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Courage Directors Bitter - Wells & Young's Ltd

Courage Directors Bitter
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77 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 77
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 14.33%

Brewed by:
Wells & Young's Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 08-09-2002)
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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 54 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SmashPants


3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: an embossed 500mL brown bottle with a stylish Brittish label. A good package.

Appearance: pours a clear, solid amber colour with plenty of fine carbonation visible. A burst of off-white head jumps up and settles to a creamy cap. Decent lacing.

Aroma: quite a pleasant nose, if a bit demure. Some sweet malts with some grass / floral hops backing up. Not strong enough for my likes.

Taste: pretty decent and full in flavour, but not all that much complexity. Still, a very nice sweet malt and grain with those hops backing off a bit. A good quaffer none the less.

Aftertaste: the sweet malts hang about for a time, but that's about it.

Mouth feel: a medium- to- full body, lovely and smooth too - almost creamy. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: one of the better English Bitters. I much prefer them full strength like this rather than the milds. A good dose of sweet malts and some floral hops make this an easy-drinking beer. The price is reasonable for an English Bitter too. Worth it.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 11:11:16 | More by SmashPants
Photo of charlatan

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.05/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours somewhere between copper and brick red coloured with a decent slightly off-white head. The nose is lemony with a hint of dried fruit: pleasant but not bold. This seems surprisingly malty for a bitter with a sweet start and then a biscuity taste to the fore. Any bitterness which follows is moderate. The hop impact is more metallic giving way to a slight herbal/mint aftertaste than bitter. The taste didn't quite pan out as I had imagined from the nose, yet pleasant but not bold certainly reflects my attitude towards this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2013 23:58:23 | More by charlatan
Photo of jonb5

United Kingdom (England)

3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Half litre bottle, poured into pint glass.

A: Bronze, clear, small tanned head, poor retention, some lacing.

S: Malt, yeast, fairly boozy.

T: Fruity, earthy, moderate bitterness, some fuggles, grassy finish.

M: Medium body, slightly on the heavy side, well carbonated which gave it a coarse edge.

O: Earth didn't move, a bit like a watered down uninteresting Dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2013 08:27:35 | More by jonb5
Photo of soju6


3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep amber color with a moderate head that fades to some lacing.

A: Aroma of roasted malt, some caramel with a bit of fruit and spice.

T: Taste is similar with roasted malt, some caramel sweetness bit of fruit and spice in the background. Has mild bitterness with a fairly dry finish with just a bit of lingering bitterness.

F: Medium body and smooth.

O: Decent ESB but rather mundane. A bit sweet for more than one.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 03:10:47 | More by soju6
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first time to try this beer in its bottled version now being produced by the Wells & Young’s in Bedford. Coming in a nicely curved brown bottle, BB 13/12/2013, served cool in straight imperial pint glass.

A: dark reddish amber to light copper in colour, coming with a thin layer of off-white frothy head to last on top of constant flows of mild carbonation.
S: applely and tea-leafy hoppiness laced with a light touch of citrusness, coupled with caramely and mildly buttery maltiness. A good swirl wakes up the soothing aroma of roast and nutty malts. Very pleasant overall.
T: light on the palate, the foretaste shows decent toasted crystal and bready malts balanced by a sound level of citric acidity and a wee touch of yeastiness; the aftertaste is full of aromatic nuttiness with a good amount of earthy bitterness to linger.
M&O: the mouthfeel is smooth enough given the non-intrusive carbonation, the body remains medium to light and overall it is an easy drinking, medium-quality Best Bitter with some good elements to offer.

