type: can

02-23-2008 22:31:22 | More by SetarconeX
Photo of JDV


1.73/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a fancy glass and everything, trying to give it the benefit of the doubt, on my 1st try ever of a Fosters. It didn't help. Light yellow with a nice head on it, but this thing tasted more like the can it came in than the beer it was supposed to be. Very light, watery flavor on par with many light beers, and more metal in this than Ozzfest. Very strong foil smell and watery metal flavor didn't do it for me. This is one to drink from the can to cut down on how much you can actually smell and taste it. Pretty crappy.

Serving type: can

02-22-2008 05:18:37 | More by JDV
Photo of Cyberkedi


2.48/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma is rather typical of a lager, with a strong tang and not much else. It pours a nice dark amber with a fairly thick head, much thicker and more persistent than other beers of this type. Flavor is rather typical, but has a little more malty depth than I expected, and the hop bitterness is not overwhelming. An OK beer, but better than I expected.

Serving type: can

01-27-2008 05:05:20 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of stephendr


2/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

25.4 oz. aluminum oil can - color of dark amber, with a thick white colored head - nose of nothing it was watery, and very faint – taste of water, metallic, sour , and bitter- body is light, and with medium carbonation – aftertaste of metallic, and bitterness

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2008 05:02:35 | More by stephendr
Photo of AndoBrew


2.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

*did not like would not buy*

app: irish whiskey w/ no head

smell: bad baseball game with some skunks

taste: bland normal beer with cheap beer booze aftertaste, and some poor malts

mf: fine

drinkable?: smooth the crap at the end and it would get a 3

Serving type: can

10-04-2007 01:32:27 | More by AndoBrew
Photo of montageman


1.73/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass.

I've seen Fosters in the blue can many times, but had never seen this one. It caught my eye, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Overall, this is an underwhelming beer. I wasn't aware that the ABV was only 2.5%. The appearance is the best part - deep amber with a nice thick head that leaves lots of lacing. The taste is very watery with a slightly off bitter taste that borders on rancid. Mouthfeel follows with a thin and nearly non carbonated texture. If you wanted to, this would be a heavy drinking beer due to the low ABV, but if you're looking for something memorable, look elsewhere. Not recommended.

Serving type: can

09-20-2007 23:37:27 | More by montageman
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

2.17/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

25.4 oz 'oil' can

A - nice clear amber color with a tall tan head that has staying power and leaves lots of lace.

S - sour mash/malt aroma

T - nothing special, sour/bitter malt taste

M - very light body, thin, watery mouthfeel

D - drinkability is rated low because of taste/mouthfeel. The low abv helps the drinkability slightly (you can drink this all night and still pass a breathalizer in most states), but taste/mouthfeel is a big factor.

Serving type: can

05-20-2007 03:44:47 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of Bookseeb


2.68/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewed in Canada this beer has a light amber color with a thick head that sticks around. Smell of light malts, sweet. Taste is not much different thats crisp with a light mouthfeel. So what is it? The can says ale and the BA style says American macro lager, I tend to believe the latter, but whatever it is, it's a simple beer for those summer months.

Serving type: can

04-24-2007 03:41:29 | More by Bookseeb
Photo of BeerSox


2.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

25oz can into pint glass.

Standard clear amber hue with an off white thick frothy head that lasts a long time.

Toasty malts are the biggest part of the aroma, which give off a slightly metallic characteristic. Strong butterscotch from the diacetyl. Very little hop aroma.

Bread-like malt flavor with a touch of butter. There is some bitterness, but it seems more like an off-flavor rather than bitterness from the hops. Light bodied with good carbonation. The finish is mostly the grain with some lingering bitterness.

This one is a good session beer because of its low alcohol by volume. However, I found the taste of this one to be a little sub-par.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2007 01:54:16 | More by BeerSox
Photo of yeastpuppet

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium amber in the pint with a coarse , billowy head that drops quickly to patches of rocky foam.

Slight fruit in the nose with a suggestion of hops and slight malt .

Seems to taste more like a lager than an ale .Very clean , yet a lack of character detracts from the enjoyment / what I expect from a special bitter .
Bitterness is there and gone leaving an exceptionally clean finish .

Light body , carbonation is slightly on the high side .

Good summertime beer . Beats up the macro lagers .
The packaging (25 oz can ) will reduce the trips to the cooler .
Time to get a bigger drink holder for the rider mower .
An altogether pleasant beer . I'll buy it for playing horseshoes this summer . Good counterweight .

Serving type: can

02-24-2007 20:30:11 | More by yeastpuppet
Photo of shadow1961


2.17/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Foster's Special Bitter pours out a thick, rocky
head over a clear orange brew. Carbonation
is pretty active, and the nose is a little sour and
oily. Flavor is bland- a trace of grain is there and
not much of a hop presence either. There's not much
there there. There wouldn't be much of a there there
even if this was a lager- yet this is an ale. It says so
right there on the can. I dunno. This is certainly drinkable-
I mean in the sense that there is a volume of liquid that
can be physically swallowed, but it's not very good. An
old man beer for sure, yet foreign and expensive!

Serving type: can

02-06-2007 08:10:10 | More by shadow1961
Photo of ewurm


3.9/5  rDev +44.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a golden/rediish color, with a nice foamy head. I didn't find it bitter at all. The smell was somewhat unremarkable, but not offputting in any way. It had a great, smooth taste with good drinkability. I recommend it to fans of Killians Irish Red.

Serving type: can

01-14-2007 04:45:58 | More by ewurm
Photo of zjungleist


3.48/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium amber color with a fair head. Smells like a simple beer, grainy mainly. Tatse was nothing special, bitter grain and hop flavors mostly, but not overly bitter by any stretch of the imagination. There was a bit of a canned corn taste, but it was really mild in the aftertaste, not in an overpowering or unpleasant way. Mouthfeel was a light medium, good carbonation. Overall, very drinkable, fairly enjoyable. Better than the standard Fosters, in my opinion.

Serving type: can

11-15-2006 04:10:05 | More by zjungleist
Photo of RoundelMike


3.28/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After purchasing and enjoying a Foster's Lager during a recent dinner I decided to try Foster's Special Bitter on a whim. I was not disappointed.

The appearance, in my opionion, is truly gorgeous. This beer pours a deep, full reddish color and the head sticks around for a while. I was immediately interested. The taste was reminiscent of a standard pale ale, as was the bitterness. While the beer is marketed as "bitter" I didn't notice any extra abnormal amount of bitter taste. The flavors were well balanced, however, and together the flavors create a very drinkable and enjoyable beer.

While I can't say that anything was particularly outstanding about this beer besides the color, I can very confidently recommend it to any beer drinker as a fine choice.

Serving type: can

10-10-2006 06:04:11 | More by RoundelMike
Photo of HoustonTX


2.95/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper in color, pours a decent head, lots of carbonation, small traces of lacing. Head maintains well.

S - Malt and grain.

T - Taste is of roasted grain, malt, and very small traces of hops.

M - A bit too carbonated.

D - You could down these on a warm day, no problem.

After hearing so much negativity about Fosters, I expected much worse. This is not the best brew in the world, but in no way is it undrinkable.
Kind of reminds me of a Fat Tire. Decent brew, especially for the price.

Serving type: can

06-19-2006 22:42:54 | More by HoustonTX
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Fosters Special Bitter from Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
67 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.