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Gritty McDuff's Best Bitter - Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Gritty McDuff's Best BitterGritty McDuff's Best Bitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

166 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 166
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 5
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Best Bitter was the first beer we ever brewed, way back in 1988 at our Portland Brew Pub. This true English classic has been the anchor of our draft selection ever since.

Best Bitter is a copper-hued and well-balanced ale with real old world integrity. We use fine Yakima Golding hop flowers in the brewing of this beer for a fine dry finish that compliments the malty palate. The taste captures the freshness of a hand-drawn ale that goes right from the conditioning tank to your glass!

25 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-26-1999)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 166 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Duhast500:
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

3/5  rDev -17.6%

04-14-2013 04:19:25 | More by Duhast500
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +8%

Pours a amber/copper color with not much head to speak of,the aroma is of toasted malt and biscuity a nice sweeter aroma also seems to linger.Taste starts out malty crisp with some hoppy citrus tones that come in subtly to round out this beer pretty nicely.Would have liked to try this on cask.

11-14-2003 23:05:00 | More by oberon
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.95/5  rDev +8.5%

This was both a nice-looking and a nice-tasting beer. It was an amber color with a thick, sticky head and some lacing. It had a pleasant floral aroma. It tasted sweet with some great hop bitterness. Pretty good mouthfeel, and it certainly goes down easily. I'm usually not too much of a fan of cask-conditioned beers, but this was quite good.

05-22-2006 11:35:28 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of Todd


3.43/5  rDev -5.8%

Presentation: 12 oz brown twist, no freshness date.

Appearance: Copper with a tiny touch of chill haze, nice frothy off white head.

Smell: Nutty toasted grain and fruit.

Taste: Smooth and a little crisp. Malty flavours of rustic toasted grain, sweetness, fruity esters and a hint of husk which are all cut a bit by an even hop twang bitterness, nice hop flavour also. In the after taste is some residual sweetness that goes a little caramel, drying grain and a faded hop bitterness.

Notes: I decent bitter to be had here, balanced quite well ... flavourful. Make sure you don't drink this brew cold ... it will mask all of the true Bitter Style flavours.

04-26-1999 00:00:01 | More by Todd
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.45/5  rDev -5.2%

12 ouncer, with best enjoyed before dating. Pours a light clear amber, fairly active carbonation with bubbles continuing to rise to the top and a medium bubble head remaining. Some lacing left behind. Semi soapy, piney nose. Medium bodied, light balanced ale. Malt is soft and nutty, minor hops balance things out but dont exert themselves. Hint of butterscotch also noted. Not a very exciting style nor version here, but this one would do in a pinch as a sessioner.

10-09-2004 12:16:21 | More by Billolick
Photo of tigg924


3.8/5  rDev +4.4%

Appearance: orange/brown in color, 1 inch head, moderate carbonation, clear

Smell: toasted malt and spices

Taste: honey, caramel, toasted malt, and hops throughout that are really present on the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: super smooth, sweet start with a moderately bitter finish, high carbonation, medium bodied

Drinkability: There is a nice malt and hop mix here. I could have three but not six. A nice above average bitter.

11-03-2009 15:35:32 | More by tigg924
Photo of bpfrush


3.75/5  rDev +3%

11-14-2011 20:42:33 | More by bpfrush
Photo of CaptainZingo


3.95/5  rDev +8.5%

A: Light copper/honey, clear. 1-inch head, subsided quickly, lacing to bottom.

S: Caramel, Toast, Light Hop aroma

T: Mild sustaining hop flavor, citrusy, caramel.

M: Thin, tiny sharp carbonation.

D: Good drinkability, I'll gladly consume the six.

09-28-2008 00:09:05 | More by CaptainZingo
Photo of Thrasher


4/5  rDev +9.9%

A straightforward, no-nonsense bitter. Crystal-clear, medium copper with smallish head that didn't go anywhere. A handful of caramel malts buttressed perfectly by a quite mild hop character. Authentically British. Lemon in the finish. Creamy, thinnish mouthfeel. Some metallic water qualities. Solidly flavorful, enough to keep me interested without inflicting palate fatigue. Brings back memories of huddling over a table in Gritty's pub in Portland Maine. Also makes me want to try Gritty's other bottled offerings. Weird to see other bottles of booze pictured on the label.

12-18-2002 14:29:39 | More by Thrasher
Photo of far333


3.88/5  rDev +6.6%

Crystal clear faded apricot colored with a thick and foamy head an inch high that sticks around long. Faint smell of a mix of bready malts and citrusy hops. Flavors of malt and caramel, some butterscotch and grainy light brown sugar. Some cinnamon pokes through, and the faintest of a citrus peel hop bitter emerges in the finish. Mouthfeel is full and round, low carbonation. Reminiscent of a traditional English bitter style.

01-17-2006 02:05:01 | More by far333
Photo of BadBadger

New York

3.08/5  rDev -15.4%

McDuff's Best Bitter was a bit of a let down, as I have found their other brews rather enjoyable. This pours a gold-amber color. There was a minimal head which went fast. The smell was nondistinct. The taste was a malty sweet and bittered mess. The aftertaste was a bit sticky on the back of the tongue, but not distractingly so. I can't recommend this bitter, with other availble options out there.

10-26-2006 00:11:25 | More by BadBadger
Photo of hitshtwithsticks


3.75/5  rDev +3%

02-06-2013 09:14:41 | More by hitshtwithsticks
Photo of Shovelbum


3.85/5  rDev +5.8%

From a bomber purchased at the Freeport brewpub.

Pours an admirable white head over a dark copper body. Fairly clean nose, with faint traces of caramel malt. Tastes of sweet and toasted malt balanced by just the right amount of bitterness. Medium bodied, low carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a slightly drying finish.

