1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
82
good

169 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 169
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gritty McDuff's Best Bitter Alström Bros
Ratings: 169 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tastybeer
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

tastybeer, May 13, 2006
Photo of wedge
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper-gold hue with a frothy white head that has some nice stick to the glass and decent retention. Slight buttery aroma fades to grassy hops - a little toasted grain and caramel. Toasted grains over a soft fruity sweetness - hints of diacetyl are not as strong as in the smell. Dry, crisp, medium mouthfeel. Pretty refreshing.

Not bad overall...I could probably session this.

wedge, May 11, 2006
Photo of Hautacam
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle...."best by" date 12/06.
Pours a clear amber with a very lively light tan head. Head settles quickly to a film in an English pint glass.
Faint smell of floral hops and steely grains.
Flavor is a mild semi-sweet, biscuity malt balanced pretty well with the floral hops. Finishes clean and dry with a mild hop- bitter aftertaste. Doesn't gain a lot in warming.
Mouthfeel is light/medium..carbonation is medium.
Not the most complex brew, not the most intense.... but a very drinkable one...would go well with food.

Hautacam, Apr 25, 2006
Photo of JasonCoop
4.6/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a clear copper/orange with nice offwhite head. lots of lace.

smells good, subtly fruity with hints of caramel and a touch nutty. very pleasant.

tastes great. malty sweetness up front. a tiny bit buttery, balanced very well with a hop kick. says they use East Kent Hops on the box, whatever it is it's great. i like the subtle caramel flavor of this one. its also pretty well balanced.

mouthfeel is light and crisp. this in combination with the great flavor make it extremely drinkable. i'm impressed with this brewery so far having never heard of it before my boss gave me the sample. great brew.

JasonCoop, Mar 02, 2006
Photo of MattBrooks
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another great beer from Gritty's. Ah, Gritty...you have won me over. I am definately a true fan. This beer pours clean with a small head that does kind of fizzle away, but a classic "english bitter" aroma wafts up from within. Excellent crispness to the taste, though the mouthfeel could use just a lttle bit more. Totally a drinkable brew, enjoy five or twelve tonight!

MattBrooks, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of akahn
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden color with a half-inch frothy white head. Lots of streaming carbonation.

Crisp hoppy aroma. Tart, somewhat sweet malt flavor, crisp hops. Then, at the finish, there is a lingering grain hull flavor (tannin?), and an odd metallic flavor, similar to what I experienced in the Best Brown.

Thin bodied, weak carbonation. All in all, uninspiring.

akahn, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of PatandDavid
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on cask at the Grittys In Freeport this weekend. Thick, thick cream colored foam. It eventually died down to about half, but when the beer arrived, it was about 1.5 inches thick and you could almost eat it with a spoon. Deep orange brown, crystal clear and minimal carbonation. Really low aroma. Medium - mouthfeel. Taste was of pleasant biscuityness, with a small citrus burst at the end. Just a small dollop of diacetyl, not a drawback with this one. Would make a good session brew.

PatandDavid, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of scooter231
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled this at Brewtopia, first brew of the day. Pretty enough copper color, nothing outrageous, but pretty. Smell was fruity and grainy. Taste was slightly bitter but not overly so, with a cidery/citrusy twang at the end, and hints of vanilla throughout. There's a toasted malty quality to this that I dig. An okay mouthfeel, not too many bubbles, and fairly drinkable. This was nothing spectacular, but it was a solid brew.

scooter231, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of far333
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

far333, Jan 17, 2006
Photo of Shovelbum
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Shovelbum, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of ghostwalker
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle pour.

Reddish amber body, one finger of creamy white head.

Nose is buttery biscuit malt. Mild hops there a little too. Leaves nice lacing.

Flavor is that wonderful, slightly sharp, biscuity maltiness that a good bitters/ESB should have. It is tempered with a tangy, mildly metallic hop bite at the end. Well balanced and tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium with fairly high carbonation.

Drinkability is insane. I love bitters for a session brew and this one is outstanding.

It's a staple in my beer diet. As good as Fuller's ESB, but slightly more creamy.

ghostwalker, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of jmz62565
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

jmz62565, Oct 08, 2005
Photo of HoorayBeer
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy or hazy copper coloring. Froathy head only a 1/2 inch thick and laces the glass well as the beer goes down.

Caramel or toffee and hoppy aromas.

Hops! They jump right out at you on the first sip. Banaced well by the toffee flavor, so it is not a huge bite. Good smoothe aftertaste, this is where the bitters come in, nice and subtle.

I enjoyed this very much, good overall flavor.

HoorayBeer, Jul 31, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light golden colot with a light coat of head over top. There is a good bit of diacetyl in this (as well as their other beers). This is ther first beer that it might actually work in though. I would like to see a little more hop and malt character carry through. The flavor is right with the nose. Big diacetyl with just a hint of hop hanging in the background. The feel is moderate with a light carbonation. Another brew that could use a diacetyl rest. I don't think I would try and find this one again.

kmpitz2, Jul 27, 2005
Photo of clvand0
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a light amber color - very clear - with a small head that falls fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of diacetyl going on as well as a lot of lingering sweetness and some caramel maltiness. The flavor has a lot of toffee sweetness and caramel - the diacetyl has a definate presence. I'm not huge on this flavor, but it's not bad. The mouthfeel is moderate and the drinkability is ok.

clvand0, Jul 27, 2005
Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper in color with a nice thick creamy head. Nice lacing develops during the drink. Carbonation level seems low through my eyes. The aroma was of caramel and piney hops. The flavor was straight forward, as caramel, orange peel, bread, and piney bitterness were mellow and not overpowering.

