Young's Bitter - Wells & Young's Ltd

Not Rated.
Young's BitterYoung's Bitter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

105 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 14.92%
Wants: 26
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wells & Young's Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: swizzlenuts on 04-16-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (46) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 48
Reviews by endovelico:
Photo of endovelico
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Young's number one seller is as classically made as you'll ever experience, atleast where it concerns Bitters.

It evocatively tastes and feels fresh and mineraly, claiming drinkability and balance from the very beginning; Yet, it almost feels like this character can be easily overlooked if one is to - for one reason or another - dispense insufficient attention to it. This grants this beer immense versatility, as it does not challenge for constant pontification but rather leaves the burden of choice to the drinker, to make this brew as complex as he / she desires.

If you're so inclined you'll delight in the balance of the honey sickle and toffee aromatics and the traditional buttery and sulphury back notes; Or at the very elegant and bittersweet, flinty finish.

This is just one of the beers that is perfect to have at the pub with the mates as it doesn't ask for too much attention and slakes the thirst just fine without boring the palate or mind.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.77/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my all time favourite ordinary bitter, such a small beer with big complexities. So drinkable to the point of going down like water, malt is a bit thin but that is they way the style is. Malt was faintly doughy from hints of yeast and lightly kilned grain. Great subtle hopping with a balance of bitterness and flavour. A faint haze lingered but the lace sat well and seems to stick here and there.

Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at a Young's pub in Camden Town, London. Had a half pint and it appeared a clear amber-orange. This was just a nice, classic English bitter with lots of dry pale malt flavor. The aroma takes a fruitier malt aroma. Overall, this bitter cleaner is on the cleaner side of the style, but worth trying.

Photo of charlesw
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a pint in the Red Lion public house (somewhere in England). Hand pumped -> no head and hardly any carbonation to speak of, close enough to room temperature. Pours a dark (brownish) apricot.
Smell: very very light fruity hop smell.
Taste: ah, well, hmm. I suppose that English bitters can be just about anything, can't they? I was surprised to find this one quite fruity and yet very well rounded and not overpowering at all. The aftertaste remains true enough to the original flavor - very light malts with just a touch of citrus.
Drinkability: ah, again. They can call it what they will - for ME this would be a perfect ale for the warmer days of summer if it were chilled just a wee bit more and with a wee bit more carbonation. Perhaps they also sell it in bottles? Anyway, as it was a rather warm summer day out, this beer was quite refreshing in!

Photo of BlackHaddock
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This could be the last, or one of the last reviews of a Wandsworth brewed Young's beer. How fitting then, that the drink by date on the bottle is Saint George's Day next year. Stranger even still, I met my wife on the 23rd April, way back in 1976, we are still together, and she cleans my pants, now that is true love!

Anyway, back to the beer.

Light amber with an off white foaming head which didn't stay long. That might be because I reviewed it while eating Red Leicester cheese, sweet pickle and Hula Hoops.

The aroma was sweetish, with a nutty wiff to it.

Thie beer is a well balanced blend of hoppyness and a dry thirstquenching bitter flavour, to produce a fine English Bitter. I just hope it doesn't change to much once it is brewed in Bedford.

Photo of goatherder
4.57/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Golden in colour with a slight haze and a decent sized tight foam. The aroma is a pleasant balance of sweet toffee malt, fruity esters and subtle hops. The taste is sweet up front with a rich toffee malt profile going right through into the finish. There is a firm hop flavour supporting the sweet malt, the bitterness being superbly balanced. The mouthfeel is full yet not cloying, making this an exceptional session ale. This is a wonderful beer, a great example of what can be done with a low alcohol beer.

Photo of joecast
2.25/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

light copper/golden color. a bit lighter than i expected. stable thin foamy head, just off white. medium carbonation.

interesting smell. lightly woody, leather, sap. fresh wood shavings. yeah, not sure where this is coming from. after shave. quite aromatic, but not like a beer i thought it would be.

umm, this is not right. strange overbearing wood/leather flavor. what i imagine a shoe would taste like. not a cheap shoe though. one of those expensive italian leather shoes. not that i would want to eat one though.

nearly didnt review this. its well with the bottle date, but i just dont think this beer travels well. check out the other bottle reviews from australia and they are all well below the average. its probably great from the cask, but avoid the bottle.

