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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

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174 Ratings

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Ratings: 174
Reviews: 116
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.67%
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: 174 | Reviews: 116 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of foamee
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After spending time in London this year, I found the Gritty's Bitter to be a very good example of a true British ale. The fact that it had liitle carbonation would make it like a hand pulled pint. The subtle flavors gave way to a typical finish. It's different than other american beers, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try it !!

Photo of BadBadger
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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

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.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - this bitter pours a chestnut brown with a half finger thick off white head, moderate carbonation rises through the brew

S - a crisp, clean aroma nestled above the piney bitterness of quality hops, a bitterness that isnt overpowering, yet dominates the aroma

T - a nice subtle bitterness, very crisp and refreshing, at first, then the real bitterness hits in the finish, a great big bready bitter aftertaste, with perhaps a slight hint of very dark chocolate intertwined

M - bitter of course, but otherwise very palatable and smooth

D - high for the IBU-philes, average for others, very quality brew, Gritty's does it again

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of tastybeer
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of wedge
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of Hautacam
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of JasonCoop
4.6/5  rDev +26.7%
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.

Photo of MattBrooks
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
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!

Photo of akahn
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Photo of PatandDavid
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of scooter231
3.63/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of far333
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of Shovelbum
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of ghostwalker
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

Photo of jmz62565
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of HoorayBeer
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Photo of clvand0
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of francisweizen
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of gentlebubbles
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of LPorter33
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Gritty McDuff's Best Bitter from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.