Mouthfeel was smooth with a hint of crispness at the start. The finish was lightly crisp. The caramel and bitterness lasted briefly on the tongue. Definite session beer at Gritty's brewpub as several of these can be quaffed.

Gavage, Jul 07, 2005
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber/copper color with some gold coming through. Head is not very dense at all and goes away quickly, leaving little lace.

Taste is alright, but thin and not very complex. Some typical bitter buttery notes. I noticed some hops at the end of a taste. Again, not bad, but not very impressive.

A little thin in the mouthfeel as well.

Drinkable? Yes. But any decent bitter is drinkable, and this one is drinkable. I wouldn't seek this out, but this is no beer to be ashamed about.

GeoffFromSJ, Jun 15, 2005
Photo of francisweizen
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light golden amber with not much of a head on this fine cask pint of hand-pulled real ale. Aromas are subtle, but fresh grassy hops, and biscuity malts are prevalent if you look for them. The taste is more about the hops than the malts, but this still isn't one of the hoppier bitters that I have had. The malts are in good show too, but neither the malts or the hops take center stage. This brew is about balance and drinkability. Mouthfeel is cask goodness, smooth and light and oh-so-drinkable. not a bad UK beer from a Maine brewery.

francisweizen, Apr 14, 2005
Photo of gentlebubbles
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light toasty color under firm white head, which has the barest amber tint.

Sweet, floral scent.

Fruity malt, like a crisp apple cider on a caramel base. Very prickly in the mouth. Only the faintest suggestion of a finish, with bare hints of resin and citron.

A very workmanlike, straightforward English bitter.

gentlebubbles, Apr 14, 2005
Photo of LPorter33
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

purchased single 12 oz bottle from Martignetti's

appearance is a very clear orange-golden hue. 1/2 inch head which quickly dissipated.

Smell is a strong malty syrupy carmel scent, very strong , almost burbon like scent that impressed me.

Taste: Strong sweet malty intital taste with great bitter aftermath. Tastebuds experience myriad changes as the beer passes over them and down the throat. I really enjoy this beer.

Overall: Definitely recommend this one and the best Gritty's brew I've tried to date.

LPorter33, Apr 03, 2005
Photo of oggg
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ppoitras for this one. This bottle travelled coast to coast to coast, but stayed in great shape.

This lovely brew pours an orangey brown with a thick tan head. Not much lace. Super clear, must be filtered. No sediment. Aroma is very bready with a British style floral hop aroma. Very subtle. Not quite EKG/Fuggles... Closer to Fuller's ESB hops. Mild carbonation is nice. Just a touch of bitterness, then intense bready biscuity malt. Huge malt presence. Bitterness remains low. Very smooth. Alcohol imperceptible. Surprisingly on the full side of medium to full bodied. Finish is slightly dry. A touch oily at the end.

Overall: Spot on for the style! Super malty session beer.

oggg, Jan 01, 2005
Photo of SheepNutz
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a medium copper color with two fingers of head. There is lots of clingy lacing left on the glass. The smell has lots of lightly toasted biscuit malt and a good hop aroma. Very well balanced. The taste also has that biscuit malt flavor, a little bit of hay in the middle, and a sharp hop finish. Nice and crisp. A bitter that's actually bitter! The mouthfeel is incredibly thick for the style. The drinkability is great too. Another nice Maine beer!

SheepNutz, Nov 13, 2004
Photo of Billolick
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Billolick, Oct 09, 2004
Photo of Godspeed
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at a Hannaford's supermarket in Saco, Maine. This beer pours a golden amber. A bubbly head recedes to leave sticky sheets of lacing that cling to the side of the glass throughout consumption. Smells of caramel and grainy malts. Mouthfeel is creamy. Buttery caramel malt flavor with a bitter hoppy finish. Overall very smooth and extremely drinkable. One of these days I need to go to Gritty's pub and try this one on tap.

Godspeed, Aug 15, 2004
Photo of WanderingFool
4.63/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a bomber at Gritty's in Freeport on the way home from a camping trip. The beer pours a hazy dark honey color (orange/yellow). A big frothy white head forms on top and slowly dissolves to a thick sheet and ring on the surface. A fair amount of lace is left on the glass as the beer empties.

The aroma is very malty. Hints of pine and nuts are mixed in to the dry malt smells. Each sip of this smooth medium to full bodied beer is packed with flavor. It begins with dry malt and nut flavor. Floral and citrus hop flavors move in at the middle and it finishes somewhat bitter.

This is a great tasting all around beer. An awesome balance of malt and hops to be enjoyed any day of the year.

WanderingFool, Jun 26, 2004
Gritty McDuff's Best Bitter from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 169 ratings.