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Courage Directors Bitter - Wells & Young's Ltd

Not Rated.
Courage Directors BitterCourage Directors Bitter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

92 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.41%
Wants: 2
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 08-09-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 60
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of chinchill
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle with a BB date stamp of 14 Dec. 2015.

Poured deep red-amber with a decent sized head that displayed poor retention and only left a few spots of lacing.

Feel: near full bodied with medium carbonation.

Flavor: lightly hops such that the hops are obvious but the ale is just mildly bitter and about equally malty and hoppy.

O: amber ale meets ESB

Photo of rastaman
1.3/5  rDev -62.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Like the regular best, this is very bland. Smooth sweet palate, very, very simple and boring, i'm sorry, i really don't have much to say about this one, one dimentional, also had a slight off-fruit character.

Photo of JohnW
3.61/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I remember having this beer in local bars in my area of Birmingham UK in the 1970s when many pubs in the area were either Ansells or M&B owned, and were forced to swap some pubs for other brewers in the big shake up about Monopolies and drinkers not being given much choice of beer. I remember I was not much keen on it at first, having been on a diet of Ansells (ugh!!) and M&B bitter (how my tastes have changed since!!) though I grew to enjoy it over a few weeks. Having had it again recently, was surprised it seemed to have changed little from how I remember it, and for (as Mark says in here) a beer by one of the big bad boys of UK brewing, its not a bad drink, acceptable when no other decent beer or guest available. Reasonable balance between malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness, making it easy to drink and would make a good session beer, not being too strong. Certainly one to try if you have not had it before. Never had it from a can or bottle so cannot compare it to the cask version.

John W
Bham UK

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
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!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one of the first bitter that I drank. Pourred an amber brew with a nice foamy head on top of it. Taste is bitter (would have expected more bitterness) and a little bit fruity. No spice are overly detectable. Would be curious to try some more bitter. Would drink this again...

Photo of CRJMellor
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light toffee color with a small off-white head. Lots of spots of lace on the glass.
Aroma of toffee, slight se water smell and some nuttiness.
Flavor was very malt, both on start and finish.
Mouthfeel is sickly sweet on the front and finish. Hops are light and perfumy and didn't really cut the malty sweetness enough.
Drinkability is too sweet, just not that enjoyable. Little bit above average.

Photo of myszmen
4.4/5  rDev +26.8%
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

Photo of tatterdash
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Drank this pretty much at room temp in a mug. Pours a very nice mahogany with a slightly off white head. Smell was some fruit and roasted malt, with a taste to match. Nice lingering hoppy aftertaste, and a very thin mouthfeel that it common for the style. If I had to drink 3 of this as a muscle relaxant to survive transport to the Vogan ship, I'd make it 6 pints, and cry when I knew the world (and this bitter) was gone.

"Drink up Arthur, the world's about to end."

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.38/5  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.

Photo of PartyHatjo
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on cask at the Collingwood Arms in Jesmond.

Appearance: Pale amber color, some haziness. Creamy white head that laces quite well over the course of the session.

Aroma: Pungent earthy hop tones blend quite well with a pungent American hop character of grapefruit. Some toastiness comes through as well.

Taste: Initial flavor of American (Centennial or Cascade) blends to a more characteristic English hoppiness. Slight diacetyl yields some toffee hints to the malt character. Proper cellaring does this brew a world of good, bringing out some of the yeasty fruitiness as well.

Mouthfeel: Balance leans a bit more towards the bitter side, but still good.

Drinkability: Easy drinker, but the more harsh bitter character and higher abv make it less suitable for a true session.

Photo of joecast
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

my weakness for english bitters got the best of me when i saw this one. here goes.

very nice copper color. clear with low carbonation. thin lightly tanned creamy head leaves some nice lacing.

slight medicinal aroma is mostly what im getting. even letting this warm and giving it a swirl isnt getting much aroma out of it. a bit of malt sweetness, but uninspiring otherwise.

in spte of the mild aroma, the flavor comes through with what it needs. nice soft malt and hop presence which blend seamlessly. malt sweetness fills the palate and is washed away with a smooth bitterness. very nice and superbly balanced.

a very nice beer only let down by the awol aroma.