Photo of Dithyramb
3.26/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at Hogshead in Weybridge, Surrey. Found on cask at every bar in Weybridge that had cask beers.
Poured a dark golden copper with light fluffy white head. Very nice lacing.
Very faint floral hops and light malt undertone on the nose
Lightly bitter brew, very faint and nonaggressive floral hops on the initial flavor, with some light almost caramel like malts rounding it out
Medium, creamy mouthfeel that finished clean
Overall, subtle and nice, but didn't knock my socks off.

Photo of gentlebubbles
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


A clear, amber brew, served with no head.

(I thought I got a whiff of sulfur, but that could have been my imagination after the Bank Top stuff.)

Mellow malt, with a sparkling mouthfeel. Dry finish with a bit of metal in it. Decent, if unremarkable.

Photo of Mark
5/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First let me say you have to go to the U.K. to have this. It is cask conditioned and absolute heaven to drink. I have never had a more drinkable ale. The taste is a unique malty almost biscuit like flavor. There is a distinct but mellow hop twang that perfectly balances this fine beer. I made my second pilgrimage to the Young's brewery tasting pub just last week. The first thing I do is get on my knees and thank god I'm there. Then they "pull" me a pint of the nectar of the gods. If I had access to this here at home I WOULD develop a serious problem. The King! As an addition I would like to add, the aroma is incredibly earthy and exudes health, flowery hops abound and lean towards lemony. The most drinkable ale on earth!!

Photo of juju7
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange haze with an ample head, looks very inviting. Not a hell of a lot happenning nose -wise. A bit of malty action with some hop presence but it all comes together on the palate. Nice warming malt with beautiful lingering bitterness that you just don't see often enough in other beers purporting to be bitter. Very nice aftertaste, only had one bottle unfortunately. Went down a treat with devilled steak burger my missus made. Yummo.

Photo of GreenCard
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: amber, great clarity, lots of bubbles, big sudsy layer of off-white foam (on a relatively hard pour), good head retention, lace

Aroma: caramelly malt, woodsy hops, strawberries

Flavor: mildly sweet malt base with a slight acidic edge, iron, artichoke hop flavor, slight peachy frutiness, finishes pretty dry with a neutral aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, fine carbonation, a bit minerally

Other comments: A good, standard bitter. As with most British beer, much better on cask, of course.

Photo of Seumas
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Having had this once wonderful ale on each of my three trips to England ('91, '01, '03), I have noticed a shift in balance of this session bitter from the hop to the malt. My first experience of the ale was at the Lamb on Lamb's Conduit Street in the City.

There was a glorious light citrus flavour (edging toward grapefruit) to Ordinary that made it eminently suppable. My second experience of Ordinary came in 2001 at the Brewery Tap in Wandsworth - a nightmare. The beer was heavily oxidized, thin and unrecognizeable as the ale I had so loved ten years earlier.

It was only my experience of the ale a week later at a free house in Canterbury (The Phoenix) that restored my faith in Youngs. While its taste profile had shifted to a more malty one, its old citrus taste was still hanging on.

During my most recent trip to England in February, I discovered that the taste profile of Ordinary had continued its shift to the malt. The predominant flavour of my most-recent pints has been a slight honeyed malt.

It's still quite drinkable, but not what it once was.

Photo of atis
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear amber with rocky head that fades almost immediately. Aroma is malt with citrus, mostly orange. It is subtle and compelling.

Taste is delicate light malt body balanced with floral hops, semi-dry finish and faint hops in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light with moderate-high carbonation.

One of the most drinkable beers I have had lately, I am sure I will make some effort to find the version in the cask.

Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a bottle I purchased in Molloy's off-licence, Dublin costing €2.99 for the 500ml.

Poured into a pint glass; a pale golden/copper coloured brew with bubbles rising and a nice lasting off-white head.
Not a whole lot of aroma here; I was a bit surprised at how subdued it was.

Taste was solid; nothing spectacular but a nice balanced bitter.

Overall a nice refreshing session ale; tasted more like a Summer ale.

Photo of seanyfo
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint served in an imperial pint glass in a Young's pub off Fleet Street in London, i cant remember the name.

A- Copper bronze colouring with a rocky 2 finger head. Leaves a crown, moderate lacing. Served by handpump.

S- Light floral hop aroma and toasted malts.

T- Floral notes turning into a toasted malt flavour, with a nutty aftertaste.

M- Lightly carbonated and moderate chewiness.