Tasting Date: 06/11/05, BB date: 31/05/06.
A: a light copperish hue, with a strong ruby hint, the thick off-white head is fluffy and rocky, sustaining for a reasonable length.
S: refreshingly malty, caramel, and fruity, consisting of sweetened citrus zest and lively herbal hop aroma, slightly sharp and intense~~ after swirling, a deeper, flower-scented hop aroma comes through, providing a firm fruity hoppy and malty aroma, mixed of honey dew, lightly caramelised sugar, an intensifying flow of flower hops, faintly preserved figs, and an orange marmalade hint--all hide underneath and need to be awaken by serious swirling.
T: deliciously malty and lightly tartly-sweet fruity upfront, underlined by lots of tangy and sweet citrus-fruity hops while maintaining a feather light body~~ bitterness only gradually develops, full of tangy touch of fruit zests plus a tea-leafy tannic texture, lending a slightly clashing or stimulating mouthfeel to the moderately bitter and tart-fruity finish.
M&D: lively texture throughout, along with the flavour it’s a bit like gin&tonic!! A bit thin-bodied in the end, though. Overall a light-medium bodied bitter with good fruity elements to enjoy, this is an easy-to-drink session bitter, though not as mellow nor tasty as the cask-conditioned version when in good form.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 21:20:35 | More by wl0307
Photo of flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

500ml Bottle from Morrisons (£1.59):
Golden amber colour with a good-sized, bubbly head that is off-white in colour and holds pretty well for the first couple of minutes with only a slight reduction in size.

Fruity hops and a biscuit aroma along with some sweetness and a fair bit of spice, notably some light spice. It is definitely a hop filled beer with a lot more fruit than expected.

Spicy upfront with some fruity hops and a few malts with some caramel in there too. There is a syrup like sweetness and a fair amount of citrus in there too.

Medium with lively carbonation and quite a fruity and sweet feel to the beer.The beer has a slightly creamy body and is rounded off with dry, bitter finish.

Not what I was expecting from this one, it was a nice beer but it came across a lot lighter than I would have imagined. The beer was very lively and there was quite a sweet taste overall that I imagine would get quite sickening after a while but since I only had the one it wasn't a problem.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2013 23:39:09 | More by flyingpig
Photo of KStark

British Columbia (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This a beer I tried on cask several years ago when on vacation in London. It was in the majority of the pubs I visited but it was a beer I didn't care for and seemed inferior to the other real ales I tried.
So when it appeared at my local BCLB I was not in a hurry to try it but what the heck.

Appearance: It pours out a copper color with a white head about 1/2 an inch. I've heard they use artificial coloring but it doesn't say on the can.

Smell: The aroma is mostly malt. caramel , brown sugar, a note of hop but very little.

Mouth Feel: Medium carbonation

Taste : Very sweet , caramel predominates very little hop flavor

Overall: This is probably not the same beer as the cask version. Not a bad beer in the can it seems fresh and very drinkable but there is little complexity or hop character for a Bitter. It almost has the malt sweetness of a Brown Ale. In review the bittering hops are more predominate as the glass goes down. It''t not bad for the price but there are
a lot better English bitters around even in BC.

Serving type: can

01-21-2013 01:51:13 | More by KStark
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hand pulled pint in my nearest pub (Park Inn, Wellington, Shropshire) on 11th May 2012.

Amber body, clear and handsome looking: off-white head of foam sat on top.

When ever I’ve had this beer (many times over the years) it has never had a great aroma: no matter who was brewing it at the time. Malts foremost with hints of fruity hops is what I got this time, which is more or less what I remember from other tastings.

Malts lead the way in the taste too: with the hops and yeast coming along nicely in the background. Fruity biscuits; lightly baked with a finish of mildly bittering hops. Easy to drink and a standard ‘Best Bitter’; never been a favourite but nothing wrong with it.

Serving type: cask

08-15-2012 10:10:45 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of heygeebee


3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely golden copper. One finger cream head.

Aromas of ENGLAND! Malts and toffee dominate a moderate but well balanced nose.

Taste is a let-down after the nose. Dull malts dominate and the toffee/caramel notes of an English bitter don't quite get thru. Bitter aftertaste builds. On reading other reviews - Kudos to Dansmcd who picked a hint of clove - I concur - an odd find!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied - low carbonation.