Photo of AylwinForbes
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Back in the day, I recall Courage having a brewery in or around Reading. Although mostly schlock (sp?) beer in the manner of Watneys and Ind Coope (cringe) the Directors was a serious draft beer.

Have to admit, although decent alcohol level, in the bottle form and in its current brewing, it does not excite. Fairly run-of-the-mill bitter with moderate head after pouring, some malty, hoppy components. It's not awful; but it's not really interesting either: plenty of others to choose from.

Photo of utfiero
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color- Light walnut brown. Medium head.

Aroma- mild hops, roasted barley malt, faint hint of raisins.

Taste- very nice balanced ale. Starts malt forward and mild like a gently toasted bread, then the middle fades with a hint of nuts and quickly finishes with a mild dry hoppiness. The back of the bottle proclaims: "Originally brewed exclusively for the directors of the brewery, this amber ale is full of character with a distinctive spicy hop aroma. The perfect balance of crystal malt with crisp, fruity, nutty hops and a lasting finish." From a hophead American perspective, I cannot agree with the bottle's statement; but I truly enjoyed this brew while on vacation in Scotland.

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a small drinking glass. Tasted on 6/1/2013 in Huntly, Scotland.

Photo of Shiloh
2.65/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I didn't much care for this brew and I find myself wondering why the term "bitter" is in the name.
Dark amber with a nice little glass ring and island lace.
Body is full and carbonation is light.
Aroma is mildly of molasses.
The taste starts moderately sweet and remains throught the finish then mildly lingers.

Photo of DaveHS
4.3/5  rDev +23.9%
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.

Photo of Mark
4.13/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer reluctantly on my most recent trip to London when what I really wanted was "tapped out" This ale surprised me a bit. Color was a deep copper with a nice head retention, lacing of my pint glass was copious. Aroma was a little weak and mostly of malt, taste was smooth and malty with subtle hopping. I didn't think it was too bad considering it comes from one of the villianous big boys of British brewing. Decently drinkable.

Photo of juju7
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Photo of GreenCard
3.05/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: ruby brown, great clarity, thinnish cap of creamy foam, OK head retention, lace

Aroma: dark caramel, malt, floral hops, peary fruitiness, fresh figs

Flavor: initial malty-meringuey sweetness dries out with a grassy hop flavor, finishes dryish with a malty/raisiny aftertaste threaded with a mild hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium body, fine carbonation, crisp texture

Other: It's OK, but it doesn't really merit the "cute" story on the label about how this was originally brewed only for the directors of the brewery and they were finally convinced to make it publicly available. I wouldn't miss it.

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a serious white head that stays, leaving sheets of lace. Medium carbonation. Nice clear amber color, nose is malty. Label has this as "a classic strong English ale AND the label does not have the word 'bitter' on it. The ABV is still 4.8%, if this is a bitter it is the maltiest, sweetest I have ever had but it does finish ever so slightly bitter. The cock is crowing on the label and brewery is in Staines, England - that's just west of London.

Photo of soju6
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of redgorillabreath
2.74/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I'm new to English bitters. So I'm probably expecting more than I should based on appearance. I was ready for more of a malty flavor than I got. From the tap in the UK.

Photo of dauss
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden amber color. Very clear with a light tan head on top. Plenty of hops.

Smell: Spicy hop aroma with a very rich toffee maltiness.

Taste: Spicy hope flavor with woody undertones. Thick and full bodied with a dextrinous mouthfeel. Strong assertive bitterness all over the tongue, but snaps to the back of the tongue to slowly fade away. Very light astringency in the finish.

Taste: The mouthfeel is really good on this beer, and the snappy bitterness is great.

Photo of bmacaskill
4.08/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Originally reserved for the directors of the brewery."

Hmm. You wonder why they'd hang on to something they could have so easily sold ;-)

Directors (and shouldn't that be Directors' [or Directors's]?) is nice and malty, with a note of pear and a surprisingly hoppy taste for a British bitter. It's much nice than Courage's Best Bitter and, in Canada, a steal at CDN$2.00/500ml.

Very much a sipping ale, Directors is a smooth end to a hectic day.

Photo of seanyfo
4/5  rDev +15.3%
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

Photo of shearer292
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
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. 

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Courage Directors Bitter from Wells & Young's Ltd
79 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.