D- A sessionable ale, not overly flavoursome
but easily drinkable with solid flavours.

Photo of paterlodie
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BB 07 Aug 06. Not much head and beautifull amber and bright beer. Sweet and very malty nose, litle english hops aswell as good esters. Taste is full and well bittered witch makes this brew taste stronger as it is and make it hang for quiet some time. Well carbonated and having much more taste as the avarage lager. Not that much expirience in this style but for shure well drinkable and IMHO a perfect sessionbeer.

Photo of Zimbo
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite lightish golden almost resembling a pilsner. Thin fluffy head beginning smooth and light on the palate but as it hits just past the midway point there is some lingering tame slightly chewy bitterness that leaves a subtle yet surprisingly long aftertaste.
Probably lacking the character it once had but certainly more consistent. Still a pretty good ordinary bitter which remains a classic session beer.

Photo of cichief
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on cask at the Wargrave Arms near Paddington Station, London.

A- Pours a nice clear amber-gold, with a thin white head.

S- Somewhat hoppy, a little citrus on the nose.

T- Malty at the beginning, but finishes dry and hoppy.

M-Thin to medium on the body, carbonation nicely muted.

D- An average bitter, good, but not special.

Photo of janubio
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500 ml. bottle, golden orange colour with a white head that fades soon, but leaves a good lace. Smell of hops and citrus, mineral, limestone. Sme rough edges in the (buttery) palate but it feels very good and refreshing. Taste of citrus, hops and minerals. Good one.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.85/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Easy drinking, light session beer. Malty nose and malt-dominant at the start. A dry-ish beer, with a solid mouthfeel throughout, and a well -balanced mildy hoppy finish. Can loose its head quickly due to the absence of sparklers in the South of England. Progressively becoming available in selected outlets in the Midlands and North of England, but sometimes served with a sparkler.
The term Ordinary Bitter is correct, but unfortunately mis-placed when applied to Youngs Bitter. It is far from "ordinary", and this is one of the best Cask-Conditioned Bitters available in my opinion. Highly Quaffable, a true Gallon-Lunchtime Beer.
A CAMRA Award winner on more than one occassion, that simply has to be tried on Cask, preferably in a Youngs House in London UK, to fully appreciate its nuances and intended drinking environs. Try the Lamb (WC1) or Morpeth Arms (SW1). Both of which sell vast quantities of it in top-condition. I will I try and add these establishments to the Beerfly soon.

Photo of bark
4.8/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The colour is copper; the large pale beige foam slowly sinks down to a finger thick firm uneven head. Some lacing occurs.

The smell fruity and somewhat sweet with notes of hazel nuts, butter, lightly roasted malts and a fine bitterness.

The taste is exactly what I want from a English bitter: Delicate, well balanced and full of character. There is a malty notes, some gravy, nuts, a light bitterness and a hint of roasted malt. The aftertaste is at first a bit watery, but develops into a perfectly balanced mix of fruity hops, mild malt and a bitter touch.

I could probably survive just drinking this beer with some crisps. Mmmm…

Now, the glass is empty. I miss it already. Can one fall in love with an ale?

Photo of cypressbob
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

660ml bottle

Pours with a light amber body, slight head with poor retention

Smell slight hint of english hops, mabye goldings, slightly musky

Taste, rounded, hint of hop bitteress, light malty body

Not bad, like a watered down version of their london ale in some respects

Photo of John
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the most flavourful ordinary bitters I've ever had. I was able to enjoy this lovely brew in a very friendly CAMRA certified Young's pub in London, for which the name escapes me. Copper coloured with a distinct fresh bready aroma...some fruit and hop aroma are also noted. Flavor is full with a relatively assertive (for this style) hop finish. Could easily drink several pints of this fine ale.

Photo of vancurly
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

a) Pours an attractive pale orange/burnished gold. Nice fluffy white head settles into a 1 inch raft. Slight haziness, which I expect will increase as I get to the end of the bottle, kicking up the sediment.

s) Fleshy, meat pie-like. Warms to a grain & malt base, with some herbaceousness.

f) Marmalade, biscuits, slight gaminess that distantly reminds me of kidney.... but not in an unpleasant way. Good caramel sweetness cuts across the gamey note. Warms into some orange sweetness.
As with most English bitters, not very.

m) Fairly light, slightly hollow and watery.

d) It drinks very smoothly.

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Young's Bitter from Wells & Young's Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.