Overall, not the best, and let's face it, it's a crowded market for bottled Bitter.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 07:29:04 | More by heygeebee
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well it is in a can which made is fairly fresh tasting which can be an issue for UK beers in BC. Cheap at $2.10 a tall can which makes it good value as it is a decent bitter that has a fairly thick mouthfeel and a caramel-like note in the taste. Not sure why they had to add sugar but it is a beer I will go back to as it has that English hop nose backed with a strong malt backbone.

Serving type: can

12-15-2011 05:44:10 | More by canucklehead
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light copper with a thin, slightly off-white head.

Syrup (I notice the ingredients list sugar), biscuits, bread. Mild hops. Really sweet smelling from the sugar.

Slightly sweet, syrupy biscuit malt taste. Lightly lemony hops. Fairly one dimensional, and a bit sweet. Not horrible, but certainly not great. One of the lesser bitters I have.

The sugar lends a thicker than expected body to this, and the carbonation is really mild. Drinkable - almost sessionable - but a bit heavy handed.

Serving type: can

11-30-2011 02:44:16 | More by BDTyre
Photo of dansmcd


3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - a murky red honey colour with disappointing head.

S - Maple syrup

T - Quite sweet, overripened peaches, honey, spicy cinnamon and a touch of clove.

M - A bit thin for my liking but a nice spicy hoppy bite to it.

O - Just past it best before date so was a cheapie I couldnt pass up. Wasnt a big fan at first but it grew on me as the glass emptied. I couldnt have more than two.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 04:08:54 | More by dansmcd
Photo of shearer292

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark red coloration, off White head, medium bubble carbonation, very clear and rich looking.

Smell - strong roasted smell, coffee, a little spice note, strong hop smell. Cinnamon notes.

Taste - slight sweetness, roasted coffee and very dark chocolate, burned toast on finish, aftertaste lingers for quite a while. 

Mouth feel - feels thick in the mouth , feels like its drying mouth out but not too much.

Overall - overall this is a rich hearty beer with spice and depth in flavour, not good to quench thirst but would be more of a cold winter drink. 

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2011 19:17:54 | More by shearer292
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

2.4/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from a grocery store in Warsaw. From notes.

A - Poured a light brown with no head and no lacing or carbonation. Bright.

S - Spicy hop. Hop fruitcake. Mild but nice. A little buttery too.

T - Blander than the aroma. Metallic. Feels like I'm licking a can. Some hop and butter but otherwise odd and unpleasant.

M - Mild carbonation and a light body.

O/D - Pour showing. Weak in most respects. Not interesting or overly tasty. I'll pass if this comes by again.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2011 02:12:19 | More by tbeckett
Photo of DaveHS


4.33/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at The Lamb (Young's Ale House) near Russell Square, London.

A-Amber with a short,sticky head. Leaves minimal soapy lacing.

S-Grassy, citric hops and pale, bready malts.

T/M-Hoppier than most I've had in this style. There's a distinct dryness that undercuts the bready malts. The finish is bready and refreshing.

D-This is what I think of when I crave a cask bitter.

Serving type: cask

01-11-2011 12:58:15 | More by DaveHS
Photo of Dentist666

Russian Federation

3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured clear dark copper beer with excellent off-white head, leaving some nice laces. Aroma isn't zesty, grassy hops and malt to be easily contradistinguished. Moderate malt body with plain bitter finish, I have felt elusive apricot (or peach) note right before hops. The beer is crisp, but faceless. I'm slightly disappointed

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 13:37:45 | More by Dentist666
Photo of myszmen


4.43/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My brother-in-low bought me a bottle in Liverpool.
Appereance: great color, typical. 3 min head only.
Smell: caramel, fruity
taste: good balanced, quite hoppy, really good
Mouthfeel: (lack of words, i'm working on it)
drinkability: my best beer in this week, i wish i had six-pack of these
Sorry for my English. This is my first review i hope it's not my last

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2010 21:33:56 | More by myszmen
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a slowly fading white head.
Nose shows a lot of sweet raisins, bready malt, toffee and subtle nutty notes, but unfortunately a metallic not is also just noticeable.
More sweet bready malt as a flaovur, along with figs and nutty notes. Then it all goes downhill with a boring, metallic bitterness that makes up the short-lived, faint finish.
Carbonation is high, the body seems watery!