This is a well-balanced, fairly standard bitter. Nothing that is especially outstanding, but it certainly doesn’t disappoint. An excellent session brew.

01-11-2006 01:33:14 | More by Shovelbum
Photo of glid02


3.8/5  rDev +4.4%

On-tap at Bukowski’s in Cambridge.

Pours a slightly hazy dark amber color with a slightly off-white head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of grainy caramel malts with good amounts of earthy and slightly leafy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mildly dry caramel malts up front are joined quickly by leafy and light citrus hops that carry through to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall there wasn’t a whole lot going on with this beer but that’s fair for the style. Worth a shot.

08-14-2011 21:09:26 | More by glid02
Photo of rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

3.23/5  rDev -11.3%

Definitely more English than American, but still maintains a sweetness that i find in most Aemrican bitters/pale ales/IPA's. Caramelly malts, citrusy bitter hops, some tea. Uncomplicated, but enjoyable cask bitter, puts a lot of english bitters to shame. (draft GBBF 03')

09-27-2003 12:46:20 | More by rastaman
Photo of ChadHanley

New Hampshire

3/5  rDev -17.6%

12-04-2011 01:48:07 | More by ChadHanley
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Gritty McDuff's- Best Bitter

Appearance- Golden copper brown with frothy white head. Moderate lacing.
Smell- Strong malt. Buttery biscuits.
Taste- Big strong buttery vanilla caramel malt.
Mouthfeel- Sweet up front with a creamy yet mildly dry finish.

Overall- A very good beer here. This is a nice session beer. Could become cloying after about 6 but otherwise very tasty.

04-11-2007 19:34:03 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of tastybeer

North Carolina

3.4/5  rDev -6.6%

Light clear copper color and white bubbly two finger head. A partial white layer remains. Smells sweet, lightly toasted, with that ringwood yeasty diacetyl, doughy and lightly oily. There's a hint of metallic that comes through in smell and taste sporadically... (perhaps a tainted bottle here). Not much for hops, some mild bittering and dryness. Nice dry carbonated mouthfeel as well and certainly flows down easy.

Alright. I which I never noticed the metallic-ness. I think I would definitely appreciate it more as an easy to pound pretty tasty beer otherwise.

05-13-2006 01:44:48 | More by tastybeer
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

12 oz bottle poured into a mug. Mildly vigerous pour.

Thick and bubbly 4" white head which dissipated rather quickly.. Clear, medium/Amber and some copper hues.

Smells are, sweet malt, slghtly smokey and hop bitter. Minor amounts of sour.

Taste is a clean malty sweetness, "green" hop only mildly bitter, with some smoky hints.

Feels thin, light body. Effect is smooth and clean.

Pretty easy to drink.

08-04-2006 07:01:33 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of jmz62565


3.48/5  rDev -4.4%

A great two finger head and a real rich clear amber color.This has a real floral/like hoppy smell.I don't have a great nose ,but this smells very good.I hope you like hops because this is HOPPY! This has a very dry hop taste,but not alot after that,it is mildly nutty.This has a light feel.I was hoping for more from Gritty's,but this is alittle disapointing.This is still good,but other Gritty beers are better.

10-08-2005 20:33:39 | More by jmz62565
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev -12.6%

Initially a lot of staying power foam and good aroma of malt and hops. The initial taste was good, then harsh carbonation wore me down. Hops keeping malt in check, a serviceable bitter but not a great example. A tad of toast or butter on toast. More..ingredients.

04-26-2007 02:53:16 | More by Sammy
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.88/5  rDev +6.6%

An authentic, solid bitterness backs Gritty's amber-colored Best Bitter. That's not always something you find in American versions of this basic and very straightforward English style.

Beyond the welcome bitterness, it's basic, gently biscuity and delicately caramelish malt and yeast character. Of course, utilizing the Ringwood strain, that yeasty character is quite pronounced with lots of diacetyl backed by a touch of yeasty 'woody-earthiness' and some mild fruitiness.

It's slightly overcarbonated for the style, but when poured at the proper temperature a lot of CO2 will be given off at the pour, leaving it with a smooth mouthfeel that combines with the medium-light body to make it remarkably drinkable. Additionally, it will not really form the proper head if it's poured right out of the fridge so let it warm up a little bit. And when enjoyed at cellar temperature it's really a very solid session ale!

The bottle I enjoyed had a new label from what's currently on the site, and it reads "Gritty's Best Bitter". It has the colored illustration of the bartender passing over a pint to a customer that I've seen before (probably on t-shirts as I haven't been to the brewpub in years). The label states that it's brewed & bottled in Portland, ME.

01-01-2008 17:01:56 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of tempest


3.63/5  rDev -0.3%

A definate throw-back beer, but in the best sense. It tastes a little of caramel, then creamy and smooth, but there's a lingering bitterness that sneaks up on you. The hops are a bit odd for me, I can't tell if they're jujst grassy or hae been skunked. The flavor profile is a bit low, but this is a style that thrives in casks anyways. Reminds me of milder version of my local Syracuse Pale Ale but a little more delicate.

02-22-2007 05:30:48 | More by tempest
Photo of Larrydoherty


4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

08-21-2012 01:05:55 | More by Larrydoherty
Photo of bewareOFpenguin


4/5  rDev +9.9%

Not what I exspected. Not overly bitter, in fact had a light taste. Smooth and easy drinking, the hops looming in the background of every gulp. Could easily drink this all the time. Tasted more like a lager to me.

10-07-2002 06:54:38 | More by bewareOFpenguin
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Gritty McDuff's Best Bitter from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.