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 05:25:47 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of stcules


3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber appearance, very clean. English foam.
Malty smell, with a good crystal, and a good hop, too. English hop, earthy, and lightly spiced.
Light citrus fruit.
Good malty taste, with again a good hop.
Session beer, in a beautiful english pub.
Good balance between crystal malt and hop.
Quait elight body, but not too much.
Malty and hoppy aftertaste, earthy, musky.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2010 16:45:09 | More by stcules
Photo of seanyfo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint served from cask into imperial pint glass at the Thunderton House pub in Elgin.

A- 2 finger dense creamy head with excellent retention and lacing. Body is dark copper with excellent clarity.

S- Slightly metallic, citric grapefruit hop notes come through as the beer warms slightly.

T- Taste is light toasted toffee. Hop bitterness comes through and domination definitely is slightly more to the hop bitterness and this and lingers well. As the beer warms and develops - this bitterness becomes more floral and grapefruit like.

M- Mouthfeel is low carbonation, medium body, creamy

D- Excellent session better with a solid flavour profile

Serving type: cask

08-02-2010 19:13:39 | More by seanyfo
Photo of thierrynantes


3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (50 cl.), tasted in 2010.

Appearance : amber colour, with beige foamy head.
Smell : fruity hop aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : hoppy, caramel and roasted flavours, with a good bitterness.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style English Bitter.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2010 17:32:12 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of Thehuntmaster

South Africa

3.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle 4.8%abv

Appearance: Lovely, rich amber with a good off white head. The head dissipated slowly leaving great lacing on the glass. Such a pity the colour is achieved with colourants.

Smell: A complex aroma, malty, floral hops, with hints of lemon zest, and very faint hint of honey or caramalised sugar.

Taste: First let me say this beer tastes stronger than it is, but who says that is a bad thing? The first taste I get is malt, followed by citrus/ fruity hints and rounding off with wonderful bitter hops that lasts a while after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Light body, smooth, not over carbonated.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, this would be one of my top choices to have a few pints of with friends at the pub...

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 19:33:51 | More by Thehuntmaster
Photo of crowncapcollect

United Kingdom (England)

3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a straight pint glass. It does look lovely, BUT it does have added artificial colour. Why? It does have a very nice aroma, good carbonation. Overall, quite chuggable.
I used to be very fond of this on draught when younger, imagining I would one day be a director myself. I did get to live that dream, but it turend into a nightmare. Beer is a more reliable friend.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2009 23:18:34 | More by crowncapcollect
Photo of juju7


4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vibrant bronze with a tight little head, some good lacing going on here. Spicy hop notes gel in with the honeyed malt. Delivers on the palate with some robust bitterness and a long nutty aftertaste. Very satisfying. Carbonation is perfect. Fills the mouth with plenty of flavour, wish I bought more than one.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2009 09:40:35 | More by juju7
Photo of fullsweep

United Kingdom (England)

4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

I've had this on cask, but strangely enough I enjoyed the bottle better. It was much crisper, and had a more distinctive taste and smell to it. Was it bad lines? I don't know. I'll definitely have to try it again on cask to make sure the bartender didn't serve me the wrong beer by accident.

Pours a reddish brown, 1.5-finger head of off-white foam. Dissipates quickly, minimal lacing.

Smells incredible. There's a certain sourness in the aroma that really caught me off-guard, but it a great way.

Tastes good too. The bitter dominates, but there's a subtle citrus fruit finish and it's really nice.

Carbonated mouthfeel that goes down smooth, yet with a bite--excellent!

High drinkability on this one!

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2009 21:19:01 | More by fullsweep
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Courage Directors Bitter from Wells & Young's Ltd
80 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.